The 16 Most Insane Things Happening Right Now (10/3/17)

Everywhere you look, the news is trying to force you to binge on it. No reasonable person can be expected to keep up with all the headlines while maintaining their sanity, so we have taken it upon ourselves to quickly summarize the most important and/or ridiculous headlines from the last week (or so).

16

Sources: CBS News, TV Guide

15

3

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_25127_the-most-important-things-you-need-to-know-thursday-928.html

The Psychological Reason Watching Horror Movies Can Be Good For Your Mental Health

Scream

A weird thing about me is that I LOVE horror movies and I suffer from anxiety. If I see a centipede in my apartment, I’ll be awake all night, fearful that it will somehow make it’s way to my bed. When I worry about something, it’s like I can’t turn my brain off.

So, over the years I’ve fielded questions from well-meaning family and friends who don’t understand why I consume so much horror. I love scary movies, I read all the creepypasta I can get my hands on, I’m obsessed with Stephen King, and I even like to visit scary locations like famously haunted hotels. It seems to go against common sense. If I have a hard enough time with my real life worries, why am I inserting new (fictional) fears into my life? I’ve never known the scientific reason, I just know I love being scared. It’s my favorite form of entertainment.

Well, it turns out there’s a scientific reason horror tends to be relaxing for me and other people with anxiety. One social scientist, Dr. Mathias Clasen, has been studying horror films and mental health since 2001. He explains, “there’s psychological distance when we watch a horror film. We know it’s not real—or at least, some parts of our brain know it isn’t real… The genre allows us to voluntarily — and under controlled circumstances — get experience with negative emotion.”

Experiencing anxiety while knowing, objectively, that we are “safe” gives us practice fact-checking whether our worries are real. The fun is in feeling the psychological and physiological effects of fear while knowing there isn’t any actual danger.

Personally, I find the highs and lows of a horror movie to be relaxing. My anxiety may be heightened at the climax of the plot, but by the time everything is over it almost feels like a post-workout glow. I’m more relaxed than I was when the movie started, or maybe just tired from the dose of adrenaline. Other people who suffer from anxiety have noticed this same effect, and say that horror movies can serve as self-care for them.

Next time you’ve had a particularly stressful week, find a scary movie on Netflix (here’s some streaming right now) and see if it works for you.

👻 You can read 101 of the scariest (and shortest!) true stories in our new collection, , available here. 👻

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/emily-madriga/2017/10/the-psychological-reason-watching-horror-movies-can-be-good-for-your-mental-health/

Julia Louis-Dreyfus Announces Cancer Diagnosis With Plea For Universal Health Care

On Thursday, Sept. 28,  star Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced she has cancer with a statement posted to Twitter. The actress wrote in the statement, which she also signed, that “1 in 8 women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one.” The statement was posted just after 1 p.m. ET.

She added in her statement that there is “good news” about the diagnosis, saying,

The good news is that I have the most glorious group of supportive and caring family and friends, and fantastic insurance through my union.

Then, her statement took on a more political theme as Louis-Dreyfus explained the “bad news” about her breast cancer announcement. She wrote,

The bad news is that not all women are so lucky, so let’s fight all cancers and make universal health care a reality.

Louis-Dreyfus’ news comes as Congress continues to battle it out over a health care policy. Republicans have been attempting to make good on their goal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA, aka Obamacare) since the spring. Thus far, their attempts have been major fails. The latest attempt was made in the Senate over the past two weeks with the Graham-Cassidy Amendment. That amendment is heading towards failure as Senators Susan Collins, John McCain, and Rand Paul have said they would vote against it. With that, it does not have enough votes to pass.

The Senate has until Sept. 30 to vote on a health care plan with a simple majority. After Sept. 30, they’d need over 60 votes to pass a bill. Since Republicans can’t even drum up 51 votes this time around, it does not look like their attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare will be succeeding any time soon.

Meanwhile, many Democrats have recently been pushing for universal health care, which is what Louis-Dreyfus says she wants to be a reality. Most recently, a handful of Democratic senators, led by Bernie Sanders, have proposed and supported Medicare for All, a health care plan that would provide universal health care coverage (i.e. health care for everyone, automatically).

Many fans are applauding Louis-Dreyfus for making her cancer announcement be about more than just herself.

