25 Parenting Hacks Every New Mom Or Dad Should Definitely Know

Just under 4 million babies are born in the U.S. each year. That means that some 8 million parents welcome a new child into the world.

And as those parents know, raising a kid is not an easy job. There are sleepless nights, stressful days, diaper changes, crying…the list goes on. As your little ones grow up, new challenges arise. That’s why it’s so important to have an edge.

Take it from moms and dads who have been parents many times over — this insider knowledge is sure to make things easier on just about any new mother or father.

1. Prevent your kid’s toys from floating away in the tub with an old laundry basket.

2. Make a DIY sparkler hand protector out of a Solo cup.

3. Change the bottle game by enabling your tot to feed themselves.

4. Use a rubber band to teach your kids how to hold a pencil and write properly.

5. Use disposable coffee cup tops to prevent messy popsicle drips.

6. If your kids are afraid of monsters, spray their room with “Monster Spray.”

7. Turn cleanup time into a fun game.

8. Freeze Capri Sun overnight to make a delicious slushy.

9. Give your kid a sweet playpen by inflating a pool indoors.

10. Put padlocks on plugs so there’s no risk of your little tykes playing with them.

11. Once your baby learns to crawl, put them in this adorable onesie — they’ll mop while they explore.

12. Use a shoe organizer as a storage spot in your car.

13. All you need is a strong sheet and a table to make a baby-friendly indoor hammock.

14. An old camera bag can work as a new diaper bag.

15. Use an old phone to make a monitor for your baby’s crib.

16. Give your baby some shade and shield them from nasty bug bites by putting a crib sheet over their outdoor playpen.

17. Disposable sauce containers are a great place to store pacifiers.

18. Keep kids from making a mess while they eat in the car by bringing along shower totes.

19. Use an old lotion bottle to make an easy water balloon pump.

20. Fill a glove with beans to make it seem like you are holding your little one while they sleep.

21. Make an awesome faucet extender with an old shampoo or body wash bottle.

22. A large cardboard box can turn any stairway into a slide.

23. This little hat will prevent tears while you bathe your baby.

24. Let your kids know exactly how much toilet paper they should be using.

25. And finally, for when you’ve got teens…use this trick to alert you if they try to sneak in after curfew.

(via WooHome)

Hopefully, these hacks will make your transition into parenthood a bit smoother. But above all, just enjoy the ride!

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/parenting-hacks/

10+ People Who Follow The Rules So Literally That They Beat The System

In a world where we’re constantly being told what to do, it’s often tempting to rebel against the system and stop doing as we’re instructed. But as you can see from this hilarious list compiled by Bored Panda, there’s another, more subtle way to fight back against the establishment. How? By following the rules as literally as possible! Don’t know how? Then scroll on for some covert anti-establishment inspiration. Don’t forget to vote for the funniest!

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/funny-malicious-compliance-not-break-rules-taken-literally/

I Was Diagnosed With Schizophrenia At The Age Of 17, So I Started Drawing My Hallucinations To Cope With It

I have always been an ‘artist’, I just didn’t realize what that meant until my mental illness appeared. I despise the term ‘mentally ill’; it implies that who I am as a person is fundamentally corrupted and broken.

Unfortunately, as soon as I tell people what I struggle with, I feel like that’s all they see me as. They see the stigma perpetuated by the media, and the inaccurate stereotypes portrayed in Hollywood. That is precisely why I am so open about what I live with.

My name is Kate and I’m an 18-year-old artist with schizophrenia

I’ve been ‘diagnosed’ with multiple labels over the years. At the age of 17 I finally was diagnosed with schizophrenia after my parents realized my mental health was getting worse

I draw a lot of my hallucinations as drawing helps me deal with it

In my hallucinations I hear voices, sound effects, random noises, and I often see bugs, faces, and disembodied eyes

Inanimate objects will look like a Van Gogh painting: warped and swirly.

I hallucinate bugs quite often, and my depression makes me feel worthless like a fly. These bug illustrations represent my illness

This is a quote by an artist named Jory, and it was something that spoke to me.

This one crawls out of the vent in my ceiling and makes clicking noises, or I’ll see it crawl out from underneath things

This is a self-portrait. I looked in the mirror and my eyes did this thing. I painted it

I have a lot of intense emotions, and hear voices telling me to light things on fire

Here is an example of the disembodied eyes I see. They surface in a mounds or masses on my walls or floors. They warp and move.

This is Birdie, she sings to me

My self esteem is at its lowest, and I feel insignificant. I always wish I could shapeshift into a “prettier” person

What eyes sometimes look like, with more of those odd colors and circles

Organization, communication, paranoia, depression, anxiety, and managing my emotions are the biggest struggles for me

What I live with isn’t easy and it can be debilitating, but I’m not living out on the streets screaming about alien abductions. That’s not to say there aren’t people out there who are that severe – there are. However, there are also people like me who just stay at home most of the time cooped up in their room. It is a spectrum of symptoms with varying severity levels. Each person’s experience is unique.

