Archive for the ‘ Privacy ’ Category

The ads started popping up about a decade ago on social media. Instead of selling alcohol with sex and romance, these ads had an edgier theme: Harried mothers chugging wine to cope with everyday stress. Women embracing quart-sized bottles of whiskey, and bellying up to bars to knock back vodka shots with men.

In this new strain of advertising, women’s liberation equaled heavy drinking, and alcohol researchers say it both heralded and promoted a profound cultural shift: Women in America are drinking far more, and far more frequently, than their mothers or grandmothers did, and alcohol consumption is ending their marriages, alienating them from their children and killing them in record numbers.

White women are particularly likely to drink dangerously, with more than a quarter (25%) drinking multiple times a week and the share of binge drinking up 40 percent since 1999, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal health data. In 2013, more than a million women of all races wound up in emergency rooms as a result of heavy drinking, with women in middle age most likely to suffer severe intoxication.

This behavior has contributed to a startling increase in early mortality. The rate of alcohol-related deaths for white women ages 35 to 54 has more than doubled since 1999, according to The Post analysis, accounting for 8 percent of deaths in this age group in 2015.

“It is a looming health crisis,” said Katherine M. Keyes, an alcohol researcher at Columbia University.

Although independent researchers are increasingly convinced that any amount of alcohol poses serious health risks, American women are still receiving mixed messages. Parts of the federal government continue to advance the idea that moderate drinking may be good for you. Meanwhile, many ads for alcohol — particularly on social media — appear to promote excessive drinking, which is universally recognized as potentially deadly. These ads also appear to violate the industry’s code of ethics, according to a Post analysis of alcohol marketing.

For example, when girl-power heroine Amy Schumer guzzled Bandit boxed wine in the movie “Trainwreck,” Bandit’s producer, Trinchero Family Estates, promoted the scene on social media. Young women responded with photos of themselves chugging Bandit. Within months, Trinchero said, sales of boxed wines — sometimes called “binge in a box” — jumped 22 percent.

“We saw it first with tobacco, marketing it to women as their right to smoke. Then we saw lung cancer deaths surpass deaths from breast cancer,” said Rear Adm. Susan Blumenthal, a former assistant surgeon general and an expert on women’s health issues. “Now it’s happening with alcohol, and it’s become an equal rights tragedy.”

Alcohol marketing is regulated primarily by industry trade groups, but dozens of studies have found lapses in their record of enforcing the rules. As a result, an international group of public health experts convened by the World Health Organization’s regional office in Washington, D.C., plans to call in January for governments worldwide to consider legislation similar to laws adopted a decade ago to sharply curtail tobacco advertising.

Officials with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, one of the largest U.S. trade groups, defend their record of oversight, saying it has received high marks from federal regulators.

DISCUS tells members that ads should not “in any way suggest that intoxication is socially acceptable conduct.” The Beer Institute tells members that their “marketing materials should not depict situations where beer is being consumed rapidly, excessively.” And the Wine Institute prohibits ads that make “any suggestion that excessive drinking or loss of control is amusing or a proper subject for amusement” or that directly associate use of wine with “social, physical or personal problem solving.”

But these rules appear regularly to be flouted, particularly on alcohol companies’ websites and social-media feeds, which are soaking up a growing share of the more than $2 billion the industry is expected to spend on advertising this year. And the trade groups acknowledge that they do not investigate or act on possible violations unless they receive a formal complaint.

Some of the edgiest ads appear on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram — where they can be narrowly targeted toward the inboxes and desperate little lives of the most eager consumers.

Jokes about becoming inebriated are common.

Women also are frequently shown drinking to cope with daily stress. In one image that appeared on a company website, two white women wearing prim, narrow-brimmed hats, button earrings and wash-and-set hair confer side by side. “How much do you spend on a bottle of wine?” one asks. The other answers, “I would guess about half an hour …” At the bottom is the name of the wine:

Mommy’s Time Out.

Another ad on a company website features a white woman wearing pearls and an apron. “The most expensive part of having kids is all the wine you have to drink,” it says above the name of the wine:

Mad Housewife.

This spring, Mad Housewife offered a Mother’s Day promotion: a six-pack of wine called

Mommy’s Little Helper.

“The rise in hazardous drinking among women is not all due to the ads. But the ads have played a role in creating a cultural climate that says it’s funny when women drink heavily,” said Jean Kilbourne, who has produced several films and books about alcohol marketing to women. “Most importantly, they’ve played a role in normalizing it.

Source: Booze causing ‘crisis’ for women | TribLIVE

The mis information begins with a study that has no causation links to anything just much innuendo and misdirection from facts.

Source: Not to shave? In life (and TV), pubic hair is staying on

Letting the kids drink is a tough subject for parents: To give a tipple or not?

on this the 30th anniversary of the national drinking age being raised to 21, I’m asking myself the following question: Am I better off never letting my girls drink around me, at home or at family celebrations, until they reach the legal drinking age or does it make drinking less taboo and alluring if I let them start drinking at home, maybe with sips of wine and beer, during their teenage years?If you look at the scientific evidence, it seems more studies point to a negative consequence of parental offers of even a small amount of alcohol.
A recent report in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (PDF) highlighted two such studies: One in 2011 in Sweden of 13-year-olds found that when children were offered alcohol by a parent, it was associated with a higher likelihood of heavy episodic drinking in girls, but not in boys; and a 1997 study of fourth- and sixth-graders in the United States found that when parents offered children a small amount of alcohol, the children were more likely to initiate alcohol use on their own.
Alcohol and teens

Alcohol and teens 01:08
In addition, another study compared seventh-graders in the United States with Australia, where adult-supervised drinking for teens is allowed. Some 36% of the Australian teens had problems with binge drinking compared with only 21% of American teens, according to the 2011 study.
“I think the evidence would suggest to me you are not playing your best hand if you provide alcohol to your kids,” said Dr. Ralph Hingson, director of the division of epidemiology and prevention research for the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
“It may be that nothing’s going to happen, but it’s like if you’re driving a car too fast in a residential neighborhood that the likelihood of being in a car crash is increased because you are taking an unnecessary risk.”
But at least one study shows that drinking with parents can lead to positive results.
The study, published in the 2004 Journal of Adolescent Heath and showcased in a 2008 Time magazine story, found that children who drank with their parents were about half as likely to say they had alcohol in the past month and about one third as likely to admit to binge drinking (having five or more drinks in a row) in the previous two weeks.
Stanton Peele is a psychologist, addiction expert and author of several books on addiction, including “Addiction Proof Your Child.”
The New York City father of three said he allowed his children, now in their 20s and 30s, to have a few sips of alcohol during meals in their teenage years and then, around 16, let them have a full glass of wine.
“The chances that children are going to go to college … and not consume alcohol are infinitesimal,” said Peele, who also provides online addiction treatment and support.
“And so the question every parent has to ask themselves (is) … ‘Who is going to teach them how to drink?’ “
Brian Gresko of Brooklyn, New York, a Babble.com contributor, says he and his wife are already teaching their young son about drinking.
In their house, alcohol is part of the family culture, said Gresko, who says he and his wife always have a cocktail, glass of wine or beer while cooking dinner and during the meal.
“We don’t hide this from our 5-year-old son. Felix knows the guys at our local wine store, and he sometimes asks me to make him ‘mocktails’ when we drink cocktails,” said Gresko, editor of a recent anthology of 22 novelists writing about fatherhood called “When I First Held You.”
“Alcohol is a part of life, and I would rather he begin to form a relationship with it under my supervision instead of in secret with his friends, where who knows what could happen.”
Elena Sonnino, a wellness writer, social media strategist and founder of the site Live.Do.Grow., also wants her 9-year-old to feel comfortable enough to talk with her about anything, but she takes a different approach.
She recently scaled back from having a nightly glass of wine to having one just once a week for wellness reasons and doesn’t believe she’ll let her daughter have sips of alcohol until she can legally have them.
“We won’t offer her tastes because we’re trying to show her that drinking wine is a responsibility,” said the northern Virginia mom. “You have a responsibility when you start drinking anything, wine or whatever it is, and you need to be able to make good decisions and until you’re 18, 21, your brain isn’t fully formed.”
Melissa Moog, a mom of three and founder of Itsabelly Baby Planners, a new parent and baby safety consulting service, also won’t be letting her kids enjoy sips of wine and beer.
“I think a legal drinking age was established for a very good reason,” said Moog of Portland, Oregon. “If I allowed my daughter at 16 to try a sip, I would be nervous that she’d think subconsciously that I was OK with her drinking before the legal age limit because I let her take a sip of my drink.”
While I admit I am still as confused as ever about what I will do when my girls get older, there are a few things I am pretty certain of that are backed by strong evidence.
I won’t ever get drunk in front of my kids, with studies showing that children who see their parents drunk are more likely to get drunk themselves.
And I will talk to my girls about alcohol as they get older. That’s the focus of the #TalkEarly online campaign by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, encouraging parents to have conversations early so as children get older, the topic of drinking is not taboo.
A big focus is also encouraging parents to watch what they say and do in social media, including making jokes about needing a glass of wine.
“Avoid transmitting the ‘I need a drink’ message after a long day or stressful situation, and talking about what it feels like to get drunk,” said Micky Morrison, a mom of two and founder of BabyWeight TV.
Michelle Staruiala, a mom of three in Saskatchewan, who said her kids rarely see her have a drink, is proof good communication can lead to positive results.
She has always talked with her kids about everything, she said, and recently asked her 16-year-old son why he sometimes doesn’t go out with his friends.
“He’s like ‘Mom, some of them are drinking. … I don’t feel comfortable being around those situations.’
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“He’s really, really listened to our talks and he, to this day, never has had a drink in his life. So being 16, nowadays that’s kind of a rare thing,” she added with a laugh.

Source: Is drinking with your kids at home a good idea? – CNN.com

February 13, 2013

Shocking Alien Fears Force Pope From Office

By: Sorcha Faal, and as reported to her Western Subscribers

 

A stunning Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) report prepared for President Putin, which is circulating in the Kremlin today, states that Pope Benedict XVI was forced to resign this past week over Catholic Church fears that this 85-year-old leader of over 1 billion Christians was “mentally and physically unprepared” to deal with the coming revelation about the truth of alien beings.

In our 22 January report, Russia Orders Obama: Tell World About Aliens, Or We Will, we detailed how the issue of extraterrestrial beings was brought to the forefront of the World Economic Forum (WEF) with the naming in their 2013 Executive Summary of the danger posed to our world over the discovery of alien life with their stating: “Proof of life elsewhere in the universe could have profound psychological implications for human belief systems.”

Also noted in our previous report were Prime Minister Medvedev’s 7 December 2012 off-air comments to reporters which were recorded and wherein he stated: “Along with the briefcase with nuclear codes, the president of the country is given a special ‘top secret’ folder. This folder in its entirety contains information about aliens who visited our planet… Along with this, you are given a report of the absolutely secret special service that exercises control over aliens on the territory of our country… More detailed information on this topic you can get from a well-known movie called Men In Black… I will not tell you how many of them are among us because it may cause panic.”

Spurring Pope Benedict XVI to become the first leader of the Catholic Church to resign in nearly 600 years, this MFA report says, was the appearance over Los Cristianos, Spain on 21 August 2011 of the long prophesized “bird of prey” interplanetary spacecraft, and which was followed nearly 3 weeks ago with a fleet of them appearing in the skies over Mexico City.

To fully understand the significance of these “bird of prey” UFO’s, this report continues, files relating to the 27 September 1989 Voronezh Incident must be studied in length, especially as it relates to the “messages” delivered to eyewitnesses from the “giants”.

In an 11 October 1989 New York Times article about the Voronezh Incident titled U.F.O. Landing Is Fact, Not Fantasy, the Russians Insist it says:

“It is not a joke, nor a hoax, nor a sign of mental instability, nor an attempt to drum up local tourism by drawing the curious, the Soviet press agency Tass insisted today in discussions of what it called an extraterrestrial visit to southern Russia.

Residents of the city of Voronezh insisted today that lanky, three-eyed extraterrestrial creatures had indeed landed in a local park and gone for a stroll and that a seemingly fantastic report about the event carried Monday by the official press agency Tass was absolutely true.

The three-eyed creature, about nine feet tall and fashionably dressed in silvery overalls and bronze boots and with a disk on its chest, disappeared, then landed and came out for a promenade with a companion and a robot.

The aliens seemed to communicate with each other, producing the mysterious appearance of a shining triangle, and activated the robot with a touch.”

Regarding these “messages” from the Voronezh “giants”, this MFA report says, was the warning to human beings that when these “bird of prey” UFO’s descend upon Earth the whole planet will be in peril.

The Voronezh “giants” further related, this report says, that the alien beings associated with these “bird of prey” UFO’s were the cause of the 14 April 1561 massive “sky battle” over Nuremberg, Germany which was depicted in a famous 16th century woodcut by Hans Glaser [photo 3rd left] and described by the residents as: “A very frightful spectacle.” “The sky appeared to fill with cylindrical objects from which red, black, orange and blue white disks and globes emerged. Crosses and tubes resembling cannon barrels also appeared whereupon the objects promptly began to fight one another.”

Important to note is that the Catholic Christian faith headed by Pope Benedict XVI, as well as nearly every other religion on Earth, all prophesize in their teachings a time when the “gods” will return to our planet and engage in a battle that could very well bring our entire planet to the brink of destruction.

Equally important to note about Pope Benedict XVI’s shock resignation is how it eerily compares with Saint Malachy, who as an Irish saint and Archbishop of Armagh, in the 12th Century, received a vision of 112 Popes later attributed to the apocalyptic list of Prophecy of the Popes. He was the first Irish saint to be canonized by Pope Clement III in 1199.

American authors Tom Horn and Cris Putnam in their 2012 book “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here” about Saint Malachy’s prophecies told interviewers last Spring that Pope Benedict XVI would resign by late 2012, or early 2013, and described the next Pope to follow as “Petrus Romanus,” or “Peter the Roman,” writing: “In the final persecution of the Holy Roman Church there will reign Peter the Roman, who will feed his flock among many tribulations; after which the seven-hilled city will be destroyed and the dreadful Judge will judge the people.”

Though the masses of people reading of the things this report contains will, undoubtedly, ridicule them, the same cannot be said of the elite moneyed classes who, even at this writing, are protecting themselves from “something” at such a fever-pitched pace it is destabilizing the entire global economy, and as exampled by the highly respected Zero Hedge news service in their article titled “What Do They Know That We Don’t?” and which, in part, says:

“Friday evening when no one was supposed to pay attention, Google announced that Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt would sell 3.2 million of his Google shares in 2013, 42% of the 7.6 million shares he owned at the end of last year—after having already sold 1.8 million shares in 2012. But why would he sell 5 million shares, about 53% of his holdings, with Google stock trading near its all-time high?

“Part of his long-term strategy for individual asset diversification and liquidity,” Google mollified us, according to the Wall Street Journal. Soothing words. Nothing but “a routine diversification of assets.”

Routine? He didn’t sell any in 2008 as the market was crashing. He didn’t sell at the bottom in early 2009. And he didn’t sell during the rest of 2009 as Google shares were soaring, nor in 2010, as they continued to soar. In 2011, he eased out of about 300,000 shares, a mere rounding error in his holdings. But in 2012, he opened the valves, and in 2013, he’d open the floodgates. So it’s not “routine.”

Mr. Schmidt isn’t alone. Corporate insiders were “aggressively selling their shares,” reported Mark Hulbert. And they were doing so “at an alarming pace.” The buy sell-to-buy ratio had risen to 9.2-to-1; insiders had sold over 9 times as many shares as they’d bought. They’d been aggressive sellers for weeks.

Instantly, soothing voices were heard: “don’t be alarmed,” they said. But Mr. Schmidt and his colleagues at the top of corporate America, multi-billionaires many of them, are immensely well connected, not only to each other but also to the Fed, whose twelve regional Federal Reserve Banks they own and control.”

To why Google Chairman Schmidt did not attend this years World Economic Forum, where the danger of aliens was being discussed, opting instead for a visit to North Korea (who announced yesterday that they had exploded another nuclear weapon) and when coupled with the information contained in this MFA report, is far from being “soothing”, and is, instead, something well all should be very alarmed about as the end is much nearer than the beginning as those with “eyes to see” and “ears to hear” already know.

February 13, 2012 © EU and US all rights reserved. Permission to use this report in its entirety is granted under the condition it is linked back to its original source at WhatDoesItMean.Com. Freebase content licensed under CC-BY and GFDL.

[Ed. Note: Western governments and their intelligence services actively campaign against the information found in these reports so as not to alarm their citizens about the many catastrophic Earth changes and events to come, a stance that the Sisters of Sorcha Faal strongly disagrees with in believing that it is every human beings right to know the truth. Due to our missions conflicts with that of those governments, the responses of their ‘agents’ against us has been a longstanding misinformation/misdirection campaign designed to discredit and which is addressed in the report “Who Is Sorcha Faal?”.]

You May Already Be To Late…But It Has Begun!

They Are Going To Come For You…Why Are You Helping Them?

