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Airbnb now lists buildings that allow tenants to sublet their apartment short-term

2023-03-19 01:23:14

Airbnb now lists buildings that allow tenants to sublet their apartment short-term

Airbnb is partnering with apartment buildings across the U.S. to curate a list of places that allow tenants to sublet to short-stay renters. Now you can sign a lease knowing that if you end up struggling to pay rent you'll at least be able to list your spare room on Airbnb.

The new Airbnb-friendly apartment program(Opens in a new tab) currently includes over 175 buildings in 29 cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Austin, Phoenix, and Miami. Potential long-term renters can browse apartment buildings by location, and sort them by highest rent, lowest rent, or how close they are to downtown. 

SEE ALSO: Airbnb will finally show you the *actual* total price in search

Like any other property website, Airbnb's long-term rental listings include checklists of amenities, floorplans, and carefully curated real estate photography to help you imagine the type of person you could be if you lived there. Potential renters can contact each individual building's management via Airbnb to ask specific questions, schedule a tour, or if they want to sign a lease.

But unlike other property websites, Airbnb also lists how many nights per year tenants are allowed to sublet the apartment for short stays, which is determined by each individual building. It further includes an earnings calculator potential renters can use to estimate how much they might earn by listing the place on Airbnb. This is adjusted according to the size of the apartment, how many nights per month they intend to rent it, and based on the past year of similar Airbnb bookings.

This income isn't a sure bet, with a lot of assumption and conjecture still involved in the equation. There's no guarantee that the tenant will be able to rent out their spare room at Airbnb's calculated listing price, and it's unlikely that it will actually be booked for every single day it's listed. Still, it's potentially useful for helping potential renters make reasonable estimates.

Some apartment buildings do discourage or prohibit short-stay rentals, so it's good to know this shouldn't be an issue for anyone who finds their long-term rental through Airbnb.

Airbnb has copped a lot of flack for ostensibly contributing to(Opens in a new tab) higher rental costs(Opens in a new tab), so proposing renters pay said higher costs by subletting on Airbnb may feel a bit bitter. But rent still has to be paid, and there's a good chance you or your friends have used an Airbnb before regardless of any impact you feel it may have on housing affordability. You are also part of the problem.

There is of course the chance that people will use the Airbnb-friendly apartment program to find places they can sublet full time. In the end, it will be up to the owner to determine what type of tenant they take on.

Airbnb now lists buildings that allow tenants to sublet their apartment short-term(图1)

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  • Billie Eilish is absolutely fed up with people saying All Lives Matter

    Billie Eilish is absolutely fed up with people saying All Lives Matter

    Billie Eilish isn't afraid to speak out against injustice.


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    #justiceforgeorgefloyd #blacklivesmatter(Opens in a new tab)

    A post shared by BILLIE EILISH(Opens in a new tab) (@billieeilish) on

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    SEE ALSO: How a remix of 'This is America' became a TikTok anthem for protesting police brutality

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  • Marnie the Dogs sister really, really hates cops

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  • #Babygate trends after Trump surrounds the White House with fencing

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    Since the police killing of George Floyd on May 25, large groups of people have been protesting racism and police brutality around the world. Protests in D.C. have particularly escalated, however, and last Friday night Trump — along with Melania and their son Barron — were reportedly taken to the underground presidential bunker for safety(Opens in a new tab).

    Trump also received criticism for his trip to the bunker, and singer Courtney Jaye mocked him in a viral song called "Bunker Boy."

    The White House may just be preparing for additional protests that are planned in D.C. over the weekend, but whatever the reason for the excess fencing, it's an undoubtedly bizarre sight to behold.

  • Virtual internships and the Zoom skills you dont learn in college

    Virtual internships and the Zoom skills you dont learn in college

    With the spread of the coronavirus, summer internships — once a staple of collegiate and post-grad life — have dried up(Opens in a new tab). Now, like many jobs, they've gone virtual.


    A survey(Opens in a new tab) of more than 400 companies conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers found that around 80 percent of employers were making some kind of change to their internship programs, which included things like pivoting to remote work or shortening the length of the program. (Other programs have been canceled or postponed.)

    For most students and recent grads, though, a loss of internships might be just one of several other concerns. Young people entering the workforce right now, whether as graduates of the Class of 2020(Opens in a new tab) or as current students, are encountering a job market(Opens in a new tab) in which more than one in five(Opens in a new tab) Americans are unemployed. (Analysis from payroll platform Gusto(Opens in a new tab) found(Opens in a new tab) that those under 25 are experiencing a job loss rate 93 percent higher than those 35 and older.)

    To make matters worse, many seasonal jobs at restaurants and coffee shops have disappeared(Opens in a new tab) because of COVID-19 lockdowns. That makes internships one of the few employment options left for many young people.

    And for students who come from less privileged backgrounds, internships can provide a ladder to higher-paying work down the road, said Carlos Mark Vera, co-founder of Pay Our Interns(Opens in a new tab), a nonprofit centered on the rights of interns.

    "Internships work as a pivot point. For working class students, it gives them a foot in the door," Mark Vera said. "[With cancellations], you're impacting folks who don't have the same networks as other folks. This is hurting everyone, but it's hurting some students more than others."

    "This is hurting everyone, but it's hurting some students more than others."

    Shawn VanDerziel, executive director of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), predicts the summer of 2020 will serve as a watershed moment for virtual internships.

    "[This] summer is a big test," VanDerziel said. "If I had to predict, there will be many more virtual internships moving forward."

    Goodbye, career center listservs

    For some people, virtual internships aren't a new concept.

    Back in 2017, the gears were already turning for Ahva Sadeghi and Nikita Gupta, the co-founders of Symba, one of the few platforms out there that helps companies find and manage virtual interns.

    Students can find virtual internships on the platform. Once they send in their resumes and answer job-specific questions, Symba's team analyzes them, and then sends qualified candidates to companies

    Additionally, for employers implementing a virtual internship program, Symba’s team designs onboarding and orientation materials, as well as feedback and performance metrics specific to the internship.

    When they launched, back in 2019, Sadeghi says employers were largely hesitant.

    "It was like that line from Mean Girls," Sadeghi said, in reference to Regina George's iconic zinger(Opens in a new tab). "Like, 'Stop trying to make virtual internships happen.'"

    The coronavirus pandemic changed quickly that.

    "This is the future of work," Sadeghi said. "People don't need to put on a suit, go to a cubicle, or wait until summer to [do an internship.] We're preparing people for what work looks like now."

    Symba's not alone. Chuck Isgar and Megan Kasselberg, two students from Brown University, co-founded Intern From Home(Opens in a new tab), a portal for employers and potential interns to connect.

    The platform, which their team initially built in 48 hours after being told to leave campus(Opens in a new tab) because of COVID-19, compiles job listings, not unlike Indeed or Glassdoor. Students can look for internships by job category, role, and internship type (current or exclusively summer; paid or unpaid).

    This means that rather than slogging through general online job hubs or relying on listservs, students can come to Intern From Home with one goal: Find a virtual internship.

    "This is the future of work. We're preparing people for what work looks like now."

    Intern From Home primarily posts internships from startups, including some from Y Combinator(Opens in a new tab) and Snap’s accelerator program(Opens in a new tab), which typically reach out to the site to get their internship positions listed. Students then submit applications, all of which are managed through Google Forms.

    Unlike Symba, Isgar and Kasselberg's team sends all applications to employers. (Intern From Home is free for both employers and students, unlike Symba, which makes money by charging corporations for its services.)

    Isgar claims students can find a job on Intern From Home much faster than on traditional career sites. Some students were able to find an internship "in a couple of days," he said, which is a "big plus to people."

    Miryam Rudolph, a student at Duke University who found her current summer internship through Intern From Home, noted that when she first started applying to positions in March, she was looking on generic job boards and email blasts that her school was sending out.

