Pour yourself a glass: Heres 4 ways to refresh how you stay hydrated

 You know you need to drink more water, but getting your 8 glasses in every day isn’t always easy.

Staying hydrated keeps us healthy. It can impact kidney function, helps us boost our metabolism, and aids in digesting what we eat.

But the way you drink your H20 doesn’t have to be limited to running to the water cooler every 2.5 seconds, drinking just from the tap, or constantly having to keep plastic water bottles at hand. 

Here are 4 ways you can get the most out of getting your daily water intake.

1. Got juice pulp?

Juicing may help you shed the pounds, but that doesn’t mean you should toss the juice pulp. Next time you make your juice, upcycle the pulp from your fruits and veggies into healthy snacks and meals like crackers or veggie burgers. Juice pulp from foods like cucumber, melon, and celery is not only delicious—it’s also full of fiber and a great way to “eat” your daily water intake. 

2. Filter a solution

Tired of the hard water from your tap? There’s a filter for that. Want crisp tasting water all the time? There’s a filter for that. Looking to save a little on your next water bill? There’s even a filter for that. Invest in a Culligan Water Filtration System for H20 that’s cleaner and better smelling than regular tap water. Reducing impurities that might be in your water with a Culligan whole-home system can help improve everything from your cooking to laundry to bath time. 

3. Keep hydration at your fingertips

Staying hydrated by keeping a reusable bottle with you at all times can do wonders for your body. You’re more likely to drink water if it happens to be just a few inches away. Make drinking water foolproof by downloading an app that can help you monitor your intake or use bottles that measure how many ounces you’ve had or remind you of how much time it’s been since your last sip. Take your quest for hydration even further with a Culligan water filtration system that gives you better-tasting water you won’t be able to stop drinking. 

4. Add some zest to your H20

Keep the doctor away by drinking water with lemon every day. Lemons are chock full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and citric acid, which can keep the common cold at bay, help clear up your complexion, and aid with digestion and bloating. Adding lemon water to your daily morning routine can help energize you and get you ready to tackle the day. Still not convinced? Gisele Bündchen drinks a glass every morning. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/03/27/how-drink-more-water/

This Bench Absorbs More Air Pollution Than A Small Forest

It’s no secret that London’s air is grimy as hell. Within just one month, “the Big Smoke” reached its air pollution limit set by the EU for the whole of 2018. But a novel piece of urban furniture hopes to serve as a footsoldier in the capital’s big battle to “go green”.

Germany-based tech startup Green City Solutions has recently “planted” a CityTree outside the pubs and organic supermarkets of Glasshouse Street in London, a short walk from the notoriously busy Piccadilly Circus. It’s a kind of hybrid between a city bench, a pollution-sucking filter, and an environment-tracking smart device. 

It works using a combination of plants and mosses that naturally remove dust, nitrogen dioxide, and ozone gases from the surrounding air. It’s also hooked up to the “Internet of things”, providing data on pollution levels, soil humidity, air temperature, and water quality. On top of all this, it’s been designed to be resistant to vandalism and features solar panels that satisfy all of its electricity demands.

Although only small, this device claims to have the same benefit of up to 275 real trees by filtering the air of up to 240 tonnes (265 tons) of carbon dioxide per year, plus all the other nasty fine-matter particulates and nitrogen dioxide found in inner-city pollution.

While this bench alone is not going to address all of London’s wheezy woes, it serves as a great example of how design and technology are taking up the challenge of solving our planet’s environmental problems.

“There is no simple solution, so alongside our work to reduce carbon emissions from our buildings and reduce the number of vehicles on our roads, we want to test and learn from new technology,” James Cooksey, Director of Central London at The Crown Estate, said in a statement.

London is just the latest city to have its own CityTree. So far the startup has installed over 20 CityTrees in urban areas, including Berlin, Oslo, Paris, Drammen in Norway, Amsterdam, Brussels, and Hong Kong, as well as Newcastle in the north of the UK.

“Our ultimate goal is to incorporate technology from the CityTree into existing buildings,” Zhengliang Wu, co-founder of Green City Solutions, told CNN last year.

“We dream of creating a climate infrastructure so we can regulate what kind of air and also what kind of temperature we have in a city.”

