This Is The Workout You Need To Try In The New Year, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Whether you’re preparing to completely slay your new year’s resolution to work out more, or you simply want to mix up the routine you already have in 2018, your zodiac sign could contain all of the secrets you need for the most effective sweat sesh in the new year. Astrology can teach you so much about yourself, and that information can be particularly great for helping you figure out what you like and don’t like, especially in the gym. So when you’re thinking about workouts to try in the new year, but you’re stumped by the huge range of options, let your star sign do its damn job and lead the way.

Let’s be real here people: 2017 was a f*cking . I mean, maybe you had a grand old time, I don’t know your life, but personally, I know I’m not alone when I say there were an aggressive amount of ups and downs throughout this rollercoaster of a year.

So, in the name of starting 2018 on the right foot, don’t waste your time on workouts that won’t make you feel like the strong-ass goddess that you truly are. When Jan. 1 rolls around, take a hint from your zodiac sign and immerse yourself in workouts that will provide your body with loads of feel-good endorphins and help you truly thrive in the new year.

Aquarius Should Take A Hike


Listen, I’m saying this in the nicest way possible — but seriously, take a hike, girl. Connecting with nature and vibin’ with a group of fellow outdoors-y peeps will make you happiest, Aquarius.

And if you want to go the extra mile (#puns), try doing a hike for a cause. Since you’re really into helping others out and all things humanitarian, this will be right up your alley.  

Pisces, It’s The Perfect Time To Experiment With Yoga


“Namastay on my yoga mat every single day in 2018,” said every Pisces ever.

Seriously though, Pisces are highly creative and artistic, so if you’ve never experimented with a killer vinyasa flow, this is your year to tune in with that body of yours and expand your mind.

Aries Needs To Channel Their Aggression In A Healthy Way


Aries, hitting up a sweaty and challenging boxing class will allow you to release anything and everything that did not serve you in 2017, and let out your frustrations.

It may be intense and difficult at first, but after a few dates with the punching bag, you won’t be able to get enough of the sport.

Taurus Could Totally Benefit From Signing Up For A Race


Slow and steady wins the race for Taurus. That long-distance, endurance-focused life is where it’s at for you, girl.

If you’ve convinced yourself that you hate running (haven’t we all at some point?), give it a shot in 2018. You might just get bitten by the cardio bug faster than you can lace up your Nikes.

Gemini, That ClassPass Subscription Is Calling Your Name


Geminis on the concept of changing things up, which is why ClassPass is an excellent tool to help you find your dream workout in 2018.

Try a new fitness class every week to keep your body guessing. Hell, try a new one every , you wild child.

Cancer Does Her Best With Online Workouts At Home


Oh cancer, you those home workouts, and there’s nothing wrong with that whatsoever.

YouTube has tons of awesome channels to experiment with, and ClassPass is even offering live-stream workouts in the new year. Ah, the options are endless, my friend.

Leo, Give Yourself Permission To Dance It Out


Leos love to be the star of the show, which is why busting some moves at Zumba class will let them channel all of that theatrical, vibrant energy in a lighthearted, fun nature.

Dance it out, baby. Dance it all out.

Short, Effective HIIT Workouts Are Where It’s At For Virgos


New year, new me? Nah, not for Virgo. They’re still as analytical as ever, and they need a workout that mirrors this part of their personality.

High-intensity interval training is concise, yet effective — just what your girl needs in her life this year.

Libra, Grab A Friend And Experiment With Acro Yoga


Libras need to harness all the inner peace they can get in the new year, and with good reason.

Acro yoga will combine connection and serenity, while giving you a brand new skill to have fun with and hone in on in 2018.

Scorpio, Just Let It All Out, Girl


Scorpio, your passion and intensity can get a little aggressive at times, so you need a strategy to let it the f*ck out — in a healthy way!

If you’re not busy getting freaky in the bedroom, get your booty to an intense yoga class or a killer cycling sesh ASAP.

Sagittarius Loves Working Toward The Greater Good


Working out for an amazing cause will make a Sagittarius’ heart swell all throughout 2018.

There are so many apps that let you sweat it out and channel your charitable side simultaneously. Get downloading, girl.

