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10 gifts for the most practical person in your life

2023-03-19 06:20:50

10 gifts for the most practical person in your life

Everyone's knows someone who, every year around the holidays, insists that you don't get them any gifts. "I have everything I need already!" they say. "Don't waste your money on stuff I won't use!"

10 gifts for the most practical person in your life(图1)

Well, we say that not giving gifts is simply no fun. So we found presents that are sure to be a hit with even the most practical people. Hey, it's not a waste of money if they use it, right?

1. AirPods (3rd Generation)

Apple AirPods(Opens in a new tab), $169

The latest AirPods make the perfect present. Credit: Apple

OK, so definitely check that your practical person doesn't already own some, because AirPods are one of the most practical gifts out there. But if they haven't made the wireless earbud jump yet, or have been rocking a super-old pair in desperate need of an update, check out Apple's latest AirPods.

The third-generation buds pack longer battery life, spatial audio for a truly enveloping sound experience, force sensors with more precise gesture controls, and more into a new design — and they cost less than the AirPods Pro.

They're the perfect gift for anyone who takes a lot of work calls, loves music, or is always listening to podcasts.

2. A cute new keyboard

Azio IZO Wireless Keyboard(Opens in a new tab), $139.99

Look at that adorable work from home setup! Credit: Azio

Some of us are still working from home or in a home-office hybrid situation these days, and never took the time to deck out our home desk setups. The IZO Wireless Keyboard from Azio gives users a beautiful keyboard with a super functional layout for all their working (or gaming!) needs.

The keys are satisfyingly clicky, and the keyboard comes in three colors (Blue Iris, Baroque Rose, and White Blossom) with gold accents. You can toss in a wireless mouse and calculator from the IZO collection too if you want to gift a complete set.

Bonus: A mobile monitor

Lenovo HD L15 Mobile Monitor(Opens in a new tab), $229.99

Double down on screen space. Credit: Lenovo

Many of us have bought additional monitors for our WFH days, but a mobile monitor is a great gift idea for anyone who works from multiple locations. Instead of squinting at your tiny laptop screen when you’re on the go, just connect to the Lenovo HD L15 Mobile Monitor(Opens in a new tab) via USB-C, and you’ve virtually doubled your screen real estate with its 15.6 inch anti-glare screen.

3. A protective phone case

Otter + Pop Symmetry Series(Opens in a new tab), $59.95

A great phone case AND a phone grip? Yes, please. Credit: Otterbox

If your practical person tends to go for the lowest price rather than the best quality when buying a phone case, take this holiday season as a chance to upgrade their gear.

OtterBox, which is known for making super sturdy products, has partnered with PopSocket to make cases with a built-in customizable phone grip. Having a phone grips helps minimize the chances of dropping your phone and makes holding a bigger phone more comfortable.

We recommend checking out the Symmetry series, which is available for the iPhone 8 and newer and the Galaxy S20 and up, for a perfect combo of durable and decorative.

4. An air fryer

Ninja AF100(Opens in a new tab), $89

This gadget churns out some of the yummiest crispy foods. Credit: Ninja

For the cooking fanatic who may not have time to babysit an oven recipe, an air fryer solves a lot of problems. Not only are air fryer recipes all the rage on TikTok these days, but popping your food into an air fryer almost guarantees a tasty and quick meal that takes very little effort.

For an air fryer that takes up the least counter space, check out the Ninja AF100. If you're willing to sacrifice a little square footage for more features, we also love the Breville Smart Oven Air Fryer.

5. A smart speaker

Amazon Echo(Opens in a new tab), $99 (on sale at time of print for $49)

A smart speaker makes controlling your music that much easier. Credit: Amazon

While not entirely necessary, a smart speaker like an Amazon Echo just makes life more seamless.

If the person you're gifting likes to jam out to a playlist while doing chores or add products to their Amazon cart throughout the day, the speaker's Alexa voice assistant makes all of it easier.

Of course, if your practical person is all in on the Apple or Google ecosystems, definitely go the route of a HomePod mini(Opens in a new tab) or Google Nest. Either way, their home DJing skills are about to level up.

6. Slippers

Bombas Gripper Slippers(Opens in a new tab), $45

Nobody doesn't like slippers. Even the most practical person will appreciate some cozy footwear to shuffle around the house. Our favorite sock brand Bombas makes some colorful knit slippers that have little grips on the bottom because slipper safety is important. You could also go the classic route and gift some L.L. Bean slippers(Opens in a new tab) which are beloved for their shearling lining and iconic look.

Cozy and cute slippers are always appreciated. Credit: Bombas

7. A really good vacuum

Dyson V8(Opens in a new tab), $349.99

The gift of a vacuum may have been a little Stepford Wives in the past, but vacuum tech has come a long way. Nowadays, nothing says "I love you" like giving someone a powerful cordless Dyson or a zero-effort Roomba. You're basically gifting someone hassle-free cleaning, which any practical person can appreciate.

A gamechanger for practical pet owners. Credit: Dyson
SEE ALSO: The best robot vacuums for every budget

8. A handy entryway key holder

Yamazaki Magnetic Key Holder(Opens in a new tab), $29

Optimizing your entryway is the ultimate organization flex. Instead of throwing your keys, mail, sunglasses, hat, etc. on the nearest surface like Miranda Priestly, a wall organizer provides a home for it all. The practical person in your life will appreciate something that keeps your entryway organized and clutter-free.

This one from Yamazaki has five hooks, and a compartment for holding anything else. Plus, it can be mounted magnetically, so you don't have they don't have to worry about drilling holes in the wall.

A dream-come-true for entryway organization. Credit: Yamazaki

9. A fanny pack

Cotopaxi Kapai 1.5 L. Hip Pack(Opens in a new tab), $30

Fanny packs, or belt bags, if you wanna be cute, are the ultimate practical gift. So practical, in fact, that they used to be considered the accessory for people who had zero vanity or interest in style. But now, the hands-free and secure convenience of a fanny pack is fashionable. You opt for the chic minimalist look with a black leather belt bag(Opens in a new tab) or lean into the gorpcore aesthetic with a color-block fanny pack made of rugged nylon with multiple compartments.

Who would've guessed the practical fanny pack is now trendy. Credit: Cotopaxi

10. A dual-purpose charging lamp

West Elm LED Wireless Charging & USB Task Lamp(Opens in a new tab), $150

What's more practical than a lighting or a phone charger? A product that combines the two. Give the gift of multipurpose functionality with a charging lamp. This one has a small footprint so it doesn't take up too much space on a bedside table and the base has a wireless charging dock and has a USB port so you can charge multiple devices.

Your giftee probably loves it when form meets function. Credit: West Elm

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  • Sex with someone you dont live with is now illegal in England

    Sex with someone you dont live with is now illegal in England

    No sex with people outside your household.


    That's a rule now enshrined in law in England as new legislation is brought in prohibiting indoor "gatherings" of two or more people from different households amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    It's been dubbed a lockdown "sex ban" by the media, but the new legislation(Opens in a new tab) makes no explicit mention of the word sex. But, is sex really banned? We took a look at the new rules.

    Indoor "gatherings" are banned under the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) Regulations 2020 bill(Opens in a new tab), which came into effect on June 1, 2020. The new rules define gatherings as "when two or more people are present together in the same place in order to engage in any form of social interaction with each other, or to undertake any other activity with each other." If you're single or if you live apart from your partner this new legislation will affect you.

    The UK has been under lockdown since March 23 — so 10 weeks — and until now the government restrictions have stipulated that people are only allowed to leave their homes for a limited set of circumstances, including for work, health reasons, to buy food, or to get exercise. Those restrictions have been loosened over the past few weeks.

    SEE ALSO: Now is the time to ditch single people's most hated question

    So, does sexual intercourse fall under the categories "social interaction" or "any other activity"? It would appear so. Unless you live with your sexual partner, you will be breaking the law if you go to another person's house for sex. It's also prohibited by law to stay overnight away from home, unless it's for work, funerals, or avoiding harm. In short, it's illegal to visit friends, family, or sexual partners inside their homes or to spend any time indoors with someone you don't live with.

    For the people abiding by lockdown restrictions for the past 10 weeks, it likely comes as no surprise that sex with people outside your household remains off limits. So, what difference does this legislation actually make? Until now, the person who entered another person's home would have been in breach of the lockdown rules. Under this new law, both people can now be prosecuted under the amendment. Previous restrictions made no mention of meeting up in private places, and instead the message to 'stay at home' was disseminated by the government. According to(Opens in a new tab) police guidance published by the College of Policing, the approach to restrictions has changed as of June 1. "Rather than requiring a reasonable excuse to leave the place where a person is living, there are specific things that members of the public cannot do," reads the guidance.

    There are exceptions to the rules about gatherings and overnight stays. Both are permitted in the following circumstances:

    • between members of the same household

    • for people attending a funeral; for an elite athlete and their coach or parent

    • for work purposes or providing charitable services

    • to facilitate house moves

    • to provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person

    • to provide emergency assistance

    • for providing registered early years childcare

    • to avoid injury, illness, or to escape a risk of harm

    • to facilitate access between parents and children

    • to fulfill legal obligations or participate in legal proceedings

    • for the purposes of education

    I emailed the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and asked the following question: "Is it now illegal for a person to go to another person's house to have sex?" In my email I noted that the legislation did not make explicit mention of 'sex' but that people have interpreted the law as a sex ban.

    In reply, a DHSC spokesperson said: "Changes to Coronavirus Regulations mean people can spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households. However, everybody should act responsibly and continue to strictly observe social distancing rules."

    SEE ALSO: Horny and romantic books that will completely consume you

    "Individuals who participate in a prohibited gathering will be in breach of the regulations, and the police will use their common sense and discretion in all cases," the statement continued. The spokesperson added that DHSC had "set out" its plan "to return to life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS."

    For people looking for loopholes to this law, remember that sex outdoors is already punishable under pre-existing including indecent exposure and outraging public decency. Furthermore, under new guidelines, people meeting up in outdoor gatherings of up to six people are required to practice social distancing.

    Police can't burst into your bedroom and fine you for having sex.

    You might well be wondering about how the police can enforce something like this. Well, on Monday, 10 Downing Street confirmed(Opens in a new tab) that police can't burst into your bedroom and fine you for having sex. Not sure if any of us quite expected that course of events to be on the cards, but glad to hear No. 10 has ruled it out, nonetheless.

    Police can arrest or fine those breaking the law, but they don't have the power to check inside your home. The default fine stands at £100 in England.

    "The police will do as they have done since the beginning of the health regulations being in place. They will be exercising their common sense and engaging with the public and only issuing fixed penalty notices when they believe it’s a last resort," the prime minister's spokesperson told the Mirror. The spokesperson added that police in England don't have powers to enter people's homes under the regulations. "What they can do is enter homes where they suspect serious criminal activity is taking place under separate and existing laws," they added.

    Looks like that sex hiatus will be going on a little longer then.

  • LAPD Zoom call: 8 moments you need to see from the angry, public roasting of police

    LAPD Zoom call: 8 moments you need to see from the angry, public roasting of police

    The Los Angeles Police Commission hosted a Zoom call with citizens on Tuesday and people let. them. have. it. The citizens of LA are fed up and angry, and they aren't hiding it.