Louis-Dreyfus’ cancer announcement comes just after she made history at the Emmy Awards on Sept. 17.

On that Sunday night, the actress won her sixth award in a row for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her incredible portrayal of Selina Meyer on HBO’s . This win broke Candice Bergen’s record of Emmy wins for the same category (Bergen won five awards for her portrayal of the titular character in ).

This was Louis-Dreyfus’ eighth Emmy award in total, which ties Cloris Leachman’s eight wins. Backstage at the awards, she said that these historic distinctions made her feel “numb.” She said, according to ,

I’m just incredibly honored and amazed this has happened to me. It’s all very baffling and a sh*t-ton of good luck.

Just as her  character is, obviously, political, Louis-Dreyfus has not backed away from talking about politics.

She has repeatedly criticized President Donald Trump, and this plea for universal health care is a further knock against him — he supports the GOP’s attempts to repeal and replace Obamacare and definitely does not want universal health care as part of that plan.

During the Screen Actors Guild Awards this past January, for instance, she took her time accepting her award for best actress in a comedy series to also take a shot at Trump, who had just been inaugurated as president — and had just introduced a travel ban on immigrants from Muslim-majority countries. She explained that she is the daughter of an immigrant as her father fled religious persecution in France from the Nazis; she called Trump’s travel ban “un-American.”

And just to kick it all off, Louis-Dreyfus went on to just totally make fun of Trump for the inauguration crowd size scandal. Check it out:

Still, back in April, Louis-Dreyfus said that “not in a million years” would she consider running for office. But, clearly, that doesn’t mean she’s not using her voice. It’s inspiring to see someone take such an emotional, personal moment and instead turn it to the people less privileged than her, pointing to a possible solution that could help millions of Americans. We wish her all the best with this breast cancer diagnosis.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/news/politics/julia-louis-dreyfus-announces-cancer-diagnosis-plea-universal-health-care/2083291/

Why Couples Who Watch Horror Movies Together End Up Happiest

Sweeney Todd

There’s a biological reason couples who watch horror together seem to be the happiest. As one doctor explains, “When we’re scared, our brains pump out the feel-good chemical dopamine, the same chemical we release when we’re infatuated with someone.” Horror brings us closer together by biologically cementing attraction.

Watching horror movies together also makes a couple feel closer because they are having a shared emotional experience. Throughout the film they’ll share the feeling of fear and later relief as the plot develops. It’s good for the health of your relationship to have vulnerable moments together, and there are plenty of those while watching something that may make you jump or want to sleep with the lights on later. Also, it doesn’t hurt that horror movies are a great excuse to get close and cuddle up, reminding your partner that they make you feel safe and releasing feel-good oxytocin with all that skin-to skin contact.

It’s also about the of people who love horror. Couples who watch horror movies together know you don’t need expensive or extravagant dates to be a healthy couple. They are happiest with the simple act of being at home enjoying each other’s company. They are down to earth, easy to please, and value quality time all elements of lasting happiness for a couple.

People who regularly watch horror movies are less stressed out people in general, which has a big impact on relationship health. Horror movies have a calming effect generated by the cycle of adrenaline production and the way watching something so engrossing gives your brain a break. They serve as mini “vacations” that allow you to come back rested and with more resilience to deal with the normal stresses of life.

There’s nothing like bonding over a newfound fear, or your criticism of how dumb that girl must be to investigate a strange noise in the basement with a serial killer on the loose. Watching horror movies together is an inexpensive, easy habit to work into your routine that keeps you bonded to your partner. Look around at the couples you know who watch horror together, and you’ll see what you’re missing out on.

Read more: https://thoughtcatalog.com/emily-madriga/2017/09/heres-why-couples-who-watch-horror-movies-together-end-up-happiest/

America gives $700bn to the military but says healthcare is a luxury | Trevor Timm

On Monday, the Pentagon received even more money than it had asked for. Funding war is something that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on

When Bernie Sanders released his much anticipated healthcare plan last week, countless pundits and members of Congress asked why the government should pass such a bill given its potential cost. Now that Congress on the verge of sending a record-setting $700bn Pentagon spending bill to Trumps desk, you can bet those deficit scolds will be nowhere to be found.

