Twitter blocks Republican campaign ad over claim about Planned Parenthood baby body parts

Twitter blocked a campaign ad for a Republican Senate candidate running to take Sen. Bob Corker’s seat in Tennessee that featured a false assertion that she was part of an effort that “stopped the sale of baby body parts.”

Rep. Marsha Blackburn worked on the Republican-run panel in the House of Representatives that investigated Planned Parenthood after secretly recorded videos claimed to show the women’s health organization providing fetal tissue to researchers.  

Twitter’s decision to block the ad, which the company made because it contained “an inflammatory statement,” will likely spark backlash among conservatives who already view Silicon Valley firms as hostile to their beliefs.

The videos Blackburn appears to reference were deemed to be manipulated. Planned Parenthood said the videos were deceptively edited.

Providing legal tissue to researchers is legal if no profit is made, and congressional investigations found no evidence of the organization making money off of the practice. Blackburn led a House panel that investigated the sale of fetal tissue but found it “makes a vanishingly small contribution to clinical and research efforts, if it contributes at all.” The panel recommended the federal government not fund research involving fetal tissue.

Twitter said the video was “deemed an inflammatory statement that is likely to evoke a strong negative reaction,” according to the Associated Press. The social media platform said Blackburn could run the rest of her ad if the portion of her claiming she stopped the sale of “baby body parts” were taken out of it.

The blocking by Twitter does not allow Blackburn to promote the video, but she can still share it on the social network as a normal tweet or on other platforms. Her campaign posted the video earlier on Monday. 

Blackburn responded to Twitter’s decision by calling on her supporters to join her in “standing up to Silicon Valley.”

In the ad, Blackburn shoots a gun and says she’s “100 percent pro-life,” carries a gun in her purse, and stands during the national anthem. 

Read more:

Ranking The Zodiac Signs By How Basic They Are



(June 22nd to July 22nd)

Cancers like what’s familiar, and the most basic things in life usually come back every year. Pumpkin spice, peppermint lattes, Shamrock Shakes, granted these things are all food related, but Cancers don’t stop there. They enjoy basic activities as well, like apple picking in the fall, carving pumpkins for Halloween, dying eggs in the spring (even if they don’t celebrate Easter). The Cancer doesn’t mind being predictable, they don’t mind being basic.


(April 20th to May 21st)

The Taurus is both materialistic and practical, which means they’re pretty basic. They like to look nice, and keep up to date on all the latest trends. The Taurus will google whether or not chokers are still in style, and they’ll go shopping for anything if social media says it’s trending. They don’t want their iPhone 7 after the iPhone 8 comes out, and they always update their apps. Gotta have the latest snapchat filters, duh.


(September 23rd to October 22nd)

A Libra likes to be agreeable which puts them in the top 3 for the most basic of zodiac signs. They like to go with the crowd rather than disagree with them. If their significant other wants to go pumpkin picking, they’re going to put on their comfy flannel and they’ll be sure to get a cute insta out of it, preferably a couple selfie in front of a giant farm tractor or friendly-looking scarecrow.


(December 22nd to January 20th)

The Capricorn likes to keep it traditional, and sometimes traditions are basic. They LOVE decorating their own christmas stockings every year, and watching Hocus Pocus on the night of Halloween, traditions mean everything to them, and they live to keep them going.


(August 23rd to September 22nd)

The Virgo loves their fresh pressed green juices with carrot, ginger, and kale. They believe in holistic approaches to healing, and are very health conscious. Their basic-ness revolves around cleanses and piYo.


(July 23rd to August 22nd)

The Leo lives for holidays and special events. They’ll use anything as an excuse to host a party. They’re the type to host a superbowl party stocked full of themed cocktails and appetizers without actually knowing who’s playing. The most basic thing about them is their absurd spirit around seasons and holidays.


(May 22nd to June 21st)

The Gemini likes to keep an open mind. The idea of going apple picking during the fall won’t completely disgust them, but it doesn’t thrill them either. The Gemini usually just goes along with whatever their friends want to do. They’re social, friendly, and always up for a good time, so if basic activities will put a smile on their face, so be it.


(March 21st to April 19th)

Aries likes to set trends, not follow them. They don’t really care if everyone’s hyped about pumpkin spice season. They’re the type to put cinnamon and almond milk in their coffee and say it’s the “new pumpkin spice latte.” They’re not followers, they’re leaders.


