I Tried Moon Milk To Fall Asleep When I Was Sick & I Was Out Like A Light

You don’t have to dare me to try anything once when it comes to wellness trends, especially viral recipes and holistic remedies. When people on social media were adding spirulina powder by the scoop to their smoothies, I, too gave the gorgeous blue-green algae a try (and, TBH, I wouldn’t recommend it). I’ve sipped bone broth for my immune system, and I’ve snacked on no-bake protein balls for a healthy energy boost. Most recently, though, it was the pretty moon milk recipe ideas floating through my Instagram feed that piqued my interest, and once I came down with an atrocious cold that left me tossing and turning all night, I figured now was as good a time as any to put the alleged sleep tonic to the test.

If, somehow, your social feed loaded with gorgeous snapshots of this milky potion, allow me to enlighten you on this super healthy, super delicious bedtime sip. It’s basically the upgraded version of the glass of warm milk your mom or grandmother might have served you as a child when you couldn’t sleep at night. Moon milk is an aesthetically pleasing spin on the Ayurveda custom that highlights different adaptogens as its key ingredient.

According to Be Well, adaptogens are herbal ingredients used to “improve the health of your adrenal system.” Different adaptogens cater to a variety of individual needs, from reducing stress to increasing energy levels. They were a hot commodity in the health and wellness community in 2017, and I’d been itching to give them a try all year.

Even though I was definitely hesitant to try any so-called super-charged powders after my epic spirulina fail, once the opportunity presented itself to find out whether or not moon milk was actually a liquid lullaby, the health guru in me couldn’t resist.  

I found a golden moon milk recipe that was as simple as it was gorgeous.

Looking up “moon milk recipe” on any given search engine will generate millions of mugs to choose from. As this was my first time giving the warm beverage a go, I was looking for something easy, but also something that provided that picturesque aesthetic we millennials love (because if it couldn’t make me dozy, at least it would be pretty to look at, right?).  

I came across Alaina Sullivan’s Moon Milk recipe for Bon Appétit and quickly skimmed through the ingredients list. I was thrilled to see that nearly everything I needed to whip up the bev was already in my pantry — everything, of course, except ashwagandha powder.

Because stress can cause bouts of insomnia, it’s super important to keep anxiety levels low to hopping into bed, otherwise you might be tossing and turning all night. This is where ashwagandha comes into play. According to The Chopra Center, ashwagandha is an adaptogen best known for helping people “strengthen their immune system” and reduce symptoms of stress. In other words, adding ashwagandha powder to teas, matcha lattes, smoothies, and other recipes can boost your immune system, as well as help your mental and physical body deal with anxiety.

I hopped onto Amazon to browse a few adaptogen brands and, to be honest, these powder supplements are a little pricy. Seeing as how this was my first time giving ashwagandha a try, I definitely wasn’t ready to commit to a $25 bottle. Instead, I opted to try Feel Good’s sample packet, which comes out to about eight bucks for about four ounces.

The recipe only calls for a quarter teaspoon of ashwagandha, but don’t let the tiny measurement fool you. A little goes a long way, especially when combined with all the other spices Sullivan’s recipe calls for, like antioxidant-rich ground cinnamon, turmeric for hormonal balance, and cardamom for healthy digestion.

The first sip alone convinced me that moon milk was well worth the hype.

Julia Guerra

Once I had all the ingredients laid out in front of me, the recipe only took about 10 minutes to put together. All you have to do is combine the spices into a simmering pot of whole or unsweetened nut milk (I used Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Unsweetened Almond Milk) and vigorously whisk the mixture for anywhere from five to 10 minutes until the liquid is warmed through. Sullivan notes that the longer you stir, the stronger the medicinal effects.

I poured my beautiful, golden milk into a mug, and relaxed at my dining room table while I took my sweet time sipping away (after snapping a few pics, of course).

Now, I’m typically skeptical going into experiments like these, just because I’ve had more errors than successes testing different health trends, but I can honestly say Sullivan’s moon milk recipe had me feeling drowsy within minutes of the first sip — so much so that I actually stumbled over my words in a conversation with my husband, a tell-tale sign that this girl was ready for bed.

I would definitely recommend moon milk to anyone having trouble falling or staying asleep.

While I (sadly) cannot report that the moon milk miraculously cured my sniffles, I can confirm that I slept through the night without having to wake up every hour on the hour to blow my nose, so that was a huge plus.

This is definitely one social media health trend that I think anyone on the lookout for a home sleep remedy can benefit from. The beverage itself tastes amazing, it’s Instagram-worthy, and just a few sips will have you feeling sleepy in no time.

Pinkies up, and sweet dreams!

Read more: https://elitedaily.com/p/this-moon-milk-recipe-lulled-me-to-sleep-even-though-i-was-sick-as-a-dog-7578681

5 Words On Food Labels You Shouldn’t Get Fooled By

Thanks to the Food Network’s drive for ratings, we have a million fancy terms to describe our meals that barely resemble human speech. We sat down to painstakingly document and explain this lexicon and discovered … that it’s all bullshit. You were right to eat nothing but hot fried garbage this whole time. Or, god forgive you, Arby’s.