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/environment/this-bench-absorbs-more-air-pollution-than-a-small-forest/

Martin Shkreli jailed: ‘Pharma Bro’ sentenced to seven years for fraud

Shkreli, convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy, sought leniency from the court after calling the trial a witch-hunt

In a packed Brooklyn courthouse on Friday, Martin Shkreli, the Pharma Bro who rose to international notoriety after increasing the price of a lifesaving drug 50-fold, was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Shkreli, 34, was convicted of two counts of securities fraud and a single count of conspiracy last August. He had dismissed the trial as a silly witch-hunt perpetrated by self-serving prosecutors.

But before his sentencing, Shkreli wrote to Judge Kiyo Matsumoto asking for leniency. I was a fool. I should have known better, he wrote.

Prosecutors had called for 15 years. The defense had pushed for 12 to 18 months.

In court a tearful Shkreli apologized: I did not act appropriately. He said that the government had not brought him down. I took down Martin Shkreli, he said.

Shkreli, who has grown a beard since his time in prison, wore a blue prison uniform and a brown undershirt. He slouched throughout the sentencing, with his chin against his chest or hands interlaced in his lap.

His lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, argued against a lengthy sentence saying the prosecution had painted a dark picture of Shkreli.

He shouldnt be sentenced simply for being Martin Shkreli, said Brafman. Im old enough to be his father. He said there had been times I want to hug and hold him, times I want to punch him in the face for some of the things hes said.

Quite frankly, Ive got my begging voice on, said Brafman.

Federal prosecutors accused Shkreli of cheating investors out of more than $11m between 2009 and 2014 in the investment funds and paying them back as well as financing his own life with money from Retrophin, a pharmaceutical company he founded in 2011.

Summing up they called him a dangerous man who had failed to show contrition, mocked the justice system and needed to be stopped.

The charges were unrelated to the drug scandal that made him nationally notorious and saw him dubbed the most hated man in America.

Shkreli rose to infamy in 2015 when, as the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals, he raised the price of Daraprim, a lifesaving drug used by some Aids patients, from $13.50 per pill to $750.

The news sparked a national debate about US drug prices and Shkreli managed the unlikely feat of uniting Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in condemning his actions.

Shkreli seemed delighted with the attention and began a high-profile campaign trolling his critics, refusing to speak to the congressional committee that summoned him to testify against them while calling lawmakers imbeciles on Twitter.

At the trial his bizarre behavior led prosecutors to call for him to be gagged. He eventually lost bail after he encouraged his fans to obtain a hair off Clintons head: $5,000 but the hair has to include a follicle. Do not assault anyone for any reason ever (LOLIBERALS), he wrote in a now-deleted Facebook post.

Matsumoto said Shkreli had created a danger to the public with his Clinton post. She also noted that a doctor had written to the court stating Shkrelis greed and mendacity had cost one of his patients life and that he had threatened the wife of a former employee, writing: I hope to see you and your four children homeless.

The judge cited emails Shkreli sent while in prison, where he said, Fuck the feds, as evidence that six months in maximum-security prison may not have had the desired effect of deterring Shkrelis behavior.

I would encourage you while in custody to seek mental health treatment, she said.

But she also cited acts of generosity, said he had created no problems in jail and said he was a gifted individual with the capacity for kindness.

John Coffee, director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia Law School, said Shkreli would probably have been prosecuted even without the Daraprim controversy.

Lots of anonymous people get prosecuted for insider trade. If you are the CEO of a company and you are involved in basic common law fraud, I would think that would be reason enough that the prosecution would say we cant ignore this he could do it again, said Coffee.

But his behavior in court and his threat to Clinton didnt help. Im not saying he made life easier being the Pharma Bro that didnt help his case, said Coffee.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/mar/09/martin-shkreli-jail-sentence-how-long-pharma-bro-court-trial

5 Dumb Science Problems That Are Causing Real Damage

Scientists are great! We’ll take a bold stand here and declare that we are pro-scientists. They’re smart, they’re dedicated, and those white coats they wear are just rockin’. But we should never forget that scientists are people too. And no matter how smart a scientist is, people are always idiots. That’s why the scientific community is rife with shockingly stupid issues bringing down that whole “noble pursuit of knowledge” thing. Like how …


Scientists Give Silly Names To Their New Discoveries, And It All Turns Horrifying

There are innumerable genes, and it’s up to science to name them all. It’s harder than it sounds. Off the top of our heads, we can only come with about six names, and one of them is “Buttrick.” So geneticists could be forgiven for having a little fun with their naming conventions, especially if it’s something as harmless as labeling the genetic code of fruit flies with terrible puns.

