current location: Home > glv5

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters

2023-03-19 01:23:03

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters

If you find yourself dreading the deep freeze of winter, you’re definitely not alone. It’s hard to keep your usual sunny disposition when the only blue light you’re getting is from your laptop screen, right?

These peppy pick-me-ups from Walmart might be just what you need to power through the winter like a champ. So turn on the happy lights, snuggle up on the sofa, and ready the cocoa and marshmallows. It’ll be spring before you know it and this gear will see you through.

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Somewhere over the retro rainbow

Just looking at this 7.5-inch rainbow LED light will put a smile on your face. It emits a calm pink glow, perfect for chilling out at night, and it automatically turns itself off after 6 hours, in case you fall asleep dreaming of unicorns.

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: EZ-Illuminations
EZ-Illuminations LED Neon-Style Rainbow Light (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$10.88 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Make it a spa day

This color-changing diffuser not only makes your space smell like a spa, but it also humidifies the air, a bonus if your skin dries out in winter. Add a few drops of the included peppermint oil to stay focused during the day and try the lavender oil to unwind at night.

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Better Homes
Better Homes & Gardens Crackled Diffuser 3-Set (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$26.48 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Go nuts for coconut

Keep your skin dewy this winter with these travel-size skin treats. Start with the coconut body wash, slather on the coconut body butter, spritz on the adaptogen-packed facial spray, and give your kisser a pass of the lip balm. Mwah

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Mario Badescu
Mario Badescu Winter Glow Essentials 4-Set (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$15 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Snuggle up in warmth

No hibernation station is complete without this heated buffalo-plaid microfiber throw. Choose between three different heat settings at the push of a button and sprawl out on the sofa under 5 feet of fuzzy warmth. 

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Sunbeam
Sunbeam MicroPlush Electric Blanket Heated Throw (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$34.98 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Howl at the moon

This light is 3-D printed to look like the real surface of the moon, how cool is that? Put it on your nightstand and switch it up between seven chill colors, or try the strobe setting and have a full-moon party. 

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Urban Shop
Urban Shop 3D Color-Changing Moon Lamp with Wood Stand (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$14.96 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Morning, sunshine

Prepare to be a morning person, for real. This lamp lulls you to sleep to the sounds of the ocean and birds and gently wakes you up in the morn to an LED sunrise simulation. A USB port also charges your phone as an added perk.

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Merkury Innovations
Merkury Innovations Renew Sunrise Simulation Lamp and Clock (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
$39.88 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Sing away the blues

Nothing boosts your mood like an impromptu karaoke night. This portable speaker has a wireless microphone and LED lights so you can belt out your favorite songs at the top of your lungs and live the dream, with your buds or solo. 

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: MiLife
MiLife Portable Bluetooth Multi-Color Speaker With Wireless Microphone  (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
Now $49.99, originally $60.64 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Keep the winter blues at bay with these mood boosters(图1)

Grab a mug o’ goodness

This 1.7-liter kettle comes in happy colors and boils water for your hot cocoa or chamomile tea in minutes. The auto-shutoff is a perk if you tend to forget you have water boiling and the removable water filter makes for the best-tasting winter bevs ever.

(Opens in a new tab)
Credit: Ovente
Ovente Electric Kettle  (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
Now $16.20, originally $18.33 from WALMART
(opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

Website of this article:

Go to Baidu to see more

Comments from netizens


contact us



Popular articles


  • The Black Lives Matter Foundation isnt the real BLM, but its raised millions in donations

    The Black Lives Matter Foundation isnt the real BLM, but its raised millions in donations

    The Black Lives Matter Foundation raised millions of dollars in donations. But it is not associated with the Black Lives Matter movement that sparked worldwide protests against police brutality.


    BuzzFeed reports(Opens in a new tab) the "charitable organization" raised at least $4.35 million in early June, according to estimates. The Black Lives Matter Foundation is based in Santa Clarita, California and has one paid employee: its founder Robert Ray Barnes.

    In a statement to BuzzFeed, Barnes said the foundation is not associated with the one behind the global movement.

    "I don't have anything to do with the Black Lives Matter Global Network. I never met them, never spoke to them," Barnes said. "Our whole thing is having unity with the police department."

    He also refused to tell the outlet how much his foundation has raised in total. Tax filings shows it took in $279,000 in donations in 2017. It collects donations through PayPal, GoFundMe, and employer matching programs, furthering the confusion.

    SEE ALSO: 5 ways to donate to end police brutality

    The foundation's purpose vastly differs from the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, Inc(Opens in a new tab)., which the original movement is formally filed under. The original Black Lives Matter movement is focused on defunding law enforcement and reallocating those funds to invest in communities. It does not advocate for working with the police.

    “The Santa Clarita group is improperly using our name,” a Black Lives Matter Global Network spokesperson told BuzzFeed. “We intend to call them out and follow up.”

    In a mission statement posted to Benevity(Opens in a new tab), the charity donation platform that Apple, Google, and other companies use to encourage employee donations, the Black Lives Matter Foundation writes, "Something must be done to heal the riffs [sic] between some communities and the police."

    The statement, quoting both the Harry Potter series and Barack Obama, outlines a plan for "Community Organized Programs" that would not only host buffet dinners for certain communities and police officers, but also distribute positive pamphlets about the police to local businesses. He also has an idea called "have a cup with a cop," in which members of the certain communities can meet police officers over coffee and donuts.

    As BuzzFeed reports, Barnes still hasn't launched programs from his vision. The Los Angeles-based music producer insists that the name "Black Lives Matter" was originally his idea. He registered the name in May 2015, after protests against police brutality broke out in Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.

    "It can't be done overnight. The idea is to go slow," Barnes said.

    In 2017, the year the Black Lives Matter Foundation took in $279,000 in gifts and contributions, the foundation spent $89,000 on expenses. There are no recorded disbursements of the funds except for a $5150 cash grant to the "Family Renewal Develop Center," which may be(Opens in a new tab) a childcare center in Los Angeles. When pressed, Barnes could not provide the names or details of the churches and scholarship funds he claimed the foundation donated to.

    GoFundMe only recently shut down all active campaigns associated with the Black Lives Matter Foundation, and froze $350,000 in donations. Bonfire, a site that sells apparel and donates the profit to charity, froze the $14,000 raised for the Foundation from sales.

    The Black Lives Matter Global Network began when the phrase "Black Lives Matter" started trending after neighborhood watch member George Zimmerman shot and killed a Black teenage boy. At first, the movement didn't have centralized leadership. Since then, the movement has grown to a network of local Black Lives Matter chapters.

    If you're going to donate, make sure to do so wisely.

  • Inside the astrology dating app with a feature queer users love

    Inside the astrology dating app with a feature queer users love

    Mashable is celebrating Pride Month by exploring the modern LGBTQ world, from the people who make up the community to the spaces where they congregate, both online and off.


    "I think the funniest thing about this app — the best thing about this app besides it being an astrology dating app…" said TikTok user @ladygleep(Opens in a new tab), a 23-year-old named Glorianna, "is that while I was filling out my profile, it asked me if 'I don't want to see or be seen by straight people.'"

    @ladygleep(Opens in a new tab)

    Reply to @winkrepeat ##astrology(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - ladygleep(Opens in a new tab)

    Glorianna(Opens in a new tab), a filmmaker and photographer based in Connecticut, pointed out the feature on the astrology dating app NUiT(Opens in a new tab). The app utilizes a similar like/pass model as other dating apps, but also gives users the opportunity to view the other person's birth chart and calculate astrological compatibility.

    Once users download NUiT they complete their profile, which is partially like that on other apps as it involves uploading photos. Then, the user gives info like time and place of birth to accurately assess one's birth chart. Users share their current knowledge of astrology, ranging from not knowing anything to being an expert. They can also share what they're looking for on the app, with a selection ranging from friendship to marriage to "don't know yet."

    When users complete their profile, they're met with a batch of random potential matches. Each potential match's profile has three sections: an About page (similar to bios on Bumble); Birth Chart (if they choose not to hide them); and Compatibility, which is initiated by a tap and based on birth charts. The app calculates your compatibilities using a complex algorithm, according to Haley Comet, NUiT's lead astrologer.

    In an interview with Mashable, Glorianna said she downloaded the app partly because she doesn't want to see straight men.

    "That's just not what I'm looking for specifically on this app," she said. "So it's cool that I could choose to not see it." She's far from the only one to do so — fans of the feature said so on social media:

    Chara Dela, co-creator of NUiT, told Mashable that the support from the queer community feels amazing, and credits users for the app's growth.

    But it's not too surprising that a dating app steeped in astrology would have a feature for queer users to weed out heterosexual ones. While the astrology community hasn't always embraced the queer community(Opens in a new tab), the connection between them isn't new. As Heather Dockray wrote for Mashable in 2018, astrologer Ptolemy utilized the stars to obtain wisdom on gender and sexuality; he created a sort of "ancient equivalent to the Kinsey scale"(Opens in a new tab) according to author Chris Brennan. Fast forward two millennia when in 2013, queer astrologers held the first Queer Astrology conference(Opens in a new tab), and it's still held yearly (its 2020 conference is in July(Opens in a new tab)). Three years ago, an astrology-themed bar named Mood Ring(Opens in a new tab) opened its doors in Brooklyn with the intention of being a queer space.

    The surge in astrology in the past few years has been attributed to millennials(Opens in a new tab) as a whole, but its popularity among queer millennials and Gen Z is undeniable.

    SEE ALSO: Virtual dating FOMO is real. But don't feel pressured if it's not for you.

    Natalie Frangi, who created NUiT along with Dela, told Mashable that the feature came from her own experiences on dating apps, where some straight women masquerade as queer in order to "unicorn hunt."(Opens in a new tab)

    To that end, Dela said it's important to the team to include features that their community values. One example she noted was the non-binary gender option, which apps like Tinder have integrated as well(Opens in a new tab); their team plans to cater to more gender expressions in the future, and acknowledges that there are more expressions than currently offered on the app:

    Credit: nuit

    Comet is bisexual and appreciates the "straight people" feature for this reason. "I have found that it's really difficult to meet women [on apps] because so often they're straight women who are seeking threesomes," she told Mashable. "That has been my experience on a lot of dating apps, and it kind of makes me feel… sexualized in a way."

    Credit: nuit
    Credit: nuit

    NUiT looks different from both other dating apps and other astrology apps like Co—Star in that it's a marriage between the two. The seed of the app idea was planted years ago when a friend offered Frangi to do a reading of a synastry chart — a love and relationship compatibility chart — for her. She was blown away.

