Segregation in baseball was the norm until this relatively unknown player stepped up.

As the pioneer and historical face of desegregation in sports, Jackie Robinson experienced taunts and death threats at every point of his Major League career as the first black player admitted to the league.

His bravery and persistence in the name of equal rights have been well-documented and honored not just in baseball history, but in the larger context of the struggle to end the disparate treatment of black citizens endemic to American institutions.

But Robinson’s success, in no slight to his considerable achievement, came as the result of the road paved by many less-celebrated predecessors, who, through their careers in the Negro Leagues, brought a resolve and speed to the game unmatched by their Major League counterparts.

In the shadow of Jackie Robinson’s legacy are the efforts of Andrew “Rube” Foster, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, having earned the title of “the father of black baseball.”

Foster scoring a hit. Photo via digboston/Flickr.

Known to few modern-day baseball fans, Foster sought to ensure that black players were given the due attention and compensation they had long been denied in “separate but equal” America.

No individual before Foster or since has been as instrumental in legitimizing black baseball both internally and in the eyes of the fans and media. His achievements, though largely disregarded at the time, were integral in eventually affording all black players the right to play in the Major League.

For example, Foster quietly broke a baseball color barrier almost four decades prior to Jackie Robinson, playing with a semi-pro mixed-race squad out of Otsego, Michigan. Most notably, Foster served as the star pitcher for the Philadelphia X-Giants, pitching four of the team’s five wins in a contest dubbed the “colored championship of the world” in 1903.

In his era and in the decades following, Foster’s success on the mound was virtually unmatched. For instance, the current MLB record for most consecutive wins by a pitcher stands at 24 by the New York Giants’ Car Hubbell, whose streak ended on May 31,1937.

Foster won 44 games in a row three decades prior in 1902.

But as compelling as Foster’s accomplishments on the diamond were, it was his contributions to the game after his playing days that continue to endure almost a century later.

Foster’s goal was simple: Turn the largely overlooked black baseball leagues into a legitimate, respectable, and sustainable organization.

Before his involvement in league management, the black baseball leagues were deemed inferior — if they were considered at all. Yet Foster’s blueprint for a unified organization ushered in a new era that would prove crucial in eroding the Major League’s color barrier.

In 1911, a great step was taken toward legitimizing black baseball as Foster negotiated a partnership with the Comiskey family of Chicago to use the White Sox ballpark for his new team.  With a premiere venue and the team’s marketable aggressive style of play, the newly-formed Chicago American Giants skyrocketed in popularity, leading his once-marginalized club to draw more fans than the neighboring Cubs and White Sox.

Following the success of his own team, Foster immediately set his goal higher, aiming to help elevate all black players, not just those on his team.

Foster with a white player from Joliet, Illinois. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1919, as his city of Chicago was embroiled in race riots, Foster felt a sense of urgency to unify black baseball players in one league. He wrote regularly in the Chicago Defender of the need for a league that would “create a profession that would equal the earning capacity of any other profession … keep Colored baseball from the control of whites [and] do something concrete for the loyalty of the Race.”

Gathering the owners of unaffiliated teams, Foster held a meeting at the Kansas City YMCA and shared his vision. The next year, on Feb. 13, 1920, the Negro National League was created, with Foster serving as both president and treasurer.

As other regions developed, they followed in Foster’s footsteps and established their own leagues for black players, serving as an economic boon not just for the players and front office, but for black communities as well.

Sadly, Foster’s oversight would prove to be short-lived as health issues forced him to step away from overseeing the burgeoning league he had created. But that didn’t end the progress he started.

Rube Foster plaque. Photo via Penale52/Wikimedia Commons.

Even though Negro Leagues shuttered due to the Great Depression and lack of leadership, many teams would return under the banner of the Negro American League in 1937. It was this organization that served as the springboard for Jackie Robinson to make his legendary inroads to Major League Baseball.

While Jackie Robinson remains a civil rights icon, desegregating baseball is an act that no one man can lay claim to. Rube Foster’s legacy may not be as well known as Robinson’s, but his efforts helped ensure equality not just for Jackie Robinson, but every black player who has played Major League baseball since.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/segregation-in-baseball-was-the-norm-until-this-relatively-unknown-player-stepped-up

For the first time in its history, the Gerber spokesbaby is a child with Down syndrome

(CNN)This cutie with a contagious smile is 18-month-old Lucas Warren and on Wednesday he made history: He’s the first child with Down syndrome to become Gerber’s “Spokesbaby of the year” in its 91-year history.

Lucas is from Dalton, Georgia. Gerber picked him from more than 140,000 entries to its photo search contest. The initiative to find the “Gerber Baby” began soon after the company was founded in 1927, when it put out a call looking for a baby to feature in its ads.
The title means Lucas’ parents will get a $50,000 prize and Lucas will appear on Gerber’s social media channels and will be featured in Gerber ads through the year.
    “We hope this opportunity sheds light on the special needs community and educates people that with acceptance and support, individuals with special needs have the potential to change the world — just like our Lucas,” his mom said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/02/07/health/first-gerber-baby-down-syndrome-trnd/index.html

    40 Of The Best Quotes From My Favorite Murder

    I’ve been a huge fan of the true-crime/comedy podcast, My Favorite Murder, ever since I began listening to it this past summer. The hosts, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark, share their favorite murders and true crime stories while discussing what’s going in their lives in the form of comedic banter to lighten the heavy mood that talking about murder can bring.

