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The Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year for 2015 is not in fact a word, but what they have dubbed the “Face with Tears of Joy” emoji, which accounts for 17 percent of all emojis sent in U.S. texts and whose use is steeply on the rise. What do you think?
Researchers report that our organ transplant system might inadvertently favor wealthier patients who can put their names on waiting lists at multiple transplant centers nationwide, while those who can’t afford such travel or who lack physicians on private insurance plans to advocate for them have longer wait times and are less likely to receive the needed organ. What do you think?
After Starbucks debuted their iconic red cups for the holiday season, many Christians complained that this year’s minimalist design features no holiday-specific imagery such as snowmen or sledding, leading one pastor to begin a viral prank of ordering at Starbucks under the name “Merry Christmas” to force baristas into writing a Christian message on the cup. What do you think?
After attending the White House Tribal Nations Conference, Adidas has offered to help 2,000 high schools change their Native American mascots by employing the Adidas design team to recreate their logos and uniforms. What do you think?
Chinese officials have announced the end of a 35-year policy limiting families to one child and will now allow two children per family, a response to mounting concerns about the aging workforce and its vast economic repercussions such as labor shortages and health care costs. What do you think?
Though howler monkeys are one of the loudest primates on earth, with throat sacs that help them emit deep, booming roars to attract females, scientists have noted that the most sonorous calls actually come from the males with the smallest testes, which consequently produce less sperm for their potential mates. What do you think?
Though he originally pledged to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2016, Obama announced this week that 5,500 ground troops would remain through the end of his presidency and beyond, likely in an attempt to prevent the resurgence of Taliban forces or the rise of ISIS. What do you think?
Playboy magazine has announced that future issues will no longer run photos of fully nude women, instead focusing on a “modern editorial and design approach” that executives hope will appeal to a wider audience and serve as an alternative to internet pornography. What do you think?
California governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill banning use of the name “Redskins” for all sports teams throughout the state but has decided to veto a proposed ban on naming public buildings after Confederate heroes, a choice that Brown said should be left to local decision-makers. What do you think?
The New York Times has assured investors that despite downward trends in the print media industry, they intend to double revenue by 2020, aiming to corner the digital subscriber market and draw in a younger contingent of readers. What do you think?
The Nobel Committee has awarded its annual Peace Prize to the National Dialogue Quartet, a collection of Tunisian civil society groups that have worked together since the 2011 Arab Spring uprising to foster democracy in the region and prevent dictatorships from regaining control. What do you think?
NASA has announced an open call for civilians to submit their ideas on how to turn Mars’ abundance of basalt rock into building material, fuel, or other tools astronauts can use throughout their stay on the planet so as to lower the cost of launching supplies from Earth, a contest that will award $ 10,000 to the best proposal. What do you think?
The latest U.S. Dietary Guidelines have been released in a 570-page report recommending a diet high in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and seafood but low in red meat and sugars, suggestions that have angered various food lobbies who claim the guidelines are dictated by “outdated science.” What do you think?
Due to a combination of rising demand for the beverage among developed countries and the negative impact drought has had on growing coffee beans in Brazil, experts warn that a global coffee shortage is a distinct possibility heading into 2016. What do you think?
A forthcoming app called Peeple will let users post public reviews of their friends, neighbors, coworkers, and romantic partners without the permission of the person being evaluated, though the app will hold reviewers accountable by requiring them to post under their real names. What do you think?
Researchers analyzing data from 29 countries have found that in the age of large flat-screen TVs, more children are being injured by unstable television sets toppling onto them, with doctors recommending that flat-screens be securely mounted to the wall as a preventative measure. What do you think?
A lawsuit filed by PETA last week claims that a series of now-famous “monkey selfies” snapped by a macaque who stole a photographer’s camera should be considered the legal property of the macaque himself, with the proceeds from the copyright going entirely to primate conservation efforts. What do you think?
Archaeologists digging in Brazil have unearthed a disembodied skull dating back 9,000 years, suggesting that ritual decapitation of community members was a custom deeply rooted in early hunter-gatherer culture, though the evidence suggests that the head was was only removed after death as a burial rite. What do you think?
A judge has ruled that the rights to the ‘Happy Birthday’ song, despite being held by the same party since 1988 and generating a profit of $ 2 million each year from the song’s use in movies and TV, are actually within the public domain and that the lyrics themselves were never copyrighted, which could lead to the return of royalties paid to use the song. What do you think?
