6 Everyday Places With Crazy, Behind-The-Scenes Secret Areas

Unless you’re something cool, like a weaponized airborne shark test pilot or perhaps a weaponized airborne shark, people generally don’t want to hear about what you do for a living. Most jobs are boring. But what if we told you that places of business you visit every day, like movie theaters and department stores, have secret areas most people never get to see unless they’re wildly (un)lucky? For instance …


Your Average Movie Projectionist Is One Dude Hurrying Along A Huge Hallway

Being a projectionist doesn’t seem like it should be a physically demanding task. What’s the worst that could happen? Popcorn sweats? But it turns out that film projection is one of the few jobs that technology has actually made more difficult. Automated projecting technology now means that entire multiplexes are often operated by one poor sap running up and down a hallway.

CTCrouch/Cinema Treasures
There probably is still some popcorn sweat, though.

As smaller theaters have been muscled out of business by big chains, it’s now standard procedure for a solitary lackey to zip up and down mile-long hallways to make sure everything’s in order and that we’re all getting the necessary dosage of cellphone, soda, and truck commercials. Indeed, unless you’re watching a sad high school AV club production or in some sort of Fight Club cosplay situation, the romance of the old-timey projection room has been replaced by a cardio-intensive ordeal that’s more akin to working in a narrow rectangular laundromat.


A Large Amount Of Department Stores Have Tiny Jails

When someone gets busted for shoplifting, mannequin groping, or defiling the display toilets in a department store, it can sometimes take a while for the police to show up. So what does store security do with perps in the meantime? Throw them into their own onsite mini jail, of course! These holding cells or detention units are no joke, and little different from the setup you’d find after getting hauled off to the genuine article.

There are whole areas in the backs of retailers like Macy’s (at least, until they were banned for malfeasance) which look like the booking sections of the local precinct. In such places, those wrangled by store security (including minors) might be subjected to body searches, interrogation, and handcuffing before the store decides whether they want to hand them over to the real police or disappear their shoplifting ass somewhere in the home and garden section.


Planes Have Secret Floors Where Flight Attendants And Pilots Sleep (And Fuck, Probably)

We’ve discussed before the tendency airline employees have for behaving like oversexed party weasels, and while we’re sure that those cases are the exception rather than the rule, were we to run an airline, we’d have at least some hesitation before building hidden boudoirs within our aircraft specifically for crew use.

It’s all done in the name of alertness, of course, and on long-haul flights, there is a justifiable case for it. And seeing as how snuggling up in those tiny toilets isn’t a very attractive option, airlines like Virgin Australia have installed sleeping areas for the crew. There are naturally strict boundaries to discourage unseemly fraternization — attendants are relegated to a space above the economy cabin, while pilots receive a cozy nook over business class.

And OK, we’re making a lot of childish insinuations here. These are all professionals. But clearly there have been at least some instances of midair baby gambling. Why else would they feel the need to prominently post a “one per bunk” rule on the wall?


All Cruise Ships Have Morgues

We’ve talked before how the cruise ship experience can be a lot grosser and deadlier than most people expect. But once the bodies start to pile up from all the outbreaks and dessert bar fistfights, what do you do with them? “Dump them overboard” seems like the obvious practical solution, but the ships have prepared for such eventualities with the much less illegal inclusion of onboard morgues.

This is comforting, in a way; you’d certainly hope there’s a better plan in place than wrapping your aunt in a tablecloth and tossing her to the barracuda. And there’s more! Because cruise lines don’t want to cause undue panic amongst their still-living umbrella-drink-guzzlers, they’ve come up with code words to use when discussing these situations. “Operation Bright Star” might be used for medical emergencies, and “Operation Rising Star” would be used when Neptune has claimed another soul for his briny retinue.

Do cruise ships ever run out of room in the fridge for their cadavers? Yes they do! There was one incident aboard a ship on a trip from Fort Lauderdale to Lisbon after so many tourists died that the morgue filled, and they “had to start finding other places to put the bodies.” No word on where those other places were, so maybe on your next cruise, keep an eye out for any unusually sluggish-looking dancers during the nightly revue.


Dairy Farmers Regularly Look Like Futuristic Time Cops

The popular image of cow milking is pretty basic: a rustic sort of individual armed with a bucket and stool wrestling with ungulate teats. And while it can still look that way when you’re talking about an Amish farm or something, big state-of-the-art operations have turned the process of lactose extraction into something that looks a little more like an UFO abduction scenario.

“Stay calm, cows. This will all be over in a … however long cows normally live.”

Even small family farms have similar equipment, and that’s not the only way the dairy life can look more sci-fi than pastoral. For example, sometimes when a veterinarian shows up to check on the herd, they arrive looking like the damned Cattle Terminator:

Annie Ropeik/Indiana Public Broadcasting
“Where is Sarah COWner?”

The cyborg headgear up there is part of an ultrasound imaging system, which mitigates the need to go shoulder-deep into unsuspecting bovines, thus saving time, money, and stress on the animal. And presumably the shoulder. And if that wasn’t enough (it is), the company that sells these things also claims that the gear “can make even overworked dairy farmers smile.” Again, because they’re not engulfed up to the shoulder in cow asshole.

One additional bonus: With large-animal vets in short supply and high demand, the prospect of getting to strut around like Johnny Mnemonic in hip waders might attract more people to the profession. You will still have to go shoulder-deep on a cow on occasion, though, so heads up.


The Super Bowl Sniper’s Nest Has The Best View Of The Game

What do the Super Bowl and the Korean DMZ have in common? Both places provide visitors with an abnormally high probability of having the crosshairs of a high-powered sniper rifle centered on their face. Yes, in addition to the hot dog vendors and jersey peddlers, it seems the NFL also includes the job title of “professional sniper” on the payroll.

Rowdy drunks probably don’t have too much to worry about here; no one’s getting shot center-mass for spilling their nachos down someone’s back. The snipers almost certainly won’t be called into action for anything less than a terror attack or another imminent Patriots win. (The drunks actually have something worse to fear: another behind-the-scenes gem called football jail.)

