These Plans For A High-Tech UK Border Wall Might Even Be Dumber Than Trump’s

Trump’s plan for a border wall has a lot of problems. It will cost a lot and be really, really bad for a lot of endangered species. In terms of level of derp, it takes a beating.

Well, now the UK have given it a good old try. Plans formulated by a think tank for a high-tech border between the UK and Ireland have been met with derision, because essentially the plan is to have drones and airships patrol the border like we’re living in a steampunk dystopian future.

After Brexit, there could be a problem with the border between the UK and Ireland. Currently, people are free to move between Northern Ireland and Ireland as both are part of the EU, but that could change after the UK leaves.

The UK government are trying to avoid a hard border with Ireland, but this is dependent on negotiations with the EU.

A proposed solution from the Legatum Institute is to deploy drones, airships, and hot air balloons to patrol the border at all times. They say that “persistent surveillance of the border region” could be achieved through a combination of these unmanned arial vehicles and aerostats (airships or hot air balloons). 

The think tank propose that cameras mounted on these air-vehicles could monitor the entire border, along with ground radar systems. A much higher tech solution than “a big wall”.

However, the suggestion hasn’t gone down well so far with British people online, with many mocking it for how bizarre the idea is.

Brexit secratary David Davis, in charge of Brexit negotiations on behalf of the UK, has insisted previously that a “non-visible” border could be maintained with Ireland after Brexit through technology and a trade deal.

The Legatum Institute raised the possibility of patrolling the skies in a paper titled Mutual Interest: How the UK and EU can resolve the Irish border issue after Brexit”. In the paper, they also suggest ground-based solutions, such as unattended ground sensors, cameras, and ground-wave radar. The think tank is considered influential with some government ministers, according to the BBC.

The Legatum Institute admitted that the air-based solutions were “subject to a number of limitations, not least weather and cost.”

It remains to be seen whether the UK government will adopt these proposals, but many may be wondering whether an idea that requires zeppelins to patrol the skies is really an idea worth pursuing.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/these-plans-for-a-hightech-uk-border-wall-might-even-be-dumber-than-trumps/

Youve Been Elected To Congress! Can You Pass Even One Goddamn Bill?

Congratulations on becoming a member of the U.S. Congress! Now, you can truly enact meaningful change for your constituents and the nation. Are you ready to engage in the rich tradition of democracy?

All right! First things first: What is the initial issue you want to tackle?

Okay, a bridge over this calm river. Gotta start somewhere, right? Ready to make some legislation?

Unfortunately, you were elected with the support of small-business owners, and this is an issue they will definitely not approve of. Politically, this is not a good time to try this. Maybe in a few years?

Wow. It’s your first day of Congress and you’re going to take on the gun lobby?

Look, you should know that they’re going to bury you before you’ve even gotten started. At that point, you won’t be able to make headway on any of the reforms you have planned. Better hold off on this one until at least your second term (if you get elected again, of course).

A straw poll conducted in your state just five weeks ago shows that the public is sharply divided on this issue. Championing it now would put any chance for reelection in serious doubt. You don’t want to be a one-term loser, do you? Better pick another.

You are now the proud parent of H.R. 349! After you submitted it to the Speaker, it was sent to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Unfortunately, you are not on this committee because you do not have seniority.

At the committee hearing, a congressman from Colorado proposes exempting companies that give their employees complimentary Game Boy Colors from providing any documentation concerning the legality of their workers. The rest of the committee favors the idea.

Great! After a few more key changes made after you left the room, H.R. 349 is ready to be voted on.

Your hesitance over the addition is met with ire. You are told to do your job, and the committee will do its job. The clause is added.

At home later that night, you see that the representative from Colorado has gone on The Situation Room and called you a Greedy Bridge Baron. He demands that more concessions be made to large corporations so as not to disrupt the economy. The entire panel agrees with him.

Your statement makes you look stubborn and uncompromising. The morning news cycle calls it a fiasco, and the paper in your home district runs your picture with the headline “Look At This Piece Of Shit We Voted Into Office.”

Your feeble concession pleases both a large number of your colleagues and your corporate backers! But before your bill can be voted on, it’s time for a congressional recess!

Too late! It’s time for a congressional recess!

Congress is still not in session. Continue to wait.

Congress is still not in session. Continue to wait.

Congress is still in recess.

Also, your father passed away. Maybe say a few words?

You are at the lectern at your father’s funeral. What do you want to say?

Very well said. Condolences to you and your family.

Wow. That’s all? Do you want to add anything else?

Really? That was your father. Wow.

Congress is still in recess.

Congress is still in recess.

Congress is still in recess.

The wait is over! Congress is back!

All right, initial polling has shown that your bill does not have the votes to pass. You need help! Who do you want to ask?

You approach the Massachusetts representative, and he agrees to support your bill! He only asks in return that $100 million is added to fund research on how to get the city of Boston to float four inches above the ground and make it so “Lightning Crashes” by Live plays on an infinite loop from speakers so loud no Bostonian can ever escape it, even if they trap themselves in the thickest bank vault.

