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Strong earthquake rattles Costa Rica

There were no immediate reports of deaths of injuries Sunday night after a strong earthquake shook Costa Rica.

The temblor, with a preliminary magnitude of 6.5, knocked items from store shelves and sent people rushing out of buildings in panic.

Four minutes after the initial earthquake, a magnitude 5.2 aftershock struck.

President Luis Guillermo Solis said via Twitter that the government was still gathering information. He urged people to remain calm and prepare for aftershocks.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake was centered along Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast, about 10 miles southeast of Jaco, which is about 60 miles southwest of the capital of San Jose.

The quake was at a depth of about 12 miles.

The country’s Public Safety Ministry said there were reports of two serious injuries as a result of the quake, but did not provide additional details.

Electricity was knocked out in some areas as power lines and poles fell, but there were no reports of major infrastructure damage from the temblor, which hit in a lightly populated area on the Pacific Coast. The government reported some rockslides obstructing highways near the epicenter.

The U.S. National Weather Service said there was no Pacific-wide tsunami threat, Reuters reported.

Matt Hogan was at home in Punta Uvita, about a 90-minute drive down the coast from the epicenter when the quake hit around 8:30 p.m. Sunday. He said the shaking whipped up two-foot waves in his swimming pool and knocked over glasses and containers in his kitchen.

The quake was initially measured as high as magnitude 6.8, Reuters reported.

Magdalena Lopez, who lives in Jaco, said the tremor started softly, but quickly strengthened.

“When we were trying to get out of the house it started to shake again very strongly,” she said. “All of our neighbors were in the street. In front of my house there is an overlook some people started to go up, but it quickly started to shake again.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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James Corden Reminisces About His Broadway Sex Life Quote Of The Day!

“When you land in New York, there’s no better city in the world to be if you start your working day at seven p.m., finish at 10:30 p.m. and have no responsibilities. So myself and Dominic Cooper, who’s now on Preacher, I feel like we just went out for five months. It was a phenomenal time in our lives, because you’re dropped into this little world—Hell’s Kitchen, the theater district—which is the best 12 blocks in the world. There’s a high density of (a) dancers and (b) gay men. So if you’re young, straight, English and in the hottest play in New York City, you’re gonna get laid. That’s it! I’d basically pick up the women Dominic didn’t want, but I was more than happy with that.”

James Corden to Playboy on the state of his sex life when he moved to the States for a role in Broadway’s The History Boys

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Waiting for the tide to turn: Kiribati’s fight for survival

The 33 islands of Kiribati, a remote and low-lying nation in the Pacific Ocean, are under threat from climate change. But the islanders have not given up hope

Kiribati is one of the most isolated countries in the world. As you fly in to the main island of South Tarawa, located less than 100 kms from the equator, a precariously thin strip of sand and green materialises out of the ocean.

On one side, a narrow reef offers some protection to the inhabitants and their land at low tide, at least. On the other side, a shallow lagoon reaches kilometres out to sea. The 33 islands of Kiribati pronounced Kiribass are extremely shallow; the highest point is just two metres above sea level. Looking out of the aeroplane window, there is no depth to the scene sea dissolves seamlessly into sky, a paint palette of every blue

  • Pictured above: The island of South Tarawa; children playing chicken with the passing boats on the Nippon causeway that joins Betio with the rest of South Tarawa. All photographs by Mike Bowers.

The only road

  • Pictured above: Cars on the Nippon causeway.

Kiribati is estimated to have a population of just over 100,000, with more than half making their home on South Tarawa. Theres only one road on the island and everything travels along it: schoolchildren, hospital patients, food, water, workers, taxis, mini busses, private cars, and motor scooters.

When I was last here four years ago the road was in a very poor state a reflection of the countrys perilous economic position. Potholes and washaways were common, and the speed bumps were severe enough to rip out the front end of your car unless great care was taken.

Australia provided just under 30% of the A$77m (US$60.4m) cost of the Kiribati Road Rehabilitation Project. It was the largest economic infrastructure investment in the country since the second world war, and has made a substantial difference to the quality of life on South Tarawa. However, Kiribati is facing greater challenges which infrastructure alone cannot repair.

  • Pictured above: Betio, at the southern end of Tarawa; the main land-fill site on South Tarawa.

Rising sea levels

  • Pictured above: Some houses on the lagoon side around the village of Eita have been isolated by salt water from sea incursions and storm surges.

Climate change is a huge concern. Rising ocean waters are threatening to shrink Kiribatis land area, increase storm damage, destroy its crop-growing lands and ultimately displace its people long before the islands are submerged.

Lack of fresh water is an immediate problem. Fresh water lies under the atolls and islands of Kiribati in what are known as a water lenses. Fresh water, which is less dense, floats on top of the denser salt water in a convex shape giving the sources their name. However, king tides and sea incursions are polluting the once-reliable sources and ruining the taro plant pits, known as babai pits, which depend on them.

Claire Anterea, one of the co-ordinators of Kirican, the Kiribati Climate Action Network, says she fears the extraordinary impact on our islands.

Having yesterday witnessed the effects of sea incursions on vegetable growth on the island of Abaiang, she says: It has just moved me into tears. Like, oh my God, this is very serious. [The sea] is two or three metres from the babai pit [where taro plants are grown].

I feel hopeless in one way that our people are suffering, but I also have the hope within our people that they will try to find a way to adapt.

