Bearded dudes pose for merman calendar to raise money for a worthy cause

Behold the “Merb’ys”—a breed of Canadian bearded mermen flapping their fur and fins for a good cause. 

The gentlemen of Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club are posing in nowt but their merman garb for a dudeoir-style calendar to raise money for mental health organisation Spirit Horse NL.

And, the photos certainly don’t disappoint. The calendar—which can be previewed online—features bearded mermen posing in pumpkin patches, pubs, and on various beaches. 

The Merb’ys are thus-named because “the Newfoundland mermen are a different breed,” says Hasan Hai, founder of the beard and moustache club. Hai came up with the idea of a merman calendar after a friend of his posted a photo from a mercreature themed dudeoir shoot on his Facebook wall. 

He decided to organise a calendar, and posted an “open call to the universe” on social media, which received an unexpectedly high response. 70 or 80 people got in touch with Hai, offering to model or photograph. 

Hai knew he wanted to raise money for charity, but hadn’t yet settled on a charity. When he came across Sprit Horse NL and heard the stories of the people they help, he suggested using the calendar to raise money for the organisation. 

“It basically uses horses to provide equine therapy for people with mental illness, people who want to live better lives, people with physical limitation,” Hai told CBC. 

Donning a fin was a challenge for the men during the calendar shoots. “Moving around in a fishtail is not as easy as you would think,” Hai continued, adding that there was “a lot of hopping” and squirming involved behind the scenes.  

The calendar, which has received an overwhelming number of pre-orders, can be purchased online for $25 CAD ($19.70 USD, £14.99) from the Beard and Moustache Club website. 

Major props to the Merb’ys of Newfoundland!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/10/mermen-dudeoir-calendar-newfoundland/

Jimmy Kimmel’s baby may save healthcare for 30 million people

Image: randy holmes/ABC via Getty Images

Welcome to 2017, where the American government has ceded its already crumbling moral authority to the former host of The Man Show.

Don’t you miss the 2016 election now?

Still, the last few days have produced some of the best material late night television has ever had to offer, and all it’s because of former Man Show star, Win Ben Stein’s Money co-host, and late night host, Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel has not only taken on the Senate’s practically homicidal Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, he’s done it without resorting to lies or distortions (how quaint!). He accomplished this by speaking from a place of deep empathy, and by centering on a character that remains untouchable across the political spectrum: his baby.

Back in May, Kimmel’s newborn son had to undergo an emergency open-heart surgery. It was this hardship that brought America’s perilous healthcare situation into sharp focus for the comedian. And as he’s grown more vocal about the issue, he returns to his own child as the impetus for his outspokenness.

That’s why every counter-attack by GOP politician and pundits against Kimmel has fallen flat on its face: in the symbolic war between sick babies and man-baby Senators, the sick baby will always win.

By positioning his baby at his monologue’s heart and center, he’s created the most sympathetic protagonist imaginable and made anyone who opposes that character a hateful antagonist by extension (which, I mean, is accurate). Everyone who attacks Kimmel’s position, is essentially attacking his baby. 

Not a good position for a politician.

“Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there’s a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said in May. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make … we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do!” 

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign.

When I was a social worker, we talked a lot about “worthy victims” and “unworthy victims.” “Unworthy victims” are people a society has collectively decided are victims because of their own poor choices: the poor, victims of sexual assault, the homeless, welfare recipients, people of color, criminals and undocumented immigrants. “Worthy victims,” by contrast, are folks that society has deemed sufficiently worthy of empathy (and consequently, of charitable donations) including sick children, the elderly and people with *certain* disabilities.

That doesn’t mean that worthy victims are exactly living large in America. Just think of the folks who were cruelly pulled from their wheelchairs by Capitol police while protesting Trumpcare that summer. But it does mean that they, culturally at least, have tremendous worth. I can’t think of a stronger symbolic lead than Kimmel’s son — a sick, wealthy kind with a devastating illness — followed closely by his acerbic father. Is there anything Americans love more than a cynical man, who simultaneously knows his facts and is deeply in touch with his own tenderness?