Do you want to accept his help?

You approach the Arizona representative, and he agrees to support your bill! All he asks in return is to add a rider providing significant tax incentives to Americans who get surgery to install a tiny little gun at the back of their throat, enabling them to shoot a bullet out of their mouth whenever they feel threatened.

Do you want to accept his help?

You approach the representative from California. She agrees to support your bill, but in return, she requests that a rider be added to lengthen the bridge by several thousand miles in order to stretch her district into the San Fernando Valley. “The perfect compromise,” she explains.

Do you want to accept her help?

By refusing the help of your congressional colleague who is far more tenured and respected than you, a congressional freshman, you have enraged them! During the debate on the bill, the representative stands up and says you’re another “pork barrel shitstain, politics-as-usual ass-toothed gargoyle that slobbers dutifully on the Quran as a witless baby might.” A majority of the chamber stands up and applauds.

Looks like you’ve lost the support of your fellow legislators! Time to try to get support from the private sector! With any luck, garnering their favor will help you win back the room.

Who would you like to speak to?

You show your idea to Habitat for Humanity and they love it! They pledge to send out some fliers supporting it and to speak with the two congresspeople who are sympathetic to their cause.

Unfortunately, ExxonMobil heard that you met with Habitat for Humanity and threatened to fund the opposition if you move forward with the nonprofit.

What do you want to do?

You contact this bridge think tank, and it turns out they are funded and supervised exclusively by ExxonMobil! They agree to help you out, but only if a clause is added to your bill requiring the bridge to be made out of frozen oil, constantly cooled to 15 degrees Fahrenheit by giant, oil-powered freon generators.

Do you want to accept the help of Bridges for a Stronger America/ExxonMobil?

You contact ExxonMobil! Over an opulent dinner, they agree to help you out, but only if a clause is added to your bill requiring the bridge to be made entirely out of frozen oil, constantly cooled to 15 degrees Fahrenheit by giant, oil-powered freon generators.

Do you want to accept the help of ExxonMobil?

All right! ExxonMobil uses its considerable influence to garner large support for your bill, and you just barely have a majority.

The New York Times editorial board writes an op-ed condemning you for mortgaging the future of the country for a pork-barrel oil bridge.

Discussion on the bill continues. A representative from Arkansas proposes a rider to the bill making October 14 “National Wheelchair Retailers Day.” The motion goes to a vote.

The motion passes!

A congressman from Texas proposes adding a rider that will require every American to travel to Corpus Christi, TX at their own expense, inhale deeply, and say, “Ahhh, now that’s good livin’” within the next calendar year.

How do you wish to vote?

The motion passes!

A congressman from Texas proposes adding a rider that will require every American to travel to Corpus Christi, TX at their own expense, inhale deeply, and say, “Ahhh, now that’s good livin’” within the next calendar year.

How do you wish to vote?

The motion passes!

A congressman from Texas proposes adding a rider that will require every American to travel to Corpus Christi, TX at their own expense, inhale deeply, and say, “Ahhh, now that’s good livin’” within the next calendar year.

How do you wish to vote?

The motion passes!

A congressman from Texas proposes adding a rider that will require every American to travel to Corpus Christi, TX at their own expense, inhale deeply, and say, “Ahhh, now that’s good livin’” within the next calendar year.

How do you wish to vote?

Before you can vote, your party whip comes by and tells you that it is imperative to support this measure. Refusing to will be seen as an act of war against the party, and the consequences will be severe.

How do you wish to vote?

Before you can vote, your party whip comes by and tells you that it is imperative to support this measure. Refusing to will be seen as an act of war against the party, and the consequences will be severe.

How do you wish to vote?

Before you can vote, your party whip comes by and tells you that it is imperative to support this measure. Refusing to will be seen as an act of war against the party, and the consequences will be severe.

How do you wish to vote?

Before you can vote, your party whip comes by and tells you that it is imperative to support this measure. Refusing to will be seen as an act of war against the party, and the consequences will be severe.

How do you wish to vote?

It passes!

A congresswoman from Washington proposes striking every bill measure except for the part recognizing wheelchair retailers.

How do you wish to vote?

It passes!

A congresswoman from Washington proposes striking every bill measure except for the part recognizing wheelchair retailers.

How do you wish to vote?

It passes!

A congresswoman from Washington proposes striking every bill measure except for the part recognizing wheelchair retailers.

How do you wish to vote?

It passes!

A congresswoman from Washington proposes striking every bill measure except for the part recognizing wheelchair retailers.

How do you wish to vote?

The motion passes, and the bridge is history.

All right! Time for a vote on the whole bill as is.

Democracy at work!

The motion passes, and the bridge is history.

All right! Time for a vote on the whole bill as is.

Democracy at work!

The motion passes, and the bridge is history.

All right! Time for a vote on the whole bill as is.

Democracy at work!

The motion passes, and the bridge is history.

All right! Time for a vote on the whole bill as is.

Democracy at work!

You take a stand and stick with Habitat for Humanity. They ask the two members they have a relationship with to vote for your bill, and both decline. ExxonMobil is able to garner support from over 120 congresspeople who it exerts influence over.