    People called in for more than six hours and absolutely laid into the police(Opens in a new tab) and its leadership amid widespread protests against police brutality in LA and across the country. The protests, of course, were sparked by the police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed, black man who died last week when a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck.

    A common theme from the callers was to demand the resignation(Opens in a new tab) of LA Police Chief Michel Moore, who said Floyd's "death is on [looters'] hands as much as it is those officers" — comments for which he later apologized, claiming he misspoke.

    We collected a few of the most noteworthy moments from the wild and angry Zoom call, which was also plagued with a few technical difficulties.

    1. Upgrade your Zoom account

    2. The tweet gives you the gist

    3. "Have you considered being good at your jobs?"

    4. "I'm looking at a lot of people who just got the shit kicked out of them the whole day."

    5. Maybe, possibly, potentially, Tony Hawk called in(Opens in a new tab)?

    UPDATE: June 3, 2020, 1:27 p.m. EDT Hawk confirmed on Twitter that it was not him on the call.

    6. This one has a Curb Your Enthusiasm ending added

    7. A call about the real looters

    8. "You are public servants. Not soldiers."

  • Instagram, give the swipe-up feature to everyone so protesters can share resources

    Instagram, give the swipe-up feature to everyone so protesters can share resources

    There's no denying Instagram Stories is a strong platform for protesters who want to spread a message.


    Unfortunately, a lot of activists are missing an essential tool for connecting their followers to valuable resources: the swipe-up feature.

    While it seems minor, it would allow accounts to link to important sites for fundraisers, organizations, and bail-out funds.

    As they protest the killing of George Floyd and police brutality, protestors need all the help they can get boosting the visibility of these links. Unfortunately, as of right now, the feature is reserved for specific types of Instagram users: those who have more than 10,000 followers or are verified.

    People want to set the feature free. And they're speaking out about it on Twitter.

    The ability to "swipe up" is mostly reserved as a marketing tool for brands, celebrities, and influencers who want to make some extra cash by linking to products or services.

    Influencers and celebrities also use it to promote podcasts, YouTube videos, and newsletters. And, in some cases, sketchy giveaways.

    But under the current circumstances, the swipe-up feature could be a powerful tool for quickly sharing links to activist organizations, reading materials, news stories, and more — regardless of someone's follower count.

    Instead, those with under 10,000 followers are forced to use alternative methods, like taking the "link in bio" route by posting a link on their profile. However, to get to the link, you have to go through the extra steps of tapping on the user's handle.

    Not only is the process less intuitive, but it also interrupts the experience. It's more likely users will keep swiping through other Stories than stop, go to someone's profile page, and tap on a link.

    Instagram declined to comment on whether it plans to release the feature to everyone. But things don't look promising.

    Of course, it's easy to see why Instagram is being cautious, since not all users will use the links with good intentions. Some could post links that lead to spam or malware.

    But perhaps to start, Instagram can only allow links to certain organizations and fundraising sites. That way, they can rest assured followers will be swiping up to legitimate links.

    In the meantime, you can sign a petition to catch Instagram's attention.

    It specifically calls on Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri (who remains quiet on the matter) to "give every user on Instagram an opportunity to amplify voices of the silenced by letting accounts of all follower numbers share swipe-up links to their Instagram stories."

    Maybe if enough people sign the petition and blow up Mosseri's mentions, he'll actually listen.

  • Calls to delete popular astrology app Co—Star after controversial protest meme

    Calls to delete popular astrology app Co—Star after controversial protest meme

    Co—Star, the astrology app known for its outlandish push notifications, has come under fire for a post related to the police brutality protests on their popular Instagram account:


    For those not in the Insta-astrology account "scene," many accounts follow this type of format: One scenario or prompt, with 12 different responses to correspond with the 12 different Zodiac signs. (Here's another example(Opens in a new tab) from Co—Star's account.)

    In the now-deleted post, Co—Star made the prompt "At the demo[nstration]," and assigned different roles to each sign. For example, Cancers would "Bring lots of water bottles (NOT milk) to rinse out people's eyes" while Libras are "demo buddies with five people they're 'talking to.'"

    The caption of the post read(Opens in a new tab), "Here are some demo tips. You can find more in story."

    This memeification of the protests which have swept across the U.S. in the wake of the killing of George Floyd — a black man who died after three police officers pinned him down and one kneeled on his neck for nearly 9 minutes — didn't sit well with the app's followers. Screenshots went viral, as did calls to delete the app(Opens in a new tab).

    The post was deleted and replaced with an explanation by Co—Star:

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

    "We thought that putting these important tips in a meme format would be a palatable way to share the things we’ve learned about keeping each other safe in the street," the post reads. "The intent was not to minimize the protests, but to make them feel less scary; to encourage people to take action." They then shared other activists' posts on how to safely protest.

    While some commenters applauded the app, others criticized Co—Star for not actually apologizing. "Giving off a bit non-apology vibe," said one commenter.

    Hopefully if Co—Star learned anything from this, it's to not meme the fight to end inequality.

    Mashable has reached out to Co—Star for comment and will update if received.

  • Reddit CEO honors Alexis Ohanians request to fill his seat with a black board member

    Reddit CEO honors Alexis Ohanians request to fill his seat with a black board member

    Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian announced Friday that he would resign from his board seat and urged the company to replace him with a candidate who is black. Shortly thereafter, in a thread on the site(Opens in a new tab), Reddit CEO Steve Huffman confirmed that the company will move forward with Ohanian's request.


    "Alexis Ohanian (u/kn0thing(Opens in a new tab)), my Reddit cofounder, announced that he is resigning from our board and that he wishes for his seat to be filled with a black candidate, a request that the board and I will honor," Huffman, known on the site as spez(Opens in a new tab), wrote. "We thank Alexis for this meaningful gesture and all that he’s done for us over the years."

    While it's unclear how quickly the company plans to fill this seat, Huffman went on to note that, even beyond this initiative, Reddit has more work to do.

    "As Reddit has grown, alongside much good, it is facing its own challenges around hate and racism," Huffman wrote. "We have to acknowledge and accept responsibility for the role we have played."

    Huffman said the company will focus on the parts of Reddit that "reflect an unflattering but real resemblance to the world in the hate that black users and communities see daily." Huffman added that the company would provide more clarity to users and moderators on where its administrators stand when it comes to racism, offering moderators a seat at the table to help shape corporate policies.

    Huffman reflected on Reddit's history regarding its policies on racism, highlighting where the company has made progress and where it's fallen short. He specifically called out Reddit's failure to take action on The_Donald(Opens in a new tab), a pro-Trump subreddit that became a breeding ground for violent content.

    This comes only a few days after Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit in 2014, criticized Huffman's open letter to employees, in which he made it clear the company doesn't tolerate "hate, racism, and violence," noting that its "values are clear."

    "I am obligated to call you out: You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence," Pao said Monday on Twitter(Opens in a new tab), adding, "So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long."

    In his posted response today, Huffman copped to Pao's criticism and admitted that The_Donald was "a community that relished in exploiting and detracting from the best of Reddit and that is now nearly disintegrated." He also said the company should've "quarantined(Opens in a new tab) it sooner."

    So, while it hasn't been banned or shutdown, the "quarantine" (Opens in a new tab)effectively prevents users from accidentally viewing its content. Users will only be able to enter the subreddit with a verified email address after opting-in.

    Regardless, Huffman made it clear that this is a turning point for Reddit:

    "We have a choice: return to the status quo or use this opportunity for change. We at Reddit are opting for the latter, and we will do our very best to be a part of the progress."

    Additionally, Huffman left the thread open for Reddit users to ask him any questions on the matter. At the time of writing, it's amassed over 20,000 comments.

    In the Q&A(Opens in a new tab), he maps out a few things Reddit's aiming to accomplish this year, including publicly sharing summaries of quarterly calls with moderators, expanding its number of councils, regularly cycling members so it can bring on more moderators, and creating a council on social justice issues (that will also host all-council calls on how the company's policies are evolving).

    So, if you're active on Reddit, feel free to keep the conversation going.

  • I May Destroy You is a defining moment for on-screen portrayals of consent and sexual violence

    I May Destroy You is a defining moment for on-screen portrayals of consent and sexual violence

    Content warning: This review contains discussion of rape and sexual violence.


    You won't be able to shake I May Destroy You from your thoughts. After watching, you'll close your laptop, or turn off your television, but I guarantee you this: it will stay with you. Created by Chewing Gum writer Michaela Coel, this new 12-part BBC One/HBO drama tackles the intersection of sexual assault, consent, and race in a radical way that is rarely, if ever, seen on screen.

    Episode 1 begins with Arabella (Coel), a young millennial writer living in London, pulling an all-nighter in a last minute attempt to finish the book she's been writing. When she takes a break to meet up with friends (setting a one-hour alarm for herself), the night changes course. The following day, she has no recollection of how she got back to her desk, or how her phone screen got smashed, or why there's blood pouring from a gash on her forehead. Arabella is disorientated, confused, and grappling with a disturbing flashback of someone being raped. That someone, she later realises, was her.

    These events unfold in a way that is infused with striking realism — and that is no accident. In Aug. 2018, while delivering the McTaggart lecture at the Edinburgh Television Festival, Coel said she was raped when she was writing Season 2 of Chewing Gum. "I was working overnight in the [production] company's offices; I had an episode due at 7 a.m. I took a break and had a drink with a good friend who was nearby," said(Opens in a new tab) Coel. When she regained consciousness, she was typing Season 2. "I had a flashback. It turned out I’d been sexually assaulted by strangers. The first people I called after the police, before my own family, were the producers."

    In the press materials sent by the BBC, Coel makes reference to the real-life roots of the story. "All in all, the hardest thing was not getting distracted in wonderment at the confounding reality of having turned a rather bleak reality into a TV show that created real jobs for hundreds of people," she said.

    But, out of this bleak reality, Coel has created something that challenges on-screen depictions of sex, consent, and assault. Black women have been historically been erased from conversations about sexual violence. That omission is rooted in racism that can be traced back to the time of slavery, when rape was only considered something that happened to white women. As Vanessa Ntinu wrote(Opens in a new tab) in gal-dem, "Historically, black women are perceived as objects of sexual exploitation, dating back to days of slavery where the concept of rape was never applied to the black woman simply because she was assumed to have been a willing and promiscuous participant."

    In those first few episodes of I May Destroy You, Coel explores an aspect of sexual violence that gets little attention: unacknowledged rape(Opens in a new tab). Psychologists use this term to describe sexual violence that fits a legal description of rape or assault, but is not labelled as such by the survivor. For the first two episodes, Arabella doesn't realise she's been assaulted. Even when talking to a police officer about that night, she urges caution in the police officer's interpretation of her disturbing flashback, the images she couldn't shake from her mind. Coel brings to life an element of assault survivors' experience — the difficulty of realising that you've been raped because the reality of rape is so different to how it's portrayed on screens and in the media(Opens in a new tab).

