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Bill Nye walked into a Las Vegas elevator, and it was filled with half-naked Snapchatting women

It happens to the best of us. We’re with a bunch of our friends in a Las Vegas hotel elevator, and we’re just dancing our asses off as we move between floors. Suddenly, the door opens, and in walks one of the most respected kid-friendly TV scientists of all time.

That’s what happened when @Savmasta and a bunch of her pals were posing and Snapchatting in the elevator on Friday. And then Bill Nye strolled in to the pandemonium.

According to the IB Times, Savanah Prosch and her friends were heading to the pool when the Science Guy interrupted their posing. Prosch told Storyful that Nye was “super nice and polite,” said hello, and offered to take photos.

But she said he “wasn’t expecting to see a bunch of girls try to pretend like they weren’t just doing something he definitely saw.”

Naturally, the embarrassment was real.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/bill-nye-las-vegas-elevator/

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10 DIY Halloween decorations for all ages

October is an exciting month for the family. Even if you or your kids aren’t into the haunted part of Halloween, you can still embrace the festivities of fall, warmth and togetherness. Encourage your kids to exercise their imagination and creativity with these Halloween-themed crafts that everyone can participate in.

1. Family Portrait Pumpkins

Skip the mess of carving pumpkins this year by investing in some good old fashioned chalk. Simply paint a circle on each pumpkin with chalkboard paint. You’ll probably have to apply at least three coats of paint. Then, draw a self-portrait using a piece of chalk. Voila!

2. Colorful Garland

Before kids jump in the pile of leaves this weekend, encourage them to collect a few especially vibrant ones. Press the leaves in a book for a couple of hours while the kids continue to play outside. Once they’ve been flattened, show your children how to clip the leaves to a string with miniature clothespins and find spots to hang them throughout the house together.

3. Harvest Vignettes

Look to nature’s bounty for easy decor ideas. Arrange apples, pears, pumpkins, squash and gourds in baskets throughout your kitchen and dining areas. Having easy access to fruits will also promote healthy eating for your family this season.

4. Candy Laboratory

First, gather vases, jars and dishes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Then fill each container with colorful treats, like candy corn, marshmallows and of course candy eyeballs. Challenge your family members to come up with a creative new name for each candy. Crows bones, zombie zingers and pumpkin teeth are excellent examples. Arrange the jars neatly on a tray or turn a bar cart into a wonderful candy buffet.

5. Candy Corn Checkerboards

A checkerboard made from a placemat can be quickly rolled up and easily tucked away. Cut a 1½-inch square from cardstock paper to make a stencil. Start at one edge of the square and paint every other square. Precise placement and straight lines aren’t necessary in this project, which makes it great for kids. Small imperfections can even give the game a rustic or quirky look. You can use candy corn or small plastic spiders as game pieces.

6. Gothic Deskscape

Fall break is the perfect time to take a break from work and transform your home office into a spooky showcase. Open a dictionary and lay a magnifying glass on the definition of “Halloween”. Stack a pile of literature to display your favorite fall titles, like The Tell-Tale Heart or Harry Potter. Swap out a desk lamp’s lightbulb for one with an orange glow or purple hue, and don’t forget an inkwell and quill pen!

7. Mantel Accessories

Fireplace mantels are the go-to spot for any holiday decor. Find wooden display letters at your local craft store to spell out “boo” or another ghastly term above the hearth. Place a mini pumpkin or two and add some candles. A stack of books and a vase of bare branches are also great ideas.

8. Stylish Spider Webs

Tulle is great for wrapping accessories, draping over doorways and even dressing up the bushes. Don’t overlook the nooks and crannies though. This fabric is even more effective in small corners of a room since that’s where spiders hang out most anyway. You might even have to dust off a few real webs before making your own.

9. Window Decals

Shadows and silhouettes can be extra spooky this time of year. Use your interior lighting and the long dark nights to your advantage by decorating windows with DIY decals. Sketch large outlines of your favorite Halloween characters on fade-resistant paper. Then cut out your witches, skeletons, bats, cats or ghosts and tape them to the inside of your home’s windows. 

10. Dip-Dyed Baskets

Prepare for trick-or-treaters this year by sprucing up a traditional candy basket. Fill a plastic container (larger than your basket) with semigloss paint. Place the basket in the paint and push down until all sides are covered to your desired height. Let the basket sit overnight on an elevated rack you don’t mind getting dirty, like an old cookie sheet. Reuse this basket all year long as stylish storage!

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/real-estate/2017/10/13/10-diy-halloween-decorations-for-all-ages.html

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Can You Turn The Tables And Recruit The Jehovahs Witness At Your Door To Come Inside And Watch HBO Porn With Some Pals?

A Jehovah’s Witness is standing at your door trying to convince you to dedicate your life to God while your crew is inside enjoying a nice afternoon watching softcore HBO pornography. Can you turn the tables and recruit the Jehovah’s Witness at your door to come enjoy some porn with some buds? Take the quiz to find out!


  1. 1. The moment you open the door, the Jehovah’s Witness will be sporting an ear-to-ear grin, and he’ll definitely ask you if you’ve “heard the good news,” which is a pretty standard opening for these guys. Which of these ways would you turn the tables and start whetting his appetite for the awesome HBO porn you and your buds are watching inside?

  2. 2. The Jehovah’s Witness trying to recruit you is going to lean heavily on the Bible, referencing it pretty often in an attempt to get you on board. Which of these ways would you counter his source material with your own source material?

  3. 3. At one point or another, the Jehovah’s Witness is going to describe the miracles that become possible once you give your life completely over to God, which usually makes for one of his more compelling pitches. Which of these ways would you counter his strategy by making HBO porn with your pals sound even more amazing?

  4. 4. The Jehovah’s Witness is sure to describe the church community as a vibrant social club, too, making the experience sound like a great way to not only get closer to God, but also to meet new people. Which of these ways would you make your porno hang session sound hands-down better?

  5. 5. Just a heads-up, it’s not a given that the Jehovah’s Witness will know what porn is, considering his disciplined upbringing. So just to cover your bases and give him a taste of what’s in store, how would you describe porn to him?

  6. 6. No matter how you went on that last one, it’s still possible that the Jehovah’s Witness won’t quite get it because the terminology isn’t in his wheelhouse. With his religious background in mind, how would you explain watching HBO porn with you and your crew in a way he’d understand?

  7. 7. The Jehovah’s Witness is going to try to use scare tactics at some point by saying that if you don’t join the church, you’ll be damned to an eternity in Hell, which is a classic and effective technique. Which of these things would you say to make missing out on watching HBO porn with the crew sound even worse than Hell?

  8. 8. Lastly, in one final effort to convert you to his religion, the Jehovah’s Witness will probably say something about how the church is a place where people are trying to make the world a better place and live in service of the Lord, which is a tough argument to top. So, what is your closing pitch about watching HBO porno with your buds that will convince this guy to come inside to watch some softcore with your crew?

  • Results for Can You Turn The Tables And Recruit The Jehovah’s Witness At Your Door To Come Inside And Watch HBO Porn With Some Pals?

    Yes! You Have Successfully Turned The Tables And Convinced The Jehovah’s Witness To Come Inside And Watch HBO Porn With Some Buds!

    Nice job! Your performance on this quiz indicates that you’d be able to get this guy to lighten up a little bit, leave his Bible on the ground in the mudroom, and come on into the living room for a nice afternoon of watching HBO pornography with you and your buds. All of your friends are going to be pretty happy to see a new face, and the Jehovah’s Witness will probably have a great time too, totally unafraid to ask questions while trying to get caught up on the plot and fearlessly going in on the tomato pie slices on the coffee table. There’s no doubt about it: You’ve got some sharp missionary instincts and an undeniable ability to convert people to the path of softcore cable erotica. Congratulations!

