I didn’t understand how widespread rape was. Then the penny dropped | David Graeber

Im a lefty academic versed in feminist theory. Still, I rebelled against the idea that rich and powerful men regularly rape or attempt to rape women

This is a very difficult column for me to write because its about my mother.

A week or two after the then IMF director Dominique Strauss-Kahn was arrested for sexually assaulting a chambermaid in a posh New York hotel in 2011, there was another case when an Egyptian businessman was briefly arrested for a similar assault at another such New York hotel.

This first struck me as puzzling. It could hardly be a copycat crime; considering the drama surrounding the arrest and travails of DSK, it was inconceivable that anyone would see this and say: Oh good idea, Ill attack a chambermaid as well.

Then it dawned on me.

The only logical explanation was that businessmen, politicians, officials and financiers rape, or attempt to rape, hotel workers all the time. Its just that normally, those assaulted know theres nothing they can do about it.

In DSKs case, someone for whatever complex political reasons must have refused to make the usual phone call. There was a scandal. As a result, when the next assault took place, the survivor must have said to herself, Oh, so does this mean we actually are allowed to call the cops now if a customer tries to rape us? and acted accordingly. And sure enough this is precisely what turned out to have happened. (In the end, both women were silenced, and neither man convicted of any crime.)

What I really want to draw attention to here is my initial reaction of disbelief: Sure things are bad; but it cant be that bad. Even a lefty academic versed in feminist theory instinctively rebelled against the idea that rich and powerful men regularly rape or attempt to rape the women cleaning their rooms, that this happens all the time, that everyone in the hotel industry knows it happens (since they must know), and that those rich and powerful men in turn know they could get away with it because if any woman they attacked did protest too strenuously, everyone would move in lockstep to do whatever was required to make the problem go away.

Its of course this very disbelief that allows such things to happen. We are loth to accept people we might know might practice pure, naked aggression. This is how bullies get away with what they do. Ive written about this.

Bullying is not just a relation between bully and victim. Its really a three-way relation, between bully, victim and everyone who refuses to do anything about the aggression; all those people who say boys will be boys or pretend theres some equivalence between aggressor and aggressed. Who see a conflict and say it doesnt matter who started it even in cases where, in reality, nothing could possibly matter more.

It makes no difference if theres a real physical audience or if the audience just exists inside the victims head. You know what will happen if you fight back. You know what people will say about you. You internalize it. Before long, even if nothing is said, you cant help wonder if these things they would say are actually true.

Sexual predation is a particular variety of bullying but like all forms of bullying it operates above all in precisely this way by destroying the victims sense of self.

I had another, similar, horrified moment of realization in reading Dame Emma Thompsons remarks about Harvey Weinstein. Not because of her observation that his predations were, as she said, the tip of the iceberg this is surely true, but not entirely unknown; what startled me was one word. She described Weinsteins behavior as typical of a system of harassment and belittling and bullying and interference that women had faced from time immemorial.

The word that struck me was belittling.

This is where the story becomes personal.

Let me tell you about my mother. Mom was a prodigy. Arriving in America at age 10, speaking not a word of English, she skipped so many grades she was in college by 16. Then she dropped out of college to help the family (it was the Depression) by getting a factory job sewing brassieres.

The union had the crazy idea at that time to put on a musical comedy performed entirely by garment workers. The play (Pins and Needles) surprised everyone by becoming a smash hit on Broadway, with mom (then Ruth Rubinstein) as female lead.

She was hailed as a comic genius, which I can attest she definitely was, was featured in Life, met FDR and Gypsy Rose Lee, and for three years hobnobbed with celebrities and was gossiped about in gossip columns. Then she went back to working in the factory again.

Mom was a prodigy. Photograph: David Graeber

Eventually she met my father, then a sailor; he found work in offset lithography, she dedicated herself to raising me and my brother, along with a variety of local activist projects and occasional part-time jobs.

As a child it never occurred to me to ask why she never continued in the theatre, even though she followed it avidly, or went back to college, even though she filled the house with books, or pursued her own career.

When I later asked shed just say, I lacked self-confidence. But once I remember the phrase casting couch came up and I asked her if such things had existed in her day. She threw her eyes up and said, Well, why do you think I never pursued a career in show business? Some of us were willing to sleep with producers. I wasnt.

This is why Id like to get my thumbs on the throat of Harvey Weinstein. Its not just that creeps like him drove my mother off the stage. Its that in the process, they broke something. I dont know what actually happened, or if any one specific thing even did happen; but the result was to leave her convinced she was unworthy; intellectually superficial; not genuinely talented; a lightweight; a fraud.

Because just as everyone associated with hotels falls into lockstep to tell chambermaids they are unworthy of protection from rapists, so did everything in my mothers environment conspire to tell her she had no grounds for complaint if someone told her was unworthy to continue to perform on stage, whatever her attainments, without also performing in private as a part-time sex worker.

As a result, her sense of self collapsed.