But yes, snipers. Forget your end zone, 50-yard line, or skybox tickets; the best seat in the house goes to a SWAT team member from the local PD. Which is probably the case at a lot more than just the Super Bowl. It’s a sad fact of life now that any event with this many people at it probably has some kind of security presence like this looming over it.

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.

Also check out 6 Massive Secret Operations That Are Hidden All Around You and 5 Cool Secret Codes Hiding In Plain Sight Around The World.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25037_6-everyday-places-with-crazy-behind-the-scenes-secret-areas.html

5 Of Earth’s Most Terrifying Places (Where People Also Live)

You live in a cockroach-infested hell pit right above a Peruvian Death Metal bar. One neighbor is a competitive yodeler, and the other runs a herring-fermenting business from his apartment. You think you’ve got it bad. You have no idea how bad it can get …


The Old Folk Who Live In The Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

The 1986 Chernobyl disaster blasted the town of Pripyat with dangerous levels of radioactivity, forcing citizens to evacuate. It is now located smack-dab in the middle of a thousand square miles of wasteland known as the Exclusion Zone. You’ve visited it before, in both Call Of Duty 4 and your nightmares. It’s every Fallout game neatly rolled into one, minus radscorpions (but with way more radioactive wolves).

Oh, and people are fucking living there.

Viktar Dracou
Alcohol is a great preservative.

A mere few months after the incident, over a thousand people returned to their homes. They were mostly older and female — unflappable babushkas who had survived famine, Nazis, and WWII. Throughout all this, they had remained in their farms and houses, so they’d be damned if they were going to let some invisible death molecules chase them away. The Soviet government initially refused them entry back into the Exclusion Zone, but eventually decided they didn’t want to tangle with a bunch of old ladies voluntarily heading to Apocalypse Land to fight radioactive wolves.

“We’ll let the old people return home,” they stated. “They’ll die soon, but they will be happy.”

Ryan Menezes
“You can take my house keys from my irradiated, dead hand.”

Close to 30 years on, there are still around 130 of them kicking about, and anecdotal evidence suggests that the people who returned to the Exclusion Zone tend to live longer and better than their former neighbors. It almost makes sense. Apart from the obvious decay in the urban areas, the Exclusion Zone is by and large unchanged, save for the occasional spirited ticking of the Geiger counter. So the ones who went back got to live a happy if slightly radioactive-wolf-filled life in their homes.

Ryan Menezes
The water’s a little yellow, but it tastes like freedom.

Meanwhile, the people who were evacuated and didn’t return had to deal with unemployment, alcoholism, and the general soul-crushing depression that comes from having your life taken away by forces you can barely comprehend.


A City Inside An Actual Graveyard

How do people do it? How do they live in a stinking necropolis — a city of the dead, where their neighbors are all but pallid corpses, and decay greets them at every turn? How, oh how, do people live in Spokane?

It could be worse (the official city motto of Spokane, Washington). You could be living in the literal City of the Dead.

Which should be named Spookane.

The city is a vast 7th-century necropolis located on a four-mile stretch of land right outside Cairo, Egypt. The city’s expanding metro area and the country’s chronic housing shortage have led to desperate people setting up shop amongst the tombs. The arrangement is obviously illegal, but the denizens won’t leave unless they’re provided with new accommodations, and the population has grown so big over time that it’s almost impossible to relocate everyone.

An estimated half a million people live in the City of the Dead, often utilizing the existing structures. Here’s a woman coolly making dinner in a kitchen set up in a tomb:

“Ventilation’s much better than in Cousin Yasmin’s kitchen. She lives in a pyramid.”

And here’s an average City of the Dead shanty, built on and around other people’s graves:

Any zombies that rise will immediately find fresh clothing.

The city has shops and cafes, and the people there generally live a fairly normal life. Sanitation sucks, but a nearby mosque ran lines to pipe in electricity. Folks use sarcophagi as desks and shelves, and hang their laundry from lines they set up between gravestones. Hey, still beats Spokane.


The Refugee Camp That’s Also A Minefield

The Gulan Refugee Camp in Afghanistan is one of many places where people displaced by brutal wars can live — albeit in shitty, temporary tent-huts — until things calm down and stop exploding back at home. Gulan is a little different than other camps, though. For starters, the entire thing is located on a minefield.

Residents keep clicking random spots till a large space opens up.

The unoccupied field that refugees settled in 2014 was unoccupied for a very good reason: It was the site of a massive last-resort battle between the mujahideen and the Soviet army in the late 1980s, and is littered with anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. Unfortunately, by the time the refugees found out about the camp’s fun bonus features, it was already too late. They had precious few other places to go, and since no armies were actively shooting at them here, it was a slight improvement from previous circumstances.

So how does life go for 24,000 people in a mine-infested camp? They’ve moved their tents away from the most problematic areas, and laid out cleared tracks and paths for traffic. As for the heavily armored de-mining teams working on the area, well … a human being gets used to almost anything.

Even yodeling.

Still, pack animals roam the uncleared areas, because donkeys never invented landmines and have no idea how to avoid them. Also, two-thirds of the camp’s population are children, and good luck telling kids to avoid certain areas no matter what — that only makes it taboo. And then there are the terminally oblivious. After a Guardian reporter visited the camp in 2015, a mine-clearer casually informed her that the path she had taken there was completely uncleared for cars.

Yet somehow, despite the constant worry of unwelcome foot-explosions, not a single person in the camp has died from the mines. And since the Halo Trust de-mining organization busted its ass, scouring the area for 12 anxious months and removing nearly a thousand explosives, there’s hope that the situation will remain that way.


The Village Full Of Deadly Snakes

The Indian village Musharu is located in an area completely and utterly infested with large venomous snakes. And they’re largely okay with this. A child might sit on the floor reading a book and see a huge snake within feet of their exposed legs, at which point they would casually inform Mom that there’s yet another snake in the house. The mom would reply, “You concentrate on your studies. The snake will go away on its own.”

