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Skating kept me from being a depressed hermit in quarantine

2023-03-31 06:56:47 author:dointy.com
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Skating kept me from being a depressed hermit in quarantine

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

Skating kept me from being a depressed hermit in quarantine(图1)


If not for roller skating, I probably could have spent the entirety of this pandemic alone indoors, letting my depression take the reins.

As a deeply introverted person who's often exhausted by going out, California's stay-at-home order wasn't too bad at first. I was content nesting in fleece blankets, working from home in loungewear, and catching up with friends over FaceTime. But when the two weeks stretched into two months and health experts predicted that the pandemic will drag on well into next year, the novelty of social distancing wore off and an overwhelming sense of dread settled into its place.

I picked up skating when I moved to Los Angeles about three years ago. A friend invited me to Rainbow Night, a weekly LGBTQ party that a local roller rink has been hosting for decades. I fell in love. Rainbow Nights feature a specific time slot for more accomplished skaters to skate backwards, practice spins, and dazzle onlookers with their glamorous tricks. Enamored by the vintage disco ball and determined to join the glittering couples waltzing through the rink, I bought a cheap pair of skates online and made it my mission to learn to skate.

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Life got in the way, and the skates remained unworn for the better part of two years. They sat on the floor of my closet, so every time I opened my door to root for a purse or a pair of shoes, I'd bump into them. I'd ruminate over using them for the weekend, but would inevitably forget that they existed until the next time I needed an item from the depths of my closet. Aside from a "sexy skate" class I took earlier this year with actress and skater Ana Coto, who's now a viral TikTok star(Opens in a new tab), the skates I so enthusiastically bought during my first months in my new home were unused.

There were plenty of times when I had a free afternoon that I could have spent learning to skate, but I put it off because I hate doing activities that I'm not already good at. I rarely bake, because I don't have the patience for waiting for dough to rise. I nearly flunked math in high school because once I stopped recognizing the foreign symbols on worksheets, I gave up on even trying to understand it. When I was eight-years-old, I was enrolled in youth soccer and after attending one practice, decided that I'd spend the rest of the season "playing defense" by sitting in a far corner of a field and reading a book I snuck under my jersey.

Skating, unsurprisingly, is not easy. Though I could skate forward with some semblance of stability, doing anything else felt unnatural. And because I couldn't pick it up off the bat, I gave up before really trying. During my class with Ana, I remember attempting a spin, crashing hard, and preemptively deciding that I simply wasn't meant to spin on skates. Ana, who was far more patient with me than I deserved, assured me that my body was just fighting it because my muscles weren't used to moving like that yet. After the class she made me promise her that I'd keep practicing, but as soon as I got home the skates were tossed back onto my closet floor.

Then quarantine began, and I started feeling restless.

Then quarantine began, and I started feeling restless. My rock climbing gym, which I had visited almost four times a week, closed before California's March stay-at-home(Opens in a new tab) order started in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. Daily walks were eerie reminders of the city in standstill, and my once-cozy apartment felt stifling. Even hiking felt risky as Angelenos flocked to the few trails that stayed open(Opens in a new tab). I thrive on movement, and no amount of YouTube yoga classes were enough to keep me from sinking into depression.

About a month into the stay-at-home order started, my then-boyfriend mentioned that there was an empty, accessible rooftop on the parking garage next to our favorite breakfast spot. With some convincing, I agreed to try skating again. We snuck onto the rooftop with our skates, some speakers, and a cooler of spiked seltzers.

I sucked. The uneven asphalt was no comparison to the roller rink's professionally maintained mahogany floors. I felt awkward and clunky and all around self-conscious. I took a few bad falls that would leave me sore for days. In spite of my newly bruised knees, I felt good for the first time in weeks. Leaving the confines of my apartment yanked me out of the depressive pit I had been sinking into.

Obviously, a single day in the sun isn't enough to cure depression entirely. I was diagnosed with major depression and general anxiety disorder in college, but didn't begin treating it with medication until this year. Taking anti-depressants and practicing mindfulness aren't enough to keep my mental health on track, either. Everyone's brain is wired differently, but in my personal mental health journey, I've found that I need a combination of medication, practicing mindfulness, and physical activity to stay afloat. Multiple(Opens in a new tab) clinical(Opens in a new tab) studies(Opens in a new tab) conclude that sustained, low-impact exercise is an effective method of preventing depressive episodes. A 2017 study(Opens in a new tab) published in General Hospital Psychiatry suggests that exercise and antidepressants both increase connections between neurons and increase the availability of serotonin and norepinephrine, chemical messengers that are out of balance in depressed brains.(Opens in a new tab)

The word "unprecedented" has been used so many times this year that reading it fills me with unbridled rage, but there really is no playbook for this year. Time feels warped and socializing with masks on makes interactions confusing(Opens in a new tab). My first skate on that rooftop feels like it happened a month ago at most, but so much has happened between then: I broke up with that boyfriend, cycled through several hair colors, and adopted two cats. Skating also became one of the new constants in my life.

