The Shirk Report Volume 456

Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com

20 IMAGES

Friday!
When your favourite frozen pizza is on sale for $2.99 | When you get home and your friend tells you they’re now $1.99
The kids are going to be alright (fyi for those curious like me, it seems that it likely wouldn’t be an issue as accurate DNA testing from hair requires the root not just the hair shaft)
Never change Al
Some house chores aren’t chores at all
The day he quit soccer
I’m hilarious
When anyone in front of you at the post office takes longer than 2 seconds
Now give me your hand so I can stab you
I did my own study
I’m hilarious pt. 2
Oh crap cameras, act natural
Shwing!
You know it’s windy when..
Let me try, let me try!
Love my little cold house
Absolved
How to prevent carpal tunnel
All hail the king
Until next week

10 ARTICLES

Scientists Discover Clean Water Ice Just Below Mars’ Surface
Just Eat More Fiber
Your smartphone📱is making you👈 stupid, antisocial 🙅 and unhealthy 😷. So why can’t you put it downâ”â‰ï¸
Is everything you think you know about depression wrong?
New York Times’ Annual 52 Places to Go (in 2018)
Why Costco Will Never Raise the Price of Rotisserie Chicken
Our Best Evidence Yet That Humans Are Fixing the Ozone Hole
99% of These Sea Turtles Are Turning Female—Here’s Why
52 things learned in 2017 (a reader shared this but I couldn’t locate who, thank you kind Internet friend!)
Improving Ourselves to Death

5 VIDEOS + persistence

HERE’S TO DEEP THOUGHTS THIS WEEKEND

Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2018/01/the-shirk-report-volume-456/

Doctors want President Trump’s head examined

(CNN)President Donald Trump is “in excellent health,” White House physician, Dr. Ronny Jackson, said following his physical Friday. But it’s not clear whether any mental health tests were conducted, despite urging from mental health professionals.

Jackson received an urgent letter from dozens of doctors and health professionals Thursday urging him to perform basic mental health tests on the President.
While reviews of the past five presidents’ physical exams show only a brief mention of mental health and none of the records includes a readout of the mental health tests, this letter points out that mental evaluations are routine during physicals, particularly for patients who are 66 or older. Trump is 71.
    Medicare guidelines suggest patients in this age range should be evaluated for cognitive and neural health function.
    The White House has dismissed questions about Trump’s mental fitness, calling them “disgraceful and laughable.” They said, prior to the physical, that mental health testing was not something Trump would undergo. It will be up to President Trump what information he shares with the public.
    The letter was written to Jackson, who examined Trump.
    “Without performing an evaluation of this kind, President Trump would be receiving care that is inadequate to the standard care regularly administered to millions of Americans covered by Medicare,” the letter argues. “Equally important, without this evaluation, the American people will not have a clear understanding about the health and well-being of the President, which is essential for Americans to know of any president.”
    While a true mental health evaluation can only happen in person, these experts have noted there is some “increasing concern” that the President may be struggling with some mental health challenges and they recommend the President’s doctor screen Trump for dementia.
    The letter does not explain how these concerns arose.
    Problems these experts say they have observed include rambling speech; episodes of slurred speech; failure to recognize old friends; frequent repetition of the same concepts; decreased fine motor coordination; difficulties reading, listening and comprehending; suspect judgment, planning, problem solving and impulse control; and markedly declining vocabulary in recent years, with overreliance on superlatives, according to the letter.
    The issue of the President’s mental capacity has received significant attention in recent weeks as Michael Wolff’s best-seller, “Fire and Fury,” has raised concerns about the commander in chief.
    Citing people close to the President, Wolff has said the President has begun repeating three stories in conversations in less than 10 minutes, when he used to repeat stories in about a 30-minute window. Wolff told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that “100% of the people around the President believes he’s incapable of carrying out the duties of office.”
    In full damage control, Trump and the White House trashed Wolff and his book as fiction and tabloid garbage while defending the President’s mental fitness.
    “Actually, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart,” Trump said in a tweetstorm earlier this week. He called himself a “very stable genius.”

    See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

    The US Preventive Services Task Force advises doctors to look for early signs or symptoms of cognitive problems that include problems with memory or language changes.
    Among the medical professionals who wrote the letter, at least 15 made contributions to Democrats, and at least two have donated to Republicans, according to FEC records; however, not all have and many are well known experts in their field, from the United States, Canada and Germany.
    The letter concludes that a mental health evaluation is a must because “the health of the President relies on it — as do American lives and the safety of our nation.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/13/health/trump-mental-health-exam/index.html

    These apps will help you keep your New Years resolutions

    Almost half of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Far fewer stick to them.

    “Losing weight” and “exercising more” are among the most popular goals. A sizeable percentage of Americans also aim to “be a better person.”

    TechCrunch reviewed apps that are designed to help people stay on track with these plans. Here are a few that will help you remain focused in 2018.