    Later in the series, when Arabella's agents introduce her to another writer, Zain, to assist somehow in the writing of her book, the two end up having sex. What Arabella doesn't realise, though, is that Zain removes the condom midway through — a violation that is also known as "stealthing,"(Opens in a new tab) a form of sexual assault.

    Arabella's story isn't the only remarkable part of this show. Her best male friend Kwame (Paapa Essiedu) has a storyline that explores black masculinity, internalised homophobia, and male experiences of rape. Meanwhile, Arabella's other best friend Terry (Weruche Opia) endures a racist microaggression during an audition for a supposedly empowering advert when a white casting director asks her to take off her wig so she can see her natural hair.

    This show is coming to our screens at a pivotal moment in history — as protests continue across America and parts of the globe against racism and police brutality, following the police killing of George Floyd, who died after an officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

    The contents of I May Destroy You has the power to challenge stereotypes and misconceptions about who rape happens to, and what sexual violence really looks like. That act of service could not be more necessary.

    I May Destroy You debuts on HBO on Sunday, June 7, and on BBC One on Monday, June 8. Both episodes will be available on BBC iPlayer from Monday.

  • Forrest Fenn claims someone found the treasure he hid in the Rocky Mountains 10 years ago

    Forrest Fenn claims someone found the treasure he hid in the Rocky Mountains 10 years ago

    A multimillion-dollar treasure intentionally tucked away in an undisclosed, incredibly remote part of the Rocky Mountains has reportedly(Opens in a new tab) been found — and the story behind the loot is perhaps wilder than you can imagine.


    Forrest Fenn, an eccentric 89-year-old author and artifacts dealer, claims he buried a treasure — estimated to be worth at least $1 million and up to $5 million — in a remote spot a decade ago. He said a cryptic 24-line poem in his memoir would lead searchers to the treasure.

    In the last decade, a huge online and IRL community built up around finding the treasure. Some 350,000 people have tried to find it. As Money(Opens in a new tab) covered in detail last year(Opens in a new tab), certain "searchers" have dedicated their lives to the treasure hunt. Some people quit their jobs. At least four people died trying to find it. Others think the whole thing was a hoax, as in, the treasure doesn't exist.

    Now, according to Fenn himself, the chase for the treasure is over. He confirmed to Money(Opens in a new tab) that it had been found in the past couple of days.

    "It was under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains and had not moved from the spot where I hid it more than 10 years ago," Fenn wrote on his website(Opens in a new tab). "I do not know the person who found it, but the poem in my book led him to the precise spot. I congratulate the thousands of people who participated in the search and hope they will continue to be drawn by the promise of other discoveries. So the search is over."

    But, and this is a pretty big but, we've still yet to see the treasure. And we don't know the identity of the person who apparently found it.

    “The guy who found it does not want his name mentioned. He’s from back East,” Fenn told the(Opens in a new tab) Santa Fe New Mexican(Opens in a new tab).

    Fenn told the paper the person sent him a picture of the treasure to confirm the find, but Fenn declined to send a copy of that photo to the paper. So... a lot of questions remain.

    And yet things are even more complicated. Barbara Andersen, a Chicago real estate attorney, told the New Mexican(Opens in a new tab) she is filing an injunction in federal District Court against the person who allegedly found the chest, saying they hacked her and stole her solution. She wants to stop the person from selling the loot and have the court hand the chest over to her.

    “He stole my solve,” she told the paper. “He followed and cheated me to get the chest.”

    So, again, a lot of questions remain.

  • During a pandemic, protest livestreams are more important than ever

    During a pandemic, protest livestreams are more important than ever

    Protests against police brutality continue around the country, but not everyone who wants can participate. Whether immunocompromised, living with someone in a high risk group for COVID-19, or simply too far away to attend a protest, people around the world have found their own way to engage: livestreams.


    Leigh Wallace, an 18-year-old in Mississippi, goes through chemotherapy every other week to treat Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The treatment hasn’t affected her immune system as much as it has other patients, Wallace said, but her parents are wary of allowing her around other people, even friends. While treatable, Hodgkin’s lymphoma limits the body’s ability to fight infection. The number of new coronavirus cases(Opens in a new tab) is increasing in many states, and the world is bracing itself for a "second wave," expected(Opens in a new tab) to hit this autumn.

    But Wallace couldn’t just sit at home while her peers marched against police brutality. Her parents have a tight grip on her bank account, so she couldn’t donate to a bail fund or community organization. While she signed petitions pushing for prosecution for officers and advocating for defunding law enforcement, Wallace wanted to be more involved.

    “News stations and YouTubers can take the footage and later edit them to fit their personal agenda.”

    She began watching Instagram livestreams of the protests to stay informed. In a Twitter DM, she said that because she was viewing raw, unedited footage, she could get a clearer picture of what’s actually happening. Watching the protests live allows viewers to see police using disturbing force against peaceful protestors for themselves.

    “I think the news and even some YouTube creators are incredibly biased,” Wallace said. “News stations and YouTubers can take the footage and later edit them to fit their personal agenda.”

    Similarly, Celina Juarez, a 21-year-old restaurant employee in Los Angeles, felt that news outlets weren't focusing on what mattered. Juarez lives with her grandparents and didn't want to risk spreading the coronavirus to them, since the elderly are at high risk.

    "I feel that the news is showing more of the looting and less of the police brutality against peaceful protest when, based on every livestream I've tuned into, it's really the opposite," Juarez said in a Twitter DM.

    While the protests have been associated with looting and rioting, multiple videos(Opens in a new tab) show black protestors shutting down white agitators attempting to graffiti storefronts and steal merchandise. When the protests began in Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer, Juarez and Wallace felt that news coverage focused on the looting rather than law enforcement escalating violence against peaceful protestors.

    In addition to presenting a clearer picture of the the protests in support of Black Lives Matter, livestreams also provide crucial information for those who attend.

    Elijah Daniel, a YouTuber with 568,000 subscribers and 446,000 Instagram followers(Opens in a new tab), attended numerous protests in Los Angeles last week. He's also been broadcasting the protests on Instagram Live, where tens of thousands of viewers watched police tear gas gatherings, shoot rubber bullets into crowds, and arrest peaceful protestors who were out after Los Angeles' controversial curfews.

    I watched Daniel's protest livestream last week because I had several friends who were also marching in Hollywood. It seemed peaceful from wherever Daniel was marching, but the chants of "No justice, no peace" were broken up by panicked comments warning viewers that police were tear gassing protestors a few blocks ahead. Madison Beer, another influencer who's been actively attending protests and was marching ahead of Daniel, tweeted that cops were beginning to block in protestors well before curfew.

    As soon as I read the livestream comments, I called everyone I knew at the protests to warn them. One narrowly avoided the gas and rubber bullets, which law enforcement began deploying just minutes after he decided to take side streets out of Hollywood.

    This weekend, I attended the massive candlelight vigil for George Floyd and other black victims of police brutality, which took place only blocks from where police had arrested(Opens in a new tab) thousands of peaceful protestors the week before. During the drive over, I watched the livestream broadcasted by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles to keep tabs on police presence. Watching the protests live is a matter of safety.

    Watching protest livestreams is a matter of public safety. Credit: David McNew / Getty Images
    "I know it's easy to watch a video on the internet, but to watch it in real time is on a whole other level."

    Daniel's viewers are also using the livestream to open up conversations about police brutality and privilege with their families. Claire-Louise, a 21-year-old customer service agent in Belfast, Ireland, can't attend protests in Ireland because there aren't any close enough to be accessible. She's been showing Daniel's livestreams, as well as other screen recorded livestreams, to her family members who she claims are "a bit backwards in their mindset."

    "I know it's easy to watch a video on the internet, but to watch it in real time is on a whole other level," Claire-Louise said in a Twitter DM. "I get happy when I see the peacefulness but I get angry and anxious when I see the brutality and just blatant racism."

    Influencers and celebrities continue to fall out of public favor through this period of civil unrest. From posting well intentioned but ill informed black squares to their Instagram accounts to getting arrested for looting(Opens in a new tab), as Jake Paul did, celebrity culture is cracking. But those who use their platforms for activism, as Elijah Daniel and Halsey have, are inspiring a generation of viewers to join the Black Lives Matter movement.

    "Even though I can't actually be there, it at least makes me feel like I am," Wallace said. "Seeing how many people are at the protests, plus thinking about how many people are watching livestreams, makes me think that in time something may actually happen."

  • OKCupid adds Black Lives Matter badge and profile questions about racial inequality

    OKCupid adds Black Lives Matter badge and profile questions about racial inequality

    On Thursday, OKCupid announced that it's rolling out a #BlackLivesMatter(Opens in a new tab) badge in a dozen countries. Users can obtain the badge by answering yes to the question, "Do you want to support the #BlackLivesMatter movement by adding a badge to your profile?"


    Since badges won't actually do anything to solve racism, OKCupid has also donated $50,000 to the ACLU, Black Girls Code, Fair Fight Action and the NAACP. The app will also donate a million dollars in advertising space to black civil rights organizations.

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

    In addition to the badge, OKCupid has added matching questions related to racial injustice and inequality. Users can answer whether they protest; whether it's okay to silently support racial equality; how they plan on addressing racial inequality (say by donating or protesting); and whether they find it important that their date supports racial equality.

    OKCupid racial inequality question Credit: okcupid
    OKCupid how will you address racial inequality question Credit: okcupid

    In the past week, over 100,000 users have responded to the new questions. The majority said it's not okay to silently support equality, according to OKCupid's blog post. Seventy percent are protesting for racial equality.

    This isn't the first time OKCupid has created badges and questions around social justice. They did so with supporting Planned Parenthood(Opens in a new tab) and marriage equality as well(Opens in a new tab). While the badge could be seen by some as virtual signaling, the questions do allow users to dig deeper into a potential match's commitment to racial equality — which is a step in the right direction.

    Related Video: Want to donate to help the Black Lives Matter movement? Here's how.

  • Atlantas Missing and Murdered shows how little America cares about Black kids lives

    Atlantas Missing and Murdered shows how little America cares about Black kids lives

    Cries for justice — for American power systems to make even the most basic concession that Black lives matter — are not in any way new.


    Over the past couple weeks, however, those cries have rung out with a long-overdue collective ferocity that has rarely been seen in this country. But to truly join the voices who've been demanding a safer future for Black Americans, we must also look back and fully reckon with the countless times non-Black Americans failed them.

    That's why HBO's Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children, a documentary released this past April about an infamous string of child murders in the '80s, feels especially pertinent right now. It's not only a timely reminder of how far back these conversations around race, injustice, and policing go. The documentary highlights exactly how the American law and order system enables and protects those who murder Black people, even when they're children.

    It zeroes in on the biggest forces of evil at play in the murders: systemic racism and white supremacy.

    The Atlanta child murders have seen a resurgence in pop culture recently, whether through Payne Lindsay's 2018 true crime podcast series Atlanta Monster or Season 2 of David Fincher's Mindhunter. Unlike those explorations, though, this documentary doesn't focus on Wayne Williams (the man authorities pinned the murders on). Rather, it zeroes in on the biggest forces of evil at play in the murders: systemic racism and white supremacy.