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Like many others trying to exist through this pandemic, this year put life on hold. I'm immensely privileged in that I'm still employed amid a months-long unemployment crisis, and that I've been able to stay home while millions of essential workers risk their lives. The static nature of social distancing is impossible to escape, though, and I've spent days languishing in what comedian Dan Sheehan dubbed "the hell zone." Over the last nine months, skating has forced me to leave my musty nest of a depression pit and actually go outside.

My depression feels like a weighted blanket.

There have been countless days during quarantine when my depression feels like a weighted blanket; I could get up and go about my day, or I could succumb to the suffocating, but comfortable weight and stay in my warm bed. Sometimes it's easy to throw the weighted blanket off, and others it's just too much effort to stop being horizontal. Skating, at least, forces me to go outside before curling up back under the blanket, and makes escaping from it the next day feel more manageable. And when I am feeling so overwhelmed that I need to stay under the secure weight of my depression, the viral TikToks of roller skaters is usually enough motivation to attempt their choreography.

I've had weeks when I skated every day for hours on end, and others when all I could muster is a quick lap in my building's parking lot after days of not touching my skates. Over time and with practice, I've learned to use the muscles that were so resistant during Ana's skate class. I've also learned to be kinder to myself when my ambition gets ahead of my body's physical limitations. Since March, I've worn my old skates until there was barely anything left to skate on, and have amassed a collection of bruises, scrapes, and burns. This year may have put life on hold, but I at least figured out how to spin.

I'm not going to make some saccharine claim about how buying roller skates saved my life. But staying active, in addition to regular therapy and antidepressants, have kept me afloat through this otherwise nightmare year. Aside from the endorphin rush from exercise and exposure to sunlight (depression is also linked(Opens in a new tab) to vitamin D deficiency), having tangible goals while everything else in my life feels like it's on hold has vastly improved my mental health. Learning new tricks, building my own pair of custom skates from scratch, and being able to see friends from a safe distance at the skate park give me things to look forward to and make me feel like I'm making some sort of progress in my life.

Listen to TikTok and get a pair of skates. It's worth it.

If you want to talk to someone about your depression text the Crisis Text Line(Opens in a new tab) at 741-741 or call the National Alliance on Mental Health helpline at 800-950-NAMI. If you are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you can text the Crisis Text Line or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline(Opens in a new tab) at 1-800-273-8255. For international resources, this list(Opens in a new tab) is a good place to start.

Read more from Essentials Week:

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  • Believe the hype: Weighted blankets have an online cult following for a reason

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    (图2)

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    Vietnamese blogger Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, also known as "Mother Mushroom" (L) Credit: AFP/Getty Images

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    (图2)

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    UPDATE (3:15 p.m. ET): Updated to include White House comment on the videos.


    U.S. President Donald J. Trump woke up Wednesday morning and retweeted three anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant, unverified videos from the deputy leader of one of Britain's most extreme far-right groups, Britain First.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's latest tweets lashing out at UCLA players are his most unpresidential yet
    Credit: realdonaldtrump/twitter
    Credit: REALDONALDTRUMP/TWITTER
    Credit: REALDONALDTRUMP/TWITTER

    The Twitter feed of Jayda Fransen, who was convicted(opens in a new tab) of religiously aggravated harassment last year after hurling abuse at a woman in hijab in front of her four young children, is basically just a stream of hateful content targeting Muslims and immigrants.

    Fransen was charged again(opens in a new tab) with religiously aggravated harassment in September this year.

    She was ecstatic that the U.S. President retweeted her unverified videos:

    (图2)

    Last year, Britain First announced(opens in a new tab) it was launching "direct action campaign against Muslim elected officials" targeting "where they live, work, pray". They singled out Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, and Sajid Javid, cabinet minister.

    The killer of British MP Jo Cox, Thomas Mair, reportedly shouted “Britain First”(opens in a new tab) as he shot and stabbed the Labour MP last year, one week before of the EU referendum.