    "I realized how in-depth Astrology Compatibility can be in highlighting accurately the strengths of a union and the areas that require further work on," she said of that first reading. "[And] how much information it can reveal pertaining to the dynamics and challenges of a relationship, almost like having a relationship therapist dissect the relationship and reveal the inner workings of the union and the individuals."

    She saw the value in seeing a potential connection's chart even before a relationship began, and wanted to use synastry in a dating app.

    Frangi also believed other apps on the market were shallow. "Everything was so superficial that you didn't get a deeper understanding of the person, to me, just based on the profile or the content," said Frangi.

    "We wanted to create something that wasn't based on just looks," said Dela.

    SEE ALSO: Futurists predict what your sex life may look like after the pandemic

    Both Frangi and Dela are based in Greece, the birthplace of astrology. The pair and their team started working on the app in 2017, and it launched fully in May 2018. They named the app after Nuit, the Egyptian goddess of the sky(Opens in a new tab) (which is also the French word for "night") as well as the double entendre of the pronunciation: "knew it," as in the cosmos knew your fate.

    NUiT recently gained traction from a viral TikTok Glorianna made. This one — posted before the video about the "straight people" feature — gives a rundown on what the app is:

    @ladygleep(Opens in a new tab)

    ##astrology(Opens in a new tab)

    ♬ original sound - ladygleep(Opens in a new tab)

    Glorianna discovered NUiT when she looked for an astrology dating app in the App Store. She had tried other dating apps in the past, but found them intimidating and not based on personality.

    She searched for a dating app based in astrology because of compatibility charts. "The stars are literally telling you that you're compatible," she said. She downloaded NUiT but didn't see many people in her area among scrolling through, which inspired her to make the TikTok.

    Glorianna thought the video would encourage a few people to download NUiT, but she didn't expect her endorsement to become so popular. Now in the weeks since, she's seen more and more people on NUiT. "When I'm on the app now," she said, "It's profile on profile on profile on profile — there's so many people on the app, which is really cool."

    The app currently has 200,000 downloads, according to Dela, mostly in the US and either millennial and Generation Z.

    I've dabbled in astrology myself — as a queer woman living in Brooklyn, it's pretty much par the course — and when I downloaded NUiT I picked "I know about sun and rising signs" for my astrology knowledge. When I saw how much the app delved into the practice, I assumed they must've consulted astrologers when creating the app.

    SEE ALSO: How it feels to be ghosted during the coronavirus pandemic

    Indeed they did: Astrologers like Comet have been involved with the creation of NUiT, and Frangi emphasized the importance of using experts. "I'm a scientist," said Frangi, who has a background in chemistry. She said that one can't research science if they haven't first studied it. The same goes for astrology, which is why the app needed astrologers according to Frangi.

    Comet herself was already entrenched in the astrology community when she became involved with NUiT. "When I saw the app I automatically was like, 'Wow what a cool idea,'" she said. Comet has also felt a strong pull to Greece due to her passion for astrology, her fascination with Greek mythology, and her love of Mediterranean food; her connection deepened during a study abroad trip. When she discovered the NUiT team was based in Greece, she felt it was a signal to get involved and she contacted them. While she didn't join the team right away, she first connected with them on Instagram and supported them from afar. Now, she works on marketing the app as well as being the lead astrologer.

    Users are given batches of seven potential matches at a time, and they can "star," decline, or just scroll pass them. Unlike Tinder or Bumble, you not only see multiple people at a time but scroll through their profiles at your own pace. This is in contrast to Tinder and Bumble's hot-or-not-esque model where you see one profile, make a quick judgment, and move onto the next. If you're not happy with the users in the batch, you can swipe all the way left to "reshuffle cards," thus refreshing the app for a new set of potential matches. There's no endless scroll of people as on major apps.

    Credit: nuit

    In addition to the dating app portion, NUiT offers daily horoscopes and birth chart information as does Co—Star or The Pattern. While Glorianna downloaded NUiT to meet people, she's been using its more personal and educational astrology content recently given that her priority wasn't dating at the time of our interview, but specifically on protesting for Black Lives Matter and against police brutality.

    While there is rightful criticism of adages like "I don't date Geminis"(Opens in a new tab) or any other sun sign, Comet said that much more than star sign compatibility goes into the app, like all the planets and the 12 houses of the Zodiac(Opens in a new tab). Cutting off entire signs "isolates a bunch of potential connections and a bunch of potential lessons that you can learn through another individual," said Comet. That's not to say that users can't judge solely on star sign, but there's a wealth of astrological information they'd have to gloss over to do so.

    SEE ALSO: Your guide to dirty talk while social distancing

    Further, the point of the app isn't just to talk to people users have "high" compatibility with according to Comet. The app offers several paragraphs of insight into these potential strengths and challenges "It illuminates the potential of our connections," she said.

    Comet used an example of a woman she met pre-coronavirus who she had a high business score with. It turned out she was a freelancer, like herself, and they developed a working relationship.

    "It's really important not to limit ourselves because we never know how people can interact with us and we never know where the connection can grow," she said.

    In addition to growing connections, NUiT's team also hopes to grow the app itself in terms of its user base and features. They plan on enriching user profiles and making the distinction between people who want friendship and dating more clear, as well as to add more gender options to provide users with "holistic freedom to specify their gender and identify themselves," according to Frangi and Dela. As the app is based in astrology, they also plan on adding more astrology content like visualizations and personalized astrology forecasts.

    For now, NUiT is nestled in the intersection of the astrology and queer communities — seen by straight people, or not.

  • Yes, the birth certificate proves Elon Musk and Grimes baby is legally named X AE A-XII

    Yes, the birth certificate proves Elon Musk and Grimes baby is legally named X AE A-XII

    If there was any doubt left, billionaire Elon Musk and musician Grimes legally, actually, 100 percent named their child X AE A-XII. "X" being the kid's first name, and "AE A-XII" their middle, and "Musk" their last.


    That's according to a birth certificate TMZ obtained(Opens in a new tab).

    X AE A-XII is actually a slight shift from what Musk first announced — he initially said the name was X Æ A-12 — because California doesn't allow special symbols or numbers in a legal name. Still, the overall sentiment of the name is the same.

    Musk has explained, how, exactly, he and Grimes went with such a... unique... name for the child born last month.

    "First of all, my partner is the one who, mostly, actually came up with the name," Musk told Joe Rogan on the comedian's podcast last month. 

    "I mean it's just X, the letter X," Musk said. "And then the AE is like pronounced 'ash'... yeah... and then A-12 is my contribution."

    In case you were wondering, A-12 stands for the Archangel 12, the precursor to the SR-71 aircraft, which Musk called "the coolest plane ever" on Rogan's podcast.

    SEE ALSO: Elon Musk announces the birth of his baby in the most Elon Musk way possible

    So, yeah, the child's name is official and it's definitely a bit of a mouthful.

    But don't worry, they're already using a nickname.

    Grimes told Bloomberg(Opens in a new tab) in May that she calls her baby “Little X” for short.

  • Matt Gaetzs bizarre shoutout to his son Nestor instantly became a copypasta meme

    Matt Gaetzs bizarre shoutout to his son Nestor instantly became a copypasta meme

    Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz wants the world to know about his large adult son, Nestor. And his announcement is now a Twitter copypasta.


    Nestor's existence came up during a heated exchange about race and police reform between Rep. Gaetz and Rep. Cedric Richmond during a House Judiciary meeting on Thursday.

    During the discussion(Opens in a new tab) on whether to label antifa(Opens in a new tab), the decentralized political protest movement, as a terrorist organization, Richmond complained that the Republicans on the committee, who were all white, were stalling.

    "You've never lived in my shoes, and you do not know what it's like to be an African American male," Richmond said. "And all I'm saying is if you are opposed to this legislation, let's just have the vote, but please do not come in this committee room and make a mockery of the pain that exists in my community."

    Gaetz, who is white, asked Richmond if he was "certain that none of us have non-white children." The conversation blew up into yelling after that, and as usual, Gaetz lost his cool and made it a spectacle.

    Until the meeting, Gaetz has not publicly acknowledged the fact that he has children. He followed up the meeting with a bizarre tweet on Thursday, in which he shared a selfie of his allegedly adopted son Nestor.

    "We share no blood but he is my life," the representative wrote. "He came from Cuba (legally, of course) six years ago and lives with me in Florida. I am so proud of him and raising him has been the best, more rewarding thing I've done in my life."

    It is unclear whether Gaetz has legal guardianship over Nestor, or whether he ever formally adopted him. In a video from December 2017, he refers to Nestor as his "helper."

    His son Nestor also isn't listed on his website, but his dog, Scarlett, is.

    Among the confusion surrounding Gaetz's large adult son, his tweet became a Twitter copypasta. Twitter users started using his caption verbatim and pairing them with random photos of their large adult sons.

    Even The Good Place actor Mitch Narito got in on it. That's his son, but not like his son.

    Who is Nestor? No idea, but if there's anything to take away from this, it's that every Twitter user seems to have a secret adult son.

  • People are petitioning for Columbus, Ohio to be renamed Flavortown

    People are petitioning for Columbus, Ohio to be renamed Flavortown

    A petition with more than 10,000 signatures (at the time of this writing) is calling for the city of Columbus, Ohio to be renamed to Flavortown in honor of the one and only Guy Fieri.


    As protests against police brutality continue worldwide for the third consecutive week, many are calling for the removal of statues and memorials of problematic historical figures. Statues of Confederate generals, known slaveholders, and Christopher Columbus are being removed all around the United States.

    A petition(Opens in a new tab) with more than 14,000 signatures wants to take that a step further.

    "Columbus is an amazing city, but one whose name is tarnished by the very name itself," the petition's creator Tyler Woodbridge wrote. "Its namesake, Christopher Columbus, is in The Bad Place because of all his raping, slave trading, and genocide. That's not exactly a proud legacy."

    The petition, addressed to City Council and Columbus mayor Andrew Ginther, points out that changing the name to Flavortown not only honors the city's "proud heritage as a culinary crossroads," but also honors Guy Fieri, who was born in Columbus.

    "He's such a good dude, really," Woodbridge added in the petition.

    A good dude worth remembering more than Columbus, at least.

    The petition gained so much traction, Bud Light offered free spiked seltzers for all residents of Flavortown if the city does go through with changing its name.

    As one signer noted in their comments on the petition, changing the city's name to one honoring an Indigenous figure would probably make more sense. But at the same time, the name Columbus needs to be done away with so badly, residents might as well choose Flavortown.

    "All joking aside, Guy Fieri has raised $20 million for food service workers impacted by the pandemic," the comment(Opens in a new tab) reads. "This act ALONE makes him far more worthy of a town named in his honor than Christopher Columbus...If we have to choose between “Flavor Town” and Columbus, I know where I stand."

