Check out our innovative home and kitchen tools to make cooking and beverages more enjoyable

Style Switcher

Predefined Colors

Do not give your dog bone treats. They could be deadly, the FDA says

(CNN)It’s understandable that you’d want to pamper your pooch. But if you’re doing so with bone treats, you’re actually risking its life.

Bone treats are real bones that have been dried, flavored and packaged for dogs, the FDA says. They’re a fixture in pet stores.
Although the treats might seem like they make good stocking stuffers, they pose serious health risks.
    In the FDA’s reports, pet owners and veterinarians said dogs that ate these bones experienced blockages in the digestive tract, choking, cuts, vomiting, diarrhea and in extreme cases, death. About 15 dogs died.
    “Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet,” veterinarian Carmela Stamper said in the published warning.
    Besides the warning, the FDA also provided extra tips for keeping Fido safe:
    • Chicken bones and other bones from the kitchen table can also cause injury when chewed by pets. So be careful to keep platters out of reach when you’re cooking or the family’s eating.
    • Be careful what you put in the trash can. Dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones disposed of there.
    • Talk with your veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog. There are many available products made with different materials for dogs to chew on.

    Read more:

    Read More

    Your complimentary tote bag isn’t a gift, it’s a drain

    Image: ambar del moral/mashable

    Among America’s unforgiving recycling elite, no bag is more universally revered than the almighty canvas tote bag.

    Once a demonized member of the bag community, the canvas tote has risen to prominence in recent years as a socially conscious sustainable alternative to plastic. Wherever you go, you’re bound to be circled by aggressive tote bag pushers, who offer the tote as a “complimentary gift” in exchange for your charitable contribution or participation in some boring-ass event.   

    Alone, tote bags are benign. Together, they’re a malevolent force of nature. Overstocked American kitchen cabinets are struggling to breathe, suffocating under the weight of their tote bag mountain.

    When will our romance end?

    It’s easy to understand why we fell so hopelessly in love. There’s nothing more romantic than the American tote bag — washable, reusable, foldable, and very often font-conscious. And while stereotyping is bad, stereotyping about people who use tote bags has proven to be historically accurate, according to a recent study I conducted in my brain at Barnes & Noble.

    For years, we’ve all lived under the same exhausted bag paradigm. The tote bag is considered to be far sexier than its inherently wasteful, bad boy plastic alternative. The story is in the data. Americans use 100 billion plastic bags a year, which requires 12 million barrels of oil to produce. Only 1 percent of plastic bags are returned for recycling (to be honest, I didn’t even know that was possible). Plastic bags are destroying our rivers, our oceans and this fugly tree outside my living room window. 

    But who’s to say tote bags are that much better? Study after study has come to the same grating conclusion. Tote bags are being over, not under, produced in America. Many of us have more tote bags than we could ever dream of, and we’re not using them particularly efficiently. Take a look at your own collection. How long have you used the same tote bags for? Are you really using them all? How much is pure tote bag waste?

    Whatever you think about plastic bags, they’re actually leaving less of a carbon footprint than totes, at least when it comes to manufacturing. The production of canvas totes generates 131 times as many emissions of plastic bags. In order to be just as effective as plastic bags, that means you’d have to use your tote bag at least 131 times. 

    That’s obscene. I don’t think I’ve even left my house 131 times this year.

    Anyways, enough book learnin’. What makes tote bags so devastatingly cruel to our home environments is how much space they take up in our vulnerable storage spaces. Tell me you don’t have a tote bag full of other totes. Maybe you have a closet full of nothing but totes, or maybe just a cabinet stuffed to the gills.

    Don’t get me wrong — I love a good classic NPR or New Yorker tote, something that screams “I’m educated and pleasant.”

    I don’t know the exact date the nonprofit machine started giving out complimentary totes for charitable donations, but it wasn’t always this way. Back in the carefree pre-recycling era, we used to get free mugs, free calendars, free T-shirts.