Capricorn, You’ll Thrive Most With A Personal Trainer

Capricorns are the ones who are definitely going to stick to their new year’s resolutions, because they’re disciplined AF. And if you have access to a personal trainer, you’ll be making the gains in 2018.

Even if you’re not able to work with a personal trainer, simply hitting up a workout buddy to hold you accountable for your routine will be all you really need to feel like a million bucks.

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This Is The Heartbreaking Thing Animal Shelters See Each Year After The Holidays

As another holiday season comes to a close, the parking lots and customer service desks at many of your favorite retailers will become flooded with dissatisfied people of all ages anxiously awaiting to return the Christmas gifts that don’t fit, they don’t like, or simply weren’t on their wish lists.

While most unwanted gifts can be returned with a receipt for cash or store credit, not everything under the tree is so lucky. On many Christmas lists each and every year is a new pet. Perhaps it’s the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but what many parents and children fail to realize is that getting a new pet for Christmas is a life-long commitment, which involves more planning and consideration than most people are willing to commit. And while a new kitten or puppy may make the cutest Christmas gift under the tree, it can lead to a disturbing spike that most animal shelters have come to see as a yearly ritual.

It may seem like a picture-perfect scene from a Hallmark movie, but unwrapping a new pet on Christmas morning can lead to skyrocketing animal abandonment numbers.

It’s in the weeks after the holiday festivities are said and done that shelters become swamped with abandoned animals that people simply decide they no longer want or can no longer care for.

People return their Christmas pets to a shelter for a variety of reasons. Maybe it was the wrong shape, color, or size, or it simply wasn’t what the new owner had in mind when they asked for a new pet. What often happens is that people think, “Oh, my new pup will find a new home quickly!” Sadly, that’s simply not the case. For many animals, their lives come to untimely ends in jam-packed animal shelters.

Many give up their new animals because they just don’t have the time or resources to train them, which they should have considered first.

People sometimes forget that taking care of a pet is similar to raising a child, in that it’s basically a full-time job. This realization can be even more disheartening if your animal gift is meant for a kid. Kids just want to be kids, without the stress and pressure of taking care of another life. That’s when parents start getting frustrated.

When thinking about gifting a new pet for Christmas, people often overlook the yearly price of food, toys, and routine vet visits. Most people expect to maybe spend just a few thousand dollars over the lifespan of their pet, but in actuality, the numbers can sometimes be in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Another horrifying realization about pets as presents is that in order to ring in the new, some owners take their aging pets to the shelters and trade them in for “younger models.” For some people, as their pet’s health begins to deteriorate, it becomes too much work for them and rather than getting them the care and attention they need, it’s much easier to ship them off to their local shelter. Heartbreakingly, sending a senior dog or cat to a shelter is almost always a death sentence.

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Chelsea Clinton goes viral with heartbreaking letter addressing her children

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D) worked closely with Teen Vogue as this month’s guest-editor, praising the publication for taking “teen girls seriously.” And her daughter Chelsea Clinton is going viral after Teen Vogue shared Chelsea’s letter to her children about the 2016 presidential election.

The letter, which was originally printed in December’s edition, addresses Chelsea’s children Charlotte and Aidan and discusses the future for both of them in the wake of President Donald Trump’s victory. In particular, Clinton stresses the presidential election was “most of all about you and the world I wanted for you and your generation to grow up in.” And she says her mother worked “for a world in which more children are supported, cared for, encouraged, protected,” as the Clinton’s believe disenfranchised Americans should have access to the same resources that privileged citizens do.

“I saw that in Arkansas as a kid, in the White House as a teenager, in New York as one of her constituents and as an American when she served as our Secretary of State,” Clinton writes in Teen Vogue. “I heard it in every speech she gave throughout last year.”

Chelsea Clinton then goes on to talk about the 2016 election itself, and how, even though she thinks her mother’s choices “were worthy of scrutiny,” she remains surprised that certain issues surpassed others in the national discussion. Like Clinton’s emails.

“I certainly think her choices—all her choices—were worthy of scrutiny though I remain flabbergasted that your grandmother’s emails were covered more than all other stories of the election combined,” Clinton argues. “More than children being poisoned by tap water, shot by those who should have protected them, failed by schools meant to educate them, or finally receiving health care thanks to President Obama’s signature legislation.”