    The key difference in the documentary's approach comes down to whom it listens to and believes. Rather than giving the police or the accused killer the majority of screen time, it takes the Black communities and families who suffered through these tragic losses at their word. Most, if not all, do not believe Williams killed their children and, by the end of the five episodes, I doubt any reasonable mind wouldn't question the officials' narrative either.

    SEE ALSO: How to be an effective ally online, at protests, and moving forward

    There are numerous revelations in Atlanta's Missing and Murdered that are truly jaw-dropping —ones that went ignored in the numerous other tellings I’ve consumed (which is a failure both of these narratives and of my own ignorance). The latter half of the five-part series digs into the enormous pile of evidence that validates what many labeled the “conspiracy theories” (i.e., the very substantiated beliefs) held by many Black Atlantans, that the Ku Klux Klan was involved.

    But I won't spoil any more specific details. A better way to capture the relevance of Atlanta's Missing and Murdered to current events is by focusing on how it addresses the many arguments being used in attempts to discredit the police brutality protests following the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

    For one, the documentary should be required viewing for anyone spouting the “but who will catch the murderers?!” rhetoric to counter calls to defund the police.

    As the Atlanta child murders make abundantly clear, cops aren’t doing a great job of catching murderers as is. Assumptions that they’d care enough to try that hard are based in white privilege, since it took the death of nine Black boys before anyone really started taking notice. (Meanwhile, the cavalry came out in full force before JonBenét Ramsey’s body was even cold — and they still didn’t catch her killer, mind you.) What's painfully obvious is that the issue of police routinely disregarding Black lives isn't just a matter of brutality, but of indifference and callousness.

    Calls for justice are not new, but white Americans actually listening is. Credit: hbo

    Far from being treated with any shred of decency, the family members who suffered these losses are barely seen as victims by the police. Instead, they're nuisances, simply for demanding that the police do their jobs of protecting and serving. More egregiously, most police officials interviewed for the documentary show no remorse for behavior that some might try to excuse as being “of its time.” One is indignantly self-righteous as he restates today to the camera why he was totally justified in accusing one of the victims’ mothers (and other family members) of killing her own child. His main reason for vilifying her? She was “a prostitute.”

    All of these injustices intersect with another sick media cycle we’re all too familiar with now, since it happens after every viral video of an unarmed Black person being killed for the crime of being Black. The victim’s family is forced to go on a media tour to try and convince the public that their murdered family member was a human being who did not deserve to be killed and is worthy of our attention. Inevitably, the news media and police find a way to victim blame, vilifying the murdered and questioning their innocence even when if, like the Atlanta cases, they are literal children.

    More Black people in powerful positions is not enough when every branch of the political and judicial system is rot with white supremacy.

    The documentary is also a great takedown of another popular argument being used to counter protests: Just go vote instead! While voting is obviously important, let’s recognize who exactly is most affected by voter suppression. (Hint: It’s a lot of the people protesting right now.)

    Moreover, the racial dynamics of the Atlanta child murder case are complicated by the fact that the murders and investigation happened under a Black mayor (the first one ever elected in the South, actually) and a Black police chief.

    Clearly, having more Black people in powerful positions is not enough when every branch of the political and judicial system is rotting with white supremacy. So you can throw out that other argument about “good apples” too, since no amount of good intentions stops a machine specifically designed to protect some through the literal sacrifice of others.

    Beyond a salient and timely commentary on systemic racism, Atlanta's Missing and Murdered is a gut-wrenching reminder of the unconscionable human costs of that system's failures.

    The documentary is unrelenting in how it lays bare the pain and fear these families and communities suffered. They are not just mourning the loss of their children, although that in itself is too much to bear. They are also mourning the loss of any and all illusions — however small — that the people in charge would protect the most vulnerable among them.

    The failure to provide the families of the Atlanta murder cases any real justice should prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that white supremacy reigns over definitions of “justice” in America. No one went to prison for those dozens of unsolved murders, but the documentary makes clear exactly who has blood on their hands.

    Atlanta's Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children is available to stream on HBO(Opens in a new tab) and HBO Max(Opens in a new tab).

Random articles


  • Cheeky Twitter meme lists all the very specific things you cant do, even once youre vaccinated

    Cheeky Twitter meme lists all the very specific things you cant do, even once youre vaccinated

    With millions of Americans getting their first, second, or only(Opens in a new tab) coronavirus vaccine shots every day, folks are actually starting to look forward to all the things they'll be able to do once herd immunity is reached and life can mostly go back to normal.


    And for those who've already been vaccinated (and waited a couple weeks(Opens in a new tab) for their glorious science-given immunity to kick in), they're already reaping the benefits. While vaccines don't reduce the likelihood of catching or spreading COVID-19 to zero, they do reduce the chance you'll get seriously, life-threateningly ill — meaning fully vaccinated people are feeling confident enough to hug their grandkids(Opens in a new tab), make out with (vaccinated) strangers(Opens in a new tab), and board a flight across the country(Opens in a new tab) to do those things.

    However, there are limits. The CDC notes(Opens in a new tab) that even after you've got your shots, you should avoid hanging out with at-risk loved ones without at least donning your mask, and also avoid "medium or large gatherings".

    SEE ALSO: NBA partners with Clear to screen fans for COVID-19

    And according to a new meme format doing the rounds on Twitter, your shiny new immunity also doesn't entitle you to go around recreating the plots of beloved movies, books, and plays.

    (Apparently being vaccinated does mean we're bringing back Cask of Amontillado(Opens in a new tab) memes(Opens in a new tab), and that is something we can all get behind.)

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

    And don't even think about recreating your high school Tumblr posts just because you're all vaxxed up.

    But hey, vaccinated angsty 1950s sapphics: you do you.

    If you recognized all of those, congratulations! You have spent the past year inside consuming all media ever made, and you've earned one unforgettable summer of adventure that changes you and your friends forever. Just... stay safe, and get that jab as soon as you can.

  • Everything you need to know about making friends on a dating app 

    Everything you need to know about making friends on a dating app 

    At this stage, many of us have tried online dating. In fact, in 2021, 323 million people worldwide(Opens in a new tab) used dating apps as their main avenue of meeting new people. It’s now the go-to method for finding romantic partners and the first port of call for most when seeking a new relationship, but the apps might not be top-of-mind for finding new friends. 

    Apps for finding friends are out there, though. There are now a bunch of apps designed to help people make friends. From Bumble’s ‘BFF’ mode which was the first to really go mainstream, to Peanut which helps mums make friends, to Patook(Opens in a new tab), Wink(Opens in a new tab), and Swipr(Opens in a new tab), there are multiple online platforms for people to find the right friendships for them.  

    Loneliness in young people has increased over the last few years, with 40 percent of 16 to 24-year-olds in the UK reporting feeling lonely(Opens in a new tab) "very often".  In total, 45 percent of adults feel occasionally, sometimes or often lonely(Opens in a new tab) in England. This could be, in part, to the difficulty of forming new friendships as an adult without the help of apps. A reality most people face in their 20s is that friendships are hard to come by when they’ve not been somewhat "assigned" to you — the way friendships occur when you’re younger, because of school and clubs. It’s something we don’t realise is difficult until we’re in the pits of it. 

    SEE ALSO: What are romance scams and how can you avoid them?

    Jessica Alderson from dating app So Synced(Opens in a new tab) tells Mashable that adults can find it hard to make friends for a variety of reasons. Adults typically have less free time between work and other obligations, finding it less easy to try new things and meet friends in new environments. Many people also typically worry about rejection and being vulnerable (a pretty key component to forming any kind of relationship) so it can be hard to put ourselves out there and find someone we click with.

    It's no wonder, then, that, according to a press release shared with Mashable by Bumble, the BFF mode saw a 44 percent rise in women searching for new friends, and a 83 percent rise in men. This yearning for friendship can also be seen in Facebook Groups like Truly Twenties — a group made for people in their 20s forming friendships online — which formed just two years ago and has already garnered over 66,000 members.(Opens in a new tab)

    These apps are filling a gap in our lives, but they can feel awkward and unnatural at first, with the format of a dating app feeling like a romantic or superficial environment. They take some serious getting used to. 

    So, Alderson and people who’ve found success on these apps share their best advice for using them well.

    Why download a friendship-finding app?

    Friendship apps, or dating apps with a platonic, social component, can be a great way for adults to make friends. One of the best things about meeting people through these apps is that you can be reasonably sure they are looking for friendship too. In a way, they cut the bullshit in a way dating apps don’t. Lots of people lurk on dating apps with a variety of intentions that can be hard to see — some are just looking for a pen pal or a bit of validation without anything more — but most people on friend-based apps are there for one reason: they’d like a new friend.

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

    30-year-old PR manager Jo used Bumble BFF after moving to Manchester to put herself out there and make new friends. "Apart from having one best friend who already lived in the city and my work colleagues, I didn't know anyone else, so I wanted to find a way to make friends," she tells Mashable.  

    She found Bumble BFF really easy to use. "You're able to make a profile similar to the dating app to make friends. You can highlight key hobbies and share snaps of things that you enjoy in order to attract people with similar industries to you. For me, I made sure I included that I liked fashion and my French background as I was looking to find people who had similar interests and cultural background," she explains. 

    SEE ALSO: What if someone is my BFF but I'm not theirs?

    "Finding the right people that matched my vibe due to similar age brackets and interest as people would put similar things on their profile in order to make friends. Since I downloaded the app I was introduced to friends who have a similar passion for thrifting and also like going to dance and doing other sports."

    Alderson adds that the nice thing about using apps to find friends is people have made a conscious effort to put themselves out there to make new friends, so they will likely make time to build your connection if it feels right to both of you.

    "You won't necessarily match with the perfect friend on your first date, so go into it with realistic expectations and try not to feel too disappointed if the first few matches don't work out. Remember that it's a process, and be patient and open-minded."

    "Apps also provide an easy way to narrow down potential friends based on similar interests, hobbies, or passions. For example, if you’re looking for friends who are sporty, you can look out for signs of that on people's profiles. People meet lifelong friends on apps every day, so if you're struggling to make new friends, it's definitely worth trying one of these apps," she says. 

    What should you consider before using friendship 'dating' apps?

    Before using friendship 'dating' apps, it's important to consciously think about what you are looking for in a friendship. When it comes to finding relationships of any kind, including friendships, it's helpful to be mindful of your intentions. 

    Alderson recommends asking yourself, "Are you looking for a lifelong friend or someone you can talk to for a few hours each week? Are you looking for someone who shares your interests, or is that less important?"

    SEE ALSO: The cost of living crisis is wreaking havoc in friendships

    Being honest about your intentions will help you to make sure that any potential friends are on the same page. "You don't necessarily have to spell it out in your profile or on your first friend date, but it's important to get a sense of who you're matching with and whether they want the same things as you," she says.   

    You should also bear in mind that friendship dating is just like romantic dating in the sense that it can take time to find the right person for you. "You won't necessarily match with the perfect friend on your first date, so go into it with realistic expectations and try not to feel too disappointed if the first few matches don't work out. Remember that it's a process, and be patient and open-minded," she notes. 

