Terminally ill man loses right-to-die case

Image caption Noel Conway was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2014

A terminally ill man has lost his High Court challenge against the law on assisted dying.

Noel Conway, 67, from Shrewsbury, who has motor neurone disease, wanted a doctor to be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose when his health deteriorates.

Currently any doctor helping him to die would face up to 14 years in prison.

His lawyers had argued he faced a stark choice, which was unfair and the law needed to change.

They said he could either bring about his own death while still physically able to do so, or await death with no control over how and when it came.

He had previously said he wanted to say goodbye to loved ones “at the right time, not to be in a zombie-like condition suffering both physically and psychologically”.

He argued that when he had less than six months to live and retained the mental capacity to make the decision, he wished to be able to enlist assistance from the medical profession to bring about a “peaceful and dignified” death.

Parliamentary debate

Mr Conway, who was not at London’s High Court on Thursday, wanted a declaration that the Suicide Act 1961, which lays out the law on assisted dying, is incompatible with Article eight of the European Convention on Human Rights, which relates to respect for private and family life, and Article 14, which protects from discrimination.

But Lord Justice Sales, Mrs Justice Whipple and Mr Justice Garnham rejected his case.

Image copyright NOEL CONWAY
Image caption Before his illness Noel Conway was a keen skier, climber and cyclist

It is not the first time the law has been challenged.

A case brought by Tony Nicklinson – who was paralysed after a stroke – was dismissed in 2014 by the Supreme Court, which stated it was important that Parliament debated the issues before any decision was made by the courts.

In 2015 MPs rejected proposals to allow assisted dying in England and Wales, in their first vote on the issue in almost 20 years.

Supporters of the current legislation say it exists to protect the weak and vulnerable from being exploited or coerced.

Mr Conway’s case is different from Mr Nicklinson’s in that he has a terminal illness and his legal team set out strict criteria and clear potential safeguards to protect vulnerable people from any abuse of the system.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41506155

This Is What You Can Say In A Call To Your Representatives About Health Care

Republicans are making one last big push to try and repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare), a goal they thought they could achieve once they had a majority in Congress along with a Republican president, but is proving to be a much more difficult task. That’s largely due to the fact that so many Americans don’t actually want the ACA to be repealed, as it has helped millions with health care, paired with the unpopularity of Republicans’ presented plans. But that citizen dissatisfaction means nothing unless you actually tell your representative about it, and a great way to do that is with a quick phone call. To help you out, I’m giving you a script for calling your representative about the ACA and health care proposals.

Calling your representative is a really easy thing to do. And if you think it’s useless, it’s really not. There’s a reason why politicians are always telling you to call them up if you feel a certain way about something. Those calls are counted up and can be used to influence your representative’s vote on an issue. If your senator knows a ton of people won’t be happy with her if she votes for a bill, it may sway her to vote the way the people want.

Before you call your representative, you should know what you’re calling about, so let’s go over what’s happening.

Right now, Republicans are making a push to repeal Obamacare with the so-called Graham-Cassidy amendment. That bill was presented by — you’ll never guess — Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy. The Graham-Cassidy bill takes away Obamacare requirements to let states “create their own health care systems.” It would eliminate funding, including on Medicaid, and brings back pre-existing conditions, which means insurance companies can charge people more if they have certain conditions.

A lot of people in the medical community are not happy about it. The American Medical Association said in a letter,

We believe the Graham-Cassidy Amendment would result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance coverage, destabilize health insurance markets, and decrease access to affordable coverage and care.

It would also, , not be good for women, raising the cost of pregnancy and breast cancer while taking away funding from Planned Parenthood.

Now, let’s get to actually calling your representative.

There are two ways for you to literally call your senator (remember, this vote is happening in the Senate). The first way is to find the number of your senator’s office. This is important: Do  call a senator for a state that’s not the one you live in. They only count calls from real constituents, and all you’ll be doing is hogging the line from someone who could actually be counted. To call your senator, you first have to know who your senator is. To figure that out, just go to the Senate’s website and scroll to your state (note: you have two senators). You can find their contact information there or through this part of the Senate site.

The second way is much easier. Just call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and say you want to talk to your senator. The switchboard will then connect you to the right office.

You’ll be talking to a legislative assistant. Try to be calm with them — they’re just people who have to answer these calls all day and they don’t have anything in particular to do with why policies are the way that they are. Keep the conversation simple. Here is a script you can use:

Hello, I’m [name], and I’m a constituent of Senator [name]. I’m calling to ask her/him to vote against the Graham-Cassidy Amendment. This bill will take away vital health coverage from people who need it most, and we don’t even know the extent of it because the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t reviewed it yet. I will be watching the senator’s vote on this bill, and it will influence my vote in coming years.

That’s just a basic script, and you can remix it however you want — add more facts from your own research, add a personal story, or thank them for opposing it if the assistant says the senator plans to vote against it. They might also ask for your zip code or other identifying factors so they know you’re a real constituent.

