Oh, You Thought Zit Videos Were Bad? They’re Nothing Compared To This Nastiness.

Most of us go to the doctor when we have any kind of medical and physical issues.

This guy, on the other hand, greatly prefers a DIY approach — even when it comes to getting rid of huge, nasty calluses on his foot. All he needs is a razor blade and he’s good to go on removing it all by himself!

Watch as this guy slowly slices off the disgustingly massive callus on his foot as if he’s cutting through cheese, and don’t be surprised if it leaves you feeling a bit nauseated.

(via Daily Mail)

Ew, just ew. It goes without saying, but if you ever find yourself with a condition like his, please don’t do what he did. Doctors are your friends.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/callus-shave/

Former Colombian Model Has a New Career And It’s Fitness For Dogs

It brings joy to us knowing that our pets are healthy and active. But sometime, we ourselves don’t have time to make that possible. Luckily, someone thought of the perfect way in which dogs can get the active lifestyle they need. Former Colombian model Gustavo Montagut came to Sydney seeking adventure, and he is taking plenty of four-legged friends along for the ride. 

  • Via: Fitness Dogs

    When Montagut came to Sydney he realized something very early on. Sydney was a place obsessed with dogs, just like him! So he decided to combine his passions of fitness and healthy living and his love of dogs and the outdoors. And that is how Fitness Dogs came to be!

    Fitness Dogs provides real dog adventure, which Montagut calls DogXperiences. This includes DogAdventures, a 45-minute cardio session jogging, hiking or swimming in parklands and dog-friendly beaches across Sydney from the eastern suburbs to the north shore.


  • Via: Fitness Dogs

    “We don’t only walk dogs, we take them on adventures,” Montagut says. “DogAdventures is a group of experiences tailored to your dog’s needs. Some of the journeys include hiking in NSW national parks, going for a jog with our trainers, or taking a dip at some of Sydney’s most beautiful beaches.”

    This is perfect for keeping active and letting him participate is such adventures that sometimes an owner just can’t.

    “The aim is not just to keep your dog in shape but to create different experiences for them,” Montagut says.


  • Via: Fitness Dogs

    DogAdventures targets energetic dogs that love new experiences in the great outdoors, and it is also a place where they socialize with other dogs! So this also builds their social skills! Montagut surprisingly started Fitness Dogs only 10 months ago! We know, that’s insanse. He started it after realizing just how many dogs were out and about in Sydney looking for a bit of adventure.

    It’s a pretty known fact that all dogs need a physical outlet, to expend energy and maintain good physical and mental health. Luckily they have DogAdventures that has more mainstream training programs available as well as the intense outdoors ones.

     Something for each dog!

Read more: http://cheezburger.com/3201541/former-colombian-model-has-a-new-career-and-its-fitness-for-dogs

The Idea Behind These Images Is Nothing New, But They Make You See Food Differently

When it comes to losing weight, we automatically think we have to try and eat the healthiest foods we can to be successful.

British fitness blogger Lucy Mountain knows all too well what a struggle it can be to eat healthy and still feel satisfied. She wants to send the message that we can enjoy the food we eat and reach our goals as long as we stay mindful about what we put in our bodies and our portion sizes.

That’s why Mountain is trying to change the way we look at our meals by creating visual comparisons between what is considered junk food and health food, and she makes good points.

“Same amount of food, different calories.”

Mountain points out that the only differences between these two meals are the meat and oil used to cook it.

The meat on the left is five percent fat beef, while the beef on the right contains 12 percent fat. The left meal was cooked with Fry Light olive oil spray and the right was cooked with a tablespoon of olive oil. While Mountain stresses that nothing is wrong with using either, keeping these differences in mind and swapping them can help with weight management.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/food-comparisons/

You Are The United Nations Secretary-General! Can You Use The Bathroom For 5 Freaking Minutes Without World War III Breaking Out?

This is the United Nations, the center of global diplomacy. Countries from all over the world gather here to bicker about their differences and get nothing accomplished. This may seem like a huge waste of time, but it’s actually much better than the alternative, which is World War III.

Yes, it would be very bad. Every human would die, and the Earth would become a radioactive cinder. World War III is one of the worst things that could happen.

No, it would be very bad. Every human would die, and the Earth would become a radioactive cinder. World War III is one of the worst things that could happen.

You are the U.N. secretary-general, the director of the United Nations. This is you.

Running the United Nations is a challenging job, but you know how important your work is. Without your tireless diplomatic efforts, World War III could erupt at any moment.

This is the start of a new day, and it’s bound to be a stressful one. You have just enough time for a soothing chamomile tea before you talk to world leaders and try to delay nuclear holocaust a little bit longer.

Soon the weight of the world will be on your shoulders, but right now, for one brief moment, you can revive your spirits with the calming taste of chamomile.

The second you swallow the tea your bowels seize up in knots. Number one and number two are stirring through your guts like a pair of incestuous pythons, angrily slamming against the walls of your intestine and bladder. What the hell did you just drink?

Oh no. You wanted to make chamomile tea, but must have grabbed the wrong box. You have to find a bathroom, fast.

Maybe you should do a little diplomacy first though, before you visit the toilet. You’ve already left the world unattended while you had your tea, and there’s no telling what mischief the countries are getting themselves into.

Diplomacy can wait five minutes. You desperately waddle straight to the bathroom.

While you’re in the bathroom, World War III occurs, and a nuclear shockwave obliterates New York City, which is where the United Nations headquarters is. You are instantly killed without even realizing there’s a problem. Soon every other city on Earth is also erased by nuclear hellfire.

Within minutes, a global population of billions is reduced to millions. The survivors struggle on for several decades, their numbers continually dwindling due to radiation sickness and famine caused by nuclear winter. The few that survive are often infertile from constant background irradiation.

Fifty years after World War III, fewer than 100,000 humans remain alive on the face of the Earth, surviving in scattered hunter-gatherer tribes. They eke out a tough existence on the toxic husk of the Earth, but even those hardened nomad bands are slowly killed off by the inhospitable wasteland.

Five hundred years after World War III, only two humans are left on Earth, a mother and her son. They live on the outskirts of the radioactive ruin of what was once called Cincinnati, eating cockroaches to survive. She dies of cancer when the boy is 10 years old. He lives the rest of his life alone on a dead planet, making up imaginary friends to keep himself company. He dies at the age of 49 from an untreated tooth infection.

This tragic fate befell humanity because you couldn’t hold in your feces for a few minutes before using the bathroom. It didn’t have to be this way.

You visit the conference room where ambassadors hang out to argue with each other. “Good morning, Mr. Secretary-General,” the diplomats greet you in unison.

Your stomach is rumbling like a blender full of rocks. You really need to wrap up this diplomacy stuff, pronto.

You deliver a long and eloquent speech on the importance of diplomacy, ignoring the furious writhing of your intestine. Unfortunately, you take too long. As soon as your finish speaking, your colon erupts in a geyser of shit. Liquid rivers of warm dung flow down your pant leg, over your shoes, and spread across the floor like the Exxon Valdez spill.

“Hey, the secretary-general just shit his pants!” screams the Belgian ambassador.

“Whoa, what a loser!” shouts the Japanese ambassador. “We used to respect him, but he can’t even keep his crap inside his body where it belongs.”

“All these years, we’ve listened to him when he told us that World War III would be bad,” says the Chilean ambassador. “But now that we know he’s actually an idiot who shits his pants, what if that means World War III would be good?”

Excited murmurs start to fill the room. “Yeah, World War III!” “The Big War!” “World War III would be good!” “Nukes nukes nukes nukes!”

The ambassadors ignore your desperate pleas and phone their home countries to tell them to start World War III. It doesn’t take long before a nuclear shockwave reduces the United Nations to radioactive ash, and you with it.

The French ambassador clears his throat. “Yes, we are about to go to war with our hated enemy England.”

