5 Surprising Ways The World Is Secretly Looking Out For You

Very few professions are out there actively trying to keep you alive. Firefighters, doctors, uh … erotic bakers? What even is life without a good dong cake? But that’s pretty much it, right? Nope. We’ve told you before how some famously “good” organizations are secretly doing awful things. Now let us restore some of that lost faith in humanity by showing you the other side of the coin …

5

Illinois Is Training Hairdressers To Recognize Domestic Violence

When you’re stuck making awkward chitchat with your hairdresser for extended periods of time, some secrets are bound to slip out. That was more or less the thinking behind a recent state ruling in Illinois, which now requires salon workers be trained to recognize signs of domestic abuse and sexual assault. It’s not as easy as saying, “So, uh, has the hubby punched you lately?” and reporting it to the authorities. In fact, calling 9-1-1 yourself is a big no-no. Instead, salon workers are taught to 1) encourage their clients open up on their own speed, 2) listen compassionately, and 3) provide support and information about professional resources.

While this is not a new idea, Illinois is the first state to actually require cosmetologists to go through the one-hour training class every two years if they want to renew their licenses. Now 14 other states, including New York and Wyoming, are working on similar laws and initiatives. Sometimes, asking for frosted tips is a cry for help, and salon workers are here to answer it.

4

One UK City Recruited Plumbers And Handymen To Spot Child Abuse

Plumbers are used to dealing with problems most of us wouldn’t touch with several ten-foot poles stuck together. It’s appropriate, then, that the city of Lincoln, England recruited them (along with repair men, electricians, and housing officers) to spot and report child abuse and neglect. Since it can take a while to fix a sink or unclog a toilet, the city trained contractors to keep an eye out for signs that the children of the household might be in danger. For instance, if a kid is wearing long sleeves on a really hot day, that might be less about making a fashion statement and more about hiding bruises. Things like scalds and cigarette burns are dead giveaways for physical abuse, but the checklist includes other signs of trouble, like unexplained mood changes, avoidance of certain family members, or … well … pregnancy.

Yeah …

Hey, here’s a puppy being perplexed by a mirror:

3

Facebook Uses Their Creepy Algorithms To Fight Suicide

Facebook is simultaneously one of the most popular things to have ever existed and one of the most criticized, for many, many reasons. But while the amount of information Facebook has on each of us will never not be creepy, they’re doing at least one positive thing with all those fancy algorithms: helping spot suicidal users in real time. Basically, Facebook’s giant decentralized brain pores through billions of posts, trying to find patterns that correlate to suicidal thoughts, in the hope that maybe they can save a few lives. When a user is flagged as suicidal, a Facebook moderator can immediately get in touch and send them helpful resources, or even contact local first responders. Oh, and this is where all those “friends” come in handy, since health experts claim that hearing from a bud is one of the best ways to prevent a suicide. The moderator can make that happen, too.

Facebook

FacebookThe “Talk to someone” option really needs a “(Not that racist guy from high school)” disclaimer, though.

Within one month of testing, Facebook says they’ve initiated over 100 wellness checks, helping first responders reach troubled users before they did anything rash. Considering the disturbing trend of teens committing suicide via livestreaming services (like Facebook’s own), and the fact that suicide is the second-leading cause of death for people aged 15-24, an idea like this could have a real impact on young people. Why, it almost makes up for the sin of inventing Facebook in the first place.

2

Tattoo Artists And Beauticians Are Being Taught To Watch Out For Skin Cancer

Both tattoo artists and beauticians have to look at your greasy, pockmarked skin for extended periods of time. Why not make the most of it? Specialists have started training them to identify signs of skin cancer on their customers, so people might receive earlier treatment and thus have better chances of survival. On the beautician side, researchers from the University of Southern California and the University of Colorado Denver collaborated on this training video designed to teach hairdressers about melanoma and how to recognize lesions.

University of Southern California and University of Colorado DenverIf you don’t have melanoma, but also don’t have a face, definitely talk to a doctor anyway.

Meanwhile, tattoo artists have gone from hindering melanoma detection (because a lot of people specifically ask to cover up ugly moles) to presenting a great opportunity to raise awareness of the subject. The artist doesn’t have to be an expert on skin cancer; they just have to know the basic warning signs and pass that information on to the public. And it’s working! From the U.S. to Australia to Brazil, multiple referrals, diagnoses, and successful treatments have resulted from hairdressers and tattoo artists being like, “Uh … this black thing consuming your face might not be normal.”

1

Cab Drivers, Flight Attendants, Bankers, And UPS Are All Fighting Human Trafficking

Human trafficking is a subject most of us don’t even like thinking about, but people far braver than us are tackling the problem head-on. And it’s not who you might expect.

First up, cabbies. Taxi drivers are being trained by authorities in New York, London, Houston, and Canada to spot victims of sexual exploitation. They’re looking out for certain telltale signs in their passengers: young people travelling long distances and paying high fees in cash, requesting collections from house parties, hotels, or B&Bs, and travelling with just huge, huuuge jerks. Even Uber, that trash bag of a company, decided to start educating their drivers about this issue after one of them saved a soon-to-be-trafficked underage girl in California in 2016.

Next up on unlikely sources of help: bankers. The European Bankers Alliance recently released a toolkit that searches for red flags indicating that slavery is involved in a financial transaction. But we know what you’re thinking: What about UPS drivers? Yep, them too. In a program started in January 2017, UPS freight drivers all over the country undergo training to recognize signs of human trafficking, with help from the Truckers Against Trafficking organization. (Oh right, truckers help too!)

Of course, some traffickers prefer to move their “cargo” through more luxurious means … and that’s where flight attendants come in. Since 2009, Airline Ambassadors International has been training flight attendants to look out for common signs of human trafficking, and their efforts quickly paid off. In 2011, a flight attendant on a flight to California noticed a disheveled teenage girl flying with a well-dressed older man and left a note in the bathroom for her to find. She did, and rescue swiftly followed. According to an ABC report …

86 children were freed from a sex ring in Boston after the trafficker and two crying victims were noticed on a flight.

Yep, kids crying on a plane saved the day. Forgive us as we reconsider everything we know about life.

Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs. S.S.A is also on TopBuzz. Check him out here. Look out for more mind-blowing facts on Markos’ Twitter.

Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more, check out 6 Horrifying Ways Society Repaid Good Deeds and 5 Inspiring Acts of Kindness by Terrifying Crime Syndicates.

Also, follow us on Facebook, because you deserve the very best.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25470_5-surprising-ways-world-secretly-looking-out-you.html

How A Trailer Park Becomes A Secret Haven For Sex Offenders

“Sex Offender Trailer Park” sounds like either a great horror movie, a middling rock band, or a horrible sitcom. In real life, neighborhoods like that do exist, because of a problem society has no goddamned idea how to solve. In many cities, laws keep registered sex offenders from living anywhere near where children gather, which means there are only tiny areas where they can live. We talked to James, who owned a trailer park that became known as a haven for the people society would prefer not to deal with at all.

5

Laws Against Sex Offenders Have Created An Unexpected, Stupid Problem

Most of you probably don’t disagree with states banning people on sex offender registries from living anywhere children hang out (and if you do, you probably don’t say so in public). Those laws are in theory reserved for those supposedly most likely to reoffend, including violent sex offenders and child molesters, while a bunch of caveats and sub-clauses spare people who aren’t as much of a threat to society, like 18-year-olds who dated 16-year-olds. The laws leave a bunch of parents sleeping easier. But how do they work in practice?

Well, when you keep offenders from living 1,000 feet (or 2,000 feet) from playgrounds, schools, public parks, and even bus stops, you block off a whole lot of space. One programmer had a go at mapping what areas of Detroit are off-limits:

James says that one of his residents showed him a map like that for his city. “The only areas the rings didn’t encompass,” he says, “were really rich areas he couldn’t afford, really poor areas where he was afraid he might die, and the ocean.” It’s actually worse in Milwaukee, a city of half a million people in which the entire map is blacked out save for 55 addresses. In Denver, a judge struck down these laws when it turned out they left effectively no livable space at all.

Offenders look to the few areas they’re allowed to choose, and when landlords realize sex offenders are eyeing them, they generally respond by releasing the hounds. It’s not legal to discriminate that way, but it’s easy to vet potential tenants by looking at your state registry and then rejecting anyone whose name is there. “They can claim ‘poor credit,'” says James, “‘not good references,’ ‘we already rented it,’ or another excuse.” Out of options, maybe they could flee the urban center altogether for some distant county (states have been accused of making rural areas a dumping ground for sex offenders), but unless there’s a job waiting for them elsewhere, they aren’t leaving.

