Let’s break down 15 terrible excuses from accused sexual harassers and predators.

The world is currently being treated to a slow-rolling reveal of the alleged bad behavior of some of its most powerful men.

And inevitably, with bad behavior comes excuses.

It’s no surprise that prominent accused harassers and predators, once cornered, would try to wriggle out of accusations of sexual conduct and abuse. What is surprising is the variety in their attempts to justify their alleged behavior. Excuses by way of apology. Excuses by way of confession. Excuses by way of firm, uncompromising denial. All attempting to convey how they didn’t do what they’ve been accused of or that what they did do made sense to them in the moment. In some way, they’re the most revealing window into the personal, social, and cultural forces that enable their alleged misdeeds.

Excuses, ultimately, reflect our beliefs about what’s just and fair. Which raises some questions: Do any of them actually put the behavior in a context that makes it, in some distressing way, understandable? Do they ever work? And what does it say about us if we believe them?

Here are just some of the excuses we know they’ve tried:

1. I’m from a different era, and this strange, new culture is confusing to me.

To date, more than 50 women have accused Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein of engaging in a decades-long pattern of abusive behavior ranging from harassment to sexual coercion to rape. But lest “what he supposedly did” is coloring your impression of him, Weinstein wants you to remember he’s not an evil man: He’s just a recovering hippie!

“I came of age in the ’60s and ’70s when all the rules about behavior and workplaces were different,” Weinstein wrote in a statement. “That was the culture then.”

Harvey Weinstein. Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images.

Of course. Who doesn’t remember the ’60s and ’70s? Flower power! Free love! Cornering women in a hotel room and trying to force them to watch you shower! Though the millions of other people who made it through those turbulent decades without harassing or abusing anyone — or threatening them if they told anyone and then hiring ex-spies to help cover it up — might remember those decades slightly differently, Weinstein simply refuses to let the swingin’ spirit die. No matter the decade, his behavior is less “groovy” and more “galling.”

Weinstein’s excuse depends on eliding two wildly different notions: (1) That America failed to take workplace harassment and sexual abuse seriously in the ’60s and ’70s, and (2) that it was OK back then — or perpetrated by anyone reared back then — as a result. While the first assertion is undeniable, the second is self-serving nonsense. Just because a behavior was ignored, tolerated, or even encouraged doesn’t make it remotely close to excusable.

2. Hey, it’s not like I didn’t ask!

Thus wrote comedian Louis C.K. in a widely praised (and widely derided) statement confirming a New York Times report that he had masturbated in front of almost half a dozen unwilling women.

“At the time, I said to myself that what I did was O.K. because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is … true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them.”

Some might argue C.K.’s approach forgoes the most critical part of consent: waiting for a response. Still others might assert that without getting a “yes” or a “no” back, there’s no point in asking at all. Viewed that way, C.K.’s logic is baffling at best, and it’s both miraculous and frightening that he somehow got to the age of 50 believing the world works like this.

More frightening still, scattered segments from C.K.’s TV show and various stand-up specials in which the comedian acknowledges viewing masturbation as a form of control or tool of revenge suggest that he did indeed know the effect his behavior had on others — and simply didn’t care.

3. The closet made me do it. Also, I was drunk.

Ah, alcohol. Absolver of all responsibility. Whether knocking over a glass vase, texting your roommates at 4 a.m., or sexually assaulting teenagers, some men apparently believe that acknowledging that you were blasted when it happened is a one-way express ticket to Forgiveness Town. That reportedly includes Kevin Spacey, who actor Anthony Rapp says drunkenly attempted to force himself on him when Rapp was 14.

“If I did behave then as he describes, I owe him the sincerest apology for what would have been deeply inappropriate drunken behavior, and I am sorry for the feelings he describes having carried with him all these years,” Spacey wrote in a statement responding contritely to the alleged incident. Since the story of Rapp’s accusation broke, over a dozen more accusers have come forward.

Kevin Spacey. Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images.

To make matters worse for everyone but himself, Spacey used the space of his response to come out as a gay man — all but implying a connection between his alleged predation and his closeted sexuality. It reads as a desperate attempt to buy a modicum of sympathy at the cost of casting suspicion on millions of innocent LGBTQ Americans.

4. It’s just what guys do.

Donald Trump’s now-infamous comments about sexually assaulting women — “Grab ’em by the pussy” and “I moved on her like a bitch” — have largely disappeared down the memory hole, thanks to the steadily strengthening storm of scandals swirling around the now-president. Still, it’s tough to forget how the former reality show host became president in the first place: by managing to convince a depressing percentage of Americans that his unscripted admission was just a case of “boys being boys.”

“This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago,” Trump said in a statement following the revelations.

Was it, though? On one hand, you’ve got the producers of “Access Hollywood,” who fired Billy Bush for merely participating in that very discussion; dozens professional athletes asserting that, no, that’s not at all what locker rooms are like; not to mention the dozens of women who have come forward and accused Trump of doing pretty much exactly what he described. On the other hand, you have the word of Donald Trump, a dude who lies constantly.

Tough call, I guess.  

5. I knew it was wrong, but no one complained, so how wrong could it have been?

“Toward the end of my time at ABC News, I recognized I had a problem,” journalist Mark Halperin said in a statement responding to allegations he had sexually harassed multiple women during his tenure at the network. “No one had sued me, no one had filed a human resources complaint against me, no colleague had confronted me. But I didn’t need a call from HR to know that I was a selfish, immature person who was behaving in a manner that had to stop.”

Of course, Halperin “knew” that what he was doing was wrong in the same way that his victims likely “knew” that going to human resources to complain about their boss would get them sidelined, fired, or branded as a troublemaker. That power imbalance allows Halperin to attempt to have it both ways: pretending to take full responsibility of the allegations while slyly implying that the women he harassed share the blame for not speaking up sooner or louder.

6. I’m too old and infirm to be a threat, and it was a joke anyway.

George H.W. Bush. Photo by David J. Phillip – Pool/Getty Images.

After multiple women came forward to accuse former President George H.W. Bush of groping them while posing for photos, the elder statesman did something few accused predators have the integrity to do: He admitted it.

Still, as drafted by his spokesperson, his statement-slash-confession seemed to carry more than a whiff of an implication that his victims were needlessly slandering a harmless, disabled, old American hero:

“To try to put people at ease, the president routinely tells the same joke — and on occasion, he has patted women’s rears in what he intended to be a good-natured manner.”

And while it’s true that Bush is in his 90s and his arms aren’t as flexible as they used to be, a pat is different than a squeeze — and if someone squeezes your ass, you know. Not to mention, this explanation would appear to be contradicted by new reports that a less old and less infirm Bush was, apparently, no less inclined to grope the women (and girls, in some cases) standing next to him in photos.

7. I made them stars, and this is how they repay me?!

For some serial abusers, getting a woman her dream job apparently means assuming sexual ownership over her forever and always in exchange. Consider Roger Ailes, who reportedly made a series of unwelcome overtures to former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, even repeatedly attempting to kiss her in his office. The excuse he gave, framed as a furious denial, attempts to marshal other, generous actions as evidence to why he couldn’t or wouldn’t have engaged in misconduct.

“I worked tirelessly to promote and advance [Megyn Kelly’s] career, as Megyn herself admitted to Charlie Rose. Watch that interview and then decide for yourself,” Ailes said. As is commonly the case, Kelly wasn’t close to alone in her accusations among the women hired by Ailes. Since former Fox anchor Gretchen Carlson launched her lawsuit against her ex-boss, more than 20 women have come forward with similar allegations.