That wasn’t a hypothetical scenario.

Villagers view the snakes as an incarnation of the goddess Jhankeswari, and because of the serpent’s inherent holiness, no one but members of a certain Brahmin priest family are allowed to touch them. Villagers insist that the snakes don’t bite them, and if they do, this can be cured with a dip in the local pond, some mud, and a little fasting. We … wouldn’t recommend trying that treatment, but we’ll have to take their word that it works for them.

Victims die coincidentally, of natural causes. Snakes are natural, after all.

From the snakes’ point of view, this is a pretty amazing deal. Because they don’t have to regard humans as a threat, they’re generally quite docile toward them, to the point where they have even been known to lie in the same bed as humans. The villagers say that although the snakes like to munch on the occasional chick or duckling, they never harm their dogs or cattle.

All in all, we’ve had worse roommates.


The Village Inside An Active Volcano

200 miles south of Tokyo lies the country’s most remote populated island, the peaceful and lush Aogashima. Unfortunately, this little slice of paradise landed frosting-side-down inside the outer crater wall of an active double volcano. In fact, back in 1785, an eruption killed half the population of the island.

Today the village is home to roughly 200 people, who are all willing to risk fiery death because Aogashima looks like this:

There are practical benefits to living on top of a vast supply of destructive geothermal energy. The island has a natural hot bath, and free cooking spots along the various hiking trails where you can saute yourself up a hot meal using the volcano’s heat.

“Mmm. These potatoes taste like brimstone!”

Even the island’s main export is volcano-related. The rare Hingya salt is manufactured there by using the island’s volcanic blowholes to evaporate sea water until only the salt remains. Scientists think the volcano is currently dormant and will be for the immediate future, leaving the villagers free to enjoy their peaceful lifestyle, connected to the mainland only by helicopter and ferry. It sounds kind of beautiful, until you remember the volcano and think about trying to flee hot burning death while only connected to the mainland by helicopter and ferry.

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25024_5-earths-most-terrifying-places-where-people-also-live.html

The internet can’t make sense of ‘mother!’ and it’s hilarious

Image: SGranitz/WireImage/Getty images

If there’s anything constructive to take from Donald Trump’s continuing crusade against black athletes in the NFL protesting racial injustices in America, it’s that he seems to have lost touch with reality.

Less than 24 hours after his initial, poorly received remarks that took the league’s protesting players to task, the 45th president of the United States is using his favorite social media platform to double down. In a pair of Saturday tweets, he seems to suggest that he’s somehow empowered to fire NFL players.

Or maybe he just wanted to bring out his trademark TV catchphrase, perhaps in a misguided bid to boost his popularity amid an ineffectual first year in office.

Someone — literally any adult in the room at the White House, please — needs to sit this man down and explain some basic rules about corporate governance and the U.S. Bill of Rights. Trump can’t dictate what the NFL does with its employees, and the ones who have chosen to protest are protected under our fundamental U.S. laws.

To whomever sits Trump down for a big boy talk, you also might want to fill him in on current events, given what’s happened/happening in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and North Korea.

Trump’s Twitter antics left “joke” territory behind a long time ago. To quote the man himself: Sad!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/23/donald-trump-nfl-tweets-youre-fired/

Younger’s Dan Amboyer Comes Out As Gay & Gets Married All In One Weekend!

Younger‘s Dan Amboyer just took two MAJOR steps in his life.

The 31-year-old has officially confirmed he’s gay AND has married his longtime boyfriend, Eric P. Berger. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Related: Sam Smith & Brandon Flynn Have A NYC Date Night!

Amboyer decided to make his sexual orientation a public topic as he said “I Do” to the love of his life on Saturday. Awwww!

For a candid chat with People, Dan opened up about why he stayed quiet about being gay for so long and dished about his decade-long relationship with the financial planner. Ooooh, go on!

Dan shared:

“Being a young actor in the industry, I had a lot of people who strongly advised me to stay quiet. That was hard to live with. But I’ve never played a gay role before and I didn’t want to be limited by some strange perception…. When I went to work on a new show or film, there was always a process of letting people know.”

However, The Blacklist: Redemption performer is clearly done hiding his truth as he wed Berger in front of 115 loved ones at NYC’s Marble Collegiate Church over the weekend. The guest list included Paloma Guzman, Tara Strong, Darren Starr, etc.

It’s said the couple’s first dance was choreographed by Beyoncé choreographer Jeffrey Page. LOVES it!!

On how he wanted to handle his coming out, Amboyer explained:

“It was a hard decision to figure out how to approach it in a public way. There are some actors out there now who just keep it as an unspoken aspect of their life and never discuss it in public. But then there are men like Matt Bomer and Zachary Quinto. I look up to them and see how them being so open affected other people and the country’s perception of gay people. And Nico Tortorella, who is also on Younger, has inspired me by the way he’s become such an advocate for sexual fluidity. I think the more open actors can be the less stigma there will be attached, which will be a positive thing moving forward.”

Hear! Hear!

Understandably, having a partner in the closet wasn’t easy for Eric as he added:

“I’ve always thought of this component as a personal decision and a business decision for him. It has been difficult at times not having his public persona integrated in all parts of our lives, but I’ve never pushed him to come out publicly. That was a decision he had to come to for himself.”

What a supportive partner. Good thing Dan locked him down!!

The love birds met via a dating site 10 years ago and have lived together for the last nine years. Per the newlyweds, they have an opposites attract love story. So cute!!!

In regards to their engagement, Dan tasked Eric with the job of proposing. After vowing to do it when Dan “least expected it,” Eric popped the question while on a freezing cold hike on Overlook Mountain. The industry vet recalls:

“I was like, ‘This is the coldest day of the year! Why are we hiking up this mountain right now?!’ I was so confused why we were the only people on the trail but when we got to the top, he turned around and had this nervous look in his eye. I was like, ‘What is happening?!’ and then he pulled out the ring. It was very sweet – and also very cold.”

