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Stress-relieving gifts for people who need to chill out

2023-03-19 01:23:35

Stress-relieving gifts for people who need to chill out

Who doesn't have that person in their life who's perpetually stressed out? (Maybe it's you? No judgment!) If you're genuinely worried about someone's blood pressure, including your own, you've come to the right place. With this gift guide, you can offer more than just a cup of tea or a lending ear, and give some gifts that keep giving through calm, peaceful, relaxing vibes. Whew, we're feeling better already.

A meditation app subscription

Apps like Calm and Headspace provide a variety of guided meditations for whatever flavor of relaxation you're looking for. Plus, they're designed to be friendly and informative for beginners.

Calm(Opens in a new tab), $69.99/year

Headspace(Opens in a new tab), $12.99/month

Guided meditation to calm restless thoughts. Credit: Calm

A weighted blanket

The soothing pressure of weighted blankets is scientifically proven to help with anxiety(Opens in a new tab), insomnia, chronic pain(Opens in a new tab), and more(Opens in a new tab). A blanket is already a perfectly cozy gift; why not give a blanket that can actively help with stress? You could go with Bearaby, the Rolls Royce of weighted blankets, or this less expensive option from YnM.

YnM weighted blanket(Opens in a new tab), $49.99

Bearaby cotton napper(Opens in a new tab), $199

SEE ALSO: Yes, you really do need a weighted blanket — and these ones are the best
A scientifically proven way to reduce anxiety. Credit: YnM

Xbox All Access Featuring Xbox Series S

Everything the gamer in your life needs is included: hundreds of games, including day-one releases, with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plus a next-gen Xbox Series S to make the most of every gaming minute. Bonus points — you can save $100 on the Xbox All Access Series S through Dec. 25.

Xbox All Access Series S with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate(Opens in a new tab)$20.82/month

Credit: Verizon

An anti-anxiety journal

This journal uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy methods to provide guided journal prompts, structured exercises to reduce anxiety, and notes and tips from therapists to help you identify what you're feeling and how to manage it. The simple and discreet layout makes it easy to carry around and jot down thoughts when you're stressed or anxious.

The Anti-Anxiety notebook(Opens in a new tab), $38

Manage stress and anxiety with a CBT notebook. Credit: Therapy Notebooks

An oil diffuser

We love a standard stick-in-oil diffuser or scented candle, but there are some cool mechanized diffusers out there that gently dispense a mist and have features like mood lighting and timers. Plus, some of them look like a mini sculptural art piece.

Vitruvi Stone essential oil diffuser(Opens in a new tab), $123

An oil diffuser that looks good. Credit: Vitruvi

A yoga subscription

Yoga is a tried-and-true method for movement that relaxes and eases tension(Opens in a new tab). The beauty of giving a yoga subscription means your giftee will have the flexibility to choose how and when they want to get on the mat from the comfort of their own home.

Glo yoga subscription(Opens in a new tab), $24/month

Yoga that fits around your giftee's schedule. Credit: Getty Images

A smart stress-relief ball

A simple stress ball isn't really substantial enough to give as a gift, but a smart stress ball has exactly the kind of quirky intrigue and novelty that makes it a perfect present. The "Smart Squeeze" measures your squeeze with an accompanying app and even purports to help you build grip strength.

Smart Squeeze stress-relief ball(Opens in a new tab), $50

Stress-relieving gifts for people who need to chill out(图1)

Monitor just how much stress you're squeezing out. Credit: Roshy and Saket

A de-stress wearable

This device takes biometric wearables to the next level by reducing stress through scientifically proven touch therapy. The Apollo is a wearable you put on your wrist or ankle to provide "silent, soothing vibrations" designed to calm your nervous system, which has a direct role in the physical response to stress. It also tracks heart-rate variability, so you can keep track of your stress melting away.

Apollo wearable(Opens in a new tab), $399

SEE ALSO: This wearable is designed to help reduce stress
Get a wearable that does more by reducing stress. Credit: Apollo

Calming face mask, shower bomb, calming patches

Give the gift of a spa-like experience with soothing bath and beauty products. Gather up a bunch of your favorites into one care package, or dole them out individually. We're especially interested in the calming patches that are infused with ashwagandha, passionflower, ginger root, and other calming ingredients that you can stick on your body for relaxation on the go.

Kiehl's calendula petal-infused calming mask(Opens in a new tab), $45

Lush Twilight lavender bath bomb(Opens in a new tab), $8.25

The Good Patch Relax patches(Opens in a new tab), $23.98

Slap on one of these babies whether you're traveling or working. Credit: The Good Patch

A massage gun

If you're dealing with tech neck, or feeling achey from a restless sleep, work out some of that physical tension with a massage gun. Mashable rounded up the best massage guns out there. Spoiler alert: Theragun still reigns supreme, but there are some great less-expensive options available, too.

Theragun Pro(Opens in a new tab), $499

Turonic GM5 massage gun(Opens in a new tab), $159.97

The Turonic massage gun is a cheaper alternative to Theragun. Credit: Turonic

Novelty shower curtain

When you're facing a stressful day, looking at a ridiculous shower curtain as you go about your morning routine is sure to make you chuckle. And laughter is a guaranteed to relieve stress. Aww. You can find some great options on Etsy(Opens in a new tab).

Ew David shower curtain(Opens in a new tab), $58.88

For "Schitt's Creek" fans. Credit: Etsy / LaLumiereHome

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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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    Since Floyd died on May 25 after a Minnesota police officer pressed his knee against Floyd's neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, protests against racism and police brutality have taken place across the United States.

    Celebrities such as Taylor Swift have started using their giant platforms to help raise awareness and amplify an urgent need for change in America, and now Eilish is joining in. Eilish posted a statement written in her Notes app that detailed a plea for white people to understand their own privilege and use it to help those in need.

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

    "I've been trying to take this week to figure out a way to address this delicately," Eilish wrote. "I have an enourmous [sic] platform and I try really hard to be respectful and take time to think through what I say and and how I say it… but holy fucking shit I'm just gonna start talking."

    Eilish went on to slam anyone who uses the slogan "All Lives Matter" instead of "Black Lives Matter," especially after publicized acts of police brutality, and explained why the slogan is so upsetting.