Doritos has announced a limited-edition online release of “Doritos Rainbows,” a bag containing red, orange, green, blue, and purple chips in a nod to the LGBT movement’s rainbow flag, available to consumers who pledge $ 10 or more to the It Gets Better Project, which aims to improve the lives of LGBT youth. What do you think?
After being arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that his teachers mistook for a bomb, Muslim teenager Ahmed Mohamed garnered massive social media support that decried the school for its supposed Islamophobia, leading to an invitation by President Obama for Ahmed to attend the upcoming White House Astronomy Night. What do you think?
In advance of Pope Francis’ visit to New York City next week, many scalpers have reserved free tickets for the event and are now attempting to sell them online for hundreds of dollars, a practice publicly condemned by city officials. What do you think?
According to a new population projection, Houston could surpass Chicago as the nation’s third-largest city within eight to 10 years, a growth spurred in part by Houston’s ample job availability and low taxes. What do you think?
Before crowning Miss America 2016 Sunday, CEO Sam Haskell formally apologized to judge and former pageant winner Vanessa Williams for the 1984 scandal in which Williams was pressured by the organization to resign after nude photos surfaced from before her reign, an apology that Williams tearfully accepted. What do you think?
A new poll has found that misperceptions about President Obama’s faith and birthplace persist throughout the population, with 20 percent of Americans responding that they believe Obama was born outside the United States and 29 percent asserting he is Muslim. What do you think?
United Airlines CEO Jeff Smisek has resigned amid a federal investigation into the airline’s alleged reestablishment of an unprofitable flight from Newark, NJ to Columbia, SC solely to benefit the former chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who owns a vacation home in Columbia, which began when the flight was canceled shortly after the chairman stepped down from his post. What do you think?
With only seven legislative days to go until a budget decision must be reached for the new fiscal year beginning on October 1, Republicans continue to reject further federal funding for Planned Parenthood, a stalemate that could trigger another government shutdown to the detriment of financial markets. What do you think?
A new study in the journal Nature Communications has found that sperm whales communicate using vocalized dialects specific to organized clans, a social act that offers evidence of a shared culture within which the whales learn new things and adopt behaviors from one another. What do you think?
A new bill proposed in New York City seeks to lower the fat, sodium, and caloric content in fast food meals marketed directly to children, a measure that NYU researchers say could have a positive impact on children’s health and reduce childhood obesity rates. What do you think?
Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis has been sent to jail following her continued refusal to issue marriage licenses for gay couples due to her religious beliefs. What do you think?
Police in Poland blockaded a stretch of tracks after the alleged discovery of an abandoned train rumored to be the “Nazi gold train,” a freight car reportedly filled with gold and gems before vanishing in 1945 and a target of treasure hunters who, police say, risk their safety by investigating the still-active tracks for clues. What do you think?
As part of his visit to Alaska this week, President Obama will officially change the name of Mt. McKinley back to its original and native name, Denali, a decision praised by Alaska residents who have long fought for the name reversal. What do you think?
The smaller of the two panda cubs born to Mei Xiang last weekend at the National Zoo has died despite the medical team’s best efforts to save it, the second of Mei Xiang’s cubs to die in three years. What do you think?
Mark Zuckerberg released a statement confirming that on Monday, 1 billion users, or 1 in 7 people on earth, visited Facebook in a single day, setting a usage record for the site. What do you think?
After it was revealed that Josh Duggar, oldest son on TLC’s now-canceled reality show 19 Kids And Counting, possessed an Ashley Madison account and allegedly had extramarital affairs, Duggar has reportedly entered rehab, though what he’ll be treated for remains unspecified. What do you think?
According to a two-year study on obese patients, those with doctors they appraised as helpful and supportive lost an average of twice as much weight as subjects who rated their physicians lower, further evidence that effective doctor-patient relationships are driven by communication and collaboration. What do you think?
The U.S. government’s General Services Administration has begun working with the review website Yelp to create official pages for various government agencies where consumers can give feedback to places such as the TSA, post offices, and courthouses. What do you think?
Two years after a giant sinkhole opened beneath a Tampa, FL home and fatally swallowed a man in his bedroom, the same sinkhole reopened, though no homes currently occupy the site. What do you think?
Elusive street artist Banksy has revealed his latest attraction, Dismaland, a darkly humorous and decrepit interpretation of a children’s amusement park featuring a crumbling castle and multiple galleries that will remain open in Weston-super-Mare, England for five weeks. What do you think?