For others, that imagined control extends to merely pretending to get women jobs. That was, allegedly, the longtime MO of director James Toback, who is accused of inviting over 200 women to professional meetings only to proposition and, occasionally, assault them once in private. Toback put his denial even more aggressively:

“The idea that I would offer a part to anyone for any other reason than that he or she was gonna be the best of anyone I could find is so disgusting to me. And anyone who says it is a lying c*cksucker or c*nt or both.”

8. I’m trying to be a good guy now, and I respect the hell out of women, so let’s just wipe the slate clean.

A popular excuse, especially among various left-of-center men of Hollywood and the media, mixes a nod to contrition with a subtle appeal to tribal loyalty: “I may have been a jerk once,” the argument goes, “But I’m on the right side of the issues that you care about.”

Here’s Casey Affleck’s response, who reportedly harassed multiple women on the set of “I’m Still Here”:  

“There’s really nothing I can do about [the allegations] other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time.”

Casey Affleck. Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images.

And here’s what Dustin Hoffman had to say after he was accused of making inappropriate and lewd comments to a production assistant during “Death of a Salesman”:

“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

And here are Leon Weiseltier’s words, who allegedly harassed multiple women of a series of years as editor-in-chief of The New Republic:

“The women with whom I worked are smart and good people. I am ashamed to know that I made any of them feel demeaned and disrespected. I assure them that I will not waste this reckoning.”

Whether that “reckoning” ever comes is often irrelevant to the alleged abuser. What matters is that enough people believe he’s an asset to whatever fight they’re fighting, leaving open the possibility that he’ll be rehabilitated by his community without having to lift a finger.

9. This is a political ploy by my enemies to ruin me.

Bill O’Reilly. Photo by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images.

When in doubt, blame those bastards in the opposition party for trying to tear you down.

“If you look at the totality, this was a hit job — a political and financial hit job,” argued Bill O’Reilly, after reports surfaced that he settled an unknown sexual harassment claim for $32 million in addition to allegations that he harassed or abused a string of coworkers during his decade-plus at Fox News.

As a naked appeal to tribal loyalty, it’s a nefarious tactic but potentially a good deal more effective than, say, trying to shame your accusers by sharing the thank you notes they wrote you for some unrelated thing or outright blaming God — two things O’Reilly for real tried to do in the wake of allegations against him.

10. This is a political ploy by the media to get clicks and sell papers.

When in even more doubt, blame the fake news for whipping up people’s anger and impairing their “objectivity.”  

“Brett Ratner vehemently denies the outrageous derogatory allegations that have been reported about him, and we are confident that his name will be cleared once the current media frenzy dies down and people can objectively evaluate the nature of these claims,” said the director’s spokesperson in a statement responding to allegations that Ratner had engaged in sexual misconduct on set.

Despite Ratner’s denial, actor Ellen Page followed up days later with a blistering Facebook post, accusing the director of outing her against her will with an unwelcome, sexually tinged comment. Ratner as of yet hasn’t respond to her claim, unmediated by the media such as it was.

11. It was the Russians!

George Takei. Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images.

When in the most doubt, blame Vladimir Putin. As if the allegations against George Takei (which eerily paralleled a story Takei himself told Howard Stern several weeks earlier) weren’t upsetting enough, especially given Takei’s history of speaking out about the serious issue of sexual harassment, his response could not have been more bizarre:

“A friend sent me this. It is a chart of what Russian bots have been doing to amplify stories containing the allegations against me,” Takei wrote, after allegations that he had groped a fellow actor without his consent surfaced. “It’s clear they want to cow me into silence, but do not fear friends. I won’t succumb to that.”

12. But what about all the men who are falsely accused?

Of course, not all of those accused of harassment or abuse are guilty, though recent studies peg the incidence of false reports at between a mere 2% to 8%. But while the guilty category is larger by leaps and bounds, that inkling of doubt too often allows alleged harassers and predators to weasel their way into the former.

“No one wants to discourage abuse victims from speaking out, but one must bear in mind that sometimes there are people who are falsely accused and that is also a terribly destructive thing,” Woody Allen wrote in The New York Times after his daughter, Dylan Farrow, accused him of sexually assaulting her in the pages of the same paper a week earlier.

When reached for comment on the on the Harvey Weinstein allegations, Allen told the BBC he wished to avoid “a witch-hunt atmosphere” where “every guy in an office who winks at a woman is suddenly having to call a lawyer to defend himself.” It’s a frame that conflates workplace flirting (potentially harassing behavior in its own right) with Weinstein’s alleged pattern of coercion and assault or, perhaps, his own by association.

13. No comment, through a lawyer.

Rather than offer an excuse, which can be its own form of admission, some alleged abusers simply choose to say nothing and hope the accusation goes away. That’s what Bill Clinton did in response to claims that he raped then-nursing home operator Juanita Brodderick in a hotel after luring her there with the promise of a professional meeting. First, Clinton’s attorney called the allegations “absolutely false.” Later, Clinton himself doubled down.

“My counsel has made a statement about the … issue, and I have nothing to add to it,” the then-president told the Washington Post.

14. I’m a sick man.

Anthony Weiner. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

Of course, when the allegations become impossible to deny, some abusers see no option beyond making a full-throated, self-abasing confession. Anthony Weiner did this after pleading guilty to “transferring obscene material to a minor.”

“This fall, I came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness. I had hit bottom,” he said in court. “I entered intensive treatment, found the courage to take a moral inventory of my defects, and began a program of recovery and mental health treatment that I continue to follow every day.”

“I accept full responsibility for my conduct,” he continued. “I have a sickness, but I do not have an excuse. I apologize to everyone I have hurt. I apologize to the teenage girl, whom I mistreated so badly. I am committed to making amends to all those I have harmed. Thank you.”

Weiner certainly isn’t the first prominent accused predator to claim to be broken. Harvey Weinstein checked himself into rehab for sex addiction after allegations against him surfaced. Kevin Spacey did the same some weeks later. Weiner himself previously had done a stint at rehab. But while Weiner’s statement completely acknowledges the scope of his wrongdoing, it nonetheless contains an excuse. In some way, it implies that the former congressman’s sickness mitigates the harm his actions caused or, at the very least, absolves him of some of the blame.

It’s evidence that even the best, most clinical excuse is substandard at best.

Which is why the most reasonable excuse might just be:

15. I have no excuse.

On Nov. 1, former NPR news chief Michael Oreskes stepped down in the wake of allegations that he had harassed multiple women on the job. His acknowledgement was direct and, notably, didn’t offer an explanation for his behavior.

“I am deeply sorry to the people I hurt. My behavior was wrong and inexcusable, and I accept full responsibility.”

Apologizing unconditionally doesn’t make it all better. It doesn’t restore the careers of the women Oreskes’ behavior likely sidelined, marginalized, or ended. And it doesn’t provide a quicker, smoother path to forgiveness. Doing so merely acknowledges what should by now be obvious.

When it comes to harassing or abusing the people who work for you, depend on you, admire you, or simply those who are around you, there is no excuse.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/lets-break-down-15-terrible-excuses-from-accused-sexual-harassers-and-predators

Stillbirth link to sleeping on your back

Image copyright Science Photo Library

Women are being advised to sleep on their side in the last three months of pregnancy to help prevent stillbirth.

A study of just over 1,000 women found the risk doubles if women go to sleep on their backs in the third trimester.

