Tag Archives: easter

Mike Pence’s Trip to Korean Border Featured Lots of Angry Staring

Mother Jones

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Vice President Mike Pence arrived at the Korean border Monday, where he warned North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that the United States was prepared to “abandon the failed policy of strategic patience” following Pyongyang’s failed missile launch this weekend. The word of caution came amid escalating tensions between the two countries, and the possibility of military retaliation against North Korea for the recent provocation.

While resulting headlines conveyed the administration’s tough stance, on social media, the vice president’s stern message was obscured by the fierce facial expressions he displayed during his trip to the DMZ.

Pence can at least take comfort in knowing his angry arm-crossing was swiftly upstaged by his boss’s gaffes at his first Easter Egg Roll.

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16 Surprising Uses for Green Tea

Green tea has been around for thousands of years. Its no wonder the stuff sure is tasty, and is shown to have a number of great health benefits. But there are plenty of other reasons to keep green tea around. From cleaning carpets to giving your feet a much needing pampering, read on for some surprising ways to use green tea.

Quick Tip: Store your used green tea bags in the fridge so they dont spoil.

Beauty and Health

1. Reduce Eye Puffiness. The tannins and caffeine in green tea helps reduce both puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. Brew two bags of green tea. Take the bags out of the water and, with your fingers, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and let them cool to room temperature. Put one tea bag over each eye and wait 10 minutes before removing.

2. DIY Facial Toner. Green tea is found in a number of commercial skincare products but you can make some at home, too! Its also ridiculously easy: just brew some green tea, let it come to room temperature and transfer it to a clean spray bottle. Store in the fridge. Twice a day, spritz some on your face before using moisturizer. Its that simple!

3. Soothe Sunburns. Green tea contains properties that help with inflammation a major thing you want to combat if youre dealing with a sunburn. Soak a clean piece of cloth in cooled green tea and apply it to the affected area.

4. Pamper Your Feet. Green tea works well on puffy eyes because it reduces swelling and the same is true for your feet. After a long day, who doesnt want to relax with a nice, aromatic foot soak. Click here for a recipe.

Odor Fighting

5. Reduce Fridge Odor. Nobody wants a stinky fridge. Combat that by placing a dry, unused green tea bag in the refrigerator to absorb moisture.

6. Reduce Trash Odor. A couple unused green tea bags will also help stop foul odors that come from the trash. Keep a few unused bags at the bottom of your garbage can.

7. Clean Greasy Dishes. A used green tea bag is a great DIY sponge for cleaning greasy and grimy dishes.

8. Keep Litter Boxes Fresh. Adding some dry green tea leaves to kitty litter will help keep odors at bay and, whats more, your cat wont mind one bit!

9. Stash In Your Underwear Drawer. Green tea infuses a nice, subtle scent to your unmentionables. Keep an unused green tea bag in your lingerie drawer.


10. Clean Yoga Mats. One great way to clean yoga mats is to wash them in water with diluted green tea. Itll help keep them smelling fresh.

11. Clean Carpets. No, really! Sprinkling some used (but dry) green tea leaves 10 minutes before you vacuum the carpet will help you pick up more grime AND lightly deodorize both the carpets and the vacuum cleaner.

12. Clean Glass and Mirrors. Instead of tossing your green tea bag after you use it, brew it again, and use that weakened tea to clean windows and mirrors. Transfer room temperature tea to a spray bottle and wipe with a clean, dry cloth.

13. Clean Toilets. Deodorize your toilet by tossing a few used green tea bags in and letting them sit for an hour or two. Remove the bags, scrub and flush. Easy!

More Uses

14. Toss in the Compost. Green tea bags can absolutely be composted as long as the cloth is biodegradable, which many brands are.

15. Perfect Plant Watering. The big benefit of using green tea in the garden is that it absorbs water. Placing a used and dried tea bag at the bottom of the soil will absorb excess moisture and, over time, help redistribute that moisture more efficiently.

