Trump Jr., President Donald Trump‘s oldest offspring, was saying socialism is inherently unfair, but he’s using a willfully malignant interpretation of the political theory. It’s not that Chloe’s candy would go to people who just sat home, but perhaps it would go to kids whose parents were too poor to afford costumes for their children, so they couldn’t go out and get candy.
Wouldn’t that be great and nice?
But anyway, Halloween isn’t even the capitalist ritual he’s making it out to be, because:
HALLOWEEN CANDY IS FREE CANDY THAT OTHER PEOPLE BOUGHT AND GAVE AWAY FOR FREE. don't @ me bc you don't know how halloween works.
Others just didn’t know why the Trumps, who have repeatedly bashed the media for discussing the president’s youngest, Barron Trump, would use their own children as props in the fight against concepts like universal healthcare.
Either way, this, amazingly, isn’t the first time Trump Jr. has resorted to using candy to explain policy. Back in September 2016, he infamously used a bowl of Skittles to demand the U.S. stop accepting Syrian refugees.
The man loves his candy metaphors, and nobody can take that away from him.
Bridal showers are outdated and tacky. I’m sorry (I’m not), but throwing yourself a party meant to stock your home with sheets, towels, and Tupperware seems a little outdated these days. First of all, who isn’t living with their significant other before they’re engaged? Like, and even if you aren’t, are you a home schooled jungle freak that hasn’t broken out of mom and dad’s house yet? If not, you probably aren’t ready to get married. But I digress.
The absolute worst part of any bridal shower is the games. These were likely dreamt up in the 1950s when women were super psyched about staying in a kitchen all day and rubbing their husband’s feet when he came home (not). So, to say we feel they’re outdated and tacky is an understatement. Please stop playing these bridal shower games, or at least let me know the itinerary in advance so I can make sure to not be there.
1. Anything Involving The Big Hat
You’ve seen it before. This isn’t necessarily a game, but more a terrible tradition. Basically, your aunt or mom or future mother-in-law or someone else who wants to embarrass you creates a giant hat out of ribbons from gifts and a paper plate. The bride is then required to wear it. Everyone laughs and takes pictures. Fuck that.
2. What’s In The Bag?
Just like WHAT’S IN THE BOX, this game is fucking traumatizing and terrible. The hostess takes a bunch of brown paper bags and fills them each with some kind of household item. Guests are then blindfolded and asked to “sniff” the bag. Alright fam, unless there’s some coke in one of these, count me out (lol not rly but srsly). The official rules say you can add anything from powdered detergent to ground mustard to sawdust. What sheltered Victorian betch came up with this shit? “Oh this party sucks, LET’S MAKE MARGARET SNIFF CAYENNE AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS!” Jesus Christ.
Hard pass. Unless you and your guests are over 65, this is probably going to be a real shitty time.
4. Toilet Paper Gown
This game is shitty (LOL). Guests wrap the bride in toilet paper creations after splitting into teams. Sorry I’m not super into being wrapped in the same material used in area where I do my top secret business.
5. The Newlywed Game
If, somehow, your fiancé has come to the shower with you (BIG ETIQUETTE NO-NO unless it’s a WEDDING shower and not a bridal shower), please do not play the newlywed game. Nobody wants to see the super cute responses you come up with and no one wants to see you get a question wrong and yell at your fiancé for it later.
Twitter recently expanded its character limit from 140 characters to 280 characters for some users, and to judge by some reactions, this was the worst thing to ever happen to them. Which, given the terrifying variety of awful things which happen around the world every day, suggests that Twitter users lead impossibly pampered lives. But that’s the internet. It’s just complaints and obscenities all the way down, so deal with it.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time the “worst thing to ever happen to Twitter users” has happened to Twitter users. Similar outrages occur two or three times a year, and they usually follow a predictable pattern: Twitter introduces a new feature to its platform, along with some vague justification for the change. Twitter’s biggest users freak the fuck out about it, predicting dire consequences. The dire consequences do not come to pass. Everyone gets used to the new feature, no one ever admits to liking it, and they soon find something new to complain about.
Stories about internet people being whiny and entitled are nothing new, but what’s really interesting here is the consistent disconnect between Twitter’s users and the company itself. They never make a change their users like. Every other company in the world manages to satisfy its customers some of the time. So why can’t Twitter? To find out, let’s look at some of the most significant fiascoes.
The 280-Character Tweet Fiasco
Twitter’s whole deal is that it offers users an infinitely scrolling timeline of short messages. The shortness is an artifact of a design that was originally based around the character limit of text messages, but it soon became the definitive feature of the platform, and even its main strength. It forced people to be concise. Reading 140 characters is a pretty small commitment, which makes users more willing to listen to or follow new people. I’m not reading any articles written by someone calling themselves “turdhandler420,” but sure, I’ve got time for 140 of their finest, tightest characters.