5

Almost Any Wine Can Be “Award-Winning”

Due to a sitcom-esque mix-up, you’ve accidentally invited a date and your boss over for dinner tonight. Fortunately, you can impress them both by showing off your elite knowledge of wine. Unfortunately, you don’t actually have an elite knowledge of wine. But that’s OK; you can just pay extra for a bottle with a fancy-looking award label, then bullshit something about mouth feel, right?

Well, contrary to popular belief, the glamorous awards you see on wine bottle labels don’t mean much at all. Wine competitions don’t function like Olympic events, wherein thousands of hopefuls are whittled down to the best three, then bestowed with rare honors. If you look at the results of the 2017 International Wine Challenge, there were 9,569 “winners.” The majority of wines that enter a competition will walk away with some sort of prize. In one case, it was 70 percent.

consumer.org.nz Goddamn Millennials, killing the wine industry with their participation trophies.

According to an anonymous judge, the only way a wine won’t be commended is if it makes someone “retch.” Another said, “A commended wine is one that causes you less than pain.” Wineries will also take awards they won for, say, a 2011 white and slap them on 2017 bottles of red. Or if they somehow failed to “win” anything at all, they’ll add their own suspiciously similar-looking labels.

It’s all a cheap marketing trick meant to shine up that Shiraz from Nebraska’s fourth-finest winery, but it’s more than consumers who are getting ripped off. The wineries have to pay for the stickers they put on the bottles, so it’s in a competition’s interests to hand out as many awards as possible. Drink what you want, but don’t feel obligated to pay extra for the bottle with the fanciest stickers. After all, you’re not gonna notice the difference between an 87-point bronze and a 91-point silver when you’re pairing it with Kraft Mac and Cheese.

4

All Chicken Is Hormone-Free, Regardless Of Whether They Advertise It

Having hormones in your food is bad, right? We’re pretty sure we read that on the BBC, or maybe it was naturalnewz.biz. Either way, lots of people certainly don’t want hormones in their food, so many meat companies helpfully inform us that they don’t add any.

Perdue Farms “WON’T make you grow an extra breast and/or testicle. Our competitors, on the other hand …”

Which is nice, but unnecessary, because the USDA doesn’t allow hormones to be added to chicken or hogs anyway. So when chicken or pork products proudly state “No hormones or steroids added,” they somehow neglect to credit the USDA for giving them that fantastic idea. Then mandating it via federal law.

They might as well proclaim “No additional anthrax added!” They can’t do that in the first place, and yes, they want a medal for it.

3

“No Trans Fat” Might Mean “No, Yeah, There Are Some Trans Fats”

Trans fats, according to the scientific consensus which will probably change a week from now, are bad for you. They reduce your good cholesterol levels while increasing bad cholesterol levels, in what food scientists call “a real dick move, man.” So it’s good to keep an eye out for “No Trans Fat” labels … Or at least it would be, if foods with those labels truly had no trans fats. Instead, it’s more like a landlord telling you that an apartment has zero cockroaches. None. No cockroaches added. Kind of weird that he mentioned that specifically, right?

According to federal regulations, companies can use a “No Trans Fats” label as long as it has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. That might not sound like much, but most foods calculate their serving size with sickly elf children in mind. It adds up. Also, the American Heart Association says that people should eat no more than two grams of trans fats per day, so those phantom half grams are a full quarter of your allowance.

At least there’s a handy trick for identifying hidden trans fats. If a product contains hydrogenated oils, those are trans fats. But since the total comes out to 0.49 grams or less, companies can say there’s none. So you end up with something like this package of butter spread:

Andrea Donsky We kind of believe it’s not butter.

It contains both hydrogenated soybean oil and hydrogenated cottonseed oil. Butter your toast with that, and you’re starting your day sucking up the devil of fats.

2

“Sushi-Grade Fish” Is Fish — Any Fish

The term “sushi-grade” is used by some grocery stores and restaurants to indicate the highest-quality fish you could possibly wrap seaweed and rice around. You don’t make fish sticks out of sushi-grade fish. They’ve got diplomas from Harvard Fish School, motherfucker. They should be eating you.

Your Sushi “If your genitals smell like these fish, you should be PROUD.”

It’s also a completely meaningless term, as there’s no regulation in the U.S. that determines what can be called sushi-grade. When it comes to beef, the USDA is all over that shit. We got “Prime,” “Choice,” “Select,” and “Standard” — the “miscellaneous quadruped” of meat. Same deal goes with pork and poultry … but not for the chicken of the sea. Or the anything of the sea.

Any fish can be “sushi-grade.” All it takes is someone with a sharp knife and no oven. Maybe the chef really did pick only the finest fish the market had that day, or maybe the grocery store is reasonably sure that the fish is fresh enough that eating it raw won’t give you parasites. Have fun gambling on that!

1

Multigrain Bread Is Nothing But Fancy White Bread

Wheat bread is healthier than white bread, we all know that. And we’ve told you before how unscrupulous businesses will dye their white bread brown to fool you. But what about multigrain bread? Surely it’s healthy too, right? It has “grain” right there in the name. “Multi” of them! All those grains must be good for you. Otherwise, why would they bother?

Jongleur100/Wiki Commons “High-quality fiber, high-quality poops. That’s our company promise.”

Well, it’s a great marketing term, and … oh, that’s it.