16. Naturally Dye Paper, Easter Eggs and More. Green tea is a great way to dye things, well, green! Click here for detailed instructions.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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16 Surprising Uses for Green Tea

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SantaCon Is the Devil. We Apparently Created It. We Are So Sorry.

Mother Jones

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Every day I wake up and check my iPhone and read hundreds of comments from Twitter eggs calling me a stupid libtard intern who hates America and only got his job (or is it an internship?) at pinko commie rag Mother Jones because of nepotism. As though my dad called up SAG and was like “I am an actor from the 70s. Get my son a job at a magazine …founded in the 70s?” It grows tiring, but I get it: It’s an act! It’s a show stupid people—or who my beloved Welsh call “simple”—engage in to demonstrate to their team or to God or to whoever that they are the type of person who doesn’t like our type of publication.

Team sports is what politics is all about. No one wants to admit it, but it’s a well studied field. No one cares about every issue. It would be a huge waste of time to do that. They care strongly about one or two issues, identify with the team that shares their position and then take on the rest of the team’s platform as a form of solidarity, albeit unconsciously,

(A great example of this is southern Democrats who loved infrastructure spending but hated black people and then became Republicans because Democrats were too nice to black people and suddenly they also hated infrastructure spending.)

Anyway, Mother Jones isn’t perfect. Far from it. A lot of our articles I disagree with. But Mother Jones doesn’t really have institutional opinions. The articles are the vetted and edited opinions of the bylined author. (For instance: Not everyone here loves Love Actually)

However, one of the things we here at Mother Jones totally deserve group collective criticism for is being inadvertently responsible for New York City’s worst event of the year: SantaCon.

Atlas Obscura explains:

The original inspiration for SantaCon actually came from a 1977 article in Mother Jones about a four-day event organized by Solvognen, a socio-politically charged anarchist theater group in Denmark. Solvognen, literally “Chariot of the Sun,” took their name from Norse mythology and the name of a highly prized national artifact that represents a horse pulling the sun across the sky.

I hate SantaCon. I hate their vomit. I hate their attitudes. I hate their irascibility. I hate their piss-soaked costumes. I hate their souls. I hate them on a profound level. If I were the type of person who believed in letting people drown, these are the type of people I would let drown. I wish they would just go back to whatever hell they came from (Long Island? Staten Island? Murray Hill?). Their very existence in New York makes me wish we had never fleeced this land from the Native Americans.

SantaCon is just an excuse for people with severe emotional problems to get together and act extra out of control because they’re in a mob. It’s like if The Ox-Bow Incident were set at Christmas and filled with vomit. Or if the Stanford Prison Experiment were set at Christmas and, well, filled with vomit.

I know what you’re going to say: “Oh, the fun police are here! Policing our fun!” I am not a member of the fun police. I am a member of the social contract, which dictates there are ways to act in public police. If you want to drink half a bottle of Jäger and piss yourself while shouting about some imaginary injustice you suffered playing Madden ’98 on Nintendo Dreamcast, go right ahead. But do it in your own home. Don’t do it in public. Being in public means being in public, and when you are in public dressed like Santa—drunk, covered in piss, shouting about some nonsense—you are ruining the experience of other people who happen to be in public. You are a selfish jerk.

What about Halloween or Saint Patrick’s Day, you say? Well, those days are awful too. They’re all just excuses for stupid people who lack the conviction to do what they want to do—be drunk and piss themselves—on a normal day. They need society to arbitrarily say it’s okay to be a stupid drunk with your stupid drunk friends this one day a year. If you were at least an honest asshole you’d let your sociopathic flag fly and be a stupid drunk with your stupid friends just because it’s a Tuesday! Or a Monday! Or Easter! On any given day you can win or you can lose, but if you do it because of an email blast saying other people are going to make it nominally socially acceptable, then you’re a coward. SantaCon is not legally binding. It’s not like The Purge but for bros to act out. You do you, bros. But just know that the fact that you’re doing your thing on the day when normal society has tried to cordon you off means you’re a sheep.