There’s the tinman gene (fruit flies born with no heart), the ken and barbie gene (no external genitalia), and the maggie gene (permanent arrested development), among others. It’s all obscure, pointless wackiness … until those equivalent genes are discovered in humans, at which point not only the traits but also the wacky names get ported right over.

Warner Bros. PicturesThat tinman gag is a lot funnier when youre not a pediatric surgeon explaining it to terrified parents.

When geneticists found a human variant of the “hedgehog gene” in fruit flies, they decided to get cute with it and call it the “sonic hedgehog gene.” That must’ve gotten them some weak-wristed high fives, right until it was discovered that the sonic hedgehog gene caused “severe brain, skull, and facial defects” in humans, at which point you’ve named a horrific disfiguring affliction after a video game mascot. But lesson learned, right?

Not at all.

Recently, an inhibitor has been found to counteract the sonic hedgehog deformation, which scientists have dubbed the Robotnikinin. Somewhere in a lab out there today, a 29-year-old PhD is gleefully looking for a defective gene that causes people to be born with two tailbones solely to keep the joke running.

SEGAWell never be able to play a new Sonic game again (not that anyone’s wanted to since around 2004).

In 2001, one geneticist thought it would be fun to name a cancer-causing mutation the “Pokemon gene” (short for POK erythroid myeloid ontogenic). Understandably, Pokemon USA threatened to sue the lab if they didn’t change it, having to then explain, “We don’t want our image undermined by associating Pokemon with cancer.” Leave it to the suits to suck all the fun out of science.

The ludicrous naming got so bad that in 2015, the World Health Organization had to establish guidelines to stop scientists from turning turning life-destroying agents into pop culture references. Plenty disagreed with the move, calling it “political correctness” gone mad and saying that it would result in “boring names.” But if they had their way, one day, future doctors would have to tearfully inform their patients that, unfortunately, the Pickle Rick hasn’t responded to chemo, and it’s time to make arrangements.


Scientists Draw Biased Conclusions Because They’re Afraid Of Sharing

It is the goal of every scientist to eliminate as much human error and bias from science as possible. Yet ironically, their biggest hurdle now lies not in research having too much bias, but not having enough of it to cancel each other out. In 2014, a group of researchers went full Inception: They did a study on bias by researching groups of researchers doing research on bias.

They gave 29 research teams a query about soccer: “Are dark-skinned players more likely to be given red cards than light-skinned ones?” They were all given the same batch of statistics, but no further instructions on how to approach the problem. As expected, the research teams used a wide variety of analytical models, and their findings reflected this variety. Some deduced an overwhelming bias against players of color, while other groups failed to find any bias whatsoever. It seems that in both soccer and science, diversity can quite polarizing.

Michael Regan/Getty Images“For tripping … and being uppity.”

After the initial round of research, our heroic meta-researchers pooled the results and organized a round of feedback and technique refinement. After combing over each other’s work, all the research teams agreed on a more nuanced result: There was about 30 percent worth of racism, which seems realistic for anyone who has ever heard soccer fans chant. Now, readers with a BSc behind their names might already be screaming this at the screen, but yes, that’s called peer review, and it’s been happening in science since the second caveman tried to replicate the fire-creating qualities of sharp stones. But the study found that peer review happens too late in the process. “Once a finding has been published in a journal, it becomes difficult to challenge. Ideas become entrenched too quickly, and uprooting them is more disruptive than it ought to be.”

Their solution is simple: crowdsourced research — also known as the nerd hive mind. By making research available for all to inspect before it gets published, faulty science can be corrected long before it hits the shelves of the ol’ Science Store. The problem? Many scientists are far too paranoid to share their unpublished work, fearing both that someone else will steal their breakthrough and that splitting their work means having to split the glory. That’s the problem with graduating from MIT at the age of nine — they didn’t stick around kindergarten long enough to learn about sharing.


Joke Science Papers Can Cause Real Scientific Harm

Science can be an all too serious business, so sometimes a researcher might like to have some fun by publishing a “joke paper” — a satirical take on bad science in the form of an academic essay.

We all define “fun” in different ways.

Every Christmas, British Medical Journal publishes an entire joke edition, full of silly studies like “Sniffing out significant ‘Pee Values’: genome-wide association study of asparagus anosmia.” What a hilarious fake study!

Wait … that is fake, right?

British Medical JournalLOL?

You see the problem. This is the age of the internet, so after these joke papers have done the university rounds, they get filed into dozens of online archives along with all the regular papers. Suddenly, your little academic equivalent of a bad office party skit has an audience of seven billion. And before you know it, a joke study that tracked the energy expenditure of teenagers playing video games has found its way into about 400 footnotes and counting. In fact, people accidentally citing joke papers has become such a problem that there have been actual studies done on their damaging effects. We think. That could’ve also been a joke paper. It’s hard to tell.