(January 21st to February 18th)

Aquarius is far too busy harvesting intellect to be doing basic things like drinking spiced apple cider at a pumpkin patch. They enjoy deep conversations, and don’t usually flock towards individuals who surround themselves with basic things.


(October 23rd to November 22nd)

The Scorpio cringes at the thought of anything basic. The Scorpio is authentic, and what everyone else is doing really doesn’t concern them. You won’t find any photos of pumpkin picking on a Scorpio’s instagram.


(November 23rd to December 21st)

Sagittarius isn’t basic because they’re far too busy exploring the world to know what’s basic and when. When it is pumpkin spice season here, they’re in another hemisphere where pumpkins aren’t even a thing. They decorate their home with souvenirs from their travels, and have stories to tell of all different cultures and places. Basic is the opposite of most Sags.


(February 19th to March 20th)

The Pisces usually likes things that no one else has heard of. When it comes to music, movies, books, or art, they only like what’s underground. Pisces don’t go to Starbucks, they go to their local coffee shop where they can support their fellow local artists and performers.

Read more:

In Eric Ries new book, he tells companies to turn every unit into a cash-strapped startup

All companies are startups until they aren’t. Many struggle to find their way back, too. It’s not the days of constrained resources or terrible pay or the heart-stopping uncertainty that they’re missing, of course. Instead, the problem is that it’s a lot harder to implement change at an “established” organization, particularly one that’s making money. Yet the smartest companies know change is crucial. As journalist Alan Deutschman wrote a dozen years ago, including in a book of the same title: “Change or die.”

Because that’s easier said than done, CEOs are always seeking out new ideas. Enter the brand-new book of engineer and entrepreneur Eric Ries, whose last tome, The Lean Startup, became an instant best-seller when it was first published in 2011.

In his latest effort, The Startup Way, Ries says the way to stay on top can be traced to two things: treating employees like customers, and treating business units like startups — replete with their own constrained budgets, and even their own boards. Ries offers fairly concrete suggestions regarding how to implement both, too. “A lot of people write manifestos and basically say, ‘Do what I say,’” says Ries. “I try to get away from that. The details matter a lot.”

We caught up with Ries earlier today to learn more about the book, which will be available to buy beginning Tuesday.

TC: You established a name for yourself with The Lean Startup, which basically told founders to get a minimally viable product into the market, then fix it. Can founders still do that in an age where big companies are getting bigger and moving faster to either copy products, or else acquire their teams?

ER:  People said that years ago about Microsoft, too, that it was going to dominate the internet with its monopoly power. Disruption still brings new power players to the fore. But today, because Facebook and Amazon and Google are so good at what they do, startups do need to up their game. There was a time when you had one innovation that you could ride for decades. That’s over. Continuous reinvention is crucial now. Otherwise, you’re toast.

TC: What about the giant financing rounds of today, even at the seed stage — do they signal the death of the so-called lean startup? 

ER: “Lean” never referred to the size of a round. It’s about lean manufacturing and using resources more effectively. Also, huge rounds are really for the privileged few. I’m in Columbus right now, and [local startups] aren’t experiencing the jumbo seed round.

I will say that one commonality that Silicon Valley has with corporate innovation is that we often overfund things, which can be just as lethal as underfunding them.

TC: How did you move from advocating for lean startups to writing this new book? 

ER: When a lot of small early founders heard about the lean startup, they were excited about minimal viable products and about pivoting and learning, but they didn’t pay close attention to more boring parts like management and the need to do continuous innovation. In some cases, as these companies passed 100 employees, or even 1,000, they’d ask me to come help teach lean startups to people who work for them. You go from the person who is making innovation decisions, to supporting entrepreneurs who work for you, and they might not be as good as you or you’d be working for them.

These were my friends and I was happy to help them. At the same time, big companies were asking how they could recapture their innovative DNA and I realized how similar these issues are and thought it was worth exploring.

TC: Obviously, the need to innovate continuously isn’t a new concept. How is your advice to companies different? Is this about pulling in opinions and ideas from a more diverse group of people, either internally or externally?

ER: I’m a big believer in that thesis — diversity. But in this book, I tend to focus on structural changes: who gets promoted, how we make product decisions, the general accountability layer of a company. [In other words] how do you figure out who is doing a good job and who isn’t? Because there’s a lot of B.S. at the higher levels otherwise that distorts the decisions that are made and consequently makes it hard to attract top talent.

