Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Transhumanism Is Dominating Sci-Fi TV

The future belongs to those who can afford it. This may be virtually true in today’s world, where surviving retirement can feel impossible, but it’s also the literal premise of Altered Carbon, Netflix’s new prestige sci-fi series. Based on Richard K. Morgan’s novel of same name, the neo-noir is set several hundred years in the future, when human consciousness has been digitized into microchip-like “stacks” constantly being swapped into and out of various bodies, or “sleeves.”

This technology, along with innovations like human cloning and artificial intelligence, has given society a quantum leap, but it’s also sent socioeconomic stratification into overdrive, creating dire new realities for the poor and incarcerated while simultaneously producing an elite upper-class. Called “Mets”—short for “Methuselahs”—the members of Altered Carbon’s 0.001 percent have achieved virtual immortality thanks to vaults of their own cloned sleeves and cloud backups full of their stacks. It’s either dystopia or utopia, depending on one’s bank account.

Whatever your views on the show’s plot, in which a former rebel supersoldier named Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), on ice in a stack prison, is revived and hired by a Met to solve the murder of his last sleeve, Altered Carbon’s best quality is its worldbuilding. In the 25th century, transhumanism—the belief that human beings are destined to transcend their mortal flesh through technology—has reached its full potential, and some of its end results are not pretty, at all.

But Altered Carbon is only the latest bit of transhumanism to hit TV recently. From Black Mirror’s cookies and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams’ mind-invading telepaths and alien bodysnatchers to Star Trek: Discovery’s surgical espionage and Travelerstime-jumping consciousness, the classic tropes of body-hopping, body-swapping, and otherwise commandeering has exploded in an era on the brink, one in which longevity technology is accelerating more rapidly than ever, all while most people still trying to survive regular threats to basic corporeal health and safety.

These tropes have enjoyed a healthy existence in sci-fi and horror for decades, but now more than ever transhumanism is ubiquitous in pop culture, asking us to consider the ethical, personal, political, and economic implications of an ideology with a goal—implementing technology in the human body to prolong and improve life—that is already beginning to take shape.

The Birth of Transhumanism

A crucial fact to remember about transhumanism and the philosophies it inspired, including the ones modeled by Altered Carbon’s Mets, is that its conception was heavily rooted in eugenics. Though earlier thinkers had already produced work one could call transhumanist today, the term wasn’t coined until 1951, by Julian Huxley, a noted evolutionary biologist (and brother to Brave New World author Aldous Huxley). Julian Huxley believed strongly in the fundamentally exclusionary theory that society would improve immensely if only its “best” members were allowed to procreate. In the speech in which he first used the word “transhumanism,” he claimed that in order for humans to “transcend the tentative fumblings of our ancestors,” society ought to enact “a concerted policy … to prevent the present flood of population-increase from wrecking all our hopes for a better world.”

While he didn’t necessarily believe the criteria for what constituted “best” should be drawn along racial or economic lines, the ideology Huxley promoted was inherently elitist. It also allowed for virtually as many interpretations as there are people, and plenty of those people, particularly those in power—especially in Huxley’s time, but also in the fictional future of Altered Carbon—did and do believe “best” means “white, straight, financially successful, and at least nominally Christian.” As a result, the concept he named ended up being primarily conceptualized in its infancy by white men of privilege.

This, of course, didn’t remain the main interpretation of transhumanism for long. In the years following Huxley’s coinage, humans made profound leaps in technological innovation, first in computers and then in AI, which allowed more people to envision the possibilities of one day being able to transcend their organic limitations. The basic concept was easily repurposed by those whose oppression has always been tied to physical violence—notably people of color, LGBTQ people, and women.

By the early 1980s, scholars like Natasha Vita-More and Donna Haraway had revamped the concept with manifestos that argued transhumanism ought to be about “diversity” and “multiplicity,” about breaking down constructs like gender, race, and ability in favor of a more fluid, “chimeric” alternative in which each person can be many seemingly contradictory things at once—including human and machine. (As WIRED’s Julie Muncy explains in her review of the first season, Altered Carbon touches upon but never really takes a stance on this dimension of a post-corporeal world.)