It was a limitation which seemed to actually work. People were happy with it, and anyone who wanted to tweet longer thoughts still could, either by posting a link to something written offsite, putting up a screenshot of a paragraph, or simply threading together a series of tweets. People still hated that, but that’s fine. Again, internet gotta internet.
But then, with essentially no one asking for it, Twitter experimented with expanding tweets to 280 characters, and people immediately hated it. This might seem like a small thing if you’re not a Twitter user, and I myself am hardly getting diaper rash over it. We’ll almost certainly get used to it. But it sure doesn’t feel like an improvement at the moment. I find myself not finishing tweets now — which, yes, is a condemnation of my own bird-like attention span as much as anything else, but it’s also not a good sign. Twitter’s tinkering with their secret sauce here for no apparent reason.
The Broken Timeline Fiasco
Twitter presents itself in a reverse chronological order, with the newest tweets showing up at the top of your feed. This can be a little weird when you first start using it, but it soon becomes second nature, and whether you read forward or backwards, all the tweets are in a nice, predictable order. Time’s arrow flies true, and causality-crashing loops are kept to a minimum.
And then, in response to absolutely no one, Twitter changed this. There is now a feature which interrupts the timeline to show you whatever the algorithms deem to be the most important tweets you might have missed since you last wasted time on Twitter. There are a few issues with this. First, Twitter, I wouldn’t say I’ve been “missing” these things, as these are just tweets and not loved ones returning from the Great War. Second, maybe like a quarter of these things are in any way more remarkable than what’s already in my feed. Third, mixing old tweets with new ones is a little awkward. A big part of Twitter is replying to tweets, but that’s really best done within the first few minutes after one goes up. Replying to a tweet 20 hours after it goes live is kind of lame, and here’s dorky old Twitter gently encouraging us to accidentally do that.
So why’d you do that, Twitter? Did anyone ask you to do that? Or did essentially everyone ask you to do the exact opposite? Are you … are you not reading all our tweets? That hurts, Twitter.
The Blue Line Fiasco
Twitter’s always been a little bit ropey when it comes to handling conversations. For a long time, you’d see tweets out of context, or one side of a five-sided conversation between eight people you only sort of knew. It kind of worked, if you knew the interface. Your timeline would only ever show tweets from people you followed, and if you ever wanted context for a tweet, you could just tap on it and see all the tweets in the conversation which preceded it. Still, it wasn’t straightforward, and you can see why Twitter tried to improve it.
Twitter did that by adding blue lines to thread related tweets together, and when the feature was first introduced, users, as dictated by ancient custom, hated it. I’m still not genuinely sure why; it seemed to bring more relevant information to the foreground, and made it easier to pick up on a conversation in progress. I guess some people thought it added clutter, or they just hated the color blue. After several days of fury … everything more or less stayed the same. It looks like they changed the color of the lines . So that’s something. Good yelling, everyone.
The Anti-Harassment Fiasco
Twitter has a harassment problem. Many users, in particular women and minorities, are regularly bombarded with threats and slurs, and lacking any effective way to deal with it on Twitter itself, many have responded by staying off the platform entirely. And although Twitter claims the issue is getting better, it took them ten years to get to that point, if that point is even true. Historically, their various responses to the harassment issue have been remarkably half-assed.
Initially, the only real tool to deal with harassers was to block them. This sounds like it should be feasible, but it has to be done one at a time, which is close to useless when it comes to blocking brigades of harassers, or anyone willing to create multiple accounts. More advanced blocking tools, which enable users to filter out notifications from new users, took years to arrive. And Twitter’s reporting tool remains notoriously unhelpful. Reporting a clearly harassing tweet or account often results in nothing happening at all, the reports rejected with no explanation given.
It’s this issue, more than anything else, which Twitter users have been begging the company to fix for several years now. That Twitter only evidently began taking it seriously in 2017 is baffling, and to the people who have endured years of abuse, probably a little insulting.
One of the key threads running through all these missteps seems to be Twitter’s lack of understanding of what its users actually want or use the platform for. They keep adding features which no one is asking for, or ignoring features people desperately need, or tolerating Nazis a little more than is strictly necessary. Can it be so blind about the needs and appeal of its own product? They must have analytics telling them all this, and even if they didn’t, they only need to find someone with an pregnant Mario avatar and 20,000 followers to fill them in on what they’re missing.