The study looked into 291 pregnancies that ended in stillbirth and 735 women who had a live birth.

Researchers say the position which women fall asleep in is most important – and they should not worry if they are on their back when they wake up.

About one in 225 pregnancies in the UK ends in stillbirth and the study authors estimate that about 130 babies’ lives a year could be saved if women went to sleep on their side.

The MiNESS study, published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BJOG) is the biggest of its kind, and confirms findings from smaller studies in New Zealand and Australia.

Is waking up on your back a problem?

Prof Alexander Heazell, clinical director at the Tommy’s Stillbirth Research Centre at St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester, who led the research, advises women in their third trimester to sleep on their side for any episode of sleep, including daytime naps.

“What I don’t want is for women to wake up flat on their back and think ‘oh my goodness I’ve done something awful to my baby’.

“The question that we asked was very specifically what position people went to sleep in and that’s important as you spend longer in that position than you do in any other.

“And also you can’t do anything about the position that you wake up in but you can do something about the position you go to sleep.”

Tips for going to sleep on your side

  • Put a pillow or pillows behind your back to encourage side-sleeping
  • If you wake during the night, check your position and go back to sleep on your side
  • Pay the same attention to sleep position during the day as you would during the night
  • If you wake on your back during the night, don’t worry, just roll on to your side
  • The study didn’t find a difference in risk between right or left side

Source: Tommy’s charity

Researchers can’t say for certain why the risk of stillbirth is increased – but there is a lot of data that suggests when a woman is lying on her back, the combined weight of the baby and womb puts pressure on blood vessels which can then restrict blood flow and oxygen to the baby.

Edward Morris, from the BJOG, said the new research was “extremely welcome” .

“This is an important study which adds to the growing body of evidence that sleep position in late pregnancy is a modifiable risk factor for stillbirth.”

The pregnancy charity Tommy’s has started a campaign to raise awareness of the study and to encourage women to sleep on their side.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Michelle Cottle is 36 and lives in London – she is a clinical psychologist and writes an award-winning blog Dear Orla

Michelle Cottle’s baby Orla was stillborn at 37 weeks in 2016 after a healthy pregnancy where there were no signs that anything was wrong.

She writes a blog “Dear Orla” and hears from women who have been through the same experience.

Michelle, whose daughter Esme was born a year later, says practical advice like this for mothers is important to make them feel more in control.

“I really think it helps to empower people, as it feels like something you can go away and do with the hope of having a more healthy pregnancy and a better outcome than sadly lots of people do have.

“I look back now and I actually feel quite traumatised by my (second) pregnancy because it was a bit like living your worst nightmare every single day.

“Every time there’s maybe a quiet moment and you don’t know whether your baby is alive or not is absolutely terrifying.

“Night-time is the worst as well because a lot of people would say they believe that their baby died maybe when they were sleeping. I think that’s really scary because you have to sleep.

“So I think having clear things that can help you feel a bit more in control is really important for women.”

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42025835

10 Gifts To Buy Yourself This Christmas, Because You Know You’ve Had Your Eye On A Few Things

10 Gifts To Buy Yourself For Christmas, Because You Know You’ve Had Your Eye On A Few Things

Just because people say it’s better to give than to receive, doesn’t mean you have to play martyr and deny the fact that when you wake up on Christmas morning to presents under the tree, you’re pretty damn excited to rip off the wrapping and see how your loved ones chose to spoil you this year. You work hard, and probably don’t play as hard as you deserve, so it’s not a crime to scope out gifts to buy yourself for Christmas. Trust me, friends, you’ve earned it.

And don’t you dare think, even for the tiniest of milliseconds, that splurging on yourself is in any way . Think of it this way, OK? Gift exchanges are wonderful, and I’m sure you’re very appreciative of any present a friend or loved one goes out of the way to give you. But, unless you make a detailed wishlist or Pinterest board and send them out for reference every year, I’m willing to bet you don’t receive everything you want.

If you a) have the funds and b) are constantly adding and deleting a specific item from your digital shopping cart, allow yourself the luxury this holiday season and treat yourself. Here are a few special gifts to buy yourself for Christmas this year, because you deserve a little TLC and spoiling, too.

1Eye Masks

Honest Hazel

Eye Gels – “TRY ME” – 3 pack, $12, Honest Hazel

I will not hesitate to admit that I am a sucker for cosmetic trends on Instagram. Lime Crime, Dose of Colors — you name it, I’ve tried it.

Lately, however, viral makeup products have been pushed aside, allowing real skincare goodies shine though. I’m all about self-care these days, so once I spotted Honest Hazel’s eye gels all over the health and wellness social accounts I follow, I knew they’d be at the top of my wishlist.

2Artisan Teas

David’s Tea

24 Days of Tea, $45, David’s Tea

To say that I’m a tea addict would be the understatement of the year. I come from an Irish household where tea time was served the time, and on average, I’d probably sip down about three cups a day.

Over the years, I’ve expanded my palette well beyond traditional black brews, and I personally find joy in sampling new flavors, which is why this advent calendar of loose leaves from David’s Tea has me working my way up on my husband’s “Nice List.” In each miniature compartment, you’ll find a tiny tin of single-serving delicacies like cream of earl grey, silk dragon jasmine, and white cranberry bark. Now sounds like a delicious way to kick off the new year, no?

3A Cropped Hoodie

Gymshark

Women’s Cropped Hoodie in Pale Turquoise, $38, Gymshark

I’ve been a fan of Gymshark’s since the very beginning of my fitness journey. If you’re a fan of Lululemon, I’d definitely go out on a limb to say this brand is the slightly more affordable version.

Gymshark leggings are bae, and their sports bras fit nice and snug, but I’ve been eyeing this turquoise hoodie from the second I got wind of its release. Obviously, cropped anything is associated with warmer weather, but when you’re killing it at the gym, this is definitely a staple piece for any high-intensity wardrobe.

4The Perfect Makeup Kit

tarte

Limited-Edition Magic Star Collector’s Set, $49, Tarte Cosmetics

Purchasing high-quality makeup adds up fast. For an all-encompassing set, you’re generally spending over $50, but thankfully, Tarte’s giving the gift of affordable cosmetics to its loyal customers this holiday season.

This limited-edition set is comprised of all the essentials you’ll need to perfect a full face. With 25 exclusive matte and metallic eyeshadows, the brand’s signature clay blushes, highlighter, bronzer, and every tool necessary to master a wicked cat eye and bold lip, this is the dream set every beauty buff deserves to treat herself to this year.

5Succulents

4″ Live Assorted Succulents Set of 4, $49, Urban Outfitters

Not all of us were born with a green thumb, OK? I know myself, and even though I love the look of plants, I definitely am not one for maintaining them.

This succulent set from UO is perfect for anyone who adores the homey aesthetic plants add to their space, but is admittedly sort of forgetful when it comes to trimming thorns and daily watering. TLC requirements are minimal with these lovely blooms; just make sure they’re strategically located where they can soak in the sunshine, and water once in awhile for nourishment.

6Earthy Apothecary

Hello Crisp

The Earthy One Gift Box, $48, Hello Crisp

I recently came across Hello Crisp and instantly fell in love with the brand’s cozy, minimalist aesthetic. They offer a range of themed gift boxes catering to unique personalities, and this earthy blend stood out to me as the perfect wintertime treat.