  • Pictured above: Claire Anterea fishes off the island of Abaiang; salt water from the sea incursions into the plant-growing areas of Tebunginako village has rendered the soil unable to sustain even coconut trees; a local football match played at the main stadium in Bairiki, South Tarawa, on a flooded pitch.

Moving homes

  • Pictured above: Maria Tekaie stands beside a fallen coconut tree where the sea has washed away the village of Tebontebike on the southern end of Abaiang.

At the southern end of Abaiang in the village of Tebontebike, Maria Tekaie leans against an uprooted coconut tree that used to be 100 metres from the shore. The village had to be moved recently, as did the babai pits, due to the incursion of the sea.

The 65-year-old expects to have to move again: My children are worried and have started to talk about where else they can go. This is the only piece of land for us and they love it here, she said.

I just want the world to know, and my request to them is that we need help to protect our land because if we try to build something like a seawall the waves are stronger and we dont know what option that we have. We just need help from you.

Eighty minutes north along the bumping and tortuous dirt road is the village of Tebunginako. Its the most graphic example of sea inundation. Toroua Beree, 63, says: I moved away from this village because they dont have any more life on this piece of land.

I talk about life because before this land was full of banana, babai, coconut trees, so many coconut trees, so many trees we get food from, but now how can those trees continue to live when you dont have fresh water to give them? This is community land and so everybody has a right to live on it but now it seems like the sea has taken that away.

  • Pictured above: A village resident of Tebuginako, Abaiang island, looking out from the village maneaba or meeting house; a fisherman waits for the tide to turn on the Anderson causeway; children from the village of Nanikai on South Tarawa performing acrobatics on the beach.


  • Pictured above: John Kaboa at his Tebero Te Rau Bungalow resort on the island of Abaiang.

John Kaboa, 28, and his wife, Tinaai, run the Tebero Te Rau bungalow resort on Abaiang. Their optimism is typical of the spirit and entrepreneurship that runs hand in hand with fear and despair.

The accommodation sits on stilts over the water and the resort is powered with solar panels and a small, portable generator. Kaboa grows enough vegetables and fruit such as cabbages, egg plants, papaya, pumpkin, watermelon, longbean, sweet pepper, taro, giant swamtaro and coconut tree to supply his kitchen. He also buys local produce from farmers on the island in preference to buying imported products. And he has become involved in production of copra, the dried kernel of coconut which is used to extract oil for cooking, hair oils, shampoo, margarine and detergents.

Kaboa says he is hoping to get enough money so that I can support my family to move to other countries if Kiribati will covered by the seawater. But I still really love my paradise country.

Elsewhere, I meet a Swiss man who is growing vegetables hydroponically in PVC pipes. Each pipe has been elevated on racks to keep the plants safely away from the crabs who are a constant menace to crops grown in the ground.


This Is What Self-Care REALLY Means, Because Its Not All Salt Baths And Chocolate Cake

God & Man

Self-care is often a very unbeautiful thing.

It is making a spreadsheet of your debt and enforcing a morning routine and cooking yourself healthy meals and no longer just running from your problems and calling the distraction a solution.

It is often doing the ugliest thing that you have to do, like sweat through another workout or tell a toxic friend you don’t want to see them anymore or get a second job so you can have a savings account or figure out a way to accept yourself so that you’re not constantly exhausted from trying to be and then needing to take deliberate, mandated breaks from livingto do basic things like drop some oil into a bath and read Marie Claire and turn your phone off for the day.

A world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick. Self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure.

True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to not build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.

And that often takes doing the thing you least want to do.

It often means looking your failures and disappointments square in the eye and re-strategizing. It is not satiating your immediate desires. It is letting go. It is choosing new. It is disappointing some people. It is making sacrifices for others. It is living a way that other people won’t, so maybe you can live in a way that other people can’t

It is letting yourself be normal. Regular. Unexceptional. It is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.

It is no longer using your hectic and unreasonable life as justification for self-sabotage in the form of liquor and procrastination. It is learning how to stop trying to “fix yourself” and start trying to take care of yourself… and maybe finding that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place.

It means being the hero of your life, not the victim. It means rewiring what you have until your everyday life isn’t something you need therapy to recover from. It is no longer choosing a life that looks good over a life that feels good. It is giving the hell up on some goals so you can care about others. It is being honest even if that means you aren’t universally liked. It is meeting your own needs so you aren’t anxious and dependent on other people.

It is becoming the person you know you want and are meant to be. Someone who knows that salt baths and chocolate cake are ways to enjoy life – not escape from it.

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NYC terror suspect Saipov a ‘mother’s boy’ who wanted to come home

In a paradox worthy of a Russian novel, it may have been Sayfullo Saipov’s good fortune that sent him spinning into a deadly trajectory as a terrorist on a lower Manhattan bike path.

Interviewed in the family home in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Mr. Saipov’s mother, Muqaddas Saipova, says her son, almost on a lark, entered a lottery to win a U.S. green card. At the time, the 22-year-old was a studious boy with a degree in accounting.

Unexpectedly, he won, and moved to the U.S. in 2010. By all accounts, he struggled to make his way in an unfamiliar land. It was on a visit last year to New Jersey when Ms. Saipova saw that her “mother’s boy” had turned unhappy and tired.