  • Results for Can You Turn The Tables And Recruit The Jehovah’s Witness At Your Door To Come Inside And Watch HBO Porn With Some Pals?

    You Were Unable To Convert The Jehovah’s Witness To Come Inside To Watch HBO Porn With Your Pals Because He Converted You To Be A Jehovah’s Witness First.

    Unfortunately, it looks like you’d never really even come close to recruiting the Jehovah’s Witness for your porn-watching session, and instead you’d be so swayed by his conversion tactics that you would become a devout member of the church yourself. Hopefully you’ll enjoy being a Jehovah’s Witness. Good luck!

  • Results for Can You Turn The Tables And Recruit The Jehovah’s Witness At Your Door To Come Inside And Watch HBO Porn With Some Pals?

    You Weren’t Even Close To Convincing The Jehovah’s Witness To Come Inside And Watch HBO Porn With Your Friends.

    Yikes! According to this quiz, you would end up being kind of an aggressive dick the whole time the Jehovah’s Witness was trying to talk to you, and you wouldn’t even come close to getting him to watch porn with you and your friends. You’d just be way too eager to get back inside and kick it with your crew while the HBO softcore blared, and you wouldn’t make the Jehovah’s Witness the priority at all. He’d probably feel uncomfortable with you the whole time, and honestly he’d probably be pretty happy that you’re not joining his church, too. Don’t sweat it though. Sometimes two people just don’t gel. No harm, no foul.

Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/quiz/can-you-turn-tables-and-recruit-jehovahs-witness-y-6841

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Ivana Trump in ridic new interview: ‘I’m first lady.’ Melania: ‘Hell no’


What a triangle
Image: Mashable composite: Ben Gabbe/stringer via getty images and Chip Somodevilla/getty images and Al Bello/getty images

Ivana Trump — Donald Trump’s first ex-wife and mother of Ivanka, Donald Jr., and Eric Trump — is now feuding with Melania Trump over which of them is the real first lady.

Yes, really.

In a recent interview with ABC News, the 68-year-old told Amy Robach all about her upcoming memoir, Raising Trump — which details her experiences as a child, wife, mother, and businesswoman — and managed to royally piss off Melania by calling herself the real first lady.

“I don’t want to cause any kind of jealousy or something like that, because I’m basically first Trump wife. OK? I’m first lady,” Ivana said, explaining why she doesn’t want to call the White House.

When you think about it in terms of Trump’s wives she’s not technically wrong, I guess.

Since the interview came out, Melania Trump’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham reportedly slammed the “attention seeking” and “self-serving” Ivana for her comments.

Donald Trump watching the US Open with first ladies Melania and Ivana. Awkward…

Image: Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Melania “plans to use her title and role to help children, not sell books. There is clearly no substance to this statement from an ex,” Grisham said — shocking even Real Housewives producer Andy Cohen, a man used to the highest levels of drama.

This wasn’t the only intense revelation Ivana shared about the man who holds the highest office in America and their lives together pre-White House. Here are seven more surprising tidbits:

1. Donald Trump isn’t sexist, “he just jokes”

Despite the countless insults he’s directed at women and that infamous Access Hollywood tape in which he bragged about groping them, Trump isn’t sexist, according to Ivana.

Yes, that’s right, the woman who once accused Trump of rape told ABC News, “I think that Donald supports the woman. He loves the woman. Always did. He definitely respected women.”

As for whether his behavior in the Access Hollywood tape — which recently played on a loop outside the White House to mark one year since its release — were sexist, she seemed a bit confused. “He was not really disrespectful. He just jokes. Sometime he said things which are silly,” she said, later adding, “OK, well, that was one instance, and I just wouldn’t, I don’t want to go into it.”

2. Ivana is all for the Trump tweets

Despite their divorce, Ivana’s still standing by her ex in good times and in bad, in silence and excessive, mind-blowing tweets.

While much of the country wishes Trump’s fingers would fall asleep any time he gets near the social media platform, Ivana feels his Twitter rants are a good way to get his truth out into the world.

“Sometimes I tell him to just, not to speak that much, and tweet are the tweets,” she said. “I don’t disagree with him because he has so much press against him, so if he says something, his words are going to be twisted immediately.”

“If he tweets, the whole world can really get his mind and what is his in mind, and he can tell it in his own words.” 

3. The Trump family will pressure you to eat a steak

Recalling her past interactions with Trump and his family, Ivana spoke of Trump’s father Fred and a stressful incident with some steaks.

“Fred Trump was [a] really brutal father,” she told ABC News. “We went to Tavern on the Green for the brunch one Sunday and [Trump’s] father ordered a steak. So all the, you know, the sisters and brothers, they ordered a steak.”

A Donald Trump branded steak is shown prior to a news conference.

Image: LYNNE SLADKY/AP/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK

However, Ivana really wanted a filet of sole, so she ordered it, as one usually does when they decide what meal they want at a restaurant. But “Fred looked up at the waitress and, ‘No, she’s going to have a steak,'” Ivana explained. But she wasn’t having it.

“I look up at the waiter, I said, ‘No, Ivana is going to have a filet of sole,’ — because if I would let him just [roll] right over me, it would be all my life and I would not allow it.” Let’s hope for her sake she at least dipped the filet of sole in ketchup.

4. Trump wasn’t always the one in charge

Trump may be high and mighty now but it sounds like he didn’t always hold the power in the family. After Ivana and Donald divorced in 1992, she took control making the decisions and takes “full credit” for raising the children.

“There can be only one chef in the kitchen,” Ivana told her ex, recalling “I was in charge.”

“He was a loving father, don’t get me wrong, and he was a good provider, but he was not the father which would take a stroll and go to the Central Park or go play to baseball with them or something,” she said. “It was only until they were about 18 years old [that] he could communicate with them, because he could start to talk business with them.”

5. Ivana thinks she’s pretty talented but doesn’t want to work in the White House

“Would I straighten up the White House in 14 days? Absolutely. Can I give the speech for 45 minutes without [a] teleprompter? Absolutely. Can I read a contract? Can I negotiate? Can I entertain? Absolutely. But I would not really like to be there. I like my freedom,” Trump’s ex-wife said with confidence.

Ivana values her freedom so much that she reportedly turned down an offer to be the U.S. ambassador for the Czech Republic.

“Well, Donald called me and he said, ‘If you want to take the position, I [will] give it to you.’ I said, ‘Donald, no. I want my freedom.'”

6. Trump almost didn’t name his son after himself

Breaking: Donald Trump Jr. almost never was.

Yep, that’s right. According to Ivana, Donald Sr. was petrified to name his first-born son after him because he could potentially tarnish the name.

“I said, ‘Why not?'” Ivana recalled, explaining her then-husband said, “How about if he’s a loser?”

Oh yeah, and Ivanka was almost named Tiffany so imagine how different THAT would have been.

7. A Trump reign to come?

Ivana made it clear she doesn’t think Donald is the last Trump to rule the White House. In fact, she sees her daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her son-in-law, Jared Kushner, taking on the role in the future.

“I think they both could do it,” she said of the two White House advisors. 

No Eric? No Trump Jr.?? Ouch, Ivana. And what about Barron?!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/09/ivana-trump-interview/

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A little Pennywise the clown was so over this costume and of course it inspired a funny Photoshop battle

The horror movie It has been everywhere lately. First the film became a box office hit and then Pennywise the clown took over the internet with a series of hilarious memes.

You could have already guessed that It was bound for a lots of Halloween costumes, but you might not have guessed classic photoshop battle was coming. 

It started when Reddit user, Minifig81 posted a photo of a kid dressed up as a grumpy little Pennywise the clown Friday morning. 

Image: Via Reddit/minifig81

Then, photoshop hilarity ensued. 