Ohhhhh. Pee-values. Like p-values. That’s good. That is good stuff.


Want To Be A Scientist? Speak English

Science is the great equalizer. Do the proper research, employ the right model, and your work will speak for itself.

As long as the language it speaks is English.

American Inst. Of PhysicsFor now.

Unfortunately for 94 percent of humanity, scientists have a far greater chance of getting published if they write for English-language scientific publications … even in their own countries. In the Netherlands, there are 40 English-language scientific journals for every one in Dutch. That’s bad news all around for non-English speakers, as speaking in another language makes it harder to understand complex topics, more difficult to communicate precisely, and slows down research.

But the English hegemony isn’t just bad for scientists; it’s bad for science itself. Forcing scientists to approach their field from a single language comes with “the great cost of losing their unique ways of communicating ideas,” says Sean Perera, a researcher into scientific communication. Forcing everything through the lens of a single language means a decrease in the variety of perspectives. For the most part, English has a common culture attached to it, which has its own specific way of thinking. Doing it this way eliminates “indigenous knowledge,” which in turn reduces outside-the-box thinking. Speak like the English, reason like the English, and soon you’ll think the answer to every problem is to recolonize India.


Predatory Science Journals Are Hilarious … And Also Destroying Science

You’ve heard the old adage “publish or perish.” In academia, if you’re not publishing notable papers, your career might as well be dead. It seems unfair, but that’s the reality of the profession. Enter what one researcher has dubbed “predatory journals.” They all have official-sounding names, like cheap knockoff versions of reputable publications. They spam university email addresses, offering the chance for quick and easy publishing. And for those naive enough to submit, the predatory journals then hold their papers hostage in exchange for exorbitant fees.

Plenty of knowingly unscientific bunkum gets laundered through these journals, from climate change denial to the adverse health effects of not dating scientists. And it all seeps out into the mainstream, unedited, un-reviewed, and unsubstantiated. So some scientists have made a game out of exposing predatory journals, seeing how ridiculous their submission can be while still getting published. So far, enterprising academics have gotten the following published: two Simpsons characters, a fake woman whose name literally means “fraud” in Polish, a dog, and Apple’s auto-complete function. Two researchers also published a ten-page essay simply titled “Get me off Your Fucking Mailing Lists,” which consists of nothing but the sentence “Get me off Your Fucking Mailing Lists,” accompanied by handy graphs showing the values of getting them off Your Fucking Mailing Lists.

Mazieres, Kohler The “unsubscribe” button might help, but it isnt nearly this satisfying.

But where one scientist sees an opportunity for a hilarious joke, another just sees opportunity. There exists an “ugly symbiosis” between publishers eager to exploit academics and academics hungry to stick another published paper on their university’s break room fridge. Predatory journals aren’t just thriving. They now have their own conferences, where for the right price, anyone can be a speaker — something that looks very good on any academic resume. They don’t even have to show up. The audience sure won’t.

When he’s not calling every person smarter than him a dum-dum, Cedric Voets can be found gibbering like an idiot on Twitter.

You know what’s some great science you can do at home? An ant farm. Why aren’t there more ant farms?

Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more, check out 6 Shocking Studies That Prove Science Is Totally Broken and 6 Reasons You Can’t Trust Science Anymore.

Also, follow us on Facebook. It’s not rocket science.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25469_5-dumb-science-problems-that-are-causing-real-damage.html

Here’s How To Get Rid Of A Toenail Without Your Doctor’s Help

If you’ve ever had an ingrown fingernail or toenail, then you know how painful they can be.

The things are downright disastrous. They occur when the nail grows into the skin surrounding it, and people with thick, curved nails are most susceptible to getting them. They are incredibly painful and can make everything from putting on socks to walking truly miserable.

And most of the time, they require a visit to the doctor’s office for surgical removal, which is a total drag.

Doctors will remove the infected tissue and effectively dig out the nail.

They then clean the wound and flush the bacteria out.

After that, they use a tool to get under the ingrown portion of the nail and cut it out of the foot.

But if you’re someone who’s in relatively good health, there are ways that you can do this at home. Just be advised that if you have diabetes or any vascular condition, you cannot do this at home and must see a doctor immediately.