That’s the sweetest thing we’ve heard all day! Dan and Eric are obviously smitten with one another as Amboyer concluded:

“I want to live my life moving forward with integrity and pride. We might start a family one day I would feel so strangely if I didn’t celebrate that with all of my family and friends and share that with the fans. This is just the beginning of a wonderful future.”

Congrats again, you two! Be sure to let us know the MINUTE you start thinking about babies!

[Image via Instagram.]

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/2017-10-09-younger-star-dan-amboyer-comes-out-and-gets-married-details

Tesla sends hundreds of batteries to Puerto Rico amid island-wide power outages

The Tesla motor company is sending batteries to the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico to help with the humanitarian aid effort on the hurricane-stricken island. Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria last week, and has been in dire condition ever since, with the vast majority of island residents lacking water, food, and electricity.

The battery pack in question is called the Powerwall, an in-home electricity solution that could hugely benefit people whose homes have been knocked off the power grid. Besides gasoline-fueled generators that are keeping power on at hospitals, the entire island is basically without power, and that could reportedly take months to fix.

Without electricity, what food the 3.4 million residents of Puerto Rico have stored in their homes can’t be refrigerated, making supply shortages worse. The government of Puerto Rico has been desperate for humanitarian aid since the storm hit, in particular San Juan mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who begged the public and the U.S. federal government for help saying, “save us from dying.”

According to Business Insider, Tesla employees are actually on the ground in Puerto Rico, helping to install hundreds of the battery packs, as well as performing repairs to damaged solar panels. Hurricane Maria was a category 4 storm when it slammed into the island, leading to one of the worst humanitarian crises there in modern history.

The disaster has been followed by criticism and scrutiny directed towards President Donald Trump over his personal reaction to the crisis, as well as the slow reaction of the federal government. Trump lashed out at Cruz on Twitter over her pleas for more aid, attacking her for “poor leadership ability” on Saturday, and claiming that “they want everything done for them.”

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/tesla-battery-powerwall-puerto-rico/

Straight Outta Context: The 5 Most Misused, & Abused Bible Verses

In a previous article that I wrote, titled 9 Unbiblical Statements That Christians Believe, it opened with the following statements: “One of the greatest gifts that God gave mankind was the Holy Bible because the Bible is literally God revealing Himself and communicating Himself to mankind in written word.”

The Word of God is an absolute necessity. All sixty-six books were inspired and authored by the Holy Spirit of God using 40 human instruments. Orthodox Christianity believes that in the Scriptures in their original manuscripts are without error and fault. This Bible is not merely a collection of quotes or one-liners but is literally the Word of God. When the Scriptures speak, God is speaking. That is why we must approach the Bible with extreme care and intentionality. How it is read, memorized and quoted is of utmost importance.

However, Christians often misunderstand, misquote or misuse verses in the Bible. For example, we may turn to the concordance in the back wanting to find a verse on a particular subject, read the ones suggested, find a favorite one, and then start quoting away! Or, possibly we hear others misquoting verses, they sound right in the moment, so we also begin spreading the misuse without taking the time to study the verse in its author-intended context.

Here is a list of the 5 most misused and abused Bible verses:

  1. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:13

Out of Context: This verse has nothing to do with dunking a basketball, hitting a game-winning home run, bench-pressing a bus, winning the lottery, or closing a business deal.

In Context: The Apostle Paul is under house arrest awaiting his trial, where he may possibly be put to death for preaching the resurrection of Jesus. However, instead of being defeated by unfortunate circumstances, Paul is using this opportunity to teach the young church in Philippi that he can endure any and every circumstance—ups and downs, highs and lows—because he has a strength that only comes from Christ. This supernatural strength to endure all seasons and situations is always with Paul because the Holy Spirit of Christ is always with him, even in prison.

  1. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” – Matthew 18:20

Out of Context: This verse is usually quoted as an encouragement to one another when there is low attendance for a worship service or given as a benediction during a prayer meeting. In fact, if someone really wants to stretch this verse, they may use it as justification for skipping church to “worship” with their family at home, while the football game is playing in the background.

In Context: This verse falls specifically within the context of church discipline and dealing with wayward believers. It is meant to be an encouragement to church leaders during tough times of loving confrontation to say that God would be present with the two to three witnesses as they are intentional in correcting and restoring a fallen brother or sister.

  1. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11

Out of Context: This verse is typically given to someone as a sentiment during a difficult time, or on a graduation card after crossing a stage receiving his or her diploma or degree. As a stand-alone promise, it appears as though God exists to make us all popular, rich, healthy, and powerfully well known! God declares the American Dream over my life!

In Context: This incredible promise is given not to an individual, but to a people group—Hebrews exiled in Babylon. God promised that He had not given up on His people and that even though things looked dire, they still had a future and a hope! So, the word “prosper” doesn’t refer to money or material blessings; it refers to physical and spiritual salvation. It’s a beautiful promise that God is not done with His people and that their future and hope were only found in Him. The promise is that He will see His plans through, and His people get to be a part of them.

  1. “Judge not, that you be not judged.” – Matthew 7:1

Out of Context: We’re living in a day that values tolerance above all, unless, of course, someone disagrees with our beliefs, lifestyles, or opinions; then, we’re extremely intolerant. We may even boldly shout, “Only God can judge me!” However, this is Tupac theology, not Biblical theology.

In Context: This verse is not a warning against speaking out against certain actions or behaviors. In fact, in other places of Scripture, we’re told “we’ll know them by their fruit.” We’re also commanded in the Great Commission to “make disciples,” which includes helping others wage war against sin. However, Matthew 7 is a warning against self-righteousness and hypocrisy.  If we’re going to correct someone, then we must expect to be held to the same standard. If we judge with aggression, then we can expect to be judged with aggression. Even though we remove the plank in our eye, Jesus still says we must remove the speck in our brother’s.