Pennywise the clown got a sidekick

Image: Via IMgur/Parabellum1262

Someone figured out Pennywise’s origin story

By d___ricketts

It 1/2is the next horror movie I want to see

By PizzaBoyztv

Little Pennywise isn’t able to get on the ride

Image: Via IMGUR/Dontjudgemyname

Little Pennywise’s first day of school, so adorable

By Jamesmmackey

Little Pennywise became a grumpy Oompa Loompa 

Image: Via Imgur/Nodony

Look away for a split second and this is what you might see

Image: Via IMGUR/imissbigmacs

Take a look at the complete thread of all the wild photoshops on Reddit.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/06/little-pennywise-the-clown-got-into-a-photoshop-battle/

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Yomee wants to take the guesswork out of culturing yogurt at home

In a post-Juicero world, the bar has been set high for any piece of smart kitchen hardware that only makes one type of food. Enter Yomee, which bills itself as the Keurig of fresh yogurt and is now raising funds on Kickstarter. Lecker Labs, the startup behind Yomee, hopes that its relatively low price (each unit will retail for $99) and cost-savings will let it succeed where Juicero failed.

It also helps that culturing yogurt is more complicated than squeezing a baggie of milk with your hands. A few missteps and you might end up with milk that never gels or an inedible lumpy goo. Yomee simplifies that process with a pod containing live cultures that users insert into the machine, which is about the size of a small coffee maker, before pouring in milk. After picking what kind of yogurt they want on Yomee’s app, they leave it alone for six hours. During that time, Yomee boils and stirs the milk and lets it set into yogurt before cooling it down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Loading a pod with live cultures into Yomee

To be sure, there are already many yogurt makers on the market, including several models that cost under $30 on Amazon.com. But Yomee requires less supervision, which may help make it more attractive to people who are busy, lazy or just really love yogurt (power users can even send calorie information directly from Yomee’s app to Apple Health or Google Fit).

While growing up in Delhi, Lecker Labs founder Ashok Jaiswal watched his mother make yogurt every day to eat plain or use in recipes. After moving overseas 15 years ago, however, he started buying all his yogurt from supermarkets. Then he had a daughter and became pickier about what kind of yogurt he fed her. So he tried to recreate his mother’s recipe from memory.

“I wanted to make yogurt like my mom’s yogurt, but it didn’t turn out. I was like ‘huh?’,” Jaiswal tells TechCrunch.

He called his mother for help and the two of them figured out that the cooler climate in Hong Kong, where he currently lives, meant he had to adjust her recipe. Looking for an easier option, Jaiswal went online to buy a yogurt maker, but most still required him to boil milk and calculate fermentation times.

The final straw came when Jaiswal discovered that most of his friends had no idea yogurt could even be made at home. He sold his stake in EzeeCube, his last startup, and launched Lecker Labs, which was accepted by accelerator program Food-X, to create Yomee.

Jaiswal says Yomee’s value proposition is one of the things that sets it apart from Juicero. Pods cost $4 for a pack of five and each one cultures about 10 ounces of yogurt. In comparison, plain Greek yogurt sold in supermarkets ranges from about 12 cents to 30 cents an ounces, depending on brand. Pods are also open-source so other companies can market their own branded versions (Jaiswal says two major dairy companies are already onboard with the idea). Yomee will also sell pods for vegan yogurts made from soy, almond, coconut or rice milk.

“Juicero had its own team and they had their own vision,” says Jaiswal. “What we’re focusing on is a product that is reasonably priced and pods that are reasonably priced. The machine will not only work with our pods, but also a third-party network of pods. So our yogurt is cheaper than supermarket yogurt and the value and convenience we provide is very high.”

Lecker Labs is currently working with factories in Hong Kong and Taiwan to get the Yomee ready to ship right after the Lunar New Year, which takes place in the middle of February next year. After all Kickstarter units have shipped, Jaiswal says Lecker Labs’ goal is to launch Yomee on Amazon by the end of 2018 and get it into retail stores by 2019.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/26/yomee-wants-to-take-the-guesswork-out-of-culturing-yogurt-at-home/

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This grandmother accidentally bought a super NSFW book for her granddaughter and people are loving it

A grandmother with the best intentions almost corrupted her innocent 6-year-old granddaughter.

Tiffany, who goes by Tiffany1985B on Twitter, recently shared a hilarious story about a book her mother had purchased for her daughter. The book, titled If Animals Could Talk, seemed innocent enough, but when the family opened it up they discovered it was definitely not intended for children. 

“So my daughter picked this book out for her nightly reading. My mom had gotten it for her a couple weeks ago actually, but she hadn’t cracked it. So I was cleaning the kitchen and she sat down with my husband, Cody, to read it,” Tiffany said in a DM. 

Cody quickly learned that the book was most definitely intended for a more mature audience, and asked Tiffany if her mother bought it as a joke.

“So he brings it over to me and shows me the page with the chick on it. I immediately called my mom and asked her if she had looked in the book and she said ‘no why?’ So I started reading her a bunch of pages and she was like ‘oh my God! I got that off the kids table at Barnes & Noble!'” Tiffany wrote. 

The whole thing could have ended way worse, too. Tiffany says that her daughter was actually trying to sound out some words when Cody thought something was off.

As for Tiffany’s mother, she responded to the whole ordeal by saying, “OK, I learned my lesson! Don’t judge a book by its cover.”

Luckily, the family had a good attitude about the whole thing. Tiffany later included some photos from the book in a tweet, which has since racked up more than 8,000 retweets.

People loved the mishap, which even got the attention of the book’s co-author.

[h/t:BuzzFeed]

Every editorial product is independently selected by Mashable journalists. If you buy something featured, we may earn an affiliate commission which helps support our journalism.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/04/nsfw-book-if-animals-could-talk-grandma/

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Date The Girl Who Is Best Friends With Her Dog


Unsplash / Kyle Head

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she is an animal lover — and animal lovers have soft hearts. She realizes that every creature on this planet deserves to be treated with love, tenderness, and respect. She would never hurt another person (or an animal) on purpose, because she preaches kindness.

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she is tough. If anyone acts as a threat to the ones she loves the most, she will switch into mother bear mode. She is a total badass when she wants to be. And she would do anything in order to protect her family.

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she pays close attention to details. She is perceptive. That’s why she is okay with silence. She is able to understand what others are thinking, just by looking at them. She knows when her dog is sick by the sound of his whines and when her person is stressed by the look of his body language.

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she is a nurturer. She is sweet enough, and patient enough, to teach her dog how to sit — and to teach her person how to love. She never gives up on the people (or puppies) that she loves the most. She does as much as she can to help others grow stronger, to reach their full potential.

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she is young at heart. She loves to run around the yard with her dog and to joke around in the kitchen with her person. She is playful. Free spirited. Up for anything.

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she is understanding. She is forgiving. She is a strong supporter of giving out second chances. Whether her dog chews apart her favorite shoes — or her person comes home late from work — she will give you the benefit of the doubt. She will trust you to do the right thing in the future, even though you disappointed her in the present.

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she is the friendliest person you will ever meet. She loves to laugh and she can get along with anyone. When she sees another dog on the other side of the street, she will cross it for a chance to pet it. And when she meets her person’s family, she will treat them like her own family.

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because she is low maintenance. Down to earth. She doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty while playing frisbee outside or while going hiking with her person. She will take part in whatever activity makes her loved ones happy, because she loves to be the reason for their smile (or tail wag).

Date the girl who is best friends with her dog because when she loves, she loves with all of her heart. And that love lasts a lifetime. 

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/holly-riordan/2017/09/date-the-girl-who-is-best-friends-with-her-dog/

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Bitcoin Can Now Buy You Citizenship in One of the Worlds Happiest Countries

Got some bitcoin burning a hole in your digital wallet? And paradise on the mind? You could use it to buy a second passport.