Your bill dies a horrible death. You look incompetent, and ExxonMobil just donated $600,000 to your primary opponent. Enjoy the next 18 months in office, because that’s all you got.

A little girl from your district writes you a letter about how she won’t be able to get to school without a bridge and will die in the gutter, an insane derelict. She also says she no longer has faith in democracy because of you.

Proudly, you decline the help of this multinational conglomerate. No one can buy me, you think to yourself.

Within hours, ExxonMobil is able to garner support from over 120 congresspeople who it exerts influence over.

Your bill dies a horrible death. You look incompetent, and ExxonMobil just donated $600,000 to your primary opponent. Enjoy the next 18 months in office, because that’s all you’re gonna get.

A little girl from your district writes you a letter about how seeing you fail shook her faith in the American political system, and consequently she’s joined up with ISIS in Syria. The letter is seized from your hands by D.C. police, you are accused of conspiring with the enemy, and you are thrown in prison, where you rot away.

No one visits you.

Well, you pissed off the party whip, who is really one of the people you should never piss off. Like a vice grip, former friends turn on you, squashing your relevance and political ambition into a fine muesli. Congress almost immediately votes the bill down, then passes a motion to cancel your birthday. The president signs it into law, and his approval immediately skyrockets.

A little girl from your district writes you a letter asking why you broke democracy, her favorite thing in the world.

You have no answer.

The bill passes! Congratulations!

The Senate loves the idea of recognizing the nobility of wheelchair commerce and hastily votes it through their chamber. The president signs it into law.

You have made policy! Well done! Jefferson and Madison would be proud.

One artist’s quest to capture her travels led to these stunning portraits of wild women.

Amanda Sandlin is only 27, but she’s lived in a van, on a ship, and on both ends of the world.

And not in a clichéd, “quit your job and pursue your dreams” sort of way. In fact, through hard work and determination, she’s found a way to make adventuring her job. You could almost call adventuring her family’s business.

Photo by Kris Holbrook, used with permission.

“I grew up on cruise ships,” she explains, where her mom taught arts and crafts and ballroom dancing. Beginning after first grade, she was homeschooled — or, rather, “shipschooled” half the year, and homeschooled on a farm in Pennsylvania for the remaining time.

“It’s pretty bizarre,” she laughs, looking back on how unusual her upbringing was.

Amanda’s unconventional start in life led her to develop a courageous spirit — one that would take her to places that most only dream of.

“It’s so easy for me to be moving,” she says. Though she returned to the mainland for high school and college, it took only a few months in the traditional work world for Amanda to realize that she belonged back out on an adventure.

This time, she turned to the outdoors, reading about and watching people who went climbing, biking, surfing. “I grew up traveling but I never really did much outdoors stuff,” she says. “I started thinking, ‘I would love that kind of life.’”

Photo by Gianni S. Visciano, used with permission.

Finally, she decided to stop longing for it and start living it. “I packed up my car and my cat, and I drove to San Francisco.”

Throwing caution to the wind, Amanda chased her desires wherever they led her — all the way around the world.

But not before getting a writing job at a company whose employees worked remotely, allowing her to travel and climb wherever she chose. When she tired of weekends in Yosemite and Lake Tahoe, she took off for New Zealand.

After a year, she returned to the States, but her adventures were far from over.

“That’s when I was like, you know, I’m single, I don’t feel like anywhere is home to me, so why don’t I just build out a van and travel until I find the place that feels good?”

Photo by Amanda Sandlin, used with permission.

In her van, affectionately named Penny, Amanda looped her way all over North America.

“I started in Florida and went up the east coast to Maine. Then I drove out to Colorado, up through Oregon and Washington to British Columbia, and I stayed there for a while,” she remembers. “I drove down to southern California, up through New Mexico, and then made a loop back to Colorado.”

She decided to settle in Denver, where she lives now with her rescue dog, Dewey.

Though she’s no longer traveling full-time, Amanda is by no means back on the beaten path.

While out on the road, her work shifted gradually from writing into design and now, she’s a full-time freelance artist.

Photo by Amanda Sandlin, used with permission.

“It happened pretty naturally,” she says. As her work assignments became more and more visual, she started teaching herself graphic design and creating projects of her own on the side.

Image via Amanda Sandlin.

She began posting her projects online, and people started seeking her out for commissioned work. “That’s how I got my freelance clients,” she says. “They came to me.”

Soon after, she left her remote job to live off her art alone.

In her art, Amanda strives to capture the spirit of adventurousness — her own, and that of women like her.

Image via Amanda Sandlin.

“I’m really inspired by the women who are willing to venture into the wilderness, whether that’s mountains and forests or weeding through the difficult stuff you’re doing on the inside,” she says. That exploration inspires the portraits she draws of wild women.

Image via Amanda Sandlin.

“I draw a lot of women with their hair blowing in the wind. I think I like that motion of the hair,” she says.