    "The big problem at that stage was that companies were so overwhelmed about what to do with their own employees that they weren't really thinking about [hiring] interns," Rudolph said.

    It was frustrating, in Rudolph’s telling, to put so much energy into finding (seemingly) open positions, writing cover letters, and polishing up her resume, only to find that the company was on a hiring freeze, or had terminated their internship program entirely without conveying that information on their website. (She's still getting emails saying positions she applied for in March now don’t exist.)

    Rudolph called Intern From Home a "lifesaver."

    "It was the only site where I actually heard back from companies," Rudolph said.

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    No cubicle needed

    If the current uptick in virtual internships holds, it could shift a generation’s relationship to work.

    Depending on a student’s background, an internship might mark their first encounter with an office setting, Vera from Pay Our Interns notes. For many, a formal internship can serve as an introduction to the basics of office life, such as how to interact with co-workers and dress for work. Should virtual internships remain popular, it could become more difficult for students — particularly those who are first-generation or from low-income backgrounds — to learn the ins and outs of working in an office.

    VanDerziel, executive director of NACE, highlighted several skills that are especially important to an intern’s success in a virtual setting.

    First, interns need to be proactive about communicating. It's easier to disappear from your boss' radar when you're just a name on a screen. They also need time management skills, since there is nothing stopping them from wasting a couple of hours watching Netflix each day. For those with chaotic home lives, carving out the time and space to work could prove especially challenging, VanDerziel notes.

    Additionally, interns need a level of tech savvy and adaptability to adjust to unfamiliar situations. Even students acclimated to a semester of remote schoolwork might not be totally comfortable in a more formal work environment.

    He notes that some personality types might be at a disadvantage: It’s easier for interns who are quiet to isolate themselves, which makes it more difficult for them to become "known."

    It’s also important to note that many (virtual) internships are shortening(Opens in a new tab) their duration, potentially giving interns less time to make connections at their workplace.

    "We found that 41 percent of employers were reducing the length of the internship for the summer," VanDerziel said. "What that says to me is that companies are being creative and careful."

    Though in some cases existing programs are just shortening their usual in-person program to adapt to remote work, VanDerziel also points to the emergence of what he calls "micro internships," shorter, project-based internships, which can be a way for interns to gain specific skills.

    Rudolph notes that the structure of her internship, which is project-based rather than a traditional nine-to-five, has allowed her to explore other interests this summer as well. (She’s also helping out a local nonprofit near her house, and working for a lab from her school remotely.)

    "It’s something I didn’t expect, but it’s helped me to work on other projects as well," Rudolph said.

    Location, location, location

    Requiring students to move to major metropolises, like New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, has long prevented students unable to relocate from accessing otherwise valuable internship opportunities. (As a point of reference: The average rent in Los Angeles is over $2,500, according to the listing service RentCafe(Opens in a new tab).)

    "Unless you can afford to temporarily move, you're not going to be able to get those good internships," Vera said.

    Thus far, the virtual internships being offered this summer have largely circumvented this: Technology permitting, students living at home in Michigan could complete an internship "in" New York, and vice versa.

    When Rudolph went looking for internships, back in March, she largely ignored the locations posted alongside them (that is, if they even listed one), assuming that most of them would be moved online. (Rudolph lives in Dallas, but her fellow interns are all in different time zones.)

    That’s a major plus for interns living in less urban areas, for instance, as well as those financially unable to relocate — but it’s only useful insofar as interns have broadband access(Opens in a new tab), a living situation conducive to work, and other essential tools at their disposal.

    Though VanDerziel notes some internship programs are able to provide laptops and iPads for their interns working remotely right now, it could be a barrier for many interns, particularly those in financially harder-hit industries, or those working for small companies.

    Virtual mixers

    At big companies, internships typically include educational and social interaction among interns, VanDerziel points out, which is something that has had to pivot online as well.

    "One of the things that is really important is the ability to interact with [employees] regularly," VanDerziel said. "[This regular interaction can be] used as a pipeline for future employment."

    In the past, though, networking events, like industry-specific happy hours, were cost-prohibitive for many interns, Vera points out. Now, plenty of virtual internship programs have remote happy hours and mixers, which Vera acknowledges could help those unable to afford in-person meetups.

    In some instances, outside groups might be able to step in as well. Isgar and Kasselberg’s team at Intern From Home launched a discussion-based program called "Cohorts(Opens in a new tab)" in which students can apply for live sessions with peers and experts to learn about work-related topics. (Sample "Cohorts" topics include "The Power of Data Visualization" and "Competitions, Acquisitions, and Monopolies in Big Tech.")

    When students left his school’s campus in March, Isgar felt as if the main thing missing from remote learning was stimulating in-class discussions. "Cohorts" is meant to recreate that in an internship context.

    "The mission is to replicate those discussions," Isgar said. "It’s challenging to be networking [remotely]. You can’t get coffee."

    It's likely, though, that interns down the road won't be fetching coffee either, like so many internships of yore. With the disruption to internships already brought on by the summer of 2020, it's likely that changes to the working world for young people are just starting.

  • Alicia Keys strong commencement speech recognizes the most powerful time to be coming of age

    Alicia Keys strong commencement speech recognizes the most powerful time to be coming of age

    Alicia Keys has levelled with graduating students who might not feel like celebrating right now, but should honor themselves nonetheless.


    Students are graduating across America, amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and after weeks of protests for racial justice and against police brutality, following the police killing of George Floyd, who died after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

    It is a unique time in history to be finishing school or college, to say the least.

    On Sunday, as part of a YouTube Original series of virtual commencement events called Dear Class of 2020(Opens in a new tab), celebrities and public figures including Beyoncé, Michelle Obama, and Keys addressed newly graduated students in heartfelt speeches from home — and they all recognised the significance of what a time it is to be graduating right now.

    "Let's be honest, it's been a hard week," Keys began. "A hard week and a hard month and a hard year, and I know right now, it might not feel like there's a lot to celebrate — and that's OK. It's OK to not be OK right now.

    "I know so many of you are not thinking about your time at school, you're thinking about what's happening right now in the present. You're thinking about marching and protesting and making sure that your voices are heard in a time that we cannot be silent," she said.

    Keys commended the collective action of those who have joined the fight for justice in whichever way they can. "You're taking your heartbreak and your outrage and you're putting into into action and you are showing that your generation is the one that's going to heal this."

    She also took a moment to reflect that "the world feels broken" right now, and that this moment of action, outrage, and uprising has been a long time coming. "The pain we're experiencing right now, it's not new. But it feels different this time, right? I think for the first time, all of us, no matter what we look like or where we're from, we can see so clearly what injustice looks like and now we all can choose how to respond.

    "But change only happens if all of us educate ourselves, if we hold each other accountable, when we register to vote(Opens in a new tab) in November, when all of us recognise our biases and we find ways to empathise with people that look different from us or seem different from us on the surface. That's the key right there," she said. "So, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being the inspiration, for inspiring the world to see our collective humanity."

    Keys ended with a call for students to take the moment to celebrate their accomplishments, and to take whatever hat they have and throw it in the air, to honor themselves "in the most powerful time to be coming of age."

    It's just under four minutes, but it speaks loud and clear. Mandatory viewing for students who no longer have to answer to anyone telling them something is mandatory viewing.

    While you're at it, why not spend a moment with the Schitt's Creek cast thanking your teachers. (There's a performance in it for you, don't roll your eyes.)

  • Cops and Live P.D. have now both been canceled

    Cops and Live P.D. have now both been canceled

    Looks like someone did some reevaluating.


    On Tuesday, Paramount Network announced it would no longer produce Cops, a half-hour reality series that takes camera crews on police ride-alongs and investigations. On Wednesday, A&E announced(Opens in a new tab) that Live P.D. would not be returning either.

