Python found lurking in bathroom toilet in Southend – BBC News

Image copyright Laura Cowell
Image caption The toilet had been “blocked for several days”, but the family had no idea why

A five-year-old boy was shocked to discover a python inside his toilet when he lifted up the lid.

He was “frantic” when he found it in the bathroom at home in Southend, Essex, his mother Laura Cowell said.

Specialists from pet shop Scales and Fangs came to the rescue, removing the harmless 3ft (91cm) baby royal python.

“It smelt of bleach and a bit toilet-y,” Ethan Pinion from the store said. The snake “most likely came up the u-bend” and is expected to recover fully.

Image copyright Laura Cowell
Image caption Royal pythons can grow to about 150cm (5ft) but this is “a baby”, rescuers said

Mrs Cowell said the toilet had been “blocked for several days and the water wasn’t draining well”, but at the time, she did not know why.

Her son discovered the unwelcome visitor when he went to use the toilet on Wednesday.

Slither this way for more news from Essex

“He was frantic, and shaking, and I could tell something was wrong, but that was not what I expected,” she said.

“I had to use a broom handle to lift the lid, then out popped its head and its tongue came out as well.”

Image copyright Laura Cowell
Image caption The snake was taken away safely by a reptile specialist

After phoning several potential rescuers, Rob Yeldham, who owns the Leigh-on-Sea store, came to help.

“I’ve done many snake rescues in my 10 years, but I’ve never had one in a toilet before. It’s definitely a first for us,” he said.

Mr Yeldham said some neighbours of Mrs Cowell had recently moved and old vivariums were left outside with the rubbish.

“I think the snake probably escaped and went down their toilet, and ended up in this one, as all the sewers are connected,” he said.

It was unlikely it had been there long as it was healthy and not underweight, although it is suffering from scale rot, “probably from the bleach”.

The snake is being treated at the store and once “in perfect health” will be “rehomed with someone reputable so he won’t end up in a toilet again”.

Image copyright Scales and Fangs
Image caption The snake is being cared for by a local pet shop

Mrs Cowell said she was “petrified” and put weights on the toilet lid for several days after the experience.


Royal pythons:

  • Originate from West Africa, from countries including the republics of Ghana, Togo and Benin
  • Grow to up to 150cm (4ft 9ins) and can live more than 20 years in captivity
  • Typically “docile” in nature, and curl into a ball when threatened
  • Require a diet of defrosted mice and rats

Source: RSPCA


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-essex-41122975

6 Reasons Good People Turn Into Monsters

I want this phrase added to the American flag:

Hating a bad thing does not make you good.

Put it in place of some of the stars or something. It’s important. It’s one of those things everyone knows, right up until it’s convenient to not know it. Hell, hating bad people doesn’t even necessarily get you closer to being a better person. The Klan hates ISIS, but we don’t count that as a point in their favor. Yet I’m pretty sure that most of what we consider being good in this culture is just having disdain for the right things.

What does this have to do with police shootings, Nazis, immigration, and most of the headlines you’ll see this year? And how does it tie into the best Keanu Reeves action franchise? Well, it comes down to how …

6

We Hate Giving People Second Chances

This subject will be about five outrages old by the time this article goes up, but as I type this, the Trump administration just ended a government program for children whose parents entered America illegally. “DACA” basically allowed these young people to get jobs, pay taxes, go to school, and get driver licenses despite not being citizens. Ending the program means destroying the lives of about 800,000 people for a crime their parents committed. As one Republican congressman put it, “justice” means these people deserve to “live in the shadows.” After all, he said, they entered the country illegally. Not even years of productive, law-abiding living absolves them of that original sin.

Experts call it “John Wick morality” (or at least they should), named after the film series in which Keanu Reeves’ dog is killed by Russian mobsters, and in response he shoots 738 of them in the head. You wouldn’t think any real person considers that a reasonable moral code to live their life by, until you look at the comments under any article about a police shooting and see …

… or see entire comment sections full of people rooting for a guy who shot a car thief to death. The logic almost makes sense if you squint — if the victim hadn’t resisted (or suddenly moved their hands, or smoked weed, or failed to signal, or illegally crossed the border), they’d still be alive, therefore they have no one to blame but themselves.

That “no one to blame” phrasing is key. It implies that once someone breaks a rule, you can do whatever you want to them and you cannot be blamed. Listen for it, and you’ll hear somebody using this reasoning once a day, even if it’s just over stupid shit. Do you have some poor bastard in your social circle who’s gotten stuck with a demeaning nickname based on something they did when they were 13? If you want a famous example, try to find a single discussion about Richard Gere, anywhere, that doesn’t bring up the urban legend about him shoving a gerbil up his ass (a rumor that got started during the freaking Reagan administration).

We need that one mortal sin which will let us revoke a person’s status as a human worthy of dignity, respect, empathy or anything else. It’s the proverbial John Wick’s Dog, the moral trump card. We cannot be accused of prejudice or pettiness as long as we’ve got a bloody JWD carcass to jiggle in response to critics.

How does this apply to you, a good person fighting the good fight? I’m getting to that.

5

We Use “Justice” As Cover For All Manner Of Awfulness

“Hold on,” says the hypothetical skeptical reader who’s been following me from article to article for the last ten years, “you’re using immigration hardliners and police shootings as an example of this shit in action? Those are just the result of racism, dude.”

I don’t think that’s the complete truth. I think the reason so many racists could pass an “Are you a racist?” polygraph test is that they don’t think minorities are inhuman due to their color, but rather their supposed criminality. The officer who shot Philando Castille as he sat in a car with his girlfriend and four-year-old daughter said that he thought he smelled marijuana. In his mind, this single hint of a single minor crime meant absolutely anything done in response was justified.

