5 Important Things That We All Somehow Slack Off On

How much effort would you put into being, would you say? Like, say a 10 is working three jobs and still waking up to go running for a few miles in the morning, and a 1 is keeping a bottle near your bed so you don’t have to get up to pee. While some of us are real go-getters, I hear secondhand that many of the rest of us are just half-assing everything we do to a greater or lesser degree, because effort takes effort, and who the hell needs that? And it’s not just relationships, or building a boat; it’s everything. We half-ass everything.


No One Is Doing Hygiene Right

I was at Walmart recently, because I keep my shit real, and I had to urinate, which is what mature people call whizzing. So while washing my hands, this dude who also had to whiz came up to the next sink, put one hand under the faucet, and literally missed the water, then walked away. I was saddened by his lack of respect for the “best hand-washing practices” sticker that was very visible on the mirror. But it did emphasize for me that probably no one is out there washing their hands properly. The same people who are shaking your hand or making your flapjacks or sneaking a thumb into your mouth when you’re sleeping.

Michigan State University researchers staked out several bathrooms to check out thousands of people’s techniques, and a staggeringly gross 95 percent of people weren’t washing their hands correctly. 33 percent don’t use soap, and 10 percent don’t wash at all. The average wash time was only six seconds. Every time you touch anything someone else has touched, you’re basically touching someone else’s crotch resin.

It’s not just your hands that are being left encrusted with globules of funk; it’s your face hole too. You’re supposed to brush your teeth for a solid two minutes at least twice a day, for an epic 240 seconds per day. The average is somewhere between 45 and 70 seconds. And it’d maybe make sense if people were asking us to spend an hour on oral hygiene — that seems daunting — but two minutes? Think of how much time you spend on social media or shoving corn in your neighbor’s tailpipe. There’s room for two minutes.

We even sleep in filth, because apparently laundry is modern humanity’s equivalent of toiling for 40 years in the desert, and fuck that right in its ear. Experts — not just in sweating in bed, but in science stuff like microbiology — suggest washing your sheets once a week. And your pillowcase should be getting cleaned every other day. Why? Because you’re a gross, leaky goo bag. You produce 26 gallons of sweat a year, much of which is currently steeped in your bed, making your mattress into a sloughed flesh and microfiber teabag. Your pillow very likely contains anywhere from four to 16 different species of fungus. You’re sleeping in a goddamn mushroom jungle.

A solid third of respondents in one survey changed their sheets once every two weeks. 37 percent of 18-24-year-olds only did it once a month. Only one third of people said they did it once a week, meaning the vast majority of beds in the world are just sweaty ass wafers waiting to glurge all up on you.


We’re Not Exactly Productive At Our Jobs

I’m not taking the side of the corporations and bosses of the world here — our lack of motivation happens for a reason. I once had a job whose demands were so laughably unreasonable that at some point I switched to actively trying to become the world’s greatest Minesweeper player. The numbers back this up. If you let someone be their own boss, suddenly they’re a dynamo. We work an average of 54 hours per week if allowed to call the shots, versus 37 hours per week when having to grind through a list of meaningless tasks handed off by some cranky shift manager. But holy shit do we take every opportunity to waste those 37 hours.

One study found that for the average worker, 56 minutes per day goes down the toilet thanks to non-work cellphone time, playing on social media, looking at porn, reading this article, etc. Another 42 minutes gets devoted to personal tasks like running errands. Maybe you get a little shopping done, maybe you rub one out in the comfy handicapped stall. Whatever it is, it ain’t work, but you’re on the clock — a thing about which I know nothing, because I never tape a pencil to my dog’s leg and make him run across the keyboard to write my articleshsyyuoooooonajbjbsnd.

So that’s about a full day for each week of work time that’s spent not doing anything in particular. That’s about $15 billion or so in lost productivity, but who’s counting? That’s a drop in the bucket. What kind of bucket? How about a bucket of booze until you get shitfaced and have to call in sick to work? The cost of drunk and hungover workers’ loss of productivity is calculated at about $90 billion a year. How many goddamn Zimas do people need to drink to cost the economy $90 billion? Like 12, at least.

The Washington Post put together a list of all the studies charting such losses and came up with $1.8 trillion in lost productivity every year. Hey, you know who doesn’t slack off for hundreds of hours a year? Robots.


We Make No Effort To Keep Our Information Secure

The sad truth is that most of us don’t even do the zero-effort stuff to keep our information safe — things like downloading software updates when they become available. Average Joes figure that there’s no point, since the update didn’t seem to make the software any better. It was a security update, Joe! They’re probably updating because hackers found a way to use it to steal your credit card numbers!

Meanwhile, 40 percent of cellphones that have been resold by owners (not stolen, just willingly sold) still have personal data on them that people either didn’t know was there or had no idea how to clear. Info like passwords, tax details, names, addresses, and pics of congressional wieners. The kind of stuff you maybe don’t want eBayTaintWrangler001 to have access to.

