Parkland student stuffs bag with tampons in response to new transparent backpack rule

When the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned to campus after the March for Our Lives and their week-long spring break, they were less than thrilled with having to wear transparent backpacks.

After the mass shooting that killed 17 people on Feb. 14th, new security measures were put in place on Monday that are aimed at preventing future violence at the school.

Many students expressed their disappointment with the policy on social media, stating the bags are a violation of privacy and won’t really help all that much. 

But Cameron Kasky, one of the student leaders at the forefront of the #NeverAgain movement, decided to take a different approach.

On Tuesday morning, Kasky tweeted a picture of his clear backpack, filled with tampons.

What may seem like just teen shenanigans at first, actually has a much deeper meaning. Kasky followed up with a tweet clarifying his intentions.

In addition to being an activist for gun control reform, Kasky is educating himself about women’s health issues and is now advocating for easier access to menstrual products. 

Just when you think these teens can’t get any more powerful, they do

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/04/03/parkland-activist-backpack-tampons/

Doctors Restore Sight In Two Patients With Common Form Of Blindness

Medics at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London have successfully repaired vision in two patients suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD) using stem cells, raising hopes that similar sight-restoring treatments will be available “off-the-shelf” within five years. The results have been published in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

First of all, a little bit of background on AMD. There are two types: wet and dry. Both of the patients here had “wet” AMD, which is caused by abnormal blood vessels that leak fluid or blood onto the macula. The macula is an important part of the eye’s retina made up of light-sensing rod and cone cells and a nourishing layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium. In contrast, “dry” macular degeneration is less serious, more common, and occurs when deposits build up beneath the macula and cause it to deteriorate. 

The disease is the number one cause of blindness in the UK, affecting more than 600,000 Brits. In the US, an estimated 11 million people live with some kind of AMD – a number that is predicted to double by 2050, largely thanks to an aging population.

“As you get older, parts of you stop working,” Lyndon da Cruz, a consultant retinal surgeon involved in the research, told BBC News. “[F]or the first time we’ve been able to take a cell and make it into a specific part of the eye that’s failing and put it back in the eye and get vision back.”

He was, however, quick to point out that treatment is not quite a complete fix. While the patients’ vision improved dramatically, neither attained the quality of vision they had before their disease took hold.

The vision-restoring treatment involved stem cells, which very conveniently can be converted into any type of cell in the human body. In this particular case, embryonic stem cells were used to form the kind of cells found in the retinal pigment epithelium. Medics then performed two-hour-long operations on the patients that involved inserting a one-cell-thick patch under the cones and rods at the back of the affected eye.

A year later, the first patient’s reading speed had jumped from 1.7 words per minute to 82.8 words per minute. Meanwhile, the second patient had improved from 0 words per minute to 47.8 words per minute.

“It’s brilliant what the team have done and I feel so lucky to have been given my sight back,” 86-year-old Douglas Waters told BBC News.

As of yet, there have been no serious complications though there are concerns that certain stem cell treatments can raise the risk of cancer.

So far, so promising. The medics even believe it can be used to treat dry AMD but more studies are needed to confirm both this and the success of treatment in patients with wet AMD. Already, eight more patients are due to take part in the current clinical trial. 

“This study represents real progress in regenerative medicine,” Pete Coffey of University College London’s Institute of Ophthalmology told BBC News. “We hope this will lead to an affordable ‘off-the-shelf’ therapy that could be made available to NHS patients within the next five years.”

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/doctors-restore-sight-in-two-patients-with-common-form-of-blindness/

Pregnant Khlo Kardashian’s BF Tristan Thompson Appears To Be Kissing Mystery Woman In Scandalous Video!

Just in time for the baby…

According to footage obtained by DailyMail.com, Tristan Thompson appears to be kissing a mystery woman Saturday night at PH-D Lounge in New York as girlfriend Khloé Kardashian is expected to give birth to their baby girl any day now in Cleveland.

Related: Khloé Set To Executive Produce True-Crime Series!

Over the weekend, the Cleveland Cavaliers player was in NYC to prepare for his team’s game against the New York Knicks on Monday.

In the scandalous clip, the lady in question — with long, straight, brown hair and bright red nails — was seen leaning into Thompson for what appeared to be a kiss. The NBA star had his back toward the camera, and was wearing a black jacket over a white hoodie. The athlete was spotted in other social media photos wearing the exact same outfit.

It’s important to note that another male was photographed also wearing a black jacket over a white hoodie that read “Thank You,” but was seen in the reported kissing video standing on a platform above Tristan and the brunette.