    If you aren’t familiar with My Favorite Murder (Also abbreviated as MFM), the podcast spun a community of fans and we refer to ourselves as “Murderinos.” Since the debut of MFM in January 2016, the ladies of MFM have said some quotes that are a combination of inspiring, humorous and uplifting, especially for women. I went to their live show in Detroit and it was incredible. Karen and Georgia are amazing human beings; I met them and they are some of the nicest people I have ever met in my life.

    Here are 40 of the wisest and comical quotes from MFM obtained from the official “My Favorite Murder” Facebook group and Pinterest.

    Pretty pretty print by @pilarprints. #ssdgm #myfavoritemurder #murderino

    A post shared by My Favorite Murder Podcast (@myfavoritemurder) on

    1. “Get a job. Buy your own shit. Stay out of the forest.”

    2. “Here’s the thing: fuck everyone.”

    3. “Don’t say ‘sorry not sorry’; Say ‘Listen, you motherfucker!”

    4. “All of life is about fixing what you fucked up.”

    5. “Please live your life like you’re going to be reenacted in 30 years.”

    6. “Don’t leave your drink alone.”

    7. “Don’t let your girlfriend fucking leave you behind.”

    8. “You’re in a cult; call your dad.”

    9. “Don’t call it nonconsensual sex. Sex is sex and rape is rape; use the word rape.

    10. “Don’t take things for granted or judge books by covers and don’t do the things that average people get tricked by.”

    11. “You can be crazy, just be light-hearted about it.”

    12. “If you meet a person [and] you get the weird feeling in your gut, absolutely trust yourself and get out of there.”

    13. “We can actually help each other; we should help each other and reach out to each other.”

    14. “Talk about your trauma.”

    15. “Don’t let people touch you if you’re not comfortable with it.”

    16. “Pepper spray first and apologize later.”

    17. “If you see something, fucking say something.”

    18. “Lock your fucking door.”

    19. “Donate $50 dollars to your local library, keep all your fingers.”

    20. “Don’t drink and drive, you guys.”

    21. Nothing is real; speak for yourself [and] question authority.”

    22. “Wash your hands, please. Don’t get murdered by germs.”

    23. “Let’s use our powers of anxiety for good and not evil.”

    24. “Don’t be a fucking lunatic.”

    25. “Bigger dummies than you.”

    26. “Toxic masculinity ruins the party again.”

    27. “If Florida’s kicking you out, you’re probably a pretty big piece of shit.”

    28. “Let’s sit crooked and talk straight.”

    29. “This isn’t a positive cult; this isn’t like Sephora.”

    30. “My therapist was right about you.”

    31. “Look, meth is bad.”

    32. “Triflers need not apply.”

    33. “Don’t snort shit.”

    34. “Don’t be a know-it-all .”

    35. “Hey guys, let’s get those rape kits tested”

    36. “Can everyone chill the fuck out?”

    37. “Leave well enough alone, asshat.”

    38. “Just be rude; go up to people and be like, ‘Hi, I know this makes me the weirdo but there’s a weirdo over there.’”

    39. Fuck politeness.

    40. Stay sexy and don’t get murdered (SSDGM).

    If you love true crime, comedy and real talk about life issues, mental health, feminism and more, then you should probably start listening to My Favorite Murder. Even if you don’t (you really should), at least make you always stay sexy and don’t get murdered!

    Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/jessica-mae-smith/2018/02/40-of-the-best-quotes-from-my-favorite-murder/

    Barber Tells This Shy Insurance Man To Grow A Beard, And It Ends Up Transforming His Life

    If our list of men before-and-after growing a beard didn’t convince you that males look way better with facial hair, this story definitely will. Gwilym Pugh was a 21-year-old businessman man who started a successful insurance company in his spare bedroom. However, working from home and injuries made him gain a lot of weight. 280 pounds, to be exact. But his life-damaging lifestyle changed after his barber urged Gwilym to grow a ginger beard!

    “At that time I was pretty overweight, working 12 hours a day, plagued with injuries which meant I couldn’t train at all,” the Welshman told Daily Mail. “The business was doing okay, but I decided I needed to get my life in order and wanted to get healthy again.”

    Gwilym and his friends formed a folk band several years ago. His barber advised him to grow some facial hair to look the part. In line with his new look, the freshly-baked musician decided to expand his transformation cleaning up his diet. The biggest change, however, was quitting his desk job.

    “It was the best thing for my health as I stopped sitting for nine to 10 hours a day,” the man who lost 90 pounds over five years explained. As he was shedding weight and growing his beard, Gwilym created an Instagram account. Eventually, Welsh tailor Nathan Palmer stumbled across it, and things began escalating really fast.

    Now, Gwilym is part of the London agency AMCK Models. He has worked on campaigns with Vans, Bud Light, Diesel, and other big names. His hard work even allowed him to become an ambassador for David Beckham’s new male grooming brand, House 99!