    The good ol’ days are gone, baby, and I’ll do anything to get them back.

    For nonprofits and corporations seeking to diversify their complimentary goodies, might I recommend eschewing totes and considering these undervalued potentially branded items:

    • Crew socks

    • Mugs

    • Wine glasses

    • Phone chargers

    • Tissues

    • Water bottles

    • Blankets

    • Nice dried meats

    • Cheese puff barrels

    We don’t heave to live in fear of our tote bag landfills anymore. It’s time to cut off the supply. Once we’ve liberated ourselves from tote bag welfare state, we can learn how to tote like the responsible good citizens we believe ourselves to be.

    It’s toteally within reach.

    Read more:

    Read More

    Welcome To Heaven! Can You Become Gods Favorite?

    Heaven. The jewel of outer space. The gold-paved paradise where your dead grandma has yet to make friends. Former home of Babe Ruth. The big zoo where they keep God.

    You died yesterday in a guillotine accident, and because you correctly chose to be a Christian during your life, you are now being rewarded with eternal glory in the Kingdom of God.

    Good shit, good shit.

    “Welcome to Herman!” a small angel screams at you.

    “Yes, that is what I said. My name is Donner, and I will be your Hermanly Host for the next 500 billion years, assisting you with whatever you need while you’re acclimating to life inside the pearly gates.”

    “Because after that I will enter my chrysalis stage and transform into a pelican.”

    “Herman can be a wonderful place, but it can also be a not-so-wonderful place,” Donner screams as your childhood dog hurtles through the sky behind him, giving you a brief preview of the glories that await. “It all depends whether you get on God’s good side or his bad side.”

    “Well, for one, he’ll let you use his Sonicare toothbrush, which is way better than a normal toothbrush. And sometimes he’ll take you for a ride in his private golf cart and let you sit on his lap and pretend to drive. Oh, and sometimes he’ll let you watch the personalized episodes of King Of The Hill that he made for himself after realizing that he couldn’t relate to the original series—I hear they’re really good, too.”

    “Yes, it is. But what’s really amazing is if you become God’s favorite. If God chooses you as his favorite, you get to live in his house with him and basically be a god yourself. He lets you partake in his holy vegetables and sleep next to him in a matching sleeping bag. He lets you hold the walkie-talkie that receives all of mankind’s prayers. But the coolest part is that he lets you into his private trophy room to look at all his trophies—truly, there is no greater privilege.”

    “Well, there are a number of things God could do to make your life unpleasant, but if you really get on his bad side, he’ll sentence you to live in Judas’ Bog. That’s the fucked-up swamp of sadness God invented for Judas because he didn’t think Hell was a severe enough punishment. It is said that everyone there is constantly flying around jetpack-like with the most brutal diarrhea imaginable, and there’s no toilet paper, so you have to use a communal Nerf football. And every time you open your mouth there, a sickly old bat flies into your mouth and makes love with your tongue, and then it lays a clutch of sour eggs on your tongue, and if you try to spit them out, a tiny Tom Hanks in a police uniform runs up and shatters your knees with a billy club. The tiny Tom Hanks is an asshole, and he’s always hitting you for arbitrary reasons. Every day in Judas’ Bog is a stupid fiesta of nightmares, and I hope you never have to go there.”

    “Hey, speaking of God, here’s your ride now to go meet him,” says Donner as a tramcar piloted by a gorilla pulls up. “Good luck, and let me know if you need anything. You can find me in the bathroom toilet of your condo, which is where I live.”

    “I don’t know what the hell this is, but thank you,” says Donner, eating the $5 bill.

    You get on the tram and start flying through Heaven to meet God. You see all sorts of neat stuff through the window, such as a gold-plated CVS and two angels electrocuting a giant squid with their powers.

    You ask the gorilla how he likes it in Heaven, but he just sits there like an idiot and doesn’t say anything. Annoyed, you find an empty beer can on the floor and throw it at the gorilla’s head to try to get his attention.