Uh-oh, he’s lifting weights. This is a traditional form of diplomatic saber rattling that countries use to show their power. If he’s doing exercise at the United Nations, that means armed conflict could erupt between France and England at any second.

“The arrogant and imperialistic British have been hogging Stonehenge all for themselves. Why do they get to own Stonehenge? They didn’t even build Stonehenge, it was druids a long time ago. France should get a turn owning Stonehenge. If not, we have no choice but to start World War III.”

The diplomats watch you in puzzled silence as you struggle to control your spastic bowels. After a few perilous seconds you manage to resist defecating, for at least a little bit longer.

The English ambassador scoffs disdainfully. “How dare the devious French try to take our Stonehenge, when they’ve been selfishly hoarding the Eiffel Tower all to themselves for years. If France wants to do World War III, England welcomes the chance to best them in a contest of nukes. After we win, we’ll bring the Eiffel Tower to London where it belongs.”

With your blessing, England and France begin lobbing nuclear weapons at each other, destroying both Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower, as well as all their cities and buildings and people.

The destruction of two countries would be bad enough, but England and France were both NATO signatories. As soon as they went to war, that invoked Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which declares that an attack against one NATO member is an attack against all and must be responded to with military action. All the other NATO members fulfill their obligations to defend England and France from England and France by bombing England and France. Attacking England and France invokes Article 5 of NATO again, which forces all the NATO nations to start bombing all the NATO nations that attacked England and France, including themselves.

You are killed in a nuclear explosion when the United States retaliates against the United States by bombing the United States.

Knowing that your bowels could evacuate the entire frozen package of hot dogs you ate this morning at any moment, you have to propose a peace treaty between England and France on how to equitably divide Stonehenge and the Eiffel Tower, and pronto!

The British ambassador falls silent for a long moment, then takes a nude photo of the queen out of his briefcase. “This photo of the queen’s glorious bare body is one of England’s most treasured possessions,” he says gravely, handing it to the French ambassador. “England will not trade it for anything less precious than the Eiffel Tower.”

The French ambassador examines the photo for a few seconds. “She looks pretty good for her age,” he says with utter solemnity.

The British ambassador nods. “Yeah, she’s in her nineties. Not bad at all.”

The two ambassadors shake hands, signaling a new era of peace between their countries. Now that you’ve averted war, nothing stops you from running to the bathroom.

“The Mona Lisa is one of France’s most valued treasures,” says the French ambassador in a hushed and reverent tone. “We stole that painting from the Italians, and it’s ours now. Until now, we’ve had a policy to never paint on the Mona Lisa, but we would break that rule in exchange for Stonehenge.”

“Manchester United rules!” shouts the English ambassador. “They kick the ball very well. We’d be honored to have Mona Lisa become a fan of Manchester.”

The two ambassadors shake hands, signaling a new era of peace between their countries. Now that you’ve averted war, nothing stops you from running to the bathroom.

You sprint toward the toilets, using every ounce of willpower to contain the furious contents of your twitching asshole. The door of the U.N.’s bathroom beckons to you like a lighthouse in a storm.

You stride triumphantly toward the toilets, ready to drop your pants and destroy the plumbing. There’s no time to spare either, because shit is ramming against your sphincter like Vikings at the castle gates.

There are four stalls in this bathroom. Which one do you want to use?

Wow, you just offended a Nobel Prize winner, and you still have a runaway brown train chugging down your colon, next stop sphincter junction. And without your guidance, World War III could break out in the general assembly at any time. Better make this quick!

Which stall do you want to use?

You open the door to the first stall, and a young woman sitting on the toilet shrieks in alarm.

“Excuse me, this stall is occupied!” screams Malala Yousafzai. “What the fucking hell is wrong with you? Can’t a Nobel Prize winner take a dump in peace?”

“Well, fucking knock next time! Now get lost, so I can finish up in here and get back to a conference on the importance of women’s education in the developing world.”

The Dalai Lama is sitting on the toilet. “Suffering must be our teacher, not our master,” he says while smiling at you benevolently. There is a quiet continuous sound of trickling urine.

“You are filled with sorrow,” says the Dalai Lama. “Instead, be joyous, for the world’s beauty is all around you!” Urine continues to steadily trickle.

“Our needs and wants are roadblocks on the path to nirvana.” The sound of urine slows down to intermittent spurts, and eventually stops entirely. Five quiet seconds pass as the Dalai Lama smiles at you. Then suddenly urine starts pouring again twice as loud as before.

You drop your pants and seat your bare ass on the Dalai Lama’s naked thighs. In response, the Buddhist spiritual leader calmly takes a can of mace out of his robes and pepper-sprays you in the eyes.

The world is a painful blur. You try to fumble your way to the sinks to wash the pepper spray from your stinging eyes, but instead accidentally wander out of the bathroom into the U.N.’s hallway, right in front of an elementary school tour group.

There are shocked gasps and giggles from the students as you waddle around with your fallen pants, reluctantly shitting a breadcrumb trail of turds behind you.

Police handcuff you and throw you in the back of a squad car. You face some pretty serious charges. Shitting in front of minors will get you put on the sex offender registry, which will get you fired from your job at the United Nations and make it impossible to ever get employed again.

However, you’re never charged for your crimes. On your way to the police station, World War III happens, and you’re disintegrated by a nuclear explosion.

Former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi is sitting on the toilet. “Occupied,” says the brutal tyrant. “My bad, I should have locked the door.”

“No, they only killed one of my body doubles,” says Gaddafi. “I was at the United Nations for a diplomatic summit when my government was overthrown, so I decided to lay low and live in the bathroom here.”

“Sure, help yourself,” says Gaddafi as he stands and pulls up his pants. “Heads up, though, I just dropped a monster deuce, and this toilet is completely clogged. Sorry about that.”

The odor from the toilet is absolutely horrendous. Gaddafi’s dump smells like a combination of dog sweat and spoiled cheesecake. You flick the handle a few times, but it doesn’t flush. You definitely do not want to sit on top of that mess, but you need a toilet and you’re getting desperate.

You sit down on top of the steaming dung and defecate. It’s pretty gross feeling the polluted Gaddafi-water splash up against your ass cheeks, but at least you get rid of your diarrhea.

You have succeeded in using the toilet for five minutes without World War III breaking out, so congratulations! Technically, you win! On the downside, you get all kinds of weird diseases from exposure to Gaddafi’s shit, which is to be expected from someone who slept with thousands of prostitutes and sex slaves over four decades. A few hours after using the bathroom you start hemorrhaging blood from your anus and then die. After your death, there’s nobody around to prevent World War III, and humanity is eradicated by nuclear warfare.

If you’re okay with this, you can quit now and consider this a victory, but maybe there’s a way to take a shit and also prevent World War III from happening at all.

You open the door and find Bill Gates sitting on the toilet, but not actually defecating. The toilet lid is down, and Bill Gate’s pants are up.

The billionaire philanthropist is lost in thought and doesn’t notice you enter.

“Oh, hello, Secretary-General,” says Bill Gates. “No, I don’t need to use the bathroom. I just came here to think about all the strides the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made in the fight against malaria. The bathroom is one of my favorite quiet places to think about doing charity.”

“Sure, of course you can use this toilet,” says Bill Gates. “Unfortunately, not everyone on Earth has a toilet. And other unfortunate people have malaria, a serious and sometimes deadly disease spread by mosquitoes. There are over 200 million cases of malaria each year. It’s an enduring problem that I hope to fix in my lifetime.”

“Oh right, you need to use the toilet,” says Bill Gates. “I forgot because I was talking about malaria, a serious disease endemic in tropical climates. Combating malaria will require a threefold approach: 1) reducing mosquito populations by eliminating standing water sources and employing judicious use of pesticides; 2) developing effective drugs and vaccines to protect at-risk populations from malaria; 3) employing barriers such as mosquito nets to prevent contact between humans and mosquitos.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. I will get off the toilet immediately so you can use it,” says Bill Gates while remaining seated on the toilet. “Diarrhea is also one of the symptoms of malaria, a serious disease that is sometimes fatal. Other symptoms of malaria include fever and vomiting. Over half a million people die each year from malaria, a grim annual toll that is too often ignored in the Western world.