Most of all though, Clinton stresses that her mother campaigned against the “racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic” views espoused by President Trump, and that she worked hard to create a clear and progressive vision for the U.S. And even though Hillary Clinton lost her presidential election to a man who “excuses neo-Nazis,” Chelsea says her mother’s loss only motivated her to work harder for her children’s future. That’s in part because she learned that one should never take progress for granted.

“What’s once again clear a couple hundred days into President Trump’s administration is that who is elected to office matters—for what is done, what is undone, and who and what are neglected through malice or incompetence,” Clinton tells her children. “A core lesson of this time in your early lives is that progress is possible, but it is not inevitable. It must be protected and advanced at the ballot box and beyond.”

Read the full letter from Teen Vogue here.

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These Are Officially The Healthiest And Unhealthiest States In The US

Even as one of the wealthiest nations in the world, the United States contends with plenty of health disparities. Of course, this is nothing unique to the US, but the latest report from the United Health Foundation has shown in stark terms exactly how deep these differences go.

This year, Massachusetts claimed the top spot as the healthiest state, knocking Hawaii into second place after five years at the top. These were followed by Vermont, Utah, and Connecticut. At the other end of the scale, Mississippi came in last, followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama, and West Virginia.

The annual report, called America’s Health Rankings, has looked at the nation’s health for close to 30 years now, and in general things have been taking a turn for the worse. The premature death rate for the US has grown for a third year in a row, and is now up by 3 percent since 2015 alone.

This is caused in part by the stark uptick in drug-related deaths, which over the same period has increased by 7 percent. This has led to the US falling to 27th out of 35 nations in terms of life expectancy, despite spending huge sums on healthcare annually.

The report assessed each state by looking at 35 different measures, including obesity, infectious diseases, premature death rate, smoking, infant mortality, and access to health care.    

One of the main reasons Massachusetts topped the list this year (despite seeing their drug death rate increase by 69 percent since 2012) is due to their much greater health care coverage. While The Bay State has 547.3 mental health providers per 100,000 people, Alabama has just 85. Similarly, there are over 200 primary care physicians and 80 dentists per 100,000 in the state, while Utah has fewer than 100 primary care physicians and Arkansas fewer than 45 dentists per 100,000.

In the past year, however, there have been some important gains when it comes to the health of the nation. Smoking is down 17.1 percent (and has declined in every state), while the number of uninsured people is down by 9 percent. Interestingly, air pollution has also been declining since 2003.

There are still clearly some big challenges to face. From obesity to access to health care to premature death rate, there are some steps that can be taken to reduce these. 

Check out whether your state makes the top healthiest states:

Top 10
1. Massachusetts
2. Hawaii
3. Vermont
4. Utah
5. Connecticut
6. Minnesota
7. Colorado
8. New Hampshire
9. Washington
10. New York

Bottom 10
41. Georgia
42. Kentucky
43. Oklahoma
44. South Carolina
45. Tennessee
46. West Virginia
47. Alabama
48. Arkansas
49. Louisiana
50. Mississippi

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The Stranger Who Sent Steve Mnuchin A Box Of Horse Poo Has Come Forward

Horses**tgate continues.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Police Department and U.S. Secret Service investigated a mysterious package left outside the Bel Air home of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin. Authorities eventually discovered the box was filled with horse manure.

Now, a psychologist for the Los Angeles Department of Mental Health named Robby Strong tells he is the one behind the delivery.

Strong says the prank was activism in response to the Republican tax bill passed last week.

“The fact that [Republicans] can be so brazen and act with such impunity tells me that we have to be more brazen with our activism and maybe a bit more aggressive,” he told

On Saturday, before the package arrived at Munchin’s house, Strong posted this series of photos to his Facebook page, saying he needed someone to help “document my Secret Santa project” in which he would “hand deliver boxes of horse shit to Steve Mnuchin.”

In the photos, he shows the box filled with horse manure and takes a selfie with it.