And in a world in which leaked celebrity nudes make headlines due to cloud storage hacks, more than a quarter of us don’t even set pass codes on our phones. When we do, 38 percent of us share the code with our partner. Oh, and half of those phones have “intimate” photos or texts stored in them — stuff that will be public domain the moment you leave your unsecured phone behind at a party or cafe. If these were Polaroids of our buttholes, we’d keep them at home, in a locked box, under the bed. How often would you just walk around with those in your bare hand at the mall? Almost never. Almost.


We Treat Our Bodies Like Rental Cars

The U.S. fitness industry is worth about $25 billion a year, part of the $60 billion a year we drop on trying to stay in shape, in addition to the $40 billion we’ll spend on organic food, plus the several hundred billion we spend on medications. How’s that workin’ for ya? Less than 3 percent of Americans actually live a healthy lifestyle. Shit.

The Mayo Clinic’s definition of healthy living includes moderate or vigorous exercise for 150 minutes a week, no smoking, and a diet in the top 40 percent of the Healthy Eating Index, which is a robot that crushed the soul out of the Food Pyramid. Across the board, many people excel at one thing or another — tons of people don’t smoke, for instance. But to hit every point is brutal, and only 3 percent are doing it. It doesn’t help that more than half of everything we eat is processed slurm — that easy-to-eat junk accounts for 90 percent of our added (as in, on top of what we need) sugar intake.

Then, when we do get sick, we screw the pooch on trying to fix it. One study shows that about half the people on some kind of serious medication don’t take it correctly. They skip or forget doses, they take the wrong dose, they stop early when they feel better, or they avoid taking the meds for fear of side effects. All of this is the medication version of sticking your dick in a glory hole you found in a gas station wall — maybe it’ll work out for you, or maybe a possum will eat your genitals.

Even simple things seem to escape a lot of us. Only one third of people who use sunscreen actually apply it correctly. It turns out that all of your skin is outside when you go out, so you need to cover all of your skin in sunscreen. But only 42 percent will cover their face, and only 3.6 percent bother to use it on their legs, as if they think they’re walking around on triumphant pillars of naturally cancer-proof meat.


We’re So Lazy About Staying Informed That It’s Ruining The World

Six in ten people will share a link without actually reading the article that accompanies it. Now let me preface this by asking you to please share my article. I need the validation. But also read it, which I guess you did if you got this far. Hello, friend!

Those who do open an article are just as likely to half-ass the reading process by skimming it. Many, many people probably skipped the intro paragraph of this column to hit the first bolded entry, because what could possibly be in the intro? Well I’ll tell you. There was a pretty snappy joke about peeing which probably would have changed your life, but the moment’s passed and if you read it now, it’s barely worth a titter.

This matters, because even actual news can get wildly misrepresented in a headline. If you read just this headline, it’s the story of a congressman threatening to call the police on an innocent woman for daring to expose the truth about him. If you actually read the article, you realize it’s the story of a victim of revenge porn talking about reporting the crime to the police. They’d had a consensual relationship, and she was spreading around his nudes.

Reading for comprehension takes time and energy, and shady people are well aware that we won’t bother. A Stanford study of teens showed that 82 percent of kids can’t tell the difference between news and a sponsored ad article. They just consume what’s given to them and take it at face value, like whoever the hell keeps ordering Filet-o-Fish because they see it on a menu and assume it’s edible. Which is why fake news is both a problem and so easy to toss as an accusation. If no one can tell the difference, then any Tom, Dick, or Presidick can label anything fake news, and people will then believe that. And so on, until all of civilization spirals out of control.

Psssst. Toothbrushes are way more sanitary now, too. Get one with silicone bristles!

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Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/5-important-things-that-we-all-somehow-slack-off-on/

Health service ‘haemorrhaging’ nurses

Image copyright Getty Images

The NHS is “haemorrhaging” nurses with one in 10 now leaving the NHS in England each year, figures show.

More than 33,000 walked away last year, piling pressure on understaffed hospitals and community services.

The figures – provided to the BBC by NHS Digital – represent a rise of 20% since 2012-13, and mean there are now more leavers than joiners.

Nurse leaders said it was a “dangerous and downward spiral”, but NHS bosses said the problem was being tackled.

The figures have been compiled as part of an in-depth look at nursing by the BBC.

We can reveal:

  • More than 10% of the nursing workforce have left NHS employment in each of the past three years
  • The number of leavers would be enough to staff more than 20 average-sized hospital trusts
  • More than half of those who walked away in the last year were under the age of 40
  • Leavers outnumbered joiners by 3,000 last year, the biggest gap over the five-year period examined by the BBC
  • Brexit may have had an impact. Since the referendum the NHS has gone from EU joiners outnumbering leavers to the reverse – more leavers than joiners
  • Nurses are being pulled off research work, special projects and admin roles to plug the gaps

Other parts of the UK are also experiencing problems retaining nurses.

In Northern Ireland and Scotland, the leaver rates are rising. In the most recent years, 7.5% of nurses left NHS employment in Northern Ireland and 7.2% did so in Scotland. But in both nations, the number of joiners outnumbered leavers.