“I saw with my own eyes how much he was working, how hard it was for him,” Ms. Saipova said. Her son wanted to return to Uzbekistan and talked of saving money for the trip, she said. “He said, ‘I’ll save money, and we’ll build a new house,’ ” she recalled.

Mr. Saipov, 29 years old, now sits in a federal detention center in New York. Police say he killed eight people and injured at least a dozen others on Tuesday by driving a rented truck down a crowded Manhattan bike path. On Wednesday, federal prosecutors charged him with terrorism and intentionally killing and harming people. They say he was inspired by watching Islamic State videos on his phone.

And on Thursday, Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, calling Mr. Saipov one of its “soldiers.” Authorities have established no direct ties between Mr. Saipov and ISIS.

‘Early stage’

In a news conference Friday, Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism John Miller said police are investigating how Mr. Saipov became radicalized.

“It’s still in a very early stage,” Mr. Miller said. “We have a lot of leads to go through, a lot of due diligence to do going backwards to friends, associates, phone records, internet contacts” to see if Mr. Saipov had any help in the attack, he said.

Mr. Miller said investigators interviewed neighbors who claim they saw two men with Mr. Saipov driving in a Home Depot rented truck in the days before the attack. He didn’t specify whether those individuals were identified.

In at least one regard, Mr. Saipov appears to share a trait with some other terrorist suspects who struck on U.S. soil: He failed to achieve personal and career ambitions in the U.S. and became embittered, say those who know him.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older of the two brothers who planted bombs at the Boston Marathon in 2013, had hoped to compete as a professional boxer before falling into extremism.

The New York-born Omar Mateen, son of Afghan immigrants, killed 49 people in the Pulse nightclub in 2016 and had hopped from job to job before radicalizing online, authorities said.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi, who was convicted last month in the 2016 bombing in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, was also part of the “bridge generation,” a term used by Muslim leaders for young people struggling with their identities to be both Muslim and American.

According to family members in Uzbekistan, Mr. Saipov had a happy and well-adjusted early life. His mother and father, Habibullo Saipov, ran a shop in the Bektepi bazaar, a local shopping center that sells building supplies. The family now lives in Uchtepa, a residential area not far from the center of Tashkent.

The family’s home sits in a small courtyard, the gate flanked by tall rose bushes. In comparison with the Soviet-style high rises in the capital, the neighborhood is quiet and nearly bucolic, with a small mosque in the center.

Ms. Saipova said her son didn’t drink or smoke, and “didn’t have time” for the mosque as a young man.

He finished a professional college in 2005, and studied at the Tashkent Financial Institute from 2005 to 2009. Family members in Tashkent showed certificates that attested to his good performance in school.

It was a friend from the institute who persuaded Mr. Saipov to put in for a diversity green-card via a lottery.

“He didn’t even know what a green card was,” she said.

The U.S. Diversity Visa Lottery, known as a green-card lottery, awards 50,000 visas to foreigners around the world annually. The program was created in 1990 as part of a broader immigration bill, meant to broaden the pool of eligible immigrants beyond those who already had family members in the U.S.

Just over 4,000 people from Uzbekistan won the diversity lottery for 2010, one of the top countries in that budget year, according to State Department statistics.

“He didn’t even know what a green card was.”

– Muqaddas Saipova, mother of Sayfullo Saipov

Family members said the separation from Uzbekistan was difficult for the family, and his mother described an emotional send-off from Tashkent in 2010. “I didn’t want to let him go,” she said. “I’m still young,” she recalls him answering.

Mr. Saipov arrived in the U.S. that year, briefly stayed in Cincinnati, and then spent about three years in the Cuyahoga Falls area outside Akron, Ohio. There, he married Tashkent native Nozima Odilova in 2013, according to a marriage-license certificate issued by the Summit County Court of Common Pleas.

As a long-haul truck driver, he was frequently in and out of the area, those in Cuyahoga Falls’ Uzbek and wider Muslim community say. Many remember seeing him at prayers at the Islamic Society of Akron and Kent, just a mile away from his apartment in the quiet Water’s Edge complex on Americana Drive.

The loner

When at prayers and sermons, he kept to himself. He never asked questions, the Islamic Society’s leadership said, nor expressed any views that would hint at radicalization. Several Uzbek-Americans interviewed said they don’t remember him having any close friends or being involved in community activities.

“He wasn’t socially attached to the community, not even the Uzbek community,” said Azam Haque, who volunteers at the Islamic Society.

No one in the Ohio community described him as particularly religious. His appearances at the mosque were sporadic and he was often late, even during the Ramadan months.

Despite his disconnection, he managed to make an impression.

“He wasn’t socially attached to the community, not even the Uzbek community.”

– Azam Haque, Islamic Society volunteer

Bekzod Yusupov, who has lived in Cuyahoga Falls since he migrated from Uzbekistan in 2012, remembers when he saw Mr. Saipov arguing with another Uzbek man over the sale of a trailer in an incident in 2015.

He was just talking to this guy, also from our community, and he suddenly said ‘I will beat you up right now,’ ” he recounted. “It was surprising—he was a truck driver, so we only saw him once or twice a month, but even then, still he managed to pick a fight with someone.”

Mr. Yusupov, 40, said he kept his distance from then on, describing Mr. Saipov as a “guy with a temper.” The incident stood out among the area’s Uzbek community, he said, which is tightknit, with just 30 or so families.