TC: Give us some concrete examples. Who in Silicon Valley was doing this wrong and figured it out?

ER: I talk in the book about Twilio and Dropbox and Airbnb; they all had to go through a metamorphosis to empower their internal innovators.

Dropbox, for example, had some failures and was willing to admit that some products didn’t work. Some of its product development was happening internally and some externally, but it doesn’t matter if you plant in the wrong soil. But it has since developed a much better process that looks closer to entrepreneurship.

TC: By doing what differently?

ER: You first have to look at whether you’re treating the people who work for you like entrepreneurs or something different; if you’re expecting your product managers to achieve instantaneous success, that’s not [the standard] to which you were held in the early stages of your company.

Along the same lines, if you aren’t [giving teams] clear, metered funding, how are they going to have that scarcity? It’s that mindset, that hunger, that let’s you say “no,” [to delaying product launches]. [Companies have to fight] that entitlement funding because the more money you have, the less you want to expose yourself to risk.

TC: Interesting idea. How else do you recommend that companies treat their teams like startups?

ER: We also talk about creating a growth board.

Right now, most corporate employees exist in a matrix management structure, reporting to different people and having lots of different managers who have veto power over what they do. But each time a middle manager checks in, he or she exerts a gravitation influence, and most product mangers who I meet with say they spend 50 percent of their time defending their existing budget against middle manager inquiries. That’s a massive tax on most product teams.

So we treat [these units] like a startup and create a board of [say] five execs who they report to infrequently. That way, if any middle manager has a concern, [the head of that unit] can say, “Talk to the board.”  It’s like at [ venture firm] Andreessen Horowitz. It has something like 150 employees [yet] not every person who works there gets to call a portfolio company founder. Not every limited partner who has invested in Andreessen Horowitz gets to call its founders. There are well-defined processes in place so that founders [aren’t fielding calls all day.]

TC: Of course, the downside to that is that VCs often don’t know when things go off the rails at startups. How do you convince executives that they aren’t running that risk by giving these teams so much autonomy?

ER: It only works if you do limited liability experiments. Often asking, “What’s the worst that could happen?” is like a death sentence, but you have to think through the possible downsides to mitigate them. So you only let 100 people buy the product [at the outset] and add in extra provisions and securities to ensure they have a great experience and you’re smart about the liabilities.

TC: Say that works. What happens to the already oft-maligned middle managers of the world? 

ER: There haven’t been any layoffs at the companies I’ve worked with. Companies still have to run their core business; there’s plenty for [middle managers to do] Most are horrifically overworked. Others become reborn as entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial coaches. Intuit and GE have a whole program for coaching and mentoring, and that becomes part of [managers’] job description.

This all culminates in preparing a new org chart, one that treats entrepreneurship like a corporate function that’s owned and managed. Right now, if you ask [many executives], “Who is in charge of the next big innovation,” they’ll sometimes say that everyone is in charge of it. Can you imagine if they said that everyone is in charge of marketing or finance or HR? Entrepreneurship is no different. Someone should have operational responsibility for it.

TC: Do you run into much resistance when you talk with CEOs about empowering employees in this way? It’s easy to imagine that some feel threatened, even as they know their companies need to keep innovating.

ER: What distinguishes really good CEOs is that they care about their legacy, and they’re committed to the long-term health of their organization.

But you’re right. Most CEO are not serious about change because it requires senior managers to change their behavior. You know how corporate bosses can be. This is not always a very welcome method. I’ve been kicked out of plenty of boardrooms.

Read more:

8fit, a health and fitness app that offers tailored workout and meal plans, closes $7M Series A

8fit, a popular health and fitness app that offers tailored workouts and meals plan, has raised $7 million in Series A funding. Backing the round are VCs Creandum and Eight Roads Ventures. It brings total funding for the Berlin-based startup to $10 million.

Separately, a source tells me that the company is generating more than $1 million in monthly recurring revenue from selling fitness and meal plan subscriptions. 8fit declined to comment on revenue or active monthly users, paying or otherwise. All the startup would say is that it has 10 million registrations to the app.