So what then? Do they simply go homeless? Yeah, that happens, and on a large scale. And as much as some people might relish the thought of people like this having no roof over their heads, the whole point of the registry is to keep tabs on them, so thousands of transient roaming sex offenders should be the absolute last thing anyone wants. There’s got to be some other solution. That’s where people like James come in.

4

Sex Offenders Turn The Trailer Parks That Accept Them Into Safe Havens

James inherited his trailer park from his father, and before he owned it, he’d had no idea a huge chunk of the residents were sex offenders. As soon as he learned the truth, he set about researching the quickest and easiest way to kick them all out. “But then I met one who gave the rent check and thanked me for letting them stay there,” he says. “Without the park, he said, he would have literally nowhere else to live nearby. And by ‘nearby,’ he meant 20 miles.” James previously had vague plans of helping the less fortunate, but nobody was going to make an inspirational movie about this shit.

Plus, he says, keeping them on had a bonus: “Sex offenders always pay on time.” That’s not a joke. They’re required to find jobs as part of their release conditions, which makes them a surer bet than a lot of other people in the trailer community. Sex offenders also made the neighborhood safer, ironically enough. Police knew how many high-risk people lived there, and responded by prioritizing the area when it came time for patrols. Oh yeah — police were totally aware that James was running a sex offender commune. They welcomed the idea, and whenever they released a new inmate, someone in the department would unofficially suggest the trailer park as a possible place to live. Rental agencies knew too. So thanks to the grapevine, word got around, even without James putting up a neon sign saying “Sex offenders welcome!” Every time a vacancy opened in the park, there was a renter with a record eager to move in.

That’s the thing: Everyone involved with the system knows that these people need a place to live, and that it’s to everyone’s benefit that they find one (including their victims!). But solutions must come under the table, unless you want to be seen as aiding predators. We have a long history of creating a broken system and then declaring the dysfunction to be part of the punishment. That’s not how laws work! Or how they’re supposed to work, at least.

3

Running The Park Had Complications — Like Keeping Kids Out

So while there was no flashing sign in front of the park that said “Sex Offender Paradise. Free WiFi!” there was one that said “No Children Allowed.” This wasn’t a matter of law. The law says offenders can’t live near specific public areas where children congregate, not that they can’t be near any kid anywhere at any time. James put the rule in as a precaution. “It could have tempted them,” he says. “No way was I allowing that.”

Nonetheless, every so often, kids would come by on their bikes. They would get down and approach the park, because while the sign kept most families away, it was an absolute magnet for unsupervised Bart Simpson types. If James was around, he’d tell them to leave while most residents stayed huddled in their trailers. Then James would return and hear a bunch of nervous sex offenders asking, “Are the kids gone yet?” They were convinced that any contact whatsoever with kids could be used to send them back to prison.

But not everyone in the park was a fan of the child ban, because not everyone in the park was a sex offender. In fact, more than half of the population were regular folks, a good portion of whom were elderly and really wanted their grandchildren to come visit. “It couldn’t happen,” says James. “Having a sleepover at Grandma’s could have turned into a huge deal very quickly.”

James rented to people who weren’t sex offenders because some of the trailers were too expensive for your average ex-con. He let all new renters know exactly what the situation was in the place, and incredibly, he found plenty of non-criminals OK with living there. Sometimes, even families with kids wanted to move in (we guess the park had an absolute killer location), and James would have to find an excuse to reject them. He says he never had to really push the issue; as we mentioned earlier, there are usually legit reasons to reject an applicant.

2

The Way We Treat Offenders Post-Release Helps No One

Though James sees many of his residents as people who made one mistake and should now be forgiven, we’re guessing a lot of you aren’t too broken up over the pains experienced by sex criminals. These people did evil stuff. They deserve to be punished.

But here’s what you have to remember: Restrictions on sex offenders aren’t designed to be a punishment. The Supreme Court actually ruled on this. If registries were a punishment, they would be unconstitutional (and when they’re judged to be punitive, courts keep striking them down). The offenders already got the full punishment that we decided they deserved when they went to jail. Everything afterward is in theory put in place to make them live in normal society without assaulting anybody.

Yet the public keeps taking it upon themselves to go after released sex offenders, which rarely results in anything good. Trailer parks like James’ see nightly vandalism, with everything from spray-painted messages to sacks of dead rats stuck in a clothes dryer. James recalls one resident who received regular verbal abuse from others in town. After he fled one store to get away from the people hounding him, his tormentors tailed him by car, yelling curses until he lost them by steering into a random side street. The guy then drove back to his trailer and didn’t leave for a month.

“He had other people buy him groceries,” says James. “He quit his job.” He didn’t get another job for six months, and then he never went outside, other than commuting there and back. “He had several mental health issues, and that day pushed him over the edge,” says James. “It broke him.” You can hate the crime all you want, but after the criminal’s been punished, you’ve got to reintegrate them back into the world. “Because if you don’t, and take it to the extreme, you can destroy someone who was trying to become right again.”

Or maybe you’re fine with destroying criminals, so long as it keeps them from offending again. Certainly, any future victim would suffer way more than what these guys are going through. The question is: Do any of the measures protect people? We haven’t specifically studied the effects of hot spinning dryer rodents, but from what we have studied, it doesn’t look good.

The basic requirement that offenders check in with police does reduce their chance of reoffending, says the data. But state sex offender registries, along with the associated restrictions, don’t appear to lower the chances at all. Public notification through mailers or the internet — which leads to stuff like landlords discriminating and vigilante car chases — appears to increase recidivism. The theory is that when you make a sex offender a pariah and make their life suck in general, they’re more likely to reoffend because they have nothing to lose.

1

Yes, Some Of Them Relapse

One of James’ residents, a child molester, was pretty much always drunk. He came home one time after being stopped by police, bragging to the rest of the park about how he’d escaped a DUI: “I demanded a blood test, and they let me go!” When police called the park about the resident sometime later, James figured the guy’s drinking had finally landed him a violation. But then the police demanded a key to the man’s trailer, saying they had a warrant. “All of this over a DUI?” asked James. No, said the policewoman. The resident had assaulted another kid. Later, it happened again, with another resident.

Overall, you can expect 13-35 percent of sex offenders to get caught breaking a law within 15 years of release, depending on what sort of sex crime they originally did. That’s a big number. Still, it’s nowhere as high as people think. People assume that most sex offenders will rape again, basing this “knowledge” on the villains seen in every episode of Law & Order: SVU. You can argue that maybe far more could be offending without getting caught, and of course that’s impossible to know, but also remember how closely they’re being monitored.

Reoffending hurts everyone, says James, even beyond the obvious effects on the new victim. “The other non-offender residents think less of everyone as a whole now … The other offenders get mad at him or worry that it might happen to them and call in for more treatment. And of course the town used it both times as a crusade to ‘Get them all out.'” After that second relapse, someone ran for city council promising to pass a law to kick the sex offender residents out. He won.

In the end, no law was necessary. After two years in charge, James sold the park. The relapses and the overall hassle had gotten to him. The final straw was when another family applied to move in and James couldn’t bring himself to dig up an excuse to turn them down and keep the place running.

“The park’s gone now,” he says. “They tore it down some years ago.” In its spot is a supermarket, and the residents have all gone elsewhere. “I can’t tell you where they went. But I hope they found another haven.”

Evan V. Symon is a journalist and interview finder guy for the Personal Experiences section at Cracked. Have an awesome job or experience you’d like to see in an article? Then post us up here or here!

Does that Sudden Valley side plot from Season 4 of Arrested Development make a little more sense now?

Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more, check out 5 Things I Learned From Being Addicted To Child Porn and 5 Ways We Misunderstand Pedophilia (That Makes it Worse).

It would be super neat if you follow us on Facebook.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2548-how-trailer-park-becomes-secret-haven-sex-offenders.html

6 Emotions You Had No Clue Actually Had Names

Have you ever had a weird feeling or emotion that you couldn’t really describe? Of course you have. Otherwise “That feeling when …” followed by an extremely specific set of circumstances wouldn’t be a meme your mom shares on Facebook. There are a ton of emotions that most people (or even languages) don’t have words for. In fact, the Germans have a word for the desire to have a word for everything: alleworterhabenfreude. So let us help you label these hidden desires, anxieties, and itches, so you’ll be prepared during any future therapy sessions or police interrogations.