Society hates you.

I hate you, SantaCon. I hate you the way Eddie Murphy hated Alan Arkin when Arkin surprisingly won an Oscar for Little Miss Sunshine and Murphy lost for Dreamgirls. I hate you the way I hate people with poor posture, which many of you stupid Santas have, by the way. The religious say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” I hate you the way the religious hate the sin.

Why are you the way you are? We could lay you on the couch and play psychology—Daddy wasn’t around! Mommy loved your sister more! You come from a long line of alcoholics with no shame and are just playing the part!—but we don’t have to. Ours is not to wonder why, ours is but to watch in horror as you stumble around drunk, secreting fluids on yourself.

I hope you all make it home alive this Saturday and don’t stumble into the street and drown in your own vomit, but Darwin suggests many of you should probably in fact stumble into the street and drown in your own vomit. I’ve been to the Galapagos. It has a lot of things. It does not have SantaCon.

There’s a line in Richard II where he’s about to be tossed from the throne by Bolingbroke and he says, “Let’s make dust our paper and with rainy eyes write sorrow on the bosom of the world.” Saturday, thousands of drunken bros will make snow their paper and with bleeding kidneys write sorrow on the bosom of our streets.

So anyway, have a great Saturday! (Have a great life!) Stay safe. And for our part in the creation of SantaCon, we’re eternally sorry.

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SantaCon Is the Devil. We Apparently Created It. We Are So Sorry.

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The American Egg Board Is Tired of Playing Softball With You People

Mother Jones

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Here’s something trivial and yet somehow sort of fascinating at the same time. The Guardian has an article today about the American Egg Board, which, as you might guess, is in the business of promoting the use of eggs. For example: “This year the politically connected AEB provided 14,000 eggs for the White House’s annual Easter egg roll and Ivy1 was photographed with President Barack Obama.”

That’s some mighty tasty PR—and perfectly legal. But although AEB is funded by the egg industry, its board members are appointed by the Department of Agriculture. This means it’s limited to promoting the awesomeness of eggs. Attacking other foods is forbidden, a restriction that specifically includes “any advertising (including press releases) deemed disparaging to another commodity.” The Department of Agriculture does not want to be in the business of sponsoring internecine wars between American producers of food (and foodlike) products.

But it turns out that the egg people have been concerned for a while about Hampton Creek, a Silicon Valley darling that makes egg-free products. You may have seen them in the news recently, when the FDA sent out a letter telling Hampton Creek to change the name of Just Mayo, their vegan mayonnaise alternative2—since, by definition, mayonnaise contains eggs. If there are no eggs, it’s not mayonnaise. The AEB lobbied for this, and they also tried to sign up bloggers and cooking celebrities to promote eggs. But did they actually engage in advertising that disparaged non-eggs? That’s harder to say. The smoking gun appears to be a section called “Beyond Eggs Consumer Research” in AEB’s contract with their PR company. Here’s the key sentence:

For example, research will, ideally, provide actionable intelligence on what attacks are gaining traction with consumers and which are not so as to help industry calibrate level of communications response (if any) to ensure a consistent response strategy moving forward.

This is….award-worthy biz-gibberish! I’m suffering twinges of professional jealousy just reading it. Big picture-wise, it gets everything right: it’s all but impossible to even parse this, let alone use it to prove that AEB was asking for attack ads against non-egg products. It’s a masterpiece of the genre.

So is anyone going to be able to prove that AEB has been illegally targeting Hampton Creek for destruction? Unless there’s more than this, I doubt it. They’ll just say that their “response strategy” was to fight back against egg-related misconceptions and highlight all the goodness that real eggs can deliver to the dining tables of hardworking Americans. And who will be able to say otherwise?