Each product is hand-selected and made by artisans that are environmentally friendly and produce high-quality goods. The Earthy One is comprised of a black pepper birch wood cedar candle, a body lotion that harmonizes notes of vanilla and greenery, as well as a warm apple-scented soap bar enhanced with amber and wild lavender.

7A Graphic Sweatshirt

Wholesome Culture

I Know Guac Is Extra, But So Am I – Unisex Crewneck Sweatshirt, $35, Wholesome Culture

Guac may be extra, but it’s worth it — and so are you.

I love graphic tees and sweatshirts emblazoned with phrases that are not only catchy, but speak to my soul. Avocado speaks to my soul my stomach, so Wholesome Culture’s crewneck truly says it all. Plus, their sizes seem to run a little roomy, which is optimal for post-holiday dinner lounging.

8The Gift Of A New Hobby

We Are Knitters

Avanto Beanie – Knitting Kit, $49, We Are Knitters

I realize that knitting is often associated with a vision of a grandmother in a rocking chair with balls of unraveling yarn at her feet, but We Are Knitters is making this craft cool again, and I personally want in on the fun.

The site is divided into levels of expertise, so if you’re a beginner, there are tons of kits to get you started. The Avanto Beanie kit is technically a two-for-one special if you think about it. Not only will you be honing a new skill, you’ll also have a chic piece of headgear to sport all winter long.

9Book Club Membership

3-Month Membership, $44.99, Book of the Month Club

If you prefer books over people, there’s a club for that. Share your joy of enticing plots and genius character development by gifting yourself a three-month membership to Book of the Month Club.

The process is simple: Choose one or multiple of five titles showcased each month, and have them shipped to your door (sometimes the brand sneaks a surprise inside your bundle), and enjoy!

If you’re looking for a book club that’s a little more engaging, Emma Roberts and Karah Preiss launched their own exclusive association where readers can purchase Belletrist’s monthly pick and discuss via social media.

10A Fancy Planner

Erin Condren

Erin Condren 2018 Hardbound LifePlanner, $30, Amazon

I wouldn’t exactly call myself cheap, but I’m definitely not the type of girl to pay a visit to the mall on a weekly basis and waste money on material things I don’t need (except books — you can never have too many books).

When it comes to planners, though, I’ve been known to splurge. Some people look at $30 for a planner and think it’s outrageous. I, on the other hand, am drawn to pricey notebooks and will gladly drop a few bills on a hardbound planner clad with pages dedicated to setting goals and organizing schedules.

Erin Condren’s life planner comes in three designs: watercolor splash quote, painted petals, and floating florals. It’s also huge, with 164 pages to doodle, take notes, and plan your entire 2018. Is it worth the big bucks? For you, I definitely think so.

Read more: https://elitedaily.com/p/10-gifts-to-buy-yourself-for-christmas-because-you-know-youve-had-your-eye-on-a-few-things-5488998

Amazon Threat Causes Shakeout in the Health-Care Industry

Amazon.com Inc. is casting a long shadow over the health-care industry.

The prospect of the giant Internet retailer entering the business is beginning to cause far-reaching reverberations for a range of companies, roiling the shares of drugstore chains, drug distributors and pharmacy-benefit managers, and potentially precipitating one of the biggest corporate merger deals this year.

On Thursday, the pressure was plain to see. A report that Amazon had received pharmacy-wholesaler licenses in a dozen states triggered a fast and steep selloff that wounded the likes of McKesson Corp., AmerisourceBergen Corp. and Cardinal Health Inc. And late in the day, shares of Aetna Inc. surged after a report that it was in talks to be taken over by CVS Health Corp.

Executives in the drug industry say that Amazon could use its expansive online reach and its logistical muscle to threaten companies that ship and sell medicines to consumers and cut pricing deals with drug makers.

“Size and scale-wise, they can disrupt anywhere they want to disrupt,” said Chip Davis, president of the Association for Accessible Medicines, a trade group for generic medication, in an interview Thursday.

Competitive Squeeze

A deal for Aetna could conceivably move CVS further away from the business of brick-and-mortar retail drugstores and deeper in health services such as pharmacy benefits, where it already has a sizable presence.

Combining Aetna and CVS would create a health-services giant and a bigger competitor for UnitedHealth Group Inc., which is the largest U.S. health insurer and has its own own clinics and a pharmacy-benefits unit.

The presence of Amazon is already being felt by retailers and companies that sell drugs over the counter. The head of of Bayer AG’s consumer-health business said on a conference call with analysts Thursday that the wider shift to online shopping by U.S. consumers was hurting its business. Erica Mann, the division’s chief, dubbed it the “Amazon effect,” saying buyers are looking for value.

At the same time, the pecking order in the health-supply chain is beginning to shift.

Earlier this month, insurance giant Anthem Inc. said it was cutting ties with Express Scripts Holding Co. after a long dispute over pricing and starting its own pharmacy-benefits manager in 2020. A bulked-up CVS and Anthem’s new venture could raise the pressure on Express Scripts, which has touted its independence.

Any tie-up of Aetna and CVS would follow a pair of failed mergers among health insurers. The deals would have reduced the ranks of big U.S. health insurers from five to three, a prospect that led the Justice Department to oppose both prospective tie-ups.

If the Aetna deal happened, “CVS would have a dominant position” in the drug-benefits business, said Michael Rea, founder of Rx Savings Solutions, which has an app that helps patients find low cost drugs.

Pharmacy Threat

Analysts have speculated that Amazon could soon enter the business of selling prescription drugs, threatening to disrupt retail drugstores, drug wholesalers, and the pharmacy-benefits management business. While Amazon has never publicly commented on what its plans may be, CNBC reported this month that the Internet giant could make a decision about selling drugs online by Thanksgiving. The network didn’t name its sources.

McKesson slid 5.2 percent at 4 p.m. in New York, while AmerisourceBergen shares fell 4.2 percent and Express Scripts sank 3.7 percent following the report on Amazon’s state licenses by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Bloomberg News confirmed that Amazon had obtained wholesale-pharmacy licenses in at least 13 states, including Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, North Dakota, Oregon, Alabama, Louisiana, New Jersey, Michigan, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Utah and Iowa. An application is pending in Maine. Some of the licenses were obtained late last year and some this year.

Amazon declined to comment.

The licenses could be part of Amazon’s business-to-business sales effort, which would include sales to hospitals, doctor’s offices and dentists. Amazon on Tuesday announced “Business Prime Shipping,” which brings the quick delivery associated with Amazon household orders to workplaces. 

The Seattle company launched Amazon Business in 2015, offering tractor parts, latex gloves, file folders and millions of other products needed in factories, hospitals, schools and offices. Businesses are shifting their supply shopping online from less-efficient methods such as browsing print catalogs, faxing orders and telephoning sales representatives.

Online business-to-business sales – a broad category that includes pens and paper for the office as well as lab equipment and parts used in factories — will grow to $1.2 trillion in 2021 from $889 billion this year, according to Forrester Research Inc.

On a conference call Thursday with analysts, McKesson CEO John H. Hammergren said the wholesaler doesn’t “take the entry of any competitor lightly,” but said the company already has a large online order operation and similar to what Amazon does logistically. “To some extent, we were Amazon before it was cool to be Amazon.”

    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-26/drug-wholesalers-slump-after-amazon-com-obtains-state-licenses

    No, We Didn’t Just See The First Marijuana Overdose Death

    Humans have been getting high on marijuana for millennia, and there has never been a recorded case of a fatal overdose. That record appeared to be in peril earlier this week, following reports that an 11-month-old in Colorado died last year following exposure to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in weed.

