NFL Protests Aren’t Responsible For Papa John’s Bad Sales

If your business can be crippled by black people protesting injustice, you probably aren’t running a great business. Still, that’s what the owner of Papa John’s is claiming since sales of his decidedly meh pizza have fallen.

I somehow doubt the titular John of Papa John’s understands, or even cares to look into, the reasons NFL ratings are in a slump. He’s far too busy telling his employees he’d rather cut their hours than pay for their health insurance. For a guy who made his fortune selling pizzas that are a half-step above Digiorno-quality, whose only brilliant innovation was adding a plastic cup of garlic sauce in the box with every pie, he may not be the brightest fella.

A cursory Google search brings up a ton of articles digging into the numbers behind the NFL’s ratings decline — which, by the way, isn’t much of a decline compared to the rest of the television landscape. Network TV ratings have been steadily falling for some time, and football games are getting caught in the net. One of the overarching factors include a whole new generation of fans who don’t watch TV the way past generations used to.

Even Fox chief executive officer James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, thinks that the ratings decline nothing to do with player protests. He believes there is an “over proliferation” of football, meaning there are so many games and so many places to watch them that the NFL overstretch itself as a brand, since modern technology has spread viewing habits across dozens of platforms instead of just the one TV in everybody’s living room.

You can watch highlights on your phone as a game unfolds, or just watch all the scoring plays on a service like NFL Red Zone so you don’t have to sit through a three-hour broadcast of over 100 commercials with only 11 minutes of actual gameplay wedged in between. Like every other part of the broadcast industry, numbers are down because people don’t feel beholden to the old ways of doing things.

Blaming protesters for declining ratings that result in fewer people eating your uninspired pizza is intellectually lazy and morally stupid. Besides, if all it took for diehard football fans to stop watching games and eating pizza was black people protesting police brutality, then maybe they didn’t like pizza, football, or black people that much to begin with.

For more, check out What Stupid Conspiracy Theory Is Out There Now? (10/28/2017) and What Stupid Thing Is Trending Now? (10/28/2017).

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Doctors Remove Woman’s Womb To Perform Pioneering Surgery On Fetus Outside The Body

Inside this glowing red orb, surrounded by the sterile blue light of the operation theatre, an unborn child is undergoing life-changing surgery.

The stunning photograph by Béatrice de Géa shows a pioneering operation used to reverse a birth defect while the fetus is still in the mother’s womb. The 24-week-old fetus has spina bifida, a group of conditions where a baby’s spine and spinal cord don’t develop properly in the womb. Scientists are not totally certain what causes this condition, although it usually begins in the very early stages of pregnancy, eventually leaving the child with damage to their nerves, issues with bladder control, highly impaired walking, and a high chance of infection.

Time is of the essence when it comes to this surgery – typically, doctors repair the spine within 48 hours of birth. However, only 20 percent of patients who undergo this procedure can walk independently. While doctors have been trying to master fetal surgery for spina bifida for some years, the conventional technique is still not flawless.

Doctors from Baylor College of Medicine and the Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston are now fine-tuning an experimental method of fetal operation to reverse the damage caused by this condition by operating on the fetus while still inside the uterus, but the uterus is outside the body, as reported from the operation room by the New York Times.

“Fetal surgery is one of the few operations with a 200 percent risk of mortality,” assisting surgeon Dr Oluyinka Olutoye told the New York Times in a second article. 

A seen in the photograph above, pediatric neurosurgeons Dr William Whitehead and Dr Michael A Belfort led the complex 3-hour surgery on Lexi Royer, 28, and her unborn son.

“Closure of the spinal defect before birth reduces the risk of hydrocephalus and may improve motor function in select patients,” Dr Robert Bollo, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Texas Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine said in a statement from 2012. “Fetal surgery is an exciting new tool in our multidisciplinary commitment to the life-long care of patients with spina bifida.”