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio spoke out this week against Times Square’s desnudas, topless women covered in body paint who charge money for photos, saying they should be regulated the same way other street solicitors are. What do you think?
Longtime Subway spokesman Jared Fogle will reportedly plead guilty to criminal charges related to the possession of child pornography, a development linked to a July 7 raid of Fogle’s home. What do you think?
Earlier this summer, I asked to hear stories of survival from Huffington Post readers. I wanted to know about the tragedy you faced, how you survived, how you turned your life around, and how you’re doing today.
Readers, you didn’t disappoint. Over the last few weeks we’ve heard from more than 500 of you. We’ve heard stories of illness, loss, natural disaster, bankruptcy, discrimination — and everything in between.
Having recently been confronted with a potentially life-altering diagnosis of breast cancer, I was buoyed by people reaching out to me with their own stories of survival. Many are blessed with never having to encounter the difficulties that life can bring. But many must. And they survive what life throws at them with grace, courage and humility.
Below are five compelling stories from those of you who have done just that (you can find all of them here). Thank you for helping us inspire others! For those of you who have not yet contacted us, please feel free to email us your own stories of 500 words or less to email@example.com. Make sure you put “survival” in the subject line and send us a photo as well.
“Tess Senay Raynovich died in a car accident on her way to work. The SUV hitting her car on the passenger side killed her instantly. She was 20-years-old. She was my youngest daughter. She was. She was. She was…” Read Nancy’s story here.
“When I was seven years old I was raped by a neighbor and dear friend of our family. Everyone thought he was a great guy. I had no context in which to understand what had happened to me, so processing it took many years. I told no one. I grew up believing, in spite of dates here and there, that when it came to men I did not know what I was doing. I also believed that my words, thoughts and actions, in almost every realm, were without merit.” Read Susan’s story here.
“My story begins in June of 2008 when, at the age of 10, I was diagnosed with ALL leukemia (acute lymphoid leukemia). Being diagnosed at the age of 10 was a hard thing. I was old enough to understand that I was sick but I did not fully understand the gravity of my illness.” Read Gabrielle’s story here.
“Losing my brother was the most painful thing I hope I will ever have to experience. It turns out that nobody is ever prepared for grief. It doesn’t arrive predictably in time or severity. It can be an overwhelming, moaning, sobbing kind of grief. Or it can ache just enough to remind you it’s there and yet somehow you never want it to go away.” Read Rashmee’s story here.
“Between 1978 and 1982, I lost much of my hearing and — along with it — any aspirations for a life in music. Technically speaking, I suffered from moderate to severe ‘sensori-neural’ hearing loss of unknown cause — not noise-related. It was sudden and unexpected; 50 percent of hearing in my left ear was gone in April 1978 within 24 hours.” Read Stu’s story here.
Rita Wilson is an actor, singer, producer and Huff/Post50’s editor at large.
Original illustrations by Jake Reeves.
— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.
The New York Times’ recent exposé on Amazon’s treatment of its workforce has caused public outcry, though the online retail giant’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, has denied the allegations, saying that if such accusations were true, employees would be “crazy to stay.” What do you think?
Researchers have found that patients who listen to music before, during, and after surgery experience less pain and quicker recovery times, a phenomenon that might be caused by music’s ability to change the brain’s neural pathways and induce relaxation. What do you think?
The Pacific striped octopus, long suspected of being more social than its fellow species, was recently filmed by researchers mating face-to-face and otherwise demonstrating tight bonds with its partner, challenging conventional understanding of the octopus as a solitary, cannibalistic creature. What do you think?
The British Transport Police are investigating an incident in which a woman’s iPhone received anonymous photos of a penis via Apple’s AirDrop feature, a function where files can be sent to any other iPhone in the vicinity, in a crime they have dubbed “cyber-flashing” and urged other victims to report. What do you think?
Going against the Vatican’s long-held position that divorced Catholics cannot receive communion without officially annulling their marriage, Pope Francis encouraged the church this week to instead welcome them with “open doors” and praised those pastors who have practiced the “attentive acceptance” of such couples. What do you think?
To honor the nation’s 70th anniversary of liberation from Japan, North Korea will create a new time zone later this month by setting the clocks back 30 minutes to “Pyongyang Time,” a move that many experts have warned could cause widespread confusion and logistical issues. What do you think?
A study that observed nearly half a million people over a seven-year span found that those who consumed more spicy foods such as chili peppers showed a reduced overall risk of death, as well as reduced risk of developing cancer or heart disease. What do you think?