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/18-year-old-schizophrenic-artist-drawing-hallucinations/

Here are 5 things you may regret at the end of your life, from a nurse who works with the dying.

You might think watching people die would depress a person. It actually taught her how to live.

Bronnie Ware spent years as a palliative care nurse, helping patients be as comfortable as possible in the time just before their deaths. She compiled their stories and the most repeated regrets she heard them utter in their final days.

Do you ever imagine what the final years and months and days of your life will be like?

Shared originally on her blog, ”
Inspiration and Chai,” here are the top five regrets, with quotes from her blog as she recorded them.

Regret #1: I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

Look at yourself in the mirror. Are you living your best life right now? What’s stopping you?

Dreaming of living a different life than the one you have now? Image by
Jorge Royan.

“This was the most common regret of all. When people realise that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #2: I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

This one speaks for itself.

That desk looks like instant stress before the workday has even started. Image by
Alan Cleaver/Flickr.

Regret #3: I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

What if getting the words out is essential to your growth as a human?

Feelings aren’t just useless emotions. Expressing them can be the first step to self-actuating and becoming a newer version of yourself. Image by
Garry Knight/Flickr.

“Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #4: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

Is there someone you treasure who you haven’t spoken with in much too long?

They’re so important to us and somehow we think that “life” getting in the way is a good enough reason to go without seeing them. Image by
Jason Hutchens.

“Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.” Bronnie Ware

Regret #5: I wish that I had let myself be happier.

If you didn’t wake up joyful today, why not? What can you do to change that?

Who was the last person you giggled ridiculously with? Call them. Right now. Image by
Adina Voicu.

“This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.” Bronnie Ware

Were there any regrets on this list that felt familiar to you? Others that you didn’t see listed?

These are five universal wake-up calls we all need to be reminded of.
There’s no shame in tagging all the friends you need to call when you share this.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/here-are-5-things-you-may-regret-at-the-end-of-your-life-from-a-nurse-who-works-with-the-dying?c=tpstream

Trump announces ban on transgender individuals serving in military

President Trump touched off a firestorm Wednesday after tweeting that he wants to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military in any capacity — citing advice from his “generals” and medical costs.

In a series of tweets, he wrote: 

“After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow…Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming..victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.”

The presidents tweets came only a few weeks after Defense Secretary James Mattis said he would give military chiefs another six months to conduct a review to determine if allowing transgender individuals to enlist in the armed services will affect the readiness or lethality of the force. The deadline for that review was Dec. 1, 2017.

This is worse than dont ask dont tell, this is dont serve, dont serve, The National Center for Transgender Equality said in a written statement. This is an appalling attack on our service members; it is about bigotry rather than military readiness, reason or science. It is indefensible and cannot stand.

The Family Research Council praised Trumps action.

I applaud President Trump for keeping his promise to return to military priorities and not continue the social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nations military, FRC President Tony Perkins said in a statement. The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said “we don’t need to be experimenting with the military. Plus there’s no reason to take on that kind of financial burden.”

But Trump himself tweeted during the campaign season that he would “fight” for the LGBTQ community while his opponent “Hillary (Clinton) brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs.”

During his confirmation hearing in January, Mattis was asked whether he believed that allowing LGBT Americans to serve in the military or women in combat would undermine the militarys lethality.

Frankly, senator, Ive never cared much about two consenting adults and who they go to bed with, Mattis testified.

Abbie Goldberg, professor of psychology at Clark University who has researched and written about the LGBTQ community, told Fox News no one wins under Trumps plan.  

Some people will not serve, which is a loss to the military and the country, Goldberg said. Others will serve, but not openly, and thus they will be at risk for discharge or verbal, physical and sexual abuse.

The Pentagon has refused to release any data on the number of transgender troops currently serving. A RAND study found that there are between 2,500 and 7,000 transgender service members in the active-duty military, and another 1,500 to 4,000 in the reserves.

The study also found that allowing transgender people to serve in the military would have a “minimal impact” on the health care costs.

The Pentagon announced it would continue to work closely with the White House to address the new guidance provided by the commander in chief on transgender individuals serving in the military.

We will provide revised guidance to the Department in the near future, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said in statement.

Trumps announcement comes as lawmakers on Capitol Hill debate the current practice of requiring the Pentagon to pay for medical treatment for gender transition.

Missouri Republican Rep. Vicky Hartzler offered an amendment that would prohibit the Pentagon from spending money on transition surgeries or hormone therapy. Her amendment was narrowly defeated earlier this month. 

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trumps decision a cruel and arbitrary decision designed to humiliate transgender Americans.

