current location: Home > Y4

You cant go wrong with these air fryer ham and cheese biscuits

2023-03-19 06:20:29

You cant go wrong with these air fryer ham and cheese biscuits

Things don't always need to be fancy. Sometimes you just shove ham and cheese inside of a biscuit and air fry it. And it's delicious.

You cant go wrong with these air fryer ham and cheese biscuits(图1)

That's the viral TikTok recipe(Opens in a new tab) from @blind_momofboys(Opens in a new tab) that I tested this week for Mashable's AirFryDay. And it was good! Because what could be bad about a ham and cheese biscuit? It's salty, melty goodness tucked inside of buttery carbs. It's a perfect lunch for kids or a delicious midnight snack.

Sure, it's not gourmet, but here's what you need to know to make it.


  • 1 tube of biscuits

  • 1 package of American cheese slices

  • 1 package of deli ham


  1. Pop open your biscuits and choose how many you want to make.

  2. Split each biscuit in half.

  3. Fold 1 piece of cheese and 1 piece of ham into small squares.

  4. Place the ham and cheese inside of the biscuit.

  5. Press the edges of the biscuit together to seal it.

  6. Air fry at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes, flipping about halfway through.

SEE ALSO: Air fryer mozzarella sticks are tasty and easy to make

The details

This is not difficult. It's making a little ham and cheese pocket. Here's how @blind_momofboys' process looked.

Fold it in! Credit: Screenshot: TikTok/@blind_momofboys
There's ham and cheese in there. Credit: Screenshot: TikTok/@blind_momofboys

Legitimately, the most difficult part for me was opening the biscuit tube. I can never get those damn things open.

Other than that it's remarkably straightforward. The ham and cheese is pre-cooked. The biscuit air fries for just ten minutes. And in the end you have a homemade, hot-pockety bite that's tasty in a way that's almost shameful. Processed cheese and ham inside of a tubed biscuit shouldn't taste this good, and yet it does. The original TikTok has racked up 6 million views, so clearly people like it.

Here's what my result looked like.

Melty, fake cheese. Yum. Credit: Mashable

If you have kids, hold onto this recipe. You can make it into whatever you like. A bit of pasta sauce and cheese? Boom, it's a pizza pocket. Turkey and cheese? Of course. Just cheese? Sure, it's a grilled cheese biscuit.

Sometimes, you just want tasty stuff, well, stuffed inside of a biscuit. Treat yourself.

Website of this article:

Go to Baidu to see more

Comments from netizens


contact us



Popular articles


  • Belle Delphine, known for selling gamer girl bathwater, is back

    Belle Delphine, known for selling gamer girl bathwater, is back

    After nearly a year of silence, bathwater entrepreneur and PornHub troll Belle Delphine is online again.


    Delphine announced her return in a tweet on Wednesday, accompanied by a bubbly rap about being a gamer on her YouTube page.

    "You were thinking I died? Bitch surprise," Delphine rapped in the NSFW video(Opens in a new tab).

    She proceeded to rhyme "Gobble up" with "Here's a big duck."

    Delphine also plugged her OnlyFans page in the video's description, and her Instagram(Opens in a new tab) and Twitter in the clip.

    The internet personality is infamous for trolling fans with her misleading (but oddly SFW) Pornhub presence, selling her bathwater for $30 per jar, and apparently vandalizing a car after an acquaintance allegedly stole her hamster. She was banned from Instagram last year for violating community guidelines regarding "pornographic content," but returned under a new handle(Opens in a new tab) exclusively for Patreon patrons.

    It seems that Delphine, who rose to fame for posting "lewds" on her Patreon, is hopping on the platform-de-jour and joining OnlyFans. She's not the only infamous internet personality to do so, joining the ranks of "scammer" turned influencer Caroline Calloway(Opens in a new tab) and controversial YouTube star Tana Mongeau(Opens in a new tab).

    Delphine has not resumed her bathwater shilling yet, though.

  • 7 apps to keep your plants alive and well

    7 apps to keep your plants alive and well

    Yellowing leaves, brown tips, dry fronds. Whenever a plant displays its first signs of sickness, I immediately start to think what I might have done wrong.


    Did I give my plant root rot by overwatering it? No, I'm probably under-watering it. Wait, maybe it's just due for a re-pot, or does it just need a little more shade?

    Plants have different needs, and react to sunlight, water, and fertilizer in a variety of ways. Learn about their needs, and you might be able to stop the damage in time. Use a little extra TLC, and they might even flourish.

    Not sure where to start? Here are eight apps to help you figure out what your plants need and how you can nurture them.

    Best overall: Planta

    Free on iOS(Opens in a new tab). In-app purchases available for premium features.

    Your living room and bathroom might have different light exposures, and Planta helps you keep track of that. Credit: Planta

    Planta is a great one-stop-shop for all your plant problems — but only if you have the premium upgrade.

    Still, there's plenty to love about what the app offers for free: You can log the different species of plants you have at home, manually keep track of the light intensity of the room in which they're placed, and get push notifications about when you should water them based on the weather in your area. The app's best free feature? Detailed instructions about different watering methods — water over the soil, bottom watering, or water bath — based on your baby's needs.

    Looking for more? The premium version will give you a boatload of other helpful tools. With the upgrade, you'll get fertilizing, misting, repotting, and pruning instructions and reminders. You'll also get features that use your phone camera to automatically identify plant species and estimate the light levels in your rooms. But there's more! You get overwintering instructions, care guides and articles, as well as plant recommendations based on your skills and your home's environment.

    The premium upgrade is available at $7.99 a month, $17.99 for three months, and $35.99 for a year.

    Best free app: Florish

    Free on iOS(Opens in a new tab).

    You have to pay extra to get a light meter on most apps. But you get that for free on Florish. Credit: Florish
    SEE ALSO: How to grow fresh herbs at home

    Florish may not have nearly as many features as Planta, but it's got plenty of goodies for a completely free app.

    Manually enter your plant babies' species into the app, and you'll get a brief description of what your plants should look like when they're healthy, care instructions with their water and light preferences, and a list of common issues that cause them to fall ill. But the app doesn't just tell you what your plants need; it also teaches you to fulfill those needs with watering reminders and plant care tips.

    The light meter is what makes this app stands out, though. Not quite sure if your room has bright, medium, or low light? This feature uses the phone camera to estimate light intensity in different areas in your home and to recommend plants based on those light settings. But really, it's just a useful tool for determining whether the plants you already have are getting the right amount of light. If you're not a fan of camera-enabled light meter, you can also determine light levels around your home with a three-question plant quiz.

    Most informative: Blossom

    Free on iOS(Opens in a new tab). In-app purchases available for premium upgrade.

    Care guides for your plant babies? Check. Fun listicles for discovering new plants? Also check. Credit: Blossom

    If you've ever tried to Google a question about your plant, you've probably come across a few tips by The Spruce(Opens in a new tab) at some point. Good news: They have a whole app dedicated to your plant babies. And let me tell you, it's oh-so neatly designed.

    The app is split into four bottom tabs: a "search" tab that functions like a library for detailed plant descriptions and care tips, an "explore" tab for discovering new plants, a "reminders" tab for setting up push notifications for watering, fertilizing, and repotting, and a "my garden" tab designed for quick access to information about your plants.

    Sure, the app doesn't come with other fancy features like light meters and personalized plant recommendations (it does come with a camera-enabled plant identifier, though), but what it lacks, it makes up for with clear presentation and depth of knowledge. Blossom has a database of more than 10,000 indoor and garden plants, each of which comes with a page about its preferences for light, soil, water, temperature, humidity, potting, and propagation.

    You get all these features for free up to a certain amount of uses. You can unlock an unlimited amount of reminders and camera-enabled plant identification, though, if you upgrade to premium version for $6.99/month or $19.99/year.

    Best for sick plants: PictureThis

    Free on iOS(Opens in a new tab) and Android(Opens in a new tab). In-app purchases available for premium upgrade.

    Got questions about your struggling plant? PictureThis has answers. Credit: PictureThis

    Like many other apps on the list, PictureThis comes with a camera-enabled plant identifier and detailed plant care guides. But once you upgrade to either the gold or premium membership, the app will also let you access tools that no other app offers: an AI that diagnoses your sick plants, as well as a community forum for troubleshooting and sharing tips.

    With a gold membership — which costs $1.99/week or $4.99/month — you'll also get unlimited plant identifications, one customized advice from IRL plant experts, and weed identifications. Upgrade it to premium for $29.99 a year, and you'll get all that plus three extra pieces of customized advice.

    Best for keeping track of progress: ThePlantMe

    Free on iOS(Opens in a new tab). In-app purchases available for premium upgrades.

    Want before-and-after pics for your plant baby? The "history" feature can do that for you. Credit: ThePlantMe

    ThePlantMe comes with a clean, simple design that makes it easy to keep track of your plants.

    To start, search for your babies in the app's database and add them to your list. Toggle one tab over to "your plants," and you'll see a lineup of plants you've added. Think of them as Pokémon cards for plants. Open up the card for a description of the plant's needs and to set up schedules and reminders for watering and fertilizing.

    But the star of the show is the "history" feature. Upload photos of your plant to the card once in a while, and you'll have a visual record of your plants' progress overtime. Maybe it's getting better, maybe it's getting worse — this feature will help you know for sure so you can adjust your gardening treatments to suit its needs.

    Best for reminders: Gardenia

    Free on iOS(Opens in a new tab) and Android(Opens in a new tab).

    Never forget to repot your plants again. Credit:

    If you're looking for an app that's concise and to the point, look no further than Gardenia. This app won't go into too much details about your plants — you can use a different app for that — but it will walk you through what you absolutely need to know and help you set up reminders to take care of those basics.

    Add a plant from the app's database to your list, and immediately you'll see six icons that indicate the plant's ideal level of water, fertilization, sun exposure, its ideal soil type, its blooming seasons, and the minimum temperature it needs for survival. In a way, it reads like a pictograph report card for plants.

    Here's what makes Gardenia different. Unlike other apps, which generally offer reminders for only watering and fertilizing, Gardenia will let you set up notifications for a much wider range of tasks. You can schedule for not only watering and fertilizing, but also repotting, applying pesticides, sowing, harvesting, and pruning. You can even create a custom notification if you'd like.

    The best part? All of this is free — no in-app purchases, no limits.

    Best for plant parents who already know the basics: Vera

    Free on iOS(Opens in a new tab) and Android(Opens in a new tab).

    Journaling can help you adjust plant care treatments based on your observations. Credit: Vera

    Vera is a blank canvas. There are no guides, no tips, no nothing. In practice, it functions more like a journal for plant parents who already know what they're doing.

    To start, snap a photo of your plant, give it a name, identify its species, document its location, note its adoption date, and add any care instructions based on what you've learned. Once you create that journal entry, you're free to log any activity — watering, fertilizing, repotting, misting, and rotating — and add any extra notes about the plant on a day-to-day basis. If it helps, you can also enable push notification for watering and fertilization reminders.

    This app is great if you want to approach plant parenting more mindfully. After all, even the same plant can react differently in different environment. An observation-based, individualized plant care regimen can be a lot more rewarding than boilerplate methods if you take the time to learn about your plants basic needs.

  • Apple Watch will make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds

    Apple Watch will make sure you wash your hands for 20 seconds

    Don't turn off that faucet just yet! Now, Apple Watch will make sure you're doing a good job of washing your hands, slackers.


    Apple unveiled the new Apple Watch operating system, WatchOS 7, at its virtual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday. One new feature seems slightly infantilizing, but is probably extremely useful for both your health and society's. It's called Automatic Handwashing Detection, which starts a 20-second countdown when the Watch notices you're washing your hands.

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    The CDC recommends(Opens in a new tab) scrubbing with soap and water for 20 seconds to prevent the spread of disease. That practice has entered mainstream discourse in the efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19. The handwashing feature from Apple is a timely tool to encourage people to follow that public health advice.

    Get Mashable Deals delivered to your inbox daily
    Be the first to know about price drops on Apple products.
    By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab) and Privacy Policy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab).
    Thanks for signing up!

    Using motion and sound detection, and machine learning, your Apple Watch will supposedly be able to tell when you start washing your hands. That will initiate a 20-second countdown, shown on your watch face in a fun, bubbly animation. If you stop washing your hands before the 20 seconds are up, the Watch will prompt you to keep going. Once you've reached your goal, you'll get a "Well done!" from your Watch pal.

    The Apple Watch will also keep track of your handwashing stats in the Health app, showing both "frequency" and "duration." Depending on how diligent of a washer you are, those stats could be extremely rewarding, or embarrassing.

    Handwashing detection is something that users will have to enable before Apple Watch starts being an active member of your bathroom routine. That opt-in setup is probably a good thing: While the countdown might be useful from a public health perspective, it's easy to see how it could get annoying, fast.

    Apple likes to tout that its Watch is the "ultimate guardian for your health." Now, with the handwashing feature, it's not just "guarding" you — it's protecting society from your germs and lazy washing habits, too. So get to scrubbing!