    Gwilym Pugh was a shy man, working 12 hours a day from his home

    Image credits: WalesOnline

    But his life was never the same after Gwilym’s barber urged him to grow a beard

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    This is how the man looks now

    Image credits: Adam Fussell / AMCK Models

    “A picture says a thousand words…. Coming from being 22 years old, overweight, plagued with injuries, and unhappy barely leaving the house”

    “I’m happier and healthier than I ever thought possible and doing things that didn’t even cross my mind to dream of”

    Image credits: Adam Fussell / AMCK Models

    Working as a model, Gwilym is even an ambassador of David Beckham’s new male grooming brand

    Image credits: House 99

    Despite his success, Gwilym remains humble

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    “I think I’m lucky I got into this profession at the age that I did”

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    “I try not to get caught up in it all and my girlfriend helps a great deal wit that”

    “Having worked in finance for years, the opportunity to work with creative people and travel around the world is amazing”

    Image credits: Exposure London

    “It was the best thing for my health”

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    In keeping with his new look, Gwilym’s constantly maintaining his body

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    “Regular osteo treatment and morning mobility and HIIT workouts are what’s in order”

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    If this won’t convince you to grow a beard, we don’t know what will

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    Image credits: Edo Brugué

    Image credits: gwilymcpugh

    Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/overweight-welshman-businessman-transformation-model-gwilym-pugh/

    The Formula for Phone Addiction Might Double As a Cure

    In September 2007, 75 students walked into a classroom at Stanford. Ten weeks later, they had collectively amassed 16 million users, $1 million dollars in advertising revenue, and a formula that would captivate a generation.

    The class—colloquially known as "The Facebook Class"—and its instructor, BJ Fogg, became Silicon Valley legends. Graduates went on to work and design products at Uber, Facebook, and Google. Some even started companies with their classmates. But a decade later, some of the class’ teachings are in the crosshairs of our society-wide conversation about phone addiction.

    Fogg's research group, the Persuasive Technology Lab, looks at how technology can persuade users to take certain actions. Early experiments centered around questions like, “How can you get people to stop smoking using SMS?” But when Facebook, then a three-year-old startup, opened its platform to third-party developers, Fogg saw a perfect opportunity to test some of his theories in the wild.

    After a few lectures on the basics of behavioral psychology, students began building Facebook apps of their own. They used psychological tools like reciprocity and suggestion to engineer apps that could, for example, send your friends a virtual hug or get your friends to join an online game of dodgeball. At the time, Facebook had just begun promoting third-party apps in its news feed. The iPhone launched in the summer of 2007; the App Store would follow the year later. Fogg’s teachings became a playbook on how to make apps stick just as apps were becoming a thing.

    “Within the first month, there were already millions of people using these apps,” says Dan Greenberg, a teaching assistant for the class who later went on to found the ad-tech platform Sharethrough with some of his classmates. After some students decided to monetize their apps with banner ads, apps like Greenberg’s began bringing in as much as $100,000 a month in ad sales. Fogg had a secret sauce, and it was the ideal time to serve it.

    In Silicon Valley, Fogg's Behavioral Model answers one of product designers’ most enduring questions: How do you keep users coming back?

    A decade ago, Fogg’s lab was a toll both for entrepreneurs and product designers on their way to Facebook and Google. Nir Eyal, the bestselling author of the book, Hooked, sat in lectures next to Ed Baker, who would later become the Head of Growth at both Facebook and Uber. Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, the founders of Instagram, worked on projects alongside Tristan Harris, the former Google Design Ethicist who now leads the Time Well Spent movement. Together, in Fogg's lab, they studied and developed the techniques to make our apps and gadgets addictive.

    Now, we are navigating the consequences. From Facebook's former president claiming that Silicon Valley’s tools are “ripping apart the social fabric of society” to France formally banning smartphones in public schools, we are starting to reexamine the sometimes toxic relationships we have with our devices. Looking at the source of product designers’ education may help us understand the downstream consequences of their creations—and the way to reverse it.

    Engineering Addiction

    BJ Fogg is an unlikely leader for a Silicon Valley movement. He’s a trained psychologist and twice the age of the average entrepreneur with whom he works. His students describe him as energetic, quirky, and committed to using tech as a force for good: In the past, he's taught classes on making products to promote peace and using behavior design to connect with nature. But every class begins with his signature framework, Fogg’s Behavior Model. It suggests that we act when three forces—motivation, trigger, and ability—converge.

    In Silicon Valley, the model answers one of product designers’ most enduring questions: How do you keep users coming back? Say you're a Facebook user, with the Facebook app on your phone. You're motivated to make sure photos of you posted online aren't ugly, you get triggered by a push notification from Facebook that you’ve been tagged, and your phone gives you the ability to check right away. You open the Facebook app.

    Proponents of the model, like Eyal, believe that the framework can be extremely powerful. “If you understand people’s internal triggers, you can try to satiate them," he says. "If you’re feeling lonely, we can help you connect. If you’re feeling bored, we can help entertain."

    But critics say that companies like Facebook have taken advantage of these psychological principles to capture human attention. Especially in advertising-supported businesses, where more time spent in app equals more profit, designers can optimize for values that don’t always align with their users’ well-being.

    Tristan Harris, one of the most vocal whistleblowers of tech’s manipulative design practices (and a graduate of Fogg's lab), has grappled with this idea. In 2012, while working at Google, he created a 144-slide presentation called “A Call to Minimize Distraction & Respect Users’ Attention.” The deck, which outlined ways in which small design elements like push notifications can become massive distractions at scale, went viral within the company. Over 5,000 Googlers viewed the presentation, which Harris parlayed into a job a as Google’s first “design ethicist.”

    Harris left Google in 2015 to expand the conversation around persuasive design outside of Mountain View. “Never before has a handful of people working at a handful of tech companies been able to steer the thoughts and feelings of a billion people,” he said in a recent talk at Stanford. “There are more users on Facebook than followers of Christianity. There are more people on YouTube than followers of Islam. I don’t know a more urgent problem than this.”