For the most part, senators are expected to vote along party lines on this bill, but there are some shaky members in the Republican party who could stop it from happening — namely, Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), John McCain (Arizona), and Susan Collins (Maine). But even if you’re in a Democratic state, these calls still matter as they indicate that the senator should continue voting that way. We all have a role to play.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/news/politics/script-for-calling-senator-health-care-aca/2075845/

6 Online Trolls Who Are (Almost) Too Creepy For Words

Although it started out as an experiment in friendliness and connectivity, the internet has since become a battlefield where you can get bombarded with death threats, dick pics, and worse, all because you disagreed with some blog post. But there were supposed to be rules. No pets. No elderly. No kids. You know, like the mafia. Except in recent years, it seems that not even children are safe from being used as hate-pinatas for the internet’s scum. For example …

6

Creepy Men Are Hacking Baby Monitors (And Talking To The Kids)

Let’s picture the scene: It’s 7 p.m., you’ve finally put the baby down, and you’re about to enjoy your weekly two hours of uninterrupted sleep. Then, as you drift off to half-a-glass-of-wine dreamland, you hear it — an adult voice coming from the nursery. With a strength equivalent to 12 Incredible Hulks and wielding a throw pillow like a flail, you burst into the room to confront the intruder … who isn’t there. That’s when you realize: The voices, they’re coming from outside the house.

This isn’t the start of a horror movie, but what could happen if you’ve bought a WiFi-connected baby monitor or camera but forgot to change the default password. Some creepy asshole could easily hack into it and start sleep-harassing your child. One mother from Ontario was rocking her baby to sleep when eerie music started playing through the monitor and a possibly/definitely insane person told her they were being watched. In Houston, a nanny was startled mid-change by the monitor commenting that the baby had a “really poopy diaper.” When she confronted the parents about their little prank, they had no idea what was going on. In another case, one couple was awakened by the sounds of someone screaming at their baby to wake up, pausing only to cuss out the father when he moved to unplug the device.


The real daddy’s foot was later looking for that guy’s ass.

But possibly the worst case of infant cyberbullying was in 2015. One family started having some difficulties with their son, who was claiming that a man was talking to him at night. A slightly more nuanced story than “there’s a monster underneath my bed,” but the parents didn’t buy it. One fortuitous night, they caught someone whispering “Wake up little boy, daddy’s looking for you” to their son over the monitor they’d installed in his room. They immediately unplugged the device, though burning down the house and salting the earth would have also been a valid response.

Of course, it didn’t take too long for these baby creepers to find each other and set up a cozy little hive. After one family found that their monitor was playing unsettling and mysterious music (which surely is all music that inexplicably seeps in through a baby monitor) they managed to trace the IP address of whomever had accessed it. To their surprise / utter disgust, they discovered a whole goddamn website of people dedicated to plugging themselves into baby monitors, allowing perverts and sociopaths with only grandma-ish levels of tech literacy to create someone’s nightmares.

“There’s at least fifteen different countries listed and it’s not just nurseries — it’s people’s living rooms, their bedrooms, their kitchens,” she explained. “Every place that people think is sacred and private in their home is being accessed.”

Change those fucking passwords, guys.

5

Trolls Inflated The Number Of Kids Missing After The Manchester Bombing

On May 22, 2017, some deranged asshole blew himself up in the foyer of a Manchester Arena, which killed 22 concertgoers, wounded hundreds more, and plunged the city into pandemonium. The emergency services and an army of everyday heroes rushed to the devastated site, whilst social media was abuzz with people organizing shelters, transport, and ways for people to get in touch with their missing loved ones. However, this young man wasn’t one of said missing loved ones:

Twitter

This dapper fellow is John, or TheReportOfTheWeek. He lives in the U.S., reviews food on YouTube, and is definitely not the brother of whatever anonymous fuckwit posted this moments after the attack. His picture was one of many Google Image grabs some ghouls were using to bombard the Twitter hashtag with made-up stories of victims. Among the people whose images were used to sow chaos for laughs were some internet celebrities, very Googleable handsome randos, and, because the world is dark and full of terror, a bunch of disabled child models.


Making a “Hey, I wasn’t really killed in a terror attack” vlog probably isn’t something that he was anticipating for his food review series.

When someone tracked down one of the shitheads responsible, they remarked that really, it was the media’s fault for not carrying out basic due diligence in publicizing the identities of these “missing people.” Yeah, stupid media — i.e. random everyday people on Twitter and Facebook — for believing that nobody would sink low enough to intentionally distract people from helping others during a terrorist attack for their own entertainment. Always count on trolls to prove that we all have too much faith in humanity.

4

Griefers Are Destroying Kids Minecraft Worlds

Griefers are people who have fun playing video games by making sure other people aren’t having fun playing video games. Their techniques range from destroying player homes to spamming games with pixelated dicks and swastikas to trying to get others banned to taking over people’s servers. They lie, destroy, and cheat — whatever it takes to rob people of the pleasures they themselves can’t feel in their empty hearts. And the weaker the player, the easier it is to grief them. Like children.

Griefers targeting kids are the worst of the worst. If they can get a small child to give up on their favorite game, they’ve won. What they win, we can’t begin to guess; we’re not criminal psychiatrists. However, we know that the real payoff comes in the form of YouTube videos complete with the high-pitched voices of unhappy kids. And the most popular of all are the Minecraft videos. Since entering the mainstream, Minecraft has become very popular with children, which has infuriated plenty of older players — probably because they make it harder to pretend that Minecraft isn’t just millennial Legos.

Minecraft griefers will pretend to be reviewers from gaming sites so they can lure kids into letting them into their space. Once they’ve infiltrated, they proceed to crash servers, destroy buildings, imprison characters, and basically act like your asshole brother who ruined your pillow fort after you spent a month building it. But as if that kind of cruelty isn’t enough, they then record and publish those children crying on YouTube for the enjoyment of thousands of morally bankrupt human joy-vampires — or teenagers, as we typically call them.

