In response to Trump’s ‘shithole countries’ remark, let’s look at some stats.

Donald Trump doesn’t see the value in immigrants from “shithole” countries — but he couldn’t be more wrong.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the president who opened his campaign with a rant about Mexicans being rapists, railed against the Muslim parents of a fallen soldier, claimed that an Indiana-born judge should recuse himself from a Trump case because he’s “a Mexican,” blamed “both sides” for a woman killed by a white supremacist, called for the execution of five men of color for a crime they didn’t commit, and spent years speculating about whether or not the country’s first black president was actually born in America would say something so overtly racist … but that’s exactly what he did on Thursday, Jan. 11.

“Why do we want all these people from shithole countries coming here?” Trump reportedly asked during a bipartisan meeting with senators on immigration. By “shithole countries,” he apparently meant Haiti, El Salvador, and the entire continent of Africa. According to the report, he thinks the U.S. should seek out immigrants from countries like Norway (i.e. white countries).  

While he’s tried to distance himself from the comments, it’s been confirmed by others in the room.

Trump met with members of Congress on Monday to discuss immigration. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

The truth is that it really cannot be overstated how important immigrants are to the U.S., including — and perhaps especially — those from the countries Trump slurred.

A November 2017 report by New American Economy, a non-partisan organization for comprehensive immigration reform, sheds light on some of the contributions made by people in these countries. Focusing on immigrants from Sub-Saharan African nations, the group found the following:

  • In 2015, African immigrants earned $55.1 billion, contributing $10.1 billion in federal taxes and $4.7 billion in state and local taxes.
  • 73.4% of these immigrants are between the ages of 25 and 64. This is an age range many consider to be prime working years, in which people are most likely to have a net-positive effect on the economy. (In comparison, less than half of the U.S.-born population falls into this age bracket.)
  • There’s a big demand for health care workers, and it’s constantly growing. The report found that in 2015, there were more open positions in the health care industry than there were unemployed workers with relevant experience. Nearly 30% of African immigrants take up work in this field, providing some much-needed stability.
  • As of 2015, there were more than 90,000 African-born entrepreneurs in the U.S., creating jobs for hundreds of thousands of individuals.
  • 40% of African-born immigrants have at least a bachelor’s degree, making them better-educated than the U.S. population as a whole.

New U.S. citizens attend a naturalization ceremony. Photo by Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images.

We have to ask ourselves who we are as a country — and who we want to be.

Looking to the Statue of Liberty, the very symbol of what so many of us were raised to believe about America, Trump’s own message is contradicted.

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'”

Lady Liberty holds aloft her torch — a beacon of hope to immigrants everywhere. Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

No, it doesn’t say anything about “shithole” countries, but it does advocate for the “tired,” the “poor,” the “huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” “the wretched refuse of your teeming shore,” and of course, “the homeless, tempest-tost.”

When Trump says that other countries “aren’t sending their best” or suggests that Haitians “all have AIDS,” he’s betraying who we strive to be as a country.

At this moment in time, there is, sadly, nothing more antithetical to so-called “American values” than our own president.

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Its 2:51 A.M. Can You Fall Asleep?

This is your bed.

Your bed is one of the most comfortable places in your apartment to fall asleep. The only times you don’t sleep in your bed are when you are on vacation or staying at a friend’s house. Tonight you are at home, so you are going to sleep in your bed.

You stayed up very late tonight preparing your big presentation for tomorrow. You work at the company that comes up with slogans for salad, and if you do well on this presentation, your boss says you will start getting paid.

Tomorrow morning you will pitch “My Vegetables Are Damp With Pleasure” as the new slogan for salad. But tonight, you need some sleep.

Your alarm is set for 6 a.m. sharp.

It is currently 2:51 in the morning, so you need to fall asleep as quickly as you can. You only have a few hours to get all the restful sleep you need before your big day.

The stakes have never been higher for you, so please fall asleep immediately.

You close your eyes as hard as you can and attempt to fall asleep, but you’re having a little trouble. What would you like to do?

Hmm. You have successfully turned your entire body, but you did not fall asleep.

Ah, tossing didn’t work either. Looks like you’ll need to fall asleep the old-fashioned way—by not moving at all.

Hmm. You have successfully tossed your entire body, but you did not fall asleep.

Ah, turning didn’t work either. Looks like you’ll need to fall asleep the old-fashioned way—by not moving at all.