    8fit

    8fit

    There are countless fitness and diet apps. But if you’re looking for a new one, 8fit is worth checking out. Whether you want to “lose fat” or “gain muscle mass,” 8fit lets you track specific fitness goals. There are workout videos for yoga and tabata. It’s soon adding videos to target your core and arms. You can also log exercises and sync steps with Apple Health. 8fit additionally has a diet section, for monitoring what you eat. Whether you’re vegetarian or looking to avoid carbs, there are plenty of options suitable for various diets. 8fit will help you build a customized meal plan, complete with recipes. The basic app is free and available on both iOS and Android. Users are charged $5 per month for 8fit Pro, with added functionality. The app is currently ranked #10 in the health & fitness category on Apple’s App Store.

    Done

    Done

    Regardless of what your resolutions are, this app will help you get it done. The aptly named “Done,” lets you set your own goals and get reminders. Done charts your progress, so you can see how you performed this week or this month. The data is exportable and can be backed up by Dropbox. The beauty of the app is the simplicity. Another similar one is Habit List. (It actually helped me keep my fitness resolution last year!) I also use iHydrate, but that’s just for water-tracking. Done is free and available on iOS.

    ShareTheMeal

    sharethemeal

    Forget self-improvement, what about helping others? ShareTheMeal is an app created by the United Nations World Food Programme to help children in poverty. For just 50 cents, the app will let you feed a child for a day. Or for $15, you can feed the child for a month. Whether its Syrian refugees or kids in Haiti, ShareTheMeal will let you determine which region your food is going to. You can also spread the word about the program, by using the app to share photos of your meals on social media. Over 18 million meals have been donated so far. The app itself is free and available on both iOS and Android.

    Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/30/these-apps-will-help-you-keep-your-new-years-resolutions/

    Donald Trump defended his mental stability and Twitter has some thoughts on that

    Image: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

    2018 sure is off to a running start in Trumpland.

    The 45th President of the United States kicked off a busy weekend of meetings at Camp David on Saturday with a brief, fiery tweetstorm that — even at this early point in 2018 — is already a surefire candidate for the year’s most memorable.

    In three tweets, Donald Trump addressed his intellect (“being, like, really smart”), his mental stability (“a very stable genius”), and his successful presidential election campaign (“on my first try”). He doesn’t come out and say it, but the tweets are likely a response to Michael Wolff’s upcoming book, in which Trump insiders question the president’s stability on the record, and/or recent meetings on Capitol Hill to discuss the president’s mental state.

    In typical Trump fashion, the three-tweet tirade blows past known facts in favor of creating a particular narrative. The “first try” election claim, for one, is hogwash; Trump ran in 2000, and even won a couple of primaries — though only after he left the race, in Feb. 2000. 

    He ran under the Reform Party banner, and ultimately blamed his exit on the political organization being a “total mess.” The Reform Party countered at the time with the contention that Trump’s bid had never been serious.

    “Donald Trump came in, promoted his hotels, he promoted his book, he promoted himself at our expense, and I think he understands fully that we’ve ended the possibilities for such abuse of our party,” party leader Patrick Choate said at the time.

    Predictably, Trump’s tweets drew a disbelieving response from social media. 

    By all means, laugh at Trump’s ridiculously transparent feelings of inadequacy if it helps you get through the day. But don’t let it draw you away from staying informed on news items of actual import.

    This week alone: G.O.P. legislators asked the Justice Department to investigate Christopher Steele, the former British spy behind the infamous Trump dossier; the White House renewed its demand for a border wall; the U.S. cut off security aid to Pakistan; and the Justice Department moved to imperil the country’s burgeoning marijuana industry.

    Among other things.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2018/01/06/donald-trump-very-stable-genius-tweetstorm/

    Here are the 2017 innovations that changed the world

    Image: Morgan’s Inspiration Island; eSight; Petit Pli; Manu Prakash/Stanford

    2017 may have been a rough year, but there were plenty of inventions, innovations, and gadgets that made the world just a slightly better place.

    From global health to social justice to humanitarian aid, a slew of scientists, technologists, and activists came together this year to create impactful solutions to some of our most pressing problems.

    In no particular order, here are 30 innovations that made a tangible difference in 2017. For even more inspiration, check out our list of incredible innovations from 2016.

    1. The 20-cent paper toy that can help diagnose diseases

    This paper device, which only costs 20 cents to make, can help scientists and doctors diagnose diseases like malaria and HIV within minutes — no electricity required.

    The Paperfuge, developed by Stanford assistant professor of bioengineering Manu Prakash, is a hand-powered centrifuge that was inspired by a whirligig toy. It can hold blood samples on a disc, and by pulling the strings back and forth, it spins the samples at extremely fast rates to separate blood from plasma, preparing them for disease testing.

    It could prove revolutionary for rural areas in developing countries, and save lives in the process.

    2. The soft robot sleeve that can restart a failing heart

    Researchers at Harvard University and Boston Children’s Hospital created this customizable soft robot sleeve that can wrap around a failing heart and squeeze it, allowing blood to keep flowing throughout the body. In tests conducted on pigs, the device allowed the animals’ hearts to start pumping again.