In fact, these videos are so popular that there’s a cottage industry of griefers who have managed to monetize the tears of children. And while this information is enough for most of us to start praying for a meteor to come finish us off like the dinosaurs, others are fighting back. There are guides on how to protect yourself from griefers, and guides for parents on how to handle it, and surprisingly few of advise them to simply start kicking any 14-29-year-old men they meet square in the balls.

And to any kids playing Minecraft reading this: Guides are great, caution is better, but knowledge is best. And know that you’ve already won, because you’re eight and you’re already better at life than these sad, sorry, C- cyberbullies.

3

YouTube Is Crawling With Horrific Gory Remakes Of Kids TV Programs

If you still think bronies are creepy, get with the program. This is 2017, when adults jacking it to rainbow-colored ponies are boring because they aren’t trying to actively scar young children with their mental issues. Not like the new trolls on the block, who intentionally want to traumatize kids via reimaginings of their favorite cartoons all gored up.

Take Peppa Pig, of Peppa Pig fame. On YouTube, there are tons of videos masked as clips from the real show which in truth feature Peppa being put through grotesquely violent things without warning. In one video, Peppa is accosted by a psychotic dentist, who rips her teeth out as she screams in agony.

Another video features Peppa being kidnapped, stabbed, and assaulted by groups of attackers who drag her into the woods while she cries helplessly. The animation isn’t great, but that doesn’t make much difference if you’re three and want to see your favorite pig not be molested.

There are hundreds of examples like this. Popular characters from the likes of Frozen, Thomas The Tank Engine, Despicable Me, Sesame Street, and many others unwillingly star in animated snuff videos. And before you remind us of the fun of Happy Tree Friends, this isn’t meant to be enjoyed by weird adults like us. With channel names like “Toys and Funny Kids Surprise Eggs” (its videos have over five billion views), part of the fun is clearly imagining scores of small children stumbling upon these freak shows and crying all the way to the therapist’s chair.

2

Stormfront Is Tricking Students With A Bullshit MLK Jr. Website

The “alt-right” is all about rewriting history, whether it’s claiming black people couldn’t be Roman legionnaires or pretending that Hitler systematically genocided entire classes of humanity as a bit of a prank, bro. They need to do this because, according to them, history has a deep liberal bias. (It’s also written by the winners, so let that inferiority complex sink in for a moment.) But it’s hard to convince fully formed minds to believe fucked-up white supremacist bullshit instead of legions of respected academics with carefully vetted facts. So when fascists run out of stupid, they have to target the young.

Since the freaking ’90s, the Neo-Nazi website Stormfront has taken to spoofing an official-looking Martin Luther King Jr. website, full of facts and figures that they’re dying for kids to red pill the playground with — including that time he beat up prostitutes, conspired with the Communist Party to take over the country, and cheated on his wife.


They even have flyers! Great for when you want to recreate that opening scene from Die Hard With A Vengeance.

The website, http://martinlutherking.org, is designed to entrap lazy students with overdue book reports who’ll take the first source Google hands them. And it works. It’s such a problem for teachers that they have to keep reminding their students that the official website of this national hero doesn’t call him a “beast” and blame his promotion on the all-powerful ZOG.

It’s weird that many young people don’t question why the guy’s official website was calling for his federal holiday to be cancelled, but they were probably too fascinated by the pop quiz which tells you whether you’re a politically correct libcuck or a woke race realist who’s definitely going to be assassinated by the government. But if you’re looking for a comforting detail, here’s one: This is a problem that’s only destined to get worse. As of now, 35 percent of students are handing in homework assignment that cite spoof websites, fake news, and bullshit statistics that wouldn’t look out of place at a White House press conference.

Oh wait. That wasn’t comforting at all, was it?

1

Role-Players Are Stealing Kids Photos And “Adopting” Them on Instagram

By now, we all know to keep intimate photographs away from the internet if we don’t want them falling into unwanted hands. But it’s no longer just your private reel of nipples and butts that people will use for their invasive entertainment. Internet weirdos will even take the most innocent part of people’s lives and tamper with it: pictures of their children.

Digital kidnapping is one of the latest fucked-up fads sweeping social media, Instagram in particular, and it’s even creepier than it sounds. These pic-nappers sift through photos of other people’s children and claim them as their own, writing up biographies, talking about fake hobbies and quirks, giving them fake names — in short, turning real children into creepy internet dolls for their unmedicated pleasure.

It starts with followers who appear to come out of nowhere. They watch your account, steal the images of your kids, rename them, and claim them as their own. It’s very distressing for parents, who are often unaware until they receive confusing messages from strangers who have seen their children under different names, with different parents and different lives — lives that would make normal people want to call the cops. Here’s a sample of the way role-playing works on Instagram:

With the *shudder* rising popularity of digital kidnapping, so-called “adoption agencies” have sprung up to supply photographs of attractive babies and even older children for “role-players” to claim for themselves. It might not seem too bad on the surface, but imagine being a parent and finding an avatar of your daughter online telling some grown man to stop taking pictures of her in bed. Another of these depicts a newborn with tubes coming out of its body, captioned: “My mother had me trying to kill me in the hospital bathroom. She had me and left me in the toilet. Luckily I clogged the toilet … I need a mommy.”