    Cox's husband tweeted in response to Trump's retweets:

    The first video tweeted by Fransen is entitled "Muslim migrant beats up migrant boy on crutches" but according Geenstijl(opens in a new tab), the news site that posted it, "the perpetrator was not Muslim or a migrant, but a Dutchman."

    Credit: Geenstijl/screengrab

    On Wednesday morning, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that whether or not the videos were real, "these are real threats we have to talk about.

  • Meghan Markle started on Deal or No Deal way before her big royal engagement

    Meghan Markle started on Deal or No Deal way before her big royal engagement

    (图1)

    Meghan Markle knows all about making important decisions.

    Before she became a paralegal on Suits and Prince Harry's future bride, she was a briefcase model on Deal or No Deal.

    According to TMZ(opens in a new tab), she appeared in 34 episodes and modeled three different briefcases.

    SEE ALSO: 6 things you need to know about Meghan Markle now that she's about to become a royal

    "I went from working in the U.S. Embassy in Argentina to ending up on Deal. It's run the gamut," she told Esquire(opens in a new tab) back in 2013. "Definitely working on Deal or No Deal was a learning experience, and it helped me to understand what I would rather be doing."

    Although she appreciated the opportunity, Markle didn't shy away from telling the publication about the tiring experience: "I would end up standing up there forever in these terribly uncomfortable and inexpensive five-inch heels just waiting for someone to pick me so I could go and sit down."

    (图2)

    Despite her time as a case model, people applaud her for where she ended up -- being future royalty.

  • NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Lauers alleged sexual harassment

    NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Lauers alleged sexual harassment

    (图1)

    Details on the alleged inappropriate behavior leading to Today co-host Matt Lauer's ouster from NBC have surfaced – including sex toys as gifts, coerced sex with female employees and the disturbing report that Lauer had a button under his desk that could lock the door to his secluded office from within.

    NBC's initial statement Wednesday cited one complaint from a fellow female employee dating back to the Sochi Olympics. But in a memo, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said that "while it is the first complaint about his behavior" during his 20 years at the network, "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

    Hours later, Variety(opens in a new tab) revealed numerous, corroborated accounts of Lauer's widespread sexual harassment at the network from women who declined to be named.

    SEE ALSO: Resurfaced video shows Katie Couric saying Matt Lauer 'pinches me on the ass a lot'

    Allegations ranged from inappropriate "games" regarding coworkers' sex lives, to gifting a female colleague a sex toy with a lewd note about how he wanted her to use it, and even exposing himself to an employee in his office before berating her for not performing sex acts on him. Ten employees described Lauer's "fixation" on women, both at 30 Rockefeller and out in the field on assignment, including frequent comments on female staffers' appearances and sex lives.

    Perhaps most chillingly, Lauer reportedly had a button in his office desk that could discretely lock the door. Two victims of his harassment said this emboldened his inappropriate behavior.

    The New York Times(opens in a new tab) later reported Wednesday that NBC subsequently received at least two more complaints, one from a former employee who said Lauer summoned her and had sex with her in his office in 2001. The unidentified woman told the Times "she felt helpless because she didn’t want to lose her job, and that she didn’t report the encounter at the time because she felt ashamed."

    Though the network insisted it received its first complaint on Monday, many victims say they'd previously brought his behavior to the attention of NBC executives. One former reporter said that "management sucks there," and claimed executives "protected the shit out of Matt Lauer."

    Lauer is the third high-ranking NBC employee to recently be terminated from the network for inappropriate sexual behavior at the workplace, joining Today correspondent Mark Halperin and senior top talent booker Matt Zimmerman.

    The network initially declined to comment on Variety's story. But a spokesperson gave a CNN reporter a statement(opens in a new tab) claiming that, "We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct.”

    (图2)

    While sources accounted for consensual relationships between Lauer and some NBC staffers, they also questioned the enormous power discrepancy involved. Producers from the network echoed the worry that denying Lauer's alleged advances would pose a risk to their careers.

    "He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married," one producer told Variety. "So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain."

    As for the alleged Olympics incident cited by NBC, it appears to have been par for the course: Sources described how Lauer often initiated late-night hotel room visits with female employees during multiple Olympics.

    Lauer often presented himself as a bastion of progressive ideals on camera. Only three months ago, he interviewed his essential equivalent star at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, grilling him over his own sexual misconduct in the workplace.

    Lauer has yet to comment or issue a statement.