    The innovation is still in testing stages, but the goal is to one day be able to use it in order to save human lives. According to Harvard, heart failure affects 41 million people worldwide.

    3. A Facebook translation bot for refugees

    Tarjimly is a Facebook translation bot that connects refugees with volunteer translators, wherever they are in the world. Whether they need to speak with doctors, aid workers, legal representatives, or other crucial services, users can tap into the power of Facebook Messenger to get real-time, potentially life-saving, translations on the spot.

    4. Smart glasses that help legally blind people see

    The eSight 3 is a set of electronic glasses that can drastically improve a legally blind person’s vision, helping them see and perform daily activities with ease.

    The device fits over a user’s eyes and glasses like a headset, using a camera to send images to tiny dual screens in front of their eyes. Two sensors adjust the focus, while a handheld remote lets the user zoom and contrast, among other functions. For a user with 20/400 vision, for example, it can improve their eyesight up to 20/25. 

    5. A cardboard drone for humanitarian aid

    Image: OTHERLAB

    Otherlab, a San Francisco-based engineering research and development lab, developed what it calls the world’s most advanced industrial paper airplane. The cardboard gliders are made with a biodegradable material and equipped with GPS and other electronics, allowing them to be dropped by a plane and deliver two pounds of life-saving materials without needing to be retrieved. 

    6. 3D-printed sex organs to help blind students learn

    Image: Courtesy of Benetech

    Holistic, inclusive sex ed is hard to come by as it is. For blind students, it’s even harder. That’s why advocates and researchers at Benetech created 18 3D figures that show sex organs during a various states of arousal, letting students “feel” their way through sex education. Benetech partnered with LightHouse for the Blind and Northern Illinois University to create the models.

    7. A texting service that contacts Congress for you in 2 minutes

    2017 was a year of resistance, and one of the most tangible ways of taking action has been contacting your reps. Enter Resistbot, a simple service that lets you text RESIST to 50409 or message the accompanying Facebook bot in order to help you find the right members of Congress and send your message to them directly.

    8. The app for detained immigrants to contact their family

    Image: Notifica/Huge

    The Notifica app helps undocumented immigrants who get detained or caught up in raids to send out secure messages to a designated support network of family and friends.

    9. A mobile-based ambulance taxi program in Tanzania

    Vodafone has developed an innovative ambulance taxi program in the rural Lake Zone of Tanzania, using the power of mobile phones. The program helps pregnant women in health emergencies dial a special hotline number, through which health workers connect them to a local network of vetted taxi drivers who can get them quickly to clinics when there are few ambulances available.

    The drivers are paid by the organization through the mobile money system M-Pesa, so it’s free for users.

    10. An app that gets kids moving — and help other kids, too

    Image: Lili Sams / Mashable

    The UNICEF Kid Power app is a standalone app that expands on the organization’s fitness bands program, helping kids convert their daily steps into life-saving nutrition for malnourished children in the developing world. The app counts your steps — every 2,500 steps earns you a point, and 10 points “unlock” a ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) package that UNICEF and sponsors will deliver to a child with severe acute malnutrition.

    11. Facebook’s digital maps that help with disaster relief

    Image: Facebook

    In June, Facebook announced a new product called “disaster maps,” using Facebook data in disaster areas in order to send crucial information to aid organizations during and after crises. The information helps relief efforts get a bird’s eye view of who needs help, where, and what resources are needed.

    12. The chatbot that wants to help you with your mental health 

    Image: Woebot

    Woebot is one of the first chatbots of its kind, using artificial intelligence to talk to you, help improve your mood, and even alleviate symptoms of depression. It’s not a replacement for a therapist by any means, but a Stanford University study showed that Woebot “led to significant reductions in anxiety and depression among people aged 18-28 years old.”

    13. An app connecting refugees with crucial services

    Image: RefAid

    RefAid is an app that connects refugees with nearby services in education, health, legal aid, shelter and more by using their location. It originally started as a side project, but now more than 400 of the largest aid organizations in the world, including the Red Cross and Doctors of the World, all use it. 

    14. A solar-powered tent designed for homeless people

    Image: Scott Witter / Mashable

    Earlier this year, 12 teens in San Fernando, California, joined forces with the nonprofit DIY Girls to invent a solar-powered tent that folds up into a rollaway backpack for homeless populations. They won a $10,000 grant from the Lemelson-MIT Program to develop the tent, and presented their project at MIT in June.

    15. The app that could help end female genital mutilation

    Female genital mutilation (FGM) affects millions of women and girls around the world. In Kenya, where the procedure is illegal but still practiced due to cultural significance, a group of five teen girls  created the i-Cut app to fight back.

    i-Cut allows users to alert authorities as a preventive measure, and also lets survivors send reports and find local rescue centers. The app earned them a place in the 2017 Technovation Challenge in August. 