The Future, Revisited

As Silicon Valley boomed, so did transhumanism. Millionaire investors have poured endless cash into anti-aging research, machine intelligence companies, and virtual reality; meanwhile, the possibility of extended or superhuman life has veered even further into becoming the exclusive purview of the extremely rich (and, more often than not, extremely white and extremely male). In 1993, mathematician and science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge pegged the arrival of the singularity—the moment at which technology, particularly AI, supersedes human intelligence and either eliminates humanity or fuses with it, allowing people to finally become “post-human”—at around 2030; by 2005 futurist Ray Kurzweil was agreeing with Vinge in his now-seminal book The Singularity is Near. (The Verge has a solid timeline of transhumanist thought here.)

Today, working organs are being 3D-printed. Nanites, while a few years off, are definitely on the horizon. And the technologies that fuel nightmare fodder like Black Mirror are becoming realities almost daily, which gives the overwhelming impression to laypeople that the Singularity, while perhaps still technically far off, is imminent.

Add privatized healthcare, police brutality, immigration, sexual assault, and plenty more extremely real threats to people’s physical bodies—not to mention the exponential growth of the TV industry itself—and you’ve got the perfect cocktail for a flood of transhumanist sci-fi shows that give form to anxieties viewers have about both wanting to escape the physical confines of their blood-bag existences and being absolutely, justifiably terrified of what could go wrong when they actually do.

But however uncomfortable it may be, that dilemma is not accidental. It has become necessary to understanding and surviving our current techno-political moment. Whether enjoying the ecstasy of possibility in Altered Carbon’s disembodied immortality or writhing in the agony of imagining eternity as a digital copy of one’s own consciousness, the roller coaster of emotions these shows elicit ought to be a major signal to audiences that now is the time to be thinking about the cost of pursuing technological immortality. If stacks and sleeves are indeed our inevitable future, the moral quandary won’t lie in the body-swapping itself—it’ll be reckoning with who gets to do it and why.

Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/altered-carbon-transhumanism-tv/

The 2018 PEN Literary Awards finalists are 40 books you want on your to-be-read list

Make room on your to-be-read list. On Thursday, PEN America announced its lists of finalists for the 2018 PEN Literary Awards. 

Each year, the PEN Literary Awards honors great new literature in fiction and a wide array of non-fiction, including sports writing, science writing, essays, and more. Past winners have included Matthew Desmond’s deep dive into eviction practices in the U.S. Evicted and Helen Oyeyemi’s fable-inspired short story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (which was also a MashReads favorite).

This year’s finalists are just as rich and compelling. Finalists for the 2018 PEN Literary Awards include the late Ursula Le Guin‘s essay collection No Time To Spare, Carmen Maria Machado’s acclaimed short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, which was also a finalist in the 2017 National Book Awards, as well as Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay collection We Were Eight Years In Power. If Coates wins, it will mark his second PEN Literary Award, after he won the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for his book Between The World And Me in 2015.

These breakout books aren’t the only titles that make the 2018 PEN Literary Awards exceptional. This year’s finalist list also shines a spotlight on exceptional, diverse authors. In addition to the PEN’s annual Open Book Award, which honors books written by authors of color, two other categories are composed entirely of minority authors: for the first time ever the finalist list for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction is composed of all women and the finalist list for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award is composed entirely of authors of color.

“It is fitting that our Literary Awards this year spotlight five new women’s voices in fiction as well as a dazzling diversity of writers for our flagship Stein prize and in other categories,” said PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel in a press release. “PEN America’s Literary Awards celebrate some of the greatest fruits of free expression—stories that inspire, spark empathy, and change minds. At a time when the fabric of our discourse is being torn by polarization, technological change, and political upheaval, literature has the power to help us see past impasse and imagine a different future.”