Soon after, Strong posted a photo of the card he allegedly included with the package. It’s signed “The American People,” which is consistent with what the LAPD told The Guardian about the letter that came with Mnuchin’s delivery. 

Strong shared the news story on his Facebook page Sunday morning with the status: “Well, looky there. Who could’ve done such a thing?”

The package naturally caused some alarm, leading the LAPD to call in a bomb squad. But Strong, who was later visited by Secret Service agents, dismissed the seriousness of the situation.

“This is a glorified frat boy prank,” he told the New York Daily News. “How much can you punish someone for dropping box of doodie?”

Strong is not currently facing any charges.

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Maria Menounos blames ‘bullying’ and toxic environment for contributing to brain tumor

Maria Menounos is coming clean about her health.

On Thursday, Menounos sat down with Access Hollywood and opened up about how working in the entertainment industry caused severe stress to her body — stress that she thinks influenced poorly in her heath.

“I think the chronic stress on the body is really bad,” the former E! News host said.

In July, Menounos shared the news that her mother was in the process of battling stage four brain cancer. Three months later, Menounos had a scan and learned that she too had a brain tumor. According to US Weekly, though her tumor was not cancerous, the talk show host underwent surgery to have the “golf-ball-size” meningioma brain tumor removed.

“What this has done is shift my focus into more of like a mind, body, spiritual kind of grounding that needs to happen,” she said. “I think this has convinced me to give myself more time, mentally, to breathe.”

Menounos, who has had a two-decade career in the entertainment industry, joined E! News as a correspondent in 2014 and took over the hosting gig from fellow E! alum, Giuliana Rancic, in 2015. After receiving her diagnosis this July, Menounos announced that she would step down from E! after only three years on the show.

“I think the industry, I think that there’s a lot of bullying, a lot of toxicity. I think it’s just a rough journey,” she explained. “You know, there’s the glitz and the glam that everybody sees ─ and yes, I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of it ─ but there have been some tough times and I’m sure you guys have not been immune to those tough times.”

Menounos talked about balancing a busy lifestyle and needing to put health first. The 39-year-old said she put off her MRI for too long and wasn’t focused on her health.

“I mean, as women, you know, we put ourselves last, we put our health last,” she said. “I postponed that MRI for months because I thought I was crazy, I thought I was being paranoid and I was putting my mom’s health first, which I mean is understandable ─ it was critical ─ but we have to focus more on ourselves.”

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Glenn Close: You lose power if you get angry

From vengeful mistress to Agatha Christie matriarch: the actor talks about Harvey Weinstein, mental illness and growing up in a cult

Glenn Close and I sit at the corner of a large boardroom table in an intimidatingly minimalist office on the 14th floor of a Los Angeles talent agency. Its the kind of environment in which Patty Hewes, the ruthless lawyer Close played in Damages for five seasons, would feel at home and Im almost waiting for her to stand up, slam both hands on the table and shout, Ill rip your face off or any of the other terrifying put-downs that defined her double Emmy award-winning performance.

But Close is in high spirits and radiates such warmth I barely notice the chill from the tower blocks air-con. After we fiddle with the settings on our swivel chairs, which are so high they make anyone under six foot kick their legs like a child on a swing, the 70-year-old, six-time Oscar nominee and star of stage, television and film starts telling me about her dreams. I have had a lot recently, full of this wonderful love for a younger man. The dreams just keep coming and I wake up thinking, that was wonderful! It wasnt necessarily us doing the sexual act, just the feeling of love.

With her white hair cut to a sharp crop, and wearing a relaxed navy blazer, chinos and black scarf on account of the arctic corporate temperature, she looks stylish and fit. I have never felt better in my life, and I am, like, 70, she says. Im really a late bloomer.

She says she feels a disconnect between how she sees herself and how people may view me when I walk down the street, like: Theres an old lady. You know, there is now this cult of the model. Everyone on the red carpet is made into a model. That is very hard to not play into I have a bit of podge I am trying to get rid of, but its hard. I just think, Oh fuck, Ive been doing this my whole life! But the irony is, you just get better and better with age. You dont feel less alive or less sexy.

