Trump clears way for ObamaCare ‘alternatives’ in new executive order, goes around stalled Congress

The White House announced Thursday that President Trump is taking executive action on health care as Congress stalls on efforts to overhaul ObamaCare, calling for a plan that could let employers band together and offer coverage across state lines.

An executive order Trump plans to sign Thursday morning aims to offer “alternatives” to ObamaCare plans and increase competition to bring down costs.

“The time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines, which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care,” Trump said in a statement.

TRUMP’S HEALTH CARE EXECUTIVE ORDER: WHAT TO KNOW

According to officials, Trump will direct the secretary of labor to consider expanding access to Association Health Plans, which could allow employers to form groups across state lines offering coverage. According to the White House, these plans could offer lower rates.

Those “association health plans” could be shielded from some state and federal insurance requirements. But responding to concerns, the White House said participating employers could not exclude any workers from the plan, or charge more to those in poor health.

The order also calls on other federal agencies to consider expanding coverage in low-cost, short-term insurance plans not subject to ObamaCare rules. 

It’s unlikely to reverse the trend of insurers exiting state markets. About half of U.S. counties will have only one ObamaCare insurer next year, although it appears that no counties will be left without a carrier as was initially feared. 

The move comes after congressional Republicans repeatedly have been unable to pass legislation repealing or reforming the Affordable Care Act, which critics say has led to rising premiums and diminishing coverage options – in some cases forcing consumers to lose their previous plans and doctors. Trump’s executive order could clear the way for cheaper, more bare-bones insurance policies. 

Trump’s order is likely to encounter opposition from medical associations, consumer groups and even insurers — the same coalition that has blocked congressional Republicans. They say it would raise costs for the sick, while the lower-premium coverage for healthy people would come with significant gaps. 

Critics have argued that the plan will ultimately raise costs for the sick while the lower-premium coverage provided to healthy people would come with significant gaps.   

Cori Uccello, a senior health fellow for the American Academy of Actuaries, told Fox News that an issue with AHPs is regulation.

“There’s uncertainty of who is going to have oversight in terms of consumer protection. What redress does a consumer have, appeals processes, those kinds of things,” she said. 

White House domestic policy director Andrew Bremberg told reporters during a conference call Thursday that the executive order is necessary because ObamaCare has caused “costs to skyrocket.”

Bremberg acknowledged Trump’s order could affect tens of millions of Americans and said the administration also intends to take “additional actions” on health care in the months to come. 

The administration is hopeful these actions could be implemented within six months, a senior administration official said, but it could take longer to finalize. 

Fox News’ Kaitlyn Schallhorn and Serafin Gomez and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/12/trump-clears-way-for-obamacare-alternatives-in-new-executive-order-goes-around-stalled-congress.html

Runny eggs ‘safe for pregnant women’

Image caption Runny eggs can now be enjoyed by everyone

“Lion mark” eggs have been declared safe for pregnant women and young children, nearly 30 years after a salmonella scare.

Vulnerable groups had been advised not to eat raw, soft boiled or runny eggs.

The Food Standards Agency says “Lion Mark” eggs, which include almost all of the eggs produced in the UK, are virtually free of salmonella.

The new advice comes after a vaccination programme, and improvements to animal welfare.

In 1988, a scare over the presence of salmonella in eggs caused a dramatic collapse in sales of eggs and a series of warnings for vulnerable groups to avoid eating them if they were raw or runny.

The then junior Conservative health minister, Edwina Currie, declared: “Most of the egg production in this country, sadly, is now affected with salmonella.”

Salmonella bacteria can cause food poisoning.

Mrs Currie’s statement wildly overstated the danger and eventually led to her resignation.

But there was a problem with salmonella in eggs and by the 1990s producers started a vaccination programme.

Lion Mark

The “British Lion Mark”, printed on eggs in red ink, was introduced so that eggs could be traced back to the farm of origin and to show best-before dates.

Almost 30 years on from the initial scare, the Food Standards Agency’s Heather Hancock, says runny eggs can now be eaten by everyone.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionScience now shows the risk from salmonella in eggs is extremely low.