As you tense up your entire body and prepare to not move a single muscle until morning, a thought flashes through your brain:

You forgot to brush your teeth.


Someone has rung your doorbell! It’s almost 3 a.m.—who could it be?


Your visitor has rung the doorbell again, and this time they have somehow made the bell much louder.

“Hello. My name is David Jenkins, I’m a volunteer dentist, and I’m going door to door to remind people about the importance of oral health. May I ask if you brushed your teeth tonight?”

“Please do not scream at me in front of my family,” David says, as his wife, parents, and children reveal themselves from around a corner.

You feel a massive pang of guilt. You did not know they were there and would never intentionally harm the three generations of family that stand before you.

“Apology accepted,” the man says. “But please, if you have not already done so tonight, brush your teeth immediately.”

You assure the man that you will, give him $50 for his troubles, and bid his family goodnight.

“I really want to believe you,” the man responds. “But I think you might be lying to me. Go to the bathroom and get your toothbrush so I can feel if it’s wet.”

“Please, do not ever lie to me in front of my family,” the stranger responds, as his wife, parents, and children reveal themselves from around the corner. “Go brush your teeth right now.”

You apologize profusely to the three generations of family standing before you, give the man $50 for his troubles, and shut the door.

You walk into your bathroom and flip on the lights. Yikes! You forgot how bright the bathroom is. Now you’re even more awake than you already were. Better make this quick.

What kind of toothpaste would you like to use tonight?

Excellent choice! This toothpaste was created as part of a promotion for the 2006 reboot of The Pink Panther, and Beyoncé still hands them out at all of her concerts to remind fans that she starred in the film.

Buongiorno! You’ll feel like you’re riding a gondola down the canals of Venice as you brush your teeth with the colors of the Italian flag.

Okay. It’s currently 3:02 a.m., and you have to be up in less than three hours for your presentation. In the interest of time, how would you like to brush your teeth?

The vast majority of the teeth in your mouth are just spares, so let’s narrow this down to the five that most desperately need a cleaning tonight. Which of these teeth would you like to brush?

Smart choice! With proper brushing and flossing, your Oral Horn can sometimes grow up to 3 feet in length.

Nice choice! People usually get their Vanessa’s Molar around age 13, when an adorable preteen girl shows up at their front door and shoves it deep down into their gums. The young girl’s name is Sarah.

Ah, the Lateral Wisp. Perhaps the most ephemeral of the teeth in your mouth. It barely exists, yet it needs constant brushing. Careful not to brush too hard, or you might corrode the mist.

Excellent choice. Your mouth actually has two Lil’ Biters, as circled in the image above. But time is of the essence tonight, so you should only choose one to brush.

Wise choice. Your Essential Tooth exists absolutely everywhere in your mouth, and is imperative for countless functions including slurping, grinding, stroking, gnawing, and milking.

Brushing every single tooth in your mouth is an arduous process, typically lasting anywhere from four to seven hours. But you’ve got to be up bright and early tomorrow, so please make this as quick as possible.

The American Dental Association (usually abbreviated as Amrcn Dntl Assctn) provides an easy mnemonic to help you brush your teeth. All you have to do is remember your ABCs:

Assess your mouth.

Brush your mouth.

Close your mouth.


1) Assess your mouth.

Open your mouth (or any hole with teeth in it) and examine it in the mirror.

Count to make sure that all your teeth are still there. Log any missing teeth in your Brusher’s Journal. If a tooth feels particularly sharp, smooth, or regular, write it down. Give each tooth a name, and do not use the same name twice. Log these names in your journal as well, and then dispose of the journal immediately.

2) Brush your mouth.

Firmly grasp your toothbrush with your non-dominant** hand, and slowly apply bristle to bone. Scrub until no bristles remain on the brush.


3) Close your mouth.

Spit out any remaining toothpaste, blood, or gum skin into the sink, and then close your mouth to prevent a bug from entering it.

All done brushing! And it only took a few minutes. Well done.

The time is now 3:10 a.m., so please get back into bed immediately. You really need to get some rest before your big day.

Great pick! Nature’s Elegance proudly sources its toothpaste only from ingredients that animals or plants have secreted into a farmer’s hand.

Awesome! Patriot’s Choice toothpaste has been an American favorite since the year 1776. Rumor has it John Adams used this star-spangled toothpaste before he hacked Paul Revere to bits with an ax.

Excellent choice. Did you know that Mint Authenticity toothpaste has more mint per serving than three pounds of beef?