Among them, Mirrakhmat Muminov, 38, who met Mr. Saipov in about 2012. Both men drove trucks for a living.

Mr. Muminov said Mr. Saipov owned his own truck and would make deliveries for other companies, a common practice in the industry. About a year ago, the Missouri Highway Patrol arrested Mr. Saipov after a warrant was issued following his failure to appear in court after a 2015 traffic citation, according to court records.

The arrest record indicates he was shipping for IIK Transport, based in Chicago, as recently as October 2016. The company couldn’t be reached for comment.

Mr. Saipov had an abrasive personality and was difficult to work with, often yelling at his customers, Mr. Muminov said.

Mr. Saipov later moved to Florida. His truck engine blew up and he couldn’t afford to repair it, according to Mr. Muminov. He moved to New Jersey after that, he said.

“Probably that’s why he became depressed after he lost his job,” said Mr. Muminov, who still lives in Cuyahoga Falls.

While in Florida, Mr. Saipov and his family landed in Hillsborough County, occupying one of the 110 units at Heritage at Tampa Apartments, a decades-old brick complex across the street from a drab strip mall and rundown transmission repair shop.

David Jaffray, an 85-year-old tenant who has lived at the Heritage apartments for around 30 years, recalled seeing Mr. Saipov on two occasions earlier this year walking around the complex.

“He was just non-threatening-looking,” Mr. Jaffray said. “It just shows you never know who your neighbors are.…You’re not safe anywhere.”

Mr. Saipov’s apartment was a mile away from the Islamic Society of Tampa Bay, and a less-than-five-minute drive to the Florida office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. But Tampa-area Muslims, like those in Cuyahoga County, say Mr. Saipov wasn’t particularly active in the local Islamic community.

“He’s not a familiar face. Not a familiar name,” said Hassan Shibly, 30, the executive director of CAIR Florida. “One of the first things that ISIS does is try to isolate those individuals from the local mosques and the community at large.”

“One of the first things that ISIS does is try to isolate those individuals from the local mosques and the community at large.”

– Hassan Shibly, executive director, CAIR Florida

It isn’t entirely clear what drew Mr. Saipov to New Jersey a year ago, but after the family arrived in Paterson, a baby boy was born.

The family lived in a second-floor apartment in a residential section of the city, which is home to the nation’s second-largest Muslim community. The town draws many Muslim immigrants who are seeking the support of others in finding work and making a life in the U.S., said Ramy Elhelw, 30, a member of the neighborhood Omar Mosque.

Neighbor Altana Dimitrovska, said she often saw Mr. Saipov’s wife sitting on the steps in front of her apartment, while her two daughters played with a toy kitchen in the courtyard. Ms. Dimistrovska described the children as well behaved and the mother as a “quiet lady.”

Another neighbor, a long-distance truck driver also from Tashkent, said that when Mr. Saipov arrived in Paterson he sought a job as a local truck driver but couldn’t get one. Instead, he started driving for Uber.

A spokesperson for Uber says Mr. Saipov completed more than 1,400 trips in the six months he was a driver. That’s neither an exceptionally large nor exceptionally small number.

Uber driver

There were no ratings or feedback on him to indicate he was a bad driver and passed their standard background check, the spokesperson said.

Workers at Valvoline Instant Oil Change in Clifton, N.J. remember Mr. Saipov coming in for oil changes since July.

His last service was Oct. 13. Jardae Figueroa, a senior technician there, said Mr. Saipov was friendly and chatted with him about football. “I saw the news and thought, that’s crazy, I just serviced his car,” he said.

One year ago Mr. Saipov first began formulating a plot for an attack, according to the FBI complaint. He settled on using a truck, which has become the preferred method for recent ISIS-inspired attacks against the West.

His mission ended Halloween afternoon on Manhattan’s West Side Highway when he entered a bike path and pressed the gas pedal on his rented Home Depot truck, aiming for cyclists and pedestrians.

Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Shibani Mahtani, Lisa Schwartz, Jim Oberman, Greg Bensinger, Paul Berger, Leslie Brody and Quint Forgey contributed to this article.

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Horror short about connected devices will make you regret bringing Amazon Alexa into your home

Bye, Alexa. 

Millions of people have opened their homes up to smart devices that is always listening, and always ready to help.

While that’s creepy enough for some, this horror short, Whisper, from director Julian Terry may make you rethink your decision to keep a Google Home or Amazon Alexa in your kitchen.

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UberEats is going take orders from ghost restaurants that don’t really exist

Image: Getty Images

Craving something, but UberEats doesn’t list it in your vicinity? The company has a novel way to tackle that issue.

Uber is now serving dishes from “virtual restaurants,” a relatively new concept in the food delivery industry that allows you to order a meal from a restaurant that doesn’t have a full-fledged store presence.

The idea is that a sandwich cafe for example, could theoretically also serve salads, with relatively no change to the ingredients in its store. So on UberEats, it could become a virtual salad place, while staying a sandwich cafe in real life.

UberEats thinks the virtual restaurant concept could be used to fill in “trend gaps” in places where there is demand for a certain type of dish, but a lack of supply.

Poke Cafe is a virtual restaurant in Chicago

Image: ubereats/screenshot

UberEats has already started work on the idea. In Chicago, Poke Cafe is a virtual restaurant serving Hawaiian poke bowls.