6

L’Appel Du Vide: The Sudden Urge To Kill Yourself

Picture yourself on the landing of a stairwell, or a rooftop, or atop a cliff after a long hike. Some of us will take in the view, snap a pic for the Insta fans, and then be on our way. And some of us will have a weird flash in our brains: JUMP. And you don’t have to be suicidal for it to happen.

The French, in their ever-melodramatic way, call this feeling l’appel du vide, or “the call of the void.” In English, it’s known as high place phenomenon, or HPP (much more boring, we know). But that name is bit misleading, as you can experience HPP anywhere danger could happen. You might want to jump onto train tracks, jerk your car toward a barrier, or ask a cop to take a look at the black flashlight you’re keeping in the waistband of your low-hanging pants. Anywhere the balance between life and death is laid bare, the void will come a-calling.


Annnnd suddenly this makes sense.

But here’s the good news: Having these feelings means you want to live, dammit! As bizarre as it sounds, research suggests that this may be our subconscious overreacting to danger signs, fabricating a fake threat like your mom telling you not to touch electrical outlets because the energy monster will kill you. So the next time you feel the urge to do something fatal, know that you either love life too much or not enough. Like with jumping, there’s no middle ground.

5

Skin Hunger: Craving Physical Contact

Even if you aren’t a touchy-feely-huggy kind of person, you hopefully have one or two people in your life allowed to rub up on you every now and then. Even the most standoffish among us need to feel occasional skin-on-skin touch. Otherwise, we might start to experience something called skin hunger — the urge to touch bodies and have our bodies be touched. If you find yourself suddenly wanting to hug casual acquaintances, fist-bump strangers, or cuddle with Ruth in HR, you might be experiencing skin hunger.

In our contemporary standoffish culture, we should really take skin hunger more seriously, as there are so many benefits to getting touched often enough, and serious downsides when you don’t. Depression is the obvious one. Even otherwise well-adjusted people can get seriously depressed without plenty of skin-on-skin contact. Studies have found that even getting a quick massage can greatly decrease feelings of depression.

Wavebreakmedia/iStockMeaning that, in a way, every massage comes with a happy ending.

Another side effect of skin hunger is less obvious but more dangerous: aggression. A study found that French teens, who live in a “high contact” culture, touched each other more often when hanging out and were less likely to be aggressive than American teens. But the easiest place to spot how inhuman a skin-starved person can get is solitary confinement in prison. Not being touched is a specific element of their punishment, and prolonged withdrawal will emotionally and psychologically scar prisoners. And mental instability is not something incarcerated people need any more of.

Part of the problem is that we are now so connected online, but more isolated in real life. You can’t receive a hug from your Facebook friends, no matter how convincing the emojis are getting. It’s simply an essential part of nature. Baby monkeys in lab tests will even prefer a fake monkey mother that can give physical contact and support over one that is made of wire but gives food. Intimacy over food, huh? Turns out those old pizza delivery guy pornos were wholesome after all.

4

Gigil: The Overpowering Desire To Squeeze Something Cute

When holding a baby or playing with an adorable puppy, have you ever had the sudden compulsion to squish them? And not even because they bit you (damn babies), but because they are just too darn cute and you want to hug them so tight they explode? No, you’re not a psychopath (well, maybe). Everyone gets this feeling from time to time. In Tagalog, they call it gigil, but in English it’s known as “cute aggression.”

Gigil elicits genuine aggressiveness in the body. One study into the emotion gave participants some bubble wrap and told them they could pop as much as they wanted, which already makes this the most fun study ever. They then split the subjects into three groups and showed them cute pictures of animals, funny pictures, or plain old normal pictures. The study found that those who looked at the cute pics popped a lot more bubble wrap, as if their hands were automatically seizing up as a response to something they would want to hug and squeeze — to death, apparently.

Another study had people look at pictures of babies of varying cuteness and recorded their reactions. Not only did people have more nurturing feelings toward the cutest babies, but they also had more aggressive responses, such as wanting to pinch their cheeks or “eat them up.” Fortunately, these feelings are completely harmless. Researchers believe that this might a compensation mechanic, that we get so overwhelmed by the omg so kewt sensation that our body injects some nice, bitter aggression so we don’t go into emotional diabetic shock. It’s similar to how we cry during triumphant moments or touch ourselves inappropriately during funerals.

No? Just us?

3

Frisson: Beauty-Induced Skin Orgasms

Everyone has that special bit of music — it could be anything meaningful to you, but it’s probably Adele — which never fails to give them a little shiver up the spine and exciting goosebumps on the arms. This is called a “skin orgasm,” better known by the French term frisson, because there’s nothing more French than combining artistic beauty and sexy time tingles.

While frisson happens most often when you are listening to something that moves you, that isn’t the limits of its powers. You can also be physically overwhelmed when looking at a beautiful piece of art, watching a great movie scene, or touching someone else. Scientists think frisson might be something that stuck around from when we were shaggier. Back in our cave-dweller days, when all we had was thick layers of hair keeping us warm, we were very susceptible to unexpected cold breezes. In order to deal with them, our bodies learned to react to a sudden rush by giving us goosebumps to trap a layer of air to assist in keeping us warm. Nowadays, there are plenty of things potent enough to send shivers down our spines other than the cold, like when we’re watching that scene in Return Of The King when Aragon tells the hobbits they bow to no one and great now we’re crying again.


And not just because this makes us remember how terrible the Hobbit movies were.

Research has shown that anywhere from 55 to 86 percent of the population has experienced frisson at some point. There’s even a personality trait called “openness to experience” which causes certain people to feel aesthetic chills more often. Such people tend to have very active imaginations, think about their feelings a lot, love pretty things and the great outdoors, and are always trying new stuff like they’re the world’s most emotionally healthy junkies.

2

Deja Reve: Believing Your Dreams Predict The Future

We’ve all know about deja vu, when you could swear this isn’t the first time you’ve seen that woman in a green hat eating seven hard-boiled eggs. Fortunately, most of us know it’s fantastical nonsense. The idea that you’re reliving a moment is nothing but your brain playing a trick on you. Not like, say, when you dream about something and it actually happens only days later. That’s legit magic, right?

Deja reve (meaning “already dreamed”) is deja vu‘s less famous cousin. This happens when you suddenly think that what is happening has already occurred in a dream you only half-remember. Sadly for all us would-be oracles, deja reve works exactly the same as deja vu — you feel a false sense of familiarity, and your brain makes the logical assumption that it must be a memory. And since remembering dreams is like remembering real events, only more difficult and less reliable, deja reve is the perfect excuse for both skeptics and people who have a crystal ball on their Amazon wish list to accept the weirdness.

In fact, dreams are such an easy scapegoat for deja vu that almost everyone blames them for it. A study that surveyed college students found that 86 percent of them believed they had relived events that had first happened in their dreams. Another study found it was even more common, with 95.2 percent of participants claiming they’d experienced deja reve. And 7 percent said their dreams come true every week, which must get freaky if they ever dream about being murdered by a clown with an erection.

1

Hundreds Of Others, Because The English Language Is Emotionally Stunted

This list has barely scratched the surface of emotions we have no words for, because there are hundreds of them. One researcher found at least 216 foreign words for emotions that have no English equivalent. So like a therapist who’s noticed there’s only a minute left of the session, let’s rattle some other complex emotions we haven’t dealt with yet.

There are some that are immediately recognizable once someone tells you what it means. For example, the Koreans have the word …

… which means your mouth is bored. It’s that “peckish” feeling you get when you aren’t hungry, but feel like eating to pass the time or avoid doing something else — talking, most likely.

Koreans also have a similar word for hand boredom …

… which means you want to do something like crafting. We’re still holding out hope that they eventually discover eye boredom, explaining why we consider naps a valid way to kill some time.

Want some more? The Germans have schnapsidee, which is the phenomenon wherein you come up with the most brilliant plan ever despite being completely hammered. They also have sitzfleisch (literally “sit meat”), the specific fortitude used to sit through very boring things. Gula is Spanish for when you want to eat solely for the taste, a common desire among gourmands and cannibals. And the Bantu people of Africa have mbukimvuki, the sudden desire to burst out into a musical performance, which we could probably translate as “Bollywood syndrome.”

So why is it so important to know such words? Because some scientists think that when you don’t have a word for something, you might not be as likely to feel it. So maybe try to remember those 216 words. Your life (and vocabulary) will be all the richer for it.

At this point it might also be worth just investing in a French-English dictionary.