Launched in 2014 by Pablo Villalba and Pedro Solá, the 8fit app attempts to separate itself from the plethora of either fitness or recipe apps on iOS and Android, with a focus on personalisation and by recognising that a combination of exercise and nutrition or meal planning is the best path to a healthier lifestyle.

The 8fit app combines High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and yoga workouts designed to be done anywhere, anytime with “wholesome, nutritious meal plans based on real food,” customised by food group or specific ingredients. The customised plans are tailored to an individual’s current fitness level and goals, whether that goal is weight loss, muscle gain, improved endurance, or simply more confidence, says the company.

In this sense, 8fit co-founder and CEO Villalba tells me, the startup is competing against traditional and incumbent meal plan and exercise services such as Weight Watchers who, he argues, have struggled to transition to mobile, rather than other fitness or recipe apps per se. Noteworthy, despite being headquartered in Berlin, more than 50 percent of 8fit registrations are based in the U.S.

Moving forward, the company is planning to focus on the U.S. market as well as use some of this Series A to invest in more editorial content, in a move that will position 8fit as a media company as much as a tech company.

Villalba’s thinking is that it is not enough to tell users what to do, and count steps or calories etc., but that to stay motivated they need to know why they are doing it. In other words, education is key to motivation and therefore is an important element to helping people get fit and healthy.

Read more:

Pitbull sends his private jet to Puerto Rico cancer patients

Steven Sands sits outside his home with a flashlight and his smart phone at night, coping with the lack of electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Tesla is sending hundreds of Powerwall battery systems to Puerto Rico. 

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, about 97 percent of the island’s 3.4 million residents were still in the dark as of Wednesday. The Category 4 storm has left thousands homeless, and hospitals are dealing with blackouts as they struggle to find diesel to run their generators. 

According to Bloomberg, Tesla has employees on the ground to install the Powerwall units, which store energy gathered by solar panels. 

It’s not clear whether Tesla is sending the first-generation Powerwall batteries or the Powerwall 2, and whether the company is also sending solar panels. 

Read more:

Woman requests time off for mental health, boss sends the perfect reply

It’s been almost three months since the news that Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington died by suicide, and the tributes and comments about the lead singer are still pouring in. 

Before his death, Bennington, along with two members of the band, filmed an episode of Apple Music’s Carpool Karaoke

That video was finally shared on Thursday with the blessings of Bennington’s family and friends, and is 23 minutes of pure joy with comedian Ken Jeong, a big fan of the band. 

The four men rip through Linkin Park classics, an Outkast song, “screaning” lessons (that’s scream singing), a dance break and more. Because this goes beyond the James Corden segments that started the carpool movement, the group goes on a karaoke bus for even more antics.

Fans of Bennington and the band were thrilled, and emotional, about the new video. 

“Everyone at home watching should all sing along,” Bennington says at the end. 

What are you waiting for?

If you want to talk to someone or are experiencing suicidal thoughts, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list is a good place to start.

Read more:

5 Easy Ways Airlines Could Make Flying Suck Way Less

Modern airlines are miracle destroyers. They’ve managed to take one of mankind’s most spectacular achievements, self-powered flight, and turn it into the absolute goddamned worst thing imaginable. But the next time you consider walking to another continent rather than endure a flight, remember that it doesn’t need to be this way. Air travel could be made a thousand times more efficient and enjoyable by only changing a few small things. Here are those things.


Make Passengers Less Angry By Not Making Them Walk Through First Class

Unless you’re unseemly rich or can get your work to pay for it, odds are you’re flying economy. That means paying for the privilege to sit still in space small enough that it violates several human rights laws while your lungs get filled with badly recycled air and overpriced peanut dust. But as if that’s not punishment enough, airlines love to rub in what a poor you are by having you march through first class — a place with larger seats, free food, and complimentary puppies. Revolutions have been started over less.

This isn’t us making assumptions, either. Actual experts did some plane science and determined that simply knowing that there are luxury seats being filled by someone else’s ass instead of yours will increase the chances of a passenger becoming unruly by 384 percent. The researchers noted that this is the same psychological effect one would get from a nine-hour flight delay.

DeCelles & Norton
To which the reporters probably replied, “Oh, so you’ve flown with United before.”

What’s surprising is that this affects all passengers on a plane. The passengers in coach/economy/sardine class are naturally going to be more irritated, but this spike in “air rage” also affects the caviar lovers in first class. In fact, they are almost 12 times more likely to throw a fit if they board from the front of the plane instead of the middle. The researchers called these “entitled reactions,” which is a more tactful way of saying that watching all the peons shuffle past you to their economy class seats turns you into a smug, insufferable little shit.