  1. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” – Psalm 46:10

Out of Context: Honestly, the most common travesty committed toward this verse is that only a piece of this verse is quoted. On coffee-mugs, desktop screensavers with roses in the background, and paintings with a mountain, you’ll see a section of this verse carved out from the whole thought: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

In Context: The greatest justice we can provide for this verse is to actually quote it in its entirety. What an incredible comfort and reminder to know that we can be still and know that God is in control. As His people, we can rest in the truth that He will be exalted in the nations across the earth, and there is nothing that can stop God from accomplishing His will.

Everything God does and says is intentional. Every word in the Scriptures is on purpose and placed in the specific context that He desires. Therefore, we must be careful with the Word of God and be intentional in how we speak this Word!

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

– 2 Timothy 3:16 – 17

Listen to a radio interview about this Article on The Forum with Life FM HERE.

**Text “SHANE” to 444999 to receive my FREE downloadable Devotional eBook.

Read more: http://faithit.com/straight-outta-context-5-misused-abused-bible-verses-shane-pruitt/

Thaler, Famed for Nudge Theory, Wins Nobel Economics Prize

University of Chicago’s Richard H. Thaler, one of the founders of behavioral economics and finance, was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics for shedding light on how human weaknesses such as a lack of rationality and self-control can ultimately affect markets.

The 72-year-old, co-author of the 2008 best-seller “Nudge,” has “built a bridge between the economic and psychological analyses of individual decision-making,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Monday. 

“By exploring the consequences of limited rationality, social preferences, and lack of self-control, he has shown how these human traits systematically affect individual decisions as well as market outcomes,” the academy said.

His “Nudge” theory, outlined along with former White House adviser Cass Sunstein, suggests small incentives can prod people into making certain decisions. His work has informed politicians looking for ways to influence voters and shape societies at a time when budget deficits limited their scope to spend. Former U.S. President Barack Obama and ex-U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron both appointed teams to study if behavioral economics could be used to save their governments money. 

For example, writing to Britons to inform them that most people in their town had already paid their taxes was found to speed up payments. People were also found to be more likely to insulate their attics if they were offered help clearing them.

Read more: Bloomberg View’s Justin Fox discusses Thaler’s work

On a call with journalists after the announcement, Thaler said the most important impact of his research is “the recognition that economic agents are human, and that economic models have to incorporate that.”

Thaler also made a cameo appearance in the 2015 film “The Big Short,” sitting alongside the actress Selena Gomez as they played blackjack. Asked about the hot-hand fallacy in relation to President Donald J. Trump, Thaler said on the call that he was disappointed his film career wasn’t part of the “official” announcement, adding that Trump “would do well to watch that movie.”

Thaler developed the theory of “mental accounting,” explaining how people make financial decisions by creating separate accounts in their minds, focusing on the narrow impact rather than the overall effect.

His research on “fairness,” which showed how consumer concerns may stop firms from raising prices in periods of high demand, but not in times of rising costs, has also been influential, according to the Swedish academy. He shed light on how people succumb to short-term temptations, which is why many people fail to plan and save for old age.

Thaler’s body of work includes insights on the ways in which limited rationality, social preferences and a lack of self control affect decisions that shape market outcomes. He has studied how American football teams make poor choices when drafting players and how quiz show contestants take risks.

His other works include “Quasi-Rational Economics,” “The Winner’s Curse: Paradoxes and Anomalies of Economic Life” and “Advances in Behavioral Finance.”

He’s the director of the Center for Decision Research, and is the co-director, with now fellow Nobel laureate, Robert Shiller, of the Behavioral Economics Project at the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Born in New Jersey, Thaler graduated with a bachelor’s degree from the Case Western Reserve University in 1967. He received a master’s degree from the University of Rochester in 1970 and a doctorate in 1974, also from Rochester. Thaler joined the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in 1995.

Previous Winners

Last year’s economics prize went to Harvard University’s Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for their work on contract theory and its role in shaping everything from executive pay to public sector privatizations. Previous laureates have included Milton Friedman, James Tobin, Paul Krugman and Friedrich August von Hayek.

Daniel Kahneman and Vernon L. Smith also shared the 2002 prize in economics for their work in psychological and experimental economics.

Annual prizes for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, peace and literature were established in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, who died in 1896. The prize in economic sciences was added by Sweden’s central bank in 1968. The total amount for each of the 2017 prizes is 9 million kronor ($1.1 million), up from 8 million kronor last year. The economics award brings to an end this year’s Nobel prize cycle.

Thaler said on the call that he will try to spend the money “as irrationally as possible.”

    Read more: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-09/richard-h-thaler-wins-2017-nobel-economics-prize

    PM struggles through interrupted speech

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    Media captionFive things that went wrong with May’s speech

    Theresa May had to battle losing her voice and being interrupted on stage by a comedian as she sought to reassert her Conservative leadership.

    Mrs May, who at one point was handed a throat sweet by the chancellor, did make it to the end of a speech in which she vowed to “renew the British dream”.

    She announced plans for more council houses and a cap on energy prices.

    But they were overshadowed by the problems she had delivering the set-piece speech in Manchester.

    BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg said the annual conference “was meant to be about restoring Theresa May’s authority – it may prove instead to have been further undermined”.

    Mrs May was interrupted early on in her speech by comedian Simon Brodkin – also known as Lee Nelson – who managed to make it to the podium to hand her a P45, a redundancy notice, saying to her that “Boris asked me to give you this”.

    After he was removed and she got encouraging cheers from the audience she joked that the only P45 she wanted to give out was to Jeremy Corbyn.

    Media playback is unsupported on your device
    Media captionA prankster interrupted the prime minister during her speech

    But she struggled to finish the speech because of a croaky voice, having to stop several times to drink water.

    Sources close to the prime minister have said that the PM had caught the “conference cold”, and that her many interviews and meetings this week have taken their toll on her voice.

    They say the prankster who interrupted her speech has been arrested for a breach of the peace and there will be a thorough investigation of security.

    To add to her woes, some of the letters fell off the conference stage backdrop. By the end it read: “Building a country that works or everyon.”