After the uterus was lifted out of her body, they inserted a miniature telescope, camera, and grasping tool into the womb, allowing doctors to see the tiny fetus. They also inserted a bright light, hence that deep red glow of the woman’s womb. Doctors drained the womb of its amniotic fluid and then inflated it with carbon dioxide to give them room to operate. Using the live video feed from the camera, they carefully “mended” the backbone and spinal cord of the 0.9-kilograms (2-pound) fetus.

After three hours passed, this revolutionary fetal operation appeared to be a success. However, they will only definitively know after the child is born.

All being well, the baby boy will be born on 14 January, next year.


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Signs of pancreatic cancer may be missed

Image copyright Nikki Davies
Image caption Nikki is having chemotherapy to help prevent the cancer from returning

One in three adults might ignore potential symptoms of pancreatic cancer, according to a charity.

Stomach ache, indigestion, unexplained weight loss and faeces that float rather than sink in the lavatory can be warning signs of the potentially deadly disease, says Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Early detection and treatment are vital to save lives.

Nikki Davies was diagnosed in March, aged 51. Her tumour was caught early, meaning a surgeon could remove it.

“I have been incredibly lucky that mine could be operated on and hadn’t spread, as far as we can tell.

“My message to others would be that no-one knows your body like you do.

“Know what the symptoms are and talk to your GP if you notice anything that’s unusual for you.

“Deep down, I think you know something is wrong.

“For me, it was the pain. It felt like an animal was eating me from the inside. It was in my back too, between my shoulder blades. And I’d lost a lot of weight very quickly.

“I didn’t know anything about pancreatic cancer before my diagnosis, and I certainly wouldn’t have known what the symptoms were.”

Know the signs

Currently, about one in 10 people diagnosed with the condition survives beyond five years.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hollywood actor Patrick Swayze died from advanced pancreatic cancer aged 57

This is in large part due to most patients being diagnosed at a late stage, when treatment options are very limited, says Pancreatic Cancer UK.

Its survey of 4,000 UK adults suggests awareness of the symptoms is still too low.

Alex Ford, chief executive at Pancreatic Cancer UK, said: “We do not want people to panic if they have some or all of these symptoms, because most people who have them will not have pancreatic cancer.

“But it is vital that people know more about this disease, and talk to their GP if they have any concerns.

“The earlier people are diagnosed, the more likely they are to be able to have surgery, which is the one treatment which can save lives.”

Common symptoms of pancreatic cancer include:

  • stomach and back ache
  • unexplained weight loss
  • indigestion
  • changes to bowel habits, including floating faeces

Other symptoms include:

  • loss of appetite
  • jaundice (yellow skin or eyes or itchy skin)
  • feeling and being sick
  • difficulty swallowing
  • recently diagnosed diabetes

Related Topics

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Tom Prices wifewho’s also a doctorwonders if HIV patients should be quarantined

A Georgia state representative who’s also the wife of the former Health and Human Services secretary said this week that she wonders if HIV patients should be quarantined.

Betty Price—the wife of Tom Price, who was fired from his job last month after a scandal involving the use of private planes—asked the head of the Georgia Department of Public Health’s HIV Epidemiology Section what could be done to stop the spread of the disease.

“What are we legally able to do? I don’t want to say the quarantine word, but I guess I just said it,” Price asked this week, via the Washington Post. “Is there an ability, since I would guess that public dollars are expended heavily in prophylaxis and treatment of this condition, so we have a public interest in curtailing the spread. Are there any methods, legally, that we could do that would curtail the spread?”

More from Price, who is also an anesthesiologist, via CNN: “It just seems to me it’s almost frightening the number of people who are living that are potentially carriers —well, they are carriers—but, potential to spread. Whereas, in the past, they died more readily, and then at that point, they are not posing a risk. So, we’ve got a huge population posing a risk if they’re not in treatment.”

According to the CDC, about 1.1 million people in the U.S. were living with HIV as of the end of 2014. Stat News reports that nearly 50,000 Georgia residents were diagnosed with HIV in 2014.

The executive director of Georgia Equality, Jeff Graham, said Price’s comments were “incredibly disturbing.”