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  • 10 TikTok accounts to follow if you love to cook

    10 TikTok accounts to follow if you love to cook

    The world of cooking on TikTok (CookTok?) is as big and varied as an all-you-can-eat Las Vegas buffet. Some of it looks scrumptious, some of it is questionable, and some of it might make you downright sick. But don't worry, we've done the prep work of choosing the creme de la creme for your cooking pleasure.

    (图1)

    There are lots of amazing cooking accounts on TikTok, so this is by no means comprehensive. But the ones to make this list were chosen for their genuine usefulness, diversity of cuisines, and unique voice. Bon appétit!

    @iamtabithabrown(Opens in a new tab)

    Come for the vegan recipes, stay for the iconic catchphrases. Tabitha Brown, an actress who you might also recognize from works like The Chi, cooks up vegan food with infectious enthusiasm. In one video, she makes a recipe using leftover pasta, and in another she uses liquid smoke to make air fried carrots taste like bacon. What makes her worth following though is her warmth and relatability and off the cuff remarks like "don't let that greedy spirit burn your tongue," before blowing on a hot bite of pasta.

    Tabitha Brown makes vegan food with delightful commentary. Credit: @iamtabithabrown / Tiktok

    @cookingwithshereen(Opens in a new tab)

    Shereen Pavlides is a chef and recipe developer who brings her no-nonsense, anyone-can-cook attitude to every recipe; she often says "there's no rules in cooking." Each video is filled with tips and hacks along the way thanks to her knowledge and experience. Whether Pavlides is making simple dishes like burgers and potato salad, or something more complicated like Beef Wellington, it's easy to follow even for beginner cooks.

    No-nonsense cooking with confidence and ease. Credit: @cookingwithshereen / tiktok

    @eitan(Opens in a new tab)

    Eitan Bernath is 19 years old, but wise beyond his years. Bernath made his public debut on Chopped at the age of 12 and has been gaining fans ever since. Bernath's videos are very high energy and often incorporate viral food trends, or tackling the homemade version of a famous product (like McDonald's Hash Browns.) But don't be fooled. Behind every junk food recipe is some serious technical skill.

    @the_pastaqueen(Opens in a new tab)

    Nadia Caterina Munno, aka The Pasta Queen is Italian and makes pasta. What more could you want in a TikTok account? Each video is a culinary journey, transporting you from the origin of the pasta, through the recipe itself and often a characteristic hair flip. Sure, there are plenty of pasta videos on TikTok, but the Pasta Queen's sensual voice and cultural credentials take it to the next level.

    Enjoy la doce vita with mouthwatering pasta recipes. Credit: @the_pastaqueen / tiktok

    @jennymartinezzz(Opens in a new tab)

    For fans of Mexican food, look no further. Jenny Martinez will win you over with her enthusiasm and family recipes. Martinez often makes traditional Mexican dishes like chicken mole or nopales, but isn't afraid to explore fusion with dishes like al pastor pizza or jalapeño burgers. Often family or friends join her in the videos, which makes it feel like one is hanging out in her kitchen.

    Traditional Mexican food that makes you feel at home. Credit: @jennymartinezzz / tiktok

    @jeremyscheck(Opens in a new tab)

    Like Bernath, at just 21, Jeremy Scheck is something of a culinary prodigy. Scheck shares recipes and thoughtful insights with equal amounts of confidence and conviction. He calls out pie crust standards, and backs it up by making his own which looks buttery and flaky. Like his video that breaks down how restaurants make pasta dishes, he always delves into the how and why of technique.

    @poppycooks(Opens in a new tab)

    Poppy O'Toole is a Michelin-trained chef, but is as down-to-earth as they come. In her videos, O'Toole breaks down even the most advanced recipes with humor and warmth. In addition to tips and hacks that can only come from someone as experienced as she is, O'Toole sometimes does duets with her fans and hilariously reacts to them cooking her recipes.

    @myhealthydish(Opens in a new tab)

    Simply put, My Nguyen of @myhealthydish makes healthy food that doesn't compromise flavor and depth. The basis of her recipes shows how using the right flavors and techniques can make any ingredient delicious — especially for children who are picky eaters. Nguyen often makes dishes that are influenced by Vietnamese cuisine, but isn't afraid to buck tradition, saying it doesn't matter how a spring roll is rolled.

    It's hard to go wrong with healthy and delicious. Credit: @myhealthydish / tiktok

    @flakeysalt(Opens in a new tab)

    Joshua Weissman, the professional chef behind @flakeyseasalt is quirky, adventurous, and brimming with a passion for cooking. Many of his videos consist of some kind of challenge — recreating McDonalds sauces, or competing with his girlfriend in a mushroom cutting contest. Inevitably, the result is an entertaining, and often knowledgeable video by an eccentric guy who loves food.