“We are now saying if there is a British Lion egg, you’re safe to do that.

“The risk of salmonella is now so low you needn’t worry.

“And that’s true whether you’re a fit healthy adult, or whether you’re pregnant or elderly or young.

“It’s only people on strictly medically supervised diets who need to avoid those eggs.”

Image caption UK egg production is big business

Growing appetite for eggs

The British appetite for eggs has been growing in recent years.

Last year British hens laid 10,372 million eggs, while on average we consume more than 34.5 million eggs every day.

And eggs are very good for you, packed full of vitamin D, protein and valuable omega-3 fatty acids.

Mother of two Catherine Millington is a big fan, with eggs providing quick, cheap and nutritious meals for her two daughters, who are aged nearly 4 years old and 7 months.

“Eggs are brilliant because you can boil them, break them into bits, and the baby can handle them so we can do baby-led weaning with it.

“And when you’re in a rush, they’re dead easy.”

Food safety

Just outside Penrith on the edge of the Lake District is The Lakes Free Range Egg Company.

Egg farmer David Brass says the introduction of the British Lion standard has made all the difference.

“We know from back in the ’80s when all the scare started, there was an issue with eggs.

“But what the Lion standard does, it is a fully independent, audited code of practice to make sure we have standards on the farm that make sure we can’t have any of those disease problems again.

“And it has shown time after time, in those intervening years, that it is just a brilliant food safety code.”

Over the summer, millions of eggs were pulled from supermarket shelves in more than a dozen European countries – including the UK – after it was discovered some had been contaminated with a potentially harmful insecticide at Dutch farms.

British eggs were not affected.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41568998

Austrians Lean Toward Nationalist Government Led by a Millennial

Austrians profiting from the fastest economic growth in six years look likely to ditch their current coalition in favor of a new government backed by anti-immigration nationalists and headed by the world’s youngest leader.

Polls suggest that Austria’s 31-year-old Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz will lead his conservative People’s Party to victory in Sunday’s election. That could set the stage for a coalition with Heinz-Christian Strache’s populist Freedom Party, unwinding a decade of Social Democratic-led administrations that revived the economy but struggled with issues over immigration and welfare.

“People are worried about the future and that is the currency that matters in this election,” said Christoph Hofinger, head of the SORA polling institute in Vienna. “The debate is revolving around the issue of fairness, and a lot is also linked to migration.”

After a surge of support for populist candidates in elections this year in the Netherlands, France and Germany, Austria looks like it will go one further and elect an anti-immigration alliance.

Chancellor Christian Kern, 51, a former business executive plucked from the national railroad by the Social Democrats in May 2016, has been dogged by sloppy campaign management. Despite overseeing faster growth in the export-oriented economy, Kern has struggled to connect with voters.

His No. 1 goal is achieving full employment, since “modernizing the country with investment in education, security, health care and pensions” depends on it, Kern said late Thursday in the campaign’s final debate.

While those themes have resonated in previous campaigns, they’re not what Austrians are most concerned about now, according to Hofinger. Voters are instead gravitating toward promises by both the People’s Party and Freedom to limit the number of immigrants Austria receives and force newcomers to adapt local customs more quickly, he said.

The swell of anxiety over immigration to Austria began building 2015, when almost 70,000 mostly-Muslim refugees sought asylum from war-torn countries such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Schools and hospitals in the nation of 8.7 million struggled to accommodate the newcomers, and disagreements over whether it was fair to give immigrants generous welfare support dominate the media.

Read Why Austria May Elect the World’s Youngest Leader: QuickTake Q&A

Compared with 10 years ago, more Austrians say they feel like they’re not being heard and are in search of law-and-order leadership, a SORA institute study showed. More than two-fifths of voters declared their desire for a “strongman” leader, according to the research, periodically commissioned by the federal government to gauge public attitudes and consciousness about the country’s Nazi history.

Step forward Kurz, the foreign minister who’s distanced himself from the People’s Party’s leadership and forged similar views with Freedom’s Strache on immigration. Both men want to restrict immigrant access to Austria’s social-security system and impose tighter policing on the country’s borders. The Freedom Party came within 30,000 votes of winning the presidency, a mostly ceremonial post, in a run-off vote last year.