    Harris has channeled his beliefs into his advocacy organization, Time Well Spent, which lobbies the tech industry to align with societal well-being. Three years later, his movement has begun to gain steam. Just look at Facebook, which recently restructured its news feed algorithm to prioritize the content that people find valuable (like posts from friends and family) over the stuff that people mindlessly consume (like viral videos). In a public Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg wrote that one of Facebook’s main priorities in 2018, “is making sure the time we all spend on Facebook is time well spent.” Even, he said, if it's at the cost of how much time you spend on the platform.

    Facebook's reckoning shows that companies can redesign their products to be less addictive—at the very least, they can try. Perhaps in studying the model that designers used to hook us to our phones, we can understand how those principles can be used to unhook us as well.

    Finding the Cure

    Fogg acknowledges that our society has become addicted to smartphones, but he believes consumers have the power to unhook themselves. “No one is forcing you to bring the phone into the bedroom and make it your alarm clock,” he says. “What people need is the motivation.”

    Eyal’s next book, Indistractible, focuses on how to do that, using Fogg's model in reverse. It takes the same three ideas—motivation, trigger, and ability—and reorients them toward ungluing us from our phones. For example, you can remove triggers from certain apps by adjusting your notification settings. (Or better yet, turn off all your push notifications.) You can decrease your ability to access Facebook by simply deleting the app from your phone.

    “People have the power to put this stuff away and they always have,” says Eyal. “But when we preach powerlessness, people believe that.”

    Others, like Harris and venture capitalist Roger McNamee, disagree. They believe corporations’ interests are so intertwined with advertisers’ demands that, until we change the system, companies will always find new ways to maximize consumers’ time spent with their apps. “If you want to fix this as quickly as possible, the best way would be for founders of these companies to change their business model away from advertising,” says McNamee, who was an early investor in Facebook and mentor to Zuckerberg. “We have to eliminate the economic incentive to create addiction in the first place.”

    There is merit to both arguments. The same methods that addict people to Snapchat might keep them learning new languages on Duolingo. The line between persuasion and coercion can be thin, but a blanket dismissal of behavior design misses the point. The larger discussion around our relationship with our gadgets comes back to aligning use with intent—for product designers and users.

    Where We Go Next

    Harris and McNamee believe manipulative design has to be addressed on a systems level. The two are advocating for government regulation of internet platforms like Facebook, in part as a public health issue. Companies like Apple have also seen pressure from investors to rethink how gadget addiction is affecting kids. But ultimately, business models are hard to change overnight. As long as advertising is the primary monetization strategy for the web, there will always be those who use persuasive design to keep users around longer.

    So in the meantime, there are tangible steps we can all take to break the loop of addiction. Changing your notification settings or turning your phone to grayscale might seem like low-hanging fruit, but it's a place to start.

    “It’s going to take the companies way longer than it would take you to do something about it,” says Eyal. “If you hold your breath and wait, you’re going to suffocate.”

    Hooked On Technology

    Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/phone-addiction-formula/

    Apples New Spaceship Campus Has One Flaw and It Hurts

    The centerpiece of Apple Inc.’s new headquarters is a massive, ring-shaped office overflowing with panes of glass, a testament to the company’s famed design-obsessed aesthetic. 

    There’s been one hiccup since it opened last year: Apple employees keep smacking into the glass.

    Surrounding the building, located in Cupertino, California, are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed “pods,” also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize. That’s resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents. 

    Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building’s design, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing anything related to Apple. Another person familiar with the situation said there are other markings to identify the glass. 

    Apple’s latest campus has been lauded as an architectural marvel. The building, crafted by famed architect Norman Foster, immortalized a vision that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had years earlier. In 2011, Jobs reportedly described the building “a little like a spaceship landed.” Jobs has been credited for coming up with the glass pods, designed to mix solo office areas with more social spaces. 

    Apple campus in Cupertino.
    Photographer: Jim Wilson/New York Times via Redux

    The building is designed to house some 13,000 employees. Wired magazine, first to pay a visit at its opening last year, described the structure as a “statement of openness, of free movement,” in contrast to Apple’s typically insular culture. “While it is a technical marvel to make glass at this scale, that’s not the achievement,” Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, told the magazine in May. “The achievement is to make a building where so many people can connect and collaborate and walk and talk.”

    An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. It’s not clear how many incidents there have been. A Silicon Valley-based spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration referred questions about Apple’s workplace safety record to the government agency’s website. A search on the site based on Apple’s name in California found no reports of injuries at the company’s new campus. 

    It’s not the first time Apple’s penchant for glass in buildings has caused problems. In late 2011, 83-year-old Evelyn Paswall walked into the glass wall of an Apple store, breaking her nose. She sued the company, arguing it should have posted a warning on the glass. The suit was settled without any cost to Apple, according to a legal filing in early 2013. 

      Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-16/apple-s-new-spaceship-campus-has-one-flaw-and-it-hurts

      Someone Just Perfectly Explained Why Depression Makes People So Tired, And More People Need To See It

      Over time, depression and other mental disorders evolve camouflage so strong, they become almost invisible to the public. Almost. There are still a few ways to spot the parasites. 22-year-old visual artist and mental health advocate Pauline Palita has revealed a reliable method of how to spot people who struggle with mental health, and it’s resonating hard on Twitter.

      According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. Moreover, mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for citizens aged 18–44. Scroll down to learn one of the ways you can identify these dangerous conditions.

      Relating to the issue, people thought Pauline’s thoughts were spot-on

      Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/mental-illness-depression-tired-explanation-pj-palits/

      ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Recap: It’s Not About The Pasta

      I’ll be real with you guys, I don’t have a fun or clever way to segue into this week’s episode, so I’ll just dive right in.