Of a Fox and Friends host who attacked Kimmel for his monologues, Kimmel had this to say:

“And you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more, and because of that, I’ve learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation,” Kimmel said. “I don’t get anything out of this, Brian [Kilmeade], you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you.”

Just look at how these Republican politicians and pundits tiptoed around his attacks, especially as  they relate to Kimmy’s son, and relied on the tired excuse than Kimmel wasn’t smart enough to analyze the bill because’s he’s a late night comedian. 

Remember: these folks voted for a man who recently made up an African country in front of Africans and didn’t realize that Frederick Douglass was dead, so we’re not exactly dealing with “wonks” here. 

All late night comedians have in some ways impacted culture and by extension, politics, but Kimmel might become the first late night politicians to have an immediate, substantive impact on policy. There’s a Jimmy Kimmel test Senator Cassidy once told Congress it has to pass. Kimmel even ended his monologue with a screen full of Senator’s phone numbers, amplifying his personal story and turning it into collective action.

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign. There’s a reason why political ads that include children, like this one of Hillary’s, are far more effective than those that feature rehabilitated criminal — even though both would be endangered by Graham-Cassidy.  Kimmel even admitted that he was “politicizing his baby” for the greater good.  

Doing anything that might directly harm babies is one the last moral lines we have around these broken parts. Let’s see if one man’s 13-minute monologues are powerful enough to keep us from crossing it.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/21/jimmy-kimmel-secret-weapon-baby/

New York Post says boobs are trendy again but, like, when were they not?

The New York Post is getting royally dragged after it tweeted an article declaring “boobs are back,” leaving women everywhere rolling their eyes collectively.

The article, which was originally published by The Sun said “bountiful boobs” are back in style, welcoming the “return of the out-and-proud cleavage”.

“A big-boob movement is happening, and we should embrace it,” read the article. “An uplifted chest means an uplifted mood, after all.” Wow, who knew that all this time boobs weren’t trendy?

Thankfully, the women of Twitter were on hand to proffer their thoughts on the purported new trend.

Anyone got any spare boobs lying around?

Some women were just really thankful they can finally put their boobs back on.

For those of us with “bountiful” breasts, it’s been a difficult time. Thankfully, it’s all behind us now.

Maybe this new trend needs its own anthem. How about a new version of Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys Are Back in Town?”

One smartypants had a very salient point to make about boobs being “back”.

Phew, thank goodness they’re back.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/02/new-york-post-boobs-back/

‘Beer yoga’ is a real thing, now, because of course it is

Hmm, beer.
Image: bieryoga/facebook

Nothing like putting down an icy cold beer. Except, of course, achieving a higher state of being and eventual transcendence of the Self through the practice of yoga.

But what if you could do both, at the same time?

Yes: Beer yoga is here. After being enjoyed by Berlin hipsters, it’s now found its way to Australian shoresa land where beer’s most definitely a religious practice, at least as much as yoga. And not in the best way.

Germany’s BierYoga A.K.A BeerYoga bills itself as the “marriage of two great lovesbeer and yoga. Both are centuries-old therapies for mind, body and soul,” according to its website.

And if you think they’re just being cute, think again.

Image: bieryoga/facebook

“BeerYoga is fun but it’s no joke,” founder and yogi Jhula writes. “We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness.”

But even Jhula wasn’t the first person to promote enlightenment through yoga under the influence of alcohol. The instructor told Ex Berliner they first saw it done at (American culture festival/desert apocalypse party shitshow) Burning Man.

But wherever it came from, it’s definitely now a thing, and a thing being marketed unironically Down Under.

Two special sessions of beer meets asana will take place in Sydney this weekend, where students can learn yoga poses involving “beer salutations” and balancing beer bottles on one’s headjust watch out for bottle smashes.