Literally all “multigrain” means is that the bread contains multiple grains, not that any of those grains are necessarily good or healthy. After all, both whole wheat and white bread start out as grain; it’s just that whole wheat has fiber and other healthy properties. Multigrain bread could be decently healthy, or it could be (and probably is) a Frankenstein amalgamation of different processed grains, all of which have no more nutritional value than the slice of cake we call white bread. Those grains sprinkled on top of your loaf make it look nice, but they’re basically disappointing sprinkles.

This phenomenon is not confined to the bread aisle. For example, a few years ago, Pringles rolled out a line of “healthy” multigrain chips. Their marketing director said they were targeting people 35 and up, who were more interested in counting calories than their younger counterparts. Right after he made his claims to The New York Times, the paper followed up by noting that multigrain Pringles “have about the same amount of sodium and calories as regular Pringles.” “Multigrain” is an industry code word for “edible mulch.”

Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes there. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs. Did you like this article? Do you want to like Mike Bedard even more? Go ahead and follow him on Twitter, then. Hungry for additional mind-blowing content? See Markos’ Twitter. When E.M. Caris is not writing for Cracked, you can read his food writing over at the spice subscription service allyoucanspice.com. Greg Tuff is hoping to get on the new season of Big Brother Canada, because things are going great … Talk him out of it on Twitter.

Food is food, but it should still be eaten out of a quality lunchbox from Herschel.

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For more, check out The 6 Most Pretentious Dishes Rich People Pay Money For and When Lobster Was Spam: 5 Gourmet FoodsThat Used to be Cheap.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25166_5-words-food-labels-you-shouldnt-get-fooled-by.html

A Manager of $42 Billion Fears Bubble in World’s Biggest Stocks

The world’s biggest companies could be hiding the biggest risks.

That’s because companies such as Amazon.com Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd are overvalued, according to Robert Naess, who manages about $42 billion in stocks at Nordea Bank AB, Scandinavia’s largest bank.

“I’m a bit worried about the valuation of these very popular companies,” Naess, portfolio manager, said in an interview in Oslo on Friday. “The big stocks have become more expensive. There’s danger of a bubble in them.”

Naess and his partner, Claus Vorm, quantitatively analyze thousands of companies, investing in those with the most stable earnings and avoiding expensive stocks, a strategy which has delivered a 10 percent return for the Global Stable Equity Fund this year. It has returned 12 percent on average in the past five years, beating 75 percent of its peers.

They prefer “boring” stocks, unlike the global behemoth technology companies that have led the global stock rally. Tech stocks sold off at the end of November, with the single worst day on record for the so-called FANG stocks. One of those stocks, Amazon, which has risen 55 percent this year, has a price-to-earnings ratio of 275 for 2017, compared with 18.2 on average for MSCI World Index.

“Long-term, 5-10 years, stocks that are expensively priced, such as Amazon, Tencent and Alibaba, will give a low return,” Naess, who also shuns Facebook, Inc., said. “I’m pretty certain that in the next 10 years the return on those will be lower than the market.”

The fund holds Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc., which are “reasonably priced”. It has also bought a stake in Merck & Co., Inc. and increased in Amgen Inc., CVS Health Corporation and Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

Naess sees about 12 percent upside for the global developed stock market in the next 12 months provided companies continue to deliver expected earnings growth.

“2018 looks OK,” he said. “Normally, I think the earnings estimates are too high. But I believe earnings estimate could be too low next year given earnings are so good this year.”

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-11/a-manager-of-42-billion-fears-bubble-in-world-s-biggest-stocks

    Poland Risks Being the EUs Rogue State

    Behind the noise of Brexit negotiations, the talk in the European Union this year has been that there’s potentially a bigger problem in the east. And the prospect of another rupture looks to be increasing.

    Poland’s de facto leader, Jaroslaw Kaczynski, hand-picked his second prime minister in two years, opting last week for western-educated Finance Minister Mateusz Morawiecki as he seeks to boost the economy after revamping the judicial system. He is another Kaczynski acolyte who has backed the increasingly authoritarian Law & Justice party’s push to seize more control of the courts, a plan condemned by the European Parliament and European Commission.

    The mood in Brussels is that EU institutions can no longer stand by and watch a country that’s the biggest net recipient of European aid thumb its nose without paying some sort of price. Few people are discussing Poland following Britain out of the bloc, but a protracted conflict is getting more likely.

    Mateusz Morawiecki
    Photographer: Piotr Malecki/Bloomberg

    Concerns about the shift in Poland triggered calls to limit access to EU funds for countries disrespecting the democratic rule of law. At a ministerial meeting on Nov. 15 in Brussels, the issue was raised during a discussion about the 2021-2028 budget by countries including Germany, France and the Nordic states, according to two EU officials with knowledge of the matter.

    Poland’s refusal to take in mainly Muslim refugees was referred last week to the European Court of Justice along with Hungary and the Czech Republic.

    “There is a growing feeling in Brussels that solidarity cannot be a one-way street, and that it becomes difficult to justify the 10 billion-euro per year net transfers for a country that is increasingly at odds with the bloc’s values,” said Bruno Dethomas, a senior policy adviser at GPLUS consultancy in Brussels and a former EU ambassador to Poland. “It is high time the EU reacted, or it risks losing its soul.”