According to a club goer, Tristan and his group of ten friends were at the lounge from around 7:30 p.m. until approximately 9.30 p.m.

The woman who filmed the clip told the website:

“I was there and he was on the table right next to us with a group of friends and some girl who he was obviously making out with all night… They were holding each other and it was so obvious. They were there when I got there and they were part of a big group of friends… They were talking and being around each other all night. He was texting and talking on the phone and she was obviously looking over his shoulder… Everybody knew who he was. We talked about it and everybody watched them make out several times… I have obviously seen him before and people around me were like, ‘That’s Tristan Thompson.’ I have seen him on TV… I know how he looks like and people were trying to take selfies with him but he didn’t let them… He wasn’t wearing anything on his head but he later pulled his shirt and tried to hide, but at the start it was was obviously him. I don’t know who the girl was but I took a picture of her looking over his shoulder.”‘

Not surprisingly, the anonymous witness feels bad for poor KoKo.

“I love the Kardashians and I think it’s devastating. I really did believe he was a good guy… I feel so bad for Khloé now because she is pregnant and I want her to know but at the same time I don’t. I don’t think their fans will like what they see.”

As we reported on Monday, the KUWTK star revealed on Instagram that she and Tristan “are ready” to welcome their “little mama.”

How devastating…

[Image via Khloé Kardashian/Instagram.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2018-04-10-khloe-kardashian-tristan-thompson-video-kissing-mystery-woman-ph-d-lounge-video

10 Real Life Hacks for Losing Weight That Arent Crash Dieting

Losing weight is hard. Anyone who tells you otherwise is either delusional or one of those naturally thin people who’s never used the word “diet” a day in their life.

Thankfully, there’s all sorts of information out there to help you out.

Here are a few surefire tips to get you going.

Advertisement

Read more: http://twentytwowords.com/real-life-hacks-for-losing-weight-that-arent-crash-dieting/

An Illinois town just banned assault weapons. The penalty if you keep one? Up to $1,000 a day

(CNN)The village of Deerfield in northern Illinois has passed a ban on assault weapons, but it affects much more than sales and manufacturing.

The Village wants a ‘sense of safety’

According to the ordinance, which the the Village Board of Trustees unanimously approved Monday night, it is unlawful for a person “to carry, keep, bear, transport or possess an assault weapon in the Village,” except if the weapon is “broken down in a non-functioning state,” is “not immediately accessible to any person,” or is “unloaded and enclosed in a case, firearm carrying box, shipping box, or other container by a person who has been issued a currently valid Firearm Owner’s Identification Card.”
    Law enforcement officers, current and retired, are exempted.
    The ordinance makes specific reference to recent mass shootings in Parkland, Florida; Las Vegas; and Sutherland Springs, Texas. “Assault weapons have been increasingly used in an alarming number of notorious mass shooting incidents at public places, public venues, places of worship and places of public accommodation,” the ordinance reads.

      “I bought an AR-15 in 7 minutes”

    The authors of the legislation claim the law “may increase the public’s sense of safety…not withstanding potential objections regarding the availability of alternative weaponry or the enforceability of such a ban.”
    CNN has reached out to Deerfield’s Management Analyst for comment.

    Gun advocates call it ‘draconian’

    Objections, as you might imagine, have come in spades. On Thursday morning the Illinois State Rifle Association announced that they and the Second Amendment Foundation had jointly filed a lawsuit against the Village of Deerfield.
    “They are blatantly violating state law and they are violating the Second Amendment,” says Richard Pearson, executive director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. He told CNN the ISRA has been receiving waves of calls from people upset over the ban and is confident the ISRA’s legal challenge will prevail.
    “The penalties are just draconian,” he says. “A guy — or a lady — who owns a large-capacity magazine or anything like that could owe thousands of dollars, and if they cross the thin, almost invisible line between municipalities, they could be considered a criminal.”
    The NRA is supporting a similar lawsuit filed by the gun advocacy group Guns Save Life.
    “Every law-abiding villager of Deerfield has the right to protect themselves, their homes, and their loved ones with the firearm that best suits their needs,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s lobbying arm, said in a statement.
    CNN has reached out to the NRA for further comment.