“The good news is that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has made huge strides against malaria, reducing deaths by 20 percent since the year 2000. Our scientists have made promising breakthroughs experimenting with recombinant protein-based vaccines, and we intend to keep funding grants to pursue that area of research.

“Eradicating malaria is a long-term goal, but an attainable one, that will require ongoing cooperation between government health departments and NGOs. By the way, didn’t you say you needed to use the toilet? Sorry, I got distracted talking about malaria.”

Bill Gates stands up and gestures at the toilet. “It’s all yours.”

You shit your pants because you let Bill Gates ramble on about malaria for too long. There’s no way you can conduct diplomacy like this. None of the ambassadors will take you seriously if you have sopping-wet shit legs. You have no choice but to go shopping for a new pair of pants.

You and your befouled pants squeeze onto a packed subway train. The other straphangers give you disgusted looks and inch away.

In your worst nightmares you never dreamed that you, the secretary-general of the world’s most esteemed diplomatic institution, could become a social pariah stinking up a train car. You pray the subway gets to your stop quickly so you can reach Macy’s and buy clean pants as soon as possible.

You’re traveling through a tunnel when the subway comes to a screeching halt. The lights flicker, and the car shakes as the ground trembles.

The train conductor’s voice crackles over the intercom. “Sorry passengers, this train is experiencing service delays because World War III just happened on the surface and everyone up there is dead. Thank you for your patience.”

You climb a service ladder to the street level and behold the grim aftermath of World War III. Charred corpses litter the streets amidst burning rubble. This is the exact kind of situation you tried to warn people about when you said World War III would be bad.

Fortunately, you managed to survive doomsday and become a nomadic scavenger. You spend the rest of your grueling life searching through the radioactive ruins of civilization for canned food and bugs to eat. However, in all your decades of wandering the nuclear wasteland, you never find a clean pair of pants.

“Don’t worry, I’ll squish it!” shouts Bill Gates. He runs out to the United Nations parking lot, hops into his car, and drives into your car at 90 mph, totaling both vehicles.

Bill Gates dizzily climbs out of the wreckage of his car. He has a long gash bleeding on his forehead where it hit the steering wheel. “I don’t see the mosquito,” he shouts out in warning. “I think it got away. Don’t let it bite you, or you might get malaria!”

You’ve successfully tricked Bill Gates into leaving the toilet.

You drop your pants and lower yourself down. The ring of the toilet seat feels cool and refreshing on your buttocks.

Just as you prepare to tense your colon and expel all the filth within, there is a loud commotion from outside the bathroom. You hear angry shouting. Someone screams, “If World War III is what you want, then World War III is what you’re gonna get!”

Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals

Exclusive: Tests show billions of people globally are drinking water contaminated by plastic particles, with 83% of samples found to be polluted

Microplastic contamination has been found in tap water in countries around the world, leading to calls from scientists for urgent research on the implications for health.

Scores of tap water samples from more than a dozen nations were analysed by scientists for an investigation by Orb Media, who shared the findings with the Guardian. Overall, 83% of the samples were contaminated with plastic fibres.

The US had the highest contamination rate, at 94%, with plastic fibres found in tap water sampled at sites including Congress buildings, the US Environmental Protection Agencys headquarters, and Trump Tower in New York. Lebanon and India had the next highest rates.

European nations including the UK, Germany and France had the lowest contamination rate, but this was still 72%. The average number of fibres found in each 500ml sample ranged from 4.8 in the US to 1.9 in Europe.

The new analyses indicate the ubiquitous extent of microplastic contamination in the global environment. Previous work has been largely focused on plastic pollution in the oceans, which suggests people are eating microplastics via contaminated seafood.

We have enough data from looking at wildlife, and the impacts that its having on wildlife, to be concerned, said Dr Sherri Mason, a microplastic expert at the State University of New York in Fredonia, who supervised the analyses for Orb. If its impacting [wildlife], then how do we think that its not going to somehow impact us?

A
A magnified image of clothing microfibres from washing machine effluent. One study found that a fleece jacket can shed as many as 250,000 fibres per wash. Photograph: Courtesy of Rozalia Project

A separate small study in the Republic of Ireland released in June also found microplastic contamination in a handful of tap water and well samples. We dont know what the [health] impact is and for that reason we should follow the precautionary principle and put enough effort into it now, immediately, so we can find out what the real risks are, said Dr Anne Marie Mahon at the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, who conducted the research.

Mahon said there were two principal concerns: very small plastic particles and the chemicals or pathogens that microplastics can harbour. If the fibres are there, it is possible that the nanoparticles are there too that we cant measure, she said. Once they are in the nanometre range they can really penetrate a cell and that means they can penetrate organs, and that would be worrying. The Orb analyses caught particles of more than 2.5 microns in size, 2,500 times bigger than a nanometre.

Microplastics can attract bacteria found in sewage, Mahon said: Some studies have shown there are more harmful pathogens on microplastics downstream of wastewater treatment plants.

Plastic fibres found in tap water across the world

Microplastics are also known to contain and absorb toxic chemicals and research on wild animals shows they are released in the body. Prof Richard Thompson, at Plymouth University, UK, told Orb: It became clear very early on that the plastic would release those chemicals and that actually, the conditions in the gut would facilitate really quite rapid release. His research has shown microplastics are found in a third of fish caught in the UK.

The scale of global microplastic contamination is only starting to become clear, with studies in Germany finding fibres and fragments in all of the 24 beer brands they tested, as well as in honey and sugar. In Paris in 2015, researchers discovered microplastic falling from the air, which they estimated deposits three to 10 tonnes of fibres on the city each year, and that it was also present in the air in peoples homes.

This research led Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at Kings College London, to tell a UK parliamentary inquiry in 2016: If we breathe them in they could potentially deliver chemicals to the lower parts of our lungs and maybe even across into our circulation. Having seen the Orb data, Kelly told the Guardian that research is urgently needed to determine whether ingesting plastic particles is a health risk.

The new research tested 159 samples using a standard technique to eliminate contamination from other sources and was performed at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. The samples came from across the world, including from Uganda, Ecuador and Indonesia.

How microplastics end up in drinking water is for now a mystery, but the atmosphere is one obvious source, with fibres shed by the everyday wear and tear of clothes and carpets. Tumble dryers are another potential source, with almost 80% of US households having dryers that usually vent to the open air.

We really think that the lakes [and other water bodies] can be contaminated by cumulative atmospheric inputs, said Johnny Gasperi, at the University Paris-Est Creteil, who did the Paris studies. What we observed in Paris tends to demonstrate that a huge amount of fibres are present in atmospheric fallout.

Plastic fibres may also be flushed into water systems, with a recent study finding that each cycle of a washing machine could release 700,000 fibres into the environment. Rains could also sweep up microplastic pollution, which could explain why the household wells used in Indonesia were found to be contaminated.

In Beirut, Lebanon, the water supply comes from natural springs but 94% of the samples were contaminated. This research only scratches the surface, but it seems to be a very itchy one, said Hussam Hawwa, at the environmental consultancy Difaf, which collected samples for Orb.

This
This planktonic arrow worm, Sagitta setosa, has eaten a blue plastic fibre about 3mm long. Plankton support the entire marine food chain. Photograph: Richard Kirby/Courtesy of Orb Media

Current standard water treatment systems do not filter out all of the microplastics, Mahon said: There is nowhere really where you can say these are being trapped 100%. In terms of fibres, the diameter is 10 microns across and it would be very unusual to find that level of filtration in our drinking water systems.

Bottled water may not provide a microplastic-free alternative to tapwater, as the they were also found in a few samples of commercial bottled water tested in the US for Orb.