    ‘Sick Europe’

    Poles are accustomed to their government stirring up nationalist fervor with blistering attacks on the EU while welcoming the policies of U.S. President Donald Trump. It’s railed against taking in Muslim refugees, claimed the country has been enslaved and snapped at criticism of its power grab this year.

    But even by Kaczynski’s standards, his speech on Nov. 10 to mark Independence Day pulled no punches. It’s up to Poles to show “the sick Europe of today the path back to health, to fundamental values, to true freedom and to the strengthening of our civilization based on Christianity,” he said.

    Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the man who pulls the strings in Poland.
    Photographer: John Guillemin

    The risk for the EU is that a country that was so key to its post-Cold War political and economic integration shifts closer to becoming a rogue member under Kaczynski, 68, a critic of Poland’s deal to enter the bloc in 2004. A breakdown would undermine the European project in arguably a more symbolic way than traditionally lukewarm Britain’s pending departure.

    The cost of Kaczynski’s stance has — so far — largely been counted in lost influence within the 28-nation bloc, which lacks the unanimity needed to up the ante and strip the Polish government of its voting rights at EU summits. 

    There’s been no hit to the 229 billion euros ($270 billion) in aid granted to Poland through 2022 and used for everything from new airports to sewage pipes.

    The narrative has changed, though. French President Emmanuel Macron said last month that Poland could pay a price if it continues to defy the EU on justice. The Dutch coalition government agreement, signed in October, specifies “subsidies should be reduced for member states that do not fulfill their obligations.”

    Nationalist Forces

    The Polish Parliament, meanwhile, is finalizing legislation to revamp the Supreme Court and Judicial Council, a powerful body that chooses which judges get promoted. Passage of the bills constitutes the removal of the “last fuses” on Poland’s democracy, according to Adam Bodnar, the country’s commissioner for human rights.

    Even some Law & Justice lawmakers have questioned the legality of the court changes. “I will vote in line with my party,” Krystyna Pawlowicz told a parliamentary committee. “But this measure is a glaring contradiction to the constitution.”

    Law & Justice has built on its popularity since winning an unprecedented parliamentary majority two years ago with promises of standing up for ordinary Poles. An ongoing EU investigation into the government’s behavior has played into the party’s them-against-us rhetoric.

    Some Polish politicians have been privately telling their EU partners that if bashing the Law & Justice government doesn’t stop, Poles will turn against the EU and nationalist forces will be emboldened, according to three people with knowledge of the discussions.

    Kaczynski’s DNA

    On Independence Day after Kaczynski spoke the day before, the traditional march in Warsaw became a demonstration for far-right groups claiming that “Europe will be white.” The government condemned the racists, though also blamed the media of focusing on some “fringe incidents.”

    A couple hold flares as as thousands gather for the nationalist march of Poland´s Independency Day.
    Photographer: SOPA Images/LightRocket

    Historically, Kaczynski has been cool toward the EU. He backed accession in the run-up to a referendum in 2003, when 78 percent of Poles supported membership. He warned at the time entry on the conditions that Poland had negotiated was a “threat to fundamental values including independence and democracy.”

    A reduction in funds that Poland receives from the EU would help shift public opinion against the bloc, said Marcin Matczak, a law professor at Warsaw University.

    “Hostility towards the EU is part of Law & Justice’s DNA, and if it was up to the party, Poland would leave the bloc,” said Matczak. “But Kaczynski knows he can’t do that because Poles are benefiting from EU membership. Hence, the party slowly builds a negative attitude towards EU — while declaring that Poland has no intention of leaving.”

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-12-10/forget-brexit-poland-risks-being-the-eu-s-real-rogue-state

      Huntingtons breakthrough may stop disease

      Image copyright James Gallagher
      Image caption Peter has Huntington’s disease and his siblings Sandy and Frank also have the gene

      The defect that causes the neurodegenerative disease Huntington’s has been corrected in patients for the first time, the BBC has learned.

      An experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain.

      The research team, at University College London, say there is now hope the deadly disease can be stopped.

      Experts say it could be the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years.

      Huntington’s is one of the most devastating diseases.

      Some patients described it as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and motor neurone disease rolled into one.

      Peter Allen, 51, is in the early stages of Huntington’s and took part in the trial: “You end up in almost a vegetative state, it’s a horrible end.”

      Huntington’s blights families. Peter has seen his mum Stephanie, uncle Keith and grandmother Olive die from it.

      Tests show his sister Sandy and brother Frank will develop the disease.

      The three siblings have eight children – all young adults, each of whom has a 50-50 chance of developing the disease.

      Worse-and-worse

      The unstoppable death of brain cells in Huntington’s leaves patients in permanent decline, affecting their movement, behaviour, memory and ability to think clearly.

      Peter, from Essex, told me: “It’s so difficult to have that degenerative thing in you.

      “You know the last day was better than the next one’s going to be.”

      • Huntington’s generally affects people in their prime – in their 30s and 40s
      • Patients die around 10 to 20 years after symptoms start
      • About 8,500 people in the UK have Huntington’s and a further 25,000 will develop it when they are older

      Huntington’s is caused by an error in a section of DNA called the huntingtin gene.