Some role-players are weirdly fixated on the nudity of the babies, on the sexual power they will wield as they grow up, or other creeptastic aspects of the process of raising a child. The comments aren’t always kind, either. One mother found a role play pic of her five-month-old baby accompanied by jeering comments about the child being ugly and malformed. Worse still, some fake parents enjoy pretending to abuse the children as part of their story. Who knew people who steal pictures of kids and then pretend they’re their children would have mental health issues?

But while digital kidnapping isn’t a crime (not yet, anyway), it can be a gateway to the vile recesses on the internet. According to Australia’s Children’s eSafety Commissioner, almost half of the filth found on pedophilia sites come from social media. Those who role-play with other people’s children are also setting up handy repositories for actual criminal degenerates to get off on. Remember, folks: This is the internet. If you can fake-kidnap a baby to take fake care of, someone else can fake-kidnap your fake baby to fake-molest it. Being a fake-parent is harder than it looks.

When they aren’t planning their island cult/utopia, Marina and Adam spread the good word on Twitter. Adam also has a Facebook page and a newsletter about creepy history that only the coolest kids are subscribed to. You’re cool, aren’t you? Prove it.

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Also check out 4 Things I Learned About Teenage Trolls (From Being One) and 5 Ways to Stop Trolls From Killing the Internet.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25045_6-online-trolls-who-are-almost-too-creepy-words.html

Selena Gomez shares photos of kidney transplant, thanks friend in touching Instagram post

Two years ago, actress and singer Selena Gomez revealed that her 2014 rehabilitation treatment was a part of her lupus diagnosis. Since the diagnosis, she’s undergone chemotherapy treatment, taken an absence from the spotlight to focus on her health, and has received harsh criticism for her weight fluctuations as result of the disease.

And while lupus and the extent of the disease is mischaracterized and misunderstood, Gomez’s latest Instagram post about her health is helping contextualize and bring more awareness to the disease.

On Thursday, Gomez shared a series of photos about a kidney transplant she underwent as result of her diagnosis. Gomez wrote that she had been in recovery over the “past several months,” and was eager to share her journey with fans.

I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

In one photo she and her friend Francia Raisa, known for her roles in Bring It On: All or Nothing and Netflix‘s Dear White People, hold hands while laying in separate hospital beds. Gomez thanked Raisa for being her kidney donor and said she was incredibly blessed for receiving this gift and sacrifice from her friend.

In two other photos, Gomez shared images of her surgery scar, spanning from her lower stomach to above her right hip, and her weight change as a result of the disease. Concluding her post, Gomez directed followers to the Lupus Research Alliance website, and signed off with the phrase, “by grace through faith,” a reference to the Bible passage Ephesians 2:8 on salvation.

“…I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health,” Gomez wrote. “I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”

H/T TMZ

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/upstream/selena-gomez-instagram-kidney-transplant/

Puerto Rican Rum and Revenue Flowing Again at Bacardi Distillery

After Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico’s physical destruction multiplied its financial crisis. But at least one revenue generator is up and running: rum.

On the western edge of San Juan Bay in a small town called Catano, a Bacardi Ltd. distillery produces some of world’s most famous rum. The spirit made at Bacardi and competitors like Destileria Serralles and Edmundo B. Fernandez Inc. provides fully 3 percent of Puerto Rico’s tax receipts.

The Bacardi Ltd. distillery factory after Hurricane Maria.

Photographer: Alex Wroblewski/Bloomberg

The world’s top producer of international rum brands, Bacardi got its facilities functioning less than two weeks after the Sept. 20 storm left many without food, clean water, electricity or communications. The Bermuda-based company exported its first post-storm rum shipment last week. That’s a relief for the island, which counts Bacardi as one of its highest-profile companies and a pillar of the economy.

The Catano distillery sits between two power plants. It includes distillation towers, warehouses to stash aging barrels, and storage tanks for molasses, water and diesel.

When Jose Class, Bacardi Puerto Rico’s plant director, first arrived after Maria struck, entry was impossible. Overturned fences, branches and power lines littered the grounds. Gigantic palm trees lay uprooted. A concrete wall of one warehouse had collapsed. Pieces of the metal roof were scattered in and around the building.

The rum and distillation equipment was safe.

“I was so lucky that it was empty of barrels — I only had some cars in there,” Class said. “I can get a car today. My rum? It has to be aged at least for a year.”

The plant’s engineering, maintenance and fire brigade were unable to start clearing Maria’s mess until five days after the storm’s eye passed. A week later, Bacardi filled its first 40,000-gallon batch.

Sugar’s Offspring

Rum has long been a Caribbean staple. It is distilled from molasses, which was a byproduct of the vast sugar industry enabled by colonialism and slavery. Its popularity was spread by sailors plying those trade routes.

It’s such a steady revenue generator that Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have sold bonds with rum tax revenue as collateral. The Puerto Rico Infrastructure Financing Authority has done so since 1988; current owners of the $1.8 billion in securities include OppenheimerFunds Inc., Franklin Advisers Inc. and UBS Asset Managers of Puerto Rico, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. But the debt is tied up in the commonwealth’s record $74 billion bankruptcy.

The nearby U.S. Virgin Islands, where rum is the second-largest industry after tourism, has issued $1.2 billion of rum bonds. The storm will have no impact on payments since the bonds are prepaid through 2018 and there is an additional year of reserves, said Lonnie Soury, spokesman for the U.S. Virgin Islands Public Finance Authority. Still, he said, “In light of the difficulties and the challenge we have moving forward, it’s very important that the rum distilleries are in production or have not been damaged severely.”