Almost 300m tonnes of plastic is produced each year and, with just 20% recycled or incinerated, much of it ends up littering the air, land and sea. A report in July found 8.3bn tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950s, with the researchers warning that plastic waste has become ubiquitous in the environment.

We are increasingly smothering ecosystems in plastic and I am very worried that there may be all kinds of unintended, adverse consequences that we will only find out about once it is too late, said Prof Roland Geyer, from the University of California and Santa Barbara, who led the study.

Mahon said the new tap water analyses raise a red flag, but that more work is needed to replicate the results, find the sources of contamination and evaluate the possible health impacts.

She said plastics are very useful, but that management of the waste must be drastically improved: We need plastics in our lives, but it is us that is doing the damage by discarding them in very careless ways.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/06/plastic-fibres-found-tap-water-around-world-study-reveals

Royal baby: Duchess of Cambridge expecting third child – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The couple took their two children, George and Charlotte, on an official visit to Poland in July

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced.

The Queen and both families are said to be “delighted with the news”.

As with her previous two pregnancies, the duchess, 35, is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness.

She pulled out of an engagement at the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London, which had been planned for Monday afternoon.

Catherine is being cared for at Kensington Palace, the statement said.

The duke and duchess have a son, George, who is four, and a daughter, Charlotte, aged two.

With the previous two pregnancies, the couple announced them before the 12-week mark – when most women have their first scan – because of the duchess being unwell with hyperemesis gravidarum.

Her first pregnancy was revealed when she was just a few weeks pregnant with Prince George after she was admitted to hospital in December 2012.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPrince Harry gives a thumbs up to the royal baby news

The duchess’s second pregnancy with Princess Charlotte was announced in September 2014, when she was treated at the palace for the condition.

Hyperemesis gravidarum affects about one in every 200 pregnancies and results in severe nausea and vomiting – with one of the main dangers being dehydration.


‘Shaping future of monarchy’

Image copyright PA

By Peter Hunt, BBC royal correspondent

Once again Prince William and his wife – who are very focused on being in control – have been thwarted.

And once again, it’s due to circumstances outside their control.

The couple have been forced to make the announcement at a time not of their choosing – and while the duchess is still in the early stages of her pregnancy – because she is suffering from very acute morning sickness.

They were poised to take on more royal duties. They are now preparing to welcome another addition to their family.

An addition that will attract considerable global interest. The child’s grandmother is the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

This princess or prince is unlikely to be crowned monarch. As things stand, that future awaits their brother, Prince George.

So there is no constitutional significance to the birth next year.

But an ancient institution that already appears pretty secure has just been further buttressed.

The three Cambridge siblings will fashion the future of the British monarchy well into the 21st Century.

Read more from Peter


The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the announcement comes at the start of a “significant week” for the family “because Prince George is due to start at big school.”

“Presumably his mother would be keen to take him to that, [but] whether she is going to be well enough to do that remains to be seen,” he told BBC News.

“It had also been expected that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be taking a foreign trip this autumn,” he added.

“Whether they will be able to do that or whether the duchess will be well enough to do that also remains to be seen.”

The expected child will become the fifth in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

A change – which stops royal sons taking precedence over their female siblings in the line of succession – came into force in March 2015.

The child will be the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild.


The last third-born monarch

Image copyright Reuters

To become King or Queen as the third-born royal child is rare – and has yet to happen within the current House of Windsor.

But the third child of George III and Queen Charlotte, William IV, took on the task and ruled from 1830 to 1837.

The Hanoverian king acceded to the throne aged 64 when his older brother, George IV, died without an heir.

He became next in line when he was 62 and his other older brother, Frederick, Duke of York, died.


Arriving in Manchester for a royal visit, Prince Harry – who will drop to sixth in line to the throne when the child is born – said the news was “fantastic” and he was “very, very happy”.

Clarence House has tweeted on behalf of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to say they are “delighted”.

Prime Minister Theresa May has tweeted her congratulations to the couple, calling it “fantastic news”.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41148027

Terry Pratchett’s unfinished novels destroyed by steamroller

Unpublished works are lost for ever with crushing of computer hard drive as the late fantasy novelist had instructed

The unfinished books of Sir Terry Pratchett have been destroyed by a steamroller, following the late fantasy novelists wishes.

Pratchetts hard drive was crushed by a vintage John Fowler & Co steamroller named Lord Jericho at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, ahead of the opening of a new exhibition about the authors life and work.

Pratchett, famous for his colourful and satirical Discworld series, died in March 2015 after a long battle with Alzheimers disease.

After his death, fellow fantasy author Neil Gaiman, Pratchetts close friend and collaborator , told the Times that Pratchett had wanted whatever he was working on at the time of his death to be taken out along with his computers, to be put in the middle of a road and for a steamroller to steamroll over them all.

On Friday, Rob Wilkins, who manages the Pratchett estate, tweeted from an official Twitter account that he was about to fulfil my obligation to Terry along with a picture of an intact computer hard drive following up with a tweet that showed the hard drive in pieces.

The symbolism of the moment, which captured something of Pratchetts unique sense of humour, was not lost on fans, who responded on Twitter with a wry melancholy, though some people expressed surprise that the author who had previously discussed churning through computer hardware at a rapid rate would have stored his unfinished work on an apparently older model of hard drive.

The hard drive will go on display as part of a major exhibition about the authors life and work, Terry Pratchett: HisWorld, which opens at the Salisbury museum in September.

The author of over 70 novels, Pratchett was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease in 2007.

He became an advocate for assisted dying, giving a moving lecture on the subject, Shaking Hands With Death, in 2010, and presenting a documentary for the BBC called Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die.

He continued to write and publish, increasingly with the assistance of others, until his death in 2015. Two novels were published posthumously: The Long Utopia (a collaboration with Stephen Baxter) and The Shepherds Crown, the final Discworld novel.

The Salisbury museum exhibition will run from 16 September until 13 January 2018.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/aug/30/terry-pratchett-unfinished-novels-destroyed-streamroller

Why do stars like Adele keep losing their voice?

The long read: More and more singers are cancelling big shows and turning to surgery to fix their damaged vocal cords. But is the problem actually down to the way they sing?

I dont even know how to start this, Adele wrote in an online letter to fans on 30 June. The previous night, she had played the second show of a sold-out, four-night residency at Wembley Stadium. These dates, in front of audiences of 98,000, were supposed to be the triumphant conclusion of her record-setting, 123-date world tour. But on stage, something had just felt wrong.

Ive struggled vocally both nights, she wrote. I had to push a lot harder than I normally do. I felt like I constantly had to clear my throat. After the second show, Adele went to see her doctor, who told her she had damaged her vocal cords and had no option but to cancel her remaining shows. The most powerful young voice in the music business had fallen silent. To say Im heart broken would be a complete understatement, she wrote.

Though only 29, Adele had been here before. Six years earlier, she had suffered a haemorrhage to her vocal cords after singing live on a French radio program. In order to repair the injury, she underwent an incredibly delicate, high-risk medical intervention: vocal cord microsurgery. In this operation, the surgeon wields miniature scalpels and forceps attached to foot-long poles that are guided down the throat to excise whatever damaged tissue is robbing the vocal cords of their elasticity, and depriving the voice of its natural timbre, range and clarity.

Adeles surgeon, Dr Steven Zeitels, was after a nasty polyp that had formed under her epithelium, the thin outer layer of the vocal cord. Zeitels carefully snipped the layer with a scalpel, and then, with forceps, pulled back the tissue like a flap, exposing the polyp below. With a second set of forceps he pulled out the gooey, infected mass, and zapped the remaining haemorrhaged surface with a laser to stop the bleeding and prevent scarring.

The margin for error in such surgeries is measured in fractions of a millimetre. You cant let the instruments touch any healthy tissue. Dig too deep, Zeitels knew, and he would risk damaging the superficial lamina propria, the soft, pliable underlayer of Adeles vocal cords. If he pierced that, he told me, there would be no way to preserve the power and suppleness of her voice.