It’s worth noting that some airlines are working to reduce this. Some are toying with creating a Downton Abbey-style system with two jetways for boarding so that the proles and the aristocracy never have to cross paths. As it should be.


Instead Of Forcibly Bumping Off Passengers, Hold A Seat Auction

United Airlines made headlines back in April for its “Beat It or We Beat You” overbooking policy. A flight had been overbooked — by which we mean it wasn’t overbooked at all, but United wanted to give paid seats to their own crew members — so the airline tried offering passengers up to $800 apiece to give up their seats. But when nobody bit, they started forcing random people off the plane. One passenger, a doctor, refused, because he figured he should care more about his sick patients than United wanting an extra flight attendant in Louisville a few hours early. As a reward, he was beaten and dragged off the plane. Two weeks and one concussion later, they reached an expensive financial settlement so that nobody had to learn a valuable lesson.

“Yes, we learned that from now on, we should ask passengers to turn off cellphones even earlier before takeoff …”

There’s such an easy solution here: Just ask who’s easiest to bribe. Seat auctions, as they are known, used to happen all the time back in the ’70s, those mystical days of your parents’ youth, when candy was a penny and politicians at least pretended they were trying. The process is simple: Whoever accepts the smallest amount for their ticket gets paid (off). If no one raises their hands at first, you up the reward until some slacker figures he’d rather buy a 4K TV than get home on time. And it worked really well, until airlines realized that saving two microseconds of income and bullying people out of seats would be a lot more fun.

United, if they weren’t so busy letting sexual assaulters walk out of their airports, could learn a thing or two from Delta, which has taken a novel and slightly devious approach to the seat auction. When you check in on a Delta flight that’s in danger of being overbooked, they will ask you in advance how much money you’d accept in exchange for a later flight, so they know beforehand whom to approach if they need to bump someone. It’s basically a blind seat auction, and it helps Delta get planes out faster while kicking fewer customers to the curb. It might dash your hopes of getting $5,000 for your seat and throwing a legendary party, but … actually yeah, that just sucks.

Some of you may be screaming “JUST STOP OVERBOOKING FLIGHTS!” at the screen, but that will never happen. People miss flights or cancel all the time, and because giant metal tubes flying through the air while flipping off God is expensive, airlines will chase every single dollar they can get. So overbooking is here to stay, but hopefully people can make a few bucks off of it from now on instead of losing their teeth.


Let Computers Get Planes Off The Runway Faster

Have you ever been on a taxiing plane, ready to get up in the air and watch Bridesmaids for the fourth time, when the pilot announces that they’ll be waiting another 20 minutes on the tarmac? Could you physically feel your soul shrivel and die a little bit? That happens a lot. At Newark International Airport, passengers wait an average of 52 minutes on the runway during bad traffic, which is sometimes longer than the flight itself. But even if the runways were wide open, those Newark passengers still waited an average of 14 minutes, burning up jet fuel and seeing how long they could keep their phone on before being yelled at by the flight crew.

The problem is that airports are apparently too dumb to figure how to optimally start pushing planes away from the gate so that they all end take off at ideal intervals. Fortunately, we created something smart enough to do that job for us: computers.

Hamsa Balakrishnan, MIT
You may have read about them online.

Hamsa Balakrishnan, one of the above-average giant brains at MIT, created a queuing model which took a number of different factors into account, such as weather, runway traffic, and arrival schedules. The model then spat out the optimal time for each plane to push away from its gate in order to take off as soon as possible. Balakrishnan then tested her model out at five different airports, and found that taxiing time was reduced by an average of 20 percent, saving ten minutes on average during a congested day at Newark — which can be the difference between making a connecting flight and sleeping overnight on the floor of a terminal.

However, saving time isn’t the only benefit. Each aircraft that idles at the gate instead of waiting on the tarmac saves between 16 and 20 gallons of fuel, both helping the environment and saving airlines tons of money, which could translate into lower ticket prices (it wouldn’t). Thankfully, Balakrishnan’s model is so easy to implement into existing systems that it’s already being tested out at airports around the country. Soon we’ll have computer algorithms deciding when airplanes take off to avoid crashing into each other … unless they figure out that crashing them is more cost-effective, in which case we’re all screwed.