Support Cracked’s journalism with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

For more, check out 9 Foreign Words the English Language Desperately Needs and 6 Foreign Words So Dark There Are No English Equivalents.

We got lots of words for you on Facebook.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25474_6-emotions-you-had-no-clue-actually-had-names.html

The Bitter Truth About Fighting Chronic Pain Without Opioids

If you’ve tried to get painkillers from your doctor recently, or read literally any news story about white rural America, you know that we have an opioid epidemic. Fortunately, it turns out there is a clear, simple solution to the problem. Here’s a quote from Attorney General Jeff Sessions, breaking it down for the rest of us simple-minded shits:

“The plain fact is, I believe — and I am operating on the assumption that this country prescribes too many opioids — I mean, people need to take some aspirin sometimes and tough it out a little. That’s what General Kelly — you know, he’s a Marine — he had a surgery on his hand, a painful surgery … he goes, ‘I’m not taking any drugs. It did hurt though.’ He did admit it hurt. But, I mean, a lot of people, you can get through these things.”

As someone who lives with awful chronic pain, I of course agree with him. Sometimes you do have to just tough it out. It really is that simple. I’m not being sarcastic at all. Allow me to share my inspirational story.

Note: Former Cracked editor John Cheese is now the editor in chief of The Modern Rogue!

5

Simply Plan Your Entire Life Around The Pain

When I was a kid, I had a diving accident that did permanent damage to my neck and back. The details aren’t important — it really is the kind of thing that could have happened to any sensible person — but the result was that from ten feet in the air, I landed headfirst on a sandbar that was covered by just a couple of feet of water. I was completely vertical, like a goddamn Tom And Jerry cartoon. It hurt. And I didn’t even get the dignity of a wacky *boing!* sound.

As a result, for the last 30 years, I’ve dealt with chronic back pain. At its worst, it feels like a star collapsed inside my body. Sometimes, though, it changes gears and feels like someone hammered a red-hot nail into my neck and left it there. When that happens, sneezing or coughing will send a lightning bolt up my spine, a jolt of agony that makes me feel like I’m going to piss my pants. That can last for weeks. I’ve had broken bones that didn’t hurt like this. Other times, the muscles will suddenly get so weak that they just turn to Jell-O. Here, try this: Drop to the floor and do crunches until you physically can’t anymore, and then keep doing them for several more minutes. The muscle death you feel, coupled with that pulsating burn? That’s what I feel on most days, from sunup to sundown.

But I of course can power through it without the help of my painkiller prescription, via the irrepressible power of the human spirit. It just takes a little extra planning if I know I’m going to be doing anything extreme, like being on my feet for a couple of hours. For example, I recently took my daughter to the mall for some birthday shopping. After an hour and a half, I physically couldn’t walk anymore. By the time we got back to the car, I thought I was going to have to beg a stranger to help cram me into the driver’s seat, urging them to press on through my screams. Had I planned better, I could have simply quadrupled my dose of aspirin and Skyped with my daughter from the car while she shopped.

That’s the key to pain management: planning ahead and not doing the thing that causes you pain, and also remembering that nearly all things cause you pain. For instance, I pace when I talk on the phone. I can’t help it. This means a 20-minute phone call can potentially seize up my back so completely that I have to execute the sitting process in slow, gentle stages, looking like a GIF loading on a spotty LTE connection.

Of course, if I was smart, I would just stop talking on the phone forever. Or I could plan ahead by taking a few aspirin and toughing through that shit like a tank. I just need to cue up some Jeff Sessions and remember his inspirational words: “But, I mean, a lot of people, you can get through these things.”

4

Let Societal Scorn Work Its Magic

Over the past eight years, my wife has been through the following:

— An injury that resulted in two knee surgeries

— Her ACL torn right in half, resulting in a third

— Chronic migraines that regularly send her to the ER

Fucking brain surgery

When her ACL popped, she couldn’t touch her foot to the floor without crying so hard that she was close to vomiting. After the first doctor visit, they sent her home with two ibuprofen and a pair of crutches. It wasn’t until a week later that they did a scan and saw the tear. Between this and her original surgeries, the doctors said she’d likely be in pain for the rest of her life. Yet any time she complains to them about the pain, they look at her like she’s trying to bullshit her way into some sweet, sweet drugs. As if she went into the joint and popped that ligament with a pair of bolt cutters just so she’d have the pretense to take an occasional flight on Opioid Airlines.

I get the same. Any time I have to ask for pain medication, it’s followed with a suspicious look and “Are you sure the ibuprofen isn’t helping?” I understand. Even though I’m just asking for weak-ass Tramadol (a synthetic opioid specifically designed to be less addictive), you can still get hooked on that. I’m aware that addicts fake their way into prescriptions all the time. I also know that they sell them on the streets, and to be perfectly honest, I’d have an easier time buying the pills off of them than getting them from an actual doctor. The doctor is the only one who will judge me as a piece of shit.

Fortunately, feeling like a scumbag addict is a great motivator for staying away from opioids, despite the fact that they do take away 100 percent of my pain and allow me to physically function through an average day. Politicians say you’re just weak. Perspective employers see you as a potential pill-popping train wreck. Co-workers and subordinates look at you like you’re Dr. House. Friends and family will compare your pain to theirs and blow it off. (“Your back hurts? That’s nothing. I lost three fingers working at the guillotine factory. You don’t see me suckin’ down pain pills”) I simply have to measure the physical pain against the psychological/emotional pain and realize that the latter is greater. Problem solved.

3

Trust The Professionals To Let You Know When To Endure Excruciating Pain

The absolute best way to stay away from opioids is to let the medical profession do what it’s currently doing: restrict the everloving shit out of them in a completely arbitrary way. For instance, did you know that CVS announced in late 2017 that they would be limiting opioid prescriptions to a seven-day supply? And that patients would have to try the immediate-release pills before switching to the much more effective extended-release pills that chronic pain sufferers need? Thank. God.

Here I was, worried about my own willpower and aspirin-taking toughness, when all I had to do was wait for doctors and pharmacies to step in and say, “We got ya, buddy. We will fucking die before letting you abuse your medication.” I wish they’d take it a step further and just have me come in every time I need an individual pill. Just hand it out at the counter with a little cup of water, like Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

Of course, “seven-day supply” doesn’t really have much of a meaning. My wife’s 30-day supply of Tramadol is 30 pills. Take a look at the instructions:

Now, if we’re talking about someone who has pain once per day during a specific four-hour time span, that is definitely a 30-day supply. But if we’re talking about someone who is dealing with chronic pain, then taking the recommended dosage makes that bottle last seven to ten days. And that, my friends, is one hell of an awesome way to beat opioid dependence. Just make them up and vanish for 20 days per month. No more worrying about willpower. No need to toughen up. It’s totally out of your hands. “You’re out already? Well that sucks. You shouldn’t have taken what we told you to take. Oh well. Come back in 20 days, and we’ll get you some more. In the meantime, here’s some aspirin. How’s your toughness?”

2

Don’t Worry, Self-Care Is Your Ticket To Complete Opioid Freedom

Have you ever shopped for computer chairs at an office supply store? They always have little tags with a single-digit number on them. If you never looked up what those mean, they’re “suggested hours of use.” So if the tag says “5,” they’re saying, “Don’t sit in this for more than five hours per day, you lazy, computer-using turd.” I routinely work in a computer chair for 18 hours a day. There are no computer chairs with a rating of “18”.

Office Depot“Intensive” rated doesn’t even meet half of that.

In order to prevent my vertebrae from permanently fusing together, I follow the rule of thumb to get up and walk around for five to ten minutes every hour. And that will absolutely work for all of you too, because you also work from home and have no boss who will walk over and say, “Every time I see you, you’re walking around aimlessly, doing nothing. Do you want me to fire you?”

Now, if you’re one of the rare people who does have a boss (loser), you should just explain to them that experts recommend that you stand for two to four hours during your work day, and you’ll either need two desks (one for sitting and one for standing) or a sitting-to-standing desk for your office. Those generally only cost around $400. They should be fine with that.

Duro-Med“How about an $11 hemorrhoid pillow instead?” “But I don’t … *sigh* whatever.”

If you work in physical labor, you’ll need to do the opposite, taking plenty of breaks to get off your feet. The great thing about physical labor is that it’s a job known for its reasonable, empathetic supervisors and flexible project deadlines. They will have absolutely no problem with you pulling up a chair once every hour for some pain prevention. There is no way they’ll say, “I didn’t hire you to sit on your ass. Get back to work or allow me to go spend the three minutes it would take me to find a replacement.”

