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.

5

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.

4

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.

3

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.

2

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.

1

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.

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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.

Aries

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.

Taurus

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.

Gemini

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.

Cancer

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.

Leo

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.

Virgo

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.

Libra

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.

Scorpio

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.

Sagittarius

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.

Capricorn

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.

Aquarius

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.

Pisces

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: http://www.betches.com/weekly-horoscopes-10-9-17

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

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

6

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Change those fucking passwords, guys.

5

Trolls Inflated The Number Of Kids Missing After The Manchester Bombing

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

Twitter

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


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

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

4

Griefers Are Destroying Kids Minecraft Worlds

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

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

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

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

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

3

YouTube Is Crawling With Horrific Gory Remakes Of Kids TV Programs

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

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

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

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

2

Stormfront Is Tricking Students With A Bullshit MLK Jr. Website

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

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


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

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

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

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

1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is How Much The Friends Apartments Would Cost Today

Everything I’ve learned in life, I learned from . No, not my core group of Comm-majoring-drunk on-a-Wednesday-afternoon-losers—I’m talking about the six greatest people you will ever meet on the single greatest sitcom you will ever see (except for Ross and don’t @ me on that). Like, I’d never survive my 20s had I not learned that counting Mississippily when spray tanning results in borderline blackface, “meat sweats” are a legit medical condition, and being “on a break” apparently doesn’t mean I have a free pass at drunk-dialing my ex.

But out of everything, this is hands down the most valuable piece of info I’ve learned:

JK, that one I actually did learn from my own friends’ mistakes. But something I was forced to learn the hard way was that spending weekday afternoons in a coffeehouse bitching to my friends about being ghosted doesn’t result in me coming home to my comfy downtown loft with takeout (the ‘90s term for Seamless) every night. Not that shacking it in a studio apartment with three other people plotting ways to divvy up the remaining $12.35 balance on my debit card isn’t my definition of fun, but it’d be cool if someone gave me a heads up that life was gonna be this way, ya know? Anyway, I know your job’s a joke, you’re probably broke, and your love life… wellppp… but the friends would’ve been much worse off had their apartments been IRL-priced, so grab a bottle and chill the fuck out.

Joey & Chandler’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: 90 Bedford St., #19 New York NY
Rent: $4,200/month

I won’t discredit the size of Joey and Chandler’s apartment located across the hall from Monica’s, but I will discredit Joey’s acting career, which was comparable to gas station sushi. After being killed off early on, he went flat broke (as do most acting wannabes). Luckily, Joey had Chandler to save him from being a full-time dumpster diver, but Chandler was forced to provide for Joey and two farm animals on a transponster whatever-the-fuck-he-does’s salary for at least five seasons, which makes no sense.

A 2-bed/1-bath apartment in West Village that’s big enough to fit a foosball table and two Barcaloungers isn’t as shocking as the $4,200/month rent Chandler put down, which is like $2,850/month 18 years ago (yes, you’re old af), and that’s on the lower end of the spectrum, assuming the place hadn’t yet been tampered with during a game of “Hammer Darts” or “Extreme Fireball.” That rent also doesn’t include the utility bills and other shit Chandler had to pay for, like Joey’s health insurance and will to live, but honestly thank god for Joey, or Chan would prob still be half a virgin by now.

Ross’ (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: Somewhere across the street from Monica’s place
Rent: $4,500/month

If it wasn’t for Ross pulling the No. 1 fuckboy move and mixing up his hoes in different area codes almost marrying that British bitch with a scone up her ass, he’d still be living in a typical NYC shithole. Instead, he found an apartment with a bird’s-eye view of his sister’s and best friend’s sexcapades every night (EW). But out of every character’s living situation, the only believable one just so happens to be Ross’s, thanks to his career as a doctor paleontologist/college professor who sometimes fucks his students.

A 2-bed/1-bath, 700-square-foot apartment in the same West Village neighborhood as Monica averages to about $4,500/month, which would’ve been about $3,054/month back in ‘99. And considering Ross threw a bitch fit (when tf did he not?) about his fucking apothecary table that one time, I’d assume his bougie dino cave was equipped with an updated interior and (prob) fossilized foliage preserved in the wood flooring or some shit. Therefore, it’d likely be at the more expensive end of this rent spectrum.

Monica’s (& Rachel’s & Chandler’s & Phoebe’s) Apartment

Address: 90 Bedford St., #20 New York NY
Rent: $8,500+/month

Monica illegally subletting her grandma’s old apartment for 10+ years is the kind of savagery I strive to reach one day. But you seriously have to be a verified idiot to think that a ‘50s diner cook with flame-retardant boobs and a barista with waitressing skills as abominable as Blake Lively’s acting career would live comfortably in a 1,500-square-foot apartment, and not to mention while also feeding four other mooch-y parasite friends who apparently enter and eat and leave as they please.

She and Rachel were only paying $300/month living in their 2-bed/1-bath open floor plan apartment with a balcony that’s been rent controlled since apparently 600 B.C. Yeah, I said $300, like one pair of Khloé’s stupidly priced denim line, or a weekend bar tab. I already mentioned that 700(ish)-square-foot apartments in West Village average $4,200/month, so just double the rent for double the floor plan and maybe pop a Xanny immediately after.