On Monday evening, the Senate passed in bipartisan fashion a policy bill that set the parameters for military spending in 2018 that tops $700bn, including tens of billions in spending for wars Trump has been expanding in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

Amazingly, the bill far exceeds even the increase in spending that the Trump administration was asking for, and as the Associated Press reported, it would put the US armed forces on track for a budget greater than at any time during the decade-plus wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Only eight senators voted against the bill three Republicans and five Democrats. It passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. Even in a time of hyper-partisanship, you can always count on Congress to come together and spend hundreds of billions of dollars to build weapons and bombs for killing people overseas, even as our infrastructure crumbles at home and thousands of people die each year without healthcare.

At the same time, Republicans in Congress are also engaged in a last-ditch effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act before their deadline to do so expires on 30 September. If they succeed, they will likely force millions of Americans to lose their health insurance, and they will make the case that they did so in part to save money and lower the deficit. The Republicans shamelessness, as always, knows no bounds.

But why wouldnt Democrats put up even a modicum of a fight against this gargantuan National Defense Authorization Act? Given that Trump has been ramping up US wars across the Middle East, civilian casualties have been exploding, and the administration cant even give a legal explanation for its strikes in Syria, youd think this would be a good time for Democrats to take a stand against the Forever War posture now engulfs the Trump administration as it did the two administrations before him.

But no.

Only five Democratic senators voted against the bill. All of them Gillibrand, Sanders, Wyden, Leahy and Merkley deserve to be commended, but its embarrassing that so many others would go ahead and vote for this.

Sadly, we know why. Giant defense contractors call every single state in the United States home, where they who have factories that make the fighter jets, aircraft carriers, and bombs that the Pentagon has an insatiable appetite for.

They lavish congressmen with campaign contributions and then attempt to terrify everyone that jobs (ie building bombs that kill people) will dry up if Congress doesnt increase military spending each year.

The difference in the response from both Congress and political pundits when it comes spending on our military and on domestic programs could not be more stark. Any government program meant to help poor people get food, housing or healthcare are analyzed to pieces by deficit trolls in countless op-eds and cable television appearances, as if our economy will suddenly collapse if the government spends just a tiny percentage more to help our most unfortunate.

But when it comes to spending money on military bases overseas and already rich defense contractors, no amount of extra money is ever too high.

What makes it all the more hypocritical and shameful that the Pentagon is the agency where the most waste exists by far when it comes to government spending. The Washington Post produced a must-read report last year showing that the Pentagons own auditors could save a mind boggling $125bn over a five year period without cutting any programs, given all of the duplicative and unnecessary spending that plagues the defense department.

Yet as the Post reported at the time, senior defense officials moved swiftly to kill it by discrediting and suppressing the results and then the Pentagon imposed secrecy restrictions on the data making up the study, which ensured no one could replicate the findings.

The story was quickly forgotten, and now, like clockwork, the Pentagon receives more money than it even asked for.

Just remember this vote the next time some congressman or political prognosticator on television says that the United States cant afford to help its most needy. Theres always plenty of money for bombs, but when it comes to healthcare or anything else, what theyre saying is youre out of luck.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/20/america-700bn-military-healthcare-luxury

Facebook acquires anonymous teen compliment app tbh, will let it run

Facebook wants tbh to be its next Instagram. Today, Facebook announced it’s acquiring positivity-focused polling startup tbh and will allow it to operate somewhat independently with its own brand.

tbh had scored 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the past nine weeks with its app that lets people anonymously answer kind-hearted multiple-choice questions about friends who then receive the poll results as compliments. You see questions like “Best to bring to a party?,” “Their perseverance is admirable?” and “Could see becoming a poet?” with your uploaded contacts on the app as answer choices.

tbh has racked up more than 1 billion poll answers since officially launching in limited states in August, mostly from teens and high school students, and spent weeks topping the free app charts. When we profiled tbh last month in the company’s first big interview, co-creator Nikita Bier told us, “If we’re improving the mental health of millions of teens, that’s a success to us.”

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but TechCrunch has heard the price paid was less than $100 million and won’t require any regulatory approval. As part of the deal, tbh’s four co-creators — Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon — will join Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters while continuing to grow their app with Facebook’s cash, engineering, anti-spam, moderation and localization resources.

However, the tbh founders will become formal Facebook employees, with Facebook email addresses, opposed to running more independently like Instagram and WhatsApp, which have their own buildings and emails.

The tbh team wrote in an announcement post that “When we met with Facebook, we realized that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realize our vision and bring it to more people.”

In a statement to TechCrunch, Facebook wrote: “tbh and Facebook share a common goal — of building community and enabling people to share in ways that bring us closer together. We’re impressed by the way tbh is doing this by using polling and messaging, and with Facebook’s resources tbh can continue to expand and build positive experiences.”

It’s interesting that Facebook opted to acquire tbh rather than clone it, since it has been aggressively copying other hit teen apps like Houseparty recently. While Facebook’s Snapchat clone Instagram Stories has achieved massive popularity, other knock-offs it has made haven’t fared as well.

With tbh’s strong brand name, distinctive design and explosive early traction, Facebook seems to have decided it was better to team-up than face-off.

[Correction: tbh has 2.5 million daily active users, not 4 million as we originally published after Bier implied as much in a tweet he deleted after this article was published.]

From 14 failures to Facebook

Bier originally started tbh parent company Midnight Labs back in 2010. The app studio tried a slew of products, including a personal finance app, a college chat app and a personality test. Eventually the company took a small seed round in 2013 from investors, including Greylock via partner Josh Elman, Bee Partners and Indicator Ventures. But nothing took off, and Midnight Labs was running out of money.

With just 60 days of cash left, the company decided to build something at the intersection of the positivity it saw lacking in anonymous apps like Secret and Yik Yak, and the honesty teens craved as seen in the TBH trend where social network users request candid feedback from their friends: tbh was born. “We shipped it to one school in Georgia. Forty percent of the school downloaded it the first day,” said Bier.

The biggest problem quickly became how to keep users engaged with the app; tbh already limits you to answering a few questions at a time, so you beg for more. Its first big feature release came this week with the addition of direct messaging. This lets you message someone who chose you as an answer, and they have the option of revealing their identity to you.

But trying to simultaneously keep the servers online, write new questions and build the next sticky feature was a tall task for such a small team.

Now tbh will have Facebook to help it scale while keeping existing users entertained. The app will remain free to download on iOS and Android, and the brand will remain the same.

Having the backup from Facebook should let Bier and his team breathe a little easier. There’s a lot of advantages to joining forces with Facebook:

  • Cash – Instead of raising another round in hopes of keeping its momentum alive, tbh will have deep pockets to draw from in order chase its mission of making teens happier.
  • Engineering – Scaling to 2.5 million daily users with just four co-creators and some contractors is insanely hard work. If the app keeps crashing, users will disappear. Now tbh will have Facebook’s enormous, elite engineering team behind it.
  • Anti-spam – As tbh revs up its new direct messaging feature, it will have Facebook to assist it in weeding out spam with the technologies it’s been developing for over a decade.
  • Localization – tbh hasn’t even expanded to every state in the U.S. yet. With Facebook’s help, it can allow more locations on board, and, as it goes international, it will be able to adopt new languages and cultures more quickly.
  • Content moderation – tbh has promised to only allow poll questions where the friend you pick will feel good about being chosen. That will be easier with more brains coming up with questions, more eyes reviewing them for misuse and a diverse team to write the right questions for different places.

These resources have helped Instagram grow well over 10X its size, to 800 million users, since Facebook bought it in 2012, while WhatsApp has grown from 450 million to 1.3 billion users since Facebook acquired it in 2014.

But rather than waiting and watching until tbh climbed to be worth nearly $1 billion like Instagram or $19 billion like WhatsApp, Facebook swooped in early. The last thing it needed was tbh ending up being bought by Snapchat.

“Nikita and his team have figured out a lot about how teens are using products. This is one of the few that’s gotten this kind of adoption, and that should be celebrated,” tbh investor Josh Elman says. “Hopefully this shows that there’s still room to get lots of people adopting new mobile experiences.”

Before tbh, most social media was about competing for likes or glorifying your offline life. But those little dopamine-inducing notifications had little true connection on the other side, and it’s easy to think you’re uncool when everyone else seems to be having so much fun. Indeed, tbh filled the gap between being “liked” and actually feeling appreciated.

“We think the next milestone is thinking about social platforms in terms of love and positivity,” Bier told me. “We think that’s what’s been missing from social products since the inception of the internet.”

For more on tbh, read our interview with its co-founder about its creation and mission.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/16/facebook-acquires-anonymous-teen-compliment-app-tbh-will-let-it-run/

Facing poverty, academics turn to sex work and sleeping in cars

Adjunct professors in America face low pay and long hours without the security of full-time faculty. Some, on the brink of homelessness, take desperate measures

There is nothing she would rather do than teach. But after supplementing her career with tutoring and proofreading, the university lecturer decided to go to remarkable lengths to make her career financially viable.

She first opted for her side gig during a particularly rough patch, several years ago, when her course load was suddenly cut in half and her income plunged, putting her on the brink of eviction. In my mind I was like, Ive had one-night stands, how bad can it be? she said. And it wasnt that bad.

The wry but weary-sounding middle-aged woman, who lives in a large US city and asked to remain anonymous to protect her reputation, is an adjunct instructor, meaning she is not a full-time faculty member at any one institution and strings together a living by teaching individual courses, in her case at multiple colleges.

about

I feel committed to being the person whos there to help millennials, the next generation, go on to become critical thinkers, she said. And Im really good at it, and I really like it. And its heartbreaking to me it doesnt pay what I feel it should.

Sex work is one of the more unusual ways that adjuncts have avoided living in poverty, and perhaps even homelessness. A quarter of part-time college academics (many of whom are adjuncts, though its not uncommon for adjuncts to work 40 hours a week or more) are said to be enrolled in public assistance programs such as Medicaid.

They resort to food banks and Goodwill, and there is even an adjuncts cookbook that shows how to turn items like beef scraps, chicken bones and orange peel into meals. And then there are those who are either on the streets or teetering on the edge of losing stable housing. The Guardian has spoken to several such academics, including an adjunct living in a shack north of Miami, and another sleeping in her car in Silicon Valley.

The adjunct who turned to sex work makes several thousand dollars per course, and teaches about six per semester. She estimates that she puts in 60 hours a week. But she struggles to make ends meet after paying $1,500 in monthly rent and with student loans that, including interest, amount to a few hundred thousand dollars. Her income from teaching comes to $40,000 a year. Thats significantly more than most adjuncts: a 2014 survey found that the median income for adjuncts is only $22,041 a year, whereas for full-time faculty it is $47,500.

We take a kind of vow of poverty

Recent reports have revealed the extent of poverty among professors, but the issue is longstanding. Several years ago, it was thrust into the headlines in dramatic fashion when Mary-Faith Cerasoli, an adjunct professor of Romance languages in her 50s, revealed she was homeless and protested outside the New York state education department.

We take a kind of vow of poverty to continue practicing our profession, Debra Leigh Scott, who is working on a documentary about adjuncts, said in an email. We do it because we are dedicated to scholarship, to learning, to our students and to our disciplines.

Adjuncting has grown as funding for public universities has fallen by more than a quarterbetween 1990 and 2009. Private institutions also recognize the allure of part-time professors: generally they are cheaper than full-time staff, dont receive benefits or support for their personal research, and their hours can be carefully limited so they do not teach enough to qualify for health insurance.

This is why adjuncts have been called the fast-food workers of the academic world: among labor experts adjuncting is defined as precarious employment, a growing category that includes temping and sharing-economy gigs such as driving for Uber. An American Sociological Association taskforce focusing on precarious academic jobs, meanwhile, has suggested that faculty employment is no longer a stable middle-class career.

Adjunct
Adjunct English professor Ellen James-Penney and her husband live in a car with their two dogs. They have developed a system. Keep nothing on the dash, nothing on the floor you cant look like youre homeless, you cant dress like youre homeless. Photograph: Talia Herman for the Guardian

The struggle to stay in housing can take many forms, and a second job is one way adjuncts seek to buoy their finances. The professor who turned to sex work said it helps her keep her toehold in the rental market.

This is something I chose to do, she said, adding that for her it is preferable to, say, a six-hour shift at a bar after teaching all day. I dont want it to come across as, Oh, I had no other choice, this is how hard my life is.

Advertising online, she makes about $200 an hour for sex work. She sees clients only a handful of times during the semester, and more often during the summer, when classes end and she receives no income.

Im terrified that a student is going to come walking in, she said. And the financial concerns have not ceased. I constantly have tension in my neck from gritting my teeth all night.

To keep their homes, some adjuncts are forced to compromise on their living space.

Caprice Lawless, 65, a teacher of English composition and a campaigner for better working conditions for adjuncts, resides in an 1100 sq ft brick house near Boulder, Colorado. She bought it following a divorce two decades ago. But because her $18,000 income from teaching almost full time is so meager, she has remortgaged the property several times, and has had to rent her home to three other female housemates.

I live paycheck to paycheck and Im deeply in debt, she said, including from car repairs and a hospitalization for food poisoning.

Like every other adjunct, she says, she opted for the role thinking it would be a path to full-time work. She is so dependent on her job to maintain her living situation that when her mother died this summer, she didnt take time off in part because she has no bereavement leave. She turned up for work at 8am the next day, taught in a blur and, despite the cane she has used since a hip replacement, fell over in the parking lot.

If she were to lose her home her only hope, she says, would be government-subsidized housing.

Most of my colleagues are unjustifiably ashamed, she said. They take this personally, as if theyve failed, and Im always telling them, you havent failed, the system has failed you.

A precarious situation

Even more desperate are those adjuncts in substandard living spaces who cannot afford to fix them. Mindy Percival, 61, a lecturer with a doctorate from Columbia, teaches history at a state college in Florida and, in her words, lives in a shack which is in the woods in middle of nowhere.

Lecturer
Lecturer Mindy Percivals mobile home in Stuart, Florida. Her oven, shower and water heater dont work. Photograph: Courtesy of Mindy Percival

The mobile home she inhabits, located in the town of Stuart, north of Miami, was donated to her about eight years ago. It looks tidyon the outside, but inside there are holes in the floor and the paneling is peeling off the walls. She has no washing machine, and the oven, shower and water heater dont work. Im on the verge of homelessness, constantly on the verge, she said.

Percival once had a tenure-track job but left to care for her elderly mother, not expecting it would be impossible to find a similar position. Now, two weeks after being paid, I might have a can with $5 in change in it. Her 18-year-old car broke down after Hurricane Irma, and she is driven to school by a former student, paying $20 a day for gas.

I am trying to get out so terribly hard, she said.

Homelessness is a genuine prospect for adjuncts. When Ellen Tara James-Penney finishes work, teaching English composition and critical thinking at San Jose State University in Silicon Valley, her husband, Jim, picks her up. They have dinner and drive to a local church, where Jim pitches a tent by the car and sleeps there with one of their rescue dogs. In the car, James-Penney puts the car seats down and sleeps with another dog. She grades papers using a headlamp.

Over the years, she said, they have developed a system. Keep nothing on the dash, nothing on the floor you cant look like youre homeless, you cant dress like youre homeless. Dont park anywhere too long so the cops dont stop you.

James-Penney, 54, has struggled with homelessness since 2007, when she began studying for her bachelors degree. Jim, 64, used to be a trucker but cannot work owing to a herniated disk. Ellen made $28,000 last year, a chunk of which goes to debt repayments. The remainder is not enough to afford Silicon Valley rent.

At night, instead of a toilet they must use cups or plastic bags and baby wipes. To get clean, they find restrooms and we have what we call the sink-shower, James-Penney said. The couple keep their belongings in the back of the car and a roof container. All the while they deal with the consequences of ageing James-Penney has osteoporosis in a space too small to even stand up.

James-Penney does not hide her situation from her class. If her students complain about the homeless people who can sometimes be seen on campus, she will say:Youre looking at someone who is homeless.

That generally stops any kind of sound in the room, she says. I tell them, your parents could very well be one paycheck away, one illness away, from homelessness, so it is not something to be ashamed of.

Ellen
Ellen James-Penney teaching an English class at San Jose State University in California. She tells her students, youre looking at someone who is homeless. Photograph: Talia Herman for the Guardian

I hung on to the dream

Many adjuncts are seeking to change their lot by unionizing, and have done so at dozens of schools in recent years. They are notching successes; some have seen annual pay increases of about 5% to almost 20%, according to Julie Schmid, executive director of the American Association of University Professors.