In Wales there were more leavers than joiners, according to Freedom of Information reports.

‘I can’t work in the NHS any more’

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Media captionMary Trevelyan quit the NHS two-and-a-half years after graduating

One of the nurses who has left the NHS is Mary Trevelyan.

She was working as a staff nurse in a London hospital, but quit last year after the pressures of the job left her stressed and depressed.

She had only worked in the NHS for two-and-a-half years.

“I want to be a great nurse and I want to give my patients my best, but I feel that I can’t do that at the moment because we’re just too short-staffed, too busy, there are far too many things for us to be doing.

“I want to work for the NHS, it’s such a brilliant thing, [but] I don’t think I can.”

She is now living with her family in Cornwall. She says she has not decided what to do next, but is considering moving abroad.

“A few of my friends have gone. I think they’ve just got a better quality of life nursing overseas, which is very sad.”

Where are the nurses going?

The figures do not show where these nurses went, although the BBC has been told the private sector, including agencies, drug firms and hospitals, is particularly popular.

But the figures will also include those moving abroad or leaving nursing altogether to pursue other careers.

A fifth of leavers in the past year were over 55 – the age at which nurses can start retiring on a full pension.

Royal College of Nursing head Janet Davies said: “The government must lift the NHS out of this dangerous and downward spiral.

“We are haemorrhaging nurses at precisely the time when demand has never been higher.

“The next generation of British nurses aren’t coming through just as the most experienced nurses are becoming demoralised and leaving.”

She said nurses needed a pay rise and more support if the vacancy rate – currently running at one in nine posts – was not to increase further.

“Most patient care is given by NHS nurses and each time the strain ratchets up again they are the ones who bear the brunt of it,” she added.

It also says more must be done to support younger nurses at the start of their careers.

The chief nursing officer for England, professor Jane Cummings, admitted there was a problem – but said changes were being made to highlight the value of the NHS to new talent and retain current staff.

“We do lose people that need to be encouraged. We’re in the process of bringing in lots of nurse ambassadors that are going to be able to talk about what a great role it is, to be able to tell their story, so we can really encourage people to enter the profession and for those in the profession, to stay in it,” she said.

How the NHS is trying to stop the exodus

The regulator, NHS Improvement, is rolling out a retention programme to help the health service reduce the number of leavers.

More than half of hospitals and all mental health trusts are getting direct support.

Master classes are also being organised for all directors of nursing and HR leads.

Image copyright Science Photo Library

The support is prompting hospitals to adopt a range of initiatives.

Some have introduced internal “transfer” systems, allowing nurses to move jobs more easily, and mentoring schemes have been started for newly qualified nurses, while in some places, staff can ask for “itchy feet” interviews where they get the opportunity to talk to bosses about why they might leave.

Others have introduced staff awards and worked with local businesses to offer workers discounts and benefits at shops and gyms.

England’s chief nurse Prof Jane Cummings acknowledged there was a “workforce problem” and it was becoming more of a challenge retaining nurses.

But she said the NHS was learning by making nursing more attractive.

“We are beginning to see some fantastic good practice giving people flexible, rewarding careers. The key is getting it everywhere.”

She also said in the future the number of joiners should rise.

The government is increasing the number of nurse training places by 5,000 this year – a rise of 25%.

But it will be three years before these nurses graduate.

Does the leaver rate matter?

The Department of Health and Social Care in England has been quick to point out that the number of nurses employed by the NHS has risen.

They have picked May 2010 – the point when the coalition government was formed – as the starting point, claiming there are “11,700 more nurses on our wards”.

That relates to the rise in hospital nurses – up from 162,500 full-time equivalents.

But if you look at the entire nursing workforce, the numbers have only risen by just under 3,000 to 283,853 on the latest count – a rise of 1%.

The population will have grown by 5% during this period, according to the Office for National Statistics.

And if you look at nearly any measure of NHS demand – from GP referrals and diagnostic tests to emergency admissions and A&E visits – the increase is somewhere between 10% and 20%.

What is more, if you take the last 12 months, the number of nurses has started falling and the number of vacant posts is rising.

Even taking into account the rising number of nurses in training, the health service will only be able to ensure it has enough nurses by tackling retention.

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Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-42653542

Heartbreaking: This Elderly Womans Family Thinks Shes Lying About The Fact That ALF Is A Janitor At Her Nursing Home And Sometimes Bullies Her

Between the loneliness, the health issues, and the loss of independence, life for residents of eldercare facilities can often be demoralizing. And it can be even more demoralizing when one’s most vital support systems fail them in their time of need, which is why this story is so devastating: This elderly woman’s family thinks she’s lying about the fact that ALF is a janitor at her nursing home and that he sometimes bullies her.

Wow. It really breaks your heart to hear stories like this.