Get Passengers On Planes Faster By Using Smarter Ordering

If you’re not one of the rich or lucky few who get to fly first class, even getting on the plane can be a pain in the ass. You have to stand around the entrance to the line, waiting to pounce as soon as your group number is called. Then, once you get on the plane, you have to stop every ten feet for another passenger to jam their bags in the overhead bin like it’s the first time they’ve ever lifted their arms over their heads.

You might have wondered why airlines don’t just load passengers in the order of where their seats are, starting at the back of the plane. But do you know why those greedy assholes at the airport don’t do it? Because it’s a terrible idea, that’s why. People still need to take up space checking their bags, which prevents other people from doing the same. So all back-to-front boarding would do is move the line from the airport to the smaller, more inconvenient, and ultimately more infuriating airplane. Not only would no time be saved, but the risk of people sitting in the tail section getting bludgeoned to death would also skyrocket.

Fortunately, there’s a way of boarding passengers that is much faster — up to twice as fast, in fact. You didn’t guess what it is, though, because it’s this:

Jason Steffen

This is known as the Steffen method, because an extremely smart man named Jason Steffen punched his computer keyboard until it spat out that jumble of numbers. Instead of a steady stream of suffering, customers board in waves, taking up every other seat one side at a time. This way, no two people need to put away their luggage near each other at the same time, and since putting away luggage is the biggest time-waster during boarding, that would save all of us a lot of standing around staring at the seat you can’t get to, wondering if you can strangle that weak-armed teenager before the air marshal can get to you.


Improve Both Prices And Comfort By Charging Customers By The Pound

First off, don’t shoot the messenger. We’re not fond of giving the skinnies even more things to be smug about, either. What would they even spend their extra money on? Kale? But the hard truth is that when it comes to keeping a metal tube in the air as efficiently as possible, weight is a very important factor. So strap in, and if the straps are digging into your thighs, prepare to be told why you should pay more for a ticket.

The heavier an object, the harder and more expensive it becomes to keep it afloat in these spectacular displays of mankind’s hubris. In fact, weight can make such a difference financially that airlines will do just about anything if it can save their planes an ounce or two. For example, merely by switching out the two required 40-pound flight instruction manuals for two iPads, American Airlines is saving itself $1.2 million a year in fuel costs. That’s like 40 iPads.

So with the growing size of, well, everyone, airlines have already started jacking up ticket prices to account for the possibility of substantially heavier planes. One airline, however, thinks that it has found a better solution. Samoa Air is now charging passengers different ticket fares based on how much they weigh. Samoa is one of the huskiest countries in the world, so they would be particularly sensitive to weight concerns on planes. When you book a flight, you enter an estimate of your weight, and then they weigh you again at the airport to be sure you paid the right amount. Yes, they weigh you at the airport. We don’t know what’s worse: being forced to be weighed, or that being forced to be weighed isn’t even the most invasive thing that’ll happen to you going through an airport.

The obvious counterargument is that this is discriminatory against overweight people, which it is, but Samoa Air doesn’t see it like that. According to them, “airlines don’t run on seats; they run on weight.” By their logic, you’re not buying an airplane seat; you’re buying an airplane seat and the amount of fuel it takes to keep a you-shaped mass 40,000 feet in the air. Chris Langton, the CEO of the airline, also pointed out airlines are already discriminating in reverse by charging passengers more for luggage based on weight when another passenger could carry that weight on their person and not pay a cent more. We’re not sure if Langton said those words out loud to himself before saying them to the press, to see exactly how they sounded coming out of a human being’s mouth, but it’s too late for that now.

Want to make air travel suck less, and also look like a swollen-headed alien monster? Put this thing on your head.

If you loved this article and want more like it, please support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page.

Also check out 5 Surprisingly Solvable Problems America Can’t Figure Out and 4 Easy Solutions To Problems We All Complain About.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out The Obvious Solution To The Airline Problem (United Airlines), and watch other videos you won’t see on the site!

Follow our new Pictofacts Facebook page, and we’ll follow you everywhere.

Get intimate with our new podcast Cracked Gets Personal. Subscribe for funny, fascinating episodes like “Inside The Secret Epidemic Of Cops Shooting Dogs” and “Murdered Sex Dolls And Porn Suitcases: What Garbagemen See,” available wherever you get your podcasts.