In Agatha Christies Crooked House. Photograph: Nick Wall

We are here to talk about Crooked House, the Agatha Christie adaptation debuting on Channel 5, before its theatrical release, in which Close plays Lady Edith, a matriarch of a very dysfunctional family. Close says, Christies grandson came to the set and he validated the fact that it was her favourite book, and the one that had never been adapted. He said when she handed it to the publisher, she was told she had to change the ending, because it was too upsetting and controversial. She refused. Its still pretty controversial.

This production, co-written by Julian Fellowes, might not be as spendy as Kenneth Branaghs $55m Murder On The Orient Express, but the ensemble cast is equally starry: joining Close are Gillian Anderson, Max Irons, Terence Stamp and Christina Hendricks. Close presides over her co-stars with gravitas and grace, in an understated performance that finds the humour in an otherwise bleak setup. But youd expect nothing less from the actor whose 40 years in the business started with star turns in Broadway productions (she won a Best Actress Tony in 1983 for Tom Stoppards The Real Thing). Her first film role, at the age of 35, was with Robin Williams in The World According To Garp, for which she received an Oscar nomination as she did for her supporting roles in The Big Chill and The Natural. Her performances in Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons and Albert Nobbs, about the life of a transgender butler in late 19th century Ireland, which she also co-wrote, racked up further Oscar nominations but still no win. This is seen by many as a travesty: Close brings a precision to her film work, honed through her years on stage. She has that rare taut quality Jack Nicholson also has it where you believe that beneath the steely control she is capable of snapping at any moment.

It was this that led Andrew Lloyd Webber to cast her in 1993 as the tragic silent movie star Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard on Broadway. Close reprised the role 23 years later, getting her old costumes out of storage (she has kept all her costumes and recently donated the collection to a university in Indiana) for its revival in Londons West End.

As Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction: Clearly she had mental health issues. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

But it was her Oscar-nominated turn as Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction in 1987 that proved career-defining. Thirty years on, Close still counts Forrest as the character of whom she feels most fond; she has admitted to fighting tooth and nail against the films eventual denouement, which turned the character into a bunny-boiling psychopath and Close into the casting directors go-to woman on the verge for years afterwards. Now we have the vocabulary to talk about these things, clearly she had mental health issues, she says.

Close sits regally still as she speaks, emphasising her points by leaning forward and locking eyes. Shes comfortable with silences and often takes a theatrical beat or two before answering questions. Shes all poise and control, but does she ever lose her temper?

I express my feelings quietly. I am not afraid of confrontation, but I am not particularly good at it. If I get attacked, I am not good at attacking back. There is fight, flight and freeze and I tend to freeze. That is not a strength of mine. I love the fact that my daughter Annie [Starke, an actor] is more of a fighter than I am. She doesnt let people get away with shit. While she agrees that women have a harder time being angry, publicly, than men, she says, I have played a lot of characters, and actually anger makes you lose power. Patty Hewes [in Damages] she hardly ever lost her temper, but when she did, it was very specific. I have always felt you lose power if you get that angry.

The collective outpouring of anger among women in Hollywood right now is something of which Close is acutely aware. She says that sexism in the industry has shifted more slowly than it should have done throughout her career: It took Harvey Weinstein and someone calling him out [for real change to happen]. I know Harvey, and he has never done that to me, but people would say he was a pig. I never knew that it was that bad and I dont personally know anybody who has endured that. I would like to think that I would have done something about it.

We discuss whether its possible to separate the work from the personalities involved in it. News has just broken that House Of Cards will be back for another series without Kevin Spacey, after it was originally canned because of harassment claims brought against its leading man. Close wraps her scarf around her chest and fixes me with her electric eyes. Artists, to make a huge generality, walk on a very thin line. Sometimes, like my beloved friend Robin Williams, who was one step away from madness, whatever makes them a great artist also makes them very complicated human beings. Again, that doesnt mean they can prey on and abuse people.