Source: Shocking Alien Fears Force Pope From Office

1. Your partner shows up unannounced

Showing up at work unexpectedly is one of the signs your partner doesn’t respect you Surprising you with flowers on a random Wednesday is a welcome treat; showing up unannounced when you’re clearly busy or have a lot going on is not. If you find your partner repeatedly popping up at inopportune times, at inconvenient places, there’s a problem. As mentioned in The Frisky, if he or she shows up at your work, class, or home unannounced and uninvited, causing a scene, they don’t respect you.

2. Your partner uses gaslighting techniques

If you often find your partner using sneaky techniques to keep you in check, he or she doesn’t respect you. According to Your Tango,

“Gaslighting is a phrase assigned to an emotional abuse technique that has one partner convincing the other that reality is an illusion.

If your partner is denying they said and did things or blaming you for saying and doing things you didn’t, it’s abusive.” Have you ever known a person who, no matter how at fault they may be, somehow seems to vaguely skate over the issue, turning around on you? Dealing with a person like this is infuriating. If this is your partner’s norm, it’s likely it will never change.

 

3. Your partner treats sex as a transaction

A partner should never use sex as a tool Anytime a person expects sex in exchange for something, the most basic form of respect is tossed out the window. Sex should never be used as a method of coercion or a form of payment. It’s your body, and it certainly doesn’t belong to anyone else, no matter how committed two partners may be. If your partner does the chores, is it your job to owe them a sexual favor? No. Sadly, though, not everyone takes the same stance on the issue. Case in point — this article from The Stir that calls out Pat Robertson, host of a call-in show, who has claimed that wives should thank their husbands with sex each time they do chores around the house. No, just no.

4. Your partner isn’t proud of you

As you’ve strived for your parents’ approval throughout your life, seeking those heavily-weighted words of acceptance, you want the same from your partner. To hear “I’m proud of you,” from someone you respect is a big deal, and it’s important that both partners take pride in the relationship. When your partner is proud of you, and proud to be with you, Bustle says, there’s a mutual respect for one another. Could you imagine being in a relationship in which your significant other doesn’t really think you’ve worked hard for your career? Without a partner who’s genuinely proud of you, your accomplishments, and your overall contributions to your relationship, they clearly don’t realize or value your worth, and you shouldn’t stand for that. Ever.

5. Your partner refuses to compromise or negotiate

It is only natural the person closest to you will get under your skin, and part of a relationship is being able to discuss life’s major challenges as a team. But when one person in a relationship isn’t willing to act as a team, there’s bound to be long-term issues. A big part of respecting someone is being able to reach a compromise in which both parties are satisfied with the outcome. The Centers for Family Change says, “Respect is established when you consistently: consider and value the feelings and opinions of your partner; talk to and treat your partner in ways that you would want to be treated; and compromise and negotiate with your partner.” If you and your partner aren’t doing this, you’re not getting the respect you deserve.

Source: 5 Signs That Your Partner Doesn’t Respect You

Bride lets guests pull down dress and grope her breasts to raise money for honeymoonThe woman is seen accepting cash from men and women as they pose for a picture while touching her et daily updates directly to your inboxA queue of people lines up to grope a bride’s breasts…so that she can afford a honeymoon.

This bizarre clip, which was filmed in China , shows men and women paying to touch the bride, apparently so that she and her new husband can pay for their post-wedding trip.The woman and those groping her appear to pose for pictures as she takes the money and pushes their hands to her chest.Meanwhile, the wedding party continues around them.Bride allows wedding guests to grope her breasts in exchange for honeymoon funds(Photo: YouTube)The first in line in the clip is a woman who spends some time posing for a photo with the bride, who is still wearing her wedding outfit.Her dress is pulled down to expose her breasts, which are then manhandled for cash.Read More Bride left screaming as groom nearly dies at wedding when prank goes horribly wrongNext in line is a man who gets even closer when the bride pulls his head down to her chest.Bride allows wedding guests to grope her breasts in exchange for honeymoon funds(Photo: YouTube)Finally, another man takes his turn while the bride blows a kiss to the camera.The strange custom is said to take place at weddings in China and other parts of Asia.Also common at Chinese weddings is tradition of “nao dongfang”, which sees both bride and groom subjected to pranks throughout their wedding reception.

Source: Bride lets guests pull down dress and grope her breasts to raise money for honeymoon – Mirror Online

A ‘sixth sense’ which goes beyond the basic five senses of taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing, has apparently been discovered in America

A ‘sixth sense’ really does exist, scientists claim – but it’s got nothing to do with being able to see dead people.

Researchers in America say they have discovered the ‘intuition’ gene , which goes beyond the basic five senses of taste, smell, touch, sight and hearing.

This apparent sixth sense affects ‘proprioception’ or body awareness.

The discovery was made with the help of two young patients with a rare genetic neurological disorder who have a mutation in the ‘Piezo2’ gene affecting their body awareness.

When blindfolded, the pair were completely unable to walk without falling.

They also couldn’t track the position of their arms and legs as researchers gently moved them – something most people can do without looking.

While they were insensitive to certain kinds of touch, the pair – aged nine and 19 – could still feel pain, itch, temperature and gentle brushing.

6th Sense
Haley Joel Osment’s character in The Sixth Sense was able to see ghosts, but scientists believe our real sixth sense relates to body awareness

Neurologist Dr Carsten Bonnemann, of the National Institutes of Health in Maryland, US, said: “Our study highlights the critical importance of Piezo2 and the senses it controls in our daily lives.

“The results establish Piezo2 is a touch and proprioception gene in humans.

“Understanding its role in these senses may provide clues to a variety of neurological disorders.”

The two unrelated patients both have difficulties walking, possessing hip, finger and foot deformities and abnormally curved spines diagnosed as progressive scoliosis.

Pea-sized ‘human lungs’ have been grown in a lab and could revolutionise treatments

Dr Bonnemann discovered the patients have mutations in Piezo2 which seem to block the normal production or activity of proteins in cells generating electrical nerve signals.

Co-author Dr Alexander Chesler said: “As someone who studies Piezo2 in mice working with these patients was humbling.

“Our results suggest they are touch-blind. The patient’s version of Piezo2 may not work so their neurons cannot detect touch or limb movements.”

Scientist examining test tube in laboratory
Scientists say the Piezo2 gene is linked to our ‘sixth sense’ and relates to body awareness (Photo: Getty)

The researchers found blindfolding made it harder for them to reliably reach for an object in front of their faces than it was for unaffected volunteers.

The patients were also less sensitive to certain forms of touch.

They could not feel vibrations from a buzzing tuning fork as well as the control subjects could.

Britain in major HIV cure breakthrough as NHS patient stuns doctors with ‘remarkable progress’

But the patients’ nervous systems appeared to be developing normally. They were able to feel pain, itch and temperature normally.

The nerves in their limbs conducted electricity rapidly and their brains and cognitive abilities were similar to healthy controls of their age.

Dr Bonnemann said: “What’s remarkable about these patients is how much their nervous systems compensate for their lack of touch and body awareness.”

The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine .

Source: ‘Sixth sense does exist’ scientists claim – but it’s nothing to do with ghosts – Mirror Online

Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

Source: Exclusive: Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence – sources

Drug deaths over the past 15 years have been rising so rapidly that experts say they’ve rarely, if ever, seen anything like it.

This is America on drugs: A visual guide

Updated 11:28 AM ET, Fri September 23, 2016

In modern history, few things have caused such a sharp spike in US deaths as drug overdoses.

CNN reached out to every state for the latest statistics on drug deaths, with half providing data from 2015. It found that drugs deaths continue to rise rapidly in many states.

FATAL ADDICTIONS

Epidemiologists in several states blame the increasing number of drug-related deaths on greater use of heroin and synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl.
“If you look at the cause of death, we just don’t normally see increases like this,” said Robert Anderson, the chief of the mortality statistics branch at the National Center for Health Care Statistics at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

TOP CAUSE OF ACCIDENTAL DEATHS

Drugs are the leading cause of accidental death in this country. Fatal overdoses surpassed shooting deaths and fatal traffic accidents years ago.
For perspective on how fast drug deaths have risen, Anderson said, consider the sharp rise in heart disease in the early half of the 20th century. It took about 50 years for the rate of heart disease to double. It took drug deaths a fraction of that time.
The only thing comparable might be the HIV epidemic when it first reached the United States in the late 1980s, when there were no drugs to treat it. But unlike with HIV, where demonstrators took to the streets to demand help, the drug epidemic often happened out of the spotlight.
That might be because drug deaths have disproportionately hit small towns and rural America, mainly in Appalachia and in the Southwest, far away from the eye of the national media. It became a particularly dangerous problem for middle-age white men and women.

HEROIN’S DEADLY EFFECT

Heroin-related deaths increased 439% from 1999 to 2014. As of 2014, heroin-related deaths had more than tripled in five years and quintupled in 10 years.
In 2014, opioids were involved in 28,647 deaths — 61% of all US drug overdose deaths — and 10,574 were related to heroin, in particular. Data from 2014 reflects “two distinct but interrelated trends,” the CDC notes, a longterm increase in overdose deaths due to prescription opioids and a surge in illicit opioid overdose deaths, mostly related to heroin.

NATIONWIDE EPIDEMIC

In 2010, West Virginia moved into the top spot on the list of states with the highest number of drug deaths. From 2014 to 2015 alone, the number of deaths in that state increased by 12%. New Hampshire saw a 24% increase in deaths in that same time period.
How to get help

Struggling with addiction or know someone who is? Here are several organizations that help addicts beat back their habits and regain their lives.

The state that has struggled the longest is New Mexico. Its Rio Arriba County has the highest number of drug deaths for a single county in the United States, according to data analysis of more than 15 years of records from the CDC and state departments of health. Looking at drug death data from 1999 to 2014, New Mexico most often holds the No. 1 spot for the highest number of deaths.
The sharp uptick in deaths seems to coincide with Americans’ increasing use of drugs like illicit fentanyl.
Pop star Prince died of a fentanyl overdose in April. The pain reliever is often given to cancer patients and is more than 100 times as strong as morphine and 30 to 50 times more powerful than heroin.

STATE HIT THE HARDEST

Appalachia has struggled with a number of high-profile overdose cases recently.
West Virginia is home to six of the top 20 counties in the country with the largest concentrations of drug-related deaths. Kentucky has the most, with nine counties on that list. Ohio has also been hard-hit by the epidemic.

Source: This is America on drugs: A visual guide – CNN.com

It is common knowledge that antidepressants can take weeks or even months to start working. But it has been a mystery why antidepressants take so long to take effect. But now there is a ray of light in the darkness. The slowness with which antidepressants take effect has been correlated with the slowness of a mechanism quite apart from the binding of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most commonly prescribed antidepressants, with serotonin transporters. This binding can occur within minutes. SSRIs, it turns out, also act through another process, the redistribution of G proteins, the slowness of which correlates with the delay in lifting depression through SSRIs.

The new finding comes from researchers based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. These researchers, led by neuroscientist Mark Rasenick, Ph.D., long suspected that the delayed drug response involved certain signaling molecules in nerve cell membranes called G proteins. Previous research by Dr. Rasenick’s group showed that in people with depression, G proteins tended to congregate in lipid rafts, areas of the membrane rich in cholesterol. Stranded on the rafts, the G proteins lacked access to a molecule called cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), which they need in order to function. The dampened signaling could be why people with depression are “numb” to their environment, Dr. Rasenick reasoned.

In the lab, Dr. Rasenick bathed rat glial cells, a type of brain cell, with different SSRIs and located the G proteins within the cell membrane. He found that SSRIs accumulated in the lipid rafts over time—and as they did so, G proteins in the rafts decreased.

Details of this work appeared July 18 in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, in an article entitled, “Antidepressants Accumulate in Lipid Rafts Independent of Monoamine Transporters to Modulate Redistribution of the G protein, Gαs.”

“Since antidepressants appear to specifically modify Gαs localized to lipid rafts, we sought to determine whether structurally diverse antidepressants, accumulate in lipid rafts,” wrote the article’s authors. “Sustained treatment of C6 glioma cells, which lack 5HT [5-hydroxytryptamine, or serotonin] transporters, showed marked concentration of several antidepressants in raft fractions, as revealed by increased absorbance and by mass fingerprint.”

The scientists noted that closely related molecules that lacked antidepressant activity did not concentrate in raft fractions. Following up on this observation, the scientists determined that at least two classes of antidepressants accumulate in lipid rafts and effect translocation of Gαs to the nonraft membrane fraction where it activates the cAMP-signaling cascade.

“The process showed a time-lag consistent with other cellular actions of antidepressants,” said Dr. Rasenick. “It’s likely that this effect on the movement of G proteins out of the lipid rafts toward regions of the cell membrane where they are better able to function is the reason these antidepressants take so long to work.”

“Determining the exact binding site could contribute to the design of novel antidepressants that speed the migration of G proteins out of the lipid rafts, so that the antidepressant effects might start to be felt sooner.”

The authors of the article concluded that analysis of the structural determinants of raft localization could not only help to explain the hysteresis of antidepressant action, but also lead to design and development of novel substrates for depression therapeutics.

Dr. Rasenick already knows a little about the lipid raft binding site. When he doused rat neurons with an SSRI called escitalopram and a molecule that was its mirror image, only the right-handed form bound to the lipid raft. “This very minor change in the molecule prevents it from binding,” explained Dr. Rasenick, “so that helps narrow down some of the characteristics of the binding site.”

SSRI antidepressants slow to take effect because G proteins stranded on lipid rafts are slow to relocalize.

Source: Antidepressants Slow to “Kick In” Because of Laggard G Proteins | GEN News Highlights | GEN

LSD: Distortions of Vision and Pain

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Most last a few days, but some stick around longer than you think.

This article was originally published by The Influence, a news site that covers the full spectrum of human relationships with drugs. Follow The Influence on Facebook or Twitter.

Source: This Simple Graph Shows How Long Different Drugs Remain in Your Blood | Alternet

The prohibition of MDMA and hallucinogenic mushrooms restricts “cognitive liberty,” according to some activists.

By the time drug-policy lawyer Charlotte Walsh took to the stage on the final day of the recent Horizons Psychedelic Conference, we had already heard several persuasive talks on the benefits of psychedelic substances. Rick Doblin had spoken about the successful treatment of PTSD with MDMA, Draulio Barros de Araujo described his work combatting depression with ayahuasca, and Stephen Ross discussed his study administering psilocybin to cancer patients.

I had met Ross two years prior, while covering his psychedelic research. The psychiatrist had spent years and a small fortune obtaining the government’s permission to run an extremely limited study. The stakes were high. Without exemptions from the DEA and other agencies, Ross and his NYU team could have faced punishments as severe as life imprisonment. But the risk was worth it: The researchers were able to critically reduce end-of-life anxiety in the vast majority of their patients with targeted therapy aided by a single dose of psilocybin.

These clinical gains run counter to increasingly prohibitive trends exemplified by Holland’s 2008 ban on hallucinogenic mushrooms and the U.K.’s Psychoactive Substances Act of 2016. This recent law automatically renders illegal all substances capable of altering emotions or mental functioning unless specifically exempted.

According to Charlotte Walsh of the anti-prohibitionist Ayahuasca Defense Fund, that kind of blanket drug prohibition is a violation of international human-rights law. Walsh sees parallels between the drug war and the legal battles for racial equality, as well as gay and reproductive rights. She and her colleagues across Europe and North America hope to use the U.S. Bill of Rights and the European Charter on Human Rights to build a cognitive-liberty-based case against drug prohibition.

I spoke with Walsh recently about her current efforts and the prospects for success at home and abroad.

Morin: What would a human-rights-based drug defense look like?

Walsh: Generally, when people are prosecuted for psychedelic use, the defense focuses on technicalities rather than challenging the prohibitive framework itself. On the rare occasions when they do challenge prohibition, they tend to employ a rights-based framework—namely, arguing that their client’s human rights have been infringed by psychedelic drug prohibition. Rights-based defenses have historically been either pleas for therapeutic or religious exemptions from prohibition.

Morin: What is the legal basis for drug prohibition?

Walsh: Within the parameters of the U.K. Misuse of Drugs Act [equivalent to the U.S. Controlled Substances Act] the issue is ostensibly based around the idea of harm. We have an Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, which is a group of scientists in different realms that the government consults when a drug is going to be scheduled or reclassified. The council then carries out a wholesale review of the substance and makes a recommendation for or against prohibition or reclassification. There has been a trend though where the government will ask the Advisory Council to carry out such a review and then just completely ignore their results and do what they want to do. As a stark example, when MDMA was being reevaluated for reclassification, before the results were even in, they issued a public statement saying, effectively, “Don’t worry, whatever they find, we’re not going to change anything.”
An alcohol user can alter their consciousness freely despite the proven risks while a psychedelic user faces heavy punishment.

Morin: What results have they been ignoring?

Walsh: There was an extensive U.K. government study carried out in 2010 by a team under David Nutt that measured various substances in terms of harms to society and the individual. That study showed that alcohol is the overall forerunner in terms of harm, and tobacco comes close after that. A lot of the Class A drugs [equivalent to Schedule I in the US] and psychedelic drugs in particular were at the opposite end of that scale showing very low risk of harm.