Check out the finalist list below, and stay tuned for the winners to be revealed on Feb. 20.

PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction

Sonora

Black Jesus and Other Superheroes: Stories

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

History of Wolves

Sour Heart

PEN Open Book Award

A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa

My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir

Augustown

Ordinary Beast: Poems

Lessons on Expulsion: Poems

PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life

No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America

Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

Richard Nixon: The Life

Grant

Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror

Chester B. Himes: A Biography

You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn

PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport

Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966–1971

City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream

Ali: A Life

PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks & Other Mixed Messages

Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London

Alpine Apprentice: A Memoir

No Time To Spare

Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West

PEN Translation Prize

PEN Translation Prize

A Horse Walks into a Bar

Out in the Open

The Impossible Fairy Tale

Katalin Street

PEN/ Jean Stein Book Award

White Tears

We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

Whereas

Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists

The Changeling

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/01/25/pen-literary-awards-finalist-list-2018/

Tributes paid to South African musician and activist Hugh Masekela

Father of South African jazz, who had career spanning more than five decades, dies aged 78

Tributes paid to South African musician and activist Hugh Masekela

Father of South African jazz, who had career spanning more than five decades, dies aged 78

South Africans have paid tribute to Hugh Masekela, the legendary jazz musician and activist, who died on Tuesday aged 78.

The South African president, Jacob Zuma, said the nation would mourn a man who kept the torch of freedom alive. The arts and culture minister, Nathi Mthethwa, described Masekela as one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz. A baobab tree has fallen, Mthethwa wrote on Twitter.

A statement from the trumpeters family said Masekela passed peacefully in Johannesburg, where he lived and worked for much of his life, on Tuesday morning.

A loving father, brother, grandfather and friend, our hearts beat with a profound loss. Hughs global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memories of millions across six continents, the statement read.

Relatives described Masekelas ebullient and joyous life.

Masekela had been suffering from prostate cancer for almost a decade. He last performed in 2010 in Johannesburg when he gave two concerts that were seen as an epitaph to his long career.

South African social media was flooded with tributes to brother Hugh, whose career and work was closely intertwined with the troubled politics of his homeland.

The singer Johnny Clegg described Masekela as immensely bright and articulate an outstanding musical pioneer and a robust debater, always holding to his South African roots.

Masekela was born in Witbank, a mining town in eastern South Africa, and was given his first trumpet by the anti-apartheid activist archbishop Trevor Huddleston, who formed a pioneering jazz band in Soweto in the 1950s that became a launchpad for many of South Africas most famous jazz musicians.

Masekela went on to study in the UK and the US, where he had significant success.

Hugh
Hugh Masekela with ex-wife Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon in 1987. Photograph: Phil Dent/Redferns

As well as forming close friendships with jazz legends such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, Masekela performed alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.

He returned to Africa where he played with icons such as Nigerias Fela Kuti, and in 1974 he helped organise a three-day festival before the Rumble in the Jungle boxing clash in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

In 1976, the man who became known as the father of South African jazz composed Soweto Blues in response to the uprising in the vast township. He toured with Paul Simon in the 1980s while continuing his political engagement, writing Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela) in 1987. The song became an anthem of the anti-apartheid struggle.

Timeline

Hugh Masekela timeline

Hugh Masekela is born in KwaGuqa Township, South Africa

Masekela is born near Johannesburg to a health inspector father and social worker mother. He sings and plays the piano as a child. At 14, he sees the Kirk Douglas film Young Man With A Horn and is inspired to take up the trumpet.

King Kong

At school, Masekela played in South Africas first youth orchestra,Huddleston Jazz Band. In 1959, he recorded the first album by a South African jazz band alongside Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa. In the same year, he played in the orchestra of hit musical King Kong.

Masekela leaves South Africa

The ANC are banned, and after supporting the organisation for many years, Masekela leaves South Africa for London. He then moves to New York, where he meets Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.