      Actually no, let’s not dive in. I’m re-watching the tail end of last episode, and Jax is seriously the worst. Watching him gaslight Brittany again is making me homicidal. It makes me so sad and angry that Brittany is staying with him. Like, I understand that money might be tempting, but is it worth it for your mental health? *Googles how much these people make per episode*

      We open this episode with Stassi at SUR picking out some outfits for the Pride Parade party, so I guess Bravo is still pretending that Stassi is a legit event planner. Do you think you can put “fake event planner, Bravo TV” on your resume?

      Lisa: I need all the hands I can get during Pride, even Stassi’s grubby little mitts.

      Unpopular opinion: I’m not sure how much I love Lisa anymore. She just finds any reason to be a bitch to people two decades younger than her. Why don’t you pick on someone your own age? Isn’t that what you have for?

      Oh, Peter is into essential oils and Reiki? He just used the phrase “I have all my chakras aligned” in earnest? I have never lost my attraction to a person so fast, not even when they tell me they’re from New Jersey. For the inevitable commenter who asks, “I’m from Jersey, what’s your beef with my state?” may I kindly direct you to my previous recaps?

      Why do I feel like Jax is going to scam on this Reiki healer in like, two episodes’ time?

      I want the record to show I typed that before Sandoval said it. Thank you, thank you, that’s why they pay me the big bucks to write these recaps. Aka I get paid zero extra money for doing them; I just do it for the love of the game.

      All the girls are getting Botox together. My friends and I just go to brunch, but okay. 

      Scheana is still sticking to the “My boyfriend couldn’t have kissed another girl, he doesn’t even make out with me” as a good argument. Honey, no. That’s not a good argument! That just means he isn’t into you.

      Scheana: Can we just like stop talking about this and never speak of it again?

      Everyone:

      Stassi, Katie, Brittany and Kristen are at some cinema low-key trying to hook Brittany up with the waiter. They may be crazy bitches, but they’re good friends. But tbh I bet Jax is going to like, mentally fuck Brittany back to 1993 when he watches this exchange play out on camera and use it as retroactive justification for his cheating. Somebody please go check on Brittany and make sure she’s okay.

      Meanwhile, James and Lala are at some restaurant that apparently sells Welch’s grape soda and gin. Snoop Dogg would be disgraced.

      James: I’ve been trying to cut down the drinking

      Also James: To getting drunk! *takes two huge shots in 20 seconds*

      Also ALSO James: I could easily stop drinking at any time.

      Hmm where have I heard that before? Oh right, 8th grade health class and every episode of ever. 

      Wait so Lala tells James that she ate Raquel’s pasta and now James is going full psycho like “Don’t fuck with my bitch, or I’ll fuck with your fat man and he’ll be onto his next pretty blonde.”

      Lala is calmly trying to explain the joke about the pasta (which for the record I don’t think was funny to begin with so really this is all Lala’s fault) and it does not go well. Lala stands up for herself and storms out, and I don’t think James even remembers what he said to make her so mad a full two seconds ago. This is so fucking dumb. Is it about the pasta? Or is it not? SOMEBODY HELP ME!

      James: It’s not about the pasta! *turns away* *two seconds later* It’s not about the pasta! *turns away* *two seconds later* It’s not about the pasta!

      And rinse and repeat for an hour until the screen fades to black and it says “Executive Producer Lisa Vanderpump.”

      Just kidding, but I wish. *This joke has been brought to you by John Mulaney*

      Back at SUR, Scheana confronts Ariana and Brittany to find out if Katie was talking shit about her. Oh my god, she’s so annoying. Just accept that other people are going to talk shit about you. Talking shit literally pays your bills.

      Scheana: *brings up the Rob cheating rumors*

      Scheana 2 seconds later: OMG CAN WE STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS ALREADY *storms out*

      Sandoval and Schwartz show up to the wreckage that is to be Tom Tom, because according to Sandoval, they’re putting in less money into their investment so they’re going to compensate with sweat equity. I feel like a better idea would be for you to just like, not compromise the structural integrity of this building with your dumb asses.

      Anyone who says Kristen is reformed and sane now needs to take every seat as she describes how she literally tracks Carter’s every move via GPS while everybody else in the room just lets her drone on about her NSA-esque surveillance tactics without acknowledging her in any way.

      Schwartz stayed over at Sandoval’s (a no-no) because he got too wasted (another no-no) and instead of starting a fight about it when he came home, Katie just let it go. Schwartz says “I feel like I fell in love with you all over again” because Katie lets him blow through her (very reasonable) boundaries with no consequences. God, I fucking hate men.

      I don’t know why Lisa is volunteering to become Katie and Tom’s marriage counselor. “Not my circus, not my monkeys” – my favorite expression I found on the internet that I’d be employing the fuck out of in this situation.

      Watching Kristen try to explain Pride is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. “We’re out here because love is love and to everyone who doesn’t think love is love, suck a dick.” Probs not the best turn of phrase to use in this context. I’m just saying.

      Rob comes in to SUR and Scheana gives him the grand tour: “And here’s where I yelled at Brittany and Ariana, and here’s where I told everyone to stop talking about the rumors about you making out with someone.” But tell me more how you don’t want to talk about it ever again.

      Scheana: I lost my smile this week.

      Funny coincidence, I lost my dinner just now.

      At SUR, Stassi is telling the guys to put paint on their face. Sandoval is like “Oh hell yeah I’ve been practicing my contour for weeks now.”