    What now for May – Laura Kuenssberg’s view

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    Media captionLaura Kuenssberg on PM’s speech

    In normal political times, it is probably the case that what one minister described as a “tragedy” today would have led to a prime minister being forced out or quitting.

    But these aren’t normal times. Allies of Theresa May say today she has shown her resilience and determination in spades, demonstrating exactly why she deserves to stay in the job.

    A senior colleague of hers told me she importantly did manage to put forward a coherent vision and talked about her personal beliefs. More than that, for those who want her gone there are three obstacles.

    Read more from the BBC’s political editor

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said of the prime minister’s performance: “If ever there was a metaphor for battling through adversity, that was it.”

    In the speech itself, Mrs May delivered a call for a “modern, compassionate Britain” and focused on her personal commitment to social justice and fairness.

    She also apologised to activists in Manchester for an election campaign that had been “too scripted, too presidential”.

    And she said the “British dream” that “life should be better for the next generation” was out of reach for too many people, something she vowed to dedicate her premiership to fixing.

    Mrs May began her speech by outlining the reasons why she joined the Conservative Party more than 40 years ago, stressing that the things that have made her most proud in politics have not been the positions she has held, but “knowing that I made a difference – helped those who cannot be heard”.

    She announced that there would be an independent review of the Mental Health Act, to tackle injustice, and would press for justice to be done for the families of those killed and injured in the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

    “That’s what I’m in this for,” she said.

    Turning to Brexit, Mrs May said she was “confident that we will find a deal that works for Britain and Europe”. She also reassured European citizens living in the UK that “you are welcome here” and urged negotiators to reach agreement on this policy “because we want you to stay”.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption The prankster turned to Boris Johnson after interrupting the speech
    Image copyright Reuters
    Image caption Even the sign was against her
    Image copyright PA
    Image caption A big hug from husband Philip at the end of the speech

    Mrs May said it had “always been a great sadness for Philip and me that we were never blessed with children”, but she said this did not stop her wanting to help young people on to the housing ladder.

    Hailing plans to “reignite home ownership” in Britain, she said the government plans to invest an additional £2bn in affordable housing, taking the total budget up to almost £9bn.

    If ministers made the land available and gave young people the skills to build the houses, she challenged house builders to ensure they “build the homes our country needs”.

    Who is Simon Brodkin aka Lee Nelson?

    Simon Brodkin is an English comedian more commonly known by his TV character name Lee Nelson. Handing the prime minister a P45 was far from his first.

    His most famous interruption came at Glastonbury in 2015 when he ran onstage as Kanye West was performing. He pulled a similar stunt on The X Factor in 2014, running onstage as the Stereo Kicks were playing.

    He also threw US dollar bills over former Fifa president Sepp Blatter during the football organisation’s bidding scandal.

    The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith said the focus on council housing underlines Mrs May’s readiness to intervene and use the public sector to build houses in a way not seen since the 1950s.

    Mrs May announced that the government will next week publish draft legislation to impose a cap on energy prices. Downing Street says it will apply to all standard variable rates.

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    Media captionAmber Rudd says the government is ‘carefully’ looking at the stunt during PM’s conference speech

    Having seen her Commons majority vanish after June’s general election and facing calls to sack Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson over his interventions on Brexit, Mrs May attempted to use the conference to unite the party behind her “mission” to transform Britain.

    She said it would not be easy, but “it has never been my style to hide from a challenge, to shrink from a task, to retreat in the face of difficulty, to give up and turn away.”

    “And it is when tested the most that we reach deep within ourselves and find that our capacity to rise to the challenge before us may well be limitless.”

    The disruptions to the speech dominated discussion afterwards, but for Labour, shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying that there had been £15bn of pledges made by the end of the speech showing “the Tory magical money tree returns”.

    Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable called it “the speech of a brave prime minister struggling on, while her disloyal Cabinet colleagues openly plot against her”.

    Related Topics

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-41493370

    Scotland to set up public energy firm

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    Media captionMs Sturgeon said the energy firm’s “only job is to secure the lowest price for consumers”

    The Scottish government is to set up a publicly-owned, not-for-profit energy company, Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed.

    The SNP leader told the party’s conference that the company will sell energy to customers at “as close to cost price as possible”.

    Ms Sturgeon said it would be set up by 2021, and would give people – particularly on low incomes – more choice of which supplier to use.

    She also said the SNP will “always make the case for independence”.

    And while the Scottish government has delayed plans for a second independence referendum, Ms Sturgeon insisted that the SNP still had a mandate for a vote on the issue.

    She described the “essence of independence” as being “in charge of the decisions that shape your destiny” and “being in the driving seat and not simply at the mercy of events”.

    The first minister declared: “We are the party of independence. The case for independence doesn’t depend on Brexit. But Brexit does show us what can happen when we don’t control our own future”.

    Among Ms Sturgeon’s other announcements were:

    • A “truly transformational” doubling of spending on early-years childcare to £840m by 2020
    • A new scheme to provide free sanitary products in schools, colleges and universities from next August
    • All young people leaving care will be exempt from paying council tax
    • A £6m fund to help the tourist industry in Scotland’s more remote areas
    • Confirmed the 1% public sector pay will be lifted in Scotland
    • Announced that permission has been granted to the people of Ulva, an island off the west coast of Mull, to bring their island into community ownership

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    Media captionNicola Sturgeon: “The gap between Scotland’s interests and Westminster’s priorities has never been wider.”

    The possibility of launching a publicly-owned energy company was included in last year’s SNP manifesto.

    In her keynote speech to the conference in Glasgow, Ms Sturgeon said the idea would now be taken forward, with more detail to be provided when the Scottish government publishes its new energy strategy.

    She said: “Energy would be bought wholesale or generated here in Scotland – renewable, of course – and sold to customers as close to cost price as possible.

    “No shareholders to worry about. No corporate bonuses to consider. It would give people – particularly those on low incomes – more choice and the option of a supplier whose only job is to secure the lowest price for consumers.”