Grazing in the Grass

By the late 60s, Masekela was living in California. In 1967, he played at Monterey festival alongside Janis Joplin and Otis Redding. In 1968, his single Grazing in the Grass reached no 1 in the US.

Zaire 74

Masekela returns to Africa in the early 70s, spending time with musicians including Fela Kuti. He organises the Zaire 74 concerts with US record producer Stewart Levine to coincide with the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman Rumble in the Jungle boxing title fight. In 1980, he moves to Botswana.

Graceland tour

Masekela joins Paul Simon for hisGracelandtour. Simons album was partly recorded in South Africa, and the tour incites protests in London due to the cultural boycott against the country.

Return to South Africa

Masekela returns to South Africa following the end of apartheid and the release from jail ofNelson Mandela. In 1996, he plays for the Queen and Mandela by then elected the countrys first black president during the latters state visit to Britain.

World Cup

Masekela performs at the opening concert of the world cup in South Africa. In 2012, he rejoins Paul Simon for a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of Graceland.

James Hall, a writer and broadcaster who spent time with Masekela in the 1990s, said he could have prickly personality at times due to the tension and frustration of being away from his own country for so long.

Masekela was briefly married to Miriam Makeba in the 1960s and remained on good terms with the South African singer after their divorce. They had a wonderful friendship and were very, very close, said Hall, who co-wrote Makebas autobiography.

Masekela refused to take citizenship anywhere outside South Africa despite the open arms of many countries, said his son, Selema Mabena Masekela, on Tuesday.

My fathers life was the definition of activism and resistance. His belief [was] that the pure evil of a systematic racist oppression could and would be crushed. Instead he would continue to fight.

After more than 30 years in exile, Masekela returned to South Africa in the early 90s after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the end of apartheid.

In 2010 he performed at the opening ceremony of the football World Cup in Johannesburg.

Masekela had many fans overseas. Hugh Masekela was a titan of jazz and of the anti-apartheid struggle. His courage, words and music inspired me and strengthened the resolve of those fighting for justice in South Africa, said Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter.

Hugh
Hugh Masekela photographed for the Guardian in 2011. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/23/hugh-masekela-south-african-jazz-trumpeter-dies-aged-78

I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

My name is Siyu. I was born and raised in Beijing, and I’ve spent last 10 years traveling, studying and working abroad in the US, UK, and France. Many people that I met were curious about China, but their impressions of China would end up with words like ‘communist,’ ‘pollution’ and ‘no Facebook.’ While many facts are true, the contemporary, living and multifaceted Chinese life is rarely heard of.

I started “tiny eyes” comics a year ago in the hope of sharing Chinese culture through everyday life, To me, learning about other cultures has always been a fun experience, and I want to pass this feeling to people who are curious about China. In lots of my comics, I compare Chinese culture to western culture. Through comparison, we realise how differently we act in front of the same situation and how we tend to think in a certain way instead of another. In the end, every culture is “weird” in its way, but it’s also the weirdness that makes it interesting.

I post regularly every week, and I share slices of my personal life and experience through Instagram. I hope you enjoy!

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I’ve experienced student dormitories in three countries: In the U.K. I have my own private room with shared public space; In the U.S. I shared my dorm with one roommate; In China, I used to live with 5 girls in the same room. This lack of privacy must be shocking for some of you, but in a country with 1.3 billion population, space is always a problem. While there are…

I’ve experienced student dormitories in three countries: In the U.K. I have my own private room with shared public space; In the U.S. I shared my dorm with one roommate; In China, I used to live with 5 girls in the same room. This lack of privacy must be shocking for some of you, but in a country with 1.3 billion population, space is always a problem. While there are many inconvenience not having enough private space, on the bright side, sharing a room with someone also makes you learn quite a deal about communication, responsibilities and tolerance.

Maybe you have heard that Chinese eat cats. A few horrible people in some obscure places maybe, but the majority, NO!!

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In China, people don’t say anything after someone sneezes.