      Normally this contains the instructions for making a protein, called huntingtin, which is vital for brain development.

      But a genetic error corrupts the protein and turns it into a killer of brain cells.

      The treatment is designed to silence the gene.

      On the trial, 46 patients had the drug injected into the fluid that bathes the brain and spinal cord.

      The procedure was carried out at the Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London.

      Doctors did not know what would happen. One fear was the injections could have caused fatal meningitis.

      But the first in-human trial showed the drug was safe, well tolerated by patients and crucially reduced the levels of huntingtin in the brain.

      Image caption Prof Sarah Tabrizi , from the UCL Institute of Neurology, led the trials.

      Prof Sarah Tabrizi, the lead researcher and director of the Huntington’s Disease Centre at UCL, told the BBC: “I’ve been seeing patients in clinic for nearly 20 years, I’ve seen many of my patients over that time die.

      “For the first time we have the potential, we have the hope, of a therapy that one day may slow or prevent Huntington’s disease.

      “This is of groundbreaking importance for patients and families.”

      Doctors are not calling this a cure. They still need vital long-term data to show whether lowering levels of huntingtin will change the course of the disease.

      The animal research suggests it would. Some motor function even recovered in those experiments.

      Image copyright James Gallagher
      Image caption Sandy Sterne, Peter Allen, Hayley Allen, Frank Allen, Annie Allen and Dermot Sterne

      Peter, Sandy and Frank – as well as their partners Annie, Dermot and Hayley – have always promised their children they will not need to worry about Huntington’s as there will be a treatment in time for them.

      Peter told the BBC: “I’m the luckiest person in the world to be sitting here on the verge of having that.

      “Hopefully that will be made available to everybody, to my brothers and sisters and fundamentally my children.”

      He, along with the other trial participants, can continue taking the drug as part of the next wave of trials.

      They will set out to show whether the disease can be slowed, and ultimately prevented, by treating Huntington’s disease carriers before they develop any symptoms.

      Prof John Hardy, who was awarded the Breakthrough Prize for his work on Alzheimer’s, told the BBC: “I really think this is, potentially, the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative disease in the past 50 years.

      “That sounds like hyperbole – in a year I might be embarrassed by saying that – but that’s how I feel at the moment.”

      The UCL scientist, who was not involved in the research, says the same approach might be possible in other neurodegenerative diseases that feature the build-up of toxic proteins in the brain.

      The protein synuclein is implicated in Parkinson’s while amyloid and tau seem to have a role in dementias.

      Off the back of this research, trials are planned using gene-silencing to lower the levels of tau.

      Prof Giovanna Mallucci, who discovered the first chemical to prevent the death of brain tissue in any neurodegenerative disease, said the trial was a “tremendous step forward” for patients and there was now “real room for optimism”.

      But Prof Mallucci, who is the associate director of UK Dementia Research Institute at the University of Cambridge, cautioned it was still a big leap to expect gene-silencing to work in other neurodegenerative diseases.

      She told the BBC: “The case for these is not as clear-cut as for Huntington’s disease, they are more complex and less well understood.

      “But the principle that a gene, any gene affecting disease progression and susceptibility, can be safely modified in this way in humans is very exciting and builds momentum and confidence in pursuing these avenues for potential treatments.”

      The full details of the trial will be presented to scientists and published next year.

      The therapy was developed by Ionis Pharmaceuticals, which said the drug had “substantially exceeded” expectations, and the licence has now been sold to Roche.

      Follow James on Twitter.

      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42308341

      The GOP’s Latest Gun Bill Would Be Catastrophic For Women Fleeing Abuse

      A potential nightmare situation for victims of domestic violence is brewing in the U.S. House, which is expected to vote this week on a bill that would allow many domestic abusers banned from carrying firearms in their home states to obtain concealed carry permits elsewhere.

      The bill, from Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.), allows anyone with a permit from one state to carry hidden, loaded firearms into all other states. It would allow people with permits from states with weak permitting rules to carry into states with strict rules, like New York and California. And if a state will issue a concealed carry permit to a nonresident, an applicant could get one and carry the weapon into any other state.

      Opponents of the legislation, known as the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, warn that it would allow the states with the loosest permitting standards to define the laws of the nation and would undermine states’ rights to protect their own residents.

      The National Rifle Association has called this legislation, which is expected to pass in the House, its “highest legislative priority.” It is likely to be the first gun bill to receive a vote since the back-to-back mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas.  

      Gun violence experts and victims’ advocates say the legislation is particularly alarming for domestic violence survivors, who are in more danger when their abusers are able to carry hidden firearms.

      Under federal law, a person convicted of domestic violence or subject to certain protective orders is not allowed to own firearms. But the law is limited ― it only covers spouses, not dating partners or stalkers ― and dozens of states have passed their own laws that expand on federal legislation in the interest of keeping guns away from abusers.

      Currently, each state sets its own rules about who is eligible to carry concealed weapons. In some states, law enforcement can prohibit a person from carrying a concealed gun at their discretion, such as if they believe the applicant lacks good character or doesn’t have a good reason to carry a loaded gun in public. In other states, officials are essentially required to issue a permit to anyone who meets basic requirements, such as passing a background check or completing safety training.