  • Turbo relationships and the people falling in love at high speed during the pandemic

    Turbo relationships and the people falling in love at high speed during the pandemic

    Taking it slow has a whole new meaning during a pandemic.


    In the time before COVID-19, putting on the brakes meant halting the physical stuff while you got the measure of someone. Maybe you'd kiss after that first date and leave it at that. Maybe you'd wait.

    For me, that desire to take my foot off the accelerator usually came when I had an inkling that I quite liked a person. That, of course, was accompanied by a faint glimmer of hope that this person could turn into someone important to me.

    In the words of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, everything has changed. The proverbial dating rule book is out of the window and most of us are now just making it up as we go along. Some couples are falling in love in lockdown without seeing each other in person. Some made the bold move to move in together at the start of the pandemic. And others are forming "support bubbles" with newfound loves.

    Living through this moment in history is already changing our relationship to time. Some couples are taking it slow physically, but hurtling full steam ahead emotionally. Others are treating their Tinder matches like pen pals and taking things at a pace that can be described as glacial. Others are going full steam ahead on both those counts.

    According to a new report from dating site eharmony and relationship support charity Relate on relationships in lockdown, over a third of people newly living with a partner feel the past two months are the equivalent of two years of commitment. More than 59 percent of new couples feel more committed to their partner in the wake of the pandemic, creating a wave of "turbo relationships," and 36 percent say they've hit common relationship milestones, like moving in together, much quicker. And this cranking up a notch of relationships has also led to more sex for 23 percent of couples.

    SEE ALSO: How single people have been dealing with the 'sex ban' in England

    "Make no mistake, we are living in historic times, with a pandemic and the resulting lockdown having a profound impact on the way we live and love," said eharmony relationship expert Rachael Lloyd. "What’s really interesting, is the creation of so-called turbo relationships whereby couples who’d never usually move at such speed may have found themselves living together within weeks of meeting — and largely thriving."

    I spoke to couples who have experienced this new wave of accelerated romance in their relationships during the pandemic.

    Gabrielle, who prefers not to reveal her real name, got out of a five-year relationship in December and found lockdown really hard. She was living alone for the very first time and going through a tough breakup. She described it to me as a "very confusing, horrible period." During lockdown, her ex confirmed to her that he didn't want to get back together.

    She downloaded Hinge and went on her first socially distanced date on the balcony of her flat. This was around the time the UK government announced "support bubbles(Opens in a new tab)" — where people living alone can go and stay with someone else who's also living alone.

    "He said, 'I think we're going to get married.'"

    During that first date, Gabrielle and her date kissed. "I remember freaking out that I kissed someone," she said. "I had to tell my mum." Gabrielle then did something she wouldn't usually do on a first date, she asked him if he wanted someone to kiss and cuddle during lockdown. He said yes. "You can be my bubble," he told her.

    "We made some rules at the start," Gabrielle explained. "I was like, 'If you kiss or hug someone, you have to tell me, then we have to stay apart for two weeks.'" Gabrielle's date (for want of a better term) has been to her house seven nights running — and a few of those nights have involved sleepovers. "I feel like in the space of a week I’ve had an entire relationship," she told me. In that week, they've spent the majority of their time in her living room, sitting on her sofa drinking wine. She's never actually been outside with him. "Lockdown has accelerated everything so quickly," she told me. "If you can only touch one person, then it intensifies things very quickly."

    But, despite the relationship's secret, behind-closed-doors-ness, Gabrielle says it feels quite romantic. "I kind of feel like we’re married," she told me. "And when I told him that, he said 'I think we're going to get married.'" This romance over wine and Gü Puds(Opens in a new tab) has been an unexpected pleasure for Gabrielle — albeit an intense one. "Being exclusive from the moment you kiss just makes you give things a proper chance," she said. "I feel like we’re in a world of our own. We're suspended in time a little bit."

    Lauren, who prefers to not reveal her real name, reconnected with a guy she fancied when she was in sixth form about a week before the UK went into lockdown. Because of the timing of their reconnection, they weren't able to go on a date. But they've been getting to know each other from afar. "Over the past three months we have been sending voice notes back and forth (about 50 mins a day each)," she said. "I feel very invested in the relationship now, and wouldn't talk to anyone else, which is odd as technically we've not even been on a first date!" For Lauren, this is the longest she's ever spoken to someone without meeting up with them. "Could be a good thing!" she said.

    Asked if she's developed feelings for the guy in question, Lauren said she definitely has. "I'd be pretty upset if for some reason he didn't want to meet anymore," she added. And her former sixth form crush has said the same. "I think there's a bit of an unspoken agreement to mention the date every now and again so that we both know we're still planning on going."

    The question many lockdown lovers have right now is: What if we don't fancy each other when we finally meet up? I asked Lauren if she was concerned about this small detail. "I am a little bit!" she said. "We bumped into each other at the train station just before the lockdown which is how it started and definitely fancied him then."

    When it comes to "turbo relationships," not all of them prove to be great whirlwind romances, though. Take Anna, for instance. A guy she'd been on three dates with had a fluke electrical fire at his apartment right at the start of the COVID restrictions coming into place in the U.S. "I had some extra space so decided to take a risk/take advantage of the universe kicking him out of his place and invited him to stay with me," Anna explained. It was mid-March by that point and a two-week stay-at-home order had just been announced, soon to become an extended to ban all non-essential travel. "It soon became clear that he would be there indefinitely," she said.

    "It turned out to be kind of like roommates with benefits."

    "It turned out to be kind of like roommates with benefits," she explained. "We didn’t know each other well, so it was a crash course in all the practical things about living together along side all the dating stuff. Like, what are your eating habits? Night owl or early riser? What shows interest you? How clean are you? Do I still like him in close quarters? Am I attracted to him (this I knew before)? What are his values and hobbies?" Her roommate-slash-friends-with-benefits left after four weeks because of a family emergency. "Overall I think it was a best case scenario — we didn’t fall in love but are still in touch and seeing each other," she said. "We got a bunch of stuff out of the way and know we’re pretty compatible — something that normally takes months not weeks. Also from a practical perspective I know he’s respectful of space, personal boundaries, and loves my cats."

    Ultimately, moving in with someone you've only been on three dates with was a big step for Anna. "As a devoted introvert who lives alone it was a big struggle for me at first to figure out how to divide my time between work, hanging out with him, and also keeping up some alone time with things like reading, but the good news was that through that, I knew that I didn’t want him to leave," she said.

    Stephanie Healy moved in with her partner two days before lockdown was announced in the UK. They'd been dating since Feb. 2019 and until this point, she'd been vocal about not wanting to move in. Making the decision to move in, she has been living out of one bag for the entirety of the government's stay-at-home restrictions. "It was make or break really," she said. "And now that I’m here, I genuinely couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.

    "I’d been holding off on it because it freaked me out (avoidant attachment over here!), and we agreed I’d stay at his for a few weeks whilst I continued renting my old flat to see how it went," she explained. "Then lockdown happened, and I couldn’t go back because my housemates were vulnerable." In the absence of being able to leave and have her own space in her newfound living arrangement, Healy found she needed to get better at communicating. She's no longer living out of a suitcase either after moving all her things across last weekend, and says moving in with her partner has definitely solidified their relationship.

    In many respects, life has slowed down in lockdown. But for some of us, that slowing down has prompted other aspects of our lives to speed up. For some, it meant taking their relationship to the next level. For others, it meant finally accepting that you're just not right for each other.

    The true test, of course, is whether your relationship continues once lockdown ends, and when COVID restrictions begin to lift.

  • Mia Khalifa is now a TikTok star, and she loves it

    Mia Khalifa is now a TikTok star, and she loves it

    This week was a whirlwind for Mia Khalifa. Not only did she undergo rhinoplasty(Opens in a new tab) surgery, but for a few hours, the internet thought she died(Opens in a new tab).


    Fortunately Khalifa is very much alive, and the former pornstar and current sports commentator has found a new, welcoming world online: TikTok.

    @miakhalifa(Opens in a new tab)

    ##duet(Opens in a new tab) with @iisabellabello 👁👄👁 I have a family. And they were on tiktok this whole time 🥺♥️

    ♬ original sound - .92hrss(Opens in a new tab)

    "I've never really enjoyed social media," said Khalifa in an interview with Mashable. Prior to TikTok, she made a point to treat social media like her job and only followed friends and what she was interested in — and muted everyone else. Up until this week, she had her Instagram comments turned off.

    "It was awful," she said of the Instagram hate. "It really affected me, even if I put a brave face forward to the public." She said it also impacted her relationship with her husband, who read the comments as well.

    TikTok, however, is different. "As soon as I joined TikTok I found this whole new world where I can actually read the comments, and not feel like I should have them turned off," said Khalifa, "and actually want to engage with the people commenting… they feel like my friends."

    SEE ALSO: Paying for porn should be the post-pandemic 'new normal'

    Khalifa is more used to internet vitriol than support. While her stint in porn lasted only a few months in 2014 and 2015, her videos sparked controversy due to her wearing a hijab(Opens in a new tab). (Khalifa is Lebanese and was raised Christian(Opens in a new tab).) The outrage just made Khalifa more famous, and by late December 2014, the then-21-year-old was the top pornstar on Pornhub(Opens in a new tab).

    She swiftly left the industry in early 2015 but was still a "sensation" on Pornhub(Opens in a new tab) three years later — and not getting paid for it. Khalifa has received just $12,000(Opens in a new tab) for videos that now have views in the hundreds of millions.

    Khalifa has since been public about her experience in the industry, not just about lack of compensation but also being coerced into signing unfavorable contracts and putting on the hijab for her scenes:

    She's also been vocal about post-traumatic stress and shame. "It kicks in mostly when I go out in public," she said in the above BBC interview. "The stares I get, I feel like people can see through my clothes."

    While the true extent of the horrors committed in the mainstream porn industry isn't yet clear, more information has been unearthed in recent years. In 2019, for example, owners and employees of now-defunct site GirlsDoPorn were charged with criminal sex trafficking(Opens in a new tab) when 22 women said they coerced and lied to in order to produce their porn. Earlier this year, the women won the case(Opens in a new tab) — and the owners had to pay them almost $13 million.

    That's not to mention offenses such as stealing content and uploading without consent or compensation for the sex workers, as porn director Erika Lust mentioned in her interview with Mashable earlier this month.

    Khalifa herself has zero ownership over her domain name and videos, which is why they remain up to this day. When she told the site owners she'd pay for it, they told her they'd "compromise" by sharing "some" revenue if she made more videos for them, Khalifa said in an interview with Hero Magazine(Opens in a new tab).

    She even made a TikTok expressing how difficult it is to get a billion dollar conglomerate(Opens in a new tab) to take down her videos and another one about her ongoing trauma(Opens in a new tab).

    Khalifa is still revealing upsetting events that occurred during her brief time in porn, such as a shoot where a photographer claimed to be from Vogue and subsequently groped her:

    On top of malicious comments about her porn scenes themselves, Khalifa also receives hate for vilifying the industry, sometimes even from mainstream porn stars themselves(Opens in a new tab). That doesn't stop her, however. One particular comment she made about not entering the film industry went viral on Twitter:

    "I definitely want women to think about it before they jump in," Khalifa said of her warnings.

    "I feel like women in the industry tend to kind of glorify it, and it's incredible and I'm so thankful that that is their experience," she continued, "but I think that they need to be responsible and remember that they're the outlier, they're the exception not the rule."

    In addition to her newfound TikTok fame, Khalifa also made an appearance on the Hulu show Ramy. In a fictionalized version of herself, Khalifa muses about how Muslim countries consume the most porn(Opens in a new tab), so the men yelling at her may be the same ones watching her.

    Khalifa initially received a cold email about being on the show. "I thought it was fake at first," she said, "because I completely devoured the first season in one day." She made producers send her a photo holding a spoon and a newspaper with the date to prove their legitimacy.

    "He [Ramy Youssef] was so nice and really interested in getting my sentiments across," Khalifa said, "Basically just letting me have a place to tell my story because he doesn't agree with the way I've been treated."

    "He gave me a voice and a platform and it really resonated and I'm so thankful for that," Khalifa said of Youssef.

    That appearance, too, went viral on Twitter:

    Despite the increase in support, she still receives vicious comments. If you look at Khalifa's Twitter feed, for example, she receives regular hate, including from current pornstars who say she's "stigmatizing" the industry(Opens in a new tab).

    "The performers who do have large platforms project the industry," she said. "Until that changes, girls are going to keep going down the same path I do where they regret it a few years down the road — or even a few months down the road — and I don't want anyone else to go through that."

    Khalifa said, "It's heartbreaking and it's completely life shattering and I'm so thankful that I was able to pick up the pieces and make a life for myself, but not everyone can unfortunately."

    "This has been six years of just kind of sticking through the hate"

    She said there's now enough voices of positivity and love on Instagram to drown out the negative, which is why she turned comments on; she's also expressed her gratitude for support on Twitter(Opens in a new tab).

    "This has been six years of just kind of sticking through the hate and hoping, hoping one day that enough people will understand that I'm not the person that the world thinks I am," she said, "and I'm just completely speechless and I love every single person who supports."