    In an update, Woodbridge said he was heading back to his hometown of Columbus (hopefully soon, Flavortown) to personally deliver the printed petition to city hall.

    Fieri has not publicly commented on his potential namesake.

  • In defense of himbos, the hot simple men I love to love

    In defense of himbos, the hot simple men I love to love

    I, for one, adore himbos and believe they deserve more recognition.


    Urban Dictionary defines(Opens in a new tab) himbos as large attractive men who "tend to be not very bright, but usually extremely nice and respectful."

    Notable himbos include Kronk from Emperor's New Groove, Sokka from Avatar: The Last Airbender, or Jason Mendoza in The Good Place. A himbo is the human version of a golden retriever — beautiful, incredibly well-intentioned, and dumb. Mr. Peanutbutter, the affable golden retriever in Bojack Horseman who manages to bumble through the series with little resistance from those around him, is the most literal interpretation of a himbo in pop culture.

    But a Twitter user claimed(Opens in a new tab) the word "himbo" is problematic in a thoroughly ratio'd tweet on Sunday night.

    "Himbo' is ableist," the tweet reads. "I find fetishizing someone's supposed lack of intelligence to be predatory. Why would you desire someone who seemingly has less power than you? Why is that sexy? Why is that different from praying on underage kids? It's not."

    The tweet unleashed a flash flood of commentary around the word himbo, and what people find so appealing about them. As several Twitter users pointed out, the love for himbos isn't because of their lack of intellect, but their pure hearts and unabashed optimism.

    The term "himbo" is adapted from its feminine counterpart, the bimbo. Derived from the word "bambino," Italian for child, the word bimbo was originally used(Opens in a new tab) to describe simple men as early as 1920. The word then became a misogynist barb against conventionally attractive women for being frivolous, with the portmanteau of "him" and "bimbo" applied to men in the 1980s. (Reclaiming the word bimbo, as a self-identified hot dumbass, is a whole other take.)

    As a Tumblr user croons in a cover of Bonnie Tyler's "I Need A Hero," a himbo's "gotta be dumb and he's gotta be sweet, supportive, respectful, and kind."

    My roommate and I refer to the two cis male members of our quarantine bubble as our emotional support himbos. I call my cat, a 14-pound gentle giant who can't seem to figure out his puzzle feeder and instead waits for my three-month-old kitten to do the work for him, a sweet himbo. When I watched Netflix's The Half Of It(Opens in a new tab), a movie about the blossoming friendship between a lovable but clueless high school jock and his introverted female classmate who pine for the same girl, I was delighted by the himbo representation.

    A himbo is not to be confused with a simp(Opens in a new tab), or men who will throw their support behind women in hopes of receiving sexual gratification. A himbo will support women not for the promise of sex, but because they genuinely believe in supporting women.

    But what do actual self-identified himbos think of the discourse?

    "Look whatever floats ur boat," Twitter user greyyerg4, who asked to go by his username for privacy reasons, wrote in a Twitter DM to Mashable. "If someone thinks I'm sexy cus I'm dumb that's cool."

    For trans himbos, identifying with the word is gender affirming. Jeung Bok Holmquist, whose pronouns are he/they, said the idea of being a "hot dumb guy" is "very funny and appealing." By identifying as a himbo, he/they can let others know that he/they identifies with masculinity.

    "The word himbo is just one of many dumb jokes I make about myself because like I said before, it is gender affirming to me and if I call myself a himbo then other people will begin to recognize that I like being called silly masculine names," Holmquist said in a Twitter DM. "Again it's a silly word! But it's something for me at least that's light hearted and silly about being trans."

    "But also I am a dumbass sometimes and I'm a bottom."

    Himboism is also tied to being as nonthreatening as possible. As Twitter user @sqiouyilu wrote in their himbo manifesto(Opens in a new tab), a himbo is the "idealized safe man." Kam Burns began aligning with himbos because of his "helpless" way of flirting — before transitioning, he knew he could "get out of doing stuff by playing dumb" because he knew cis men "are actually really dumb and have massive egos."

    "Since transitioning I keep forgetting that I can no longer be Like That and get away with it, but also I am a dumbass sometimes and I'm a bottom(Opens in a new tab) so it kinda fits with my whole chaotic 'IDK what I'm doing' persona I've created for myself," Burns said in a Twitter DM.

    He added that he's "deeply afraid" of turning into the manipulative, controlling guys he used to date. Being a himbo is a rejection of toxic masculinity, while still embracing masculine traits.

    "By that definition above, someone who's optimistic and assumes the best in everyone would have no motivation to manipulate or control others," Burns added. "I just feel like I very much give the impression that I don't know what I'm doing (cause a lot of the times I don't) as opposed to the way a lot of cis men are hyper-confident even when they maybe shouldn't be."

    Celebrating himbos is simply celebrating a version of masculinity untainted by toxic aggression(Opens in a new tab). Just as masculinity and femininity transcends gender identity, identifying as a himbo does as well. Anyone who is masc-aligned(Opens in a new tab) can be a himbo, so long as they are hot, dumb, and pure of heart. The social discussion surrounding himbos also spawned the gender-neutral term "thembo," for those who are non-binary but are still hot, dumb, and pure of heart.

    A himbo may not be unintelligent. Much like their feminine counterparts, there are plenty of smart-in-other-ways himbos. Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, Hollywood's smartest bimbo, still embodied the unrelenting optimism and gullibility that many himbos also have.

    That being said, calling someone a himbo without their input may be belittling, and you should wait until they identify with the word before doing so. But if you believe you're hot, dumb, and pure of heart, you might be a himbo.

    And we love you for that.

  • Google workers demand company stop selling tech to police

    Google workers demand company stop selling tech to police

    Over 1,600 Google workers have signed an open letter demanding the company stop selling its technology to police. Addressed to CEO Sundar Pichai, the petition references ongoing protests against racism and police brutality sparked by George Floyd's death, and calls Google out as "profiting off...racist systems."


    "We want Google to take real steps to help dismantle racism," says the letter, which has been circulating at Google since Wednesday. "We as a society have moved past the point where saying Black Lives Matter is enough, we need to show it in our thinking, in our words and in our actions that Black lives do matter to us."

    Stating that workers are "incredibly disappointed" in Google's response to the protests, the petition calls Google out not only for selling its products to police, but proudly advertising it(Opens in a new tab). Specifically, the letter refers to the use of Google's G Suite by the Clarkstown Police Department in New York — an organisation that has previously been sued for illegal surveillance(Opens in a new tab) of Black Lives Matter activists. The letter also condemns Google for indirectly helping law enforcement use drones to track immigrants(Opens in a new tab), and donating to racist(Opens in a new tab) politicians(Opens in a new tab).

    "Why help the institutions responsible for the knee on George Floyd’s neck to be more effective organizationally?" asks the letter.

    SEE ALSO: Google Doodle recognizes Juneteenth, unlike the federal government

    Google has not been completely silent in the wake of the protests. Earlier this month, Pichai wrote another open letter(Opens in a new tab) expressing solidarity with the Black community and announcing Google would give $12 million to organisations working to address racial inequality. Last week he revealed(Opens in a new tab) initiatives to hire more Black workers at all levels, providing them support within the company, and announced Google would give $175 million in support of Black business owners and job seekers.

    However, Google's workers have rightly pointed out the company can't claim to care about Black lives while simultaneously helping and profiting from the structures that endanger them.

    "We want to be proud of the company we work for. We want the company we build to speak to our values and how we want to show up in the world," says the letter.

    "We have a long way to go to address the full legacy of racism but to begin with — we should not be in the business of profiting from racist policing. We should not be in the business of criminalizing Black existence while we chant that Black Lives Matter."

    SEE ALSO: Google tells employees to stop 'raging' about politics and fall in line

    Worker unrest at Google has previously borne results. In 2019, the company declined to renew its contract with the U.S. Department of Defence after thousands of workers signed a petition in protest, some even resigning. Under the contract, Google was to use artificial intelligence to improve the targeting capabilities of military drones.

    This new petition is still continuing to gather signatures, though whether it will be met with similar action remains to be seen. Mashable has reached out to Google for comment.

    " on you to stop making our technology available to police forces," the letter ends. "None of us is free until all of us are free."

    UPDATE: June 25, 2020, 9:12 a.m. AEST A Google spokesperson has responded to Mashable with this statement: “We're committed to work that makes a meaningful difference to combat systemic racism, and our employees have made over 500 product suggestions in recent weeks, which we are reviewing. On this one, we were the first major company to decide, years ago, to not make general purpose facial recognition commercially available and we have very clear AI Principles that prohibit its use or sale for surveillance. We have long standing terms of use for generally available computing platforms like Gmail, G Suite and Google Cloud Platform, and these products will remain available for governments and local authorities, including police departments, to use.”

  • How queer clubs are handling the first pandemic Pride

    How queer clubs are handling the first pandemic Pride

    Mashable is celebrating Pride Month by exploring the modern LGBTQ world, from the people who make up the community to the spaces where they congregate, both online and off.


    On a usual Pride Month at The Abbey, a gay bar in West Hollywood, tens of thousands of people come through to celebrate. In fact, the Pride parade ends right in front of the bar.

    "Pride is traditionally our biggest weekend of the year," said David Cooley, CEO and owner of The Abbey, The Chapel and Within, all gay bars in the neighborhood.

    Cooley is far from alone, however. For queer bars and clubs across the United States, the weekend of any particular city's Pride March — the climax of Pride Month, celebrated in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots — is their biggest money maker year after year.

    Lisa Menichino, owner of the famed lesbian bar Cubbyhole in Manhattan's West Village, said that the day of the annual Pride parade would bring in a week's worth of sales. Further, the entire month is a financial boon, bringing in twice as much each week than it does the rest of the year.

    This year, however, isn't the usual. "This year sucks, quite frankly," said Menichino. "The loss of [Pride] in real time is absolutely devastating."

    This is the first time in 27 years that her bar isn't open. "We never, ever close our doors — not on 9/11, not in hurricanes, not in blackouts, not in blizzards," said Menichino. "We always have this policy that we will keep our door open and have a place for people to come when there's tragedy going on or inclement, horrible weather."

    SEE ALSO: 30 essential LGBTQ films to stream this Pride Month

    That changed on March 16, when Cubbyhole closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    Queer club owners who spoke to Mashable echoed similar sentiments about the loss of business and celebration this year, with all of them closed at some point due to the pandemic. Already some, like famed bar The Stud(Opens in a new tab) in San Francisco, have lost their space. Even the Stonewall Inn — where riots sparked the queer liberation movement — has an uncertain future(Opens in a new tab).