All of us are heirs to a thousand forms of violence. Many shape our lives in ways well never know. My mother was an enormous human stuck in a tiny box. Late in her life she was still hilariously funny; but she also collected tea towels with inscriptions like dont expect miracles.

She raised me to assume I was destined for greatness (like her, I was considered something of a prodigy), then, would fall into inexplicable depression for days that would invariably end with her lashing out at me as a terrible, selfish, uncaring person for not properly cleaning my room.

Only now do I understand she was really lashing out at even having to care about my room. Later she lived in part vicariously through me but also I have to assume was racked by guilt for any indignation she could not help but feel that this was the only way she could live the kind of life she should have had.

In endless ways, the violence of powerful men plays havoc with our souls. It makes us complicit in acts of mutual destruction. Its too late now for my mother. She died 10 years ago, taking the details of what happened with her. But if we can do anything for her now, cant we at least break out of lockstep?

Lets stop pretending these things cant really be happening and then, as soon as we learn it did happen, tell the person it happened to, Well, what else did you expect?

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/05/dsk-sexual-assault-feminism-weinstein-casting-couch

Coming Soon to Washington: An Anti-Trump Hotel for Liberals

The first thing you’ll see when you walk into Eaton Workshop, a hotel opening in late spring 2018 in Washington, is a custom-commissioned video art installation by AJ Schnack, shown on a series of vintage-style television screens. All day long, it’ll broadcast a montage of footage from the presidential elections of 2012 and 2016 that’s built around one pointed question: How did our country get where it is today?

It’s not a subtle statement, and it’s not meant to be.

In Trump’s Washington, Eaton is planting a clear flag as a haven for Democrats. It’s the world’s first politically motivated hotel, the flagship for a global brand that’s built around social activism and community engagement. And it comes with a pedigree: As the daughter of Ka Shui Lo, the creator and executive chairman of Hong Kong-based Langham Hospitality Group Ltd., founder Katherine Lo knows a thing or two about luxury hotels and world-class service.

The Big Idea

An artist’s rendering of the reception desk of the Eaton.
Source: Gachot Studios

Lo firmly believes that hotels ought to be catalysts for good. In a world where we can be conscious consumers—of everything from clothing to food to baby products—she argues there’s a place for conscious hotels, too. This isn’t a revolutionary idea: Already, 1 Hotels has built a small collection of luxury properties entirely around the idea of sustainability, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts has made a significant, brand-wide commitment to bolster community programming for disadvantaged children in all of its destinations. It’s one of many five-star brands that have a conscious ethos but choose not to flaunt it.

Eaton Workshop is different. With a premise that’s built around liberal activism and civic engagement, the brand will weave a liberal philosophy into every aspect of the guest experience, some more obvious than others.

Among the subtler points is the significance of the company’s name: a nod to the high-end shopping mall of that name in Montreal that captured the fascination of Ka Shui Lo when he fled the Cultural Revolution in China. The mall, says Katherine, was a beacon of freedom to her father—and when she found an archival photo bearing its old motto, “Progress and better living,” the two Eatons became forever intertwined.

The Washington hotel—which has 209 rooms just north of the National Mall—will be the brand’s flagship, with a second location opening in Hong Kong in 2018 and new constructions set to rise in San Francisco and Seattle no sooner than 2019.

A Hotel With an Agenda

The lobby of the Eaton.
Source: Gachot Studios

Among the Washington location’s programming signatures will be a sort of TED talk series driven by the liberal agenda, consisting of fireside chats and rooftop lectures that Lo hopes will be free, open to the public, and streamable as Eaton-branded podcasts. Then comes the art program, which—aside from the political statement piece at check-in—will include commissions from at least a half-dozen up-and-coming local artists and a street-facing exhibition window curated in partnership with local museums and institutions. A co-working space will prioritize memberships for progressive startups, activists, and artists, while a wellness program will offer “inner-health-focused treatments” such as Reiki and sound baths, rather than facials and massages. (Some of these features will roll out a few months after the hotel opens.)

Just as important, partners and staff will be brought on board, both for their skills in the food and beverage worlds and their activist track records. For instance, Lo saw the cocktail director of the famed Columbia Room, Derek Brown, as a perfect fit to be the hotel’s beverage director—not just because he’s won such awards as magazine’s Bartender of the Year but because he “cares deeply about social justice.” To wit, Brown actively champions policies that fight sexual harassment in the bartending industry and acts as chief spirit advisor for the National Archives.  

Similarly, Lo says that the “amazing life story” of house chef Tim Ma “perfectly expresses our brand ethos.” The Chinese-American culinary up-and-comer was an engineer at the National Security Agency for years before discovering his true passion in food. At Eaton’s to-be-named restaurant, Ma is planning a menu with a heavy focus on vegetables from an on-site garden.