    The news comes after the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police on May 25. Former officer Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree murder, kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd repeatedly said he could not breathe. Floyd was 46.

    Cops, which first premiered on Fox in 1989, ran for a total of 31 years before its cancelation, making it one of the longest standing reality programs in history. Amid national protests against police brutality and systemic racism, Paramount Network pulled the program(Opens in a new tab) from its schedule last week as A&E took similar steps with Live P.D.

    "Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return," a spokesperson said, per The Hollywood Reporter(Opens in a new tab). Cops had been part of the Paramount Network since 2013.

    “This is a critical time in our nation’s history and we have made the decision to cease production on Live PD,” A&E told Deadline(Opens in a new tab). “Going forward, we will determine if there is a clear pathway to tell the stories of both the community and the police officers whose role it is to serve them. And with that, we will be meeting with community and civil rights leaders as well as police departments.”

    Sources familiar with the matter told The Hollywood Reporter and Deadline that Paramount had pre-existing plans to move away from unscripted programming. However, Cops had been scheduled to debut the first episode of Season 33 on Monday. Reality shows Ink Master, Bar Rescue, Battle of the Fittest Couples, and more remain with Paramount.

    Cops has been repeatedly criticized for wrongfully glorifying police work(Opens in a new tab), as well as been accused of targeting poor people of color(Opens in a new tab), abusing the individuals being arrested(Opens in a new tab), staging crime scenes(Opens in a new tab), and supplying camera crew members(Opens in a new tab) with weapons to use in case of a violent arrest. Footage from Cops has been admitted in multiple defense cases to argue around matters of police misconduct. In 2014, Cops audio technician Bryce Dion and suspect Cortez Washington were shot and killed(Opens in a new tab) by officers during the filming of a robbery at an Omaha Wendy's.

    Live P.D. also reportedly captured, but later destroyed,(Opens in a new tab) footage of the death of a black man, Javier Ambler, in custody of Texas law enforcement in March 2019.

    UPDATE: June 11, 2020, 12:03 p.m. AEST This story has been updated to include the announcement that 'Live P.D.' will not be returning from hiatus.

  • New meme has some great ideas for what to put up instead of Christopher Columbus statues

    New meme has some great ideas for what to put up instead of Christopher Columbus statues

    It's way overdue, but America is reckoning with some of the darker parts of its history.


    As the fight to remove Confederate monuments continues, lots of folks were also wondering why the nation still displays statues of Christopher Columbus across the country. The famous explorer, after all, carried out horrific atrocities, including mass genocide of the indigenous people in the Americas.

    Still, some Italian Americans hold onto the idea that he represents something bigger, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who defended having a statue of the explorer in NYC on Thursday.

    "The Christopher Columbus statue in some way represents the Italian American legacy in this country and the Italian American contribution in this country," he said at a press conference(Opens in a new tab).

    Setting aside the fact that Columbus sailed for Spain and never set foot(Opens in a new tab) in the United States, some helpful folks online came up with a great meme about who might prove a suitable replacement for the explorer. Things took a turn toward the absurd and, honestly, it was wonderful.

    1. Not a bad idea

    2. I need to see this statue in person

    3. Keeping with the Sopranos theme

    4. Could get behind this

    5. I support any and all efforts to have more statues of corn

    6. Please find me a better Italian American icon. You cannot.

    Danny DeVito a true Italian America icon. Credit: Shutterstock

    7. In case you didn't know, this is Bigtime Tommie(Opens in a new tab)

    8. You don't even need to change that many letters!

    9. More Willie in the world is definitely a good idea

    10. A litany of options

    11. I don't know who Mr. Pickle is but I really, really support this

    12. Kind of thought we were past the Baby Yoda moment, but sure why not?

  • Paint-by-numbers should be your next relaxing self-care hobby

    Paint-by-numbers should be your next relaxing self-care hobby

    When it comes to self-care these days, your efforts to wind down don't always have to be ambitious.


    You should mediate, tackle a reading list, or set out to complete a challenging home improvement project if those things soothe you. But perfect self-care activities can also be as simple as playing with sidewalk chalk, coloring with crayons, or doing a puzzle.

    In the spirit of reclaiming beloved childhood activities as a means of de-stressing in adulthood, we have a suggestion for your new self-care hobby: Paint-by-numbers. Next time you need to relax, give it a try.

    The allure of losing yourself in methodical tasks

    Some of you may remember making paint-by-numbers artwork when you were younger, but for those who've never tried it, or who have simply forgotten what it's like to immerse yourself in the mundane task of filling in little numbered areas with colorful paint, let's review.

    A paint-by-numbers kit comes with a piece of paper or canvas that features a numbered, outlined design. You'll also receive small containers of different colored paints, and a variety of different size brushes.

    Paint-by-numbers in action. Credit: Getty Images / iStockphoto

    The directions that come with each DIY kit will break the paint-by-numbers process down for you, but essentially, your job is extremely simple: You fill in the areas of white space on the page with paint. You'll be able to determine exactly which color goes where by matching the numbers on the top of each paint container with the corresponding numbers on the paper. Depending on the difficulty of your project you might be asked to mix some paints together to form new colors, or occasionally wash some brushes, but otherwise the activity is mostly straightforward and mindless.

    SEE ALSO: 10 ways to make your work from home desk less depressing

    For several minutes or hours you can give your brain a rest from worrying about the world and take solace in thinking solely about which paint color goes where. You can train your eyes to scan the canvas in front of you for numbers like "5" or "29," and let yourself feel a small sense of accomplishment as the once bleak page before you transforms into an eye-catching masterpiece.

    Doesn't that sound nice? And one of the best things about paint-by-numbers is that they help even the least artistic people to create professional-looking depictions.

    A perfect quarantine craft

    Completing paint-by numbers, especially more complex ones, often requires some time. Which is why the guided painting projects are a perfect quarantine craft.

    If you're looking for a way to keep your hands and mind busy while staying at home, something to fill your empty social schedule, or a delightful distraction from social media, consider investing in a paint by numbers kit. And if you have old paint-by-numbers that you haven't yet used, now's the perfect time to dig them out.

    People of all ages are falling in love with paint-by-numbers in quarantine, and since you end up with a nice picture to show for your time, it's truly becoming a self-care hobby worth sharing with the internet.

    Where to find paint-by-numbers kits

    If you're looking to get into this very low stakes hobby, there are a bunch of places to shop for kits online. Try Etsy(Opens in a new tab), JOANN Fabric and Craft Stores(Opens in a new tab), Michael's(Opens in a new tab), Herrschners(Opens in a new tab), and Artsool(Opens in a new tab), among others. You can also transform your own photographs into a paint-by-number activities, too.

    Here are a few of the many paint-by-numbers templates that are just waiting to be filled in.

    Mountain Spring River(Opens in a new tab)

    A gorgeous mountain and  river scene. Credit: OurPaintAddictions / etsy

    Price: $27 on Etsy(Opens in a new tab).

    Pink Vespa Roses(Opens in a new tab)

    If you wish you were traveling. Credit: paintathomestore / etsy

    Price: $30 on Etsy(Opens in a new tab).

    Houseplant Set(Opens in a new tab)

    Wall plants! Credit: NotablyPaperCompany / etsy

    Price: from $10.00 on Etsy(Opens in a new tab).

    If there's a specific subject you'd like to paint, such as animals, plants, scenery, or food, be sure to include it in your search terms. And when you're seeking out your perfect paint-by-numbers template, keep in mind the level of difficulty you want to take on. Consider starting with a more basic version and then see if you want to move on to more intricate ones.

    If paper and paint isn't your style, have no fear. You can always download a paint-by-numbers app — like Paint By Number(Opens in a new tab), Happy Color(Opens in a new tab), or Colors by Number – No.Draw(Opens in a new tab)— on your phone or tablet for a soothing virtual experience.