Since moving into Heritage Manor Nursing Center four months ago, 92-year-old Virginia Robkin has been receiving regular—and often upsetting—visits from a custodian named ALF, an extraterrestrial creature with a sardonic and twisted sense of humor. Robkin frequently calls her family members to complain about the janitor, who has inexplicably taken a cruel interest in her and often finds little ways to harass or intimidate her, like shrieking his grotesque alien mating call right into her ear when she’s trying to sleep, but her complaints fall on deaf ears. No matter what concerns she raises, whether it’s about ALF putting her treasured belongings on a high shelf so she can’t reach them, purposefully neglecting to restock her toilet paper, or eating her beloved cat, Sprinkles, right in front of her, Robkin’s cries for help are always immediately dismissed by her family as senile delusions, despite the fact that she is still of sharp mind in her old age.

“When I told my daughter, Gloria, what was happening, she acted like I was losing my marbles and tried to get me to go to a doctor, even though I showed her proof that ALF works here,” said Robkin, explaining that she had previously linked her daughter to the staff page on the nursing home’s website, on which ALF is indeed listed, yet her daughter hadn’t even bothered to look. “She thinks I’m just being an old racist coot and calling my Haitian nurse ALF, but I would never say anything derogatory about Josué. ALF works here, and he bullies me, and it saddens me that no one will believe me.”

“Just this morning I called my son, David, and told him about how last night ALF came into my room while I was sleeping and whispered, ‘I’m gonna fuck up your tub, bitch,’ before going into the bathroom, shaving himself head to toe, and stuffing all his fur down my shower drain,” she continued. “And David hung up on me! He thought I was just rambling and got fed up. And now I don’t know who to turn to for help with my tub, because when I brought up the issue with the facility manager here, guess who he sent to unclog the drain? That’s right, ALF. I just feel so helpless.”

Sadly, Robkin’s complaints about ALF have seemingly affected her family’s willingness to engage with her, as it has been over a month since any outside visitors have come to see her. And, unfortunately, this isolation has only emboldened ALF to behave more aggressively toward her, as he recently woke Robkin up in the middle of the night to let her know that when he finishes the spaceship he’s nearly done building, he is going to take her to his home planet of Melmac and sell her to a zoo where ALF’s “thousands of children” will go every day to throw firecrackers at her.

Tragically, stories like Robkin’s are increasingly common in America, as all too often elderly individuals are neglected by loved ones who see them as burdens. We can only hope that Robkin’s family realizes that she’s not lying before ALF takes his bullying any further, because nobody—especially not a woman in her nineties—deserves to be treated this way.

Read more: http://www.clickhole.com/article/heartbreaking-elderly-womans-family-thinks-shes-ly-7191

Kentucky to add Medicaid work requirement; first state to follow Trump plan

Kentucky received the green light Friday to require many of its Medicaid recipients to work in order to receive coverage.

The Bluegrass State thus becomes the first state to act on the Trump administration’s unprecedented change that could affect millions of low-income people receiving benefits. 

Under the new rule, adults age 19 to 64 must complete 80 hours of “community engagement” per month to keep their care. That includes working a job, going to school, taking a job-training course or volunteering.

“There is dignity associated with earning the value of something that you receive,” Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin said. “The vast majority of men and women, able-bodied men and women … they want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement.”

“There is dignity associated with earning the value of something that you receive. The vast majority of men and women, able-bodied men and women … they want the dignity associated with being able to earn and have engagement.”

– Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin

Kentuckians also will be required to pay up to $15 a month for their insurance, with basic dental and vision being eliminated entirely. However, those benefits can be earned back through a rewards program, such as getting an annual physical, completing a diabetes or weight management course or participating in an anti-smoking program.

The change was approved Friday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Trump administration announced Thursday it would allow for states to impose work requirements for people receiving Medicaid.

Bevin, a Republican, said the decision stemmed from concern about public health. Despite the fact that more Kentuckians have insurance, they’re not becoming any healthier, he said.

The state, along with the rest of Appalachia, falls behind the rest of the U.S. in 33 out of 41 population health indicators, according to a recent study. Bevin believes the new work requirement will help change the statistic.

Bevin’s office also stated in its proposal to Washington that the move will save taxpayers more than $300 million over the next five years, and estimated that up to 95,000 people could lose their benefits because they either didn’t comply with the new rule or they obtained jobs that pay too much money and push them out of the low-income bracket.

However, there are some exemptions to the work requirements that will be enforced starting in July and remain in effect for five years. Pregnant women, full-time students, former foster care youth, primary caregivers of children and the elderly and full-time students will not be affected.

People deemed “medically frail,” a broad term that encompasses people who are battling drug and alcohol addiction, will also be exempt.

Critics of the new plan said the changes could lead to many low-income families being denied needed coverage because of technicalities and challenging new paperwork.

Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, who represents Louisville, calling it a “dangerous and irresponsible” decision that will lead to the “financial ruin” or thousands of families that reside in Kentucky.