Vanuatu, a South Pacific archipelago of some 80 islands, will now let outsiders use the volatile cryptocurrency to apply for so-called investment citizenship. Fork over the equivalent of about $280,000, and your family of up to four can receive passports from what the New Economics Foundation, a U.K.-based think tank, calls the fourth-happiest country in the world. (It ranked No. 1 when the list was first published in 2006, but like the vagaries of the market, happiness can be a fleeting thing. 1 )

With bitcoin reaching a record price of $5,209 on Thursday, more than five times its value at the start of the year, passports for the whole clan cost about 53.8 bitcoin.

Vanuatu isn’t the only island that offers citizenship for a price—the list includes Antigua, Grenada, Malta, and St. Kitts and Nevis—but it’s the first to allow payments via bitcoin. The development was announced in a press release on Investment Migration Insider, a website focused on investment citizenry.

Tourists watch eruptions in the crater of the active Mt. Yasur on Tanna, an island in Tafea, Vanuatu. The volcano is continually active at a low to moderate level. Visitors may approach the rim to view the crater eruptions when the activity level is not dangerously high.
Photographer: Whitworth Images/Moment RF

Vanuatu citizenship offers several advantages. The country has the 34th-most-“powerful” passport in the world, providing visa-free visits to 116 other countries, according to the Passport Index, a list of rankings maintained by Arton Capital, a company that facilitates foreign residence and citizenship applications. Vanuatu falls right below Panama and Paraguay (tied) and above Dominica; the U.K. is in a tie at third place, the U.S. at fourth, and Russia at 40th.

The country also has no income, inheritance, or corporate tax. It’s not even customary to tip there, according to the Vanuatu Tourism Office. The archipelago is relatively accessible: about a three-and-a-half-hour flight from Sydney to Port Vila, the capital. And scuba aficionados will appreciate that it’s home to the world’s largest diveable wreck—the , a luxury liner-turned-troop ship that sank during World War II.

Should you really want a place to escape, Vanuatu’s abundance of islands and relatively small population (about 290,000) mean that your own private island may be within reach. The least expensive one currently on the market, according to real estate website Private Islands Online, is Lenur, priced at about $645,000. For that you get 84 acres including three sandy beaches, a handful of sleeping bungalows, and an open-plan kitchen. Most of the property is covered in coconut, fruit, and nut trees.

Bitcoin Blasts Through $5,000 Level for First Time

Still, like investing in cryptocurrency in the first place, tropical life doesn’t come without risks. Earlier this month, residents had to be evacuated from the northern island of Ambae because its volcano, Manaro Voui, had rumbled to life and was spewing steam and rocks.

  1. The rankings weigh such factors as life expectancy, income inequality, and ecological footprint of residents to directly challenge the typical measures of success, like GDP. The idea is less about personal happiness and more of a planetary one, a somewhat subjective measure of how efficiently a country uses what it has to let citizens lead long, happy lives.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-12/bitcoin-can-buy-you-citizenship-in-one-of-the-happiest-countries

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I Did The Keto Diet Where I Ate All Fat And No Carbs & It Went Better Than You’d Expect

Welcome to the fourth installment of the Fad Diet Diaries: a series of experiments, where I willingly put myself through diets that range from challenging to questionable to downright abhorred by the medical community and then record my experience so that other people can learn from my mistakes. Both my doctor and my metabolism are thrilled.

While in the past I’ve tested out crash cleanses, obscure 90s fad diets, and completely arbitrary food challenges, set by people at , this round of dieting was a truly unique experience. Why? Because it was kind of healthy.

For the past two weeks I have been living the ketogenic lifestyle, which I’ve been describing to people as Atkins on Crisco. It entails cutting out essentially all carbs and sugars and sustaining yourself on a diet of high-fat foods. If this sounds like a dream to you, it’s because it kind of is. For instance, if you’ve ever found yourself in bed at 10pm on a Thursday night, wishing you had a bowl of sour cream and carnitas in front of you, you’ll want to keep reading.

The purpose of this diet is to put yourself into a metabolic state called ketosis, which is a natural process that your body initiates when carb intake is low. Essentially, instead of burning carbs for energy, your body is burning fats. You are quite literally eating fats to burn and lose weight, and it sounds fake until you suddenly fit into a pair of pants you haven’t been able to wear since junior year of college.

This website will explain the scientific side of this better than I will ever be able to and serves as a really great introduction for people who are looking to dive into a keto lifestyle.

While keto is more of a lifestyle than a fad diet, I’ve decided it falls into the realm of this series, because people won’t stop talking about it. Originally promoted as a way to help regulate epilepsy and diabetes, keto is receiving a seal of approval from fitness fanatics, professional athletes, and people who just really like high-maintenance diets. On the other end of the spectrum, you have your usual skeptics and assorted doctors who really wish that people would stop creating fad diets so that their patients will stop coming in quoting Dr. Oz. This sounded like an argument that I wanted to drop myself directly into the middle of.

The diet breakout looks something like this: 70% fat, 25% protein, and 5% carbs. You can get your own specific macros calculated on any number of online keto calculators, which make you do inhumane things like try and figure out your body fat percentage. My requirements were 1,531 calories a day, 119g of fat, 95g of protein, and a mere 20g of carbs.

For reference, there are 48g of carbs in one bagel. Half a bagel would max out my entire carb intake for one day and likely destroy any ketosis that I had established. I know most of you likely just checked out, but stay with me here.

And the thing is, the allowed 20g of carbs aren’t fun carbs like bread or apple cider donuts that a girl in your office had shipped fresh from New York on day two of your diet. They’re hidden carbs that live in foods you thought were safe, like arugula and mushrooms. What I began to refer to as “sleeper carbs” were nearly my downfall and the cause of one of the most dread-filled Sunday nights of my entire life. Don’t worry, we’ll get there.

In order to ensure that you’ve reached ketosis, you get to pee on these little strips that tell you if your body is expelling high levels of ketones with a color scale that quite easily allows you to mistake one level for another, and will have you sitting and examining a strip of paper, covered in your own urine, for longer than you’d like to admit it. Accept this as your new normal.

The test strips are a bit controversial in that they don’t work for everyone, and for some, are less of a measure of your level of ketone creation and more of a litmus test for simply whether you’re in ketosis or not. If you’re a die-hard follower and want the truest measurement, the best route is a blood test, for which you can buy a handy gadget and perform at home. My needle-phobic ass will stick to examining my own pee, thanks.

Other things that will become your new normal: consuming 100+ grams of fat a day, drinking butter, having meltdowns at 8:30pm when you realize you’re still 60 grams of fat short of your daily goal, being that asshole at a restaurant who orders deconstructed burgers with every imaginable sauce removed, and in a moment of weakness, spending $30 on the most pretentious ingredients you can find at your nearest New Seasons, so you can splurge on a keto-safe cookie dough concoction that you’re really going to hate yourself for eating.

The hardest part of this diet wasn’t necessarily following it, but getting into the mindset that not only is it okay to be eating fats, but that you have to do it to keep yourself going.

I, like most women, have grown up in a body-shaming, lady-hating, diet-purporting society that has conditioned me to avoid fats like my life depended on it. In fact, we’ve been taught that our lives do actually depend on it, lest we fall victim to such horrors as high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, or, God forbid, being bigger than a size 6.

But I just spent the last two weeks indulging in eggs fried in butter, bacon, cream cheese, and all the avocado my heart desired, and guess what? I lost nine pounds, went down an entire pant size, and suffered what can only be described as an existential crisis, when I realized that I don’t know how the fuck food or my body works.

If this sounds equal parts enjoyable, eye-opening, and entirely overwhelming, that’s because it was. I know I’ve painted the whole experience as a dream come true, but there were considerable downsides as well. For one, in order to live as true to the lifestyle as possible, I committed to tracking my macros to ensure I was meeting my daily requirements (spoiler alert: I rarely did). This entailed painstakingly measuring out—or in my case, wildly estimating—the exact amount of each individual ingredient I was consuming and putting it into an app that would tell me whether or not I was failing.