Special Access

In the case of Bacardi’s Puerto Rico distillery, the quick turnaround required a mutually beneficial agreement between the company and the government.

Bacardi had generators on hand but needed more to get the plant running. With ports jammed, it was a logistical nightmare to deliver them from Bacardi’s bottling plant in Jacksonville, Florida. The government needed generators, too, for something more essential than liquor: clean water. So authorities expedited the company’s port access.

“If we could re-establish power at the plant, we could supply them with all the water needs that they had in the communities around us,” said Ignacio del Valle, Bacardi’s regional president of Latin America and the Caribbean.

In addition to the generators, the company brought first aid, medical supplies, food and 125,000 gallons of purified water from Jacksonville. And it pledged $2 million to help fund three relief centers that will provide meals for community members, entertainment and electricity.

Some factories on the island have struggled to operate because employees have been unable to get to work. So the rum maker set up its own mini gas station inside the plant for its 180-odd workers. At its offices, there’s a room filled with jerry cans, divided by company division. Each department has an assigned day for when its members can pick up fuel.

Nelson Candelario, who builds and repairs rum barrels, now has a 2 1/2-hour commute to the plant, double what it was pre-Maria.

“It wasn’t only that everything was blocked — gasoline was limited, too” said Candelario, who was the last Bacardi worker accounted for after the hurricane hit. Emergency response crews didn’t arrive in his village until Oct. 2.

Class said the company’s health is tied up with that of the commonwealth.

“We wanted to send the message to Bacardi and to my employees and to Puerto Rico that we’re back in business,” he said.

    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-09/puerto-rican-rum-and-revenue-flowing-again-at-bacardi-distillery

    Michael Jordan just donated $7 million to open Charlotte-area health clinics.

    It’s been nearly 18 years since basketball legend Michael Jordan called it quits, but this week, he proved he’s still a champion.

    According to the Associated Press, the former Chicago Bulls star and current Charlotte Hornets owner pledged to donate $7 million to local health centers in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    According to his spokesperson, Jordan was inspired to make the donation after coming across a study that revealed Charlotte was dead last in a survey of the 50 largest cities in the U.S. when it comes to economic mobility for children in poverty. According to the study’s findings, Charlotte children born into the bottom 20% of local income levels had just a 4.4% chance of ever rising to the top 20% in their lifetimes.

    The two new Novant Health Michael Jordan Family Clinics funded by Jordan’s donation are slated to open in 2020.

    “It is my hope that these clinics will help provide a brighter and healthier future for the children and families they serve,” said Jordan in a press release.

    On its website, Novant outlines how and why Jordan’s donation will be so valuable, especially to low-income communities, writing that more than 100,000 Charlotte residents don’t currently have health insurance, making access to basic health services extremely difficult. One of the goals of the new clinics will be to reduce the amount of emergency room usage, providing a more affordable option for low-income families.

    “This gift will transform the lives of thousands of families and children living in poverty-stricken communities,” said Novant Health president and CEO Carl Armato in the release. “We are thankful to Michael for his generosity. The gift will remove barriers to high-quality health care in some of the most vulnerable communities.”

    Jordan at the NBA All-Star Game in 2016. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

    It’s tragic that it takes a massive act of generosity from a blockbuster star like Jordan for at-risk communities to get the care they need.

    The U.S. is among the most prosperous countries in the history of civilization, and yet it apparently cannot manage to take care of its citizens, with millions still without access to health care. Those numbers have improved in recent years, as a result of the Affordable Care Act, but the message is that there is a long way to go before we live up to our often self-bestowed reputation as the “greatest country on Earth.” So long as generations of families find poverty inescapable and so long as economic status can determine your ability to survive illness, there’s work to be done.

    We can’t forget the wins, though — whether small or large. This donation is absolutely  worth celebrating for the families who will now be able to access care.

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/michael-jordan-just-donated-7-million-to-open-charlotte-area-health-clinics

    Fast-moving wildfires kill 10, spur evacuations in Northern California

    (CNN)Deadly wildfires roared across California on Monday, forcing evacuations and destroying homes and businesses in their paths. The biggest fires burned in the wine country of Napa and Sonoma counties.

    Here’s what we know so far, according to California authorities.
    • Ten people have died and the number is expected to grow.
      • More than 100 people were being treated at Napa- and Sonoma-area hospitals for fire-related injuries or health issues including burns, smoke inhalation and shortness of breath.
      • An estimated 1,500 structures have been destroyed and 57,000 acres burned in eight counties.
      • A wildfire in Anaheim, in Southern California, has spread to 4,000-5,000 acres and burned at least six buildings.
      More than 100 patients were treated at Napa and Sonoma area hospitals because of fire-related injuries and issues, said Vanessa DeGier, spokeswoman for St. Joseph Health. Santa Rosa Memorial also accepted 12 patients from the two nearby hospitals that evacuated, including expectant mothers, she said.
      “Our hospitals are beginning to see patients with injuries incurred as a result of evacuation. This includes victims of car crashes and injuries from falling,” a statement from St. Joseph Health said.
      Active wildfires in Northern California