With Harvey Weinstein in 2013. Photograph: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

At the root of the problem of sexism in Hollywood right now is, Close says, biology. I think the way men have treated women, from the beginning of time, is because they have different brains to women. So I am not surprised by it at all. I say to a guy, Tell me the truth, if you see a woman walk into a room, what is the first thought that goes through your head? His answer, always, is, Would I fuck her? It doesnt mean they act on it. If you can evolve into a society where men know that they should not always act on it then there has been a positive revolution. But you cant just say that theyre not going to have the thought that is ridiculous. It also has to be the women, who are not powerful, to be OK to say no and leave the room. I think its unrealistic to say were going to change but we have to evolve.

I ask Close who she thinks is a great man today. She is silent, thinking, for what feels like a full 60 seconds in which I am so tempted to throw out some options: Barack Obama, the Pope, the friendly security guard on reception who let us in

Nelson Mandela, is her final answer, but Im not sure shes convinced. I guess for me, she says, greatness is taking your humanity and still doing the good thing. Its sad to say that there are very few men, who are leaders, who have some sort of moral code that they dont deviate from because of popular opinion.

She thinks we are undergoing a crisis of masculinity: In the public mind, yes. I was outraged when I heard that there was a war against men I was like, are you joking? What do you think has been happening against women for centuries?

Close knows all too well about the misuse of power, because her own upbringing was, as she puts it, complicated. When she was seven, her parents joined a cult. Moral Re-Armament or MRA was a modern, nondenominational movement founded by an American evangelical fundamentalist which extolled the four absolutes: honesty, purity, unselfishness and love. Her father, a physician working in the Congo, sent Close with her brother and two sisters from the family home in Greenwich, Connecticut, to live at the MRA HQ in Caux, Switzerland (Closes mother, Bettine, was a socialite).

She is vague on the details but clear on the impact this experience had on her as a teenager: I was repressed, clueless and guilt-ridden. The timeline is patchy, but Close travelled with MRA in the 60s as a member of their musical groups, and spent time back in Connecticut at an elite boarding school. I had a wonderful time at Rosemary Hall, a girls school, she says. I was in a renegade singing group called the Fingernails: A Group With Polish. But she remained, as she calls it clueless. A lot of my friends knew boys youd have these horrendous dances with boys schools and they would get the guys they wanted and I would just stay with the person I was with.

As Patty Hewes in Damages. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

She was briefly married before going to university. It is a complicated story for me. I was married before college, and kind of in an arranged marriage when you look back on it, and my marriage broke up when I went to college, as it should have. I was 22. But my liberal arts school had a wonderful theatre that was my training, my acting school.

Was that where she finally learned about sex, popular culture, the ways of the world? Not really, she says. I still am learning.

Close has two sisters, Tina the eldest, and Jessie her younger sister; and two brothers, Alexander, and Tambu Misoki, who was adopted by Closes parents while living in Africa. At the age of 50, Jessie spent time in a psychiatric hospital and was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, a weight that had been hanging over the family, undiscussed, for years. Talking about mental illness just wasnt done, Close says. You dont have a vocabulary for it and youre also very aware of appearances. You dont want to appear a crazy family.

In 2010 Close founded Bring Change to Mind, a charity that aims to end the stigma around mental illness by talking openly about it and its effect on families. It was my nephew who was first diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder. This is basically schizophrenia with an ingredient of bipolar. And when that happened, it was like, What? My sister Jessie, his mother, didnt know what was wrong. He went to the hospital for two years and that saved his life. Then Jessie was, finally, correctly diagnosed herself.

With sister Jessie in 2009. Photograph: Getty Images

Close felt a duty to her family to give them a high-profile person who is not afraid to talk about it publicly. It affects the whole family. We always knew my grandmother and mother had depression my sister does, I do to a certain extent. But I didnt know my great-uncle had schizophrenia. I knew my half-uncle died by suicide. There was a lot of alcoholism addiction, self-medication. Nobody ever talked about it. I knew my grandmother was depressed, but at first I thought she lived in a hotel, not a hospital, because she always said how good the food was.

Close says she and her siblings are of one mind politically, but admits she does have members of her family who voted for Trump. I tried to understand that. Theyre not crazy people who have been brainwashed by Fox News, but I try to understand the anger, because I think that has been building up ever since Watergate. It was watching that scandal unfold that made her realise Americans have always been naive, we just take for granted what we have, and we always thought of our leaders as good people. With Watergate, people became cynical about government.