Phoebe’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

Address: 5 Morton St. # 14, New York, NY
Actual Rent: $3,400/month

First off, I’m calling bullshit on Phoebe and this whole freelance masseuse thing which, looking back, was def a fancy term for the upscale West Village prostitute, Regina Phalange. You heard it here first. This brings me to my next issue. Phoebe might’ve also inherited her 1-bed/1-bath apartment from her grandma, but I’d rather believe the blatant lie that is Trump’s latest tweet than believe that a freelance masseuse, who literally cancelled on and fucked over 90% of her clients every episode, made a comfortable living in Manhattan.

Her decent-sized 1-bed/1-bath pad, which was later turned into a 2-bed when Denise lived with her (K WHO TF WAS DENISE?!), was located four blocks from the rest of the friends’ apartments with an average monthly rent of $3,400 ($2,300 in the ‘90s), but there’s still no fucking way she’d be able to make rent while also doing this thing called LIVING. And do NOT even think about bringing the loose pocket change and occasional condom tips from Phoebe’s open mic days into this equation. #ItsNotSmellyCatsFault

Phoebe’s Rundown Buick LeSabre

Address: Probably some alleyway in Hunts Point
Rent: Stolen

Ok, so we never really saw Phoebe’s life pre-friends (or we did if you count watching ), but we do know that she lived a fucking badass/hard-knock life by living in a rundown Buick LeSabre on the streets of New York growing up. I mean, she mugged prepubescent goober Ross who collected rocks instead of Hot Wheels, and that in and of itself is iconic.

Based on the cost of gas to keep her car warm in the winter, the medical costs from getting Hepatitis after a pimp spit in her mouth, the shared funeral costs for her mom who killed herself, and the priceless cost of living to tell it all, Phoebe is a fucking legend and a probable alien, but mostly a complete mystery that I will dedicate the rest of my life to cracking the case on.

Read more: http://www.betches.com/how-much-each-friends-apartment-would-cost-today

Somebody Please Explain Why Diet Avocados Exist

We’re all familiar with this dilemma: You want to eat an avocado because they are delicious and supposedly full of “healthy fat” (whatever tf that is). You go to preemptively enter one into your calorie counter and realize, “Fuck, this is a lot of calories for something that is supposed to keep me skinny. But now that dilemma is a thing of the past thanks to Satan Spanish food company Isla Bonita, who just introduced the world to Frankenstein’s monster The Avocado Light, aka, diet avocados. Helloooo Nobel Committee? I think we’ve found your next Peace Prize.

So what is the Avocado Light? Is it the harbinger of the apocalypse, as foretold in the ? Maybe.

Here’s what we know: Not only do these avocados have only 70% of the fat content found in OG avocados, but they also ripen faster and turn brown slower, so you won’t have to deal with the avocado’s other biggest issue: the fact that they’re only edible within a 24 hour window. Before that window, hard as a rock. After that window, disgusting mush. There is no in between.

But before you head to Amazon and attempt to buy a life supply of these scientific marvels, slow your roll. Because America literally can’t have nice things right now, Isla Bonita is limiting distribution of these diet avocados to Spain. TBH, stocking up on diet avocados sounds like a good enough reason to plan a trip to Spain for me. Like, I’m doing it for my health. 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/diet-avocados

4 Weird Panics Everyone Has For No Logical Reason

Watching horror movies during my grade-school days has deadened my nerves, and now I’m just not really responsive to anything that I technically should be panicking about. Pity me. However, if you have adequate senses and find that you freak out all the time, don’t be ashamed. For most people, having a reaction to things is normal, and having a gross overreaction is not uncommon at all. In fact, there’s science behind damn near all of it. Yay, science!

4

Mystery Noises

I live in an area festooned with vermin, ranging from skunks to raccoons to guys who wear socks with sandals. When I’m settled in for a night of watching Master Chef like a responsible adult and I hear a rummaging outside my window, I should be able to rationally deduce that it is most likely one of those unhygienic little bastards trying to rustle up a meal in my trash. And even if it isn’t — even if it actually is a burglar or Gary Busey gone walkabout again — since it must be a skunk 999 times out of 1,000, that should be the go-to thought that I have. But it’s not. It’s never the thought I have. In fact, the thought I always have is “Maybe being stabbed won’t be that bad.”

No doubt any noise in your house which you don’t have an immediate explanation for sends your neck hair into hysterics. From a creaking floor to a rattled can to some random thump upstairs that’s probably your fat cat falling off the bed, it stands to reason that every noise has a rational explanation. Yet we tend to jump to the most irrational reason first. How many times have you legitimately wondered if maybe that noise was some kind of Michael-Myers-esque slasher in the hall closet when in fact it was just the air conditioner kicking on?

That fear of loud noises is called “phonophobia,” and it’s an insidious little bastard of a fear because, realistically, any sudden loud noise is going to take you by surprise. This is what makes jump scares in horror movies so effective — it’s not a building of dread and atmosphere as much as some asshole poking you from behind when you didn’t see them coming. You have no choice but to be startled by a sudden bang in the house because it’s not the normal flow of things. Your nerves are immediately set on edge, and like our woodland friends, we feel that creeping panic. In extreme cases, it can be a debilitating condition that makes you panic at possibly the literal drop of a hat, but even in mild forms, you’re going to be spooked when you hear an errant fart in the night.

Part of any creature’s survival instinct is to be wary of sudden changes in the world around them. Any wild animal tends to freeze the moment they hear a strange noise and then bolt when they feel threatened. Your brain is just a frightened little bunny when you hear a frying pan fall when there’s no one in the kitchen, and your imagination will fill in the rest for you. Maybe it’s just because you left it precariously on the edge of the counter, or maybe the vampires slipping in through your window are a little clumsy.

3

Health Scares

Who amongst us hasn’t had that ominous moment when we feel a scratch at the back of the throat and a bit of a sniffle coming on, so we whisk away to WebMD, only to learn, tragically, that we have hypersyphilis and endometribetes of the testicles? This is especially shocking for ladies. But WebMD is a doctor (it’s right in the damn name), so you can’t not believe the diagnosis. You face the fact that you’re going to die, probably later this afternoon, and set about getting your affairs in order. Your family gets the nice set of plates, your cat gets everything else.

Most of us have little bouts of hypochondria, and that’s normal. It usually just means that you chug orange juice through a beer funnel to get the most Vitamin C you can for a few days. We all do that, right? But this habit of looking up your ills online and allowing your fears to spiral out of control has its own name, and it’s cyberchondria.

When you rush off to WebMD because you wake up every morning feeling sad and immediately think you’re manic-depressive, you start a furious chain of shittery that may end up snowballing into all manner of craptastical tomfoolery. Lacking the training to properly diagnose yourself and simply going by whatever symptom + disease combo comes up first in a Google search is more likely to stress you out, and when you do go see a physician, it’s also more likely to direct your diagnosis toward what you think you want or need to hear. Maybe you only have a headache and one swollen ass flap, but WebMD said that when combined with leaky nipples, it’s a sign of spinal liquefaction, so you bring up how you kind of do maybe remember having a drippy nipple the other day.

The big issue with this method of self-diagnosis is that you end up believing you have 100 diseases you don’t have and could very well miss one you do have, because you don’t know your ass from grape jelly when it comes to medicine, just like the rest of us.

The medical profession, for whatever reason, engenders a lot of mistrust. Google it and you’ll discover hundreds of articles on why you shouldn’t trust doctors, and why you should instead trust Greg, a guy with a blog. Reasons range from outright quackery to the fear that the medical profession is just a money-making scam to the hopelessness of people who haven’t been able to find help. There’s a rich tapestry of potential reasons someone wouldn’t trust a doctor, and even though that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t trust medical science, it seems a lot cheaper to diagnose yourself at home. Also, you’re probably tempted to believe you know yourself better than any doctor. Of course, that’s a load of horseshit, and you need only recall every dumb decision you’ve ever made in your life as proof.

Despite the lack of logic, we want to solve our own problems, and without the medical know-how to back it up, we tend to just make it worse in our minds because, you know, we’re ignorant and silly.

2

Fear Of Chemicals And Additives

There’s a fairly famous story about a prank that’s gone around since the ’90s. Penn and Teller even devoted an episode of their show to it, circulating a petition against dihydrogen monoxide while explaining how breathing it in can kill you and all that crap. The joke, of course, is that dihydrogen monoxide is water, and you’re an unscientific chump if you fall for this scam, you silly tit.

There’s a little more to this joke than scientific illiteracy, though, and that’s processing fluency, a kind of familiarity heuristic. In the simplest terms, we as people like easy-to-understand, familiar things. So if I give you two plates of food, and one I just call pot roast with veggies and the other is ossobucco and you’ve never heard of that, you’re going to be more likely to feel comfortable with the pot roast, even though they’re essentially the same thing, despite how furious any chefs reading this will now be.

Weird words weird us out, and no words are weirder than the names of chemicals. Water sounds much friendlier than dihydrogen monoxide. Carbon monoxide can kill you, for god’s sake, so who knows what sinister shit dihydrogen has up its sleeve. Who wants to risk massive anal scarring from acetylsalicylic acid when you can take a friendly aspirin? Stay the fuck away from methylenedioxymethamphetamine, and instead go dancing with Molly.

This is essentially how your brain makes decision-making simpler, and companies use it to dupe you into buying certain products. The easier terms and words are, the more familiar and safe they sound and the less work your brain has to do when trying to decide if you should inject something between your toes or sprinkle it on your donut. In your own head, you’re convincing yourself you’ve done the right thing.

This brilliantly applies to marketing, especially in the world of holistic, non-GMO, organic, flaccid, no-donkey-punching foods and supplements. Good god, no reasonable person would ever want to buy granola bars jam-packed with sodium benzoate, whatever the fuck that is. That’s why Granny Goodtime only sells bars made with pure granola, figs, and lung butter. It’s goodness you can taste! Granny Goodtime wouldn’t trick you with dangerous things like syllables.

1

Baader-Meinhof Phenomena

Say I tell you about something you’ve never heard of before called “Ham-Chunnelling.” Ham-Chunnelling is what you call it when you force a not-insignificant portion of ham into your rectum. The more ham you get in there, the better you are at Ham-Chunnelling. And now, having heard this term for the first time, you head out into the wild and immediately run across a guy in a “Ham-Chunnelers 4 Life” shirt. Or maybe you just stumble across a couple at Starbucks making plans to chunnel some ham later that night. Or you notice that next to the Starbucks is a new place called Ham-Chunnel-Bucks. You just got Baader-Meinhoffed.

Also known as the frequency effect, the Baader-Meinhof phenomena is basically stumbling upon some obscure name or info for the first time, then running into it again fairly soon thereafter. Your mind immediately makes this significant. How could you have lived your whole life never knowing Scott Baio’s middle name is Grundle, and then, upon discovering it, run across a farmer’s market with an entire booth dedicated to handwritten Grundle Baio fanfic? That must be kismet or fate or some shit, right? That’s the Universe telling you something!

It’s not. The Universe doesn’t give two shits about what order you learn facts in, or how often you run across the same fact more than once. It’s called a coincidence, and the Universe is so up to its crotch in coincidences that you’d choke on a biscuit if you could appreciate even a fraction of them. However, the human mind doesn’t cotton to coincidence being coincidental. We demand patterns in chaos, so a coincidence becomes a conspiracy with almost no prompting whatsoever.

Suppose you walk your dog every day after dinner. One day, you walk through the alley and cut a wicked fart. It wafts up to a neighbor’s window and the dude inside smells burrito and shit, apropos of nothing. The next day, you walk your dog again and just happen to fart in the same place. The dude inside, at the exact same time, smells the exact same fart and is suddenly convinced that there’s a fartspiracy afoot. Why does his apartment stink like a burrito shit at the same time each day, when he’s eaten neither a burrito nor a shit in months? What could it mean? Is the government trying some kind of nerve gas experiment? This example was abhorrent, but it’s mostly effective. One man’s unexplained phenomena is another man’s leftover Taco Bell.

Ian will quell any panic you may be feeling on Twitter.

Get your very own Ham Chunneler (TM)

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-ways-we-trick-ourselves-into-strangely-specific-panics/

3 Terrifying Pieces Of Anti-Woman Legislation You Need To Know About Right Now

When I mention your body’s biggest enemy, you probably have something that came immediately to mind: your thighs, your arms, the pimple you got from dropping kettle corn into your mouth/all over your face so you could eat without sitting up for normal adult reasons. Or maybe you thought of the parade of fuckboys last few bros you banged who confirmed for you that some people just weren’t built to interact with the female body. This second guess is closer to what I’m actually talking about, because it similarly concerns a group of largely white men (if you’d like to fight me on your sexual history, feel free, I’m just taking a guess) who have no business with women’s bodies, and yet can’t leave them the fuck alone. Those people are called YOUR GOVERNMENT. (Mic drop, I am political.)

In all honesty, I probably don’t have a single friend who would describe me as political; I don’t even feel like I ignore the news on purpose, it just kind of floats past me, like everything that was ever said in a high school history class. But because I’m a selfish bitch I care about my readers very much, when I hear about bullshit new measures that will negatively affect my body both on a daily basis and in times of need, I am going to listen the fuck up and urge you all to do the same. Here’s a rundown of the three scariest pieces of legislation aimed to limit women’s choices right now—and for those of you with any remaining doubts that I really do not usually care/write about politics, please know that I literally just Googled the word “legislation” to make sure I was using it correctly. Feels good.

1. Remember When Obama Made Your Boss Pay for Your Birth Control? Yeah, That’s Over.

In a continued bid to out-evil Satan, Trump made a fun little announcement last Friday: He’s shut down the Obama-era law requiring most employers to cover co-pay-free birth control, an amazing measure we definitely all took completely for granted. Now, in the nation of Gilead Trump’s America, employers will be able to cite “religious or moral objection” to covering birth control, and BAM: You can no longer afford brunch, because that budget has been re-allocated to your “not getting pregnant” fund. Oh, and regardless of your birth control type, this shit is not cheap: My employer insurance had a fun two-week blackout last month and I was charged $200 for a 30-day supply of my GENERIC birth control pill. So don’t even try to come at me with that “just pay out of pocket, mer mer mer, women want everything for free” shit, TYLER.

Proposed Solution: If there is a guy you are regularly having sex with, and your birth control coverage is affected, ask him to pay for half. I know this doesn’t effect change on a policy level, but as a group, can women please stop accepting sole financial responsibility for preventing pregnancy? If the guy you’re fucking starts whining about the cost, just tell him there’s a 100% free alternative: You can stop having sex with him, forever.

2. 20 Weeks Pregnant? Cool, You’re Having a Baby Now.

Though this isn’t yet in immediate effect like the above measure, a bill recently passed through the House of Representatives criminalizing abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Never mind the fact that if our government hates abortions so much, they probably shouldn’t have repealed the access to free birth control, which conveniently yielded lower abortion rates than we had in 1973, when abortion was made legal nation-wide. Never mind the disgustingly insulting title for this bill of “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” which would perhaps have been more aptly titled “Pain-Capable and Very Much Born Adult Woman Punishment Act.” In this case, let’s focus on the fact that one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Tim Murphy of Pennsylvania, was literally texting his mistress to GET AN ABORTION while passing this bill through the House. Everything about this bill (and its relation to less-available birth control) is so alarmingly nonsensical that I’m almost ready to start buying into lizard-person theories. Given the one season I watched of , I feel like “handling” a mistress’ pregnancy is basically a rite of passage for most politicians—so why are they so fucking intent on making sure those abortions need to be illegal and unsafe? It’s definitely not a conspiracy to have more women die during the procedure, rendering them unable to talk about the affair, right? Wait…right?

3. A Special-Edition Coverage Slash For Pre-Pregnant, Pregnant, And Post-Pregnant Women

This bad boy, otherwise known as the Graham-Cassidy bill, is luckily having a lot of trouble getting passed, so there’s chance you won’t actually have to deal with this specifically. Which is good because I JUST spent two hours of my Monday at a Planned Parenthood phone bank defeating this nightmare of a bill that keeps popping back up like a zombie Whack-A-Mole, can I live for one week?? But honestly, every proposed healthcare reform bill this garbage-monster administration has spewed out has been pretty similarly shitty, so expect comparable measures if they manage to get anything through. This particular bill has gone ahead and banned women on Medicaid from visiting Planned Parenthood (straight up, I do not know what Medicaid is, but oh my god just allow women access to appropriate healthcare, our bodies are more complicated than yours and we fucking need it). Also, it’s restricted abortion coverage and maternity care in the same bill, so really (unless you’re a politician’s mistress!), these people would like to ensure that you get pregnant, stay pregnant, and bear the emotional, physical, and financial burden of that pregnancy all on your own. Just like how you got pregnant all on your own, without the help of any second party. Right.

Basically, the only common thread of these new measures is that our government doesn’t give a shit about you or your body. There’s no ideological or economic background that makes any sense, much like when Dean started motorboating D-Lo in the pool, thus jeopardizing his supposed “deep emotional connection” with Kristina, and the lucrative fandom love that could have launched a thousand Instagram sponsorships. So, I encourage you to start thinking about our government the way you think about the fuckboys we deal with on a daily basis: Until they shape the fuck up, we’ll be heavily looking into alternative options. You don’t let fuckboys tell you what to do with your body, so let’s get them out of these government positions where they can literally charge you for going against their dumbass ideas on what your body has access to.

 
 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/3-anti-women-healthcare-legislation

Here Are Your Weekend Horoscopes For October 6-8th

It’s Friday, and you know what that means: It’s the freakin’ weekend. But how should you spend the weekend? Should you spend it sippin’ on Coke and rum, screaming “so what I’m drunk” to anyone who dares question you? Should you spend it asleep? Read your weekend horoscope to find out, and then get drunk anyway because we know that’s what you’re gonna do no matter what the stars say. 

Aries

Work got you down, Aries? Like, more than usual? After a summer of easy living and minimal office hours, it can be hard to get back into the swing of things. But you also don’t want to be that lazy asshole who is very obviously sitting at her desk taking Buzzfeed quizzes all day. What’s a girl to do? Use this weekend to decompress as much as humanly possible. You need to walk into work fresh-faced, bushy-tailed, and ready to do work on Monday, which means Saturday and Sunday need to be as tranquil as humanly possible. In general, make any off time an oasis to motivate yourself to get through the day.

Taurus

You know the saying work hard, play hard, Taurus? Well, it only applies if you keep up both ends of the bargain. Your work has left a little to be desired these past few weeks, which isn’t really being aided by the amount of playing you’re doing. Let this weekend serve as a detox of sorts: Cut the alcohol, maybe start sleeping again, see how a book treats you. You know, fun, peaceful stuff. Feel free to go hard on the partying once you get your work balance back to where it used to be.

Gemini

Things aren’t always going to go your way, Gemini. I know that can be hard to hear, seeing as how you demand almost the exact opposite, but this is going to be a weekend of tough truths. Our advice? Roll with the punches, and supplement with vodka when necessary. If it gets to be too much, just remove yourself from the equation and hide yourself away. There’s no shame in bowing out when you’ve had too much.

Cancer

Your life has been a whirlwind of movement and activity these past few weeks, Cancer, but it’s time to get back into the swing of things. Step one of resuming a normal life: Reconnect with your friends. It’s been long enough that you may have some difficulty recognizing each other, but it’s nothing an extended happy hour can’t fix. Once you’re back with your people and feeling grounded, it’ll be easier to move on to righting the rest of your life.

Leo

This weekend you’ll be presented with the opportunity to widen your circle and interact with some people that you typically wouldn’t. Sure, this sounds like a recipe for disaster on about 100 different levels, but armed with some solid allies and a little alcohol, there’s no harm in moving outside your comfort zone. It’s nice to branch out every once in a while, if anything to remind ourselves why we steadfastly avoid it every other weekend of the year.

Virgo

This is a weekend to take things easy, Virgo. While you’re not necessarily in hot water at the moment, one wrong step could put you into a very precarious situation with more than one person in your life. Your best bet is navigating this weekend carefully, opting to stay under the radar when possible. Things will ease up in the next couple weeks, but it would behoove you to tread lightly until then.

Libra

It’s birthday season, Libra! Congrats on making it to the most important time of the year. Your only job this weekend, and for the next couple weeks tbh, is to be as extra as possible. None of your friends can be mad, because those bitches will do the exact same thing when it’s their turn. Let the “treat yo’self” mentality start this weekend, as if you don’t live the rest of the year in the exact same way.

Scorpio

What’s good, Scorpio? Certainly not your luck. There’s just been something about the start of this month that has truly fucked with you, and you haven’t been able to catch a break all week. The good news: It’ll pass. The bad news: Not before the end of this weekend. We all have off-periods from time to time, it’s nothing to freak out about. But maybe try and avoid any high-stress situations this weekend in the hopes of flying under the radar until things turn around for you.

Sagittarius

Looking for a change, Sagittarius? It’s obvious you’re feeling restless, but the question is what are you trying to accomplish here? Fall is a great time for new starts, so if you’re looking to turn over a new leaf, this would be the perfect weekend to start. Use the next two days to get introspective af. Drink some tea, take some walks, sit on rocks and gaze into the distance. Whatever it takes to get you into decision-making mode, do it. You’re going to be making some big moves, be sure to take it seriously.

Capricorn

It’s time to start taking better care of yourself, Capricorn, in literally every sense of the world. You’ve taken a bit of a tumble off the self-care wagon, and this is the weekend you dive back on. Maybe you want to start eating healthier—spend the next two days recipe researching and meal prepping for the week ahead. Not feeling active enough? Get out there and enjoy the last of this weather before winter hits. Or take a mental health approach and spend your time adjusting your mindset. All that matters is that, come Monday, you feel like you’ve taken a real step to a happier, healthier you.

Aquarius

This is a big weekend for you, Aquarius. Some long-term plans are falling into place and you’re finally making real progress. Congrats! However, we know that you’re doing anything but celebrating. While some would be relieved by this by the idea of moving forward, you’re already knee-deep in analyzing and planning phase two. This weekend, give yourself a bit of a break from coordinating your life and let loose a little. It may be your last chance to blow off some steam for the foreseeable future, so kick back with a bottle of wine and leave the frantic shit for next Monday.

Pisces

October holds some real opportunity for you, Pisces. The planets are aligning for a productive month, but that doesn’t mean you can just sit back and coast. Doesn’t matter how generous Mercury is feeling if you spend the next three weeks on your ass. This weekend, take some time to establish a game plan for the things you want to get after this month. You’ll feel better knowing you’ve put some thought into something other than the season premiere of next week, and you’ll feel empowered Monday knowing you’ve got a plan moving forward.

 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/weekend-horoscopes-10-6-17

5 Ways Donald Trump’s Lies Are Trying To Break Your Brain

Hey there, you awesome person you! Congratulations: you’ve survived several months of a Donald Trump presidency. And double congratulations: you’re pushing through this dark period despite having to experience it with a human brain. Our brains feel stress about everything from large predatory animals to low smartphone battery levels. Which begs the question: isn’t it worth wondering how those fragile organs are handling American history’s Dumbest Timeline?

On this week’s episode of The Cracked Podcast, Alex Schmidt brings in Cracked POTUS-trackers Cody Johnston and Sean “Seanbaby” Reiley to discover the scale of President Trump’s towering horses**t, and the psychological ramifications of facing it day to day. They’ll shine a light on the most staggering, pointless lies ever told by the Commander in Chief. They’ll use the latest psychological studies to examine how constant chief executive lies can scramble our brains. And they’ll wrap up with ways you can be more mentally resilient than ever, both now and through the “The Rock” Johnson Administration.

Footnotes:

The 5 Stupidest People On The Planet (Are All Donald Trump) (Cracked)

Some News (Cracked)

Trump’s Transition of Untruths, Exaggerations and Flat-out Falsehoods (Politico)

Donald Trump’s Ghostwriter Tells All (The New Yorker)

Psychologist: No, It’s Not Post-Election Stress ‘Disorder’ (WBUR)

Aides warned Trump not to attack North Korea’s leader personally before his fiery U.N. address (Los Angeles Times)

Actually, Mr. Trump, Washington’s Dress Shops Are Not All Sold Out (Washingtonian)

Donald Trump masqueraded as publicist to brag about himself (Washington Post)

A King in His Castle: How Donald Trump Lives, From His Longtime Butler (New York Times)

Trump Golf Course Commemorates a Civil War Battle That Never Happened? (Snopes)

Commander in Chaos (The Atlantic)

Corrections Research in Washington Post (Brendan Nyhan)

Trump’s Lies vs. Your Brain (Politico)

How Mental Systems Believe (Daniel T. Gilbert; UT Austin)

Jimmy Carter speaks on ‘a crisis of confidence,’ July 15, 1979 (Politico)

President Trump’s Inaugural Address, Annotated (NPR)

Enlightenment’s Evil Twin (The Atlantic)

America Wasn’t Built for Humans (New York Magazine)

Trump Temperament Consequences (Monmouth University)

The Economics Of Happiness And A Country’s Income Inequality (NPR)

Income Inequality and Happiness (Shigehiro Oishi, Selin Kesebir, Ed Diener; Psychological Science)

The Lethality of Loneliness (New Republic)

Interactive: Trump Lawsuits (USA Today)

Andrew Jackson: Most Terrifying Man Ever Elected President (Cracked)

Gerald Ford: The Accidental President (NPR)

Donald Trump’s 4-Hour Sleep Habit Could Explain His Personality (Daily Beast)

The Office – Soup Snakes

Happy Gilmore – A Hole in One

Jim Inhofe’s snowball has disproven climate change once and for all (Washington Post)

Kimmel Turns Neil Gorsuch’s ‘Reality Show’ Nomination Into a Celebrity Apprentice Episode (Mediaite)

NY Post cover depicts Trump White House as reality TV show ‘Survivor’ (The Hill)

Things Said By Donald Trump’s Nutjob Doctor, Ranked By How Insane They Are (The Concourse)

How Putin Is Reinventing Warfare (Foreign Policy)

The Triumph Of The Ratfuckers (Esquire)

Was Milo Yiannopoulos’ event a ‘publicity stunt’? UC Berkeley community debates (The Daily Californian)

Calculords!

October is here and that means two things: it’s John Carpenter month on Cracked Movie Club, and it’s time for the annual live Cracked Podcast spooktacular! On Saturday, October 14th at 7pm at the UCB Sunset theatre in Los Angeles, Alex Schmidt will be joined by Cracked’s David Christopher Bell and Brett Rader, as well as comedians Hallie Cantor, Greg Edwards and Danielle Radford to discuss urban myths and weird monsters that should get their own horror movie franchise, like the Pope Lick Monster (which unfortunately is not a monster that licks the pope) and the Bonnacon (which can best be described as a poop-unicorn). Tickets are $7 and available HERE.

Black market hormones! Suitcases full of murdered sex dolls and discarded porn! A request for military-issued pee funnels! It’s never too late to catch up on the first few episodes of Cracked Gets Personal.

Click here to subscribe to Cracked Gets Personal on Apple Podcasts or search for it your podcast app of choice.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/podcast/5-ways-donald-trumps-lies-are-trying-to-break-your-brain

7 Hilariously Dangerous Versions Of Boring Normal Jobs

Life can be exciting, scary, even downright magical. But most of the time, it’s goddamn boring.

The average American spends two entire years just standing in line. We typically spend about three years doing laundry. When you add them up, all the mundane tasks you have to perform leaves you with but a fraction of your life with which to do the things you actually want to do.

These folks, however, broke the mold. They didn’t run away from the banalities of existence in search of endless adventure. Instead, they found the most boring jobs in the world and made them fucking metal. For instance …

7

Changing A Light Bulb 1,999 Feet In The Sky

For something that requires teetering on ladders, holding brittle glass, and having fingers close to electric currents, changing light bulbs sure is boring. You don’t usually have to worry about falling to your death, fainting from lack of oxygen, or even having birds randomly flying into you. Well, most of us don’t.

Rbyteisbst/Wiki Commons
This is a TV tower. That tiny black speck at the bottom is a building.

So that we can watch our Storage Wars without a glitch, TV reception towers get built so high that they pierce the clouds. Because of that, the very tops need to be illuminated at all times, like lighthouses in the sky keeping planes from crashing into them. For those in charge of tower maintenance, changing that top light bulb isn’t a household task; it’s an extreme sport that requires abs of steel.

KDLT

KDLT


In the video, you can hear the guy saying “Oh shit.” Maybe because he’s 2,000 feet in the air “attached” to pegs.

Take the KLDT tower, which stands at a whopping 1,999 feet, making it one of the tallest structures in the world. Nick Wagner, a project manager of National Tower Controls, is responsible for what happens at the top. When he’s summoned to the KLDT mast, his job entails riding a tiny lift for the first 1,900 feet straight up in the air. When he gets to this dizzying height, he has to climb the final hundred feet by hand with nothing but a few carabiners between him and an uncomfortably long fall.


Assuming gravity even still works that high up.

So next time you flick a switch and nothing happens, don’t sigh and moan. Give yourself some perspective by remembering that you can at least change the bulb while looking down and still seeing the planet you live on.

6

Cleaning Loose Debris On Power Lines With Flamethrower Drones

Whether it’s random debris or some bully throwing brand-new laces up there, trash ends up hanging out on power lines. Sadly, since shoe elves don’t get hazard pay, some poor schmuck has to climb up a pole and clean that shit up — two things people usually like to avoid. Like these guys do:


Fire robots solve everything.

In China, high-voltage line maintenance workers are using flamethrower drones to clean the mostly plastic junk from the lines. The flames can reach up to 400 degrees C (752 degrees F) and take only 15 minutes to burn dangerous high-voltage lines clean. Did we mention those are high-voltage lines? Feels important.

Bah, who cares! Look at that magnificent metal bastard, carefully combusting our shittier decisions like a fire mage helicopter mom.

There’s no word yet on whether or not this incredible breakthrough in trash technology is coming to any place other than China, so you know what to do. Call your representatives. Email your senators. Show up at city hall. Have a sit-in at the White House. Make drone trash fires a reality in your neighborhood today!

5

Picking Christmas Trees With A Helicopter

Unless you come from the kind of mad National Lampoon family that goes out and chops down their own, getting a Christmas tree usually consists of making a trip to the store and getting some teenager in a vest to load it into your trunk. And even for them, the danger level registers somewhere between “splinters” and “being an unwilling participant in a family argument.” Generally, nobody is super concerned about their health while handling a Christmas tree.

Luckily, even the most hazardous Christmas tree job won’t have anyone wondering about their health and safety. That’s because they’re too busy screaming “WOOOOO!” while doing it. Since 1976, Christmas tree growers have deemed harvesting their trees by hand to be too “unrealistic.” Instead, they now harvest by helicopter, which sounds so much more sensible.

These guys put maximum effort into turning physics into their wheedling little bitch. Without stopping, pilots will drop a hook to grab a tree. The helicopter then flies to the other side of a field and, we really cannot overstate this, without stopping, drops the tree in a truck, and then it goes back for more. We bet these pilots got all the claw machine toys for their high school sweethearts.

4

Mountain Climbers Have To Clear Garbage (And Corpses) From Mt. Everest

Garbage collection ranks up there with plumbing, sewage system work, and lard-making as occupations that you might not want to sign yourself up for, though you thank God everyday that they exist. While your average sanitation worker might have to get their hands dirty with old diapers, used needles, and last night’s Chinese food, it could be worse. They could be doing the job up on the world’s highest mountain. Mount Everest’s trash collectors aren’t mere garbage men — they’re garbage mountaineers. And they do their jobs while freezing their toes off … sometimes literally.