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It’s hard for Chinese to directly express their love to their families and friends. Instead of saying love, we show care to the health of people we love, ask them if everything goes well, and buy nice things to make their life more comfortable. In history, Confucius enforced social orders by putting people in different relations/obligations, but the expression of personal feelings was never encouraged. Emotions need to be under…

It’s hard for Chinese to directly express their love to their families and friends. Instead of saying love, we show care to the health of people we love, ask them if everything goes well, and buy nice things to make their life more comfortable. In history, Confucius enforced social orders by putting people in different relations/obligations, but the expression of personal feelings was never encouraged. Emotions need to be under control. How do you show people that you care about them?

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It takes me sometime to get used to making constant eye contact when talking to people. Traditionally, Chinese people tend to avoid direct eye contact when talking to each other, which is a way to show respect and obedience, but in lots of western cultures, especially in English-speaking countries, avoiding eye contact signifies hesitation and dishonesty. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

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Beauty = Thin. “Gaining weight†brings absolute horror for many Chinese girls, even though most of them are already considered thin in other cultures. I’ve seen girls who eat only one apple a day and who drink special tea (which makes you go to toilet 20 times a day) in order to lose weight in a very short time. Movie stars and super models are pushing this aesthetic to its…

Beauty = Thin. “Gaining weight†brings absolute horror for many Chinese girls, even though most of them are already considered thin in other cultures. I’ve seen girls who eat only one apple a day and who drink special tea (which makes you go to toilet 20 times a day) in order to lose weight in a very short time. Movie stars and super models are pushing this aesthetic to its extreme through mass media. When will we be able to simple enjoy being who we are?

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We also have spoons, people!

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Can you name a classic Chinese design or a brand? Probably difficult. But have you bought anything “Made in China� Very likely yes. Chinese products are often associated with the word “cheap†and not high quality, sadly. Many aspiring local designers have been trying to create original and valuable products, but problem such as the lack of copyright protection has complicated the process. Still a long way to go.

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Chinese people love their food, they spend lots of time savouring and enjoying their meals. Food is not just “fuel†for the body, but a pleasure, an art, and a way of socialising. If you want to make friends, go eat. If you want to close a business deal, go eat. If you want to pursue a romantic relationship, go eat. Since ancient times, food has been considered priority in…

Chinese people love their food, they spend lots of time savouring and enjoying their meals. Food is not just “fuel†for the body, but a pleasure, an art, and a way of socialising. If you want to make friends, go eat. If you want to close a business deal, go eat. If you want to pursue a romantic relationship, go eat. Since ancient times, food has been considered priority in Chinese culture. The government’s goal was to make sure that each person is taken care of and “has enough to eatâ€. From another angle, it also suggests the realistic character of Chinese: food goes before ideas, and this life is more important than after life.

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Chinese have trouble taking compliments from other people, because they are raised to be humble, to be self-reflective, and to not stand out from the crowd. So when someone notices you and makes a compliment, you tend to lose the inner balance and get nervous very quickly.

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eople have less trouble naming Chinese political figures than naming great Chinese artists and scientists, who have also played a great role in shaping Chinese culture. Why? They don’t learn much about it in school; they don’t see them in the media often; and in China we lack initiatives and channels to communicate to the outside word.

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There’s a Chinese saying “三æ€è€ŒåŽè¡Œâ€, which means to think twice before taking actions. In history, Chinese value highly reflection and past experience, but acting cautious and staying wise didn’t save the people from the arrival of the early western explorers who sailed into the unknown and took chances at the risk of their lives. China was forced to take actions in its modern history, often times too fast in exchange…

There’s a Chinese saying “三æ€è€ŒåŽè¡Œâ€, which means to think twice before taking actions. In history, Chinese value highly reflection and past experience, but acting cautious and staying wise didn’t save the people from the arrival of the early western explorers who sailed into the unknown and took chances at the risk of their lives. China was forced to take actions in its modern history, often times too fast in exchange for development. While too much reflection on the past slows down the process of change and innovation, too much action without thinking results in waste of resources and irreversible consequences. It’s time for thinkers and doers to meet and learn from each other in this increasingly connected world. It’s happening.