Today, she says, Washington is a bunch of self-serving She searches for an expletive and after a second settles on men. She says, Its hard to believe that people are so out for themselves. It goes against what you would like to believe about your country. I feel eloquence is incredibly important for a leader, and we had that with Barack Obama, who made his initial impact because he gave that incredibly eloquent speech, but he lost his eloquence in his presidency. We always need someone to say, I hear you, someone who can put their words into unity and hope and we dont have that. I think the last person may have been Robert Kennedy.

And now you have Trump tweeting nonsense.

Its devastating. Social networks are now like our nervous system, and if you keep pumping that kind of crap into the nervous system, it is going to have an effect on a population.

With Kevin Kline in The Big Chill. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

Close doesnt talk politics with her friends because she doesnt really have many friends. I have always forced myself into situations I am not comfortable in. I am an introvert, and I was painfully shy as a child. I think I still have a big dollop of that in my persona. I read a book called Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Cant Stop Talking and it was a real comfort to me I realised I was that person I had always been. And it was at that point I told myself to stop pushing myself into situations that I dont enjoy. I dread cocktail parties.

She tells me shes pretty reclusive and can count her closest friends on two fingers. I ask if shes still good friends with Meryl Streep.

I have never been close friends with Meryl. We have huge respect for each other, but I have only done one thing with her, The House Of The Spirits.

I apologise for assuming they were pals, being of a similar age and stature in Hollywood, and admit this negates my next question: Who would win in an arm wrestle, you or Meryl?

Close laughs. Oh, I would, because I am very strong.


The tightest bond Close has is with her only daughter Annie, 29. Annies father is the film producer John Starke whom Close dated for four years from 1987, but never married. Annie was never a door-slamming, difficult teenager. Close tells me: When my Annie was three, she looked at me, and said, I want you. I knew what she meant. I, at the time, was a single working parent, sometimes even when I was home, working or producing something, I was there and not there.

With daughter Annie Starke in 2010. Photograph: Rex/Shutterstock

She doesnt think its any easier for working mothers today and acknowledges, I had it easy because I could afford to have help think of the women who cant afford it and have to put their child in some shaky childcare centre. No, I think it is incredibly hard for women. Any person, in any profession, feels that tug [of guilt]. We discuss the intimacy of the single-parent, only-child bond. Once, I went to vacuum Annies car seat as we were moving house, and a lot of life had happened there, so I was crying. She said, Mummy, are you OK? I said, Yeah, Im OK. And she said, Here I am.

She was married to businessman James Marlas from 1984 to 1987 and then, following other relationships, including that with Starke, she married again, in 2006, to venture capitalist David Evans Shaw, divorcing him nine years later.

Would she marry again?

I dont know.

Does she think marriage is important?

I think it is a positive evolutionary component that we are better with a partner. I think to have a partner that you can go through life with, creating a history with, that you can find a comfort with, have children with there is nothing better. This is an opinion I have come to very late in life, at an ironic moment, where I dont have any of that. I dont know if I will again. But I do think its a basic human need to be connected.

Despite this, shes happy on her own right now. This is a good time in life. I do think, what would it be like to have a partner again? But it would have to be very different from what I had before. Then I have that great dream and wake up happy.

Crooked House is on Channel 5 at 9pm on 17 December.

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The Winter Solstice May Not Affect Your Period, But This Is What Definitely Will

In case you haven’t noticed, menstrual cycles often have a mind of their own. They flow based on the unique state of a woman’s body, and can be altered by behavior changes like diet and exercise, as well as physical and mental struggles like illness and stress. Personally, I think our periods entirely depend on the individual female body, but it’s fun to explore whether or not nature plays a hand in our cycles. For instance, Dec. 21 is the shortest day and longest night of the year; will the winter solstice affect your period during this time?

Unless you’ve been diligently tracking how your body feels throughout each cycle, and noting the state of the solar system on those specific dates simultaneously, it’s (really) hard to say for sure that your period is taking social cues from space. However, there are some theories to consider here.