Is failing the right word to use, considering I still lost weight and reaped the benefits of a keto diet? Probably not, but that’s certainly what it felt like. While the food was enjoyable, and I’m pleasantly surprised by the end results, a diet shouldn’t make me feel the way that AP Tests and the SAT did; I shouldn’t be having stress dreams about eating an entire cake and immediately throwing my body out of ketosis.

A regular diet is stressful in its own right, but one that makes you meticulously track everything you put into your mouth is a giant undertaking. There were times that I just opted not to eat, because the thought of recording a meal sounded exhausting. 

Other negative side effects that one could experience include: muscle cramps due to lack of magnesium (check), sudden drop-offs in energy while your body adapts to this new reality (check), the keto flu—a period of during the induction phase where one might suffer flu-like symptoms due to a lack of electrolytes (thankfully avoided), and zero tolerance for any bullshit from anyone (potentially just me).

What was shocking was how quickly I adapted to this new way of life. Unlike most of my diets where each day brought a new hurdle, either physical or emotional, the reality of keto set in quickly. The second half of the journey moved along smoothly, and I didn’t even find myself wishing for it to end, but that first week was a whirlwind of discovery.

Day One

This first day was exciting in the way these experiments always are in the beginning. I’m out here trying something entirely new and haven’t stooped to the point of hating myself for it yet. Everything is still a novelty, and I haven’t had to embarrass myself at a restaurant by asking for the sugar content of the house Bloody Mary Mix. Everything was bright and shiny.

I learned a couple things really quickly, both through the way I felt and the sage wisdom of my keto coach, a friend who willingly lives like this as an actual preference and not just so she can publish a bunch of jokes about it online. Some people are just enlightened, I guess.

The first lesson: Bodies in ketosis require almost double the amount of water as normal, because your liver is doing a lot more work than usual. This was rough to hear, considering that, on a good day, I drink about half as much water as an adult human should. In light of this news, I downloaded an app to remind me to drink water, because I’m the kind of person that needs technology to remind her to meet the baseline requirements for survival. All in all, things were off to a good start.

Day Two

On day two, I discovered butter coffee, which is exactly what it sounds like: a tablespoon of grass-fed butter and sixteen ounces of black coffee, thrown into a blender. What comes out tastes more like a latte than anything else, and drinking it for the first time felt like what I would imagine it’s like to live life in all caps. I don’t think I’ll ever again reach the level of euphoria that I experienced that first buttery morning, but I’ll dream of it for the rest of my days, chasing that butter coffee dragon.

To be clear, there’s a method behind the madness of drinking a tablespoon of butter first thing every morning. First and foremost, as previously mentioned, I had a hard time squeezing all recommended 119g of fat into my diet, so starting out my day with a steaming cup of butter was actually really helpful. Beyond that, your body takes longer to metabolize fats, which means butter coffee is supposed to keep you energized longer, rather than offering a spike of caffeine in the morning and dropping off by lunch. I found this to be true, because I no longer required my usually mandatory 2pm cup of coffee to make it through the work day.

If a 7am butter coffee was the high of day two, then you could say the low was a mere 12.5 hours later, when I found myself sitting on my patio in the dark, eating rotisserie chicken directly out of the bag, an event spurned by the fact that I had finally checked my macros for the day, and found I was insufficient in just about everything but carbs, which I’d already maxed out at 20g.

It was at this point that I realized that this diet had a definite learning curve, something that I really wasn’t accustomed to. Rather than depriving myself and accepting the suffering, I needed to plan my entire day around meeting dietary requirements that I couldn’t really even fathom. Luckily, there are hundreds of forums, Facebook groups, and Pinterest pages dedicated to this very idea. Did I check any of those? Absolutely not, but it probably would have been a good idea.

Day Three

Day three was when the reality of what macro tracking meant really set in. I am but a simple American, who barely has a grasp on our standard system of measurement, let alone the metric one. Keto does not care about my mathematical inadequacies. This diet is out here asking me to estimate the number of grams of salmon I’m consuming in a single day.

“Idk, like a handful of spinach” isn’t an option on my tracking app, and my kitchen is sorely lacking in basic measurement tools, which left me frequently Googling conversion calculators and trying to rationalize amounts of food by comparing them to items that had their weights listed. In short, it was a fucking train wreck.

After the great rotisserie chicken debacle of the night before, I vowed to never fall victim to macro deficiency again and grabbed a pack of bacon on the way home from work. The second major hurdle of this diet was the fact that I had to spend a substantial amount of time cooking every night. Although it’s been covered in every installment of this series, it probably bears importance in repeating that I am not a cook by any stretch of the word, and any meal that takes more than 15 minutes to prepare just seems exorbitant.

And yet, I found myself that night spending 45 minutes frying up an entire pack of bacon. Should it take that long to cook bacon? Probably not. But things like logic and cook times have never applied to me, and they weren’t about to start this week.

My next lesson was in sleeper carbs and the fact that even if you’re positive you haven’t touched a single carbohydrate all day, you can still rack up about 12g too many of them. The culprit? Vegetables, whom I’d always considered to be a safe and reliable friend, were secretly carrying carbs and betraying any trust established between us. Et tu, arugula?

Day Four

Day four was a turning point, one of the first times I thought to myself, “Maybe this should be something I just do all the time.” What could possibly drive me to consider a lifetime without carbs and sugar? It’s simple really: natural energy, something this body hasn’t experienced since the tender age of 12.

On this momentous day, I woke up on my very first alarm. To some, this is just a mundane requirement of being an adult and making it to work on time, but for me? Unheard of. I am a five alarm girl, set at five-minute intervals for optimal suffering. I usually drag my lifeless body out of bed about 10 minutes after that fifth alarm and proceed to caveman around the house until I’ve deemed myself presentable enough to wander into work and directly to the coffee machine.

But on day four, I sprang out of bed at a chill 6:40am with a sizable craving for butter coffee and the drive to get out of the house as soon as humanly possible.

Improved energy is, in fact, a side effect of this diet. Fat is the body’s largest and most efficient source of energy, and you’ve just about doubled your intake of it. The result is that you aren’t spending time working through heavy carbs anymore, just burning through these high-energy molecules, which are making you feel truly awake for the first time in your cursed life.

In my case, it was also making me second-guess a lot of things that I had never questioned before. For instance, I am now almost 99% sure that I’ve spent my entire life mistaking the signs of dehydration for anything but that. On my way to work that morning, I thought, “Hm, I’d really love another cup of coffee,” and then stopped myself, because that wasn’t actually what I wanted at all. I was thirsty and finally recognizing it for what it was. Natural selection is truly slacking in my case.

You might be asking yourself how I’ve made it a full 25 years without being able to tell if my body was in need of water or not, and I’m here to tell you that I have no idea. But now that I’m drinking 2.5 liters of water a day, I’ve finally begun to understand what a baseline craving for hydration feels like. Let me tell you, it’s wild.

Day Five

I had made it to Friday and had done pretty well for myself, so on day five, I decided it was time for a treat: professional butter coffee. It’s actually called Bulletproof Coffee, and it’s basically butter coffee with the addition of MCT oil, a naturally occurring oil that is supposed to boost energy and burn fat like crazy.

Was it weird at first? For sure. I had grown accustomed to my butter lattes, and this was less of a soothing morning ritual and more so on par with what I would expect it’s like to do angel dust for the first time. I didn’t really know how to process it until I was about a third of the way through and my body took over. Suddenly, I needed to drink the rest of it, and it needed to happen as quickly as humanly possible.

It was like I had transcended mundane things like taste buds in favor of becoming omnipotent. I could see new colors. Conversations around me slowed down. I got more work done on that single day than I had all week, and it was all due to this $6 oily, buttery, bitter concoction that I will never stop thinking about. I was riding on an absolute high, ready to adopt a keto diet for life, until suddenly I wasn’t.