The event page assures would-be attendees that no yoga experience is necessary. Just an “open mind and a love of beer.”

And if you think that all this does nothing to curb binge-drinking and/or cheapens a legitimate and sadly oft-perverted spiritual practice, then you can just Namaste away.

[h/t Broadsheet]

BONUS: NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/17/beer-yoga-comes-to-australia-of-course/

This hackathon wants to help destigmatize the sex tech industry

In a pitch presentation that capped off hours of collaboration at New York’s first SexTech Hackathon, the subject turned to a decidedly unsexy scenario: Parents talking to their kids about sex.

“How can we foster a safe environment at home for children having conversations about sexual education with their parents?” asked one of the hackathon’s more than 40 participants during a pitch presentation for what would become the event’s winning project.

Better communication would emerge as a theme as hopeful entrepreneurs many of them new to sex tech considered how tech can be used to enrich human sexuality.

Participants get to know one another before breaking into teams.

Image: sextech.nyc

For six hours on Jun 10 at New York’s ThoughtWorks, participants with a range of backgrounds from coding to design to sex therapy worked in teams to imagine products that fall under the vast umbrella of sex tech. Though the term often covers forms of adult content VR pornography, for example the event’s website made clear the criteria for hackathon participation : “While we recognize sexuality is a diverse field, we will not be accepting hack teams for anything related to pornography or entertainment.”

Rather, Saturday’s event was meant to push ideation in the realm of sexual education and pleasure. Following a pitch and feedback session, a panel of sex tech entrepreneurs would select a winner.

Seven teams, formed just a few hours earlier, pitched their visions to the judges panel. “Spinucation” a connected game that aims to start conversations about sex between parents and children took home the top prize: one month to develop the project at Galvanize, a “learning community for technology.”

The winning team’s concept features an app-connected toy, modeled after Spin the Bottle, that determines who will answer a question prompt from the app. Questions would come from an AI built into the app that would use news items on sex and sexuality to generate content. Made for children between ages 5 and 18, the game would also allow parents to choose which topics they want to discuss with their children.

“This is a tech environment, obviously, and we are very critical about technology and how we often end up hiding behind avatars instead of having a more human one-to-one interaction,” said Elena Habre, a designer who worked on the concept. “So we were also thinking how can we leverage AI, but not to hide behind it, but [to] have it facilitate a conversation.”

The winning team answers questions from the judges panel.

Image: sextech.nyc

Other team presentations included concepts for VR that simulates sexual situations for educational purposes, an app or website that would help users understand if they perpetuate rape culture, a subscription box that helps couples in long-term relationships try new things in the bedroom and, the event’s runner-up, an app that facilitates conversations about sex between partners.

While the event’s goal was to encourage female-led innovation in this space, the hackathon open to all genders featured a near fifty-fifty split between men and women participants. The organizers acknowledged a need for a future hackathon organized entirely for people who identify as women.

But though the event was open a diverse set of genders, Bryony Cole hackathon mentor and host of the Future of Sex podcast says the goal was to create a safe environment where women can feel comfortable exploring what might be an unfamiliar industry.

The day started off with a talk from women sex tech entrepreneurs including Mal Harrison, director of the Center for Erotic Intelligence and Kris Jandler, co-founder and CMO of Emojibator. The event also included an ice breaker and discussion session where participants could get to know one another.

Encouraging women-led innovation in sex tech is critical at a time when it’s such a challenge for female entrepreneurs to secure funding in a still-stigmatized industry.

Cole belongs to Women of Sex Tech, a New York-city based group of more than 70 entrepreneurs dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of women working in sex tech. Per its Facebook page: “We want to increase access to funding for female-founded startups in sex tech and decrease the stigma of female sexuality.”

“The interesting thing about that community is they would traditionally be considered competitors,” Cole said. “So we have a group of women that are making sex toys for pleasure, there are people who are doing sex educational apps, and we think these are competitors, but … because the industry is so small and there’s so much stigma, it forced people to band together and go, hey, we need to break through these walls first before we even start to tackle things like how do I sell my vibrator over yours.”