You don’t want big bags under your eyes as you stand up in front of the entire company tomorrow and pitch your slogan for salad. That means you need to fall asleep ASAP. You should have been in bed hours ago. Time is running out.

Suddenly, you remember something:

Your boss said that if you don’t do well on your presentation, he is going to punish you by coming to your next family dinner and slapping a chicken drumstick out of your grandmother’s feeble, arthritic hands.

He’s done things like this to your family before, so you know he really means it.

Speaking of chicken:

When you were 12, someone at school showed you a video of a monk setting himself on fire, and your classmate remarked that his burning flesh resembled that of a rotisserie chicken.

When you got home that night, your mom had made drumsticks for dinner.

You don’t know why, but you ate 15 chicken drumsticks that night. Your mom said it was the most food she had ever seen you eat. She seemed proud as she watched you, but she didn’t know about the monk thing. You wanted to throw up the whole time, but you just kept going.

Why did you do that?

After that night, your mom started making chicken drumsticks for every single one of your birthdays. She thinks they are your favorite food. There’s so much your mother doesn’t know about you, come to think of it.

Last week, you saw a monk at your local mall. And although you’ll never say it out loud, it made you fucking ravenous.

It seems as though you’re having some trouble falling asleep. What would you like to do?

Are you sure? Your doctor did give you a loose handful of sleeping pills at your last physical, but she warned you that taking them could be extremely dangerous. She even made you sign a waiver agreeing that she was an idiot for giving them to you. Remember?

You walk into your bathroom and flip on the lights again. Ugh. You always forget how bright it is in here.

It’s a good thing you’re about to take a pill that will make you fall asleep, even if it carries a small risk of making your organs explode.

You reach for the pile of assorted pills that your doctor, Mrs. Virginia, gave you. You hold them in your hands.

You’ve been saving these pills for the perfect moment. You’ve never needed to fall asleep as badly as you do tonight.

Suddenly, it occurs to you:

Mrs. Virginia never gave you a bottle with these pills. She just slipped the whole handful right into your cargo pants as you were kissing her goodbye.

Without a bottle, you don’t have any directions on how to take the pills.

You take a magnifying glass from your medicine cabinet and hover it above the pills.

Bingo. Each pill is inscribed with the exact same message.









Remember: You’re supposed to take these pills with dinner. But since you already ate your dinner hours ago, Mrs. Virginia says that you can just take them while imagining what it is like to eat dinner.

Chicken drumsticks…Saigon…salty and savory…oh God, a gallon of gasoline…sour cream dipping sauce…the flames licking flesh…room for seconds, thirds…he isn’t even screaming, why isn’t he screaming…that signature buffalo kick…the dark smoke, it won’t stop…marinated overnight…make it stop, please God…why…why…


Okay! Down the hatch!

Congratulations. You have successfully swallowed the entire spoonful of pills, and you did not die. This is a major relief—it is logistically impossible to fall asleep when you are dead.

It usually takes about 30 minutes for the effects of a sleeping pill to fully kick in. What would you like to do in the meantime?

Technically, Mrs. Virginia advises against operating heavy machinery after taking her pills. But just once is probably fine, if you’re careful.

What heavy machine would you like to operate this evening?

You walk into your garage and take a seat in your tank. You figure you’ll just take it for a little joyride around the neighborhood. Driving always makes you sleepy.

Admittedly, you’re already feeling a little bit woozy from Mrs. Virginia’s pills. But one little drive around the block won’t hurt.

Dont listen to Gwyneth Paltrow: keep your coffee well away from your rectum | Jen Gunter

The colonic irrigation and coffee enemas promoted on Paltrows website Goop are not merely unnecessary, they are potentially dangerous, writes obstetrician and gynaecologist Dr Jen Gunter

It seems January is Gwyneth Paltrows go-to month for promoting potentially dangerous things that should not go in or near an orifice. January 2015 brought us vagina steaming, January 2017 was jade eggs, and here we are in the early days of January 2018 and is hawking coffee enemas and promoting colonic irrigation.

I suspect that GP and her pals at believe people are especially vulnerable to buying quasi-medical items in the New Year as they have just released their latest detox and wellness guide complete with a multitude of products to help get you nowhere.