“It’s very troubling to hear comments like that,” he told Stat News. “It shows the amount of work that still needs to happen to educate elected officials on the reality of the lives of people living with HIV. I’m hoping Rep. Price would be open to sitting down, meeting with folks, hearing how those comments sound, and recognizing that’s not the direction we need to go in.”

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Im Slowly Learning The Only Thing I Can Change Is Myself


I’m slowly learning that I can’t really change other people. You can’t convince someone to see your point of view if they don’t want to see it. You can’t save them or fix them or expect them to do things your way if they don’t want to change. You can’t take back something somebody else said or did. You can’t make them eat their own words and erase their actions. People will be who they are until they change on their own time by themselves. I’m slowly learning to stop trying to change other people and change myself instead.

I’m slowly learning to accept circumstances that I can’t change. Sometimes, life spirals out of control, things don’t make sense, and the future seems uncertain. Sometimes, people surprise you and disappoint you. Sometimes, you mess up and let others down. I’m slowly learning that both desirable and undesirable things will happen. I’m learning to be okay when the sun is shining, when the storms clouds gather, when the skies pour, and when the water freezes over. I’m learning to shrug my shoulders and roll with the punches. I’m learning to say, so what?

I’m slowly learning to love myself more. I’m learning that external forces can’t really give me what I’m missing. I’m managing my expectations and realizing that I am complete within myself. I have the strength and resources to get everything that I truly need. A lover can’t connect you with your deepest self, a place can’t give you a sense of belonging, society can’t give you approval, a career can’t give you an identity, and a friend can’t make you feel worthy. You’re the only one who can make sense of the missing spaces and fill the emptiness with meaning.

I’m slowly learning to conserve my personal energy. It is a waste of time and energy to try to control things around you. If you keep fighting to win, eventually you’re going to exhaust yourself and burn out. You’re going to get lost in the maze of rights and wrongs and the grey areas in between until you forget where you came from. It’s better to choose peace and love over power struggles and ego battles. I’m slowly learning to take care of myself and look after my health and happiness. I’m choosing to conserve my valuable resource of personal energy and redirect it towards personal growth and development.

I’m slowly learning that the only thing I can actually change is myself. I’m learning to be adaptable and flexible. I’m learning to discard the parts of myself that don’t fit and shed the layers that no longer belong. I’m learning to let things go and walk away from things that are hurting me. I’m learning to pick my battles while being mindful of the bigger picture at hand. I’m learning to bend rather than break. I may not be able to change other people or situations, but I can choose to increase my awareness, expand my consciousness, and consistently work towards the person that I am finally becoming.

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The Shirk Report Volume 443


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


I’ve squandered my life
This new caption changes everything
“Forget about the saw Jim we got it”
When the Crossfit gym is closed for the day
Today you become a man
No Reward
Reminds me of Thesaurus, the wordy dinosaur
This guy’s pockets are tiny jeans
That shirt is perfect
Please do not season the birds
I’m a simple man
When your cat is disappointed with your life choices
This would have been a great boomerang
Guy gets into release party with a receipt
When Mom says you can’t play until you’ve hung the laundry
When Dad’s your hero
Faceswapping parents with their babies will always be acceptable
Until next week


Against the Travel Neck Pillow
How Norms Change
Almost 90% of edible tomatoes thrown away based on appearance – research
“Making It” at Rolling Stone
How Steve Kerr revolutionized the Golden State Warriors’ offense on a charcuterie board
The Inside of Every iPhone Ever
Elephants mourn. Dogs love. Why do we deny the feelings of other species?
The world’s first “negative emissions†plant has begun operation—turning carbon dioxide into stone
Is Tribalism a Natural Malfunction?
The science of spying: how the CIA secretly recruits academics

5 VIDEOS + meatballed


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Jeff Flake 2

Jeff Flake is going out with a bang, and Donald Trump is notgoing to like it. 

The Republican senator from Arizona announced on Tuesday that he’s not running for re-election in 2018. And then he denounced President Donald Trump and everything Trump represents on the Senate floor. 