A guest who does nothing other than check in, sleep atop Eaton’s organic mattresses, and check out will still have a sense of the hotel’s mission, says Lo. “We plan to have new ideas in the minibar—an activist toolkit, for example, that includes sheets with information to help you call your congresspeople. And if we’d been open during this year’s Women’s March, I could have seen us putting poster boards and markers in the rooms!”

Political statements such as these will be tailored to each property. In Hong Kong, for instance, Lo says she’d like to replace Bibles in the nightstand drawers with copies of the United Nations Declaration for Human Rights.

A Place for Thought Leaders (but Not All of Them)

The library at the Eaton
Source: Gachot Studios

Lo understands that Eaton Workshop isn’t for everyone. “Self-selection is definitely one of our strategies,” she says about branding and marketing materials that directly appeal to the “woke” crowd. “We wanted to emphasize that it’s a place for people who are thinking outside the box and want to effect a change in the world,” she says.

Though she repeatedly talks about fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, Lo also tells Bloomberg that “the goal isn’t to bring together left and right.” Instead, she wants to create “a diversity of fields and backgrounds as well as gender and ethnicity.” In other words, her hotel should represent the antithesis of the Trump hotel that’s just a few blocks away, offering an intellectual playground to those who may feel marginalized by the current administration’s agenda.

This is partisan politics playing out on the city’s hotel scene; whether that will hurt or help Lo’s bottom line remains to be seen. But if the Trump Hotel is any indication, Lo may be poised for big success. According to the , the president’s hotel brought in $1.97 million in profits during the first four months of the year, despite business projections that had forecast a loss of $2.1 million.

“It’s Like a Non-Profit but Better”

Though her goal is to create a successful, scalable business, Eaton Workshop is not built to pad Lo’s pockets. On the contrary, she sees the entire enterprise as a means to a philanthropic end, and hopes to use the hotel profits to fund community arts initiatives in the brand’s respective destinations. 

Each location will have a radio station, cinema, and music venue so local talent can produce or showcase work in a state-of-the-art space at low—or no—cost. In Washington, the building’s history as a printing venue has inspired Lo to create a writer’s residency, where investigative reporters can be hosted on site for several months while pursuing important stories.

Artists will be invited to create short films, podcasts, or other types of content under the emblem of Eaton’s in-house multimedia studio; the results will be available for guests to stream on personal devices, and each piece will feature a clear activist message and a call to action.

“We’re hoping that our hotel revenues will propel our creative projects,” says Lo, who likens the hotel to “a non-profit, but better.” Still, room rates won’t be extravagant; prices in Washington are likely to hover in the upper $200s. Thankfully, for members of both political parties—who are, no doubt, tired of dropping Benjamins for vodka drinks at the Trump International—the price of a martini should be less radical.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-13/coming-soon-to-washington-an-anti-trump-hotel-for-liberals

    Kids at this hospital were terrified of the machines until they got a makeover.

    When industrial designer Doug Dietz went to the hospital to see the inaugural scan of a brand-new MRI machine he designed, what should’ve been an exciting event quickly turned somber.

    The patient coming in for a scan was a young girl. And she was petrified.

    The huge, hulking machine had the girl in tears — and that was before the loud whirring noise started up (the average MRI machine is about as loud as a rock concert, and not nearly as fun).

    “As [the family] got even closer to me, I notice the father leans down and just goes ‘remember we talked about this, you can be brave,” he recalled to GE Health, explaining that the parents looked horrified too — feeling helpless to find a way to make their daughter feel comfortable in the giant machine.

    Dietz went back to the drawing board.

    He was determined to use his design know-how to make the hospital environment for kids feel more like an adventure instead of a nightmare.

    All photos by GE Healthcare,  used with permission.

    After interviewing kids, parents, and doctors about what might make the experience of getting a medical scan a little less scary, Dietz and his team from GE Health got to work, along with partners from the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

    It wasn’t just the machines that got a makeover.

    The whole exam room needed some love. From the sterile, beige decor, to the frank instruction placards (Dietz calls them “crime scene stickers”). Even the patter (or conversation/instructions) from doctors and nurses needed some livening up.

    The team developed themes that could bring each exam room to life.

    MRI rooms, for example, became space voyages. CT scans became pirate adventures.

    The redesigned MRI machine and rooms turned the kids into active participants in their own fantastic adventure stories, with themed books given ahead of time to prepare them for the journey.

    Inside the scanning machines, the children get special goggles that allow them to watch a DVD during their scans — which can take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes.

    When the first newly designed rooms were put into action at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, they worked like a charm. Not only did they calm the kids down and keep their minds occupied, Dietz recalled hearing one child ask her parents if she could have “another scan tomorrow.”

    “That was probably the biggest reward I could ever have,” he told the Journal Sentinel.

    Dietz’s designs are so popular and successful that many other hospitals have joined in on the fun.

    The project, called the Adventure Series, isn’t just something that makes kids smile. It allows the hospital to help more people.

    According to an article in the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel, the fear of machines and tests is so bad that Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh had to sedate over 80% of kids who needed an MRI or CT scan, prior to the updates.