“Austria deserves someone who is ready to take on real responsibility for the population,” Strache said in a parliamentary speech this week, in which he chided Kern for letting thousands of refugees enter Austria, transported on the national railroad he ran before becoming chancellor.

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-14/austrians-lean-toward-nationalist-government-led-by-a-millennial

    Catalan referendum: preliminary results show 90% in favour of independence

    Spanish prime minister defends violent response to poll, as raids on ballot stations by riot police leave hundreds of Catalans injured

    Catalan officials have claimed that preliminary results of its referendum have shown 90% in favour of independence in the vote vehemently opposed by Spain.

    Jordi Turull, the Catalan regional government spokesman, told reporters early on Monday morning that 90% of the 2.26 million Catalans who voted Sunday chose yes. He said nearly 8% of voters rejected independence and the rest of the ballots were blank or void. He said 15,000 votes were still being counted.The region has 5.3 million registered voters.

    Turull said the number of ballots did not include those confiscated by Spanish police during violent raids which resulted in hundreds of people being injured. At least 844 people and 33 police were reported to have been hurt, including at least two people who were thought to have been seriously injured.

    Catalonias regional leader, Carles Puigdemont, spoke out against the violence with a pointed address: On this day of hope and suffering, Catalonias citizens have earned the right to have an independent state in the form of a republic.

    Play Video
    2:07

    Catalan referendum: hundreds injured as police attack protesters video

    My government, in the next few days, will send the results of [the] vote to the Catalan parliament, where the sovereignty of our people lies, so that it can act in accordance with the law of the referendum.

    Puigdemont had pressed ahead with the referendum despite opposition from the Spanish state, which declared the poll to be illegal, and the regions own high court. He told crowds earlier in the day that the police brutality will shame the Spanish state for ever.

    The Spanish government defended its response after hundreds of people were hurt when riot police stormed polling stations in a last-minute effort to stop the vote on Sunday.

    Although many Catalans managed to cast their ballots, others were forcibly stopped from voting as schools housing ballot boxes were raided by police acting on the orders of the Catalan high court.

    The large Ramon Llull school in central Barcelona was the scene of a sustained operation, with witnesses describing police using axes to smash the doors, charging the crowds and firing rubber bullets.

    Barcelona referendum map

    Spains interior ministry said 12 police officers had been hurt and three people arrested for disobedience and assaulting officers.

    Salut (@salutcat)

    The Department of Health informs that 844 people required medical assistance today on #CatalanReferendum pic.twitter.com/XQnSBwmM8O

    October 1, 2017

    The Spanish prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, speaking on Sunday night, said the government had done what it had had to do and thanked the police for acting with firmness and serenity.

    Today there has not been a self-determination referendum in Catalonia. The rule of law remains in force with all its strength. We are the government of Spain and I am the head of the government of Spain and I accepted my responsibility.

    We have done what was required of us. We have acted, as I have said from the beginning, according to the law and only according to the law. And we have shown that our democratic state has the resources to defend itself from an attack as serious as the one that was perpetrated with this illegal referendum. Today, democracy has prevailed because we have obeyed the constitution.

    Ada Colau, the mayor of Barcelona, demanded an end to the police actions and called for the Rajoys resignation.

    Artur Mas, the former Catalan president whose government staged a symbolic independence referendum three years ago, called for the authoritarian Rajoy to stand down, adding that Catalonia could not remain alongside a state that uses batons and police brutality.

    Enric Millo, the most senior Spanish government official in the region, said the police had behaved professionally in carrying out a judges orders.

    Soraya Senz de Santamara, the Spanish deputy prime minister, echoed that position, saying the police had shown firmness, professionalism and proportionality in the face of the absolute irresponsibility of the Catalan government.

    She called on Puigdemont to drop the farce of the independence campaign, saying Spain had long since emerged from the authoritarian shadow of the Franco dictatorship.