But customers don’t know that Poke Cafe’s food actually comes from Rice Cafe, a sushi restaurant. Poke Cafe is already serving up about 100 orders a week, which translates to $2,000 in sales, reports Restaurant Hospitality.

“We can work with existing restaurant partners to create delivery-only menus. [They would] appear as entirely new restaurants on the UberEats app,” Ambika Krishnamachar, UberEats product manager told Mashable.

Delivery-only “ghost restaurants” popping up

Competitors like DoorDash and Grubhub in the U.S. are already serving dishes from “ghost” restaurants.

Earlier this year, Grubhub invested $1 million in Green Summit Group, a startup which has launched nine virtual restaurants from just one single kitchen. All the restaurants appear as separate listings on Grubhub.

Yet the term itself is still relatively unknown to many. UberEats throwing its weight behind virtual restaurants could change that.

Krishnamachar tells us that at this point, the concept of virtual restaurants is still “fairly experimental.”

“We’re still trying to understand what the demand gaps are, [it’s still] fairly experimental at this point,” she says.

An UberEats spokesperson told us that the company was experimenting with virtual restaurants “mostly in the U.S.”, though they were “looking to launch more experiments outside of the U.S. next year.”

A smarter, algorithmic menu

Uber’s food delivery platform also rolled out several new app features on Thursday.

Customers will now receive “personalised” menu recommendations for every restaurant. So instead of scrolling through an entire menu, the app floats what it thinks your favourite dish options will be up to the top of the page. 

The customisation is based on what UberEats calls a “taste profile.”

If you’re a pasta fan, that’s going to be the first thing you see

Image: ubereats/supplied

The taste profile learns your preferences based on factors like your previous orders and what restaurants you’ve browsed through — so clearly the more time you spend on UberEats, the more your profile will be customised for you. 

UberEats, which has been investing heavily in AI, told Mashable that it has 10 people on the machine learning team powering taste profiles.

The app will also see the introduction of restaurant ratings. You’ll be able to rate not only each restaurant, but each individual dish.

Image: ubereats/supplied

As UberEats moves to becoming more personalised, it looks like other platforms might have some catching up to do.  

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Most Burglars Want To Get In And Out Fast. This Guy Took His Time (And Made Dinner)

If I know one thing about thieves, it’s that they’re trying to get something and get out before they get caught.

Waiting around while robbing someone is just asking to be caught. If someone hears or becomes suspicious, the police are just a phone call away.

When Nelly’s Taqueria in New York was robbed, however, they decided to take a look at the surveillance footage. The camera didn’t capture the robber’s face, but it did show them something totally strange.

The robber made himself dinner! And cleaned up afterward, because when the owner arrived in the kitchen the next day, it was completely spotless. Check out the story below.

Youtube / Inside Edition

Everyone’s got to eat, I guess? Here’s hoping this thief doesn’t try to pull something like this again and is caught soon.

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Any Child Whose Last Wish Is To Cook With Me Is Already Dead: 5 Questions With Ina Garten

Ina Garten, popularly known as the Barefoot Contessa, is a culinary force to be reckoned with. Her show has been on for nearly 15 years, and her cookbooks and lifestyle columns are read by millions the world over. She sat down with us to talk about the show’s anniversary, her spicy marriage, and what it takes to be everyone’s best friend in the kitchen.

1.You’ve written many cookbooks over the years, but if you had to choose, which one would be your favorite?

My favorite cookbook that I’ve written is certainly Recipes For Overthrowing The Capitalist World-State Which Oppresses Us All, filled with easy-to-make poison-laden dishes to feed to the bourgeois pigs who have their boot on the neck of the working man. I almost never cook lethal dishes nowadays, so it’s always refreshing to go back to that book and remember a time when I was a little younger and a little more rebellious. And whenever I see on the news that the head of the International Monetary Fund was poisoned, or a United Nations official was injured after his French onion soup exploded, it warms my heart to think that might be one of my readers out there living their best life.

2. Most of the time on your television show you’re cooking for your husband, Jeffrey. Do you think that reinforces a negative stereotype in regards to gender roles?

Oh…[Laughs.] I own Jeffrey. He is mine, but I am not his. I feed him slop every single day a camera isn’t around so that when we’re filming and he gets to eat real food, his smile goes from ear to ear to the delight of my viewers. I am a god to him.

3. The Barefoot Contessa is turning 15 later this year. Any special plans for the anniversary?

One thing I’ve never really shown off on the show before is my collection of Soviet-era weaponry. For this season, we’re putting my Kalashnikovs, mines, and even a ghost rocket shell or two front and center. I think it will give the whole show a more rustic, salt-of-the-earth vibe, which is what I’m always aiming for. Some of the mines will be armed, so I’m excited to see who lives and who dies.

4. You were once widely criticized for not appeasing the desire of a terminally ill child who wanted to cook with you. If the Make-A-Wish Foundation contacted you with a similar request now, would you agree to it?

No. Any child whose last wish is to cook with me is already dead.

5. As you approach your seventies, do you plan to slow down anytime soon?

Well, you know me, I always like to take things slow so that I can make the most delicious and carefully crafted meals for the people I love in my life. But I don’t plan on ever stopping production on The Barefoot Contessa. Not next year, or in 10 years, or 100 years. I will be a witness to humanity as it rises and falls like I have always been. The suffering I see will inform my dishes just as much as the moments of joy. Blood is the wage of tomorrow, and I am certainly willing to pay that price if it means I can keep making paella a little better each time.