That he would not have done this if the driver were a whimsical white stoner dude never occurs to him — prejudice almost always hides behind a supposed zeal for justice. Internet hate mobs never flood a woman’s inbox with death threats without a JWD to justify it. (“She wouldn’t be getting these calls in the middle of the night if she hadn’t made fun of us on Twitter!”) And where a crime doesn’t exist, we’ll extrapolate one. “Of course I thought my family was in mortal danger when that Mexican man approached the car! After all, if a guy will cross the border illegally, he’ll rape a woman. He’s already proven he doesn’t care about the law!”

It’s an utterly insane double standard, of course — our own mistakes are singular instances and in no way should affect others’ overall opinion of us. (“Just because I lied doesn’t make me a liar!”) Yet it’s so seductive that virtually every hateful asshole you’ve met in your life has built their fetid nightmare of a personality upon this very foundation. They all think their daily cruelty is in response to some extreme provocation.

But this article isn’t just about piling scorn on those people; virtually everyone reading this already thinks of them as monsters. My point is that none of them were born monsters, so we should be having the same conversation people do in the second act of every zombie movie. “How do we stop them and, more importantly, how do we keep ourselves from getting turned?” If cruelty wears justice as a disguise, then anyone who believes in justice is at risk. In fact, the more strongly you believe in justice, the more at risk you are.

Once, as a well-meaning child, I asked my Sunday School teacher how it was okay for God to send people to Hell for eternity based on fairly minor infractions, while if an earthly ruler punished rulebreakers with indefinite torture, they’d be considered cruel despots. The answer made sense to me at the time, and went like this:

Because God is infinitely righteous, He has infinite loathing for unrighteousness. His very purity is what makes any tolerance of impurity impossible.

Therefore, our modern pansy-ass attitude toward lawbreakers (insisting on reform and humane treatment) is actually evidence of our corruption. If we were more righteous, we would be more cruel toward the unrighteous. Therefore, not only is that cruelty justified, but it is in fact a key barometer of our own goodness. Petty meanness toward atheists and homosexuals is exactly what God wants. If you’re reading this and sure that this kind of medieval thinking only applies to Christians … well, keep reading.

4

We Start Hating People For All The Wrong Reasons

A critic of any female politician/pundit/activist can’t resist pointing out how ugly/fat she is (if she’s pretty, then the insult is that she’s a slut or that she only got her position based on looks). Racists will start with high crime rates and unemployment, but will quickly move on to how rap music is shitty, how ghetto women wear trashy clothes, how blacks can’t speak proper English. Never mind that it’s impossible to justify music, fashion, and dialect as examples of moral failure. For some reason, it’s not enough for their enemies to be merely wrong; they have to be disgusting on a visceral level.

It’s crazy how those racists do that, isn’t it? Those dirty, toothless, inbred hillbillies. They’re almost as bad as the gamergaters. You know, those fat virgin neckbeards in their mothers’ basements? They all probably voted for Trump — that guy with the gross weird hair and fake tan and tiny hands. Disgusting, right?

“Well, but that’s different! In those cases, the targets deserve it!” Oh, I get it. It feels great to poke our enemies in their sensitive spots. We know Trump is insecure about his hair, that Chris Christie is probably sensitive about being fat, that social outcasts are so ashamed of their virginity that some of them will blow their brains out rather than live with it. So why not use those weapons? This is total war, after all — everything about the enemy is fair game. And remember, the more cruel we are to bad guys, the better we are as people. God himself said it.

But what about all of the good people out there with weird hair, those insecure guys shyly trying to hide bald spots? Or your allies who are unattractive, nervous, and unsuccessful at sex? How are they not supposed to take home the message that personal appearance apparently matters just as much as their moral choices, and that sexual failure is something to be deeply ashamed of? That it doesn’t matter if you’re one of the good guys if you also have poor grooming and social skills?

Well fuck, now look what’s happened. We’ve not only justified cruelty toward our enemies based on their past sins, but justified cruelty to totally unrelated people. Just throwing out collateral damage like John Wick’s stray bullets, mowing down passing tourists with gun-fu until the whole city is brought to a panicked standstill. We certainly don’t stop to ask if the dog would even have wanted this.

3

We Wind Up Radicalizing Ourselves

One genre of angry message I’ve gotten over the years goes something like “I’ve been a daily reader since 2010 and thought you were the good guys, but after seeing [joke/article they found offensive], I’m realizing how wrong I was! Goodbye forever.” Think about that for a moment. They are claiming to have read and enjoyed literally thousands of articles and videos before encountering one single offensive idea, at which point they declared the whole enterprise a loss. That’s super weird.

Well, it’s weird until you consider what particular bubble they spend their time in. I’ve never been around an activist group that didn’t turn into an endless series of petty purity tests. I was raised in a church where everyone was looking for more and more inconsequential things to judge each other by. R-rated movies were of course forbidden, but which prime-time network TV shows were permissible? Any of them? Of course rock music was of the devil, but what about country? Aren’t those songs about faith, kind of?

The natural evolution is toward tighter and tighter criteria for what behavior gets you shunned from the group. The end result is that the central cause, the group’s JWD, can be as pure as the driven snow, and yet the tone will get more and more toxic over time, the members becoming less and less charitable with each other. Here, for example, is what my Twitter timeline looks like:

“Nazis are bad and must be opposed.”

Agree!

“People who enable or defend Nazis must also be opposed.”

Makes sense!

“Unlawful violence is perfectly acceptable when opposing Nazis and their enablers.”

Wait, I’m not sure I’m on board with that …

“Anyone who opposes the use of unlawful violence against Nazis is also a Nazi enabler.”

What? No! I’m one of the good guys!

“Also, if you think about it, all American institutions and capitalism itself help support white supremacy, therefore all are Nazi enablers and eligible for violent retribution.”

Hey, I think you just declared war on literally everyone who isn’t currently in the room with you.

You hear experts talk about how extremists get “radicalized” — how a guy went from a mild-mannered food inspector in San Bernardino to a brainwashed suicide attacker in the course of a year or so. But it really isn’t a mystery, and we all form less-murderous versions of this. All it takes is a closed like-minded social circle in which it’s considered unacceptable to disagree with the group, and then devote that group to hating something. It doesn’t even matter if the thing truly deserves hating — it still turns toxic. In fact, it works better if it does. “How can you criticize any flaw in our group’s behavior when the other side is Nazis! That’s literally saying that both sides are the same! The mere existence of pure evil on the other side mathematically means our side is pure good!”