On this very day in 1948, President Harry Truman signed the executive order desegregating the U.S. military. Sixty-nine years later, President Trump has chosen this day to unleash a vile and hateful agenda that will blindside thousands of patriotic Americans already serving with honor and bravery, she said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,slammed the sudden announcement and said anyone who is fit to serve in the military should be allowed to do so. 

The presidents tweet this morning regarding transgender Americans in the military is yet another example of why major policy announcements should not be made via Twitter, McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said.

Transgender service members have been able to serve openly in the military since last year, when former Defense Secretary Ash Carter ended the ban. Since Oct. 1, transgender troops have been able to receive medical care and start formally changing their gender identifications in the Pentagon’s personnel system.

But Carter also gave the services until July 1 to develop policies to allow people already identifying as transgender to newly join the military, if they meet physical, medical and other standards, and have been stable in their identified genders for 18 months. 

“I continue to maintain that what matters in choosing those who serve is that they are best qualified,” Carter said in a statement. “To choose service members on other grounds than military qualifications is social policy and has no place in our military. There are already transgender individuals who are serving capably and honorably. This action would also send the wrong signal to a younger generation thinking about military service. 

Key concerns include whether currently enlisted troops have had medical or other issues that cause delays or problems with their ability to deploy or meet physical or other standards for their jobs. Military leaders also wanted to review how transgender troops are treated, if they’re discriminated against or if they have had disciplinary problems, the officials said. They were not authorized to discuss internal deliberations publicly, so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Christopher Carbone and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/26/trump-announces-ban-on-transgender-individuals-serving-in-military.html

8 Original Boy Scout Badges Modern Adults Couldn’t Earn

I was a Boy Scout, and though I could never muster the energy to get involved in my community enough to make Eagle rank, I definitely remember the Merit Badges. The best scouts had a sash full of ’em. The more you had, the more likely your Dad was the Scoutmaster. It was a cool idea, but some of them were too easy to get. For example, the one for Engineering asks you to list ten electrical appliances in your house. It’s not much of a challenge when one of the requirements is literally “write down the contents of your kitchen.”

In 1911, though, things were a little different. I accidentally stumbled upon the original Boy Scout handbook, and the requirements for some of the William Taft-era merit badges vary from mundane insanity to the regular kind of insanity. We’ve already discussed how badass the Scouts used to be, but after reading this list, I understand that you had to be a major badass to simply survive getting your merit badges. Badges like..

8

Agriculture – Grow A Fucking Acre Of Corn

A common staple among 1911 badges is bullshit requirements, asking you to “be able” to do something without actually proving you can do it. The first Merit Badge for Agriculture is a good example:

3. Be able to identify and describe common weeds of the community and tell how best to eliminate them.

4. Be able to identify the common insects and tell how best to handle them.

5. Have a practical knowledge of plowing, cultivating, drilling, hedging, and draining.

6. Have a working knowledge of farm machinery, haymaking, reaping, loading, and stacking.

It asks Scouts to know some basics about crop husbandry, and that’s about it. There’s not even any quantitative guides given. I’m sure I could name a handful of insects and weeds and the ways to handle them (mosquitoes, ants, daffodils; BURN THEM ALL!). I don’t know dick about haymaking and reaping, which, at first glance, sound less like farming terms and more like the Mass Effect: Andromeda quests that I always ignore.

Oops, I skipped steps 1 and 2. Let’s me just scroll up and see-

1. State different tests with grains.

2. Grow at least an acre of corn which produces 25 per cent. better than the general average.

Holy shit. The first Boy Scouts had to grow a fucking acre of corn to get this badge? I’m not even a hundred percent sure how much that is, but unless you already own a working farm, that’s like … impossible right? I just looked it up. An acre is 16 tennis courts. 16 tennis courts of corn. And if your Dad was a farmer, everyone would know you just cheated. I mean, how would you grow any cornfield bigger than a garden without that infrastructure already in place? “At least an acre.” That’s the bare minimum, boys. Sorry about any other activities that you wanted to take part in this year.

I didn’t even mention that apparently this child would have to produce a yield 25 percent better than the general average. So what if little Jimmy produces corn at 24 percent better than the general average? Guess what, you just wasted 60 to 100 days planting and harvesting 40 bushels of corn. Fuck you, Jimmy. No merit badge for you. Try again next crop.

7

Angling – Catch 10 Fish With Homemade Rods

Now, I have some country in me. I’ve been to Maine. I’ve fished before. But my fishing rods had cartoon sharks on them. I have no idea how to do any of this.

To obtain a merit badge for Angling a scout must

1. Catch and name ten different species of fish: salmon or trout to be taken with flies; bass, pickerel, or pike to be caught with rod or reel, muskallonge to be caught by trolling.

2. Make a bait rod of three joints, straight and sound, 14 oz. or less in weight, 10 feet or less in length, to stand a strain of 1-1/2 lbs. at the tip, 13 lbs. at the grip.