    Local media seized on the case report first published in March, suggesting that the two poison control doctors who wrote it had concluded the infant’s death was caused by a marijuana overdose.

    Such a finding would have sent a shockwave through the marijuana advocacy and medical communities. Cannabis is associated with a low risk of harm, which advocates have long touted as a reason to relax laws that categorize weed as one of the most dangerous drugs. And although medical experts have routinely warned of certain health risks around consuming marijuana, they have largely agreed that THC alone simply doesn’t kill people.

    The case from Colorado could have challenged that entire precept. But it didn’t.

    “We are absolutely not saying that marijuana killed that child,” one of the doctors who authored the report told The Washington Post in a later interview.

    And indeed, that’s clear after a close reading of the paper.

    The doctors actually argue that marijuana exposure could have contributed to the myocarditis ― an inflammation of the heart muscle ― that was determined to have caused the death of the 11-month-old boy. The child tested positive for high levels of THC, and there have been prior reports of cannabis-associated myocarditis, according to the doctors. Because they couldn’t confirm an alternate cause for the cardiac inflammation after conducting additional testing, they concluded there may have been a “possible relationship” between the THC and the fatal episode.

    “In areas where marijuana is commercially available or decriminalized, the authors urge clinicians to preventively counsel parents and to include cannabis exposure in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with myocarditis,” they wrote.

    I’m not convinced, I have to be honest. Marijuana is a drug that’s impairing, but not one that’s known to cause issues like those described in the paper. Dr. Bruce Goldberger, chief of forensic medicine at the University of Florida

    At the very least, urging doctors to tell parents to be careful with their marijuana edibles and other cannabis products seems like sound advice, especially as a growing number of states ― now eight, as well as Washington, D.C. ― are legalizing marijuana for recreational use. 

    But to be clear, this was not a case of fatal marijuana overdose. It wasn’t even a claim of one. Such a death would be truly remarkable, as reports have found that a user would have to ingest somewhere between 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC contained in a single joint ― if not more ― to approach lethal toxicity. It’s not clear if that’s even physically possible, which is probably why one Colorado doctor was quick to “call ‘BS’” on the idea that the child had been poisoned by marijuana.

    But even the more accurate and less controversial conclusion ― that there could be a link between cannabis and fatal myocarditis ― has raised some eyebrows.

    “I’m not convinced, I have to be honest,” Dr. Bruce Goldberger, chief of forensic medicine at the University of Florida, told HuffPost. “Marijuana is a drug that’s impairing, but not one that’s known to cause issues like those described in the paper.”

    It’s crucial that medical examiners and coroners evaluate and exclude every potential cause of death in totality before attributing it to the ingestion of a drug, Goldberger said. 

    “I don’t know if they did any genetic testing to verify that the child was genetically OK or normal. There weren’t any details in there that I could see in the report,” he said. “You have to rule out all metabolic and genetic causes.” 

    The report presented a few other red flags that could have been worth further examination. For example, although the doctors claimed to have ruled out “almost every other cause” of death, the paper makes no mention of screening for a fungal infection, which can also cause myocarditis.

    But ultimately, it’s not just medical professional who have to exercise caution when it comes to reporting on drugs.

    “You also have to be careful about what you read on the internet,” Goldberger said.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marijuana-overdose-death_us_5a0effece4b0e97dffecfc68

    12 Wedding Vows That Are WAY Too Honest for the Altar

    It’s been six years since Tiffani and I exchanged vows. Like most soon-to-be-married couples, we had an idea of what marriage would look like. After all, we watched “chick flicks,” read a few marriage books, and spent time with older married couples.

    Looking back, however, I realize I didn’t know much at all about marriage. The words I promised Tiffani at our wedding were idealistic and romantic. This isn’t much different from the traditional vows you hear at almost any wedding. “To have and hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

    There’s nothing wrong with these vows. But, seriously. Who really understands what they mean?

    I know what you’re thinking. Why do marriage vows matter?

    Here’s why. Vows are promises. But not just any promises. Vows are markers that guide your marriage. So, while I’m not against writing vows Casanova would applaud, I am against vows that are more romantic and emotional than practical and honest.

    Let’s be real. In a culture that idolizes romantic love, we don’t need any more Shakespearean vows. We need vows that will shape and impact marriages.

    Here are 12 truthful marriage vows you won’t hear at a wedding.

    1.) I PROMISE TO NEVER FLIRT, LUST, OR DESIRE THE ATTENTION OF SOMEONE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX. 

    When you get married, you vow faithfulness to your spouse. You vow exclusivity to them. You promise to never flirt, lust, or seek attention from the opposite sex. You promise to protect your mind from images that aren’t your spouse.

    You don’t listen to music that degrades people. You don’t allow your eyes to view images or watch shows portraying people as objects and relationships as indispensable. These are obvious, right?

    But when you vow exclusivity to your spouse, you vow more than physical purity. You vow emotional purity as well. You promise to never confide in a secretary at work or be flattered by someone of the opposite sex.

    Emotional purity is much less obvious than physical purity, but it’s just as destructive. You must fight to give all of your emotions, your desire to impress, your attention, struggles, heartaches, and everything in between to your spouse. These don’t belong to other people. Fight for purity, both physically and emotionally.

    2.) I PROMISE TO NEVER EXPECT A 50/50 MARRIAGE. 

    There’s no such thing as a 50/50 marriage.

    You can’t keep score in a marriage. There’s no such thing as a 50/50 relationship. That’s a contract.

    Give 100% of yourself every day. Some days, 100% won’t be much. But on those days, trust your spouse will pick you up. Regardless, let go of this give-and-take idea.

    Just give. Giving is the essence of love and the heart of the one who created marriage, God.

    3.) I PROMISE TO MAKE THE GOSPEL THE MISSION OF OUR MARRIAGE.

    Most marriages struggle because the relationship is the end goal. The mission of most marriages is to provide stability to your life, to have a family, to have a companion. Get the idea?

    But God created marriage, and because he created it, the goal is larger than selfish desires. The goal is to glorify him. Even in Christian circles, few couples make the gospel the mission of their marriage. And this explains why Paul said it was better NOT to marry (1 Cor. 7). Your interest would be divided between your spouse and God.

    Your mission on earth is to serve God. Everyday. This mission doesn’t change when you get married. But if you’re not intentional, pleasing your spouse will take precedent over serving God.

    4.) I PROMISE TO LOVE WHO YOU ARE TODAY, NOT WHO I WANT YOU TO BE.

    For the sake of your sanity and your marriage, please listen. You can’t change your spouse. You don’t have that power.

    If this is your goal, two varmets will infest your relationship: bitterness and resentment.

    For years, Tiffani and I tried to change each other. It wasn’t until we stopped trying to change each other and started enjoying one another that we experienced intimacy.

    One of the profound mysteries of marriage is two people with different values learning to love, flourish, and celebrate one another. It’s not easy, but that’s why you must rely on God and embrace the unique values He places in every person, including your spouse.

    This sounds overly simplistic because it is…just love the person in front of you. Don’t long for a “fixed” version of your spouse. Don’t hope for a day when your spouse changes. Just love the current version of your partner. Doing this will transform your marriage.

    5.) I PROMISE YOU WILL NEVER BE RESPONSIBLE FOR MY HAPPINESS.

    Marriage isn’t a quest to find happiness or completion. God created you complete. You must learn to love yourself before trying to receive or extend love.