And while these women work to create better opportunities for themselves and their peers, the aim is also to encourage women-led tech industry’s overlooked areas: education, pleasure and, as we saw Saturday, improved communication.

“If you were to look right out to the frontiers of what’s happening in sex tech that’s in VR or teledildonics or AR,” said Cole. “[At this hackathon], we want to solve a really simple problem: We want to get more education about sexual health and awareness to children, or we want to improve the intimacy between couples … That’s nothing crazy and out there that’s just simply the cultural moment we’re at right now.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/11/new-york-sex-tech-hackathon/

6 weird things your body doesand why

Future site of some prune fingers
Image: Getty Images

Bodies are weirdlet’s just get that fact out of the way.

Whether they’re giving life, sweating, or just existing, there are more intricacies about the human body than meets the eye. With so many things going on that we’ve accepted as a common occurrence, have you ever stopped to think about why it was happening? We’ve rounded up common and weird ways some bodies reacts under certain circumstances.

1. Fingers turning into prunes

Things get wet when they’re slippery, so your body’s way of adapting to long periods of time under water is turning your finger pads into little prune pads. According to the Scientific American, that weird prune-ness is “optimized for providing a drainage network that improved grip.”

2. Brain freeze

Slurping back your milkshake has it’s consequences. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of it, Forbes reports that what is happening is your “blood vessels near the back of your throat first rapidly constrict from the coldness and then dilate when the bloodvesselsbecome warmer again.” These pull tissue and trigger a nerve that cause the headache. It’s basically a way for your body of saying “slow down.” Milkshakes are always worth a brain freeze, though.

3. Shivers

Shivering is the body’s way of keeping warm. By expending energy with small movements, the body is working to raise temperature back up to a healthy 98.6F. Pretty simple, and pretty neat.

4. Get taller in space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s time in space illuminated a variety of information on what space does to the bodyincluding height, thanks to spinal column disks. “On Earth, the disks are slightly compressed due to gravity. In space, that compression is no longer present causing the disks to expand,” CNBC reported. “The result: the spine lengthens, and the astronaut is taller.” Badabing, badaboom.

5. “Feeling” weather changes

While based on majority anecdotal evidence, there might be a bit of truth to the claims that some people can “feel” a storm coming because of achy knees. Cold weather can cause nerve endings in tissues around joints to be feel some sort of “tightness” or “stiffness,” the Weather Channel wrote.

6. Goosebumps

There’s a reason for them, though it’s not that useful of one. Because humans don’t have much body hair, the “contraction of miniature muscles that are attached to each hair” that occurs when we get goosebumps aren’t as useful for insulation as they are with animals, according to Scientific American. So while we get bumps in the cold, they don’t help us stay warm at all unfortunately. As for the times you’re emotional and get goosebumps, blame that on adrenalinealso released when we’re cold.

And now you know! Go forth, and watch weird things happen to your body.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/11/weird-body-things/

How ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ has become the meme of the resistance

Image: Christopher Mineses / mashable 

Earlier this week, 18 women dressed up in red cloaks and white bonnets, stood in pairs in the rotunda of the Texas state capitol, and began chanting, “Shame!” in unison. They didn’t stop shouting for eight minutes.

They call themselves the Texas handmaids. You probably first saw them back in March, when images of their original protest in Austin went viral. That’s when they sat silently in the Texas senate gallery, watching as lawmakers debated bills that would make it harder for women to get an abortion.

What you may not know is that their demonstrations, inspired by Margaret Atwood’s classic dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale and Hulu’s vivid TV adaptation, are slowly spreading across the country.

Women are holding sewing parties to turn yards of blood-red fabric into capes. They’re swapping ideas on private Facebook pages about how to stage protests. They’re even planning a coordinated demonstration where dozens of handmaids simultaneously show up at state capitols or in other public places in cities across the country.