    Then, without saying a word, the gorilla extends his hand back toward you in a manner that suggests he wants you to hold his hand.

    The moment you take the gorilla’s hand, you feel a powerful surge of energy explode through your body, and suddenly millions of images and sounds are rapidly flashing through your mind.

    You see drunk, muscular angels blasting you with a firehose and mocking you for not being as sleek and hairless as them. You see a lionlike beast covered head to toe in gorgeous lips singing a ballad about how he flew to Earth the morning of 9/11 and put all of your bananas in the North Tower and how you cried when you saw the footage of them exploding on MSNBC. You see big-shot Heaven celebrities James Gandolfini and Steve Irwin walking down a golden street holding hands, and as they pass you, you hear Steve yell, “Blimey! It’s Rodney Dipshit!” and they both bust out laughing. Then you hear what is unmistakably the voice of God saying, “Rodney, you useless moron ape! Pack your bags, I am sending you to live in Judas’ Bog for the rest of eternity!”

    The gorilla pilot pulls his hand away, and the images stop flashing through your mind. You realize that he has just shown you his memories of Heaven, and you understand that his experience has not been a good one.

    Damn, if that’s what it’s like to be on God’s bad side, then you need to do whatever it takes to make sure he likes you.

    The tram pulls up in front of God’s house and leaves you at the doorstep.

    “Welcome, my child,” says a voice that is somehow both loud and quiet, deep and shrill, American-sounding and Chinese-sounding. “Come in so that I might gaze upon you with my powerful, high-quality eyes and sniff you with my wise, deathless snout.”

    The front door opens, beckoning you inside.

    “Oh, hey there, buddy. How’s it goin’? My name’s God. What’s your name?”

    Holy shit. It’s God.

    “Yeah, I already knew that. Funny story, but I actually created you out of some clay and toothpicks and shit, so I pretty much know everything there is to know about you. Weird, right?”

    You’re at a loss for words. You’re excited to be talking to God, but also extremely nervous and a bit paranoid, because if he knows everything about you, then that probably means he knows about—

    “—the time you got drunk and ran over the mailman with your car? And you didn’t know what to do with the body so you just put some stamps on it and stuffed it into one of those big metal street-corner mailboxes, and nobody discovered the body for months because the guy who normally emptied that mailbox was the guy you killed, and when someone finally did discover him, his corpse was a perfect cube shape because the body had bloated into the mold of the mailbox’s rigid 90-degree corners, and the poor guy had to be buried in a hollowed-out refrigerator since there were no coffins that could accommodate his angular dimensions? Yep, I know about that.”

    Whoa, did God just read your mind?

    “Yes. I did. And for what it’s worth, that mailman was constantly taking my name in vain, so it doesn’t bug me that you killed him.”

    “Sooooo, anyway… did you bring me any offerings?”

    Shit. You forgot to bring God an offering. You should’ve stopped at that CVS on the way over.

    “Oh, okay, cool. Seems like it would’ve made more sense to just bring it in when you got here, but what do I know—it’s not like I’m omniscient or anything. But, yeah, if you wanna run out and grab my offering real quick, that’d be great.”

    You run outside and frantically start looking for an offering to give to God. Luckily, as you’re searching, you notice three things hurtling through the sky that might be able to pass as offerings: a vending machine, a TurboTax Premier software bundle, and the King of Pop, Michael Jackson.

    You grab Michael Jackson and bring him to God as an offering.

    “Whoa, holy shit!” says God. “You got me my own Michael Jackson? Badass, bro! I’ve always wanted one of these.”

    Hee-heeeee!” Michael Jackson sings as he moonwalks around God’s living room. “Shamone!”

    “Oh, cool, he’s doing all the things!” God exclaims. “Damn, this offering rules. You have pleased me greatly. Keep this up, and I can see you becoming my favorite in no time.”