    Not only are people offering messages of support for Khalifa, they also want to help her. On Wednesday, a petition called Justice For Mia Khalifa(Opens in a new tab) was created, and by Thursday it had received over 18,000 signatures. TikTokers are also calling for justice(Opens in a new tab), while Twitter stans vow(Opens in a new tab) to unite Gen Z and K-pop fandom to destroy Pornhub.

    Just as Khalifa found a welcoming community on TikTok, perhaps she'll one day see reclamation of her name and work thanks to that community. For now, she's ready to continue fighting.

    "I have so much peace and confidence now in my fight because of them," said Khalifa, "and I'm very grateful."

  • People raised $36k for a Starbucks barista after he asked a Karen to wear a mask

    People raised $36k for a Starbucks barista after he asked a Karen to wear a mask

    A woman angrily posted on Facebook after a Starbucks barista insisted she had to wear a face mask to enter the coffeeshop. It didn't go as planned.


    Long story short, the woman — now, of course, dubbed a "Karen" (Opens in a new tab)by the internet — inspired folks to raised more than $36,000 for the young barista named Lenin Gutierrez, who was trying to do his job safely.

    The original post from the woman, who goes by Amber Lynn Gilles on Facebook, threatened to call the cops the next time she went to the Starbucks in San Diego.

    "Meet lenen [sic] from Starbucks who refused to serve me cause I’m not wearing a mask," the post read. "Next time I will wait for cops and bring a medical exemption."

    People weren't pleased that Giles went out of her way to insult the barista doing what's required of him and lots of commenters called her out for bad behavior. (And, not for nothing, masks are an incredibly effective tool in fighting the spread of coronavirus despite protestations from a subset of the population.)

    So, a man named Matt Cowan started a virtual tip jar for the barista on GoFundMe for Gutierrez. Cowan, who has said he doesn't know the Starbucks employee, wrote on the fundraiser page(Opens in a new tab) it was "raising money for Gutierrez for his honorable effort standing his ground when faced with a Karen in the wild."

    As of this writing, it has racked up nearly $36,500 in donations.

    “Everybody is rallying around somebody for doing what they’re supposed to do and trying to protect everyone else,” Cowan told local news station KGTV(Opens in a new tab). “It just goes to show you there are a lot of good people out there and that outweighs the bad.”

    Gutierrez, meanwhile, posted a video thanking everyone for their support and sharing his side of the story.

    He said Gilles walked in without a mask and he asked her if she had a mask. When he tried to show her a paper with Starbucks' mask requirement, Gutierrez said, she started "cursing up a storm" and later called everyone wearing masks "sheep." She later photographed Gutierrez, asked for his name, and said she intended to call corporate.

    "I thought that was going to be the end of it," Gutierrez said in his video. "I didn't know it was going to come to this."

    Gilles, for her part, has commented repeatedly on Facebook that she's not backing down from her anti-mask stance.

    "Masks are stupid and so are the people wearing them," she wrote in one post.

    Mashable has reached out to both Gilles and Gutierrez and will update the post if necessary.

    Gutierrez is far from the only service industry worker who has had to deal with angry customers(Opens in a new tab) over mask requirements. It's often left to these workers — many of whom are low-wage and effectively forced back into working — to enforce the rules and put themselves in harm's way.

  • I bought a cheap, DIY Peloton. Its good, but not the real thing.

    I bought a cheap, DIY Peloton. Its good, but not the real thing.

    It's tough to remain active in a pandemic.


    Even as restrictions have loosened in some U.S. states, we're all still far more tucked away in our homes than usual — and for good reason, since it helps cut down the transmission of a virus that has now killed(Opens in a new tab) more than 500,000 people globally.

    But, again, that makes it hard to move around. Since they can't go to their usual gym or fitness studio, many people have gone looking for an at-home exercise solution, myself included. My fiancée and I enjoy spinning classes, an impossibility nowadays, considering a workout studio feels like the (Opens in a new tab)perfect (Opens in a new tab)environment(Opens in a new tab) for viral spread.

    So while I enjoy jogging — perhaps a bit too much — we went searching for a cycling alternative we could use at home. We're not the only ones seeking a spin class replacement. Peloton, the company that makes the premier, at-home spinning bike and experience, has seen sales jump 66 percent(Opens in a new tab) during the pandemic.

    SEE ALSO: The best workout equipment for building a home gym

    One issue: the cost of a Peloton bike(Opens in a new tab) starts — let me reiterate s-t-a-r-t-s — at $2,225. And that doesn't include the all-access membership(Opens in a new tab) that costs $39 per month.

    So yeah... my fiancée, myself, and a couple of other family members with whom we're quarantining went searching for a Peloton experience without the Peloton price tag. I'd say we arrived on something pretty damn good, if imperfect.

    The Bike

    After a bit of back and forth, we ended up buying this Cyclace spinning bike(Opens in a new tab). To be frank, we chose it for a couple of reasons. It was relatively cheap at $369.99. It had decent reviews. It was available to be delivered via Amazon during a time when it was near impossible to get an indoor bike, as they were sold out left and right.

    And while a Peloton bike is a beautiful piece of machinery — seriously, it's like a piece of art — the Cyclace is a decent-looking indoor cycling bike... you know, as far as fitness equipment goes.

    The bike. Credit: Amazon / Cyclace

    The ride

    After about ten rides, I'd say the experience is pretty good. Let me define pretty good.

    It’s a decent spin bike. The ride is relatively smooth, the handlebars jut out into an H-shape of sorts, which allows for different holds, and the seat is wide and comfy, unlike a typical saddle. (To me, the seat was a plus but for purists, it may be a negative.) You adjust the pedal resistance by using a big red knob and, in general, it's easy to get a really good Peloton workout on the bike. You feel like you're spinning. That was a big concern of mine — would it feel like spinning or would it feel like riding a clunky, old-school exercise bike?

    The spin bike also seems to have been designed to fashion yourself a DIY Peloton. There's a little calculator-esque monitor that tells you your speed, distance, and calorie count. There's also a nifty little tablet holder. Both of these come in handy when you're using the Peloton app. (Much more on that later.)

    Now let be clear: I’ve never ridden an actual Peloton. But I have gone to classes at both SoulCycle and Flywheel, which are similarly pricey Peloton competitors. The Cyclace sure as hell isn’t as nice as a Peloton bike. Frankly, it would be nuts if the Cyclace was as nice — again, a Peloton costs more than $2,000.

    Our set-up from the side. Credit: Tim Marcin / mashable
    Our set-up from the front. Credit: Tim Marcin / Mashable

    The main difference is that a real Peloton bike uses a high-end, complicated magnetic resistance system. My spin bike uses a friction pad that I’ll need to grease to keep it from squeaking down the line. The highest level of friction on my bike doesn't really come close to the highest resistance at, say, SoulCycle. But you rarely or never really use the absolute highest setting anyway.

    A great spin bike lets you adjust the seat and handlebars to your exact specifications. My bike lets you make basic adjustments to the seat (both height and distance from handlebars) and handlebars. But the range of adjustment isn’t as exact as you'd get with a really expensive bike.

    But again, this sucker costs $369 and when I’m cycling, I get a good sweat and never feel like it’s a bad experience. I’d even say my Peloton hack well overperforms the price-tag.

    Some assembly required

    If you order the exact bike I did, just be forewarned you're going to have to put it together. I wouldn't call myself handy, but I'm capable at basic construction things. It was a total breeze to put together. I'd say I had it done in 45 minutes. Nothing too complicated and it came with all the tools you'll need.

    The App

    If you're dishing out cash for a spinning bike, there's a good chance you'll want to do some at-home classes. There are tons of free options on YouTube(Opens in a new tab), but I wanted the full at-home Peloton experience. A digital membership costs $12.99 per month(Opens in a new tab). It's a pretty good deal. You get access to live classes, a backlog of tons of cycling classes you can pull up anytime, as well as bootcamp classes, running, and yoga. Using the Peloton app, you can access the classes on any smart device, including a TV. (I've used it on both an iPad and an Amazon Fire tablet.)

    I think the app's biggest plus is its massive backlog of recorded classes. You can search for a class by hyper-specific requirements: length, type of music, instructor, type of workout, and more.

    If you've ever taken a spinning class, Peloton will feel familiar. It varies from instructor to instructor, but you can expect the usual barrage of ~motivational~ platitudes you'd get in a live class. One particularly bro-ish Peloton instructor I had kept misinterpreting lyrics to the songs he chose, which I found to be both funny and mildly annoying. A different instructor seemed to always bring up how she just missed out on the Olympics. If that's your jam, cool. I mostly tune out instructors beyond what they're telling me to do. Eventually, you'll find out if you have a favorite instructor though (shoutout to Cody Rigsby(Opens in a new tab), my fiancée's definite favorite.)

    Similarly, with time, you'll find the classes you like best. I gravitate toward interval-style workouts and rock music. But if you want, say, pop music and endurance workouts, you'll find those, too.

    The Workout

    The workout itself is always good. I leave every single Peloton class sweaty as all hell. They're really good spinning classes.

    But there's something missing. The DIY set-up makes it impossible to follow along with a Peloton cycle experience perfectly.

    The DIY set-up makes it impossible to follow along with a Peloton cycle experience perfectly.

    A real Peloton bike has specific measurements for resistance, cadence, and output. Obviously you don't get that with a DIY setup. But, with time, I started to get a feel for classes enough that I could equate my speed (measured by the analog display) to the cadence dictated by the instructor. I did the same with my resistance knob, keeping a good eye on where I had it set for different parts of rides. As long as you trust yourself to feel how hard you should be working, it's workable to use the DIY set-up paired with the digital membership.

    Will it be as good as the real deal? No. But it works just fine.

    The bike set-up from above. Yes, I stood on my bed to take this. Credit: Tim marcin / Mashable

    The Accessories

    If you want to get the most out of your DIY Peloton set-up, you'll likely have to spend a bit of dough on accessories. I'll walk through what we did — if you have multiple members of a household interested in this Peloton hack that definitely helps ease the cost — but how far you go is obviously up to you.

    A mat

    You'll almost certainly want a cycling mat. It helps protect your floor and dulls the noise you'll make while pedaling. We bought this mat(Opens in a new tab) (it's currently out of stock) for $29 on Amazon and it works great. It's 64-inches by about 37-inches. If space is a priority in your set-up, we tucked our bike behind an in-swinging door and we don't need any space beyond the mat's dimensions.

    The pedals and shoes

    OK, so here's where you may incur another pretty major cost. The pedals that come standard for the Cyclace are to be worn with normal athletic shoes. If you've ever taken a spin class, you know that the clip-in cycling shoe offers a better experience.

    Is it absolutely necessary? No. But I enjoy it much better than the sneaker-experience, which feels more like a trudging, old-school stationary bike experience to me. We bought Shimano, clip-in pedals that cost $50(Opens in a new tab). They were simple to install on the Cyclace, using the same exact method as the standard pedal.

    The pedals. Credit: Amazon / Shimano

    The problem is, once you get clip-in pedals... you need clip-in cycling shoes. That meant, for me, shelling out $85 for a pair of cycling shoes(Opens in a new tab) and $12 for a set of cleats(Opens in a new tab). All-in-all an extra $97. Woof.

    To be fair, a cycling class at SoulCycle costs more than $30 and you have to pay extra each time to rent cycling shoes. At least now — if I ever feel comfortable going back to a studio — I won't have to pay for shoes.

    My cycling shoes. Credit: Amazon / Tommaso

    And again, to be clear, the shoes and pedals aren't necessary for a good workout. But I felt they were a worthy investment if I planned to use the bike a lot.


    I pretty much only do weight-free classes. I'm cycling for the cardio and have always found the weight sections of classes annoying. But if you want to do classes with weights — my fiancée does from time-to-time — you can always use household items or go for a set like this(Opens in a new tab), which we got for $29. It's worth noting, though, that weights are out of stock all over the internet. So maybe count on the household item route if you don't own weights already.

    Our weights. Credit: Amazon

    The Overall

    The DIY Peloton isn't perfect. But if it were, it would cost more than $2,000. It is quite good, however, and a comparatively cheap way to have a nice at-home spinning experience.

    If you're one person buying my exact set-up it'll run you about $587. That includes the bike, new pedals, cycling shoes, cleats, a mat, a set of weights, and one month of Peloton digital. However, you can usually get a month trial of the app for free.

    For comparison's sake, a Peloton package(Opens in a new tab) that includes the bike, a pair of shoes, two weights, earbuds, a mat, a heart rate monitor, but no membership costs $2,494.

    And let's be real: 30 minutes into a 45-minute ride, it doesn't matter all that much which bike you're using. You're going to be sweating your ass off. That's really all that matters.

    I love that I can roll out of bed in the morning, stumble over to the bike, and log a hard workout before signing on to work. For a few blissful minutes, while cooped up in the home, my focus lies entirely on pushing the pedals. Everything else is gone but me and the bike. That's a godsend during a pandemic.