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In China, it’s not rare to see young people choosing to live with their parents after getting out of college. For one thing, it’s more economical than renting a house on your own. And for another, Chinese are very family oriented, so getting support from your family it’s expected in the social norm. In the the United States, however, people value independence so much that it’s embarrassing to have things…

In China, it’s not rare to see young people choosing to live with their parents after getting out of college. For one thing, it’s more economical than renting a house on your own. And for another, Chinese are very family oriented, so getting support from your family it’s expected in the social norm. In the the United States, however, people value independence so much that it’s embarrassing to have things given to you while you have the ability to live on your own.

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In Chinese schools, smoking is strictly prohibited and any student who smoke is considered “badâ€. It’s not just in the sense of “bad for healthâ€, but also considered a symbol for moral degradation. In France, I notice that there are lots of teenagers who smoke, and it’s actually considered “cool†among their friends. There’s even peer pressure to learn how to smoke. Smoking is also a normal way of socializing…

In Chinese schools, smoking is strictly prohibited and any student who smoke is considered “badâ€. It’s not just in the sense of “bad for healthâ€, but also considered a symbol for moral degradation. In France, I notice that there are lots of teenagers who smoke, and it’s actually considered “cool†among their friends. There’s even peer pressure to learn how to smoke. Smoking is also a normal way of socializing so there isn’t any negative moral aspect associated with it.

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Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/comics-chinese-western-culture-comparison-tinyeyescomics/

Teens aren’t slowing down on the Tide Pod challenge, according to the latest horrifying numbers

Image: mashable/lili sams

Brace yourselves: there has been an embarrassing uptick in the number of teens eating Tide Pods.

With a “HIGH ALERT,” the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) shared an urgent press release on the current state of Tide Pod consumption in the United States. 

“Last week, AAPCC reported that during the first two weeks of 2018, the country’s poison control centers handled thirty-nine intentional exposures cases among thirteen to nineteen year olds,” the report read. 

That number didn’t last long, however.  “That number has increased to eighty-six such intentional cases among the same age demographic during the first three weeks of 2018.”

TEENS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? 

“We cannot stress enough how dangerous this is to the health of individuals—it can lead to seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death,” Stephen Kaminski, AAPCC’s CEO and Executive Director, wrote. 

Once again, this is not a joke. Do not eat the Tide pods

This increase comes on the heels of massive efforts from Proctor & Gamble, the producer of Tide Pods, to slow the roll of this horrible trend. They’ve partnered with YouTube to remove videos of kids eating Tide Pods, and Amazon has removed those commenting online about how delicious the forbidden fruit is. Additionally, P&G released a statement to warn consumers and hired New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski to spread the word. 

If you still feel the urge to eat one, or know someone who is going through an unfortunate Tide Pod phase themselves, take a note from AAPCC’s statement and call Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text Poison to 797979. 

Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/01/25/tide-pod-eating-numbers-increase/

Jimmy Kimmel’s baby son had a second heart surgery

Jimmy Kimmel will be taking a break this week to spend time with his family following his son Billy’s successful second heart surgery. 

According to ABC News, the late night host will have the help of various guest hosts filling in for him this week so he can be with his family during the 7-month-old’s recovery process. 

Chris Pratt took over the show on Monday, and for the rest of the week, Tracee Ellis Ross, Neil Patrick Harris, and Melissa McCarthy will take turns making themselves comfy in Kimmel’s seat. 

Kimmel and his son’s story have been one of the unexpected voices speaking out against the proposed health care bill and the national conversation about health care. In May, Kimmel made the announcement that his newborn son was born with heart disease and since then, he has used his show to advocate against the various Republican health care bills and to raise awareness by analyzing and discussing the bill on his show. 