    Whichever method you use, we're sure paint-by-numbers will add some serious variety and color to your daily unwinding routine.

Random articles


  • We dreamed of the Before Times for a year. But how will COVIDs scars haunt the After Times?

    We dreamed of the Before Times for a year. But how will COVIDs scars haunt the After Times?

    This time last year my hands had worn raw. Fingers crusted and dry, seams cracked from frequent spritzes of Dr. Bronner's hand sanitizer — the only bottle we could find — which needled sharp pains into my hands countless times per day.


    At that point, I was still (nervously) riding the subway and entering stores unmasked because experts told us not to mask-up. If I meticulously and regularly sanitized my hands, I believed at the time, then I was doing what I could to stop myself from getting the coronavirus. It literally hurt to make myself feel safe — how could I do this indefinitely? If you told me I'd be doing it a year, at minimum, I would've imagined my hands as tenderized meat.

    Yet here I am, still sanitizing like mad — side note: I understand there are more effective COVID-prevention tools, but it helps(Opens in a new tab) and makes me feel better — and my hands are...fine.

    A year later and my hands are different. They're no longer cracked, or dry, and the constant alcohol cleansing isn't painful. Somehow, my fingers have grown to understand sanitizer and an uneasy peace settled into my nervous little routine.

    It's like a scar, what feels like a permanent change to my body. But if you look at my hand, there are new non-metaphorical scars, too. Some months back, my knife slipped while slicing green onions. Instead of scallion, the blade caught my thumb and index finger in one swoop — it sliced deep — but I wasn't about to go to the emergency room. Not during COVID.

    Eventually my separated skin grew back together, but it was all wonky. My new fingertips had little, imperfect lumps where stitches probably should've been.

    Scars. This pandemic has left so many scars. And yes, they can be literal, but more likely than not, they're emotional, mental, weighty but formless.

    It's been a year now. Well, more, really. But in the U.S. things got holy shit real on March 11, 2020(Opens in a new tab). It was the day the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a pandemic. And on that very day, Tom Hanks announced he had COVID, the NBA shut down, and the stock market plunged. It finally hit home.

    When the COVID crisis began, we imagined the ways it would change us. How would it mark us like the Great Depression did(Opens in a new tab) to so many — will we have our versions of that penny pinching?

    It's hard to know too much right now. Things are improving, but we're still in this crisis.

    There are the things we can't avoid: my hands, for instance. But there are so many other parts of this pandemic I cannot imagine shaking. I'll move on, sure, but how could I ever truly release them?

    I lost two family members in the last year. One to COVID, another suddenly, unrelated to the pandemic but during it.

    I've cried over these losses. I've spoken with family and experts, trawled through memories, and imagined my world without these family members. But my world is already so small, so much of my life is imagined. Several times per day I think here's what I'll do when it's all over. Visiting loved ones is already something I have to imagine, which has made very real, permanent losses to my family feel less...real and permanent.

    My life is confined to a one-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn plus what's within walking distance. My world was already without family, for the most part.

    The mourning feels empty and odd. I couldn't travel home. We couldn't have funerals. I couldn't hug my mom.

    The mourning feels empty and odd. I couldn't travel home. We couldn't have funerals. I couldn't hug my mom.

    I know my family members are gone. But there's something to processing grief via ritual. It's strange to experience important events without our normal markers. I'm not saying I'd fully process the losses with awkward, teary greetings of acquaintances, trays of antipasto, and stories from old friends. I am saying it would be a start.

    Where does that absence go, moving forward? As needles hit arms and the world re-opens and I see my surviving family, what do we make of the things that weren't? Or do they just stay? Does that absence fade?

    So many days feel like you power through them. So much sadness and grief gets pushed aside. When, if ever, will we sit in it?

    A year into this thing, there must be countless invisible scars for people out there.

    There are the things we couldn't do. I was scheduled to get married in September 2020, for instance, but the plague pushed our date back at least a year.

    And there are the things we started doing. Will I ever not wash my hands after coming home? Will I hear a cough and not cringe? Will the constant, low-level anxiety ever recess?

    Here's a picture from Madison Square Garden in late January. It was one of my last "normal" times arounds lots of people and feels unimaginable now. Credit: Tim Marcin / Mashable

    I used to ride the subway, grabbing grimy, constantly touched poles, meet a friend for dinner and down a sandwich — all without washing my hands.

    A year ago, perhaps foolishly, I would've expected things to be different by now, in good and bad ways. I would've thought we'd have things far more under control because finally, eventually, everyone agreed to really lockdown. But I also wouldn't believe we had numerous miracle-level-good vaccines and were inoculating some 2 million(Opens in a new tab) Americans per day.

    The pandemic hasn't just changed the world, it has become the world. Its tentacles touch everything. I don't dream like I used to. Literally. Many nights I have nightmares where I accidentally enter public spaces unmasked, only to realize Oh God, oh no, it's still a pandemic. I'll have dreams of sick loved ones and unshakeable danger.

    My metaphorical dreams have changed, too. In some ways they're bigger: I want to travel everywhere, do more, work less, visit my friends spread across the country. But my dreams have shrunk as well. Who needs to write a book, or get recognition? I'd love a dinner with family, a fine life with friends who love me, a cool beer at a dank bar.

    It feels shameful to admit, but at some point in my life, I dreamt of doing something — or feeling — special. Having something in my life be singular, one of one. There's a part of me that still wants that. But now I more often daydream of being a part of something bigger, of being in the presence of community. It doesn't matter how. A head-banging rock show or a small dinner party, I want it all. It won't feel normal at first, but I want it nonetheless.

    In that way, post-COVID feels impossible. Even if it fades and infections inch closer to zero — or to some indeterminate, acceptable level — it's too big, it changed too much. We've lost too much, too many. So much gone. Days, weddings, parties, long nights at bars, quiet afternoons in libraries, dark movie theaters, hugs, jobs, loved ones.

    It'll be there. Even if COVID is mostly gone, the scars of the absences it created will remain. But we can pray they fade.

    My family is hoping that one day we'll have a big celebration for the family and friends of our departed loved ones. There will be booze and dancing and, I imagine, trays of antipasto. It won't be a funeral. But it will be a ritual.

    We'll cry and laugh, hug and shake hands with strangers. I might not even sanitize after shaking. But when I look down, the little bumps on my fingers — the scars where my body grew back all wrong — will remain.

  • Best audio workout apps for training without a screen

    Best audio workout apps for training without a screen

    Since your gym is still closed and will be for a while, the world is now your workout space. But for those venturing outside or training in the living room, staring at a screen is the last thing you want after a day of, well, staring at a screen.


    That's why we recommend audio fitness apps. Ethan Agarwal, CEO and founder of audio workout app Aaptiv (full disclosure: I'm an active user on a 259-day streak) wrote in an email that "Zoom fatigue" is real, and that "working out without looking at a screen is such a relief."

    SEE ALSO: The absolute best workout apps for exercising at home

    During the pandemic, fitness junkies are going to have to get creative when it comes to weight training, yoga, and other forms of exercise. So grab your headphones and take a listen.

    Aaptiv(Opens in a new tab) ($14.99/ month or $99/year)

    While Aaptiv offers treadmill and stair climber classes perfect for the gym, its collections of pilates, yoga, strength training, and even audio coaching for runs and walks, are perfect for working out from home.

    No dumbbells? You can still do strength training with a bodyweight workout.

    Beyond training, Aaptiv offers sleep and meditation classes for this high-stress time. And its stretching options are stellar.

    These aren't the usual hamstring and quad stretches. There are entire 20-minute classes just for stretching your wrists and ankles. For neck and back pain, the stretches actually focus specific muscles, instead of just suggesting you do neck rolls.