1

You Will Definitely Become Tough

Here’s the thing about chronic pain: It doesn’t just affect you or your throbbing body part. It turns you into a dick, because it’s impossible to maintain a positive, healthy state of mind when all you can concentrate on is *throb, throb, throb, throb, throb*. Unless you’re showing exaggerated physical signs or you outright tell someone about how much pain you’re in, other people have no idea why you’re being a douche. They just think, “Man, screw that dude.” People in my situation usually know what it’s like to ask for a promotion and be interrupted with, “I’d really love to give you the position, but you really are a piece of shit, Chad.”

Also, chronic pain is often linked with depression, and the two feed off of each other like the Auryn, only made out of human shit. The pain makes the depression worse, and the depression robs you of the motivation and energy to manage the pain. It’s a perpetual motion machine that often ends with goddamn suicide. “How tragic, he was always so sad for some reason.” YES, MAYBE IT WAS BECAUSE THE ENTIRE TOP HALF OF MY FUCKING BODY WAS ON FIRE.

The upside is that if you survive a few decades of this, you’ll be tough as hell. You could be catapulted anus-first into a cactus made of metal and be like, “Pfft. Just give me a couple of aspirin. I’ll be fine.” Hell, Jeff Sessions may even put you in one of his speeches.

“I knew a writer who couldn’t walk the length of one shopping mall,” he’ll say. “His pain was so severe that he only slept a few hours per night. It gave him chronic depression. He had been in the hospital multiple times for nervous breakdowns. His kids learned to not ask him to go on long trips, because he couldn’t physically handle the car ride. But by God, he didn’t take opioids, because that man, he was as tough as a leather dildo.”

You can find John and lots of your favorite writers at The Modern Rogue, where he is editor in chief. You can also follow him on Twitter.

And heck, maybe leatherworking could be a fun hobby to take your mind off the pai–nah, not really.

If you loved this article and want more content like this, support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/blog/the-bitter-truth-about-fighting-chronic-pain-without-opioids/

5 Insanely Important Jobs (We’re Running Out Of People For)

Supply and demand should ensure that we never run out of people to do the really key jobs. If there was a dire shortage of, say, potato chip flavor developers (don’t panic, this is strictly theoretical), chip companies would make the salary and perks of the job more attractive, colleges would hype up the benefits of majoring in flavor science, and new blood would enter the field, bringing with them the caramel-and-Worcestershire-sauce-flavored Pringles we truly deserve. But reality is nowhere near that efficient, and we are running out of people for some especially vital jobs. For example …

5

Old Programmers Are Dying Off … And Taking Their Computer Languages With Them

As far as we’re concerned, computers are magic. We don’t know the technical details of what goes down when we order a book from Amazon or stream truly shocking amounts of pornography, and frankly, we don’t want to. That’s why we have computer programmers. They do all the important behind-the-scenes work that lets us take complicated technology for granted, and they give us someone to complain about when that technology fails and we can’t stream Gilmore Girls on our toaster at three in the morning.

But there’s a problem: An enormous amount of our financial data is stored on systems still running ancient programming. Roughly three trillion dollars a day runs through computers still operating on COBOL, a language that was developed in 1959. Everything from ATMs to credit card networks to mortgage payments rely on a system that makes calculator watches look like absurd science fiction. And the majority of people who know how to fix the many problems with COBOL are getting ready to meet their programmers.

Via Fossbytes.comSo sleep tight knowing that your paycheck could depend on a program that looks like it should be threatening Matthew Broderick with nuclear annihilation.

It’s not as simple as moving everything onto a more modern infrastructure. At this point, the financial system is so intertwined with its COBOL roots that it would be like trying to simultaneously replace all of your veins with fiber optics. A switchover is theoretically possible, but if something goes wrong, the financial data for millions of people could vanish.

Since it would be impractical to make everyone temporarily withdraw all of their money until the problem is fixed, geriatric programmers are making good money running firms that specialize in COBOL. Meanwhile, the industry is rushing to train young programmers (and rehire the old guys they fired because they thought their skills were obsolete). Further compounding the problem is that programmers of the original COBOL systems rarely wrote handbooks, and deciphering someone else’s computer code 40 years later is like trying to communicate an elaborate sexual fantasy via slide whistles.

And it’s not only banking. NASA once desperately needed to find programmers who knew Fortran to communicate with their Voyager probes. These are by no means insurmountable problems, so don’t panic and put all of your money in Dogecoins tomorrow. But it’s kind of like suddenly discovering that we have to teach thousands of people Latin to prevent the English language book industry from collapsing.

4

The Demand For Oncologists Skyrockets While Supply Plummets

We’re living longer than ever, and while that’s mostly awesome, it does have some downsides. Now that we’re not frequently devoured by wolves, we have to deal with other, increasingly common causes of death, like heart disease or insisting that you could kick everyone’s ass in a hot dog eating contest. And then there’s cancer.

We need oncologists more than ever, and that’s a problem, since burnout is taking a serious toll on that profession. We’re estimated to be short 2,500 to 4,000 oncologists by 2020. The burnout can be physical — you’re constantly required to stay up to date on lab results, deal with sudden calls from patients at all hours of the day, and fight for settlements with insurance companies — but there’s also the emotional exhaustion of forming close bonds with suffering patients, having to break difficult news to them, and in some cases, watching them die.

Association of American Medical CollegesThe news isnt really great for other specialties, either.

We need to increase the number of America’s oncologists by an estimated 40 percent by 2025 merely to keep up with the need. Improving medical care is going to make us better at surviving other diseases, which means more people are going to be confronting nature’s final boss. To close the gap between the high retirement rates and new trainees entering the field, we’ll need hundreds more people to enter oncology programs each year. And we’re currently losing them hand over fist. So if you’re getting ready for med school and have no issues with emotionally crushing situations, we’ve found a promising career for you.

3

We’re Short On Farm Labor Because It’s Such A Terrible Job

85 percent of farm laborers are immigrants, and roughly 70 percent of those immigrants are undocumented. And between 2009 and 2016, that workforce decreased by three million people due to deportation. Those who do remain are growing older, and there might not be anyone to replace them.

OK, but isn’t that the whole point of deporting undocumented immigrants? To free up jobs for unemployed citizens? In theory, yes … but not enough Americans looking for work want to get into farming. It’s exhausting, physical labor with long hours in harsh weather. One farm started offering Americans $20 an hour, but still couldn’t retain workers. 401(k)s? Health insurance? Generous bonuses? None of it makes up for the fact that the work blows, despite what Stardew Valley told you about the appeal of quitting your office job to live in the country.

Norma FloresBut hey, free housing … assuming youre OK with living in dilapidated communal barracks.

With demand vastly exceeding supply, farmers have had to rethink what they can afford to grow and harvest. Nuts, for example, can be harvested by machines, but peaches require the delicate touch of a human. But replacing human labor with machines means that only a minuscule fraction of employees will be needed in the future. So an entire industry will up and vanish, and then we’ll have to think of some new problem to blame immigrants for.

2

Nobody Wants To Be A Skilled Manufacturer Anymore

While the United States undeniably has a shortage of skilled jobs that provide stability and security, there’s also a huge, undiscussed problem in the opposite direction. We don’t have enough people trained to do skilled manufacturing jobs.

MixabestShocking how no one wants a career that will obviously be done by humans forever.

That means factory work, machine maintenance, melting Terminators in giant vats of liquid metal, etc. Up to two million of those jobs will go unfilled over the next decade just because people aren’t trained for them. We’re literally running out of people who know how to make things that aren’t Minecraft videos and snarky Tweets. Do you remember Trump saying that he wanted to bring good jobs back from overseas? Factory CEOs turned around and told him that those jobs are already here, but vacant.

Why the shortage? Well, corporations cracked down on unions, which lowered wages and led to the perception that manufacturing jobs, even skilled ones, were boring, repetitive positions for lower-class bozos. So colleges started de-emphasizing manufacturing skill sets, and graduates in relevant fields, like mechanics and engineering, started dropping accordingly. The industry is turning to automation, but factories still need employees to install and maintain those machines, and even those employees are missing.

Mixabest*cough*

If you’re a cartoonish conservative stereotype loudly wondering why “America doesn’t build things anymore,” it’s not because of them lousy foreigners. It’s because corporations neglected those jobs, and now nobody wants to do them anymore.