Ha ha, go deep. Nice play on words for a dangerous yet ineffective therapy. An advertisement on

One offers to help if youre looking to go deep on many levels. Ha ha, go deep. Nice play on words for a dangerous yet ineffective therapy. is not selling a coffee machine, it is selling a coffee enema-making machine. That, my friends, is a messed-up way to make money. I know the people at Goop will either ignore the inquiries from reporters or release a statement saying the article is a conversation not a promotion and that they included the advice of a board-certified doctor, Dr Alejandro Junger, but any time you lend someone else your platform their ideas are now your ideas. That is why I never let anyone write guest posts for my blog. And lets be real, if you are selling the hardware to shoot coffee up your ass then you are promoting it as a therapy especially as Goop actually called the $135 coffee enema-making machine Dr Jungers pick. I mean come on.

The interview with Junger is filled with information that is unsupported both by the medical literature and by human anatomy and physiology. There is no data to suggest that a colonic helps with the elimination of the waste that is transiting the colon on its way out. That is what bowel movements do. There are no toxins to be cleansed or irrigated. That is fake medicine. A 2011 review on colonics concluded that doctors should advise patients that colon cleansing has no proven benefits and many adverse effects.

The idea that colonics are used in conjunction with a cleanse is beyond ridiculous. Junger tells us via Goop that a cleanse creates some kind of extra sticky mucus that blocks elimination of what needs to be disposed of (I will admit that hurt my brain more than a little). Dr Junger says this cleanse residue is a mucoid plaque, basically some kind of adherent, cleanse-induced super-glue that needs a colonic for removal. He supports this assertion not with published research, but by telling Goops readers to Google mucoid plaque.

No really. That is what he said. Google it. So I did. This is what came up first:

Mucoid plaque (or mucoid cap or rope) is a pseudoscientific term used by some alternative medicine advocates to describe what is claimed to be a combination of allegedly harmful mucus-like material and food residue that they say coats the gastrointestinal tract of most people.

Apparently, the term mucoid plaque was coined by Richard Anderson, who is a naturopath, not a gastroenterologist, so not a doctor who actually looks inside the colon. I looked mucoid plaques up in PubMed. Guess what? Nothing colon-related. There is not one study or even case-report describing this phenomenon. Apparently only doctors who sell cleanses and colonics can see them. I am fairly confident that if some gastroenterologist (actual colon doctor) found some crazy mucus that looked like drool from the alien queen that she or he would have taken pictures and written about it or discussed it at a conference.

If we needed cleanses to live and thus colonics to manage this alien-like mucous residue created by cleanses, how did we ever evolve? Wouldnt we have died out from these mysterious toxins? Wouldnt our rectums be different? Wouldnt we have invented irrigation tubing before the wheel? So many questions.

There is only a side mention in the Goop post of two of the many complications seen with colonics: colon perforation and damage to gastrointestinal bacteria. And as for coffee enemas? While Dr Kelly Brogan, Paltrows Aids-denialist doctor gal pal who is speaking at In Goop Health later this month, is also a huge fan, there is no data to suggest that coffee offers any benefit via the rectal route but there are plenty of reports of coffee enema-induced rectal burns.

So here are the facts. No one needs a cleanse. Ever. There are no waste products left behind in the colon that need removing just because or after a cleanse. If a cleanse did leave gross, adherent hunks of weird mucus then that would be a sign that the cleanse was damaging the colon. You know what creates excess, weird mucous? Irritation and inflammation.

There are serious risks to colonics such as bowel perforation, damaging the intestinal bacteria, abdominal pain, vomiting, electrolyte abnormalities and renal failure. There are also reports of serious infections, air embolisms, colitis, and rectal perforation. If you go to a spa and the equipment is not sterilised, infections can be transmitted via the tubing.

Coffee enemas and colonics offer no health benefit. The biology used to support these therapies is unsound and there can be very real complications. Keep the coffee out of your rectum and in your cup. It is only meant to access your colon from the top.

Dr Jen Gunter is an obstetrician, gynaecologist and pain medicine physician. This piece originally ran on Jen Gunters blog

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The Way This Nurse Helped A Kid Through A Tough Appointment Will Make You Smile

While you and I may be able to “suck it up” when it comes to health-related pains in the ass, like receiving necessary shots from the doctor, parents know all too well that it’s an entirely different story for kids.

For most adults, a prick of the needle, while uncomfortable, is fairly tolerable. For children, on the other hand, the anticipation can be terrifying — so much so that moms and dads sometimes have to drag their little ones in kicking and screaming. That’s why health care professionals who can turn the experience into something a little more enjoyable, or, at least, bearable, are so valuable.