Morin: Did the government refute the study or did they ignore it?

Walsh: They basically ignored it. In relation to the alcohol and tobacco findings, obviously nobody has called for their prohibition. An alcohol user can alter their consciousness freely despite the proven risks while a psychedelic user faces heavy punishment. It’s arbitrary discrimination. The government’s response to the Nutt study has been that drug policy isn’t based solely on science, it’s also based on cultural and historical precedent.

Morin: Is that an admission that the harm-based justification for prohibition no longer applies?

Walsh: It’s certainly evidence that it’s applied inconsistently and arbitrarily. From a human-rights-based perspective, everybody’s rights should be protected equally unless there’s a good reason why you’re treating a group differently. I don’t think that saying “culturally and historically this is what we’ve always done” is legitimate. You can’t say that about racial discrimination, for instance.

Morin: So, the current argument is that illegal drugs are bad because they’re illegal?

Walsh: Basically, and it goes beyond that. We have a recently elected Conservative government in the U.K., and they’ve produced something called the Psychoactive Substances Act. It’s a piece of legislation that renders it unlawful to trade in any substance capable of producing a psychoactive effect of any kind regardless of harm or benefit. If you read the text of the Act, it’s extraordinary, most notably its lack of any reference to the concept of harm.

Morin: How do they define “psychoactive” exactly?

Walsh: Any substance that alters your emotional state or mental functioning. It openly states that we [the government] think we have the right to stop you from altering your psychological state. It’s strange that’s something they believe they should have the power to do.

Morin: I assume there are exemptions for alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine.

Walsh: Yes, for culturally accepted substances. This legislation is potentially so broad that prior to its enactment the government felt compelled to write to bishops to reassure them that the incense used in church services would not become illegal, despite its being mildly psychoactive.

Morin: What does that kind of blanket ban indicate to you in terms of legislative intent?

Walsh: The tradition in English law was always to intervene as little as possible. That concept has been dying in more recent years. This reverses that presumption, replacing it with an assumption that you can’t do something unless the government explicitly says you can. This violates classic liberalism, where you have the concept of limitations of power, as most famously espoused by legal theorist John Stuart Mill. How much power can the state legitimately hold over the individual? Mill laid down the principle as prevention of harm to others. So, from that perspective, the kind of paternalism we’re seeing, both in the operation of the Misuse of Drugs Act and the fundamental aims of this new piece of legislation is illegitimate.
Even if you could make a case for that kind of paternalism, how can imprisonment possibly be for our own good?

Morin: Paternalism in terms of protecting people from themselves?

Walsh: Exactly. It’s inherently infantilizing. Even if you could make a case for that kind of paternalism, how can imprisonment possibly be for our own good? In the majority of cases, the primary and often only harm being suffered by the individual is due to the punishment imposed rather than from the substance use itself.

Morin: How do you intend to build a human-rights case against drug prohibition?

Walsh: There are different ways in which you can approach it. Article 8 [in the European Convention on Human Rights] guarantees the right to privacy. In Mexico, there was a Supreme Court ruling that for individuals to grow and use cannabis was a human right connected to the right to privacy. Here in the U.K. recently, there was an all-party parliamentary group looking at drug-policy reform, and one of the things that they said is that drug-possession laws are potentially a breach of our Article 8 right to privacy. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen an official source using that kind of human rights-based argument. I think that is a really promising development.

Morin: The suggestion is that drug use should be a private choice?

Walsh: It should be a private choice as long as it doesn’t harm others. The vast majority of police stops and searches in our streets are for drugs rather than anything else, which is an obvious violation of privacy. Read more broadly, the right to privacy equates with our ability to become who we want to be. Mill, again, was a strong proponent of experiments in living as an important means for self-discovery. The question is, should we be entrusting the government to determine what’s valuable to us? It’s through our own choices, including whether or not to ingest substances, that we engage in a process of self-creation.

Morin: It seems like there are stronger laws in place to prevent a patient from being medicated against their will than there are permitting self-medication. How similar are those two concepts?

Walsh: It’s based on the same argument—the freedom to control your own consciousness and the mechanisms of your thinking. With psychedelics, it’s one of those areas where people who have experienced profound alterations of consciousness will often see merit in these arguments, and people who haven’t are often not very open to them. I think you have to be very careful about how you construct your argument. It’s about liberty. It’s about an abuse of state powers. You want to get people on board who are aren’t necessarily interested in altering their consciousness, but who are interested in curbing what the state can and can’t do.

Morin: Medical arguments have broadly relaxed prohibition of marijuana in this country. Do you see that extending further?

Walsh: I do, but I also think that the medical model is problematic in its own right. I think we need more of a holistic definition of health. Right now, we’re talking about simply the absence of illness—whether it’s physical or mental. We should be talking about allowing individuals to flourish, to develop beyond basic well-being.

Morin: Besides the right to privacy, what other rights do you see influencing the legitimacy of prohibition?

Walsh: Article 9 guarantees religious freedom, so, basically, if you consider the drug you use to be a sacrament, then banning it is a form of religious persecution. In the States, you have a more doctrinal approach to what constitutes a religion. There’s a test. Is there a holy book and a central belief system? There’s a list of things you can work through. In Europe, we don’t have that. We have this loose interpretation of what religious belief is. It can even cover atheism, for example. Indeed, any belief system of significance to you can potentially be covered. The court tends to accept that, but then they say that your ability to manifest that religious belief—for example by drinking ayahuasca—has to be balanced against the public interest in you not doing it. And so, in cases involving ayahuasca, they’ve said that its illegality is proof of its danger, which in and of itself proves that the public interest in your not taking it outweighs your interest in taking it. It’s a circular argument that renders the whole process absolutely meaningless.

Morin: Taking your example, can you talk about why someone would want to use ayahuasca?

Walsh: There have been a lot of studies, and the overall conclusion seem to be that the long-term psychological well-being of people who use it is actually higher than control groups who have never used it. It has thousands of years of cultural history behind it. Then, of course you have the anecdotal evidence of many individuals saying that using ayahuasca has been a very beneficial and transformative experience.

Morin: A lot of people seem to think that the religious argument has the best chance of succeeding here in the U.S.

Walsh: Right. It has already been successful in the U.S. Courts have allowed exemptions in certain cases with ayahuasca, and with the Native American Church and peyote. There have been similar rulings in other countries—Holland and Chile, for example, but nothing like that here in the U.K. Interestingly, in the U.K., judges rejecting human-rights arguments have argued that they are bound by the international system of drug prohibition and therefore can’t make exemptions. In U.S. courts though, that sort of argument has been discarded with barely a second glance. The prosecution has raised the fact that exemptions are against international law and the judiciary has said that it doesn’t trump religious freedom.

Morin: If religious freedom is weaker in the U.K., is there a freedom of speech argument that could be made instead?

Walsh: More broadly under Article 9 is the right to freedom of thought, which is closely linked to freedom of speech, given that our thoughts precede our speech. From that perspective, the idea is that we should be allowed to think what we want—and it’s not just the actual contents of thinking that are important here, but also the processes of thinking. If psychedelics and other drugs can allow you to access different mind states, by preventing access, we’re interfering with true freedom of thought. These substances, as precursors, allow you to think in entirely different ways—which can be beneficial. The idea that psychedelics can actually improve an individual’s life is rarely taken into account, and taking them because they give pleasure is not even considered—as if pleasure were something to be ashamed of. The individual shouldn’t be required to prove that these substances are risk-free, because few things in life are—rather it should be up to the state to prove, with scientific evidence, that the risks justify the damage to our civil liberties. In the absence of that, it is impossible that say that this is truly a free society.

Source: Do Psychedelic Drug Laws Violate Human Rights? – The Atlantic

According to Peter Lawford and others (not just Kitty Kelley), Nancy worked her way through Hollywood by giving the best blow job in town, and was rumored to have sucked off Frank Sinatra in the Oval Office. It said that Nancy had invited Sinatra to the White House for lengthy luncheons and instructed staff not to disturb them.

Her moralizing was bad enough, but it was compounded by the hypocrisy of the woman. They say that when Nancy was in her prime, during her starlet days, she could suck the chrome off a trailer hitch.

Ronald Reagan’s attitude towards gays was, “Fuck ’em, they’re faggots.” I was there. I remember. Like Bush, Reagan had no time or money for “faggots,” so he refused to fund research into AIDS. And unqualified Nancy (with her “psychic”) was running the White House, while Ronnie zoned out on drugs for pre-Alzheimer’s.

A famous Hollywood Mogul introduced Ronald Reagan to Nancy when he needed someone to give Ron a blow job to settle his nervousness before shooting a movie scene. Beauty wasn’t required

Bill Clinton is the first president caught in a scandal apparently because of a predilection for oral sex (although an earlier president was brought down by a Deep Throat). Clinton is probably not, however, the first president who enjoyed it.

According to Kitty Kelley’s biography, Nancy Reagan “was renowned in Hollywood for performing oral sex.” Just-say-yes Nancy–in the days when she was Nancy Davis–was known to give the best blowjob in town, “not only in the evening but in offices. [T]hat was one of the reasons that she was very popular on the MGM lot.” It must have made her very popular with Ronnie as well.

Nor would Clinton be the first national politician tempted to invoke the hair-splitting distinction that oral sex does not constitute adultery (legally speaking, this is correct). When Virginia senator Chuck Robb was caught in various compromising positions with a number of women, he issued a statement saying that he hadn’t “done anything that I regard as unfaithful to my wife,” even though he’d engaged in oral sex.

If you believe Newt Gingrich’s former mistress Anne Manning, the Speaker has for decades relied on the blowjob as the sex act with built-in plausible deniability. Referring to her first date in 1977 with Gingrich, Manning told Vanity Fair in 1995: “We had oral sex. He prefers that modus operandi because then he can say, ‘I never slept with her.”‘

And for those who wonder how a scandal-plagued Clinton didn’t think twice about a few quickies in the White House, consider the case of two-time Washington, D.C., mayor Marion Barry Jr. Here is a politician who was filmed smoking crack, ousted from office, and forced to serve a six-month sentence for cocaine possession at the federal prison in Petersburg, Virginia.

Yet on December 29, 1991, Barry still had enough hubris to receive a blowjob from an unidentified female visitor, in the middle of a visiting room, surrounded by other prisoners, their visitors, and a prison guard. Although Barry later claimed that The Washington Post concocted this story, he was quickly transferred to a medium-security facility in Altoona to complete his sentence.

So what is it with these oral fixations? It’s fair to say that politicians are not the only American men who fetishize fellatio. It occupies a peculiar but vital place in the popular imagination: part taboo, part mystical ecstasy. Those who perfect their technique are considered to have a power lock on men, despite–or because of?–the act’s association with homosexuality. As the authors of Sex Tips for Straight Women From a Gay Man put it, “If you can make the most of your mouth motion, you can have just about anything, whether it’s straight A’s in grad school or the Hope diamond.”

Fellatio has been imagined–and probably practiced–almost as far back as Adam’s first stiffie. According to G. Legman’s sweeping history Ora-Genitalism, ancient Greek and Peruvian vases, and at least one ancient Egyptian papyrus, depict various positions of fellatio. The 4th century A.D. Indian Kama Sutra features an entire chapter on “oral congress,” noting that it is primarily practiced by homosexuals, masseurs, and “unchaste and immoral women, quite free from any inhibitions.”

The American history of fellatio is less documented. It does not appear to have been a widespread technique practiced by American opposite-sex partners until the 1920s. (It remains illegal in more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia.) In the early part of the century, oral sex was considered something of a specialty, an act that wives and proper girlfriends were presumed to know little about and not want to do.

That has changed: pop culture today is filled with female fellatial braggadocio–Liz Phair promises on Exile in Guyville to be an unnamed man’s “blowjob queen,” a possible role model for Monica Lewinsky, who allegedly joked about being appointed “special assistant to the president for blowjobs.”

As demonstrated by the semi-intentional confusion over whether fellatio constitutes adultery, however, the emergence of oral sex as an above-board sexual activity is fraught with uncertainty, even contradictions. For one thing, most Americans appear to practice oral sex far less frequently than other sexual activities. Three-quarters of men and women report lifetime experience of oral sex, according to The Social Organization of Sexuality: Sexual Practices in the United States. But “the proportion for whom oral sex is a current activity (as measured by its occurrence in the last sexual event)” is dramatically lower, around 25 per cent. Thus, conclude the authors, oral sex “has in no sense become a defining feature of sex between women and men (as vaginal intercourse or, perhaps, kissing is).”

Oral sex becomes more common as one climbs the education ladder. Only 41 per cent of women with less than a high school education report having performed fellatio on a partner, and 49 per cent have received cunnilingus; by contrast, about 80 per cent of women with at least some college education have experienced one or the other. (The difference between less-and more-educated men is lower, but still striking.)

There are also significant differences among races; a far higher number of whites practice oral sex than blacks or other races (the reluctance of some black men to perform cunnilingus is a staple of both stand-up comedy and hardcore rap).

As with almost any sexual act imaginable, there are strong elements of power and domination caught up with fellatio. Think of the stereotypical setup: the donor is on his or her knees, invoking a position of worship. Madonna picked up on this ambiguity–“Down on my knees/I want to take you there”–in “Like A Prayer.”

Perhaps it is this detachment from intimacy, the presumed one-sidedness of the blowjob, that makes fellatio the power-tripper’s sex act of choice. Certainly there is a pervasive sense that oral sex isn’t quite sex. In a broad-based survey of teenage virgins by the RAND institute issued in November 1996, nine per cent reported engaging in fellatio with ejaculation, and 10 per cent in cunnilingus. (That is approximately one-third the percentage who report engaging in masturbatory activity with a partner.)

One Maryland child psychiatrist has said: “I’ve heard from teenagers, but not adults, stuff like, ‘I only [performed oral sex on] him,’ like that really wasn’t having sex.”

Legal analysts have focused on whether or not Clinton could be nailed for lying about having sex with Lewinsky. It has been widely suggested that if, in his mind, Clinton believed that oral sex did not constitute adultery or “an improper relationship,” then he did not legally perjure himself.

At that point, however, the important question is less about attitudes concerning oral sex, and more about rationalization. Dr. Anna Salter, a Madison, Wisconsin–based psychologist, specializes in identifying the evasions given by sex offenders. “These people have a lot of cognitive distortions,” Salter says. “You have to be very careful with language, because they will say ‘I never did anything to hurt her,’ even though they abused someone. I am not saying that Clinton is a sex offender. But I don’t think the principles [of evasion] change at all between the two behaviors.”

Research: Harold Schechter, Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

Miles Davis turned to Nancy Reagan and said…

In 1987, he was invited to a White House dinner by Ronald Reagan. Few of the guests appeared to know who he was. During dinner, Nancy Reagan turned to him and asked what he’d done with his life to merit an invitation. Straight-faced, Davis replied: “Well, I’ve changed the course of music five or six times. What have you done except fuck the president?”

Source: The Weather Up Here:: Nancy Reagan: Queen of the Hollywood Blow Job!

STD Ebola

When it comes to Ebola, new research suggests that the risk of catching the virus from a survivor is very low.

The recent Ebola outbreak happened at an unprecedented scale. Previously only seen in comparatively small clusters of cases, the virus erupted last year in a significant fashion, affecting thousands and easily launching the largest Ebola epidemic on record. Until now, the limited data regarding the disease had restricted the number of questions scientists could hope to answer about the infection. Simply put, cases of Ebola were so rare that we really hadn’t gotten the chance to learn a whole lot about it.

But 2014 changed that.

With the enormous influx of cases that occurred during the West African outbreak, scientists have started mining the resulting data for answers to questions critical to public health safety now and in the future. And, without reservation, one of the most important questions to be addressed is this: How likely is it for an Ebola survivor to spread the virus in the long-term, specifically, the period of time after the person is no longer actively sick with Ebola?

A new study published Monday in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases examined the presence and persistence of Ebola virus in various bodily fluids of survivors. Researchers from the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School compiled patient data from nearly 6,000 articles, papers and case reports from the outbreak. They pulled test results relating to the presence of Ebola virus in various bodily fluids, such as blood, sweat, urine, breast milk, semen, vaginal secretions, feces and vomit.

And what they found is fairly good news: It appears that the risk of catching Ebola from survivor bodily fluids is very rare, with the exception of sexual transmission via semen. (There was not enough data regarding the infectivity of breast milk to make a definitive conclusion.)

The results of the study are promising, though the data was difficult to compile. Testing methods for the presence of the virus varied due to discrepancies in technological capabilities among treatment centers, which spanned everything from bare-bones field hospitals to state-of-the-art medical facilities.

As expected, infected blood appears to be the most infectious body fluid for Ebola, virtually teeming with the virus while the patient is in the throes of the disease. However, 95 percent of the patients included in the study who survived had cleared the virus from their blood by day 16 — though personal-protection measures for handling potentially contaminated blood might still be recommended.