    "There have been a lot of lows — emotionally and mentally and financially," said Eric Sosa, one of the owners of queer club C'mon Everybody in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. "The last three months have felt like three years in a way… We're trying to make ends meet and we're applying for loans and we're trying to raise money."

    Los Angeles's Akbar usually celebrated Pride with a huge party in their parking lot. Scott Craig, one of Akbar's two owners, told Mashable that hundreds of people flocked to their parking lot parties. While bars in Los Angeles county were allowed to open(Opens in a new tab) starting June 19, Craig will hold off reopening Akbar(Opens in a new tab) until rates of new cases are lower.

    "This year we can't do a darn thing," said Craig. "We're kind of just patiently — or impatiently — waiting for the okay [to reopen]." In the meantime, Craig and his team are cleaning the bar and rearranging furniture to best adhere to social distance parameters for when they can reopen.

    "Our dance floor — which was quite a popular dance floor in its time — is now going to be a lounge," Craig said. It's not exactly easy to dance(Opens in a new tab) six or more feet apart from your fellow partiers.

    "Our dance floor — which was quite a popular dance floor in its time — is now going to be a lounge"

    Indeed, some spots are preparing to open as soon as they can, but with fewer patrons and a lot less partying. The Abbey, for example, is currently open as a restaurant with limited capacity inside. "To help let more people celebrate, we are doing a lot on our social media channels," said Cooley. "We’re hosting drag shows, including our Drag Brunch, on Instagram Live and Zoom."

    Like The Abbey, other bars have taken to celebrating virtually. During June, every day at 4PM — when Akbar usually opened — they post a "queero" on Facebook(Opens in a new tab). Akbar's employees each elected someone they admired in the LGBTQ work to be a queero (queer hero), said Craig.

    Over in San Francisco, the bar Midnight Sun is also celebrating on Facebook with their group Friends of Midnight Sun(Opens in a new tab). Joshua Cook, the general manager of both Midnight Sun and another gay club, Beaux, said there's an online celebration in the group with music videos, memes, throwbacks, and photos.

    Cook is also creating a video with the help of drag performer Lady Camden(Opens in a new tab) and a plethora of people who work at the bar: Bartenders, security guards, barbacks, managers, drag queens, hosts, go-go dancers, and DJs. The video will have three elements: Employees answering several questions that'll stream together in a montage; drag queens performing the same song edited to appear as a group performance; and bartenders doing their own version of the 'pass the brush' challenge(Opens in a new tab) by passing their homemade cocktails.

    Fifty people are contributing to the video, according to Cook, including Ru Paul's Drag Race alumni and performers Laganja Estanja(Opens in a new tab), Gia Gunn(Opens in a new tab), and Jessica Wild(Opens in a new tab). The queens in the video will sing a song called "Unity."(Opens in a new tab)

    In Brooklyn, C'mon Everybody and queer club House of Yes both put on digital parties for their patrons as well.

    "We were originally inspired by the work of @socialdisDanceparty(Opens in a new tab), the first group we saw bringing dancers together using video conferencing tools," said House of Yes's marketing and cultural director, Jacqui Rabkin. Rabkin and David Kiss, the club's music director, took the idea and began building their digital club program with the blessing of House of Yes's owners.

    On a typical Saturday, 500 people will come to House of Yes's Zoom 'club,' said Rabkin. Sosa said C'mon Everybody, a newer and smaller venue, has around 20 percent of their usual capacity of 200 at their virtual parties.

    "It's still a great outlet for people, especially since people have been quarantined at home," he said.

    Cubbyhole has virtual happy hours and other events in the works as well, said Menichino.

    While these parties at least provide patrons with an inkling of the partying they're used to, they're not the same. "Nothing is going to compare" to usual Pride, Menichino said. "It's so much more important than just the parade. It's also like the fact that the younger generation can learn the history from older generations… Gay Pride brings everybody together."

    Not only do virtual parties lack usual festivities, but they also don't compensate monetarily for the loss. "It's not about you know making a profit for us," said Sosa. "It's about bringing people together and trying to bring some joy in what everyone is going through."

    As C'mon Everybody is considered a concert venue, it won't reopen until New York City enters phase four(Opens in a new tab); Sosa said he hopes that will occur in October. Even with limited capacity, however, opening won't bring in the same pre-pandemic revenue. Sosa said the club's profit comes from bar sales while ticket sales go towards the artists; 50 percent fewer customers, for example, means 50 percent fewer bar sales.

    Not only will fewer people be allowed inside, but they'll have to be masked. "I'm going to really need the cooperation of Cubby customers," said. "I know how frustrating it is… I'm just hopeful that in people's eagerness to get out there and celebrate, that they'll cooperate."

    Credit: bob al-greene / mashable

    The pandemic has also derailed other plans. Sosa and his team planned on opening another bar called Good Judy, in South Brooklyn, but it's been put on the back-burner. They're planning to open it in limited capacity in phase three and utilize its outdoor space.

    In the meantime, these places — just like businesses in other industries — have opened GoFundMe campaigns for patrons to support. C'mon Everybody's community has supported them, said Sosa."We've been able to raise some funds via GoFundMe(Opens in a new tab)," he said. "We've been really grateful for that."

    Cubbyhole's previous owner advised Menichino to keep money stored for a rainy day, and she did have almost two months' worth of savings — but this is lasting longer than two months, which she realized after a few weeks. She set up a GoFundMe(Opens in a new tab) as well, and raised over $62,000 with only a $30,000 goal.

    "I wasn't sure how it was going to go over because there's so many people in the same boat doing the same thing," said Menichino, "but Cubbyhole is such a special place and our fans are so loyal and devoted to it, that the response was overwhelming. It was amazing."

    Akbar(Opens in a new tab), Beaux(Opens in a new tab), and House of Yes(Opens in a new tab) all have GoFundMe fundraisers as well.

    In the midst of raising money for their bars and clubs, these owners and general managers have also made a point to support the Black Lives Matter movement. Normally if Cubbyhole was open, Menichino said, she'd donate money. Given that the bar has been closed for months, she's not in the financial position to do so. Instead, she partnered with the Emergency Release Fund(Opens in a new tab) — whose mission is to help queer and medically vulnerable people get out of New York City's Rikers Island jail and ICE detention — to create Fuck Cash Bail shirts(Opens in a new tab) for a two-week long campaign ending June 25. The profits go towards posting bail for those in need.

    Over in San Francisco, one of Beaux's bartenders organized a Ready to Listen Rally(Opens in a new tab) for Black Lives Matter earlier this month, a peaceful protest and rally for queer allies of the movement. "It's important work," said Cook, "and we're happy to do it."

    C'mon Everybody planned on launching a handful of virtual parties this month, but they cancelled them due to the ongoing protests. "We really wanted to make that sort of our focal point right now," said Sosa, "The Black Lives Matter movement is really important to us right now, and it's definitely taken precedent over Pride." They've taken to reposting information about protests and ways to help(Opens in a new tab) the movement on Instagram.

    This year has ushered in dramatic change — including the public discussion about police brutality and Black Lives Matter — but in terms of the pandemic, both Sosa and Cook said they hate the term "the new normal."

    "I am not going to say this is the new normal," said Cook. "This is an interim period."

    Ultimately, all these bars hope to reopen to their former glory — even when exactly that will be is uncertain.

    "I am not going to say this is the new normal"

    "It's difficult to predict what House of Yes will look like when the pandemic is over but YES we will be reopening," said Rabkin. "We'll keep innovating and changing with the times, as we always have. We've survived a fire (House of Yes #1), a rent-related-shutdown (House of Yes #2) and now (House of Yes #3) we're surviving a pandemic."

    "It has to open, it cannot close," Menichino said of Cubbyhole. "It means too much to too many people, not just myself. And I will find a way to open it again, and make it a success again."

    Cooley said that The Abbey patrons continue to post on social media about how they await the day it'll reopen in full capacity. "I think things will build up slowly over several months as restrictions ease," Cooley said. "Eventually, we’ll be able to have big spectacular events again."

    While it may be far off, Craig awaits the day where there's nothing stopping everyone from dancing — and hugging — at Akbar. When asked what he's looking forward to when there's a vaccine for the coronavirus, he said, "I think there'd be a solid week of very heartfelt hugs. It'll be a marvelous thing to witness to see all that."

    "And then of course," he continued, "a good sweaty dance floor."

    Related Video: The hosts of 'Queer Eye' reimagine the American dream

  • Tinder is making its Orientation feature global and you can list up to 3

    Tinder is making its Orientation feature global and you can list up to 3

    Tinder is making its Orientation feature global after debuting it one year ago.


    The dating app's feature lets swipers list up to three of nine sexual orientations in their Tinder profiles.

    Users can identify as three of the following: straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, demisexual, pansexual, queer, and questioning. 

    Since launching a year ago in the US, UK, India, Canada, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand in partnership with GLAAD, 62 percent of swipers have set an orientation, and one in five matches made identify as queer.

    "At Tinder, we believe everyone deserves to feel seen, which starts with the ability to authentically be yourself. That’s why we introduced both the Orientation and More Genders features,” Elie Seidman, CEO of Tinder, said in a statement.

    Gen Z users (aged 18 to 25) were 20 percent more likely than millennials and Gen X to choose more than one orientation, per Tinder figures. Identifying as "questioning and straight" is a rising orientation listing among this demographic.

    "Our younger members, Gen Z, are leading the way to a more inclusive world and we know that with our scale, we can help make a difference with our product. We can’t wait to release these features to more people around the world," the statement continued.

    SEE ALSO: 'Turbo relationships': The people falling in love at high speed during the pandemic

    Tinder also plans to expand its More Genders features on a global scale in the next few months. This feature — which launched in 2016, again, in partnership with GLAAD — allows members to identify from over 30+ genders.

    The feature expansion comes after Tinder launched its Traveler Alert last year, which aimed to protect and inform LGBTQ swipers about the risks of using dating apps in the 70 countries where the law effectively criminalises LGBTQ status.

    The Orientation and More Genders features will be available everywhere "excluding markets where there are state-sponsored sexual orientation laws," according to Tinder's press release.

  • Sacha Baron Cohen trolled a right-wing gathering with a racist sing-along

    Sacha Baron Cohen trolled a right-wing gathering with a racist sing-along

    Whether you love him or hate him, there's no denying that Sacha Baron Cohen gets results.


    The latest proof we have is a stunt that saw the comedian – a word that really fails to capture the extent of Cohen's schtick – take the stage at a rally put together by a right-wing militia group. He sang an overtly racist protest-style song and got the enthusiastic crowd to sing along. That's how he rolls.