      Scheana hugs Lala and is 1) TALKING ABOUT THE RUMORS AGAIN *looks for something with which to fashion a noose out of* and 2) telling Lala Rob said “Don’t let anyone take your smile” which we all saw HER say. Scheana, what’s it like to live in another reality? Asking for a friend myself.

      Okay but I’m not sure how I feel about Lala accusing Scheana of relapsing with her eating disorder, because like, that’s a sensitive topic and you shouldn’t just throw that around willy-nilly. And even if that is the case, IDK, I feel like there are certain lines you don’t cross, even for TV. But what do I know, I guess I’m just old fashioned.

      Billie Lee gets up in the middle of pride to give a speech about being trans, and holy shit, this girl is brave. I will be quietly monitoring her Instagram comments for any trolls. If you wanna come for Billie, you’re gonna have to go through me. …An anonymous internet writer. YEAH.

      So James body slammed on Jax’s crotch and now he’s almost making out with Logan while Raquel watches in the corner, horrified. Just saying, I called this from episode one. I just want James to be his authentic self, ya know?

      Watching James buy Logan vodka Red Bulls and kiss him on the cheek while Raquel texts by herself in a corner reminds me a lot of how I’d watch my boyfriend and my roommate interact when we’d go out to bars together. Yep, you all thought I’d make it one episode without mentioning that dumpster fire of a relationship, but nope. Take a drink.

      Lisa pulls Scheana aside from her job in the middle of THE BUSIEST DAY OF THE YEAR (a fact that annoys me but I should be used to it by now) to ask her how she’s doing. Scheana—you guessed it—brings up the “Rob making out with another girl” rumors. I’m just weeping to myself out of frustration at this point, for anyone at home who’s wondering.

      Lisa: Even if this relationship doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world.

      Scheana: Well it’s gonna work out because we’re meant to be together.

      It must be exhausting being this delusional.

      Scheana is definitely your friend who’s never been single and doesn’t know how to be. Scheana is Taylor Swift. Actually, that’s a pretty good think piece title. Coming soon to Betches. Someone comes up to Scheana and Rob and is like “What’s up?” and Scheana is like, “I got my smile back!!!” I’m so over this. I don’t ever wanna hear Scheana talk about her smile again, and if that means she never smiles, so be it.

      Katie and Brittany come over to Brittany and Jax’s apartment. But first off, I am kind of weirded out by Kristen constantly saying Brittany is the best thing to happen to their group. Like, IDK, she just stans way too hard for these peripheral people, like Patrick. It’s just weird.

      Brittany’s mom flew in to LA to surprise Brittany, and I just want to take the time to dissect Jax’s facial expression after learning that Sherry is in his apartment.

      Okay, so I may not have captured it that well in this screenshot, but in the previews before the commercials, Jax was making this surprised face but if you looked closely (or are a psycho like me, hard to tell), he kind of looks a little bemused by the situation. Anyone? Or just me? 

      You all can debate the intricacies of Jax’s facial expression in the comments. Or not. Whatever. But somebody answer this? WAS IT ABOUT THE PASTA? 

      Read more: http://www.betches.com/vanderpump-rules-season-6-episode-7-recap

      Greedy, Brittle, Opaque, and Shallow: The Downsides to Deep Learning

      Sundar Pichai, the chief executive of Google, has said that AI “is more profound than … electricity or fire.” Andrew Ng, who founded Google Brain and now invests in AI startups, wrote that “If a typical person can do a mental task with less than one second of thought, we can probably automate it using AI either now or in the near future.”

      Their enthusiasm is pardonable. There have been remarkable advances in AI, after decades of frustration. Today we can tell a voice-activated personal assistant like Alexa to “Play the band Television,” or count on Facebook to tag our photographs; Google Translate is often almost as accurate as a human translator. Over the last half decade, billions of dollars in research funding and venture capital have flowed towards AI; it is the hottest course in computer science programs at MIT and Stanford. In Silicon Valley, newly minted AI specialists command half a million dollars in salary and stock.

      But there are many things that people can do quickly that smart machines cannot. Natural language is beyond deep learning; new situations baffle artificial intelligences, like cows brought up short at a cattle grid. None of these shortcomings is likely to be solved soon. Once you’ve seen you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it: deep learning, now the dominant technique in artificial intelligence, will not lead to an AI that abstractly reasons and generalizes about the world. By itself, it is unlikely to automate ordinary human activities.

      Jason Pontin (@jason_pontin) is an Ideas contributor for WIRED. He is a senior partner at Flagship Pioneering, a firm in Boston that creates, builds, and funds companies that solve problems in health, food, and sustainability. From 2004 to 2017 he was the editor in chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review. Before that he was the editor of Red Herring magazine, a business magazine that was popular during the dot-com boom.

      To see why modern AI is good at a few things but bad at everything else, it helps to understand how deep learning works. Deep learning is math: a statistical method where computers learn to classify patterns using neural networks. Such networks possess inputs and outputs, a little like the neurons in our own brains; they are said to be “deep” when they possess multiple hidden layers that contain many nodes, with a blooming multitude of connections. Deep learning employs an algorithm called backpropagation, or backprop, that adjusts the mathematical weights between nodes, so that an input leads to the right output. In speech recognition, the phonemes c-a-t should spell the word “cat;” in image recognition, a photograph of a cat must not be labeled “a dog;” in translation, qui canem et faelem ut deos colunt should spit out “who worship dogs and cats as gods.” Deep learning is “supervised” when neural nets are trained to recognize phonemes, photographs, or the relation of Latin to English using millions or billions of prior, laboriously labeled examples.