    SEE ALSO: Nike urges people to stand against racism in striking new ad

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    The singer proceeded to use several metaphors to explain why the phrase infuriates her so deeply.

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    Eilish then called out white privilege and urged those reading her statement to think long and hard about how the color of white people's skin does not make their lives harder.

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  • Chrissy Teigen promised $200,000 for bail funds after Trumps MAGA night tweet

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    Another Twitter user, who has since deleted his account, must have said something to egg Teigen on, because shortly after tweeting her pledge, she quote-tweeted his currently unavailable response with a decision to double her donation.

    After posting her pledge to donate, Teigen tweeted that her mentions were a "maga shit show" but appeared unbothered by all accounts. Several other Twitter users attempted to criticize her for supporting the protests, but if there is one unspoken rule of Twitter (besides never becoming the main character), it's don't mess with Chrissy Teigen.

    Seriously, she has just shy of 13 million followers, zero filter, and most importantly the time today.

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  • YouTube pledges $1 million toward police reform

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    YouTube has its faults, but it's also one of the few brands that stepped up swiftly with a tangible response to widespread protests against police brutality.


    On Friday, the company tweeted a pledge to donate $1 million "in support of efforts to address social injustice." It was a vague promise at the time, motivated by what the company described as a desire to "stand in solidarity against racism and violence."

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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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    That's the kind of behavior we should be applauding, and trying to emulate. There are plenty of ways we can all do our part to help during this difficult moment.

  • Marnie the Dogs sister really, really hates cops

    Marnie the Dogs sister really, really hates cops

    In the week since the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes, protests continue to spread across the country. Many people, brands, and popular influencer accounts are using social media to publicly condemn racism and police brutality, and among them lies a somewhat surprising furry ally: Marnie The Dog's sister, Phyllis.


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    SEE ALSO: Nike urges people to stand against racism in striking new ad

    It was somewhat surprising for fans of Marnie — who was known for adorable, silly, and generally very peaceful posts — to see Phyllis' human use the platform to take such a blunt, anti-cop stance. But it doesn't look like Braha regrets the social strategy one bit.

    On Tuesday when a Twitter user replied to the photo of Phyllis saying, "That is not language befitting a celebrity dog Marnie," Braha tweeted, "Oh sorry I meant fuck the police."

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    On Tuesday night, Braha posted a second photo of the pup out on the street in front of armed forces, alongside the caption, "The militia took over my town howbowdat."

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

    #Babygate trends after Trump surrounds the White House with fencing

    As protests continue in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump seems to be seeking out all the protection he can get.


    On top of Secret Service agents that have the president's back 24/7 and a line of law enforcement officers stationed outside the White House, there's now a hideous black fence surrounding Trump's residence.

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    Twitter users have even started mocking Trump by calling the fence a "baby gate."

    On Friday morning, #Babygate(Opens in a new tab) started to trend on Twitter and at the time of writing this article the hashtag has been used nearly 28,000 times. Some people are comparing the fence to the gates used to hold in toddlers, while others are drawing parallels between the White House barricade and Trump's border wall.

    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


  • Is the creator economy really recession-proof?

    Is the creator economy really recession-proof?

    It seems like everyone's worried about a potential recession. (If you've tried to buy eggs recently(Opens in a new tab), you’re all too aware of the chaotic state of things.) In a recent poll of economists(Opens in a new tab), the World Economic Forum found that nearly two-thirds of respondents believed there will be a recession in 2023, and surveys of economists(Opens in a new tab) and business leaders(Opens in a new tab) indicate much the same thing. Meanwhile, in December, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates(Opens in a new tab) in the most aggressive fashion(Opens in a new tab) since the early 1980s; theoretically, if it's more expensive to borrow money, we'll spend less, demand will fall, and so will prices. We’ll see what happens next! 

    There is, however, some soothing news: Even if we do end up in a recession, NPR reports(Opens in a new tab) that many analysts expect it won't be a repeat of 2008 and will instead be "a recession with a small r." And, if you’re part of the creator economy, which consists of around two million full-time creators and 46 million amateurs(Opens in a new tab), or the $16.4 billion(Opens in a new tab) influencer marketing industry, maybe you’re not worried at all. 

    These creators make money in a variety of ways: with sponsored posts (typically netting about $100 per 10,000 followers), by selling merch or their own goods, by using affiliate links, or by making money off of the platforms themselves. They don't make a ton of money — on average, content creators made $48,800 in 2022, according to Glassdoor(Opens in a new tab). But the creator economy is often considered to be recession-proof — or recession-resistant — because it's driven by direct financial support from audiences, and creators' ability to connect with fans, which is typically less affected by economic fluctuations. 

    So, is it time to start updating your YouTube channel? Like everything having to do with the economy, it’s complicated.

    Ads might not slow for creators as much as they slow for others.

    During a recession, people's buying patterns change(Opens in a new tab). They're less willing to pay more for products, and they might be less likely to click on an ad. But Ali Fazal, vice president of marketing at the creator management platform GRIN, told Mashable that people aren't going to unfollow creators — and they likely aren't going to stop trusting them, either.

    "That's why we think of the creator economy as being a very recession-proof channel, because in tough economic times, people lean on the relationships that they form, the parasocial relationships with the creators, more than ever," Fazal said. 

    Despite the potential — and I can not stress that word enough — of recession, data from Retail TouchPoints,(Opens in a new tab) the online publishing network for retail executives, shows that companies in the U.S. are expected to spend $4.6 billion on influencer marketing in 2023, doubling what they spent just five years ago. More than 65 percent of brands expect to increase their budget for influencer marketing, too. Writing for Fast Company,(Opens in a new tab) David Steinberg, founder of marketing technology platform Zeta Global Holdings Corp, says he anticipates a "huge shift toward more effective marketing that is based on individual consumer needs and intent" in 2023. This shift is because, in some part, consumers respond better to influencers than they do to brands. Nielsen’s Consumer Trust Index(Opens in a new tab) reports that 92 percent of consumers trust influencer marketing over traditional advertising. That transforms into dollars: A new study shows(Opens in a new tab) that 53 percent of people say they're more likely to buy a product if it's recommended to them by a member of a community they belong to, like a content creator. And influencer marketing content delivers 11 times better return on investment (ROI) than traditional marketing methods, according to Forbes(Opens in a new tab).

    In 2023, Steinberg predicts that brands "will begin to view more personalized consumer experiences as content and increase investment in creative after years of focus on media," and that this era will be focused on vertical-based platforms like Instagram and TikTok. "This new-age, immersive content will be highly engaging and shoppable for consumers, leading to more direct conversions for brands," he writes.

    Ryan Detert, the founder and CEO of Influential, an influencer marketing company, points out that during economic downturn, brands are "very meticulous on the dollars they spend." Instead of spending big bucks on TV or podcast advertising, they might pivot to spending more on influencer marketing, as it’s cheaper and has been proven to work.

    "By and large, the audience is savvy enough to recognize that the reason these creators get to make these incredibly high production-value videos [the audience gets] to watch for free is because the creators are in a financial relationship with the sponsors," Dave Wiskus, the founder and CEO of Nebula(Opens in a new tab), a streaming service for creators, told Mashable. He adds that viewers help pay the creator by signing up for or buying the products they're sponsoring. Not only do you get something you want, but you're also supporting a creator whose work brings you joy.

    Creators can't depend on ads and sponsorships completely, though.


    On YouTube, creators can make around $18 for 1,000 ad views(Opens in a new tab) (about $3 to $5 for every 1,000 video views) which isn’t nearly enough for anyone to live on. If they want to make enough to buy eggs in 2023, they have to also add in sponsorships, but those don't always come in consistently — especially if a recession hits and brands decide to slash their marketing budgets. Folks need to diversify their revenue streams during a potential economic downturn, Wiskus says. Creators who also do things like offer membership programs, merchandise sales, or digital products may be more resilient to the impact of a recession.

    For example, Sarah Renae Clark(Opens in a new tab), a YouTuber and content creator, has diversified the ways in which she brings in money by making revenue on ads and sponsored content but also by selling coloring books, planners, color palettes, and other art supplies that go along with her artistic-focused social media channels. It's one of the reasons she isn't too worried about a potential recession. She and her husband not only make money from sponsors, but also, they've created products that sell to the tune of hundreds of units a day.

    "We have found products that our audience needs. So then if there is a recession, I'm not sitting here panicking," Clark told Mashable. "People aren't like, 'Oh, I won't spend that money because it's a T-shirt and it's about supporting your channel.' They're not just buying it to support me as a creator, they're buying it because they want it."

    And even in a recession, people will still buy what they want, or need, the most. 

    No one is completely safe from a potential economic downturn.

    The creator economy isn't immune to the effects of potential economic downturn — that’s impossible. During a recession, audiences may have less disposable income to spend on creator content and merchandise. Creators might also face increased competition from other creators, as more people turn to online content creation as a source of income, at the same time they are forced to work for less or spend more on what they need in order to create.

    Further, while the potential recession is most anticipated to affect the U.S., that doesn't mean creators in other countries are immune to its effects. Many creators have subscribers, fans, and clients in the U.S., and there are some pretty strong financial links between the U.S. and the rest of the globe. 

    The Nieman Lab(Opens in a new tab) reported that many subscription-based content revenue streams have the potential to slow during a recession — take Patreon, which is abandoning cryptocurrency payment plans because of the "broader economic environment,"(Opens in a new tab) and Substack, which told the Financial Times(Opens in a new tab) it has "given up on near-term plans to raise further capital to support the business" due to potential economic downturn. Twitch is taking larger cuts from subscription payments; a third of people who pay for media subscriptions are planning to cut back in 2023; and, according to to data from the Dealroom reported by the Financial Times, "investment in the creator economy sector rose from $1.4 billion in 2020 to $3.3 billion in 2021 — before crashing back to $801 million last year 'as investors became increasingly nervous about frothy valuations in private tech companies.'"

    And yet, the creator economy thrives, with one in four younger(Opens in a new tab) Americans saying they want to work as an influencer when they grow up. Another report(Opens in a new tab) shows that 86 percent of young Americans are "willing to try out influencing," 12 percent of young people said they already were influencers, and 20 percent of young people said they personally know an influencer. 

    The creator economy is still in its infancy. Facebook has only been around since 2004, YouTube since 2005, Instagram since 2010, and TikTok since 2016. And since the creator economy as we know it today hasn't experienced a recession, it remains to be seen exactly how it will all play out in the long run. Until then, scrolling stays free.

  • LiVe TikToks of people playing basketball are weirdly hypnotizing

    LiVe TikToks of people playing basketball are weirdly hypnotizing

    Watching basketball isn't weird — there are millions of fans out there. And enjoying basketball online certainly isn't weird — there's a whole subset of Twitter obsessed with the NBA.


    But watching basketball live on TikTok? It's kind of a strange hobby. And yet, I often find myself practically hypnotized by live basketball on my For You Page (FYP).

    SEE ALSO: I'm an NBA Twitter Casual. And that's fine.

    It started, as far as I can tell, with an account called the @the6ixshooter(Opens in a new tab). Who can truly remember when or how a TikTok rabbit hole begins — that damn addictive, mind-numbing algorithm — but I specifically remember watching this dude shoot and make shot after shot after shot after shot...

    I was just sitting there staring, entranced. The guy, who I now know is named Seth McCoy, was getting fed basketballs by an automatic rebounder. It's a machine that catches basketballs under the hoop and shoots them back out to the person shooting. And McCoy would sink every single shot. I watched for about a minute straight and no misses. This must be a loop, I remember thinking. But then someone walked by in the background, and, eventually, McCoy began answering questions in the chat. This wasn't prerecorded or looped...this person was really just making these shots.

    From there, my algorithm seemingly skewed toward basketball. It was filled with other live shooters, like @masonelitebasketball(Opens in a new tab), or regular people playing 1v1, or TikToks about basketball training, even though I am truly below average pickup player. But here I was, watching people shoot...that's pretty much it, nothing wild...and being unable to scroll past it.

    "I see comments like [it's] therapeutic or hypnotizing," McCoy told me in a phone interview. "I see that comment all the time, but it's something I don't think about. Because I'm just shooting... People are commenting saying, 'I don't even like basketball but I like watching you.'"

    For the record, McCoy insists it's never a loop and that he didn't even know what a loop meant when his TikToks first started taking off. Still, he has to wear t-shirts that literally say "it's not a loop" during his TikToks and answer questions during the livestreams to assure people he's the real deal. Of course, they could just Google him. McCoy, 25, just finished his college basketball career(Opens in a new tab) at Young Harris College in Georgia — where he was a great shooter — and they could see he now runs a basketball skills company(Opens in a new tab), aimed at helping kids improve.

    McCoy is far from the only person who shoots basketballs live on TikTok, though. I reckon he might be among the most popular shooters out there with some 150,000 followers(Opens in a new tab). But look at this panorama of livestreams that have hit my FYP over the last few weeks. This isn't even counting the regular TikToks I'm now fed, by the way. These are only a few of the livestreams.

    Shooters, shooters, shooters. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok: @masonelitebasketball / @mynameamor / @the6ixshooter

    And here are some more.

    More shooting. Credit: Screenshots: TikTok: @mo_1of1 / @the6ixshooter / @masonelitebasketball

    There's something vaguely aspirational to the basketball shooting TikToks like McCoy's, in particular. Like sure, dude's record is 119 three-pointers in a row, but it's not like he's slamming down dunks. You could imagine doing 10,000 hours of practice and getting really good at shooting a basketball. That's long been tied to Steph Curry's wild popularity(Opens in a new tab) with young folks — he's doing relatable stuff like shooting, not catching alley-oops or being seven feet tall.

    But there's also some kind of admirable ASMR quality to it the live TikToks. McCoy, for instance, seems to never do a single thing different. His form is perfect, his feet just so, his elbow in perfect alignment with his shoulder, the follow-through clean. You hardly even have to watch: The ball swishes the net. It's visual white noise. That's why people think it's a loop. It's too perfect.

    "That's probably the biggest compliment you can give a shooter: My shot is super consistent," McCoy said.

    I'm not the only one obsessed or sucked into these TikToks. McCoy described starting out on TikTok shooting for one but his family. Then one day, someone came down to the gym and asked to say hi to his audience, revealing that 3,000 people were watching the livestream. About a year later, McCoy goes live for an hour and a half every day and averages a total of 250,000 total viewers per stream. The largest audience at any given moment on one of his streams, McCoy said, was 20,000 people. That's an NBA arena capacity crowd, all for some guy swishing jumpers in the gym of a liberal arts school.

    McCoy is working to transform that popularity into a business helping kids learn basketball, 6ixShooter Academy(Opens in a new tab). It seems to be working. He said he now gets nearly 1,000 DMs a day from people either using his shooting program or kids who want help with their game. All this from TikTok.

    Of course not everyone watching basketball livestreams on TikTok are kids working on their jumper. Sometimes it's just some guy who writes on the internet for a living. He's not bored, but not really doing anything, and about 30 minutes into a TikTok binge. A scroll down and suddenly there's someone, sweat pouring down his back, swishing jumper after jumper after jumper on a livestream. And this person watching can't really explain it — he's not actively entertained — but he's not scrolling away, either. The automatic rebounder whirrs — swish, catch, shoot, swish, catch, shoot, swish, — and the misses never come.

  • Everyones a hater: The 9 funniest tweets of the week

    Everyones a hater: The 9 funniest tweets of the week

    Phew, now that was a week, huh? Five work days just always feel longer when the holiday weekend is just around the corner, right?


    So yeah, thank goodness that work week is behind us. Good job, pals. I'm proud of each and every one of you. We did it.

    Anyway, to celebrate the end of the week, we've once again collected the absolute best and funniest tweets from the past seven days. Because you deserve to laugh at silly little posts. OK, then. Please enjoy the absolute nine best tweets of the week.

    1.The difference between Twitter and LinkedIn, distilled into one fine tweet.

    2. Being a hater doesn't have to be a negative thing. It can be very fulfilling, in fact.

    3. This really only makes sense if you've watched HBO's The Rehearsal, but I promise it's good.

    4. We're all just doing our best.

    5.This made me laugh more than I care to admit.

    6. Nineteenth century children were built different.

    7.An obligatory dril tweet for you.

    8. This is just fact. Absolute fact.

    9. And finally, this tweet.

  • Swifties made it to The Eras Tour after all

    Swifties made it to The Eras Tour after all

    Everybody's waiting, everybody's watching The Eras Tour on TikTok.


    Taylor Swift's first tour in over five years and first tour since the release of Lover, Folklore, Evermore, Fearless (Taylor's Version), Red (Taylor's Version), AND Midnights began March 17 in Glendale, Arizona. She kicked off the tour with an over three hour set featuring 44 songs. Not only did the crowds in the stands go wild, but in the week since, footage of the "Anti-Hero" singer and Swifties alike cascaded in a line on TikTok. The platform even set up a hub for content from the tour, conveniently organized by concert location, that can be found by searching "The Eras Tour." So far, the tag has received a whopping 1.6 billion views.

    SEE ALSO: You're not getting old, concerts are weird now

    Swift's tour was highly-anticipated especially after the Ticketmaster ticket fiasco, so it's no surprise how much attention it's garnered on SwiftTok. Videos of stunning performances of fan-favorite tracks like "Enchanted,"(Opens in a new tab) "Cruel Summer,"(Opens in a new tab) "Don't Blame Me,"(Opens in a new tab) and "The Man"(Opens in a new tab) collected millions of likes and views each.

    In the weeks leading up to the tour, fans shared progress reports on their outfits for the tour, a mixture of recreations of iconic Swift looks and more esoteric references to lyrics. Some highlights include NYU Taylor(Opens in a new tab), Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince(Opens in a new tab), and the traffic lights(Opens in a new tab) from "Death By A Thousand Cuts." The tour is a celebration of Swift's long and storied career, giving fans an opportunity to pay homage to their favorite moments in the Swift Musical Universe. Fans are also documenting themselves exchanging bejeweled, Swift-themed friendship bracelets(Opens in a new tab).

    Swifties are also using the platform to give advice to fans attending future tour dates, remind each other of traditions like yelling "one, two, three let's go, bitch!" during "Delicate," and speculate what surprise songs the mastermind will perform next.

    The Eras Tour only just started and will continue through the end of the summer, so prepare for more incredible things on TikTok.

  • Does penis size actually matter?

    Does penis size actually matter?

    When it comes to penis size, is it really a case of it’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion in the ocean?


    Culturally, the widely accepted view on penis size is that bigger is better. But cultural perceptions aside, this doesn't exactly match up to reality. According to a study by Clue(Opens in a new tab) in 2019, heterosexual and bisexual women found a penis of five and a half inches most desirable. Gay and bisexual men also generally prefer an average size, although it varies greatly depending on the type of sex(Opens in a new tab) that’s taking place. 

    It raises the question, if average-sized isn’t only good enough, but quite literally ideal for most people, why are we all so obsessed with the notion that big penises are "manly" and small penises are not(Opens in a new tab)

    Why are we so obsessed with dicks?

    To get to the bottom of why we’re so hung up on large penises, let's look at how their representations are perceived in cultures across the world. Large phallic objects have long been the focal point of fertility, sex, and pleasure across continents and cultures: From ancient Egypt's Cult of Osiris(Opens in a new tab) and the missing phallus, and Ancient Greece's love affair with phallus iconography,(Opens in a new tab) to modern-day Japan, where the Shinto Kanamara Matsuri festival takes place every year in February. The festival includes penis-themed parades, phallic-shaped cakes and sweets, and high-energy celebrations. In the UK, we have the Cerne Abbas Giant (a humongous 180ft chalk hill figure which stands tall with an erect penis.

    SEE ALSO: How to perform cunnilingus like a pro

    Fast forward to the present day, this kind of worship has bled into contemporary culture in more ways than one. One study(Opens in a new tab), conducted by Oxford University in 2019, found that the depictions of penises in the media could affect perceptions of penis size. It states that television and men’s magazines often "reinforce the cultural message that a larger penis makes a man more 'manly.'" 

    The study goes on to suggest that it is pornography that holds the majority of the power when it comes to dissatisfaction with penis size. In part, because of the size of penises portrayed in porn, which are considerably above average size most of the time. But also because of the over-exaggeration of partners when having sexual intercourse. And, because porn is the most available source for penile imagery, it builds a misleading picture regarding what is actually sexually satisfying.

    SEE ALSO: Top 5 NSFW sites to learn what porn didn't teach you

    It’s easy to see how this can happen. Especially as Pornhub’s 2016 data(Opens in a new tab) showed that search terms like "big Black dick" and "big dick" were the two most popular searches across multiple countries. Porn sites bolster racist tropes, including the idea that Black people have bigger penises — a stereotype that was spread during the Elizabethan period(Opens in a new tab) when white European colonisers voyaged to Africa and wrote exaggerated accounts of their travels. African men were "furnisht with such members as are after a sort burthensome unto them," wrote one writer(Opens in a new tab).

    Comparison truly is the thief of joy, even among peers. A study conducted by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal in 2018(Opens in a new tab) found that participants that engaged in "upwards" comparison (comparing penis size with peers with a perceived larger penis) felt a direct impact on their self-esteem. Whereas those who engaged in "downwards" comparison (comparing with smaller penises) actually experienced an increase in self-esteem. This combination of factors has resulted in 45 percent of men feeling dissatisfied with their penis size(Opens in a new tab)

    Now, there’s a rise in the desire for penis augmentation(Opens in a new tab) in men with completely normal penises, despite there being multiple risk factors and frequent complications with these kinds of surgeries. And yet, where counselling has intervened, men have found confidence in their penis size and no longer wish to continue with augmentation. 

    Penetrative sex is not the holy grail for pleasure

    Sex is not one singular act and there is no hierarchy to any of it. It all comes down to how you like to get your rocks off. Statistically speaking, penetrative sex, or P-in-V intercourse, isn’t even the most pleasurable sexual act. In fact, of women and people with vaginas, only 18.4(Opens in a new tab) percent can orgasm from penetration alone. So, if you’re feeling insecure about your partner not reaching climax from penetrative sex, then don’t be disheartened. Penis size, big or small, doesn’t guarantee a fantastic shag. 

    SEE ALSO: How to finger your partner

    Pauline Ryeland(Opens in a new tab), a sex and intimacy coach, tells Mashable that when it comes down to sex, intimacy and feeling connected is paramount. "It's more about your connection with the person," Ryeland says. "If there was no heart connection, and you’re just having sex for the sake of having sex, well, then there's going to be a lot of other things that aren't going to be ticking boxes.

    Studies show that when it comes to sexual satisfaction, couples who engage in other forms of sex like oral, hand, and mutual masturbation, have a more fulfilling experience. This is particularly prevalent in the LGBTQ community(Opens in a new tab), where penetration isn’t the central focal point of sex for many couples. Apps like Grindr, a dating platform for queer folk, have options for people to identify as "sides(Opens in a new tab)" (men who prefer not to engage in anal sex). 

    Penis size, big or small, doesn’t guarantee a fantastic shag. 

    Dissatisfaction with quality of sexual performance, low self-esteem, and body confidence can cause or add to other mental and physical health problems, like performance anxiety, erectile dysfunction (Opens in a new tab)and premature ejaculation. 

    Ness Cooper, sex therapist from The Sex Consultant,(Opens in a new tab) tells Mashable that 34 percent of Brits believe that erectile dysfunction is a normal part of growing older and men have to learn to live with it. Which, as she points out, is entirely untrue and actually quite damaging.

    "Almost 70 percent of men and those with penises will experience erectile dysfunction by the time they are 70. However, we shouldn’t classify it as normal, as there are many reasons it can affect an individual and these can vary from person to person," Cooper says. "Anyone experiencing erectile issues should see a medical professional to find out the cause. Once the cause of erectile dysfunction is found whether that is psychological, physical, or a mixture of both, there are many treatment methods to help manage symptoms."

    So, what can penis owners do to feel less overwhelmed and more satisfied?

    How to manage penis anxiety

    "I think that all comes down to belief systems," Ryeland explains. "Quite often, we have a lot of beliefs that don't serve us to our highest good. Challenging beliefs takes a lot of work, but with the right guidance and with the right support system, creating new beliefs is entirely possible."

    Ryeland tells Mashable that she asks her clients to examine where these feelings of dissatisfaction arise from. Often, these are opinions they have taken upon themselves, and very rarely are they opinions gifted to them, she adds. Ryeland advises that there are also things you can do yourself to begin to feel more connected and less ashamed of your penis size. "Sometimes we need to take the focus off the intercourse and just focus on connection," she says. 

    If you are feeling at all affected by this article, know that your GP will also be able to support you to find appropriate counselling or anything else you may need. There are also organisations like CALM(Opens in a new tab) and Mojo(Opens in a new tab), who help you overcome the physical symptoms of erectile dysfunction while helping you to understand the psychological reasons as to why it might be happening. 

    Know that penis size doesn’t matter. Neither is it a measuring stick for your masculinity, your sexuality, or your ability to please. 

  • Political ad goes viral for actually being inspiring (and deeply Boston)

    Political ad goes viral for actually being inspiring (and deeply Boston)

    Typically, political ads follow familiar beats. There are the dark attack ads with an ominous narrator. There are the somewhat cheesy ads touting the candidate's record.


    Then there's Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey's new ad, which feels like a three-minute trailer for a Scorsese(Opens in a new tab) film.

    In case you didn't know, Markey, a long-serving progressive Democrat, is trying to fend off a primary challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy. Yes, he's that kind of Kennedy(Opens in a new tab).

    Markey's ad is downright cinematic in the way it tells the story of his career, promises action, and takes digs at Kennedy. It has a beginning, middle, and frankly amazing end. Not for nothing, it also brilliantly employs music from Nine Inch Nails and Jimi Hendrix. Oh, and the Boston accent is a delight — listening to Markey say "organize" is a treat. Here, just watch.

    People online loved the ad for Markey, whose campaign has surged(Opens in a new tab) in popularity after initially being considered an underdog to his competitor from a political dynasty. It's hard to remember an ad so widely shared.

    The ad has seemingly actually left some folks feeling inspired, which is a pretty damn hard thing to do in 2020. A job well done by the Markey team.

  • Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 25

    Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 25

    The news lately is a real roller coaster. All you wanted from Quordle was a little distraction, and it turned out to be a difficult one. Sorry.


    If Quordle is a little too challenging today, you've come to the right place for hints. There aren't just hints here, but the whole Quordle solution. Scroll to the bottom of this page, and there it is. But are you sure you need all four answers? Maybe you just need a strategy guide. Either way, scroll down, and you'll get what you need.

    What is Quordle?

    Quordle is a five-letter word guessing game similar to Wordle, except each guess applies letters to four words at the same time. You get nine guesses instead of six to correctly guess all four words. It looks like playing four Wordle games at the same time, and that is essentially what it is. But it's not nearly as intimidating as it sounds.

    Is Quordle harder than Wordle?

    Yes, though not diabolically so.

    Where did Quordle come from?

    Amid the Wordle boom of late 2021 and early 2022, when everyone was learning to love free, in-browser, once-a-day word guessing games, creator Freddie Meyer says he took inspiration from one of the first big Wordle variations, Dordle — the one where you essentially play two Wordles at once. He took things up a notch, and released Quordle on January 30(Opens in a new tab). Meyer's creation was covered in The Guardian(Opens in a new tab) six days later, and now, according to Meyer, it attracts millions of daily users. Today, Meyer earns modest revenue(Opens in a new tab) from Patreon, where dedicated Quordle fans can donate to keep their favorite puzzle game running. 

    How is Quordle pronounced?

    “Kwordle.” It should rhyme with “Wordle,” and definitely should not be pronounced exactly like "curdle.”

    Is Quordle strategy different from Wordle?

    Yes and no.

    Your starting strategy should be the same as with Wordle. In fact, if you have a favorite Wordle opening word, there’s no reason to change that here. We suggest something rich in vowels, featuring common letters like C, R, and N. But you do you.

    After your first guess, however, you’ll notice things getting out of control if you play Quordle exactly like Wordle.

    What should I do in Quordle that I don’t do in Wordle?

    Solving a Wordle puzzle can famously come down to a series of single letter-change variations. If you’ve narrowed it down to “-IGHT,” you could guess “MIGHT” “NIGHT” “LIGHT” and “SIGHT” and one of those will probably be the solution — though this is also a famous way to end up losing in Wordle, particularly if you play on “hard mode.” In Quordle, however, this sort of single-letter winnowing is a deadly trap, and it hints at the important strategic difference between Wordle and Quordle: In Quordle, you can't afford to waste guesses unless you're eliminating as many letters as possible at all times. 

    Guessing a completely random word that you already know isn't the solution, just to eliminate three or four possible letters you haven’t tried yet, is thought of as a desperate, latch-ditch move in Wordle. In Quordle, however, it's a normal part of the player's strategic toolset.

    Is there a way to get the answer faster?

    In my experience Quordle can be a slow game, sometimes dragging out longer than it would take to play Wordle four times. But a sort of blunt-force guessing approach can speed things up. The following strategy also works with Wordle if you only want the solution, and don’t care about having the fewest possible guesses:

    Try starting with a series of words that puts all the vowels (including Y) on the board, along with some other common letters. We've had good luck with the three words: “NOTES,” “ACRID,” and “LUMPY.” YouTuber DougMansLand(Opens in a new tab) suggests four words: “CANOE,” “SKIRT,” “PLUMB,” and “FUDGY.”

    Most of the alphabet is now eliminated, and you’ll only have the ability to make one or two wrong guesses if you use this strategy. But in most cases you’ll have all the information you need to guess the remaining words without any wrong guesses.

    If strategy isn't helping, and you're still stumped, here are some hints:

    Are there any double or triple letters in today’s Quordle words?

    Two words have recurring letters today.

    Are any rare letters being used in today’s Quordle like Q or Z?


    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    S, D, M, and S.

    What are the answers for today’s Quordle?

    Are you sure you want to know?

    There’s still time to turn back.

    OK, you asked for it. The answers are:

    1. SPORE

    2. DEITY

    3. MANGA

    4. SNOOP

  • Antifascists out Proud Boys and Neo-Nazi groups behind White Lives Matter rallies

    Antifascists out Proud Boys and Neo-Nazi groups behind White Lives Matter rallies

    If you see any "White Lives Matter" events, marches, or rallies happening in your town on Sunday, you can be sure the Proud Boys are behind them.


    How do we know that?

    A group of antifascist "infiltrators" found their way(Opens in a new tab) into private Telegram channels where these events were being organized and leaked(Opens in a new tab) the chats.

    On Sunday, April 11, White Lives Matter-themed rallies were supposed to have organically sprung up around the country. According to online flyers viewed by Mashable that were posted on a public Telegram channel, the marches were being billed as a "March for White Lives" and called on people to "take a stand against the anti-white mob, media, [and] government." There are events scheduled across the country for the day's events.

    “This is grassroot and no groups are affiliated," reads a message on a public Telegram group for White Lives Matter.

    Well, that might be what they're saying in the public group but it's just not true.

    A group of antifascists who found their way into private "White Lives Matter" groups on the messaging service Telegram uncovered a slew of organizers from white nationalist groups like the Proud Boys. Members of various Neo-Nazi organizations and other hate groups, such as the Nationalist Social Club and New Jersey European Heritage Association, were also outed in these private groups.

    The leaked chats, which were first obtained by The Daily Beast(Opens in a new tab) and Vice(Opens in a new tab), contain multiple conversations concerning hiding the white supremacist ideologies and groups behind the White Lives Matter events.

    "It shouldn't have to be said, but if your profile picture has swastikas, iron crosses or any other symbols that is commonly associated with the NS movement, consider removing them," read one leaked chat message from a Michigan-based Proud Boy. "They will only give legitimacy to the insults our enemies throw at us to discredit this movement."

    Over the past six months, Trump supporters have been pushed off mainstream social media channels for promoting violent events like the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol and election-based conspiracies. These users have found homes on platforms more friendly to their views. Extremist groups have seen this as an opportunity to radicalize "normie" Republicans and Trump supporters to the far right.

    “This event should be 110% optical in the sense of no swastikas or anything that puts normies off," said one admin in a private White Lives Matter Telegram group. "This is the chance to engage with normies.”

    These tips were posted in private groups where users were posting with swastika avatars and usernames like "Your Fuhrer."

    The largest White Lives Matter event appears to be planned for Huntington Beach(Opens in a new tab), California. However, it's unclear just how many of these events will actually occur.

    A major reason for that: "honeypot" White Lives Matter groups that were created(Opens in a new tab) by antifascists.

    Along with leaking private Telegram group chats, antifascists also set up fake Telegram groups pretending to be safe-spaces for white supremacist organizers and possible attendees of these events.

    SEE ALSO: Pro-Trump ‘Patriot Party’ grows on Facebook...despite openly violating the platform’s policies

    Telegram channels originally claiming to belong to Seattle, New Jersey, and NYC chapters of the White Lives Matter movement had their group avatars changed to antifa flags over the past few days.

    The antifascists then announced to the users who were fooled into joining the groups that they had scraped the information from the Telegram channels and warned them against attending the White Lives Matter events on Sunday.

  • What to do if your dog doesnt like other dogs or strangers

    What to do if your dog doesnt like other dogs or strangers

    Some people see a dog out in public as an open invitation to approach and them, but it's rude, and possibly dangerous to pet without permission.


    Maybe your dog is nervous or reactive around strangers, which can traumatize them or provoke an attack. Maybe they're perfectly content with their inner circle of loved ones and simply aren't interested in being approached. Other times, you might be training your dog and an unsolicited approach can mess that up, or maybe you and your dog just don't want to be bothered. And the worst case: Maybe your dog isn't well socialized around other dogs, which could cause a fight and undo stress on both the dogs and their owners.

    SEE ALSO: The best dog puzzles to occupy your pup and keep them mentally stimulated

    Whatever the scenario, you are well within your rights to prevent people and other dogs from approaching you and your pup, but this is easier said than done. Fortunately, dog owners on Reddit have some ideas for how to handle a situation like this.

    Let the gear do the talking...

    Nothing gets a message across like a sign saying don't do that. There are several products out there designed specifically for deterring strangers from approaching your dog. Redditors on r/dogs recommend vests or harnesses, leash wraps, even bandannas that say things like "DO NOT PET(Opens in a new tab)," "I NEED SPACE," or "NERVOUS DOG DO NOT PET." This vendor on Etsy(Opens in a new tab) sells leash wraps with multiple different phrases.

    Others recommend that the human should also wear something with a message, since that might be more visible than something on a leash or harness. The apparel company Ignore My Dog(Opens in a new tab) has devoted an entire collection of shirts and sweatshirts with that simple directive.

    These leash wraps from Best Friend Supplies Co have five-star reviews on Etsy. Credit: Etsy / BestFriendSuppliesCo

    ...but know that it might attract unwanted attention

    While the "DO NOT PET(Opens in a new tab)" sign is a popular solution for many, others shared experiences where it had the opposite effect. Redditor u/seemylolface wrote(Opens in a new tab) in the Subreddit r/reactivedogs that the sign just increased the attention their dog got from others.

    "When I had them on my pup's harness people wanted to come up and ask about her constantly, and when they see her they seem to think 'she's adorable, there's no way she's mean!' or 'I get along with all dogs, I'll be the one she's friendly with!' and then just try to touch her anyway," they said. "After removing the signs we get ignored more, which is like the exact opposite of how you'd expect it to be."

    In another post(Opens in a new tab) in the same Subreddit, u/pamplemoussemethode vented about the "dog whisperers" who think they are an exception to the rule and "think they are the one stranger who can somehow instantly bond with my scared dog."

    Avoid the "dog whisperers" who think they're the exception to the rule. Credit: Getty Images / Tetra Images - Jamie Grill

    Get comfortable with shutting people down

    "'No' is a complete sentence," says(Opens in a new tab) u/bjbc in the r/dogs Subreddit. "You need to ask permission. If they say no, that's it."

    But sometimes people try and approach your dog without asking for permission, which u/Mbwapuppy has zero patience for. "Say please don't touch my dog, and body block if necessary." And remember, you don't owe them anything. "Personally, I am against offering explanations (not friendly, in training, etc.). You don't need an excuse or justification, and offering one just reinforces the ridiculous idea that petting other people's dogs should be the norm."