Medicaid covers more than 70 million people, or about one in five Americans. Currently, the largest government health insurance program does not required people to have a job or be employed to receive the benefits.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/01/13/kentucky-to-add-medicaid-work-requirement-first-state-to-follow-trump-plan.html

Mom Doesnt Know Shell Never See Her Son Alive AgainThen She Sees This on YouTube

Ben Breedlove was born with a heart problem known as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This essentially meant he had a thickened heart muscle prone to causing high blood pressure and cardiac arrest.

His parents, Shawn and Deanne, were devastated to hear the news from the doctors, but reflecting on Philippians 4:6-7, they knew they had no choice but to lay their son’s fate in God’s hands:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

As his sister Ally attests, Ben was one of those kids that made you forget he was in pain. He had a fatal heart condition, but by the looks of his adventurous spirit and winsome smile, nobody would know it.

Throughout his brief life, Ben’s heart failed him several times, but with each near-death experience, he came back stronger than ever.

The first time Ben cheated death was when he was only four years old after experiencing a severe seizure.

“We were being wheeled down a hallway,” said Deanne. “And he had commented to me that there was this white light above him. And he even said it was a pitch-white light. He didn’t know pitch was black tar. He said, ‘Mom, it’s pitch white. It’s right above me. Do you see it?’ And I said, ‘No.’”

“And it was significant because the hallway that they were being wheeled down, there were no lights on in that hallway,” added Shawn.

Ben’s heart remained in relatively stable condition over the next several years, but that profound vision stayed with him.

Though he had a deep-seated faith in God, he couldn’t help but wrestle with God’s goodness as his health declined and the idea of death became imminent. Deanne and Shawn wrestled with the same conflicting emotions as well. Why would a good father allow this all to happen?

In December 2011, Ben experienced two more brushes with death, and he knew the end was nearing. But something was different about the last one. He had an encounter with God that flooded his heart with the peace that passes understanding spoken of in Philippians, that before had only seemed like a fairy tale.

Ben told his dad, “You know that peace is so amazing. It’s so hard to describe. but you don’t have to worry about me. I’m good. I’ve got that peace that it’s talking about right here.”

“I could just see it in his eyes, this peace that he felt,” said Ally. “There was no way he could ever describe it to us.”

Just a couple weeks later, on Christmas Day, Ben was outside video-taping some friends while they jumped on the trampoline in his backyard.

Deanne looked out the window at her son’s bright smile, not knowing that would be the last time she’d ever lay eyes upon it.

Ben passed out and died later that evening. He was only 18 years old.

While the Breedloves were crushed by the devastating loss, they received an unexpected beam of hope from some friends who asked what they thought of the video.

Though they knew Ben was a YouTube personality with a moderate-sized fan base, they had no idea what video they were actually talking about.

It turns out, about a week before his death, Ben made a video titled “This Is My Story” where he detailed his inspiring journey marked by trials, sorrow and triumph.

“As we watched that video, our son was there, he was smiling big, he was alive, almost like he was giving us a message,” said Shawn.

At the end of his story, Ben posed one question with a simple two-word answer.

“Do you believe in angels or God?”

“I Do.” 

Just two days after Ben’s death, his story had already been viewed by millions of people. To date, over 12 million have been moved by his heaven-sent message that is continuing to infuse hope into a broken world even six years later.

Watch Ben deliver his powerful message in the video below. And then answer the question for yourself…

Do you?

Read more: https://faithit.com/ben-breedlove-finds-god-before-death-viral-video/

Your Pup’s Fur Only Protects Him So Much. Here’s How Long Dogs Can Stand The Cold.

Our dogs’ fur is very versatile in how it protects them from both the heat and the cold. But that doesn’t mean their coats can keep them safe in extreme temperatures.

Just as pets shouldn’t be left out in warm weather (particularly in hot cars) for an extended period of time, they shouldn’t spend too long in freezing temperatures, regardless of their breed. Many assume that dogs and cats do better than people in cold weather because of their fur, but according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, it’s not true. They’re just as susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, which is why it’s important for owners to know their dogs’ limits.

So how do you determine your pup’s tolerance to the cold? It all depends on their breed and overall health. Small dogs with shorter hair and thinner coats are more likely to become cold faster than bigger dogs with thicker, longer coats. That’s why booties, sweaters, and coats made for dogs are a good idea.

“Under 30 degrees, factoring in the wind chill, it’s not going to be safe for any dog to be outside for an extended period of time,” said Dr. Kim Smyth, a staff veterinarian with Petplan insurance. “You can buy yourself a little bit of time with warm weather clothing.” If you aren’t using booties, wipe down your dog’s paws when they come inside and check their pads for redness or swelling.

Certain conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and kidney disease can make it harder for dogs to regulate their body temperature. The cold can also make conditions like arthritis worse.

Besides bundling your pup up, be sure to keep an eye on him for signs of hypothermia. “Shivering would be the first sign … so you want to get these dogs inside, wrap them up in a warm towel or blanket and get them to the vet if you need to,” Smyth said

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/cold-dogs/

A Completely Hollowed Out 19th Century Building from Above

Seen here is the completely hollowed out St. Elizabeths Hospital (Center Building) from above. First opened in 1855, JMA Preservation is working with Shalom Baranes Associates (SBA) on the restoration of the National Historic Landmark Center Building at St. Elizabeths Hospital in Southeast, Washington, DC. [source] For those interested, this type of historic restoration is known as facadism.