3. Make a jointed fly-rod 8-10 feet long, 4-8 ozs. in weight, capable of casting a fly sixty feet.

Look, at it’s most basic a fishing rod is just a spooled line attached to a stick, but it seems like you need some pretty specific materials to make rods to these specifications. At least when we had to build Pinewood Derby cars, the Boy Scouts conveniently had building kits (rectangular blocks of wood and some plastic wheels) ready-to-buy. Can’t give these kids a stack of prepared wood to work from, or, well, anything, for that matter?

Oh, and you need to go catch ten different fish, and only in certain ways. God help you if you catch a trout with a reel, or a muskallonge without posting Internet comments.

4. Name and describe twenty-five different species of fish found in North American waters and give a complete list of the fishes ascertained by himself to inhabit a given body of water.

Next time you are near a body of water, please peer down into the depths and give me a complete list of every fish hiding in there. Don’t cheat, or we’ll knock you back down to Cub level.

6

Archery – Recreate The “Blot Out The Sun” Scene From 300

Archery has always been a staple of Boy Scout camps and the most boring portions of the Olympics. Today, there is a surprising amount of technology involved, much more than there was in 1911. So it’s puzzling that one of the steps to get this badge back then (after making your own bow, of course!) was to practically recreate that scene from 300 where the Persians blot out the sun with their arrows.

To obtain a merit badge for Archery a scout must

1. Make a bow and arrow which will shoot a distance of one hundred feet with fair precision.

2. Make a total score of 350 with 60 shots in one or {25} two meets, using standard four-foot target at forty yards or three-foot target at thirty yards.

3. Make a total score of 300 with 72 arrows, using standard target at a distance of fifty yards.

4. Shoot so far and fast as to have six arrows in the air at once.

Here’s Lars Andersen, a master archer from Denmark claiming to break the world record for having the most arrows in the air at once before one comes down. He gets 11 up there before the first one hits the grass, in about seven seconds. That’s with a modern bow and arrow from what I assume is at least a mid-grade bow and arrow store. The Boy Scout Manual wants these kids to get to half of the world record from 100 years in the future with a goddamn homemade bow. The first time traveler will be a Boy Scout from the early 1900s, desperate to meet the ludicrous standards of a mad book that is trying to kill him.

5

Architecture – Design A House To The Standards Of A Contractor

Scouting requires a lot of hands-on training. You’ll learn how to tie knots, whittle sticks, and … design a two-story house, apparently.

To obtain a merit badge for Architecture a scout must

1. Present a satisfactory free-hand drawing.

2. Write an essay on the history of Architecture and describe the five orders.

3. Submit an original design for a two-story house and tell what material is necessary for its construction, giving detailed specifications.

1911 wasn’t exactly devoid of two-story houses, so good luck creating an original design that isn’t some kind of Frank Lloyd Wright monstrosity. What kinda house would an eleven-year-old boy build anyway? The staircases would be made out of roller coasters. It wouldn’t be “right.” But don’t forget to detail every single material that you plan on using, even if it’s fucking Gingerbread.

While you have all those building materials handy, you can probably grab Pioneering while you’re at it, which only requires you to construct a whatever-the-fuck three-person shack next to your two story house and then build a modern bridge between ’em.

4. Build a modern bridge or derrick.

5. Make a camp kitchen.

6. Build a shack of one kind or another suitable for three occupants.

Or a derrick if that’s too hard. Do you guys know what a derrick is? It’s this thing:

Egeswender/Wiki Commons

At this point, I’m pretty sure the Eiffel Tower was knocked out by a boy scout over the weekened, so he could get started on his “discover perpetual motion” badge.

4

Civics – Harder Than The U.S. Citizenship Test

When it comes to local politics, the most advanced information you have to know for your modern Citizenship badges is who your Congressmen are. And depending on how much Fox News your Dad watches, you probably already know their nicknames. Back in the day though? You better be able to rattle off every elected official that represents you and draw a map to all their offices, probably so you could find them and apologize for your sudden, rampant corn planting and for decimating the local fish population.

6. Know how the governor, lieutenant-governor, senators, representatives, or assemblymen of his state are elected, and their terms of office.

7. Know whether the judges of the principal courts in his state are appointed or elected, and the length of their terms.

8. Know how the principal officers in his town or city are elected and for what terms.

9. Know the duties of the various city departments, such as fire, police, board of health, etc.

10. Draw a map of the town or city in which he lives, giving location of the principal public buildings and points of special interest.

I could probably stumble through step 6 with some hints, but then you’ve lost me. If I’ve ever voted for a judge in my life, it was by accident. I’m pretty sure my town is run by a board of selectmen, but I have no idea what that even means and wouldn’t recognize them if I hit one with my car. Unless you are insanely politically active (you know the ones by their Facebook feeds) there is simply no way the average American adult would know this stuff. The only reason I know where the town hall is is because of my yearly dog license fee.