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A Definitive Ranking Of The Current Real Housewives Of Orange County

Later this week—so like, tomorrow—Andy Cohen is heading out to OC to film the reunion for . Normally, this makes me sad, because it means the season is almost over, but in this case, I’m stoked, because this year has truly sucked. I have no more fucks to give about whether or not Vicki and Tamra will be friends and whether or not Lydia will mention her husband’s balls again. I just can’t. I’m also happy about the end of this season, because it makes room for the real queens of Cali aka the Bev Hills wives. Fucking duh. Also, total side note, but where tf is the trailer for that, Andy?! It’s almost November, for fuck’s sake. But anyway, in honor of the upcoming finale in OC, we’ve ranked all of this season’s wives by betchiness. Tbh, it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done, because all of these women are hella busted. But I did my due diligence.

7. Vicki Gunvalson

Tbh, Vicki probs falls at the bottom of the list for housewives across all cities of all time. There. I said it. BE BOLD! She cries about not having friends, she doesn’t own her shit when she’s a dick to people, she dated a dude who faked cancer, and, like, complained to a child about how mean the girls are to her at his parents’ anniversary party. You’re fucking 60. Who does that? She owns her own business, which is cool and all, but she never shuts up about it, because she secretly wishes she could shop and lunch and exercise all day and still be rich af like all her friends.

6. Shannon Beador

Poor Shannon… This has really not been her year. Her husband is back to being a little fuckboy, and she’s put on some weight, and while it’s super not betchy, literally every single person can relate. Who can say she’s never had a fuckboy treat her like shit and followed that pain up with a Papa John’s binge session? No one. Unless you’re a fucking liar. And while I feel for Shan, I really do, she’s got to stop complaining and fucking do something about it. Tell your loser husband to suck it and head to SoulCycle. Brb, making that my Twitter bio.

5. Lydia McLaughlin

In full disclosure, I think Lydia is the fucking worst. But as a non-biased professional journalist, even I have to admit she has some betchy qualities. She and her husband own a magazine, which is cool, and she has amazing mermaid hair, but that’s it. She’s a nice girl, which y’all know I can’t fucking stand, and she doesn’t like belly dancers or drag queens. Wtf is dis bish doing on a Bravo show? Like, isn’t there something on the Hallmark Channel you could audition for? Plus, anyone whose tagline is “If you can’t take my sparkle then stay off my rainbow” is not a betch.

4. Peggy Sulahian

I also can’t with Peggy. Her talking about sports cars all the time and shit… Like, no one fucking cares. But she and her fam appear to be really rich, and she’s really pretty and thin, which are all super betchy qualities, so she finds herself somewhere in the middle of the pack. Plus, there was that whole scandal where she apparently wouldn’t let her brother come to their dad’s funeral because he’s gay, which would make her a mega-bigot asshole, but now she’s  come out saying that’s not true, and she loves the LBGTQ community and other shit I’m not sure if I believe, but innocent until proven guilty I suppose. I’m sure Andy will give her shit at the reunion about it either way.

3. Kelly Dodd

I feel like a bunch of y’all are gonna lose your shit at me over this, but this is my list, so IDGAF. Hear me out. Sure, she’s a BSCB who, like, calls people cunts in the middle of family-friendly restaurants. But she also calls people out on their shit, which I can appreciate. You act like a snobby bitch at a party? Prepare for your deepest secret to be outed on national television. You try and get her tequila wasted and make an ass of herself in Ireland? Prepare to die on a bus. Maybe y’all should all just stop being assholes. What a concept.

2. Meghan King Edmonds

Meghan is the only housewife on this show who is even remotely normal. Like, we could maybe hang out. Maybe. She’s not a total nice girl, but also doesn’t totally suck either, which is kinda of refreshing given the rest of the cast is like the meanest group of women alive. She’s married to a ex-pro athlete, and her kitchen island is #goals. Sorry, I’m in my mid-20s, and that kind of shit is important to me now. Sue me. She’s also really skinny even though she gave birth like 5 seconds ago, which is something I truly admire.

1. Tamra Judge

Last year, Tamra was getting ready for a fitness competition, meaning she was in the running for my least favorite person on Bravo. People who won’t shut up about diet and exercise are my legit archnemeses. But anyway, this season she’s still working out and shit, but she doesn’t talk about it that much, thank god. She’s friends with most everyone in the group, except Vicki of course, but the OG from the OC is practically begging to be in her good graces again, so Tamra is the new HBIC. Congrats, girl.


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Great Storm 1987: The day 18 people were killed

Image caption Winds battered the south of England in what was the worst storm to hit the country since 1703

Ask people about the Great Storm which ravaged the south of England in 1987 and most will remember “that” forecast by weatherman Michael Fish, or Sevenoaks losing six of the trees that gave the town its name. What is mentioned far less is the loss of 18 lives.

“When we eventually got him out, he had suffocated under the rubble. They couldn’t find a broken bone in his body.”

Alec Homewood was about five miles away from his childhood home when its roof fell in and killed his brother.

Cyril Homewood, known as Bob, was upstairs asleep in his bedroom when the chimney collapsed – the force of which pushed the legs of his bed through the ceiling into the kitchen.