    16. An eyeglass accessory to alert deaf people of sound

    Peri is an accessory that attaches to a deaf person’s eyeglasses and translates audio cues into visual ones. Inspired by first-person shooter games, in which the screen glows as your character is hit, Peri lights up in the direction of loud sounds.

    It can help deaf and hard of hearing users not only with increased awareness, but also to avoid dangerous situations more easily. 

    17. The tool that turns your extra computer power into bail money

    Bail Bloc, created by a team at The New Inquiry, uses your computer’s spare power to help contribute to community bail funds, assisting people in jail and their families who can’t afford bail.  

    Bail Bloc uses the power to mine a cryptocurrency called Monero, which is then converted into U.S. dollars to donate to the Bronx Freedom Fund and The Bail Project. No cryptocurrency knowledge required — all you have to do is run it in your computer’s background. 

    18. This game-changing Braille literacy tool for kids

    The Read Read is an innovative learning device that teaches blind people and those with low vision how to read Braille. Each tile has Braille lettering printed on metal to touch, and the device also reads the letter out loud along with how many dots it contains. This helps the user sound out each word they learn.

    19. An air-powered wheelchair for kids with disabilities

    Morgan’s Inspiration Island is a new, accessible water park in San Antonio, Texas, specifically designed for kids with disabilities. But what about kids who use electric wheelchairs? No problem — the theme park teamed up with the University of Pittsburgh to develop the PneuChair, a light, air-powered wheelchair that can get wet and only takes 10 minutes to charge.

    20. The first gender-inclusive educational toy

    Meet Sam, a new set of stacking dolls in which each layer shows a different stage of gender questioning and exploring. Created by Gender Creative Kids Canada, which calls the doll “the world’s first educational transgender toy,” Sam was designed with trans youth in mind. The creators hope it will help educate all children and their families.

    Gender Creative Kids Canada launched a Kickstarter for the toy, and also released an e-book and accompanying video to introduce Sam to the world.

    21. A robot lawyer for low-income communities

    The chatbot DoNotPay offers users free legal aid for a range of issues, including helping refugees apply for asylum, guiding people in reporting harassment at work, and even aiding everyday consumers who want to fight corporations who try to take advantage of them.

    22. These period-friendly boxers for trans men

    Image: Courtesy of Pyramid Seven

    A new company called Pyramid Seven launched a line of period-inclusive underwear for trans men, filling a much needed gap in the period-friendly underwear market. Each pair of boxers is stylish and includes an extra panel inside to support period products, like pads. Due to high demand, the line of underwear quickly sold out.

    23. A revolutionary gene therapy treatment for cancer

    An illustration of a white blood cell.

    Image: Shutterstock / royaltystockphoto.com

    Kymriah is a newly FDA-approved cancer gene therapy treatment from the drug company Novartis. It’s part of a new class of therapy called CAR-T, which is made by “harvesting a patient’s own disease-fighting T-cells, genetically engineering them to target specific proteins on cancer cells, and replacing them to circulate possibly for years, seeking out and attacking cancer,” according to Reuters.

    It’s not cheap — it costs $475,000 per patient — but the results in patients with aggressive blood cancer are unprecedented. In fact, 83 percent of patients were cancer-free after three months with one dose (they continued to respond after six months, according to new reports).

    24. The empowering hands-free breast pump

    Willow is a wearable breast pump that allows people to pump hands-free and quietly. You can wear two of the pumps underneath your bra, so it’s discreet and allows you to multitask.

    25. A wheelchair that allows its users to stand

    The Laddroller is a wheelchair that helps its users stand. Designed by Greek architect Dimitrios Petrotos, the Laddroller uses four wheels, and can also navigate rough terrains. After 13 prototypes, it’s now awaiting regulatory approval to go to market.

    26. A portable, reinvented IV pole

    Image: Courtesy of IV Walk

    IV-Walk is a reimagining of the traditional IV pole to grant its users more flexibility and range. It was designed by Alissa Rees, who was diagnosed with leukemia at 19 years old and had to stay attached to an IV pole for weeks at a time throughout her two years in the hospital.

    “Stimulating mobility by using the IV-Walk speeds up recovery,” Rees says on her website. “Besides that, holding the pole is a cheerless way to present yourself to friends or family. Presenting yourself in a proper way can be important during a long stay in hospital.”

    27. A solar-powered water delivery cart

    Image: Watt-R

    Watt-r is a solar-powered water delivery cart that aims to improve the experience for women and children, who often are the ones in developing countries to be tasked with gathering water for their families. The cart is still in development, but it will be able to carry a dozen 20-liter containers of water at a time, and solar power will allow it to move, according to Fast Company.

    28. Clothes that expand as your child grows

    Petit Pli is a line of clothes that grow with your child using expansion and growth technology. The garments are waterproof, lightweight, and gender-inclusive with pleated designs, allowing each item of clothing to grow up to seven sizes. It’s not only sustainable by reducing waste, but also can save families money on new clothes.