According to MTFA Architecture:

The building was the first Federal psychiatric hospital in the country, with patients arriving beginning in 1855. At its inception, the complex was known as the Government Hospital for the insane. It was constructed in multiple phases following an echelon plan designed by Thomas Story Kirkbride with the ardent support of mental health advocate Dorothea Dix and architect Thomas Ustick Walter, concurrently the Architect of the Capitol. The exterior of the Center Building is firmly set in the Gothic Revival style and is owned by the General Services Administration (GSA).
The building is to become the new headquarters for the Department of Homeland Security. While the exterior core will be restored, the interior is being reconfigured and the historic cruciform section of the building is to be reconstructed. JMA Preservation is responsible for the restoration of the remaining historic materials including the brick, sandstone, and cast iron on the exterior walls. JMA Preservation conducted a thorough paint analysis of the windows, wood trim, and plaster in the cruciform section prior to demolition to inform GSA and SBA with guidelines for reconstructing the interior finishes. JMA Preservation has contributed to final construction documents, specifications, and construction administration for this complex restoration project. [source]

Read more: http://twistedsifter.com/2017/12/st-elizabeths-hospital-hollowed-out-aerial-washington/

Sweatcoin lets you earn crypto for working out

Want a way to workout and earn some coin? Sweatcoin has risen to the top of the App Store for helping folks get something more than just a glow for taking those daily steps.

The startup says it has accumulated more than 5 million users in the past year and increased revenue by 266 percent in the last quarter. There are more than 2 million weekly active users on the app, and growing, making it one of the fastest-growing fitness apps in the App Store and second to the top in the free apps, next only to the Google Arts & Culture app that blew up over the weekend.

It works like this: users sign up and then hook up their smartphone’s health and fitness data and GPS location to the app. The app then tracks how many steps you take in a day and rewards you a monetary “sweat” value according to your movements. For every 1,000 steps recorded, the app will pay out .95 in “sweatcoins.” Users can later trade these coins in for fitness gear, workout classes, gift cards and a number of other offerings.

The app says you can only earn these coins by walking outside so it theoretically doesn’t count if you are walking on a treadmill at the gym, though the app on my phone seems to count steps inside my apartment, as well. That’s at least something.

Note: I’m in my third trimester of pregnancy so I’m not exactly going the distance (just walking up the stairs feels like I’m trying to climb Mount Everest some days). That makes it a bit hard to earn my coins — I’ve only earned .33 in sweatcoins today, for instance, so don’t feel badly if you aren’t hitting that 10,000 step stride.

Another reason you may hit a wall of motivation in the app is that the free version limits you in how many coins you can earn a day to just five. However, you can earn more if you’re willing to fork over some of those sweatcoins per month to get you in the upper tiers and make some real sweaty moolah toward that coveted Fitbit or whatever fitness gear you’ve got your eye on.

The startup has now raised its own coin to the tune of $5.7 million in seed from Goodwater Capital, which led the round, Greylock, which participated through its Discovery Fund, Rubylight, Seedcamp and SmartHub, as well as a number of angels, including Justin Kan and Rain Lohmus.

Sweatcoin founders say they plan to use the funding to expand outside of the U.S. and U.K. markets to other English-speaking countries, then on to continental Europe and Asia.

Co-founder Anton Derlyatka also told TechCrunch he’d like to “even include the ability to pay taxes with sweatcoin” in the future. Other co-founder Oleg Fomenko also mentioned plans to develop an “open-source blockchain DLT technology that will allow Sweatcoin to be traded like any other major crypto- or fiat currency.”

“We are out to fundamentally change the value ascribed to health and fitness and provide the motivation for people to lead better lives,” Fomenko said.

Those interested in checking out the app can download it on either iOS or on Google Play and start earning their sweat equity today.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2018/01/17/sweatcoin-lets-you-earn-crypto-for-working-out/

Democrats Score Huge Special Election Upset In Wisconsin GOP Stronghold

Democrat Patty Schachtner won a special election for a state Senate seat in Wisconsin on Tuesday, scoring a huge upset victory for her party in a district that President Donald Trump handily captured just over a year ago. 

It was the latest in a string of election victories for Democrats since Trump took office, and a sign of hope for the party that the energy from the base and frustration with the president could lead to more wins in November.

With every precinct counted, The Washington Post reported that Schachtner, the chief medical examiner for St. Croix County, won by 9 percentage points.

Republican Sheila Harsdorf had held the seat since 2001, but she left in November to become Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s agriculture secretary. In 2016, Harsdorf won re-election by 26 percentage points, and Trump beat Democratic rival Hillary Clinton by 17 points. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney won the district in 2012. 