    Related Video: Exercise equipment that helps you work out while working from home

  • 8 actually good things about dating in 2020, so far

    8 actually good things about dating in 2020, so far

    When I reflected on the past decade of dating at the end of 2019, none of us had any idea what was in store for us at the start of this year.


    Take your mind on a journey back to the far-off time of last year. Dating was still considered to be a bad time by many. Online dating and apps — now the most popular way couples meet(Opens in a new tab) — had long been blamed for hookup culture and fostering an environment where ghosting ran amok. If people (by and large men) weren't ghosting, then they were probably sending messages horrible enough to warrant public shaming(Opens in a new tab).

    Tinder and apps like it ushered in the "dating apocalypse," so argued the now-famous Vanity Fair (Opens in a new tab)article of the same name(Opens in a new tab) that cited reasons like those above.

    To that I now say: Well, at least I was able to perpetuate hook-up culture without wearing a mask or worrying about infecting myself, my date, and every other human that came within six feet of us.

    SEE ALSO: Inside the astrology dating app with a feature queer users love

    Not only is online dating now the only safe way to date during the pandemic, but online dating norms themselves have shifted quickly in this strange time. Some might believe these pandemic-induced changes have ushered in an entirely new dating apocalypse, one where masked sex is common and everyone is aggressively horny.

    Yes, there are some aspects of quarantine dating — quardating, if you will — that thoroughly suck. We must either opt for virtual dates or date with masks on, struggling to hear the other person's muffled voice. We may have nothing on our minds but coronavirus and massive social unrest, making the usual light chit chat exhaustingly difficult. We may sanitize our hands every half hour. Despite these setbacks, however, I'd argue that there are some major pluses to quardating:

    Weeding out people who aren't interested

    It's arguably never been easier to decipher who's interested in you and who isn't. If someone isn't responding to your Bumble messages when they may be at home all day (or, if they're not, at least not going out like they used to) well, you have your answer about how they feel about you.

    While that initial realization may sting, this is actually a huge boon. Now you don't have to pursue — or god forbid, clown for — someone who would engage a bit more if you were talking in the Before Times, but would ultimately leave you hanging.

    Related Video: How to go on a virtual date during the coronavirus pandemic

    A legitimate excuse to stop talking to someone

    On the flip side, you also don't need to continue talking to someone that you're not interested in, either. I'd never recommend ghosting unless the person in question is an asshole who warrants getting fully cut-off, but you can truly be honest with whomever you're speaking to. Has the state of the world made you not so into dating right now? Are you anxious, depressed? Any excuse for not being into someone is a valid one, but these are especially easy to understand. And the other person may feel the exact same way!

    If you don't want to speak to strangers right now, it's more than warranted to take a break from dating.

    Everything is going slower

    If you do want to date, one advantage is needing to take things slower. This goes along with weeding unworthy people out. If they're just interested in a hookup, they'll move on if you suggest a FaceTime date.

    Dating in New York City, especially, has been an experience of weaving through profiles and subsequently actual dates with people who just want to have sex. That's not a bad thing — I've been that person myself — but for someone looking for something a bit more serious, now's the time where it's not only smart to take things slow, but you could save lives while doing it.

    dating slower during quarantine Credit: vicky leta / mashable

    No need to worry about how you look

    Well, kind of. First off, you never "have" to care about how you look, but it's likely during the Before Times that you wanted to make a good first impression. Now you can do that without putting in as much effort, and without worrying about, say, how you smell. If you're doing a FaceTime or Zoom date, for instance, you can go pants-less. If you're sticking to text or voice calls, you can be in sweats and they have no idea. A new luxury.

    All the money you're saving

    This one is pretty self-explanatory, but virtual dates and even social-distanced dates are less expensive than dates of yore. In New York City, a date that involves dinner and a couple drinks can add up fast— never mind the cost of the Lyft home.

    A date that's literally at home, or at least at a park with a couple bodega beers? Much less costly.

    Immediate common ground

    We all share aspects of the human experience to begin with, but sometimes a potential date is so unlike you that there's nothing to talk about. Not anymore! I'm not saying you should constantly talk about coronavirus or the increasing social unrest — in fact, you probably shouldn't — but those topics are a way to establish common ground. And if you're not thrilled with how someone is handling either, you can swiftly drop them. That dude who doesn't wear his mask over his nose? Bye!

    The excitement of meeting in person

    Quardating has felt like an 18th-century courtship, sending letters to a far-off, would-be lover in hopes of getting one in return. Or better yet, finally seeing that lover in person. Now that actually meeting up is a much more significant step than before, you'll likely be choosier and save the occasion for someone you really like. Instead of agreeing to meet up with someone you exchanged a few Tinder messages with, you're curating in-person dates much more finely. That makes actually meeting someone that much more exciting.

    Quardating has felt like an 18th-century courtship

    Reason for clear communication

    Online dating has made "situationships" more pervasive than ever before. I won't go so far as to say that the pandemic has completely eliminated that aspect of modern dating for good, but it's shelved, at least. If you're concerned with being as safe as possible (which you should be, hello?), you're going to keep your circle small and only see a few people in person. This means DTRing, or at least having uncomfortable conversations, early. That, I hope, lasts after the coronavirus is long over.

    It's unclear just how much dating will change in a post-coronavirus world; even futurists can't say for certain. Hopefully, like greater societal change, some of these positive aspects of dating stick.

  • Let night owls be night owls: How the pandemic could dethrone the larks

    Let night owls be night owls: How the pandemic could dethrone the larks

    When the light starts to fade in the evening is when I start feeling it. A rush of heightened awareness, a palpable sense of increased IQ, like my brain is a Sim City growing on fast forward. Daytime's rural village of slow-talking neurons explodes into a bustling metropolis full of taxis, neon signs, and hot jazz. The sundown rush, I can confirm after years of experimentation, is unrelated to anything I might have imbibed, inhaled, or ingested. If anything, it feels like my morning coffee fully, finally, kicked in.


    Science is just waking up to why this might be a feature of my brain I can't and shouldn't try to change, at least not until I reach old age. No matter how many times we set the alarm early, or read books with hopeful and masochistic titles like The 5 a.m. Miracle: Dominate Your Day Before Breakfast(Opens in a new tab), around one in five of us will never not be cranky and hard to rev up in the mornings.

    Now, in 2020, with the coronavirus pandemic upending work schedules and managers unsure how to respond (some more hands-off, some intensely micromanaging(Opens in a new tab)), the time is right for society to stop shaming this minority for operating when we are most productive. We can stop forcing people into cookie-cutter schedules that are literally, quantifiably killing them. Maybe, just maybe, we can come out of the closet as proud and fully-fledged creatures of the night.

    The evidence is on our side, thanks to a growing mound of research into circadian rhythms and "chronotypes(Opens in a new tab)." These internal clocks, written in our DNA (specifically this gene(Opens in a new tab)), enforced by brain chemicals like melatonin, have been shown by sleep studies and questionnaires(Opens in a new tab) to slot into one of four types. About half of the population just wakes and sleeps with the sun, no problem; another 20 percent are the "dominate before breakfast" extremists known as larks. Ten percent are light sleepers who ramp up in the late morning or early afternoon.

    And then there's the 20 percent segment I fall into, the evening brains. Some scientists call this chronotype "wolves"; the culture dubs us night owls. Call us what you want, just don't call us early for breakfast.

    It is us night owls who kept the rest of you safe for 99 percent of human evolution

    Having a diverse mix of chronotypes makes evolutionary sense. Back in 1966, a pioneer in sleep research and mental disorders named Fredrick Snyder proposed something called "sentinel theory: "any animal that lives in groups should have at least some of that group who are happy to stand guard in the dark while the majority sleep.

    Sentinel theory wasn't confirmed in humans until 2017, when researchers stuck Fitbit-like sleep trackers on members of a hunter-gatherer tribe in Tanzania, some of the best representatives of humanity's natural state. Over the entire 20 nights of the study, published by the Royal Society(Opens in a new tab), guess how long the entire tribe was asleep at the same time? Just 18 minutes.

    Chronotypes in modern populations "represent a legacy of natural selection acting in the past to reduce the dangers of sleep," the authors conclude. Translation: It is us night owls who kept the rest of you safe for 99 percent of human evolution, spotting the sabertooth tigers long before they ripped the tribe apart. You're welcome.

    The coup of the larks

    Then came the Industrial Revolution — or as we should perhaps start calling it, the coup of the larks. Productivity in factories was tied to daylight, so lark industrialists thrived and dictated terms. The earlier workers started using their expensive machines, the better. The rise of coffee and tea from the 18th century onwards allowed workers to artificially alter their schedules, and boy did they need to. Caffeine is now "the world's most popular psychoactive chemical," as Michael Pollan points out in his excellent Audible original Caffeine(Opens in a new tab), "and the only one we routinely give to children" even as it leads to a crisis of sleep and addiction. Caffeine withdrawal is literally listed(Opens in a new tab) in the psychologist's bible, the DSM, as an official mental disorder.

    The 20th century was the heyday of the larks. Their reign of misery was extended by Daylight Savings Time, which that supreme lark Ben Franklin(Opens in a new tab) had first proposed as a joke because it would save money on candles. It was first instituted by Germany's Kaiser in World War I before the UK and U.S. followed suit. Meanwhile, the phrase "nine to five" to describe office working hours dates to 1927(Opens in a new tab), 53 years before Dolly Parton immortalized it in song and movie. Around the world, millions of us began to forget that there had ever been, or could ever be, another schedule.

    But our bodies remembered, and they keep trying to warn us. A 2018 study(Opens in a new tab) that looked at health data for 433,000 people in the UK over a 6.5-year period found that self-described "evening people" were 10 percent more likely to die than "morning people." The study's authors were careful to warn(Opens in a new tab) that correlation is not causation. But every night owl who has tossed and turned until 3 a.m., then dragged themselves out of bed at the alarm four hours later, feels the raggedy-ass truth of it.

    The saddest part of this state of affairs is the extent to which we night owls have internalized the criticism. Over and over we hear the voices of our mothers warning us not to waste "the best part of the day," or that puritan proverb(Opens in a new tab) about the early bird and the worm. We berate ourselves for not being able to stitch our consciousness together fast enough for that morning meeting. The childfree night owl sees her friends' kids forcing them into a 6 a.m. start time and thinks: Surely I can do that too.

    And at the other end of the day, we think twice about sending an email with a 12:30 a.m. timestamp, perhaps using Gmail's scheduling feature(Opens in a new tab) to hide our chronotype. (Larks, of course, never get called out for their 5 a.m. emails.) A Guardian feature(Opens in a new tab) on owls who have to hide their night lights under a bushel quoted one who'd been called out by a friend for texting to ask about her coronavirus recovery: "Jeez, it was only 11:19 p.m."

    It is true, of course, that technology muddies the waters. Screens bombard all chronotypes with brain-wakening blue light. My wife, a natural lark who often declares with a note of surprise around 9 p.m. that she is "a bit tired," can still sometimes be found watching Netflix or sitting up in bed glued to Facebook three hours later. Perhaps this is why lark managers still can't quite grok night owl workers: They assume we're just not disciplined enough about turning off smartphones early.

    What few will understand is the sheer joy of the midnight hour — when the world is asleep, you can finally hear yourself think. Words flow more easily, plans are easier to make, projects demand to be cranked through, whether on paper or on screen. Companies that embrace flexible schedules, like these 75 types of job already do(Opens in a new tab), could harness new productivity from a fifth of their workers.

    We've already shown we can be flexible on sleep schedules in the more enlightened 21st century. A growing number of schools are embracing the new scientific consensus on teenagers, who need roughly 10 hours of sleep a night for their growing bodies, and starting classes as late as 10 a.m. There's no reason we can't do the same for night owls, especially remote working ones.

    SEE ALSO: Core meditation trainer review: The orb, it works!

    Paul Kelley, the Oxford neuroscientist who helped push that 10 a.m. recommendation via his Teensleep(Opens in a new tab) project, also says people in the workforce under 55 should have the same option. "We cannot change our 24 hour rhythms," he insisted at a science festival in 2015. "You cannot learn to get up at a certain time." In his 2019 book Body Clocks(Opens in a new tab), Kelley advised CEOs to "let people have a choice and see what happens," and to only schedule meetings for afternoons.

    Since so many schedules are in flux right now, this is the perfect time for night owls to step out of the closet and help set this principle in stone. And if flexible work schedules are a step too far for a corporate environment, even in the coronavirus era? Then managers can at least allow their charges to front-load their days with the quietest part of the work, and avoid meetings where possible. Let the immortal words of incurable night owl Chief Hopper, from Stranger Things episode 1, be your guide:

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Night owls of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your morning shifts.

  • 18 tweets for people who have no concept of time anymore

    18 tweets for people who have no concept of time anymore

    Do you know what day it is? How about what time it is? No? That's OK! Neither do I. All I know for sure is that it's the year 2020, and everything feels never-ending.


    If you've lost all concept of time or frequently have trouble remembering what day of the week it is — let alone when to eat food, drink alcohol, or stop working — you're not alone.

    Living the quarantine life, consuming a painful amount of news every day, and having essentially no use for 2020 planners has really messed with people's heads. So if you're one of the many people who can no longer comprehend time, here are 18 extremely relatable tweets to comfort you.