To obtain a merit badge for Civics a scout must

1. State the principal citizenship requirements of an elector in his state.

2. Know the principal features of the naturalization laws of the United States.

3. Know how President, Vice-President, senators, and congressmen of the United States are elected and their terms of office.

4. Know the number of judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, how appointed, and their term of office.

5. Know the various administrative departments of government, as represented in the President’s Cabinet.

Even the top-level info is pretty tricky. Who are the electors? Are they elected or chosen? (Am … am I an elector??). Don’t get me wrong, all of this stuff is actually really important to know, and the fact that little boys were expected to know this 100 years ago explains a lot about our current predicament. But it’s hard to condemn our citizens’ ignorance when I’m not convinced our own President knows the various administrative departments of government.

3

First Aid – Treat Actual Horrific Injuries

This can’t be too bad. You make a sling, and you go home, right …

2. Carry a person down a ladder.

Hold on. This doesn’t say “demonstrate” or “explain how to.” You actually have to do it. A preteen boy has to carry a person (things that typically weigh as much as an average person) down a freakin’ ladder? The Hell does that even have to do with First Aid? I feel like just this is enough to warrant its own “Break Your Own Spine” merit badge.

3. Bandage head and ankle.

4. Demonstrate treatment of wound of the neck with severe arterial hemorrhage.

5. Treat mangling injury of the leg without severe hemorrhage.

6. Demonstrate treatment for rupture of varicose veins of the leg with severe hemorrhage.

What the … are they are all like this? Unless they add “10. Call 911, before passing out at the sight of blood” right now, I am not going to be able to check off a single one of these.

2

Ornithology – Find Every Goddamn Bird In Your Neighborhood

It’s birdwatching. How fucking hard could that be?

To obtain a merit badge for Ornithology a scout must

1. Have a list of one hundred different kinds of birds personally observed on exploration in the field.

2. Have identified beyond question, by appearance or by note, forty-five different kinds of birds in one day.

Oh OK. You just have to sit around waiting for every species of bird in your neighborhood to come strolling on by like it’s Pokemon Snap. There aren’t 100 different birds at the zoo, let alone in my damn backyard. The badges for Forestry, Mining, and Stalking require an equally ridiculous observation of trees, minerals, and shrubs, respectively. You know, just in case the meandering obsession of Birdwatching wasn’t enough and you’re in the market for more bullshit counting.

And don’t even think about mis-characterizing a white-throated sparrow as a tufted titmouse. This shit needs to be beyond question, folks. Forty-five birds in one day. 100 percent accuracy. The rest of this list comes off like it’s a script that eventually reveals the Scoutmaster to be the bad guy .

3. Have made a good clear photograph of some wild bird, the bird image to be over one half inch in length on the negative.

“What?! You found 45 birds? FINE! Try taking a perfect picture of one!”

4. Have secured at least two tenants in bird boxes-

“Damn! Oh ya? Good luck capturing … TWO birds in boxes! AHAHA!”

4. Have secured at least two tenants in bird boxes erected by himself.

“-AND BUILD THE BOXES YOURSELF!”

5. Have daily notes on the nesting of a pair of wild birds from the time the first egg is laid until the young have left the nest.

“Nooo! Bet you can’t catch some bird parents in the act of giving birth and then stalk them every day until all the kids have moved out of the house!”

6. Have attracted at least three kinds of birds, exclusive of the English sparrow, to a “lunch counter” which he has supplied.

“That’s … that’s impossible … Here … take the damn badge. If … you convince three of them to have lunch with you. And NO SPARROWS OR IT’S BACK TO START!”

1

Pathfinding – Become a Walking GPS

A badge like Pathfinding is a great example of something that is both essential to what Scouting is all about and has unfortunately been made completely obsolete by today’s technology. It has since been merged into the more couch-friendly Exploration badge, but the original version asked Scouts to become a walking GPS.

To obtain a merit badge for Pathfinding a scout must

1. Know every lane, by-path, and short cut for a distance of at least two miles in every direction around the local scouts’ headquarters in the country.

2. Have a general knowledge of the district within a five mile radius of his local headquarters, so as to be able to guide people at any time, by day or night.

3. Know the general direction and population of the five principal neighboring towns and be able to give strangers correct directions how to reach them.

I’d be impressed if someone knew all of the shortcuts in Mario Kart. I’d be really impressed if someone knew the location of every Target within five miles. And I’d be fucking floored if I mused aloud in my driveway where the nearest damn Wendy’s was while fumbling with my phone, and a little boy in a uniform came out of the bushes, gave me the exact street directions complete with shortcuts, and walked away into the shadows.

In addition, this Merit Badge requires Scouts to somehow count the number of cattle and horses at all the nearby farms, know the history of every public building in his town, and then put all of the above on a map. So yeah, walking GPS, library, and local farm trespasser.