    29. Nike’s professional sportswear hijab

    Nike launched its Nike Pro Hijab worldwide this year, to further the company’s idea that “if you have a body, you’re an athlete.” Working with professional athletes who wear hijab, the product is made of single-layer mesh that’s breathable, stretchy, and easily customized for any sport.

    30. GPS-enabled turtle eggs to help track poachers

    Image: Paso Pacifico

    According to the wildlife conservation nonprofit Paso Pacifico, poachers in Central America destroy 90 percent of endangered sea turtle nests to illegally sell the eggs, which are considered a delicacy. So the organization created the GPS-enabled “InvestEGGator Sea Turtle Eggs” — 3D-printed eggs that track poachers and reveal smuggling routes, which can help Paso Pacifico work with authorities and stop wildlife crime. The innovation has already won a number of awards.

    Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/23/social-good-innovations-2017/

    She Quit Working For Trump. Now She’s Running For Congress To Fight Him.

    WASHINGTON ― Gina Ortiz Jones thought she could work for President Donald Trump.

    When he won the presidency in November 2016, Jones, a career civil servant who served in the Air Force in Iraq under George W. Bush and as an intelligence officer under Barack Obama, stayed in her job as a director in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative. But by June, she couldn’t do it anymore. Trump’s plans to gut education and housing aid hit too close to home for Jones, as someone who relied on reduced-cost school lunches and subsidized housing when she was a kid being raised by a single mom in San Antonio. She was also appalled by the president’s hires for top jobs.

    “The type of people that were brought in to be public servants were interested in neither the public nor the service,” Jones, 36, said in an interview. “That, to me, was a sign that I’m going to have to serve in a different way.”

    She found a new way to serve: She’s running for Congress. Jones has never run for office before, and if she wins, she would make history as the first lesbian, Iraq War veteran and first-generation Filipina-American to hold a U.S. House seat in Texas. Her hometown district, Texas’ 23rd, has also never been represented by a woman.

    Jones wouldn’t have been able to grow up healthy or get an education without the opportunities she got from the federal government, she said. The only reason she could afford college, she added, was that she got a four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship — and it infuriates her to see politicians try to take away those chances for others.

    “Talent is universal. Opportunity is not,” she said. “Folks in Congress, they do three things. They create opportunities, they protect opportunities and they erase opportunities. That’s how we have to be thinking about this very plainly.”

    Gina Ortiz Jones campaign
    Jones talks to supporters at a event. She has endorsements from groups including EMILY’s List, VoteVets and Victory Fund.

    Jones, a Democrat, is trying to unseat two-term Rep. Will Hurd (R). It won’t be easy. She has to beat three other Democrats in the March 6 primary, including Jay Hulings, a well-known former federal prosecutor. If she can pull that off, she’ll face Hurd, who has the advantage of being the incumbent and well-financed. As of Sept. 30, Hurd had $870,000 in cash on hand compared with Jones’ $74,000.

    But Jones is certainly viable. She’s picked up endorsements from major national groups including EMILY’s List, VoteVets and Victory Fund. Former Texas Democratic state senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis endorsed her. A couple of weeks ago, Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who gave a passionate speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, announced his support for her campaign, too.

    “With leaders like Gina, our nation’s affairs are in good hands,” Khan said in a video announcing his endorsement. “I am supporting her for Congress because of her selfless, courageous leadership. She’s the leader we need for an interdependent world.”

    If she can win the primary, Jones has some advantages over Hurd. This district, which stretches halfway across the state thanks to insane gerrymandering, has flip-flopped between Democratic and GOP representation for years, with nobody holding it for more than two terms since 2007. Hurd won his first term in 2014 by 2,400 votes against Democratic Rep. Pete Gallego. In 2016, Hurd won by 3,000 votes. Those are pretty close races in a district where roughly 115,000 people voted in the midterm and 229,000 voted in the presidential election.

    This race is also happening amid a wave of Democratic victories around the country, with some high-level GOP operatives already bracing for a possible bloodbath in 2018.

    Jones expressed frustration that Hurd routinely votes against his constituents’ interests but seems to get away with it because of his reputation for being “the nice guy.” Last year, Hurd gave people warm fuzzies about bipartisanship by live-streaming a 1,600-mile road trip with Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke. HuffPost thought it looked fun (even if it was a political calculation by O’Rourke, who proposed the trip and announced a Senate run weeks later). Jones scoffed.

    “When bipartisanship means two dudes get in a car and help each other get elected, we’re all fucking screwed,” she said.

    Instead, Jones ran through Hurd’s record. He voted to delay the implementation of smog reduction measures by eight years, despite 1 in 13 Texans having asthma (with even higher rates in communities of color, like his). He voted nine times to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He voted for the GOP’s tax bill, which benefits the rich and raises taxes on middle-class families over time. He’s been quiet about Congress’ failure to renew funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which is set to expire and would affect 400,000 kids in Texas.