Well, there is a reason behind almost all of these missteps, which is kind of an open secret to anyone who follows Twitter as a business, but is never stated plainly to the users.
What’s Really Going On Here
Twitter needs to grow. Not “it’d be nice” or “it should try,” but “needs” to. First, Twitter isn’t profitable. Never has been. The financial details of large internet companies involve a lot of hand-waving and magical thinking, but as I understand it, many don’t focus on profitability until they reach a certain size. Charging users money just turns them away, so a common business strategy is to just give your shit away for free until you have so many users that you accidentally become profitable selling their personal information to credit agencies or wig manufacturers or whatever. Whatever size that is, Twitter ain’t there yet, and consequently has to keep trying to grow.
Or it might be an issue of pressure from ownership. Maybe Twitter could be profitable now by selling premium accounts or becoming even remotely competent at advertising. But Twitter has been getting a bunch of money from investors essentially on the assumption that it would grow into something around the size of Facebook. And it’s not the size of Facebook. It’s really far from that size, actually, and its stock price has dropped accordingly. But still not that much, and those investors don’t want to give up on the promise of Facebook-sized stacks of cash. “Grow!” the men in French-cuffed shirts shout, and so Twitter must grow. This isn’t speculation — growth is the first and most important item they mention in every shareholder letter and quarterly report.
And Twitter is growing. Just slowly. The problem is that Twitter’s core experience just doesn’t seem to appeal to huge swathes of the population the way Facebook or anilingus does. It’s great for jokes, keeping up with the news, jokes about the news, and Game Of Thrones spoilers, and is consequently more or less a mandatory tool for any media type in the world. But the Twitter experience requires a bit of a buy-in; it’s completely useless without your own account, and you kind of have to stick with it for a bit and get your list of followers and timeline set up to really make it fun. That’s evidently a big barrier for many people.
So how is Twitter getting around that? How is it trying to grow? Blind flailing, apparently. Tinkering around the edges of their product in the desperate hope that makes it more appealing to new users. Who cares about mildly annoying your existing users (who still aren’t paying for anything) if it results in a product more appealing to new users? A new homepage, which actual users never see? Why not? Fire some blue lines in the timeline, see what happens. More Moments tabs. Seven of them! And all the anti-harassment measures Twitter’s been conspicuously dragging their feet on? Almost all of those would result in an environment which makes it easier for famous, well-known people to wall themselves off from newer, smaller accounts. That’s predictable, and probably necessary, but the possibility of interacting with a famous person is one of Twitter’s selling points to new users. Shutting that down will slow growth, so you can guess why they’ve been so reluctant to do that.
Which means that until Twitter gives up on the possibility of being a gigantic success and just settles for being a regular success, a couple times a year, we’re going to see this little ritual of users bawling about blue lines or too many characters. Or it will run out of money and fold, and investors will have spent billions of dollars on the world’s most expensive joke website. Which is actually pretty funny. Yeah, they should definitely do that instead.
Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and your best friend. As the author of the amazing novels Freeze/Thaw and Severance, he thinks you should definitely go buy both of those now. Join him on Facebook or Twitter.
Being a horror monster is a lot like being a small-town cop — there are lots of boring lulls mixed with brief moments of intense violence. Also, both occupations disproportionately target minorities. But when they aren’t murdering people, surely the dwellers of nightmares have to do something in their downtime, right? Whether it’s the Jaws shark idly swimming around Amity or Leatherface taking a dump, there’s a hilarity that comes with imagining your favorite horror villains when they’re off the murder clock. And boy does this apply more to some than others …
Ghosts And Demons Would Be Hilarious If You Could See Them
While invisible to the naked eye, movie spirits usually occupy a physical space. Whether they appear as their former selves or as some inky entity, demons and ghosts always remain intact in the transcendent realm. They still have to travel from A to B, preferably knocking shit over as they go:
New Line Cinema Side theory: All ghosts are part cat.
That’s from a scene in The Conjuring, which features a physical (albeit teleporting) demonic presence. Here it is again fucking with a family’s laundry routine:
New Line Cinema “Ghost in a bed sheet, really? Try conjuring new material, you ethereal hack.”
And here it is grabbing a girl by her hair and pulling her across the room like a troubled child’s teddy bear:
New Line Cinema
She’s only released when one of the adults takes a pair of scissors to her hair, meaning that this is indeed a physical grasp. I keep stressing that the phantom physically exists because when you think about it, that’s fucking hilarious.
Imagine for a second these same scenes, only you could see the demon. Imagine the hellish creature sauntering up to a crucifix and knocking it down like a cat. Really picture this otherworldly entity slowly grabbing that girl’s hair and running as fast as it can around the room. Just having a whale of a time.