Well, there you have it. The eight hardest OG Merit Badges. I’d bet my WEBELOS neckerchief that no modern Boy Scout could get any of these. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go try and finish up my Personal Health badge, the only way God intended:

4. Describe the effect of alcohol and tobacco on the growing boy.

Chris has a brand new party game that you can download for free right here. Look for it on Facebook, too!

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/8-badges-that-prove-original-boy-scouts-were-badasses/

Charlottesville Protests: Car Plows Into Crowd Of Anti-Racist Protestors See The Disturbing Video

UPDATE, 5:04 p.m. ET:

A state government spokesperson says the driver of the car is in custody.

Meanwhile, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer says there is one casualty from the attack. Health officials have also confirmed one death, with at least 20 more injuries as of right now.


This is absolutely horrifying, and we must say: please be aware that the video contained within this post is graphic, disturbing, violent content.

The situation in Charlottesville, Virginia is rapidly deteriorating, and earlier this afternoon a car plowed into a group of reportedly anti-racist protesters in what looks like an intentional act of terrorism.

Here’s the video, as posted on Twitter by someone on scene (below):

‘Stay home’ is right.

Absolutely horrific and tragic.

Also, Donald Trump has finally spoken out about the protests — thanks for finally checking in (way late) from vacation, Donald (below):

Yeah, Trump doesn’t give a shit. Fuck him.

Our prayers are with those struck by the car.

[Image via Twitter.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-08-12-charlottesville-protests-car-plows-anti-racist-protesters-video-white-nationalists-marching-virginia/?from=topstory_perezhilton

Trump Hands McConnell a Daunting To-Do List to Regain His Favor

President Donald Trump laid out a path for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to get back in his good graces: replace Obamacare, overhaul the U.S. tax code and find a way to pay for big infrastructure improvements.

Yet clearing Trump’s agenda anytime soon is close to impossible in the narrowly controlled Republican Senate that already has a packed agenda of must-pass legislation.

Trump’s direction for McConnell came after he assailed the Senate Republican leader for two days on Twitter over the Senate’s failure to replace the Affordable Care Act. When asked by a reporter whether McConnell should step down, Trump said Thursday he would withhold judgment.

“If he doesn’t get repeal and replace done,” along with taxes and infrastructure, Trump said, “then you can ask me that question.”

Trump amplified his criticism Friday, saying McConnell “should have had health care approved” and that the Republican leader should have been more aggressive corralling votes from GOP senators: “Take away a committee chairmanship or do whatever you have to do.”

Earlier Friday, Trump retweeted a Fox News story depicting his comments as a “warning shot” to the Republican leader. In another post, Trump highlighted a second Fox story saying that Republican senators were learning “the hard way about the fallout from turning on Trump.”

Trump said during the presidential campaign that “I alone can fix it,” referring to the problems that he said plagued the U.S. But when his agenda goes adrift — as it did with the GOP’s push to undo President Barack Obama’s signature health care law last month — he is quick to fault others.

"I’m very disappointed in Mitch," the president told reporters at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is on a working vacation. "Repeal and replace of Obamacare should’ve taken place. And it should’ve been on my desk virtually the first week I was here."

Scarce Time

The clock is ticking rapidly to the end of legislative work for 2017, and other needs — like raising the U.S. debt limit — are competing for scarce time. If anything, Trump may be charting a course for a worsening relationship with the Kentucky lawmaker who has led the GOP in the Senate for nearly a decade.

McConnell has sought to serve as a close ally to political newcomer Trump since Inauguration Day, forging a closer relationship with the president than that of House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, who was more critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign. McConnell even successfully urged Trump to pick his wife, Elaine Chao, to serve as Transportation secretary.

Any goodwill seems to have evaporated. McConnell began this week’s discord on Monday in Kentucky by saying the president had “excessive expectations” that the Senate could pass a stripped-down version of a GOP Obamacare repeal last month. One reason some people believe Congress hasn’t done much yet, McConnell said, “is because, in part, the president and others have set these early timelines about — things need to be done by a certain point.”

“Our new president, of course, has not been in this line of work before, and I think he had excessive expectations about how quickly things happen in the democratic process,” said McConnell.

Trump shot back.

“Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!” Trump tweeted on Thursday. The president also tweeted: “Mitch, get back to work and put Repeal & Replace, Tax Reform & Cuts and a great Infrastructure Bill on my desk for signing. You can do it!”

Slow Process

The debate on those issues is likely to move slowly and may not lead to the outcome Trump wants.

Following last month’s 49-51 defeat of a bare-bones Obamacare repeal measure, many Republicans have said the next step is likely a bipartisan plan centered on stabilizing the health-care law’s insurance exchanges. Democrats have said they favor extending cost-sharing subsidies for low-income people purchasing individual policies on the exchanges to bolster participation from insurers who have left some regional markets.

