Tag Archives: US news

Brazilian Bikini waxes are eradicating pubic lice

As I’m sure nobody wants that guy up there crawling around in their pants, recent studies have shown that not only does shaving/waxing your “downtown city center” prevent the little bastards from sticking with you, but because the trend of removing the carpet and “sticking with hardwood floors downstairs” is becoming more and more common, pubic lice are well on their way to becoming an endangered species. So there you go people, do it for science, and for everybody who is going to be visiting you down there as well.

Waning infestations of the bloodsuckers have been linked by doctors to pubic depilation, especially a technique popularized in the 1990s by a Manhattan salon run by seven Brazilian sisters. More than 80 percent of college students in the U.S. remove all or some of their pubic hair — part of a trend that’s increasing in western countries. In Australia, Sydney’s main sexual health clinic hasn’t seen a woman with pubic lice since 2008 and male cases have fallen 80 percent from about 100 a decade ago.

“It used to be extremely common; it’s now rarely seen,” said Basil Donovan, head of sexual health at the University of New South Wales’s Kirby Institute and a physician at the Sydney Sexual Health Centre. “Without doubt, it’s better grooming.”

The trend suggests an alternative way of stemming one of the globe’s most contagious sexually transmitted infections. Pubic lice are usually treated with topical insecticides, which once included toxic ones developed before and during World War 2. While they aren’t known to spread disease, itchy skin reactions and subsequent infections make pubic lice a hazardous pest.


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Target announces that they’ll price match Amazon year-round

Amazon has been a huge thorn in the side of most brick and mortar retail stores by way of cheaper prices, quick shipping, and a wider variety than any physical store could ever hope to carry. Now a lot of stores have given up competing with the online giant but not Target. Target had the balls to announce they would match Amazon prices for the entire year, as well as most of their other competitors.

The extended policy will also apply to competitors other than the internet retailer, of course, but Amazon has become the main threat when it comes to “showrooming,” a process where consumers visit physical stores to get a quick peek at products before ultimately placing an order online. Target also plans to match rates from Walmart, Best Buy, and Toys R Us if customers should find the same item priced lower there. You might expect that attempting to keep parity with Amazon’s basement pricing would wreak havoc on Target’s financials, but the company says that relatively few customers take advantage of the policy to begin with. Rather, it’s a move intended to bolster the company’s sagging retail performance.


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In case you didn’t already absolutely loathe every member of the Westboro Baptist Church…

Today, Shirley Phelps-Roper, an absolute fucking moron and member of the Westboro Baptist church, confirmed that they would be picketing the funerals of the children killed in the senseless Newtown massacre.

I’m too fucking angry to even comment.  If I were in the WBC, I’d make sure I had a will in order before going to Sandy Hook.


UPDATE: The hackivist group Anonymous has already reacted and promised to focus their power on destroying the WBC And its members.
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DARE drops marijuana from their curriculum

Almost everybody who went to elementary/middle school in the US knows all about DARE. The program attempts to educate young kids about the consequences of drug use in order to deter them from using drugs. As of this past week though, DARE has officially dropped marijuana from their curriculum. Due to the miniscule negative effects the drug has and the amount of time they spent teaching kids about marijuana, I’m guessing they realized that the time would be better spent educating kids about the dangers of actually dangerous drugs.

Has the national DARE organization — Drug Abuse Resistance Education — removed the discussion of marijuana from its curriculum? It appears the answer is yes, reports Kevin Shaub at KNDU.

Nearly 100 students who graduated from the Sunset View Elementary DARE program in Kennewick, Washington, will be the last group to be taught the potential dangers of marijuana, said the Kennewick Police Department’s DARE officer, Mike Meyer.
“The new curriculum starts as of December for us here in Kennewick,” Meyer said. “It does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all.”
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California gets the green light for a high speed rail system


Lawmakers in California approved plans for a high speed rail system to be implemented in the state. Many thought the first high speed rail trains would be used on the East coast but I suppose they have a little more ground to cover out West, regardless, this will hopefully be the beginning of an elaborate system of high speed rails throughout the US which would help to reduce our dependency on foreign oil as well as our CO2 production.