A majority of other fluids tested appear to pose low infectious risk, with one glaring exception: semen. In fact, 70 percent of semen samples from survivors tested positive for the virus in the first seven months after the illness.

This may have had serious implications during the latter days of the epidemic, when areas thought to be clear of the virus saw new cases of the disease cropping up.

“It’s certainly plausible that some of the cases that occurred after the outbreak was over were the result of sexual contact,” said Paul Hunter, professor of health protection at the Norwich School of Medicine and lead author on the paper.

The current WHO recommendation is that survivors use barrier protection for sexual activity for a year post infection, up from the previous recommendation that condoms be used for the first six months.

These findings raise another interesting question: Why is the Ebola virus persisting in semen, especially when it seems quick to leave other fluids?

Hunter shared his purely speculative take on the matter, stressing that this was his personal theory based on pattern recognition, rather than an expansive expertise in physiology. He explained that semen (along with some of the other bodily fluids that Ebola is found in during the illness, such as breast milk, saliva and vaginal secretions) is known as an exocrine fluid. These are fluids excreted by the body and are each the result of a kind of modified sweat gland. Perhaps, then, Ebola is “going to ground in the modified sweat glands,” he explained over the phone, commenting on the pattern of distribution of Ebola in the body.

Hunter added that he didn’t know why Ebola would be camping out in these areas, but that it was interesting that these were the fluids most affected.

Scientists still aren’t sure why the virus remains in semen for months.

Source: You’re unlikely to catch Ebola from a survivor — unless you have sex with them – The Washington Post

Japan has officially stated to the UN that it did not force Asian women to become sex slaves during World War II. This comes despite the Japanese government signing a landmark deal with South Korea, settling the issue of “comfort women” a month ago.

Japan has officially stated to the UN that it did not force Asian women to become sex slaves during World War II. This comes despite the Japanese government signing a landmark deal with South Korea, settling the issue of “comfort women” a month ago.

Tokyo was asked to provide written answers to questions put forward by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The Japanese government stated that there was no evidence that the women were forced into sexual slavery as it sent the reply ahead of the organization’s planned committee meeting, which starts February 15 in Geneva.

“The government of Japan has conducted a full-scale fact-finding study on the comfort women issue since the early 1990s when the issue started to be taken up as a political issue between Japan and the Republic of Korea,” the Japanese statement said, as cited by the Yonhap News Agency.

The Japanese authorities said they conducted a study into the issue, which looked at documents from various Japanese government agencies. They also spoke to relevant individuals and former military figures.

“Forceful taking away of comfort women by the military and government authorities could not be confirmed in any of the documents,” it said.

The claims led to a damning response from South Korea for its continued denials regarding its coercion of Korean women into sexual slavery.

“Seoul should officially rebuke this argument and discuss the issue from square one as Japan has broken the deal,” said Yoon Mi-hyang, head of the Korean Council for Women Drafted for Military Sexual Slavery by Japan, a non-government organization for the victims, according to the Korean Times.

Japan’s Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said on January 18 that the term “comfort women” should not be used to describe “sex slaves.”

“The term ‘sex slaves’ doesn’t match the facts, and (the Japanese government) believes it should not be used,” Kishida stated, as cited by the Japan Times.

Kishida also said the South Korean government has confirmed that the formal term used by Seoul is “victims of the comfort women issue of the Japanese military,” not “sex slaves.”

It had seemed in December that Japan was finally ready to concede that it was ready to apologize for the enslaving of tens of thousands of ‘comfort women’ from South Korea.

The agreement on December 28 between South Korea and Japan was considered a landmark deal and concerns decades of animosity because of the failure to agree that Korean women were forced into sex slavery run by the Japanese empire for soldiers.

Under the deal, Japan said it would pay one billion yen (about $8.3 million) in compensation.

“The comfort women issue… occurred with the involvement of the Japanese military… and the Japanese government acutely feels its responsibility,” Kishida said, according to Channel News Asia. He added that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has expressed an “apology and repentance from the bottom of his heart” to those affected by the tragedy.

However, following Sunday’s comments by the Japanese government, the Korean authorities are now questioning whether the December agreement was sincere.

“The Korean government should respond to the undermining of the agreement sternly,” Kim Yeol-su, an international politics professor at Sungshin Women’s University said, according to the Korean Times. “It reflects that Japan did not engage in the deal sincerely in the first place.”

Meanwhile, the Korean Foreign Ministry says it is considering countermeasures following the Japanese declaration.

“As there was no exact wording on coercion in the deal, it is not a matter of breaking the accord,” Cho June-hyuck, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said. “But we are mulling over how to respond to such a move since we are taking it as an official position of the Japanese government.”

Source: Japan denies forced sex slavery WWII to UN, despite signing landmark deal with S. Korea — RT News

A comprehensive review, which has sifted through data from 70 trials of the most popular drugs for the treatment of depression, shows that antidepressants may up risk of suicide, aggression. Study authors also found that big pharmas often fail to report critical side-effects of their products along with drug-related deaths.

The review found that antidepressants may make underage patients more prone to adopt an aggressive behavior. Still, no such side-effect was found in adults, though researchers suspect that some trial data may be misreported.

Nevertheless, researchers have suspected for years that antidepressants may boost risk of suicide as families have often complained that the drugs were behind their loved ones’ tragic end. But antidepressant makers and doctors have dismissed such claims because no comprehensive study has ever found a link between the two.

The research review which comprises data on more than 18,000 patients is considered the largest to date. It was carried out by a team at the Nordic Cochrane Center in Denmark, and reviewed by University College London in the U.K.

After analyzing trial data and comparing it to reports submitted by families of people who committed suicide, researchers found that the companies who funded the trials have often misclassified the deaths to their products’ benefit.

Study authors were startled and ‘deeply worried’ by the unprecedented situation.

“It is absolutely horrendous that they have such disregard for human lives.”

said Prof. Peter Gotzsche, lead author of the research and mental heart expert with the Copenhagen-based Nordic Cochrane Center.

In the U.S., antidepressant use saw a tremendous rise in just two decades. Currently, one in ten people take antidepressants on prescription, while one in four middle-aged women take the drugs.

But this doesn’t mean that the U.S. was hit by a tidal wave of depression in recent years. In fact, doctors often prescribe the drugs for off-label uses such as dependence, ADHD and autism in children, anxiety, and eating disorders.

Nordic Cochrane Centre researchers found that at least four deaths by suicide were misreported by a pharmaceutical company. In one case, a patient tried to kill himself after taking venlafaxine, but since he died days later in a hospital his death was no longer considered to having occured during the trial. Suicidal attempts were often mislabeled as a sign of either emotional instability or depression.

The review also found that though antidepressants do not seem to work on children they do boost their risk of suicide. This is why, study authors believe that it is better to follow alternative courses of actions including psychotherapy, art therapy, and exercise before resorting to medications.

Source: Antidepressants May Up Risk of Suicide, Aggression

Imagine being charged with a DUI when it’s been hours since you’ve had a drink, only to later discover that your body brews its own alcohol.

That’s what happened to an upstate New York woman when she blew a blood alcohol level more than four times the legal limit. Just before Christmas in Hamburg, New York, a judge dismissed the charges after being presented with evidence the woman suffers from “auto-brewery syndrome.”

“I had never heard of auto-brewery syndrome before this case,” attorney Joseph Marusak told CNN on the condition his client’s identity remain anonymous. “But I knew something was amiss when the hospital police took the woman to wanted to release her immediately because she wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms.”

“That prompts me to get on the Internet and see if there is any sort of explanation for a weird reading,” adds Marusak. “Up pops auto-brewery syndrome and away we go.”

“I’m in touch with about 30 people who believe they have this same syndrome, about 10 of them are diagnosed with it,” said Panola College Dean of Nursing Barbara Cordell, who has studied the syndrome for years. “They can function at alcohol levels such as 0.30 and 0.40 when the average person would be comatose or dying. Part of the mystery of this syndrome is how they can have these extremely high levels and still be walking around and talking.”

Extremely rare condition

Also known as gut-fermentation syndrome, this rare medical condition can occur when abnormal amounts of gastrointestinal yeast convert common food carbohydrates into ethanol. The process is believed to take place in the small bowel, and is vastly different from the normal gut fermentation in the large bowel that gives our bodies energy.

First described in 1912 as “germ carbohydrate fermentation,” it was studied in the 1930s and ’40s as a contributing factor to vitamin deficiencies and irritable bowel syndrome. Cases involving the yeast Candida albicans and Candida krusei have popped up in Japan, and in 2013 Cordell documented the case of a 61-year-old man who had frequent bouts of unexplained drunkenness for years before being diagnosed with an intestinal overabundance of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, or brewer’s yeast, the same yeast used to make beer.

Flat tire a blessing

It was a beautiful fall afternoon in 2014 when Marusak’s client met her husband at a restaurant for food and drinks. She consumed “four drinks between noon and 6 p.m.” says Marusak, “less than one drink an hour. We hired a local pharmacologist who said that a woman of her size and weight having four drinks in that period of time should be between 0.01 and 0.05 blood alcohol levels.” That would be beneath the legally impaired level of 0.08 BAC in New York state.

And here’s the “crazy thing,” says Marusak. “Her husband drives to meet friends and she is driving home. She gets a flat close to home but doesn’t want to change the tire so keeps on driving. Another driver sees her struggling with the car and calls it in as an accident. So if she hadn’t had that flat tire, she’d not know to this day that she has this condition.”

Because she blew a blood alcohol level of nearly 0.40, police procedure is to take the accused to a hospital, as that level is considered extremely life-threatening.

Instead of allowing his wife to be released as the hospital recommended based on her lack of drunken symptoms, the husband asked for tests to be run. Sure enough, Marusak says, the results showed a blood alcohol level of 0.30, hours and hours after her last drink. That prompted Marusak to do his own sleuthing.

“I hired two physician assistants and a person trained in Breathalyzers to watch her and take blood alcohol levels over a 12-hour period and had it run at the same lab used by the prosecution,” said Marusak. “Without any drinks, her blood level was double the legal limit at 9:15 a.m., triple the limit at 6 p.m. and more than four times the legal limit at 8:30 p.m., which correlates with the same time of day that the police pulled her over.”

Even more strange, says Marusak, is the fact that the woman exhibited no signs of the levels until she reached a blood alcohol level of between 0.30 and 0.40.

“That’s when she started to feel a bit wobbly on her feet.” Marusak explains that by pointing to the world of alcoholism, where the bodies of “functioning alcoholics” adapt to the high levels of booze in their blood.

Even though the Hamburg judge dismissed the case against his client, Marusak says it’s not over yet.

“I’ve heard the DA’s office says they plan to appeal. I’ll know more by the middle of January.”

Assistant Erie County District Attorney Christopher Belling confirmed a review of the judge’s decision is underway but declined to comment further.

In the meantime, Marusak’s client is treating her condition with anti-fungal medications and a yeast-free diet with absolutely no sugar, no alcohol and very low carbs. While that works for some, Cordell says, others relapse or find little relief

Source: Woman charged with DUI has ‘auto-brewery syndrome’ – CNN.com

small study suggests that for adolescents, their number of Facebook friends may be related to their stress levels, with more than 300 friends associated with higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

 

The study only included 88 participants at one point in time, so it can’t indicate whether changes in Facebook metrics cause an increase in stress, or vice versa.

Other important external factors are also responsible for cortisol levels, but Facebook involvement may have its own effect, senior author Sonia Lupien of Montreal Mental Health University Institute said in a statement.

“We were able to show that beyond 300 Facebook friends, adolescents showed higher cortisol levels; we can therefore imagine that those who have 1,000 or 2,000 friends on Facebook may be subjected to even greater stress,” she said.

The 88 teens in the study, age 12-17, answered questions about their Facebook use frequency, number of friends, self-promoting behavior and supporting behavior of friends. The researchers measured the teens’ cortisol levels four times a day for three days.

Kids who had more than 300 Facebook friends tended to have higher cortisol levels than those with fewer friends, the researchers reported in Psychoneuroendocrinology.

With more peer interaction on Facebook, however, cortisol levels tended to be lower. Neither depression nor self-esteem were related to cortisol levels.

Cortisol levels in early adolescence may influence risk of depression years later, the authors wrote.

Wenhong Chen of the department of Radio-TV-Film and the department of Sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, who was not part of the new study, points out that the research is about Facebook, and so the findings can’t necessarily be generalized to other forms of social media use.

It may also not be generalizable to other age groups, Chen said.

“The preliminary nature of our findings will require refined measurement of Facebook behaviors in relation to physiological functioning and we will need to undertake future studies to determine whether these effects exist in younger children and adults,” Lupien said. “Developmental analysis could also reveal whether virtual stress is indeed ‘getting over the screen and under the skin’ to modulate neurobiological processes related to adaptation.”

Offline friend network size was also related to cortisol levels.

“It may not be about the number of friends either online or offline, it may be more about potential communication overload,” Chen said by email.

Larger networks may mean more peers and more drama, she said.

Rather than using the overall number of friends online or offline it may be more revealing to examine network composition, strong ties and weak ties, as well as individuals’ position in their networks, she said.

ource: Facebook network and stress levels may be tied together | Duluth News Tribune

The Project Avalon Community Forum

Project Avalon Community Forum

Source: The Project Avalon Community Forum

New rules allow small investors to receive shares of a company in exchange for investments they make.

Entrepreneurs raising money through crowdfunding campaigns have typically rewarded their backers with early access to products and with tchotchkes like T-shirts and coffee mugs.

But under new rules adopted Friday by the Securities and Exchange Commission, they will be able to offer a prize that could be more lucrative: an equity stake in their business.

The rules will allow small investors to buy shares of private companies under the provisions of the Jump-Start Our Business Start-Ups Act. Until the change, equity crowdfunding had been legal only for accredited investors, or those who met required levels of assets and income.

President Obama called the bill, better known as the JOBS Act, “a potential game-changer” for fledgling companies, when he signed it more than three years ago. But the law stalled as regulators struggled to write rules stringent enough to protect investors but flexible enough to allow for meaningful fund-raising.

A set of draft rules released two years ago was widely criticized and deemed almost unworkable by many in the industry, who said that compliance would be too costly and complex. The rules adopted Friday had been substantially revised to address some of those concerns.

The new rules allow companies to raise up to $1 million in a 12-month period through a crowdfunding campaign. Companies will need to provide their potential investors with financial statements, but some first-time issuers and those seeking less than $500,000 will not be required to have the statements audited — an important concession for those concerned about the cost of providing audited financials.

Companies will be able to advertise their offerings in a variety of ways, including posting them on Kickstarter-like portals for investors to peruse. (Kickstarter has said that it is not interested in expanding into equity crowdfunding, though one of its top rivals, Indiegogo, said it is considering doing so.)

Dozens of investment portals have sprung up in recent years, but until now, only accredited investors — those with an annual income exceeding $200,000 or a net worth of at least $1 million — have been permitted to invest in most of the deals advertised on them.

Some of those portals now plan to expand into the nonaccredited market. SeedInvest, a site that has helped 50 funding deals in the last three years, expects to begin offering deals next year to a wider pool of investors.

“There’s no question that there’s a lot of pent-up demand from ordinary investors,” said Ryan Feit, the site’s chief executive and one of its founders. “At the end of the day, that means there will be more capital available for small business.”

The amount of money backers will be allowed to invest depends on their income. Those with an annual income or net worth of less than $100,000 will be allowed to invest up to $2,000 in a 12-month period, or 5 percent of the lesser of their income or net worth, whichever is greater. Those with an income and net worth of more than $100,000 will be permitted to invest up to 10 percent of the lesser of their annual income or net worth.

The equity shares they buy will be risky, illiquid investments. Investors will generally be required to hold on to the shares for at least one year, and there are not yet many marketplaces for those seeking to sell shares in private companies, which are difficult to value.

Some critics are deeply skeptical about the quality of the investments that will be available. “Ninety-nine percent of these deals will prove to be unprofitable,” said Andrew Stoltmann, a lawyer who specializes in securities fraud. “This is a disaster waiting to happen.”

Others counter that the new rules will allow entrepreneurs’ family, friends, customers and professional contacts to invest in ventures that they want to support.

“I think it’s going to really make a difference for businesses that are not especially fashionable for professional investors,” said James Dowd, the chief executive of North Capital Private Securities, a broker-dealer that focuses on private fund-raising. “They want to invest in companies that have the potential to be disruptive to an entire industry. You don’t see a lot of capital flow into ordinary consumer and retail businesses.”

The S.E.C. on Friday also proposed changes to several other fund-raising rules, including those governing intrastate offerings. More than 25 states have adopted their own crowdfunding rules to let local businesses raise money from residents within the state, often with fewer regulatory requirements than the federal rules. The commission suggested striking down a rule that blocked those intrastate offerings from being advertised to out-of-state investors — a quirk that prevented companies from publicizing their fund-raising campaigns on their own websites or on social media sites.

“It’s an absurd thing, but that’s what the law said. It was horrifying,” said Kendall Almerico, a lawyer who specializes in crowdfunding issues. “Fixing this is huge.”