Republican Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate health panel, has announced plans to begin hearings in September that likely would lead to such a measure. He’s working with the panel’s top Democrat, Senator Patty Murray of Washington.

On infrastructure, Trump was advised by McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York in January that his first legislative priority should be construction of roads, bridges and other projects. Trump didn’t take that advice, and there has been little activity in Congress to forge consensus on the issue.

Trump held a week of events in June to promote his own plan to use $200 billion in federal funds to leverage infrastructure investment. Initial efforts to gain support for the initiative were overshadowed by drama surrounding the president’s dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.

The administration hasn’t released many specifics about how it would provide the $200 billion over 10 years, which is intended to leverage at least $800 billion in spending by states, localities and the private sector. Schumer has made clear Democrats want an different approach.

Tax Push

On taxes, McConnell said weeks ago that an overhaul is the top priority for September, which would allow both chambers to complete work in mid-December, when lawmakers leave Washington.

Changing the tax law — a politically fraught process that will generate opposition from a range of special interests — will compete for Senate floor time against plans for a must-pass increase in the federal debt ceiling as well as spending bills to finance federal agencies for the 2018 fiscal year starting Oct. 1.

The Senate Finance Committee will consider a tax bill as early as next month, an effort that would allow more input from Democrats than the Obamacare effort, where McConnell sought to approve a bill with only Republican votes.

Democrats are preparing for battle. Early this month, 45 of the Senate’s 48 Democratic caucus members signed a letter saying they won’t support a tax-code rewrite if it raises taxes on the middle class, gives tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans, or increases the federal deficit.

McConnell seeks to use a filibuster-busting mechanism that could allow a tax bill to pass with just 51 votes. He tried that same approach in the unsuccessful effort to kill Obamacare.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-11/mcconnell-handed-daunting-to-do-list-to-win-back-trump-s-favor

    Cladding to be stripped from Queen Elizabeth University Hospital – BBC News

    Cladding similar to that used in the fire-hit Grenfell Tower in London is to be removed from Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital building.

    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said “forensic checks” had identified cladding similar to, but not the same as, that used in the London tower.

    The board stressed that the hospital was designed to be “one of the most fire safe buildings in the country”.

    But they said the cladding would be removed as a “precautionary measure”.

    Cladding made from an aluminium composite material is thought to have contributed to the rapid spread of the fire which engulfed Grenfell Tower in June.

    Scottish local authorities and other organisations have been undertaking checks ever since, with some schools and other buildings found to have used it.

    NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said that checks by external technical advisors had identified cladding on the hospital, which opened in April 2015, “of a type similar to, but not the same as, Grenfell”.

    The board said Health Facilities Scotland and their National Fire Advisor had given “renewed assurances” that the hospital was “an extremely safe building”, but said panels would be removed “as a purely precautionary measure”.

    They said this move would “make sure the public, our patients and our staff have full confidence in the safety of the hospital”.

    ‘Safety paramount’

    Work on removing the panels, which are present in three external sections of the building, will take place “at the earliest possible opportunity”.

    The board said hospital management teams are working on plans to minimise any impact on patient care.

    The Scottish government’s working group on building and fire safety, which was set up in the wake of the Grenfell fire, held its fourth meeting earlier on Thursday.

    Members – which include Communities Secretary Angela Constance and housing minister Kevin Stewart – discussed the Glasgow hospital cladding, but were reassured by fire service representatives that safety audits of the building were satisfactory.

    Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Patient safety is paramount and that is why further forensic checks are currently taking place across the whole NHS estate in Scotland.

    “Following the identification of a type of aluminium composite material on the QEUH of a similar type to, but not the same as Grenfell, I am reassured that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have decided that the material should be removed as a precautionary measure.”

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-40893545

    Monsanto Was Its Own Ghostwriter for Some Safety Reviews

    Monsanto Co. started an agricultural revolution with its “Roundup Ready” seeds, genetically modified to resist the effects of its blockbuster herbicide called Roundup. That ability to kill weeds while leaving desirable crops intact helped the company turn Roundup’s active ingredient, the chemical glyphosate, into one of the world’s most-used crop chemicals. When that heavy use raised health concerns, Monsanto noted that the herbicide’s safety had repeatedly been vetted by outsiders. But now there’s new evidence that Monsanto’s claims of rigorous scientific review are suspect.

    Dozens of internal Monsanto emails, released on Aug. 1 by plaintiffs’ lawyers who are suing the company, reveal how Monsanto worked with an outside consulting firm to induce the scientific journal to publish a purported “independent” review of Roundup’s health effects that appears to be anything but. The review, published along with four subpapers in a September 2016 special supplement, was aimed at rebutting the 2015 assessment by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. That finding by the cancer-research arm of the World Health Organization led California last month to list glyphosate as a known human carcinogen. It has also spurred more than 1,000 lawsuits in state and federal courts by plaintiffs who claim they contracted non-Hodgkin lymphoma from Roundup exposure.