This will be the second time this year Kimmel has stepped away from his hosting gigs due to family obligations. Billy’s scheduled surgery was initially intended to take place in October, but was postponed due to a cold. Nonetheless, Shaquille O’Neal, Dave Grohl, Channing Tatum, and Jennifer Lawrence stepped up to the plate for him that week and we got some hilarious clips out of that—so this week should be just as fun. 

We are all wishing Billy a very speedy recovery. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/05/jimmy-kimmel-son-second-surgery/

A timeline of the rogue Twitter employee’s last day at work before deleting Trump’s account

Image: mashable composite. max knoblauch; shutterstock

This post is a part of Mashable Humor. It is not real. We drew the bird, though, and think it’s pretty good.

A Twitter customer support employee is responsible for temporarily deactivating the account of President Trump for 11 minutes on Thursday night, just before 7:00 p.m. EST. According to a statement from the company, it was said employee’s last day, and they acted without the approval of anyone else at Twitter.

What follows is a comprehensive timeline of the “rogue” employee’s infamous last day at Twitter HQ.

9:05 a.m.: Employee arrives at office on their last day. Employee sits at desk.

9:15 a.m.: Employee’s manager approaches, asks employee if they received email. “I haven’t checked my email,” employee replies. “Oh, okay. Well, when you get a chance,” manager answers. The employee will not look at the email.

9:20 a.m.: Employee tells coworker Devin that his coffee mug is on their desk, technically, and has been every day for several months.

9:25 a.m.: Employee leaves for “early lunch.”

1:15 p.m.: Employee returns from lunch.

1:19 p.m.: Employee sends email recommending lunch spot’s Moscow Mules to full New York office.

1:25 p.m.: Employee forwards Moscow Mule email to global staff list with message, “In case any of you are ever in town.”

1:30 p.m.: Using Sharpie, employee writes, “This bread taste like DOGGGG SHIT” on a loaf of bread in the employee kitchen.

1:35 p.m.: Employee reminds coworker Devin about the coffee mug’s location, asking him, “Did you know?”

1:40 p.m.: Employee leaves for “late lunch.”

4:10 p.m.: Employee returns from late lunch.

4:45 p.m.: During team meeting, employee is asked to say a few words. Employee uses full time to again recommend the Moscow Mules. The employee has worked at Twitter for 4 years.

5:00 p.m.: Employee enters back room and adjusts office thermostat to 68 degrees.

5:03 p.m.: Employee arrives at HR for exit interview.

5:10 p.m.: Employee responds to HR’s question of, “How do you feel about your time here?” with simply, “Bad.”

5:12 p.m.: Employee responds to HR’s question of, “Is there anything you feel you have not been able to do in your time here?” with, “Delete the president’s Twitter.” Employee tells HR they think they will be deleting President Trump’s account later in the day. The HR representative chuckles.

5:15 p.m.: Employee returns to desk.

5:30 p.m.: Employee watches the first 25 minutes of Netflix’s What the Health at desk without headphones.

5:55 p.m.: Employee says, “Wow.”

5:56 p.m.: Employee messages manager that the office chairs are very uncomfortable. Manager replies with, “Well, I don’t furnish the office lol.” Employee replies, “I do not like you and I have not liked you for some time now.” Manager does not reply.

6:00 p.m.: Employee stands on desk and announces that they will be drinking Moscow Mules at the lunch spot nearby if anyone wants to go.

6:48 p.m.: Employee returns to office to retrieve coat.

6:49 p.m.: Employee throws Devin’s mug in the garbage.

6:50 p.m.: Employee deactivates the president’s Twitter account.

6:55 p.m.: Employee returns to lunch spot for Moscow Mules.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/04/rogue-twitter-employee-deletes-trump-timeline-satire/

Julia Louis-Dreyfus reveals breast cancer diagnosis, calls for universal health care

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus at the 2017 Emmy Awards earlier this month.
Image: FilmMagic

Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced Thursday that she has breast cancer, sharing a heartening post on Twitter that also calls for universal health care.