      GOP lawmaker: Some colleagues open to AR-15 ban

    How the ordinance defines a problematic term

    Of course, the term “assault weapon” is in and of itself highly contentious, and no discussion of such a ban would be complete without some clarification.
    Since the expiration of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban in 2004, there hasn’t been any official definition for the term. It is often dismissed by gun-rights advocates for its imprecision in describing what, exactly, an assault weapon is or isn’t.
    A common NRA talking point states that an assault weapon should be defined as “any weapon used in an assault,” whether it be a gun, a knife, or otherwise.
    Deerfield’s ordinance sets its own extensive definition of the term. In short, its version of an assault weapon is “a semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a large capacity magazine, detachable or otherwise.” There are other aspects, including rifle additions and types of magazines.
    As defined by the village, the term also includes semiautomatic pistols, semiautomatic shotguns, conversion kits and “any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.”
    The ban also provides an open-ended list of firearm models. It includes the AR-15 and its variants, which have been used in an overwhelming number of highly publicized mass shootings — including February’s attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

    Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/05/us/deerfield-illinois-assault-weapon-ban-trnd/index.html

    Condom snorting? Eating Tide Pods? Dont believe the viral hype around teen trends.

    As the parent of two teens, a recent headline caught my eye: “The condom snorting challenge is every parents worst nightmare.”

    Oh, good gracious, I thought. What fresh nonsense are teens into now?

    I perused the article (just one of many), which details a “viral craze” on social media in which teens share videos of themselves sucking an unwrapped condom up through their nose and pulling it out of their mouth.

    Yes, it’s absurd. Yes, it’s dangerous.

    But no, it’s not the big new thing teens are doing across the country.

    According to Snopes, most of the videos being shown in media reports on the “craze” are from years ago, when snorting condoms was kind of a fad — one that never really became widespread and petered out pretty quickly.

    This video from ThinkTank discussed the challenge in 2013:

    So apparently, my “worst nightmare” as a parent was sort of a thing for a little while a bunch of years ago and has now somehow gained new life through the media. Mmkay.

    News outlets and social media like to run look at this ridiculous teen craze” stories, but such stories don’t accurately represent the majority of teenagers.

    Earlier this year, the Tide Pod Challenge was all over the news. The story was that teens were taking to social media with videos of themselves holding a Tide detergent pod in their mouths. Cue the gagging, puking, poisoning — and in some cases — hospitalization. Yay, evolution!

    Stories of the challenge circulated widely, prompting Tide to release a plea not to eat their detergent pods and Youtube and Facebook to ban videos of people engaging in the challenge.

    The stories also resulted in The People of the Internet making Tide Pod jokes on every story about young people and dismissing anything teens said about anything.

    Sigh.

    Yes, some teens really were eating Tide Pods. Yes, it’s reckless and dangerous.

    But no, the vast majority of teens weren’t — and aren’t — that foolish.

    When you do the math, it’s clear that these so-called fads are usually just a small number of kids amplified on the internet.

    According to the Association for Poison Control, there were 86 incidents of intentional ingestion of laundry detergent pods by teens in the first three weeks of 2018. That’s a sharp increase from the year before, but still hardly an epidemic.

    Let’s do some quick math.

    There are more than 42 million adolescents in the United States. If 86 out of 42 million purposely “ate” a Tide pod, that means approximately 0.0002% of American adolescents did it. Even if 10 times that many actually tried it and didn’t get poisoned enough to make the official list, that would still only be 0.002% — that’s two thousandths of a percent.

    While ingesting laundry detergent is clearly a bad idea, this does not appear to me to be a universal habit among teens — or even a moderately common one.

    The contrast in the way teens are portrayed in the news in 2018 is striking.

    The teens who’ve experienced gun violence and are channeling their energies into civic action have gotten a lot of press. And they should. What they’re doing is impressive, even if you disagree with their message. They’ve organized thousands, galvanized a movement, and effected real legislative change.

    Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

    Those teens do not appear to be eating Tide pods and snorting condoms through their noses in their free time.

    And those young people bear a much closer resemblance to most of the teenagers I know and have known than the handful of teens I’ve seen in these “viral” challenge videos.

    I think teens are awesome. The ones I know are smart and principled. They know how to have fun and be silly without being dangerous or foolish. They care deeply about societal issues and are motivated to make the world a better place.

    The teens in my life aren’t perfect, but they’re also not ingesting soap or pulling contraceptives through their nasal cavities.

    Viral crazes make great headlines, but they don’t represent teens overall. And it’s insulting to young people to imply that they do.

    My two teens roll their eyes every time one of these “fads” makes the headlines. They don’t know anyone who has done these kinds of challenges.

    That’s not to say that no one does them — obviously, someone does or there wouldn’t be a story there. But some people do reckless things all the time in the adult world, too. That doesn’t mean we can ascribe that behavior to most (or even many) adults.

    Everyone needs to just calm down a bit. The kids are all right.