In an effort to subvert mainstream beauty standards and celebrate all bodies equally, thousands of women are promoting the hashtag #thighreading and posting pictures of their thighs to social media, many of which depict stretch marks, scars, and cellulite. What do you think?
A month before the premiere of their new primetime show on ABC, popular Muppet characters Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy have announced in joint online statements that they are splitting up after “thoughtful consideration and considerable squabbling.” What do you think?
HitchBOT, a robotic travel companion created by researchers as a social experiment, was destroyed by unknown vandals in Philadelphia this week on its hitchhiking tour of the U.S., saddening the robot’s many admirers who followed its earlier trips through Europe and Canada. What do you think?
Jen Welter, who starred as a linebacker for 14 years, mostly in the Women’s Football Alliance, and coached men in the Champions Indoor Football league, will join the Arizona Cardinals during training camp and the preseason as the NFL’s first female coach, a move roundly supported by players and fans alike. What do you think?
Officials are speculating that an airplane wing discovered off the coast of Reunion Island earlier this week could possibly belong to MH370, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 aircraft that disappeared without a trace in March 2014. What do you think?
According to new research from the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of Vermont, the nation’s capital could sink as much as 6 inches over the next century, increasing risk of flooding, and leading researchers to admonish Congress’ inaction on solving the issue of climate change. What do you think?
To combat declining membership and amend relationships with donors, the Boy Scouts of America will begin accepting openly gay adults in leader positions, though the organization says religiously affiliated troops may continue selecting heterosexual leaders to align with their values. What do you think?
Researchers announced this week that not only can regular aerobic exercise help protect the brain against Alzheimer’s, it can also positively impact those already diagnosed with the disease, due to increased blood flow to the brain’s memory and processing centers. What do you think?
Researchers have found that mosquitoes use a complex system of visual, olfactory, and thermal methods to track their human targets, such as sensing exhaled carbon dioxide or pursuing body heat emissions, all of which render the usual methods of repelling insects relatively ineffective against these biting pests. What do you think?
Oskar Groening, a 94-year-old man known as the Accountant of Auschwitz due to his role in making the concentration camp profitable, was sentenced to four years in prison this week for his role in the deaths of 300,000 Hungarian Jews, a crime for which Groening apologized in court in a manner many felt to be insincere. What do you think?
Minor injuries have been reported by test drivers after one of Google’s self-driving cars was rear-ended by another vehicle, leaving many to question the safety of autonomous vehicles, though Google reps say the accident demonstrates that distracted driving, not automation, is the biggest danger on the road. What do you think?
While on an Antarctic search for evidence of small mammal bones, researchers inadvertently discovered the oldest animal sperm on record, a 50-million-year-old worm sperm inside a fossilized cocoon, though the sperm was broken into fragments and will be unable to shed light on the anatomy of the worm species. What do you think?
After Amazon announced it would celebrate its 20th anniversary on July 15 with a massive sales event called Prime Day, Walmart has responded that it too will launch an online sale this Wednesday, complete with “special atomic deals” and expanded free shipping options. What do you think?
A new CDC report found that heroin use in the United States has surged dramatically in the past decade, up 150 percent between 2007 and 2013, and suggested that excessive painkiller prescriptions are to blame for the rise in heroin addiction and abuse. What do you think?
Following an emotional debate in the South Carolina House of Representatives, a bill to remove the Confederate flag from the state house grounds was passed by a vote of 94 to 20, despite numerous proposed amendments to delay its passage put forth by the flag’s supporters. What do you think?
Though mammograms have been widely considered essential, lifesaving preventative measures, a new investigation of cancer data has concluded that they actually lead to overdiagnosis and mostly confirm the existence of small, benign tumors rather than spotting fatal cancer at earlier or more manageable stages. What do you think?
Though they had originally estimated a much lower impact, investigators now believe that up to 21.5 million Americans’ personal information has been compromised by a data breach within the Office of Personnel Management, leading OPM director Katherine Archuleta to resign. What do you think?
Following a number of fatal accidents, Russia’s police force released a brochure urging citizens to take precautions while photographing themselves to avoid injury or death, warning against posing with animals and on rooftops. What do you think?
Analyzing factors such as subjects’ cholesterol and kidney function, a Duke University study determined that there is a wide range in the rate of aging among individual humans, with the average person’s “biological age” advancing 1.2 years per calendar year and in some cases much faster than that. What do you think?