1That’s Joanne Ivy, AEB’s CEO and its 2015 Egg Person of the Year.

2It’s vegan, but don’t let that mislead you into thinking it’s necessarily healthy. As the FDA also pointed out, Just Mayo contains too much fat to be labeled “heart healthy.” It’s not much different from ordinary mayonnaise:


The American Egg Board Is Tired of Playing Softball With You People

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Happy Easter

Mother Jones

I slept 7 hours last night! That’s the first time this has happened in months. And that was even in addition to an hour or two of napping that I did yesterday afternoon.

This is my Easter present to myself.


Happy Easter

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How to Celebrate Easter, Plastic-Free

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How to Celebrate Easter, Plastic-Free

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Don’t Just Wear Green. 4 Tips to Celebrate Earth Day

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Don’t Just Wear Green. 4 Tips to Celebrate Earth Day

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Jared Diamond: We Could Be Living in a New Stone Age by 2114

Mother Jones

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Jared Diamond didn’t start out as the globe-romping author of massive, bestselling books about the precarious state of our civilization. Rather, after a Cambridge training in physiology, he at first embarked on a career in medical research. By the mid-1980s, he had become recognized as the world’s foremost expert on, of all things, the transport of sodium in the human gall bladder.

But then in 1987, something happened: his twin sons were born. “I concluded that gall bladders were not going to save the world,” remembers Diamond on the latest episode of the Inquiring Minds podcast. “I realized that the future of my sons was not going to depend upon the wills that my wife and I were drawing up for our sons, but on whether there was going to be a world worth living in in the year 2050.”

The result was Diamond’s first popular book, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal. It’s the book that came before his mega-bestseller Guns, Germs, and Steel, but it very much lays the groundwork for that work, as well as for Diamond’s 2005’s ecological jeremiad Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed. In a sense, The Third Chimpanzee ties together Diamond’s thinking: It’s a sweeping survey of who we humans are—evolutionarily speaking, that is—and what that says about whether we can solve the “various messes that we’re making now,” in Diamond’s words. And this month, The Third Chimpanzee has been released in a new, shortened and illustrated edition for young adults, underscoring Diamond’s view that our entire future now depends on “enabling young people to make better decisions than their parents.”

In other words, if you want to boil down Diamond’s message these days to its essence, it would be something like this: Go forth, young chimpanzees, and clean up the mess we made. (Or else.) For Diamond, the story of who we are is also the story of what we must do. The younger among us, anyway.

Jared Diamond’s new edition of The Third Chimpanzee is directed at all the young chimpanzees out there, who had better be wiser than their parents. GlobalP/Thinkstock

So who are we? From the perspective of genetics, we are clearly the third species of chimpanzee. Our DNA is only 1.6 percent different from that of either chimps or pygmy chimpanzees (today more commonly called bonobos). “The reason why you and I are talking, and we’re not locked up in cages—whereas chimpanzees are not talking, and are locked up in cages—all that lies in 2 percent of our DNA,” explained Diamond on Inquiring Minds.

In fact, as Diamond emphasizes in his book, we are more genetically similar to chimps than many other closely related species are to one another. Gorillas and chimps, for instance, are 2.3 percent different, which means that chimps are considerably closer to us than to their other nearest primate relatives. Or, consider two very closely related songbird species: the red-eyed and white-eyed vireo. They are 2.9 percent different, notes Diamond.

So what makes humans so seemingly special? Until pretty recently, we weren’t. All the way up to 80,000 years ago, we were just “glorified chimpanzees,” in Diamond’s words. But then, something changed. Diamond calls it the “Great Leap Forward.” “The first art appears, necklaces, pierced ostrich shells,” says Diamond. “There’s rapid invention of tools, implying that even though our brains had been big for hundreds of thousands of years, we were not doing much interesting with these big brains—at least nothing that showed up preserved in the fossil record.”