If the visually striking meme takes off, it could become one of the most effective acts of protest from the resistance. The sight of even a dozen women wearing the handmaid costume, while staying silent and keeping their heads down, offers a stark contrast to a group of mostly white men deliberating over what happens to their bodies. The imagery is practically made for the digital era.

The point, activists say, is to send a powerful message: We’re closer to a government that strips women of their bodily autonomy than you might think.

“The easiest way we try to explain it is that the handmaids represent a future where women are nothing more than their reproductive capacity,” says Heather Busby, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Texas. “Unfortunately, with the laws that are being passed, that future is not so unrealistic and not so distant.”

We’re closer to a government that strips women of their bodily autonomy than you might think.

The idea to enlist Texas women as handmaids started with Busby a few months ago. She happened to see women dressed as the title character from The Handmaid’s Tale at South by Southwest. That was a marketing stunt by Hulu, the streaming entertainment provider that brought Atwood’s novel to the small screen.

But Busby then joked on Facebook about how someone should send the handmaids down to the capitol, where lawmakers had been busy introducing bills that would curtail abortion rights. Soon NARAL Pro-Choice Texas ordered white bonnets from Amazon Prime and a volunteer rented red capes. A small group of volunteers quickly drew up a plan. They liked the element of surprise in showing up at the capitol in costume and wanted to let legislators know that women were watching.

After that yielded local and national press coverage of the legislative agenda in Texas, activists around the country started reaching out to Busby for tips on how to start their own handmaids brigade.

You could argue that all of this is moot, that the United States is nowhere close to becoming the Republic of Gilead, The Handmaid’s Tale‘s totalitarian, theocratic state that freezes women’s bank accounts, forbids them to work, sends them to re-education camps, and forces many of them to bear children for leaders and their wives.

The New York Times‘ conservative columnist Ross Douthat argued this week that liberals are seeing the wrong parallels. On the same day, Times op-ed contributor Mona Eltahawy wrote that the Republic of Gilead already exists in Saudi Arabia, where women can’t drive and may be imprisoned for disobedience. For her part, Atwood has said that nothing in her novel hasn’t already happened before in history.

“I still have a credit card, I still have a nice car, but I can feel the future here.”

For the volunteers who are deep into the work of creating and wearing the costumes in public, it’s not about whether they still have credit cards or the right to get a job. What they see is the federal and state governments largely in the hands of conservative, even authoritarian, men who’ve vowed to defund Planned Parenthood and roll back reproductive health rights like abortion and access to affordable birth control. At the same time, those men plan to funnel money to abstinence-only education and vouchers for “school choice,” which includes religious schools.

The fact that they’re led by Donald Trump terrifies these women.

“We have somebody in the White House who thinks it’s OK to grab women and do whatever he wants, and I’m supposed to sit back and be cool with that?” says Emily Morgan, executive director of Action Together New Hampshire, an activist group that emerged in the wake of Trump’s election.

Earlier this month, Morgan contacted Busby for details on how to create handmaid costumes. But instead of bringing women into the New Hampshire legislative gallery during a debate or hearing, Morgan and her co-organizers asked them to appear at a press conference calling for the resignation of Rep. Robert Fisher, a Republican who The Daily Beast identified in April as the creator and former moderator of Reddit’s popular men’s rights “Red Pill” forum. The message board bills itself as a “discussion of sexual strategy in a culture increasingly lacking a positive identity for men,” and Fisher regularly questioned whether rape is real, according to The Daily Beast. (Fisher resigned later in the day following the press conference.)

A sexual assault survivor with handmaids demanding Rep. Robert Fisher’s resignation, on May 17, 2017, in Concord, N.H.

Image: Granite State Progress

“Fisher and the Red Pill embody exactly what The Handmaid’s Tale is a foreshadowing of or is a warning against,” Morgan says. “Saying that we’re not there it’s sort of degrading to what’s actually happening to women.”