The United States took home the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy Sunday night in Vancouver after a decisive 5-2 victory over Japan, making history as the first team to win the title three times. What do you think?
The four surviving original members of the Grateful Dead concluded their farewell tour in Chicago Sunday night, drawing over 70,000 fans to Soldier Field for each of their three final performances and shattering the venue’s single-day attendance record previously held by U2. What do you think?
According to a new survey, the average American household throws away about $ 640 worth of food every year, though most people don’t consider the environmental impact of food waste and are instead concerned with the embarrassment of cooking too much food and throwing a lot of it out. What do you think?
Samsung is working to develop a “clear truck,” which works by using a camera installed on the front to livestream the road ahead onto a mounted video screen on the back, letting drivers see “through” the truck. What do you think?
Though the clunky plastic shoes have long been criticized as ugly, sales of Crocs surged 1,500 percent after Prince George was photographed wearing a $ 54 pair of navy blue Crocs at a charity polo match. What do you think?
Three teenagers in England entering a scientific contest put forward a plan for condoms that would change color when exposed to viral or bacterial sexually transmitted infections, though experts say the technology to actually make the condoms doesn’t exist yet and that there are ethical questions involved with such an invention. What do you think?
Google announced Tuesday it will officially enable an “unsend” button for Gmail that allows users to set a five- to 30-second grace period after hitting “send” on an email to rescind that email, which should help users who accidentally hit “reply all” or send an email impulsively and want to take it back. What do you think?
After announcing plans to put a woman on the $ 10 bill by 2020, the Treasury Department added that it will be launching a huge social media campaign to solicit the public for suggestions on which woman to choose, with the only restriction being that she must be dead. What do you think?
In an effort to deter shoplifters and boost what it calls “door presence,” Walmart has decided to move greeters back to the front of stores instead of having them multitask by performing other duties, like tidying shelves and opening registers. What do you think?
In an effort to rid the market of unhealthy foods and cut down on obesity rates, the FDA has given major food manufacturers three years to phase out trans fats in processed foods. What do you think?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Donald Trump used the services of a casting agency to hire background actors to cheer him on at the recent rally where he announced his presidential candidacy, paying them each $ 50 for about three hours of work. What do you think?
Neil Young complained yesterday that Donald Trump did not get his permission to play his song “Rockin’ In The Free World” in the background of his presidential campaign announcement. What do you think?
Facing a decline in popularity among millennials who increasingly prefer online shopping to the mall, Gap announced that it plans to close 175 stores across the country in order to focus on “a smaller, more vibrant fleet of stores.” What do you think?
Days before he is expected to send out an official encyclical letter on the issue, Pope Francis called on the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to pay attention to environmental issues and act as “stewards of creation.” What do you think?
Kellogg’s has announced that it will launch a new mail subscription service that will deliver customized boxes of healthy snacks to people at home or at work. What do you think?
Jack Ma, the founder of the Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba, who is reportedly worth $ 25 billion, reportedly told attendees at a luncheon that he was happiest when he was making $ 12 a month teaching college English. What do you think?
A couple from Canberra, Australia wrote in an editorial this week that if Parliament legalizes gay marriage, they will get a divorce because the decision will invalidate the original contract they believe they had with the state, which is that marriage is between a man and a woman. What do you think?
In an interview with The Telegraph, Lance Armstrong said that he feels like Harry Potter villain Lord Voldemort because the cycling world refuses to mention him or acknowledge he exists, saying, “[W]ho’s that character in Harry Potter they can’t talk about? Voldemort? It’s like that on every level.” What do you think?
Two weeks after volumes of the ISIS-run English-language propaganda magazine Dabiq appeared on its website for sale, Amazon.com has quietly pulled all copies of the publication, which featured articles related to Islamic law and holy war. What do you think?
Parents of high school students who took the SAT exam on June 6 are blasting the College Board for a printing error that made students believe they had five extra minutes on a section when exam proctors cut them off at the correct time. What do you think?
Nearly four decades after Affirmed won the Triple Crown in 1978, a 3-year-old colt named American Pharoah won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday to become the 12th horse in history to sweep thoroughbred horse racing’s top three events. What do you think?
Mattel has announced that after 56 years of only being able to wear pumps, Barbie dolls in the company’s new “Barbie Fashionistas” line will now feature adjustable ankles that allow them to wear flats as well as high heels. What do you think?