“You know when you’re walking outside, on a ferry or something, and your hair keeps blowing and you keep trying to put it back, bobby pin it, put it in a ponytail, but it keeps blowing in your face, and finally there’s that moment where you just let it go?” she asks.

“It’s like a complete release, and that, to me, is the type of feeling that I aim to capture in my artwork.”

Image via Amanda Sandlin

Perhaps most interesting about Amanda is the fact that she doesn’t think of herself as brave.

In fact, she thinks that anyone, really, could do what she does. Adventuring, she says, is not necessarily packing up a van named Penny and heading out on the road. “The wilderness is the internal and the external and being OK with not being OK.”

The satisfaction that she has gotten from being free to be outdoors, on adventures, to climb across the country and capturing art in nature, is well worth the struggle required to make her lifestyle work. And, she says, she hopes that others are inspired to find ways to pursue their own adventures, too.

“It’s scary to make a change, or to chase after what you want,” she says. “But it’s never, it’s rarely easy. It’s never going to feel only good. But it’s a challenge, and that’s what makes you grow.”

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/one-artists-quest-to-capture-her-travels-led-to-these-stunning-portraits-of-wild-women

Chick-fil-A opens doors to displaced church congregation in Virginia

A Chick-fil-A restaurant in Sandston, Va., has agreed to open its doors on Sundays, but not for the reasons you’re thinking.

The fast food restaurant is allowing a displaced congregation from the White Oak Community Church to conduct its meetings inside the eatery until the group can find a more permanent solution, reports WTVR.

CHICK-FIL-A PATRONS CAUGHT ON CAMERA TRASHING RESTAURANT AFTER HEATED EXCHANGE WITH STAFF

According to a series of Facebook posts they shared between Sept. 3 and Sept. 11, the White Oak Community Church arrived at their usual place of worship — a local Econo Lodge — only to be informed that the hotel could not host their weekly gatherings due to “building issues.”

“The only legal use of any of the spaces are for the Econo Lodge to conduct business,” the church initially informed its followers. “We obviously do not have church this morning.”

White Oak was allowed to remove its equipment and supplies from the Econo Lodge, but canceled the day’s activities until they could work out a solution. Later that evening during an emergency meeting, one of the church members called her boss at Chick-fil-A, who agreed to let White Oak temporarily use its space.

“They are NOT open for business,” the church clarified in a subsequent Facebook post. “They have simply agreed to let us use their space for worship this week.”

CHICK-FIL-A WORKER SAVES CHOKING CO-WORKER DURING LUNCH BREAK

Lead pastor Dave Wilde, a veteran of the Marine Corps., also shared his appreciation for Chick-fil-A and its manager, sending a “huge thank you to Greg Williams and Chick-fil-A for graciously agreeing to host us next Sunday.”

Wilde, however, was quick to add that there would be no food served during the meeting. “[But] if you’re a current or future attender, and you always wanted to worship in a restaurant setting, this is your lucky day.”

Wilde also uploaded a video of Sunday’s Chick-fil-A-based sermon to Facebook, though the post has since been removed.

It is unclear if the group will continue to meet at Chick-fil-A this coming Sunday. White Oak later explained on Facebook that Econo Lodge had “fixed the building issues,” but would not be returning to the space for a “number of reasons.”

Representatives for Chick-fil-A or the White Oak Community Church were not immediately available for comment.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/food-drink/2017/09/11/chick-fil-opens-doors-to-displaced-church-congregation-in-virginia.html

The dark side of optimism: How the trait you value most could be ruining you

Mark Cuban
Image: REX/Shutterstock

Few people have crushed more bright-eyed, entrepreneurial dreams than Mark Cuban.  

At first, that might sound like a rough assessment. After all, Cuban has invested a quarter of a billion dollars in bringing other people’s hopes to life. But, if Cuban’s rejection rate—which hovers right around 80% on ABC’s Shark Tank—teaches us anything, it’s a lesson profoundly contrary to popular wisdom. 

“They think,” Cuban said via email, “they can find a solution for any problem. Of course, I can. But everyone else. Not so much. :)” 

Joking aside, belief in our ideas and abilities is often regarded as the most valuable trait we can cultivate. After all, optimism isn’t just physically healthy, it also fuels passion, emboldens risk, and inspires courage. 

In his 2011 classic, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize-winner Daniel Kahneman called optimism the “engine of capitalism”: 

Optimistic individuals play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are the inventors, the entrepreneurs, the political and military leaders — not average people.

And yet, for all its benefits, optimism has a dark side.  

“Most of us,” Kahneman continued, “view the world as more benign than it really is, our own attributes as more favorable than they truly are, and the goals we adopt as more achievable than they are likely to be.” 

From those assessments, two questions arise. First, what makes optimism so dangerous? And second, how do we foster healthy pessimism without losing hope? 

When half full goes all wrong 

To understand the danger of optimism, the first thing we have to come to grips with is: Fear.  

Humans are hardwired for threat detection. For the most part, our fight-or-flight impulse is a good thing. It’s what made our ancestors our ancestors

When it comes to decisionmaking, things get trickier. Psychologists call the phenomenon loss aversion: the universal drive to avoid risk even at the expense of equal or greater gain.  