Start by placing your feet in a large bowl or tub of hat water mixed with one teaspoon of Epsom salts, which you can find at any drugstore or big box store. Leave your feet in there for 20 minutes a day until the infection is mostly cleared and the skin around the nail is supple.

After that, use something to lift the nail ever so slightly and then place a small piece of cotton under the part of the nail that’s growing into the foot. Leave it there so that the nail can begin growing outside of the skin.

Apply a generous amount of ointment to the area and then bandage the toe up. Neosporin is a good antibacterial choice.

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/get-rid-of-ingrown-toenail/

15 Healing Scriptures to Comfort Your Heart

How lucky are we to have been created and loved by an all-mighty, all-knowing, and all-powerful God? He is Jehovah Rapha, The Lord that heals, and in times where our hearts, souls and even bodies need healing, the only place to turn is up.

The Bible is chalk-full of healing scriptures that are the living, breathing promises of God.

Whether you’re in need of a miracle or just some solid comfort, here are 15 healing scriptures to lift you up!

1. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3)

2. Worship the LORD your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you. (Exodus 23:25)

3. For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 30:17)

4. Then Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.” (Mark 2:17)

5. Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. (Jeremiah 33:6)

6. Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you. (Luke 10:9)

7. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-3)

8. The LORD will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health. (Psalm 41:3)

9. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

10. Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:14)

11. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. (Revelations 21:4)

12. The Lord will take away from you all sickness, and will afflict you with none of the terrible diseases of Egypt which you have known, but will lay them on all those who hate you. (Deuteronomy 7:15)

13. Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:8)

14. Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. (Matthew 9:35)

15. Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” (Luke 8:50)

Read Next On FaithIt
5 Christian Inspirational Quotes That Aren’t Actually Found in Scripture

Read more: https://faithit.com/15-healing-scriptures-comfort-your-heart/

4 Creepy Ways Everyday Life Is Turning Into Sci-Fi

The goal of any good dystopian story is to warn us about the future that we could end up with if we’re not careful. But they’re usually inspired by something that’s happening right now. Which means that while most of us are watching some cool new show in which future people live in pods and are haunted by cyber ghosts, a few unlucky SOBs are out there already living it.


Japanese People Are Having To Live In Internet Cafes

Much like America, Japan’s middle class is shrinking thanks to the upsurge in contract-only and temporary work. That makes paying rent all but impossible, so as many as 4,000 people in Tokyo alone are now living out of internet cafes — those places you thought became outdated shortly after we all moved on from 56k modems. They’re called saiba homuresu, or cyber homeless, which is a cool name for a sign of the crushingly bleak economic times.

Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeThe “tiny house” thing is a little less cute when taken to its logical conclusion.

And this isn’t a trendy way for young people to keep their lives simple before they get their feet on the ground. Nearly 40 percent of the cyber homeless are in their 30s, and 29 percent are in their 50s. There’s an imbalance in Japan’s economy whereby many people can’t get jobs, but those with jobs feel like they have to work themselves to death (and sometimes do) to stay in the game. And if you can’t afford a home, and have no free time to spend in one anyway, why not downgrade? Many cafes, which charge around 15 dollars a night, offer showers, laundry, and other amenities to their long-term residents. It’s kind of like living out of your car, except with much easier access to pornography. Plus you get to look like someone out of a William Gibson novel.

Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTube

Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeThe Depression Engine

The cyber homeless try to see the bright side of downsizing, but take a look at the ancient computers they’re stuck with and try to tell us that that’s not suffering. If you’re going to have your life destroyed by a brutal economic recession, at least you shouldn’t also have to use Windows XP.

Japans Disposable Workers, via YouTubeUpside: hardwood floors. Downside: Theyre also his bed.


Iran Has A Legal Organs-For-Cash Program

Sci-fi dystopias frequently revolve around the stark contrast between the wasteful opulence of the wealthy and the brutal desperation of the poor. One of the most popular ways to illustrate this is organ replacement for hire. Whether a poor person needs to rent an organ on a monthly payment plan in Repo Men or a wealthy person simply has their own clone murdered for spare parts like in The Island, the idea of cashing in on organ donation immediately signifies that we’re in a nightmarish dystopia.

Well, unless you live in modern Iran. Then it’s a fact of life. Iran has a legal marketplace for kidney sales, and while “kidney sale” immediately conjures images of spiked drinks and a bathtub full of ice and regret, it’s all above-board. Poor Iranians are so eager to “donate” that the streets leading to some hospitals are plastered with homemade advertisements proclaiming how healthy their signmakers are …

Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles TimesNo better way to advertise lifesaving surgery than with Sharpie on the side of a tree.