1

We Don’t Have Nearly Enough Pilots To Meet Our Demand For Air Travel

Air travel is perhaps the modern luxury that we most take for granted. It is a damn wonder that we hurtle through the sky at will, but tell that to the tired, grumpy people in economy. Or wait, maybe you won’t have to, because we’re running out of people who know how to operate those magical flying machines, to the point where flights are getting cancelled due to a lack of pilots. Obviously there’s a lot of training required before you can be trusted with the controls of a jet-powered carrier of human lives. In fact, after the crash of Colgan Air Flight 3407 (a disaster partly attributed to insufficient pilot training), the people in charge got together and said, “Hey, maybe we should re-examine how much experience pilots need before we let them take off in these soaring hunks of metal and fire that actively defy God.”

Bureau of Aircraft Accident Archives50 dead bodies do usually lead to some reevaluation.

The result was a whopping 500 percent increase in the amount of flight time required before you can pilot a passenger or cargo plane. That’s great from a safety standpoint. The more experienced the better, right? But the unfortunate side effect is that it’s turned people away from wanting to become pilots in the first place. Those new requirements, and the north of $100,000 price tag that comes along with all that education and training, make simply becoming an accountant and buying a flight simulator look a lot more appealing.

Boeing predicts that over 600,000 pilots are going to be needed over the next 20 years to fill a demand that’s already forced one regional airline into bankruptcy. The aviation industry is trying to respond by offering increased pay and sign-on bonuses, but that’s mucking things up for another industry that needs pilots: the military. In 2017, the Air Force announced a “national aircrew crisis” which left them 1,555 pilots short of what they need, and the best thing you can say about that is that Top Gun 2 might actually be topical.

Check out Dwayne’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, where you can see the famous musicians he interviews for Revue Magazine. T.W. would like you to consider checking out the International Committee of the Red Cross. They do pretty cool stuff. Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes there. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs.

It’s not, NOT worth your time to learn COBOL, here’s a beginner’s book.

If you loved this article and want more content like this, support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25132_5-insanely-important-jobs-were-running-out-people-for.html

Healthy People Are Faking Disabilities To Get A Service Dog

You may think of service animals as those dogs that keep blind people from walking into traffic, but they’re available for all sorts of conditions, like PTSD or anxiety. Or nothing at all, if you’re willing to lie.

Yes, as you might have noticed if you’ve flown next to a suspiciously unruly rottweiler or seen three humping dogs forming a canine centipede at the DMV, there are a hell of a lot more service animals now than there used to be, and some of their owners seem perfectly healthy. Why in the hell would somebody fake a disability just to get a fake service animal? To find out, we talked with “Ashley,” who did precisely that.

5

Does Your Lease Say “No Pets Allowed?” Well …

This is the big one. If your pet counts as a support or assistance animal, you and your dog/cat/goat can stride happily past “No pets allowed” signs all day long. That’s what got Ashley into the game.

“When my grandmother passed away,” she says, “I got her dog, a little nine-month-old terrier. I was going to shelter him, but after a few months sorting things out at my grandma’s house in Arizona, he became my little baby.” Then she returned home and introduced her landlord to her brand-new roommate, a very good boy. The landlord said, “‘I guess that means you’re giving notice.’ Because the lease had a no-pets policy.”

But Ashley already had a counterattack ready in the form of a pile of documents prepared by her law student nephew. The terrier, she told the landlord, was her assistance animal. According to the Fair Housing Act, tenants are welcome to keep assistance animals, as “No pets” policies don’t apply, since such animals aren’t pets. Landlords can’t even charge extra fees or a pet deposit. Ashley was welcome to keep it, so long as it was never documented being aggressive and required no unreasonable accommodations.

PawPADSSo, presumably no emotional support buffalo.

Those special laws weren’t meant for her and her grandma’s terrier. They were meant for animals that help people with disabilities (such as guide dogs for the blind), or comfort animals for people with severe mental illnesses like PTSD. Ashley simply claimed to have depression, having gotten the diagnosis specifically so she could keep the dog. The landlord said she’d soon hear from his lawyer. She never did. “I probably seem terrible to you,” she says, “but I like to tell myself that at least I had a reason. I was depressed at the time, and I didn’t want to see something of my grandma’s go away. I grew attached, and I did what I had to do.”

But that was only the beginning.

4

With A Fake Service Animal, You’re An Instant VIP

Want to bring your dog on a plane? You can stow it under a seat for around $125, if it can fit. You can send it in cargo for $300. Or, if you call it a support animal, it rides for free thanks to the Air Carrier Access Act. “It’s almost a secret club at airports and in airplanes,” says Ashley. “Perfectly healthy people come in with service dogs, and there’s always a knowing nod we have.”

The Easter Turkey Files/FacebookIt doesn’t even need to be a dog.

Outside of housing and flights, the rules are a lot tighter. Businesses are free to kick out emotional support animals. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, they only have to allow service animals that are trained to perform specific tasks for the disabled, with “being h*ckin cute and floofy” not counting as a specific service task. But plenty of businesses aren’t clear on the distinction, so they err on the side of letting assistance animals past every velvet rope.

“When you think of every place you’ve seen them, I’ve taken him there,” says Ashley. “Lyfts. The subway. On beaches which said ‘No dogs allowed.’ Malls. Hotels. At first I did it because I wanted to see how far I could take it, but besides a few restaurants, I found out that there’s virtually no limit.” Once, she even brought him into a spa, a place not normally receptive to loud barks and shedding. “The manager had to come down and part a wall of employees for me, all of whom looked pissed.”

From skipped fees and other perks, she reckons she saves a couple thousand dollars a year.

3

Certifying A Dog Can Be Nothing But An Elaborate Charade

There are a few ways, with varying degrees of legitimacy, to “certify” your animal (assistance animals today range from cats to the frickin’ turkeys seen above). The first is you go the whole nine yards and get a real one. A dog may cost tens of thousands of dollars to train, and unless you’re legit disabled and need it to open doors or push buttons, you aren’t getting one.

The second way is outright fake certification, thanks to wide selection of “official service dog registries” awaiting you on the internet. “I signed up with four services,” says Ashley. “I had to stop on the first four because it felt like a scam. They’d let my dog be licensed based solely on what I told them. It didn’t feel right.”

Those cost around $100 each. It’s a great deal if your conscience doesn’t object, and entirely sufficient for convincing people who don’t know better. According to the ADA, you don’t actually need to carry any certification. Businesses must take you at your word after asking only two questions: Is the dog a service animal required because of a disability? (to root out emotional support dogs) and What work or task has the dog been trained to perform? (for further rooting out). Oddly enough, the savviest business owners know that dog owners who do carry around certificates for their dogs are the ones most likely to be fakers.

The third way to certify your dog is the gray market approach, whereby you mix the previous two into what can best be described as “legal-ish.” This starts with a medical diagnosis. “I was thinking about PTSD, but depression seemed the easiest,” says Ashley. “I thought, ‘I get depressed sometimes,’ and I went to my doctor. I told him how bad it felt and how I didn’t want to use pills. I needed something ‘like a rock.’ It wasn’t hard selling him on being depressed. My grandma had just died, and I had been in a hospital in Arizona about depression because of how blue I was.”

Armed with a doctor’s note, she reached out to a certification group. Again, there’s no official registry for service dogs, but some private companies will at least test your dog out to see that it’s manageable in public and likely won’t suddenly maul a baby. “I was instructed to walk down the street with him,” recalls Ashley. “He was fine. Then I was told to bring him nearby a few large dogs. He looked a little intimidated, but again, he was fine. And that was it.”

But even more powerful than any piece of paper when it comes to fooling people is an adorable service dog vest, which Ashley grabbed off Amazon with no verification at all.

AmazonWith free shipping, you can’t afford not to take advantage.

“Before I got everything I needed, I took my dog for a walk with his vest on, and I was given right of way. Joggers who otherwise wouldn’t have moved before saw the vest when they were coming near and got out of my way. That little vest is a powerful thing.”

And really, what’s the harm?

2

Actual Disabled People Get Screwed

As fun as it would be to sneak your dog somewhere it shouldn’t be, like an operating room or a SpaceX rocket, there are reasons businesses keep animals out. Even Ashley sees the other side now and again, like when she was on a flight to New York full of untrained “service dogs” barking their heads off and stewardesses trying vainly to quiet them all. Or the time she took her dog to the grocery store and saw six other dogs there too, forcing the manager to sub in for employees who had allergies. “He said, ‘Do you absolutely need a dog with you? This is insane. We can barely run a business.’ I didn’t say anything, but I felt bad.”