Just how influential is this drive? Experiments by behavioral economists like Richard Thaler gauge the motivational sway between loss and gain at roughly two to one. “Losses,” in Thaler’s words, “hurt about twice as much as gains make you feel good.” 

Given our sensitivity, wouldn’t loss aversion keep us safe from optimism’s bias? Perhaps not.  

When I put the question to Kahneman directly, he explained: 

A combination of optimism and loss aversion is very common, causing people to take risks because they don’t acknowledge their existence. They take risks while feeling both confident and prudent.

Fear and optimism are two sides of the same coin. This is especially true in situations where not only the odds are against us, but control is too.  

Success demands a host of serendipitous events—the right development, timing, marketing, sales, supply, retention, and blunders from the competition. Rather than contemplate those requirements, we fall back on optimism’s mantra: “I think I can.” 

The result? Again, here’s Kahneman: 

Whenever you look at a great success you are likely to find an optimist. Optimists are great for the economy because their unreasonable risk-taking is an engine of innovation… On average, however, they are not particularly good for themselves. The fact that most or all successful people are optimists does not guarantee that all optimists are successful.

Compounding optimism’s danger is another bias: Survivor Selection. Success sells, which means if we only pay attention to the headlines, we’re likely to get a warped sense of how uncommon success truly is. For every magazine lionizing an outlier, countless bodies litter the same path. 

That’s why, when failure rears its head, we marvel and ask, “How could they be so stupid?” In truth, their stupidity stems from the very same place as our own. Not only do we overestimate our gifts, abilities, and insights, we chronically underestimate costs, timelines, and challenges.  

Why? Because loss aversion and survivor bias numb us to the realities of life. Just like any good pain killer, optimism soothes without treating the disease.  

What’s more, it can also turn on us. That’s what New York Times Bestseller Lewis Howes told me: 

Optimism can go south and turn into stress, anger, or frustration when the reality of my life doesn’t match up to the highlight reels I see around me on social media — especially if I’m struggling in an area where it seems like everyone around me is doing awesome.

At work, optimism can even have the opposite effect of its intention. “While it can inspire us to action,” Anthony Stephan, a principal at Deloitte, explains, “it also has the potential to unintentionally stifle the creative voices of others, which can limit your own opportunity for growth.” 

Strangely enough, Stephan goes on: 

What I had failed to realize was that with all the optimism I was trying to create, I was actually limiting the potential for ideas from others. Instead, the more positive and animated my words became, the less people were willing to share, out of fear that their ideas might not be received with the same enthusiasm I had for my own.

Don’t misunderstand; optimism can be a powerful force for good … right up to the point when it all goes wrong

The bright side of embracing the dark side 

If optimism fuels risk-taking and risk-taking drives innovation, then retaining optimism is essential. But so is tempering it.  

How? By embracing four habits. 

First, start planning your funeral. In the wake of any great failure, wise organizations conduct postmortems: business-focused autopsies that diagnose where things went wrong. 

Instead of waiting until it’s too late, analyze your demise before you begin. It’s a practice known as the premortem. After gathering stakeholders, ask your team, “A year has passed, and our project went down in flames. Why’d we fail?” Participants then talk through and record every possible cause of their foretold collapse.

You can take the same approach in your personal life as well. As Brad Stulberg explains in To Reach Your Goals, Imagine You Already Tried and Failed

It may seem like the negative thinking inherent to a premortem would work against self-belief and confidence. But if anything, it actually works toward it. When you force yourself to become aware of all that could go wrong, you become more likely to take the necessary steps to ensure that things go right.

The key is to divorce yourself from subjectivity and adopt an “outside” view. Dan Lovallo and Daniel Kahneman’s article Delusions of Success: How Optimism Undermines Executives’ Decisions offers detailed instructions — including a five-step formula — to do exactly that. 

The second way to cultivate healthy pessimism is by facing the numbers. Broadly speaking, fifty percent of new businesses survive past five years, and only one-third make a decade. Worse, for venture-backed startups, the failure rate is anywhere between seventy-five and ninety percent

On the personal side, a mere 4 percent to 7 percent of people quit smoking without medication or outside help: “Even experiencing a traumatic event — like the death of a loved one or being diagnosed with cancer — only leads to a 20% success rate.” Twenty-five percent of all New Year’s resolutions fail within the first two weeks. And we won’t even get into the failure rates of diet and exercise. 

But why flood yourself with negative numbers? 

“Many successful people,” writes Charles Duhigg, “spend an enormous amount of time seeking out information on failures. This, ultimately, is one of the most important secrets to learning how to make better decisions.” 

Third, know your limitations. “The optimism or pessimism choice is a forced choice; it’s a faulty assumption,” says Dr. Daniel Goleman, author of Emotional Intelligence and the forthcoming book Altered Traits. “What you want is realistic optimism.”  

While at Harvard, Goleman and his colleges researched success in a surprisingly simple way:  

The test was a ring toss. Participants would take a little post and place it out as far away from them as they wanted. The further out they put it, the more points they’d get. It turned out that successful entrepreneurs — the business people who were going to last — were able to put the post pretty far out but still get the ring on. They knew what they could do. 