Before you write off Iran as a backwards country with inferior healthcare, it’s been argued that their system is in some regards actually better than that of the United States. For all we may squirm at the concept, Iranians in need of kidneys, well, get kidneys. Meanwhile, as obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise, America’s demand for healthy kidneys is only increasing. As of 2015, 100,000 Americans were waiting for a new kidney, and in 2014, 7,600 Americans either got too sick (or too dead) to receive one.

Shashank Bengali / Los Angeles TimesLuckily, the transplant specialists dont have to advertise like someone trying to sell a pee-stained couch … we hope.

Iran’s healthcare system saves money overall, because patients get new kidneys quickly instead of spending a long time on dialysis, and the legal framework prevents the donor from getting screwed on payment. Plus, both donor and receiver must be Iranian nationals, so you don’t see “kidney tourism.” Iran has largely managed to address their organ shortage, although information on the long-term health of the sellers is unavailable, because the future is a morally complicated quagmire of nightmares.

The system has its flaws, of course, with prospective patients making some seriously sketchy side deals to get around waiting periods. Oh, and also the whole vampiric overtone of the rich buying body parts from the poor. That’s pretty weird too.


Apple’s iPhone Factories Have Suicide Nets Lining The Buildings

Our iPhones are made in Chinese factories, of which Longhua is the largest and most ominous. About 450,000 workers live and work in the highly regulated quasi-city-state. Nobody else gets in. Delivery truck drivers must first have their fingerprints scanned, and unauthorized visitors have been beaten in the past. Why all the secrecy? Well, if you were running a secret mini-dystopia, you’d be less keen on visitors too. Longhua workers alternate 12-hour shifts and live in grey dorms a few feet from the high-pressure environment where they work. Perhaps understandably, this situation has led to mass suicides. It turns out that forcing workers to pay for running water and getting mad at them for wanting bathroom breaks is bad for morale, even if you do throw the odd potluck.

Tyrone Siu/ReutersHaving a workplace that could pass for a scene from 1984 isnt super encouraging.

Now, to be fair, Steve Jobs did highlight how the suicide rate in China was about the same as at the factory, which is only a couple steps removed from telling someone that it’s statistically unlikely to be murdered while you’re stabbing them. Nevertheless, Apple and Foxconn, the factory’s parent company, did take measures to prevent suicides. If you think that sounds nice, think more literally. No steps were taken to improve the working and living conditions, which are infamous for their relentless pace, cruel management, and blatant recruiting lies. Instead, workers had to sign pledges stating they would not attempt to kill themselves. Quickly realizing that a pinky promise didn’t mean much to someone standing on a ledge, they took one more measure: adding netting to all the tall buildings in the complex.

Thomas Lee/WiredAlternately, a quick way down from the upper floors for people trying to preserve their four minutes a day of personal time.

Shockingly, these measures haven’t really helped, as threats of mass suicide have become the workers’ only negotiating chip. In 2012, 150 of them gathered on a roof and threatened to jump if working conditions didn’t improve. It happened again in 2016 over withheld wages, which suggests that the 2012 protest didn’t go as well as it could have. Guardian journalists interviewed workers in 2017 to see if any improvements had been made, and one worker summed things up thusly: “It’s not a good place for human beings.”

The iPhone X looks neat though, huh?


The Japanese Corpse Warehouses That Deliver The Dead Via Conveyor Belt

Japan is running out of space to bury their dead, and a booming elderly population means that they’re going to have a whole lot of dead to bury. Further compounding the issue, people who have moved away from their hometowns are finding it troublesome to return to their family graves to care for them. The solution? Conveyor belts for the dead!

Alexander Martin/Nikkei Asian Review

.Tokyo GobyoObviously.

The empathetic folks at Toyota are trying to save people from the tedious job of keeping their family graves clean by providing a low-maintenance alternative, meaning that a night on the town can now feature both sushi and your father’s ashes being brought to you by the same technology. When you arrive at the urn warehouse, you scan an ID card and are directed to a private prayer booth. In under a minute, a conveyor system transfers the relevant ashes into your booth from a behind-the-scenes storage area.

Kazuhiro Kobayashi/The Japan TimesAll while enjoying a quiet Buddhist ceremony hosted by a vacant-eyed robot.

A typical conveyor-fed urn warehouse holds 5,500 remains in just over 20,000 square feet, and a slot is roughly half as cheap as a traditional grave site. The only major downside is that it looks like Ghost In The Shell meets Beetlejuice.