    When bipartisanship means two dudes get in a car and help each other get elected, we’re all fucking screwed. Gina Ortiz Jones

    It’s particularly outrageous that Hurd hasn’t signed onto a bipartisan bill, the Dream Act, to preserve the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Jones said. Trump ended the program in September, and young undocumented immigrants will begin losing protections in greater numbers in March unless Congress passes a law to keep it. If lawmakers fail to act, hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants are at risk of being deported.

    Jones said the uncertainty around DACA is “a huge deal” in Texas’ 23rd District, where more than 70 percent of constituents are Latino.

    “So I push back on the fact that some say, ‘Oh, he’s not that bad.’ His voting record is awful,” she said. “You don’t get to be a moderate just because you don’t say crazy shit.”

    Hurd’s campaign spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

    Since moving back to San Antonio in June, Jones has been living in the house she grew up in. Most people in her community are minorities. Many are low-income. As she’s traveled around the district, she’s met people in border towns living in rank poverty. Some have no running water. Some have no paved roads. Jones said the experience has been a stark reminder of how badly Congress needs diverse voices ― and that now is the time for her to throw her hat in. 

    “There’s just a point where you just ask yourself the question, ‘Can I afford not to do this?’” Jones said. “I think like a lot of women, you’re done assuming that somebody is going to do for you that which you can do yourself.”

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/gina-ortiz-jones-will-hurd-texas-2018_us_5a4c069ce4b0b0e5a7a94c48

    Trump mounts extraordinary defence of his ‘mental stability’

    President boasts of being a very stable genius and calls Michael Wolff a fraud but author says his explosive book will finally end this presidency

    In an extraordinary public defence of his own mental stability, Donald Trump issued a volley of tweets that seemed guaranteed to add fuel to a raging political fire.

    Suggestions in a new tell-all book that he was mentally unfit to be president were out of the old Ronald Reagan playbook, Trump wrote on Saturday.

    Actually, the president added, throughout my life, my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart.

    He also said he would qualify as not smart, but genius … and a very stable genius at that!

    The book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, by Michael Wolff, burst into the public consciousness on Wednesday, when the Guardian reported excerpts nearly a week ahead of publication. Trump threatened to sue but succeeded only in prompting the publisher Henry Holt to bring the book forward.

    Play Video
    1:18

    Fire and Fury: Key explosive quotes from the new Trump book – video

    Wolff presents a picture of a doomed administration lurching from crisis to crisis, steered by a childlike figure who responds to overstimulation with intense, reflexive outbursts.

    The president may not be able to restrain himself from commenting but I can restrain myself from commenting on his comments, Wolff told the Guardian on Saturday.

    At a lunchtime press conference at Camp David, the president was asked why he tweeted. In a characteristically freewheeling answer, he said: Only because I went to the best colleges or college. I went to I had a situation where I was a very excellent student, came out and made billions and billions of dollars, became one of the top business people.

    Went to television and for 10 years was a tremendous success as you probably have heard. Ran for president one time and won.

    In fact, in 1999 Trump mounted a first run for the White House when he sought the nomination of the Reform party.

    The president continued, referring to Wolff: And then I hear this guy that does not know me doesnt know me at all by the way did not interview me for three he said he interviewed me for three hours in the White House it didnt exist, OK? Its in his imagination.

    Trump called Wolff a fraud and his book a work of fiction and complained about US libel laws, which he has threatened to change.

    The White House chief of staff, John Kelly, told a White House pool reporter the president tweeted to get around the filter of the media. Trump had not at all seemed angry on Friday night or Saturday, Kelly said, adding that the president had watched the Hugh Jackman movie The Greatest Showman about the hoaxer and politician PT Barnum with lawmakers and others.

    Before Trumps tweets, Wolff spoke to the BBC. He said: I think one of the interesting effects of the book so far is a very clear emperor has no clothes effect.

    Suddenly everywhere people are going: Oh my God, its true, he has no clothes. Thats the background to the perception and the understanding that will finally end this presidency.

    The 25th amendment of the US constitution provides for the removal of a president if a majority of the cabinet and the vice-president agree. In Wolffs book, the then White House strategist Steve Bannon refers to Vice-President Mike Pence as our fallback guy. Pence stood to Trumps right at Camp David, his gaze rarely leaving the president.

    Bandy Lee, an assistant clinical professor at the Yale School of Medicine, briefed a dozen members of Congress last month on Trumps behaviour. At the end of a week that began with Trump taunting North Korea over the size of his nuclear button, Lee told the Guardian the danger has become imminent.

    Fifty-seven House Democrats have signed on to a bill to establish an oversight commission to determine if a president is mentally and physically fit.

    We need this legislation quite apart from the Trump administration, Jamie Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland and the author of the bill, told the Guardian.

    The 25th amendment was framed during the nuclear age the nuclear arsenal being a vast destructive power that is vested, as the president reminded us this week, in one person who views himself as having the power to press a button. We certainly dont want someone in that position who lacks the power of empathy.

    The rising tide of questions around the presidents mental health reflects a lot of anxiety unleashed by the presidents nuclear taunts lodged at North Korea.