    The rally was put together by a militia group that call themselves the Washington Three Percenters. The "three percenter" thing is a reference to what the Southern Poverty Law Center describes(Opens in a new tab) as a "dubious" claim "that only 3 percent of American colonists fought against the British during the War of Independence." The definition appears in SPLC's rundown of "antigovernment movements."

    As confirmed by Variety(Opens in a new tab), Cohen apparently disguised himself as the head of a political action committee that stepped in as a donor to sponsor the event. That gave him and his people control of event security, meaning he was able to remain on stage even after the event's organizers realized something was amiss.

    Cohen used his time on stage to sing a call-and-response kind of song in which he exhorted the crowd to join in on his calls to "inject" various public figures – including Barack Obama, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and others – with the "Wuhan flu." (That term is one of several racist depictions of COVID-19 that Donald Trump and his adherents have embraced.)

    In an interview conducted after Cohen's stunt, one of the event's organizers laid out the whole story. He also places the blame, without evidence, on Washington State's Democratic party, and Gov. Jay Inslee specifically, because... why not?

    While the organizer decries Cohen's "racist" song, he fails to mention the fact that event attendees enthusiastically joined in on the call-and-response. He also conveniently overlooks the fact that Cohen's whole thing is to catch the targets of his commentary-focused humor off guard by slipping into various roles that get them comfortable enough to let their inner truths fly.

    Is it duplicitous? Sure! That's the whole point. In his 2018 Showtime series Who is America?, Cohen put his particular creative approach to good use in getting public figures the head of a pro-gun group and a conservative (in fact, racist) politician to willingly show their own asses.

    SEE ALSO: Sacha Baron Cohen's interview with Roy Moore might be the most cringe-inducing yet

    There's some suspicion that this latest stunt is meant to be part of an eventual second season for the Showtime series. The cable network hasn't said anything about future plans for the show since the first season ended, though, so this could just be Cohen doing his thing for shits and giggles and social media virality.

    Mission accomplished.

Random articles


  • Tinders Festival Mode is back to help you find people at the same live event

    Tinders Festival Mode is back to help you find people at the same live event

    Meeting new people at a festival has been something we've been unable to do during the pandemic. Instead, we've opted for livestreaming them on the couch. But for many countries, summer events are truly back on the bill.


    Tinder has teamed up with a bunch of major music festivals to bring back Festival Mode, a feature launched in 2019 that lets you connect with people who are planning to go to the same event as you.

    Maybe you're both into the same artists, who knows? Credit: Anthony Delanoix / Tinder / Mashable composite

    Festival Mode is now available globally through the Explore tab, where users can interact with new people through shared interests — in this case, it's which music festivals they're keen on. You'll be able to match with other people attending the same event as early as a month beforehand, so you can chat about which artists you want to see (and if you're having good chats, maybe plan to watch them together, maybe just compare notes).

    SEE ALSO: How to safely meet up on a Tinder date

    So far, Tinder's partnered with 20 festivals around the world including U.S. festivals Bonnaroo, The Governors Ball, Hard Summer, Lovers and Friends, and EDC in Las Vegas and Orlando. In Australia, Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival, and Festival X are on board, and in the UK, it's All Points East and BST Hyde Park.

    In Europe, there's Lollapalooza in Stockholm, Paris, and Berlin; Sónar in Spain; Parookaville in Germany; Sziget Festival in Hungary; Palmesus in Norway; and Vunzige Deuntjes Festival and Milkshake in the Netherlands.

    There's also going to be a "Festival Goers" space in the app for people who don't see a festival they're going to listed but are just fans of music and going to festivals (and have serious FOMO).

    It's just the latest addition Tinder's made to its Explore tab, with blind dates added in February. Just as always, if you're meeting up with someone new IRL, even at a music festival, you should keep a couple of things in mind.

  • Donald Trump killed his recently created blog and honestly thats a very blogger move

    Donald Trump killed his recently created blog and honestly thats a very blogger move

    At least it lasted longer than Scaramucci.


    Former President Donald Trump's recently created blog has been shuttered just one month after it debuted.

    The outlet was dubbed "From the Desk of Donald J. Trump" — and it basically served as a platform for Trump to moan about his was a blog.

    As so many blogs have, it fizzled soon after being started and now it is dead. The platform "will not be returning," Jason Miller, a senior Trump aide, told CNBC(Opens in a new tab).

    "It was just auxiliary to the broader efforts we have and are working on," Miller said.

    Trump only needed "From the Desk of" because he's been booted from nearly every major online platform after he inspired an insurrection at the nation's Capitol. In fact, the blog was created(Opens in a new tab) on May 4, just one day before the Facebook Oversight Board was slated to announce a decision on Trump's suspension from its platforms. The Board upheld the suspension but kicked the ultimate decision down the road.

    Folks were quick to react to the news of Trump killing his blog because, honestly, it might be the most relatable thing he's ever done. Who hasn't hastily created a blog before spiking it a few weeks later?

    Of course, the former president might just be prepping for the launch of some new media venture. After all, the blogging world didn't seem to suit Trump in the same way as rage tweeting or doing Fox News interviews. Also an NBC News report(Opens in a new tab) last month found hardly anybody was reading "From the Desk."

  • Give your skincare routine a clean sweep with high-performing, non-toxic products

    Give your skincare routine a clean sweep with high-performing, non-toxic products

    You Got This is a series that spotlights the gear you need to improve one area of your life.


    In case you hadn’t heard, your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it plays a key role in overall health and well-being. And since what you put on your skin is quickly absorbed into your body, you need to start giving it the good stuff. I mean, you already cut toxic people out of your life, don’t you think you should cut toxic beauty products out of your skincare routine, too?

    The good news is you can now find Sephora shops inside Kohl’s stores and online at in a new tab), which means you get both Kohl’s Rewards and Sephora Beauty Insider rewards when you shop the store-within-the-store. (That’s what we call deal stacking, folks.) And it’s easy to ID the clean beauty products(Opens in a new tab) that will give your skin the non-toxic love it needs when beauty shopping with Sephora + Kohl’s, because every product that meets Sephora’s high standard of clean excellence is marked with a green ‘Clean at Sephora’ icon.

    Disclaimer: Clean at Sephora approved means products are formulated without phthalates, formaldehyde or formaldehyde releasers, oxybenzone and octinoxate, hydroquinone, triclosan, coal tar, methylisothiazolinone, insoluble plastic, microbeads.

    Here are our top clean skincare must-haves.

    Wash it all away

    This creamy, foaming cleanser deeply cleans out pores and helps oily skin feel fresh, without stripping it of much-needed moisture. Translation? Clean, but not too clean.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Farmacy
    Farmacy Whipped Greens Oil-Free Foaming Cleanser (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Perk up your peepers

    Dark circles are one of the hardest skin issues to combat, but vitamin C, ginseng, and caffeine are all ingredients that have been clinically shown to lighten up that under-eye darkness. And guess what? This eye cream has all those dark circle super fighters.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Origins
    Origins Ginzing Vitamin C Eye Cream to Brighten and Depuff (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Milk it for all it’s worth

    We’ve been hearing since we were kids that milk does a body good. Well in 2022, we’re all about alt milks, and turns out, vegan milk does your face good. The nourishing combo of oat milk, fig milk, argan milk, and desert milk (desert plant extracts) in this moisturizer offers lightweight hydration that’s suitable for all skin types.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Milk
    Milk Makeup Vegan Milk Moisturizer (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Protect your assets

    Ask any dermatologist, makeup artist, or skincare guru out there, and each one will tell you the same thing: Wear sunscreen every day! Forget all the sticky, greasy sunscreens you’ve tried in the past, this matte-finish, tinted sunscreen feels like a dream on your skin, protects it from harmful rays, and gives it an airbrushed finish.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Supergoop!
    Supergoop! Mineral Matte Sunscreen SPF 40 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Maximize your beauty sleep

    Packed with hydrating ingredients like niacinamide (vitamin B in layman’s terms) and blueberry seed oil, this overnight mask helps improve your skin’s texture and hydration level while you sleep.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Farmacy
    Farmacy 10% Niacinamide Night Mask (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Give your hair a vacation

    This shampoo and conditioner duo comes in bottles that look like your favorite juice, smell like a tropical dream, and nourish even the driest strands for healthy, happy, shiny hair. A word of caution: you may start craving a piña colada when you use it.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Briogeo
    Briogeo Superfoods Banana + Coconut Nourishing Shampoo + Conditioner Duo for Dry Hair (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Drench your skin

    Skin feeling dry, itchy, or sad? Give it the happy boost it needs with hydration straight from nature. This body lotion offers lasting hydration with all-natural plant oils and plant-derived butters.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Summer Fridays
    Summer Fridays Summer Skin Nourishing Body Lotion (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Clean up your act

    Cue the celebration – cult favorite facial care brand Drunk Elephant has turned its attention to our entire body. This body wash pampers your skin with passionfruit oil and amino acids while gently getting rid of your daily funk, too.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Drunk Elephant
    Drunk Elephant Kamili Cream Body Cleanser (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    And if you're looking for some savvy tips on how to save at Kohl's, check out RetailMeNot's blog(Opens in a new tab) for all the smartest ways to shop and save.

  • A conspiracy theory about a party supply store went viral on TikTok. Then the police showed up.

    A conspiracy theory about a party supply store went viral on TikTok. Then the police showed up.

    When you hear the words "viral TikTok video," you probably think about funny challenges and pop song lip syncs. But there's another type of content going viral on TikTok: Conspiracy theories.


    In fact, TikToks espousing all kinds of wildly false claims have found an incredibly large audience, and while there's something fascinating about viral conspiracy theories, they can have devastating real world consequences — as one online party supply company recently learned the hard way.

    Ionized, a small business that sells novelty items like glow sticks and party hats on Amazon, has endured weeks of endless harassment, a ruined Amazon sales channel, and even visits from law enforcement. All because of a viral TikTok video spreading a QAnon-inspired conspiracy theory alleging that the company is secretly running a child trafficking ring.

    A viral TIkTok video by @dontghostme started a QAnon-esque conspiracy theory that spread across the internet. Credit: mashable screenshot

    "It's just a continuous saga of barrages of emails and messages and police encounters," explained Ali Momin, a partner at Ionized LLC, in a phone conversation with Mashable.