    Weissman's passion for cooking shines through every video. Credit: @flakeysalt / tiktok

    @rootedinspice(Opens in a new tab)

    Many of Chaheti Bansal's dishes on TikTok are Indian, but she often experiments with fusion. No matter what, Bansal's knowledge of flavor and spices is vast. Her recipes, which are mostly vegan or vegetarian use a huge variety of produce and often in creative or unconventional ways and often about more than just food. In one video, what we see is a recipe using cooked watermelon rinds. But between the lines is a story about not wasting anything.

    Home-cooked Indian food that packs a punch. Credit: @rootedinspice / tiktok

  • Michelle Obama has finally revealed the cover of her memoir and it is stunning

    (图1)

    Michelle Obama has finally revealed the cover of her memoir and it is stunning

    Since departing the White House in 2017, Michelle Obama has been speaking at various events, locking down a Netflix deal with her husband, subtly throwing shade at Trump, and working on a new book that will grace the bookshelves of America this fall.

    It's called Becoming — and the memoir's cover, featuring a portrait of the former FLOTUS, is finally here.

    SEE ALSO: Michelle Obama is tired of seeing men 'fail up'

    "As I prepare to share BECOMING this fall, I hope you’ll also think about your own story, and trust that it will help you become whoever you aspire to be," she shared(opens in a new tab) on Twitter, along with a photo of the book. "Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own."

    The response to the cover has been overwhelmingly positive on Twitter, inspiring pre-orders and vision boards in preparation for its release on Nov. 13, 2018.

    "Writing BECOMING has been a deeply personal experience. I talk about my roots and how a girl from the South Side found her voice," Obama explained on Twitter(opens in a new tab) in February 2018. "I hope my journey inspires readers to find the courage to become whoever they aspire to be. I can't wait to share my story."

  • Burglar breaks into escape room, then cant escape

    (图1)

    Burglar breaks into escape room, then cant escape

    No one wants to call for help in an escape room, especially if you've just broken into one.

    Authorities in Vancouver, Washington, received emergency calls from a man on Sunday who'd broken into an escape room — only to find he genuinely couldn't escape from it.

    SEE ALSO: Security footage captures smooth criminal dancing after breaking into building

    According to local newspaper The Columbian(opens in a new tab), 40-year-old Rye Wardlaw reportedly broke into Northwest Escape Experience in a strip mall on Sunday morning.

    The venue, like other escape rooms, offers themed rooms that require groups to solve puzzles in order to find their way out.

    Tamara Bertrand, who owns the business with her husband, Rob, told the newspaper the suspect had badly damaged the escape room. He first attempted to break in through the back door, but then found his way into the office park’s electrical service room, where he found a key to the business in a lockbox.

    Using the key, Wardlaw then reportedly opened a door that connected the two spaces, and caused some storage lockers to fall over. All of this, including the original damage to the back door, apparently caused Wardlaw to be unable to escape, so he called 911. Bertrand told The Columbian the business's call history showed four calls. According to the Clark County Sheriff's Office, Wardlaw reportedly told authorities he fled to the escape room because his own home was being robbed.

    According to court records reported by the newspaper, Wardlaw eventually did make his way outside, and was arrested by deputies.

    Wardlaw is reportedly looking at three counts of second-degree burglary, and will appear in court on July 20. He's already offered multiple, rather colorful explanations(opens in a new tab) in court.

    Although the Bertrands are looking at some frustrating damage to their small business, the escape rooms are currently back in operation. Tamara even joked to The Columbian, “We now have a zero percent escape rate with criminals."

  • Time Person of the Year poll honors the women who broke the silence with #MeToo

    Time Person of the Year poll honors the women who broke the silence with #MeToo

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    The #MeToo campaign is Time's 'Person of the Year' for 2017, beating U.S. President Donald Trump.

    SEE ALSO: Trump's 'Time' tweet got better with every internet spoof

    The magazine cover, with the headline "The Silence Breakers", pays tribute to the "voices that launched a movement".

    It features actress Ashley Judd, popstar Taylor Swift, Uber whistleblower Susan Fowler, lobbyist Adama Iwu and other women who campaigned against sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape this year or took part to the #MeToo campaign.(opens in a new tab)

    “This is the fastest moving social change we’ve seen in decades, and it began with individual acts of courage by hundreds of women -- and some men, too -- who came forward to tell their own stories,” the mag's editor-in-chief Edward Felsenthal told NBC’s “Today” program.