    Sedating and calming anxious patients takes extra time, elongating the length of each scan. If the kids don’t need sedation, but don’t hold still during the duration of the test, the whole thing has to be redone. These issues take up precious time that ultimately resulted in the hospital serving fewer patients.

    After implementing the Adventure Series, the hospital only had to sedate a quarter or less of its patients, making their work far more efficient.

    Making the experience less frightening for kids is a big win here — for the patients and hospitals too. There’s nothing that can completely erase the anxiety that comes with needing serious medical testing or care, but just knowing there are people who care enough to try is likely a big comfort to these families.

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/kids-at-this-hospital-were-terrified-of-the-machines-until-they-got-a-makeover

    This hilarious ad for a 1996 Honda is the perfect commentary on materialism.

    When Carrie Hollenbeck needed to sell her 1996 Honda Accord, with over 140,000 lifetime miles on it, having a filmmaker boyfriend paid off. Big time.

    Max and Carrie. Photo used with permission

    Max Lanman had the idea to produce an actual commercial to advertise his girlfriend’s jalopy. But this wouldn’t be some low-budget production for a 4 a.m. run on the local access cable channel. Oh no. Not at all.

    “I thought it would be hilarious to make a high-end car commercial for a really junky car,” Lanman told ABC News. “And she had just the car.”

    The ad begins like any high-gloss, self-important, sleek car commercial, with a deep-voiced narrator uttering some vaguely inspiring patter: “You, you’re different. You do things your way. That’s what makes you one of a kind.”

    Cut to — instead of a luxury vehicle with a slick dash, leather interior, and impeccably dressed anonymous driver — Carrie’s old Honda, complete with coffee spills, random objects rolling around in the back, and one of those cassette things you use to play your iPod in a car without Bluetooth.

    “You don’t do it for appearance. You do it because it works,” the narrator adds triumphantly.

    Check out the finished product, which has gone viral with over 4 million views:

    Lanman may have intended the piece to be more silly than satire, but the faux ad inadvertently makes an important point about the car buying experience in America.

    As commonplace as the ads he’s lampooning are, the majority of Americans cannot afford a new car. Things are only getting worse — the average price of a new vehicle has skyrocketed 35% since the 1970s, while the median household income is only up about 3% for the same time period.

    Cars have always been a status symbol, but somewhere along the line — between the time of horse-drawn carriages and the modern era of Matthew McConaughey selling Lincolns by falling backward into an infinity pool while wearing a tuxedo — cars have become an extreme symbol of status.

    Car commercials would have you believe that cars are not something you buy because of how well they can get you from Point A to Point B, but because of how they made you feel and how they make you look to other people. For every person buying a $60,000 car that fits their “lifestyle,” (or to sit in their garage, barely touched) there are dozens more people buying a used junker on Craiglist or eBay because it’s all they can afford. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

    Though it wasn’t intended to be, Max and Carrie’s viral ad is almost a digital middle finger to those who want the rich to get richer and income disparity to get worse. It reminds us to be proud of our ability to successfully live our own lives, even if it’s not always pristine or glamorous. This ad … is practical and real and … well, it’s all of us.

    “Luxury is a state of mind,” the narrator bellows at the end. Finally, a car slogan everyday Americans can get behind.

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/this-hilarious-ad-for-a-1996-honda-is-the-perfect-commentary-on-materialism

    Holy Smokes Taylor Swift’s Reputation Has Already Sold Over 925,000 Units!

    Taylor Swift‘s Reputation has already garnered quite the, well, reputation!!

    As you may’ve heard, Miz Swift’s sixth studio album went flying off the shelves as she sold 700,000 copies in its first day in the U.S. And it appears as though those numbers are Swiftly (sorry, we had to) growing as the Gorgeous singer has now sold over 925,000 units.

    And she’s on the fast track to platinum status!

    Related: Taylor Announces 2018 Reputation Tour Dates!

    Nielsen Music tracked the sales from TayTay’s first day up until Sunday’s close of business. If Reputation continues to sell at this rate, TS6 could sell over 1 million units in the week ending on November 16. In fact, Swift may earn her largest sales week yet!

    If everything goes according to plan, Taylor’s Reputation could even surpass the debut number 1989 nabbed — which was 1.29 million copies during week one.

    We wonder — is Taylor …Ready For It??

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-11-13-taylor-swift-reputation-sales-925000-units-platinum-million-week

    Corey Feldman Ticketed On Misdemeanor Marijuana And Traffic Charges In Louisiana

    A small town police department in Louisiana had to jail

    In addition to that, Mangham cops searched the bus and found both marijuana and prescription pills — and Feldman ended up being cited with possession of marijuana, speeding, and driving with a suspended license.

    Feldman quickly paid a fine and was released to go about his business.

    He tweeted about the ordeal (below):

    The band had been on their way to play the Live Oaks Bar and Ballroom in nearby Monroe, Louisiana that night before they got stopped — it appears, of course, that the show was called off.