At that point, no criticism is possible and there is nothing to moderate the rage. The rhetoric ratchets higher and higher as each member tries to top each other (to prove their own righteousness by demonstrating they hate the target most), and there is no method for reining it in. Moderate voices from outside the group are excluded completely, anyone from the inside who takes a moderate tone can be shouted down with accusations of being an enemy sympathizer. Soon, everything from objectively grotesque insults to elaborate torture fantasies are tossed around without a second thought.

2

… Until You Reach A Point Of No Return

At some point, an action will be suggested that you would normally consider immoral. It doesn’t have to involve armed mobs or building bombs. Depending on the time, place, and cause, it might be as minor as agreeing to spread a lie. (“I mean, even if they didn’t really do it, they probably did something just as bad! It’s not like they never lie about us!”) Or maybe someone will suggest digging up a member of the opposition’s address, maybe find out where they work, show them how serious we are.

In every case, some members will be nervous. There can be consequences to this kind of thing, right? But will they risk their status in the group by objecting? Will they have their commitment to the cause questioned?

airdone/iStock
“I can’t lose face in front of my fellow cyber-warriors. Wait … wasn’t this group about repairing the potholes on Main St. at some point?”

It is right about here that you realize the cause was never what was important. The group was what was important — having a bunch of like-minded people standing and fighting alongside you. After all, was it ever about the dog, or was it about what the dog symbolized? So maybe you wouldn’t sacrifice yourself for the cause — you can always get another dog — but would you sacrifice yourself for your friends, these people who you know would damned well do the same for you? Absolutely!

And now, without realizing it, you have the answer to the question you’ve been asking your whole life: “How can evil people live with themselves? How can a Hitler or Osama bin Laden or Charles Manson look themselves in the mirror every day?” Here you go. This is how. Inside every truly destructive person is the JWD, the broken and bleeding puppy driving them mindlessly forward, and outside of them is a group of people reinforcing their rage until the rage is all they are.

It is a fact of human nature that living purely in opposition to something, rather than for something, hollows you out inside. To be a whole human being, you have to spend your life building something good. It’s easy to find yourself withholding time and energy from friends, family, career, and hobbies, because damn it, one of those assholes on the other side has said something outrageous and I must respond, because this is war and this is all that matters.

1

And The Whole Time, You’ll Tell Yourself It Was The Only Way

Around 70% of readers never make it to the end of an internet article, so it’ll be interesting to see how many rebut this with, “Oh, great, another article saying Antifa and Nazis are the same! As if one of them ISN’T ACTIVELY DEMANDING GENOCIDE.” It’s the same mental dodge I’ve been pointing out — as long as the other side is worse, you can’t criticize me. But I’m personally telling you, as an individual human being, that you need to ask yourself one crucial question: Are you in it for the cause, or are you in it for the fight? There’s an easy way to tell: Do you get involved with the boring parts?

Donald Trump’s entire agenda could be obliterated a little more than a year from now with a new congress, but statistically the vast majority of you won’t vote at all (and I’d say the vast majority who show up to anti-Nazi rallies also won’t cast a vote). Smacking Nazis with clubs is fun. Voting in midterms is not. Only one results in real change. Hell, in the 2016 election that supposedly determined the future of humanity “Did Not Vote” won 44 of 50 states. Why are some of you willing to put yourself in physical danger at a protest but won’t suffer the tedium of real-world policy change? Deep down inside, you know the answer.

“But voting doesn’t change anything!” Okay, the outcome of exactly one senate race just prevented Obamacare from being repealed. Twenty million people will have health insurance next year because just a small group of voters — enough to fit in a stadium — showed up instead of staying home. You think Hillary would be talking about repealing DACA? “Sometimes violence is the only way!” Are you saying that based on evidence, or because you want it to be true? For every nationalist/authoritarian movement that got turned back by war, literally thousands quietly died due to losing elections or just failing to drum up popular support. How many elections has David Duke won? Goddamnit, you’re playing their game. Don’t let the devils drag you into Hell.

Because god help you if one day you find your enemy has finally been defeated or, even worse, that your tactics only made them stronger (would an armed mob on the other side hurt or help recruitment for yours?). You are left with a personality built entirely on fighting a misguided war, a bottle of poison that didn’t kill the cockroaches and is now just collecting dust in the garage. At that point, will you give up the rage and rebuild your personality around loving something? Or will you just turn that hatred on yourself? I want you to at least think about it. Here’s a GIF of an otter having a snack.

YouTube

David Wong is the Executive Editor at Cracked. His new book, WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST READ, is available for preorder now at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, iBooks, and Kobo.

Sadly, this John Wick toy doesn’t come with his dog 🙁 but you can relieve the stress of reigning hellfire onto your enemies with this adorable squeeze toy for humans–in the shape of a dog paw!

Check out more from David Wong in 5 Things To Understand About Modern Hate Groups and 7 Reasons We’re Quietly Letting Racists Win.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out Why The Sandlot is Secretly About American Racism , and watch other videos you won’t see on the site!

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

Get intimate with our new podcast Cracked Gets Personal. Subscribe for funny, fascinating episodes like Rape, Pee Funnels and The Dolphin: Female Soldiers Speak Up and Inside The Secret Epidemic Of Cops Shooting Dogs, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/why-every-terrible-person-thinks-theyE28099re-hero/

Royal baby: Duchess of Cambridge expecting third child – BBC News

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The couple took their two children, George and Charlotte, on an official visit to Poland in July

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced.

The Queen and both families are said to be “delighted with the news”.

As with her previous two pregnancies, the duchess, 35, is suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum, or severe morning sickness.

She pulled out of an engagement at the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London, which had been planned for Monday afternoon.

Catherine is being cared for at Kensington Palace, the statement said.