      Source: CALFire as of 5 p.m. ET Monday, October 9

      Vineyards threatened

      Napa County is dealing with the biggest fires, Cal Fire said. The Tubbs and Atlas fires each cover about 25,000 acres. The Patrick fire west of Napa was at 3,000 acres.
      The Nuns fire in Sonoma County covers 5,000 acres, and firefighters also are battling a 1,500 acre fire at Highway 37 and Lakeville Highway in Sonoma.
      Alison Crowe, the winemaker for Garnet Vineyards & Picket Fence Vineyards in Napa Valley, said she has not been told to evacuate her home on the western edge of downtown Napa.
      “A quarter of my co-workers have been evacuated,” she said Monday. “I have friends fighting off fires with hoses in the hills. Thankfully a lot of my friends got out last night.”
      The main road through the area is still open but the aggressive nature of the blaze worries her.
      “It’s scary. We feel surrounded,” she said.
      Crowe estimated two-thirds to three-fourths of Napa’s grape harvest has taken place. The 2017 harvest will be remembered for this fire, she said.
      “Wine doesn’t matter, people matter,” she said. “I know that’s people’s attitude right now.”

      Perfect conditions for fires

      Authorities have not said what caused the fires, but noted that dry conditions made it easy for the fires to spread. October is typically the busiest month for wildfires in California, they said.
      Complicating firefighting efforts are low humidity and a lack of resources, Napa County Fire Chief Barry Biermann said.
      “As of right now, with these conditions, we can’t get in front of this fire and do anything about the forward progress,” he said, adding that resources from across California were to begin arriving in the area later Monday.
      Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday issued an emergency proclamation for Napa, Sonoma and Yuba counties.
      “These fires have destroyed structures and continue to threaten thousands of homes, necessitating the evacuation of thousands of residents,” the governor’s emergency proclamation said. “These fires have damaged and continue to threaten critical infrastructure and have forced the closure of major highways and local roads.”
      The California National Guard has sent three medical evacuation helicopters, six firefighting helicopters and 100 military police personnel to assist local law enforcement.

      Winds expected to ease

      The fire spread smoke across the San Francisco Bay area and the Anaheim-area fire turned the sky red over Disneyland, according to a social media posting.
      Firefighters may get a break from the weather on Tuesday, mainly with decreasing winds.
      The National Weather Service in San Francisco on Sunday issued a “red flag warning” for the Bay Area because of current or impending critical fire weather conditions. The warning cited dry, “windy locations through the Napa Valley and northern Sonoma County valleys.” Gusts ranging from 35 mph to more than 60 mph were recorded.
      But “winds and the fire weather threat will decrease Tuesday in the north, but a threat will remain in Southern California,” the weather service said.
      Forecasters said the warning will likely remain in effect because of the warm and dry conditions and the presence of wildfires.

      Residents fleeing homes, hospitals

      Driving through these streets hoping that my friends and family’s houses survived is something that will change my heart forever. So much loss, memories smoldering, pain on people’s faces, everything gone in a second. To those who have suffered please do not hesitate to ask for help, I have faith that our city will unite and support those in need. Clothes, blankets, shoes, food, a place to shower or sleep, anything…reach out and we will extend our hands. #prayforsantarosa #prayforcalifornia #prayforourfuture #prayforourneighbors Song: Jason Walker-Shouldn’t be a good in goodbye

      A post shared by Rina Rose (@ninjanerd707) on

      Veronica Ortega was at the Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Santa Rosa when she smelled smoke and saw flames through the window of her fiancé’s room on the fourth floor.
      The two soon were loaded onto a city bus and shuttled away.
      Brian Alexander, a 34-year-old Santa Rosa resident, told CNN about stepping in to help his neighbors as the inferno surrounded his apartment complex.
      He drove four neighbors to nearby shelters. As they fled the flames one of them told him, “There’s no need to repent. Hell is already here.”
      “I couldn’t live with myself if someone died or couldn’t get help and I could have been there to stop it,” said Alexander, who packed what he could into his car, eyeing his apartment one final time amid the ash and smoke that burned his eyes and made breathing difficult.
      He later drove to Kaiser Permanente Hospital, where he works in environmental services, and began helping the hospital evacuate patients by moving gurney beds to the ambulances and city buses that were ferrying the patients to safety.
      “In a situation like this, it is really important that we be the best we can be,” he said. “There was no other option.”

      They watched home burn

      Alyssa O’Gorman and her family fled their home in the nick of time. As the flames closed in Sunday night, they left without a change of clothes. O’Gorman, her parents and her grandfather gathered their animals and were out of the house in minutes.
      O’Gorman, a nursing assistant, was driving home from her job when she first spotted flames.
      After evacuating the house, which sits at the dead end of a one-lane road in rural Napa County, she and her family watched from a distance as a propane tank exploded and their home’s roof caught fire.
      If O’Gorman hadn’t been coming home from work to wake her family, “we would have been in the house trapped,” she said.
      Along with Kaiser Permanente hospital, Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa was also evacuated. Much of a mobile home park behind the Kaiser facility burned, CNN affiliate KPIX said.
      In Santa Rosa, the Fountain Grove Inn and Hotel was destroyed and another hotel, the Hilton, was in flames, the affiliate reported.

      Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/10/09/us/california-fires/index.html

      Guys Reveal What Having Blue Balls Really Feels Like And TBH, It Doesn’t Sound Great

      I’m sure you are all wondering what blue balls feels like. Not a day goes by where I don’t stop and think about it. I’ll be having lunch, going on a hike, in the middle of a deep, meaningful conversation with my friends, doing a science experiment (?), or involved in charity work, and I’ll think, “I hope not a single man on this Earth is suffering from the pain that is blue balls today.”In fact, maybe health care should  the pain associated with blue balls, if it does not already. I’m sure it is part of the current administration’s health care plan, though. Out with covering birth control and pre-existing conditions! Let’s cover Viagra and blue balls instead!