The nation’s first dedicated high-speed rail line, in California, finally got the green light. California lawmakers voted 21-16 to begin building the multibillion-dollar project that will save us from other rail forms.

The bill will allow California to begin selling $4.5 billion of voter-approved bonds. Of those, $2.6 billion will build the initial 130-mile stretch of the rail in Central Valley. This segment will run from Madera to Bakersfield. The completed project will run from Los Angeles to San Francisco and should cost $68 billion. At the moment, the bill is on its way to Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown for his signature.


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FDA approves the first drug to prevent HIV

I’ve posted a few stories on this site about the many breakthroughs in preventing HIV, but today I’m happy to write this post. Yesterday the FDA approved Truvada, the very first drug approved by the FDA for the prevention of HIV. It is a huge step in eradicating the world of one of the most horrifying diseases there is.

When taken daily, Truvada (emtricitabine/tenofovir disoproxil fumarate) reduced the risk of HIV infection by 42 percent compared with a placebo. That was in a clinical trial where HIV-negative individuals had unprotected sex with multiple partners, including some HIV carriers, according to the FDA. Another trial involving heterosexual couples where one partner was infected — and condoms were used routinely — found that Truvada reduced the risk of infections by 75 percent.

“The data clearly demonstrate that Truvada as pre-exposure prophylaxis is effective at reducing the risk of HIV infection acquired through sexual exposure,” said Dr. Connie Celum, a professor of global health and medicine at the University of Washington who led the trial involving heterosexual couples. “It is exciting to consider the potential impact of this new HIV prevention tool, which could contribute to significantly reducing new HIV infections as part of a combination HIV prevention strategy.”

Truvada is already approved to be used in combination with other antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV.

For prevention purposes, the drug should be used along with other prevention methods, the FDA said in a press statement, such as safe sex practices, risk reduction counseling, and regular HIV testing.

“Today’s approval marks an important milestone in our fight against HIV,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret Hamburg said in a statement. “Every year, about 50,000 U.S. adults and adolescents are diagnosed with HIV infection, despite the availability of prevention methods and strategies to educate, test, and care for people living with the disease.”

The most common side effects reported with Truvada included diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, headache, and weight loss. In rare cases, the drug may cause kidney problems or bone toxicity.

As a condition of approval, the FDA is requiring Truvada’s manufacturer, Gilead Sciences, to study those who acquire HIV while taking Truvada to determine if anyone can develop a resistance to the drug. The company also needs to collect data on women who become pregnant while taking the drug since safety risks to the fetus remain unknown.


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Amazon to offer same-day delivery and completely destroy all actual real-life stores

If you thought Amazon Prime or Amazon’s 2 day shipping just wasn’t efficient enough, apparently the site is now striving towards same-day delivery. As in you order in the morning and have your product in your greedy little hands by lunch. It seems absurd now, but think how convenient that would be for all the internet addicted shut-ins we have? Yeah, that’s probably you. Regardless, if Amazon can pull off same-day shipping, why would anybody want to go to a store where they have to pay more, deal with shitty sales people, and pay for gas when they could just sit on their ass? They wouldn’t.

A report in the Financial Times states (registration or subscription is required) that Amazon believes same-day shipping will be more important than not collecting taxes from online shopping.
According to CNN:
Amazon has fought hard to avoid collecting sales tax during its 18-year history by setting up distribution centers in select tax-friendly states. But a new report in the Financial Times says the company is changing its strategy, setting up distribution centers across the United States in locations that insist on collecting sales tax. With the exception of Kansas, Kentucky, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Washington, items sold from Amazon.com LLC are not subject to sales tax.
That’s the beauty to Amazon — it’s usually cheaper than retail because there’s no sales tax. Assuming you live in a state where sales tax is not collected, the only caveat to shopping on Amazon is that you have to wait for the item to be shipped to you, which could be several days, depending on availability.
If Amazon offered same-day delivery, it could mean not having to make that trip to Walmart after work, which means less driving, less money spent on gas, and more time for you to do things that you care about.
Slate’s Farhad Manjoo seems to nail what we’re feeling (bolded for emphasis):
It’s hard to overstate how thoroughly this move will shake up the retail industry. Same-day delivery has long been the holy grail of Internet retailers, something that dozens of startups have tried and failed to accomplish. (Remember Kozmo.com?) But Amazon is investing billions to make next-day delivery standard, and same-day delivery an option for lots of customers. If it can pull that off, the company will permanently alter how we shop. To put it more bluntly: Physical retailers will be hosed.