The range of ways in which private companies can raise money from nonaccredited investors has significantly expanded this year. In June, new federal rules took effect allowing companies to raise up to $50 million through a provision known as Regulation A. Those deals carry stricter disclosure and compliance requirements than the crowdfunding process outlined on Friday, which is intended to be much cheaper and faster for issuers.

Taken together, the new federal and state rules give entrepreneurs a much wider set of options for raising money from a diverse pool of investors.

“I’m surprised at how far the S.E.C. went to make it all work,” said Douglas S. Ellenoff, a securities lawyer at Ellenoff Grossman & Schole. “The entrepreneur now has a series of very interesting choices and lots of different options for how they go about their capital formation.”

The S.E.C.’s four commissioners voted 3-1 on Friday morning to adopt the new crowdfunding rules, which are expected to take effect early next year.

Source: S.E.C. Gives Small Investors Access to Equity Crowdfunding – The New York Times

Perhaps in an effort to entertain and likely get something off of his chest in one fell swoop, a Norwegian flight attendant informed passengers aboard a Monday flight from Paris to Stockholm that a couple had been discovered fornicating in the plane’s bathroom, the Local reported.The flight attendant, who broke the news in Swedish from the cockpit upon landing, stopped short of pointing out the two passengers.”He said something like ‘we’d like to send our best wishes of happy reproduction to the couple that ventured into the toilet earlier on,'” a Swedish passenger told the Local. “People around the plane started cheering and laughing and there was a lot of gossiping about who it could have been.”Meanwhile, some English or French speaking passengers were likely left confused by the message. The couple remain anonymous and its unclear how the flight crew found out about their antics. Norwegian confirmed to the Local that a member of the cabin crew delivered the message, but would not offer any other comment regarding the incident. Nonetheless it’s safe to say the couple’s mile high initiation went much smoother than previous attempts. Recently, there have been several incidents in which passengers were caught in the act, and in some cases, charged with committing a crime.The New York Daily News reported a 26-year-old woman was convicted of committing an indecent act along with several other charges earlier this year stemming from a sexual act aboard an Air Canada flight in 2014.

Source: Norwegian flight attendant welcomes couple to mile high club | Fox News

There was a moment at a recent rally when the nature of the tuition beast was suddenly, and unforgettably, revealed; when “Mandy,” an anonymous NYU junior, took the stage to tell exactly how, and why, she had no choice but to become a prostitute to meet NYU’s soaring price.

Source: With No Other Choice, This Student Resorted to Prostitution to Meet NYU’s Soaring Price

EVERY summer for many years now, my family has kept to our ritual. All 20 of us — my siblings, my dad, our better halves, my nieces and nephews — find a beach house big enough to fit the whole unruly clan. We journey to it from our different states and time zones. We tensely divvy up the bedrooms, trying to remember who fared poorly or well on the previous trip. And we fling ourselves at one another for seven days and seven nights.That’s right: a solid week. It’s that part of the ritual that mystifies many of my friends, who endorse family closeness but think that there can be entirely too much of it. Wouldn’t a long weekend suffice? And wouldn’t it ward off a few spats and simplify the planning?The answer to the second question is yes, but to the first, an emphatic no.Continue reading the main storySign Up for the Opinion Today NewsletterEvery weekday, get thought-provoking commentary from Op-Ed columnists, The Times editorial board and contributing writers from around the world.Frank BruniPolitics, social issues, education and culture. The Spirit and Promise of Detroit SEP 9 The Joe Biden Delusion SEP 2 The Real Threat to Hillary Clinton AUG 29 Trump-ward, Christian Soldiers? AUG 25 Gay and Marked for Death AUG 21See More »I used to think that shorter would be better, and in the past, I arrived for these beach vacations a day late or fled two days early, telling myself that I had to when in truth I also wanted to — because I crave my space and my quiet, and because I weary of marinating in sunscreen and discovering sand in strange places. But in recent years, I’ve showed up at the start and stayed for the duration, and I’ve noticed a difference.With a more expansive stretch, there’s a better chance that I’ll be around at the precise, random moment when one of my nephews drops his guard and solicits my advice about something private. Or when one of my nieces will need someone other than her parents to tell her that she’s smart and beautiful. Or when one of my siblings will flash back on an incident from our childhood that makes us laugh uncontrollably, and suddenly the cozy, happy chain of our love is cinched that much tighter.There’s simply no real substitute for physical presence.We delude ourselves when we say otherwise, when we invoke and venerate “quality time,” a shopworn phrase with a debatable promise: that we can plan instances of extraordinary candor, plot episodes of exquisite tenderness, engineer intimacy in an appointed hour.We can try. We can cordon off one meal each day or two afternoons each week and weed them of distractions. We can choose a setting that encourages relaxation and uplift. We can fill it with totems and frippery — a balloon for a child, sparkling wine for a spouse — that signal celebration and create a sense of the sacred.And there’s no doubt that the degree of attentiveness that we bring to an occasion ennobles or demeans it. Better to spend 15 focused, responsive minutes than 30 utterly distracted ones.But people tend not to operate on cue. At least our moods and emotions don’t. We reach out for help at odd points; we bloom at unpredictable ones. The surest way to see the brightest colors, or the darkest ones, is to be watching and waiting and ready for them.That’s reflected in a development that Claire Cain Miller and David Streitfeld wrote about in The Times last week. They noted that “a workplace culture that urges new mothers and fathers to hurry back to their cubicles is beginning to shift,” and they cited “more family-friendly policies” at Microsoft and Netflix, which have extended the leave that parents can take.AdvertisementContinue reading the main storyAdvertisementContinue reading the main storyHow many parents will step off the fast track and avail themselves of this remains to be seen. But those who do will be deciding that the quantity of time with their brood matters as much as the intensity of it.Continue reading the main storyRecent CommentsBill Knox 2 days agoThank you, Frank. You write the most exquisitely beautiful, truthful columns, with your own self laid bare. I feel so privileged to savor…John 2 days agoThis is why I never miss an opportunity to drive my children to school.Galen 2 days agoThis is you for this column, Mr. Bruni. You are always perceptive, but this is the most broadly helpful and profoundly important column… See All Comments They’ll be lucky: Many people aren’t privileged enough to exercise such discretion. My family is lucky, too. We have the means to get away.But we’re also dedicated to it, and we’ve determined that Thanksgiving Day isn’t ample, that Christmas Eve passes too quickly, and that if each of us really means to be central in the others’ lives, we must make an investment, the biggest components of which are minutes, hours, days. As soon as our beach week this summer was done, we huddled over our calendars and traded scores of emails to figure out which week next summer we could all set

Source: The Myth of Quality Time – The New York Times

Three-time Olympic runner Suzy Favor Hamilton has written a book about her post-athletics foray into the world of high-priced escorts.In “Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness,” Hamilton chronicles her struggles with undiagnosed bipolar disorder that began in earnest after the 2000 Summer Games and eventually drove her into thrill-seeking behavior.See the most-read stories in Sports this hour >>”My bipolar was driven toward sex,” she told People magazine. “It could have been driven towards drugs and alcohol, or gambling. I found sex was the biggest high to fuel my mania, which is common with bipolar people.”Hamilton has a history of depression in her family. Her brother committed suicide in 1999.In the People interview, she talked about the 2000 Olympics, when she surrendered the lead in the 1,500 meters on the final turn and collapsed short of the finish line. She now says she fell intentionally Years later, under the influence of a new antidepressant, she persuaded her husband to hire an escort for a threesome, hoping it might spice up their struggling marriage. That episode led to her working as a $600-an-hour escort.”Sex was the biggest high to fuel my mania,” she said. “I still crave that high. I can’t say I’ll never act out in that way again.”

Source: ‘Sex was the biggest high,’ Suzy Favor Hamilton says in new book – LA Times

Source: A Doll’s House – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Placing the sex toy — which resembles a woman’s private parts — on the coffee table, I gently demonstrate to our client how to perform oral sex.

“Think about what you’re doing with your tongue,” I tell him. “It’s a little like what I taught you about French kissing last week.”

My husband, Rob, who is teaching the session with me, weighs in. “See how she varies the pace?” he asks. “That’s the best way to bring her to orgasm.”

Wide-eyed and curious, our client, a 23-year-old virgin, takes his turn after I’ve thoroughly washed the prop. It takes a bit of trial and error, but he eventually picks up the technique. Rob and I smile at each other knowingly — it feels good to be helping this guy out.

To an outsider, sex coaching might seem a little strange. But to men like the virgin, a college student, we’re an invaluable resource. We might not be formally trained sex therapists, but — as a kinky couple who enjoy opening up our sex life to others — we’ve got a lot to offer.

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Photo: Anne Wermiel

It all started four years ago, after Rob and I began advertising ourselves online as a high-end escort couple specializing in threesomes with single men.

We wanted to spice up our sex life. It was all aboveboard and legal. Clients paid for our time, but if we were attracted to them and had sex with them, the sex happened on our own time and didn’t cost a dime. We were very strict about that.

One of our favorite things was putting on voyeurs’ shows, where the guy watched Rob and me fooling around.

Sometimes the guests joined in, but mostly they liked to watch. They were nearly always married, heterosexual men who wanted to indulge in a bisexual fantasy.

After a while, though, we became something of an agony aunt and uncle, because these men liked to share their problems with us. They’d talk about how they never had sex with their wives, or how they felt they’d be laughed at if they revealed their fantasies to anybody other than us.

One of our favorite things was putting on voyeurs’ shows, where the guy watched Rob and me fooling around. Sometimes the guests joined in, but mostly they liked to watch.

Soon, the escort side of things evolved into sex coaching. I showed one man who hadn’t had sex with his wife for 20 years how to bring romance back into their lives. Why spend money seeing us or an escort girl when you can hire a baby sitter and treat your wife to a date night? Rob and I taught him to use massage to get his spouse in the mood. I even went so far as to help him book a spa day for his wife before taking her to a luxury hotel for dinner and an overnight stay. And you know what? They finally made love.

I also helped another man who came to us to discuss his fantasies — including having sex with a mysterious Russian woman. He didn’t want to cheat on his wife, though, because he loved her very much. I told him to go out and buy his wife a wig and gently suggest that they role-play. The last time I heard from him, he was the mailman and she played the bored housewife!

All in all, we love what we do, and we’re hoping to expand our business with a YouTube channel and possibly a reality TV show. In the meantime, we’re grateful for the effect that sharing our sexuality has had on our marriage. We’re closer than ever because we get turned on by the fantasies our clients express. It makes for a far better sex life for us.

— As told to Jane Ridley

 

Meet the married couple who gives guys hands-on sex lessons | New York Post.

Feds to stop tipping off colleges on student choices

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For years, the federal government has been delivering inside information to colleges about an applicant’s school preferences that has harmed some students’ chances for admission and awards.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has been serving as a tip sheet to colleges by sharing with them the schools that a child was applying to, as well as the school order that a teenager listed on the aid application. Most students list their schools in order of preference, which some colleges have used to make admission and aid decisions.

Most teenagers and their parents had no idea that the federal government was tipping off schools, but those who learned about this practice have been alternatively livid and scared about how this information was being used. With pressure building for the U.S. Department of Education to stop sharing what should be confidential information, the department has announced that it will end the practice beginning with the 2016-17 FAFSA.

A Department of Education official provided the following explanation in an email for the policy change to CBS MoneyWatch:

We are making this change because of information we have received that some colleges were using the listing of the other schools in a manner that is not appropriate. For example, some colleges use that information in their admissions decision process — looking to see if any of their competitors were listed. Similarly, some use the information to determine if and how much institutional aid to provide — why spend money if the student would likely come to my school anyway? We also determined that there is no legitimate student aid need for such information.

Before making this decision, the official said the department conducted extensive research and consulted with various stakeholders including colleges, state agencies and others in the higher-ed industry.

FAFSA, which millions of students use, allows a financial aid applicant to list up to 10 schools on the aid application. Colleges need to know if students are applying for financial aid so they can create aid packages for their accepted applicants.

Colleges’ reliance on FAFSA lists for more than their original use came to light in 2013 when Inside Higher Ed, a trade publication, suggested that some schools were denying admission based on list order and possibly reducing financial aid.

This is a murky area and no one knows for sure how common such FAFSA data-mining is. A 2015 study, however, suggested that some moderately selective schools did reduce aid based on students’ list orders.

Although schools will no longer gain access to a student’s school list via the FAFSA, state higher-ed agencies will continue to have access to students’ college preferences. Several states, including Massachusetts, New Jersey and Connecticut, require that students put a state university first on the FAFSA list to be eligible for some state grants.

© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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Lynn O’Shaughnessy On Twitter»

View all articles by Lynn O’Shaughnessy on CBS MoneyWatch»

Lynn O’Shaughnessy is a best-selling author, consultant and speaker on issues that parents with college-bound teenagers face. She explains how families can make college more affordable through her website TheCollegeSolution.com; her financial workbook, Shrinking the Cost of College; and the new second edition of her Amazon best-selling book, The College Solution: A Guide for Everyone Looking for the Right School at the Right Price.

via FAFSA closes the door to college snooping – CBS News.

It’s World Breastfeeding Week and this got us thinking about how breastfeeding is equal parts wonderful and difficult for too many women today.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has long recommended that women breastfeed children to age one, a goal a lot of women find nearly impossible. With a typical paid maternity leave (if there is any paid leave at all) of just 12 weeks, many women end up back in the workplace far sooner than the one-year mark. And those moms often struggle with time constraints, policies that discourage breastfeeding, and finding clean, private spaces to pump breast milk. (Although that last one is true for nursing women in general.)

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In 2012, McDonald’s was famously investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor in 2012 when a new mom was forced to clock out and reduce her hours in order to walk to a library to pump breast milk. (McDonald’s did respond to the investigation by paying back the employee’s lost wages and restoring her hours, but still.)

The good news is the tide may be changing, thanks to the hard work of breastfeeding advocates. With every sad story of a mom being shamed that goes viral, more people realize how important breastfeeding really is. One concrete example: the companies listening and making it easier for moms to feed their babies.

Our hat is off to these three large companies, which have instituted pro-breastfeeding policies for their employees or customers and are setting a great example for others in the process.

RELATED: 10 Myths and Facts About Breastfeeding

Netflix

It’s been a big week for Netflix employees, which announced that its offering employees a full year of paid maternity or paternity leave. This will undoubtedly make it easier for new moms to reach the recommendation of breastfeeding babies until age one. “This new policy, combined with our unlimited time off, allows employees to be supported during the changes in their lives and return to work more focused and dedicated,” Tawni Cranz, Netflix’s Chief Talent Officer, said on the company’s blog.

IBM

Moms who are nursing and traveling on business often have to ‘pump and dump,’ or throw out their breast milk because it is too complicated and expensive to ship or carry home. Not anymore, says IBM. The tech giant will launch a novel program in September that will provide moms with everything they need to ship their breast milk home while they are traveling for work.

According to the Washington Post, the new program will start with an app that will allow women to enter the travel location and choose how many temperature-controlled packages she will need to ship her breast milk home. IBM will deliver pre-addressed packages to the hotel’s front desk, ready for the employee to use.

RELATED: Breastfeeding May Reduce the Risk of the Most Common Childhood Cancer

Target

Target’s breastfeeding policy, recently posted on Facebook by Breastfeeding Mama Talk, has been getting kudos. The company supports breastfeeding “in any area” of their stores and states that, “If you see a woman breastfeeding in our stores, do not approach her. If she approaches you and asks for a location to breastfeed, offer the fitting room (do not offer the restroom as an option).” That’s a vast improvement over 2011, when breastfeeding women staged a ‘nurse in’ to protest the fact that a breastfeeding mom in Texas was asked to cover up in the store.

Helping to alleviate the worries of nursing moms is definitely a worthy cause more businesses should get behind.

RELATED: How This Breastfeeding Mom Fought Back Against A Stranger Who Shamed Her on Facebook

via 3 Companies That Are Getting It Right for Breastfeeding Moms – Health News and Views – Health.com.

Of course in the article at Jezebel nowhere does it suggest actually fucking your husband yourself. God (along with all gay misandry twisted female predators) forbid suggesting any kind of affection be actid out upon a male such as a simple hand job, or the never allowed to be mentioned fellatio.  Fuck no.  Just keep that husband celibate while you have your girlfriends lick you.

He fucked the nanny because you do not like dick and she does……

In light of recent controversies absolutely rocking the nanny industry—a near-confirmed Ben Affleck affair, a rumored Gavin Rossdale affair—the New York Post has offered some advice for safeguarding your marriage.

First, they recommend avoiding hot 20-something nannies altogether, which seems like fairly reasonable advice if you’re married to an actor with sociopathic tendencies. One woman interviewed for the article adheres to this notion, and “has a middle-aged nanny she adores.”

According to Seth Norman Greenberg, VP of Pavillion Agency, “more and more clients are requesting pictures of candidates along with their bios,” which could spell bad news for any nannies cursed with a reasonably attractive face.

But if you are determined to hire someone fuckable to care for your children, the Post has several helpful tips for desexualizing them in the eyes of your wayward, ungovernable brute of a husband. One suggestion, offered by Greenberg, is a dress code of “chinos and a button-down shirt.” Here are some additional suggestions that The Post appears to have left out:

Limit your nanny’s showering privileges to once a fortnight.