In the days before the press conference, volunteers made six costumes, but some of the women bowed out after learning the media would be in attendance. Morgan says they feared in-person and online harassment. Nevertheless, she thinks more women will step forward to participate in upcoming demonstrations, particularly since volunteers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire are sewing new cloaks so that activists in New England quickly have access to them for future protests.

The time-intensive, costly aspect of buying the bonnets and making the cloaks is one challenge to growing the handmaid ranks. There’s also the danger that different groups will splinter in an effort to launch the first nationwide demonstration. Morgan is moderating a private Facebook page to coordinate a national action. A similar page started by one of the Texas handmaids has close to 300 members.

The handmaids’ signature costumes are also a relatively obscure reference compared to pussyhats, the knit pink caps that have become a symbol of the resistance. But they’re also memorable even if you don’t know the origin.

Ane Crabtree, the costume designer for the Hulu series, says the outfit’s visual power is rooted in both the bright red color, which can signify blood, birth, and passion, and how the cloak conceals women who wear it. The combination tells the viewer what she needs to know about how the body underneath the costume is oppressed.

“It’s an easy form of expression to say that everything’s been taken away and is being taken away, and its a real thing,” says Crabtree, who is encouraged and inspired by people making their own version of the costume.

Deborah Marsh, a 65-year-old retiree who is one of the Texas handmaids, says people who get the reference often approach her on the street or in the capitol’s rotunda to thank her profusely for the act of defiance. Some, however, have seen the symbolism and don’t like it. Marsh says a few people on the street have had “outbursts” or called the women “pathetic.”

Joe Pojman, executive director of the anti-abortion rights nonprofit group Texas Alliance for Life, seemed to criticize the handmaids a few times, focusing on the fact that they’ve used smartphones while silently protesting in the gallery, a silly point that Marsh feels makes their case about men who are obsessed with policing women’s behavior.

What Marsh didn’t expect was how confident she would feel while wearing the costume. “It’s such a bold costume, it’s making such a bold statement,” she says. “And my body is inside that costume, so why wouldnt I feel bold? Why wouldn’t I feel empowered?”

Among reproductive rights activists like Marsh, the Texas legislature is infamous for its anti-abortion legislation. In 2013, the state passed a law that effectively led to the closure of dozens of abortion clinics, which the Supreme Court found unconstitutional last year. The Republican-led legislature recently voted to ban the safest type of second-trimester abortion and require hospitals and abortion clinics to bury fetal remains, including those from miscarriages that happen at home. Texas has already moved to keep Planned Parenthood from state and federal funding.

In other words, as Texas limits access to both abortion and reproductive health care like birth control, it’s easy to imagine a future in which women have little practical control over how and when they have children. That vision shouldn’t be limited to Texas either; other Republican-dominated states are pursuing a similar agenda with regard to limiting access to reproductive health care, as is the Trump administration.

“I still have a credit card, I still have a nice car, but I can feel the future here,” Marsh says. “If [people] aren’t affected by it today, they are going to be affected by it in four yours. Texas is a little bit ahead of the game.”

“Am I going to change someones mind who is pro-life? I dont expect that. Im aiming higher. I want to change the culture.”

Stephanie Martin, a mom from Round Rock, in central Texas, who recently dressed up as a handmaid for the first time, says she’s realistic about who the message is going to reach.

“Am I going to change someone’s mind who is pro-life?” she asks. “I don’t expect that. I’m aiming higher. I want to change the culture.”

It’s still early to gauge exactly how that culture will respond beyond the videos and photos that have gone viral. But the parallel between the male aggression and control that characterizes Gilead feels particularly fresh in a week where a Republican congressional candidate body slammed a reporter for asking a question he didn’t like, and the president appeared to shove aside a European leader to get a better position in a photo-op.