Chunichi Shimbun/The Japan TimesHonor your loved ones memory with the gift of high-volume automated storage.

Oh, and that you couldn’t be sure — truly sure — that grandpa’s ghost likes hanging out in a robotic corpse warehouse for all eternity. You know old people and technology.

Tiagosvn would love to hear about the most dystopian elements of your life on his Twitter. Nick is an attorney who hopes his writing career will continue to keep him out of the courtroom.

Michael Gibson’s work is intense stuff. Check out his first graphic novel, Archangel, today!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25475_4-creepy-ways-everyday-life-turning-into-sci-fi.html

THIS Woman Allegedly Cooked Her Chihuahua To Death In An Oven Because She Thought Her Ex Was INSIDE The Animal

Earlier this month, an Oregon woman allegedly cooked her pet Chihuahua to death in an oven because she thought her ex-boyfriend was INSIDE the animal.

According to Clatsop County Jail records, Noelle Georgia Moor (above) has been charged with first-degree animal abuse for the alleged incident.

Related: Uber’s Self-Driving Car Just Killed A Pedestrian!

Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis told People that on March 19, authorities arrived at the 28-year-old’s residence at least twice over a dispute. When they entered the property, they “realized something was very wrong,” and eventually found the poor dog in the oven.

Court records obtained by The Oregonian say Moor, who was detained at Columbia Memorial Hospital, believed a former flame was actually inside the canine.

Although Marquis is awaiting the results of her mental health investigation, “it’s likely going to be handled as a criminal case,” adding:

“A lot of people who do very bizarre things also have mental health issues.”

The suspect is currently at the Clatsop County Jail, and will appear in court on Tuesday.

[Image via Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-03-26-noelle-georgia-moor-clatsop-county-jail-chihuahua

What Led the Middle East’s Top Dealmaker to Step Down

The Middle East’s biggest private equity dealmaker is stepping aside under a cloud of controversy. Arif Naqvi ceded control of the fund-management unit of his Abraaj Group in February on the heels of allegations that money in the company’s health fund had been misused. Naqvi and the company denied any wrongdoing and blamed unforeseen political and regulatory hurdles for a delay in deploying the money. The fund, which invests in hospitals in some of the poorest countries in the world, is a model for replacing aid with accessible, affordable and quality health care using private financing.

1. What’s special about Abraaj?

The 400-person firm has grown to become one of the largest private equity groups in the emerging markets — "growth markets," as Naqvi prefers to call them — with $13.6 billion in assets under management. From its roots in the Middle East, Abraaj now invests in private equity, health care, clean energy, lending and real estate across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Turkey. According to its website, the firm’s $1 billion health-care fund focuses "on improving care in the fields of non-communicable disease and mother and child health in 10 cities, including Lagos, Hyderabad, Karachi, and Nairobi." The fund owns 24 hospitals, 17 clinics and 30 diagnostic clinics across India, Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya with over 3,200 patient beds.

2. Who invests in its funds?

Abraaj attracts investors, including foundations, sovereign wealth funds and pension funds, pursuing higher returns alongside social goals. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank’s International Finance Corp. unit and two government-backed development finance organizations, CDC Group Plc and Proparco Group, are among some two dozen investors in Abraaj’s health fund, and they hired a forensic accountant to examine what happened to some of their money, the Wall Street Journal reported on Feb. 2. (The Seattle, Washington-based Gates Foundation is the world’s largest private philanthropic organization.) Dutch health-equipment company Royal Philips NV, another investor in the health fund, said in a statement on Feb. 5 that it "remains aligned with the fund’s efforts and objectives." Private-equity investors usually commit capital for five to seven years, making it a highly illiquid investment.

3. What happened to the money in question?

Abraaj says it’s all properly accounted for and that some unused capital from its health fund — it didn’t say how much — was returned to investors. It dismissed questions over disappearing money as “inaccurate and misleading" and said it worked with KPMG “to verify all receipts and payments made by the fund." It said the discrepancy between the money it collected and the money it invested was due to delays in its projects. The health fund also invests in greenfield and brownfield projects unlike standard private equity funds and so the timing of the deployment of capital is less predictable, Abraaj said. Retaining capital where an investment is delayed also met the terms of the fund’s limited partnership agreement, it said.