    Not all Redditors were so adamant, and most interactions with rogue petters can be breezy and friendly. But it's worth keeping in mind that friendliness can take sometimes a backseat to safety.

    Have a line prepared

    The softer approach would be to come with a rehearsed line that gets the message across quickly and efficiently. "They're not friendly" is a tried-and-true denial, but sometimes something stronger is needed to elicit an immediate reaction.

    "Come up with a quick sentence that will make people pause," said u/air_red. "I will use 'He has fleas!' Because it's quick, and will make people pause quicker than me saying 'Oh, he's not great with people, please don't pet him.' At least if you get them to take a second you have the space to actually explain."

    Another creative and extremely plausible line is offered by u/jeswesky: "If someone approaches just tell them, 'Sorry, he just rolled in something dead, you really don’t want to touch him.'" Problem solved.

    A dirty dog might deter unsolicited strangers. Credit: Getty Images / Anda Stavri Photography

    Block or walk away

    If verbal and visual warnings don't work, use your body to physically prevent someone from approaching your dog. "If you see someone approaching, put the dog behind you, and stick out your hand like a stop sign," said(Opens in a new tab) u/Gold-Public4448. "This is a lot harder to ignore."

    If that's not possible or you don't feel comfortable, just walk away if you can. "You need to cross the street or retreat off the path," says u/dfreinc in response to the same post. "You cannot, repeat absolutely cannot, rely on others to accommodate your dog. You know your dog. They do not. People don't respect animals the way they should. No tag or flashing lights is ever going to change that."

    When in doubt, walk away. Credit: Getty Images / Sally Anscombe

    Whatever you do, be their advocate

    "You are your dog's advocate," says u/seemylolface in the same comment as the one mentioned above. "Your dog can't talk, it can't just tell people not to come near it."

    In other words, it's up to you to communicate your dog's needs. Whatever methods you end up using, make sure that they are built around their comfort and safety.

  • TikTok cried make Instagram casual, and now users are having second thoughts

    TikTok cried make Instagram casual, and now users are having second thoughts

    It's the last week of 2021 and TikTok is still weird.


    This week TikTok saw discourse about making Instagram casual, time traveling, and a comeback of the 1971 song "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)."

    Here are the final TikTok trends of 2021.

    TikTok asks, is casual Instagram worth the hassle?

    Since the start of the pandemic, the way young people post on Instagram has shifted away from perfectly posed photos. This change is in part due to people being stuck inside having less to post about, but it's also a result of the TikTok trend encouraging users to "make Instagram casual again." Now, photo dumps and blurry photos that scream "I'm not trying too hard" reign supreme. On the surface this trend appears to be making Instagram more real, but this week several TikTokkers voiced their discomfort with the trend.

    TikTok user @chrisidek posted a video (Opens in a new tab)impersonating an "influencer on the brink of the snap." In the video he says, "now not only do I have to post a photo of myself, but also aesthetic first person photos that look like I took them on accident curating the perfect photo dump." The video has nearly 1 million views and garnered over 200,000 likes. The comments are flooded with people agreeing. One comment reads, "posting on instagram is so stressful." Another is "instead of just posing for a photo now i gotta make it look like i didn't know it was being taken."

    One comment on @chrisidek's video, "casual instagram is an even greater performance," inspired another TikTokker @cozyakili to make a video(Opens in a new tab) where he thoughtfully explains how posting casually on Instagram is a performance. His video was posted on Wednesday and already has nearly 1 million views and over 200,000 likes. In the TikTok he likens posting casually on Instagram to reality television as both are hyperreal performances. Check out his analysis below.

    Both @chrisidek and @cozyakii put the irony and disconnect of casual Instagram into words which allowed their followers to understand the pressure surrounding this new style of posting on Instagram.

    POV: ur the first pilgrim i see when i travel back in time

    What would be the first thing you would show a Pilgrim if you travelled back in time? TikTok users have been sharing their answers in this wacky trend. Each video has the text "POV: ur the first pilgrim i see when i travel back in time" and has someone walk on screen with their laptop and press play on whatever piece of media they think is essential for a Pilgrim to watch.

    The trend allows TikTok users to share what pieces of media are most important to them. In one video @jillianlovesharry shows the imaginary Pilgrim Harry Styles' "Lights Up" music video(Opens in a new tab). In another @benipad plays an iconic Broad City (Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)scene(Opens in a new tab). The trend is fun because users are paying homage their favorite media while understanding how absurd it would be to live in such a time. It's an acknowledgement of how nonsensical modern culture would appear to someone from another time period.

    Good choice. Credit: TikTok / jillianlovesharry

    This trend is similar to the meme format that circulated on Twitter this year where you name an aspect of modern culture that would kill a Victorian child on sight. But unlike that meme, this trend isn't violent, instead it's celebration of the chaos of our cultural moment.

    The Social Network is now fodder for thirst traps

    Speaking of absurd, the Andrew Garfield renaissance has reached the point where TikTok users are posting thirst traps set to his iconic "Sorry I left my Prada at the cleaners" monologue in The Social Network. The 2010 Oscar Award winning film about the founding of Facebook isn't exactly an obvious choice for thirst trap source material, but alas this is the world we are living in. One example is @grantmarshall's thirst trap(Opens in a new tab) that La Brae actor Jack Martin hilariously reacted to(Opens in a new tab).

    She ain't got no money

    The 1971 Edington Lighthouse song, "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)" is getting a second life thanks to a new TikTok trend. TikTokkers are posting photos and videos of themselves to the lyrics, "She ain't got no money / Her clothes are kinda funny / Her hair is kinda wild and free / Ohhh but love grows where my Rosemary goes." The snippet of the song is groovy and the videos are celebration of personal style and self-love.

    The trend was started by @exhibitionbuffalo on Monday. Her original video(Opens in a new tab) featured short clips of her exuding happiness in fun outfits. It got over 847,000 views and over 207,000 likes and became the blueprint for this joyful trend. There are now over 5,000 videos following the trend.

    The original "Love Grows (Where my Rosemary Goes)" TikTok Credit: TikTok / exhibitionbuffalo

    It isn't every day that there's a sweet and sincere TikTok trend and it's not a bad trend to end the year on.