In an effort to raise the spirits of employees who have made complaints about low pay and the lack of flexible hours, Walmart has announced it will relax its dress code to allow employees to wear black or blue denim in addition to black or blue khakis. What do you think?
The Swedish government has submitted a new proposal to extend paid paternity leave for fathers from two to three months, about equal to the 14 weeks provided to mothers, while the U.S. remains last among OECD member countries in offering government-supported time off for new parents. What do you think?
A new study has found that chimps have the mental ability to cook food, though they are unable to because they can’t light fires. What do you think?
After Olympic champion Caitlyn Jenner publicly appeared as a transgender woman for the first time on the cover of the new issue of Vanity Fair, President Obama’s Twitter account tweeted words of praise, saying “It takes courage to share your story” and “Your story matters in the fight for LGBT rights.” What do you think?
A Muslim woman who recently flew on United Airlines wrote in a Facebook post that a flight attendant told her that she couldn’t have a can of Coke on the flight because she might use it as a weapon, which left her feeling humiliated and discriminated against. What do you think?
Five months after it discontinued its airplane print catalogue and filed for bankruptcy, SkyMall announced that it was recently purchased at an auction by a marketing company for $ 1.9 million and will be returning to planes later this year. What do you think?
In an interview with Esquire, street artist Shepard Fairey said that seven years after designing the iconic red-and-blue poster of Obama with the word “Hope,” he has personally lost faith in the president, who he thinks is “not even close” to living up to how he was represented on the poster. What do you think?
According to a report in The New York Times, coders, engineers, and other tech industry employees who work long hours are opting to replace meals with liquid food products to avoid wasting time eating on the job. What do you think?
Nick, 35, says he started being tormented by voices in his head about five years ago. “A friend of mine drugged me … I woke up in a hotel room. I was pretty much left for dead. During that time when I was unconscious, I believe he put a chip in me. I believe there is a chip somewhere in my body. I’m not sure where.”
The first time the voices spoke to him, Nick remembers them calling him a “lowlife,” and they’ve since told him to kill himself, Nick says. “I suspect that hackers are using government satellites to be able to insert voices into my head,” he explains.
He is adamant that he is not mentally ill, though his family believes that may be the cause. “I’d rather have schizophrenia. It wouldn’t hurt near as bad,” says Nick, a husband and father. “If I had my choice between schizophrenia or what I’m going through — electronic harassment — I would choose schizophrenia.”
In the video above, Nick explains what it’s like living with the voices in his head, and that he’s even tried to barter with them by leaving $ 20,000 in his mailbox, telling them to take the money but leave him and his family alone. Can Dr. Phil get to the bottom of Nick’s torment? Watch more from Tuesday’s episode of Dr. Phil.
Have a question for Dr. Phil? Ask it here!
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According to a survey conducted by The Harvard Crimson to which half the class responded, one in four graduating seniors stated that they didn’t have sex while at Harvard, though many said they had sex before attending the school. What do you think?
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence this week declassified hundreds of documents collected during the 2011 raid of Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound, including his original job application for al-Qaeda, which, along with requesting regular contact information, asked applicants whether they would be willing to be suicide bombers and who to contact in case of martyrdom. What do you think?
A middle school teacher in Georgia has been arrested for allegedly allowing students to schedule times to have sex in the storage closet of the classroom, informing them when it would be free to use and providing condoms in some cases. What do you think?
A teenager from Levittown, PA celebrating her Sweet 16 party outdoors this week had her event ruined when a plane flying overhead emptied its human waste containers into the sky and feces rained down on the guests. What do you think?
Due to the rising costs of Manhattan real estate, high-end toy store FAO Schwarz will close its iconic Fifth Avenue flagship location and look to open another store elsewhere in the city. What do you think?
According to reports from some publications covering the Cannes Film Festival, a number of women who were wearing flats instead of high heels were turned away from the red carpet for a high-profile screening unless they changed shoes, and actor Josh Brolin allegedly responded that he would walk the red carpet in high heels to protest the policy. What do you think?
According to new research from Caltech, fruit flies are capable of entering a fear-like state when they see a shadow from a fly swatter, suggesting that small insects might contain the building blocks for emotion, though it’s unclear whether they experience emotions the way humans do. What do you think?
A Taco Bell in the Wicker Park neighborhood of Chicago has applied for a liquor license, which if granted would mark the first Taco Bell location in the country to serve alcohol. What do you think?
According to a study by market research firm GlobalWebIndex, 30 percent of users on the smartphone hookup app Tinder are already married, and nearly 50 percent aren’t single. What do you think?