The duke and duchess have a son, George, who is four, and a daughter, Charlotte, aged two.

With the previous two pregnancies, the couple announced them before the 12-week mark – when most women have their first scan – because of the duchess being unwell with hyperemesis gravidarum.

Her first pregnancy was revealed when she was just a few weeks pregnant with Prince George after she was admitted to hospital in December 2012.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionPrince Harry gives a thumbs up to the royal baby news

The duchess’s second pregnancy with Princess Charlotte was announced in September 2014, when she was treated at the palace for the condition.

Hyperemesis gravidarum affects about one in every 200 pregnancies and results in severe nausea and vomiting – with one of the main dangers being dehydration.


‘Shaping future of monarchy’

Image copyright PA

By Peter Hunt, BBC royal correspondent

Once again Prince William and his wife – who are very focused on being in control – have been thwarted.

And once again, it’s due to circumstances outside their control.

The couple have been forced to make the announcement at a time not of their choosing – and while the duchess is still in the early stages of her pregnancy – because she is suffering from very acute morning sickness.

They were poised to take on more royal duties. They are now preparing to welcome another addition to their family.

An addition that will attract considerable global interest. The child’s grandmother is the late Diana, Princess of Wales.

This princess or prince is unlikely to be crowned monarch. As things stand, that future awaits their brother, Prince George.

So there is no constitutional significance to the birth next year.

But an ancient institution that already appears pretty secure has just been further buttressed.

The three Cambridge siblings will fashion the future of the British monarchy well into the 21st Century.

Read more from Peter


The BBC’s royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell said the announcement comes at the start of a “significant week” for the family “because Prince George is due to start at big school.”

“Presumably his mother would be keen to take him to that, [but] whether she is going to be well enough to do that remains to be seen,” he told BBC News.

“It had also been expected that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be taking a foreign trip this autumn,” he added.

“Whether they will be able to do that or whether the duchess will be well enough to do that also remains to be seen.”

The expected child will become the fifth in line to the throne behind Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

A change – which stops royal sons taking precedence over their female siblings in the line of succession – came into force in March 2015.

The child will be the Queen’s sixth great-grandchild.


The last third-born monarch

Image copyright Reuters

To become King or Queen as the third-born royal child is rare – and has yet to happen within the current House of Windsor.

But the third child of George III and Queen Charlotte, William IV, took on the task and ruled from 1830 to 1837.

The Hanoverian king acceded to the throne aged 64 when his older brother, George IV, died without an heir.

He became next in line when he was 62 and his other older brother, Frederick, Duke of York, died.


Arriving in Manchester for a royal visit, Prince Harry – who will drop to sixth in line to the throne when the child is born – said the news was “fantastic” and he was “very, very happy”.

Clarence House has tweeted on behalf of the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall to say they are “delighted”.

Prime Minister Theresa May has tweeted her congratulations to the couple, calling it “fantastic news”.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-41148027

23andMe is raising about $200 million, led by Sequoia

23andMe, the Mountain View-based genetic testing and analysis company, is raising close to $200 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, multiple sources tell us. Sources say that Fidelity is also looking to participate.

We’d first heard in spring that the 11-year-old company was looking for more money to expand its genetics research arm and develop new products.

The fresh capital should allow it to continue growing its revenue, without the pressure of going public just yet, which sources say that cofounder and CEO Anne Wojcicki is reluctant to do.

23andMe has been leaning more on its research efforts since it was stifled in 2013 after being ordered by the Food and Drug Administration to cease sales of its personal genomics test. The FDA said at the time that the company didn’t meet FDA standards. 23andMe subsequently stopped selling genetic health information to new consumers and began looking for alternative sources of revenue.

Among its subsequent moves was beefing up its medical research, hiring more scientists and partnering with genetics outfits to conduct high-level studies. Celmatix, a genetics company studying fertility, is currently working with the company for a study on how certain genes affect women’s ability to get pregnant.

The FDA relieved the pressure somewhat in 2015, allowing for one genetics test for Bloom syndrome, a rare recessive gene disorder. In another surprise development this past April, 23andMe received the green light from government regulators to sell a service that gives customers a risk analysis for 10 genetically linked diseases, including late-onset Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. According to one source, the company is also seeking approval to begin conducting risk analysis on breast cancer-related genes BRCA-1 and BRCA-2, potentially putting a competitor, Color Genomics,  in its cross hairs.

Based on some of 23andMe’s newer hires, we wouldn’t be shocked to see the company dive into drug development, either.

We’ve reached out to Fidelity with questions about the funding. Sequoia, meanwhile, declined to comment.

Typically, companies won’t go public until at least a year after their last financing round, and usually a little longer, though IPOs remain a fairly standard path for late-stage venture-backed companies. In fact, another 23andMe competitor, Ancestry.com, said in June that it confidentially filed for an IPO in June. It didn’t disclose how much it plans to raise.

Another possible outcome for 23andMe would be an acquisition. Though there’s no reason to think that Wojcicki is looking to sell, M&A has largely replaced R&D in pharma and other healthcare related industries.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/09/05/23andme-is-raising-about-200-million-led-by-sequoia/

Selena Gomez’s best friend gave her a kidney this summer

(CNN)Selena Gomez revealed on Thursday that she received a kidney transplant from her BFF.

The singer posted a photo on Instragram that shows her and fellow actress Francia Raisa holding hands across their hospital beds.
“I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of,” Gomez wrote in the caption.” “So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering.”