      Deep learning’s advances are the product of pattern recognition: neural networks memorize classes of things and more-or-less reliably know when they encounter them again. But almost all the interesting problems in cognition aren’t classification problems at all. “People naively believe that if you take deep learning and scale it 100 times more layers, and add 1000 times more data, a neural net will be able to do anything a human being can do,” says François Chollet, a researcher at Google. “But that’s just not true.”

      Gary Marcus, a professor of cognitive psychology at NYU and briefly director of Uber’s AI lab, recently published a remarkable trilogy of essays, offering a critical appraisal of deep learning. Marcus believes that deep learning is not “a universal solvent, but one tool among many.” And without new approaches, Marcus worries that AI is rushing toward a wall, beyond which lie all the problems that pattern recognition cannot solve. His views are quietly shared with varying degrees of intensity by most leaders in the field, with the exceptions of Yann LeCun, the director of AI research at Facebook, who curtly dismissed the argument as “all wrong,” and Geoffrey Hinton, a professor emeritus at the University of Toronto and the grandfather of backpropagation, who sees “no evidence” of a looming obstacle.

      According to skeptics like Marcus, deep learning is greedy, brittle, opaque, and shallow. The systems are greedy because they demand huge sets of training data. Brittle because when a neural net is given a “transfer test”—confronted with scenarios that differ from the examples used in training—it cannot contextualize the situation and frequently breaks. They are opaque because, unlike traditional programs with their formal, debuggable code, the parameters of neural networks can only be interpreted in terms of their weights within a mathematical geography. Consequently, they are black boxes, whose outputs cannot be explained, raising doubts about their reliability and biases. Finally, they are shallow because they are programmed with little innate knowledge and possess no common sense about the world or human psychology.

      These limitations mean that a lot of automation will prove more elusive than AI hyperbolists imagine. “A self-driving car can drive millions of miles, but it will eventually encounter something new for which it has no experience,” explains Pedro Domingos, the author of The Master Algorithm and a professor of computer science at the University of Washington. “Or consider robot control: A robot can learn to pick up a bottle, but if it has to pick up a cup, it starts from scratch.” In January, Facebook abandoned M, a text-based virtual assistant that used humans to supplement and train a deep learning system, but never offered useful suggestions or employed language naturally.

      What’s wrong? “It must be that we have a better learning algorithm in our heads than anything we’ve come up with for machines,” Domingos says. We need to invent better methods of machine learning, skeptics aver. The remedy for artificial intelligence, according to Marcus, is syncretism: combining deep learning with unsupervised learning techniques that don’t depend so much on labeled training data, as well as the old-fashioned description of the world with logical rules that dominated AI before the rise of deep learning. Marcus claims that our best model for intelligence is ourselves, and humans think in many different ways. His young children could learn general rules about language, and without many examples, but they were also born with innate capacities. “We are born knowing there are causal relationships in the world, that wholes can be made of parts, and that the world consists of places and objects that persist in space and time,” he says. “No machine ever learned any of that stuff using backprop.”

      Other researchers have different ideas. “We’ve used the same basic paradigms [for machine learning] since the 1950s,” says Pedro Domingos, “and at the end of the day, we’re going to need some new ideas.” Chollet looks for inspiration in program synthesis, programs that automatically create other programs. Hinton’s current research explores an idea he calls “capsules,” which preserves backpropagation, the algorithm for deep learning, but addresses some of its limitations.

      “There are a lot of core questions in AI that are completely unsolved,” says Chollet, “and even largely unasked.” We must answer these questions because there are tasks that a lot of humans don’t want to do, such as cleaning toilets and classifying pornography, or which intelligent machines would do better, such as discovering drugs to treat diseases. More: there are things that we can’t do at all, most of which we cannot yet imagine.


      AI Anxieties

      • You can stop panicking about a superhuman AI. As Kevin Kelly writes, that’s a myth.

      • Another worry you can cross off your list? The fear that robots will take all of our jobs. It’s not nearly that simple.

      • But AI is becoming an ever-more integral factor in the future of work. Say hello to your new AI coworkers.

      Photograph by WIRED/Getty Images

      Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/greedy-brittle-opaque-and-shallow-the-downsides-to-deep-learning/

      Larry Nassar sentenced to up to 175 years in prison for decades of sexual abuse

      (CNN)Once a world-renowned sports physician treating America’s foremost Olympic women gymnasts, Larry Nassar now will spend the rest of his life behind bars.

      “I’ve just signed your death warrant,” Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said in a Lansing, Michigan, courtroom. “I find that you don’t get it, that you’re a danger. That you remain a danger.”
      Nassar had pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct in Ingham County in Michigan and admitted to using his trusted medical position to assault and molest girls under the guise of medical treatment.
        He offered a short statement in court, apologizing and saying that hearing seven days of victim impact statements had shaken him to his core.
        “There are no words that can describe the depth and breadth of how sorry I am for what has occurred,” Nassar said. “An acceptable apology to all of you is impossible to write and convey. I will carry your words with me for the rest of my days.”
        But before delivering her sentence, Aquilina read aloud a letter Nassar wrote to the court recently in which he defended his medical care, said he was “manipulated” into pleading guilty, and accused the women of lying.
        “I was a good doctor because my treatments worked, and those patients that are now speaking out are the same ones that praised and came back over and over,” Nassar wrote. “The media convinced them that everything I did was wrong and bad. They feel I broke their trust. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”
        The letter “tells me you still don’t get it,” Aquilina said, tossing the letter dismissively.
        “I wouldn’t send my dogs to you, sir,” she added.