    A
    A queue for Fire and Fury at Kramerbooks, in Washington. Photograph: Guardian

    The White House has forcefully criticised Wolff, who has said he stands by his work, which included more than 200 interviews and extensive access to the West Wing and key administration figures.

    At Camp David, Trump referred to Bannon derisively as Sloppy Steve. The former Trump campaign chief has avoided extensive comment, though in the aftermath of the Guardian story he called Trump a great man.

    Trumps reference to the Ronald Reagan playbook was a curious one. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimers, a degenerative brain disease, in 1994, five years after leaving office.

    The extent to which he suffered during his time in the White House remains a matter of contention. Reagan, like Trump in his 70s when in office, long faced questions over his mental state. Opponents pointed to his habit of forgetting names and making contradictory statements.

    In the Hollywood Reporter this week, Wolff wrote of Trump: Everybody was painfully aware of the increasing pace of his repetitions. It used to be inside of 30 minutes hed repeat, word-for-word and expression-for-expression, the same three stories now it was within 10 minutes. Indeed, many of his tweets were the product of his repetitions he just couldnt stop saying something.

    The White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, has said Trump will undergo his annual physical examination on Friday 12 January. The results are due to be made public.

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/06/donald-trump-tweets-mental-stability-fire-and-fury-michael-wolff

    The Shirk Report Volume 452

    Welcome to the Shirk Report where you will find 20 funny images, 10 interesting articles and 5 entertaining videos from the last 7 days of sifting. Most images found on Reddit; articles from Facebook, Twitter, and email; videos come from everywhere. Any suggestions? Send a note to submit@twistedsifter.com

    20 IMAGES

    Friday!
    Taking the fast lane to work
    I am my father’s son
    Rattled me to my core
    He ate one of Dad’s ‘special’ brownies and now we’re at the vet
    He also ate one of Dad’s brownies
    When nobody reaches for the dish you brought to dinner
    OMG the prof accidentally posted the exam answers!
    Not all heroes wear capes
    This guy
    And this guy
    High five | Fist bump
    [incoming dad joke] Wrong on so many..
    My favorite Christmas ornament
    Breathe it in boys
    Viva la revolución!
    She skipped walking and went straight to driving
    What’s in a name?
    Oh
    Until next week

    10 ARTICLES

    Time: The 25 Best Inventions of 2017
    6-year-old made $11 million in one year reviewing toys on You Tube
    Alaska Got 15 Inches of Snow in 90 Minutes Last Week
    How a Dorm Room Minecraft Scam Brought Down the Internet
    Jim Simons: The Numbers King
    The fax of life
    Virginia’s $40 Toll Road Better Be the Future of Driving
    The Flat-Pack, Can-Do Opener: 38+ Uses for the “Best Army Invention Everâ€
    The Dutch “Tulip Mania†Bubble (aka “Tulipomaniaâ€)
    Former Facebook exec says social media is ripping apart society

    5 VIDEOS + that’s my sister!

    TURN THAT THUMB UPSIDE DOWN!

    Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2017/12/the-shirk-report-volume-452/

    Trump Takes On Amazon Again, Urging Much More in Postage Fees

    President Donald Trump said the U.S. Postal Service should charge Amazon.com Inc. more to deliver packages, the latest in a series of public criticisms of the online retailer and its billionaire founder.

    The post office “should be charging MUCH MORE” for package delivery, the president tweeted Friday from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, where he’s spending the holidays.

    “Why is the United States Post Office, which is losing many billions of dollars a year, while charging Amazon and others so little to deliver their packages, making Amazon richer and the Post Office dumber and poorer?” Trump told his 45 million followers.

    Trump regularly criticizes Amazon and its chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post newspaper and is currently the world’s richest man. In August, Trump accused the company of causing “great damage to tax paying retailers,” even though the internet giant began collecting sales tax on products it sells directly in April.

    As with prior missives targeting the company, Trump’s message appeared to concern investors. Amazon’s stock had gained the past three days, but dropped 0.6 percent to $1,178.68 at 12:41 p.m. in New York.

    A sudden increase in postal service rates would cost Amazon about $2.6 billion a year, according to an April report by Citigroup. That report predicted United Parcel Service Inc. and FedEx Corp. would also raise rates in response to a postal service hike.

    Amazon didn’t respond to requests for comment.

    ‘Last Mile’

    Amazon regularly uses the Postal Service to complete what’s called the “last mile” of delivery, with letter carriers dropping off packages at some 150 million residences and businesses daily. It has a network of more than 20 “sort centers” where customer packages are sorted by zip code, stacked on pallets and delivered to post offices for the final leg of delivery.

    While full details of the agreement between Amazon and the Postal Service are unknown — the mail service is independently operated and strikes confidential deals with retailers — David Vernon, an analyst at Bernstein Research who tracks the shipping industry, estimated in 2015 that the USPS handled 40 percent of Amazon’s volume the previous year. He estimated at the time that Amazon pays the Postal Service $2 per package, which is about half what it would pay UPS or FedEx.