Saturday’s welterweight title fight between boxers Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao, which had been hyped as the “Fight of the Century,” was widely criticized as boring and a waste of time by many viewers who paid $ 100 to watch it on TV. What do you think?
According to a report from a local ABC affiliate, a school district in Tennessee thawed out pork frozen since 2009 and served it to students, smothering it in gravy to mask its stench and “give it a better taste.” What do you think?
According to emerging reports from users, the new Apple Watch doesn’t work as well when worn on tattooed wrists because the ink causes the sensors to repeatedly ask for security codes, misread heart rates, interfere with apps, and make other errors.
By her own admission, Eden Sher lives in an almost perpetual state of hyperbole.
“That’s why I always have to try and keep myself in check,” this 24 year-old actress admitted during a recent phone interview. “Otherwise — whenever anyone asks me what I’m working on now — my automatic response is that it’s ‘ … THE BEST THING EVER!’ “
Mind you, it’s easy to understand why this Critics’ Choice winner (Sher took home the Television Award for Best Comedy Supporting Actress in 2013) is so upbeat these days, given the year that Sue Heck (i.e., the character that Eden plays on ABC‘s long-running sitcom, The Middle) has been having. Between the stresses that this college-bound senior has been facing while applying to schools — not to mention being blindsided by a surprise marriage proposal from her boyfriend Darrin — Heck, as a character, has been giving Sher a heck of a lot of fun stuff to play over the past year.
But since The Middle just finished shooting its sixth season this past Friday, Eden is now pouring her over abundance of enthusiasm into her next project, Star vs. the Forces of Evil. Which is this brand-new animated series which will debut on Disney XD tonight at 8 p.m. ET / PT.
“As someone who just loves animation and comic books, I have to say that I have never seen a character like Star Butterfly before. She is Disney’s first-ever kick-butt princess. And I am just thrilled beyond words that they chose me to voice this character,” Sher said.
Mind you, when Eden originally auditioned for this part back in 2013, she wasn’t sure that the show’s producers actually did want her to be the voice of Star. Who’s this wand-toting teenage princess from another dimension who’s been sent to Earth to live with the Diaz family.
“I come from the live-action world. Where if you audition for a part, you typically find out that day — at the absolute latest, by the end of the week — whether or not you got the part,” Sher explained. “So when I went in and auditioned for Star, it kind of killed me that, by the end of that week, they still hadn’t called. Because from the very first second that I got the breakdown for this character, I just loved Star. I so wanted to be the voice of this character. But when I didn’t hear back from Daron (Nefcy, the creator / producer of Star vs. the Forces of Evil), I just assumed that I didn’t get it. So I was like ‘Well, that sucks. It wasn’t me. I guess that it will be someone else.’ And then I just forgot about it.”
But then two months later when Eden found that she had in fact been cast as the voice of Star Butterfly, Sher began bouncing off the walls with glee. Which proved to be a bit of a problem once Eden got in the recording booth.
“You have to understand that this was the very first time that I had voiced a character for animation. So since I didn’t know what the hell I was doing, I began jumping around the booth while I was recording Star’s lines for the pilot. And they actually had to stop this recording session to explain that the mics that they use are so sensitive that they can actually pick up when you’re moving around inside the booth. So I had to then teach myself how to stand still while I was recording Star’s lines. Which is tougher than you might think because Star Butterfly is such an active and awesome character,” Sher enthused.
And clearly animation fans agree with Eden. Given that — just based on the title sequence of this new Disney XD series (which was shown once just before a Disney Television Animation panel got underway at Comic-Con last July but wound up being captured on someone’s iPhone and then get uploaded to YouTube) — Star vs. the Forces of Evil fan art began popping up all over the Internet last Fall.
“I remember coming in for a recording session about that same time and seeing all of this Star fan art up on the walls at Disney Television Animation. And I asked ‘Does stuff like this typically happen before a show officially goes on the air?’ And they told me that this almost never happens. That animation fans usually have to see a few episodes before they then decide whether they want to embrace a new show or not. But in Star vs. the Forces of Evil‘s case, that title sequence was all they needed to see. Once they saw Star & Marco jumping from dimension to dimension, they then realized that this show was going to be something special. Which is when they started sending in all of these drawings of the show’s characters,” Sher stated.
And it wasn’t just animation fans who liked what they saw with Star vs. the Forces of Evil. Disney XD officials were so impressed with the finished episodes of this new animated series that they’d received that they actually renewed Star for Season 2 back on February 12th of this year. Which was a full six weeks before the first episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil was officially scheduled to air on Disney XD.