    I dont know what world Puigdemont lives in, but Spanish democracy does not work like this, said Senz de Santamara. We have been free from a dictatorship for a long time and of a man who told us his word in the law.

    The Catalan governments spokesperson Jordi Turull said 319 of the 2,315 polling stations set up for the referendum were closed by police.

    Jess Lpez Rodrguez, a 51-year-old administrator, had taken his family to vote at the Ramon Llull school in the morning. Like thousands of Catalans, they began queuing from 5am. Three and a half hours later, national police officers arrived in riot gear.

    They told us that the Catalan high court had ordered them to take the ballot boxes and that we needed to disperse, he told the Guardian. We chanted, No! No! No!, and then about 20 police officers charged us. It was short only about two minutes but we stayed together.

    Play Video
    0:53

    Riot police attack protesters in Girona video

    After about 15 minutes, eight or nine more police vans appeared and officers began cordoning off the surrounding streets and arresting people, Lpez Rodrgue said.

    They dragged them out violently. We stood our ground but they kept dragging people away, kicking them and throwing them to the ground.

    More police arrived and jumped over the school fence to enter the building to look for ballot boxes. After using axes to break down the doors of the school, they emerged with the boxes.

    Lpez Rodrguez said that at about 10.25am, police began shooting rubber bullets at least 30 or 40.

    He fled the shots with his wife and children, returning to their flat opposite the school. I feel really angry about it, he said, but I also hope people in Europe and around the world will see whats happening in Catalonia.

    Similar scenes were reported elsewhere. Riot police smashed the glass doors of the sports centre near Girona where Puigdemont had been due to vote. Despite forcing their way in, they failed to stop the Catalan president voting. Pictures showed him casting his ballot in nearby Cornella del Terri.

    The day started peacefully and hopefully in polling stations across the region. Hundreds of people started queuing outside the Cervantes primary school in central Barcelona from well before dawn.

    Im here to fight for our rights and our language and for our right to live better and to have a future, said Mireia Estape, who lives close to the school. One man in the queue, who did not wish to be named, said he had come because Catalans need to vote; theyre robbing us in Spain.

    Another would-be voter said simply: I dont want to live in a fascist country.

    Many Catalans saw their wishes fulfilled in polling stations as officers from the regional force, the Mossos dEsquadra, hung back.

    Joaqun Pons, 89, was delighted to have cast his ballot, as he had done in the symbolic referendum three years ago.

    Last time it was cardboard ballot boxes, he said. This time they were real. It was very emotional. Pons said he felt Catalans had had little choice but to proceed unilaterally.

    It would have been nice if we could all have stayed together in Spain but the Madrid government has made it impossible. Its sad but thats the way it is.

    News and images of the police operation travelled quickly through the crowds in Barcelona and elsewhere, adding to the uneasy atmosphere that has intensified since police arrested 14 Catalan officials and seized millions of ballot papers last week.

    On Sunday afternoon, FC Barcelona announced that its Spanish league game against Las Palmas would be played without fans at the citys Nou Camp stadium. In a statement, the club condemned the attempts to prevent Catalans exercising their democratic rights to free expression and said the professional football league had refused to postpone the game.

    Sundays violence came less than 24 hours after the Spanish government had appeared confident that enough had been done to thwart the vote.

    On Saturday, Millo said police had sealed off 1,300 of the regions 2,315 polling stations, while Guardia Civil officers acting on a judges orders had searched the headquarters of the Catalan technology and communications centre, disabling the software connecting polling stations and shutting down online voting applications.

    These last-minute operations have allowed us to very definitively break up any possibility of the Catalan government delivering what it promised: a binding, effective referendum with legal guarantees, he said.

    Additional reporting by Patrick Greenfield

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/01/dozens-injured-as-riot-police-storm-catalan-ref-polling-stations

    Ranking The Zodiac Signs By How Basic They Are

    @greganmay

    Cancer

    (June 22nd to July 22nd)

    Cancers like what’s familiar, and the most basic things in life usually come back every year. Pumpkin spice, peppermint lattes, Shamrock Shakes, granted these things are all food related, but Cancers don’t stop there. They enjoy basic activities as well, like apple picking in the fall, carving pumpkins for Halloween, dying eggs in the spring (even if they don’t celebrate Easter). The Cancer doesn’t mind being predictable, they don’t mind being basic.