    Ionized is based in Houston, Texas, and manages around a dozen novelty item brands and online stores. One of their main items, for example, is the Lumistick glow stick. They sell it through their Evolution Planet Deals, which is their Amazon storefront, and their e-commerce shop,

    The whole situation is eerily reminiscent of the misinformation that spread rampantly last summer which falsely accused online retailer Wayfair of running a sex-trafficking ring. TikTok played a big role in spreading that conspiracy as well, and at the time a TikTok spokesperson told Rolling Stone(Opens in a new tab), “We do not allow misinformation, including conspiracy theories, that could cause harm to people on TikTok or the wider public.” They said they'd remove "any harmful material" related to the Wayfair conspiracy theory and pledged to "continue to further strengthen our protective measures in this area.”

    Now a very similar conspiracy theory is making the rounds again albeit on a slightly smaller scale at the moment. The big difference here, however, is that Evolution Planet Deals and are nowhere near as big as Wayfair is and the blowback has hit them much harder.

    In recent weeks, Ionized has been bombarded with emails, live chats through their website, and countless accusations posted on their Amazon product listings alleging that the glow sticks and party hats are really children being sold for sex.

    A look at some of the "top" reviews on the Amazon listing for Lumistick fedora party hats. Credit: Mashable screenshot

    "They found all of my partners' information, what other businesses they have, their addresses, the address to our warehouse," Momin said to me. "One guy posted about the railroad tracks behind the warehouse and said 'that's how they're bringing in these kids, through the railroad tracks.'"

    The source for all this? A few conspiracy theorists and a TikTok influencer.

    The beginning of a TikTok conspiracy

    In early April, a conspiracy theory started spreading among small TikTok accounts about party products being sold on Amazon under the Lumistick brand name. According to these videos, the brand listed a party hat for thousands of dollars. Glow sticks and LED lights, they said, had similarly sky-high prices.

    The conspiracy theorists posed this question to their audience: Who would buy a party hat or glow stick or bubble gun for thousands of dollars?

    No one, obviously. Which is why, according to the conspiracy theorists, this meant these listings, all posted by the same company, had to be a front for selling children.

    So, why was a single party hat being sold for so much? Well, it wasn't.

    These TikTok video creators missed a crucial detail on these Amazon listings. These were prices for bulk orders — and the pricing would change for each listing based on the quantity a user selected.

    For example, the near $16,000 price for a light-up fedora party hat(Opens in a new tab) was actually for an order of nearly 3,000 hats. That's approximately $5.50 per hat. Nothing unusual about that.

    It's possible that this conspiracy theory would have fizzled out without making it too far. In fact, one conspiracy theorist said in a subsequent video that their original claim about the party hats had been removed from TikTok.

    But then TikTok user @dontghostme made a video(Opens in a new tab) openly entertaining the conspiracy theory about Lumistick and shared it with his nearly 1 million subscribers.

    It's unclear if @dontghostme actually believed the conspiracy theory or simply thought it would be something that could get a lot of views. In fact, his video did go viral and now has more than 6.1 million views and over a million likes. Mashable attempted to contact @dontghostme multiple times but did not hear back.

    The conspiracy spreads

    Once the video went viral on TikTok, it began moving onto other platform as well.

    People started to tweet about the Lumistick party hat conspiracy theory, and dozens of Facebook posts that were accompanied by screenshots of the Amazon listing took hold.

    Take a look below. Each square is a preview for a public post on Facebook that comes up when you search "Lumistick Amazon."

    The conspiracy spread quickly to Facebook. Credit: mashable screenshot

    Then the flood of messages and accusatory reviews of the Amazon products began.

    "Are you really selling hats or people?" reads a question(Opens in a new tab) posted by an Amazon user on the page for the Lumistick party fedora hats.

    Some of the comments left as reviews on the listings get even more explicit. "Illegal!" reads one of the reviews. "Take this down now!!!! No hats are worth 15 thousand unless your trafficking!!!! 🤬 SUSPECT!"

    More than 1,100 people marked this review as "helpful."

    "WTF - save the children" reads another.

    "Save our children" is a common refrain you see in the comments for these items. It's a slogan made popular by believers of QAnon, the right-wing conspiracy that claims former President Donald Trump is secretly waging a war against a global Satanic child-trafficking ring run by baby-eating Hollywood elites and liberal politicians.

    All of the comments and reviews quoted above were left on just one of the company's products. But dozens of the Amazon product listings from Momin's company now have a slew of one star reviews after conspiracy believers left negative comments.

    Reviews left by conspiracy theorists on the Amazon product listing for Lumistick bubble guns. Credit: Screenshot: mashable

    Again, this is all because a few people saw what they believed to be overpriced items on Amazon, without realizing they were bulk orders or investigating further, and then decided it must be a front for child trafficking.

    Neither Amazon nor TikTok have responded to requests for comment.

    From TikTok to the real world

    The @dontghostme video didn't go viral based solely on the account's followers. It was aided by TikTok's recommendation algorithm, which shows users videos it thinks they would like that they might not have seen otherwise.

    "I thought, it's TikTok, let's just kind of let this all blow over," said Momin, recounting his reaction when the messages first started coming in. "Then that one user got millions of views. It's obvious he was depicting the product incorrectly and just putting conspiracies out there."

    In fact, Momin found out about the source of the comments his business was receiving after a few friends told him their TikTok For You page recommended the video to them.

    "That's a pretty, pretty good algorithm to be able to spread that type of news to a couple of friends," he told me. "I mean, these were close friends of mine, three or four people who reached out to me and said 'Hey, what's going on here?'"

    After three weeks, which Momin described as "very stressful," it was clear the situation wasn't going to blow over.

    A review left on the Amazon listing for Lumistick LED party sunglasses. Credit: mashable screenshot

    "We had seven police officers come [to our warehouse] in a span of three days, back to back to back," Momin tells me. "I told the officers, 'Look, you can come in any time and just walk around in the warehouse and do what you've got to do, but just don't bother us anymore.' It was getting to a point where it was ridiculous. And then we had the commissioner come and he apologized. They said they received calls."

    YouTuber Mutahar Anas was one of the few critics of the conspiracy theory in its early days. In an email, Anas tells me that a viewer sent him a tip about the conspiracy so he decided to investigate. He found @dontghostme's video trending on his TikTok For You Page.

    Anas decided to make a video(Opens in a new tab) debunking the conspiracy theory on his popular YouTube channel, SomeOrdinaryGamers, which has more than 2.6 million subscribers.

    Anas told me that he didn't hear from any proponents of the conspiracy after publishing his video.

    "I believe that has to do with my viewer base generally not being of the type that falls for this," he told me. "I also don’t entertain messages from people who believe in insane QAnon-esque theories to begin with."

    The video, titled "TikTok Trended a Dangerous Conspiracy Theory," amassed more than one million views.

    It was a hit by any metric, unless you compare it to the more than 6 million views amassed by @dontghostme's conspiratorial TikTok video that Anas was debunking.

    The aftermath of being the subject of a TikTok conspiracy theory

    Even though the TikTok conspiracy spreaders have largely moved on, the conspiracy is still impacting Momin and his company. While the hysteria has died down from its heights, Momin tells me that they're still receiving emails and pings via their website's live chat from conspiracy theorists.

    It's been almost two months since the bulk of the Amazon reviews were left. Amazon affixes a "verified" label to reviews by users who have actually purchased the item, and, unsurprisingly, not a single reviewer alleging Momin's company is involved in child trafficking actually purchased a Lumistick product to test their theory.

    Momin tells me the negative Amazon reviews were a critical blow to his small business, saying most of their listings were "ruined." It also affected the overall rating for his store's entire Amazon presence, which also sells things not branded Lumistick.

    He told me that his company reached out to Amazon in an attempt to see what could be done about the clearly bad faith reviewers. Amazon never responded to them.

    Just as this story was set to publish, Momin reached back out to Mashable, weeks after we last spoke, to tell me that Amazon had just completely suspended the Evolution Planet Deals account.

    "This Amazon store is about 17 years old now," he told me in an email. "We suspect it might be all that attention on those products that came from those TikToks."

    Momin shared a screenshot of the Amazon message, which says the company has "determined it necessary to close your account." Amazon did not provide a reason why it closed the account.

    "Our peak season is coming up for July 4th...this is devastating," said Momin. 

    At the time this article was published, Amazon users can still find several Lumistick products for sale on the site, but they all appear to be fulfilled by an Amazon warehouse, not by Momin's company. If you search Google, you can still find all the original Evolution Planet Deals Amazon listings for Lumistick products, and if you click through on them all of the negative reviews from the conspiracy theorists are still live on the listings.

    As for @dontghostme, he still regularly uploads content to TikTok like he has since 2019. However, the party hat video remains his most popular by millions of views. A day after his original viral hit, he uploaded a followup to TikTok(Opens in a new tab) in which he attempted to recreate the magic of his first conspiracy video. "Im going to buy the $15,000 hat!" read the onscreen text.

    A followup video from TikTok user @dontghostme. Credit: Screenshot: mAshable

    In the video, he proceeds to tell his viewers that he'll be able to buy the hats and get to the bottom of this if they go to the link in his profile and check out the listed ads. The page he's promoting is filled with links to affiliate offers from a company that pays influencers to promote mobile apps.

    It's unclear if @dontghostme was sincere in his fundraising effort or if it was just an opportunity to monetize his sudden viral fame. Since the video claiming he was going to use the funds to buy the hat, which amassed more than 880,000 views, @dontghostme has yet to mention the conspiracy theory again in his videos.

    "I just didn't know people like this existed out there...people that believe in conspiracies like this," Momin told me as we ended our conversation about how this has affected him and his company for the past few months. "It opened my eyes, man."

  • A TikTok hack claims to give you a cheap, trendy manicure. Nail techs are begging you not to do it.

    A TikTok hack claims to give you a cheap, trendy manicure. Nail techs are begging you not to do it.

    Getting a trendy manicure that fully expresses your personality — think intricate designs, nail gems, the whole nine yards — has gotten increasingly expensive, yet extremely popular amongst the online beauty community. So when TikTok began circulating a cheap hack using press-on nails and gel curing, DIY-ers everywhere rejoiced. But nail professionals have issued a dire warning against the viral beauty trend.


    "I personally think this is a very alarming and scary trend that's happening on TikTok at the moment," says Amber Thomas, founder of The Healthy Nails Collaborative,(Opens in a new tab) in her video(Opens in a new tab). "UV light cannot go through a full cover press-on nail that is colored. It needs to be absolutely clear… You are leaving yourself open to developing an allergy to gel products." 

    The trend in question began circulating earlier this summer(Opens in a new tab) when creator @yasyyada's video(Opens in a new tab) brought it to the spotlight, raking in 2.3 million views. It involves using a bonding gel adhesive like Aprés's Extend Gel(Opens in a new tab) to attach inexpensive press-on nails that you'd typically get from a drug store. After applying the nail, the technique tells viewers to cure under a UV lamp, which should dry out the gel and produce a long-lasting and intricate manicure for low effort and low cost. 