    You quickly run outside and grab Michael Jackson, hoping that God will like the King of Pop more than he liked your first offering.

    “Whoa, holy shit!” says God. “You got me my own Michael Jackson? Badass, bro! I’ve always wanted one of these.”

    Hee-heeeee!” Michael Jackson sings as he moonwalks around God’s living room. “Shamone!”

    “Oh, cool, he’s doing all the things!” God exclaims. “Damn, this offering rules—way better than that bullshit you brought me before. Dang. You have pleased me greatly. Keep this up and I can see you becoming my favorite in no time.”

    “Now, before I send you on your way, are there any questions you’d like to ask me? You can ask whatever you’d like—no topics are off limits.”

    God sighs deeply and rubs his eyes with exasperation.

    “Yes. Yes, there is.”

    Good to know!

    “Anyway, I think that’s enough questions for now. But thanks again for giving me Michael Jackson—you definitely earned some brownie points with that one. Lemme know if you need anything, and don’t be a stranger. Adios, amigo!”

    “Ah, I see what you did there. Fun.”

    “Bradley’s. Are there any other questions you’d like to ask me?”

    “Okay, well, it was cool meeting you. Thanks again for giving me Michael Jackson—you definitely earned some brownie points with that one. Lemme know if you need anything, and don’t be a stranger. Adios, amigo!”

    There is a long, awkward silence.

    “Please ask me a different question.”

    “I have eight birthdays. I am allowed to have as many birthdays as I want because I am God. Do you have any other questions?”

    You grab the TurboTax software bundle and bring it to God as an offering.

    “You gotta be shitting me,” says God, anger creeping into his voice. “Seriously? Tax software? What the hell am I supposed to do with this? Did you see anything in the Bible about me doing taxes? Come on. God doesn’t do taxes. That’s nerd shit.”

    You’re getting the sense that God doesn’t like your offering.

    “I’m not sure why you’re trying to clown me, bro. You knew this was a junkass offering, but you gave it to me anyway. And that’s shitty. Maybe I should banish you to Judas’ Bog to teach you a little something about respect. How’s that sound, eh?”

    You grab the vending machine and bring it to God as an offering.

    “Ummm, what the hell is this?” asks God, anger creeping into his voice. “Seriously, what the hell is this? A fucking vending machine? Come on. It’d be one thing if you just brought me a pile of snacks, but instead you’ve brought me a pile of snacks locked inside a giant box, and I have to pay my own money to access the snacks. So, essentially, the gift you’re giving me is the option to spend $1.50 on Certs.”

    You’re getting the sense that God doesn’t like your offering.

    “You realize that I’m the creator of all things, right? So, if I wanted snacks, I could just will them into existence, like this.”

    God snaps his fingers and a nine-foot mound of Corn Nuts materializes.

    “You shouldn’t have clowned me, bro. You knew that was a junkass offering, but you didn’t care. You didn’t respect me. So I’m thinking maybe I should banish you to Judas’ Bog to teach you a little something about respect. How’s that sound, eh?”

    “Ah, c’mon, man. Don’t grovel. That shit’s pathetic. That shit bums me out. Don’t embarrass yourself.”

    You get up off the floor and stop groveling.

    “Well, anyway, thanks for stopping by and saying hello. I would say to stop by again some time, but honestly, you just kind of seem like a person who I’d never, ever want to hang out with or interact with in any capacity ever again. No offense or anything. But hopefully you’ll enjoy it here in Heaven. I’m gonna do you a solid and hook you up with some nice digs in this charming little place called Judas’ Bog—I think you’re gonna love it.”

    Ah, fuck. You blew it.

    “Adios, ding-dong! Enjoy the afterlife!”

    As you’re walking out of God’s house, you hear a voice trying to get your attention.