Dr. Akua Gray, author of , for example, wrote in a blog post that women whose menstrual cycles take place during the summer or winter solstices supposedly experience mental clarity and become more in tune with their emotions and goals. While I’m sure that some aspects of this are true, seeing as how during my own period, I feel hyper-aware of my body and what it needs/wants, I’m not convinced this is necessarily because of the winter solstice alone.

While the winter solstice might not affect your period, the winter season definitely could.

I’ll admit that it would be pretty awesome if menstruation followed along with the lunar phases, or reacted to the position of the sun in relation to the Earth. But alas, our bodies are just that — . Which means our periods respond to the state of our physical and mental health, not the solar system. They do, however, change with the winter season when our behaviors start to reflect the dropping temperatures and lack of sunshine.

According to Bootsy ChuChu founder Siena Dixon, mood, metabolism, and menstruation are all impacted by the change of seasons, and you can tell based on little changes in your cycle, as well as the symptoms you may or may not endure in comparison to other months. The most telling, she explains, is how long your period drags on.

“Sunshine helps the body increase its secretion of ‘follicle stimulating hormone’ (FHS), a hormone that helps to regulate the reproductive processes of the body,” Dixon tells Elite Daily. “As a result, in winter, you may ovulate less frequently, and experience a longer menstrual cycle compared to summer.” In other words, less sun, more bleeding — isn’t that lovely? Cue eye roll.

Temperatures your body can also affect what’s happening your body.

As if having to venture out into the frigid cold weather every morning wasn’t enough of a struggle on its own, those drastic changes in temperature can sabotage your menstrual cycle, too. This is true for summer winter, when we start to notice either very high or below-freezing measurements scattered across our extended forecast. This, Dixon says, is because a) our metabolic rate mirrors outside temperatures and b) the cold constricts our blood vessels which, as a result, can “increase period pain and alter menstrual blood flow.” Am I the only one incredibly pissed off about this, but also low-key intrigued by this information?

And, naturally, on top of freezing temperatures and limited hours of sunshine messing with your cycle, shifts in behavior will also reflect via your flow. Think about how much you’re exercising, the foods you’re eating, and if the holiday season for you means celebrating with a lot of wine. According to Dixon, these seemingly harmless behavioral changes can actually do major damage on your cycle by worsening PMS symptoms like “bloating, menstrual acne, breast pain, moodiness, and headaches.”

If you do have your period during the winter solstice, I’d definitely advise taking advantage of the shortened day ahead.

I’m being totally serious when I say this: If you happen to have your period on the day of the winter solstice, milk that sh*t. The shortest day and longest night of the year is an annual offer you’d be silly to take advantage of.

The second you get home from work or school, slither into something comfy, claim your spot on the couch, and do not move from said spot until it’s actually time to go to bed. Watch your favorite rom-coms on Netflix, make a huge bowl of popcorn, take a few bites of chocolate, and chill. Trust me, you deserve it, and so does your body.

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Trump Just Literally Banned These 7 Words

Happy Monday! The Trump administration did another bad thing. I’ll give you a second to act surprised.

Okay, great. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been given a list of forbidden words by the Trump administration, which includes “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.” So, why would the plastics The Trump administration want to ban these words from 2018 budget documents? To hurt minority groups, obv. What else is new?

Banning words like “science-based” and “vulnerable” make it nearly imposs for the CDC to do their job, which is literally to protect and save the lives of those who are vulnerable. As Dana Singiser, the VP of public policy and government affairs at Planned Parenthood, put it, “You cannot fight against the Zika virus, or improve women’s and fetal health, if you are unable to use the word ‘fetus.’ You must be able to talk about science and evidence if you are to research cures for infectious diseases such as Ebola.” It’s kind of like if all of the sudden Trump said we couldn’t used the words like“hungover,” “unlimited mimosas,” and “fuckboys,” at brunch. It’s fucking ridiculous and makes the task at hand simply undoable.

The CDC is hella pissed, and rightfully so. CDC Director, Brenda Fitzgerald, said in a memo to her staff that the “CDC remains committed to our public health mission as a science-and evidence-based institution.” Ya girl just used two of the banned words in one sentence. Can I get a mic drop?

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION: You can’t use these words.

CDC: Lol, no.

It looks like the CDC isn’t going down without a fight, and we are here for it.

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

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