    When another person is responsible for your happiness, you idolize that person. You obsess over everything. You check Facebook profiles, text messages, and missed calls. It’s a miserable way to live. It’s a terrible recipe for a quality relationship.

    Be confident in the man or woman God created you to be. Then you will be free to love your spouse the way God intended.

    6.) I PROMISE TO MAKE MY EXPECTATIONS CLEAR.

    This was probably the greatest barrier in my marriage the first few years. Tiffani and I had expectations that influenced our decisions and shaped our understanding of marriage.

    Tiffani’s expectations for me were influenced by her dad. Tiffani has an amazing dad. I respect him. I’ve learned a lot from him. But I’m not Tiffani’s dad. Likewise, my expectations for Tiffani were shaped by my mom. I have an amazing mom. But it’s unfair to expect Tiffani to respond the way my mom responded. And these unrealistic expectations created a lot of disappointments.

    Your spouse should never endure disappointments as a result of ignorance. State your expectations clearly. All of them. Be thorough. What do you expect from a wife? A husband? What does marriage look like to you? What does sex look like?

    If you can’t state your expectations, either because you don’t know them or you’re too shy to say them, it’s a red flag that you aren’t ready for marriage.

    7.) I PROMISE TO NEVER SAY “I FORGIVE YOU” UNLESS I TRULY MEAN IT. 

    Your spouse will hurt you and vice-versa. When this happens, search your heart, seek God, and forgive your spouse the same way God forgives you.

    Don’t forgive with conditions. Don’t say, “I forgive you” when you’re really storing your spouse’s mistake to use as ammo in a future argument.

    Unless you forgive the way God forgives you, completely and unconditionally, a wall will grow taller and taller in your relationship. Eventually, bitterness and resentment will make intimacy impossible, and your marriage will be nothing more than two roommates living under the same roof.

    8.) I PROMISE TO BE FOR YOU, TO ENCOURAGE YOUR DREAMS, TO HELP YOU BECOME THE MAN OR WOMAN GOD CREATED YOU TO BE.

    Many days you won’t feel like being for your spouse. But you must be for your partner if you want your marriage to grow. What does this look like? Here are a few examples.

    1. You pray for your spouse.
    2. You affirm your spouse’s strengths and gifts.
    3. You focus more on the positive aspects of your spouse’s personality and actions than the negative ones.
    4. You help your spouse pursue his or her dreams and talents.
    5. You make your relationship a safe place for hard questions and deep conversations.

    When you are for your spouse they open up like a flower, stepping into their relationships, workplace, etc. with boldness and courage. Is your spouse living with boldness and courage?

    9.) I PROMISE TO NEVER COMPLAIN ABOUT OUR MARRIAGE, IN GENERAL, OR YOU, IN PARTICULAR, TO OTHERS.

    God created marriage to be a private relationship between two people.

    God created marriage to be a private relationship between two people. In the social media era, virtually everything is available to the public. Privacy is viewed as stinginess, almost as though six billion people are entitled to full access of your life.

    Don’t buy the lie.

    Your marriage is private. When you fight, your girlfriends don’t need to hear your husband is a jerk. Your homeboys don’t need to hear that your wife is irrational and ridiculous. No one, other than your spouse, should know intimate details about your sex life.

    Don’t publicize a relationship God designed to be private.

    10.) I PROMISE TO BELIEVE THE BEST IS YET TO COME, REGARDLESS OF HOW GOOD OR BAD THINGS ARE TODAY.

    Regardless of the circumstances in your marriage, never spend more time looking in the rear-view mirror than the windshield. You must always believe the best is yet to come.

    Why? God is a futurist.

    He always leads people towards the future, towards the unknown. This forward movement is rooted in hope. Hope that the unknown is better than the known because God forges the path.

    But here’s the lie our world says: future circumstances are tied to current actions. So, if your marriage is miserable right now, it won’t get better in the future. But the future isn’t dependent on external actions. It’s dependent on internal perspective.

    In other words, you must choose to believe tomorrow will be better than today. If you choose this, it will be true, regardless of the actions of your spouse.

    11.) I PROMISE TO PROTECT OUR MARRIAGE FROM OUTSIDE INFLUENCES, INCLUDING KIDS, WORK, AND IN-LAWS.

    Marriage is about intimacy, and intimacy requires time and exclusivity. Here’s what this means practically. You must learn to say no. Go ahead and practice now.

    Dr. Henry Cloud, in his book Boundaries In Marriage, says, “A marriage is only as strong as what it costs to protect it.”

    Saying yes to outside influences means saying no to your marriage. You will hurt people’s feelings. Your parents won’t understand. They might even call you selfish. Your golf game might take a hit. Your friends will send you passive-aggressive text messages because you aren’t spending time with them. Your co-workers might think you’re uncommitted because you choose to spend a night with your spouse instead of working late on a project. Unfortunately, even your church might make off-hand comments.

    I’m giving you a heads up because these are the costs you must take to protect your marriage. If you don’t do this, your marriage will fail. And, trust me, it’s must easier to implement this vow on day 1 of your marriage than several years in.

    12.) I PROMISE TO SURROUND OUR MARRIAGE WITH A COMMUNITY OF CHRISTIANS WHO WILL ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT US.

    I’m going to be real here. At some point, you will want to give up. I know what you’re thinking. “Not me. I would never leave my spouse.”

    That’s real sweet and all, but you’re naive.

    Marriage is crazy hard. Eventually, your spouse will wound you deeply, you will lose the will to invest in your relationship, or you will come to the realization that marriage is more work than you signed up for.

    When this season comes, the line between giving up and pressing forward will be drawn by your community. If your community caters to your ego and feeds your “woe is me” attitude, the line will be easy to cross. If you aren’t plugged into a local church, doing life with a group of Christians, the line will be easier to cross. If, however, you surround your marriage with a community of Christians who are for you, the line will be much harder to cross.

    The presence of Christian community is so important that I ask those attending weddings I perform to make vows to the couple being married. After the couple’s vows, the audience stands. Then I ask them two questions.

    1. ________ (couple being married) have asked for your prayers and support as they begin marriage together. Do you pledge to pray for them as they work on building a deep and abiding love? 
    2.  ________ (couple being married) will need determination and patience to cultivate their love for one another. Do you pledge to support them in every way as they build a Christ-centered marriage?

    After each question, the audience responds with “We will.” It’s powerful to see the crowd looking at the couple, vowing to pray for and support them.

    For too long, wedding vows have focused on emotional, romantic love and not practical, solid pillars. You probably won’t hear these vows at any wedding you attend. But they’re essential for building a marriage that lasts.

    Six years of marriage taught me one thing. Marriage is the most difficult, rewarding, painful, joyous journey you will embark on. And when the storms of life come, a few well-structured, emotional sentences won’t do you any good. You need something more practical. More realistic. You need guardrails to keep you from running off the road.

    To my wife: I love you so much. Thank you for challenging me to become a better man, husband, father, and follower of Jesus. I love every day with you. I love every moment with you.

    IT’S YOUR TURN. WHAT ARE SOME PRACTICAL MARRIAGE VOWS YOU WISH YOU WOULD HAVE SAID ON YOUR WEDDING DAY? LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. 

    I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!

     

    Read more: https://faithit.com/12-wedding-vows-way-honest-altar-frank-powell/

    Scientists Replace 80 Percent Of Boy’s Skin With Epidermis Grown In Lab, Saving His Life

    A boy with untreatable wounds has had 80 percent of his skin replaced with a genetically modified epidermis in an attempt to save his life.