    Both shippers were up less than 1 percent Friday. Higher postal service rates would benefit private carriers by making their rates more competitive.

    But the postal service’s losses have little to do with Amazon and more to do with its large health-care obligations and the dwindling use of first-class mail. USPS charges some of the world’s lowest stamp prices.

    The president’s tweet also assumes that Amazon would be forced to pay if the Postal Service increased its rates for packages. But Amazon has been setting up its own shipping operations in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world to minimize costs.

    For more on Trump’s Twitter storms, check out this podcast:

     

    $62 Billion Loss

    The Postal Service reported a net loss of $2.1 billion in the third quarter of 2017 and has $15 billion in outstanding debt. The service has lost $62 billion over the last decade.

    USPS’s chief financial officer, Joseph Corbett, wrote in a post for PostalReporter.com in August that the service is required by law to charge retailers at least enough to cover its delivery costs.

    “The reason we continue to attract e-commerce customers and business partners is because our customers see the value of our predictable service, enhanced visibility, and competitive pricing,” he wrote.

    He said Congress should pass provisions of legislation introduced last year by former Representative Jason Chaffetz, a Utah Republican, that would allow the postal service to raise some rates and discontinue direct delivery to business customers’ doors.

    Amazon is experimenting with a new delivery service of its own that is expected to see a broader roll-out in the coming year. Under the program, Amazon would oversee the pickup of packages from warehouses of third-party merchants and delivery to home addresses.

    Despite the occasional anti-Amazon tweet, Trump is unlikely to target Amazon with any action because the company is creating jobs by building new warehouses around the country. It’s also expected to generate 50,000 new positions with its second headquarters, said James Cakmak, analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt & Co.

    “The interests of Amazon and the administration are largely aligned – even factoring the dislocation to retail – given the positive headline potential around new job creation with fulfillment centers and HQ2,” he said.

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-29/trump-says-u-s-post-office-should-charge-amazon-much-more

      12 People Who Did Ancestry DNA Tests For Fun And Got More Than They Bargained For

      Thanks to the innovative and ever-developing technology of the modern age, learning about where you came from is as easy as spitting in a cup.

      Genetic tests revealing your ancestry and personal health-related information, such as the “23andMe” DNA test, are just a click away for consumers interested in examining their lineage — no health care professional needed. That’s why a lot people take them just for fun. But as described in these 12 testing stories, a person’s results can reveal seriously uncomfortable truths they never expected to face.

      1. “My mom did 23 and Me this summer, it came back saying my uncle was only a half uncle. She asked family friends and it turns out my grandmother had an affair and passed my mom off as her father’s kid — a fact that my grandmother clearly intended to take to her grave but science caught up.” — reverendexile

      2. “In my genetics class we do a blood typing lab and our teacher told a story about her first year doing it where there was a girl who had a blood type that meant her dad couldn’t be her actual father and the mom (who also worked at the school) got caught cheating.” — Xzeener

      3. “A former coworker of mine took the test and found she had a different father than her sister and neither were related to their father. She decided to confront her mom about her infidelity. She found out that her mom and dad were into group sex and that the biological fathers could be a number of gentlemen.” — MTGothmog

      4. “So I did Ancestry. My father is ‘an eighth Cherokee’ and my mother ‘a little.’ They insist they’re ‘on the rolls’ somewhere. Ancestry came back 0% Native American. They’re not sure which is worse- did I get switched at the hospital or is their Cherokee heritage a lie?” — JustGreenGuy7

      5. “This is how my ‘brother’ found out my father wasn’t his father. I’m adopted and last year found my biological father and mother. One of my new brothers also took the test and we did not match, although I DID match with our father…and he did not. Found out mom had had an affair while father was in Korea during the war. Oops!” — Edrondol

      6. “My girlfriend got us tests for Christmas, and ever since posting about it on Facebook my mom has been sending her messages asking her to tell her the results before anyone else, including me.” — YoureRude

      7. “At Christmas my grandma told me her friend took a test and found out her dad was her mom’s OBGYN.” — parksy555

      8. “My wife had been told she was of Native American decent her entire life. Supposedly, her great grandmother was full-blood Native. This is a story her family still preaches to be true. Well, my wife does the DNA test only to discover it matches 100% with folks in Europe. Not a drop of Native American in her.” — pyledrive

      9. “Through my DNA test, we discovered that my father has an older half brother that we never knew about before. He was adopted and trying to find his biological family. Turns out my grandpa had a little thing on the side. Both he and my grandmother have passed away… We don’t know if either of them were aware of the child (now grown up).” — dmc5

      10. “My very French Canadian aunt (related to me by marriage) and her sister both took the test. My aunt’s result was more or less exactly what she expected. Her sister found out that she was 50% Arabic, not French at all. Looks like momma had some explaining to do.” — thepragmaticsanction

      Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/dna-tests-gone-wrong/