    Nottingham City Council operates a similar scheme through its not for profit Robin Hood Energy company, which was launched two years ago and sells gas and electricity to customers across the UK.

    Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption The three-day conference was held at the SEC Centre in Glasgow

    Analysis by Brian Taylor, BBC Scotland political editor

    The SNP are in a holding pattern on a number of topics. On Brexit. On independence. On events in Catalonia, where Ms Sturgeon condemned the EU for failing to condemn the violence of the Spanish police – but stopped short of endorsing Catalan independence. Instead, she again urged talks.

    And there is a waiting game too on tax, but the speech was policy rich: Affordable housing, child care, the environment, a new not-for-profit energy company, an end to the public sector pay cap. And much, much more.

    These, firstly, are policies designed to improve Scotland and to win public support. They have a function and a life of their own.

    But they are also designed to meet a wider public mood. Which is to focus upon the day job, upon the mundane concerns of Scottish society.

    Read more from Brian

    On her government’s childcare plans, Ms Sturgeon told delegates that it had already pledged to almost double free provision to 30 hours a week for all three and four-year-olds and eligible two-year-olds.

    Ms Sturgeon said the move will save working parents about £350 a month on the costs of childcare.

    And she confirmed that the Scottish government will double the £420m it currently spends on early years education and childcare to £840m a year by 2020.

    Image copyright PA
    Image caption Ms Sturgeon arrived on stage with a packet of Strepsils – a reference to Theresa May’s cough-interrupted speech at the Conservative company
    Image caption There is overwhelming sympathy for the Catalan government among SNP activists and elected politicians

    Ms Sturgeon told the conference: “This is a commitment unmatched anywhere else in the UK. And it’s the best investment we can make in Scotland’s future.”

    The first minister went on to say that Scotland’s interests were threatened by “chaos” at Westminster, with Labour’s position on Brexit “clear as mud” and Theresa May having “lost control”.

    She repeated claims the EU Withdrawal Bill amounted to a “blatant power grab” on the Scottish Parliament, adding: “We will not allow a Tory government to undermine devolution”

    ‘People of Catalonia’

    But she acknowledged the EU was not perfect, and criticised its response to the police violence in Catalonia during the recent disputed independence referendum.

    Ms Sturgeon said: “Sometimes it (the EU) fails to live up to its founding values of human dignity, freedom, democracy and equality.

    “When the people of Catalonia – EU citizens – were violently attacked by police just for trying to vote, the EU should have spoken up, loudly, to condemn it.”

    She said it was time for the Spanish government to sit down with the government of Catalonia, adding: “It is time for them to talk and to find a way forward.

    “A way forward that respects the rule of law, yes. But a way forward that also respects democracy and the right of the people of Catalonia to determine their own future.”

    Image copyright PA

    How would a state-run energy company work? Analysis by BBC Scotland business editor Douglas Fraser

    The promise of a government-owned, not-for-profit energy company has been coming down the pipeline since last year’s Holyrood manifesto from the SNP.

    Nicola Sturgeon’s conference speech made clear that the initial key role will be competing with other energy providers on price.

    This implies that commercial firms are making unfair or unreasonable profits.

    But there could be more – a lot more. Things like supporting new schemes, district heating projects or investment for renewables

    Across the North Sea, in Denmark, the state Energy Agency administers energy and supply, and climate change initiatives.

    It has 400 staff, with tasks ranging across energy production, supply, transportation and consumption, including energy efficiency and building standards.

    Then there’s another model of state-owned energy company – Norway’s Statoil.

    Read more from Douglas

    What are the other parties saying?

    Scottish Conservative chief whip Maurice Golden said the one word missing from Ms Sturgeon’s speech was “sorry”.

    He added: “For the last year, Nicola Sturgeon put her reckless plan for a second referendum before her day job. But instead of apologising, the first minister once again showed that the SNP simply doesn’t do humility.

    “This was a speech that demonstrated the SNP simply doesn’t get it. Lacking in humility and failing to listen to people – it’s the same old SNP.”

    Scottish Labour’s interim leader, Alex Rowley, claimed the SNP was lacking in fresh ideas, so had instead taken Labour policies, watered them down and attempted to pass them off as their own.

    Mr Rowley said: “From a not-for-profit energy company to teacher training bursaries, action on period poverty and promises on public sector pay, this conference shows that it is Labour which is setting the policy agenda in Scotland.”

    Scottish Greens co-convener Patrick Harvie said Ms Sturgeon’s speech “showed yet again how Greens are leading the change in our society, pushing the SNP beyond its comfort zone on everything from publicly-owned energy to lifting the public sector pay cap.”

    Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said the SNP hierarchy had attempted to “tiptoe around independence” during the conference – but that the party’s members had “reminded them that independence is all the SNP care about”.

    Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-41560397

    5 Shocking Failures Of Criminal Justice You’ve Never Heard

    The legal system isn’t run by all-knowing super-robots (yet), so we’re stuck with regular old law enforcement officers, who are human beings. Ones who are going to make mistakes. Sometimes authorities make the right call. Sometimes they make honest mistakes. But then there are the times you get stories like …


    A Woman Reported Her Stalker To The Cops 125 Times, And They Did Nothing (Until He Nearly Murdered Her)

    In Exeter, England, 2009, Joseph Willis asked his neighbor, Helen Pearson, if she’d be willing to go to the pub with him to see a band. Pearson declined the offer. Willis took the rejection a little rougher than most people would. He began stalking Pearson, sending her cute flirty messages like, “I want to play a game … I want to see how you would cope if you were attacked … Would you fight back? Scream? Let the game begin.” Yeah, if you find yourself quoting Jigsaw, you have to wonder if you’re the good guy here.

    For the next five goddamn years, Pearson received insane messages, had her tires slashed, and walked by graffiti in her neighborhood reading “Die Helen.” Pearson sent in 125 separate police reports, resulting in an official response we can barely call half-assed. Quarter-assed? Stalking precludes 94 percent of murders, but it’s hard to say what exactly crosses the line into stalking. Is the dead cat he left on her doorstep stalking? Who are the cops to say?