    Before quarantine I was an occasional yoga practitioner. But after going through Aaptiv's vast yoga collection (with filters for difficulty level and type of yoga), I'm practicing a few times a week.

    TRX(Opens in a new tab) (Free for 1 year with equipment purchase or free 3-month trial. Usually $4.99/month or $39.99/year.)

    TRX requires some equipment, but once you have a suspension trainer attached to a door or beam, you can download the app. The suspension straps have handles and aren't cheap — the starter pack is $185 on sale(Opens in a new tab) — but it's a one-time purchase that could be worth it if you use them enough.

    Instead of doing planks or pushups on the floor, a TRX workout literally keeps you suspended. As you lean back and pull against the straps to almost float above the ground, your workout gets harder and harder, and your form really matters.

    There are video guides to help you learn how to set up the straps correctly. After getting comfortable setting them up, you can move on to audio workouts.

    If you don't want to use an app, the TRX Live website(Opens in a new tab) has livestreamed classes at no charge for anyone to check out.

    YouTube - Eyes-free Fitness(Opens in a new tab) (free)

    As this web series creator, Mel Scott, explains, "working out while breaking your neck to see the screen is not a great idea." So take a listen to these low-impact audio workouts. Scott, who is blind(Opens in a new tab), created the workouts for her community and beyond and brought in instructors and coaches to guide the audio workouts.

    Many of the free YouTube videos are geared toward older athletes, with a focus on less aggressive exercises (you won't find too many jumping jacks or burpees) and stretching.

    It's truly audio only — there are no video instructions. So listen carefully when the instructor explains how to use a chair to stretch your calves.

    Auro(Opens in a new tab) ($11.99/month or $94.99/year or $399.99 for a lifetime membership)

    Similar to Aaptiv, Auro involves a trainer coaching you through your ear buds.

    You can set up and stick with customized workout plans and pick a personal trainer to guide you through workouts. The app includes both at-home options like yoga and strength training along with outdoor running workouts.

    Auro gives you weekly goals to conquer and a dashboard to see your progress. Based out of London, the app is offering 50-percent discounts(Opens in a new tab) to the UK's National Health Service workers.

    Training during a pandemic. Credit: auro

    Peloton(Opens in a new tab) ($12.99/month or included with bicycle)

    You don't need to spend $2,245 on a Peloton bike to use the app. It includes classes on meditation, strength training, yoga, stretching, and more. And, yes, there are cycling classes.

    The running classes are great if you need to get outside. They provide guidance on pacing, splits, and staying focused, and you can send metrics straight to your Apple Watch.

    The app also lets you train with other Peloton app users, set goals, and track your progress.

    Yoga Wake Up(Opens in a new tab) (free 2-week trial, then $9.99/month or $53.99/year or $34.99/half-year)

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

    So maybe you didn't make it to the park, but you can still make your morning count with yoga.

    You don't even have to get out of bed. Instead of an alarm clock, you can set this app to wake you (there's even a snooze button) and start your day by breathing and gently moving your body. Since it's an audio app, you don't have to stare at a screen first thing in the morning.

    You can also use the app at the end of the day to ease yourself to sleep with meditations and calming sounds.

    While the app focuses on incorporating yoga and meditation into your waking-up or powering-down routines, there are options for an afternoon or midday yoga workout. And they're all 20 minutes or less.

  • Behold, the power of K-pop stans: Andrew Wiggins is now an NBA All-Star starter

    Behold, the power of K-pop stans: Andrew Wiggins is now an NBA All-Star starter

    I've worked, and practically lived, on the internet for a decade, and I've learned one irrefutable fact: Never, ever, ever underestimate the power of K-pop fans. When mobilized, they can make literally anything happen online.


    Case in point: Andrew Wiggins, NBA All-Star Game starter.

    NBA fans were a little flabbergasted last night, Jan. 27, when it was announced the Golden State Warrior would be a starter, meaning he was effectively named one of the five best players in the Western Conference. To be clear, the former No. 1 overall pick is a good player and has done a heck of a job shedding his previous reputation(Opens in a new tab) as somewhat of as a draft bust. But uhhhh, All-Star starter felt like a bit much(Opens in a new tab) to a lot of fans.

    Wiggins stats are good — if not great — and he's been a wonderfully valuable player, but by almost no experts' estimations is he cracking the top 10 in the NBA. Look at his stats vs. a player who wasn't even close(Opens in a new tab) to earning a spot.

    But here's the thing. All-Star selections are not totally left to the experts. The starters are determined by a weighted voting system: 50 percent to the fans, 25 percent to media voters, and 25 percent to player votes. Wiggins made his hay with the fans, in large part thanks to K-pop stans. Just four media members voted(Opens in a new tab) for Wiggins — in comparison, 98 voted for fellow starter LeBron James. Just 46 players voted for him — less than teammate Draymond Green (58 votes) and Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (52 votes), who were not chosen as starters.

    Yet Wiggins got 3,452,586 fans votes, which easily put him in third place for Western Conference frontcourt fan voting. Clippers forward Paul George, who came in fourth, trailed by more than 600,000 votes.

    And for that, you can thank K-pop stans. No, really.

    It mostly comes down to a couple posts from BamBam, a K-pop artist from Thailand and massive global star. You might not have heard of him, but he's a huge deal. Like HUGE. He has nearly 10 million followers on Twitter and more than 15 million on Instagram. BamBam, who also happens to be a huge Steph Curry fan, was named the Warriors global ambassador just a few weeks ago(Opens in a new tab).

    Acting like a good ambassador, BamBam, a member of the band GOT7, tweeted in support of Wiggins' All-Star Candidacy in early January. The post went super viral, racking up some 40,000 retweets, 3,000 quote retweets, and 68,000 likes.

    Each tweet with the official All-Star hashtag and a player name counts as a vote. Retweets count, too. It's difficult to fully quantify the impact of BamBam's post but, as SFGate pointed out earlier this month(Opens in a new tab), the only other NBA All-Star post with even comparable engagement was... aa tweet from BamBam about Steph Curry. And that's not even taking into account how many K-pop fans then tweeted their own votes after being inspired by BamBam.

    Now, to be clear, this is funny as hell and amazing. People getting legitimately upset about Wiggins starting the All-Star Game need to go outside for a bit and take a deep breath. Touch some grass. It's a game.

    But it also goes to show how the internet makes everything connected. K-pop and U.S. professional basketball are just one superfan away from being inextricably linked.

    SEE ALSO: Reply sections on Twitter are filled with K-pop videos. Here's why.

    It also goes to show that, yet again, K-pop fans can do literally anything online. They've overwhelmed Q-Anon followers with fancams. They effectively shuttered a snitch cam aimed at arresting protesters. They took their power of amplification and redirected it from K-pop groups to promoting the #BlackLivesMatter movement after the murder of George Floyd. Online, K-pop fans can make anything happen — from the good to the bad to the downright chaotic, like disrupting All-Star votes.

    So yes, it is a bit silly that Wiggins is now an All-Star starter. And sure, it's hilarious that one person has this much influence. But you've got to hand it to the Golden State Warriors: It's kind of genius to co-opt BamBam's power.

    The franchise seems to understand a universal truth: Never underestimate K-pop stans.

  • The best porn alternatives that are entirely SFW

    The best porn alternatives that are entirely SFW

    Welcome to Porn Week, Mashable's annual close up on the business and pleasure of porn.


    Most people understandably associate the word "porn" with sexually explicit, super NSFW material. But nowadays, the word "porn" can be used to describe a magnitude of visually appealing content online.

    From delicious-looking food porn to semi-gross pimple popping porn, the internet is full of exciting (and extremely safe for work) porn to marvel over.

    In honor of Mashable's "Porn Week" we decided to round up some of the best safe for work porn the internet has to offer. So next time you're looking for some gorgeous, wholesome content to gaze at, let this list help point you in the right direction.