This applies to every ghost movie: mentally insert the specter into any shot, happily running around the premises to set up its next big jump scare. And they are having a blast, you guys. Ghosts certainly are scary and vengeful, but they’re also bored out of their minds. For every terrifying nightly haunt, there are like 23 other hours when they’re presumably sitting around thinking of spooky shit to do. Every horrified mortal face is the highlight of their day.
Granted, I’ve never been dead, so I don’t know for sure. But in the world of horror, almost every ghost is primarily motivated by trying to not be a ghost. This makes me suspect that being a ghost sucks. Most of the time, you’re either reliving your death or talking to some annoying psychic child. In the case of a film like Stir Of Echoes, the first scene features an invisible ghost lady carrying out a delightful conversation with a bathing child.
We never see the ghost, presumably because we’d also see how goddamn bored she is making small talk with a naked stranger. In The Conjuring 2, an old ’70s ghost man literally has to fight over the TV remote with the girl he’s haunting.
Because when you’re dead, all you have to work with is the shit mortals bring into the house. In Paranormal Activity, the insufferable homeowner sets up a Ouija board in an effort to catch the demon in action. He gets this on camera:
Like The Conjuring, the Paranormal Activity confirms the demon takes a physical form — which in that scene is definitely hunched over a board game pushing around a plastic slab for the sheer fuck of it. But I guess really anything is better compared to the nights it’s spent obsessively closing doors and arranging furniture like a cloaked Howard Hughes.
Body Snatchers Are Total Weirdos When Left To Their Own Devices
Body-stealing aliens have become their own sub-genre at this point. Some classics include The Thing, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and that one where Jean Grey and the T-1000 try to kill Frodo. You know the one. Jon Stewart was also there until he got his fingers cut off.
It sure seems like we’re fundamentally terrified of being secretly replaced from the inside out, and that fear has blinded us to how deeply silly that premise would be if really carried out. Why is it silly? Because the aliens always assume our exact identity, acting out our jobs and relationships like an extraterrestrial game of house. And if that’s the case, what exactly does the endgame look like? Like, if the pod people won, what would they do next? Continue to act like us?
Take the 2007 Body Snatchers remake The Invasion, and the scenes wherein Nicole Kidman has tricked the pod people into thinking that she is one of them. We totally see the people-fillers going about their day as if nothing has changed (sans emotions). There are pod children at the playground …
… and a pod family having a polite pod dinner with each other …
Remember, the aliens in these scenes think that they are exclusively amongst their own kind, and continue to mimic the social habits of their human husks. So it stands to reason that they would merely continue to do that if they won, right? OK, maybe they’re waiting for everyone to be assimilated. But then what if there are a few small holdouts, or they are stuck on an island? What would the aliens in The Thing do if they had taken over that Antarctic base and couldn’t fix their ship? Would they have resumed their hosts’ lives until the next helicopter arrived? Would Alien Kurt Russell go back to getting hammered and playing PC chess?
That dinner moment in The Invasion also raises a weirder question, thanks to what’s seen on the TV behind them:
We find out that world peace was declared because the pod people went after the most powerful first and continued to do their jobs for them. And by that logic, this has to include news anchors and late-night entertainment, right? Was there a pod person Jimmy Kimmel hosting “Celebrities Read Neutral Tweets”? Was David Letterman giving opening monologues about how everyone in the audience should let him spit green in their mouths? What about the film industry? Was pod person James Cameron shooting a rewritten Avatar in which all the humans successfully beam their brains into the indigenous Na’vi? It couldn’t be any worse than what we got.
Jigsaw Has To Spend Hours Making Sinister Tapes And Videos
OK, we can all agree that the old cancer man behind Jigsaw is quite the engineering hobbyist. No doubt the “reverse bear trap” from the first movie caused more than one awkward Home Depot encounter. It’s something we’re willing to accept in order to enjoy this delightful series of Willy Wonka snuff scenarios. But has anyone stopped to consider the seven whole minutes’ worth of tape recording that went into just the first Saw film? Jigsaw rarely approaches people face-to-face, opting to either speak through audio or video tapes and occasionally appearing as a big-wheel-riding vaudeville prop.
That’s from the recording accompanying the aforementioned bear trap scene, and somewhere outside of that shot is an elderly man putting on a puppet show. He’s crouched beside the camera working the little mechanical mouth while growling into a microphone. Just really enjoying retirement. And so we’re clear, the gravely voice heard on the records is not this character’s actual voice when we meet him in person. That means he’s absolutely pulling a Batman. He picked that voice out and practiced it in the mirror.