In other words, realistic optimists are people who know the game. They know what they bring to it, what their odds are, what’s possible, and they know the most they can do to still be successful. “That,” as Goleman put it, “is the best path to follow.” 

Lastly, and perhaps the best way to become a pessimist, isn’t to become one yourself. Entrepreneurs are natural optimists. In a very real sense, we have to be. The trouble comes from birds of a feather flocking together. Without getting intentional in our selection, we inevitably surround ourselves with people just like us: hopeful people, encouraging people, optimistic people.  

As strange as it sounds, that’s a recipe for disaster. 

“Behind every unbridled optimist,” says angel investor Joe Roos, “is a counterbalancing rationalist that ever so slightly varnishes the tint of the rose-colored glasses. It’s the delicate balance between blind ambition and rational thought that creates a dynamic environment conducive to innovation and growth.”  

Every optimist needs a pessimist to tell them when they’re naked. If your whole team is just as excited as you, something’s gone wrong.

Optimism and the Truth 

Going back to Cuban, his solutions echo the same principles: “Preparation, experience, and the never ending quest for more knowledge. More often than not, when I am pessimistic, it’s in areas that I haven’t had experience in or have chosen not to get involved with previously.”  

In the end, facing the truth about optimism doesn’t mean abandoning it.  

Rather, it means (1) envisioning all the possible ways your plan could fail, (2) staring long and hard at the odds against you, (3) knowing your limitations, and (4) sticking close to the people in your life who love you enough to be mean.  

So, here’s to the pessimists and all the dreams they crush. Because dreams stay dreams, until a pessimist drags them into the light. 

Aaron Orendorff is the founder of iconiContent and a regular contributor at Entrepreneur, Lifehacker, Fast Company, Business Insider and more. Connect with him about content marketing (and bunnies) on Facebook or Twitter.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/25/dark-side-of-optimism/

Side-By-Side Photos Of Trump And Obama As Husbands Are, Well, Interesting

All politics aside, I think we can agree that Michelle and Barack Obama are pretty much the definition of #relationshipgoals. Politics set aside, can we agree that Donald Trump and Melania Trump are, ermm, possibly not the  couple out there? If you need further proof of these two theories, let’s take a look at Trump and Obama with their wives, and play a little comparison game.

First off, for any of you who haven’t followed the beautiful, *magical* timeline that is Michelle and Barack Obama’s relationship, let me give you a crib sheet. Their romance started back in 1989, when Michelle was an associate at a Chicago law firm, and she was assigned to mentor a young Barack Obama. He liked her, asked her out, but she refused because she was basically his boss. He persisted, and , as he told Oprah.com, it happened.

I offered to quit my job, and at last she relented. On our first date, I treated her to the finest ice cream Baskin-Robbins had to offer, our dinner table doubling as the curb. I kissed her, and it tasted like chocolate.

So basically, like pretty much the rest of the world, Michelle could not deny that the man had style. But, more importantly, he had a good set of morals. She told graduates at Morgan State University,

All right, ladies, listen to this.  This is what I want you to be looking for. Yes, [Barack] was handsome–still is. I think so. He was charming, talented, and oh-so smart, truly.  But that is not why I married him.

What truly made me fall in love with Barack Obama was his character. You hear me? It was his character. It was his decency, his honesty, his compassion, and conviction.

*Sighhhh.*

Now, let’s go down the Donald and Melania Trump relationship timeline, shall we?

Trump met Melania in 1998, while he was dating Norwegian heiress Celina Midelfart. The two of them were attending a party together when he spotted Melania. He then (get ready to gag…) sent Midelfart to the bathroom so he could talk to Melania. He told Larry King,

I went crazy. I said… I was actually supposed to meet somebody else. And there was this great supermodel sitting next to Melania, and I was supposed to meet this supermodel … I said, ‘Forget about her. Who’s the one on the left?’ And it was Melania.

Omg, so sweet.

Melania wasn’t super into it because, you know, he was on a date with  woman, but accepted his phone number. She recalled to 

I said, “I am not giving you my number; you give me yours, and I will call you.” I wanted to see what kind of number he would give me — if it was a business number, what is this? I’m not doing business with you.

The two dated, then briefly broke up because – according to a interview with Melania’s former roommate – there were “some trust issues with him at the beginning.”

But on the plus side, their meet-cute timing was perfect.

“She ran into Donald just at the right time. She was just about out of money, at the end of her rope and about to move back to Eastern Europe,” Melania’s friend told the .

Okay, the timelines have been established. Now let’s take a look at some photographic evidence.

Here are Obama and Michelle reading stories to children on the White House lawn.

Here’s Trump and Melania pretending to kiss.

Ahhhh, Michelle writing Obama the sweetest birthday message on Twitter.

Melania hating Donald Trump with every fiber of her being.

Oh, hey, cute pic of Michelle and Obama holding hands.

Here’s Trump and Melania “holding hands.”