    Both the issue and the draw, however, are that most affordable press-on nails from a drugstore come pre-designed. The nails are already painted and often feature impressive designs that nail novices can't accomplish themselves at home, making the whole process much easier. But those designs make the nails not completely clear, as Thomas says is necessary, and therefore block the UV light from actually fully curing the nail and the gel bonder beneath it. 

    SEE ALSO: Skin cycling is the TikTok trend that's demystifying active skincare

    A gel bonder like Extend Gel is meant to be used with entirely clear nail extensions, to be painted after application and fully curing. If gel is left uncured or only partially cured, the nails underneath may develop contact dermatitis and/or have an allergic reaction, which prevents the wearer from ever properly using a gel-based product again. According to Thomas, improperly cured gel also allows moisture to get trapped under the press-on nail, which could possibly lead to mold. 

    In many TikTok videos recommending the hack, viewers are told to use any affordable UV lamp they'd like to purchase, with a popular option being a mini lamp meant to be used for flash curing. Thomas has a separate video(Opens in a new tab) outlining the requirements for a safe nail UV lamp, which she says should be at least 48W and have a reflective bottom border to properly cure gel onto nails. 

    Other TikTokkers are also warning against the trend after trying it themselves and experiencing adverse effects. "My nails looked great until they started itching so bad that I had to pour almost boiling water on my nails just to try to ease the pain," said user @k.wamp in her video(Opens in a new tab). "And then my fingernails were so squishy underneath they were falling off."

    If nail enthusiasts do want an affordable alternative to salon-quality manicures, nail techs do agree that a gel bonder can still be used at home — it simply must be under a clear nail attachment and with a proper lamp. This, of course, then does require you to paint them yourself, making the hack much less useful to the less artistically inclined. 

    Somehow, taking the time to pick up some nail art skills seems worth it to avoid the burning, itching pain from a gel allergy. But maybe that's just us?

  • 14 best tweets of the week, including autocorrect duck, Matt LeBlanc, and cicadas

    14 best tweets of the week, including autocorrect duck, Matt LeBlanc, and cicadas

    It's fully summertime folks and you know what that means: time to stay inside and enjoy some good tweets.


    OK, to be honest, you should probably actually get outside and enjoy some nice weather, if you are lucky enough to have it. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy some good tweets. Laugh at these on a beach, or walking in a park, or after a long day playing basketball in the summer sun. Whatever you please.

    Anyway, here they are, the 14 best tweets of the week.

    1. This is just a fact

    2. This, too, is just a fact

    3. Yeah, you know what, it's like...relax computers

    4. Just because you're not a special little guy doesn't mean you've got to send bad vibes to all the special little guys out there

    5. The pandemic equilibrium

    6. You know what, fair

    7. AHHHH....dammit

    8. Wrapped around the wrist at all times

    9. Damn, poor cicadas don't even know

    10. It just works

    11. Hard work pays off

    12. This feels spiritually right even if its morally wrong

    13. Obligatory dril tweet

    14. And finally, whatever this is

  • Meet the women killing it on taxidermy TikTok

    Meet the women killing it on taxidermy TikTok

    Ashley Siebor(Opens in a new tab), a 30-year-old vet technician, was living in New York when her cat kept bringing her presents of mice and small squirrels he found around the apartment. Eventually, she decided to do something about it.


    "I just thought, why not just look it up?" she told Mashable about her first foray into taxidermy. "I watched a couple YouTube videos."

    She said she loves animals, and wanted to preserve them if she could.

    "I love being surrounded by them," Siebor said. "At this point my entire house is full of my collection. I know you follow me on TikTok. So a lot of those videos are pretty much my collection."

    TikTok taxidermy Credit: Ashley Siebor

    Taxidermy is traditionally a male-dominated industry. But Siebor, who now works in Connecticut, is part of a growing group of female taxidermists who have taken over my TikTok For You page. It was on Siebor's For You page where she first noticed Kelly Brong(Opens in a new tab), a 23-year-old taxidermist in Pennsylvania.

    "I'm like, 'Oh my God, that's so cool — another girl and that's in the taxidermy field,'" Siebor said. "So we kind of started talking and now we're best friends. It's cool to be in this field and find other people that like the same thing."

    Female taxidermists Credit: Ashley Siebor

    Brong got into taxidermy because, as a student of graphic design, she "loved the art of it."

    "I've always been into art and taxidermy is a super hands-on thing and I love animals so much," Brong told Mashable. "So this is the perfect way to combine art and animals together."

    "Plus there's like an amazing group of people that do it too," Brong added. "There's a lot of female taxidermists now. A lot of them. I'd say it's actually becoming more female dominated as the years go by, which is really, really cool. So there's a great group of people and everyone's pretty much willing to help you if you're a beginner or a veteran at it."

    Credit: courtesy Kelly Brong

    Data of taxidermists broken down by gender is hard to come by, but in Pennsylvania, where Brong works, the number of female taxidermists nearly doubled(Opens in a new tab) from 5% in 2005 to 9% in 2017. Now, TikTok is helping some women artists not only create their own community, but also to make the art form more approachable and lucrative.

    "I made some awesome friends throughout this and it definitely helped open up my business for sure," Brittany Emrick(Opens in a new tab), a 34-year-old taxidermist from Indiana, told Mashable. She added that TikTok helped her business boom across states, and attracted customers to her shop who might not otherwise have known she existed.

    "This is only my third year on my own, and I've gotten more and more [business] every year," she told Mashable. "But [TikTok] has definitely brought in a wider demographic of people further away. It's made a huge difference for people traveling hours just to come drop something off."

    Brittany Emrick with her work Credit: brittany emrick

    Beyond the business aspect, Emrick said she likes posting on TikTok so people can better understand what taxidermy is all about.

    "I am a huge animal lover and it is confusing to [some people], but these animals that I taxidermy, they are feeding families," Emrick said. "The whole animal is going to use."

    Emrick also thinks TikTok and other social media platforms are helping make the "whole industry" more inclusive.

    "Taxidermy for a long time, and still some of the old ones are still the same way, but to try to get someone to teach you or to learn, nobody wanted to share their secrets," Emrick said. "So now it's all starting to come out more and it's not a big secret. So I think women are being more invited in to learn."

    One of Brong's goals for her TikTok is to "make this whole thing more approachable for a lot of people." And she thinks the female taxidermists on the platform are doing just that.


    "I think that a lot of these girls do make this more approachable," Brong said.

    But it isn't all that easy.

    Brong wants to post more of the process of taxidermy — something that can take weeks and involves measuring, skinning, salting a hide for preservation, preparing a mold, mounting, and more. But, because of the nature of the trade, it can get censored on social media.

    The process is really intense, Emrick said. "I think why some of us are doing the videos and stuff, so people can see what all is involved."

    Emrick at work Credit: BRITTANY emricK

    "I don't post anything too graphic, because you I don't want people to really think of taxidermy as a graphic thing. But stuff gets taken down anyway," Brong said. "Even me mounting a bird could get removed. So it is kind of hard, but you have to just keep posting and reposting and praying that your stuff doesn't get removed."

    Brong says that's frustrating, "especially because you try so hard to censor stuff and just make it very tasteful and approachable to people and it gets taken down and we work like a week or two weeks on a video and it just kind of things, but it is what it is. It all comes with the game, I guess."

    That's something many taxidermists on the internet experience. But, at least for now, Siebor says it's getting better.

    "Definitely in the beginning, my videos would get reported," Siebor said. "But now I'm actually getting a lot more positive vibes. I haven't had any mean or rude comments in a while. Because I feel like making it delicate or pretty in a sense or more feminine, it's more acceptable maybe. When you say taxidermy, you immediately think [of] hunting and just throwing a trophy on the wall, but I feel like mixing art with it and making it something pretty or something to really look at brings out the more positive."

  • Twitter has raised a Pope meme from the dead

    Twitter has raised a Pope meme from the dead

    A new old meme has been resurrected on Twitter, and Mass just got interesting.


    Twitter users are exploiting the website's tiled image format to make it look like Pope Francis is holding various objects with sincere reverence, including Simba, Baby Yoda, and the One Ring.

    The original photo of the Pope was taken in Brazil in 2013, when he celebrated Mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady Aparecida. In it he holds aloft a wafer of sacramental bread, meant to stand for Christ's body as part of the Eucharist or Holy Communion rite.

    The image became a meme in the intervening years, Know Your Meme(Opens in a new tab) noting edits replacing the bread with various other objects have appeared on both Tumblr and Instagram(Opens in a new tab).

    Now it's had a resurgence on Twitter, the new tiled variation allowing people to join in even if they weren't blessed with Photoshop skills. The meme is risen.

    The Pope meme has largely been in good fun, and has probably made a lot of people think about God slightly more than they otherwise would (judging from the frequency with which Twitter users will just go balls-to-the-wall horny on main).

    SEE ALSO: 'How it started' meme takes over Twitter timelines

    However some Catholics have expressed(Opens in a new tab) offence(Opens in a new tab) at seeing the pontiff memed, particularly as the Church believes the bread used in the Eucharist sacrament actually becomes Jesus Christ's body(Opens in a new tab).

    Twitter's response to this is exactly what you'd expect.

  • Harry Styles spit, Miss Flo, and Chris Pine: Dont Worry Darling drama is taking over the internet

    Harry Styles spit, Miss Flo, and Chris Pine: Dont Worry Darling drama is taking over the internet

    I'm just going to be upfront: There is zero way I can tell you absolutely everything about the Don't Worry Darling drama. Even if I managed to fit every last detail into a single document, something new would happen between the moment my finger hit the publish button and when you read the article.


    But I'll get you as up to speed as possible on this nonsense.

    Here's what you need to know.

    The basics

    Don't Worry Darling is the second film directed by Olivia Wilde, and it's a highly anticipated movie after the success of her debut Booksmart. It's got a star-studded cast featuring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, Nick Kroll, and Gemma Chan. It had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival over the weekend.

    Production drama

    The film has been plagued with drama and controversy pretty much since Day 1. Actor Shia LaBeouf was originally slated to star in the film in Styles' role. LaBeouf is a notably intense actor and personality, and there were reportedly tensions on set. Soon enough, he was gone. Note: This was before disturbing allegations of abuse against LaBeouf(Opens in a new tab) from former girlfriend FKA Twigs.

    Wilde has since said LaBeouf was fired and that he had combative energy on set. He denied that he was let go while also providing materials that..well...only increased the drama. He shared a video in which Wilde appears to ask him to come back to the production. In the video, Wilde calls Pugh a nickname that sounds a bit demeaning.