Many, many people are getting into the fake assistance animal game, and the real victims are those people who truly need them, but are disbelieved because of all the fraud out there. (Which is our biggest fear even running this article. Please do not go around accusing strangers of fraud because they don’t “seem” disabled enough for their animal!) Some service dog owners report getting denied hotel rooms (Ashley herself is convinced she gets the worst room possible when hotels learn of her dog) or kicked off flights.

“Charlotte” is a friend of Ashley’s who has a legitimate emotional support dog. “She saw a murder happen and has had PTSD ever since,” she says. “Bad PTSD. Without her dog, I don’t think she could leave the house.” And Charlotte happened to take her dog to the grocery store (the same store as the allergies incident) when a pair of fake service dogs decided to chew up some stuff on the bottom shelves and then poop all over the floor. An employee yelled, “Hey, control your dog!” at Charlotte, the only innocent dog owner there, triggering her PTSD.

Not that that’s enough to make Ashley keep her own dog at home. “My dog isn’t promoting service dogs being out of control,” she clarifies. “I’m … probably sounding hypocritical still, but I said what I said.”

1

People Are Catching On, And Fakers Do Get Punished … Sometimes

Those incidents we mentioned just now, when businesses turn away service dogs? They aren’t that common. Denying a service dog can turn into a PR nightmare, whether it’s by a hotel, an airline, or Popeye’s Chicken. “That’s why we aren’t called out on it more often,” says Ashley. “No one wants to be the person bashing the handicapped out of something they need.” So when the owner of one family-style restaurant refused her dog entry and finally threatened to call the police, Ashley wasn’t shaken. “Do it!” she said. “They’ll tell you how wrong you are!”

Within ten minutes, the cops were there.

“I was doing OK in convincing them until they asked if it was an emotional support dog,” says Ashley. “To which I said yes. They knew about the service and support distinction, so they knew a lot about these laws. I didn’t have to, but I showed them my certificate for my dog, and they said, ‘Haven’t seen them like this before.'” Now she started to panic, but she was saved by a random coincidence. The officer recognized the name of her doctor and decided to let her go. Petty corruption for the win!

California currently has a $1,000 fine and six months in jail lined up for faking a service dog. In Florida, it’s $500 and two months in jail. Other states have measures too, and in case it sounds like a slap on the wrist, that’s per count. So Ashley now keeps a lower profile — including taking tips on how legitimate support animal owners act. “Owners with real problems won’t let you touch the dog, or even get near it,” she says. “It’s working, and you can distract it. Owners taking it on for the hell of it, they’ll be like, ‘Sure, you can pet them!'” Even with emotional support dogs, you can’t do that. “I have to act like that now.”

One flight of Ashley’s had three support dogs on it. There was her, a woman in a wheelchair, and then the third woman, who had a Chihuahua. “She was letting kids pet the dog,” says Ashley, “and I had told those same kids before that my dog was working. The woman in the wheelchair overheard me and said, as we were both looking at her, ‘Don’t those people make you sick?’ She had no idea.”

Evan V. Symon is a journalist, interview finder guy, and writer for the Personal Experiences section at Cracked.

Instead of getting your floofer a service vest they’re not qualified to wear and doing the general public a bamboozle, how about a heckin’ cool but also warm coat instead?

If you loved this article and want more content like this, support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/personal-experiences-2156-healthy-people-are-faking-disabilities-to-get-service-dog.html

10 Everyday Habits That Are Destroying Your Hair

Hair health is for reals. You may think it doesn’t take a genius to get good, long, healthy hair, but you could be wrong. Like, did you know that 90% of your normal routine is probably leading to breakage and the actual opposite of shampoo commercial hair? It’s sad, but it’s true. Since we only hang out with people who have nice clothes and hair, we figured it was our godly duty to inform you of the everyday shit you’re def doing that’s fucking up your potentially shiny, amazing hair. So say goodbye to things like cotton pillowcases, towels, and hot water. SAD.

1. Hot Water

I love washing away the stench of failure a day at the office as much as the next betch, but it’s important to know that turning that dial all the way up to HOT can lead to breakage and frizz because you’re washing out all the natural oils in your hair. You can still take a hot shower, just don’t, like, overdo it.

2. Wrapping Your Hair In A Towel

Because towels aren’t, by nature, that soft, using one to wrap around your head turban-style can actually lead to more breakage. Rubbing and trying to dry hair with a towel is even worse. Using something like a jersey material is actually WAY better and more absorbent.

3. Sleeping On A Cotton Pillowcase

YAS QUEEN. Stop sleeping on that plebeian material and invest in a silk or satin pillowcase (like this one from SLIP that we swear by). Not only is it gentler on your skin and less likely to give you wrinkles (bless), but it also won’t play host to as much friction as cotton, which can lead to hair breakage.

4. Dry Shampoo

Alright, well, I guess I’ll just go fuck myself. APPARENTLY using too much dry shampoo can block your scalp’s pores and make your hair super dull. It can even lead to literal pimples on your head. I’ve never felt so betrayed.

5. Putting Your Hair In A Top Knot

I KNOW. According to Doris Day, an important historical figure NYC dermatologist, tight hairstyles put strain on hair follicles, damaging them and creating scars that can, in turn, destroy the follicle forever. So, like, go ahead and wear the topknot, but not every day and not hella tight.

6. Skipping Milk And Red Meat

Sooooo the juice cleanse you’re on may have you feeling super in touch with your inner zen, but it isn’t doing jack shit for your hair. Turns out you need protein and calcium to provide keratin, which helps protect hair from the inside out. The more you know.

7. Not Cleaning Your Brushes

We all have one—don’t deny it. Dirty brushes can actually irritate your scalp and result in clogged pores, equaling not so shiny tresses.

8. Skipping Breakfast

Ughhhhh. So apparently, hair needs nutrients just like the rest of your body, and not eating can fuck that shit up. Like, not chugging some OJ and stuffing a granola bar in your face at 7am can actually lead to shedding and slower growth of your hair. So, like, eat.

9. Going To Bed With Wet Hair

Although moms everywhere will attest that going to bed with a wet head will def result in pneumonia/AIDS/death, it actually is super bad for your hair—not so much your health. Putting wet hair in a ponytail and going to bed can lead to breakage since the hair is in a not-so-strong state.

10. Skipping The Hairdresser

If you’re trying to grow out your hair, a trip to the salon seems out of the question. But not going could actually be worse for your long tress quest. As your hair grows, you’re obv going to have split ends. If you don’t cut ’em off, and keep growing everything out, those splits are going to travel upward. So, like, go to the hairdresser—ask for a “dusting” or to JUST remove split ends. It’ll be okay. 

 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/10-habits-that-are-destroying-your-hair

A Definitive List Of All The Things Millennials Have “Killed”

Insane as it sounds, in a world where our highest ranking public official watches four to eight hours of television a day and every male Hollywood exec has like ten assault allegations against them, millennials are still considered society’s villains.

The olds are threatened by fast-texters and have decided the only way to take us down is to write lengthy articles about products, brands, and trends we’ve “killed.” By “killed” they just mean, things we DGAF about anymore. Sorry face-to-face conversations are boring, Grandma.

Here is a list of my favorite things millennials have killed. 

Diamonds

When millennials started swiping instead of settling, diamond companies freaked out and were like who TF will buy our unethically sourced jewels?! Honestly, we’re receiving false alarms that Hawaii is being nuked and our president is in a dick measuring contest with an insane dictator across the world. That “forever” diamonds are promising doesn’t have much value at the moment. Also, have you ever seen a millennial’s bank account? They’re mostly overdraft fees caused by 2am drunk purchases on Amazon. Diamonds aren’t exactly on the menu.

Doorbells

Millennials are texting their friends when they roll up instead of ringing doorbells and this is hurting Baby Boomers’ feelings. This feels nitpicky and anyone who has strong feelings about doorbells and how often they are used can just chill. Plus, I’m not going to just answer the door if I don’t know who is going to be there? I think that is a shared sentiment and coincides with the decrease in popularity of serial killers. No need to look that up, seems undeniably true.

Napkins

Well, first of all, we aren’t buying napkins because we’re getting free napkins in our takeout bags. Duh. Second of all, we’re using paper towels. Rent costs like 90% of my paycheck and Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty products account for the rest of the what I spend. I don’t have the luxury to buy two different types of paper products? Napkins are over.