One awesome nurse proved herself to be among these individuals while taking care of a nervous little boy back in December. He wasn’t excited at all about getting his shots, but his wariness disappeared pretty quickly when his nurse started showing him some “magic tricks.”

Watch as this lady cleverly distracts the boy and makes him super proud of himself for not crying.

He may have walked into the doctor’s office afraid of the pain, but he walked out a brave little boy, and five dollars richer to boot! All of this is thanks to the fantastic, caring lady who’s so great at her job.

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Trump’s Birth Control Rule Was Blocked By A Federal Judge & It’s A Huge Sigh Of Relief

Women all over the world can take a huge — if potentially temporary — sigh of relief. Reproductive rights, which have been under consistent attack since Donald Trump entered the White House, are finally being protected. Trump’s birth control rule was blocked by a federal judge, so let’s figure out how to send this woman all the flowers and thank you notes.

On Friday, Dec. 15, U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s rule that allows employers to rollback coverage of contraception due to religious or moral reasons. After listening to arguments from Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, Beetlestone ruled to reinstate Barack Obama’s original health care law that requires employers to cover birth control. The judge noted that axing mandatory coverage of the pill could result in “enormous and irreversible” harm.

There were also 19 Democratic Attorney Generals who filed a brief to support Shapiro’s suit.

“This is just the first step, but today is a critical victory for millions of women and families and for the rule of law,” Shapiro said on Dec. 15, per .

Sadly, because it’s only a temporary injunction, we can’t completely count on Beetlestone’s ruling to stick. There are, however, multiple courts in California, Washington, and Massachusetts that are fighting the Trump administration over their attack on birth control.

Julie Weng-Gutierrez, a lawyer from the California attorney general’s office, said during a Dec. 12 hearing that restricting access to birth control could lead to more unwanted pregnancies, which, in turn, could burden the state’s social programs.

“When the cost of contraception increases, women are more likely to use less effective methods of contraception or none at all,” she said, per ABC News. “The court does not need to wait for the ax to fall here. There is sufficient harm.”

Women’s health organizations have also spoken out against Trump’s ruling, and condemned the president for restricting basic health care. In a statement released on Oct. 6, Planned Parenthood director Cecile Richards noted that two million women rely on Planned Parenthood each year for birth control. She added that nine out of ten women will use birth control in their lifetime.

“We’re talking about a fundamental right  to be able to decide whether and when you want to have children,” she wrote. “Birth control is not controversial — it’s health care the vast majority of women will use in the course of their lifetime.”

The organization later celebrated the temporary block on Twitter.

After Beetlestone’s temporary injunction, Jessica Grossman, CEO of Medicines360, a global nonprofit women’s health pharmaceutical company, released a statement emphasizing the importance of affordable, accessible access to contraceptives. She wrote,

And it’s not just politicians and health care providers speaking out against Trump’s ruling. Many women (surprise, surprise) aren’t so crazy about having their right to birth control restricted by their employers. PerryUndem surveyed 529 people, and found that an overwhelming 88 percent of women believed that birth control should be covered — no matter what their boss’s religious and moral beliefs are.

Meanwhile, it seems that according to the Trump administration, it is the employer’s feelings and overall well being that matters more than the health of their female employers.

“The United States has a long history of providing conscience protections in the regulation of health care for entities and individuals with objections based on religious beliefs or moral convictions,” the administration wrote in their new set of rules.

Hmmm. We’ll just have to see how this turns out. 88 percent of us are hoping for the best.

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In 2017, the Apple Watch became the most important wearable in the world

Apple is victorious in the wearable wars at least for now.
Image: bob al-greene/mashable

The Apple Watch conquered all comers and became the most important wearable in the world in 2017.  

The iPhone maker flexed its muscles to take over the young wearable space in a relatively short period. Apple only released its first smartwatch in April 2015, and its latest, the Series 3, is just the third iteration of the device. 

“Apple has shipped 34.4 million smartwatches worldwide since it entered the category in 2015,” said Canalys analyst Vincent Thielke in an email to Mashable. “In other words, Apple accounts for 51.6 percent of all smartwatches ever shipped.” 

These numbers comes from Canalys’ estimates, not an official tabulation from Apple itself, since the company doesn’t publicize total Apple Watch sales — but the estimates still point to dominance in the wearables space, where smartwatches currently reign supreme

The Apple Watch’s success is certainly a result of the company’s status as one of the most popular (and valuable) brands in the world, but it wasn’t Apple’s branding presence alone that made it the wearable king in 2017. 