      Anyway, because there isn’t much science or literature out there specifically surrounding “blue balls,” it’s mostly treated as an urban legend and negotiation tactic widely used since The Garden of Eden. And now, lucky for you and me, a bunch of dudes took to a Reddit thread to talk about what having blue balls actually feels like. Because there’s nothing like a bunch of bros being bros, bro-ing out and talking about their balls hurting. I love the internet.

      So here are said guys revealing what having blue balls really feels like. I hope they will all be OK! 🙁

      This Guy Says Blue Balls Feels Like Intense Soreness

      Stocksy/Lumina

      Intense soreness and tenderness on the most sensitive area of the body. So it’s not exactly pleasant.

      /u/Status_Flux

      This Gentleman Says It Feel Like You Have To Pee And Poop

      Usually it feels like a pressure in your bladder area, which is from your prostate being swollen (slightly) due to sexual stimulus and from all of your sexual organ muscles tensing up in anticipation of release.

      It kind of feels like a cross between REALLY having to pee, and REALLY having to poop. Your testicles can/usually become swollen and are extremely tender to the touch as well until 5-15 minutes after release.

      It’s like you’re at the starting line of a race. You’re all hunkered down with your feet in the starting blocks, coiled up and ready to explode out of your pose…except you just sit there waiting.

      /u/Gorehack

      Lovely.

      He Says It Feels Like You Are Going To Explode

      It’s legitimately painful, it feels like you are about to burst but can’t easily relieve yourself.

      /u/IntrntzUzr

      This Bro Finds It’s A Lot Like Getting Kicked In The Nuts

      It feels just like getting kicked in the nuts, but the pain lasts longer.

      /u/dicklord_airplane

      Side note: Cool Reddit username, my dude.

      He Says Blue Balls Makes Him Wanna Jerk Off

      Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

      you just wanna jerk off on the entire world

      /u/naked_avenger

      Please don’t do that.

      He Explains It’s Like Your Balls Are In A Death Grip

      George Rudy/Shutterstock

      It’s like when your balls are being squeezed without actually being squeezed and that feeling flows out of just your balls and into your entire body. Usually it is also accompanied by a lump in your throat caused by your mind being so salty that you didn’t get to make sweet sweet love to her ’til the end for some ridiculous reason.

      /u/GYN-k4H-Q3z-75B

      This Guy Reminds You Not To Use Blue Balls To Pressure People Into Sex

      It’s like a constant throbbing pain in the balls that can vary by intensity, but it’s easily remedied by orgasm so masturbation can do the trick. It should never be used to try and coerce someone into a sexual act.

      /u/Unknownentity7

      So remember, like this man said, if a guy is pressuring you into any sexual act because he has blue balls, then let him un-blue himself. A man’s balls are not your business unless you want them to be.

      And if he wants to whine about it, direct him to this thread, thank you very much!

      Check out the entire Gen Why series and other videos on Facebook and the Bustle app across Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

      Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!

      Read more: http://elitedaily.com/dating/sex/what-does-blue-balls-feel-like/2082406/

      Daily Show’s Trevor Noah thinks it’s finally time to talk about guns in America

      Image: Dennis Van Tine/Sipa USA

      In the wake of a mass shooting that left 59 dead and more than 520 people hurt, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, “There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is a time to unite as a country.” 

      Well, The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah thinks that’s BS. On Monday night, he called out politicians and members of the media who claimed right now is not the time to talk about gun control. 

      “I feel like people are becoming more accustomed to this kind of news,” he said, noting there have been 20 mass shootings in the two years he’s lived in the United States. 

      After the latest shooting — in which a gunman fired at a country music concert from his Las Vegas hotel room — pundits even turned to hotel security as a possible culprit. Instead of, you know, sane gun laws. 

      “We seem to do everything to avoid talking about guns,” Noah said. 

      The talk show host pointed out that Congress was still considering the Sportsman’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, which would make it easier to buy silencers and armor-piercing bullets.

      “I can only say I’m sorry,” Noah told the people of Las Vegas, “sorry that we live in a world where people would put a gun before your lives.”

      Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/10/02/trevor-noah-daily-show-las-vegas-shooting/

      These Suburbanites May Have No Fracking Choice

      When Bill Young peers out the window of his $700,000 home in Broomfield, Colo., he drinks in a panoramic view of the Rocky Mountains. Starting next year, he may also glimpse one of the 99 drilling rigs that Extraction Oil & Gas Inc. wants to use to get at the oil beneath his home.

      There’s little that Young and his neighbors can do about the horizontal drilling. Residents of the Wildgrass neighborhood own their patches of paradise, but they don’t control what’s under them. An obscure Colorado law allows whole neighborhoods to be forced into leasing the minerals beneath their properties as long as one person in the area consents. The practice, called forced pooling, has been instrumental in developing oil and gas resources in Denver’s rapidly growing suburbs. It’s law in other states, too, but Colorado’s is the most favorable to drilling.

      Now fracking is coming to an upscale suburb, and the prospect of the Wildgrass homeowners being made by state law to do something they don’t want to do has turned many of them into lawyered-up resisters. “It floors me that a private entity could take my property,” says Young, an information security director.