    At the bottom right of the front page, you can see the arm of a sixth woman who's shared her story of sexual assault while remaining anonymous.

    "The women and men who have broken their silence span all races, all income classes, all occupations and virtually all corners of the globe," reads the Time article on the movement. "They might labor in California fields, or behind the front desk at New York City's regal Plaza Hotel, or in the European Parliament. They're part of a movement that has no formal name. But now they have a voice."

    Alyssa Milano, who relaunched the #MeToo movement -- first started a decade ago by social activist Tarana Burke, who used it to support women of color surviving sexual abuse -- in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, reacted on Twitter to the Time cover:

    Among the women who appear in the Time article is Susan Fowler, the ex-Uber engineer who in February penned a powerful blogpost(opens in a new tab) about sexism at Uber that eventually led to ouster of founder Travis Kalanick as CEO.

    (图2)

    Her essay also pushed other women in the tech industry to come forward and speak out about sexual harassment in Silicon Valley.

    In August, Fowler's legal team filed an amicus brief(opens in a new tab) in a labor law case going before the Supreme Court.

    While it doesn't involve Uber directly, the case revolves around the sort of class-action waivers the ride-hailing company forces its employees to sign.

    The move is designed to force employees to give up their right to take collective action against their employer, coercing them into individual arbitration.

  • Restaurant uses greenhouses so diners can socially distance while eating out

    Restaurant uses greenhouses so diners can socially distance while eating out

    The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

    (图1)

    As we adjust to our socially distanced lifestyles, it's impossible to imagine the prospect of eating in a restaurant in close quarters with other diners.

    One restaurant in Amsterdam has been testing a concept that involves diners eating in enclosed waterside greenhouses and being served food from a long wooden plank.

    Staff at the Mediamatic Eten restaurant have been trialling the concept of "Serres Séparées(Opens in a new tab)" (French for "separated greenhouses") at the Oosterdok, an island dock in the Netherlands' capital.

    Credit: ANNE LAKEMAN AND WILLEM VELTHOVEN

    The restaurant plans to launch(Opens in a new tab) the greenhouse dining experience in June, when lockdown restrictions in the Netherlands will ease, and allow the reopening of bar terraces. Under those restrictions, restaurants, bars, cinemas, theatres, and museums can begin operating once again(Opens in a new tab), but people have to reserve in advance and keep a 1.5 metre distance.

    The restaurant says the greenhouses are only suitable for people who "are already intimate together."

    Credit: ANNE LAKEMAN AND WILLEM VELTHOVEN

    "We want people to still feel safe to eat together and share a meal," Giulia Soldati — chef at Mediamatic Eten — told(Opens in a new tab) BBC News. "All the spaces are separated but people can still share the space and share food together. We will always be outside so it's going to be safe. We are gonna wear gloves and a protection mask."

    Soldati said that waiting staff will never cross the threshold of the greenhouse and the interior of the structure is the guests' space.

    Credit: Anne Lakeman and Willem Velthoven

    Food is served using a long wooden plank, which is passed through the greenhouse entrance. The boards are cleaned thoroughly after each serving.

    Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the restaurant was formed of a significantly larger greenhouse space, which has now been replaced with these individual smaller greenhouses.

    Credit: Anne Lakeman and Willem Velthoven

    "It's actually a challenge to redesign hospitality," Soldati told the BBC.

    The restaurant will roll out greenhouse dining from June(Opens in a new tab) and reservations will open(Opens in a new tab) in the last week of May.

  • The weird and wonderful Instagram life of Tiffany Trump

    (图1)

    The weird and wonderful Instagram life of Tiffany Trump

    What if I told you there was a place on the Internet that involved the Trump family but was filled with gaiety, glamour, and lots and lots of glitter?

    Welcome to the Instagram feed of Tiffany Trump, law student, fashion lover, half-sister to Don Jr, Ivanka, Eric, and Baron, and seemingly the lone Trump adult who has managed to sidestep scandal.

    Aside from the occasional photo in the White House or a daddy-daughter throwback, Tiffany's feed is largely devoid of politics. It's mostly focused on the minutiae of your average, really rich 24-year-old: studying(opens in a new tab), posing in front(opens in a new tab) of impressive landscapes(opens in a new tab), and working out in full make-up(opens in a new tab).