D’awwww so sweet. One more for good measure.

AND ALSO LITERALLY THIS.

The moral of the story? Find someone who will take you to get chocolate ice cream your first date.  And don’t ever,  go out with someone who asks you out while he’s on a date with another woman.

That’s just like, the rules of feminism.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/news/side-side-photos-trump-obama-husbands-well-interesting/2067528/

Traveller family slavery gang jailed

Image copyright lincolnshire police
Image caption The Rooney family ran a driveway resurfacing business

Nine members of a traveller family who kept workers in squalid conditions in caravans have been jailed for modern day slavery offences.

One victim, whose ordeal spanned more than 25 years, was made to dig his own grave.

The head of the family, Martin Rooney Senior, was jailed for 10 years, while two of his sons were each jailed for more than 15 years.

The traveller family were described as “chilling in their mercilessness”.

More on this and other stories from across Lincolnshire

The case at Nottingham Crown Court was part of Lincolnshire Police’s Operation Pottery investigation, one of the largest investigations of its kind.

The Rooneys’ victims were beaten and left without running water or toilet facilities at the Drinsey Nook site in Lincolnshire.

Beaten, abused and made to dig own grave

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe sister of one of the victims says he was forced to dig his own grave

Sentencing Martin Rooney Senior, Timothy Spencer QC said: “You brought up your sons in a criminal culture.”

The judge also compared the squalid lives of the victims to the lavish lifestyle the family enjoyed.

“It was like the gulf between medieval royalty and peasantry,” he told him.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption The head of the family Martin Rooney Senior was jailed for 10 years

Ch Supt Chris Davison, of Lincolnshire Police, said: “The victims will never get the years back that were taken away from them but I hope this provides them with some comfort that justice has been served and demonstrates that we will do everything in our power to try and stop others suffering in the ways that they did.”

Mr Davison said there were potentially other victims of modern slavery in the UK and that the force “would not rest on this result”.

“We are exploring five active investigations and we will continue to put any victims at the very heart of our investigations,” he added.

Police began operations against members of the Rooney family in September 2014 when seven warrants were executed in Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and London.

A number of victims were found and the UK Human Trafficking Centre concluded 18 men had been illegally brought to the sites.

The victims were all described as vulnerable adults, aged between 18 and 63, who were often homeless and had been picked up by the defendants from across the UK.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption The victims lived in squalor, police said

In one attack, a man was beaten with a shovel and left injured in a caravan for days for returning a car with no petrol.

The court also heard of one victim’s terrifying ordeal which spanned more than a quarter of a century.

On one occasion, he was made to dig his own grave if he did not agree to a lifetime of servitude.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption The Rooneys’ victims were beaten at the Drinsey Nook site in Lincolnshire

Judge Spencer also spoke of how the family used food as a means of control over their victims.

“They knew if they wanted to eat, they had to stay at Drinsey Nook,” he said.

“None of the men, in my judgement, were ever truly free to leave at all.”

“You stripped them of dignity and humanity and confined them to a life of drudgery”.

Image copyright Lincolnshire Police
Image caption Bridget Rooney was told she had the power to stop what was happening but chose to ignore it

In a statement which was read in court, one victim said “life with the Rooneys was a living hell”.

Judge Spencer told Bridget Rooney, described as the matriarch of the family, she had “the power to stop this”.

She was jailed for seven years.


The 11 convicted are:

  • John Rooney, 31, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Jailed for 15 years and six months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, conspiracy to defraud, fraud by false representation, two counts of theft
  • Patrick Rooney, 31, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Jailed for 15 years and nine months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, fraud by abuse of position, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of theft
  • Bridget Rooney, 55, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Jailed for seven years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Martin Rooney, 57, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Jailed for 10 years and nine months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, unlawful wounding
  • Martin Rooney, 23, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby – Jailed for six years and nine months for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour, assault occasioning actual bodily harm
  • John Rooney, 53, of Chantry Croft, Pontefract – Jailed for five years and 10 months for two counts of conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Peter Doran, 36, of Washingborough Road, Lincoln – Jailed for six years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Gerard Rooney, 46, of Washingborough Road, Lincoln – Jailed for six years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Lawrence Rooney, 47, of no fixed address – Currently serving a five year prison sentence and once complete, will serve another six years for conspiracy to require a person to perform forced or compulsory labour
  • Martin Rooney, 35, of Sainfoin Farm, Gatemoor Lane, Beaconsfield received a two year suspended sentence for two years
  • Patrick Rooney, 54, of Sainfoin Farm, Gatemoor Lane, Beaconsfield received a 12 month suspended sentence for two years

Two others, Eileen Rooney, 32, of Drinsey Nook, Sheffield Road, Saxilby and Nora Rooney, 31, of the same address, were both acquitted.


Image caption Janine Smith, from the Crown Prosecution Service, paid tribute to the victims

Speaking outside court after sentencing, Janine Smith, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said the sentences “reflect the level of exploitation, control and violence they exhibited and the betrayal of those they condemned to forced labour and the people they defrauded”.