Mountain climbers carry 176-pound trash bags, and once those are full, they’re winched up to helicopters which whisk them away to a camp below. Which is a good thing, because otherwise sherpas would have to carry these them-sized bags by hand through somewhere called the Khumbu Icefall, which doesn’t sound like a pleasant walk in the park.

And there’s a grim reason these trash bags are, well, people-sized. It turns out that picking up trash is the best part of this job. Sometimes they have to collect the remains of camps whose occupants perished. Helicoptering possibly haunted trash isn’t something you find on everyone’s resume.

3

Horse-Riding Librarians Delivered Books During The Great Depression

Normally, the guardians of study materials and the dictionaries with all the bad words circled aren’t the kind of people you look to for advice on angry mob management skills or how to best brave the wilderness in search of clever children. But some ladies living in the 1930s had to do exactly that.


And they wore pants while doing so.

During the Great Depression, horse-mounted lady librarians roamed Kentucky, desperately looking for people who could read. Imagine riding your horse for days, covering hundreds of miles per month, all kinds of books strapped to you, as you make your way to the hill village nobody else visits. And out of all your books, your Bible is the most vital one — not because you’re super religious and need the Lord to get you through a good horseback adventure, but because you need to protect yourself from people who think you’re some kind of reading carpetbagger.


Or one of those notorious book witches.

Some of the Kentucky mountain folk were really suspicious of book-slingers, and the sight of a Bible being waved around by a dangerous literate person was enough to soothe the hillbeasts to such an extent that they were willing to learn how to read. However, children would flock to these horse-riding book-wielding badasses. The mobile library initiative ended in 1943, as the government decided teaching folk how to shoot Germans was more important than teaching them how to read. After the war, the intellectual frontierswomen were replaced by the kind of motorized bookmobiles still in use today. Remember, not all progress is a good thing.

2

A Librarian Was Tasked With Keeping The Manhattan Project Secret

Another librarian job! Before now, it was probably in your top ten of most boring fields. Sitting quietly in a room is basically the dictionary definition of mind-numbing. Sure, things occasionally get spiced up by punishing loud patrons with spitballs and wedgies and stern looks, but ultimately, being a librarian pretty much guarantees you’ll never do anything which warrants, say, an FBI probe and crushing existential guilt.

But that’s what happened to Charlotte Serber, keeper of America’s greatest secret, the Manhattan Project. Seber had been hired as the head librarian of the facility’s scientific library by J. Robert Oppenheimer himself. Why would one of the greatest scientists of all time care about a librarian job? Because he wanted Seber to do something more: devise security methods for keeping all their information safe.


And really, who’s better at keeping things quiet than a librarian?

Seber was tasked with safeguarding details of the project from spies, political enemies, and sometimes her own bumbling staff. These numbskulls would leave classified documents laying out in the open, take out research books from the Santa Fe public library under their own names, and generally run their mouths off so often that she wound up working 75-hour weeks keeping the world’s most dangerous weapon hidden.

Unfortunately, her hard work was rewarded with accusations of being a dirty communist for daring to be liberal-minded (she had once raised funds for anti-fascism during the Spanish Civil War, and had chaired a League of Women Voters in Urbana, Illinois). She wasn’t booted off the project, but when it was over, she was doomed to become a production assistant at a theater, as her political affiliations kept her from getting another high-profile librarian job. Though becoming an actual librarian after being a bookish James Bond for so long probably would’ve driven her insane with boredom.

1

The Knitting Spies

“Danger” and “knitting” are not words that go together in a sentence, unless that sentence is “Grandma didn’t know the danger she was in, knitting in that dinosaur park while strapped to that pillar of meat.” Face it, nobody’s going to look at your new scarf and say, “Oh look, how brave!”

However, during times of war, ladies would occasionally make danger-knitting their lives. Crafty spies realized long ago that codes could be knitted into your average baby bonnet, turning local housewives into domestic James Bonds. They would do things like count train cars and monitor their comings and goings, sneak plans for bombs and aircraft, and generally be around to code messages while listening in on important plans, because who suspects the knitter? This allowed grandmotherly spies like Molly “Old Mom” Rinker to sit on a hill, knitting and observing British troops, all the while passing her eagle-eyed observations straight to George Washington.


This explains the famous myth of Washington’s woolen teeth.

But by the time the big wars came along, knitting spies had kicked it up a stitch or two. Nobody suspected Phyllis Latour Doyle, knitter extraordinaire, who parachuted into Normandy during WWII, to be a secret agent working for Britain. Once there, she simply grabbed a bike and rode into enemy territory with a sunny smile and a helpful disposition, chatting with German soldiers like they were old neighbors. When she heard some juicy military intelligence gos, she used a variety of codes from her spy lexicon of about 2,000 knotted messages, which she would put into a silk yarn that she would wrap around a knitting needle. That needle would go into a flat shoelace, which she used to tie up her hair and simply bike right out of enemy territory again. That’s artsy and crafty.

Which just goes to show that Philip J. Fry was right: Never trust grandmother types during times of war. They’ll stab your right in the back with those needles.

You can challenge Dawn to a fist fight @dawnsmash, or do the same thing but with Dungeons & Dragons over on Discord.

Learn every stitch known to mankind so you too can knit wartime secrets!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25025_7-insanely-exciting-versions-boring-everyday-jobs.html