“We must never regard as ‘normal’ the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals,” Flake said, according to his prepared speech.

He continued, “Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as ‘telling it like it is,’ when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.”

“And when such behavior emanates from the top of our government, it is something else: It is dangerous to a democracy.”

He also laid into Republican politicians, who have enabled Trump by biting their tongues when he goes off the rails. 

“When we remain silent and fail to act when we know that that silence and inaction is the wrong thing to do — because of political considerations, because we might make enemies, because we might alienate the base, because we might provoke a primary challenge, because ad infinitum, ad nauseum — when we succumb to those considerations in spite of what should be greater considerations and imperatives in defense of the institutions of our liberty, then we dishonor our principles and forsake our obligations.”

“Despotism loves a vacuum”

Finally, he warned that abandoning our values would benefit America’s enemies. 

“Despotism loves a vacuum.  And our allies are now looking elsewhere for leadership. Why are they doing this? None of this is normal. And what do we as United States Senators have to say about it?”

Reaction was split between those who found Flake brave for standing up to Trump and his own party …

… to those who noted that Flake still supported much of Trump’s agenda, and faced a tough primary and general election in 2018, which means it’s no guarantee he’d win anyway. 

Regardless, Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now have one more Republican enemy in Congress. Sen. Bob Corker announced last month that he also wasn’t running for re-election in 2018, and hasn’t been shy about his disdain for the president. 

And John McCain — who torpedoed Trump’s health care plan — has also been speaking out against the president. On Tuesday, McCain tweeted his support for his fellow Arizona senator. 

Donald Trump spent Tuesday morning slamming Corker with childish insults. It’s a pretty good bet he’s about to rage-tweet about Flake very soon. 

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Nutritional Shake-Up: The FDA Now Recommends That Americans Eat A Bowl Of 200 Eggs On Their 30th Birthday And Then Never Eat Any Eggs Again

If you’re at all concerned about maintaining a healthy diet, there’s a new update you definitely need to hear! The Food and Drug Administration has just released a new set of nutritional guidelines recommending that Americans eat a bowl of 200 eggs once on their 30th birthday and then never eat eggs again.

Looks like health nuts are going to have to start adjusting their diets!

The FDA says its new egg-consumption guidelines maximize the nutritional benefits of eggs by concentrating all the eggs you’ll ever eat in your life into one terrifying, mountainous serving of eggs on the day that you turn 30 years old. The food safety organization specified that the eggs be served without salt or any other seasonings, and also that the eggs be consumed “as quickly as possible or as slowly as possible” in order to optimize the effects on your health.

“Eggs are high in protein and vitamin D, but also very high in cholesterol, so we strongly recommend that the average American eat a single serving of 200 eggs from a bowl as soon as the clock strikes midnight on their 30th birthday,” the FDA said in a nutritional guide published on its website. “Also, the 200 eggs in the bowl should be hard-boiled. While more studies are needed, the FDA currently believes that if any of your 200 birthday eggs are not hard-boiled, you will immediately die.”

The FDA further noted that the 200 number it recommends for your once-ever serving of birthday eggs isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Depending on your height and weight, you might need to eat a few hundred more eggs. The most important thing from a nutritional standpoint is that when you turn 30, you eat hundreds of eggs all at once, and then don’t eat any more eggs for the rest of your life.

For anyone who wants a handy resource to help keep their egg consumption within the new recommended guidelines, here’s a useful chart straight from the FDA’s website:

Major props to the FDA for working hard to keep Americans healthy! Changing your diet is always a challenge, but if eating a single bowl of eggs on your 30th birthday and then never eating eggs again is the way to stay healthy, we’re pretty sure we’re up to the task!

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9 things you don’t know about Americas unofficial first family, The Simpsons

This calls for a collective Belcher family belch
Image: FOX

Set your grills to medium-high, Bob’s Burgers fans, because the Belcher family’s lovable antics are officially coming to the big screen.