Read more:

Was there ever life on Mars? If there was, it might have been here.

Life on Mars.

Astronomy’s white whale.

Scientists have found yet another clue as to where it may have once existed.

Researchers examining images from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have uncovered “massive” hydrothermal deposits in the planet’s southern hemisphere, likely remnants of the same volcanic-activity-plus-water cocktail that provided the ingredients for early life on Earth.

“Even if we never find evidence that there’s been life on Mars, this site can tell us about the type of environment where life may have begun on Earth,” Paul Niles of NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston announced in a press release marking the discovery.

The deposits are roughly 3.7 billion years old, according to researcher estimates.

Because Earth’s crust is constantly shifting, it’s virtually impossible to find parts of our planet containing evidence of the early primordial soup party that likely paved the way for the rest of us to evolve.

A visualization of how deep the water most likely was in Mars’ Eridania basin, where the deposits were found. Image via NASA.

Having similar environments to study on another, slightly maroon-er planet just down the cosmic road from us could be a boon for researchers, whether or not they ever dig up Martian skeletons (or, far more likely, bacterial fossils).

Such environments contain ideal conditions for “life that doesn’t need a nice atmosphere or temperate surface, but just rocks, heat and water,” according to Niles.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter launched in 2005 in an effort to determine if water covered Mars’ surface long enough for life to emerge.

Since entering orbit around the planet the following year, the probe has photographed craters full of ice, polar avalanches, and widespread mineral deposits similar to the one just found.

Thanks to the orbiter’s continued good health, the search for evidence that life once walked (swam? slithered? cilia-paddled?) the red planet goes on — with a new signpost on the trail.

Could a breakthrough be imminent?

Perhaps in…

You never know with Mars.

Read more:

Here Are Your Weekly Horoscopes For The Week Of October 9th

Well, we survived a full moon last week and Mercury isn’t in retrograde or any shit like that this week, so unless you’re due for some sort of monster period or something, your week should be pretty smooth sailing no matter what sign you’re under. Something to note: Jupiter moves into Scorpio this week, which is great news for the water signs—Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Jupiter will stay there for, like, a year, so if you’ve been needing some good luck, this is your time to capitalize.


Jupiter mobilizing this week is actually excellent news for you because it’s entering one of your most important houses: your money house. Since Jupiter posts up here for the next 12 months, this is your best year to go for that big job, promotion, or to make that big purchase. Big purchase as in an apartment, not like, a Birkin. I mean, get the bag if you want, but don’t expect it to really benefit your life in a major way.


Jupiter slides out of your DMs this week. Wait, is it possible to slide out of someone’s DMs or only into them? IDK, but what I’m trying to say is Jupiter is directly opposite your sign starting this week. Jupiter not only controls what goes on with your money, but the planet is also tied to happiness or some shit. You would think it being opposite your sign would be a bad thing, but you’d be wrong in assuming that. The next year is one of prosperity and joy for you. You’re welcome.


While most betches are trading bikinis for sweatpants this time of year, you’re actually going to be more focused on your fitness and overall health starting now-ish. Like, thanks Jupiter. Your fitness kick with actually help improve other aspects of your life. You know, because endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. With more focus and energy, you’ll feel more fulfilled at work or with however you’ve chosen to spend your life. Overall, this is an excellent time for you to start working toward some results.


Jupiter in Scorpio is, like, the total best for you. Just buckle the fuck up for a great year ahead, really. You’ve been grinding away for what seems like forever, and now that you’ve set up a really strong and decent foundation for yourself, it’s definitely time to reap those blessings. The year ahead promises adventure, romance, and travel opportunities. Things have felt kinda heavy in your life, but the next year is all about lightening the hell up and enjoying the shit out of being a Cancer betch.


Your life always works better when you work your sign and the planets instead of against them. Normally, you’d scoff at the idea of settling down and letting your nesting instincts kick in, but like, this might actually be a really good year for you to start digging some roots in. It’s important you start laying some foundations for where you want to end up in life, or at least entertaining those kinds of thoughts. By no means do you need to get serious AF and get married and pop out a bunch of babies. Fuck that. No, just like, think about your dream future and work toward that.