    SEE ALSO: Donald 'Pump' Jr. is posting thirst traps now

    Tiffany is a bit of an enigma. She was occasionally seen on the campaign trail in 2016 but has been fairly low profile since then. Law school is busy, after all. And she doesn't seem as closely tied to her dad's politics -- she even stepped out to celebrate Pride(opens in a new tab), despite Trump's continuing refusal to support the nation's LGBTQ community.

    That's where her Instagram feed comes in. What, exactly, is Tiffany up to these days? Well, she was recently taking in the sights and sounds of the official Trump Winery in Virginia and fancy modern art at the Smithsonian.

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

    Colorful! And probably way more fun that whatever the hell it is Eric does all day.

    But if her Instagram stories are any clue, she's also been spending her summer indulging in her more artistic side.

    Glitter! Credit: Mashable composite/Instagram

    Tiffany loves glitter. Like, really, really loves it. And who can blame her? It brings a shimmer to an otherwise dark world that her father is partly responsible for.

    Also, it's worth noting that Tiffany definitely carries an artistic streak none of the other Trump children have publicly shared unless you consider posing awkwardly in the woods an art form (and maybe we should). The interesting thing is that she's no perfectionist. Many of her crafts have a haphazard, slightly unhinged quality to them that lend a little bit of a bleak edge to the proceedings.

    Crafty Credit: MASHABLE COMPOSITE/INSTAGRAM

    Tiffany's Instagram isn't totally devoid of her father or the White House. There's the obligatory birthday shoutout to the president, of course, which features a cameo from little half-brother Barron.

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

    It almost humanizes Donald. Almost.

    And there was this Easter photo from the White House Easter Egg Roll in which Tiffany proves she got her fashion sense from her mother rather than her father or step-mother.

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

    And Tiffany is also sure to include a Mother's Day gram for Marla. Gotta respect both sides, after all.

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

    While half-sister Ivanka is speeding around the White House and causing all sorts of controversy and commotion, Tiffany is cool just chillaxing, studying, and, hey, taking a Slurpee break just like you and me, normal people!

    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab)
    tiffany trump slurpee instagram Credit: Instagram

    That is some spot-on branding, Tiffany. Ivanka would be proud.

    So there you have it, a strange half-respite from the garbage fire that the rest of the Trump family is busy unleashing on the rest of the world.

  • Of course Kristen Bell makes being pregnant look like so much fun

    Of course Kristen Bell makes being pregnant look like so much fun

    (图1)

    Kristen Bell may seem superhuman at times, but it's true, she pretty much is — and she has the maternity mesh underwear to prove it.

    In honor of her daughter Delta's birthday, the actress went all mom on us, sharing some throwback pictures of her from just over three years ago, right before her second daughter (with actor Dax Shepard) was born.

    SEE ALSO: Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are expecting a second child, and announced it in the most precious video

    "Three years ago today. 47lbs heavier," she wrote on Instagram.

    "Getting through painful contractions with backrubs and breathing. Occasionally swinging from the IV pole to try and feel sexy and open up my hips. After 36 hours of labor I met a girl I love more than all the molecules in all the world. Happy birthday, Delta. Love, mom."

    A post shared by kristen bell (@kristenanniebell)(opens in a new tab) on

    Yes, Shepard makes an appearance in there, too. The two, who have two kids, married in 2013 in a Los Angeles courthouse, where he laughed at Bell as she cried.

    View this post on Instagram

    (图2)

    (opens in a new tab)

    It doesn't get better than that, folks.

  • Jack Dorsey faces backlash after tweet about Chick-fil-A during Pride Month

    (图1)

    Jack Dorsey faces backlash after tweet about Chick-fil-A during Pride Month

    Even when Twitter isn't in the spotlight for, say, Russian trolls or rampant abuse, they just can't stay out of a mess.

    SEE ALSO: Twitter's new troll filtering might actually prevent more abuse than any ban

    This time, it was the man in charge, CEO Jack Dorsey, who caused a kerfuffle by sharing a tweet about receiving a "Boost"(opens in a new tab) from fast food joint Chick-fil-A while using his Cash app(opens in a new tab) to purchase food at the restaurant.

    But here's the thing: Dorsey was giving a big shout-out to a fast food company that's now as well-known its anti-same-sex marriage stances as it is for its food. And it also happens to be, well, Pride Month.

    None of this escaped the notice of Twitter users who were quick to call out Dorsey.

    Eventually, Dorsey caught on after apparently seeing a tweet from journalist Soledad O'Brien.