Deprive your nanny of Vitamin D. Do not, under any circumstances, allow her outdoors.

Ask your nanny to kill and butcher all of the meat served to your family. Capture it on your nanny cam, and email a supercut to your husband.

Force your nanny to share a closet with your 12-year-old daughter. See how good she looks in low-rise Hollister pants, size double-zero!

Break your nanny’s pelvis.

Take your husband to the first performance of your nanny’s level 1 improv class.

Marry a gay man.

Marry a good person.

via Best Practices For Preventing Your Husband From Fucking the Nanny .

Groping and sex on the bus in LA

Nearly one out of every 14 Metro passengers has been fondled or groped while riding public transit in Los Angeles County, and one in 10 has been subjected to indecent exposure on the bus or train, according to a new survey.

As part of a regular poll of passengers, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority asked nearly 20,000 bus and rail riders in May and June whether they had experienced any form of sexual harassment on transit in the past six months.

About 19%, or 3,760 people, said yes. That’s a decrease of three percentage points from last…

Here’s how to avoid exposure to the plague – LA Times.

Most teens start school too early in the morning, which deprives them of the sleep they need to learn and stay healthy, a new study says.

The American Academy of Pediatrics last year urged middle schools and high schools to start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. in order to allow teens — who are biologically programmed to stay up later at night than adults — to get the recommended 8.5 to 9.5 hours of sleep each night.

But 83% of schools do start before 8:30 a.m., according to a study released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The average start time for 39,700 public middle schools, high schools and combined schools was 8:03 a.m., based on data from the 2011-2012 school year.

School systems have debated whether to delay school start times for years. Many parents have asked schools to start later, arguing that their teens have trouble waking up early enough to get to school by 7:30 a.m., let alone learn.

“It makes absolutely no sense,” said physician M. Safwan Badr,  a past president of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. “You’re asking kids to learn math at a time their brains are not even awake.”

But many school officials have argued that starting class later would make it more difficult to schedule after-school sporting events, which often require teams to take buses to other parts of their districts.

“It’s a logistical nightmare,” said Daniel Domenech, executive director of AASA, the School Superintendents Association., who said that school districts have to consider the cost of school buses, as well as traffic and after-school activity schedules.

Allowing high schoolers to sleep in could mean sending elementary kids to school in the dark during the winter, as they would have to take the early schedule. That could pose a safety dangers to the youngest kids as they walk to school or wait at bus stops, Domenech said.

Starting high school later also would mean starting sports practices later and make it more difficult for teens to get to after-school jobs, Domenech said.

He notes that early school start times are nothing new.

“This has been going on forever, and kids have been graduating from school and going on to college,” Domenech said. “It certainly doesn’t seem to have hurt them all these years.”

Yet studies show that today’s teens are chronically sleep deprived, said Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital and lead author of the pediatric academy report.

Two-thirds of high school students today fail to get even eight hours of sleep on school nights, according to the CDC report. Adolescents who don’t get enough sleep are at higher risk for being overweight, depressed and using tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs, but less likely to get enough exercise, according to the CDC. Over time, people who don’t get enough sleep are more likely to develop heart disease and type 2 diabetes, Owens said.

“This is a major public health issue,” said Badr, noting that parents should consider sleep to be as important for a child’s health as nutrition and exercise. He encourages parents to be firm with kids, setting bed times and telling teens to shut off their electronic devices.

Sleep deprivation also can lead to drowsy driving and car accidents, Owens said.

Studies on driving simulators show that “not getting enough sleep at night is the equivalent of consuming three or four beers and being moderately intoxicated,” Owens said. “So teens are getting behind the wheel as impaired as if they had consumed a fair amount of alcohol.”

Owens notes that students who finish school in the early afternoon spend more time unsupervised, giving them more time to get into trouble before their parents arrive home from work.

While some adults assume that sleepy teens are lazy, Badr said that adolescents’ natural sleep cycles are very different than adults’.

While the average adult’s body tells her to sleep from about 11 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., the typical teen body wants to sleep from about 12 a.m. or 1 a.m. until 8 a.m. or 9 a.m., Badr said. When school starts too early, “they’re waking up at a time when their brain doesn’t want them to be awake.”

Kids forced to wake up too early also miss out on REM sleep, which is important for consolidating memories and helping people to remember what they learned that day, Owens said. REM sleep tends to be concentrated in the last third of the night, or between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. for a typical teen, Badr said.

“It’s like telling you that you have to get up at 3 o’clock in the morning and function at full capacity,” Owens said.

Some schools have made changes aimed at improving teen sleep.

Owens has worked with the public school system in Fairfax County, Va., where high school used to begin at 7:20 a.m., and the first buses began picking kids up as early as 5:45 a.m. This fall, high school will begin at 8:10 a.m. Researchers are collecting data to see if the later start time leads to any changes in test scores or health, including the number of kids who report being depressed or who are injured playing sports, Owens said.

 

 

The vast majority of schools start before 8:30 a.m., which is earlier than doctors recommend for teens..

 

 

Toddlers who spend a lot of time in front of a TV may be at greater risk of being bullied later in life, a new study suggests.

As the number of hours of TV watching increased, so did the risk of being victimized by classmates in middle school, according to the study published in the Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics.

“Television to me is a pleasant pastime,” said study coauthor Linda Pagani, a psychologist and professor in the school of psycho-education at the University of Montreal and a researcher at the brain health division of the Sainte-Justine’s Children’s Hospital. “But too much of one pastime can come at the detriment of another.”

Boys watching TV Chris Stein / Getty Images

When kids watch too much television, they can “grow up with deficits in their emotional skills,” study coauthor Linda Pagani said.

When you go beyond two hours of TV watching, it takes away from more engaging activities, Pagani said. Most important of those would be direct interactions with parents, where children learn how socialize and develop “emotional intelligence,” she added.

“Emotional intelligence is driven by social experience,” Pagani explained. “I talk, you listen. You talk, I listen. We look each other in the eye. Eye contact is a really powerful mode of communication. It tells a lot about people’s internal states. Kids can grow up with deficits in their emotional skills.”

And that, Pagani said, may leave them more vulnerable to bullying.

Pagani and her colleagues followed 991 girls and 1,006 boys who were taking part in the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Child Development. When the children were 29 months old, the researchers queried parents about the kids’ TV viewing habits, including DVD watching. Parents were also asked about their children’s behavior — how impulsive or aggressive they were, for example.

Then in the sixth grade, the children filled out a survey that asked questions about how frequently other children called them names or said mean things to them; how often they were excluded from play; how often they were pushed, hit or kicked; how often other children made fun of them or laughed at them, and how often they were forced to give up something that belonged to them.

When the researchers analyzed the two sets of data, they found that for each additional hour a child watched TV, there was an increase of 11 percent in the amount of bullying they experienced in middle school.

And that was true even when the researchers took into account factors such as the child’s own behavior and cognitive abilities, as well as family characteristics such as income, family functioning and the mother’s level of education.

While there is no question that the study shows a strong association between TV watching in toddlers and later victimization by classmates, it’s not clear what the exact mechanism of that is, experts said.

“It’s a really nice study,” said Alan Kazdin, Sterling professor of psychology and psychiatry and professor of child psychology at Yale University. “But they are taking a big leap when it comes to causation. Children who sit in front of a TV all day tend not to be gregarious and they are more prone to depression, for example.”

Patrick Tolan, director of the Youth-Nex Center at the University of Virginia and a professor in UVA’s Curry School of Education, put it this way: “It’s impressive that you can see long-term effects of TV watching. But it’s not clear whether TV watching is directly related to victimization, or to a lot of poor performance and poor functioning and victimization is just one aspect of that.”

Tolan pointed out that some of the negative effects of TV can be mitigated by parents watching along with a child and then discussing the content. For example, he said, “If someone is being pushed around, a parent might say, ‘He should get help from the teacher.'”

That way, Tolan said, TV watching is not completely passive and can actually become a learning experience.

Kazdin said he hopes the study doesn’t lead parents to focus solely on limiting TV time as a strategy to protect kids from being bullied.

One of the best ways to protect children against bullying is to encourage them to pursue something they are interested in, be it sports or music or dance or another activity, Kazdin said. “Find out what makes their eyes light up,” he added.

When kids get to be good at something, it builds their confidence, “and that is an enormous protection,” Kazdin said.

For her part, Pagani said she doesn’t want the new findings to make parents feel bad, but rather to alert them to the impact of too much TV. “Knowledge is power,” she said.

Study: TV time for toddlers linked to risk of being bullied – TODAY.com.

(Repeats without change to widen distribution)

By Leah Schnurr

(Reuters) – Canada’s prim capital is suddenly focused more on the state of people’s affairs than the affairs of the state.

One in five Ottawa residents allegedly subscribed to adulterers’ website Ashley Madison, making one of the world’s coldest capitals among the hottest for extra-marital hookups – and the most vulnerable to a breach of privacy after hackers targeted the site.

Hackers threatened to leak details including the credit card information, nude photos, sexual fantasies and real names of as many as 37 million customers worldwide of Ashley Madison, which uses the slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

The website’s Canadian parent, Avid Life Media, said it had since secured the site and was working with law enforcement agencies to trace those behind the attack.

“Everybody says Ottawa is a sleepy town and here we are with 200,000 people running around on each other,” said municipal employee Jon Weaks, 27, as he took a break at an outdoor cafe near the nation’s Parliament.

“I think a lot of people will be questioned tonight at dinner,” added colleague Ali Cross, 28.

Some 189,810 Ashley Madison users were registered in Ottawa, a city with a population of about 883,000, making the capital No. 1 for philanderers in Canada and potentially the highest globally per capita, according to previously published figures from the Toronto-based company.

The one bright spot for millions of Ashley Madison’s nervous clients is that the hack appears to be an inside job, according to police and intelligence sources. Avid Life has also said it is convinced the hackers were formerly connected to the company.

That means, for now at least, the perpetrators are driven by ideological and not commercial motives.

The hackers, who referred to customers as “cheating dirtbags who deserve no discretion,” appear uninterested in blackmailing individual clients, unlike an organized crime outfit.

“If it had been organized, they wouldn’t have advertised it,” said a law enforcement source who spoke on condition of anonymity. “But there’s going to be a lot of people with lots of explaining to do.”

The hotbed of infidelity was also the seat of power: The top postal code for new members matched that of Parliament Hill, according to Avid Live chief executive Noel Biderman in a newspaper report published earlier this year.

Biderman said capital cities around the world typically top subscription rates, a phenomenon he chalks up to “power, fame and opportunity,” along with the risk-taking personalities that find themselves in political cities.

The Ottawa mayor’s office and city council either declined to comment or did not return emails.

The hackers want Avid Life to shut down the website, as well as a second one it runs, EstablishedMen.com which is widely described as a “sugar daddy site,” but has no issues with CougarLife.com, a site for older women looking for hookups.

“In our buttoned-down city, it may not be acceptable to openly explore outside of a committed relationship,” said Ottawa marriage counselor Nataxja Cini.

In a city full of professionals with demanding careers, many in government, Cini said marriage may come under more strain than usual. But with a stable family life still a badge of success, an Ashley Madison subscription may be preferable to divorce, she said.

To be sure, the subscription data may not be that reliable.

A former employee sued Avid Life, saying she had developed debilitating wrist pain, insomnia and anxiety while writing 1,000 fake profiles for a Brazilian version of Ashley Madison, according to court records. The case was dismissed earlier this year.

Still, one Ottawa resident, who declined to give her last name, said it is unsurprising the small government town is home to so many Ashley Madison clients.

“In a blue collar city, they’re not going to use a website, they’re going to do it at a bar,” said Kary, 38. In Ottawa “you can’t run the risk of someone seeing you at a bar doing that.”

The town is also not famed for its rollicking social scene.

“Why do you think everyone goes to Montreal to have a good time?” she added. “Ottawa is the city fun forgot.” (Additional reporting by Andrea Hopkins and Alastair Sharp in Toronto, Allison Lampert in Montreal; Editing by Alan Crosby)

 

RPT-Ottawa, the city fun forgot, tops on infidelity website | Reuters.

Earlier this month a guy named Todd Fassler was bitten by a rattlesnake in San Diego, KGTV San Diego reports. In itself this isn’t terribly unusual—the CDC estimates that roughly 7,000 to 8,000 people a year get bit by a venomous snake in the U.S. And somewhere between five and six people die from these bites each year.

What raised eyebrows, though, was Fassler’s hospital bill—all $153,000 of it. KGTV reporter Dan Haggerty shared it on Twitter. Take a look.

It’s not clear whether Fassler has insurance—and whether these are dollar amounts that he will in fact have to pay out of pocket. But the confusion over health care pricing is common for Americans who receive bills and can’t be sure where the numbers come from. I reached out to Fassler for comment but he wasn’t immediately available.

Here’s what we do know based on that photo: The bulk of his hospital bill—$83,000 of it— is due to pharmacy charges. Specifically, charges for the antivenin used to treat the bite. KGTV reports that Fassler depleted the antivenin supplies at two local hospitals during his five-day visit. Nobody expects antivenin to be cheap. But $83,000?

There’s currently only one commercially-available antivenin for treating venomous snakebites in the U.S. — CroFab, manufactured by U.K.-based BTG plc. And with a stable market of 7,000 to 8,000 snakebite victims per year and no competitors, business is pretty good. BTG’s latest annual report shows CroFab sales topped out at close to $63 million British pounds, or $98 million dollars last fiscal year. The antivenin costs hospitals roughly $2,300 per vial, according to Bloomberg, with a typical dose requiring four to six vials. In some cases multiple doses are needed, according to CroFab’s promotional website.

BTG has fought aggressively to keep competitors off the market. A competing product, Anavip, just received FDA approval this year and likely won’t be on the market until late 2018. This lack of competition is one reason why snakebite treatments rack up such huge hospital bills — $55,000. $89,000. $143,000. In May of this year, a snakebit Missouri man died after refusing to seek medical care, saying he couldn’t afford the bill.

But the other reason why hospitals charge so much is the byzantine negotiating process that happens between hospitals and insurance companies to determine the final payout amount. In the case of the $143,000 snakebite in 2012, for instance, Scripps Hospital in San Diego explained that “it is important to understand that these charges are not reflective of what Scripps will be paid. At this time, the patient’s insurance company has not yet paid the bill, and Scripps is in negotiations with the company for the final amount.”

In many cases a hospital bill isn’t actually a bill, but essentially an instrument in a complex negotiation between insurers and caregivers, with bewildered patients stuck in the middle. It’s difficult to know which charges are real and which ones aren’t, and which bills to pay and which ones to ignore. It’s one reason why medical debt is a huge factor in so many bankruptcies.

Hospital bills that amount to legal fictions certainly don’t help consumers keep themselves out of debt trouble. Todd Fassler’s bill is a perfect example — he left the hospital on July 9, 2015. His bill said his $153,000 payment was due by July 27.

 

This $153,000 rattlesnake bite is everything wrong with American health care – The Washington Post.

People are social beings, we like to gather with like-minded people who are on the same wavelength as we are, and there is nothing wrong with having a small circle of friends for occasional social gatherings. It is a known fact that some people are more outgoing than others, but certain people simply fail to attract and keep friends around them. If you have few friends and you want to do something about that, then here you will find an overview of the top 6 most common reasons why you do not have many friends to rely on:

1. You Are Too Selfish Or Self-Centered

This is actually one of the most common reasons why people generally lack friends. Nobody likes selfish people who put themselves first, the notion of friendship means sharing everything with those dear to your heart, from feelings and memories to material aspects.

In the end, there is a reason why they all say that “sharing is caring”. Do you find it difficult to think outside yourself? Do those that surround you often tell you that you should pay more attention to other people’s needs? If so, then the chances are that you are slightly too self-centered, and this can be very repulsive for most people. Be open to suggestions and accept negative feedback, as it will help you become a better person.

2. You Are Too Shady

If you have split personality, then this may also be the culprit behind your lack of friends. A friend should be reliable, honest, straightforward and trustworthy at the same time. If you are shady and you act differently with your friends, then they will avoid you.

At the same time, avoid discussing problems you have with friends with other friends: keep in mind the saying “if they gossip with you, they will gossip about you”. Learn how to keep a secret and avoid being shady: a split personality will keep all your friends away, not to mention that you will find it difficult to start a romantic relationship as well.

3.You Care Too Less

Friendship can degrade as time passes, if you do not make any effort to keep your friends. Of course, if you struggle too much then you were never friends in the first place, but if you don’t try to socialize and you do not keep up with those who are close to your heart, you will eventually lose them. If you only meet people briefly and you do not make an effort to keep them close to you, they will forget you, sooner or later. Be it pride or shyness, this attitude will not do you much good in the long run!

4. You Complain Too Much

Nobody likes negative people, people who only see the empty side of the glass. If you are bad news and you are always looking for people who are willing to comfort or to pity you, then do not expect to keep any friends close to you in the long haul. Everybody has problems to deal with, and it is perfectly normal to look to your friends for guidance and advice: however, when you overdo it and you whine on a constant basis, this will take its toll on your friendship. Try to keep the drama at a minimum!

5. You Neglect Your Friends When You Start A Relationship

This is also one of the most disappointing attitudes some friends manifest. Keep in mind that the success of your new relationship is not guaranteed, and before you neglect or ignore your friends, don’t forget that you will turn to them if your relationship fails. Many friendships fail when one of the parties enters a temporary love affair.

6. People Change More Often Than They Should

As human beings, it is in our nature to change as the years pass: some of us change in a good way, while others do it in a bad way. Some people become more mature and nicer to have around, just like the wine: it is important to surround yourself with this kind of people, as they are reliable and down-to-earth. On the other hand, money can also change people and turn them into shallow beings who do not have the same moral values as they once did. This can affect a friendship beyond repair!

6 Reasons You Don’t Have Many Friends – Lifezap – Your Life GuideLifezap – Your Life Guide.

We’re a culture obsessed with parenthood, or “parenting,” as we like to call it.  Countless websites, books, and magazines provide advice for parents aspiring to perfection. And paramount on any good parent’s priority list is making sure our kids are safe and healthy.  So we pay extra for organic milk and banish trans fats from our kitchens.  We deliberate over the safest car seats and sign petitions to ban sodas from school cafeterias.  We talk to our kids early and often about the dangers of smoking, drinking and drugs.

But when it comes to the hazards of sex, our approach falls somewhere between passivity and paralysis.  For whatever reasons – concern about imposing fear and shame, embarrassment about being hypocritical, or not believing that kids are capable of self-control – we can’t bring ourselves to just say “don’t!”  We make sure our kids know about condoms and the Pill, and tell them we’re always there if they want to talk.  Which is the equivalent of shutting our eyes, crossing our fingers, and hoping.  Hoping that our kids won’t get pregnant, or get someone else pregnant.  Hoping that they won’t catch that STD that causes infertility or cancer.  Hoping the chemical bonds that they form and then break won’t break their hearts.

Because here’s the rub.  It is an indisputable fact that having sex means taking risks.  We can reduce the risks of unwanted consequences, but we can’t eliminate them.  We wouldn’t tell our kids that it’s okay to smoke — as long as they smoke low tar cigarettes.  Or that drugs are fine — but only in small doses.  But we tell them – by not telling them otherwise – that risking pregnancy, life-threatening diseases, and emotional devastation is okay.

Here are some cold, hard facts to consider.  Every year there are ten million – ten million! – new cases of sexually transmitted diseases among our sons and daughters who are 15 to 24 years old.  As of 2008, one in four teenagers already had an STD, according to the Centers for Disease Control.  The most commonly transmitted STD is HPV, or human papillomavirus.  We now know that certain types of HPV cause cancers of the head and neck.  Think Michael Douglas.  Others cause cervical cancer.  Another “common STD,” according to the CDC, is chlamydia.  In 2013, there were nearly a million cases among 15- to 24-year olds.  If our daughters are among that million, it could mean they’ll never be able to have kids of their own.

When it comes to the hazards of sex, our approach falls somewhere between passivity and paralysis. For whatever reasons – concern about imposing fear and shame, embarrassment about being hypocritical, or not believing that kids are capable of self-control – we can’t bring ourselves to just say “don’t!”

As for getting pregnant, the CDC reports that nearly half of all pregnancies in this country are unintended.  For women 19 and younger that rises to four out of five.  What’s not to understand here?  Sex makes babies!  According to the Guttmacher Institute, at 2008 rates, one in ten women will have an abortion by the time she is 20 years old.  Even if you’re morally neutral on the subject of abortion, the image of your  daughter crying in her college dorm room as she contemplates the possibility of aborting your grandchild can’t be a pretty one.  And even if you believe abortion is the equivalent of getting a tooth pulled, how could you not worry about the possibility of some psychological fallout.

Then there are the emotional consequences of sexual intimacy.  Studies have linked sexual activity with depression in teenage girls.  We now know about oxytocin, a hormone released in the female brain during sexual activity.  Among other things, it promotes feelings of bonding and trust.  Like it or not, sex comes with emotional strings attached.  Dr. Miriam Grossman is a psychiatrist who worked in the campus counseling center at UCLA.  She recounted the devastating effects of casual sex among her patients in her book, Unprotected.  “Almost daily, I prescribe medication to help students, mostly women, cope with loss and heartbreak.”  Are we willing to live with the prospect of our kids suffering from depression?  Depression that was preventable?

As parents we spend our lives trying to protect our kids.  So here’s a radical thought.  How about urging them to wait till they’re married before having sex?  If we really want what’s best and safest and healthiest for our kids, let’s start a sexual revolution.  Hey, it’s been done before.

Marcia Segelstein has covered family issues for over 20 years
as a producer for CBS News and as a columnist. She has written for “First Things,” “World Magazine,” and “Touchstone.”  She is currently a Senior Editor and columnist for “SALVO” magazine. Her columns can be found at www.salvomag.com.

 

The real truth about sex: What we’re not telling our kids | Fox News.

A new report into U.S. consumers’ attitude to the collection of personal data has highlighted the disconnect between commercial claims that web users are happy to trade privacy in exchange for ‘benefits’ like discounts. On the contrary, it asserts that a large majority of web users are not at all happy, but rather feel powerless to stop their data being harvested and used by marketers.

The report authors’ argue it’s this sense of resignation that is resulting in data tradeoffs taking place — rather than consumers performing careful cost-benefit analysis to weigh up the pros and cons of giving up their data (as marketers try to claim). They also found that where consumers were most informed about marketing practices they were also more likely to be resigned to not being able to do anything to prevent their data being harvested.

“Rather than feeling able to make choices, Americans believe it is futile to manage what companies can learn about them. Our study reveals that more than half do not want to lose control over their information but also believe this loss of control has already happened,” the authors write.

Americans believe it is futile to manage what companies can learn about them.

“By misrepresenting the American people and championing the tradeoff argument, marketers give policymakers false justifications for allowing the collection and use of all kinds of consumer data often in ways that the public find objectionable. Moreover, the futility we found, combined with a broad public fear about what companies can do with the data, portends serious difficulties not just for individuals but also — over time — for the institution of consumer commerce.”

“It is not difficult to predict widespread social tensions, and concerns about democratic access to the marketplace, if Americans continue to be resigned to a lack of control over how, when, and what marketers learn about them,” they add.

The report, entitled The Tradeoff Fallacy: How marketers are misrepresenting American consumers and opening them up to exploitation, is authored by three academics from the University of Pennsylvania, and is based on a representative national cell phone and wireline phone survey of more than 1,500 Americans age 18 and older who use the internet or email “at least occasionally”.

Key findings on American consumers include that —

  • 91% disagree (77% of them strongly) that “If companies give me a discount, it is a fair exchange for them to collect information about me without my knowing”
  • 71% disagree (53% of them strongly) that “It’s fair for an online or physical store to monitor what I’m doing online when I’m there, in exchange for letting me use the store’s wireless internet, or Wi-Fi, without charge.”
  • 55% disagree (38% of them strongly) that “It’s okay if a store where I shop uses information it has about me to create a picture of me that improves the services they provide for me.”

The authors go on to note that “only about 4% agree or agree strongly” with all three of the above propositions. And even with a broader definition of “a belief in tradeoffs” they found just a fifth (21%) were comfortably accepting of the idea.  So the survey found very much a minority of consumers are happy with current data tradeoffs.

The report also flags up that large numbers (often a majority) of U.S. consumers are unaware of how their purchase and usage data can be sold on or shared with third parties without their permission or knowledge — in many instances falsely believing they have greater data protection rights than they are in fact afforded by law.

Examples the report notes include —

  • 49% of American adults who use the Internet believe (incorrectly) that by law a supermarket must obtain a person’s permission before selling information about that person’s food purchases to other companies.
  • 69% do not know that a pharmacy does not legally need a person’s permission to sell information about the over-the-counter drugs that person buys.
  • 65% do not know that the statement “When a website has a privacy policy, it means the site will not share my information with other websites and companies without my permission” is false.
  • 55% do not know it is legal for an online store to charge different people different prices at the same time of day.
  • 62% do not know that price-comparison sites like Expedia or Orbitz are not legally required to include the lowest travel prices.

Data-mining in the spotlight

One thing is clear: the great lie about online privacy is unraveling. The obfuscated commercial collection of vast amounts of personal data in exchange for ‘free’ services is gradually being revealed for what it is: a heist of unprecedented scale. Behind the bland, intellectually dishonest facade that claims there’s ‘nothing to see here’ gigantic data-mining apparatus have been manoeuvered into place, atop vast mountains of stolen personal data.

Stolen because it has never been made clear to consumers what is being taken, and how that information is being used. How can you consent to something you don’t know or understand? Informed consent requires transparency and an ability to control what happens. Both of which are systematically undermined by companies whose business models require that vast amounts of personal data be shoveled ceaselessly into their engines.

This is why regulators are increasingly focusing attention on the likes of Google and Facebook. And why companies with different business models, such as hardware maker Apple, are joining the chorus of condemnation. Cloud-based technology companies large and small have exploited and encouraged consumer ignorance, concealing their data-mining algorithms and processes inside proprietary black boxes labeled ‘commercially confidential’. The larger entities spend big on pumping out a steady stream of marketing misdirection — distracting their users with shiny new things, or proffering up hollow reassurances about how they don’t sell your personal data.

Make no mistake: this is equivocation. Google sells access to its surveillance intelligence on who users are via its ad-targeting apparatus — so it doesn’t need to sell actual data. Its intelligence on web users’ habits and routines and likes and dislikes is far more lucrative than handing over the digits of anyone’s phone number. (The company is also moving in the direction of becoming an online marketplace in its own right — by adding a buy button directly to mobile search results. So it’s intending to capture, process and convert more transactions itself — directly choreographing users’ commercial activity.)

These platforms also work to instill a feeling of impotence in users in various subtle ways, burying privacy settings within labyrinthine submenus. And technical information in unreadable terms and conditions. Doing everything they can to fog rather than fess up to the reality of the gigantic tradeoff lurking in the background. Yet slowly, but slowly this sophisticated surveillance apparatus is being dragged into the light.

The privacy costs involved for consumers who pay for ‘free’ services by consenting to invasive surveillance of what they say, where they go, who they know, what they like, what they watch, what they buy, have never been made clear by the companies involved in big data mining. But costs are becoming more apparent, as glimpses of the extent of commercial tracking activities leak out.

And as more questions are asked the discrepancy between the claim that there’s ‘nothing to see here’ vs the reality of sleepless surveillance apparatus peering over your shoulder, logging your pulse rate, reading your messages, noting what you look at, for how long and what you do next — and doing so to optimize the lifting of money out of your wallet — then the true consumer cost of ‘free’ becomes more visible than it has ever been.

The tradeoff lie is unraveling, as the scale and implications of the data heist are starting to be processed. One clear tipping point here is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden who, two years ago, risked life and liberty to reveal how the U.S. government (and many other governments) were involved in a massive, illegal logging of citizens’ digital communications. The documents he released also showed how commercial technology platforms had been appropriated and drawn into this secretive state surveillance complex. Once governments were implicated, it was only a matter of time before the big Internet platforms, with their mirror data-capturing apparatus, would face questions.

Snowden’s revelations have had various reforming political implications for surveillance in the U.S. and Europe. Tech companies have also been forced to take public stances — either to loudly defend user privacy, or be implicated by silence and inaction.

Another catalyst for increasing privacy concerns is the Internet of Things. A physical network of connected objects blinking and pinging notifications is itself a partial reveal of the extent of the digital surveillance apparatus that has been developed behind commercially closed doors. Modern consumer electronics are hermetically sealed black boxes engineered to conceal complexity. But the complexities of hooking all these ‘smart’ sensornet objects together, and placing so many data-sucking tentacles on display, in increasingly personal places (the home, the body) — starts to make surveillance infrastructure and its implications uncomfortably visible.

Plus this time it’s manifestly personal. It’s in your home and on your person — which adds to a growing feeling of being creeped out and spied upon. And as more and more studies highlight consumer concern about how personal data is being harvested and processed, regulators are also taking notice — and turning up the heat.

One response to growing consumer concerns about personal data came this week with Google launching a centralized dashboard for users to access (some) privacy settings. It’s far from perfect, and contains plentiful misdirection about the company’s motives, but it’s telling that this ad-fueled behemoth feels the need to be more pro-active in its presentation of its attitude and approach to user privacy.

Radical transparency

The Tradeoff report authors include a section at the end with suggestions for improving transparency around marketing processes, calling for “initiatives that will give members of the public the right and ability to learn what companies know about them, how they profile them, and what data lead to what personalized offers” — and for getting consumers “excited about using that right and ability”.

Among their suggestions to boost transparency and corporate openness are —

  • Public interest organizations and government agencies developing clear definitions of transparency that reflect consumer concerns, and then systematically calling out companies regarding how well or badly they are doing based on these values, in order to help consumers ‘vote with their wallets’
  • Activities to “dissect and report on the implications of privacy policies” — perhaps aided by crowdsourced initiatives — so that complex legalize is interpreted and implications explained for a consumer audience, again allowing for good practice to be praised (and vice versa)
  • Advocating for consumers to gain access to the personal profiles companies create on them in order for them to understand how their data is being used

“As long as the algorithms companies implement to analyze and predict the future behaviors of individuals are hidden from public view, the potential for unwanted marketer exploitation of individuals’ data remains high. We therefore ought to consider it an individual’s right to access the profiles and scores companies use to create every personalized message and discount the individual receives,” the report adds.

“Companies will push back that giving out this information will expose trade secrets. We argue there are ways to carry this out while keeping their trade secrets intact.”

They’re not the only ones calling for algorithms to be pulled into view either — back in April the French Senate backed calls for Google to reveal the workings of its search ranking algorithms. In that instance the focus is commercial competition to ensure a level playing field, rather than user privacy per se, but it’s clear that more questions are being asked about the power of proprietary algorithms and the hidden hierarchies they create.

Startups should absolutely see the debunking of the myth that consumers are happy to trade privacy for free services as a fresh opportunity for disruption — to build services that stand out because they aren’t predicated on the assumption that consumers can and should be tricked into handing over data and having their privacy undermined on the sly.

Services that stand upon a futureproofed foundation where operational transparency inculcates user trust — setting these businesses up for bona fide data exchanges, rather than shadowy tradeoffs.

 

The Online Privacy Lie Is Unraveling | TechCrunch.

You can’t build a strong professional network if you don’t open up to your colleagues; but doing so is tricky, because revealing the wrong things can have a devastating effect on your career.

Sharing the right aspects of yourself in the right ways is an art form. Disclosures that feel like relationship builders in the moment can wind up as obvious no-nos with hindsight.

The trick is to catch yourself before you cross that line, because once you share something, there is no going back.

TalentSmart has tested more than a million people and found that the upper echelons of top performance are filled with people who are high in emotional intelligence (90% of top performers, to be exact). Emotionally intelligent people are adept at reading others, and this shows them what they should and shouldn’t reveal about themselves at work.

Related: How Successful People Work Less and Get More Done

The following list contains the 12 most common things people reveal that send their careers careening in the wrong direction.
1. That They Hate Their Job

The last thing anyone wants to hear at work is someone complaining about how much they hate their job. Doing so labels you as a negative person, who is not a team player. This brings down the morale of the group. Bosses are quick to catch on to naysayers who drag down morale, and they know that there are always enthusiastic replacements waiting just around the corner.
2. That They Think Someone Is Incompetent

There will always be incompetent people in any workplace, and chances are that everyone knows who they are. If you don’t have the power to help them improve or to fire them, then you have nothing to gain by broadcasting their ineptitude. Announcing your colleague’s incompetence comes across as an insecure attempt to make you look better. Your callousness will inevitably come back to haunt you in the form of your coworkers’ negative opinions of you.
3. How Much Money They Make

Your parents may love to hear all about how much you’re pulling in each month, but in the workplace, this only breeds negativity. It’s impossible to allocate salaries with perfect fairness, and revealing yours gives your coworkers a direct measure of comparison. As soon as everyone knows how much you make, everything you do at work is considered against your income. It’s tempting to swap salary figures with a buddy out of curiosity, but the moment you do, you’ll never see each other the same way again.
4. Their Political and Religious Beliefs

People’s political and religious beliefs are too closely tied to their identities to be discussed without incident at work. Disagreeing with someone else’s views can quickly alter their otherwise strong perception of you. Confronting someone’s core values is one of the most insulting things you can do.

Granted, different people treat politics and religion differently, but asserting your values can alienate some people as quickly as it intrigues others. Even bringing up a hot-button world event without asserting a strong opinion can lead to conflict.

People build their lives around their ideals and beliefs, and giving them your two cents is risky. Be willing to listen to others without inputting anything on your end because all it takes is a disapproving look to start a conflict. Political opinions and religious beliefs are so deeply ingrained in people, that challenging their views is more likely to get you judged than to change their mind.
5. What They Do on Facebook

The last thing your boss wants to see when she logs on to her Facebook account is photos of you taking tequila shots in Tijuana. There are just too many ways you can look inappropriate on Facebook and leave a bad impression. It could be what you’re wearing, who you’re with, what you’re doing, or even your friends’ commentary. These are the little things that can cast a shadow of doubt in your boss’s or colleagues’ minds just when they are about to hand you a big assignment or recommend you for a promotion.

It’s too difficult to try to censure yourself on Facebook for your colleagues. Save yourself the trouble, and don’t friend them there. Let LinkedIn be your professional “social” network, and save Facebook for everybody else.

Related: 10 Truths We Forget Too Easily
6. What They Do in the Bedroom

Whether your sex life is out of this world or lacking entirely, this information has no place at work. Such comments might get a chuckle from some people, but it makes most uncomfortable, and even offended. Crossing this line will instantly give you a bad reputation.
7. What They Think Someone Else Does in the Bedroom

A good 111% of the people you work with do not want to know that you bet they’re tigers in the sack. There’s no more surefire way to creep someone out than to let them know that thoughts of their love life have entered your brain. Anything from speculating on a colleague’s sexual orientation to making a relatively indirect comment like, “Oh, to be a newlywed again,” plants a permanent seed in the brains of all who hear it that casts you in a negative light.

Your thoughts are your own. Think whatever you feel is right about people; just keep it to yourself.
8. That They’re After Somebody Else’s Job

Announcing your ambitions at work when they are in direct conflict with other people’s interests comes across as selfish and indifferent to those you work with and the company as a whole. Great employees want the whole team to succeed, not just themselves. Regardless of your actual motives (some of us really do just work for the money), announcing your selfish goal will not help you get there.
9. How Wild They Used To Be in College

Your past can say a lot about you. Just because you did something outlandish or stupid 20 years ago doesn’t mean that people will believe you’ve developed impeccable judgment since then. Some behavior that might qualify as just another day in the typical fraternity (binge drinking, minor theft, drunk driving, abusing people or farm animals, and so on) shows everyone you work with that, when push comes to shove, you have poor judgment and don’t know where to draw the line. Many presidents have been elected in spite of their past indiscretions, but unless you have a team of handlers and PR types protecting and spinning your image, you should keep your unsavory past to yourself.
10. How Intoxicated They Like to Get

You might think talking about how inebriated you were over the weekend has no effect on how you’re viewed at work. After all, if you’re a good worker, then you’re a good worker, right? Unfortunately not. Sharing this will not get people to think you’re fun. Instead, they will see you as unpredictable, immature, and lacking in good judgment. Too many people have negative views of drugs and alcohol for you to reveal how much you love to indulge in them.
11. An Offensive Joke

If there’s one thing we can learn from celebrities, it’s to be careful about what you say and whom you say it to. Offensive jokes make other people feel terrible, and they make you look terrible. They also happen to be much less funny than clever jokes.

A joke crosses the line anytime you try to gauge its appropriateness based on how close you are with someone. If there is anyone who would be offended by your joke, you are better off not telling it. You never know whom people know or what experiences they’ve had in life that can lead your joke to tread on subjects that they take very seriously.
12. That They Are Job Hunting

When I was a kid, I told my baseball coach I was quitting in two weeks. For the next two weeks, I found myself riding the bench. It got even worse after those two weeks when I decided to stay, and I became “the kid who doesn’t even want to be here.” I was crushed, but it was my own fault; I told him my decision before it was certain.

The same thing happens when you tell people that you’re job hunting. Once you reveal that you’re planning to leave, you suddenly become a waste of everyone’s time. There’s also the chance that your hunt will be unsuccessful, so it’s best to wait until you’ve found a job before you tell anyone. Otherwise, you will end up riding the bench.

A version of this article first appeared on TalentSmart.com.

Related: How Successful People Stay Productive and In Control

12 Things Successful People Never Reveal About Themselves at Work.

Capture the UFO’s comming to get you!

Project CE | Connecting Evidence.

Pre-marital sex is more tolerated among youth than it’s ever been but millennials are having less sex than their baby-boomer parents did, a study has revealed.

Better sexual education may play a role, according to the research.

A survey of 33,000 people published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that 58 per cent of those surveyed in 2012 thought premarital sex was acceptable compared to 44 per cent in 2004.

In 1972 just 28 per cent approved of premarital sex and in 1978, 38 per cent of the population held more progressive views.

Study author: 'Although millennials are more tolerant of these behaviors, they’re not taking that is license to sleep around,' said report author Jean Twenge, who also wrote Generation Me

Study author: ‘Although millennials are more tolerant of these behaviors, they’re not taking that is license to sleep around,’ said report author Jean Twenge, who also wrote Generation Me

In 1982, 44 per cent of the population were engaged in per-marital sex and viewed it as an acceptable behavior.

While it may seem that wider acceptance of sexual practices leads to more sex the numbers say otherwise.

Those born in the 1950s and 1960s averaged 11 sex partners as adults while those born in the 1970s only averaged 10, Time reports.

Babies born in the 80s and 90s are averaged eight sexual partners each.

The group that had the least amount of sex were those born around 1924 who had an average of just two partners each.

 

​A sign of life beyond death?

We spend our lives reaching out to the people we love. But could it be that some people can make contact — even after they’re gone? Here’s Tracy Smith:

In a way, this story is like almost the view from across the Golden Gate: intriguing, even beautiful, but sometimes hard to see through all the fog.

Janis Heaphy Durham was not the kind of person who believed in after-death communication. She used to think of death as an ending — but she never will again.

In 1999 Janis and Max Besler were a California power couple: she was publisher of the Sacramento Bee, a paper that won two Pulitzer Prizes on her watch; he was a political consultant, stepfather to her son, Tanner, and the love of her life.

“He was compassionate and empathetic and my lover and my best friend,” she said.

And she was at his side when doctors told him he had terminal cancer in late 2003.

“The most painful part was just watching him suffer” — and feeling helpless, she said.

In May 2004, a few days shy of his 56th birthday, Max Besler died, and that, Janis says, is when things started getting weird: Lights in her Sacramento home would flicker; clocks would stop at the moment Max died.

But then, on the anniversary date of his death, Janis was stunned by something she saw as she stood in her bathroom washing her hands.

“I looked up at the mirror and I saw a handprint,” she told Smith. “A perfectly-formed, powdery handprint. Large, on the mirror. It was the right hand.”

handprint-may-8-2005-620.jpg
Janis Heaphy Durham was not the kind of person who believed in after-death communication, until her husband died – then, the handprint appeared on her mirror.
Janis Heaphy Durham

Her first thought was that maybe Tanner did it as a joke. But his teenage hands were much too small.

“That hand looked so consistent, so similar to Max’s,” she said. “So I did have the wherewithal to photograph it.

“I wish I had done more. I wish I would have thought to take a sample. But I just didn’t even think of it. I thought, ‘I do need to photograph it, however.'”

Before long, the hardcore skeptic was a true believer.

tracy-smith-janis-heaphy-durham-photos-620.jpg
Janis Heaphy Durham shows photographs of the phenomena to correspondent Tracy Smith.
CBS News

Smith said, “I have faith in things that I can’t see, but you know there are millions of people out there that are going to say, ‘Come on!'”

“Exactly,” said Durham. “And I was one of them, so I really understand it.”

In time, Janis moved on; she remarried in 2008. But things kept happening: A footprint appeared on a chair at their vacation home; carpets would move themselves across her floor

And on the second anniversary of Max’s death, more powdery images on the mirror.

On the third, another handprint.

Durham said there is no doubt in her mind that they were signs from Max.

Of course, there’s plenty of doubt to go around. Paranormal investigator Joe Nickell, Of Buffalo, N.Y., has a different view: “Let’s just say that somehow he’s doing this. Why wouldn’t he do it before her very eyes? Why not just write with his finger, ‘I’m okay. Love you. Miss you’?

“Is there a possibility that this could be her deceased husband, Max, talking to Janis?” asked Smith.

“I don’t think so,” he replied.

Nickell says a lab test of any of the handprints could have settled the matter: “She didn’t do that. And then the next year she didn’t again. And the next year after that, again she didn’t. One has to decide that at some point I don’t think she wanted to test it.”

Because? “Well, I think she was afraid of the answer.”

Smith said, “You know, despite everything you were saying, people will still believe this.”

“I have good news and bad news,” said Nickell. “The bad news is there are no ghosts. The good news is nobody will believe me.”

 

the-hand-on-the-mirror-cover-244.jpg
Grand Central Publishing

Janis did some digging of her own, talking to scientists and other experts who, she says, convinced her it was Max. She’s put it all in a new book, “The Hand on the Mirror” (Grand Central Publishing).

If Max was behind this, he’s moved on; there haven’t been any new handprints for a while.

But Janis says she’s be grateful it happened at all.

Smith asked, “What do you think Max was trying to tell you?”

“I think Max was trying to tell me that there’s more to life than the physical form, the physical reality we live in,” Durham replied. “I’m not saying that these experiences made me feel less sad about the fact that Max lost his life at 56. But it makes me able to live with it better.”

And she still misses him. “I do, I do. Yes.

 

 

​A sign of life beyond death? – CBS News.

Man is sent to jail woman gets a ticket……

Sex in broad daylight: Shoppers get an eye full – 23ABC News.

If it was a male teacher and a female student it would have been 7 years!

Judge Gives Teacher Who Had Sex With Student 30 Days, Calls Her ‘Dangling Candy’.

Forbidden Bookshelf | Feed Your Need To Read.

 

Here are the 5 states that let you carry a concealed gun without a permit – Vox.

 

Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the author of a now-discredited article in Rolling Stone magazine about a rape at a University of Virginia fraternity, issued this statement:

“The past few months, since my Rolling Stone article “A Rape on Campus” was first called into question, have been among the most painful of my life. Reading the Columbia account of the mistakes and misjudgments in my reporting was a brutal and humbling experience. I want to offer my deepest apologies: to Rolling Stone’s readers, to my Rolling Stone editors and colleagues,to theU.V.A. community, and to any victims of sexual assault who may feel fearful as a result of my article.

“Over my 20 years of working as an investigative journalist — including at Rolling Stone, a magazine I grew up loving and am honored to work for — I have often dealt with sensitive topics and sources. In writing each of these stories I must weigh my compassion against my journalistic duty to find the truth. However, in the case of Jackie and her account of her traumatic rape, I did not go far enough to verify her story. I allowed my concern for Jackie’s well-being, my fear of re-traumatizing her, and my confidence in her credibility to take the place of more questioning and more facts. These are mistakes I will not make again.

“Reporting on rape has unique challenges, but the journalist still has the responsibility to get it right. I hope that my mistakes in reporting this story do not silence the voices of victims that need to be heard.”

Statement From University of Virginia President

Teresa A. Sullivan, the president of the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville, issued a statement late Sunday.

“Rolling Stone’s story, ‘A Rape on Campus,’ did nothing to combat sexual violence, and it damaged serious efforts to address the issue. Irresponsible journalism unjustly damaged the reputations of many innocent individuals and the University of Virginia. Rolling Stone falsely accused some University of Virginia students of heinous, criminal acts, and falsely depicted others as indifferent to the suffering of their classmate. The story portrayed university staff members as manipulative and callous toward victims of sexual assault. Such false depictions reinforce the reluctance sexual assault victims already feel about reporting their experience, lest they be doubted or ignored.

“The Charlottesville Police Department investigation confirms that far from being callous, our staff members are diligent and devoted in supporting and caring for students. I offer our community’s genuine gratitude for their devotion and perseverance in their service.

“Sexual violence is a serious issue for our society, and it requires the focus and attention of all in our communities. Long before Rolling Stone published its article, the University of Virginia was working to confront sexual violence. And we will continue to implement substantive reforms to improve culture, prevent violence and respond to acts of violence when they occur. Our highest priority is to ensure the safety of our students so they can learn and achieve their personal potential in an environment of trust and security. We will continue to work tirelessly in pursuit of that goal.”

 

Statement From Writer of Rolling Stone Rape Article, Sabrina Erdely – NYTimes.com.

Norsworthy has been in prison since 1987, serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. (S) he has twice delayed scheduled parole hearings in recent months.

 

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —A federal judge on Thursday ordered California’s corrections department to provide a transgender inmate with sex change surgery, the first time such an operation has been ordered in the state.

U.S. District Court Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco ruled that denying sex reassignment surgery to 51-year-old Michelle-Lael Norsworthy violates her constitutional rights. Her birth name is Jeffrey Bryan Norsworthy.

The ruling marks just the second time nationwide that a judge has issued an injunction directing a state prison system to provide the surgery, said Ilona Turner, legal director at the Transgender Law Center in Oakland, which helped represent Norsworthy.

The previous order in a Massachusetts case was overturned last year and is being appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In his ruling in California, Tigar said the surgery has actually been performed just once on an inmate, an apparent reference to a person who castrated himself in Texas then was given the surgery out of necessity.

Norsworthy, who was convicted of murder, has lived as a woman since the 1990s and has what Tigar termed severe gender dysphoria — a condition that occurs when people’s gender at birth is contrary to the way they identify themselves.

“The weight of the evidence demonstrates that for Norsworthy, the only adequate medical treatment for her gender dysphoria is SRS,” Tigar wrote, referring to sex reassignment surgery.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation officials said they are considering whether to appeal the ruling.

“This decision confirms that it is unlawful to deny essential treatment to transgender people” in or out of prison, said Kris Hayashi, executive director of the Transgender Law Center. “The bottom line is no one should be denied the medical care they need.”

If the order stands, Norsworthy would be the first inmate to receive such surgery in California, said Joyce Hayhoe, a spokeswoman for the federal receiver who controls California prison medical care.

Hayhoe said it’s not known how much the surgery would cost, but it could run as high as $100,000, depending on the circumstances.

Corrections officials, in previous court filings, argued that Norsworthy has received proper medical and mental health care for more than 15 years and is in no immediate medical danger if the surgery is not performed.

Her care included counseling, mental health treatment and hormone therapy that the department said “has changed her physical appearance and voice to that of a woman” while helping her find her gender identity.

That care is consistent with what other judges nationwide have found to be appropriate for transgender inmates, the department said.

Norsworthy has been in prison since 1987, serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. She has twice delayed her scheduled parole hearings in recent months.

She currently is housed at Mule Creek State Prison, an all-male prison in Ione, 40 miles southeast of Sacramento.

The sex change surgery would prompt practical problems, the department said.

It said keeping Norsworhy in a men’s prison could invite violence, including possible assault and rape.

But she could also face danger at a women’s prison – or pose a threat herself – because she had a history of domestic violence before her murder conviction, the department said.

Last month, attorneys for the transgender inmate convicted of murder in Massachusetts asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a ruling denying her request for sex reassignment surgery.

A federal judge in 2012 ordered the Massachusetts Department of Correction to grant the surgery to Michelle Kosilek, but the ruling was overturned in December by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

As in California, the appeal in Massachusetts cited security concerns about protecting the inmate.

Courts in other states have ordered hormone treatments, psychotherapy and other treatments but not surgery.

 

via Judge orders California to pay for inmate’s sex change | News – KCRA Home.

This smart device is incorporated with a battery (USB-rechargeable) and a bridge within this SOUNDglass that consists of a built-in microphone. It is made on the top of the nose, available in 3 unique interchangeable lenses. Among these lenses, one is designed for indoor use which can also be used in later hours. The battery lasts for about 4-hours if it’s actively used. However, there’s one thing to keep in mind, the volume at which music is played could knock that battery down a bit.

If we look at the current design of the SOUNDglass, we will see that the bone conduction pads are just forward from the ear. This is created in a way so that the vibrations created by the pads will pass through the skin. So, if you wear this, the signals will be routed toward your inner ear. However, such vibrations are said to be interpreted just like sounds are to the brain and ear as normal. The main difference is that these vibrations do not route through your outer ear, leaving the ear free to hear sounds around them. This will help you avoid those black, ugly Bluetooth devices as well.

People who are aware and want to buy this product can buy the first edition black pair on their kickstarter page.

SOUNDglass_1

This is not the only bone conduction technology out there. One such company is AftershockzBluez, but this product has an edge over other similar technologies since it has replaced traditional headphones. Furthermore, SOUNDglass created by Buhel proves to be an exceptional device in multitasking.

via SOUNDglass: Bone Conduction Sunglasses Let You Take Calls!.

Ashely Judd

Billy Joel

Hugh Laurie

Jim Carrey

How can somebody so funny be secretly struggling with depression? Such is the case with celebrated comedic actor Jim Carrey, who has been very open about his long-term depression battle. In a 2008 interview with the British newspaper The Sun, Carrey described how his mental health issues began just as he was breaking through to stardom, adding that his perspective on depression has changed over the years.

Sheryl Crow

This Grammy-winning singer has released hit single after hit single through the years, but even a woman famous for singing “all I wanna do is have some fun” can be depressed. According to a 2002 write-up in Blender, Crow states that depression has been part of her everyday life as long as she can remember. She credits antidepressants and therapy with helping her recovery.

 

10 Celebrities Coping With Depression – Depression Center – Everyday Health.