    Remember: You can always check Reddit's r/sfwpornnetwork landing page(Opens in a new tab) to scope out the site's SFW porn suggestions. But if you're looking for more specific SFW porn genres and accounts to follow, here are some of our favorites.

    1. The loveliest-looking SFW porn

    If you're searching for some exceptional, aesthetically pleasing SFW porn, then this collection of Instagram-worthy photos and videos is for you. You're probably familiar with kinetic sand slicing and soap shaving already, but what about these stunning visual sensations?

    • Art restoration porn: Who knew that watching old, dirty works of art get delicately cleaned up and restored to their former beauty could be so relaxing? If you're a fan of art give painting restoration videos a chance. The Baumgartner Restoration YouTube channel(Opens in a new tab) is a perfect place to start.

    • Mineral porn: If you, like Hank Schrader, have a thing for glistening minerals, check out Reddit's r/MineralPorn(Opens in a new tab) and prepare to be amazed. If you like what you see you can also search platforms like Pinterest(Opens in a new tab) and Instagram(Opens in a new tab) for even more sexy solid chemical compounds.

    • Nail stamping: If you're a sucker for some stylish nail art, nail stamping videos are here to soothe your soul. Instagram users like @polishpixie92(Opens in a new tab) dedicate their accounts to dazzling nail polish videos, and you can also browse related hashtags like #nailstamping(Opens in a new tab) and #nailart(Opens in a new tab) to turn up a wider assortment of photos and videos.

    • Post-salon hair porn: If hairstyles interest you more than nail art, try checking out some salon social media accounts to see fresh cuts and curls. You can also scroll through hashtags like #hairgoals(Opens in a new tab) to see some of the best hairdos on Instagram.

    • Soap bubble porn: If you didn't know you needed slow-motion videos of giant bubbles to cleanse your eyeballs, now you know. Behold.

    • Mixology videos: If you delight in seeing bartenders aggressively shake and pour alcohol into perfectly chilled glasses, then mixology and cocktail videos are your SFW vice. There are a bunch of great mixology accounts on Instagram(Opens in a new tab) and YouTube(Opens in a new tab), and you can search related hashtags like #cocktails(Opens in a new tab) to see more mesmerizing drinks.

    • Space porn: If you ever tire of earth-focused SWF porn, feel free to check out outer space porn. It's literally out of this world. NASA's Instagram page(Opens in a new tab), photo libraries of stunning Hubble Space Telescope images(Opens in a new tab), and r/spaceporn(Opens in a new tab) are great resources.

    • Wax seal porn: Sometimes you just need to watch hot wax being poured on the back of an envelope and stamped to make an old fashioned seal. These wax seal YouTube videos will do the trick.

    2. Book porn

    If you love to read or you enjoy taking leisurely strolls through bookstores for fun, then book porn is where it's at. The internet is full of stunning bookshelf porn(Opens in a new tab), impressive library and bookstore Instagrams, and even thirsty social media accounts (like @hotdudesreading(Opens in a new tab)) that spotlight readers.

    Old books on the desk in a library. Credit: imaginima / Getty Images

    The #bookstagram(Opens in a new tab) community also has a super strong online presence, which you can read more about here. But if you're looking for specific places to find book porn, here are some starter accounts and hashtags to check out.

    • @mybookfeatures(Opens in a new tab) (founded by @james_trevino(Opens in a new tab) and @elizabeth_sagan(Opens in a new tab))

    • @scsreads(Opens in a new tab)

    • @katieelizabeth_reads(Opens in a new tab)

    • Publishers like Penguin Random House(Opens in a new tab), HarperCollins(Opens in a new tab), and Simon & Schuster(Opens in a new tab)

    • @foldedpagesdistillery(Opens in a new tab)

    • @bookslifehome(Opens in a new tab)

    • @myfriendsarefiction(Opens in a new tab)

    • @darkfaerietales_(Opens in a new tab)

    • r/bookporn(Opens in a new tab) and r/comicbookporn(Opens in a new tab)

    3. Home and architecture porn

    If you're an architect or interior design buff, love scouring sites like Zillow and StreetEasy in your spare time, or binge-watch Selling Sunset for the expensive homes instead of the drama, then house porn was made for you.

    In addition to real estate sites that let you browse spaces that are up for sale, you can check out subreddits dedicated to room porn(Opens in a new tab), city porn(Opens in a new tab), architecture porn(Opens in a new tab), rural porn(Opens in a new tab), house porn(Opens in a new tab), and cabin porn(Opens in a new tab). You can also search for hashtags(Opens in a new tab) and accounts(Opens in a new tab) related to any of these categories, such as cabin porn, on social media for more content. And YouTube is a great place to find more specific home porn, such as minimalist room tours or abandoned mansion videos.

    4. Earth and nature porn

    If you ever find yourself trapped inside, staring at your laptop, and longing to travel, consider taking a virtual staycation with some virtual earth and nature porn.

    There are a bunch of subreddits that highlight earth(Opens in a new tab), botanical(Opens in a new tab), water(Opens in a new tab), sky(Opens in a new tab), and weather(Opens in a new tab) porn. You can also search for seasonal porn, like snow falling videos and foliage timelapses(Opens in a new tab). And don't sleep on wildlife streams and marine life cams.

    5. Food porn

    One of the most common and popular alternative porns is delicious-looking, drool-worthy food porn. It's hard to scroll through Instagram or Facebook timelines without seeing a cooking timelapse or photo of a beautiful dish with restaurant tags or recipe links in the bio. If you like what you see, you can seek out a whole bunch of other food-related internet marvels, too.

    There's cookie and cake decorating videos(Opens in a new tab), pancake art, spice rack organization tours(Opens in a new tab), ice cream rolling, and a whole world of cheese melting(Opens in a new tab), pulling(Opens in a new tab), and sculpting videos just waiting to be discovered. The possibilities are endless. Just choose your favorite foods and get searching.

    6. ASMR

    If you're looking for some SFW audio porn, there's an expansive ASMR library at your fingertips. Though ASMR erotica exists(Opens in a new tab) and some feel that all autonomous sensory meridian response videos are inherently sexual, many who partake in the popular trend use it as a way to relax. There are millions of ASMR videos on YouTube, which you can search based on sound preferences, but here are a few suggestions to browse through.

    • Slime ASMR(Opens in a new tab)

    • Hot knife melting videos

    • Domino ASMR

    • The "grandpa" of ASMR

    • Feeding frenzy videos(Opens in a new tab) and other animal ASMR(Opens in a new tab) (watching and hearing turtles eat is especially satisfying(Opens in a new tab))

    • Ikea ASMR(Opens in a new tab)

    • Apple's official ASMR videos

    7. Gross but satisfying SFW porn

    Another safe for work porn genre (that's understandably not for everyone) is super gross yet super satisfying videos, such as pimple popping(Opens in a new tab), powerwashing(Opens in a new tab), and pumpkin carving. If you want to start small before transitioning to pus, dirt, and toenail clipping, watch some messy pottery videos and see how you feel.

    8. SFW tech and video game-related porn

    Tech and video game enthusiasts, rejoice! There's a ton of online SFW porn that's sure to delight you, too. Whether you're looking to see the best mechanical GIFs or want to watch someone review devices based solely on the feel of knobs, here are eight tech and gaming-related subreddits and YouTube channels/searches worth checking out.

    • /r/TechnologyPorn(Opens in a new tab)

    • r/mechanical_gifs(Opens in a new tab)

    • r/unixporn(Opens in a new tab)

    • r/avporn(Opens in a new tab)

    • r/GamerPorn(Opens in a new tab)

    • Knob Feel YouTube channel(Opens in a new tab)

    • Full-speed trackmania videos(Opens in a new tab)

    • Speedrunning videos(Opens in a new tab)

    And if you derived a scary amount of pleasure from watching the AirPods in slime video above, you'll likely find these videos of tech being destroyed to be extremely cathartic.