    How is app-dating different for friendships vs relationships?

    The first time I jumped onto a friend-making app, I started building my profile like a dating app as a default. Something about the similar design and format of the apps makes you feel like you’re on a dating app and act accordingly. But, they’re obviously not the same. Looking for partners and looking for friends on apps are completely different experiences, even if they are in the same packaging. 

    The main difference is the profiles themselves. "Most people have a different kind of profile for finding friendships vs relationships.  When you're looking for a romantic partner, there's more of an emphasis on sexual chemistry and attraction, but looking for friendships revolves more around common interests and lifestyles. Shared values are equally important for both," Alderson explains. 

    A significant difference with friendship dating is that there's no pressure to commit to one person. "With romantic dating, you're expected to formally decide at some point where the relationship is headed, whereas with friendship dating, there's no pressure to be 'exclusive.'"

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

    This also means that you can invite each other along to activities you do with other friends you meet on the app, which isn’t the case with romantic relationships outside of the polyamorous scene. 

    While the pressure is still there for sure, it doesn’t feel as all-consuming as dating app pressure. We don’t have as many weird societal expectations surrounding friendships as we do with romantic or sexual relationships, so searching for friends on apps is a nice way to date without any weird bill-paying politics or awkward courting.

    What should I put on my friendship app profile?

    Friendship-finding apps can be really intimidating, especially if it’s brand-new territory. Suddenly, when you’re asked to share information about yourself, you forget who you are entirely and concerns over online ‘authenticity’ adds an extra layer of pressure. 

    Alderson says your friendship 'dating' profile should get your personality across in a positive and authentic way. You'll want to highlight your interests and values and include several photos so potential friends can get a sense of who you are. 

    "Write a short bio or add some answers to prompt questions that will give potential friends a better sense of who you are. If you need help getting started, think about what makes you different. Funny quirks or stories are a great place to start," she recommends. 

    Take a step back and think about what kind of people you want to connect with, and then consider how they would view your profile. "If you want to make friends with people who love horse riding, would people who love horse riding be drawn to your profile? Ask yourself this and use the answers to refine your profile by highlighting the aspects of your personality and lifestyle that are relevant," Alderson adds. 

    Finally, take your time when creating your profile and consider it an investment in finding the right friends for you. Within reason, the more you fill out your profile, the higher your chances of finding compatible friends. If you get stuck, seek the opinion of someone close to you to help you. And remember, while you want to stand out, make sure you do so in an honest way. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for disappointment, and it's not fair to other people.

    28-year-old privacy consultant Kayleigh has found great friendships on friend-making apps and says being more intentional in your profile can help you find better connections and makes for an easy move from app conversation to real-life ‘date’. 

    "Put what you want to do with a new friend in your bio (whether that be travelling or coffee dates or gigs etc) or looking out for those activities in others bios — this means that you’ll connect with people who want to do the same things," she tells Mashable. "You can then suggest one of those activities for your first ‘date’. I put that I like trying new hobbies and workshops in my bio so when I connected with someone who wanted the same, I suggested that we do an art class as our first meet up!"

    Kayleigh believes nailing the bio is the key to starting meaningful friendships on these apps. "Definitely make sure you put thought into your bio — doesn’t need to be the next great novel but having info in there that’s unique to you gives the other person something to strike up conversation about," she explains. "Generic ‘how are you?'questions back and forth don't really tend to go anywhere but being able to ask about someone’s travel experience or being asked about a particular hobby makes convo flow so much better!"

    How do I decide if another person and I could be good friends based on their profile?

    Like romantic dating, it's hard to know whether you'll really click until you meet up in person, but there are signs to look out for in profiles. Alderson says to get a sense of people's interests and if you have anything in common.

    "Look for shared values as well. Do they list things that are important to them, such as volunteering, helping the environment or animal rights? If they list values you share, this is one of the best signs that you could be a good match," she explains. 

    She adds that a person’s profile can say a lot about their compatibility as a friend. "Read their profile carefully and get a sense of their personality. Are they funny, serious, or laid back? Look for clues in how they write and the kinds of experiences they talk about to work out how likely it is that you'd be compatible."

    23-year-old operations worker Kiera has had success making friends on apps and notes that, although we automatically look for similarities as indicators of potential friendship, her best tip is to keep an open mind. "It can be really weird to 'shop for friends' but you could end up meeting someone that you really vibe with. I had a few people who just didn't respond or the chat just fizzled out so don't let that stuff put you off from trying," she says.

    Though it can be tempting to look for people you have lots in common with, it’s important to be open to new people with different types of interests. If you think back to the kinds of people you've clicked with in the past in real life, it's likely that you only had a few things here and there in common.  While it's helpful to be on the same wavelength in some ways, you're not looking for a carbon copy of yourself. 

    What happens if I don’t make friends?


    It’s important to remember that, just like in real life, making friends takes time. You also shouldn’t let the pressure of needing to make friends stop you from being picky or looking past things you don’t like. Much like dating, we can fall into that trap sometimes. But you don't want to rush into a friendship if it doesn't feel right. 

    You should also keep in mind friendship dating is like romantic dating in that it only takes one person to change your life. "It can shift in an instant," Alderson says. "The more people you meet, the more likely you are to find someone who could be a great friend. It may take some time and effort before that happens, which is why it's essential to go into friendship dating with realistic expectations."

  • New low power mode could turn Apple Watch into a real sports watch

    New low power mode could turn Apple Watch into a real sports watch

    This fall, Apple might finally have a product it never had before: A real sports watch with decent battery life.


    Over the weekend, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman(Opens in a new tab) shared a few more details about the upcoming Apple Watch Pro (a probable name). According to his sources, the new version of the Watch will have a larger, more shatter-resistant display, better battery life, a bigger, more rugged case made out of a premium material, and features such as enhanced hiking and swim tracking.

    All of this sounds like Apple is preparing a competitor for Garmin's popular Fenix(Opens in a new tab) wearables, which are bulky, rugged, powerful, and can track every sports activity known to man. They've got tons of battery life, making them ideal for very long activities like marathon running, Ironman triathlon, or hiking. They're also the weapon of choice for adventurer types, who prefer not having to worry about charging their watch while on a multi-day mountain trip.

    Garmin's devices are highly specialized, but Apple Watch actually does a decent job in tracking sports activities too – DC Rainmaker(Opens in a new tab), run by a man who tests wearables in extreme detail, has some data on that.

    The big question about the Apple Watch Pro, however, is the battery life. Sure, Apple can put a slightly bigger battery into its larger case, but will it be enough to match the battery life on Garmin's products, which is often measured in weeks?

    My answer would normally be no. My Apple Watch 6 has a one, maybe one-and-a-half day battery life, and no matter what I did with it, I couldn't squeeze much more out of it. Surprisingly, compared to normal usage, my Watch doesn't bleed that much more battery life during activities such as running. Still, on days when I did workouts, I'd typically be in the red by evening time.

    Garmin Fenix 7 has up to 22 days of battery life. We'll see if Apple's Watch Pro can come anywhere near that. Credit: Garmin

    But Gurman also mentioned an almost-forgotten feature Apple has reportedly been working on(Opens in a new tab) since April at least – Low Power Mode. Yes, the Apple Watch already has a Power Reserve mode, but it's next to useless, as the Watch can only show you the time when in Power Reserve state (and it does that painfully slowly).

    The new Low Power mode, Gurman says, would let the watch run some apps and features without using as much battery life. Other details are absent, but the Low Power Mode sounds like exactly the kick Apple Watch needs to become a true Garmin watch competitor. A combination of a bigger battery and a dedicated mode of operation that saves battery life and lets you track sports activities at the same time could extend the Watch's battery just enough for an Ironman, or a multi-day hike.

    I still have my doubts as to whether the new Apple Watch Pro will match the battery life of dedicated sports watches. And we don't know what kind of apps and features Apple will let us run while in Low Power mode. But if done correctly, it might make the Apple Watch Pro just compelling enough to chew off a chunk of Garmin's hefty market share(Opens in a new tab) in the smartwatch premium segment.

  • Why have some people stopped using BeReal?

    Why have some people stopped using BeReal?

    In 2022, it seemed BeReal was the app of the moment(Opens in a new tab). Founded in 2020 by French entrepreneurs Alexis Barreyat and Kévin Perreau, the app swelled in success(Opens in a new tab) last year, reaching over 50 million downloads(Opens in a new tab) by October and being crowned the iPhone app of the year(Opens in a new tab). Other social apps were scrambling to replicate BeReal's premise, and continue to do so(Opens in a new tab).

    But the precarity of BeReal was quickly acknowledged online(Opens in a new tab), too. For one thing, "authenticity" and social media are at natural odds with one another. For another, BeReal had the advantage of emerging at a time when people were tiring of other community-based apps for that very reason. This gave the app an innate sense of "novelty", as Mashable's Elena Cavender wrote in December, but its usage has ultimately evolved to mimic that of other content-based social apps. "BeReals became the new version of the selfie, with people clamoring to get memorable BeReals at concerts and with celebrities," she wrote. "It became a new way to go viral on other, more monetizable platforms."

    This is just one development that has led to a chunk of users skipping BeReal's daily notification – or abandoning the app entirely(Opens in a new tab).

    At its peak in September 2022, BeReal saw 12 million monthly downloads. This January, that fell to 3.3 million, according to data from Business of Apps(Opens in a new tab) and Apptopia(Opens in a new tab). More indicatively, perhaps, is the drop in daily active users: this number has nearly halved(Opens in a new tab), from 20 million daily users in October 2022 to 10.4 million now.

    Amber hasn't stopped using BeReal entirely but her use has waned as a result of the app's very foundation: asking people to document what they are doing, authentically, and in the moment.

    "I feel like BeReal is like the ultimate manifestation of 'look, look, see what I am doing right now!'" she tells Mashable. "It's not like I don't adore my friends and have an interest in my friends' day to day activities. It's because I genuinely don't think we as people were made to see, let alone want to see, what other people are doing when they aren't with us, friends included."

    SEE ALSO: How much do we shape-shift across social media?


    She isn't the only one. Many users, like Amber, still use the app but less than they once did. Kayla says she uses the app "sporadically", but does occasionally dive in for the purpose of connecting with friends.

    "I miss a lot of days, but use it to check in on close friends I don't typically talk to, like friends from college, friends I've moved away from, people like that," she says.

    Another once active user, Meg, says she is using it less since the summer, too: "I mean, how many times can I take a photo of me at my desk doing boring work?"

    Meg’s qualm – directed at the motony and lack of variety in daily posts – is shared. Aryaman says he stopped using it because there was little engagement to be had. "There aren’t too many conversations to start based on someone’s work screen and cup of coffee," he says.

    Other reasons for not using the app vary from irritation at the daily notification to "there are too many different social apps" to keep track of. A majority, however, rejected BeReal for the pressures it posits. As mentioned, the app's promise of authenticity was contentious from the start. But users recognise that others don't always use the two-minute window BeReal sets for posts, instead waiting for a moment when something more exciting or photo-worthy was occuring.