On 12 February 2012, three months after her surgery, Adele swept up six awards at the Grammys, including album of the year and song of the year. In her acceptance speech for best pop solo performance, she thanked Zeitels for restoring her voice. To most observers, it was a cheering comeback story, but for a handful of medical specialists it was a watershed moment. For years, vocal cord microsurgery had been considered risky. (In 1997, an unsuccessful surgical procedure left Julie Andrews already damaged voice beyond repair.) More than the physical risk, though, singers feared the damage to their careers that could follow if word got out. In the world of showbusiness, it was safer to be seen as a singer with a healthy young voice than as a one-time great with surgically repaired cords.

Now, Adele had suddenly swept away the stigma. In the years since, Zeitels business has boomed, along with those of many of his peers. They have no shortage of patients: there is an epidemic of serious vocal cord injuries in the performing arts. In addition to his work on Adele, Zeitels, who directs the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation, has repaired the cords of more than 700 performing artists, including Sam Smith, Lionel Richie, Bono and Cher. Michael Bubl, Keith Urban, Meghan Trainor and Celine Dion have also had to quit touring to get their cords surgically repaired. In a mark of how attitudes to surgery have changed, both Smith and Bubl broke the news of their surgeries to their fans via Instagram.

There is no precise data on the number of performers who have gone under the knife over the years. But several surgeons told me they estimate that vocal cord surgery has been performed on thousands of pop, rock and classical singers, as well as on theatre and stage musical stars. Cancelled shows reverberate across social media and hit a struggling music industry hard. When Adele pulled out of her remaining two Wembley shows this summer, nearly 200,000 tickets had to be refunded. Its unclear if she will ever tour again.

After Adeles 2011 surgery, Zeitels became something of a celebrity. Occasionally, a reporter asked him if Adele was cured for good. He made no assurances, but told Channel 4s Jon Snow that her surgically repaired voice sounds smoother now than before.

While the media was celebrating this miracle surgery, one woman in the music industry raised a dissenting voice. According to Lisa Paglin, a former opera singer turned voice coach, Zeitels had simply found a temporary fix; in the not too distant future, Adele would once again be forced off the stage and back into the operating theatre. It was a prediction that Paglin and Marianna Brilla, her coaching partner, were willing to stake their reputations on. The rash of vocal injuries silencing our most promising young talents, they argued, is too big a problem to be solved by microsurgery.

How many surgeries would Dr Zeitels consider performing on Adele? Or on anyone? After surgery, unless a singer makes major changes, return to performing means a return to the vocal abuse that put her/him on the operating table in the first place, Paglin wrote, in the small trade publication Intermezzo. Concerts injury surgery rest concerts injury surgery. Is this the life of a professional singer?

When Adele cancelled the final nights of her recent tour, Brilla and Paglin felt saddened but vindicated. For more than a decade, they have been pushing for a revolution in the way that almost every modern performer has been taught to use their voice. After years of painstaking research in musical archives, early scientific journals and the classroom, Brilla and Paglin say they can deliver what medical science has failed to: a permanent fix for vocal burnout.

Their solution requires the revival of an all-but-vanished singing method that is not just beautiful to the ear, but also easy on the throat. Some of their ageing and beleaguered clients described it to me as a kind of fountain of youth. But their cure is not without controversy. It is based on a provocative theory that has been gaining ground among a small cadre of international talents: that we have all been singing completely wrong even Adele.


Singing is a rough business. Every vocal performance involves hundreds of thousands of micro-collisions in the throat. The vocal cords also known as vocal folds are a pair of thin, reed-like, muscular strips located inside the larynx, or voice box, in the throat. They are shaped like a wishbone, and contain the densest concentration of nerve tissue in the body.

When we are silent, the cords remain apart to facilitate breathing. When we sing or speak, air is pushed up from the lungs, and the edges of the cords come together in a rapid chopping motion. The air causes the cords to vibrate, creating sound. The greater the vibration, the higher the pitch. By the time a soprano hits those lush high notes, her vocal cords are thwacking together 1,000 times per second, transforming a burst of air from her lungs into music powerful enough to shatter glass.

Beautiful singing requires lithe cords, but all that slapping together can wear down their fine, spongy surface and lead to tiny contusions. Over years of heavy use, nodules, polyps or cysts form on the vocal folds, distorting the sound they create. For a singer, the first sign of trouble is often the wobble. His pitch fluctuates on and off key because his ragged cords have lost their natural vibrato their ability to resonate properly. Then theres the hole, a point on the scale where a singers vibrating vocal cords fail to produce the proper tone. Try as he might, those notes will exit his mouth flat or, worse, as a barely audible gasp.

An
A vintage engraving of a view inside the throat. Photograph: Alamy Stock Vector

It was once unheard-of for a singer to perform with a faulty voice, but the opera world has recently been shaken by a trio of incidents in which the stars Rolando Villazn, Aleksandrs Antonenko and Roberto Alagna walked off stage mid-performance, unable to go on. Some opera singers complain of year-round cold symptoms, and legal steroid injections and other drugs are often used to get a struggling singer through a performance. But singing through the wear and tear can cause the lesions to burst and bleed, creating voice-ruining scars, which is what happened to Adele in 2011.

Voice specialists liken the physical toll on singers and stage performers to what athletes endure. Surgery to the professional singers vocal cords is what ligament reconstruction has become to the football players knee. Dusty theatres, stuffy airplane cabins, erratic eating and sleeping patterns, the stress of living off stingy contracts all affect the vocal cords. Add to it the occupational hazard, at least in opera and classical music, of taking on roles that require you to sing above your natural range, and the cords become extremely susceptible to injury.

In 1986, the conductor, vocal coach and New York Times music critic Will Crutchfield lamented that vocal burnout was cutting short careers and diminishing the power of opera, as audiences, by necessity, accustom themselves to hearing voices in poor condition. Back then, Crutchfield saw that singers peaked in their 30s and then began to decline. But Adele, Trainor and Smith all underwent career-saving surgery in their 20s. Vocal burnout is afflicting amateurs, too. One veteran teacher in Italy told me that female students in their early 20s who want to sing like Adele or a young Whitney Houston are the ones who come down with vocal nodules. Another music teacher told me she recently had to instruct one of her 10-year-old students to stop singing and get his damaged cords checked by a specialist.

The rise in vocal injuries is linked to a change in what we consider good singing. Across all genres, it has become normal to believe that louder is better. (One reason that Adele is such a big star is because her voice is so big.) As a result, singers are pushing their cords like never before, which leads to vocal breakdown.

New waves of medical research into the causes of dysphonia, or the inability to properly produce voice, bear this out. In the west, vocal abuse is surprisingly common in all professions that rely on the voice , from schoolteachers to opera singers. Awareness of the problem is growing, but as Adeles case demonstrated, and separate studies conclude, surgery is not necessarily a lasting fix.

Brilla and Paglin have been saying this for years. You cannot solve the problem by simply relieving the symptom, Brilla said. Its a motor problem. The singer has to understand its the way youre running your engine the techniques theyre using to sing. If you dont fix the engine, its going to happen again.


Teatro La Nuova Fenice, a 19th-century opera house built in the neoclassical style, sits at the top of the small hill town of Osimo in central Italy, just inland of the Adriatic Sea. In the grand lobby of the building is a marble plaque commemorating the night in 1927 when the Italian tenor Beniamino Gigli, one of the greatest talents of his era, performed here. Gigli packed concert halls across Europe and the Americas in a career that spanned five decades.