    Dorsey didn't elaborate any further and the tweet is still up, so who knows what (if anything) Dorsey plans on doing as a follow-up. We've reached out to both Twitter and Chick-fil-A for further comment on the matter.

    In the meantime, here's hoping maybe Jack just opts for a PB&J next time and settles in with one of these great books to read during Pride Month.

  • NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Lauers alleged sexual harassment

    NBC employees reveal chilling details of Matt Lauers alleged sexual harassment

    (图1)

    Details on the alleged inappropriate behavior leading to Today co-host Matt Lauer's ouster from NBC have surfaced – including sex toys as gifts, coerced sex with female employees and the disturbing report that Lauer had a button under his desk that could lock the door to his secluded office from within.

    NBC's initial statement Wednesday cited one complaint from a fellow female employee dating back to the Sochi Olympics. But in a memo, NBC News chairman Andy Lack said that "while it is the first complaint about his behavior" during his 20 years at the network, "we were also presented with reason to believe this may not have been an isolated incident."

    Hours later, Variety(opens in a new tab) revealed numerous, corroborated accounts of Lauer's widespread sexual harassment at the network from women who declined to be named.

    SEE ALSO: Resurfaced video shows Katie Couric saying Matt Lauer 'pinches me on the ass a lot'

    Allegations ranged from inappropriate "games" regarding coworkers' sex lives, to gifting a female colleague a sex toy with a lewd note about how he wanted her to use it, and even exposing himself to an employee in his office before berating her for not performing sex acts on him. Ten employees described Lauer's "fixation" on women, both at 30 Rockefeller and out in the field on assignment, including frequent comments on female staffers' appearances and sex lives.

    Perhaps most chillingly, Lauer reportedly had a button in his office desk that could discretely lock the door. Two victims of his harassment said this emboldened his inappropriate behavior.

    The New York Times(opens in a new tab) later reported Wednesday that NBC subsequently received at least two more complaints, one from a former employee who said Lauer summoned her and had sex with her in his office in 2001. The unidentified woman told the Times "she felt helpless because she didn’t want to lose her job, and that she didn’t report the encounter at the time because she felt ashamed."

    Though the network insisted it received its first complaint on Monday, many victims say they'd previously brought his behavior to the attention of NBC executives. One former reporter said that "management sucks there," and claimed executives "protected the shit out of Matt Lauer."

    Lauer is the third high-ranking NBC employee to recently be terminated from the network for inappropriate sexual behavior at the workplace, joining Today correspondent Mark Halperin and senior top talent booker Matt Zimmerman.

    The network initially declined to comment on Variety's story. But a spokesperson gave a CNN reporter a statement(opens in a new tab) claiming that, "We can say unequivocally, that, prior to Monday night, current NBC News management was never made aware of any complaints about Matt Lauer’s conduct.”

    (图2)

    While sources accounted for consensual relationships between Lauer and some NBC staffers, they also questioned the enormous power discrepancy involved. Producers from the network echoed the worry that denying Lauer's alleged advances would pose a risk to their careers.

    "He couldn’t sleep around town with celebrities or on the road with random people, because he’s Matt Lauer and he’s married," one producer told Variety. "So he’d have to do it within his stable, where he exerted power, and he knew people wouldn’t ever complain."

    As for the alleged Olympics incident cited by NBC, it appears to have been par for the course: Sources described how Lauer often initiated late-night hotel room visits with female employees during multiple Olympics.

    Lauer often presented himself as a bastion of progressive ideals on camera. Only three months ago, he interviewed his essential equivalent star at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, grilling him over his own sexual misconduct in the workplace.

    Lauer has yet to comment or issue a statement.

  • Fiona the hippo has made her Super Bowl prediction

    Fiona the hippo has made her Super Bowl prediction

    (图1)

    Fiona was once an underdog, so perhaps it's no surprise that she loves them, too.

    The celebrity hippo and lettuce queen made her official Super Bowl selection during the latest episode of The Fiona Show(opens in a new tab) on Facebook Watch(opens in a new tab) on Thursday.

    After presenting her with two labeled boxes adorned with lettuce, keepers waited for Fiona to favor one team over the other. And she went with the Philadelphia Eagles!

    SEE ALSO: It's Fiona the hippo's first birthday, she's eating cake, and I'm crying

    Or, perhaps more accurately, she went with the left lettuce.

    (图2)

    Now, Fiona is all-knowing and thus incapable of being wrong. Therefore, if the New England Patriots do come out on top this Sunday, I'll be forced to assume they cheated. Not unheard of(opens in a new tab), right?

    Love you, Fiona!