    1. TFW you don't know what time it is but you know you need more

    2. Thoughts on a reward system?

    SEE ALSO: 20 tweets that perfectly sum up 2020 so far

    3. Can't believe March was 40 years ago

    4. Are the results in yet?

    5. It's just 2020

    6. Who has time for laundry though?

    7. This thread proves every day is a concept now

    8. We're trying

    9. At least Wine O'Clock still exists

    10. Proof that time goes on

    11. Today is Thursday

    12. Maybe we just stop trying to remember?

    13. It's always bath o'clock, Busy

    14. What food is next

    15. Listen to Siri

    16. Light and dark

    17. "Burn" hits different in 2020

    18. Today is always today

    Hope you all have a great whatever day it is today.

Random articles


  • 10 best places to find dating, sex, and relationship advice

    10 best places to find dating, sex, and relationship advice

    For many people, dating can feel like one of the most challenging things in the entire world, to put it bluntly.


    Modern-day technology has changed the game. The explosion of dating apps, from Tinder and eHarmony, offer seemingly endless options. But with this new convenience comes the stress of creating the perfect online dating profile, the tricky game of messaging a person you've never met, and a whole host of other complex issues. And, as if dating wasn't hard enough already, the single people of the world now have to do it with the added stress of safely navigating a global pandemic.

    But you are not alone! The dating world is challenging ... which is why a bunch of helpful dating resources exist. It's totally OK to seek out help from experts, books, advice columns, apps, podcasts, and more.

    It can be hard to sort through all the bad dating advice out there and find the good stuff that can actually help you navigate your way to a successful relationship. That's why we've compiled this list outlining 10 ways to find the best dating, sex, and relationship advice.

    1. Therapy and dating advice apps

    If you're searching for some professional advice, or just looking for someone to open up to, consider using a therapy or dating advice app.

    Mashable has researched seven of the best therapy apps available for download, which include Talkspace(Opens in a new tab) and 7 Cups(Opens in a new tab). Other apps, like Relish(Opens in a new tab), ReGain(Opens in a new tab), and Mindsail,(Opens in a new tab) offer dating and relationship-focused coaching and counseling.

    2. Online sex ed resources

    Emotional intimacy is one thing, but for many people physically intimacy with a new person is daunting. It's a big part of any romantic relationship, but it's not something everyone has a lot of experience in. That's why it's important to have trusted sex ed resources on hand. Sex advice is especially beneficial for young people who might not feel comfortable asking others for help.

    As part of Mashable's Sex Ed 2.0 series, we published this list of 20 sex ed resources — from apps like Tabú(Opens in a new tab) and Real Talk(Opens in a new tab) to organizations such as Get Smart b4 U Get Sexy(Opens in a new tab) and TIA(Opens in a new tab) — that you can access online.

    3. Advice columns

    Sometimes the best dating advice comes from asking a seasoned advice-giver about your specific situation. Online columns are perfect for this approach. You can submit your own questions in hopes of receiving a response; you can also learn a lot just by reading responses to other people.

    There are a bunch of great general and dating-specific advice columns out there. Here are a few to get you started.

    • "Dear Prudence," Slate(Opens in a new tab)

    • "Ask Polly," (Opens in a new tab)The Cut(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    • Carolyn Hax, Washington Post(Opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    • "Ask Amy,"(Opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)Chicago Tribune(Opens in a new tab)

    • "(Opens in a new tab)Social Q's," (Opens in a new tab)New York Times(Opens in a new tab)

    • "Asking for a Friend," The Nation(Opens in a new tab)

    • Captain Awkward(Opens in a new tab)

    4. Expert-run websites

    Some people prefer a more expansive selection of resources that are specifically focused on the dating game. That's where expert-run websites come in handy.

    Often, individual therapists, authors, speakers, and or life/relationship coaches — such as Gigi Engel(Opens in a new tab), Esther Perel(Opens in a new tab), and Hayley Quinn(Opens in a new tab) — have websites that not only keep you up-to-date on their work, but also include online resources and blogs for you to check out. Psychology Today(Opens in a new tab) has a "Dating and Mating" category that focuses on "the social psychology of attraction and romantic relationships."

    You can also browse your favorite dating site or dating app for answers to your burning questions. Some apps, like Hinge(Opens in a new tab), offer ideas on ways to make your online dating experience more enjoyable and also to make your dating profile more effective.

    Related Video: How to go on a virtual date during the coronavirus pandemic

    5. Texting services for teens

    As part of Mashable's Sex Ed 2.0 series, we also looked into helpful digital tools that teens can use to ask sex ed questions or seek guidance related to serious relationship topics, such as unplanned pregnancies. Here are three noteworthy services.

    • Planned Parenthood's Chat/Text Program(Opens in a new tab): A team of trained health educators are available online and via text from morning to night(Opens in a new tab) to advise on questions related to pregnancy, birth control, abortion, sex, health and wellness, and sexually transmitted infections.

    A look at Planned Parenthood's chat program. Credit: screengrab /
    • Jane's Due Process(Opens in a new tab): This nonprofit organization works to help minors in Texas answer questions about how to access birth control or have an abortion. Jane's Due Process also provides free attorneys to young people who need assistance with the abortion process.

    • Planned Parenthood's Roo: If you're 13 or older, you can also reach out to Planned Parenthood's chatbot, Roo,(Opens in a new tab) to privately ask questions about bodies, sex, and relationships. Roo is available 24/7 to answer everything from "How do I tell someone I like them?" to "Does it hurt to have sex for the first time?" and more.

    6. YouTube videos

    If there's an expert that you particularly admire, such as Esther Perel, try searching YouTube for some helpful videos. Perel, for example, has her own YouTube channel(Opens in a new tab) where she holds Q&A sessions, gives relationship advice, and more. But there are also a variety of videos, including several TED Talks(Opens in a new tab), that feature her speaking on the site.

    YouTube is full of relationship advice if you search for it. Here are a few suggestions.

    • Anna Akana(Opens in a new tab): YouTuber, actress, comedian, and author Anna Akana has a fun channel that she uses to share relationship advice. She's made videos to address everything from sexting(Opens in a new tab) and bad relationship behaviors(Opens in a new tab) to dating profiles(Opens in a new tab) and more.

    • Stephan Speaks(Opens in a new tab): Dating/relationship expert and life coach Stephan Labossiere(Opens in a new tab) uses his YouTube channel to give advice on finding a life partner, intimacy, and dating.

    • Matthew Hussey(Opens in a new tab): You may know Hussey as a dating coach, the author of Get the Guy(Opens in a new tab), or a matchmaker from NBC's 2013 series Ready for Love, but Hussey also has a YouTube channel where he regularly uploads videos full of tips and advice on dating, communicating, and more.

    • AMAZE(Opens in a new tab): This animated YouTube series was created to answer questions from teens and help them learn about relationships and sex ed.

    • lacigreen(Opens in a new tab): Online sex educator (and author of Sex Plus(Opens in a new tab)) Laci Green's YouTube channel is here to break down and talk you through everything from masturbating and orgasms, to consent, genders, and more. Though Green announced a break from YouTube a few months ago, her videos remain and are a great starting point for anyone who wants to learn.

    7. Dating advice podcasts

    Reading advice columns or talking to other people about your personal life isn't for everyone. If you prefer to sit back and listen to other people discuss their own experiences, give dating-related podcasts a try. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:

    • Dear Prudence(Opens in a new tab)

    • Why Won't You Date Me?(Opens in a new tab)

    • Dating Sucks(Opens in a new tab)

    • Ghost Stories: A Podcast by Hinge(Opens in a new tab)

    • Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel(Opens in a new tab)

    • Anna Faris Is Unqualified(Opens in a new tab)

    • Love Is Like a Plant(Opens in a new tab)

    • Paging Dr. Nerdlove(Opens in a new tab)

    • Relationship Advice(Opens in a new tab)

    • Dear Sugars(Opens in a new tab)

    • Modern Love(Opens in a new tab)

    8. Dating and relationship books

    If you'd rather learn about online dating, sex, and how to have a better relationship offline, allow the internet to steer you in the direction of some helpful books on those topics. Here are some online suggestions for the best offline reading material. And remember, you can always dig through lists, like Amazon's Dating Best Sellers(Opens in a new tab), for additional guidance.

    • Why Men Love Bitches(Opens in a new tab) by Sherry Argov

    • Relationship Goals: How to Win at Dating, Marriage, and Sex(Opens in a new tab) by Michael Todd

    • Meeting Your Half-Orange(Opens in a new tab) by Amy Spencer

    • How to Date Men When You Hate Men(Opens in a new tab) by Blythe Roberson

    • All the F*cking Mistakes(Opens in a new tab): A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life(Opens in a new tab) by Gigi Engle

    • Ask a Queer Chick: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life for Girls Who Dig Girls(Opens in a new tab) by Lindsay King-Miller

    9. Sex, relationship, and dating advice subreddits

    If you're not looking for advice from actual experts, Reddit may be the perfect place for you. There are a bunch of subreddits — such as r/relationship_advice(Opens in a new tab), r/relationships(Opens in a new tab), r/dating_advice(Opens in a new tab), r/dating(Opens in a new tab), r/sex(Opens in a new tab), and r/BreakUps(Opens in a new tab) —where you can converse with other Reddit users and share personal experiences or questions you have related to dating, sex, and relationships.

    There are also more general advice subreddits like r/Advice(Opens in a new tab), r/AskReddit(Opens in a new tab), r/CasualConversation(Opens in a new tab) and r/TooAfraidToAsk(Opens in a new tab) where you can go to ask any questions you have. If you're looking to discuss a specific topic that isn't listed here, you can always search the platform, browse the directory(Opens in a new tab), or hop into r/findareddit(Opens in a new tab) to ask for guidance.

    10. A few unlikely sources

    If you ever feel like you've reached complete dating scene overload and need to take a step back and regroup, try checking out some lighthearted, unlikely sources of wisdom.

    See what astrology apps like Co-Star(Opens in a new tab) have to say about your love life; binge some dating-related TikToks; watch movies or TV shows that focus heavily on dating; search for some unqualified celebrity advice(Opens in a new tab); or check out r/AmItheAsshole(Opens in a new tab) to focus on other people's relationships and learn what not to do.

    Whether you're a single person who wants to enrich your dating life, someone looking to turn a first date into a second date or you're a couple who fell in love at first sight and now need to turn it into a long-lasting and healthy relationship, there's no shame in asking for help. Love takes some serious effort to maintain, and while these resources can go a long way, it's important to take time for yourself, too, and remember not to stress. Good luck out there, everyone.

  • The soothing relatability of Emily Mariko, TikToks latest food influencer

    The soothing relatability of Emily Mariko, TikToks latest food influencer

    Viral food, in general, falls into a few, readily identifiable categories. There's your run-of-the-mill kitchen hack — think air fried eggs. There's your viral, stunty food that's entrancingly weird, like the bell pepper sandwich(Opens in a new tab) craze. And then there's, for lack of a better term, professional food. Stuff like Alison Roman's chocolate chunk shortbreads that were known simply(Opens in a new tab) as The Cookies or the entire aspirational account of TikTok influencer @Sad_Papi(Opens in a new tab), a remarkably chill fine dining chef.


    Then there's Emily Mariko, a wildly — and increasingly — popular food influencer on TikTok. There's nothing all that difficult about her food — her most famous dish involves reheated rice, leftover salmon, and seaweed wrappers. She's not pitching a diet. She's not doing anything stunty or putting off bug-eyed, pick-me energy like men who're budding influencers. Hell, she hardly even talks in most TikToks and went super viral for leftovers.

    SEE ALSO: The best arifryers

    And yet, Emily Mariko is the food internet's latest Thing. She's racked up 2.5 million followers on TikTok, primarily posting aesthetic, if relatively uncomplicated, meals. The Bay Area creator(Opens in a new tab) added nearly 1 million followers in the last couple of days alone. She is the queen of soothing, approachable food. Stuff that makes you go, all at once:

    • Wow she did a great job making that

    • Why do I feel calm?

    • Fuck, that looks good, why am I so hungry

    • I should live like that

    Here, watch her most popular TikTok(Opens in a new tab), which soared past 30 million views. It's leftover salmon, fork-pulled, topped with a heap of white rice then reheated — importantly — with an ice cube and parchment sheet that will steam the food back to life. Then everything was mixed up with kewpie mayo, soy sauce, and sriracha, topped with avocado and eaten with strips of seaweed and jarred kimchi.

    Watch as Mariko takes(Opens in a new tab) a big bite, seaweed making a small crunch, and a self-satisfied smile settles ear to ear. I want my lunch to do that.

    THE recipe. Credit: screenshots: tiktok / @emilymariko

    This is not picture perfect food. But it's weirdly, pardon my French here, fucking entrancing.

    Everyone seems to feel this way. Scroll through your For You page (FYP) and be greeted by people either making Emily Mariko dishes or people wondering why they love Emily Mariko, or TikToks that are referencing her(Opens in a new tab) without even actually referencing her.

    Here, watch this(Opens in a new tab), and this(Opens in a new tab), and this(Opens in a new tab). Everyone is talking about her.

    Hell, TikTok itself is posting about her.

    Mashable reached out to Mariko through multiple avenues but she did not respond to a request for an interview.

    Jump around Mariko's account and you're greeted by a mix of the nearly mundane but soothingly organized. Every thing has its place and every place has its thing. The homemade(Opens in a new tab) strawberry syrup is tastefully jarred(Opens in a new tab), veggies are washed, prepped(Opens in a new tab), and tucked into containers(Opens in a new tab), carrots and cucumbers peeled ever-so-neatly.

    For people who like food — which is a lot of TikTok — Mariko's account is a respite from confident men-chef who (literally) slap their meat(Opens in a new tab), or people selling you diet culture, or yet another air fryer hack.

    Yes, the salmon and rice leftover lunch thing from Mariko looks tasty, but it's what she's perhaps unknowingly selling that really looks good. Her account is a window into a tasteful apartment where lunch is prepared but not meal prepped in the sense that there's boiled broccoli and steamed chicken. There's real flavor — sriracha and soy and salmon and, gasp fitness meal preppers, lovely clumps of white rice — but you can still microwave it. It all looks good as hell but it is not perfect or especially difficult.

    "Emily Mariko is living the adult life we should all be living," tweeted(Opens in a new tab) one person. And that's it. It's not aesthetic like some Instagram vacation, but her account shows a life that's put together if imperfect. It's good food, done well, and well-planned and my distracted as hell brain loves seeing what I could be, if only...

    I'm really digging down here, but even the way Mariko squeezes(Opens in a new tab) kewpie mayo — scrunching it in a clenched, awkward fist as if it's a snake wriggling away — would never make the cut in a TikTok promising fine dining. That's not what Mariko is giving you. The TikToks aren't super fast, as lots of people (mostly men) do on TikTok. They're paced like real life, as if we're voyeuristically watching someone enjoy their lunch break. It's a glance at the way we could live if we weren't too tired or sad or busy or whatever.

    Take this relatively simple avocado toast(Opens in a new tab) in a recent TikTok. Mariko toasts bread, smashes avocado, tops with a scrambled egg and sriracha. But there are little touches — a schmear of cream cheese, avocado that's well salted and folded into itself — that make it just surprising enough to be better than your average TikTok recipe. But it's just basic enough — it remains avocado toast, and a simple egg, and her iced coffee is poured into a tumbler, with no effort at making it pretty— that it feels relatable.

    It's like a scene in a TV show, where the tension breaks and you see a character do something deliberate and slow — like silently cook eggs(Opens in a new tab) — placing you into their life for just a moment. I could see myself actually making this before logging in to look at a screen for eight hours.

    I'm not sure Mariko will someday be a big Food Network star. It's tough to imagine her doing the whole loud and boisterous thing. But her TikTok and other social accounts are increasingly focused on all of her life. Her clothes(Opens in a new tab), her exercise(Opens in a new tab), her cleaning routine(Opens in a new tab).

    That adds up. Because who wouldn't like a soothing, deliberate life? One where everything is put away in its spot, where you eat good food but don't spend all day making it. One where you're just an ice cube and parchment sheet away from a big, relaxed, satisfied smile.

    Related video: Why are people so obsessed with cutting fruit on TikTok?

  • What is post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) and what do I need to know about it?

    What is post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD) and what do I need to know about it?

    As I try for the hundredth time to knock one out and inevitably fail miserably, I’m forced to remember that when taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), coming can feel like an Olympic sport. Feeling sticky and ashamed (and somewhat frustrated), I’m left with no other option than to pack away my toys and lubes, roll over and try to get some kip.

    According to NHS(Opens in a new tab) data, there are now nearly half a million more adults taking antidepressants than in 2021. So, know you're not alone. For many people prescribed antidepressants, they are a necessary and vital lifeline. They can be life-altering in the best way, but they can also produce side effects that are disheartening. 

    Sexual dysfunction and SSRIs can go hand in hand for folks like me. In fact, it's reported that nearly 100(Opens in a new tab) percent of people who take them experience some form of sexual side effects. When I stopped taking them, my enthusiasm and wanking vigour returned quickly, but for others, it can be a vastly different story. One shrouded in unshakeable shame.


    SEE ALSO: How do antidepressants affect your orgasms?

    What is post-SSRI sexual dysfunction, or PSSD?

    Post-SSRI sexual dysfunction, or PSSD, is something felt by people when they come off of antidepressants, (the exact number of those impacted is not known because so little research is done about it, partially due to "inconsistencies" from the medical community about how to diagnose it(Opens in a new tab), but the research that does exist tells us it's prevalent).

    While some people experience sexual side effects during taking SSRIs, PSSD is a condition which refers to a long-term condition impacting people who have stopped taking the medication.

    Experts like professor of psychology David Healy of Bangor University, and author of the journal Antidepressants and Sexual Dysfunction: A History,(Opens in a new tab) discuss the prevalence of the condition(Opens in a new tab), stating that: "10 percent of people of sexually active years in developed countries are on antidepressants chronically. Nearly 20 percent of the population, therefore, may not be able to make love the way they want." He goes on to explain that in some deprived areas, the figure may be much higher. He also identifies that those who seek to comfort themselves with the thought of post-treatment normality, those prescribed SSRIs might be sorely disappointed, saying that; "...they may be even less able to function."

    Per(Opens in a new tab) Healy's paper: "The core features of the condition are genital numbing, loss or muting of orgasm and loss of libido. But many are just as concerned by additional features like emotional numbing or derealisation." PSSD was first reported in medical literature in 2006, despite people with the syndrome reporting(Opens in a new tab) symptoms to regulators since 1999.

    In almost all cases, people who suffer from PSSD have experienced some form of sexual dysfunction while taking antidepressant medication in addition to after they stop. "It's very important that people understand what it is, recognise it as soon as possible and understand the complexity of it," Alessio Rizzo, certified psychotherapist, tells Mashable. "SSRI sexual dysfunction is one of the leading reasons people stop taking antidepressant medication which can lead to worsening symptoms alongside withdrawal."

    Who is most affected by PSSD?

    The truth is, anyone can be affected by PSSD because anyone can be affected by sexual dysfunction.

    "We know that it seems to affect every sex, and every age, every ethnicity, so it doesn't seem to be linked to any of the usual parameters that we consider," Rizzo says.

    Rizzo explains that people who are more at risk of depression and anxiety, like those in the LGBTQ community, are not destined for mental illness, but may find themselves more likely to develop illnesses like depression and anxiety(Opens in a new tab). "We must be careful not to pathologise dysfunction as an LGBTQ and sexual abuse survivor only problem," he adds, "because it can stop people who do not identify with these two experiences from seeking help."

    SEE ALSO: Being bisexual can impact your mental health. Here's what you can do about it.

    Around 30-50 percent of people experience mild forms of sexual dysfunction(Opens in a new tab) before taking antidepressants, which means that they could find pre-existing symptoms exacerbated by medication. It could also mean that something else is causing the dysregulation of the sexual response cycle (the connection between desire and arousal, excitement, orgasm and resolution), like pain, sensitivity and past trauma. Collectively, these are known as predispositions. 

    Sexual dysfunction of any kind can be a tremendously isolating experience.

    This is why approaching a healing process in a holistic nature is important. While medications can help with mood stabilisation, talk therapies like CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) can help to support healing by modifying thought pathways(Opens in a new tab) (this is called neuroplasticity, and it describes altering chemically embedded behaviours in our brain). Therefore, people with pre-existing symptoms, or who are predisposed to sexual dysfunction, can get to the bottom of what’s disrupting their pleasure response cycle and confront it in a safe environment.

    For many people, talking about sex is closely followed by feelings of shame. We also need to remember that there is a cultural stigma surrounding mental health and sex, making it even harder for some to talk about or admit to having a problem. A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found that young people are especially likely to experience shame(Opens in a new tab) when discussing any form of sexual experience — let alone one that involves problems. 

    As such, sexual dysfunction of any kind can be a tremendously isolating experience, leaving people grasping at straws and feeling a lot of internal turmoil. All this is made worse by the cycle of depression and anxiety slowly eating away at any form of self-esteem. 

    SEE ALSO: Men need to talk about sex differently. Here's how.

    SSRIs increase serotonin levels in the brain, which has a knock-on effect on the anatomical structures of our reproductive system(Opens in a new tab). Effects of this include being unable to maintain or produce an erection to vaginal dryness, ejaculation, and anorgasmia (absence of orgasm). This is, impart, because SSRIs inhibit nitric oxide production(Opens in a new tab), which greatly affects the way the body relaxes, and actively prevents blood from reaching the genitals.

    PSSD is a serious condition and it causes distress. There is currently no treatment for PSSD. The syndrome is not widely understood or agreed upon by researchers as to how it comes about. It is suggested that only future research(Opens in a new tab) holds the answer and that it could lie in those who do not develop PSSD, but only time will tell if this is the case.

    UPDATE: Dec. 2, 2022, 9:48 a.m. CET This post has been updated.

  • Biden trolls Trump on his COVID failures with a fake error page

    Biden trolls Trump on his COVID failures with a fake error page

    Take a quick jaunt over to in a new tab), and you'll get what, at first, seems like an error message.


    "Not Found," the site reads, quite similarly to a 404 error page. "The Trump plan to defeat the Coronavirus and reopen safely does not exist," the error message reads.

    Start clicking, though, and you'll quickly realize the site is a clever play from the Biden team. Former Vice President Joe Biden himself tweeted out the website on Friday, writing(Opens in a new tab): "After eight months of this pandemic, we finally found President Trump's plan to beat COVID-19."

    The point is obvious: The Trump administration has no plan.

    The faux error message. Credit: Screenshot /

    But when you click Learn More(Opens in a new tab) on the page, the Biden team created a slide show of sorts. As you click through, it juxtaposes President Donald Trump's statements about the virus with the number of deaths.

    "They are dying(Opens in a new tab), that's true. And you have — it is what it is," reads a slide that has the death count at more than 150,000, for instance.

    Just one sample of the slideshow. Credit: SCreenshot /

    Biden has repeatedly criticized Trump's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, including at Thursday's presidential debate. The former VP again and again said Trump had no plan even as more than 220,000 Americans(Opens in a new tab) died.

    "Anybody that is responsible for that many deaths should not remain president of the United States," Biden said at the debate.

    As you click "next" on the Biden website, a series of damning quotes from President Trump about the COVID pandemic appear, alongside the number of people who had died from the virus when they were said.

    While it at first seems like kind of a silly troll, it ends up being a stark reminder of what Trump's lack of a plan has cost us in real terms.

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

  • Everything you need for an awesome virtual office Halloween party

    Everything you need for an awesome virtual office Halloween party

    You Got This is a series that spotlights the gear you need to improve one area of your life. If you buy something from this post, we may earn an affiliate commission.


    Halloween celebrates the good kind of scary. And while the office Halloween party is likely happening virtually rather than face-to-face this year, it's still a great time to relax with coworkers.

    Walmart(Opens in a new tab) is your one stop shop for all your Halloween needs, with plenty of gear for your online spook fest:

    Style your own look

    Feeling crafty and want to show off your skills to the office? Style your own fantasy-style look with this makeup kit, and be the queen or king of the video chat.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Style your own look with this wet n wild Fairy Fantasy Halloween Character Bundle for $11.89 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Cross someone's path

    Black cats get no respect most of the year, but Halloween is their time! Cross anyone's path, and they'll have seven years' bad luck (or so you can tell them).

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: RUBIE'S
    Get 9 Spooky Lives with this Rubie's Plush Cat Head Cosplay Halloween Costume Accessory for $11.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Become the office superhero

    Okay, we know superheroes abound in Halloween season, but this one's the real deal—for many of us, anyway. A dude in a cape can help sometimes, but to-go coffee is the hero we need every morning.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Be a hero with this Coffee to Go Cup Halloween Costume for $39.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Give passers-by a surprise scare

    Spooky Halloween decorations are always better when they can move—and this skeleton has your surprise scares covered.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: FORUM
    Surprise your guests with this Shaking & Talking Cocoon Prop Halloween Decoration for $30.63 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Rule the dinos and impress your office crush

    Just imagine—your office crush sees Phil from IT dressed as a velociraptor at the virtual Halloween party. Impressive? Not when you show up as T-Rex. Game over, Phil.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Rule the office dinos with this Jurassic World T-Rex Adult Inflatable Costume for $49.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Power up with your favorite gaming icon

    We're not implying you've been gaming more than usual these past few months—but if you have, you're in good company. Make your fellow gamers smile with this costume, but watch out if your boss comes dressed as Bowser.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Power up the virtual party with this Disguise Super Mario Brothers Adult Mario Riding Yoshi Inflatable Halloween Costume for $49.83 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Stock up on the real Halloween essentials

    Virtual or not, you have to have one thing at your office Halloween party: candy. This delicious assortment comes in a pumpkin bowl.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Chow down with Hershey, Halloween Assorted Pumpkin Bowl Miniatures Candy, 160 Ct. for $23.98 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

    Make sure it's Halloween with this classic treat

    And is it really Halloween without a few dozen of these treats? Your coworkers will be jealous.

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: Walmart
    Enjoy a classic Halloween treat with a Classic Candy Corn Treat Size Bag 37.5 Oz for $9.99 (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab) (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

  • "Are You Smart?" TikTokker LaRon Hines is a sneakerhead with heart eyes for Chlöe

    "Are You Smart?" TikTokker LaRon Hines is a sneakerhead with heart eyes for Chlöe Bailey

    You may know La'Ron Hines best as a TikTokker who asks preschoolers "are you smart?" before challenging them to answer a history or science question they then proceed to reply to nonsensically. When the pandemic hit, he left Los Angeles and went home to Mississippi to help his mom out at her daycare center, where his "Are You Smart?" series was born. Now, sitting pretty at more than 9 million followers, Hines's TikTok fame has taken him to the Golden Globes(Opens in a new tab) and MTV's Wild 'n Out(Opens in a new tab). He was named one of Forbes' Top Creators of 2022 and even invited to the 2023 Grammy Awards.

    Before TikTok fame found him, Hines had racked up 800,000 followers with singing videos and comedy bits of his own, and he's ready to get back to his first love: performing. His first single, "Web of Lies,"(Opens in a new tab) dropped in December. "I went into it knowing that I had a lot to prove because I didn't want to be another one of those social media influencers that had a song because they could," he tells Mashable. "This is something I truly loved, that I always pictured myself doing."

    "Web of Lies" references "early 2010s, dancehall, and Caribbean music… I love a lot of that music and culture," he says, smiling. "That style of music makes you want to move. I wanted to make music that makes people feel good, that makes people want to dance." Hines also has a new Snapchat Original show, La’Ron in a Million,(Opens in a new tab) that premiered on Feb. 4. "I'm trying to show people more of me," he says of his latest endeavors.

    And one of the best ways to get to know people is asking them what they like to watch on YouTube. Here are the videos Hines has been digging lately, in no particular order.

    1. Learn 5 Easy Flips ASAP - How to Do Without Just Sending!

    La'Ron: I looked up flipping because one of my dreams is to be in a Marvel film in a role that requires me to do stunts. Like Karate Kid, Cobra Kai stage fighting or tricks. I want to know how to do that stuff myself because I feel like people [are more likely to hire you] if you can do your own tricks. I got into jujitsu and am trying to learn fighting styles and boxing. I know they have actual stage fighting classes here in LA but I feel like the real deal is the basics, the groundwork you need to have before you try stage fighting. You have to know how to throw a punch.

    Mashable: After a Marvel role, what's another big goal?

    I want my own show that I have a lot of control over or can produce and star in. There are so many creative people that are producing and starring in shows: Tyler Perry, Issa Rae, Quinta Bronson. My friend Marsai Martin has her own production company and just did a movie with Paramount+. I'm just super proud of her and all those other people. I truly look up to [them] because they know where they're going.


    I saw Quinta Brunson in a CoverGirl commercial the other day while I was watching TV, and I was like, OK!? Go Quinta!

    I love Quinta, and her rise to success is so inspiring to me. If you were on social media in the early 2010s, you knew Quinta's face, and you remember her from Vine and the Buzzfeed videos. To see her be this major piece in a show that's doing so well, starring in it as the main character and on the production side [is amazing].

    She and Issa are both incredible like that. I don't know how they sleep. They're doing everything all the time. Both Issa and Quinta came up as creators on social media platforms: Quinta on Vine and Issa on YouTube. So they are actually very good templates for you.

    I'll never forget, I saw Issa in New Orleans in July at Essence Fest, and she was just running around everywhere. I was like, "I want you to know that when I sleep tonight, I'm sleeping for the both of us." That's another reason why I look up to them. People get pigeonholed into [being] a social media personality. I was doing acting and music before the pandemic and when everything paused, I was blessed with the opportunity to create a following through my content. I wasn't able to do a lot of acting or music but I was able to develop a platform. That doesn't take away from what I was doing beforehand. And that's really what I want to show people, it's why I have a lot to prove.

    2. Chlöe - "Pray It Away" (Official Video)

    Chlöe Bailey is my top-tier celebrity crush. I would leave anybody, anything in the world if Chlöe Bailey told me, "Come here." She's extremely talented, has great music. She's a super intense performer with great vocals. She does it all. I respect that about her. And of course she's beautiful, too.

    Is this you shooting your shot?

    This is me shooting my shot at Chlöe Bailey! The funny thing is I've met Halle, but not Chlöe. I was at Megan Thee Stallion's Halloween party and I walked past this couple dressed up as Avatars and I had to look hard for a little minute like, "Is that Hallie?" And it was her and her boyfriend? So I go up and introduce myself. We talked for a little minute and danced and she was really cool [and] really nice.

    What were you dressed as?

    Blade the vampire hunter. That's me shooting my shot at Marvel again. Marvel and Chlöe! I'll drop my email down below [laughs]. Anyways, I just love the music video. Chlöe's a brilliant artist, the way that she captured the sound of traditional church music but made it smooth R&B. I love that.

    You may be too young to remember this but in Hilary Duff's "Come Clean" music video, she was surrounded by all these candles(Opens in a new tab) and Chlöe's video jogged that memory for me. Were you a Disney kid?

    I think I did see that! I was a big Disney kid growing up, Disney is the reason I want to be in entertainment. My main inspiration was Zack and Cody. Oh my gosh, I want it to be their triplet so bad, you couldn't convince me I wasn't Zack and Cody's long lost triplet. I wanted to be the Frankie Jonas of the Sprouse twins.

    You want to be the Frankie Jonas, really? He's like the least known Jonas Brother.

    But he's still a Jonas Brother! His brothers are so iconic, it makes him iconic by association. He's super talented, too. I met Frankie back in 2018. I did a tour, and he was one of the acts and he's a great performer. I'm telling you, you can tell. I see a lot of his brothers' mannerisms in the way that he performs. He's right up there with them.

    3. Beyoncé & Bruno Mars Crash the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show | NFL

    I'm a really big fan of both artists 100 percent, but Beyoncé does it to me. She's the epitome of an artist. She has everything and is perfect to the point where she makes it look so easy but you know it's not because when you try to do it yourself, you look a mess. She was so good that I almost forgot for a second that there were other people performing.

    Right, this was a Coldplay concert!

    Yeah! Coldplay did amazing, but Beyoncé captivated the screen when she came on. I feel like that's what upped it a little bit more is because she had that live band in Coldplay and Bruno Mars came in to add to it. All those elements together made it one of the best suitable performances I've ever seen for sure.

    Do you think Rihanna might top them or what do you think? (Editor's note: This interview took place before Rihanna's Super Bowl Halftime performance)

    I love Rihanna so much. I think she is going to do great. She's going to come out swinging because this is her comeback moment already. I think I'm more excited to see what songs she performs.

    What's on your setlist?

    My favorite song of hers is "S&M." Everything where she had red hair, that era. She should definitely take it back to "Pon de Replay."

    You don't think "Umbrella?" I feel like she has to have some rain element.

    "Umbrella" would be a good finale song. How I look at it, the way that people looked at Prince and Michael Jackson is the way that we look at Rihanna and Beyoncé, with Rihanna being Prince and Beyoncé being the Michael. Prince and Rihanna have that same demeanor of hardcore, savage-mode while also being avant garde. Prince never fails to tell it how it is and I get that same vibe from Rihanna. And then Prince also had a rain element in his Super Bowl Halftime performance, so if Rihanna did rain that it would be a full circle moment. And then in Beyonce's 2016 Halftime performance she had the same kind of outfit that Michael had for his. So that's where I'm seeing the parallels.

    As performers, Beyoncé and Jackson were both known for precision, and Rihanna and Prince are more about the vibes.

    Yes! Oh my gosh, I've had that comparison in my mind for years, and I've been waiting to tell somebody.

    4. Usher - "You Make Me Wanna..." (Official HD Video)

    Usher, oh my God. I modeled a lot of what I do after Usher. I remember when I was 15 years old I first started writing music. I had a show coming up. I didn't have a choreographer or a band. I would watch Usher videos just to learn moves to do on the stage, the day of the show, because I didn't want to go out there and just be boring. I knew what I wanted to do, I just didn't have the resources to do it. So I would drill myself watching Usher videos and I definitely think he is one of the greatest performers, too.

    Have you had any formal dance training?

    When I moved here [to Los Angeles], I started dancing at Millennium.

    Are you in any of the Millennium dance videos(Opens in a new tab) on YouTube?

    I'm in a couple. I just posted some on my page from a Matt Stefanina(Opens in a new tab) class I took. He's one of my favorites, for sure. I really got introduced to Matt when I moved to LA. That was like late 2017, early 2018 when I first got into the dance scene. I watched the Millennium video because they would come up on my YouTube, right? So I would know all these choreographers but I never knew the name of the studio. When I moved out here, a producer I was working with was like, "You should definitely go to Millennium." I'm like, "Yeah, I'll go for sure." I walked into the room and was like, "Wait a minute… this looks so familiar." I looked up the class schedule and was like, "OK, whatever Matt Steffanina is teaching next we're signing up!" But it was all sold out.

    That's what I'm wondering! How can they possibly have enough dance classes or space? The studio is so popular.

    It's crazy! I got into the dance scene in the height of when it was popular, when the Millennium videos were popping off. It was hard to get into the dance class, and I could I can only imagine how it felt to be a dancer that was already there grinding it out for years and having all these new people come in taking up the space. I can just imagine I was probably making people upset. If you're watching this and you were in Millennium during that time frame that I was there, I truly apologize if I was in your way in any way shape or form.

    I'm sure you were very polite.

    I was actually kind of scared during my first dance class, I'm not gonna lie. Because you get in your head. You think "I can't dance, people are looking at me." No one is looking at you. That's the thing you kind of have to get out of your head because these are professional dancers, and they go to classes so that they can get better. As long as you do anything extremely out of pocket, no one's staring. If you miss a step, no one cares.

    This is all so interesting to hear because you really were hustling in that scene L.A. before your TikTok account grew exponentially during the pandemic.

    Right, I was still getting used to it. I was in the early development stages of it, I guess. When the pandemic happened, I had around 800,000 followers on TikTok. I kind of felt like I was getting my feet wet. I was starting to get my leverage, to actually feel an incline but then it just paused altogether. So I'm very grateful for what I did on social media because it gave me an outlet to continue what I was doing.

    5. Will Smith And Martin Lawrence Go Sneaker Shopping With Complex

    I love complex sneaker shopping videos. I can binge them all day, it's one of my guilty pleasures. I think it's because I live vicariously through these people because I'm a big sneakerhead. People go on [the show] when they're promoting something, so they're trying to talk about that mainly, but I'm not listening. I'm looking at what shoe you're picking up. That's the only reason I'm watching. 

    I've watched a few of these and obviously the best-known one on the internet is when Bella Hadid was on and she said, "Homeboy can get it."

    I think one of my favorites was the Tyra Banks episode. You feel her energy, and she's such a light to be around. Another dream of mine is to be on the show. I want to be like, "This is La'Ron, this is Complex, and we're going sneaker shopping!" It just feels it feels right, it's on brand to me, personally.

  • Where are some Republican Congress members getting their news? From far-right users on Twitter.

    Where are some Republican Congress members getting their news? From far-right users on Twitter.

    Mike Cernovich is a far-right personality who has claimed(Opens in a new tab) that “date rape does not exist(Opens in a new tab).” His misogynistic writings catapulted him to fame within the anti-feminist men’s rights movement and GamerGate, a 2014 movement which harassed women in the gaming industry.


    Cernovich later became a high-profile supporter of Donald Trump and a major promoter(Opens in a new tab) of the #PizzaGate conspiracy, which falsely claimed a child sex trafficking ring was being run in the nonexistent basement of a Washington DC pizza place popular with Democratic politicians.

    Freshman Congresswoman Lauren Boebert (R-CO) goes to Cernovich for her news updates.

    This insight into Boebert’s news intake as well as the media consumption of all 535 Members of Congress comes courtesy of a new study by Ground News(Opens in a new tab), a digital media outlet that compares news stories for political bias.

    The study was conducted with the company’s new tool, Blindspotter(Opens in a new tab). The Blindspotter algorithm analyzes a Twitter account’s tweets, likes, retweets and replies in order to figure out the account holder’s news diet and the ideological bias that news slant produces. The tool provides a Twitter user’s top three sources for news and three “news influencers” they regularly interact with. As of today, the Blindspotter tool is now available for anyone to use.

    “At a time when Congress is more ideologically divided than ever, the study reveals the media feedback loops deepening those divisions,” said Ground News CEO and co-founder Harleen Kaur in a statement provided to Mashable. “It appears that highly partisan news sources are playing an influential role in shaping the opinions of the lawmakers whose policies affect the lives of millions of Americans.”

    While Boebert’s news bias profile(Opens in a new tab) leans fairly right — along with Cernovich, she interacts with the NRA and Donald Trump’s now-suspended account the most — she’s by no means the member of Congress with the most right-leaning news diet on Twitter.