Gigli is an icon of the purer, more natural singing style that characterised a period when vocal injuries were almost unheard of, say Brilla and Paglin. They have a small teaching studio in a cul-de-sac below La Nuova Fenice. Brilla, a dramatic soprano with a fearless air, first became obsessed with the fragility of the human voice more than 50 years ago, as a teenage opera singer growing up in Pennsylvania coal country. A doctor there diagnosed her with a problem common among young singers with big voices: her vocal cords werent coming together properly. She had a hole. Over the next few decades, she cycled through nearly 30 teachers, including legends such as Antonio Tonini and Ellen Faull, trying to learn to sing in a style like Giglis at once powerful, clear and sustainable over the course of many years.

Brilla met Paglin, a lyric soprano who appears small next to Brilla, while studying voice at Indiana Universitys school of music. The two bonded over their love for Italian opera and their frustration with the way singing was taught, even by their legendary teacher Margaret Harshaw. Feeling that the giants of music instruction didnt have the key to vocal longevity, Brilla and Paglin determined that they would be the ones to unlock the secret.

In 1977, Brilla won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to travel to Italy to search for a way to sing beautifully without risking injury. There, she heard glimpses of perfect arias from older, mostly Italian opera singers who learned their craft in the early 20th century. These singers seemed to effortlessly produce clear, powerful musical tones, and so many of them were still performing with vigour well into their 60s, 70s and 80s. To Brilla, they held a clue to the vocal longevity lost to singers today.

Paglin soon joined her in Rome, where they started spending hours each day at the national sound archive, La Discoteca di Stato, listening to early recordings. They also scoured libraries for texts that discussed how operatic and classical singing techniques had changed over the centuries. When they werent researching, they were performing; big talents in their own right, they performed in many of the major opera houses and music halls of Italy and Austria. This put them in the presence of more masters, whom they peppered with questions. They also tracked down other ageing opera stars, teachers and conductors.

Their research pointed Brilla and Paglin to a surprising conclusion: that responsibility for the modern decline of the voice lay at the feet of Verdi, Wagner and Puccini. These three composers were the pop music sensations of their day. Music scholars credit them with being the first to challenge their singers to push their voices to new limits, in order to capture the emotional ups and downs their characters were feeling. Think of the teenage Japanese bride in Puccinis Madama Butterfly, her heart breaking, desperately watching the seas for a sign her love will return, or the thunderous battle cries of the Valkyries in Wagners Ring cycle. If youre going to kill off the main character of your show, you need genuine rage and pathos on stage.

But Brilla and Paglin heard something different that the emotionally charged, full-throated, operatic singing style Verdi and Wagner made popular in the late 19th century and that Puccini amped up even further in the early 20th century had subsequently infiltrated all singing genres and public performances. With each passing decade, the style grew more extreme. To illustrate the point, when I visited the duo earlier this summer, Paglin pulled from their sprawling research library a file containing a series of images. The first was a photograph, taken in 1920, of the legendary Italian tenor Enrico Caruso mid-aria. Caruso seems to be enjoying himself, even as the camera flashes; its as if hes talking to a friend, not baying at the audience. This is natural singing, Paglin said.

As she flipped from image to image, we travelled towards the present, a decade at a time. The photographs of the more contemporary singers including the tenor Rolando Villazn, who has suffered multiple vocal injuries looked like horror-movie stills: their mouths were wide open, eyes bulging, neck veins popping, as if they were screaming. There was none of Carusos easy calm.

Caruso and Gigli produced legendarily big sounds, but with an effort that todays performers might deride as somewhat wimpy. Compare Carusos 1916 recording of O Sole Mio with Villazns 2010 rendition. Carusos is powerful, but not so powerful that the lyrics crash into one another and become indecipherable; and even at the height of the aria, he doesnt drown out the strings. That Brilla and Paglin had identified this contrast wasnt enough. They wanted to reverse-engineer exactly how Caruso and his contemporaries sang.

Rolando
Rolando Villazn on German TV in 2015. Photograph: Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

In 1983, Brilla convinced Maria Carbone, a retired Italian operatic soprano, to work with them. Carbone was nearing 80, but still had a powerful voice. While Carbone sang, Brilla would clasp Carbones abdomen to feel what was happening inside her body. Carbone started with an aria from Tosca. As her voice rose, hitting higher and higher notes, Brillas eyes widened. I could feel this tick, tick. Tick, tick, she recalled. It was the natural up-down release of her diaphragm. Nothing else was happening. Carbones ribcage wasnt ballooning out as she sang, and there were no deep gulps of air, as is common with todays big-voiced singers. More amazing still, the movement of Carbones abdomen while singing was just as quiet and rhythmic as when she spoke. It was a discovery of what the perfect singers posture should be, Paglin said.

Brilla added: Whereas all the teachers in my life had been telling me to open, open, open to exaggerate her breathing and lunge into every high note to produce the biggest sound Carbone was demonstrating the opposite.The root of the problem, they realised, is in classrooms. Too many students graduate from conservatories who dont know how to sing, and its leading to injury, Brilla said. Weve got to stop this. Its ass-backwards!


It is not just singers whose careers are threatened by deteriorating vocal cords. In 1989, the Italian actor Maddalena Crippa momentarily lost her voice during a live performance of Shakespeares bloodiest work, Titus Andronicus. Crippa was playing Tamora, the vanquished queen of the Goths. After Tamoras son is murdered before her eyes, Crippa said she unleashed these uncontrollable cries. But, for a moment, her next line wouldnt come out. It was the first time in her acting career that Crippas vocal cords had failed her. The suffering I felt was indescribable, she told me.

That suffering continued for more than a decade. Crippas voice was no longer reliably crisp and sonorous, and a burning pain lingered in her throat. After visiting vocal coaches and throat specialists, she got the prognosis that all performers dread: nodules on her cords. Cortisone injections and voice exercises worked well enough to get her back on stage, but her confidence was shaken. You mean you still dont know how to use your voice? she remembered thinking. Its demoralising. Then, in 2002, at the suggestion of a fellow actor, Crippa visited Brilla and Paglins Osimo studio.

Unlike medical doctors, Brilla and Paglin dont own a laryngoscope that allows them to peer into the throat. If someone comes to them with injuries, they treat the problem by ear. They sing a soft note and ask the student to match it precisely. They can hear in the response where the pitch is off-key, and where the damage is located on the cord. (When I spoke with Adeles surgeon, Steven Zeitels, he demonstrated something similar, singing a scale to isolate where his own cord is damaged a perturbation, as its called, the result of years of long hours in the classroom.)

The moment Crippa said hello, Brilla and Paglin knew there was something very wrong with her voice. She exuded tension, as if bracing for confrontation, and took big, gulping breaths before speaking. Brilla and Paglin often see this problem with singers; their vocal cords are so used to having great quantities of air shoved at them that the cords wont respond without that force. Once you start pushing, youre condemned to push for the rest of your life, Paglin told me. Unless you learn a new way of doing it.

In their studio, Brilla and Paglin instructed Crippa to lie on her back and produce a series of high notes, which Paglin demonstrated for me. It sounded like a faint squeaking, as if she was gently releasing air from the neck of a balloon. When Crippa was told to reproduce what Paglin called a floating high C, she protested, saying she couldnt get that far up the scale. Finally, she gave it a try, producing a barely audible piff, followed by a more sustained tone. Hearing herself, Crippa broke down and cried. They were tears of joy, Crippa told me. They touched a nerve deep inside me. I mean, this is my voice. My voice.

Brilla and Paglin say they can restore most vocal cord problems naturally, via exercises that massage out the defect over time. They aim to stimulate the cords precisely where they arent coming together properly, and to break students out of the bad habits that cause problems in the first place: taking big gulps of air, tensing the throat and jaw muscles, forcing the mouth to open to exaggerated proportions, and the urge to scream out the high notes.

There are limits to what Brilla and Paglin claim to be able to do for an ailing artist. Paglin told me of a time when she was watching a singer perform on stage, and could tell there was something very wrong. She got a message to the singer that he urgently needed to see a doctor. He did, and was diagnosed with a form of throat cancer.