Hey, how many takes do you suppose he needed to shoot that video? Are there Jigsaw outtakes where he doesn’t quite get the puppet to move right or starts coughing from doing the voice? When does he find time to make all the recordings? Does he do them as he goes, or shoot them all at once? Can’t you imagine him sitting at the kitchen table doing death monologues into a pile of recorders while drinking peppermint tea with honey? How many times did he have to start over when a car drove by or a radiator turned on and ruined the background ambiance?
The one time I do recall the series showing him record a tape is in Saw IV, when his autopsy reveals a wax-covered cassette tape in his tummy.
And if there’s any doubt how it got there, we get treated to a flashback seeing him swallow the fucking thing like a potato chip.
What we don’t see is the 20+ attempts that must have gone into that. I mean, have you ever tried to swallow something the size of a Zippo lighter? It’s not exactly one-and-done. This reveal clearly omitted a whole sequence wherein the geriatric killer quietly chokes on a brick of wax for at least ten minutes before tearfully forcing it down his wrinkled food hole. Good thing he died, or else he’d be shitting that out and starting all over again.
Jason’s Friday The 13th Shack Raises All Kinds Of Silly Questions
Friend and fellow editor Thomas Bryce Reimann once said that Jason Voorhees is undoubtedly the “best physical comedian of our time,” and that I should “stop fucking lying” about his middle name. TBR is right in at least one of those statements, as even the early Friday films paint Jason as a hilarious moose-man stumbling from one pool of blood to the next like a malfunctioning Terminator. And probably the best comedic revelation is when we get to see where Jason has been living this whole time.
Welcome to Jason’s shack, a place of repose and contemplation between full-armed machete swings into beatnik torsos. This is where the true magic happens. And by “magic,” I obviously mean this:
Note the humble curtain between his living abode and dumping nook. Now, there’s clearly a bit to unpack, but the most pressing concern is: Who the hell built this? It’s clearly not an abandoned cabin, as the outside is made up of various debris cobbled together to form a structure. The obvious answer is that Jason lovingly crafted it himself over the years wandering the camp, going so far as to drag a toilet through the woods.
But notice how said toilet appears to have water in it? That implies it has plumbing. Not campsite latrine plumbing, but actual pipes and shit (no pun). Option two is that Jason keeps a supply of water to pour down the hole after he’s done his business. And option three is that Jason doesn’t even use it as a toilet, and simply likes to keep water in it. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but every option is hilarious.
And we haven’t even gotten to the question of what Jason does in there. Keep in mind, this character doesn’t become an immortal zombie until the fourth film. Until then he’s a living, breathing, eating man. And he lives in a shed that is mostly barren except for a toilet and shrine to his mother’s decapitated head.
What has he been doing all the time he wasn’t murdering teenagers? Fishing? Does he keep squirrels as pets? Is he an avid whittler? Or is it possible that the shack we see is only his summer shrine, and he also has a nice apartment upstate? What makes it wonderful is that there are no wrong answers here, because Jason is 100 percent ridiculous in any scenario where he’s not impaling Kevin Bacon.
The Predator Aliens Are Nothing But Stupid Trophy Hunters In A Larger Society
It’s easy to forget that the first Predator film doesn’t reveal the creature’s crab-ass mug until the final scenes. Until then, he could be a dude, for all we know.
Look at that roiling mess. It looks like Satan’s butthole, and sounds like it too, as the Predator only communicates in a series of screeches and rage gestures. As the movies progressed into a handful of terrible sequels, it became clear that the single Predator in the first film was no fluke — everyone in their society of space-travelling hunters look and act like this.
So let’s think about that for a second, because the one thing we do know right away is that these creatures are highly advanced in space travel. In later movies, we get to see the inside of a ship, and even their home planet. It’s a whole advanced Star Trek civilization, built by the same grunting murder monsters established in the original film. Let’s compare that to our own society achieving space travel. For NASA to exist, we needed scientists and engineers. We also needed to live in a culture where you could comfortably have such an occupation, meaning that farmers, police, sanitation workers, office employees, and computer programmers had to exist. And so it stands to reason that Predator aliens also have those things in order to get so advanced. And since that kind of society couldn’t last without amusement, they likely have entertainment and ghastly sporting events as well.
Imagine that for a moment. Imagine a Predator garbage collector grunting through his day until going home to his family of arthropod nightmares. Really picture a Predator alien sitting at some Klingon-looking desk designing a rocket engine, or a nerd Predator staying up late to code.