Let’s be real, Virgo, you are prone to some negative self-talk. It’s probably because you’re a really analytical and intelligent sign, so you’re more apt to contemplate and think deeply about your life choices—that can often mean you’re really critical of others and yourself, though. The next year is all about a more positive outlook. Like, no, you don’t have to start wearing a color that isn’t black. You’ll just be a little easier on yourself and a little more joyful from within. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.


Not that you’ve ever had a hard time spending money on yourself, but with Jupiter entering your Earnings House, you’ll be more likely to invest in bigger ticket items. Say goodbye to Forever 21 polyester and hello to some J. Crew cotton blends! Over the next 12 months, you’ll be more likely to afford the finer things in life as money-making potential abounds. No more scrimping and saving every last penny so you can look like you have it made; this is the year where you’ll actually have it made. Nice.


Obvi, the sign that benefits the most from Jupiter entering Scorpio is, well, Scorpio. Duh. In case you didn’t already know, you’re a water sign, and this next year is one where your fluidity in all situations will benefit you greatly. You’ll fit in in just about every situation as your ability to adapt will be at an all-time high. Also, you’ll just be overall more likable because everyone else can tell how #blessed you are during the next year and they want some of your luck to rub off on them. Beware of fake friends who want to just bask in your glow and not be a true ride or die.


You’re the investigator of the zodiac, meaning if someone is lying or being shady, you’re most likely to find out. You’ve had some questions about something in your life and over the next 12 months, you’ll finally get your fucking answers. While you might be losing trust in one aspect of your life, you’ll be gaining some faith and understanding in another. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of crystals or some other bullshit; you’ll have all the clarity you need on your own.


Jupiter is making you increasingly popular in the next year. Sure, normally you’re pretty social and have a tight-knit group of friends, but basically everyone you meet is going to want to be bffs with you this year. Don’t shun anyone new who wants to hang out with you; you’re actually looking at a window where new friendships will be mutually beneficial. Like, they get to hang out with you and you get to use whatever connections they have to offer. Of course, you can’t just use people for their cool party invites. C’mon, be a good person. It’s like, the rules of feminism.


Jupiter travels right across the top of your chart like “YASSS BETCH”. Sort of like what happens when the Sun is at the top of your chart, when Jupiter is above you, you experience a big bump in the eyes of others. Anyone in a position of authority is more likely to see you through rose-colored glasses. Expect awards, compliments, promotions and maybe a few new romantic suitors in the year ahead. Life is not bad for the Aquarius betch this year.


Jupiter means knowledge, power, wealth and happiness. In the next year, you’re building toward big awards and accolades. You’ll be #blessed, like all the other water signs, with the power of Jupiter ruling over you over the next 12 months. This of the next year as a time to, unfortunately, keep working hard. But the good news is you’re setting yourself up for one of the most successful years of your life: 2019. Big things are in store for you, Pisces betch! 

Read more:

Blizzard takes legal action against ‘Overwatch’ copycat

Image: blizzard entertainment

There’s a Chinese mobile game called Heroes of Warfare, which takes as much inspiration as possible from Blizzard Entertainment’s hit game Overwatch. A little too much inspiration for Blizzard’s liking.

Blizzard and its Chinese partner NetEase are suing Heroes of Warfare‘s creators, 4399, for infringing on its intellectual property, Japanese news site PC Watch reported today. Blizzard claims that 4399’s Heroes of Warfare and another game that’s already been shut down is too similar to Overwatch, and is calling for a take down.

Just take a look through this gameplay video of Heroes of Warfare and you’ll see what Blizzard is getting at:

Many of the playable characters in Heroes of Warfare look and play similarly to the heroes in Overwatch, the maps are nearly identical to Overwatch maps, and the heads-up display showing scores, kills, and health is basically the same as Overwatch‘s.

As is common practice for intellectual property infringement lawsuits, Blizzard is asking for 4399 to cease production of its copycat games, for monetary compensation for damages, and that Heroes of Warfare be removed from iOS and Android app stores.

This isn’t the first time a game developer has copied Overwatch‘s aesthetics and gameplay approaches. A different Chinese mobile game called Hero Mission did the exact same thing earlier this year. In fact, Hero Mission and Heroes of Warfare are pretty hard to tell apart.

Also, sidenote to all game developers ripping off existing games: Try to come up with better, less-generic names than Heroes of Warfare. What does that even mean?

H/T Kotaku

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

Read more: