NASA And The ESA Are Paying People Large Sums Of Money To Lie In Bed

What does a dream job sound like to you? Ice cream taster, panda nanny, and Netflix tagger must rank high on the list.

How about being paid to spend your days reading books and watching movies? Scientists at NASA have offered 24 volunteers cash to do just that for 60 days straight at a facility in Cologne, Germany.

There is only one catch. The lucky participants (12 male and 12 female) are required to perform all tasks lying down in a cot specifically designed for this very purpose. And yes, that includes all bathroom activities.

The goal of this experiment – the first of its kind to be undertaken in partnership between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) – is to find out how astronauts may be affected by the gravity conditions of space travel during longer-term orbital missions. 

The 60-day investigation began on Monday, March 25, meaning the bedbound volunteers have a further 57 days to go (excluding rehabilitation time).

During the experiment, participants are required to lie down in a cot propped up on a gentle incline designed to prevent blood from accumulating in the extremities. Meanwhile, researchers will monitor for any changes. At the same time, they will assess the ways diet and exercise can affect their physical deterioration.

The team behind the study have planned various tests to examine cardiovascular function, balance and muscle strength, metabolism, cognitive performance, and more.

Once a day, some of the volunteers will also be required to spend time in the German Aerospace Center’s (DLR) short-arm centrifuge to test the effect of artificial (or rotational) gravity. In the centrifuge, they will be spun around to try and push the blood back into the extremities.

The researchers hope this experiment will allow them to work out how exactly this spinning affects the volunteers’ physical deterioration.

Astronauts onboard the International Space Station (ISS) maintain a balanced diet plan and spend 2.5 hours every day exercising in order to mitigate the effects of microgravity as much as possible. But it’s thought that including a session of artificial gravity could be useful in longer-term space missions.

As Jennifer Ngo-Anh, ESA team leader for research, said in a statement: “To make these missions possible, various risks to astronaut health must be minimized. This study allows us to address the issue of muscular atrophy caused by weightlessness, but also other stressors such as cosmic radiation, isolation and spatial restrictions.”

It’s not the first time scientists have paid large sums of cash to people to lie in bed. In 2017, the Institute for Space Medicine and Physiology (Medes) in Toulouse, France, offered €16,000 ($17,066) to volunteers prepared to commit to a two-month period of bed rest for a similar experiment.

Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/space/nasa-and-the-esa-are-paying-people-large-sums-of-money-to-lie-in-bed/

Can acupuncture help menopause symptoms?

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Hot flushes may be reduced by acupuncture

For some women, the menopause and the years leading up to it, can be a time of troubling emotional and physical symptoms.

Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) eases symptoms like hot flushes and sweats, but it’s not suitable for all women.

Now, a small study published in BMJ Open suggests acupuncture may be worth considering.

The Danish study found that five weeks of acupuncture in women with menopausal symptoms reduced hot flushes, night sweats, sleep disturbances and emotional problems.

Researchers at the University of Southern Denmark cautioned that they couldn’t rule out that the results were down to the placebo effect.

The placebo effect is where a treatment works because a patient believes it will, rather than as a result of the treatment itself.

One of the study authors, Prof Frans Boch Waldorff, from the University of Southern Denmark, said: “We can’t explain the underlying mechanism behind acupuncture, nor determine how much of the effect is caused by placebo.

“But this was a safe, cost-effective and simple procedure, with very few side-effects reported by the women.

“Women seeking acupuncture treatment for menopausal symptoms should be informed of the current evidence, and its limitations, so they can make a decision.”

How was the study done?

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine, where fine needles are inserted at certain points in the body.

Researchers recruited 70 women with moderate-to-severe menopause symptoms.

This group was then split in two. The first group, the control group, received no acupuncture until week six of the study. The second, intervention group received weekly acupuncture treatments from experienced local doctors.

Each participant then completed a questionnaire to self-evaluate their symptoms at three and six weeks.

By six weeks the women in the acupuncture group recorded moderate improvements in all symptoms compared with the group having no acupuncture.

A total of 80% of the women in the acupuncture groups also said they felt the sessions had helped them.

‘I was anxious, bloated and not sleeping’

Image copyright Vanessa Southgate
Image caption Vanessa says acupuncture helped ease her menopause symptoms

Vanessa Southgate, an occupational therapist from Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, started suffering menopause symptoms when she was 46.

“I’d always slept well, despite stressful events in my life. Yet suddenly I would wake in the early hours and not be able to get back to sleep. I felt bloated, had a foggy head, night sweats, and a level of anxiety I had never experienced before,” she says.

The doctor suggested HRT but Vanessa decided she wanted to explore alternative treatments.

She went to see Emma Vickers, a licensed acupuncturist in Brighton.

“After a few sessions, the night sweats weren’t as bad, and my sleep improved. It really helped with the bloating, that was so uncomfortable before. It also helped the anxiety. After the treatment I felt way more relaxed, and that I could manage things more.”

Vanessa now goes for weekly acupuncture treatments. Sometimes she takes a break, and when the symptoms return she books in again.

“I do feel it is the acupuncture that makes the difference, and also working with Emma. She has suggested supplements, and advised on nutrition.

“And we’ve also looked at my work-life balance and switching off at night. These are things I knew already, but it makes a difference when somebody suggests you try something.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese tradition

Dr Channa Jayasena, a consultant in reproductive endocrinology at Imperial College and Hammersmith Hospital, said: “Menopausal flushes will affect most women at some point. HRT cannot be given to women with certain types of cancer.

“This leaves a huge gap in the market for simple and safe therapies to reduce hot flush symptoms.

“I suspect that most of the effect of acupuncture is a placebo effect, but is that a really bad thing? Anything that is safe, affordable and helps the wellbeing of patients while reducing symptoms is worth considering if HRT is not an option.”

Last year, an episode of the BBC programme Horizon looked into the potential power of the placebo effect. The programme prescribed fake pills to 100 volunteers with back pain. Half of the participants found significant relief from taking the pills – even though they were fake.

Acupuncture treatment is available on the NHS, usually for migraines or chronic headaches.

Related Topics

Read more: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-47279032

Lindsey Vonn makes history by winning downhill bronze in final race

Are, Sweden (CNN)Lindsey Vonn was never going to slip quietly into the sunset.

The end was not triumphant, but it didn’t have to be. Vonn already had her place in history.
Yet with bronze on the Swedish slopes where she won her first championship medals, the 34-year-old added polish to her concluding chapter as an elite athlete — becoming the oldest woman to secure a medal at a world championships and the first female racer to medal at six world championships.
    There was more to put in the record books, too, as she also equaled Christel Cranz and Annemarie Moser-Proll’s record of five women’s downhill world championship medals.
    Though there was no world title, it was an impressive denouement from a woman racing with damaged knees. The bronze, she said afterwards, felt like gold. “I skied with all my heart,” she said.
    Going out of the gate third, the American had set the early pace. Fans burst into raucous cheers on seeing the former Olympic champion’s name on top of the leaderboard and, reacting to the acclaim and her own time, she bowed to the spectators in the packed grandstand and raised her arms towards the snow-filled clouds.
    Waiting at the finish line, Vonn looked on in disbelief, perching forward in her chair and covering her mouth with her hands, as racers tried and failed to surpass her time.
    Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia could not beat her, but then came defending champion Ilka Stuhec and dreams of gold were ruined.
    The Slovenian’s time of 1:01.74 ensured she became the first skier to successfully defend the women’s downhill since Maria Walliser in 1987 and 1989. Switzerland’s Corrinne Suter denied Vonn silver.
    Vonn will retire four wins short of equaling Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 World Cup wins, a statistic which will no doubt irk such a driven individual when she reflects on her remarkable career.
    Perhaps, too, she will wonder about those injury-lost years. How many more races and medals would she have won had she not been denied more time on the slopes?
    Stenmark was in the Swedish resort of Are to watch the Minnesota-born skier’s final race and, as a nod of recognition to the Swedish great, Vonn wore a white, blue and yellow race suit for the downhill. Her outfit also maybe indicates that the record she had been chasing is never far from her thoughts.
    “I knew he was going to be in the finish because I basically begged him to come here,” Vonn said at a crowded news conference.
    “It meant so much to me to have him at the finish. He’s an icon and a legend in our sport. He doesn’t really like the spotlight but he deserves to have it. I was so grateful he was there. It’s the perfect ending to my career.”

    Competing in such a savage event has come at a cost for Vonn, wrecking her body before she was ready to quit. She wanted to continue until the end of the year, she wanted to break Stenmark’s record, but in announcing her impeding retirement a few weeks ago, the American herself said she was “broken beyond repair.”
    The injuries she has sustained throughout the years read like a list doctors have to contend with in emergency rooms: a broken right arm, fractures in the left knee, broken left ankle, torn ligaments, broken bone in right leg, concussion, bruises, cuts. “I remember I had to practice writing the alphabet every day to try to regain the use of my hand,” Vonn once said of the nerve damage in her broken arm.
    After the crashes and the falls — even after she was helicoptered off a mountain during training at the 2006 Turin Olympics — she has always recovered and carried on. But now the woman described this week as a “warrior” by her compatriot and former Olympic champion Bode Miller has had to call it a day.
    She was filled with anxiety, she admitted, before the downhill, battling with an internal monologue, the crash she suffered in Tuesday’s super-G still playing with her mind: would rolling the dice culminate with her in the fencing once again or could she stay calm and execute her plan? Thankfully for Vonn, it was the latter.
    “I wanted more than anything to finish strong,” she said, before insisting she wasn’t disappointed with a bronze.
    “I’m in a position where my body isn’t allowing me to ski the way I know I can. Normally, I’d say, yes, I’m disappointed because I know I can win but I don’t know that I can win anymore and that’s why I’m retiring. That’s the best I could’ve done today. There’s not another gear.
    “It’s not an easy thing to feel your bones hitting together and pushing through it. I think I skied pretty well. Even before the crash I was sore — my neck is killing me. I knew I was capable of pushing through the pain one last time and I did that.”
    Vonn is admired by her peers and fans because she is the most human of champions; transparent, emotional, not afraid to cry. On her last day as an Alpine skier, however, there were no tears.
    She embraced her father, Alan, and sister, Karin, near the finish line, lifted one of her dogs in the air as she herself was balancing on the shoulders of others. Her fellow racers signed her bib, Stenmark gave her a bouquet and in below-zero temperatures she negotiated the maze of reporters waiting for her with equanimity, telling them she wasn’t going to miss the bone-chilling cold and how she was looking forward to the evening’s party.
    She smiled, she laughed, but admitted: “I want to cry, but I can’t cry anymore.”
    Over the last few weeks fellow racers have spoken about the American’s legacy. Her desire to race against men, said Aksel Lund Svindal, chimed with everyone who wanted equality, while Stuhec said Vonn had made it OK for female racers to be feminine and athletic. “She never acts like she is on Olympus, where she could be,” Goggia said of the American last year after winning Olympic gold.
    Vonn has been appreciative of the glowing tributes. “That’s the coolest thing that’s happened in the last few weeks, how much support I’ve got from the other athletes and how much respect they’ve shown me. That, to me, means more than any World Cup win,” she said.
    Fans in Are also echoed the sentiments of Vonn’s peers. Veteran Alpine skier Anna Maria Dahlstrom, whose home is 600km away in Stockholm, had come to watch Vonn and made a placard which read: “Thank you, Lindsey. Forever a star.”

      Lindsey Vonn’s furry friends

    “She’s superwoman. There’s no-one like her,” said the 43-year-old. “I’ve never made a sign like this before but I just felt in my heart that Lindsey deserves a sign.”
    Vonn is not only the most famous skier of her generation, but she appeals to all generations. Eleanor Bodin, 21, holding aloft a “Thank you Lindsey” poster, predicted there’d be an emptiness in the post-Vonn era. After all, she does not remember Alpine racing without her hero hurtling down vertiginous slopes.
    “It really feels sad,” said Bodin. “Women’s ski racing has grown because of Lindsey.”
    But it would probably more accurate to say Alpine skiing has grown because of Vonn.
    She retires having won more World Cup races than any other woman and no female racer has more Olympic medals than Vonn’s two in the hair-raising downhill. Had she not suffered a ghastly knee injury — a torn ACL and MCL with a tibial fracture — when 29 and in her prime before Sochi 2014, Vonn may have won a third in the event.
    As a 17-year-old, Lindsey Kildow — five years before the marriage that would change her name to Lindsey Vonn — finished sixth at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. The largely unknown teenager’s performance raised eyebrows, and later she told reporters that at school she had written of her plan to “make it to the Olympics and win more ski races than any woman ever has.”
    Vonn certainly achieved her childhood ambition, though the journey has not been smooth.
    Four years after Salt Lake, when she was expected to win multiple medals, Vonn crashed in Turin and later admitted she had feared her career was over. Unshakable, she still competed, but her best finish was seventh.
    Over the next five years, having married Thomas Vonn, a US ski racer who became her coach, Vonn developed into the most dominant skier in the sport, winning four World Cup overall titles and, at the 2010 Games in Vancouver, becoming the first American to win the women’s Olympic downhill.
    In 2011 she separated from her husband, missed several races through illness then took a month-long break from the World Cup. More pitfalls followed. A year from the Sochi Olympics, she ruptured her cruciate ligament in her right knee, returning nine months later only to fall at high spend during training and rupturing the same ligament in her right knee.
    “A very dark moment in my career,” was how Vonn described the period.
    Around this time she started dating Tiger Woods, which elevated the skier into another level of stardom (the pair announced their split in May 2015). Her achievements on the slopes and her celebrity off it has led to commercial success. She has multimillion dollar deals with Under Armour and Red Bull, while she also has a foundation awards financial grants to young people to help pay for “education, sports and enrichment programs.” Life after skiing has already taken shape.
    She has said she will set up her own business and last year attended a four-day course at Harvard Business School. Vonn has also spoken of her dreams of acting with ‘The Rock’.
    This week she was asked whether she had any plans to start a family and took the question as an opportunity to set up her phone so that her boyfriend, NHL Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban, could listen in on the news conference before saying “Yes, of course I’d love to have children.”
    For now, Vonn is looking forward to no longer having to do daily five-hour strength and conditioning workouts in the gym. She will, she says, rest, watch Law and Order, and undergo what will hopefully be a final operation on a ski injury.
      “I was scared before of life without skiing and it’s taken me a while to get to this point where I’m happy with it,” she said.
      “I’m not nervous about it. I’ve got a lot to look forward to. In the real world I’m actually pretty young. I’ve felt old for a long time because I’m racing with girls who are a lot younger than me, but I’ve a lot to look forward to so I’m excited.”

      Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/10/sport/lindsey-vonn-final-race-downhill-world-championships-are-spt-intl/index.html

      50 Zero-Waste Ideas Everybody Can Use

      Have you ever considered how much plastic you use every single day? A takeaway coffee cup, plastic water bottles, single-use cutlery, plastic bags for your fruits and vegetables… These are a couple examples of waste that every single one of us could easily reduce in our day-to-day lives. Now, more than ever before, people are beginning to understand the terrible impact these products have on the planet, and one thing we can’t argue about is- it’s time to make a change. This list compiled by Bored Panda shows creative ways people have decided to help mother earth by reducing their waste. Let’s hope this will inspire you to be the change our planet desperately needs!

      #1 My Tour Guide’s Tool For Picking Up Littered Bottles Along The Trail

      #2 This Guy’s Fence Is Made From Random Doors

      #3 Confetti Made From Fallen Leaves! Loved This Zero-Waste Decoration Idea

      #4 My Mom’s Husband Is A Pilot So He Wraps All His Gifts In Old Flight Maps

      #5 Taking A Stand

      #6 We Detrashed A Lake In Texas! 4,000 Pounds Of Beer Bottles And Beer Cans. With About 30 Scuba Divers And 4 Boats. Did It In About 4 Hours

      #7 No More Plastic Bottles In The Shower

      #8 I Hadn’t Used My Reusable Bags Because I’m Pretty Socially Anxious And Was Worried About The Cashier Being Frustrated. But Used This For The First Time Today!

      #9 My Mom Is Slowly Knitting A Scarf Made Completely From Tea Bag Strings

      #10 Turning Christmas Cards Into Tags For Next Year

      #11 My Pantry After Harvest Season Is Finally Over

      #12 Stuffed Whales Made From Old Jeans

      #13 Didn’t Want To Waste The Failed Films So I Turned Them Into Little Paintings

      #14 Make A Baby Dress Out Of An Old Button-Up Shirt

      #15 Had A Friend Complain About Straw Bans Saying That They’re Not Even A Real Litter/Marine Debris Issue

      So I did a quick 10 minute sweep of 300ft of shoreline to prove them wrong.

      #16 Here Is My Old Music Used As Wrapping Paper

      #17 Got My First Sewing Machine For Christmas, Made “Unpaper” Towels To Reduce Our Paper Towel Waste. They Clasp Together So It’s Easy To Know Which Are Clean

      #18 Small Wins: Convincing The Ice Cream Shop To Let Me Have It In My Reusable Cup Instead Of A Disposable Cup. The Guy Looked So Confused When I Asked!

      #19 Needed An Organiser So I Made One Out Of Cardboard Instead Of Purchasing One

      #20 A Customer From Work Made A Reusable Bag From Hundreds Of Plastic Ones

      #21 All Of This Year’s Christmas Presents Wrapped Using White Paper From 1 Amazon Delivery Box

      #22 Turned Old Uniforms Into A Bed Cover For Our Foster Kittens. Cuts Down On Washing Too

      #23 Had A Volunteer Help Me Make These Stools Out Of Our Discarded Books For New Library Seating

      #24 We Enjoy Our Zero-Plastic Alternatives For Holding Home-Made Shampoo And Shower Gel. It Helps Our House Look More Rock ‘N Roll

      #25 We Wrap Our Holiday Gifts In Fabric And Reuse It Every Year. No Tape Or Paper Trash And It Looks So Much Nicer Too

      #26 Used Some Leftover Yarn To Make Crochet Produce Bags

      Posted to Snapchat and 10 mins later I have 45 orders of them (and counting) for friends and family wanting to cut the plastic!

      #27 My Friends Smoked A 20 Lb Turkey For Their Halloween Party. After They Carved It They Were Going To Throw The Carcass Away

      I took it home with me and made 14 pints of turkey stock.

      #28 I Made Shampoo Bars: Total Cost For A Year Supply Was About $20, And No More Plastic Bottles

      #29 I Made A Holder For Reusable Chopsticks, Silverware, And Straw That Doubles As A Cloth Napkin When Unfolded

      #30 Update: ~400 T-Shirt Pieces, Now A Quilt Top

      #31 I Think I’m Going To Stop Buying (New) Clothes. Made This From A $4 Shirt

      #32 I’m Never Going Back To Wrapping Paper! Used A Grocery Bag And Some String And Decided To Add An Origami Cutie To The Top

      #33 My Boyfriend Uses Lip Balm Religiously. I Saved His Used Tubes For The Last Year And Today I Am Re-Using Them! I Found A Recipe For Lip Balm On Pinterest

      #34 I’m Going To Be Wrapping My Gifts In Furoshiki From Now On

      I love the idea of each person receiving a gift in their furoshiki and then using it to wrap a gift for someone else – how far will it travel?

      #35 I Wanted To Buy Some Blueberries From The Farmers’ Market But Didn’t Want Any Packaging And Forgot A Container. Used My Empty Water Bottle Instead

      #36 This Year I Made My Own Origami Pill Cases To Replace The Easily Broken Plastic Kind, And They Have Held Up Well

      #37 Went To A Party That Had A Big Recycling Can For Bottles, And A Small Recycling Can For Bottle Caps

      #38 I Started Making A Basket Out Of All Of The Plastic Bags I’ve Been Hoarding

      #39 Might Not Look The Prettiest But My Sewing Project So Far, Making Face Cleaner Rounds And Other Cleaning Cloths From Old T-Shirts That Can’t Be Given To Charity

      #40 Local Custom: Around Here People Put Out Spare Veg From Their Garden For Anyone To Help Themselves

      #41 When You Just Have To Use Plastic Packaging, Don’t Be Fooled When It’s Seemingly Empty: If You Cut It Open, You’ll See There’s Still A Lot Left

      #42 The Chairs In My Garden Are Made Out Of Shopping Trolleys

      #43 1 Month Of Trash And Still Trying To Reduce

      #44 Cat Food Bag + Leftover Bag Handles From A Workshop = Reusable Grocery Bag With A Giant Cat Face On It

      #45 Cutting Up Unused Mesh Curtains To Make Reusable Mesh Groceries Bags, With The Emotional Support Of My Furry Buddy

      #46 Cloth Diapering Was One Of The Best Choice We’ve Made! Plus I Got 90% Of Them Second-Hand – Double Win

      #47 I Recycled My Families Old Socks

      #48 Maybe Not The Most Ground Breaking Thing Ever But The Most Used Drinking Glasses In My House Are Just Old Pasta Sauce Jars

      #49 I Love This Idea – A Dog Poop Bag Dispenser Attached To A Lamppost Made From A Plastic Bottle By Local Scouts

      #50 Zero Waste Win: It Took Some Serious Cajoling But I Convinced Superstore To Put My Deli Stuff Straight Into My Own Containers

      Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/zero-waste-eco-friendly-lifestyle/

      Lin-Manuel Miranda in talks for ‘Moana’ sequel

      Where are my clothes again?
      Image: mashable composite:  To the stars and LeAnn Mueller

      Tom DeLonge is a mysterious man of many talents.

      A former member of Blink-182 and frontman of Angels & Airwaves, most know DeLonge as a as a kick-ass singer and songwriter. But he’s also an author, director, and entrepreneur who launched To the Stars Academy of Arts & Science, an organization dedicated to exploring science and the possible existence of extraterrestrial life. And in case you missed it, DeLonge writes children’s books now, too.

      The 43-year-old’s latest book for kids, Who Here Knows Who Took My Clothes?, is surprisingly advanced in the sense that it’s about a grown ass naked man. 

      If that somewhat puzzling description captured your attention, you’re not alone. And you’re also in luck, because the father of two just released an animated version of it (complete with voiceover) for the whole world to enjoy.

      Jam-packed with rhymes and illustrated by artist Ryan Jones, DeLonge’s book follows a man on his journey through a park, to bus stop, and into cave in the hills to find the thief who stole his clothes while he was taking a bath.

      It’s a bit strange TBH, but then again, so is DeLonge. And it turns out he and the clothes-stealing creature from his book have something in common: They both think nudity is hilarious.

      While I will admit I’ve never seen anything quite like the animated version of DeLonge’s children’s book, the first time I watched it a weird sense of nostalgia came over me.

      I couldn’t quite understand why, but after a few minutes of asking myself, “What’s this remind me of again, what’s this remind me of again?” it hit me.

      DeLonge, who’s clearly always been amused by nudity, said he “thought it would be funny” to write a children’s book about a dude running around in his birthday suit.

      “Truth is, I never imagined that the book would’ve turned out as good as it did, but Ryan’s fun and rich artwork married perfectly with my sense of humor,” DeLonge explained in a statement. “Then Zach Passero and his incredible animation skills entered the picture and we wound up making something that I think is really special.”

      For DeLonge — who authored another children’s book, The Lonely Astronaut — younger-age books are so enjoyable to write “because they’re similar to songwriting – they’re short pieces of poetry that rhyme.”

      And while there may be more children’s books in the mind of DeLonge, he’s currently working on developing his graphic novel, Strange Times, with TBS.

      Read more: https://mashable.com/article/tom-delonge-childrens-book-who-here-knows-who-took-my-clothes/

      A Short List Of Things I Would Have Told You If You Wouldve Just Asked

      http://bit.ly/2sbsPhj
      Cataloged in Romance

      A Short List Of Things I Would Have Told You If You Would’ve Just Asked

      1. My last name. I only learned yours because I saw your work I.D. and key card inside your truck when you were dropping me off home one morning. My full name need not matter when I was just a place with a view you could visit to get off.

      2. That night I bit into your shoulder, you pulled out a t-shirt from your dresser for me, got into bed, wrapped your arms around my waist and pulled me in close to you. If you had asked if I wanted to stay, I would have told you no. I would have told you I’d like to get home. If you had asked me if I was comfortable, I would have told you I didn’t feel like being held. The truth is, I was too drunk to go anywhere, too exhausted and indifferent to move, too sad for it to matter. So, I let you hold me all through the night, and each time I woke up with your limbs blanketing mine, I played make believe you were him.

      3. When you found out I was a writer and that I wrote poetry you said, “So you’re like Shakespeare writing sonnets and shit.” If you would have asked me what and why I write, I would have told you I’d never written a sonnet in my life. That I wrote about the darkest parts of life, about the ugly side of love, that I wrote about everything that hurt, but not enough to kill me. I would have told you that I wrote instead of leaving behind a suicide note. I would have told you writing is the only way I cope. That I’m better at it than I am at speaking. I would have told you I wrote things you couldn’t understand. It wouldn’t have mattered, because in that moment I would have ceased to be a warm body for your wants, you never would’ve been turned on if you had to see the person. You may have never heard me, anyway.

      4. You ordered me some awfully sweet mixed shot that night at Bovine & Barley that made me want to vomit. If you had asked me what I liked, I would have told you I was more of a tequila kind of girl. It didn’t matter when I was going to end up in your bed, loosened up and liquored up, anyway.

      5. I told you I was having a bad day when you were trying to get me to come over once. Typically and boringly predictable, you said you knew what would make me feel better. As if your hard dick would be what would magically cure me of my depression, the answer to all of my worries, better than the fucking Klonopin I was already taking. In typical fashion, I came over, anyway. I was feeling empty, might as well let something crawl inside my body. Might as well take you out for a ride, see if it awakened any kind of feeling. I was always dirtiest and most fun when I was feeling numb. I walked in, you didn’t ask me what was wrong, didn’t as if I was okay, didn’t ask what was on my mind. I was so lonely, so broken down, I would have told you that in that moment you looked sharp enough to be a substitute for a single-edge razor blade. I would have been honest. I would have told you I wasn’t fine, that I wouldn’t mind just a little company. But all you said when I walked in was, “You’re so fucking hot.” And just like that, I was on my knees. And just like that, moments later, splayed out on your table. I lied when it was over and you asked me if I felt better. If you would have seen the tears behind my eyes threatening to make their way into the world, if you would have asked me if I was sure, I would have asked you to hold me just for a little while.

      6. After all those months, if you would have asked me to dinner, I would have said yes.

      7. Some Spanish slipped out once when I meant to tell you to go harder in English. You didn’t know where that came from. You have no idea I was a fluent speaker. If you had asked me, I would have told you all about how it was my first language. I would have told you how I grew up being sent to Mexico every summer. How it was important to my parents that I never lose my heritage. Even after that slip, you never asked. All you told me was you wanted to hear more Spanish when you were fucking me.

      8. During Hurricane Harvey you texted me saying I should walk to your place so we could keep each other company. I know what you actually wanted. You didn’t ask if I was okay, if there had been any water in our apartment. You also knew I was born and raised in Houston, didn’t bother asking about my family’s home. If you had, I would have told you I wasn’t even in town, that I was in Austin, I would have told you to stay safe and thanked you for checking.

      9. I woke up to 3 a.m. text a few months after things ended, or fizzled, or whatever the correct term is for something that was never really a thing, telling me to come outside because you were outside the gate to my place. If you had asked me how I’d been even once during that time, you would have known I didn’t live there anymore.

      10. A few weeks ago, you texted me to tell me hey, tell me all about your promotion at work, how you have been up north working on a project for a few months, telling me you want to see me when you’re back in the city, telling me you’ll be back in February or March. I told you I was happy things were going well for you. I told you to take care. I left it at that. You didn’t ask what I have been up to, what I was doing. If you had, I would have told you I wasn’t filling up empty nights with men that can only see me as a vessel for their pleasure anymore. When you texted again, I didn’t reply. The truth is, when it comes to us, there’s never really been anything to say. And I could bet anything you still don’t know the last name of the girl you fucked for most of 2017.

      Image Credit: Drew Wilson

      is cataloged in , , ,

      Natalia Vela

      poet and bruja. still checking books out from your local library.

      Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/natalia-vela/2019/01/a-short-list-of-things-i-would-have-told-you-if-you-wouldve-just-asked

      Dad books flights to spend Christmas with flight attendant daughter

      (CNN)Christmas is a time of the year when you’re supposed to spend quality time with your family. But what to do if your daughter is working for an airline over the holidays?

      A fellow passenger on one of those flights, Mike Levy, shared Vaughan’s story on Facebook, calling him a “fantastic father.”
      “The flight was from Fort Myers (Florida) to Detroit,” Levy told CNN. “While chatting with Hal, I mentioned I was heading back home. He then told me about his daughter working as our flight attendant and how he was along for the ride to spend Christmas with her.
        “I was amazed and thought he was such a phenomenal father for going well out of his way to be with his daughter.”
        He added, “Pierce is very sweet. She definitely knows now how great her dad really is.”
        Levy said Hal Vaughan booked six flights over the holidays.
        Pierce Vaughan later shared Levy’s viral post: “Dad’s first trip using his benefits was a success! A special thanks to all of the patient, wonderful gate agents around the country and my perfect crew. He made it on every flight and even got first class RSW-DTW (Christmas miracle).”
        Levy said the father struggled a bit through airports due to an accident that happened this year.
        “He is still recovering from a neck injury from earlier in the year, which had left him quadriplegic for a period,” Levy said. “This was his first trip since the accident.”
        CNN has reached out to both Hal and Pierce Vaughan.
          Delta responded to this story of a dad’s devotion to his daughter at Christmastime.
          “We appreciate all of our employees for working during the holidays to serve Delta customers, and love seeing this awesome Dad having the chance to spend Christmas with his daughter — even while crisscrossing the country at 30,000 feet,” it said.

          Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/12/27/us/dad-flight-attendant-daughter-christmas-trnd/index.html

          All The Laws You Should Know About That Go Into Effect In 2019

          2019 will see the enactment of a slew of new laws across the country (in California alone, more than 1,000 will be added to the books). In some states, minimum wages will go up, guns will be harder to obtain, plastic straws will get the boot and hunters will get to wear pink for a change.

          Here are some of the noteworthy laws going into effect this year:

          Tighter gun restrictions in several states

          ASSOCIATED PRESS
          Following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last February, thousands of protesters across the nation demanded stricter gun control measures.

          In the wake of the shooting massacre at a Parkland, Florida, high school last year, California passed several measures to prevent domestic abusers and people with mental illness from obtaining guns. Californians who are involuntarily committed to a mental institution twice in a year, or who are convicted of certain domestic violence offenses, could face a lifetime gun ownership ban.

          Under an expanded Oregon law that went into effect on Jan. 1, domestic abuse offenders or people under restraining orders are banned from owning or purchasing a gun. In Illinois, authorities now have the right to seize firearms from people determined to be a danger to themselves or others. A similar “red flag” law will go into effect in New Jersey later this year.  

          At least six states — California, Washington, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois and Vermont — and the District of Columbia are raising the minimum age from 18 to 21 for the purchase of long guns this year, CNBC reported.

          Washington state will also be enforcing several other gun control measures, including enhanced background checks, secure gun storage laws and a requirement for gun purchasers to provide proof they’ve undergone firearm safety training.

          New ‘Me Too’ laws

          AP
          In 2018, the Me Too movement spurred many people to come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse — and prompted several states to pass new laws targeting sexual violence.

          Several states are taking aim at workplace sexual harassment. California has banned nondisclosure provisions in settlements involving claims of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination based on sex. California employers will also no longer be allowed to compel workers to sign nondisparagement agreements as a condition of employment or in exchange for a raise or bonus.

          By the end of 2019, publicly held corporations in the Golden State will also need to have at least one woman on their board of directors. Depending on the size of the board, corporations will need to increase that number to at least two or three female board members by the end of 2021.

          In New York, all employees will be required to complete annual sexual harassment prevention training. Larger businesses in Delaware will have to provide such training to their workers, and legislators and their staff in Virginia will need to undergo such training every year.

          Minimum wages get a boost 

          Though the federal minimum wage has languished at $7.25 since 2009, at least 19 states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Washington, will be raising their minimum wages this year. Each will boost its minimum wage to at least $12. Some cities like New York, Seattle and Palo Alto, California, will see their wage floors increase to $15.

          So long straws and stirrers!

          ASSOCIATED PRESS
          Under a new California law, restaurant customers will have to explicitly ask for a plastic straw if they want to use one.

          As public awareness mounts of the hazards of plastic waste pollution, cities and states around the country have been targeting a major source of the problem: single-use plastic products like straws and food containers.

          A new law in New York City bars restaurants, stores and manufacturers from using most foam products, including takeout containers, cups and packing peanuts.

          Eateries in the District of Columbia are now prohibited from giving out single-use plastic straws and stirrers. In California, restaurant patrons will need to ask explicitly for a plastic straw if they want to use one. Restaurants can be fined $25 a day for serving beverages with plastic straws that aren’t requested by customers.

          Former felons in Florida can head to the voting booth

          ASSOCIATED PRESS
          In November, Florida voted to approve a ballot measure that enabled more than 1 million former felons to regain their voting rights.

          On Jan. 8, Florida will restore the voting rights of all former felons except those convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense. Some 1.4 million possible voters will be added to the rolls — an addition that could have a significant effect on elections in the swing state.

          Utah implements strictest DUI law in the country

          Utah has lowered its blood alcohol content standard for drunk driving to 0.05 percent — the lowest limit in the country.

          Under the new law, a driver who exceeds that limit and causes the death of another person will be charged with criminal homicide, a felony offense.

          As CNN notes, all other U.S. states have a blood alcohol concentration limit of 0.08 percent for noncommercial drivers. Since at least 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board has been pushing to lower the limit to 0.05 nationwide. 

          Pets to get more rights in California

          Pets in California will no longer be treated by courts as physical property in divorce cases. Instead, judges can decide who gets custody of the family pet.

          Under a separate California law, pet stores will no longer be allowed to sell cats, dogs or rabbits that aren’t from animal shelters or nonprofit rescue groups. That law, which took effect on Jan. 1, also requires that store owners maintain proper documentation of the backgrounds of the dogs, cats and rabbits they sell.

          Hawaii legalizes physician-assisted suicide

          Hawaii’s new law allowing physician-assisted suicide took effect on Tuesday.

          Tobacco targeted in several states

          ASSOCIATED PRESS
          Some states and cities are taking aim at tobacco products this year.

          Smoking will be banned at all New Jersey public beaches and parks starting in July.

          In New York City, a new ordinance bans pharmacies from selling cigarettes and other tobacco products. And Massachusetts has raised the minimum age to buy tobacco products from 18 to 21.

          Nonbinary people can list their gender as ‘X’ in NYC

          People who identify as neither male nor female can now list their gender as “X” on birth certificates in New York City.

          New Jersey requires all residents to have health insurance

          A health insurance law in New Jersey that came into effect on Jan. 1 requires residents to maintain coverage or pay a penalty. It’s the second state in the country, after Massachusetts, to enact an individual health insurance mandate.

          Vermont is paying remote workers to move there

          In an effort to promote economic growth, Vermont has offered to pay some remote workers to relocate to the state.

          Qualified applicants can each apply for up to $10,000 in funding. The state has earmarked $500,000 for the initiative, The Associated Press reported.

          Hunters in Illinois can wear pink if they want to

          Not into the usual “blaze orange”? Hunters in Illinois can now wear equally eye-catching “blaze pink” under a new law.

          Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) said the new shade could be even more effective in helping hunters stand out.

          “[In the fall] we’re hunting in trees and in some fields, there are orange leaves. There is orange in the background, so it’s not always easy to see orange,” Rauner said, according to the Illinois News Network. “So we’re adding blaze pink to be one of the colors.”

          Ohio kids will soon be required to learn cursive

          In an age of text messaging and email, Ohio is attempting to keep the handwriting tradition of cursive alive. A new state law will require students to be able to write in cursive by the end of fifth grade. 

          Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/new-laws-2019-us_us_5c2c195fe4b0407e9085d41f

          A teacher shared a simple gift a student gave her, and it’s seriously the sweetest thing.

          A child gave a teacher a simple gift that’s bringing people to tears.

          It’s not what you give, but the thought and sacrifice behind what you give that counts. And this gift a teacher received is so thoughtful and sacrificial it hurts.

          Facebook user and elementary school teacher Rachel Uretsky-Pratt shared a photo of a gift one her students gave her—a simple bag of Lucky Charms marshmallows—along with a description of how it was given to her:

          To help put your life into perspective:

          Today was the last day before our winter break. We will have two weeks off to…

          Posted by Rachel Uretsky-Pratt on Wednesday, December 19, 2018

          “To help put your life into perspective: Today was the last day before our winter break. We will have two weeks off to rest with our families and loved ones over the holidays then head back to school in 2019.With it being the day before break and Christmas right around the corner, most teachers bring their kiddos something such as books or little treats and occasionally in return receive something from their students.Today I received some chocolates, sweet handmade notes, some jewelry, but these Lucky Charm marshmallows stood out to me the most.You see, 100% of my school is on free/reduced lunch. They also get free breakfast at school every day of the school week. This kiddo wanted to get my something so badly, but had nothing to give.So rather than give me nothing, this student opened up her free breakfast cereal this morning, took the packaging of her spork, straw, and napkin, and finally took the time to take every marshmallow out of her cereal to put in a bag—for me. Be grateful for what you have, and what others give you. It all truly comes from the deepest parts of their hearts. Happy Holidays. 💕

          How unbelievably sweet. I can just picture this student sitting carefully pulling the marshmallows from her cereal—obviously the best part—and carefully wrapping them up for her beloved teacher.

          Oof, my heart.

          It doesn’t matter how much a present costs. This student doesn’t have much, yet she was willing to give up one of the pleasures she does have in order to express her gratitude and bring a smile to her teacher’s face.

          Research has shown that those who are poor tend to be more generous with their giving than those who are wealthy.

          One might assume that a person who has very little would be inclined to hold onto it, while those who have plenty would be more willing to let things go. But that’s often not the case. Berkeley psychology researcher Paul Piff conducted a published study that found that people of lower socioeconomic means were more willing to give what they had, while the richer tended to be more miserly.

          And not all giving is equally sacrificial. When you consider how much greater a burden $5 or $10 is to someone struggling to put food on the table compared to someone with a five-figure savings account, a small gift from someone of lesser means is actually a lot more generous than it would be from their wealthier counterparts.

          And when you have no money with which to buy a gift and have to get creative with what you have? That’s when a present means the most. The spirit of giving is alive and well in this thoughtful student, and whoever is raising her deserve some praise.

          Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/a-teacher-shared-a-simple-gift-a-student-gave-her-and-it-s-seriously-the-sweetest-thing

          This Viral Video Shows What Music Actually Looks Like

          Science is great for mind-bending thought experiments and futuristic mind-controlled inventions. But sometimes, to really grab people’s attention, the simple experiments are the best.

          This week, a video by self-described “science guy” Steve Mould went viral on social media. Using a violin bow, a metal plate, and a cup of dry couscous, he demonstrates something that usually takes a rare neurological condition to experience: he shows us what musical notes look like.

          “This is a pretty random distribution of couscous,” Mould explains, “but when I take my bow, and I play this metal square like an instrument, this random distribution will suddenly become decidedly non-random.”

          Sure enough, as he draws the bow along the edge of the square, the couscous grains seem to vibrate themselves into a stunningly regular geometric pattern. And when he holds the plate and bow further left or right along the edge, new patterns arise.

          So what’s going on?

          “This is a problem of wave dynamics,” explains Mould in the video. “The equations that describe the motion of this plate are here… that’s how the plate moves when you bow it.”

          “If you look at the plate here, the parts that are moving jiggle the couscous around… until they reach parts of the plate that aren’t moving.”

          This experiment is actually well over 300 years old, with quite an epic history. The phenomenon was first discovered in 1680 by the prolific scientist and Isaac-Newton-nemesis Robert Hooke – and he used a method virtually identical to Mould’s.

          Over a century later, in 1787, Hooke’s experiments were repeated by the physicist and musician Ernst Chladni. But although he could produce the striking patterns – now known as Chladni figures in his honor – a mathematical explanation eluded him.

          It wasn’t long before this caught the eye of one of the most powerful figures on Earth. After Chladni demonstrated his experiments in Paris, Napoleon issued a challenge: Whoever came up with the best mathematical explanation for the phenomenon would win the Prize of the Paris Academy of Sciences.

          There was just one problem: Joseph-Louis Lagrange, one of the most prominent mathematicians, well, ever, had declared the problem so difficult that it would need a whole new branch of mathematics to solve it. A question that even the great Lagrange found intimidating would be far too hard for any normal mathematician, people thought, and scholars abandoned the problem en masse – with one exception.

          Enter one Sophie Germain. Forced due to the prevailing sexism of her time to submit her early work under a man’s name, Germain eventually became one of the most important mathematicians in history, making contributions in number theory and pioneering the field of elasticity theory. And, despite Lagrange’s warnings, she decided to take on the problem of the Chladni figures.

          “The maths that explains it comes from Sophie Germain,” Mould told IFLScience. “She did amazing work figuring out how standing waves like this work.”

          Her eventual explanation in 1816 made Germain the first woman to win any prize from the Paris Academy of Sciences – although, as a woman, she was still barred from attending sessions.

          Mould’s demonstration has received thousands of views this week, with people offering other examples of musical physics.

           So what is it that’s so inspiring about this experiment?

          “[Standing waves are] a really important part of lots of physics. Especially quantum mechanics,” says Mould. “But on a human level, patterns appearing out of nowhere is just really cool!”

          Read more: https://www.iflscience.com/physics/this-viral-video-shows-what-music-actually-looks-like/