    "There was a lot of social pressure to be posting things that were not real," Michael, a once-avid user of the app, says. "The app is conducive to showing off that you have a more enriched lifestyle or patterns, when realistically, that’s not always the case."

    Amelie feels similarly, telling Mashable, "I realised it wasn't the 'live in the moment' version of social media, but just another way to superficially document your life with your friends. It had become status and image based." Rohan, too, says, "It lost all its beauty. People don't use it to document their real lives, they just wait until they are doing something interesting.”

    These criticisms of BeReal are not unique to the app, but akin to any objections directed at social media as a whole. The only possible difference is that BeReal positioned itself as an alternative to the glossy images of Instagram and the commodified content of TikTok. The app has naturally been transformed as a consequence of rooted behavior on social media and habits that are hard to shake.

    All of this is not to say that BeReal has tumbled into insignificance. In October, the app's valuation was somewhere around $600 million(Opens in a new tab). The insistence of other apps to imitate BeReal is also a testament to the fact that the startup was onto something, whether that's the timeframe it provides for posts or the dual camera concoctions it delivers.

    In response to Mashable, BeReal passed along a link to their Press page(Opens in a new tab), which reads:

    We want for ourselves what we want for our users – not to chase fame or the spotlight or to be tethered to metrics like the number of followers or number of downloads. We don't share our numbers, even though we see lots of rumored estimates online. In the spirit of authenticity and veracity, we’ll say to take these figures for what they are…estimates :).

    Those who still use the app are loyal to it, with some explaining that taking a daily post is now just a habit, while others go as far to say BeReal is their favorite of social apps. Amongst these users are those who perceive BeReal as a sort of journal, or a way to document daily life in mere seconds.

    "It’s more of a little diary entry for me to remember each day. It’s nice looking back on my days even if they are monotonous and boring," says Ryan. Sofia also says she likes to go back and see what she was doing over the course of months: "the real draw, really, is that facilitated record and memory-keeping."

    The decline of BeReal, whether momentary or not(Opens in a new tab), underscores a greater dissatisfaction: with apps, with influencers, and with any sort of glorified content. This is a larger challenge the likes of Instagram and TikTok will have to reckon with, too. A reinvention of sorts may be required of them all – for BeReal, it's unclear what this could look like.

  • Here’s what you need to know about Clubhouse, the audio social app

    Here’s what you need to know about Clubhouse, the audio social app

    You might've heard of Clubhouse by now. It might still be unlikely that you've actually joined Clubhouse.


    That's because the new social media platform has built its reputation, in part, on exclusivity. Well, exclusivity and being the audio-only app where people spend countless hours mostly networking and plugging their own projects. It has also been been copied (or working on being copied(Opens in a new tab)) by other social media companies after its hyped success.

    However the exclusivity of Clubhouse may soon be a thing of the past. The app opened to everyone on Wednesday, July 21, meaning you no longer need an invite to join. Here's what you need know about Clubhouse in case you soon find yourself using it.

    What is Clubhouse?

    In short: Clubhouse is an audio-based social media app. The company describes itself(Opens in a new tab) as "a new type of social product based on voice [that] allows people everywhere to talk, tell stories, develop ideas, deepen friendships, and meet interesting new people around the world."

    Basically, you can jump in and out of different chats, on different subjects, in something akin to a live, free-flowing podcast. You can simply listen or choose to throw in your thoughts. In theory, it's supposed to be something like a cocktail party or...clubhouse. In practice, it's some mixture of LinkedIn, a panel discussion, or a professional conference.

    Vogue described the app(Opens in a new tab)'s experience as "a dizzying bringing together of live podcast-style conversations, panel discussions, networking opportunities (some savvy people are already swapping 'influencer' for 'moderator') and advantageous multiple-room use (locked and private options are available so you can talk to pals too), the social-media app mimics real-life interactions."

    The audio itself, however, doesn't leave the app. That's the main rule: There's no recording of conversations and they're not saved.

    Who uses Clubhouse?

    Clubhouse is big with celebrities. Float around the app and you might hear folks like Oprah, Kevin Hart, Drake, Chris Rock, or Ashton Kutcher. They might even host chats. In some ways, that's part of Clubhouse's appeal. You get the chance to hear, and even participate in, unvarnished conversations with famous and powerful people. Refinery29 described(Opens in a new tab) networking as the primary reason for Clubhouse's rising popularity. Indeed, spend enough time on the app and you're bound to hear folks not-so-casually slipping their accomplishments and goals into conversation.

    Other than celebrities, the app is seemingly focused on people it considers an elite clientele. It became a status symbol of sorts for Silicon Valley types after its launch last year. The whole invite-only thing was apparently taken pretty seriously. But it's now growing. Taylor Lorenz for the New York Times(Opens in a new tab) reported in December(Opens in a new tab) that it had 600,000 registered users and has been courting influencers.

    Its downloads have slowed recently(Opens in a new tab) but Clubhouse is attempting to roll out new features that'll keep folks interest. Most recently it announced that it would debut audio-only Ted Talks on the platform.

    Who made it?

    Paul Davison and Rohan Seth found the app last year. By May, it was valued at around $100 million despite have just 1,500 users at the time, according to CNBC(Opens in a new tab). Its most recent round of funding reportedly valued(Opens in a new tab) it at $4 billion.

    What's the controversy with Clubhouse?

    Clubhouse already has abuse and content moderation — or lack thereof — problems. As the Times(Opens in a new tab) noted(Opens in a new tab), there have been numerous complaints that Clubhouse hasn't done much to protect folks from abuse.

    The Verge wrote back(Opens in a new tab) in July that the app didn't seem to have a plan for moderating content. Things haven't seemed to get much better. Vanity Fair wrote a piece in December(Opens in a new tab) detailing out the ephemeral, audio-only nature of Clubhouse allowed the app to "become a haven for the powerful to flirt with misogyny and racism." The responded to Vanity Fair saying it "unequivocally condemns all forms of racism, hate speech, and abuse, as noted in our Community Guidelines and Terms of Service, and has trust and safety procedures in place to investigate and address any violation of these rules."

    Do you still need an invite to join Clubhouse?

    Nope. It has opened to everyone.

    It was once available only for iPhone users(Opens in a new tab) but it is available on Android now(Opens in a new tab), too.

    How do you delete Clubhouse?

    So, what happens if find you nab an invite to Clubhouse but then want to get rid of it? After all, the app isn't everybody's cup of tea.

    Mashable's Jack Morse wrote a detailed piece on deleting Clubhouse — and the app's data policies — but it's safe to say getting rid of your account is not a simple process.

    There is no option or button to delete your Clubhouse account within the app. You have to contact Clubhouse directly and ask them to delete your data.

    "Please log in to your account or contact us (at [email protected]) if you need to change or correct your Personal Data, or if you wish to delete your account," the app's privacy policy reads(Opens in a new tab).

    From there, it's not clear how quickly Clubhouse will follow up on your request.

    So, yes, it may be hard to get into Clubhouse, but it might be just as hard to leave.

    This story was originally published in January 2021 and updated in July 2021.

  • Easy ways to turn your patio into an outdoor oasis with Walmart

    Easy ways to turn your patio into an outdoor oasis with Walmart

    Considering making some home improvements this summer? Before getting into fix-it mode, make sure you have somewhere to relax after the hard work is done. From wicker furniture to cozy lighting, you can easily transform your patio or backyard into an outdoor living room with a few smart purchases from Walmart.


    Along with everything you need for your outside spaces, you’ll find plenty of options for those indoors DIY projects like finally installing a proper towel rack(Opens in a new tab) (and plush towels(Opens in a new tab) to hang on it).

    Keep it simple with a patio set

    Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

    Patio sets provide a one-and-done option for outdoor living rooms and Walmart has a wide array of patio furniture and accessories(Opens in a new tab) to fit the size and style of your home. If you have a roomy backyard, the Better Homes & Gardens Brookbury outdoor wicker dining set(Opens in a new tab) ($897, normally $997) covers all the bases with a comfy couch, two stools, and a dining table for seating up to seven. The fabric is water- and stain-resistant for standing up to rain, dirt, and spilled sangria.

    Illuminate your ‘exterior design’

    Credit: Better Homes & Gardens

    Lighting can go a long way in making your outdoor living room feel homey, from sparkling strings of lights to glowing firepits. You can even create a cascading wall of light with the Better Homes & Gardens LED curtain lights(Opens in a new tab) ($14.86). Hung from a wall, fence, or pergola, the energy-efficient LED bulbs give off warm white light with 15 vertical strands, forming an 8-by-13-foot wall.

    Set up a streaming situation

    Credit: Bomahker

    Pop some popcorn, smush together some s’mores, and watch movies under the stars with an ultra-portable, mini Bomahker WiFi movie projector(Opens in a new tab) ($79.99, normally $179.99). It’s compatible with Android and iOS devices (HDMI and USB cables, too) for easy streaming and projects sharp, vivid images thanks to its sleek LCD display technology. You can screen flicks on a 45-inch to 200-inch display turning your backyard into an outdoor movie theater

    (Opens in a new tab)
    Credit: walmart
    Spruce up your patio space this season (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)
    Save on outdoor furniture and accessories with Walmart
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

  • 21 of the best and worst celebrity homes, as seen on Zoom calls

    21 of the best and worst celebrity homes, as seen on Zoom calls

    Celebrities are just like us... they also work from home during a global pandemic.


    For the past few months, actors, celebrities, and politicians have been calling into virtual interviews, going live on social media, and having Zoom calls galore to do press, speak on current events, and communicate with fans. And with each celebrity Zoom call, we received small glimpses into their home lives.

    Some big names like the Obamas and Dr. Anthony Fauci appeared to video chat from their home offices. Others, like Martha Stewart, Jane Fonda, and Oprah called in from an impressive kitchen or living room. But unfortunately, not everyone seems to take their backdrops into consideration before hopping on a video call.

    If you haven't been meticulously keeping tabs on celebrity Zoom calls, have no fear. The Twitter account @ratemyskyperoom(Opens in a new tab) (aka Room Rater) is here to do all the work for you. Since April, the account has been screenshotting and rating noteworthy rooms from celebrities on video calls. Some of the most impressive receive a 10/10 rating, and some especially upsetting rooms receive scores in the negatives.

    In an effort to celebrate Room Rater's tireless efforts, we've compiled a list 10 of the worst celebrity Zoom backdrops, and 11 of the best. Please enjoy this carefully curated selection of the best and worst views of celebrity homes, as seen on Zoom, as seen on Twitter.

    Best: Barack and Michelle Obama

    Getting a peek inside the former president and first lady's house was a real honor. Barack and Michelle have made several video addresses in front of these tasteful white shelves, where they have everything from books and flowers, to dog figurines and a football displayed. 10/10!

    Worst: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Though AOC is one of the most influential politicians around, she didn't choose the best video background. The curtain helped a bit but still too drab.

    SEE ALSO: Here's what a Zoom call would look like on 'The Office'

    Best: Martha Stewart

    It should surprise absolutely no one that Martha Stewart's house is gorgeous and she found a delightful background for video chatting. The queen of the kitchen gives a nice look at her open shelves and even invited her two pups to get in frame. 10/10!