    In fact, teens are doing pretty great. According to the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, today’s teens smoke less, drink less, get pregnant less (probably because they’re having less sex), get into fights less, and generally make less trouble than my generation did. Yes, they have issues that we didn’t have due to social media, and they sometimes make questionable choices, like all teens have forever, but they’re not a bunch of sheep.

    My teens are exceptional in my eyes, but I don’t believe they’re the exception. Let’s keep celebrating young people who are doing amazing things — and let’s stop treating this generation like they don’t know better than to eat laundry soap or shove rubber up their noses.

    Because that’s simply not the case for the vast majority of them.

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/condom-snorting-eating-tide-pods-don-t-believe-the-viral-hype-around-teen-trends

    EPA Chiefs $50-a-Night Rental Raises White House Angst

    • Pruitt apartment questions follow first-class flight reports
    • Washington lease is compared to an Airbnb-style arrangement

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt leased a Washington apartment owned by a lobbyist friend last year under terms that allowed him to pay $50 a night for a single bedroom — but only on the nights when he actually slept there.

    White House officials are growing dismayed about the questions surrounding Pruitt’s living arrangement, including his initial inability to produce any documentation about the lease or his actual payments, according to three officials. The landlord provided EPA officials with a copy of the lease and proof of the payments Pruitt made.

    In all, Pruitt paid $6,100 to use the room for roughly six months, according to copies of rental checks reviewed by Bloomberg News. Those checks show varying amounts paid on sporadic dates — not a traditional monthly "rent payment" of the same amount each month.

    That was because of the unusual rent schedule — not a single monthly amount, but a daily amount charged only for days used for a single bedroom in the two-bedroom unit just blocks from the Capitol. The building is at least partially owned by a health care lobbyist, Vicki Hart, via a limited liability corporation. Her husband J. Steven Hart, is also a lobbyist, whose firm represents clients in industries regulated by the EPA.

    One person familiar with the lease compared it to an Airbnb-style arrangement, but Pruitt wasn’t a transient and instead made the apartment his home on nights he was in Washington. The lease — also reviewed by Bloomberg — says that he was charged $50 a night "based on days of actual occupancy."

    Six Canceled Checks

    Bloomberg reviewed six canceled checks paid by Pruitt totaling $6,100 from March 18 through Sept 1, 2017. He paid $450 on March 18, $900 on April 26, $850 on May 15, $700 on June 4, $1,500 on July 22 and $1,700 on Sept 1.

    A sampling of current listings of apartments for rent near Pruitt’s temporary pad showed studio and one-bedroom offerings available for $1,350 to $1,975 a month. Some of the current Airbnb listings for rentals of single bedrooms inside apartments and homes on Capitol Hill ranged from $45 to $68 per night.

    Justina Fugh, who has been ethics counsel at the EPA for a dozen years, said the arrangement wasn’t an ethics issue because Pruitt paid rent. An aide said the agency had not reviewed the arrangement in advance.

    Pruitt’s Payments

    The payments covered Pruitt’s room in the two-bedroom unit, but did not afford him liberal use of common areas, where the owners had dinner parties and other functions, according to a person familiar with the situation. According to the lease agreement, Pruitt’s bedroom could not be locked.

    ABC reported Friday that Pruitt’s college-age daughter used another room in the condo while serving as a White House intern. An email to agency representatives seeking comment on the report were not immediately returned.

    After ABC News reported the living arrangement on Thursday, EPA aides had to seek documentation from the building’s owners to prove he had paid rent, raising concerns at the White House, said two of the people, who asked not to be named discussing a sensitive matter involving a Cabinet secretary. Pruitt was in Wyoming on Thursday.

    Related: Bumped? EPA Chief Signals He Will Be Flying Coach After Backlash

    The disclosure follows revelations about Pruitt’s reliance on first-class flights to travel around the globe and a series of pricey trips, including a visit by Pruitt and agency staff to Italy that cost $120,249. EPA officials have defended Pruitt’s use of first-class flights on security grounds, but after a series of reports, he shifted to coach.

    J. Steven Hart is the chairman of Williams & Jensen, a firm with a stable of energy industry clients including Oklahoma Gas & Electric Co., which paid the firm $400,000 in 2017, according to data compiled from the Environmental Integrity Project from disclosure forms.

    Pruitt, the former attorney general of Oklahoma, has been an enthusiastic crusader against Obama-era regulations meant to combat climate change and limit air pollution. When Pruitt was in Oklahoma, he sued the EPA more than a dozen times.  