      Some states offer significantly more protections to victims of domestic abuse, dating violence and stalking than others. In 28 states, for example, individuals convicted of stalking are not allowed to carry in public. But, as Everytown for Gun Safety counsel Courtney Zale explained to HuffPost, under concealed carry reciprocity, a stalker in one of those states could obtain a permit from Florida, which does not prohibit stalkers and issues permits to nonresidents through the mail. He could then use that permit to carry throughout the country.

      In another example, an abuser who is convicted of sexually assaulting his girlfriend cannot currently legally carry a concealed firearm in Massachusetts. But under this bill, he could obtain a permit from nearby New Hampshire ― which issues permits to nonresidents and does not consider that offense prohibitory ― and carry his firearm back into his home state.

      In 25 states and Washington, D.C., law enforcement can deny individuals a concealed carry permit if they have a history of red flags, such as repeated domestic disturbances. Under concealed carry reciprocity, a person could bypass state rules by applying for a permit from a state with less stringent standards.  

      Ruth Glenn, executive director for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said the House measure would effectively “zero out” countless state laws designed to protect victims of abuse. A person who is banned from carrying guns in his home state because of domestic violence could just apply for a permit from another state where he is still eligible because of more permissive laws, she said.

      “The efforts that some states have made will be for naught,” Glenn said. “Domestic abusers are very crafty. If we think they don’t know about these laws and ways around them, we are sadly mistaken.”

      If a woman in the U.S. is a victim of gun violence, it’s usually because of domestic abuse. More than half of women killed with guns in the U.S. between 2010 and 2014 were killed by intimate partners or family members. The research on this topic is unambiguous: Firearms make abusive relationships more dangerous. If abusers have access to guns, victims are five times more likely to be killed.

      Even when they are not being used to kill and maim women, guns are often deployed as a tactic to control and terrorize victims. In addition, most mass shootings in the U.S. involve a male perpetrator targeting a family member or intimate partner.

      Kim Gandy, president of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, said that when survivors relocate to escape their abusers, they often take into consideration a state’s firearms protections.

      “Imagine fleeing to another state where you believe your abuser won’t be able to carry a gun, and then finding out that Congress says that he can bring his gun with him ― and he can hide it,” she said.  

      Susan B. Sorenson, a gun violence researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the House bill could endanger lives. There’s some evidence to back that up: A recent study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that states with weaker concealed carry laws were associated with 10.6 percent higher handgun homicide rates.  

      “If this law gets passed, it will be the state with the easiest permit requirements that will define the permitting requirements for every state,” said Adam Winkler, a gun policy expert and law professor at UCLA. “A state that is willing to give permits to people with a history of domestic violence will undermine the laws of many other states that are trying to restrict abusers.”

      RonBailey/Getty Images
      The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act the U.S. House is scheduled to vote on this week is particularly alarming for victims of domestic abuse.

      Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

      Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/concealed-carry-gun-bill-domestic-violence_us_5a26d1cce4b06d807b4f8a63

      All The Shady Sh*t The Republicans Hid In Their Tax Bill, Explained

      Welcome back to tax hell, my friends. Remember last Friday night when Senate Republicans surprised Democrats with a 497-page House tax reform plan at 9:30 PM and then gave them 4.5 hours to read it before voting while we were all drunkenly celebrating the charging of Mike Flynn? It’s cool, neither do we. Ever since the Trump administration started, it’s like my memory wipes itself every 48 hours for self-preservation. Like , but my brain trauma was actually caused by the President of the United States and not by dating Adam Sandler a car accident. (Is that how she loses her memory in ? Idk? I hate Adam Sandler movies.) We’ve already talked about why the GOP Tax Bill is shady af – and that was just about the tax related shit it included. “But why would a tax bill contain reform on non-tax related issues?” you naively ask in this, the cursedyear of 2017.

      “BECAUSE EVERY THING IS ABSOLUTELY FUCKING AWFUL,” I cackle back while chugging a can of wine at 6:30AM on a Thursday. It’s fine. I’m fine. We’re all going to be fine.

      That’s right, the GOP isn’t just here to make sure you can never own property or pay off your student loans – they want to fuck up other aspects of your life too! Who knew? It’s like they’re actual demons masquerading as rich, white conservatives! Oh. Wait.

      Anyway, here’s all the shady shit the GOP snuck into their tax bill while we weren’t looking: 

      Unborn Fetuses Are People Now

      Honestly, how did we all not see this one coming? They managed to sneak this one in under the rule that allows parents to deduct a certain amount of money for their kid’s education, citing that an unborn fetus is included in the measure. Lol. As if anyone will be able to afford college 18 years from now.

      This doesn’t really change how that particular law works, but it does set a precedent for an unborn fetus being a person, the first step in eventually attempting to turn over Roe v Wade. Get your red cloaks out ladies, it’s only a matter of time. Under his eye.

      Separation of Church and State? Fuck that.

      We’re one step closer to Pence’s America, folks. The House tax plan repeals the Johnson Amendment, which previously banned non-profit groups from engaging in political activism AKA churches can’t openly raise money and campaign for a candidate. If this bill makes it through the Senate review, every little Evangelical hellhole can start raising money to send their very own neighborhood pedophile to Washington DC.