    Taurus

    (April 20th to May 21st)

    The Taurus is both materialistic and practical, which means they’re pretty basic. They like to look nice, and keep up to date on all the latest trends. The Taurus will google whether or not chokers are still in style, and they’ll go shopping for anything if social media says it’s trending. They don’t want their iPhone 7 after the iPhone 8 comes out, and they always update their apps. Gotta have the latest snapchat filters, duh.

    Libra

    (September 23rd to October 22nd)

    A Libra likes to be agreeable which puts them in the top 3 for the most basic of zodiac signs. They like to go with the crowd rather than disagree with them. If their significant other wants to go pumpkin picking, they’re going to put on their comfy flannel and they’ll be sure to get a cute insta out of it, preferably a couple selfie in front of a giant farm tractor or friendly-looking scarecrow.

    Capricorn

    (December 22nd to January 20th)

    The Capricorn likes to keep it traditional, and sometimes traditions are basic. They LOVE decorating their own christmas stockings every year, and watching Hocus Pocus on the night of Halloween, traditions mean everything to them, and they live to keep them going.

    Virgo

    (August 23rd to September 22nd)

    The Virgo loves their fresh pressed green juices with carrot, ginger, and kale. They believe in holistic approaches to healing, and are very health conscious. Their basic-ness revolves around cleanses and piYo.

    Leo

    (July 23rd to August 22nd)

    The Leo lives for holidays and special events. They’ll use anything as an excuse to host a party. They’re the type to host a superbowl party stocked full of themed cocktails and appetizers without actually knowing who’s playing. The most basic thing about them is their absurd spirit around seasons and holidays.

    Gemini

    (May 22nd to June 21st)

    The Gemini likes to keep an open mind. The idea of going apple picking during the fall won’t completely disgust them, but it doesn’t thrill them either. The Gemini usually just goes along with whatever their friends want to do. They’re social, friendly, and always up for a good time, so if basic activities will put a smile on their face, so be it.

    Aries

    (March 21st to April 19th)

    Aries likes to set trends, not follow them. They don’t really care if everyone’s hyped about pumpkin spice season. They’re the type to put cinnamon and almond milk in their coffee and say it’s the “new pumpkin spice latte.” They’re not followers, they’re leaders.

    Aquarius

    (January 21st to February 18th)

    Aquarius is far too busy harvesting intellect to be doing basic things like drinking spiced apple cider at a pumpkin patch. They enjoy deep conversations, and don’t usually flock towards individuals who surround themselves with basic things.

    Scorpio

    (October 23rd to November 22nd)

    The Scorpio cringes at the thought of anything basic. The Scorpio is authentic, and what everyone else is doing really doesn’t concern them. You won’t find any photos of pumpkin picking on a Scorpio’s instagram.

    Sagittarius

    (November 23rd to December 21st)

    Sagittarius isn’t basic because they’re far too busy exploring the world to know what’s basic and when. When it is pumpkin spice season here, they’re in another hemisphere where pumpkins aren’t even a thing. They decorate their home with souvenirs from their travels, and have stories to tell of all different cultures and places. Basic is the opposite of most Sags.

    Pisces

    (February 19th to March 20th)

    The Pisces usually likes things that no one else has heard of. When it comes to music, movies, books, or art, they only like what’s underground. Pisces don’t go to Starbucks, they go to their local coffee shop where they can support their fellow local artists and performers.

    Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/nicole-tarkoff/2017/09/ranking-the-zodiac-signs-by-how-basic-they-are/

    Trump Officials Dispute the Benefits of Birth Control to Justify Rules

    When the Trump administration elected to stop requiring many employers to offer birth-control coverage in their health plans, it devoted nine of its new rule’s 163 pages to questioning the links between contraception and preventing unplanned pregnancies.

    In the rule released Friday, officials attacked a 2011 report that recommended mandatory birth-control coverage to help women avoid unintended pregnancies. That report, requested by the Department of Health and Human Services, was done by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine — then the Institute of Medicine — an expert group that serves as the nation’s scientific adviser.