    The 7-year-old boy has a life-threatening genetic disorder that has caused untreatable and infected wounds all over his body. Before the surgery to replace it, the Syrian boy, named only as Hassan, had lost around 80 percent of his skin to the disorder. In 2015, he was admitted to a children’s hospital in Germany where the doctors tried to make him comfortable after all other attempts to heal him had failed.

    The condition he suffers from is called epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a rare inherited skin disorder. Sufferers have genetic mutations on one of three genes, LAMC2, LAMA3 or LAMB3, which help produce the laminin 332 protein. This protein is what helps attach the upper layers of skin to deeper layers. As a result of the mutation, sufferers’ skin can become blistered from just a mild bump or friction. 

    The study, published recently in Nature, reports Hassan suffers from junctional epidermolysis bullosa, which accounts for around 5 percent of EB. Considered to be one of the most severe forms of the condition, sufferers can have trouble eating as blistering can also occur within the body. Around 40 percent of children with the condition won’t survive their first year, and most don’t live past five.

    So the doctors were up against extreme odds when they attempted to repair the boy’s skin using a genetically modified replacement. Researchers from the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy took stem cells from a small patch of unblistered skin from the boy’s groin region and used this to grow new skin in the lab. Before growing sheets of skin from the cells, the team used a retrovirus to insert a healthy, non-mutated version of the LAMB3 gene.

    Figure A shows Hassan before treatment. Images C to E show his extraordinary recovery. T. Hirsch et al / Nature.

    The surgeons spent two months grafting the skin grown in their labs onto the boy. He spent months recovering, covered in bandages, before he was let out of hospital in February 2016.

    “The kid is now back to school. He plays soccer,” lead author Dr Tobias Hirsch, from the hospital, told BBC News. Almost two years later, Hassan is doing well. He doesn’t need to take medicine, is doing well at his school in Germany, and his skin heals just like other healthy children.

    Professor  Michele De Luca, who led the study, told the BBC that she wants to further study how effective treatment would be on other types of EB.

    “The gene is different, the protein is different and the outcome may be different [for each form of EB] so we need formal clinical trials.”

     

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/scientists-replace-80-percent-of-boys-skin-with-epidermis-grown-in-lab-saving-his-life/

    Iran-Iraq earthquake kills at least 67, injures more than 500, officials say

    At least 67 people were killed and more than 500 others were hurt in a powerful earthquake on the Iran-Iraq border region Sunday, Iranian officials revealed. 

    The quake had a magnitude of 7.3, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) announced, as reports of serious structural damage started to emerge.

    The Islamic Republic of Iran News Network quoted the head of the country’s emergency medical services, Pirhossein Koulivand, as saying at least 61 had been killed and 300 injured on Iran’s side of the border. Iranian state TV also said Iraqi officials reported at least six people dead inside Iraq, along with more than 50 people injured in Sulaymaniyah province and about 150 in Khanaquin city. No reports were immediately available from Iraq’s government.

    On its website, the USGS placed the quake’s epicenter at about 18.6 miles southwest of the Iraqi city of Halabja.

    The USGS also issued an “orange” alert for “shaking-related fatalities and economic losses.” 

    “Significant casualties and damage are likely and the disaster is potentially widespread,” the agency said online. “Past orange alerts have required a regional or national level response.” 

    In Iraq, the quake destroyed old houses in Sadr City and triggered supermarket damage in the area. Traffic across Baghdad was slowed to a standstill.

    The health department in Baquba, Iraq, said that it had received more than 30 fainting cases. In Khanaqin, the quake hurt five people and the minaret of one of the city’s biggest mosques toppled to the ground.

    Koulivand earlier told a local television station that the earthquake knocked out electricity in Iran’s western cities of Mehran and Ilam. He also said 35 rescue teams were providing assistance. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a phone call with the Interior Ministry emphasized the need for maximum effort from officials.

    The semi-official Iranian ILNA news agency said at least 14 provinces in Iran had been affected by the earthquake.

    Iran sits on many major fault lines and is prone to near-daily quakes. In 2003, a magnitude-6.6 earthquake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.

    Fox News’ Kadhum Hussein and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/11/12/iran-iraq-earthquake-kills-at-least-67-injures-more-than-500-officials-say.html

    The 7 Psychotic Things Your Favorite Celebs Do To Stay Healthy

    Look, I’ve tried a lot of bizarre diets and weird beauty hacks in my day. From Paleo, to Atkins, to low-carb to high-carb to Keto to vegan to juicing to brothing to counting calories and exercising, I’ve done it all, and most betches can say the same. Can you blame us? We’re bored and practically willing to do anything to avoid regular exercise and a well-balanced diet. With that being said, there are certain lines we just won’t cross. Like, sometimes you just know that a certain ingredient doesn’t belong in your body or on your skin, and there are no further questions, no matter how many times Jennifer Aniston endorsed it. Celebrities are obviously insane, and some of them go to v dramatic lengths to stay healthy. Here’s some of the craziest shit they do.

    1. Kate Upton Takes Wheatgrass Shots In her Eyeballs

    This news just came out, and it’s honestly what prompted me to do more research on these weird celebrity health habits. Why the fuck would anyone put wheatgrass shots in their eyes, you may be wondering? Apparently it’s supposed to hydrate your eyes, and Kate swears by it. “I wear contacts, and the wheatgrass really works,” she said in an interview. “It basically hydrates your eyeballs. It’s like flushing out your eye.”

    2. Miley Cyrus Spreads Avocado On Her Face

    A couple years ago, Miley posted a pic on Instagram with the caption, “The avocado obsesh is mad real.” I mean, we obviously agree with that statement (cue my 500 avocado toast orders), but like, not on our faces. The picture shows the avocado spread all over her face like guac, and it literally has chunks in it. I’m gonna vom. I really don’t care if it makes your skin smooth or clear or whatever, it’s gross. Can we stick with a mud mask next time?

    3. Reese Witherspoon Eats 10 Jars Of Baby Food Everyday

    I’m literally trying not to gag while thinking about this diet. Baby food is meant for babies, just like dog food is meant for dogs (although I wouldn’t be surprised if that were a new weight loss trend at this point.) I mean, relatively speaking, I guess this isn’t the most inedible diet ever, but baby food is just mushed up fruits and veggies, so why don’t you just eat fruits and vegetables instead? Or like, a smoothie? Reese, you make no sense to me.

    4. Gwyneth Paltrow Sprays Silver On Her Airplane Seat

    No, you didn’t read that wrong. Queen of wellness and Goop guru Gwyneth sprays her airplane seat with literal silver before a flight. Apparently this spray is sold by naturopathic medicine brands, and it’s made with potassium, distilled water, and actual silver. People say it fights off bacteria and viruses. IDK. Let’s keep in mind this is done by the woman who gets her vagina steamed, so you do you, Gwyneth.

    5. Kourtney Kardashian Drinks Avocado & Sugar For Breakfast

    We’ve already talked about the health benefits of Kourtney Kardashian’s daily lemon water, but I think it’s time to talk about what the fuck this girl actually eats for breakfast, because it’s alarming. Kourtney literally blends an avocado with sugar and drinks it as a smoothie, and like, sometimes eats with a spoon. Is this healthy? Is it good? Is anyone else getting hazing PTSD from the concoctions you had to drink as a pledge? So many questions, and I’d like some answers.