“1 in 8 women get breast cancer,” her statement begins. “Today, I’m the one.” 

But ever one to use her platform for good, Dreyfus’ statement also called on her followers to demand universal access to health care.

“The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union. The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal care a reality.”

Her announcement prompted an outpouring of sadness and love from fans, most notably from fellow actress and breast cancer survivor Christina Applegate, who immediately offered her support.

Her Veep co-star Tony Hale also posted a heartfelt message about the news:

Dreyfus is an 11-time Emmy award winner. She took home her latest, for her role as President Selena Meyer on Veep, earlier this month.

HBO issued the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:

“Our love and support go out to Julia and her family at this time. We have every confidence she will get through this with her usual tenacity and undaunted spirit, and look forward to her return to health and to HBO for the final season of Veep.

The company also offered support on Twitter.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/28/julia-louis-dreyfus-breast-cancer-statement/

Joe Biden supports Julia Louis-Dreyfus after her breast cancer announcement like only a veep could

The "veeps" got this.
Image: HBO/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

After Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ breast cancer diagnosis announcement Thursday, former Vice President Joe Biden voiced his support to the acclaimed actress who has played a fictional vice president on HBO’s Veep.

Biden assured Louis-Dreyfus that he was there for her during her cancer fight. “We Veeps stick together,” he wrote. He included a photo from a 2014 spot the two did together before the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2014. Aviators are obviously involved.

Louis-Dreyfus, who plays vice president-turned-president (briefly) Selina Meyer on the show, had produced a spoof video in character with the then-real-life veep. The two had an adventurous day in the White House and bumped into Michelle Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, and called former Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Julia liked Joe’s tweet, and posted her own response shortly after.

Like Biden tweeted, we’re with you, Julia.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/28/joe-biden-julia-louis-dreyfus-veep-breast-cancer/

No, players aren’t ‘protesting the anthem.’ Fox News’ Shep Smith explains perfectly.

Whatever the topic, you can count on Fox News’ Shep Smith to tell it like it is, and Trump’s feud with the NFL is no exception.

While interviewing Politico’s Rachael Bade during Monday’s edition of “Shepard Smith Reporting,” Smith stated what’s obvious to many: The outrage from Trump and his base isn’t about the flag, anthem, or military.

In recent days, a slew of news organizations (including Smith’s colleagues at Fox) have claimed that the protests started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick were examples of players “protesting the national anthem,” completely obscuring what’s actually being protested — racism and injustice.

Smith used his show to correct that record.

In August 2016, Kaepernick explained the genesis of the protest. He and his fellow players are not protesting the flag or the anthem but, rather, the fact that we as a country are not living up to the ideals the flag is supposed to represent.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick told NFL Media at the time. “To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

“We’re complicit,” Smith said, acknowledging the way his own network helped muddle the meaning of Kaepernick’s protest.

Smith points to Trump, his base, and Trump-friendly media organizations as the source of the uproar, twisting the actual issue being protested to distract from the fact that he’s actually had a somewhat disastrous first eight months as president.

Policy-wise, not much has actually gotten done, Smith pointed out, so there’s a need to ramp up phony wars with the press and with the NFL to frame him as a victim:

“It’s very clear that for [Trump’s] base, this is the red meat of all red meat. Because they’re able to reframe this. They’re able to say, ‘Oh, they’re attacking the national anthem, they’re attacking the troops. They’re attacking the flag.’

None of which they’re doing. They’re not doing any of that. They’re upset about racial injustice in the country and they’re upset about the things that the president has said — and yet he’s able to turn it around for his base. Isn’t this all a play to his base and could it possibly be so that they don’t notice there is no health care and North Korea’s the biggest mess since the Cold War?”

So thanks, Shep Smith, for being a the voice of reason here and always keeping it 💯. Watch his clip below.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/no-players-arent-protesting-the-anthem-fox-news-shep-smith-explains-perfectly