Cereal

HAVE [CLAP] YOU [CLAP] HEARD [CLAP] OF [CLAP] AVOCADO [CLAP] TOAST [CLAP]???

Motorcycles

Millennials have “killed” motorcycles but tbh I think that’s just because we haven’t hit a midlife crisis yet. Give us like 15 years and we’re all going to buying those bad boys to rev up our lives and seem sexy again. Just be patient and those Harley sales will spike back up. For now we will spend our life saving on Lyft rides and then wonder why we can’t afford luxuries like “health insurance.”

Heads up, you need to keep up with the news. It’s not cute anymore. That’s why we’ve created a 5x weekly newsletter called The ‘Sup that will explain all the news of the week in a hilarious af way. Because if we weren’t laughing, we’d be crying. Sign up for The ‘Sup now!

Read more: http://www.betches.com/millennials-ruined-list

6 Popular Workouts That Are A Waste Of Time And Money

It’s 2018, which means there’s a gluten-free section on every brunch menu and a boutique fitness studio on every other block. Then again, our two main talking points these days are Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy and Oprah Winfrey’s presidency. So like, what a time to be alive. But back to the workout thing, there are actually so many fitness classes you can take, and each one tells you they’ll help you burn calories, get toned, look good, etc. Some of these classes need to be called out on their bullshit, and we’re here to do just that. Here are some workouts that are wasting your time and money.

1. Aerial Yoga

Also known as Anti-Gravity yoga, aerial yoga is a popular choice among 22-year-old girls who want to do something active on a Saturday to get a cute Instagram and make themselves feel better about the liter of tequila they’ll be drinking later. If you’ve never heard of this type of workout, picture Cirque Du Soleil meets Lululemon for $38 per session. The idea is to do traditional yoga poses on a cotton hammock hanging from the ceiling. It sounds pretty bizarre, and that’s because it is. We’re not saying this is a total scam, but unless you’re an experienced yogi with a ton of balance and a legit certification, you’re prob not getting anything out of this class. Like, by the time you finally get the hang of it, the class is over and you didn’t get any of the poses right, so you’re wasting your time. If you want a more legit workout, skip the anti-gravity bullshit and go do regular yoga.

2. Aqua Cycling

Aqua cycling is another one of those fads that draw in a group of girls who “don’t looove spinning, but would def try it in a pool for the experience.” Honestly, find yourself a different experience. Peddling your legs on a bike underwater will obviously give you a workout, but the burn you feel is more intense than the calories you’re actually burning. Like, there’s a reason people don’t run marathons in swimming pools. Because of the laws of physics it’s clearly harder for your body to move in water, but that doesn’t mean your heart rate is any higher than it would be on land. In fact, you’re moving a lot slower, so the calorie burn doesn’t even compare. Plus, let’s not even get started on the amount of germs in that pool. Do you know how many people already sweat in that water before your 7pm class? Pass.

3. The Spin Class Arms Segment 

This isn’t a workout class itself, but it’s a v controversial part of every spin class, so it’s time to address it. If you’ve ever taken a cycling class, you may have noticed that about two thirds of the way through the class, the instructor tells you to peddle slower while you take out two one-pound weights and do a few shoulder raises and arm circles. During this time, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “This fucking hurts! I never knew 90 seconds of one-pound weights could actually tone my arms!” That’s because it won’t. Simply put, this arm segment is bullshit, and it’s not doing anything for you. While your arms are burning from the pulsing exercises and you may be sore tomorrow, a short interval of light weights isn’t actually doing much for your arms, and it only feels that hard because your body is already so exhausted from the intense spinning you’ve been doing. But it  fuck up your back pretty easily, so it has that going for it. You’re better off skipping this part and doing a legit arm workout at the gym another day. Sorry.

4. Barre

People might kill us for this, but we’re calling bullshit on most barre classes’ claims. We’re not saying that barre isn’t a good workout at all, but it’s definitely not doing what you think it’s doing. Barre studios promise to create “long, lean muscles” and make your body “toned but not bulky.” If you know anything about the mechanics of the human body, phrases like these are literally nails on a chalkboard. Whether you’re using heavy weights or resistance bands with pulsing movements, your muscles can only do three things: get bigger, get smaller, or stay the same—you can’t make them “longer” or “leaner.” The low-weight, high-volume movements in a barre class can definitely help you get stronger over time, but all the marketing about getting small, pretty muscles is just scientifically impossible. Ballerinas may look that way because of their genetics and restrictive diets, but the barre isn’t giving you that look if you weren’t born with it. Sorry if you already spent $18 on the socks.

5. The Cardio Class At Your Local Gym

I know regular gyms offer classes and not all of them are horrible, but chances are, if you’re attending a class called “Cardio Blast” taught by a 63-year-old woman named Gladys, it’s probably not that intense. If you’re attending cardio classes at your gym that make you dance around, squat in place, and do a few step ups, you could probably be spending your time more wisely and burning more calories. Any workout is better than no workout, but if you think this is really more effective than doing HIIT on the treadmill or the rower, or taking a bootcamp-style HIIT class, you should reconsider. I mean, a couple Equinox classes with celebrity trainers may be the exception, but the rest are probably not worth it. If you need to find a partner halfway through class to hold their feet down while they do a few crunches, look elsewhere.

6. Pole Dancing “Fitness”

I think somebody made a joke one time about pole dancing being a sport and someone took it too seriously. In case you’ve never heard of this sad phenomenon, people are literally signing up for pole dancing classes thinking they’re getting a legit workout. There are so many problems with this, and I’m not even sure which to point out first. Let’s ignore the moral, ethical, and political issues for now and stick with the actual workout. I’ve never taken this class myself, but I can only imagine the workout you’re getting by soberly spinning around a pole and doing a few booty pops is sub-par, at best. Consider that strippers and burlesque dancers might be good at their jobs because they’re strong, not the other way around. Unless you’re Kate Upton, working out isn’t supposed to be sexy, so please save yourself the time and skip this class. And don’t follow the instructors on Instagram either.

After some recent commenters pointed out my misinformation on pole fitness, I’d like to update my claims with a few facts. As I mentioned previously, I’ve never done a pole fitness class, and simply stated my thoughts based on some colleagues’ experiences in the class. However, after doing some research of my own into the science behind the workout, it turns out pole can be a v efficient workout if you go to the right class. Personally, I don’t think I would feel any effects of it until I’ve gone a few times and gotten a hang of the moves, so it may not be the best use of my time and money, but it turns out pole dancing can actually be a killer workout that not only tones and strengthens your body, but also improves your balance, flexibility, and coordination.

Considering you’re only using the pole and your own bodyweight, the amount of core strength you need is insane. Like, all the planking in the world won’t give you this type of ab strength. Plus, it’s super intensive when it comes to both cardio and upper body strength. You’re basically working your arms, shoulders, upper back, and legs in one workout, so it adds up to a legit calorie-burn, too.

Moral of the story: Pole fitness seems like a really intense workout and I feel bad for misjudging based on some misinformation. Anyone wanna take a class with me?

 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/popular-workout-classes-that-dont-work

Bad News, Everybody: Hydrogen Peroxide Is Useless

OK, so hydrogen peroxide is good for some things, such as creating an uninspired volcano for your school science fair. But what it’s not great at is disinfecting cuts and scrapes.

When you pour hydrogen peroxide on a wound, that telltale foam is surely the death rattle of a thousand screaming bacteria, right? Well, it turns out it’s nothing but a chemical reaction to the enzyme catalase, which is found in our blood and cells. When hydrogen peroxide meets catalase, it turns into oxygen gas and water, and boom! Medically reassuring fizz ensues.

Trenten Kelley/flickrFollowed by the medically reassuring stinging and crying … uh, so we’ve heard.

But after centuries of blindly trusting the stuff, scientists have found that hydrogen peroxide doesn’t prevent bacterial growth or reduce the risk of infection at incision sites. In fact, it may actually slow the healing process. Thanks, brown bottle of lies!

The alternative? Flush the wound with running tap water or saline, then use a mild soap to clean the surrounding area. Top it off with a thin layer of Vaseline for added moisture and protection. (Antibiotic ointments can lead to swelling and allergic reactions.) And despite the lore that wounds should breathe, they heal best when covered and moist. So slap on a bandage and change it regularly. As for the remaining peroxide in your medicine cabinet … have you ever considered going blonde?

If you loved this article and want more content like this, support our site with a visit to our Contribution Page. Please and thank you.

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25404_bad-news-everybody-hydrogen-peroxide-useless.html