Third time’s the charm

The biggest reason Apple won the wearable war this year was the realization of the Apple Watch’s potential as a standalone device. 

The addition of LTE connectivity finally showed skittish consumers that the company was willing to cut the link between the smartwatch and the iPhone. Standalone functionality has long been a point of contention for those who couldn’t justify such an expensive device that only served as an extension of the smartphone in their pocket.

That new feature appears to have paid off. Demand for the new Series 3 devices has reportedly outpaced supply, and Apple is primed to sell even more in 2018 as it brings more devices to market. 

Apple isn’t the first with smartwatch with LTE connectivity — LG and Samsung have both released their own standalone devices — but Apple’s market clout helped the feature make more of an impact. Thielke thinks the brand was helped by its strong ties with all of the major wireless carriers, which he said has been essential to showcase the new functionalities.

The Apple Watch Series 3.


Another of the keys to Apple’s success has been its ability to expand its focus beyond fitness and into wider health categories. 

“We’re flipping the page and looking at health,” IDC Research Manager Ramon Llamas told Mashable on a phone call. “People want to know more about themselves and how they can lead a better life.” 

Llamas said an industry-wide focus on health features is giving consumers more value and functionality than the simplistic fitness trackers that once dominated the market, and Apple is leading the charge.

The company teamed up with Stanford researchers for a heart health research study, and the FDA just cleared a mobile electrocardiogram (EKG) band accessory for the Apple Watch from AliveCor. Apple’s top-secret health facility is centered around collecting data for the smartwatch, and rumors about Tim Cook sporting a special glucose-tracking prototype could hint at even more revolutionary features.  

Thinning of the herd

But the Series 3 isn’t perfect. The device is expensive, and a monthly data plan costs extra on top of the already steep purchase price. Apple even admitted in a rare moment of fallibility there was a glitch in how the service worked at launch, although the issue has since been fixed.

The Apple Watch’s shortcomings were trivial compared to the issues faced by other wearable makers during 2017. Competitors faced bigger challenges throughout the year, and some were eliminated from the space entirely. 

Fitbit began the year with layoffs and didn’t release the smartwatch CEO James Park promised until October, while old stalwarts like Jawbone, Motorola, and TomTom totally killed off their operations at various points. Android Wear, meanwhile, is a mess that got no better with version 2.0, which was released in February.

More skirmishes on the horizon

Just because Apple won the war in 2017 doesn’t mean that other companies are totally eliminated from relevancy. Llamas isn’t fully convinced of Apple’s dominance, or if its reign will be permanent. 

“We’re still only talking about a couple million units quarter in and quarter out,” he said. The war might be over, so to speak, but there’s room for other companies to carve out their own space and take a shot at the king.

Apple wasn’t always on top this year, showing that there is space for other makers. Xiaomi topped the wearables market twice during the year with its cheap fitness trackers, and Fitbit clung on stolidly though its ups and downs.

Fitbit Ionic

Image: Raymond Wong/Mashable

Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch didn’t drop until October, but it just received a slick new OS update that could actually give consumers a reason to check it out. The company, like Apple, is working to develop health-focused technologies for its smartwatch. 

Samsung’s Gear watches could find their own audience, and if Google can find a way to make Android Wear better, other makers like LG could still have a shot at success. The rise of AI could be a major boon here, since Assistant is becoming more ingrained in consumers’ lives through Google’s most recent round of hardware products, and it would make sense for users in the Google ecosystem to open up a spot for it on their wrists.  

For now, though, Apple is on top. 2017 was a good year for the company’s wearable efforts, and the future looks bright. 

Every editorial product is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our journalism.

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‘Stable Genius Act,’ would require presidential candidates to have mental health exam

A Democratic lawmaker said on Tuesday he is introducing the “Stable Genius Act,” which would require presidential candidates to take a mental health examination.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Penn.), comes just days after President Donald Trump claimed on Twitter that he was a “very stable genius” in response to questions about his fitness to be in office.

“The President believes he is a “stable genius.” I do not. Today, I introduced the Standardizing Testing and Accountability Before Large Elections Giving Electors Necessary Information for Unobstructed Selection Act to ensure that Presidential candidates are fit to lead,” Boyle wrote on Twitter.