    Psst,” the voice says. “Psssst. Pssssssst. Hey, new guy! Psst. Psssssssssst. Hey, look over here! Psssssst! PSSSST! Pssssst. Pssst. Psst. I am to your right. Psssst. Psssssssttttt!”

    “Looks like you’ve figured out that right is left and left is right in Heaven—good for you!”

    Oh, whoa, it’s Pope John II.

    “Pardon my eavesdropping, but it sounds like things went really well in there. Seems like God really, really likes you.”

    “Yes, I know many things about God, because I am his favorite. I live here in his house with him and partake in his holy vegetables, and I intend to continue partaking in his holy vegetables forever and ever, because I won’t let anyone usurp me as his favorite. So don’t get any funny ideas. Capiche?”

    “It means, ‘Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?’ Specifically about me being God’s favorite? And how I’d like to continue being God’s favorite? And how nobody better fuck with this good thing I’ve got going?”

    “Listen, you little rat. If you knew what was good for you, you wouldn’t fuck with me. I am a pope and a goddamn bona fide saint, and no one deserves to sleep next to God in a matching sleeping bag except me. Got it? So stay in your lane, fucker, or I will wreck you.”

    “What’s going on out there?” shouts God from the other room. “Pope, I hope you’re not being an asshole to our new friend—that wouldn’t be very me-like.”

    The pope shoots you an angry glare, which catches you off guard because you thought you were just making friendly small talk with the guy.

    “You’ve made a powerful enemy today,” says the pope through gritted teeth. “I’ll be keeping an eye on you.”

    You step outside, and the tram is waiting there to take you to your condo. You take a seat in the back so you don’t have to be near the gorilla pilot, who is crying.

    You arrive at your condo, and the place fuckin’ rules. There’s rich-people shit everywhere, and the couches are so soft that they feel like they’re upholstered with that stretchy skin from puppies’ bellies—a fact you later confirm by checking the tag on one of the cushions.

    “Welcome to your new home!” you hear a voice call out from the bathroom.

    It’s your heavenly host, Donner!

    “I tell you what, you must’ve made a great first impression with God, because he set you up with one of the nicest condos in all of Herman!” exclaims Donner, giddily splashing around in the toilet water. “And he even left you a personalized gift basket in the kitchen! Wowee! I gotta say, I’m really excited to be living here with you, and I hope that we’ll become best fr—”

    You close the toilet lid on Donner so you don’t have to talk to him anymore. You’re much more interested in checking out this gift basket that God left for you.

    You go to the kitchen and find the gift basket from God. It has 30 eggs and some paperclips in it. Also, there’s a handwritten note tucked inside.

    Wow, a personal invitation to hang out with God—seems like he really likes you! Maybe if you keep building a rapport with him, you can eventually become his favorite.

    It occurs to you, though, that you don’t really know a whole lot about him, and you’re not sure what you can do to make him like you more.

    You go to the toilet and ask Donner for some pointers on how to make God like you more.

    “If you really want to win God over, there are three things you must do. One, you need to make him feel funny. Two, you need to show him that you can remain strong in the face of great temptation. And three, you need to show him that you’re willing to make an extraordinary sacrifice for him. History shows that if you can succeed at doing these three things, God will bestow his favor on you.”

    Laugh at God’s jokes, resist temptation, and make a big sacrifice. Got it.

    You put some money in the toilet to thank Donner for his help, but then you accidentally flush the toilet out of habit, and you can hear his head knocking pretty hard against the bowl as he swirls around.

    You’ve got a few hours to kill before you’re supposed to go hang out with God. What do you want to do in the meantime?

    You take the private escalator from your condo and venture out into Heaven. Contrary to what has been widely reported on the news, there don’t seem to be any streets of gold here. As far as you can tell, there are just a bunch of long moving walkways linking together a vast constellation of celestial landmasses, and you can either travel around on the walkways or take the gorilla-piloted tram system.

    If you’re wondering what Heaven smells like, it smells like a hotel with an indoor pool.