    “The rates of, and reasons for, unintended pregnancy are notoriously difficult to measure,” according to the Trump administration’s interim final rule. “In particular, association and causality can be hard to disentangle.”

    Multiple studies have found that access or use of contraception reduced unintended pregnancies. 

    Claims in the report that link increased contraceptive use by unmarried women and teens to decreases in unintended pregnancies “rely on association rather than causation,” according to the rule. The rule references another study that found increased access to contraception decreased teen pregnancies short-term but led to an increase in the long run.

    “We know that safe contraception — and contraception is incredibly safe — leads to a reduction in pregnancies,” said Michele Bratcher Goodwin, director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy at the University of California, Irvine, School of Law. “This has been data that we’ve had for decades.”

    Riskier Behavior

    The rules were released as part of a broader package of protections for religious freedom that the administration announced Friday.

    The government also said imposing a coverage mandate could “affect risky sexual behavior in a negative way” though it didn’t point to any particular studies to support its point. A 2014 study by the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found providing no-cost contraception did not lead to riskier sexual behavior.

    The rule asserts that positive health effects associated with birth control “might also be partially offset by an association with negative health effects.” The rule connects the claim of negative health effects to a call by the National Institutes of Health in 2013 for the development of new contraceptives that stated current options can have “many undesirable side effects.” 

    The rule also describes an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality review that found oral contraceptives increased users’ risk of breast cancer and vascular events, making the drugs’ use in preventing ovarian cancer uncertain.

    Federal officials used all of these assertions to determine the government “need not take a position on these empirical questions.”

    “Our review is sufficient to lead us to conclude that significantly more uncertainty and ambiguity exists in the record than the Departments previously acknowledged.”

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-10-06/trump-officials-dispute-birth-control-benefits-to-justify-rules

      This is How Much The Friends Apartments Would Cost Today

      Everything I’ve learned in life, I learned from . No, not my core group of Comm-majoring-drunk on-a-Wednesday-afternoon-losers—I’m talking about the six greatest people you will ever meet on the single greatest sitcom you will ever see (except for Ross and don’t @ me on that). Like, I’d never survive my 20s had I not learned that counting Mississippily when spray tanning results in borderline blackface, “meat sweats” are a legit medical condition, and being “on a break” apparently doesn’t mean I have a free pass at drunk-dialing my ex.

      But out of everything, this is hands down the most valuable piece of info I’ve learned:

      JK, that one I actually did learn from my own friends’ mistakes. But something I was forced to learn the hard way was that spending weekday afternoons in a coffeehouse bitching to my friends about being ghosted doesn’t result in me coming home to my comfy downtown loft with takeout (the ‘90s term for Seamless) every night. Not that shacking it in a studio apartment with three other people plotting ways to divvy up the remaining $12.35 balance on my debit card isn’t my definition of fun, but it’d be cool if someone gave me a heads up that life was gonna be this way, ya know? Anyway, I know your job’s a joke, you’re probably broke, and your love life… wellppp… but the friends would’ve been much worse off had their apartments been IRL-priced, so grab a bottle and chill the fuck out.

      Joey & Chandler’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

      Address: 90 Bedford St., #19 New York NY
      Rent: $4,200/month

      I won’t discredit the size of Joey and Chandler’s apartment located across the hall from Monica’s, but I will discredit Joey’s acting career, which was comparable to gas station sushi. After being killed off early on, he went flat broke (as do most acting wannabes). Luckily, Joey had Chandler to save him from being a full-time dumpster diver, but Chandler was forced to provide for Joey and two farm animals on a transponster whatever-the-fuck-he-does’s salary for at least five seasons, which makes no sense.

      A 2-bed/1-bath apartment in West Village that’s big enough to fit a foosball table and two Barcaloungers isn’t as shocking as the $4,200/month rent Chandler put down, which is like $2,850/month 18 years ago (yes, you’re old af), and that’s on the lower end of the spectrum, assuming the place hadn’t yet been tampered with during a game of “Hammer Darts” or “Extreme Fireball.” That rent also doesn’t include the utility bills and other shit Chandler had to pay for, like Joey’s health insurance and will to live, but honestly thank god for Joey, or Chan would prob still be half a virgin by now.