    I’m very aware some of my fans had noticed I was laying low for part of the summer and questioning why I wasn’t promoting my new music, which I was extremely proud of. So I found out I needed to get a kidney transplant due to my Lupus and was recovering. It was what I needed to do for my overall health. I honestly look forward to sharing with you, soon my journey through these past several months as I have always wanted to do with you. Until then I want to publicly thank my family and incredible team of doctors for everything they have done for me prior to and post-surgery. And finally, there aren’t words to describe how I can possibly thank my beautiful friend Francia Raisa. She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me. I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis. Lupus continues to be very misunderstood but progress is being made. For more information regarding Lupus please go to the Lupus Research Alliance website: www.lupusresearch.org/ -by grace through faith

    A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

    Gomez revealed her Lupus diagnosis in 2015 and last year took some time off as she struggled with the disease as well as anxiety and depression.
    The superstar said the transplant was “what I needed to do for my overall health.”
    She said she looked forward to sharing more with her fans later about her transplant journey, but in the meantime she wanted to thank her health team and Raisa.
    “She gave me the ultimate gift and sacrifice by donating her kidney to me,” Gomez said. “I am incredibly blessed. I love you so much sis.”
    Raisa is an actress best known for her role as Adrian Lee on the TV series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.”
    On Thursday, Gomez fans swarmed Raisa’s latest Instragram photo to thank her for the kidney donation.

    #tacotuesday You feel me 🌮🇲🇽🇭🇳

    A post shared by Francia Raísa (@franciaraisa) on

    “You’re amazing,” one person commented. “You’re one hell of a friend.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/09/14/entertainment/selena-gomez-kidney-transplant/index.html

    Check Out These Stunning New Images Of Jupiter

    If fears of World War 3 have got you down, don’t fret. We’ve got some glorious new pictures of Jupiter to hopefully take your mind off things.

    These latest snaps were taken by NASA’s Juno spacecraft during its seventh science flyby over Jupiter. The spacecraft is in a wide orbit around the planet, swooping down every 53 days to gather science and take images. The rest of the time it spends further out, to avoid Jupiter’s intense radiation.

    Juno began its latest flyby on Friday, using its JunoCam instrument to capture close-up images of the planet. NASA released the pictures as raw images on its website, allowing members of the public to then submit their own processed views of the gas giant.

    The latest images reveal Jupiter’s fantastic bands of clouds. You can easily make out storms swirling across the surface and there are also several views of white spots, large storms that rage in the upper atmosphere of the planet.

    During this flyby, Juno swooped to within 3,500 kilometers (2,200 miles) of the cloud tops of the planet. It is using these passes to study the planet in detail, with scientists hoping to figure out what the core of the planet is like and also how its weird magnetic field works.

    Juno’s primary mission, during which it will perform 12 orbits of Jupiter, will end in July 2018. After that, if the spacecraft is still in good health, then there’s a chance the mission could be extended.

    For now though, feast your eyes on some of these glorious images.

    content-1504610458-jnce-2017244-08c00109
    NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran

     

    NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill

     

    NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill

     

    NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill

     

    NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill

     

    NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS/SwRI/Kevin M. Gill

     

    NASA/SwRI/MSSS/Shawn Handran

    Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/space/check-out-these-stunning-new-images-of-jupiter/

    A “Down Syndrome Free” WorldMom Exposes What Icelands 100 Percent Abortion Rate Could Mean for America

    You may have noticed last week when your newsfeed became saturated with the staggering proclamation that Iceland is “virtually eliminating Down Syndrome,” thanks to prenatal testing.

    As Faithit previously reported, nearly 100 percent of unborn babies with Down Syndrome in Iceland are aborted. Though it is not required, expectant mothers are encouraged to undergo prenatal testing that identifies any possible genetic abnormalities.

    Like many of us, Becky Carey’s social feeds were plastered with the announcement of Iceland’s Down Syndrome abortion rate and goal of eliminating an entire people group. It was her daughter Tessa’s sixth birthday, and the news hit home.

    Six years ago today I sat in my hospital bed, isolating myself from reality while I digested the news of my daughter’s surprise birth diagnosis of Down syndrome. Like many unsuspecting parents, our world was rocked. When we were offered prenatal testing while I was pregnant, we declined knowing we would not change anything about our pregnancy, and that our arms and hearts would lovingly welcome our child.”

    In a blog post called “Where in the World Is Down Syndrome Going?” Becky says that knowing how much they already loved their child didn’t make receiving the diagnosis less difficult.

    Dear Tessa

    “We had no idea what to expect. We were left with our own drawn up versions of what we thought Down syndrome was based on, what we could remember as kids—which was basically nothing.”

    Thankfully, Becky and her husband had a kind and compassionate doctor that walked them through some of the basics of having a baby with Down Syndrome. Her unbiased and professional information was all they had in those moments. She reassured them that Tessa would live a full and wonderful life, and that everything may not be how they planned, but it certainly was going to be alright.

    “I can only imagine what these parents in Iceland are told their lives will be like with a child like mine, and how untrue what they’re told really is. Conflicting, outdated and biased opinions about Down syndrome as a whole. But you know what? It is happening right here, too. The horrific diagnosis stories I have been told by mothers here in America continue to blow my mind.”

    Though Iceland’s Down Syndrome abortion rate is staggering at 100 percent, many countries are not far behind in their efforts to “eradicate” Down Syndrome.

    Just to clarify, they’re not actually putting an end to the 47th chromosome. They’re just eliminating—killing—anyone who is believed to have it. Actress Patricia Heaton dropped some serious truth on the matter on Twitter last week:

    Holland is expected to be “Down Syndrome free” by 2030. Denmark and Great Britain have taken on similar statistics with Down Syndrome abortion rates ranging anywhere from 90-98 percent.

    America, too, ranks among these nations. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the U.S. average for Down Syndrome termination rates falls somewhere between 67 and 90 percent.

    “I wonder if doctors and parents saw another side of Down syndrome—the human side—would the percentage decrease?”

    Becky’s concern goes beyond just the decision to terminate based solely on the diagnosis—which has not always proven to be accurate.

    “Let’s not forget about the individuals with Down syndrome who are alive. What does this message of ‘eliminating Down syndrome’ say to them? That they don’t matter either? It sure sounds that way.”

    Dear Tessa

    “As parents, we spend a lot of time fighting and advocating for our children. Much to our dismay, we often seek to prove our children are capable of so much more than the limitations society places on them. We push for inclusion in school and the workplace, we fight for health care coverage and we encourage people to see their value. Now we fight for their right to walk on this earth.”