“And news like that would have normally freaked me out,” Eden admitted. “But I believe so strongly in this show and the character of Star, who’s this vaguely aggressive girly princess. Honestly, I’ve never identified so much with a cartoon character before. I mean, Star is so much like me in that she’s always wrong. She’s always messing up. But at the same time, this character has such a good heart. Star is fiercely loyal when it comes to her friends and never backs down from a fight. There’s so much going on there. And that’s what makes this character so much fun to voice,” Sher concluded.
“I just wish that — when I was growing up — that there would have been a television show on with a character like Star Butterfly. Because if I were a little girl and had a character like Star that I could have idolized, I would have …,” Eden paused and then laughed. “Well, I probably would have turned out exactly the same. But if there’s a generation of little girls who actually do wind up being inspired by this character that Daron has created, Disney’s first kick-butt princess … Oh boy, I am more than ready for that. I would love to be associated with a project like that. That would be a dream come true for me.”
If you want to see if Sher’s dream really does come true, do check out tonight’s premiere of Star vs. the Forces of Evil. Which airs on Disney XD starting at 8 p.m. ET / PT.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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McDonald’s debuted a new lifestyle product line featuring clothes printed with patterns of Big Mac burgers as part of its “imlovinit24” corporate marketing campaign, which involved staging 24 McDonald’s-themed stunts over 24 hours.
Parents visiting Washington, D.C. with their kids this week sparked outrage and controversy by encouraging them to climb and play on the Vietnam Women’s Memorial, which honors U.S.
The fashion industry is quick to embrace new trends, colors and styles. But when it comes to including diverse voices and physical representations, the stylish set still fails.
PBS Digital Studios’ “First Person” series sets up conversations about gender, sexuality and queerness in our cultural landscape. In this week’s episode, “Queering Fashion,” host Kristin Russo (of Everyone Is Gay fame) talks to writer and entrepreneur Nicolette Mason, BuzzFeed beauty editor and writer Arabelle Sicardi and Rae Tutera of The Handsome Butch.
The conversation touched on many fascinating points but an interesting exchange occurred when Russo asked what the fashion industry needs to do in order to change the narrow way in which queer style is defined.
“Personally, I would love to stop seeing the centering and prioritizing of thin, white masculine-of-center, affluent bodies,” Mason said.
While Mason added that that particular group should be represented, she continued, saying, “There are so many other identities and cultures and body types and shapes and expressions that exist in the queer community and they’re so rarely put front and center.”
Sicardi and Tutera agreed, noting that androgyny doesn’t necessarily mean looking masculine or feminine, but depends on how a person chooses to define it.
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The Voices Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Anna Kendrick, Ryan Reynolds Movie HD
Jerry is a seemingly normal man trying to succeed in his new job at the Milton Bathtub Factory. He lives in a normal apartment the type you would expect from a young bachelor with his dog, Bosco, and his cat, Mr. Whiskers. Yet something seems off. As the new guy at work, Jerry is asked to help plan the company picnic, and he meets Fiona, an attractive English girl from accounting. Jerry immediately takes a liking to Fiona and excitedly goes home to tell his pets about her. And surprisingly, they answer. But all this is just the beginning of an insanely bizarre and twisted tale.
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John Boehner was reelected to his third term as House Speaker this week despite losing the votes of 25 House Republicans, representing the most opposition to a major party’s speaker nominee since 1860.
CNN chats with the voice actors behind Disney’s latest animated adventure, “Big Hero 6.”
The interim dean of Columbia Law School announced that students who reported being traumatized or disturbed by the American legal system after the non-indictments of officers Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo will be permitted to delay their final exams.
After Florida man Timothy Poole won $ 3 million from a scratch-off lottery ticket and posed in a photo with his check, internet users and authorities recognized him as a convicted sex offender who has been arrested 12 times for crimes that include grand th…
If you thought “Game of Thrones” was powerful and dramatic before, you know nothing, Jon Snow.
This week during a “Suggestion Box” segment on the “Tonight Show,” one audience member pondered what it would be like if the “GoT” characters had little kid voices. Jimmy Fallon obliged and showed a clip where the original audio was replaced, and then our brains exploded because we just couldn’t process that much awesome.
“The Tonight Show” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.
“Game of Thrones” airs Sunday at 9:00 p.m. ET on HBO.