When you realize that they are an organized society, it becomes clear that the handful of Predators we see in the film are likely the outliers. In fact, when you think about it, they sure seem like the alien equivalent of the trophy hunters we all love to hate. They aren’t hunting to eat, and come sporting an insane amount of high-tech overkill, most of time still failing to live through their hunts. In other words, they are the Eric Trumps of space. The rich dentists mounting skulls on their office walls, bragging about the time they bagged a human while invisible and firing shoulder lasers from a tree canopy. What a bunch of fucking jokes.
The Killers In Scream Are Experts In Theatrics 512
Scream is arguably the best verb-titled horror film of all time, if not in the top five along with Creep, Slither, Mimic, and … I dunno, let’s go with Wolf, even though I’m pretty sure it was meant to be read as a noun. Since the first film set the standard, the killer in each sequel has usually been two people, as the Ghostface character always seems to have supernatural speed to make up for his drunk linebacker method of chase.
But in order to achieve that spook show execution, what we never see is the exhausting rush that comes with perpetually popping out in strange places. Not to mention the killers’ ability to constantly change in and out of costume to establish an alibi. When you rewatch this series and think about what must have happened to achieve the murders, it’s closer to a performance art piece than a terrifying spree. Take, for example, the very first scene of the first film, in which Drew Barrymore looks outside at her pool while talking to the killer:
This sets up a few minutes later, when she looks back to see her soon-to-be-dead boyfriend tied up and gagged.
Since the killers are two greasy teens and not a supernatural entity, this surprise has to be the result of one of them quickly and quietly dragging the body out while the other talks on the phone. That’s some next-level sneak right there. And since this is all timed with the phone call, the two killers must have sat down and excitedly coordinated exactly what they were going to do.
And this is the regular MO for every Scream killer: quietly sneaking around upscale houses in order to hide in precisely the right place, often without any guarantee it will pay off. Later in the film, our main character retreats to the bathroom, only to be attacked by the killer hiding in the stall …
… who must have been in there for-fucking-ever, considering how coincidental that is. Later, they kill their principal and somehow hoist him onto the goalpost outside the school. All while sneaking around the building in sweaty masks and robes. It’s worse in Scream 2, where a murder sequence is sandwiched between moments when the killers are seen out of costume, meaning that they are spending their non-killing time rushing around like an old-school SNL performer. And we haven’t even gotten to Scream 3, the only one where the murderer is one guy donning multiple scary outfits and juggling fake voices along the way. All while hotboxed in a black cloak in Los Angeles heat. Imagine how thirsty he must always be.
None of it is impossible; just really, really impressive in terms of theatrics. There’s elaborate coordination, the ability to improv, and some light crafting skills needed. When you consider this, it makes sense that Ghostface is always so easily thwarted and generally clumsy during his attacks. Without the outfit, there’s nothing scary about being chased by a winded art major.
Have a spookfuckular Halloween, everyone! Please follow Dave on his Twitter.
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It sounds like the plot of a TV show: two women suspect their husbands might be gay lovers, so they go on a quest to find the truth.
It actually is the plot of a television show called Grace & Frankie. But because life can often be at least as strange as fiction, this story is also making the rounds online after BJ Colangelo’s encounter with two women at an airport bar going through that exact situation. Colangelo overhears their whole plot to catch their husbands in the act, along with some tender moments between these new best friends.
Check out the whole story.
There are two women next to me at the airport bar who are flying cross-country to ambush their husbands they think are sleeping together.
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Grambling State University on high alert as police search for suspect.
Police are hunting for a gunman who shot and killed a student and his friend after an altercation early Wednesday morning at Louisiana’s Grambling State University, officials said.
Lincoln Parish police received 911 calls just after midnight about the shooting, which occurred nearly 37 miles west of Monroe, sheriff’s spokesman Stephen Williams said. The suspect fled the scene, spurring a manhunt that prompted a call for students to stay indoors. Lincoln Parish Sheriff Mike Stone said later the shooter and the two victims knew each other “to some extent” and the incident wasn’t random or an act of terrorism.
“It was an altercation that started inside one of the dorm rooms and spilled out into the courtyard,” Williams said. “We’re interviewing witnesses.”
Stone said in another statement: “There are no indicators that this incident bears any resemblance to any of the random acts of violence or domestic terrorism that have been experienced around our country in recent weeks.”
Police said they have a description of the suspect, but did not release his name.
Earl Andrews, 23, a student at the university, and Monquiarius Caldwell, 23, both of Farmerville, were identified by University spokeswoman Kathy Spurlock as the victims in the shooting. Andrews and Caldwell were friends from college and cousins by marriage, Andrews’ brother, Ledarius Heard, told The Associated Press.