    That distinction goes to Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), the freshman Congresswoman with a history of promoting misinformation related to the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.

    Related Video: How to recognize and avoid fake news

    According to the Ground News study, Rep. Greene’s top sources for news(Opens in a new tab) consist of right-wing outlets such as Breitbart, Washington Times, and Fox News. She regularly interacts with Big League Politics, a far-right outlet that regularly spreads falsehoods(Opens in a new tab) and misinformation(Opens in a new tab). Greene also gets her news on Twitter from OANN anchor Jack Posobiec, who has been tied(Opens in a new tab) to neo-Nazis and white supremacist groups.

    There are many other interesting findings from the study as well. For example, one of Rep. Madison Cawthorn’s (R-NC) top news sources(Opens in a new tab) on Twitter is Not The Bee, a conservative outlet run by the satirical right-wing website The Babylon Bee.

    Another example is Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), who the study found is influenced(Opens in a new tab) by the Twitter account @ThomasSowell. However, the account does not belong to the Black conservative thinker Sowell himself. It's run by a user that describes themselves as "not Thomas Sowell, but I own all of his books and tweet quotes from them" in their Twitter bio. (Interestingly, Rep. Crenshaw has a fairly balanced news diet on Twitter, taking in sources from right, left, and center).

    The study also includes news bias which exists on the other side of the aisle as well.

    However, the bias on the Democratic side of the aisle tends to lie within more respectable news organizations. For example, Senator Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) frequent sources(Opens in a new tab) for news on Twitter are CNN, The Washington Post, and progressive YouTube channel The Young Turks. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(Opens in a new tab) (D-NY) gets her news from the New York Times, a variety of NBC News reporters, and The Intercept.

    As Ground News CEO Kaur previously told me, the organization's hope is that its online tools help users pop their filter bubble and consume a news diet consisting of a variety of sources across the ideological spectrum.

  • Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 23

    Quordle today: Here are the answers and hints for October 23

    There's a new Taylor Swift album out this weekend, and all you can think about is the Quordle solution? You must be a huge puzzle fan.


    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?


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


    What do today’s Quordle words start with?

    K, S, G, and F.

    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. KNOLL

    2. STEEL

    3. GLOOM

    4. FELON

  • How cosmetic glitter improved my self-confidence on Zoom calls

    How cosmetic glitter improved my self-confidence on Zoom calls

    Essentials Week spotlights unexpected items that make our daily lives just a little bit better.


    Does being on-camera make you self-conscious? Are you exhausted by online social interactions? Nine months into the pandemic, do you just really fucking hate Zoom calls? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then cosmetic glitter could be right for you!

    Thank god for those iridescent discs I sometimes glue to my face.

    I’ll be honest: It's 2020 and I feel like shit. My clothes are tight. I never feel clean. The family couch and I have developed an identical, yet unidentifiable smell. Things are dire for me and my self-esteem right now — and unless those vaccines start moving a whole lot faster, things are going to stay dire for a while.

    So thank god for those iridescent discs I sometimes glue to my face, the tiny scraps of plastic that have been keeping me together in these difficult, socially distant times.

    See a few months ago, during one of my wine-fueled, “existence is futile” shopping sprees, I added a cosmetic glitter set to my Amazon cart. For just $4.99, I bought a set of eight glitters(Opens in a new tab) (colors: hot pink, pale pink, light pink, gold, white, purple, silver, and black) with two tubes of adhesive. It was a purchase totally unlike the rest of my makeup collection — which, at that point, had gone almost untouched since mid-May. It was unplanned and not researched. I didn't know what I would do with the glitter, whether I'd like the glitter, why I even wanted the glitter.

    Two days later, it arrived and everything grew clear. Pretty, shiny, and irresistibly there, that glitter became an immediate staple in my last-minute, pre-video chat ritual. It was an easy, fun, appropriately ridiculous way for me to signify to people that I was OK but not trying to hide that I was having a hard time. Got acne? Throw glitter on it. Look tired? Throw glitter on it. Have an annoying work meeting? Well, depends on the office, but maybe throw glitter on it!

    Here, told in 4 sparkly steps, is how glitter can improve your self-confidence, because if it can work for someone as totally over the apocalypse as me, it can work for anyone.

    Step 1: Buy your glitter

    When it comes to glitter selection, there are many factors to consider — exactly two of which, price and color, were accounted for in my first glitter purchase. (Turns out, "Cosmetic Chunky Glitter Shimmer Body Face Hair Eye Musical Festival Carnival Dance Halloween Party Beauty Makeup," as my aforementioned product of choice was listed on Amazon, is not yet a household name.)

    To make the best glitter selection for you, definitely account for price and color, but also consider the quality of the glitter you are buying in relation to your face and the planet. There are lots of well-reviewed glitters out there, but personally, I'm shelling out for the Trixie Mattel(Opens in a new tab) glitters next because she is a queen and I am worth it.

    Step 2: Glue your glitter

    OK, so the mysterious "glitter glue" that came with my first glitter buy gave me a burning sensation and smelled really, I mean really, strong. So, I do not recommend that particular adhesive method, but I do recommend testing products on your arm before putting them on your face.

    SEE ALSO: Bimbos are good, actually

    As an alternative, I've been using eyelash glue to apply glitter to not only my eyes, but also my face and occasionally lips. It's worked just fine, but NYX has a glitter primer I'd also like to try. Read labels, be smart, don't put anything that smells bad near your sensitive face bits.

    Step 3: Get creative

    At first, I applied glitter exclusively to my cheeks. (They are hard to mess up, and wow, do I need things to be hard to mess up right now.) But as I've gotten more adventurous, I've tried funky eye patterns and elaborate lip designs. Get in on glitter TikTok and Instagram if you need some inspiration from the likes of British business mavens Go Get Glitter(Opens in a new tab) or the makeup artist of Euphoria(Opens in a new tab).

    Step 4: Keep calm and glitter on

    OK, I'm warning you: You are going to find glitter everywhere. On your furniture, in your food, coming out of your dog — there will be glitter everywhere. It will make you laugh. It will make you angry. It will be OK, just like all of this will be. Life is messy and weird and fun and awful. Just like glitter.

    Even more essentials

    • Tricking out your iOS group texts is worth the tiny bit of effort

    • I got hooked on lemon water. Here's why you should too.

    • I love my embarrassing lumbar support pillow

    • Nuun electrolytes are for more than just working out

  • TikTok is obsessed with the power struggle stage of relationships. But what is it?

    TikTok is obsessed with the power struggle stage of relationships. But what is it?

    Falling in love, with the aid of rose-tinted glasses, we experience something called the "honeymoon stage" —  the blissful carefree period of a relationship where your partner can do no wrong, from endearing eating habits to their endlessly fascinating opinions on classic films. 


    However the honeymoon stage is exactly that: a stage. Somewhere between a few months to a few years(Opens in a new tab) into the relationship, these intoxicating feelings begin to fade. A primal panic begins to surge: did I pick the right person? This is the beginning of what's been termed the "power struggle stage" — a term that's gaining traction on TikTok. The hashtag #powerstrugglestage(Opens in a new tab) has amassed 101.2K views on TikTok, with people sharing their experiences and advice for making it through this tricky time. But where exactly does the term come from? 

    The power struggle stage is one of the five stages of a relationship as identified by psychologist and self-help author Dr. Susan Campbell in her 1980 book The Couple’s Journey(Opens in a new tab). Campbell defines(Opens in a new tab) the power struggle stage as "when your partner’s flaws become apparent, and the focus turns to trying to change your partner, punish them for not being what you think they once were, or both. This is the stage that most couples get stuck in because they do not have the skills or tools needed to find a balance."

    SEE ALSO: What does 'casual dating' mean these days?

    When does the 'power struggle phase' happen?

    So, at what point does the power struggle strike? "The power struggle stage can happen at any point in a relationship," explains Pippa Murphy, sex and relationship expert at in a new tab), a sexual health brand. "But it's more likely to manifest itself during this [post-honeymoon] period because there are so many changes taking place — both physical and emotional. For example, when you start spending time at each other's house, move in together, or even get married."

    This rude awakening comes with the realisation that your partner has annoying habits and shortcomings like the rest of us. 

    When those rose-tinted glasses come off, we are able to see our partner for who they really are — flaws and all. This rude awakening comes with the realisation that your partner has annoying habits and shortcomings like the rest of us. 

    "You begin to argue about who should do what around the house, who makes more time for the other person, or even who makes more money," says Murphy. "This is the stage when you'll likely get very frustrated with each other because it takes a lot of effort and selflessness to put someone else's needs before your own."

    Want more sex and dating stories in your inbox? Sign up for Mashable's new weekly After Dark newsletter.

    Power struggles put your relationship to the test 

    Coming to this realisation, with its differences, disappointments and disagreements, is why the power struggle stage is often the hardest stage in any relationship. "At the beginning of a relationship, couples are always on their best behaviour and are super polite and kind to the person that they’re dating," Murphy adds. "However, as couples get more familiar and comfortable with each other, they tend to let their guards down and show an unvarnished version of themselves. Both parties tend to focus on getting what they want rather than making their partner happy." As both partners battle to feel heard and to have their needs met, tension and tempers can rise. 

    If this all sounds a bit doom and gloom, hold off packing your bags. Fortunately, there are two types of power struggles in relationships: positive and negative. Positive power struggles involve couples reacting to each other in a constructive way, which facilitates communication and helps to establish healthy relationship boundaries. 

    SEE ALSO: How to set boundaries in the early stages of dating

    In heterosexual relationships in particular, traditional gender roles and the unequal division of labour can make way for power imbalances. These uneven power dynamics can spell trouble for both your relationship and your desire to have sex, with one study finding an unequal division of housework associated with lower sexual desire(Opens in a new tab) in heterosexual relationships. Meanwhile, a 2021 study(Opens in a new tab) on heterosexual couples found that objective differences in power don’t typically affect a relationship, but rather how each partner perceives these differences and their personal level of power. The study also found that balanced power dynamics were associated with greater relationship satisfaction, higher libido, and increased emotional well-being.

    When partners fail to communicate their wants and needs in a healthy manner, or begin to rely on weaponised incompetence, is when negative power struggles occur. This tug of war can lead to hostility and vindictiveness where partners are motivated by their desire to gain control over the other person. 

    "There's a saying that you can choose to be right, or you can choose to be happy," explains Hayley Quinn, dating expert for Match(Opens in a new tab). "The power struggle phase is also characterised by an unwillingness to compromise and a need to 'win' in an argument. Rather than focusing on day to day happiness within the relationship, you might become focused on one person capitulating to the other."

    If you succeed in making it through this stage, congratulations you are now entering into a mature relationship. If you don’t, you break up. 

    Modern dating is falling short 

    However, the reality is many relationships are falling at this vital hurdle. Rising rampant individualism in the current dating climate(Opens in a new tab) is damaging our ability to form healthy long-standing relationships. People have developed a low tolerance for bad relationships and are more aware than ever of what constitutes toxic and unhealthy behaviour. This is a positive step forward, however it can also mean we are less and less likely to cut our partners some slack in the name of love, expecting a partner to slot seamlessly into our established lives. 

    "If your partner has this kind of attitude, then it's likely that they'll act selfishly in your relationship as well," says Murphy. "This could mean that they don't want to share responsibilities when it comes to taking care of the house, or they make plans with friends without consulting you first. It could also mean that they're always late for dates and rarely show up when expected because something else came up that was more important to them than being on time for your date night plans."

    SEE ALSO: The best dating apps and sites in March 2023

    Adopting a "me first" mentality can hinder the development of enduring, meaningful relationships. Those typically require selflessness and a willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of the relationship, rather than pulling out your phone and looking for other options at the first opportunity. 

    We have high expectations of our partners to fulfil multiple roles as cheerleaders, passionate lovers, and occasional therapists; expectations that are often disappointed. Cultural norms have created an environment where it’s easier to cut your losses and resume swiping than stick things out. 

    How to survive the power struggle stage

    However, if you decide the relationship is worth persevering, Quinn has some advice for making it through this crucial stage. "This is of course about balance. Having a healthy degree of self love, and being able to advocate for yourself, is important for all of our real relationships, not just our romantic ones. You may also have been in a previous relationship where your boundaries weren't respected, so feel a stronger need to be vigilant this time around."

    SEE ALSO: How to work on your self-esteem with these helpful tips

    However, learning to communicate and deal with conflict is the only way to ever get that long-term relationship status. "This awareness of your own needs has to be balanced with the ability to listen to what your partner needs," says Quinn. "You won't always be aligned in terms of what you want, but if you can communicate without discussions getting heated, look into compromise options and be prepared to agree to disagree, then this is more of a realistic trajectory for a real relationship, than a long lasting honeymoon phase."

    Remember, power struggles and arguments are normal parts of a relationship; they’re not necessarily a sign that it’s the end of the road or that your partner isn’t the one. Rather than running for the hills, understand that the power struggle stage is necessary and gives the opportunity, through good communication, to get to the real deal. Mature, long-lasting love.