4. What changes has Abraaj made?

It said it’s separating Abraaj Holdings, the parent company, from Abraaj Investment Management Ltd., which manages the private equity funds. Naqvi will remain the chief executive officer of Abraaj Holdings and retain a non-executive role on the fund division’s investment committee, but will step down as committee chairman. Two younger executives, Omar Lodhi and Selcuk Yorgancioglu, become co-chief executive officers of the fund manager. No new capital commitments will be made until the reorganization is complete. Naqvi said in an interview last month that he’d outlined his plans to transition from his role and separate asset management from the holding company in a January 2017 memo to staff. The moves were accelerated by the recent news reports, he said.

5. Who is Naqvi?

A pioneer in the Mideast buyout market, Naqvi, 57, has been a conduit to the developing world for socially responsible global investors like Gates. Born in Karachi, Pakistan, Naqvi graduated from the London School of Economics, began his career in accounting at Arthur Andersen LLP and worked in Saudi Arabia for billionaire Suliman Olayan. He founded Dubai-based Abraaj in 2002 and worked with Gates on health-care projects in Africa and Asia since 2014. Abraaj began raising money for its health fund in 2015.

6. What’s next for Naqvi?

He will spend his time talking about “how private capital can serve the needs of communities that need it," and how to achieve world development goals, he said in the interview. He will no longer be involved in executing deals, governance, reporting structures and the day-to-day running of Abraaj’s fund management business.

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    The outrage over Jim Carrey’s tweet is sparking a debate about body-shaming.

    Jim Carrey, a blockbuster actor known for being both hilariously weird and emotionally effective on-screen, doesn’t make many movies anymore. These days, he’s more interested in making art.

    And he hasn’t exactly been quiet about politics, either. On March 17, 2018, Carrey posted a controversial tweet with a grotesque drawing of White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, accompanied by the word “monstrous.”

    “This is the portrait of a so-called Christian whose only purpose in life is to lie for the wicked. Monstrous!” Carrey wrote to his nearly 18 million Twitter followers.

    In response, Fox News and several other conservative media outlets are framing Carrey’s comments and portrait of Sanders as “disgraceful” and “terrifying.” They’ve also called the tweet “body-shaming” and “bullying.”

    Body-shaming and bullying are serious issues. But is that really what’s going on here?

    Chances are, you’ve seen a number of stories about bullying and body-shaming in recent years — and probably several of them came from us.

    The reality is, we’re all insecure about our appearances to varying degrees and unrealistic expectations from the media, sexism, and bullying have all contributed to a very real problem that’s worth calling out when it happens.

    After all, recent studies have shown that fat-shaming isn’t just mean, it can involve serious health risks for those who experience it. And one recent study claims that an overwhelming 94% of teenage girls experience fat-shaming at some point in their formative years.

    But this simply isn’t one of those cases. While Carrey’s portrait of Sanders certainly isn’t flattering, it’s clearly more a political critique or a critique of the job she does than a personal insult about her physical appearance. There’s a long history of using unflattering portraits of political figures to make a point that has nothing to do with their real-world body shape, size, or appearance.

    Trying to frame political criticism of the White House press secretary as body-shaming only distracts from the real problem, one that these same media outlets rarely seemed concerned about when the alleged target isn’t one of their political allies.

    Carrey himself has addressed the supposed backlash, tweeting out a satirical painting he did of Trump to make his point. But that hasn’t stopped a number of people from calling him out.

    Liberals and progressives alike should be called out when they’re hypocritical on such a significant issue.

    Body-shaming and bullying aren’t limited to one side of the political spectrum.

    In politics, many on the left have fallen into attacking Donald Trump for his appearance. As we’ve written before, there is no shortage of things to criticize Trump for — and going after his weight isn’t necessary or productive.

    More recently, The New Yorker was criticized by Fox News and others for its cover depicting a nude Trump. That seems more fair, even though many find it hard to defend the most powerful man in the world who himself has a long history of body-shaming vulnerable women.

    If Carrey was doing that here with Sanders, we’d be first in line to criticize him for that.

    Political figures are fair game for criticism. Treating any attack as personal is a distraction from the real issues.

    It’s not always easy to draw the line on acceptable criticism of public figures.

    Making direct threats against their safety is a clear red line no one should cross. However, it’s clear here that a number of people are using the shield of “body-shaming” and “bullying” as a way to distract from valid criticism of Sanders and her boss.

    We’re not saying Carrey’s commentary was kind, but it’s well within the bounds of political criticism. And that’s something everyone should defend, even when it’s their team that’s being targeted.

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/the-outrage-over-jim-carrey-s-tweet-is-sparking-a-debate-about-body-shaming