“Earl didn’t bother nobody,” Heard said about his brother, adding that they lived off campus in Ruston. Andrews was studying criminal justice and hoped to move to Texas after graduation to be closer to his 1-year-old son.
The shooting occurred as students celebrated the university’s Homecoming, the Monroe News Star reported. Heard said his brother typically came home immediately after classes ended but had been on campus Tuesday night to hang out with friends during homecoming week. Heard said he didn’t know of any conflicts between his brother and anyone else.
“If he ever had any problems, he would let me know,” he added.
Despite the search for the unidentified gunman, Grambling State University said Wednesday morning that offices and buildings will be open.
“Grambling State University offices are open with normal business hours and students are expected to attend classes as scheduled,” the university said in a tweet.
Grambling State University offices are open with normal business hours and students are expected to attend classes as scheduled.
Grambling State University Media Relations Director Will Sutton called the deadly shooting a “horrible tragedy” and “nothing that anybody would’ve ever wanted to have happened.”
“Our prayers are with the victims and their families,” Sutton said. “There’s no place for violence on Grambling State University campus. We always encourage our students to be safe, to be aware, watch who they hang out with, and watch who’s around at all times. This is a most unfortunate situation.”
While plenty of people may still be convinced that climate change isn’t real, we’ve already seen its devastating effects through Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Many scientists agree that if not for these effects — namely, rising sea levels and warmer oceans — these storms wouldn’t have been so intense and destructive. However, that’s just one example of what global warming, changing weather patterns, and extreme temperatures are doing to our planet.
Food is necessary to our survival. Optimal weather and temperatures are, in turn, critical to crop production. When our climates change and our temperatures rise, it affects our food and its sustainability. That’s why these eight popular foods may not be so easy to come by in the future.
1. Rising temperatures in wine-producing regions produce wine grapes with more sugar and less acid, adding as much as one or two percent more alcohol in the bottle. This doesn’t necessarily seem negative, but earlier ripening due to these temperatures gives growers a shrinking time frame in which to harvest fruit off the vine, affecting quality, harvest dates, and certain regions’ abilities to produce the same wines we know and love.
2. Sugar maples need freezing winter temperatures to produce sap required to make maple syrup, so rising temperatures are beginning to affect which areas these trees can thrive in, including Pennsylvania. The federal agency states that “while maple trees won’t necessarily vanish from the landscape, there could be fewer trees that are more stressed, further reducing maple syrup availability.”
3. Climate change can cause ocean acidification by contributing to rising levels of CO2 in the ocean. This changes the conditions sea creatures need to survive and, as a result, directly threatens certain species and the seafood industry.
4. Rising temperatures and falling water supplies have made it more difficult for cocoa trees to produce the same amount of cacao beans, the raw ingredient in chocolate. A smaller supply of chocolate and higher demands mean it will be much more expensive and less available in the future.
5. Cherry seeds need exposure to cold to germinate, meaning warmer temperature makes it harder for them to pollinate and grow. The pits are planted in autumn and seedlings start to emerge in spring, so warmer winters could mean lower fruit production.
6. As with many of the other foods on this list, bean vines are affected by higher temperatures, particularly when it comes to flowering, seed production, and crop yield. Too many storms and floods can also destroy crops as well.
7. Coffee rust, or la roya, is a fungus that’s been devastating coffee farms by halting photosynthesis, causing leaves to drop and stopping coffee cherries from growing. Higher temperatures caused by climate change allow the fungus to thrive at higher altitudes, affecting coffee production in regions such as Latin America.
8. As The Guardian reports, a global rise in temperatures by just 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit can slow the rate of corn growth by seven percent. A drop in corn production could also mean less meat and even higher prices for it, as much of U.S. corn feeds livestock.
The world’s most profitable firm has a secretive new structure that would enable it to continue avoiding billions in taxes, the Paradise Papers show.
They reveal how Apple sidestepped a 2013 crackdown on its controversial Irish tax practices by actively shopping around for a tax haven.
It then moved the firm holding most of its untaxed offshore cash, now $252bn, to the Channel Island of Jersey.
Apple said the new structure had not lowered its taxes.
It said it remained the world’s largest taxpayer, paying about $35bn (£26bn) in corporation tax over the past three years, that it had followed the law and its changes “did not reduce our tax payments in any country”.
The Paradise Papers is the name for a huge leak of financial documents that is throwing light on the world of offshore finance.
Up until 2014, the tech company had been exploiting a loophole in tax laws in the US and the Republic of Ireland known as the “double Irish”.
This allowed Apple to funnel all its sales outside of the Americas – currently about 55% of its revenue – through Irish subsidiaries that were effectively stateless for taxation purposes, and so incurred hardly any tax.