    For what it’s worth, the group has another show tonight in Houston — and Feldman, tweeting about his whole ordeal, has indicated it’ll go off as planned.

    Let’s just hope everybody is OK and the prescriptions come out so charges will go away!

    [Image via FayesVision/WENN.]

    Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-10-22-corey-feldman-ticketed-misdemeanor-marijuana-possession-citation-suspended-license-louisiana

    6 Ordinary Things (That Reveal Your Deepest Darkest Secrets)

    We’ve discussed before how our everyday habits can be indicators of psychological issues or portents of future catastrophes. But some of those behaviors might be hiding something even worse … for those who have to put up with you. You see, science says that a bunch of seemingly innocuous things we do on a regular basis secretly mark us as grade-A assholes. Hey, we didn’t make this shit up. There are actual studies out there that illustrate how …


    People Who Eat Organic Food Tend To Be Selfish And Judgmental

    There’s a stereotype for the type of person who spends the entirety of their weekly grocery allotment on highfalutin pesticide/hormone/neutrino-freer-than-thou foodstuffs, and it’s not exactly flattering. Even before Whole Foods employees started making Amazon logos out of meat, making a big deal out of eating organic foods has seemed to correlate closely with inflated levels of unchecked knobbery. Could it be that the rest of us are simply jealous of those with the mental fortitude to shun delicious junk? Nope! Here’s some hard science to back you up the next time you feel like calling them out on their insufferable jerkitude.

    A study published in the journal Social Psychological And Personality Science posited that folks who eat organic foods on the regular have an increased likelihood of being judgy toward others (while also displaying a lack of altruism).

    As an assistant professor at Loyola University and the study’s lead author explains: “People may feel like they’ve done their good deed. That they have permission, or license, to act unethically later on. It’s like when you go to the gym and run a few miles and you feel good about yourself, so you eat a candy bar.” If we’re reading that right, all you need is a bottle of “veganic kombucha” to feel like you can get away with stabbing someone.

    In other words, some people equate the buying of specialty health foods with “moral credits,” which they can spend at their leisure on small acts of dickery. It’s basically the hipster version of buying indulgences, only with more gastrointestinal regularity. You can follow the links to see how they conducted their research, which involved things like showing people food labels and then asking them to rate situations “ranging from cousins having sex to a lawyer trolling the ER for litigious patients.” Whatever their methods, we have a hard time arguing with Doug Barry of Jezebel’s assessment of their findings, since it’s something we’ve always considered one of life’s great truisms: “eating cookies makes you a better person.” (As long as they’re not oatmeal.)


    Those Who Frequent Tanning Beds Are Likely To Be Addicted (To Things Other Than Tanning Beds)

    Now that the general populace is more aware of how wonderful and beneficial prolonged exposure to UV rays is (if you’re a developing malignant melanoma), tanning salons aren’t quite as popular as they once were. And yet there are somehow still plenty of people who regularly strip down, put on those weird tiny glasses, and go under the lamps. Why do they still engage in an activity that’s so objectively self-destructive? Well, a lot of the time, according to research, it’s because they’re sad drunks and/or junkies.

    It’s unclear what motivated the eggheads at Yale to study the self-destructive tendencies of orange people (it’s not like that has any relevance to, say, world peace or anything), but this they did, only to reach the conclusion that those who display a “tanning dependence” are also prone to other forms of addiction. Like a sixfold tendency toward alcoholism, and a five times greater chance of having an accompanying “exercise addiction.”

    For real-life examples, see literally any episode of Jersey Shore.

    Plus, it stands to reason that people who pay money to climb into a contraption which provides fake sunlight are also three times as likely to suffer from seasonal affective disorder (which, with the initials S.A.D., enjoys the most convenient acronym in psychiatric history).

    Yes, pointing out that people with addictive tendencies tend to be addicted to more than one thing may not be the most revolutionary discovery made so far this century. The hope, however, is that the findings will help spur the development of inventions that might help those who are compelled to overdo their UV exposure to the point where they look like a vintage purse golem before they’re devoured by skin cancers. What kind of inventions? Only time will tell. Hopefully not a machine where you stuff in coins, pull on a lever, and hope various fruits line up the right way. Or anything to do with starting nuclear conflicts.


    Use Reusable Grocery Bags? You Probably Buy Junk Food

    “Paper or plastic?” isn’t always a necessary question at the supermarket anymore, as it’s become common for some shoppers to bring reusable fabric bags on every visit. It’s a small effort, but somewhere there are probably some unchopped redwoods and/or unstrangulated seabirds that are quietly applauding your environmental consciousness. Surely, with such a surplus of noble virtue, there’s no harm in grabbing a few bags of chips off the impulse rack. And some chocolate bars. And maybe some sticks of enigma meat which purport to be “teriyaki.”