    Dear Tessa

    “You do not need a heart of gold to raise a child with Down syndrome. But you do need an open mind, the courage to embrace something unfamiliar and the belief that each life has value.”

    A mother of three, Becky admits that parenting her daughter with Down Syndrome is not easy. But then again, what about parenting is?

    “Is raising her easy? Not always. Raising my spirited 4-year-old without Down syndrome isn’t easy. Helping to parent a stepchild also isn’t easy. There are few things about parenting that come with ease. Period.”

    Becky says the hardest part about having a child with Down Syndrome isn’t the diagnosis or disorder itself, but rather the “annoyance” of constantly having to justify Tessa’s right to be here.

    While Iceland and surrounding countries are “on pace” to “eliminate” Down Syndrome, Becky says it’s time we focus our efforts on sharing our world, and our hearts—which are absolutely big enough for everyone. That includes those with Down Syndrome.

    Read more: http://faithit.com/mom-daughter-down-syndrome-100-percent-abortion-rate/

    5 Things That Will Actually Cure Your Hangover

    As a soon-to-be 26-year-old, definitely the worst part about being on the wrong side of 25 has got to be that I’m about to lose my health insurance my hangovers are debilitating. I’m talking about a full 72-hour affair. First, there’s the general hangover that comes with all the nausea, headaches, fatigue, and praying for the sweet release of death. Then the next day I’m still congested af and sneezing up what I assume are the remnants of my terrible life choices, and on top of that I’m still tired. THEN, I’m still tired for a good day after that, just in time for the weekend to roll around and for me to start drinking again. What’s a borderline alcoholic girl to do? Thankfully, science and frat bros with their parents’ money entrepreneurs have got our back. I’ve tried just about every hangover cure there is, aside from abstaining from alcohol, so I’m going to tell you about the best ones.

    1. Morning Recovery

    This stuff comes in a tiny bottle that’s only a little bigger than your average container of 5-Hour Energy, which is good for people like me who don’t enjoy swallowing massive amounts of liquid. (And I wonder why I’m single.) It’s basically got a bunch of chemical compounds that are supposed to boost your body’s natural response to alcohol—shit like milk thistle, prickly pear, and something called DHM that sounds like the main ingredients of a capsule I ingested this weekend at EZoo. You’re supposed to go out and do what you normally would do, come home and drink Morning Recovery, and then enjoy your next day hangover-free. However, because I’m a delinquent, I drank this shit while I was pregaming (which they say you can also do), and I think the effects were still the same. I went to EZoo, drank copious amounts of Heineken and tequila, and still woke up hangover-free, even without the initial headache and residual nausea I usually get from my typical two glasses of wine at happy hour. As an extra bonus, Morning Recovery is giving Betches readers a discount if you use the code BETCHES10 at checkout!

    2. Mentis

    I ordered this shit off GoFundMe because I’m forever chasing a way to avoid consequences for my actions. Sue me. Mentis is similar to Morning Recovery in that it contains a bunch of ingredients I can’t pronounce and don’t care to understand, and it basically has a lot of supplements and shit to help your body repair itself. It comes in a little packet much like your regular Emergen-C and you pour it into water and drink the water. The main difference here is, you NEED to take it BEFORE you start drinking. Seems easy enough unless you’re me and start drinking at 3pm most days and don’t bring your Mentis to brunch. Oh well. I tried this, and I also felt like I avoided a hangover which was pretty impressive considering I mixed a lot of types of alcohol and had a tequila soda at like, 1:30am because I’m a psychopath with no regard for my own life. The only downside to this stuff is that while the peach flavor is good, this shit is chalky as hell. It was v hard to choke down the whole glass. But I’d take that over being immobile and marathoning five straight hours of on a gorgeous 80-degree Sunday any day. 

    3. Eat A Burger

    I’ve only recently discovered that eating a burger before I go out drinking will save me from a debilitating hangover the next day. And science backs me up on this, so stay with me here. The protein from the meat has amino acids and B vitamins that help you process the undesirable byproducts of alcohol, and eating a meal that consists of carbs, fat, and protein helps you metabolize the alcohol. You might feel bloated and disgusting, but science didn’t tell you to order the side of fries over the salad, so it sounds like this is a personal problem.

    4. Take An Advil

    Even if you don’t have a headache, it’s not a bad idea to take an ibuprofen before bed to reduce inflammation caused by alcohol. Plus, that extra sip of water required for you to swallow the pill probably doesn’t hurt either. However, you need to make sure that you’re taking ibuprofen and NOT acetaminophen. I always get the two confused and used to take them interchangeably until my friend yelled at me, because it’s a TERRIBLE idea. Drinking on acetaminophen (and even taking it the day after drinking) can lead to liver damage, which is precisely the organ you want to protect if you want alcohol to remain a part of your life. Just so you remember, acetaminophen is Tylenol and ibuprofen is Advil. Bookmark this page for later; you’re welcome.

    5. Don’t Black Out

    Apologies for sounding like a MADD presentation, but in my (very extensive) experience the only way to guarantee I don’t have a terrible hangover is to not black out. Once I experience memory loss, I’m fucked. Obviously there’s no science to speak to this because scientists are lame and can’t hang, but like, this would be my personal recommendation to you. Get wasted, just don’t black out, and maybe there’s a shred of hope for you and all the errands you have to run tomorrow.

     

    Read more: http://www.betches.com/5-things-to-prevent-a-hangover

    Zodiac Signs Ranked By How Long They Take To Get Over A Breakup

    Bewakoof.com Official

    1. Leo

    Leos definitely get over a breakup the fastest. It’s simply not in your nature to let yourself wallow for long. You’re definitely very loving and warm in your relationships, but as soon as something ends, you’re less focused on rehashing what went wrong and more focused on doing what you can to continue improving and taking care of yourself. So rather than laying on the couch and throwing a pity party, you’re out hanging with friends, taking a class in something you love, taking on extra responsibilities at work, etc.