But their track record with other difficult cases has earned them a small international following. The veteran Italian stage actor Moni Ovadia was one of their earliest big-name success stories. Throughout his mid-40s, he performed up to 250 shows a year, in Europe and the US, but by 48 he was ready to quit showbusiness. His voice had become flat and raspy, and he found it physically painful to perform. He credits Paglin and Brilla with restoring his voice and his career. They saved my life, he told me. Today, at 71, he is a bull on stage, and can perform non-stop for up to three hours.

In May, at Brilla and Paglins studio in Osimo, I watched an aspiring dramatic soprano named Emanuela Albanesi rehearse the high-energy duet Mi Volete Fiera?, from Gaetano Donizettis comic opera Don Pasquale. There are few, if any, widely accepted standards for teaching singing, and many teachers complain that too many of their peers get jobs because of how they sound, not what they know. Paglin and Brilla mine the internet for teaching videos that concern them, such as one in which a soprano chides a student to open her mouth wider and wider as she sings an aria, in order to achieve more volume; not until the student plugs her fist into her mouth is the teacher satisfied.

Albanesi, however, sang with an ease that belied the strength of her highest notes. As she came to the final grazie!, I was expecting a thunderous, take-the-roof-off moment, but she never lost the disarming grin with which she performed. I thought of that photo of Enrico Caruso singing with such relaxed ease. I whispered to Brilla that it was the first time I had ever been able to make out each and every lyric in a such an intense operatic number. Im telling you, she said. Weve cracked it.


The question remains: could Brilla and Paglins approach permanently cure an artist like Adele by teaching her to sing in a more natural way? Steven Zeitels is dismissive of such an approach, and quick to defend Adele and his other clients against the contention that bad technique is causing their vocal problems. People used to think if you needed an operation it meant you dont know how to sing. The people I see they know how to sing!

Zeitels believes that medical specialists such as himself are becoming increasingly important to the arts, which he compared to other demanding physical pursuits. Any athletic endeavour will eventually take a toll if done for long enough, he said. Whats terrific is were getting better and better at bringing people back.

Specially trained vocal therapists have also restored performers to health through voice training, but medical experts advise taking this route only for minor vocal injuries, such as small nodules. Otherwise, they strongly suggest surgery. This attitude rankles Brilla and Paglin, who have cured artists such as the internationally renowned jazz singer Maria Pia De Vito, who suffered from vocal edema, a painful swelling of the cords, for which surgery is the generally recommended course of action. What irony, Paglin said. There is an industry built around singers who harm themselves while singing, and there is another one built around fixing them up.

Another renowned throat surgeon, Dr Robert T Sataloff, who has performed voice-corrective surgery on several Grammy Award winners, including Patti LuPone, bristles at the notion that surgery is not a sensible way to keep singers healthy. Combined with proper education on the dangers of improper singing technique, he believes it can keep people on stage for longer. Is it perfect? No. And it probably never will be, he told me. Like Zeitels, Sataloff drew a sporting analogy. Injury is inevitable and thats when they end up in my office.

Opera
Opera singer Sigrid Onegin (18891943) having her vocal cords examined. Photograph: Bettmann/Bettmann Archive

Some conservatory teachers in Italy dismiss Brilla and Paglins natural-singing approach as heretical, and their disciples as a sect. Over time, the duo have made a number of enemies. An invitation in 2011 to teach a series of master classes at Romes Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia, one of Italys top conservatories, met with near universal opposition among the faculty. The classes were popular with the students, but many teachers didnt want them on campus. Edda Silvestri, the former director of Santa Cecilia, told me she didnt recall any overt hostility towards the duo, but she did remember the rift Brilla and Paglin created between faculty and students. Unfortunately, this is common when you try to introduce any new approach to a conservatory. They are conservative places, Silvestri said. Elizabeth Aubry, the vice president of Italys most influential organisation of singing teachers, the Associazione Insegnanti di Canto Italiana, finds Brilla and Paglins critiques terrible. She said the main objective of her organisation and its counterparts in the UK and US is to teach teachers precisely not to do damage.

For his part, Zeitels is working on a futuristic fix to dysphonia. Anyone who relies particularly heavily on their voice schoolteachers, talkshow hosts, sales reps, preachers, lawyers, frazzled parents is vulnerable to chronic raspiness, or to going hoarse. One of Zeitels patented innovations is to apply a biomaterial a gel implant in the tissue of damaged vocal cords to restore pliability. He sees it as a potentially huge breakthrough. It will be just as important what you put into a vocal cord as what you remove, he told a journalist in 2015.

But some of Brilla and Paglins students are thriving without such intervention, including Maddalena Crippa, who at 59 years old is in the midst of a remarkable second act. Her voice has been injury-free since she started working with Brilla and Paglin 15 years ago, and last May she wrapped up a critically acclaimed tour of LAllegra Vedova, a one-woman-show based on a 1905 operetta. For 75 minutes each night, she sang and acted two roles, the husky-voiced Danilo and the high-pitched Anna, who at one point sing a virtuosic duet. Critics were impressed, with one raving that Crippa is still a brilliant singer.

Adele, however, is one of those rare figures in the arts. Her unique voice, and her story, are so big that many people believe that what she does (or doesnt do) to correct her latest injury will determine future approaches to protecting the voice.

On 1 July, when news broke of Adeles cancellations, Paglin sent me a Whatsapp message. She was frustrated by the press coverage. Recalling that Adeles original surgery in 2011 had proved to be a huge PR victory for vocal-cord microsurgery, she worried that the message from Adeles latest setback would be that, not to worry, a second or third surgery will get the star back on stage. What makes matters worse is that the mechanics are still convinced that all there is to it is to keep operating, while the singers themselves still talk about air travel, drafts, allergies and stress. #elephantintheroom could be a good hashtag, she wrote, referring to what is wrong, as she sees it, with how people are taught to sing in the first place.

A few hours later, she sent me another note. She felt bad for Adele, and wanted to help. We know how to fix Adeles problems (sans surgery), and for good. If only we could talk with her.

Main photograph: Sascha Steinbach/Getty

This article was amended on 12 August 2017 to correct an error. Dr. Robert T. Sataloff did not perform voice-corrective surgery on Neil Diamond. The singer only consulted Sataloffs medical opinion.

Follow the Long Read on Twitter at @gdnlongread, or sign up to the long read weekly email here.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/10/adele-vocal-cord-surgery-why-stars-keep-losing-their-voices

Iceland Aims to Eradicate Every Child With Down Syndrome100% Abortion Rate Proves The Alarming Truth

Every human life has value because it’s created in the image of God. That includes the lives of people who are born with Down syndrome. That is—unless you live in Iceland.

According to the advocacy group Down Pride’s appeal to the United Nations, virtually every Icelandic, unborn child prenatally diagnosed with Down syndrome since 2008 has been aborted.

Every. Single. One.

Because of the country’s strong push for mothers to get prenatal screenings, Iceland’s abortion rate for unborn babies with Down syndrome is almost 100 percent.

In the last nine years, an estimated TWO Icelandic children have been born with Down syndrome each year. In most cases this is because of a faulty testing result.

The prenatal screening consists of an ultrasound, blood test and takes into consideration the mother’s age. The test, called the Combination Test, then uses those factors to determine whether the fetus will have a chromosomal abnormality. The most common result is Down syndrome.

But as actress Patricia Heaton reminds us, “Iceland isn’t actually eliminating Down syndrome. They’re just killing everybody that has it. Big difference.”

Down syndrome is a chromosomal disorder in which a person is born with an additional chromosome—47, when most babies are born with 46.

There is no way to prevent a child from developing Down syndrome as it’s caused by an error in cell division rather than something within human control.

Still, Iceland and surrounding countries—all with national healthcare systems—are pushing prenatal screenings and confusing the treatment of a chromosomal disorder with the eradication of a people group altogether.