    "You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us," Wilde says in the video(Opens in a new tab). "If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think?"

    The relationship between Pugh and Wilde has been watched closely because things seem icy. There were rumors of a pay gap that Wilde shut down(Opens in a new tab). Page Six also reported Pugh was upset(Opens in a new tab) that Wilde and now-boyfriend Styles were openly fawning over each other on set. Oh yes, sorry I forgot to mention: Wilde and Styles are dating, and their romance started on set of the film. An anonymous source alleged to Page Six that Wilde might've been moving on with Styles before the break-up with her longtime partner Jason Sudeikis. Apparently, Pugh wasn't cool with it all.

    SEE ALSO: 20 movies we can't wait to see this fall

    Frosty relationships

    OK, so with all that in mind, everyone watched everything Pugh did. And, well, she didn't seem to be too enthused with the film or Wilde. At least that's according to people who spend far too much time online. People noticed Pugh didn't post about the movie on her social media account when the trailer dropped. Wilde has been nothing but complimentary of Pugh, but the actress has largely said nothing at all about the director. Posts about the making the film(Opens in a new tab) or promoting it(Opens in a new tab) heaped praise on anyone but the director. Seriously, Pugh praised "the grips, the gaffer, the electrics, set PA’s, sound mixer, prop masters, location scouts, location manager, production designer" etc., but not Wilde.

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Now everyone is parsing the Pugh, Wilde relationship with a fine-tooth comb. For instance, Pugh might've turned away from Wilde at the Venice Film Festival as the audience gave the movie a standing ovation. Honestly. it kind of feels like a stretch,(Opens in a new tab) but the point is people are watching closely.

    Meanwhile, some folks online have questioned the acting we've seen thus far from Styles. His accent does seem, let's say, a bit unplaceable in the trailers. But it does seem a bit weird to judge the film before it's even reached the public. But this film, clearly, is the subject of so much attention.

    Things got weird in Venice

    All these factors considered, Don't Worry Darling has basically become a meme factory in Venice. First there were memes about Pine. Dude seems to be on a different plane of existence the entire festival — at times zoning out and looking beautifully(Opens in a new tab) into the distance(Opens in a new tab).

    Then there was the kiss and the (potential) spit.

    After the movie finished showing, Styles most definitely planted a smooch(Opens in a new tab) on Kroll. Sure, why not? Maybe it's a commentary on the endless coverage(Opens in a new tab) about Styles' and Wilde's relationship. Who knows.

    OK, the next bit of drama was about spit. Online sleuths have broken down video where Styles maybe, possibly hocks a loogie on Pine? Styles does appear to purse his lips, and Pine does make a what the hell facial expression. Now if there is alleged beef between the two, I don't know about it. But anyway here is the video(Opens in a new tab). Here it is slowed down like the goddamn Zapruder film(Opens in a new tab).

    My two cents? It's tough to see if Styles actually spit. Some folks seem to think Pine was zoned out and discovered his glasses on his lap(Opens in a new tab), which he had perhaps been looking for.

    After the spit incident (spitcident?) went viral, there was full-throated denial that any loogie was exchanged between the actors.

    "This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation," a rep for Pine told Variety(Opens in a new tab). "Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist."

    This statement, of course, will likely do nothing to stop people from theorizing because the internet is the internet.

    What's it all mean?

    First and foremost, the internet loves gossip, drama, tea, etc. The film was destined for this kind of attention. Famous actress/director leaves famous husband then — soon after or before the breakup, depending on who you ask — shacks up with one of the biggest pop stars alive? Come on. That's tabloid gold. Their romance has been under constant scrutiny, so of course their project together would be put under the same lens. Right or wrong, that's the truth.

    Then, of course, there was other, very real drama on top of it all. But the internet loves digging. It loves theories and conspiracies and obsessing. With lots of famous people and lots of mess, Don't Worry Darling is perfect for all that nonsense. I mean Styles is about as beloved as any pop star alive. He just released an uber-popular album. Folks love Wilde. People love Pugh. Hell, the internet is in love with Sudeikis ever since he donned the Lasso-stache.

    Even if there weren't drama, the internet would be inventing it for Don't Worry Darling. Perhaps we are inventing some of it. Or maybe Styles did spit on Pine. Maybe Pugh does dislike Wilde.

    All I know for sure is that the gossip is going to continue apace for some time. The movie doesn't release until Sept. 23.

    UPDATE: Sep. 6, 2022, 4:02 p.m. EDT This article has been updated to include a statement from Chris Pine's rep denying the allegation that Harry Styles spat on the actor. Yes, that is a real update and real sentence.

  • When its wise to wear a double mask

    When its wise to wear a double mask

    UPDATE: Feb. 11, 2021, 12:37 p.m. EST: The CDC has provided updated masking(Opens in a new tab) guidance. For double masking, the agency recommends using a cloth mask over a surgical mask/medical procedure mask, as is detailed in the story below. However, the CDC does not recommend using a kn95 mask(Opens in a new tab) with a cloth mask (kn95s are popularly used as part of a double mask) as this story previously advised. In an emailed statement, the CDC said a kn95 (along with N95 respirator masks used by healthcare workers) is intended to perform on its own and "provides a very high level of personal protection and a tight fit."


    This story has been updated to reflect this latest masking guidance.

    People are now spreading recently mutated(Opens in a new tab), more contagious coronavirus strains around the U.S., and the most infectious strains will rapidly become dominant. With this reality, it's high time to improve our masks, say many infectious disease experts.

    An achievable way to maximize protection for both yourself and others is to wear a double mask. But there are a few important things to know about how, and how not to, double mask. These recommendations are detailed below.

    "Like many things in life, the devil is in the details," said Dr. Thomas Russo, the chief of infectious disease at the University of Buffalo's Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

    Enhancing our masks, and ensuring we have good masks, is all the more crucial because much of the population likely won't be vaccinated for at least many months(Opens in a new tab), if not later in 2021.

    "We need to double down on public health measures more than ever," emphasized Dr. Russo, who treats patients at the Buffalo VA Medical Center.

    When to double mask

    If you're going to be indoors around other people (from outside your home), it's a good idea to maximize your masking protection, explained Dr. Monica Gandhi, an associate division chief of the Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases, and Global Medicine at UCSF San Francisco General Hospital. When outdoors, a quality single mask, like a well-woven cloth mask, is often sufficient (but the masking choice, and perception of risk in each unique environment, is up to you.)

    But when indoors, you're usually sacrificing a major public health intervention to avoid becoming infected: ventilation. Inside, the particles people breathe out can linger in the air for hours(Opens in a new tab). Additionally, indoor places might be crowded, which limits your ability to keep away from potentially infected people.

    With this devious virus, it's likely we at times come near an infected person, because many people don't realize they're infected: Some 40 to 45 percent of infected people never experience symptoms, according to the CDC(Opens in a new tab). What's more, over half of infections are spread by people who either have no symptoms or don't have them yet (presymptomatic). You might be unwittingly infected, too.

    "That's why everyone needs to wear a mask," said David Leighton, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame who has researched the effectiveness of masks.

    What's a good double mask?

    There are two simple ways to make a more protective mask, explained Dr. Gandhi, who recently published an analysis(Opens in a new tab) of masks in the scientific journal Cell. (These two masking strategies are illustrated in the graphic below as "Maximal protection masks.") The goal is to effectively filter air, so viral particles don't enter or leave your mask.

    Option 1: A widely available surgical mask that's covered with a cloth mask of tightly-woven material. Both surgical and kn95 masks are made with a synthetic plastic-derived material (polypropylene) that effectively filters tiny particles(Opens in a new tab) from the air.

    Option 2: A similar option, though not technically a double mask, is a three-layer mask.

    This is a tightly woven cloth mask with a quality filter(Opens in a new tab) (this filter could even be a surgical mask without the earloops, said Dr. Gandhi) used between the mask's two cloth layers. Many quality cloth masks are now designed to hold a filter.

    You might be wondering about N95 respirator masks(Opens in a new tab) the type you see nurses and doctors wearing. Why not just use one of those?

    Much of the public doesn't have access to N95 masks, which are approved for healthcare workers in the U.S. What's more, N95 masks are often professionally-fitted to the faces of professionals, a protective standard not feasible for the public. That's why Dr. Gandhi recommends the simple-to-make double mask, or the enhanced cloth mask, described above. It's achievable.

    It's all about fit

    Double-masking is largely about fit. Wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask helps to conform the underlying, filtering mask to your face, closing any gaps.

    A surgical mask alone, for example, often has big gaps at the edges, allowing for particles to easily enter and leave. "It leaks like a sieve, it leaks like crazy," said Jim Smith, a chemist and expert in aerosols (small particles) at the University of California, Irvine. "Surgical masks need a way to seal better around your face. That's the whole point of double masking, in my view."

    Double masking, of course, is not a rule. It's possible for some people to have a great fit with a single quality mask, noted Smith. But that's not easy for everyone to achieve. We all have different faces. And we might be unsure about the fit or quality of our masks. A double mask can solve these common problems, he said.

    "When in doubt, double masking is not unreasonable," said the University of Buffalo's Dr. Russo.

    A big no-no of double masking

    While double masking can be of great benefit, just thoughtlessly layering on a bunch of masks and/or filters could do more harm than good. If you use too many layers, you're creating a barrier so little air can pass through. Instead, the air you breathe in and out will be forced to leak through the edges of the mask, meaning this air isn't filtered. Viral particles can escape.

    "The air is going to bypass the mask and you’re not going to have any filtration at all," explained Notre Dame's Leighton.

    The big picture

    Masks are one of three main public health interventions, not involving vaccines or medicines, to avoid a coronavirus infection, emphasized Dr. Gandhi. The others are ventilated places and distancing from people outside your home. Striving for all three is ideal, but understandably not always possible.

    Yet the power of masks cannot be understated. In Kansas, counties that implemented a mask mandate in July 2020 saw a six percent decrease in COVID-19 cases. In sharp contrast, counties with no mandate saw a 100 percent increase in cases, according to the CDC(Opens in a new tab).

    See Also: How you'll know the COVID-19 vaccines are safe

    Universal masking outside our homes largely deprives the virus of new hosts. "If we could get everyone in the world to wear masks for four weeks, the virus would have nowhere to go," said Dr. Russo.

    In the coming years, in a world where infectious disease is a historical constant and another eventual pandemic or epidemic is inevitable, masks, and perhaps enhanced masking, could become a prudent norm in the U.S. during bad outbreaks.

    "I think the mask is here to stay," said Smith.