Let’s not forget the complicity of Ivanka Trump, who promotes herself as a champion of gender equality but says nothing critical about healthcare and budget proposals that are arguably hostile to women. Nor can we ignore the benign-looking malevolence of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who couldn’t come up with a single instance of discrimination at publicly funded schools that would give her pause when asked about it at a congressional hearing. In Gilead, after all, the women who are not outrightly oppressed get the privilege of wielding what small power they have against the vulnerable and marginalized.

Morgan admits that some people won’t make connections between what’s happening today and Atwood’s fiction. Yet she urges skeptics to focus less on a dramatic, sweeping end to women’s rights. What’s more important, at this point, is the underlying implication of attitudes and laws that see no harm in making it more difficult or even impossible for women to determine their own fate.

“These are steps on the same path,” she says of the parallels between Gilead and Trump’s America. “You have to start somewhere.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/28/handmaids-tale-protests-costumes/

Pete Souza’s most legendary Donald Trump trolls

In an internet world where trolls lurk around every corner, one has loomed above the rest: Pete Souza, Barack Obama’s former staff photographer. An unlikely troll for unlikely times.

Souza has stood out for the blunt savagery of his Instagram posts, but more than that, for the sheer amount of them. It’s seemed that for every Donald Trump action, there is an equal, opposite, and wistfully melancholy reminder of how things used to be.

Since Trump’s inauguration in January, the posts have piled up, but these stand out as the best of the best.

Glad he only tweeted out facts with his device.

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Troll Level: 8

Straight to the point, no nuance, Trump loves to tweet out hot garbage all day long. Signed, sealed, delivered, xoxo Pete Souza.

Organized paperwork on the Resolute Desk, 2009.

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Troll Level: 6.5

Nothin’ like a nice implied troll. This Insta appeared after news broke that Trump shared classified information with visiting Russian diplomats. Bring back binder security!

Meetings, 2016.

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Troll Level: 10!!!

This picture owns. Obama notoriously received ample criticism for his golf games, often from Trump himself. Flash forward to 2017 and Trump racked up 19 rounds in his first 100 days, then claimed they were actually a good thing when he played because they were “meetings.” Two can play at that game.

Troll Level: 7

This one is almost not troll-y enough it’s too sweet. But when you take into consideration that it’s a response to House Republicans celebrating the AHCA win that would strip healthcare from millions, it’s like, suddenly not so sweet anymore.

Troll Level: 5

Is it still trolling if you’re just pointing out what great physical shape Obama was in compared to Trump, who turned down throwing out the first pitch for the Washington Nationals. We’ll allow it, Pete.

By request: President Obama with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 Summit in 2011.

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Troll Level: 7

Points deducted for “by request,” but nothin’ like a reminder of how our president used to have good relationships with other world leaders. Fond mems!

Troll Level: 9

Pointing out that Paul Ryan had a say in the ACA, that Obama worked across the aisle, and that actual extensive meetings and town halls were held before the ACA went to a vote as the AHCA skipped straight to the final stage? That’s a troll, folks.

Someone has been photoshopping one of my photos. For the record, it wasn’t me.

A post shared by Pete Souza (@petesouza) on

Troll Level: 11

Trolls love a good photoshop, and Souza’s no exception. This edit was in response to Trump’s “wire tapping” (IN QUOTES) claim. He’s kind of asking for a troll there, no?

Well, Pete, thanks for reminding us every step of the way that things used to be pretty normal and maybe even nice. Maybe we’ll even buy your book for a hard copy reminder, just in case your Instagram gets mysteriously seized.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/27/paul-ryan-found-out-about-gifs/

Professor gets his dog a position at 7 academic journals

For scientists and researchers, getting papers published in respected journals is critical for their careers.

So it’s a good thing that Dr. Olivia Doll, respected authority and academic, is intimately involved in curating journals within the medical community. She sits on seven different editorial boards for journals focused on everything from drug abuse to respiratory medicine.

She also looks like this.

Yes, Dr. Doll is a 5-year-old Staffordshire terrier whose real name is Ollie.