    Hart’s individual lobbying clients include liquefied natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc.
    Pruitt traveled to Morocco to tout U.S. liquefied natural gas last December, though the Department of Energy — not the EPA — plays the major federal role overseeing LNG exports. It is not clear Hart had direct contact with the EPA on behalf of any of his lobbying clients in 2017, according to a Bloomberg News review of disclosures.

    Other individual clients of his are the American Automotive Policy Council and Smithfield Foods Inc.

    Hart, in a statement to the Associated Press, described Pruitt as a friend from Oklahoma with whom he had scant contact.

    “Pruitt signed a market based, short-term lease for a condo owned partially by my wife,” Hart said in a statement. “Pruitt paid all rent owed as agreed to in the lease. My wife does not, and has not ever lobbied the EPA on any matters."

    Critics said the unorthodox rental arrangement allowing Pruitt exclusive, reserved use of the room raised questions and could violate a ban on federal government employees accepting gifts valued at more than $20.

    “At the very least, it doesn’t look good for the administrator of EPA to have rented an apartment from the wife of an energy industry lobbyist who represents companies regulated by EPA," said Eric Schaeffer, director of the Environmental Integrity Project.

    The government watchdog group Public Citizen asked EPA’s inspector general to investigate.

    "This appears to be a gift from a lobbyist to the EPA administrator," Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for Public Citizen, said in a news release. "Scott Pruitt seems to be renting at well below market value – from a family member of a lobbyist who has business before the EPA."

    Messages left with the Inspector General’s office weren’t immediately returned on Friday.

    Fugh, the EPA’s ethics counsel, said no gift was involved. It was a routine business arrangement between Pruitt and an individual, not a lobbying firm, she added.

    "He paid a fair price for what amounts to just a room,” Fugh said. “So I don’t even think that the fact that the house is owned by a person whose job is to be a lobbyist causes us concern.”

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-30/epa-chief-s-50-a-night-rental-said-to-raise-white-house-angst

    Vegan Woman Forced Her Fennec Fox To Go Vegan, And Heres What Happened

    Fennec foxes eat rodents, insects, birds, rabbits, and eggs, but this one doesn’t. For years, vegan blogger Sonia Sae has been raising her pet fox Jumanji on a vegan diet, and it has developed all sorts of health problems. Recently, however, a few people worked hard to spread the word about this behavior they call abusive, and the internet is infuriated.

    According to experts, a fennec’s diet in the wild is comprised of about 90% animals and insects while the remaining 10% consists of various plants they dig up. Naturally, they need a lot of protein when living in captivity as well. Forcing her omnivore Jumanji on a vegan menu only, Sae has probably messed up its entire nutrition. For example, fennecs really need calcium and taurine. The latter is an organic compound that’s widely distributed in animal tissues. Without it, these big-eared creatures will probably develop reproductive and heart problems. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Sae has already admitted that Jumanji is half blind, suffers from spontaneous convulsions and a severe skin condition. However, she refuses the idea that its diet is a cause of these problems. “They use the word ‘abuse’ to describe the act of feeding [it] food that no animal had to die for. Despite the obvious oxymoron, any other non-vegan alternative DOES involve abuse by default,” she said in a Facebook post.

    People have already contacted local animal rights authorities and are waiting for their response.

    For years, vegan blogger Sonia Sae has been raising her pet fox Jumanji on a vegan diet ’cause she thinks that all species are equals

    This was brought to the internet’s attention after one concerned woman posted a message on Facebook

    This is how the fox looked like when Sonia Sae bought it:

    Later, however, its appearance started to deteriorate

    Alice tried to explain why the owner shouldn’t feed him a vegan diet

    While Sonia kept sharing her pet’s photos with very concerning descriptions

    Alice also pointed out that Jumanji was experiencing some serious health issues

    But Sonia refused to believe what ‘haters’ were saying

    In the photos that she kept posting on Instagram, it was clearly visible how thin the fox has gotten

    Not only that, her fur is thinning, she’s developing severe skin conditions

    Fennecs really need calcium and taurine. The latter is an organic compound that’s widely distributed in animal tissues

    Without it, these big-eared creatures develop reproductive and heart problems

    This is what the owner had to say about the accusations people made online

    Someone e-mailed animal rights authorities trying to consult what could be done with this and here’s what they had to say

    For comparison, here are some photos of healthy fennec foxes

    Image credits: Kitty Terwolbeck

    Image credits: Floridapfe from S.Korea Kim in cherl

    Image credits: FRANCISCO MINGORANCE

    Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/fennec-fox-vegan-diet-animal-abuse-jumanji-sonia-sae/