Are your palms as slick with sweat as Tina’s while gazing longingly at Jimmy Jr.’s butt? Well they should be, because the Fox animated show not only boasts an enviable cast of comedians, but also a heart of gold — with arteries as clogged as Teddy’s, presumably. (But they’re clogged with love, so keep shoving those burgers into our hearts!)

On Twitter, creator Loren Bouchard confirmed that the team behind the animated show is developing a feature film set for release in 2020:

Bouchard then immediately got our pulses racing by responding to a fan’s request for the film to focus on “Horseplay” (a reference to a character voiced by comedian Ron Funches, from the show’s legendary “Equestranauts” episode tackling the brony phenomenon). 

“We’re still kicking around titles, but ‘Horseplay, the Horsening’ is definitely in the running,” Bouchard tweeted back

That’s a juicy enough title to sink your teeth into. Bob’s Burgers is known for its Grade A pun and spoof humor — though, to be clear, the actual restaurant still only boasts a barely passing grade from health inspector Hugo. But if episode titles like “Eat, Spray, Linda” and “Zero Larp Thirty” are anything to go on, the team will certainly be serving up some choice meats for the film.

Yet, while Bouchard is committed to writing a film for Bob’s Burgers regulars, he also sees it as an opportunity for a grand re-re-re opening that brings new customers into the family comedy.

“We also know it has to fill every inch of the screen with the colors and the sounds and the ever so slightly greasy texture of the world of Bob’s – but most of all it has to take our characters on an epic adventure. In other words, it has to be the best movie ever made. But no pressure, right?!” Bouchard said in a statement, first reported by Deadline. 

It’s been a big year for Bob’s Burgers. While it may not be the cultural phenomenon that The Simpsons has become, the quirky step-sister of the Fox animated comedy lineup still took home its second Emmy Award for Best Animated Series last month.

We’re hoping the film will take Bob’s Burgers from being a secret menu item and raise it to entree status in the public’s eyes (or, uh, tummies.)

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The Secret Of NIMH Was Inspired By A Horrific Experiment

When people make ineffectual attempts to pronounce “NIMH” it’s often in reference to Don Bluth’s The Secret of NIMH. Famous for traumatizing children, the cartoon features a widowed field mouse who tries to save her sick mouse kid by getting help from a society of big-brained rats who dream of no longer having to eat garbage for sustenance. Why are the rats so smart? Because they escaped from the National Institute of Mental Health, or NIMH for short, where they were the test subjects of intelligence boosting experiments. Good news everybody, NIMH was a real place and their rat experiments were way darker than the book, movie or your nightmares depicted!

MGM/UA Entertainment
Albeit a bit lower on the terrifying special effects.

The author, Robert C. O’Brien, was inspired to write Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH after seeing the work of John B. Calhoun. Calhoun had an idea: that human society breaks down when we get too crowded. To test his theory, he introduced eight mice into something called the “Mouse Universe,” an enclosed space with no predators, plenty of food and water, no disease, no bad weather and no hope for escape. The mice doubled in numbers every 55 days until there were about 600 of them.

And this was when things got weird.

Yoichi R. Okamoto
Weirder, anyway.

According to Calhoun, the males who failed in finding their niche in the Mouse Thunderdome listlessly hovered in groups in the middle of the floor and picked half hearted fights with each other. Males who couldn’t find private space attacked females who were trying to nurse their litters, who then got mad and fought back or turned on their own kids. As time passed, sex drive decreased and the moms abandoned their litters or just straight up ate them. And then the mice stopped having sex altogether and started dying off. They weren’t even overcrowded anymore, they just lost interest in being alive.

Robert C. O’Brien saw Calhoun’s Mouse Hell and asked “What if one of those original eight mice escaped from his dystopia of asexual, angry baby-eaters? And what if he freed some superintelligent rats on his way out? WHAT WOULD THAT LOOK LIKE AS A CHILDREN’S BOOK?”

From that nugget of an inspiration, O’Brien wrote Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, which was adapted into the cartoon The Secret of NIMH, which is now in development as a live-action, CGI movie. So…the rats will be real, this time guys.

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