      Ross’ (& Rachel’s) Apartment

      Address: Somewhere across the street from Monica’s place
      Rent: $4,500/month

      If it wasn’t for Ross pulling the No. 1 fuckboy move and mixing up his hoes in different area codes almost marrying that British bitch with a scone up her ass, he’d still be living in a typical NYC shithole. Instead, he found an apartment with a bird’s-eye view of his sister’s and best friend’s sexcapades every night (EW). But out of every character’s living situation, the only believable one just so happens to be Ross’s, thanks to his career as a doctor paleontologist/college professor who sometimes fucks his students.

      A 2-bed/1-bath, 700-square-foot apartment in the same West Village neighborhood as Monica averages to about $4,500/month, which would’ve been about $3,054/month back in ‘99. And considering Ross threw a bitch fit (when tf did he not?) about his fucking apothecary table that one time, I’d assume his bougie dino cave was equipped with an updated interior and (prob) fossilized foliage preserved in the wood flooring or some shit. Therefore, it’d likely be at the more expensive end of this rent spectrum.

      Monica’s (& Rachel’s & Chandler’s & Phoebe’s) Apartment

      Address: 90 Bedford St., #20 New York NY
      Rent: $8,500+/month

      Monica illegally subletting her grandma’s old apartment for 10+ years is the kind of savagery I strive to reach one day. But you seriously have to be a verified idiot to think that a ‘50s diner cook with flame-retardant boobs and a barista with waitressing skills as abominable as Blake Lively’s acting career would live comfortably in a 1,500-square-foot apartment, and not to mention while also feeding four other mooch-y parasite friends who apparently enter and eat and leave as they please.

      She and Rachel were only paying $300/month living in their 2-bed/1-bath open floor plan apartment with a balcony that’s been rent controlled since apparently 600 B.C. Yeah, I said $300, like one pair of Khloé’s stupidly priced denim line, or a weekend bar tab. I already mentioned that 700(ish)-square-foot apartments in West Village average $4,200/month, so just double the rent for double the floor plan and maybe pop a Xanny immediately after.

      Phoebe’s (& Rachel’s) Apartment

      Address: 5 Morton St. # 14, New York, NY
      Actual Rent: $3,400/month

      First off, I’m calling bullshit on Phoebe and this whole freelance masseuse thing which, looking back, was def a fancy term for the upscale West Village prostitute, Regina Phalange. You heard it here first. This brings me to my next issue. Phoebe might’ve also inherited her 1-bed/1-bath apartment from her grandma, but I’d rather believe the blatant lie that is Trump’s latest tweet than believe that a freelance masseuse, who literally cancelled on and fucked over 90% of her clients every episode, made a comfortable living in Manhattan.

      Her decent-sized 1-bed/1-bath pad, which was later turned into a 2-bed when Denise lived with her (K WHO TF WAS DENISE?!), was located four blocks from the rest of the friends’ apartments with an average monthly rent of $3,400 ($2,300 in the ‘90s), but there’s still no fucking way she’d be able to make rent while also doing this thing called LIVING. And do NOT even think about bringing the loose pocket change and occasional condom tips from Phoebe’s open mic days into this equation. #ItsNotSmellyCatsFault

      Phoebe’s Rundown Buick LeSabre

      Address: Probably some alleyway in Hunts Point
      Rent: Stolen

      Ok, so we never really saw Phoebe’s life pre-friends (or we did if you count watching ), but we do know that she lived a fucking badass/hard-knock life by living in a rundown Buick LeSabre on the streets of New York growing up. I mean, she mugged prepubescent goober Ross who collected rocks instead of Hot Wheels, and that in and of itself is iconic.

      Based on the cost of gas to keep her car warm in the winter, the medical costs from getting Hepatitis after a pimp spit in her mouth, the shared funeral costs for her mom who killed herself, and the priceless cost of living to tell it all, Phoebe is a fucking legend and a probable alien, but mostly a complete mystery that I will dedicate the rest of my life to cracking the case on.