We’re still not sure what brought on the Great Leap Forward. There wasn’t any big environmental change that drove us to adapt; all this happened in the middle of an Ice Age. Diamond’s hypothesis is that it was the development and perfection of spoken language that catapulted us forward, making possible teamwork, collaboration, planning, long-distance trade, and much more. Whether for lack of vocal capacity, brain development, or some other reason, chimps never made this leap. “A baby chimpanzee that was brought up in the home of a clinical psychologist couple, along with their baby, by age two, the chimpanzee could pronounce only four consonants and vowels, and it never got better,” says Diamond. “But if all you can say is, bi, ba, di, do, that doesn’t get you Shakespeare, and it also doesn’t let you discuss how to construct atomic bombs and bows and arrows.”

7 Stories.

In this view, the downstream consequences of language acquisition are, basically, everything that stands out about human civilization. That ranges from the highly beneficial—the dramatic growth in life expectancy—to the mixed: technologies that have significant benefits but also huge costs (like, say, devices to exploit fossil fuels for energy). And most of all, it includes environmental despoilment and resource depletion. “At present, we, humans, are operating worldwide on a non-sustainable economy,” says Diamond. “We’re exploiting resources, water, energy sources, fisheries, forests, at a rate such that most of these resources will get seriously depleted within a few decades.”

As a result, Diamond believes that our big brains are now setting us up for a major fall—a Great Leap Backward, if you will. “We are now reversing our progress much more rapidly than we created it,” writes Diamond in the new The Third Chimpanzee. “Our power threatens our own existence.”

In our interview, host Indre Viskontas asked Diamond where he thought humanity would be 100 years from now. What’s striking is that he wasn’t positive that the modern world, as we know it, would be around at all. It all depends, he says, on where we are at 2050:

DIAMOND: Either by the year 2050 we’ve succeeded in developing a sustainable economy, in which case we can then ask your question about 100 years from now, because there will be 100 years from now; or by 2050 we’ve failed to develop a sustainable economy, which means that there will no longer be first world living conditions, and there either won’t be humans 100 years from now, or those humans 100 years from now will have lifestyles similar of those of Cro-Magnons 40,000 years ago, because we’ve already stripped away the surface copper and the surface iron. If we knock ourselves out of the first world, we’re not going to be able to rebuild a first world.

In 2005’s Collapse, Diamond provided a great deal more detail on how ecological despoilment led to the collapse of other societies, such as the Easter Islanders, who cut down all their trees. The difference now, however, is that globalization causes our peril to be more widely distributed, kind of like a house of cards. “In this globalized world,” says Diamond, “it’s no longer possible for societies to collapse one by one. A collapse that we face, if there is going to be a collapse, it will be a global collapse.”

And yet despite all of this, Diamond says he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the future of humanity. What exactly does that mean? “My estimate for the chances that we will master our problems and have a happy future, I would say the chances are 51 percent,” explains Diamond. “And the chances of a bad ending are only 49 percent,” he adds.

Not everybody agrees with Diamond that we’re in such a perilous state, of course. But there is perhaps no more celebrated chronicler of why civilizations rise, and why they fall. That is, after all, why we read him. So when Diamond says we’ve got maybe 50 years to turn it around, we should at least consider the possibility that he might actually be right. For if he is, the consequences are so intolerable that anything possible should be done to avert them.

Which brings us back to his book for young people—or, perhaps more accurately, for young chimpanzees. “This is the spirit in which I dedicate this book to my young sons and their generation,” writes Diamond in the new edition. “If we learn from the past that I have traced, our future may be brighter than that of the other two chimpanzees.”

To listen to the full interview with Jared Diamond, you can stream below:

This episode of Inquiring Minds, a podcast hosted by neuroscientist and musician Indre Viskontas and best-selling author Chris Mooney, also features a discussion of the science (and superstition) behind this week’s “blood moon,” and the case of K.C., the late amnesiac patient who taught us so much about the nature of human memory.