There was a flurry of reasons for that abrupt turn of events that all culminated in one thing: alcohol. Naturally.

Maybe it was the Bulletproof coffee, or my intense focus, but I didn’t drink nearly as much water as I should have on Friday. Realizing this around 4pm was the first red flag that put me off-kilter. A work happy hour led to a birthday party, which led to a bar, which led to another bar, which ultimately led to me standing in front of a Mediterranean food cart at 2am trying to rack up the 1,000 calories I was supposed to have consumed throughout the day, while explaining to a confused, bemused, but accommodating Middle Eastern man what exactly ketogenic diets entail.

All week I had been shaping my plans and schedule so specifically around this diet, but day five was the first day that life intervened. Sometimes, you’re going to be out and about and won’t be able to find a high-fat, moderate protein meal that adheres exactly to your needs. Sometimes you’re going to fall off the wagon, because you’ve had a shitty day and you need to. Sometimes you’re going to accidentally get super drunk on a Friday, because you would have been racked with FOMO if you hadn’t gone to the cool rooftop happy hour.

And all of that is okay! You can have those off days, as long you wake up the next morning and rededicate yourself to your goals.

Let me tell you, that is exactly what I did.

Day Six

I don’t know how to explain the way I felt Saturday morning. I woke up… energized?

The three tequila Diet Cokes (it pains me to write that) and two vodka sodas I consumed the night before? Gone.

Any exhaustion that may have stemmed from the fact that I went to bed at 3am and woke up naturally at 8am? Gone.

A sudden need to grocery shop, clean my room, do the dishes, buy a wall calendar to map out the rest of these diets, and just generally get my life together ARRIVED.

Here I was, making the most of a Saturday morning, planning for my week ahead and feeling slightly guilty for consuming alcohol. It wasn’t even the “I blacked out and embarrassed myself” guilt but a completely foreign “I didn’t really need to drink alcohol at all last night” kind.  It was during those abundantly productive hours that I first questioned whether this diet was turning me into a functional adult. Or at the very least, someone who could pass for one. I bought a relaxing nighttime tea, for God’s sake. What next? Learning how to make sous vide eggs?

Day Seven

All the serenity of Saturday was completely spent by the time Sunday rolled around. I was coming up on one week of this diet, and the only thing I really felt was stressed out. Well, skinny and stressed out. I had yet to figure out a solution to sleeper carbs and was on the verge of a nervous breakdown, trying to reconcile this newfound, entirely one-sided feud with vegetables that I was harboring.

I hadn’t experienced a Sunday night woe like this since high school, at which point I consulted my keto coach who encouraged me to throw caution to the wind and indulge in a meal consisting solely of eggs, butter and meat. Decadent doesn’t begin to describe the way I felt.

Sunday night was a true breakthrough in both keto and probably just my adult life: I had finally allowed myself to eat something that a past me would have deemed wildly unacceptable. I’d dismantled the mental block that told me a meal wasn’t complete if it wasn’t 50% green and leafy. I wasn’t “treating myself” or “having a cheat meal.” I was eating fucking dinner, and it was glorious and liberating, and I was evolving my relation with food.

From that moment forward, I was a new person. I no longer shied away from the high-fat foods, that I was supposed to be embracing. I committed to drinking water, not just for the diet, but also for myself. I slowly began to relax my meal planning, allowing myself to eat out and not slave over tracking nuances. I ate a shit ton of bacon. And come the two-week mark, I’d lost nine pounds.

Every diet in this series has taught me something about myself: that I am capable of superhuman levels of self-control when I need to be, that I can eat an inhumane amount of ice cream and still kind of function, and that I can accomplish just about anything that I set my mind to, even if my body is begging me not to.

But this is the first diet to show me that maybe my regular habits aren’t all that much better than the ones I force upon myself, for the sake of these articles. Eating healthy is all well and good, but not if you’re punishing yourself after a moment of weakness. Hell, maybe they shouldn’t be called moments of weakness, but moments where I really wanted a muffin, and so I ate a goddamn muffin.

Does this mean I’m fully committed to a keto lifestyle from here on out? Not necessarily. Lazy keto, a diet that still follows ketogenic rules but doesn’t force you to track your macros or panic over vegetable carbs, seems more up my alley and is something I could see myself adopting between diet ventures. But I’m also acutely aware that fall is here and with it the great love of my life: kettle corn. I won’t deprive myself of that, and I also won’t gorge myself with it. I’ll enjoy a responsible amount and determinedly not feel bad about it.

In the end, the ultimate irony is that a high-fat, indulgent diet has brought a sense of balance to my life that I hadn’t realized I was missing. Somehow, on this never-ending quest to test every possible limit my body possesses, I’ve managed to stumble upon something worthwhile.

No promises that it will ever happen again, but I’m pretty happy with myself in the meantime.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/fad-diet-diaries-ketogenic-diet

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‘We’re scared of our adopted son’

Image copyright Getty Images

What do you do if your child frightens you? What if they seem unable to feel empathy and don’t care about punishment? Children with what psychiatrists call “Callous Unemotional Traits” are more likely to go to prison and may, in extreme cases, become psychopaths in adulthood. Jane and Paul say parents in this difficult situation need more help.

Jane: When Max came to us, our whole world was turned upside down. We were really thrown in at the deep end, we didn’t know whether we were coming or going. It was a huge adjustment for us.

Paul: Max is adopted and there’s always a certain amount of uncertainty that comes with that. We realised very early on that there were some problems, but you hope that with the support of other people then you’re going to be able to overcome those.

Jane: We knew adopting Max was a risk before he came to live with us, but what we were led to believe was: “Give him a secure home, family life, make him feel safe, give him all those things that he hasn’t had and in time…”

It’s always: “In time, in time, in time.”

We had his history when we adopted him so we knew he’d had a lot of problems at school previously. On his first day when we put him into the primary school here they were struggling. There were lots of days when they couldn’t cope with him.

He hit out at other children as well. There was one instance where he knocked the glasses off another pupil. It’s not playground fights – he has never fought against a peer or an equal for any reason, it’s always just that he’s unhappy and he goes for someone to let out his unhappiness.

Jane: There was a time when he got a knife, it was a small knife from the kitchen, and he started putting it up against another child. Within a few months Max had been excluded.

We realised: “This is a child we never expected to have to manage.”

The first time I went to CAMHS [Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services] they said: “He’s still settling in.”

I don’t cry often but I was in tears because I thought: “We really, really need help, we are out of our depth with him.”

Image copyright Getty Images

Paul: It’s always been difficult at home. Early on he was obviously much smaller so you could pick him up, but now he’s much larger, he’s able to push his weight around, and to restrain him you have to actually use quite a lot of force.

He’s got a younger sister, and we have to physically get between the two of them, to make sure that she doesn’t get hurt by him. We can’t leave them alone together. It’s very much like having a toddler and a new-born baby all the time.

At night when they go to bed, I stay upstairs with them until Max’s sister has gone to sleep because we can’t trust him not to do something. We’re monitoring him, supervising him, from him waking up until he goes to sleep.

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Media captionA teenager exhibiting ‘callous unemotional traits’ and his parents speak to Radio 4’s Today

Jane: I remember the first time we called the police. I’d noticed that Max had something in his pocket, so I said: “What’s that?” He didn’t want me to know. I said: “Max, you’ve got to hand me over whatever you’ve got in your pocket because I know it’s something that you shouldn’t have.”

He went mad and pushed me. So I went upstairs and he knocked me over – I fell up the stairs. Then he sat on the sofa there, and Paul sat beside him and said: “Calm down, we’ve got to find out where you got this, what it is.”

Then Max started screaming and shouting, and hitting Paul. We’d been told to call the police if he got out of hand but we were very reluctant to do it. The upshot was that it was something Max had stolen.