Boyle’s bill would require presidential candidates to file a report with the Federal Election Commission that certifies “that he or she has undergone medical examination by the medical office under jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Navy,” the Hill reports.

“Before voting for the highest office in the land, Americans have a right to know whether an individual has the physical and mental fitness to serve as President,” Boyle said, according to the news outlet.

The bill comes on the heels of a Washington Post report that says the president “resents” discussion of his mental health.

Trump privately resents the now-regular chatter on cable television news shows about his mental health and views the issue as “an invented fact” and “a joke,” much like the Russia probe, according to one person who recently discussed it with him.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted that two of his “greatest assets” in life have been his “mental stability and being, like, really smart.” During the tweetstorm, Trump also said that he would qualify not only as “smart,” but rather a “very stable genius.”

The tweetstorm appeared to be in reference to the newly-released book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, in which aides to the president are said to question Trump’s fitness to serve in office.

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8 ‘Healthy’ Foods You Should Give Up In 2018

It’s 2018: a year that promises to deliver on all of our missed hopes, dreams, and opportunities of the last five years, provided our brave leader doesn’t get into a nuclear dick-measuring contest and kill us all. On the bright side, that would mean we didn’t have to diet or go to work anymore. Hmm.

Anyway, if we DO live and/or survive a nuclear holocaust, kicking some not-so-cool foods to the curb in the name of resolutions sounds like a great way to start the year, kinda. Because we understand that no one likes to do work, we’ve rounded up the eight foods you need to release from your grubby little hands stat.

1. Flavored Milks

This goes for super extra chocolate whole milk, strawberry rice milk, vanilla almond milk, and everything in between. According to  magazine, although plain whole milk, soy milk, etc. offer tons of health benefits, adding the flavor means adding the sugar. Like, you may as well have one to three cookies instead of a glass of this shit.

2. Trail Mix

This is candy with obstacles. No one should be surprised it’s on our shit list. A handful can be more than 200 calories. Like, I enjoy sushi rolls with fewer calories than that—and they’re an actual meal. Unless you’re dying of starvation on an actual trail, reach for some roasted nuts instead.

3. Pretzels

Yas, they’re better for you than chips, but they’re made with white flour, salt, and your body works through them in record time. MEANING you’ll be totally hungry again in 10 mins. Nope.

4. Protein Bars

I realize that an easy replacement for a meal is almost anything that comes in bar form. However, the protein bar you’re reaching for probs is going the way of the Kaltene bars in —it’s literally full of calories, carbs, and sugar. Like yes, if you have NOTHING else to eat, go ahead. But if you’re nomming on this as a mid-morning snack and wondering why sweatpants are all that fits you right now, get woke.

5. Bottled Tea

Sugar plus water plus light flavoring somehow equals healthy? Stop being stupid. Grab a water and start living.

6. Agave Nectar

Right so, just because something originally came from a plant, that doesn’t make it an amazing health food. Technically, cocaine comes from a plant, too, and I wouldn’t exactly be singing its praises for the energy benefits, knowwhatimean? K. This shit, according to Forkly, is actually for you than regular sugar. It’s actually 70-90% fructose, whereas reg sugar is only like 50%. Pass.

7. Flavored Yogurts

If you aren’t buying plain Greek yogurt and flavoring it yourself, I don’t want to know you. There’s often a lot of sugar and a LOTTTT of processed ingredients. So like, if you want something sweet, add some fruit, some honey, or what the fuck ever you want yourself.

8. Microwave Popcorn

Staahhhp. Although it totally seems like an easy and fast snack, there can be a lot of sodium and preservatives. You’re better off buying some kernels and popping them yourself in a brown paper bag. I’ll literally never do that, but it sounds great.

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Paul Ryan Wants You To Have More Babies, While He Makes It Harder To Have Babies

The race to finalize tax reform before Christmas continues, which is obviously stressing Republicans TF out. That’s the only possible explanation for what happened at House Speaker Paul Ryan’s weekly press conference on Thursday, Dec. 14. While Ryan waxed poetic about everything from tax reform to Rep. Blake Farenthold’s impending retirement, he also had an interesting take on what will help tax reform succeed. Ryan said that Americans need to have more babies in order to make tax reform and the American economy work. But there’s a problem with Ryan’s plan: a lot of the legislation Ryan supports would make it extremely difficult to have children.