    Worst: Tom Brady

    Tom Brady's early attempts at finding the perfect video chat backdrop were embarrassing. Some might say his efforts fell as flat as a deflated football. Brady tried to make a comeback, and he obviously did better, but we're still not over how awful the first try was.

    Best: Dr. Anthony Fauci

    People on Twitter fell hard for Dr. Anthony Fauci's home office. Complete with books, photos, plants, windows, medals, and more, Fauci's workspace screams "chaotic good." 10/10!

    Worst: Jessica Chastain

    Much like AOC, the plain white backdrop is not working here. Especially because a white sweater is also involved!

    Best: Jane Fonda

    As always, Jane Fonda came to slay. The actress and activist called into CNN wearing a black turtleneck and beret and behind her was a gorgeous fireplace and some truly cozy decor. 10/10!

    Worst: Jack Dorsey

    Hmm. Feels like the CEO of Twitter should be better at using technology.

    Best: Bryan Stevenson

    It is very possible that Bryan Stevenson — lawyer, author, social justice activist, and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative(Opens in a new tab) — has one of the most impressive offices of all time. Awards galore? Books galore? Papers scattered in what I assume is perfectly organized mess? We love to see it. 10/10!

    Worst: Cory Booker

    Sorry Cory, but this background gives off real hostage video vibes. Try sitting truly anywhere else next time.

    Best: Oprah

    The caption says it all: "Lighting. Framing. Flowers. Toaster." Did you really think even for a second that Oprah would disappoint? Nancy Meyers would love. 10/10!

    Worst: Candace Bure

    Listen, we're not asking to see Candace's full house, but there has to be a better spot to hop on a video call.

    Best: Rep. John Lewis

    An iconic backdrop for an iconic man. Great staircase, great art, great door. 10/10!

    Worst: Carole Baskin

    I mean, the plain backdrop might not be so bad if she were wearing a more neutral color. Sadly, I can't look at this image without thinking of Barney the dinosaur.

    Best: Pete Buttigieg (eventually)

    Much like Tom Brady, Pete Buttigieg's early video call framing was rough. It's a new month, though, and Pete's reorganized his book shelves, grown back some hair, and repositioned his camera. Proud of you, sir. 10/10!

    Worst: Nikki Haley

    I don't think it's cool to prop your own book up in the back of your shot like that — is it? Feels bad to me.

    Best: Jimmy Fallon

    Late night host Jimmy Fallon has experience working in front of a nice backdrop, and it clearly helped him scout out some great places to video chat in his own home. You can see another winning Fallon backdrop here(Opens in a new tab). 10/10!

    Worst: Jason Sudeikis

    Jason, you know what? This backdrop might not be so terrible if you get some better lighting and raise the camera a bit. Still could use a little color, though.

    Best: Taika Waititi

    That mirror! That throne! That textured wall! And a real microphone in frame? This is a Zoom setting fit for royalty. 10/10!

    Worst: Alex O'Brien

    While not technically a house, Meteorologist Alex O'Brien's an unfortunate green screen/antler incident deserves a shout out. This background is pretty bad... but like, GOOD bad.

    Best: Matt James

    On Friday, ABC announced that Matt James would become The Bachelor's first Black lede. James called into interviews all morning, and honestly? He had one of the greatest background we've ever seen. Love the sight of natural light bouncing off of a salmon-colored jacket.

    So there you have it, everyone. Next time you're about to call into an online meeting or Zoom with your friends, put just a tiny bit of effort into your background. You never know who might screenshot it.

  • Anti-vaxxers charged after selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on Instagram

    Anti-vaxxers charged after selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on Instagram

    It may not be surprising that an Instagram user going by the handle @AntiVaxMomma is an anti-vaccination conspiracy theorist.


    What may shock you, however, is that this person was raking in good money selling fake COVID-19 vaccination cards on the Facebook-owned social media platform.

    Jasmine Clifford, a 31-year-old woman from New Jersey, was (Opens in a new tab)charged(Opens in a new tab) in a Manhattan court(Opens in a new tab) on Tuesday with felonies related to a scheme to sell fraudulent versions of authentic CDC COVID-19 vaccine documents to unvaccinated people.

    @AntiVaxMomma's personal Instagram page advertised her fake vaccination card business right in her bio. Credit: mashable screenshot

    Some U.S. cities, such as New York City, will soon require that individuals be vaccinated for COVID-19 in order to enter restaurants, movie theaters, and other businesses. Many employers are also requiring vaccines for their workers as well.

    In order to avoid taking the jab, anti-vaxxers and other COVID-19 deniers have resorted to buying fake vaccination cards, creating a new lucrative blackmarket for the fraudulent documents.

    Fifteen other people who were involved in the scheme were charged as well, including people who purchased the cards.

    Just last week, @AntiVaxMomma received public attention on social media after a TikTok video (Opens in a new tab)by user @tizzyent unveiling her vaccination card scheme went viral(Opens in a new tab).

    Clifford openly advertised the fake vaccination cards for $200 on her @AntiVaxMomma Instagram page. When that page was shut down in May, she quickly got her business back up and running using a new handle: @AntiVaxMomma2.

    Prosecutors say Clifford sold around 250 cards through Instagram. Buyers paid using CashApp or Zelle.

    In her Instagram post advertisements, the New Jersey woman offered unvaccinated individuals "real cards, real lot numbers, real vaccination sites" according to an Instagram Story post. Lot numbers are a combination of letters and numbers used to track individuals to the specific vaccination batch they received.

    Having this information helps add legitimacy to the fake cards. Unvaccinated people trying to pass off cheap knockoff vaccination cards have recently been caught due to their obvious illegitimacy. For example, a woman was arrested(Opens in a new tab) for traveling to Hawaii using a fake vaccination card with the Moderna vaccine misspelled as "Maderna."

    Clifford also advertised that she could get their names added to the New York immunization database for an extra $250.

    But Clifford was able to offer this particular service thanks to Nadayza Barkley, a 27-year-old medical clinic worker in New York, who has also been charged. Barkley aided in the vaccination card scheme by entering at least 10 names of unvaccinated individuals into the New York immunization database.

    By doing this, an unvaccinated individual would add an extra layer of legitimacy to their fraudulent document. For example, this information is checked when a person attempts to set up their digital vaccination card on the NY State Excelsior Pass mobile app.

    According to @tizzyent, he exchanged messages with @AntiVaxMomma on her personal Instagram account, @5StarJazziii, after she posted that she was looking to "expand her team." She specifically mentioned that she was looking to work with people who had access to computer access at hospitals or major pharmacies.

    @TizzyEnt's text message conversation with @AntiVaxMomma Credit: mashable screenshot

    In a series of screenshots in @tizzyent's TikTok video, Clifford offers up details of her deal with Barkley under the belief that he would help her expand her services to Florida. Clifford claims she paid Barkley $100 per person and that she was making up to $10,000 per week.

    While @tizzyent's TikTok video was an eye-opening investigation for the public, the Manhattan DA's office claims that it did not aid in the case as Clifford had been under investigation for her scheme since June.

    But just as worrying as those who are profiting off of these fake COVID-19 vaccination cards is who is buying them.

    Prosecutors have charged(Opens in a new tab) 13 people who bought fake vaccination cards from @AntiVaxMomma with "criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree." These individuals all appear to be frontline healthcare workers at hospitals and nursing homes.

    In a statement provided to BuzzFeed, Facebook said it took action against Clifford's Instagram account, removing it early last month.

    The social media giant says the sale of vaccination cards, real or fake, on its platforms are prohibited.

    The Department of Justice has recently started to amp up its crackdown on fake vaccination card schemes. A Chicago pharmacist was arrested and charged last month as well for selling(Opens in a new tab) 125 vaccination cards on eBay. More than 3,000 fake vaccination cards were confiscated(Opens in a new tab) by federal authorities last month in Alaska as well.

  • The reason QAnon thinks the U.S. Space Force will hand the next election to Trump

    The reason QAnon thinks the U.S. Space Force will hand the next election to Trump

    Over the past few days, a video from former president Donald Trump's most recent rally in Michigan went viral(Opens in a new tab). The clip(Opens in a new tab), which now has more than 2.5 million views just on Twitter, features a woman decked out in American flag gear sharing her thoughts about how the 2020 presidential election was stolen from Trump. (It was not(Opens in a new tab).)


    "The election, I believe, was stolen, but we know that," the Trump supporter began. "Space Force has it all. Trump has all the information."

    Her specifics regarding the U.S. Space Force even caught the interviewer with the vehemently pro-Trump outlet, Right Side Broadcasting Network, by surprise.

    "The night of the election, [the Space Force] literally watched the election be stolen," she explained, before going into a slew of other election conspiracy theories that end with the U.S. Space Force overturning the election results and Joe Biden's presidency.

    Exactly what information the Space Force supposedly has is anyone's guess, but if we look back at the recent history of QAnon (Oh yes, it very much still exists), we can see that its followers are still breathing new life into some aging conspiracy theories, like this now-viral Space Force concept. Meanwhile, Trump himself, who has intimated that he will be running(Opens in a new tab) for president once again in 2024, is still spreading the Big Lie(Opens in a new tab) about a stolen election, and thus adding fuel to the QAnon fire.

    QAnon is, briefly, a right-wing conspiracy theory that claims Trump has been secretly working to takedown a global Satanic cabal of cannibalistic child sex traffickers, who also happen to be his political enemies. By now, many have likely heard about the QAnon-fueled conspiracy theories involving the "real" ballots being secretly watermarked (they were not(Opens in a new tab)). Those same QAnon believers also say that the military will eventually take over, institute martial law, and stage tribunals of Trump's enemies on live TV.

    But the Space Force!? If that seems to be coming out of left field, you're probably blissfully unaware that the Space Force has a large fanbase on the right, thanks to Trump turning the military's space program into an independent branch of the armed services in 2019. In fact, this particular conspiracy has been floating since shortly after the presidential election in November 2020.

    The sources of some of the more specific, niche QAnon beliefs like this one are hard to trace with precision from our vantage point here in 2022. Many videos that were published on YouTube have since been taken down as the platform cracked down on QAnon videos and other content that "targets an individual or group with conspiracy theories that have been used to justify real-world violence." Same goes for many posts on Twitter and Facebook. One tweet(Opens in a new tab) discovered by Mashable recalled how the now-infamous QAnon Shaman was ranting about the Space Force as far back as November 2020 at a right-wing protest In Maricopa County, Arizona.

    However, the Space Force theory really started to pick up and spread in early January 2021. In the days after the January 6 storming of the Capitol building, news broke (as in: real true news) that the Space Force would officially be designated(Opens in a new tab) as a member of the U.S. intelligence community. This move created a perfect storm for QAnon conspiracy theories.

    At the time, a man by the name of Ezra (Opens in a new tab)Cohen(Opens in a new tab)-Watnick(Opens in a new tab) was a senior Trump intelligence official. For years, many QAnon followers believed that Cohen-Watnick was actually Q, the anonymous leader of the QAnon movement who claimed to be a high-ranking official within the Trump administration. While Cohen-Watnick denied these claims, the dovetailing of lore about the mythical Q, and lore about the Space Force gave way to the belief that the two entities were working in tandem to prove the 2020 election was fraudulent, and overturn it.