      Many states require 51 percent of owners in a drilling area to consent before the others have to join. Pennsylvania doesn’t allow forced pooling at all in the Marcellus, one of the most prolific shale gas regions in the country. Texas, the center of the nation’s oil production, has strict limits on the practice. Despite its founding cowboy ethos of rugged individualism, Colorado has one of the lowest thresholds. “There’s a tension in oil and gas law between allowing private property owners to develop their mineral estates on their own and the state’s desire to ensure that ultimate recovery of oil and gas is maximized,” says Bret Wells, a law professor at the University of Houston.

      The rise of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing over the past decade has ushered in a modest oil boom on Colorado’s Front Range by enabling companies to wring crude more cheaply from the stubborn shale that runs beneath Denver’s northern suburbs. From 2010 to 2015, Colorado’s crude output almost quadrupled. This year the state is pumping more than 300,000 barrels a day, most of it from the Wattenberg oil field beneath Wildgrass and beyond.

      Colorado’s population is booming, too. As Denver’s suburbs bloom northward into oil and gas territory—Wildgrass is about 20 miles north of Denver, not far from Boulder—housing developments are erupting where once there were only drilling rigs and farmland. And because horizontal drilling can reach as far as 2 miles in all directions from a well, companies need underground access to more land to maximize production from each site. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission issues hundreds of pooling orders every year. “It’s an entirely new issue,” says David Neslin, former director of the commission, now an attorney at Davis Graham & Stubbs in Denver. “That’s creating some understandable friction with local governments and local communities.”

      Denver-based Extraction Oil & Gas is at the epicenter of that friction. Although it has rural holdings, a substantial amount of its reserves are located in populated areas. So the company, like others in the region, has put a lot of energy—and cash—into making its operations more palatable to suburbanites who fear the prospect of a drilling rig sprouting up within sight of their kiddie pools. Extraction almost exclusively uses electric drills, which are quieter than diesel-powered, and a new generation of hydraulic fracturing equipment that cuts noise. “It’s incumbent upon us to learn to live with these communities,” says Extraction spokesman Brian Cain. “Where we can go the extra mile to minimize impacts, we wish to do so.”

      The company’s latest project involves drilling 99 horizontal wells in Broomfield. That means leasing mineral rights from Wildgrass residents. Letters went out to some of them last year offering a 15 percent royalty and a $500 signing bonus. Some signed, others demurred, and still others organized a campaign aimed at blocking the project. Extraction hasn’t applied for a forced pooling order, but Young and his neighbors have come to believe it’s inevitable.

      The suburb’s agitation prompted the city to create a special task force to evaluate Extraction’s proposal. The company responded by taking members of the task force on a tour of oil and gas country. It wanted to show how its operations are less disruptive than traditional drill sites.

      Ultimately, the company agreed to more stringent environmental standards than the state requires. It will move some wells 1,300 feet from neighborhoods, almost three times farther than the law mandates. It will reduce the number of wells per site, monitor air emissions as well as water and soil quality, and build pipelines to transport oil immediately off-site instead of storing it in the city. “I can see Broomfield turning out to be a new model for how large-scale development gets done,” says Matt Lepore, director of the state commission, which will rule on Extraction’s applications for siting the wells this month.

      Such concessions have smoothed the path for development in many communities. But for some Wildgrass residents, any leasing is unacceptable. They say they fear accidents, such as the April pipeline explosion that killed two people and destroyed a home in Firestone, 20 miles away. Some simply find the terms of the initial lease offer laughable.

      “The money is so negligible,” says Elizabeth Lario, a health coach who’s lived in Wildgrass since 2005. And then there are property values: Homes in Wildgrass range from $500,000 to more than $1 million. “The royalties won’t offset the drop in property value,” says Stephen Uhlhorn, an engineer who’s lived in Wildgrass for four years. Oil development “is now hitting affluent neighborhoods where people have assets and livelihoods that exceed the value of any royalty they’re offered.”

      The bedrock of Colorado’s oil and gas policy is a 1951 law that says responsible fossil fuel development is in the public interest. The state, the law says, must protect the public from “waste”—industry parlance for oil that’s left in the ground. While Colorado has some of the strictest environmental regulations of any oil-producing state, it gives companies latitude in choosing where to drill. The Colorado Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the state’s interest in developing mineral resources preempts any local law that would curb drilling.

      Efforts to change the statute have fizzled. State Representative Mike Foote, a Democrat whose district is adjacent to Broomfield’s, introduced a bill earlier this year to raise the pooling threshold to 51 percent. It passed the House by a slim margin but died in a Senate committee in a party-line vote, with Republicans opposed. “The oil and gas industry pretty much controls the capital, particularly in the Senate,” Foote says. “Operators can do whatever they want.” Lepore, the head of the state oil commission, concedes the pooling threshold is low compared with other states. “I have no philosophical objection to a 51 percent requirement,” he says. “There are intelligent changes that could be made to the forced pooling law.”

      Young, the Wildgrass resident, received a lease offer last year. Since then he’s been working with a lawyer to consider his options, and so far he doesn’t like them. “You couldn’t put a Walmart where they’re putting these wells—no one would approve that zoning,” he says. “But for some reason, the industry is completely exempt from everything.”

        BOTTOM LINE – In Colorado, whole neighborhoods may have to lease the minerals under their land if just one homeowner agrees.

        Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-03/these-suburbanites-may-have-no-fracking-choice