“This campaign was about investing in people and revitalizing our area, whether that is making sure that every Wisconsinite has access to affordable health care, funding our public schools, technical colleges and UW campuses, or investing in good-paying jobs right here in Western Wisconsin,” Schachtner said in a statement. “Tonight, voters showed that they share those priorities, and I am deeply grateful for their support.”

Attorney Adam Jarchow, Schachtner’s GOP opponent, conceded the race Tuesday night. 

Republicans clearly sensed that this district was vulnerable. The conservative Americans for Prosperity spent at least $50,000 on ads, and the Wisconsin Alliance for Reform and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce threw in another $80,000. 

On the Democratic side, Greater Wisconsin spent $30,000, and the National Democratic Redistricting Committee spent $10,000. 

Republicans will still control the state Legislature, with an 18-14 majority and one vacancy in the Senate. 

Democrats have fared well in other special elections since Trump became president, scoring big wins in Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma and other places around the country. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, which works to elect Democrats to state office, said that, with the win in Wisconsin, there are 34 districts that have flipped from red to blue since Trump’s inauguration.

Walker is up for re-election this year, and he has built up a formidable political machine in the state. So far, there’s a crowded field of Democrats running to unseat him, but there’s no solid front-runner. 

The governor tweeted Tuesday night, however, that Republicans needed to acknowledge that 2018 was shaping up to be a tough year. 

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is also running in 2018, and her seat is a prime target for Republicans. Conservative groups have so far spent at least $3.1 million against Baldwin, which is more than what all the other Democratic Senate incumbents on the ballot this year have faced combined (under $550,000), according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/patty-schactner-wins_us_5a5ec4e2e4b096ecfca88c03

27-Year-Old Dies 24 Hours After Writing Viral “Note Before I Die”This Is Her Advice

Like most 26-year-olds, Holly Butcher thought she had her whole life ahead of her. She envisioned a future growing old with the love of her life, rocking little grandbabies on her lap, and proudly racking up wrinkles marked by the laugh lines of a life well-lived.

That was, until she got diagnosed with terminal cancer that would tragically take her life just one short year later.

The once vibrant and strong young woman quickly turned frail and weak, reminding her of her mortality at a rapidly increasing speed. With a body quickly failing her to do much else, Holly was left with nothing but time to think on her hands—about the meaning of life; the things that matter, and the things that just don’t.

Consisting of mostly thoughts she collected in the middle of the night, Holly decided to leave behind a little life advice for the land of the living, and it’s chock-full of paradigm-shifting perspective that every human being needs to hear.

Holly posted her “Note before I die” to Facebook on January 3rd, and passed away less than 24 hours later.

Now, her powerful message is taking the Internet by storm, encouraging each of us to love a little better, be kinder to ourselves, and more mindful of others—all while diving headfirst into the beauty this life has to offer and cutting out the frivolous ‘crap’ that weighs us down.

Read her powerful post below:

(**Edited for language)

“A bit of life advice from Hol:

It’s a strange thing to realize and accept your mortality at 26 years young. It’s just one of those things you ignore. The days tick by and you just expect they will keep on coming; Until the unexpected happens. I always imagined myself growing old, wrinkled and grey- most likely caused by the beautiful family (lots of kiddies) I planned on building with the love of my life. I want that so bad it hurts.”


“That’s the thing about life; It is fragile, precious and unpredictable and each day is a gift, not a given right.

I’m 27 now. I don’t want to go. I love my life. I am happy.. I owe that to my loved ones. But the control is out of my hands.

I haven’t started this ‘note before I die’ so that death is feared – I like the fact that we are mostly ignorant to it’s inevitability.. Except when I want to talk about it and it is treated like a ‘taboo’ topic that will never happen to any of us.. That’s been a bit tough. I just want people to stop worrying so much about the small, meaningless stresses in life and try to remember that we all have the same fate after it all so do what you can to make your time feel worthy and great, minus the bullsh*t.

I have dropped lots of my thoughts below as I have had a lot of time to ponder life these last few months. Of course it’s the middle of the night when these random things pop in my head most!

Those times you are whinging about ridiculous things (something I have noticed so much these past few months), just think about someone who is really facing a problem. Be grateful for your minor issue and get over it. It’s okay to acknowledge that something is annoying but try not to carry on about it and negatively effect other people’s days.

Once you do that, get out there and take a freaking big breath of that fresh Aussie air deep in your lungs, look at how blue the sky is and how green the trees are; It is so beautiful. Think how lucky you are to be able to do just that – breathe.”


“You might have got caught in bad traffic today, or had a bad sleep because your beautiful babies kept you awake, or your hairdresser cut your hair too short. Your new fake nails might have got a chip, your boobs are too small, or you have cellulite on your arse and your belly is wobbling.

Let all that [stuff] go.. I swear you will not be thinking of those things when it is your turn to go. It is all SO insignificant when you look at life as a whole. I’m watching my body waste away right before my eyes with nothing I can do about it and all I wish for now is that I could have just one more Birthday or Christmas with my family, or just one more day with my partner and dog. Just one more.”