Instead of paying Irish corporation tax of 12.5%, or the US rate of 35%, Apple’s avoidance structure helped it reduce its tax rate on profits outside of the US to the extent that its foreign tax payments rarely amounted to more than 5% of its foreign profits, and in some years dipped below 2%.
The European Commission calculated the rate of tax for one of Apple’s Irish companies for one year had been just 0.005%.
Apple came under pressure in 2013 in the US Senate, when CEO Tim Cook was forced to defend its tax system.
Angry that the US was missing out on a huge amount of tax, then-Senator Carl Levin told him: “You shifted that golden goose to Ireland. You shifted it to three companies that do not pay taxes in Ireland. These are the crown jewels of Apple Inc. Folks, it’s not right.”
Mr Cook responded defiantly: “We pay all the taxes we owe, every single dollar. We do not depend on tax gimmicks… We do not stash money on some Caribbean island.”
After the EU announced in 2013 that it was investigating Apple’s Irish arrangement, the Irish government decided that firms incorporated there could no longer be stateless for tax purposes.
In order to keep its tax rates low, Apple needed to find an offshore financial centre that would serve as the tax residency for its Irish subsidiaries.
In March 2014, Apple’s legal advisers sent a questionnaire to Appleby, a leading offshore finance law firm and source of much of the Paradise Papers leak.
It asked what benefits different offshore jurisdictions – the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Mauritius, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey – could offer Apple.
The document asked key questions such as was it possible to “obtain an official assurance of tax exemption” and could it be confirmed that an Irish company might “conduct management activities… without being subject to taxation in your jurisdiction”.
They also asked whether a change of government was likely, what information would be visible to the public and how easy it would be to exit the jurisdiction.
Source document: Apple questionnaire (extract)
Leaked emails also make it clear that Apple wanted to keep the move secret.
One email sent between senior partners at Appleby says: “For those of you who are not aware, Apple [officials] are extremely sensitive concerning publicity. They also expect the work that is being done for them only to be discussed amongst personnel who need to know.”
Apple chose Jersey, a UK Crown dependency that makes its own tax laws and which has a 0% corporate tax rate for foreign companies.
Paradise Papers documents show Apple’s two key Irish subsidiaries, Apple Operations International (AOI), believed to hold most of Apple’s massive $252bn overseas cash hoard, and Apple Sales International (ASI), were managed from Appleby’s office in Jersey from the start of 2015 until early 2016.
This would have enabled Apple to continue avoiding billions in tax around the world.
Apple’s 2017 accounts showed they made $44.7bn outside the US and paid just $1.65bn in taxes to foreign governments, a rate of around 3.7%. That is less than a sixth of the average rate of corporation tax in the world.
Apple’s Tim Cook calls the EC ruling “total political crap”, with “no reason for it in fact or in law”. Ireland says the EU is encroaching on sovereign taxation. It fears multinationals will go elsewhere.
Ireland agrees to collect the €13bn, to be held in a managed escrow account pending the appeal verdict.
In October 2017, the EU says it will take Ireland to court as it has not yet collected the money. Ireland says it is complicated and it needs time.
When the “double-Irish” loophole was shut down, Ireland also created new tax regulations that companies like Apple could take advantage of.
One of the companies that Apple moved to Jersey, ASI, had rights to some of Apple Inc’s hugely valuable intellectual property.
If ASI sold the intellectual property back to an Irish company, the Irish company would be able to offset the enormous cost against any future profits. And since the IP holder, ASI, was registered in Jersey, the profits of the sale would not be taxed.
It appears Apple has done just that. There was an extraordinary 26% spike in Ireland’s GDP in 2015 which media reports put down to intellectual property assets moving into Ireland. Intangible assets rose a massive €250bn in Ireland that year.
Ireland’s department of finance denied that the new regulations had been brought in to benefit multinationals.
It said Ireland was “not unique in allowing companies to claim capital allowances on intangible assets” and had followed “the international norm”.
Apple declined to answer questions about its two subsidiaries moving their tax residency to Jersey.
It also declined to comment when asked whether one of those companies had helped create a huge tax write-off by selling intellectual property.
Apple said: “When Ireland changed its tax laws in 2015, we complied by changing the residency of our Irish subsidiaries and we informed Ireland, the European Commission and the United States.
“The changes we made did not reduce our tax payments in any country. In fact, our payments to Ireland increased significantly and over the last three years we’ve paid $1.5bn in tax there.”
The papers are a huge batch of leaked documents mostly from offshore law firm Appleby, along with corporate registries in 19 tax jurisdictions, which reveal the financial dealings of politicians, celebrities, corporate giants and business leaders.