    2. Sagittarius

    It is simply unlike a Sagittarius to be downhearted and crestfallen for long. You certainly give yourself space to grieve and you make an effort not to be overly optimistic about how soon you think you’ll move on. But as the weeks go by, you have no problem doing things to cheer yourself up and help speed up the breakup process – like going on a fun vacation with your friends, treating yourself to a spa day, making frequent dinner plans, etc.

    3. Aries

    An Aries is not brokenhearted for long – and this is mostly because you don’t give yourself the time. When you’re sad and disheartened, you just keep yourself constantly moving for fear that if you sit still for too long, you’ll never want to get out of bed. So in the midst of a breakup you are constantly out and about, seeing and doing everything, so that your heart has no choice but to adapt and adjust.

    4. Pisces

    A brokenhearted Pisces is open about being brokenhearted. And this is what helps you to move on faster. You’re so sensitive and compassionate, even with yourself, that it’s impossible for you to ignore your own feelings. So you typically just spend a lot of time talking about your relationship with people you trust, and getting your feelings off of your chest, so that your heart has enough relief and space to start putting itself back together.

    5. Capricorn

    When it comes to moving on, a Capricorn is as methodical and practical as they come. You’re smart enough to know that you have to acknowledge your own sadness and look it in the face, but instead of being overwhelmed or unsure of what to do next, you just always focus on the ‘next step’ of getting over that person – you give yourself the appropriate amount of time you think you need to grieve, you focus on the things you can control, you unfollow them or hide them on social media if that helps, etc.

    6. Cancer

    You would think that a Cancer would be one of the signs that takes the absolute longest amount of time possible to move on, but it’s not nearly that bad. Sure, you wear your heart on your sleeve and you feel things very deeply – and while that can make your breakup very painful, it can actually make it healthier and more productive, too. You refuse to hide your heartbreak and you’re honest with people about how devastated you are, but because of this, you are able to address your feelings faster and learn what helps you and what doesn’t. So it does take you some time to grieve and heal, but not nearly as much time as you might initially assume.

    7. Libra

    A Libra’s biggest struggle during a breakup is feeling lost. You don’t know exactly what you need – would it make you feel better to be alone or to be around people? Are you sure you did the right thing? What if this breakup was a bad idea? Should you call them? What if they’re already over you? You get caught up in too many uncertainties instead of just committing to the breakup and letting yourself move on in whatever way works best for you.

    8. Virgo

    A Virgo is their own biggest enemy when it comes to moving on. This is mostly because you convince yourself that the breakup was entirely your fault, that if it couldn’t work with this person it’s never going to work with anyone else, and maybe you should just start getting used to being alone – etc, etc, etc. You never let yourself just shut your brain off and give your soul some quiet time to rest. You’re just constantly overthinking about what you could have done differently and how you’ll probably be this sad forever and a million other problems – which makes it practically impossible for you to get over them.

    9. Gemini

    A brokenhearted Gemini is a ticking time bomb. You feel the need to convince everyone else that you are okay, and you spend all of your energy trying to show them – even though, internally, you are completely shattered and devastated. The reason it takes so damn long for you to get over them is because you keep getting in your own way, spending all your time trying to put on a brave face instead of working on your emotional health.

    10. Aquarius

    An Aquarius feels heartbreak just as much as the next person but doesn’t ‘realize’ it. Meaning that instead of acknowledging that you are in pain, you do whatever you can to ignore it, to distract yourself, and to put off dealing with the breakup for as long as you can. This seems to work in the beginning and you often seem like the one who’s ‘winning’ the breakup, but it just ends up screwing you over long term – because your hurt and pain just build and build and build until finally it’s so bad and it’s taken so long for you to feel better that you have no choice but to finally work through the breakup.

    11. Scorpio

    When it comes to moving on, a Scorpio is just terrible. Understandably, going through a breakup makes you feel totally outside of yourself and lost in your own world. But instead of dealing with it by leaning on others and looking your pain in the face, you end up making a lot of rash and reckless decisions, closing yourself off, convincing yourself that your pain is something to be ashamed about, not talking to anyone about it, etc. These are all of your attempts to protect yourself, but all it does is make the ‘moving on’ process of your breakup practically impossible until you start making different decisions.

    12. Taurus

    A Taurus is no stranger to intense emotions – it’s the what you’re supposed to do with the negative emotions that really throws you. You absolutely love being in a relationship – you love the companionship, the blending of worlds, the connection. So when that gets pulled out from under you, all you can think about is how great everything used to be, instead of focusing on the future like you need to. You take the absolute longest to move on from a breakup because you don’t know how to let go of your partner or your pain; all you want is for things to just go back to the way they were, and this coping mechanism of wanting to live in the past just completely holds you back.

    Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/kim-quindlen/2017/08/zodiac-signs-ranked-by-how-long-they-take-to-get-over-a-breakup/

    Billionaires and big ag are joining venture investors to fund lab-grown meat

    Eighty-five years ago, Winston Churchill wrote an article for Popular Mechanics that predicted humans would soon be growing their meat rather than cultivating animals for it.

    Now, with $17 million in fresh financing from a slew of new investors, including the billionaires Bill Gates and Richard Branson, the big agriculture company Cargill and the venture capital firm DFJ, Memphis Meats is hoping to create an entirely new industry around what it calls “clean meat.”

    “Instead of using animals as pieces of technology to convert plants into proteins to make things that we like to eat, drink and wear, we can just use biology to make those things directly,” said Seth Bannon, a co-founder of the upstart venture firm Fifty Years and an early investor in Memphis Meats.

    The company has already successfully made synthesized beef, chicken and duck, according to Memphis Meats co-founder and chief executive Uma Valeti. Now the trick is to get the company to grow their meat at scale.

    “We envision this to be a production facility where people can walk through and see where the meat is growing, where it is being harvested and where it is being cooked. You don’t get to visit feed lots or visit slaughterhouses,” Valeti tells me.