Mike Daube, Ollie’s owner, is a public health expert and professor at Curtin University in Australia. He decided to create a fake academic background and persona for his dog, and use it to apply for positions on editorial boards because he wanted to draw attention to the plethora of sham academic journals that exist.

“Every academic gets several of these emails a day from sham journals,” Daube told Perth Now. “The more I saw of it, the more I thought that you need a light shining on these things.”

Why are these sham journals so problematic?

“There are young academics, there are people in developing countries who are being conned by this,” Daube explained. “They think that if they send papers to these journals, it’s a decent publication … and they are being charged for it.”

The fact that Daube was able to get a dog with a fake doctorate and background (senior lecturer at Subiaco College of Veterinary Science, associate to the Dog’s Refuge Home) onto the editorial board of these publications shows just how illegitimate they are.

Every academic gets several of these emails a day from sham journals

As Daube points out, just one click would have allowed any of these journals to discover that Dr. Olivia Doll was completely fake. And yet none of them took the time to properly vet Dr. Doll, and that’s probably true of all applicants they receive.

In case you’re interested in the rest of Dr. Doll’s illustrious career, Perth Now reports that she has research interest in “the benefits of abdominal massage for medium-sized canines and the role of domestic canines in promoting optimal mental health in aging males.” She was on track to become the associate editor of the Global Journal of Addiction and Rehabilitation Medicine. She was also recently asked to review a paper on the management of tumors.

It sounds like Dr. Doll has done pretty well for herself. She also has some advice for young academics, which she told her owner to pass along to you.

“She said to me that she hopes that any academics who think of responding to these will have paws for thought,” Daube dutifully relayed, “and that if they do send their papers to any of these sham journals, she reckons they’re barking mad.”

Wise words from a wise dog.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/26/dog-sits-on-editorial-board-for-medical-journals/

Well, someone is spray painting condoms on graffiti dicks in London

Graffiti penises are “outdoor decor” you probably think you’d rather not encounter. But a safer sex advocate from the UK might just change your mind on that.

An anonymous 28-year-old Londoner is raising awareness of sexually transmitted infections and the importance of protection by spray painting condoms on graffiti penises. Yes, you heard that right. And it’s damn genius.

Sure, it’s technically illegal. But it’s also a pretty genius way of starting a conversation about safer sex.

“One night I did some research on STI rates, and then the idea just came to me to make stencils of a condom and a link where people can get free condoms then I just went out and did it,” the man, who is an art director by day, told BuzzFeed.

City Cock 5 #protectcitycocks

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The condom artist has been at it since April, with each fluorescent condom accompanied by the URL for Shine, a reproductive health organization in London providing free STI screenings and free condoms through six National Health Service clinics.

So far, he’s added about 20 dicks to his portfolio.

City Cock 1 #protectcitycocks

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The creative process is basically a graffiti dick scavenger hunt. Wherever the condom vigilante sees a spray painted penis already in place, he adds a condom. Simple as that.

“If there’s going to be cocks scattered everywhere that nobody wants to see, we might as well have people learn something from the cocks,” he told Buzzfeed.

City Cock 3 #protectcitycocks

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In 2015, there were approximately 435,000 diagnoses of STIs made in England, mostly impacting straight youth under 25 and men who have sex with men.

The mystery artist has been particularly focused on spreading his message to youth because he noticed many of the graffiti dicks were at school bus stops. Shocking.

“It just shouldn’t be the norm to just have your wang out, especially unprotected,” he told Buzzfeed. “I just thought it sent the wrong message.”

City Cock 2 #protectcitycocks

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The anonymous man-on-a-mission recently started an Instagram to document his safer sex project called @protectcitycocks. And while the creative effort is pretty goofy and giggle-worthy, the artist hopes it spreads a serious message.

“I just hope that this has some positive impact and that it could get more people to use condoms and eventually help lower the STI rates,” he said.

Insert cheeky “no glove, no love” joke here.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/05/20/spray-painted-condoms-penis-uk/