“It just devastated the house,” his brother said. “Virtually all the roof came down. Mother said he’d been killed, but we didn’t know.”

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Alec Homewood remembered his brother Bob, pictured, as “a great bloke”

Mr Homewood set out for the house at Biddenden in Kent, but countless trees felled by ferocious winds had made roads around the village impassable.

Using a chainsaw, he hacked at them as he went. When he arrived at Beacon Hill Farm, he found his mother had been rescued from the drawing room by people living nearby.

But when they tried to reach his 59-year-old brother, they found the bedroom was full of bricks and debris.

“It took me ages to get there,” Mr Homewood, now 72, remembered. “They [the emergency services] got him out in the end, but he was dead.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionWeatherman Michael Fish told viewers there was no threat of a hurricane

Severe weather had been predicted before the Great Storm – as it later became known – hit the south coast of England in the early hours of 16 October.

The previous afternoon, the Met Office had forecast winds for the Channel and very heavy rain overland.

The BBC’s weather presenter Michael Fish had quashed rumours a hurricane was on the way: “Don’t worry, there isn’t”, he infamously told the nation.

But just a few hours later, the storm changed direction.

Severe weather warnings were issued to emergency responders, including the Ministry of Defence and London Fire Brigade.

But what became the worst storm since 1703 was by that point unstoppable.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Cars were crushed by trees ripped from their roots
Image copyright PA
Image caption The cost of the devastation was estimated at more than £1bn

A maximum gust of 115mph was recorded at Shoreham in West Sussex, while London was battered by gales of up to 94mph.

On the south coast the Royal Sovereign lightship witnessed an average wind speed of 86mph. A ship capsized at Dover and a Channel ferry was driven ashore near Folkestone.

Thousands of homes were left without power for several days, and the damage caused by the storm was put at more than £1bn.

The number of trees lost was estimated at 15 million.

Eighteen people in the UK – and four in France – were killed.

Image copyright Froglets Publications
Image caption The roof and chimney of Beacon Hill Farm collapsed, killing Bob Homewood

Kent police constable Douglas Stitt was five miles away in Tenterden when he got the call for help.

He said the five-mile drive to Biddenden – normally a 10-minute journey – took them more than two hours.

Trees were strewn across the road every quarter of a mile and a fireman with a chainsaw had to cut through the debris as they went.

Great Storm: The healing power of nature

Michael Fish talks about ‘that’ forecast

When they got there, they found a scene of devastation. The 999 crews knew they were dealing not with a rescue, but a recovery.

“It was beyond that stage,” Mr Stitt said.

“We managed to climb through the back door. The whole landing was smashed in.

“It was a case of gradually picking our way over the rubble. It looked like a bomb had hit it.”

Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Bob Homewood was remembered as a “super person” who loved working on his father’s farm
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Met Office was criticised for failing to predict the devastating scale of the storm
Image copyright PA
Image caption Though experts agree it was not a hurricane, the country experienced hurricane-strength winds

In the months and years that followed, debate raged about whether the storm had been a hurricane.

Experts agreed it was not by definition, because it had not originated in the tropics.

After an internal inquiry, the Met Office improved its forecasting technology amid allegations it had failed to alert the nation.

For Mr Homewood, the shock of his brother’s death did not hit him until days after the storm had passed.

He remains adamant it was a hurricane – even having words to that effect inscribed on his brother’s gravestone.

“I’ll never ever forget him. I think of him nearly every day,” he said.

“When I think back, it was terrible. But you can’t defeat nature.

“The Great Storm of 1987 was as bad as having a bomb dropped on the place.”

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionAlec Homewood said he thinks of his brother, Bob, every day

Mr Homewood was not the only fatality of the Great Storm, but media coverage of those killed was limited.

John Dowling, who was deputy editor of the Bexhill Observer, remembers how Ronald Davies died at the Queens Hotel in Hastings when a chimney crashed through the roof.

But the newspaper did not report his death, because it happened outside its patch.

Instead it focused on the community’s response, including how a group of people in their 70s went out to clear roads with chainsaws.

“Memories are very selective,” said Mr Dowling. “Think of memories of ’87 and you have certain images and perhaps people tend to wipe out the nasty bits and remember the silly bits.”

Image copyright PA/National Trust
Image caption Emmetts Garden, owned by the National Trust, lost 95% of its woodland to gale-force winds

The journalist said it was “darned difficult” finding people after the storm. Many had left their houses, and neighbours did not know where they had gone.

He remembered a roof being torn off one property leaving a bedroom open to the sea and sky, an entire penthouse that was swept into a car park, and a rowing boat that ended up in a road, 400 yards from the sea.

“It was all hands to the pump, by everyone who could help. Builders, people, emergency services, it was the Dunkirk spirit.”

The Great Storm was later categorised as a one-in-200-year event.

On top of the environmental cost, there was structural damage as trees, ripped from the ground by their roots, crushed houses and vehicles and blocked roads and railways.

Even now, residents and historians agree the loss of an estimated 15 million trees was devastating.

“When we looked and saw the trees, hundreds of years old… that was just heartbreaking,” said Biddenden parish councillor, Eileen Cansdale.

“There was structural damage that could be addressed, but the trees couldn’t be replaced. It completely changed everything.”