    9. The wholesome corner of Pornhub

    Though Pornhub is full of nudity and sexually explicit porn, the website also offers monthly highlights of the top rated SFW videos(Opens in a new tab). Our favorite? Pornhub's most wholesome star, Ryan Creamer, who posts extremely pure videos of him tucking his viewers in and bringing them some Tums.

    You can read our full "Porn Week" interview with Ryan here, and then check out some of his stuff for yourself. (It's worth noting that if you venture onto Pornhub — no matter what your intentions are — you're almost surely going to see some actual NSFW videos pop up on your feed.)

    So there you have it, folks. We hope you've enjoyed this intro into the wonderful world of online, SFW porn. Keep browsing for more wholesome, G-rated content, and don't stop until you're satisfied.

  • Hearing aids can now be sold over the counter in the U.S.

    Hearing aids can now be sold over the counter in the U.S.

    Hearing aids can finally be sold over the counter from Monday, after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved them for sale without a prescription(Opens in a new tab) in August.


    Many people have no doubt been awaiting this day, with approximately 15 percent of adults in the U.S. having some trouble hearing(Opens in a new tab). The FDA's decision was aimed at making hearing aids accessible to more people who need them, with their wider availability intended to encourage competition and lower cost. The FDA has also laid out rules and regulations for over-the-counter hearing aids to ensure all devices sold are safe.

    SEE ALSO: Barbie's diverse new line features doll with a hearing aid

    "Hearing loss is a critical public health issue that affects the ability of millions of Americans to effectively communicate in their daily social interactions," FDA commissioner Dr. Robert M. Califf said at the time of the decision.

    "Establishing this new regulatory category will allow people with perceived mild to moderate hearing loss to have convenient access to an array of safe, effective and affordable hearing aids from their neighborhood store or online."

    Sony is among the first tech manufacturers to offer prescription-free hearing aids under the new rules. Designed in partnership with WS Audiology(Opens in a new tab), the company's CRE-C10(Opens in a new tab) and CRE-E10(Opens in a new tab) hearing aids will set you back a pretty penny at $999.99 and $1,299.99 per pair respectively. This may sound like a lot, it's still much more affordable than the average cost of hearing aids up until now, with a pair capable of costing anywhere from $4,000(Opens in a new tab) to $6,000(Opens in a new tab).

    Prior to the FDA's approval, anyone wanting to get a hearing aid had to undergo a medical and/or audiological examination(Opens in a new tab) to evaluate the type and amount of their hearing loss; obtain written medical clearance for a device(Opens in a new tab) (or sign a medical waiver); and make multiple visits to an audiologist to get evaluated, fitted, and for follow-up checks.

    Now it may be as simple as ordering your hearing aids online and setting them up yourself at home.

  • Greta Thunberg flips script, tells Trump to work on his anger management problem

    Greta Thunberg flips script, tells Trump to work on his anger management problem

    Donald Trump is not having a great day — and that's putting it mildly.


    With Biden still ahead in electoral votes in the late afternoon, Trump's Thursday wasn't going well to begin with, and now Greta Thunberg has officially logged on to partake in Twitter election discourse.

    Trump spent his Thursday recklessly tweeting messages like "STOP THE COUNT!" in response to close ongoing tallies in key states including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Nevada, and Arizona. He got trolled with Count memes on Twitter and was heavily criticized for his dangerous decision to argue that "late" ballots (aka legitimate ballots received by mail that are still being counted) should not be counted.

    But one of Trump's harshest criticisms came from Greta Thunberg, the 17-year-old climate activist who's gone head-to-head with him several times before. Thunberg saw Trump's "STOP THE COUNT!" tweet as the perfect opportunity to use the president's own words against him, so she cleverly quote-tweeted his unhinged message.

    "So ridiculous. Donald must work on his Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Donald, Chill!" the teen tweeted at the 74-year-old man.

    If Thunberg's words sound familiar, that's because Trump tweeted the same thing at her back in December 2019 after she was announced Time's Person of the Year.

    The grown man's jab at a literal teenage girl was deeply embarrassing, but at the time Thunberg brushed Trump's pettiness right off and briefly updated her Twitter bio accordingly to read, "A teenager working on her anger management problem. Currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend."

    Screenshot of Thunberg's 2019 Twitter bio. Credit: screenshot / twitter

    The running callback to Trump's anger management tweet certainly isn't the only time Thunberg has shown her disgust with the U.S. president, though.

    Remember when she updated her Twitter bio in response to him mocking her powerful UN Climate Summit speech? Or that time she shot him a withering glare?

    Though we're still awaiting the election results, in the race between Thunberg and Trump, the teen has clearly emerged victorious yet again.

    Trump does seem extra angry on Twitter today, so perhaps he should take his own advice and watch a good old fashioned movie with a friend.

    Chill Donald, Chill!

  • Crush it with Blendtec blenders starting at $199.99 at The Home Depot

    Crush it with Blendtec blenders starting at $199.99 at The Home Depot

    TL;DR: Shop Blendtec blenders starting at $199.99(Opens in a new tab) at The Home Depot.


    Why stop at making your own sourdough, when you can make your own flour? There is something deeply satisfying about crafty kitchen projects, but even if your blending repertoire is purely smoothies, a high-end blender is a game-changing investment worth the money.

    Among all-in-one appliances, Blendtec has pushed the limits of what a blender can do, from pureeing fruits to pulverizing grains or grinding coffee beans. Check out Blendtec blenders starting at $199.99(Opens in a new tab) at The Home Depot.

    Kickstart your day with a juice bar-caliber smoothie

    Credit: Blendtec

    Get in more fruits and veggies with the three-speed Classic 570,(Opens in a new tab) featuring a one-and-done, smoothie preset. The brand’s distinctive WildSide+ jar alters the blending vortex to stop frozen ingredients from forming a cave above the blade and smooth out the lumps. Get 28 percent off when you buy now from The Home Depot for $199.99.

    Upgrade your fajitas with fresh salsa

    Credit: Blendtec

    Geared up with five speeds, the Classic 575(Opens in a new tab) is all about convenience with timed cycles and a self-clean mode. Jazz up your taco night with fresh blended salsa and jazz up your countertop with a poppy red base — or stick to basics with black or white. Get it for $379.95.

    Raise the bar on ice cream and slushy cocktails

    Credit: Blendtec

    For mixology with precision, the eight-speed Designer 650(Opens in a new tab) offers six pre-programmed cycles, including “ice cream” and “ice crush/margarita.” Choose between four shades to match your kitchen aesthetic — and crush a socially distanced BBQ with homemade piña coladas and vegan nice cream. Buy it for $499.95.

    Prep for fall soup-making

    Credit: Blendtec

    With SmartBlend technology that detects and corrects blending issues, such as air pockets, the Designer 725(Opens in a new tab) has you covered from creamy soups to nut butters. Its 100-speed touch slider and multi-speed pulse feature enable super-specific stirring, pureeing, mixing, and chopping. Buy it for $599.95.

    Make your own wheat or alternative flours

    Credit: blendtec

    Grind or crack grains to make all kinds of creative flours and hot cereals, from pulverizing rice to steel-cutting oats, with the 11-speed Professional 800.(Opens in a new tab) This multitasking machine has a powerful 1,800-watt motor under the hood and a sound-dampening case to keep the volume at a reasonable level. Snag it for $799.95.

  • Friends and family react to British swimmer winning at Olympics and its pure joy

    Friends and family react to British swimmer winning at Olympics and its pure joy

    Swimmer Tom Dean secured Britain's fourth gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the 200 metre freestyle on Tuesday.


    Not only that, he did so six months after contracting COVID-19(Opens in a new tab) for a second time, which left the 21-year-old athlete struggling to walk up stairs. It was a truly moving moment, but the celebrations weren't just happening in Tokyo.

    Thousands of miles away from the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, in his mum's back garden in Maidenhead, Berkshire in England, Dean's friends and family watched intently as the swimmer inched his way to victory and, as you can imagine, the screaming and cheering got louder and more intense the closer the final stretch came.

    SEE ALSO: Swimming coach's wild reaction to Olympic win is an instant-classic meme

    The moment was captured by BBC South sports editor Lewis Coombes in a video that shows the truly joyful gathering of family and friends celebrating Dean's win.

    Here's what they were looking at, in case you missed Dean's victorious swim:

    All that's left to say is: Go Team GB!

  • Santa con: Mall Santas wouldve had early COVID vaccine access in canned Trump plan

    Santa con: Mall Santas wouldve had early COVID vaccine access in canned Trump plan

    Today on "Only in Trump's America" we have a real doozy to share with you.


    The Department of Health and Human Services has pulled the plug on a planned $250 million public service ad campaign tied to the coronavirus pandemic. Part of the plan would've involved giving mall Santa Claus performers – as well as elves and Mrs. Claus's – early access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine in exchange for promoting the benefits of vaccination.

    The plan, which was detailed in a Sunday report(Opens in a new tab) from the Wall Street Journal, was reportedly conceived by HHS assistant secretary Michael Caputo. If that name sounds familiar, it's probably because Caputo was the Trump crony who recently took a leave from his position after making outlandish, untrue claims on Facebook(Opens in a new tab) about left wing "hit squads" and a looming civil war in the event of a Trump loss in 2020.

    The HHS department confirmed on Friday that the plan has been canceled. It would've involved an ad blitz encompassing television, radio, online, and podcasts. The intent of the campaign, according to documents reviewed by the WSJ, was to "defeat despair, inspire hope and achieve national recovery."

    This is apparently the same ad campaign that would've included the likes of Dennis Quaid, who made headlines in September(Opens in a new tab) when reports emerged that the actor was involved in a Trump-adjacent ad blitz.

    Word of the mall Santa component comes via recordings of a 12-minute phone call the administration had with Ric Erwin, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas(Opens in a new tab), in August. Erwin recorded the call himself and is named as WSJ's source.

    Before you ask, there's audio from the call in the WSJ report.

    As word of the unusual, now-cancelled plan spread on Sunday morning, Twitter obviously had thoughts. After four-plus years of Trump antics dominating social feeds, the surreality of an administration plan to put mall Santas at the front of a vaccine line that really ought to be populated by healthcare rank-and-file and other essential workers, was still somehow a(nother) bridge too far.

    And that's not even mentioning the danger that turning mall Santas into vaccine spokespeople implicitly encourages exactly the types of public gatherings that contribute to the virus spread.

    Related Video: Why is the U.S. failing at coronavirus testing?

  • Spotify Wrappeds latest feature reads Your Audio Aura

    Spotify Wrappeds latest feature reads Your Audio Aura

    Your 2021 Spotify Wrapped is finally here, and it’s one of the first attempts to create colorful cohesion out of a disjointed year. 


    According to Spotify, the theme for this year's Wrapped is "the soundtrack to the new normal." So what does that new normal look and sound like for the app's estimated 400 million users around the world? Spotify is embracing the mercurial mood swings of 2021 with new features that will make you feel like the main character in your very own movie.

    As per usual, starting today, Dec. 1, each Spotify user will get a personalized Wrapped experience that reveals their top songs and artists of the year, categorizing that data into interactive stories. But this year, the app is rolling out a host of new Wrapped features that help users better understand their listening habits while also capturing the zeitgeist.

    Rolling out with Wrapped 2021 is a nontraditional approach and allows users to see their "Audio Aura." Yes, your Audio Aura.

    Rather than genre, the Your Audio Aura feature focuses on the mood of the music you listen to. Maybe you gravitate toward bold, confident tracks, or perhaps you rely on wistful and energetic sounds to get you through the day. With Your Audio Aura, Spotify — with the help of an aura expert — will "map the high-level moods of people’s listening into colors," Ziad Sultan, Spotify's Senior Director of Product for Personalization, revealed during a press preview of this year's Wrapped on Nov. 30.

    Spotify Wrapped 2021 is rolling out to users today, Dec. 1, with new features like "Audio Aura." Credit: Spotify

    Your customized Audio Aura is a vibrant visualization of your top two moods in 2021. Each Audio Aura is a combination of the auras, or colors, of that represent these moods. For example, if you went on a lot of hot girl walks(Opens in a new tab) this summer, then that confidence will be reflected in your Audio Aura as purple; meanwhile, wistfulness is blue. The combination of these two auras will appear as an ambient graphic that, of course, you can share on social media.

    Auras capture energy. It's a reflection of the energy emitting from your body at any given time, and to an aura reader, these energies are projected as colors. In order to make Your Audio Aura as accurate as possible, Spotify consulted aura experts.

    Still, you may be thinking: How does the music you listen to influence your aura?

    Music is the perfect vehicle for transporting an aura because music was created from an artist’s aura and mood.

    "Every song creates a mood and that correlates to how auras work because people are moods," Megan Michaela Firester, a celebrity psychic medium and aura reader known professionally as Mystic Michaela(Opens in a new tab), told Mashable. "Music is the perfect vehicle for transporting an aura because music was created from an artist’s aura and mood."

    And according to Firester, it's that connection between an artist's aura and your own that makes Your Audio Aura even more transcendent. "You’re sitting in other artists' auras and seeing how they speak to your own aura, and that’s the Audio Aura experience," she added.

    Aura reading is often seen as a way to read someone's personality(Opens in a new tab). People love to define themselves through the kinds of music they listen to. From the early days of MySpace to adding music to your Instagram Stories, sharing what's on your playlist is the definitive way to show off your personal brand — to tell the world how you wish to be perceived. So correlating auras with music is an innovative way to meet Spotify users' desire for their listening habits to define them.

    The Audio Aura feature arrives amidst a year where spiritual practices such as Tarot card readings and manifestation have gained popularity on platforms like TikTok and Tumblr. Now, it's Spotify's turn.

    SEE ALSO: Claiming tarot in the age of social media

    Wrapped 2021 is also tapping into the "main character" trend with a "2021: The Movie" story feature that pairs your top songs with typical scenes from a movie — like the opening credits, the training montage, and the climactic dance-off. Finally, you can feel like the main character you were actually born to be.

    Wrapped allows you to be the main character. Credit: Spotify

    The audio "you have to start romanticizing your life / you have to start thinking of yourself as the main character" blew up on TikTok back in May 2020. Ever since, main character energy has been all over social media, with young people emboldening themselves to embrace their inner protagonist.

    Spotify clocked this trend in March 2021 with the creation of their playlist "my life is a movie" which has over 860,000 likes. The description of the playlist reads "every main character needs their soundtrack." So it makes sense that Spotify Wrapped is giving users the ability to curate the soundtracks of their lives with the "2021: The Movie" feature.

    This year's Wrapped will also feature a data-driven two truths and a lie card game you can play to see how well you truly know yourself and what you listened to this year. You can then share these cards with friends and see how well they know you. Another integration you can do with friends? The introduction of Wrapped Blend, the year-end take on the app's Blend playlists that combine your top songs with a friend's.

    Now, you can see how well your 2021 tastes really match up.

    How well do you know yourself? This new Spotify Wrapped feature puts you to the test. Credit: Spotify

    2021 is also the first year you can share your personalized Wrapped card directly to TikTok, so prepare for your FYPs to be inundated with peoples' top songs, most-played artists, and Audio Auras.

    To access your Spotify Wrapped all you need to do is open the Spotify App on your mobile device.