    Then, a week later, Trump made the bizarre decision to move the U.S. Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Alabama. 

    Conspiracy theorists took this as further evidence that Trump was clearing the way to have the Space Force play a part in overturning Biden's election before his inauguration on January 20. It should be noted that the U.S. Space Command is unrelated to the Space Force. Months later, in an August 2021 interview, Trump admitted(Opens in a new tab) that moving the U.S. Space Command was simply a political decision he made. It should be further noted that in that same interview, Trump also confused the U.S. Space Command with the Space Force. 

    For more than a year, Trump supporters have shared conspiracy theories claiming that the Space Force used satellites(Opens in a new tab) to monitor the 2020 election and capture proof of election fraud in real-time.

    Videos about the Space Force and the 2020 election have amassed hundreds of thousands of views on the conservative video platform Rumble. Posts about the Space Force and election fraud on the group messaging service Telegram have received tens of thousands of views as well.

    It's been nearly a year and a half since the 2020 election, and more than a year since Joe Biden was inaugurated as president. Election fraud claims have been debunked. No hard evidence exists demonstrating that the 2020 election was stolen. Yet unfortunately, it seems that election fraud conspiracies like the one about the Space Force may very well go on forever – to infinity and beyond.

  • 30 NBA Twitter accounts you should follow

    30 NBA Twitter accounts you should follow

    NBA Twitter is a fantastic place — a mix of hoops talk, comedy, and wild takes. The NFL might be America's favorite pro league, but the NBA is its most online.


    But getting into that little subset of a world can be tough. Finding the right mix of follows, understanding the jokes — it all takes time. Like almost any online community there's a barrier to entry.

    That in mind, I tried to put together a list of great accounts on NBA Twitter. If you'd like to jump into that world, following these accounts would be a good start.

    By the way: This is is in no way comprehensive. I didn't include any actual NBA players because they're in the games, not the folks making the specific world online. I also didn't include brand accounts or team accounts because...well you could probably find those on your own. I tried to select a diverse sampling of folks who follow the NBA and post about it. I'm sure I missed some but here are 30 accounts that would be a good representation of NBA Twitter.

    The ubiquitous follows

    The first group of folks I listed are the people you simple have to follow. They're the major power brokers in the media landscape, or they break or make the news.

    1. Adrian Wojnarowski - @wojespn(Opens in a new tab)

    There’s no other name that could start this list. If you want to be on NBA Twitter, then ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi — commonly known as just Woj — is a prerequisite. Simply put: He breaks nearly all the news you need to know around the league.

    2. Shams Charania - @ShamsCharania(Opens in a new tab)

    If Woj isn’t breaking the news, chances are his protege-turned-rival Shams Charania is. So you’ve got to follow him for that.

    3. Marc Stein - @TheSteinLine(Opens in a new tab)

    OK, if Woj and Shams didn’t break the news, then chances are the New York Times’ Stein did, so yes, follow him, too.

    4. Brian Windhorst - @WindhorstESPN(Opens in a new tab)

    There’s no bigger name in the NBA than LeBron James and Brian Windhorst is a LeBron-whisperer of sorts. The ESPN reporter has followed The King for the star’s entire career and can read the tea leaves of LeBron World as well as anyone.

    5. Chris Haynes - @ChrisBHaynes(Opens in a new tab)

    Chris Haynes, a reporter for Yahoo and TNT, breaks some NBA news, writes pieces you’ll need to read, and is generally a good place to get info.

    6. Rachel Nichols - @Rachel__Nichols(Opens in a new tab)

    You need to follow Rachel Nichols because she’ll land some of the biggest interviews — and she’ll do a great job of getting juicy info out of the players. She’s also the host of The Jump on ESPN, which is basically a show dedicated to the NBA extended universe. Her timeline reflects that more holistic view of the league.

    7. Ramona Shelburne - @RamonaShelburne(Opens in a new tab)

    ESPN's Ramona Shelburne is super plugged in to the league, but Los Angeles especially. And the whole NBA universe — to keep the metaphor going — revolves around LA. The Lakers and Clippers are full of stars and almost every important NBA figure spends a good chunk of their offseason in Los Angeles.

    8. Bill Simmons - @BillSimmons(Opens in a new tab)

    Love him, hate him, love to hate him, some mix of all three — it doesn’t matter. Bill Simmons — head of The Ringer and formerly of Grantland/ESPN — is an undisputed force of the NBA conversation at large. You have to follow Simmons for the occasional pot-stirring tweet but more often you’ll find NBA Twitter is talking about something he said on his podcast — so you kind of automatically follow him by proxy.

    9. Stephen A. Smith - @StephenASmith(Opens in a new tab)

    The one and only. The talking head to end all talking heads. Is his whole schtick an act? Who cares, it’s a great act.

    10. Magic Johnson - @MagicJohnson

    NBA legend Magic Johnson is so bad at Twitter that he’s good at Twitter. He just sort of says...obvious things so obviously that it’s hilarious. He’s the Perd Hapley(Opens in a new tab) of NBA Twitter.

    The jokes and commentary follows

    Commentary, jokes, three-level-deep references and irony — these are the real reasons to be on NBA Twitter. That’s where the community really lies. I've listed a few names but honestly, you’d do well to dig into your favorite team’s community to find more specific folks, too.

    For instance, I’m a big Sixers fans and, if that’s your team, you’d have to follow Spike Eskin(Opens in a new tab) and Michael Levin(Opens in a new tab) of The Rights to Ricky Sanchez (Opens in a new tab)podcast(Opens in a new tab). But if you’re a Denver Nuggets fan, for instance, you probably don’t love Spike because of his half-joking beef over Denver’s altitude(Opens in a new tab). (I do not have the time to explain.) Such is the beauty of NBA Twitter’s vagaries.

    11. Jason Concepcion - @Netw3rk(Opens in a new tab)

    Jason Concepcion, AKA Netw3rk, is hilarious and smart. He also creates and hosts All Caps NBA, which is basically a renamed version of his Emmy-award winning YouTube show, NBA Desktop, on The Ringer. Think: The Soup(Opens in a new tab) but NBA. He is an absolute repository of NBA and pop culture knowledge and is an obvious follow.

    12. Shea Serrano - @SheaSerrano(Opens in a new tab)

    New York Times best-selling author, staff writer at The Ringer, book publisher, do-gooder, and general of the FOH Army(Opens in a new tab), Serrano is an enthusiastic and funny voice on the NBA. You’ll appreciate his earnest enjoyment of the game and undying love for anything San Antonio Spurs.

    13. Zach Harper - @TalkHoops(Opens in a new tab)

    The Athletic's Harper has got jokes and good NBA analysis and is generally just a good follow.

    14. Trey Kerby - @treykerby(Opens in a new tab)

    Once a host of the now-defunct The Starters, Kerby is fun and irreverent.

    15. James Holas - @SnottieDrippen(Opens in a new tab)

    This man once got another human being to drive 30 minutes to Temecula, California to fight him over a basketball argument...ON CHRISTMAS DAY. Holas, meanwhile, was nowhere near Temecula. A legendary NBA Twitter tale(Opens in a new tab). He's a fun follow for NBA stuff and also once recommended great workout headphones to me.

    16. Haley O'Shaughnessy - @HaleyOSomething(Opens in a new tab)

    O'Shaughnessy, co-host of the (Opens in a new tab)Spinsters (Opens in a new tab)podcast(Opens in a new tab), is a smart basketball writer and analyst. She's also funny and willing to be open and honest about the social justice aspects of the NBA and sports at large.

    17. Josiah Johnson - @KingJosiah54(Opens in a new tab)

    He's just funny, man.

    18. Ian Karmel - @IanKarmel(Opens in a new tab)

    Ian Karmel is a comedian by trade but an NBA/Trailblazers nut in his free time. He's hilarious and a fun follow.

    19. Dan Devine - @YourManDevine(Opens in a new tab)

    The Ringer writer puts out a ton of good writing every week. Dan Devine is funny and good on Twitter, and, personally, I like to read his work to keep up with the league's important trends. His timeline is obviously a good way to track his work.

    20. Kofie Yeboah - @Kofie(Opens in a new tab)

    I'm not sure if you can really call Kofie Yeboah an NBA personality. He's a video producer at SB Nation who just makes wonderful and weird stuff. Sometimes that means funny and insightful NBA tweets.

    21. Taylor Rooks - @TaylorRooks(Opens in a new tab)

    You'd be hard-pressed to find a faster rising star in the NBA world than Taylor Rooks. Her broadcast work made her a standout in last year's NBA Bubble and she's definitely going to be a mainstay around the league.

    22. Dragonfly Jonez - @DragonflyJonez(Opens in a new tab)

    Dragonfly Jonez is a legendary NBA Twitter character. I'm sure other folks know his real identity, but I prefer to think of him as the guy with the liquor bottle avi who is wildly hilarious. His jokes might be NSFW, but they'll have you rolling.

    23. Trill Withers - @TylerIAM(Opens in a new tab)

    Trill Withers has some tweets that you simply cannot forget(Opens in a new tab), basketball or otherwise. He's a must follow for NBA Twitter.

    24. Rob Perez - @WorldWideWob(Opens in a new tab)

    Rob Perez, AKA World Wide Wob, is a nice repository for NBA clips. Yes, the clips look like he filmed them with a potato, but you can see a highlight you missed super, super fast.

    The analysis follows

    There is no shortage of basketball folks dedicated to breaking down footage or pointing out the Xs and Os of a game. I picked just a few of my personal favorites who help me understand the game, but aren't so complex in their analysis that I don't understand.

    25. Nekias Duncan - @NekiasNBA(Opens in a new tab)

    Nekias Duncan, a writer for Basketball News(Opens in a new tab), often posts great clips breaking down how plays work and has great tidbits of analysis.

    26. Steve Jones Jr. - @stevejones20(Opens in a new tab)

    Steve Jones Jr, a former coach, breaks down videos on his feed and co-hosts a podcast with Duncan called the Dunker Spot(Opens in a new tab).

    27. Kevin O’Connor - @KevinOConnorNBA(Opens in a new tab)

    Kevin O’Connor , aka KOC, is one of the lead NBA reporters for the Ringer. He posts a mix of news and analysis of games and I appreciate how much he truly enjoys the game.

    28. Zach Lowe - @ZachLowe_NBA(Opens in a new tab)

    ESPN's Zach Lowe is on the most well-known NBA writers out there. Whatever he writes, or whatever analysis he puts out in the world becomes a talking point around NBA Twitter.

    29. Ben Falk - @BenCFalk(Opens in a new tab)

    Ben Falk, a former team executive, now runs Cleaning The Glass(Opens in a new tab), a basketball analytics-focused site popular with stat-head NBA fans.

    30. Chris Herring - @Herring_NBA(Opens in a new tab)

    Sports Illustrated's Chris Herring does a great job of pointing out interesting trends in the NBA while digging up the numbers to back up his observations.