    Valeti imagines a production facility that looks more like a craft brewery than a slaughterhouse. It also would represent the first major innovation in the meat industry in the 10,000 years since humans first began breeding livestock.

    In a 2002 article for The New York Times Magazine, journalist Michael Pollan described how cows are slaughtered. 

    The cows are funneled into a chute single-file. Once there, they are walked over a metal bar, and, as the floor declines, the cows are suspended over a false floor on the bar and then taken on a conveyor belt to pass in front of a slaughterhouse employee called a “stunner.”

    The stunner’s job is to shoot a seven-inch steel bolt, roughly the width of a pencil, between the eyes of the drugged and incapacitated cow.

    Then the dead animal is moved from the conveyor belt to a trolley overhead and carried to the bleeding area, where its throat is cut. Roughly 392 cows are slaughtered per hour at a typical slaughterhouse (like the one in Kansas that Pollan described).

    This is the culmination of human achievement in meat processing so far (don’t even get me started on chickens).

    Photo courtesy of the www.usda.gov. USDA Multimedia by Lance Cheung.

    By contrast, here’s a rough sketch of how Memphis Meats cuts its chops. The company’s scientists identify cells that they want to scale up production on — selecting them based on the recommendations of experts. Those cells are cultivated with a blend of sugar, amino acids, fats and water, and within three to six weeks the meat is harvested.

    “It’s a much shorter process with many many orders of magnitude of fewer layers of logistics than traditional means.”

    The problem is scaling up production. That’s what the new money the company has raised is for and why they brought in Cargill (and up to three other undisclosed corporate investors) as a partner.

    “Our focus is to increase the scale of production and lower the cost. That is where this round of funding is going to accelerate us tremendously,” says Valeti.

    Right now, Memphis Meats can produce enough meat to feed a family of four-to-eight comfortably and have a big meal, according to Valeti. “We are doing small-scale production for testing and development,” he said. “Not every cell makes the cut. We work with so many different varieties of cells that are in the meat people are eating. We want to test large numbers of cells in small quantities.”

    Already the company can make pretty much any kind of mammalian meat that people would want to eat (and some they may not). What’s next is to be able to start targeting things like flavor profiles and consistencies to make the tastiest meat possible.

    It’s one of the the things that attracted Cargill as an investor. “We are committed to growing our traditional protein business and investing in innovative new proteins to ultimately provide a complete basket of goods to our customers,” says Sonya McCullum Roberts, president of growth ventures, Cargill Protein, in a statement. “Memphis Meats has the potential to provide our customers and consumers with expanded protein choices and is aligned with our mission to nourish the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way.”

    And all without the violence of the slaughterhouse.

    Photo courtesy of the USDA.

    “In many ways we call this the second domestication,” says Valeti. “Man domesticated animals to grow livestock, we’re domesticating cells to grow meat.”

    The benefits of lab-grown meat extend far beyond a more humane way to make palatable proteins for human consumption.

    “Interestingly, meat is about a trillion-dollar business and will be doubling as the middle class grows in emerging markets,” says Steve Jurvetson, a founding partner of DFJ and who’s now serving as a director on the Memphis Meats board.

    That doubling has massive — and potentially catastrophic — implications for humanity.

    “Meat produced through animal agriculture is terrible for the environment, raises global health concerns, is cruel to animals and is failing to feed the world,” says Bannon.

    Raising animals contributes more to greenhouse emissions than all cars, trucks, boats and planes combined — and as meat consumption doubles, emissions are expected to increase by another 30 percent by 2050, according to a study by the United Nations.

    Animal agriculture also contributes to water scarcity and groundwater pollution. The 8 billion livestock animals raised in the U.S. use half of the country’s water, according to some studies. And because more than half of the crops raised in the U.S. are used for animal feed, pollution from the agriculture industry that affects the water supply can be tied pretty directly to animal agriculture.

    As Bannon says, “It’s not often you find a trillion-dollar industry that’s as broken as conventional meat is.”

    Studies show that clean meat could potentially be produced with 96 percent less greenhouse gas emissions, 45 percent less energy, 99 percent less land use and 96 percent less water use than meat made through animal agriculture.

    Indeed, Jurvetson — whose track record includes Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity and other wildly successful companies not founded by Elon Musk — views Memphis Meats as a technology that’s potentially as transformative for the meat industry as Tesla was for cars.

    “What it does is catalyze an entire industry,” he said of the Memphis Meats deal. Indeed, Memphis Meats already has at least one direct competitor in Mosa Meat.  And there are companies like Beyond Meat that are developing plant-based alternatives.

    However, the big idea for Memphis Meats is definitively and totally about creating new ways to make meat — not a substitute. “The cool thing is, it was never in an animal that had to be raised and slaughtered for it,” says Valeti.

    Certainly that promise attracted the other big investors that are now backing the company. They include venture firms like Atomico, one of Europe’s leading investment firms and a notable backer of moonshot companies like the flying car manufacturer Lilium Aviation, and the billionaires Gates and Branson.

    In addition, a cornucopia of new and existing angel investors and early-stage funds committed capital to the round. They include: New Crop Capital, SOSV, Fifty Years, KBW Ventures, Inevitable Ventures, Suzy and Jack Welch, Kyle Vogt and Kimbal Musk. The company has now raised $22 million.

    “I’m thrilled to have invested in Memphis Meats,” Branson told Bloomberg News. “I believe that in 30 years or so we will no longer need to kill any animals and that all meat will either be clean or plant-based, taste the same and also be much healthier for everyone.”

    This is also an area where new technologies won’t necessarily mean the eradication of existing jobs, according to Valeti. While the company is loaded with PhDs and genetic engineers who are trying to make the meat meet all requirements for taste and texture, eventually, if the process is to be successful, it’ll need to be replicable by folks who don’t wear lab coats.

    That means a string of production facilities could soon dot the Midwest in places where slaughterhouses used to be. It’s also the fulfillment of Churchill’s vision from 85 years ago:

    Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/23/billionaires-and-big-ag-are-joining-venture-investors-to-fund-lab-grown-meat/