To catch future shows right when they are released, subscribe to Inquiring Mindsvia iTunes or RSS. We are also available on Stitcher and on Swell. You can follow the show on Twitter at @inquiringshow and like us on Facebook. Inquiring Minds was also recently singled out as one of the “Best of 2013″ on iTunes—you can learn more here.

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Jared Diamond: We Could Be Living in a New Stone Age by 2114

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There’s too much garbage for just two garbage patches

There’s too much garbage for just two garbage patches

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch and North Atlantic Garbage Patch have some new competition from the south, where scientists have discovered evidence of a new floating garbage island off the coast of Chile.

Scientists at the 5 Gyres Institute – which tracks plastic pollution in all five swirling subtropical gyres — discovered this mass of plastic by looking at ocean currents. This patch has accumulated in the South Pacific subtropical gyre, right around Easter Island. It’s the first documentation of a trash patch in the Southern Hemisphere.

This video shows the projected spread of plastic pollution over the next 10 years:

“To create a solution to an ecosystem-wide problem we must understand the scope and magnitude of that problem,” said 5 Gyres Executive Director Marcus Eriksen. “It’s our mission to be on the frontlines of that understanding, and to continue monitoring the most remote regions of the world’s oceans.”

As we find out just how far our plastics have traveled, we’re also finding out just how much damage they’re doing. A new study shows that the most commonly produced plastics are also the ones that soak up the most other toxins when they’re floating around in our oceans for, well, ever — at least until they get gobbled up.

Midway Film Project

This year the 5 Gyres Institute will launch expeditions to the North Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Great Lakes, on the hunt for more garbage patches.

Susie Cagle writes and draws news for Grist. She also writes and draws tweets for



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Prominent fundamentalist: God gets sad when we don’t use the oil He gave us

Prominent fundamentalist: God gets sad when we don’t use the oil He gave us

43rd State Blues

Bryan Fischer, ranting about something.

Bryan Fischer runs the American Family Association. He is … a piece of work. He spends most of his time bashing homosexuals, but is not afraid to dip a poison-soaked toe into the broader waters of far-right conservatism. Some tweets of his, to set context:

Charming. That last one, though, gets to the point of this story, why we’re bothering to write anything about him. Fischer is also a climate change denier. And on his radio show today (he has a radio show, apparently), he suggested that failing to use fossil fuels was an insult to God.

Fischer described being at a birthday party when he was about 6 years old. Then he went on, as transcribed by Raw Story:

“I opened up a birthday present that I didn’t like, and I said it right out, ‘Oh, I don’t like those,’” the radio host recalled. “And it just crushed — and the person that gave me gift was there. You know, I just kind of blurted it out, ‘I don’t like those.’ And it just crushed that person. It was enormously insensitive of me to do that.”

“And you think, that’s kind of how we’re treating God when he’s given us these gifts of abundant and inexpensive and effective fuel sources,” Fischer added. “And we don’t thank him for it and we don’t use it.”

He concluded with: “God’s buried those treasures there because he loves to see us find them and put them to use.”

Here’s video of the exchange. Suffice it to say that Fischer is as smart when it comes to energy and the environment as he is when predicting electoral outcomes.

According to the Bryan Fischer cosmology, God, while all-powerful, gets His feelings hurt easily. After all, He went to all of the trouble of setting up the planet Earth as a sort of multi-millennia Easter egg hunt. Even the thought that we’d stop searching for these delectable, oily treasures makes God super-sad. That’s probably why He is unleashing all of these storms and droughts and such, since we’re not playing with the toys He gave us. (For the record, the toys suck.)

Bryan Fischer, meanwhile, was sent down by God to test our faith in the First Amendment.


Bryan Fischer: ‘Enormously insensitive’ to hurt God’s feelings by not using oil, Raw Story

Philip Bump writes about the news for Gristmill. He also uses Twitter a whole lot.

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Prominent fundamentalist: God gets sad when we don’t use the oil He gave us

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