    Yes, as with organic food mongers, some look at each use of those obnoxiously colored personal bags as incrementally putting their self-perceived goodness reserves in the black — to the point where they feel perfectly justified in filling up the very same bags with caramel-dipped pork rinds and deep-fried chocolate chip meatballs. In a study conducted by Harvard and Duke business school professors, participants were placed in hypothetical scenarios involving the use of personal reusable versus store-issued bags. And what do you know, those with the reusable bags showed a clear predilection toward buying the junkiest of junk food.

    The researchers responsible for pissing off the righteous crusaders of the produce aisle issued a release of their findings in which they stated, “Shoppers often feel virtuous, because they are acting in an environmentally responsible way. That feeling easily persuades them that, because they are being good to the environment, they should treat themselves to cookies or potato chips or some other product with lots of fat, salt, or sugar.” Which leads one to think that maybe you could be even more environmentally conscious by bypassing the flimsy bags and shop using those plastic trick-or-treating pumpkins.


    Your Facebook “Likes” Can Be Used To Predict Your Intelligence (Or Lack Thereof)

    “Liking” things on Facebook can be something of an arbitrary affair, depending on momentary whims and how you feel about expending incredibly minuscule amounts of energy at the time. Sometimes you don’t give your “likes” much thought, and sometimes you just need all your friends to know you’re a fan of that specific Family Guy background character. But can your “like” patterns reveal whether or not you’re a complete moron? One study suggests that it’s entirely possible.

    Univ. Of Cambridge
    Believe it or not, liking the band Poison and Madea movies doesn’t reflect well on you.

    After analyzing the likes of 58,466 volunteers, the data crunchers at University of Cambridge Psychometrics Center and Microsoft Research Cambridge claim that Facebook poking can reveal your gender, politics, sexual orientation, where and what you worship, and, as mentioned, your intelligence. Enjoy LOTR and curly fries? You’re a genius. A fan of the star of one of the most popular motorcycle companies in the world? Ahoy there, dipshit. The stats seem a bit arbitrary, and the researchers didn’t provide much information beyond how they think if you listen to Lady Antebellum, you should probably be wearing a helmet (good thing you’re probably a Harley enthusiast).

    The goal of all this, in case you haven’t figured it out already, is to better figure out how to sell you shit. Thanks to your idle clicking, retailers will be privy to such useful nuggets of information as “users who liked the ‘Hello Kitty’ brand tended to be high on Openness and low on ‘Conscientiousness,’ ‘Agreeableness,’ and ‘Emotional Stability.'” Awesome. The researchers do seem to be aware of the privacy concerns people might have about their activities, but they’re hoping that “the trust and goodwill among parties interacting in the digital environment can be maintained by providing users with transparency and control over their information, leading to an individually controlled balance between the promises and perils of the Digital Age.”

    We realize that’s a lot of big words for those of you who enjoy such things as National Lampoon’s European Vacation and “propagating the human species.” Maybe ask one of your friends who likes watching The Godfather during thunderstorms to sound them out for you.


    Getting Religious Is A Red Flag When Applying For A Loan

    Applying for a loan can involve a lot of praying, but actually mentioning God on the application is a bad idea, according to economists. Not because you run the risk of offending Plutus, the Roman god of filthy lucre, but because doing so apparently means you’re more than twice as likely to default.

    While terms like “hospital” may indicate regrets about getting the money through a loan shark.

    When three economists from Columbia and the University of Delaware set out to find predictors of how reliable loan applicants will be in terms of paying up, they compiled voluminous data from a peer-to-peer lending site called Prosper. Using the brief write-ups that customers completed to explain why they needed a loan, the economists compiled a list of words that were used frequently by the 13 percent who would ultimately renege. They then called their study “When Words Sweat: Written Words Can Predict Loan Default.” (Really, Columbia Title Guy?)

    Anyways, the economists found out some obvious things, like how the words “promotion” and “graduating” can be associated with financial stability, while “divorce,” “child support,” and “bankruptcy” meant the borrower was more likely to hightail it to Mexico. A more surprising finding was that when someone mentions external sources, like family members and their relationship to a higher power, it can be indicative of a “deceptive language style,” since liars tend to avoid talking about themselves. Which also explains why they tend to use the royal “we” when referring to themselves — something we find … um … goddammit.


    If You Like Bitter Foods, There’s An Increased Chance You’re A Psychopath

    People who drink their coffee black, shunning the creamy goodness of “half and half” or so much as a single grain of sugar, are seen as no-nonsense, can-do tough guys/gals. Or sometimes as tortured artsyfarts who need to stay up long into the night creating their caffeinated masterpieces without the bourgeois decadence of a whipped-cream-topped nonsense concoction from Starbucks.

    Of course, these are unfounded stereotypes without any scholarly basis to support them whatsoever. But if you say that people who slurp their java straight have a higher chance of having the same mental illness made popular by your favorite serial killers? Turns out there’s a shitload of science behind that.