As having and raising children becomes increasingly more expensive in the United States, year over year, many of Ryan’s legislative proposals would compound that difficulty by slashing social programs and raising taxes on average Americans. So, even aside from the fact that women’s bodies are not factories to be used to pump out productive workers and taxpayers, Ryan is actually de-incentivizing what he says is one of the key factors to keeping the American economy afloat.

During his Dec. 14 press conference, Ryan was discussing entitlement programs like Social Security when he told reporters that the American economy will only function properly if the nation’s birth rate increases. He said,

(Ryan, in saying, “I did my part,” is seemingly referring to the fact that he and his wife have pumped out three children of their own.)


He continued,

And, yes, Ryan is dead-on when it comes to the gap between retiring baby boomers and those replacing them in the workforce: according to , the U.S. fertility rate hit a record low in 2016, with only 62 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. And yes, low birth rates mean slower economic growth, which is a problem. But there’s just a teensy-tiny itty-bitty little problem with Ryan’s assertion that now is the time to have more children.

It’s going to be pretty difficult to have kids under some of Ryan’s biggest legislative proposals.

Take, for example, the House tax reform bill, one of Ryan’s largest legislative goals .

Ryan has promised that this bill will raise wages $4,000 for the average American family. But that optimistic assessment is a far cry from the reality, according to everyone from the left-leaning Tax Policy Center to the bipartisan Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

The proposed tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners in Ryan’s version of the tax bill would be negligible at best for many earners, with the lion’s share of savings going to the very wealthy. Further, these individual tax cuts would be temporary, which means that by 2027, low- and middle-income earners could see an in taxes. The Tax Policy Center “estimates that next year about 10% of middle income filers and 20% of the highest income households would pay more. Those percentages rise to 30% for each group by 2027.”

Those increases aren’t exactly incentivizing childbearing, which is insanely expensive. As of Jan. 2017, reported that the average cost of raising a child is $233,610, a 3 percent jump from 2016. That’s an average of $13,000 per year for 18 years.

Further, under Ryan’s plan, not only will taxes either stagnate or increase for average Americans, say goodbye to the ability to write off most of your state and local taxes. That means of your money will be taxed by the federal government, which means less money in your pocket.

And let’s take a closer look at that declining birth rate.

Per the , aside from the teen birth rate, which has thankfully plummeted 67 percent since 1991, the biggest decline is among millennials, which, if you’re a millennial is probably hardly a surprise. After all, who has the money for kids when you’re busy paying off your student loans?

Millennials are, by and large, putting off having kids due financial instability — a large part of that owing to the student loan crisis.

According to CNBC, “There are over 17 million student loan borrowers under the age of 30 in the U.S. These 17 million people hold a total of $376.3 billion in debt. The average monthly student loan payment for a borrower in their 20s is $351, and the median monthly payment is $203.”

And sure, maybe you thought you could diligently pay off your student loans over time, opening up the possibility of having kids later in life. But if Ryan’s tax proposal passes, it’ll take even more time and money to pay off those loans.

If Ryan wants us to have children for the good of the old stars and stripes, then his tax bill probably shouldn’t include a provision that eliminates the ability to deduct student loan interest — which currently allows taxpayers to claim up to $2,500 of what they paid toward interest. Yet it does.

There are some other Ryan policies that make makin’ babies a challenge

Alex Wong/Getty Images News/Getty Images

It’s no secret that Ryan was one of the loudest voices in the push to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) over the summer. While that repeal attempt died, Ryan and other Republican leaders are working on a compromise tax bill which would likely include a repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate. That would, according to experts, send markets into a tailspin, raising premiums, making essential health care unaffordable. No or prohibitively expensive prenatal care, no accessible coverage if you’ve had postpartum depression or a C-section — all proposals in Ryan’s Obamacare repeal attempt — would discourage average Americans from taking the financial risk of having children.

Ryan is also staunchly opposed to funding Planned Parenthood — which provides essential prenatal and postnatal care for women. He has also been “dreaming” of cutting Medicaid, which would, once again, mean goodbye to essential health care for many working women in a country with the highest maternal mortality rate in the developed world. Oh, and if you do end up having a kid? Good luck getting any help with child care if Ryan has anything to do with it. Family leave? Nah. That means less income if you decide to take time off to spend with your infant or, oh, I don’t know, recover from giving birth.

Oh, and gosh, you know there’s the whole icky borderline nationalistic implications of prioritizing birth rates (instead of, say, boosting the population by immigration) in order to build up the workforce.

But hey, the future of the country is at risk. So start pumpin’ ’em out, ladies.

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