      Health Insurance Is (More) Expensive

      SHOCKING. The plan repeals the Obamacare individual mandate, which made universal health care cheaper by spreading the cost of it across everyone because everyone had to buy insurance. Now that you’re not legally mandated to have health insurance, premiums will go up. You get cancer? Bankrupt. Break your leg? Say goodbye to your future. Get strep throat? Have fun living on the street you fucking animal.

      Alaskan Oil and Gas Drilling

      Because we learned nothing from the Dakota Access Pipeline, the Senate tax bill would open 1.5-million-acres of the 20-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There’s nothing fun or witty to say here, we’re just destroying protected land now. This bill has literally divulged me of a sense of humor. Thanks, Republicans.

      Public School Funding is at Risk

      Your favorite serial killer senator Ted Cruz snuck an amendment in that makes private or religious schools cheaper, but potentially cuts off funding for public schools by eliminating deductions for state and local income taxes and capping deductions for property taxes. Mandatory free education for children? Who needs it! Reading is overrated.

      Beer and Wine Are…Cheaper?

      Could there possibly be good news hidden within this sham of a bill? Maybe, as long as you’re not worried about cheaper alcohol raising the rate of drunk driving related deaths and addiction. Tbh, if any of us make it to 2020, alcoholism is the least of our concerns.

      The bill would reduce special taxes on beer and wine, meaning an extra $4.2 billion in benefits. It’s not crystal clear if this is a win, but it’s the closest thing we have so I’m gonna take it.

      The kicker in all this? Trump and his team are relying on the election of Roy Moore, A PEDOPHILE, to secure this bill. That’s right, our collective future depends on the discretion of a man who fucks children.

      Cool. Everything is so great. I’m gonna go finish that box of wine now.

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

      Read more: http://www.betches.com/hidden-tax-bill-items-explained

      Gut-Wrenching Footage Shows Abandoned Baby Being Rescued From Plastic Bag

      While parenthood can be one of the greatest sources of joy in one’s life, not everyone is prepared for such a commitment and thus upon hearing that they are expecting, go to some rather disturbing means to get out of it.

      And in places where access to family planning health services is low, mothers can get truly desperate after the baby arrives. Worse still is when cultural norms surrounding single motherhood make that status so frowned upon that their lives become unlivable. Sadly, this often ends in people taking drastic and devastating measures.

      After a late night of partying and celebration, a group of friends from Caloocan City, Philippines, heard distant crying sounds in the early hours of the morning. Upon further inspection, they made the heartbreaking discovery of a small baby covered in blood and stuffed inside of shopping bags. The infant was discovered in the sidecar of a motorcycle and still had the umbilical cord attached.

      Medics confirmed that had the group of friends not discovered the child when they did, it is incredibly likely that the baby would have suffocated inside the plastic bags.

      (via Daily Mail)

      This is truly tragic for the child. I hope that this baby gets a fresh start after enduring something so terrible.

      Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/plastic-bag-baby/

      Doctor Claims World’s First Successful Human Head Transplant – But There’s A Catch

      Never too far away from making headlines, the controversial neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero is back with claims that the world’s first head transplant is “imminent”, after Chinese scientists successfully carried out the first head transplant on a human corpse.

      He revealed the news at a press conference in Vienna on Friday morning, The Telegraph reports. Professor Canavero claims the feat was carried out during an 18-hour operation at Harbin Medical University in China, during which a team of surgeons successfully severed then reconnected the spinal cord, nerves, and blood vessels in the spine and neck.

      The operation was led by Dr Xiaoping Ren, a surgeon who has previously transplanted the head of a monkey and numerous rodents. Harbin Medical University is expected to write a full report on the operation within the next few days.

      “The first human transplant on human cadavers has been done,” Canavero told the crowd, according to the Telegraph. “A full head swap between brain-dead organ donors is the next stage. And that is the final step for the formal head transplant for a medical condition which is imminent.”

      In a phone interview today, Canavero told USA Today that the operation will take place in China because the scientific establishment and authorities of Europe and the US were unwilling to support the contentious surgery.

      “The Americans did not understand,” he said. “Chinese President Xi Jinping wants to restore China to greatness. He wants to make it the sole superpower in the world. I believe he is doing it.”

      The eccentric Italian’s plans to pull off the first live human head transplant have been surrounded and fueled with controversy. Back in 2015, he estimated that the operation would be done and dusted by 2017, however that’s looking unlikely considering the recent rate of developments.

      Even though Canavero has spent the past few year writing scientific studies on the feat, massive doubts are continuing to be cast onto the scientific legitimacy of his big promises. Arthur Caplan, head of medical ethics at Langone Medical Center of New York University, said Canavero was “out of his mind”.

      Speaking to Wired in May of this year about head transplant surgery, neuroscientist Dean Burnett said: “When someone makes an extreme claim, my rule of thumb is this: If they haven’t provided robust scientific evidence, but they have done a TED talk, alarm bells should be ringing.”

      Canavero’s TEDx Talk can be viewed below.

      Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/first-successful-human-head-transplant-carried-out-on-a-corpse-in-china/

      A Poet Gives You The Advice You Need To End This Year Based On Your Zodiac Sign

      @SBphoto

      SAGITTARIUS

      It’s no secret that you’ve always been drawn to other people—you love attention, and you love giving it back to those in your life that have earned it. But consider this a reminder that you have to learn how to be alone, and obtain a level of acceptance with that, sooner rather than later. There will inevitably come a time in your life where you have to rely solely on yourself and your own devices to overcome a situation, and it’ll be extremely easy to forget how capable you are of handling things without another’s guidance. Don’t let yourself forget.

      CAPRICORN

      More of us care about you and your creations than you let yourself believe. Start trusting people when they tell you that they’re interested in what you have to offer the world. I know that in the past you’ve been force-fed little white lies to the point of sickness, but you can’t let those memories insert doubt where there doesn’t need to be. It’s the last month of the year, and there are so many months sitting between you and the words that used to cut like glass. Leave them there. Look ahead.

      AQUARIUS

      You never used to be one for drama, or getting tangled in webs of missed connections, but lately you’ve found yourself stuck in the middle of a fist fight and you don’t know how you ended up there. You just know that even though you’re merely a bystander, there are bruises all over your body and they ache when you try to sleep at night. Start using your voice more. This isn’t the first time you’ve found yourself in an uncomfortable situation because of a choice to remain silent. Nobody has the ability to read your mind.

      PISCES

      Your progress does not lose meaning if you happen to relapse. You’re still the person that re-learned how to fall in love with the world, and the person that finds beauty in simplicity. The road to happiness is never an easy one, especially when the road has as many roadblocks as yours has. But the path hasn’t disappeared just because you’ve wandered off of it, or because you’ve had to sit down and catch your breath. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, if you feel yourself staggering. You are not weak or any less of a survivor for doing so.

      ARIES

      Your view of the world has always been dependent upon a lack of change, and it’s time that you realize that not only is this unrealistic, but it’s damaging. By assuming that your relationships, and your setting, and your personality will always remain stagnant, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. The truth is that time embraces everyone and everything, and she’s prone to makeovers of epic proportions. Make a list of everything that is constant in your life, and everything that isn’t. Be honest with yourself.

      TAURUS

      Lately you’ve been dividing your emotions up into fragments, so that they’re easier to swallow. There are photographs on the coffee table, water-damaged love notes in the couch cushions, pennies tumbling out of your shoes because you read once that they were supposed to bring good luck, and you need all of the positivity you can get. But just because you’re unearthing the past and sifting through the rubble, that doesn’t mean you’re actually making progress. Sometimes it seems like you’re just doing this to torture yourself. Are you?

      GEMINI

      Like a boomerang, you always find yourself coming back to the same place and the same people. You so desperately want to be a part of something, and you’ve been settling for the mundane and the familiar because at least with that, you know how the stories end. You know that you’ll make a mistake that you won’t learn from and that you’ll end up right back where you started because that’s how it always is. Don’t accept measly scraps of acceptance as if that’s all you deserve. It isn’t. It never was. It never will be.

      CANCER

      It seems as though you’re still getting used to the idea that it’s okay to want certain things. Desire is a very human thing to experience, whether that’s for friendship or love or any number of things. Stop holding yourself to a standard that’s higher than the one you apply to others; you wouldn’t get upset with somebody for telling you that they wanted happiness, would you? Of course not. Acknowledge that, like anybody else, you have wishes that you make over birthday candles and under moonlit skies. You’re allowed to hope that they come true.

      LEO

      Even the easiest of tasks has felt overwhelming recently and that’s a sign that you need to step back and take a break. I know that your life is busy, and it doesn’t feel as though you can afford to do this, but you can. Concentrate on your mental health instead of leaving it to fend for itself. You know what you need to do in order to feel better and instead of consciously making the decision to ignore these thoughts, you need to act on them. Knowing the answer doesn’t mean anything if you keep it a secret.

      VIRGO

      There’s something about making lists that’s always appealed to you. Perhaps it’s how simple everything looks once you’ve put it down on paper, or the satisfaction of feeling as though you’ve accomplished something. But you don’t need to squeeze your entire life into categories. You don’t have to map out all of the places that you can’t visit anymore, or tally up the number of times you cry each month. You’re so much more than what you can record, or graph, or give statistics to. Let yourself be spontaneous where you wouldn’t normally.

      LIBRA

      You’ve been daydreaming of places you’ve never been to, creating entire worlds for yourself where you’re comfortable and you’re happy and you don’t wake up reeking of past mistakes. The problem here, though, is that you want to run away. You want to leave and forget instead of putting forth the effort required to develop and grow into a new stage of your life. The time you’d save by doing the former isn’t worth it. You future contentment lies in your ability to be patient while working towards a goal. You’ll get there. Honestly.

      SCORPIO

      You’ve pulled yourself out of your own grave so many times that you still feel surprised whenever you see a reflection of yourself that isn’t covered in mud and decay. I think a lot of the time you forget that you’re no longer at rock bottom, and it’s easy to see every surface-level issue as a personal attack when you’re used to having no sense of direction. But you aren’t in that terrible place anymore. You can see the sun, and your hands are clean. Relax, and think things through before automatically building a wall between you and any inconvenience.

      Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/caitlin-conlon/2017/12/a-poet-gives-you-the-advice-you-need-to-end-this-year-based-on-your-zodiac-sign/