As a very casual and disturbing CBS News article put it, “Iceland is on pace to virtually eliminate Down syndrome through abortion.”

Holland is expected to be “Down Syndrome free” by 2030. Denmark and Great Britain have taken on similar statistics with Down syndrome abortion rates ranging anywhere from 90-98 percent.

What’s worse is, America doesn’t fall too far behind. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the U.S. average for Down syndrome termination rates falls somewhere between 67 and 90 percent.

It’s important to note that none of these countries have governments that enforce the abortion of babies with pre-diagnosed Down syndrome. But many of the countries in question—specifically Iceland—DO require doctors to inform expecting mothers of the prenatal testing option, as well as termination options, which are legal even past 16 weeks gestation, should signs of disability exist. That includes Down Syndrome.

Their justification is sickening. A hospital in Iceland told CBS News:

“We don’t look at abortion as murder. We look at is as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication…preventing suffering for the child, and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as murder—that’s so black and white. Life isn’t black and white. Life is gray.”

And what it all comes down to is this: Having fewer people with Down syndrome will save governments a lot of money. Patrick Willems, pediatrician and CEO of a Belgian lab (Gendia) that offers the Harmony Nip-test for Down syndrome, says, “A child with Down syndrome costs 1 to 2 million Euros… Preventing the birth of 50 babies with Down syndrome will offset the costs of fully implementing the Nipt (Non-invasive prenatal testing) into Dutch public healthcare.”

What happens when governments start to realize how much money they could save if they eliminate diseases like autism, dementia, cerebral palsy and heart defects? What if a screening test for other diseases, or even mental health issues, is designed? What kind of world are we living in where some of the most jovial, kind and accepting people on this planet are not valued enough by our own governments for their lives to matter?

The growing popularity of governments adapting such systems suggests that children—people—with Down syndrome simply aren’t worth the investment.

But their lives DO matter.

Every single person who lives and breathes on this earth was created in God’s image, with a purpose. That includes every single unborn baby in Iceland, Holland, Denmark, Great Britain, America and BEYOND, who deserve a fighting chance at LIFE.

Killing the vulnerable does not progress the eradication of a disease. It merely allows governments and doctors to take the place of God, while robbing future generations of the lives that were Divinely crafted for them.

New Report Highlights How Down Syndrome is Disappearing from I…

“Iceland is not eradicating a disease, it’s eradicating a people, and CBS News seems to be celebrating that fact.”

FRC President Tony Perkins joins America’s Newsroom with Shannon Bream to discuss a new report that shows Iceland is on pace to “virtually eliminate Down syndrome” through abortion.

Posted by Family Research Council on Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Read more: http://faithit.com/iceland-eradicate-down-syndrome-100-percent-abortion-rate/

Zodiac Signs Ranked By How Long They Take To Get Over A Breakup

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1. Leo

Leos definitely get over a breakup the fastest. It’s simply not in your nature to let yourself wallow for long. You’re definitely very loving and warm in your relationships, but as soon as something ends, you’re less focused on rehashing what went wrong and more focused on doing what you can to continue improving and taking care of yourself. So rather than laying on the couch and throwing a pity party, you’re out hanging with friends, taking a class in something you love, taking on extra responsibilities at work, etc.

2. Sagittarius

It is simply unlike a Sagittarius to be downhearted and crestfallen for long. You certainly give yourself space to grieve and you make an effort not to be overly optimistic about how soon you think you’ll move on. But as the weeks go by, you have no problem doing things to cheer yourself up and help speed up the breakup process – like going on a fun vacation with your friends, treating yourself to a spa day, making frequent dinner plans, etc.

3. Aries

An Aries is not brokenhearted for long – and this is mostly because you don’t give yourself the time. When you’re sad and disheartened, you just keep yourself constantly moving for fear that if you sit still for too long, you’ll never want to get out of bed. So in the midst of a breakup you are constantly out and about, seeing and doing everything, so that your heart has no choice but to adapt and adjust.

4. Pisces

A brokenhearted Pisces is open about being brokenhearted. And this is what helps you to move on faster. You’re so sensitive and compassionate, even with yourself, that it’s impossible for you to ignore your own feelings. So you typically just spend a lot of time talking about your relationship with people you trust, and getting your feelings off of your chest, so that your heart has enough relief and space to start putting itself back together.

5. Capricorn

When it comes to moving on, a Capricorn is as methodical and practical as they come. You’re smart enough to know that you have to acknowledge your own sadness and look it in the face, but instead of being overwhelmed or unsure of what to do next, you just always focus on the ‘next step’ of getting over that person – you give yourself the appropriate amount of time you think you need to grieve, you focus on the things you can control, you unfollow them or hide them on social media if that helps, etc.

6. Cancer

You would think that a Cancer would be one of the signs that takes the absolute longest amount of time possible to move on, but it’s not nearly that bad. Sure, you wear your heart on your sleeve and you feel things very deeply – and while that can make your breakup very painful, it can actually make it healthier and more productive, too. You refuse to hide your heartbreak and you’re honest with people about how devastated you are, but because of this, you are able to address your feelings faster and learn what helps you and what doesn’t. So it does take you some time to grieve and heal, but not nearly as much time as you might initially assume.

7. Libra

A Libra’s biggest struggle during a breakup is feeling lost. You don’t know exactly what you need – would it make you feel better to be alone or to be around people? Are you sure you did the right thing? What if this breakup was a bad idea? Should you call them? What if they’re already over you? You get caught up in too many uncertainties instead of just committing to the breakup and letting yourself move on in whatever way works best for you.

8. Virgo

A Virgo is their own biggest enemy when it comes to moving on. This is mostly because you convince yourself that the breakup was entirely your fault, that if it couldn’t work with this person it’s never going to work with anyone else, and maybe you should just start getting used to being alone – etc, etc, etc. You never let yourself just shut your brain off and give your soul some quiet time to rest. You’re just constantly overthinking about what you could have done differently and how you’ll probably be this sad forever and a million other problems – which makes it practically impossible for you to get over them.

9. Gemini

A brokenhearted Gemini is a ticking time bomb. You feel the need to convince everyone else that you are okay, and you spend all of your energy trying to show them – even though, internally, you are completely shattered and devastated. The reason it takes so damn long for you to get over them is because you keep getting in your own way, spending all your time trying to put on a brave face instead of working on your emotional health.

10. Aquarius

An Aquarius feels heartbreak just as much as the next person but doesn’t ‘realize’ it. Meaning that instead of acknowledging that you are in pain, you do whatever you can to ignore it, to distract yourself, and to put off dealing with the breakup for as long as you can. This seems to work in the beginning and you often seem like the one who’s ‘winning’ the breakup, but it just ends up screwing you over long term – because your hurt and pain just build and build and build until finally it’s so bad and it’s taken so long for you to feel better that you have no choice but to finally work through the breakup.

11. Scorpio

When it comes to moving on, a Scorpio is just terrible. Understandably, going through a breakup makes you feel totally outside of yourself and lost in your own world. But instead of dealing with it by leaning on others and looking your pain in the face, you end up making a lot of rash and reckless decisions, closing yourself off, convincing yourself that your pain is something to be ashamed about, not talking to anyone about it, etc. These are all of your attempts to protect yourself, but all it does is make the ‘moving on’ process of your breakup practically impossible until you start making different decisions.

12. Taurus

A Taurus is no stranger to intense emotions – it’s the what you’re supposed to do with the negative emotions that really throws you. You absolutely love being in a relationship – you love the companionship, the blending of worlds, the connection. So when that gets pulled out from under you, all you can think about is how great everything used to be, instead of focusing on the future like you need to. You take the absolute longest to move on from a breakup because you don’t know how to let go of your partner or your pain; all you want is for things to just go back to the way they were, and this coping mechanism of wanting to live in the past just completely holds you back.

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/kim-quindlen/2017/08/zodiac-signs-ranked-by-how-long-they-take-to-get-over-a-breakup/