    It’s not just coffee — liking any food that tastes bitter could be a sign you’re a raving psychopath, according to a study from Austria’s Innsbruck University. On a similar note, those who prefer nasty beer, tonic water, and otherwise non-sweet liquid fare have a greater chance of showing signs of “Machiavellianism, sadism and narcissism, meaning they were more prone to being duplicitous, vain, selfish and deriving pleasure from other’s pain.”

    So why does drinking a can of Pabst while licking a grapefruit you found in an alley point to antisocial behaviors? The researchers don’t have a solid answer for that yet, or even whether it’s biological, psychological, or some combination thereof. Also, bear in mind that the study could include the sort of personality types who pretend to like the taste of Guinness in an attempt to look cool, while simultaneously wincing like they’ve been punched in the gut. In other words, liars. Unfortunately, the researchers didn’t mention any plans to investigate further, so until this is all sorted out, we can’t recommend trying to intimidate your way out of accidentally knocking over a row or motorcycles in front of a biker bar by gobbling Lemonheads.

    E. Reid Ross is the author of Nature Is The Worst: 500 Reasons You’ll Never Want To Go Outside Again, which is in stores now and available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

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    Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25109_6-ordinary-things-that-reveal-your-deepest-darkest-secrets.html

    ‘Cowardly act of terror’: Truck driver kills 8 on bike path

    A man in a rented pickup truck mowed down pedestrians and cyclists along a busy bike path near the World Trade Center memorial on Tuesday, killing at least eight and seriously injuring 11 in what the mayor called “a particularly cowardly act of terror.”

    The driver was shot in the abdomen by police after jumping out of the truck with what turned out to be a fake gun in each hand and shouting what witnesses said was “Allahu Akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” authorities said. The man underwent surgery and was in critical condition but was expected to survive.

    Officials who were not authorized to discuss the investigation and spoke on the condition of anonymity identified the attacker as 29-year-old Sayfullo Saipov and said he is from Uzbekistan and came to the U.S. legally in 2010. He has a Florida driver’s license but may have been staying in New Jersey, they said.

    The driver barreled along the bike path in a rented Home Depot truck for the equivalent of about 14 blocks, or around eight-tenths of a mile, before slamming into a small yellow school bus. The mayhem and the burst of police gunfire set off panic in the neighborhood and left the pavement strewn with mangled bicycles and bodies that were soon covered with sheets.

    “I saw a lot of blood over there. A lot of people on the ground,” said Chen Yi, an Uber driver.

    Eugene Duffy, a chef at a waterfront restaurant, said, “So many police came, and they didn’t know what was happening. People were screaming. Females were screaming at the top of their lungs.”

    Police closed off streets across the western edge of lower Manhattan along the Hudson River, and officers rushed into the neighborhood just as people were preparing for Halloween festivities, including the big annual parade through Greenwich Village.

    A police bomb squad scoured the truck but found no explosives.

    “This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.

    New York and other cities around the globe have been on high alert against attacks by extremists in vehicles. The Islamic State group has been exhorting its followers to mow down people, and England, France and Germany have seen deadly vehicle attacks in the past year or so.

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called it a “lone wolf” attack and said there was no evidence to suggest it was part of a wider plot.

    The city’s police commissioner, James O’Neill, said a statement the driver made as he got out of the truck and the method of attack led police to conclude it was a terrorist act.

    On Twitter, President Donald Trump called it “another attack by a very sick and deranged person” and declared, “NOT IN THE U.S.A.!”

    While police did not specifically blame the Islamic State group for the New York bloodshed, Trump railed against the extremist group, tweeting, “We must not allow ISIS to return, or enter, our country after defeating them in the Middle East and elsewhere. Enough!”

    Records show Saipov was a commercial truck driver who formed a pair of businesses in Ohio after moving to the U.S. The first business, Sayf Motors Inc., used the address of a family friend near Cincinnati with whom Saipov had stayed for a couple of weeks after his arrival in the country. The second, Bright Auto LLC, used an address near Cleveland.

    A trucking industry website listed Saipov at a Paterson, New Jersey, address that authorities were searching Tuesday night. Court records related to trucking-related infractions list Saipov with addresses in Paterson and the Cleveland suburbs.

    The family friend with whom Saipov stayed in Ohio, Dilnoza Abdusamatova, told The Cincinnati Enquirer Saipov was “really calm” and worked hard.

    “He always used to work,” Abdusamatova said. “He wouldn’t go to parties or anything. He only used to come home and rest and leave and go back to work.”

    Police said Saipov rented the truck at about 2 p.m. in New Jersey, entering the bike path about an hour later on West Street a few blocks from the new World Trade Center, the site of the deadliest terror attack in U.S. history. The truck then turned at Chambers Street, hitting the school bus and injuring two adults and two children.

    A paintball gun and a pellet gun were found at the scene, police said. At least two covered-over bodies could be seen lying on the bike path, and the front end of the truck was smashed in, as was the side of the school bus.

    Two law enforcement officials said a note was recovered inside the truck. One official said the note was handwritten in a foreign language, possibly Arabic.