Paul: I think we are in physical danger – it’s an abusive relationship, if he was an adult that’s how you would talk about it.

Image copyright Getty Images

Jane: The day before yesterday you could say Max assaulted me three times because I wouldn’t agree with what he wanted to do. The first one was quite a bad push.

The second time he had me in a wrangle but I managed to pull away from him. The last one was when he wanted money to go out and I didn’t have the change. I didn’t want to give him a £20 note because it’s very hard to get the money back from him. He was saying: “No, I want it! I want it!”

There were all these things on the table and he pushed them all off and then he went for me. He was really annoyed. He doesn’t go to finish it off, if you know what I mean, but he definitely does go to hit you and hurt you.

Paul: He can be very intimidating. He’ll be in your face, very aggressive, shouting and swearing at you, threatening, pointing.

Jane: We’re under a child protection care plan. It should be an adult protection plan because Max is hitting me and his sister constantly. So we have the same care plan in place as if we had been abusing him, and that’s really very hard for us to accept, but they say that’s the only thing that they can use to monitor him.

Paul: He’s got very little impulse control and he will store things up for quite a long time to try to get his own back. But he does have some very good characteristics as well.

Jane: He’s got some very charming aspects to his personality. I think he can make people happy because he’s quite good fun sometimes. I imagine that if he managed to tone down his behaviour and became a salesman, he would sell – he’s really good at getting people to buy into him and what he wants.

He’s a very interesting character. He was more affectionate when he was younger. I don’t know if he feels like he needs us less, but there can be quite a period of time before you get any affectionate moments from him now. Sometimes he can say quite horrible things – but you know he doesn’t mean them really.


Image copyright Getty Images

The characteristics seen in people with Callous Unemotional Traits

  • They can’t express their feelings openly and hide their feelings from others
  • They don’t seem to know right from wrong
  • They seem very cold and uncaring
  • They try to hurt the feelings of other people and don’t care who they hurt to get what they want
  • They don’t apologise to people they have hurt
  • They don’t show remorse when they have done something wrong
  • They don’t care if they are in trouble
  • They don’t easily admit to being wrong
  • They are not concerned about schoolwork and don’t care about doing things well
  • They don’t care about punctuality

Source: Professor Stephen Scott, Child and Adolescent psychiatrist, King’s College London


Jane: At one point I had to go into hospital. The day before I went in Max was really acting up, he was throwing everything, pulling everything, hitting his sister. I was thinking: “God, at least I’m going to get relief, I almost prefer going to hospital tomorrow and being under sedation for the day – at least it’s a way out.”

Max was just so difficult to manage. He was seeing a psychologist at the time, but he couldn’t seem to help because Max won’t reflect on his actions. Nobody seemed to be able to help us, they’d just give us reward charts, but nobody could give us any practical advice on how to manage him.

Max had a therapist who said: “I can’t do anything for him. You’re wasting your time coming here because I can’t get through to Max. All I can do is tell you to stick with it.”

We eventually got Max into another primary school with a special unit. They struggled with him but they were very good and he managed to do two years without any exclusion.


Changes can be made

Family Futures, an independent adoption support and adoption agency, said adopted children often need specialised help to address sometimes abusive and traumatic backgrounds.

“In our experience this type of presentation in adopted and looked after children is often as a result of in utero and early infancy trauma that shapes the child’s developing brain and nervous system. This leads to highly defensive and hard wired neuro physiological and psychological responses.

“The majority of children placed for adoption today have come from abusive and traumatic backgrounds and this has shaped their experience of the world and their behaviour.

“Traditional therapeutic interventions are not effective with this population of children. Specialist, holistic approaches based on biopsychosocial formulations are better suited to encourage the child to feel safe in the world and to develop their capacity to openly engage in reciprocal relationships with others.

“This bringing together of information about the interaction of biological factors, psychological factors and social factors is the approach needed for these children.

“That Max’s early life experience was not considered runs a real risk of our society’s most vulnerable adopted and looked after children being pathologised and seen as inherently flawed, when in fact we need to acknowledge and address their developmental trauma early on if we cannot prevent it happening in the first instance.

“This means the government ensuring appropriate therapeutic interventions are available to such children and families.

“As in the case of Max, Family Futures often see children who other therapists have said that they cannot help, but with the right approach, significant changes can be made.”

Family Futures


Paul: I do love him, you can’t put this much effort in to a relationship and not care, but it’s relentless pressure. There’s never an incident-free day. Every so often we think we’ve got to the limit of what we can take.

The plan now is to try to get Max into a residential school. We think that by doing that it will get rid of the pressure of him being here all the time and hopefully that defuses the situation, but we haven’t been able to find the right place for him at this point.

Jane: We can’t continue as we are. We’ve had it up to here. If we don’t get the boarding school option we’re going to have to enforce Section 20, which means that we put Max back in care. In fact we came close to doing that a few weeks ago.

We have fully adopted him, he is our son, so what we are saying is that we cannot care for this child and we are putting him back into the care system. It would be a devastating thing for him, for his sister, for us. But it may be the only way we can survive this.

All names have been changed.


Where to get help

If you have been affected by the the issues raised here, the following charities can offer support and advice:

The Samaritans – offer a safe place to talk about issues at any time.

Mind – provide advice and support for anyone experiencing a mental health problem.


Jane and Paul spoke to Radio 4’s Today programme. You can listen again here.

Join the conversation – find us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-41332662

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5 Weird Questions With Surprisingly Interesting Answers

Ever had a weird, dumb question pop into your head for no reason? You know there’s an answer out there somewhere, but it’s not so important that you have to drop what you’re doing and research it right goddamn now. Well, I’m one of those weirdos who has to have these questions answered right goddamn now, or they will gnaw at my brain until it catches on fire from eat-friction. Unfortunately, I get those all the time. Fortunately, I can at least weave them into my career and educate the world in a way they never asked for in the process. For example …

5

Why Is The McFlurry Machine Always Broken?

A little over half of my attempts to get a McFlurry have been denied. If the McDonald’s employee had squeezed my love handles and made pig sounds, then this wouldn’t be such a mystery. But instead they give an explanation that perfectly tows the line between useless and substantive, forcing me to give up and screech away from the drive-thru in a huff. They say the McFlurry machine is “down.” The damn thing breaks more often than a former child actor with a heroin addiction. I guess McFlurry machines are planks of balsa wood barely held together by the faint hope of being able to actually dispense a McFlurry one day. They’re piles of substandard materials and glue and dreams.

Turns out McFlurry machines aren’t so much poorly built hunks of shit as they are filthy, disgusting vats of bacteria which require daily cleanings so vigorous and time-consuming that it probably isn’t even worth keeping them on the menu. We should’ve known that coming into this, though. Of course the machine that distributes the tastiest things in the world would be literal swamps.

Every day, the machines have to go through a four-hour heat-cleaning cycle that’s broken down into 11 parts. The process involves, among many other steps, “combining a sanitizing mix with warm water, removing and rinsing seven parts, brushing clean two fixed parts for 60 seconds and wiping down the machine with a sanitized towel.” When your entire business is based around “We get you your food before you’re even done saying your order,” this is definitely a McFlurry wrench in the Value Meal gears.

They have to strip the entire machine down to its atoms, scrub each nucleus with a fine sasquatch-hair brush, then jigsaw puzzle that shit back together like a soldier reassembling a rifle to rebuild a device nearly as deadly. The cleaning process is usually triggered during off-peak hours, or whenever the drive-thru employee sees me pull in.

But none of this is to say that McFlurry machines aren’t poorly built hunks of shit, because they are. One McDonald’s franchise consultant conducted a study which showed that there’s a 25 percent chance that if a McDonald’s isn’t serving ice cream or ice-cream-related menu items, it’s because the machines just stopped working like they’re also getting paid minimum wage.