        ‘Nearly infinite’

        People
        The sentence brings to an end a wrenching seven days of victim impact statements as part of Nassar’s plea deal.
        A total of 156 victims spoke, recounting similar stories of how they went to Nassar to receive treatment for sports injuries only to be sexually assaulted and told it was a form of treatment.

        Nassar gets up to 175 years in prison

        Nassar’s victims, in their own words

        Aly Raisman: ‘The tables have turned’

        ‘Little girls don’t stay little forever’

        WATCH: Nassar speaks

        From victims to an ‘army of survivors

        Who knew what, and when?

        Gymnastics families affected everywhere

        The judge these victims needed

        Opinion: How he got away with it

        “The breadth and ripple of this defendant’s abuse and destruction is nearly infinite,” Assistant Attorney General Angela Povilaitis said in her remarks before the sentencing.
        Many of the women said that when they spoke up about the treatment, they were ignored or their concerns brushed aside by organizations in power, primarily USA Gymnastics, Michigan State University and the US Olympic Committee.
        The final speaker was Rachael Denhollander, the former gymnast who first made Nassar’s abuse public in a September 2016 story in the Indy Star. She meticulously laid out the ways that the systems failed her and other women and allowed this abuse to continue for so long.
        “Women and girls banded together to fight for themselves because no one else would do it,” she said.
        Nassar sat and listenedon the witness stand, sometimes hiding his head in his hands or wiping away tears with a tissue.
        Separately, he has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for federal child pornography charges. He also has pleaded guilty to three charges of criminal sexual conduct in Eaton County in Michigan and is due to be sentenced on those charges on January 31.
        Between the three sentences, Nassar, 54, will never get out of prison, Aquilina said.
        But the judge reminded everyone in the courtroom that the focus of the week-long sentencing hearing was the victims — or survivors, as many have called themselves. One by one, women and their families came forward to confront Nassar and explain how he used his respected position to molest young, injured girls.
        “I think what we’ve seen over the past week may have been a watershed moment in our country,” said attorney John Manly, who represents more than 100 women in civil lawsuits. “(This happened) because these women had the courage to get up and speak.”

        ‘We have our voices’

        The women — almost all of whom initially met Nassar for a sports-related injury — said that, because of the abuse, they struggled with anxiety, depression and instances of self-harm. Others said they no longer trust doctors or that they shrink from any physical touch.
        “Sexual abuse is so much more than a disturbing physical act,” Kyle Stephens, the first victim to speak, said last week. “It changes the trajectory of a victim’s life, and that is something that nobody has the right to do.”
        But the women also showed remarkable resolve and bravery, staring down Nassar in court and calling out the systems of power that protected him for more than two decades. The victims include some of the most famous Olympic gymnasts in American history, including gold medalist Aly Raisman, as well as athletes at Michigan State University and at USA Gymnastics.
        “We, this group of women you so heartlessly abused over such a long period of time, are now a force, and you are nothing,” Raisman said. “The tables have turned, Larry. We are here. We have our voices, and we are not going anywhere.”
        Court officials initially expected 88 victims to speak in court. But that number nearly doubled over the course of the sentencing hearing as more and more women came forward, inspired to speak out by what many called an “army of survivors.”
        “We were ultimately strong enough to take you down,” Kaylee Lorincz said on Wednesday. “Not one by one, but by an army of survivors. We are Jane Does no more.”
        Judge Aquilina allowed everyone who wished to speak a chance to be heard, and she offered personal responses to each woman in court. Legal experts said her intimate comments were unusual, but Nassar’s victims praised Aquilina for doing what so many others had failed to do: listen.

        Fallout only beginning

        Though the sentencing marks the end of Nassar’s time in the public eye, it has focused critical attention on USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee and Michigan State University, the institutions that employed Nassar for about two decades. A number of women have accused the organizations of turning a blind eye to Nassar’s abuse and even pressuring outspoken victims into silence.
        “Michigan State University, the school I loved and trusted, had the audacity to tell me that I did not understand the difference between sexual assault and a medical procedure,” Amanda Thomashow said in court. “That master manipulator took advantage of his title, he abused me, and when I found the strength to talk about what had happened I was ignored and my voice was silenced.”
        All three organizations have denied wrongdoing and said they reported the sexual abuse allegations to authorities once they learned about them.
        Still, the fallout at those organizations has moved slowly and then all at once. Michigan State University asked the state attorney general to investigate its response to the abuse, and President Lou Anna Simon has faced calls for her resignation.
        In the past week, USA Gymnastics cut ties with the Karolyi Ranch, the training facility where the abuse happened, and three leaders of its board stepped down under pressure.
        The US Olympic Committee called on the rest of the USA Gymnastics board to step down and said it was considering decertifying USA Gymnastics as a national governing body, according to a statement from USOC CEO Scott Blackmun on Wednesday. The USOC statement also apologized for failing to stop Nassar’s abuse and for its inadequate response at his trial.
        “The purpose of this message is to tell all of Nassar’s victims and survivors, directly, how incredibly sorry we are,” Blackmun wrote. “We have said it in other contexts, but we have not been direct enough with you. We are sorry for the pain caused by this terrible man, and sorry that you weren’t afforded a safe opportunity to pursue your sports dreams.
        “The Olympic family is among those that have failed you.”

        Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/24/us/larry-nassar-sentencing/index.html