    The contents were being investigated, but the officials said the document supported the belief the act was terrorism. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly about an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.

    Tom Gay, a school photographer, heard people saying there was an accident and went down to West Street, where a woman came around the corner shouting, “He has a gun! He has a gun!”

    Gay said he stuck his head around the corner and saw a slender man in a blue track suit running on West Street holding a gun. He said a heavyset man was chasing him.

    He said he heard five or six shots, and the man in the tracksuit fell to the ground, gun still raised in the air. He said a man came over and kicked the gun out of his hand.

    Argentina’s foreign ministry said five of the dead hailed from that country. Belgian officials said one of the dead was from there.

    The city’s Halloween parade went on as scheduled after the attack, but security was increased, with extra officers, heavy-weapons teams and sand trucks parked as protective barriers along the route.

    A Home Depot Inc. spokesman said the company, based in Atlanta, was “fully cooperating” with law enforcement in the truck attack investigation.


    Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman in Washington, Tom Hays and Adam Geller in New York and Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles contributed to this story.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/10/31/police-respond-to-shots-fired-near-world-trade-center-site.html

    Jessica Chastain: Hollywood is ‘an industry rife with racism, sexism and homophobia’

    Jessica Chastain called out Hollywood, claiming it doesn’t practice what it preaches in a passionate speech as more women detail their experiences with sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry. 

    Chastain, speaking at Elle Magazine’s Women in Entertainment event Monday night, said the entertainment industry is marred with “racism, sexism and homophobia,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

    “It is so closely woven into the fabric of the business that we have become snowblind to the glaring injustices happening every day,” she said.

    “Oh we’re very quick to point the finger at others and address the issue with social action and fundraising. Yet there is a clear disconnect between how we practice what we preach in our industry,” the 40-year-old actress added.


    Chastain noted stars were quick to rally against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump after he was heard speaking in a lewd manner in an “Access Hollywood” recording, but she said Hollywood has ignored similar stories in the industry.

    Chastain delivered a passionate speech on Monday amid the the fallout of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal.  (Reuters)

    “We rally against the presidential candidate who slants a narrative of his sexual assault as mere locker room talk, but at the same time we ignore the stories and warnings of sexual predators in our offices,” she said.

    The actress added she was taught to make herself “as little as possible, to never say something that could be taken the wrong way or offend the wrong person” if she wanted to get acting gigs. However, she now feels “inspired” by the women who have come forward about their sexual harassment and assault experiences.

    Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence also alleged Monday night they were sexually harassed and assaulted when they were starting out their acting career.

    “I’m so inspired by the women who are far braver than I am, who have come forward with their stories and risked everything to help others,” Chastain said. “What is important is that the voices of these women do not disappear. We must amplify them.”

    Chastain said shortly after the New York Times published its report on Weinstein that she was warned about working with the producer.

    “I was warned from the beginning. The stories were everywhere. To deny that is to create an enviornment (sic) for it to happen again,” she wrote on Twitter. 

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2017/10/18/jessica-chastain-hollywood-is-industry-rife-with-racism-sexism-and-homophobia.html

    Sean Hannity fans are destroying their Keurig coffee makers after company pulls ads

    As advertisers flee from far-right Fox News host Sean Hannity over his defense of Roy Moore, Alabama’s Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate who stands accused of child sex assault, Hannity fans have found a bizarre way of showing their support: Smashing their own stuff.

    So far, as CNBC detailed Sunday, at least five brands will stop advertising on Hannity: Keurig, 23 and Me, Realtor.com, Nature’s Bounty, and Eloquii. This has inflamed Hannity’s fans on Twitter, who’ve been calling for nationwide boycotts of those companies in retaliation. In particular, they’re targeting Keurig, a company that produces home coffee makers.

    In a nutshell, a lot of Hannity fans are supposedly boycotting Keurig now—and even replacing or destroying ones they already own—in order to show their sharp displeasure with the company’s decision to abandon the Fox News firebrand.

    Of course, the Keurig boycott attempt has also been met with some derision and mockery by progressives on social media, with some clearly pleased that more companies are running away from the controversial right-wing host.

    The current rush of companies pulling ads from Hannity’s show is related to his recent commentary on the sexual misconduct allegations against Moore, currently running for U.S. Senate as a Republican against Democratic challenger Doug Jones.

    Moore, 70, has been publicly accused in a deeply sourced report from the Washington Post of having sexually pursued multiple teenage girls while in his early 30s, including a particularly detailed allegation that he molested a 14-year-old. In covering the allegations, Hannity―along with one of his guests, attorney Mercedes Colwin―questioned the motives of Moore’s accuser, speculating that she might have been lying and that she might be doing so for money.

    Hannity also advised his viewers and listeners not to “rush to judgment” about the allegations and speculated that Moore’s alleged contact with teenagers could’ve been consensual. He later apologized, stating that he was only talking about his three accusers aged 16 to 18, not the 14-year-old.

    Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/hannity-boycott-keurig-fans/