    They are cops. That’s who they are to say.

    After five long years, the inevitable happened and Willis attacked Pearson. He stabbed her eight times in the face and neck with a pair of scissors. A passerby saw them and intervened, preventing it from becoming a homicide. The police figured this was finally enough to arrest Willis, and he was sentenced to life in prison. The cops also apologized for their mind-boggling failure. So all’s well that ends well, right? Oh wait, no, a woman was stabbed in the face. Like a whole bunch.


    A Police Officer Was Fired For Not Shooting A Suicidal Man

    In May of 2016, officer Stephen Mader responded to a domestic disturbance report at the home of R.J. Williams. At the scene, Mader found Williams with his hands behind his back. He ordered Williams to show his hands, and Williams revealed he was concealing a gun. When Mader drew his gun in response, Williams yelled “Just shoot me!” Mader didn’t think Williams had any intention of hurting anyone; he thought he was trying to commit suicide by cop. Mader tried to deescalate the situation, saying, “I don’t wanna shoot you, brother, just put down the gun.” That … is a surprisingly reasonable encounter. If only all police interactions ended that way. If only this police interaction ended that way. Mader’s fellow officers arrived moments later, and immediately shot Williams dead. They would later find out his gun was never loaded.

    Shortly after the incident, Mader received a letter of termination. According to the police department, Mader had “frozen” in the line of duty and put his fellow officers in danger. By their account, he had “failed to make a decision,” showing he was not fit to be a cop. This didn’t sit well with Mader, since talking someone down from suicide is actually a pretty good decision. Mader argued that his military experience played into his decision, since he had seen real hostility, and this was not the same thing. The police force responded by saying, “No officer was ever trained to deduce the intention of a suspect,” all but admitting that they operate under the “Shoot first, ask questions later” method.


    A Man Spent 17 Years In Jail After Being Mistaken For His Doppelganger

    In 1999, police arrested Richard Jones and two other men for stealing a woman’s cellphone in a Walmart parking lot in Kansas City, Missouri. Jones insisted he was innocent, saying he did not know the other men, and that he was in another state at the time of the mugging. Nobody believed him, and he got 19 years in prison … for maybe stealing a phone that probably only played Snake.

    Then, in 2015, Jones started hearing about another inmate who looked like he could be his twin brother. Instead of getting excited about all the kooky hijinks he could get into with a newfound twin, Jones became suspicious. He contacted the Midwest Innocence Project and the Project for Innocence for help. Together, they found a man named Ricky Lee Amos, who looked exactly like Jones. On top of having similar first names, they were both six feet tall, weighed about 200 pounds, and were a year apart in age. Here are their mugshots:

    Kansas Department of Corrections
    That’s Amos on the left, Jones on the right.

    You’ve guessed where this is going. Amos had lived at the drug house where the other two muggers said they picked up their third man. They said they were too high to remember exactly who they had picked up — like when you get too high and forget that you ate all the frozen waffles last night, only way, way worse. In June 2017, enough evidence had come to light for authorities to decide they had arrested the wrong man. Jones was set free, serving a mere 17 years of his wrongful 19-year sentence. Justice!


    All Kinds Of Things Are Constantly Mistaken For Drugs

    In April of 2017, police pulled over Karlos Cashe for driving with his headlights off. When they searched his vehicle, they found an assload of white powder in his trunk. Cashe explained to the police that he was a handyman and the powder was drywall. They did an on-the-spot field test and determined that Cashe was lying and did in fact have Tony Montana levels of cocaine in his car. After spending two months in jail, the crime lab finally got around to testing the samples and concluded that it was indeed drywall after all.

    Cops mistake innocuous substances for drugs all the time. In 2013, police arrested a New York woman after field-testing a substance in her car and concluding it was cocaine. It turned out to be homemade soap. In January 2017, police field-tested a giant bag of what they suspected was meth in Ross Lebeau’s car. It came back positive, and his arrest was a big story. An official lab test proved the bag was cat litter, which Lebeau kept in his car to prevent his windows from fogging up — the fancy kind, with crystals. Like some kind of a king.

    ABC 13
    Breaking Bad Luck

    The cheap field tests cops use are notoriously unreliable, returning false positives all the time. A whopping 21 percent of all substances the tests find to be meth are not at all meth — half the time, they’re not even drugs. But the flimsy evidence they provide is enough to throw people in jail for months, so we’d recommend not driving to your job as an Italian chef with bulk bags of loose oregano.


    A Mistranslation Landed A Man In Guantanamo Bay For 13 Years

    Emad Hassan was a Yemeni college student studying in Pakistan in 2002. He was minding his business in his dorm room when authorities Falcon-punched his door in and arrested him and 14 other students. After two months in a local jail, the U.S. military transported him to an Army prison in Afghanistan for interrogation. The Army wanted to know if Hassan had any connection to Al-Qaeda. Thinking his safest bet was to remain as honest as possible, Hassad confirmed that he did. He waited for follow-up questions, but the authorities had gotten all they wanted, and they took him back to his cell. Shortly after, U.S. officials blindfolded him, put him in a diaper, and transferred him to Guantanamo Bay.

    The problem: Hassan’s interrogator questioned him in English, and an interpreter repeated the questions in broken Arabic. When they asked about his connections to Al-Qaeda, Hassan thought they were asking about the small town of Al-Qa’idah, near where he grew up.

    Further interrogations at Gitmo brought to light the misunderstanding, but authorities didn’t believe him. Finally, in 2009, President Obama assigned a task force to review the possible innocence of certain Gitmo inmates. They found Hassan innocent and scheduled him for release. But before that could happen, a Yemeni terrorist attempted to blow up a plane in Detroit, causing Obama to lay a blanket ban on releasing Yemenis from the facility. Hassan was proven innocent, but remained incarcerated for the next five years in the prison even Harold and Kumar couldn’t make funny.

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