“I hear people complaining about how terrible work is or about how hard it is to exercise – Be grateful you are physically able to. Work and exercise may seem like such trivial things … until your body doesn’t allow you to do either of them.

I tried to live a healthy life, in fact, that was probably my major passion. Appreciate your good health and functioning body- even if it isn’t your ideal size. Look after it and embrace how amazing it is. Move it and nourish it with fresh food. Don’t obsess over it.

Remember there are more aspects to good health than the physical body.. work just as hard on finding your mental, emotional and spiritual happiness too. That way you might realise just how insignificant and unimportant having this stupidly portrayed perfect social media body really is.. While on this topic, delete any account that pops up on your news feeds that gives you any sense of feeling [like crap] about yourself. Friend or not.. Be ruthless for your own well-being.

Be grateful for each day you don’t have pain and even the days where you are unwell with man flu, a sore back or a sprained ankle, accept it is [crap] but be thankful it isn’t life threatening and will go away.”


“Whinge less, people! .. And help each other more.

Give, give, give. It is true that you gain more happiness doing things for others than doing them for yourself. I wish I did this more. Since I have been sick, I have met the most incredibly giving and kind people and been the receiver of the most thoughtful and loving words and support from my family, friends and strangers; More than I could I ever give in return. I will never forget this and will be forever grateful to all of these people.

It is a weird thing having money to spend at the end.. when you’re dying. It’s not a time you go out and buy material things that you usually would, like a new dress. It makes you think how silly it is that we think it is worth spending so much money on new clothes and ‘things’ in our lives.

Buy your friend something kind instead of another dress, beauty product or jewellery for that next wedding. 1. No-one cares if you wear the same thing twice 2. It feels good. Take them out for a meal, or better yet, cook them a meal. Shout their coffee. Give/ buy them a plant, a massage or a candle and tell them you love them when you give it to them.”


“Value other people’s time. Don’t keep them waiting because you are [bad] at being on time. Get ready earlier if you are one of those people and appreciate that your friends want to share their time with you, not sit by themselves, waiting on a mate. You will gain respect too! Amen sister.

This year, our family agreed to do no presents and despite the tree looking rather sad and empty (I nearly cracked Christmas Eve!), it was so nice because people didn’t have the pressure of shopping and the effort went into writing a nice card for each other. Plus imagine my family trying to buy me a present knowing they would probably end up with it themselves.. strange! It might seem lame but those cards mean more to me than any impulse purchase could. Mind you, it was also easier to do in our house because we had no little kiddies there. Anyway, moral of the story- presents are not needed for a meaningful Christmas. Moving on.

Use your money on experiences.. Or at least don’t miss out on experiences because you spent all your money on material [crap].

Put in the effort to do that day trip to the beach you keep putting off. Dip your feet in the water and dig your toes in the sand. Wet your face with salt water.”


“Get amongst nature.

Try just enjoying and being in moments rather than capturing them through the screen of your phone. Life isn’t meant to be lived through a screen nor is it about getting the perfect photo.. enjoy the bloody moment, people! Stop trying to capture it for everyone else.

Random rhetorical question. Are those several hours you spend doing your hair and make up each day or to go out for one night really worth it? I’ve never understood this about females .

Get up early sometimes and listen to the birds while you watch the beautiful colours the sun makes as it rises.

Listen to music.. really listen. Music is therapy. Old is best.

Cuddle your dog. Far out, I will miss that.

Talk to your friends. Put down your phone. Are they doing okay?”


“Travel if it’s your desire, don’t if it’s not.

Work to live, don’t live to work.

Seriously, do what makes your heart feel happy.

Eat the cake. Zero guilt.

Say no to things you really don’t want to do.

Don’t feel pressured to do what other people might think is a fulfilling life.. you might want a mediocre life and that is so okay.

Tell your loved ones you love them every time you get the chance and love them with everything you have.

Also, remember if something is making you miserable, you do have the power to change it – in work or love or whatever it may be. Have the guts to change. You don’t know how much time you’ve got on this earth so don’t waste it being miserable. I know that is said all the time but it couldn’t be more true.

Anyway, that’s just this one young gals life advice. Take it or leave it, I don’t mind!”


“Oh and one last thing, if you can, do a good deed for humanity (and myself) and start regularly donating blood. It will make you feel good with the added bonus of saving lives. I feel like it is something that is so overlooked considering every donation can save 3 lives! That is a massive impact each person can have and the process really is so simple.

Blood donation (more bags than I could keep up with counting) helped keep me alive for an extra year – a year I will be forever grateful that I got to spend it here on Earth with my family, friends and dog. A year I had some of the greatest times of my life.

..’Til we meet again.



No matter who you are, our fate on earth is the same. Death is inevitable, and our only true hope is eternity with our Heavenly Father. We’re in this together, so let’s take Holly’s advice to heart and live each day with love and intention.

SHARE her words of wisdom with the people you love today. 

Read more: https://faithit.com/27-year-old-pens-viral-note-before-i-die-holly-buthcher/