Those killed in the Great Storm

Image caption Alec Homewood had “killed tragically by the hurricane” engraved on his brother’s headstone
  • Mrs Beryl Agha, Hove
  • John Barton, Petersfield
  • Patricia Bellwood, Wrotham
  • David Birch, lost at sea
  • Sylvia Brown, Canvey Island
  • Anthony Burton, Salisbury
  • Ronald Davies, Hastings
  • Robert Doke, Croydon
  • Robert Homewood, Biddenden
  • Ronald Horlock, lost at sea
  • David Gregory, Christchurch
  • Terence Marrin, Lincoln’s Inn Fields
  • James Read, Hastings
  • Sidney Riches, Kings Lynn
  • Sosammi Shilling, Chatham
  • Georgina Wells, Haywards Heath
  • Graham White, Christchurch

Source: Windblown, by Tamsin Treverton Jones

Historian Bob Ogley said news of the loss of life emerged only in the days after the storm because people in the area were still without power.

“There was no radio communication, because most people used electric radios, and there was no TV at all.

“It was only later we learned people had died.”

Image caption Cars and houses were crushed by falling trees
Image copyright PA
Image caption A light aircraft was blown upside down in Essex

He said people remember the damaged landscape more than anything else.

“Here in Sevenoaks, we lost our name. Sevenoaks was reduced to one oak.

“Most people went to bed and woke up and found a tree in their garden.

“So, people think about the countryside. People don’t think about those who died, because they were spread over a large area.

“Having said that, every death is a tragedy.”

See more about the Great Storm on Inside Out, on BBC One South East, South West and South on Monday 16 October at 19:30 BST, and later on the BBC iPlayer.

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Im Starting To Worry My Prince Charming Will Never Drive Up To My House In His Homemade Station Wagon With His Mom In The Backseat, Honking His La Cucaracha Horn And Waving His 9-Foot-Long Arms

All my life, I’ve believed that my soulmate was somewhere out there waiting for me. Whenever I had a relationship that went sour, or a boyfriend that turned out to be a dud, I would just remind myself that someday the man I was meant to be with would find me and whisk me away to a life of happiness. But now I’m entering my mid-30s and I still haven’t found the perfect life partner, and I’m starting to worry that my Prince Charming is never going to drive up to my house in his homemade station wagon with his mom in the backseat, honking his “La Cucaracha” horn and waving his 9-foot-long arms.

Maybe I was naïve to think the “perfect” guy existed in the first place, but I just didn’t want to give up on meeting my soulmate. I’m mature enough to know relationships are about compromise, and the guy of your dreams isn’t going to just climb into the car he made out of garbage cans, a mixture of horse bones and raccoon bones, and string that he found lying around his house; plop his mom in the backseat; and start driving toward my house at 100 miles per hour while he waves his 9-foot-long arms wildly over his head in a spasmodic fashion, only touching the steering wheel to blast his “La Cucaracha” horn.

That kind of thing only happens in Hollywood rom-coms, and last time I checked, I wasn’t Reese Witherspoon.

Deep down, I know that no one person can be the complete package, but for a long time I’ve pushed away men who have failed to live up to the fairytale ideal I’ve created in my mind. Sometimes, I’ll meet a lovely man with a homemade station wagon and their mother in the backseat, but their arms will only be 6 feet long, and so I’ll have to send them packing. Sometimes their car horn will blast “Happy Birthday” or the chorus to the “Macarena” instead of “La Cucaracha,” and in these cases I’ll sadly have to kick the men to the curb. I’ve never been willing to settle for anything less than the total package, whether or not the total package ever really existed.

Maybe it’s time to grow up and accept somebody who doesn’t tick every single box on my pie-in-the-sky romantic checklist.

Still, when I was a little girl I always dreamed that one day I would be sprinting across my lawn toward a tall, mysterious stranger with one eye dangling out of his head sitting in the driver seat of a station wagon he had built himself out of stolen microwaves and used shoelaces he found in his neighbor’s garbage. In these girlish fantasies of mine, the mysterious stranger would reach his sexual noodle arms out of his window and place his palm gently over my face while I was still 9 feet away from him. His mother would roll down the window in the backseat of the homemade station wagon and would see me and scream, “Get in here, you absolute knob!” That would make me run toward the homemade station wagon even faster.

And for years I would imagine my perfect wedding night: my Prince Charming speeding his car made of trash down an airport tarmac with me tied to the roof with bandages he stole from a hospital, the sweet sounds of “La Cucaracha” blasting out of his car horn and into the starry night. I would smile as he stretched his 9-foot-long arms out of the window to reach up to the roof of the car and poke me gently in the eye while he sped down the tarmac at 200 miles per hour until, eventually, the two of us and his cackling mother were all crushed by a landing jetliner.

For years, I swore I would never settle for anything less.

But now the years are slipping by, and I’m still single, waiting for Mr. Right to just plow his homemade car through my kitchen wall, pick me up by the top of the head with his 9-foot-long arms, and drive away into the sunset, waving me around wildly in the sky while his mother shrieks about how beautiful it is to be alive. Maybe it’s time to grow up and accept somebody who doesn’t tick every single box on my pie-in-the-sky romantic checklist. Maybe it’s time to compromise and find a man whose arms might be a little shorter than 9 feet, or a man who holds his 9-foot-long arms straight up into the sky but doesn’t necessarily wave them around insanely like I want.

Maybe it’s time to stop looking for somebody perfect, and start looking for somebody good.

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