There is some good news: McDonald’s has heard the complaints, and they’re finally going to replace the old, busted-ass McFlurry machines with ones that don’t come with self-destruct buttons.

4

Can Insects Get Fat?

I’ve seen mosquitoes get fat off my blood and then had it turn into a crime scene when my delicious juices exploded everywhere with a smack. I can see their asses get plump with every gulp. But that’s not the mosquito technically getting “fat” — it’s the equivalent of having a distended belly after a big meal. But are there flies out there having trouble dragging their saggy bug tits and double chins around after munching on discarded pastries? Are there ants feeling shame as they look at their expanding thorax in the mirror after eating a dropped French fry? Where are the fat insects? Can they even get fat?

Depends on the insect.

Diamondback moth caterpillars can alter their metabolism over generations to adjust to high-carb diets, turning their bodies into fat-burning furnaces. If a dragonfly is infected with a certain type of parasite, it’ll start storing more fat around the muscles they use to fly. Struggling to fly means they can’t defend themselves using their deadly “bumping enemies with their eyes” attack. Researchers also found that fat male dragonflies have less dragonfly sex, just in case you were super-duper curious about that.

And I was wrong, mosquitoes can get fat. They suck blood when they need protein to produce eggs. They normally eat plant nectar. One scientist / bored suburban nine-year-old hand-fed mosquitoes ’til half their dry weight was made up of fat. And then he made them dance.

The weight gain on some insects is hidden by their tough chitin exoskeletons. The fatter they get, the more their insides squeeze up against their own outsides. Imagine you get so fat that your pants don’t fit anymore, but you can’t take them off. You’re forever stuck feeling like the Hulk’s ten-foot-around thighs squeezed into Bruce Banners’ size-32 jeans.

3

Do The Blind Need Ad Blockers?

At first, you’d think that blind people wouldn’t use ad blockers, because they don’t see the ads in the first place. But it turns out they have the exact opposite problem. If you saw the rough drafts of my columns, you could tell which ones I’ve run through text-to-speech software by counting the lack of egregious grammatical errors. Hearing my writing out loud lets me catch those errors, because if I just try to proofread them, I become word-blind. Sometimes I’ll copy the text off the preview page set up to look exactly like the text on the page you’re reading now, ads and all. I’ll inelegantly CRTL+A the whole thing and have the software read all the whales and seals that get caught in the fishing net of my highlight. So in the middle of my own writing, I’ll hear about “17 Actors You Didn’t Know Were Loaves of Wheat Bread — #8 Will Get A Rise Out of You” or “She Had No Idea Why Men Kept Cheering Her On (Her Vagina Was Out).”

What isn’t that big a deal for me must be a nightmare for the blind. Text-to-speech programs are one of the tools blind people use to peruse the internet. But what happens when there’s an ad? Does the program indiscriminately read everything, ads included? Can it distinguish between an ad and article text? Nope. They read everything. Here’s a video of a vision-impaired woman demoing a screen reader program called JAWS:

Not everyone with a vision impairment likes the reader’s voice to be speaking in tongues while dancing with venomous snakes. But even at normal speeds, reading The New York Times can be a pain in the ass:

Auto-playing videos are also a problem. You try listing to one voice at Formula One speeds and have a loud video cut in without shitting your pants. Sighted people can ignore the text of an ad, to the point where it might as well not even be there at all. But the visually impaired have to sit through it all, even random web trash like “Sign Up / Log in” and “Join Our Mailing List.”

So it makes sense that the guy who created AdBlock has blind people thanking him for making their internet surfing experience less cacophonous.

2

Why Are Donut Boxes In Movies Always Pink?

I’m always disappointed that I haven’t eaten donuts out of a bright pink box like in every movie and show that I’ve ever seen a box of donuts in. I just assumed the box was a generic Hollywood prop that was used all the time, like those fake newspapers or bottles of Heisler Beer, the favorite beer of every TV character. Some stingy producer who blew the last of his production expenses on a tall nonfat latte with a caramel drizzle enema didn’t want to pay Dunkin’ Donuts the licensing fee to show their logo on an empty box of donuts. He used a pink box once, it did its job of portraying the role of a tough-as-nails but big-hearted donut box, and every producer in history followed suit.

GaryAlvis/iStock

Pink donut boxes are a regional trend in Southern California, the birth canal from which most movies and shows slide, and they wouldn’t exist if not for the Khmer Rouge, the regime responsible for orchestrating the Cambodian genocide in the mid-1970s. Oh. Oh my. I thought it was just going to be a “They showed up once in Godfather Part II and people just liked how they looked” kind of thing. That is … umm … oh my.

When the Khmer Rouge was exterminating everyone in sight, Cambodians hauled ass out of there. Many made Los Angeles their new home, where they opened donut shops, of all things. One of them was named Ted Ngoy. He was an immigrant, an astoundingly good businessman, and a gambling addict who lost a bunch of his donut stores in bad bets. And holy shit, did he own a lot of donut shops. He had shops all over Los Angeles County, each staffed with fellow Cambodian immigrants.

Before Ted, donuts in LA came in standard white, no-frills boxes. When he decided to save some money without getting skimping on ingredients, he asked his supplier, Westco, if they had cheaper boxes. They had a bunch of cheap pink card stock lying around that could perfectly house a dozen donuts. Word of how cheap the bright pink boxes were quickly spread from one Cambodian-owned donut shop to another throughout LA, and then into Texas and Arizona.

So whenever a film production needed their characters to be from New York but they’re filming in LA, to hold a box of donuts, Prop Masters would hand actors the bright pink boxes Ted popularized, not realizing New Yorkers don’t eat donuts from pink boxes. They have to wrestle them away from big rats off of taxi cab floors, because everything’s tougher in New Yaw’k.

1

How Do Movies And Shows Get Newborn Babies For Delivery Scenes?

There’s a very specific shriveled and red newborn baby look. Wailing infant chic, if you will. When a woman in a movie gives birth and the kid doesn’t look like a dried chili, you know it’s a one-month-old unconvincingly playing a one-second-old. But how does getting a newborn on screen even happen? What parents are going directly from the hospital to set? “I know that we just had this thing, like, 30 minutes ago, but could someone make it a star real quick?”

Putting newborns in entertainment is surreal. The baby has to be no younger than 15 days old to be in a movie. That’s when doctors say babies have developed enough to not be floppy lumps of flesh that can fall apart at any second. If that authentic newborn look is absolutely required, they’ll use twins or triplets, which aren’t just useful because child labor laws in Californian only allow a baby onset for four hours and to only work for 20 minutes at a time. Twins and triplets are often born premature, which keeps them looking like newborns even after the 15-day barrier. Filming with premature babies is illegal in California, but it’s cool in 18 other states.

Parents, I know you’ve just experienced the trauma of wondering if your babes will survive their stint in incubators, but if by the grace of God they survive, they can be movie stars before their fontanelles fully harden. Ka-ching. That’s the sound of your preemie payday.

In the movie Knocked Up, they wanted to film a real woman giving birth to a real baby during the delivery scene, but legally couldn’t for the best reason for anything I’ve ever heard: Since the baby would be in the process of being born at the time of filming, it wouldn’t be a member of the Screen Actors Guild. People can’t get their SAG cards in utero. Not to mention it violates the “must be at least 15 days old” rule.

And then there’s the matter of all that vaginal slime newborns are coated in during birthing scenes, which I’m sure has a more delicate, technical name, but “vaginal slime” is more colorful, so I’m going with that. I imagined it would be a special goop whipped up by visual effects masters in a fit of creative inspiration, like chefs in a kitchen going with the flow to create an exemplary new dish. It’s not. Vaginal slime is sometimes a combination of grape jelly and cream cheese. Instead of going to makeup, they hand the baby over to the craft services people so that they can prepare the baby like a bagel.

Luis is hard at work getting his preemie casting agency off the ground. In the meantime, you can find him on Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook.

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