    Monsanto disclosed that it paid Intertek Group Plc’s consulting unit to develop the review supplement, entitled “An Independent Review of the Carcinogenic Potential of Glyphosate.” But that was the extent of Monsanto’s involvement, the main article said. “The Expert Panelists were engaged by, and acted as consultants to, Intertek, and were not directly contacted by the Monsanto Company,” according to the review’s Declaration of Interest statement. “Neither any Monsanto company employees nor any attorneys reviewed any of the Expert Panel’s manuscripts prior to submission to the journal.”

    Monsanto’s internal emails tell a different story. The correspondence shows the company’s chief of regulatory science, William Heydens, and other Monsanto scientists were heavily involved in organizing, reviewing, and editing drafts submitted by the outside experts. At one point, Heydens even vetoed explicit requests by some of the panelists to tone down what one of them wrote was the review’s “inflammatory” criticisms of IARC.

    “An extensive revision of the summary article is necessary,” wrote that panelist, John Acquavella, an epidemiologist at Aarhus University in Denmark, in a February 2016 email attached to his suggested edits of the draft. Alarmed, Ashley Roberts, the coordinator of the glyphosate papers for Intertek, forwarded Acquavella’s note and edits to Heydens at Monsanto, with the warning: “Please take a look at the latest from the epi(demiology) group!!!!”

    Heydens reedited Acquavella’s edits, arguing in six different notes in the draft’s margin that statements Acquavella had found inflammatory were not and should not be changed, despite the author’s requests. In the published article, Heydens’s edits prevailed. In an interview, Acquavella says that he was satisfied with the review’s final tone. According to an invoice he sent Monsanto, he billed the company $20,700 for a single month’s work on the review, which took nearly a year to complete.

    Monsanto defends the review’s independence. Monsanto did only “cosmetic editing” of the Intertek papers and nothing “substantive” to alter panelists’ conclusions, says Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president for global strategy. While the “choice of words” in the Declaration of Interest “was not ideal,” he says, “it didn’t change the science.”

    In July 2016, the journal’s editor, Roger McClellan, emailed his final instructions to Roberts at Intertek on what the paper’s Acknowledgment and Declaration of Interest statements should include. “I want them to be as clear and transparent as possible,” he wrote. “At the end of the day I want the most aggressive critics of Monsanto, your organization and each of the authors to read them and say—Damn, they covered all the points we intended to raise.”

    Specifically, McClellan told Roberts to make clear how the panelists were hired—“ie by Intertek,” McClellan wrote. “If you can say without consultation with Monsanto, that would be great. If there was any review of the reports by Monsanto or their legal representatives, that needs to be disclosed.”

    Roberts forwarded McClellan’s emails, along with a more technical question, to Heydens, who responded, “Good grief.” The Declaration of Interest statement was rewritten per McClellan’s instructions, despite being untrue. There was no mention of the company’s participation in the editing.

    Monsanto’s editorial involvement appears “in direct opposition to their disclosure,” says Genna Reed, a science and policy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy. “It does seem pretty suspicious.”

    In response to questions, McClellan wrote in an email on Aug. 7 that he’d been unaware of the Monsanto documents and has forwarded the matter to the journal’s publisher, Taylor & Francis, in Abingdon, England. “These are serious accusations relative to scientific publishing canons and deserve very careful investigation,” he wrote. “I can assure you that Taylor and Francis, as the publisher, and I, as the Scientific Editor of , will carefully investigate the matter and take appropriate action.” A Taylor & Francis spokeswoman says it has begun an investigation.

    The Monsanto documents, more than 70 in all, were obtained through pretrial discovery and posted online by some of the plaintiffs’ lawyers, who claim Monsanto missed a 30-day window to object to their release. Monsanto says it was blindsided by the disclosures and has asked U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco to order the documents pulled from the web and to punish the attorneys for violating confidentiality orders. Says Monsanto’s Partridge: “It’s unfortunate these lawyers are grandstanding at the expense of their clients’ interests.”

    Other emails show that Monsanto’s lead toxicologist, Donna Farmer, was removed as a co-author of a 2011 study on glyphosate’s reproductive effects, but not before she made substantial changes and additions to the paper behind the scenes. The study, published in Taylor & Francis’s , served to counter findings that glyphosate hampers human reproduction and development. Partridge says Farmer’s contributions didn’t warrant authorship credit. While almost all of her revisions made it into the published paper, her name doesn’t even show up in the acknowledgments.

      BOTTOM LINE – Monsanto has long noted that independent scientists have vouched for the safety of its Roundup herbicide. Court data show its employees edited some of those reviews.

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-09/monsanto-was-its-own-ghostwriter-for-some-safety-reviews