      Read more: http://www.betches.com/how-much-each-friends-apartment-would-cost-today

      Here’s The Gross Thing Every Parent Needs To Watch Out For This Halloween

      Halloween is a scary time of year.

      Everyone’s decorating with spooky decorations and getting ready to scare their neighbors with their costumes. It’s super exciting for children who get to dress up and have some of that sweet Halloween candy. While most parents are concerned about checking their kids’ candy for issues, there’s another health risk that comes around this time of year that every mom and dad should know about.

      Doctors see a huge jump in head lice during this time of year. With people trying on wigs and costumes in the store, that makes sense.

      After all, there’s no telling how many people have tried it on before you decide to take a costume home.

      Putting costumes and wigs in an airtight plastic bag for 48 hours before wearing it is the easiest way to kill lice.

      Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/halloween-lice/

      Hillary Clinton reportedly considering professor role at Columbia University

      Hillary Clinton could be headed to Columbia University.

      The former secretary of state and first lady is reportedly in talks with the Ivy League school to both take on a formal role with the university and to keep her archives there, according to the New York Daily News.

      “It’s all fluid. It could be a number of things. No decisions have been made, but there are talks,” a source familiar with the 2016 presidential candidate told The News.

      “She’s trying to figure out what she wants to do. It could end up with the papers at one place and she has some sort of faculty role at another. She hasn’t quite come to a decision,” the source continued.

      Clinton could potentially be deemed a “University Professor” at the famed New York institution, a position that would permit her to lecture in multiple departments and schools but without a specific course restriction, a source told The News.

      Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea, is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health. And her old boss, former President Barack Obama, received his bachelor’s degree from the university in 1983.

      A timeline on Clinton’s potential decision to teach at the school wasn’t immediately clear. She’s currently on a book tour promoting her tome about the 2016 presidential election, “What Happened.”

      “I don’t think it will be two years from now. She gave birth to this book last month. She’s trying to get through that. But it will be a short time table,” a source told The News.

      A request for comment from Columbia was not immediately returned.

      Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/13/hillary-clinton-reportedly-considering-professor-role-at-columbia-university.html

      Magic mushrooms ‘reset’ depressed brain

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      A hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms can “reset” the brains of people with untreatable depression, raising hopes of a future treatment, scans suggest.

      The small study gave 19 patients a single dose of the psychedelic ingredient psilocybin.

      Half of patients ceased to be depressed and experienced changes in their brain activity that lasted about five weeks.

      However, the team at Imperial College London says people should not self-medicate.

      There has been a series of small studies suggesting psilocybin could have a role in depression by acting as a “lubricant for the mind” that allows people to escape a cycle of depressive symptoms.

      But the precise impact it might be having on brain activity was not known.

      Image copyright Getty Images

      The team at Imperial performed fMRI brain scans before treatment with psilocybin and then the day after (when the patients were “sober” again).

      The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, showed psilocybin affected two key areas of the brain.

      • The amygdala – which is heavily involved in how we process emotions such as fear and anxiety – became less active. The greater the reduction, the greater the improvement in reported symptoms.
      • The default-mode network – a collaboration of different brain regions – became more stable after taking psilocybin.

      Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial, said the depressed brain was being “clammed up” and the psychedelic experience “reset” it.

      He told the BBC News website: “Patients were very ready to use this analogy. Without any priming they would say, ‘I’ve been reset, reborn, rebooted’, and one patient said his brain had been defragged and cleaned up.”

      However, this remains a small study and had no “control” group of healthy people with whom to compare the brain scans.

      Further, larger studies are still needed before psilocybin could be accepted as a treatment for depression.

      However, there is no doubt new approaches to treatment are desperately needed.

      Prof Mitul Mehta, from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said: “What is impressive about these preliminary findings is that brain changes occurred in the networks we know are involved in depression, after just a single dose of psilocybin.

      “This provides a clear rationale to now look at the longer-term mechanisms in controlled studies.”

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      Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-41608984