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Bill Murray party crashing tour

Bill Murray has been known to crash random parties in NYC and a couple other cities in the US. Most reports say that he always brings something to offer the host, is incredible nice and polite, and has a great time with almost everyone. I’ve always wanted, more than anything, to have a chance to party with Bill Murray, but as you can imagine, I didn’t think I would ever get the chance being that he typically only does it in NYC. A few days ago however, I read a story about Bill Murray doing a national party crashing tour and my hopes and dreams were reignited. Although Bill himself hasn’t spoken to the press, his agent, Paul Horner, gave out the details, as well as the tour schedule, and you can take a guess as to when I’ll be in Minneapolis.

Mr. Murray did not speak to reporters but did have his agent Paul Horner answer some of their questions and make a few statements. “Mr. Murray is looking to take a vacation around the United States. He’s hoping that if he shows up to your party with a bottle of wine or vegetable tray, you will be able to make the proper accommodations for him. This includes allowing him to sleep on your couch or in a spare bedroom, both of those options being completely acceptable.”

Now in order for Bill Murray to come crash your party, his agent says that there are a few conditions:

Horner continued to explain some of the conditions of the tour to reporters. “All we ask is that if Mr. Murray does decide to crash your party, please give him his space. He’s a human being, just like you and me. He’s just looking for a good time and a fun way to connect with fans.” Horner then went on to explain more details about the tour, “At these parties, Mr. Murray does not want to be called ‘Bill Murray’ but instead wants to be referred to as ‘Kaiser Soze’. Activities that Mr. Murray enjoys are drinking and karaoke. Having those two things at your party will definitely increase your chances of him making an appearance. Also it is extremely important that any house or location interested in participating have a sheet or banner of some kind attached to their establishment the night of the party. It must say in big bold letters, ‘BILL MURRAY CAN CRASH HERE’. This will let Mr. Murray know at what locations he is welcome.”

The Bill Murray Party Crashing Tour will kick off August 1st in Phoenix, Arizona and will end September 10th in Austin, Texas.

Now lets all call the Bill Murray Party Crashing Tour Hotline: (785) 273-0325 and tell him to come to Madison, WI for a night or two, eh?

Bill Murray Party Crashing Tour signs

Bill Murray Party Crashing Tour signs

Bill Murray Party Crashing Tour signs

Bill Murray can crash here signs

Bill Murray can crash here signs


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Why I love the internet (especially Reddit): The Story of Karen the bus monitor

On a school trip, a bunch of middle school students from Rochester, New York began verbally bullying the shit out of a 68 year old woman named Karen, who was brought along as a bus monitor to try and keep the hellions in line. But when most of the kids on the bus start hurling a torrent of insults at her, Karen loses it and breaks down crying, which only fuels the fire.

One of the students who wasn’t participating in the onslaught caught it on video, the video hit Reddit and Redditors got together to raise money for the woman to give her “the vacation of a lifetime”. Out of a goal of $5000, the internet has raised so far over $125,000. The donation drive was started by the student who shot the video, who says he’s working on transferring the money to Karen Klein.

The video is below, and it’s kind of hard to watch. The lessons here are a) teenagers can be some of the most evil, vile and hurtful hell beasts to walk the Earth, b) a few teenagers can actually be pretty awesome and c) don’t fuck with the internet.

You can donate here

Original Reddit thread here

UPDATE: They have now raised over $300,000.

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