She added: “I hope that seeing their abusers imprisoned will be of some comfort to them and will be a suitable acknowledgement of their courage in giving evidence.”

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-lincolnshire-41241049

China prepares to say goodbye to petrol and diesel cars for good

Expect more of these on China's roads.
Image: Xinhua News Agency/Getty Images

China is looking to fully ban gasoline cars down the road.

The surprising announcement was made at an automotive industry forum over the weekend. Xin Guobin, deputy minister of industry and IT, said the ministry has started planning out a timeline for the end of petrol and diesel cars, and light commercial vehicles.

China, the world’s biggest car market, sold 28 million cars last year. That’s a third of the 88 million cars and vans sold around the world.

A Yudo X-¦Ð concept electric vehicle shown in April this year.

Image: VCG via Getty Images

The decision to eventually ban gasoline vehicles comes as China employs aggressive tactics to suppress its perennial air pollution. Some of this involves cars only being allowed on the roads on alternate days, and heavy vehicles ordered to stop driving during seasons with higher smog levels.

China’s laying out 800,000 charging points within this year.

China’s plans to go all-electric have already begun. Thanks to generous government subsidies, the country sold a massive 507,000 plug-in vehicles in 2016, a number that includes about 350,000 cars. The rest are electric buses and trucks — not including other low emissions vehicles like hybrids.

And it’s also on track to build a network of 800,000 electric vehicle charging points by year’s end.

The country, which is the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, had already laid out 150,000 charging points in 2016. This has allowed drivers in the big cities of Beijing and Shanghai to get to a charging zone within a radius of 5 km (3.1 miles) of wherever they are, the national papers claim.

A Tesla charging station in Shandong, China.

Image: LightRocket via Getty Images

China joins other countries like the UK and France, which have said they will ban new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040.

These moves, however, stand in contrast to what the U.S. is doing. In March, U.S. President Donald Trump started the process of relaxing previously set carbon pollution standards for vehicles. 

The efficiency standards were put in place by the Obama administration to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Trump’s actions appear to be paving the way for a weaker standard to be set. His review of the standards was met with applause from the automotive industry.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/11/china-to-ban-gasoline-cars/

The odds just changed dramatically on Trump resigning

People are putting money on it.
Image: NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

The odds aren’t looking good for President Trump.

One word has been on everyone’s lips this tumultuous week and for once it’s not “impeachment” but rather “resignation” and the possibility of Trump throwing in the towel is actually quite likely, if bookmakers’ odds are to be believed.

Tony Schwartz, ghost writer for The Art of the Deal and born-again Trump critic, was among those uttering the R-word Wednesday, when he tweeted a prediction. “Trump’s presidency is effectively over,” he wrote. “Would be amazed if he survives till the end of the year. More likely resigns by fall, if not sooner.”

He was not alone. David Letterman said on The Howard Stern Show Wednesday that “it’s time to go… It was an experiment. We put an outsider in the office. Well, it hasnt worked. Just resign.” And Former Vice President Al Gore had similar thoughts on Trump’s time in office. During an interview released Thursday from LADbible, Gore gave this simple advice to Trump: “resign.”

But how likely is a Trump resignation? Pretty likely, according to the bookies.

We make it 6/4 that Trump will resign, so a chance of roughly 40%, Paddy Powers Head of Trump Betting Joe Lee initially said on Thursday. However, that was cut to evens, which means it’s a 50/50 chance, by Friday as Trump’s insane week continued. When he was inaugurated, the odds of Trump resigning before the end of his first term would have been 7/1, Price said. What a difference nine insane months makes.

Image: bovada/screengrab

Ladbrokes is also setting the chances that Trump will leave office either through impeachment or resignation before the end of his first term at 50/50.

Gambling site Bovada, meanwhile, has wagers on Trump’s likelihood of resigning before his first term, before the end of this year, 2018, 2019, or into a second term. The biggest payout is for a Trump resignation by the end of 2017.

Bovada, however, hasn’t seen an increase on bets of whether Trump will resign during his first term.

“With everything going on in the world we expected to see an increase in bets on whether Trump would resign during his first term, but that has not been the case,” Bovada SportsBook Manager Kevin Bradley said in an email. He said 15 percent of all bets on the possibility were placed at the beginning of August. Those odds are falling everyday, meaning he’s favored to resign.

According to Bradley, Bovada opened the prop bet in May with odds of +135 that Trump would resign. Since then, it fell to +130 in June, and is now at -110.

Of course, if Trump decides not to resign, there’s the possibility of impeachment.

Paddy Power’s spokesperson said the price of Trump’s impeachment has been most interesting. It started out at 10/1 last November but is now “odds-on at 4/6 with odds of 2/1 that he’s impeached this year.”

To translate that from gamble-speak, “odds-on” means that something is favored to happen, in other words the bookies think he’ll be impeached at some point, and you get a pretty small return of 2/1 (i.e. they also think it’s likely) if you wager that he’ll be impeached in 2017.

Eek.

Additional reporting by Sasha Lekach.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/18/trump-resigning-odds-online-bets/