    6. Madonna Bathes In Basil

    This situation actually sounds kind of relaxing, but it’s also super weird. Madonna reportedly takes a basil bath on the reg, which literally consists of a bathtub filled with herbs. Basil is supposed to be an anti-inflammatory agent, so it can help combat stress and muscle pain and apparently make you look amazing. I mean, this sounds time-consuming and annoying, but if this is why Madonna looks so good at age 60, I can get down with a basil bath every now and then. But like, does the basil get stuck in the drain at the end? I need to know.

    7. January Jones Eats Her Own Placenta

    Um, was this cleared by a doctor?! January Jones once told reporters that she eats her own placenta in capsule form everyday. She claims “your placenta gets dehydrated and made into vitamins,” which is still not a reason to eat it, if you ask me. She says she recommends it to all moms, but whether or not anyone wants to take her new mommy tip is questionable. I’m really not over this. Your own placenta?! Really? I can’t. Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.

    Read more: http://www.betches.com/psychotic-things-kourtney-kardashian-reese-witherspoon-and-other-celebs-do-to-stay-healthy

    Coming Soon to Washington: An Anti-Trump Hotel for Liberals

    The first thing you’ll see when you walk into Eaton Workshop, a hotel opening in late spring 2018 in Washington, is a custom-commissioned video art installation by AJ Schnack, shown on a series of vintage-style television screens. All day long, it’ll broadcast a montage of footage from the presidential elections of 2012 and 2016 that’s built around one pointed question: How did our country get where it is today?

    It’s not a subtle statement, and it’s not meant to be.

    In Trump’s Washington, Eaton is planting a clear flag as a haven for Democrats. It’s the world’s first politically motivated hotel, the flagship for a global brand that’s built around social activism and community engagement. And it comes with a pedigree: As the daughter of Ka Shui Lo, the creator and executive chairman of Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group Ltd., founder Katherine Lo knows a thing or two about luxury hotels and world-class service.

    The Big Idea

    An artist’s rendering of the reception desk of the Eaton.
    Source: Gachot Studios

    Lo firmly believes that hotels ought to be catalysts for good. In a world where we can be conscious consumers—of everything from clothing to food to baby products—she argues there’s a place for conscious hotels, too. This isn’t a revolutionary idea: Already, 1 Hotels has built a small collection of luxury properties entirely around the idea of sustainability, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts has made a significant, brand-wide commitment to bolster community programming for disadvantaged children in all of its destinations. It’s one of many five-star brands that have a conscious ethos but choose not to flaunt it.

    Eaton Workshop is different. With a premise that’s built around liberal activism and civic engagement, the brand will weave a liberal philosophy into every aspect of the guest experience, some more obvious than others.

    Among the subtler points is the significance of the company’s name: a nod to the high-end shopping mall of that name in Montreal that captured the fascination of Ka Shui Lo when he fled the Cultural Revolution in China. The mall, says Katherine, was a beacon of freedom to her father—and when she found an archival photo bearing its old motto, “Progress and better living,” the two Eatons became forever intertwined.

    The Washington hotel—which has 209 rooms just north of the National Mall—will be the brand’s flagship, with a second location opening in Hong Kong in 2018 and new constructions set to rise in San Francisco and Seattle no sooner than 2019.

    A Hotel With an Agenda

    The lobby of the Eaton.
    Source: Gachot Studios

    Among the Washington location’s programming signatures will be a sort of TED talk series driven by the liberal agenda, consisting of fireside chats and rooftop lectures that Lo hopes will be free, open to the public, and streamable as Eaton-branded podcasts. Then comes the art program, which—aside from the political statement piece at check-in—will include commissions from at least a half-dozen up-and-coming local artists and a street-facing exhibition window curated in partnership with local museums and institutions. A co-working space will prioritize memberships for progressive startups, activists, and artists, while a wellness program will offer “inner-health-focused treatments” such as Reiki and sound baths, rather than facials and massages. (Some of these features will roll out a few months after the hotel opens.)

    Just as important, partners and staff will be brought on board, both for their skills in the food and beverage worlds and their activist track records. For instance, Lo saw the cocktail director of the famed Columbia Room, Derek Brown, as a perfect fit to be the hotel’s beverage director—not just because he’s won such awards as magazine’s Bartender of the Year but because he “cares deeply about social justice.” To wit, Brown actively champions policies that fight sexual harassment in the bartending industry and acts as chief spirit advisor for the National Archives.  

    Similarly, Lo says that the “amazing life story” of house chef Tim Ma “perfectly expresses our brand ethos.” The Chinese-American culinary up-and-comer was an engineer at the National Security Agency for years before discovering his true passion in food. At Eaton’s to-be-named restaurant, Ma is planning a menu with a heavy focus on vegetables from an on-site garden.

    A guest who does nothing other than check in, sleep atop Eaton’s organic mattresses, and check out will still have a sense of the hotel’s mission, says Lo. “We plan to have new ideas in the minibar—an activist toolkit, for example, that includes sheets with information to help you call your congresspeople. And if we’d been open during this year’s Women’s March, I could have seen us putting poster boards and markers in the rooms!”

    Political statements such as these will be tailored to each property. In Hong Kong, for instance, Lo says she’d like to replace Bibles in the nightstand drawers with copies of the United Nations Declaration for Human Rights.

    A Place for Thought Leaders (but Not All of Them)

    The library at the Eaton
    Source: Gachot Studios

    Lo understands that Eaton Workshop isn’t for everyone. “Self-selection is definitely one of our strategies,” she says about branding and marketing materials that directly appeal to the “woke” crowd. “We wanted to emphasize that it’s a place for people who are thinking outside the box and want to effect a change in the world,” she says.

    Though she repeatedly talks about fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, Lo also tells Bloomberg that “the goal isn’t to bring together left and right.” Instead, she wants to create “a diversity of fields and backgrounds as well as gender and ethnicity.” In other words, her hotel should represent the antithesis of the Trump hotel that’s just a few blocks away, offering an intellectual playground to those who may feel marginalized by the current administration’s agenda.

    This is partisan politics playing out on the city’s hotel scene; whether that will hurt or help Lo’s bottom line remains to be seen. But if the Trump Hotel is any indication, Lo may be poised for big success. According to the , the president’s hotel brought in $1.97 million in profits during the first four months of the year, despite business projections that had forecast a loss of $2.1 million.

    “It’s Like a Non-Profit but Better”

    Though her goal is to create a successful, scalable business, Eaton Workshop is not built to pad Lo’s pockets. On the contrary, she sees the entire enterprise as a means to a philanthropic end, and hopes to use the hotel profits to fund community arts initiatives in the brand’s respective destinations. 

    Each location will have a radio station, cinema, and music venue so local talent can produce or showcase work in a state-of-the-art space at low—or no—cost. In Washington, the building’s history as a printing venue has inspired Lo to create a writer’s residency, where investigative reporters can be hosted on site for several months while pursuing important stories.

    Artists will be invited to create short films, podcasts, or other types of content under the emblem of Eaton’s in-house multimedia studio; the results will be available for guests to stream on personal devices, and each piece will feature a clear activist message and a call to action.

    “We’re hoping that our hotel revenues will propel our creative projects,” says Lo, who likens the hotel to “a non-profit, but better.” Still, room rates won’t be extravagant; prices in Washington are likely to hover in the upper $200s. Thankfully, for members of both political parties—who are, no doubt, tired of dropping Benjamins for vodka drinks at the Trump International—the price of a martini should be less radical.

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-13/coming-soon-to-washington-an-anti-trump-hotel-for-liberals