Schools are often opposed to such efforts and say unions will result in higher costs for students. And for certain adjuncts, any gains will come too late.

Mary-Faith Cerasoli, 56, the homeless adjunct who captured the publics attention with her protest in New York three years ago, said that in the aftermath little changed in termsof her living situation. Two generous people, a retiree and then a nurse, offered her temporary accommodation, but she subsequently ended up in a tent pitched at a campground and, after that, a broken sailboat docked in the Hudson river.

But there was, however, one shift. All the moving around made it hard for her to make teaching commitments, and in any case the pay remained terrible, so she gave it up. She currently lives in a subsidized room in a shared house in a wealthy county north of New York.

For Rebecca Snow, 51, another adjunct who quit teaching after a succession of appalling living situations, there is a sense of having been freed, even though finances continue to be stressful.

Author
Author Rebecca Snow, now retired from adjuncting, has moved to a small apartment just north of Spokane, Washington. Photograph: Rajah Bose for the Guardian

She began teaching English composition at a community college in the Denver area in 2005, but the poor conditions of the homes she could afford meant she had to move every year or two. She left one place because of bedbugs, another when raw sewage flowed into her bathtub and the landlord failed to properly fix the pipes.

Sometimes her teenage son would have to stay with her ex-husband when she couldnt provide a stable home. Snow even published a poem about adjuncts housing difficulties.

In the end she left the profession when the housing and job insecurity became too much, and her bills too daunting. Today she lives in a quiet apartment above the garage of a friends home, located 15 miles outside Spokane, Washington. She has a view of a lake and forested hills and, with one novel under her belt, is working on a second.

Teaching was the fantasy, she said, but life on the brink of homelessness was the reality.

I realized I hung on to the dream for too long.

  • Do you have an experience of homelessness to share with the Guardian? Get in touch

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/sep/28/adjunct-professors-homeless-sex-work-academia-poverty

EPA moves to repeal Obamas Clean Power Plan coal regs

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday that the Trump administration is moving to scrap the Clean Power Plan, the Obama administration’s signature regulatory program to curb emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Pruitt made the announcement at an event in Hazard, Ky., casting the previous policy as unfair.

“That rule really was about picking winners and losers,” Pruitt said. “The past administration was unapologetic, they were using every bit of power, authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers on how we pick electricity in this country. That is wrong.”

In this Nov. 9, 2010 file photo, a mine employee stands in the entry of the Signal Peak Energy’s Bull Mountain mine in Roundup, Montana.  (AP)

He said that on Tuesday, he will sign a proposed rule to formally withdraw from the plan.

“It is right for this administration to say the war is over,” Pruitt said.

The decision comes after President Trump in late March ordered a review of the controversial program, which was put on hold more than a year ago by the Supreme Court amid legal challenges from, among others, Pruitt himself.

The Clean Power Plan aimed to reduce carbon emissions from coal-burning power plants by having states meet certain targets. Supporters see the plan as a critical plank in efforts to curb global warming, but critics contend it would kill thousands of jobs and take direct aim at the struggling coal sector.

The move to officially nix the program was expected, following Trump’s vow to end what he calls the “war on coal.” Pruitt, however, can likely expect a new wave of litigation from the other side of the debate, as environmentalist groups and allied Democrats are sure to challenge the rollback. 

The Clean Power Plan is hardly the only Obama policy being challenged or reversed by Trump. Just last Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services rolled back much of the ObamaCare requirement that employers provide contraceptive coverage.

Bloomberg first reported that the administration would propose rescinding the Clean Power Plan, by arguing it exceeded federal law. The next step reportedly would be to ask for public comment on how and whether to curb carbon emissions from these power plants. 

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/10/09/epa-moves-to-repeal-obama-s-clean-power-plan-coal-regs.html

Here Are Your Weekly Horoscopes For The Week Of October 9th

Well, we survived a full moon last week and Mercury isn’t in retrograde or any shit like that this week, so unless you’re due for some sort of monster period or something, your week should be pretty smooth sailing no matter what sign you’re under. Something to note: Jupiter moves into Scorpio this week, which is great news for the water signs—Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. Jupiter will stay there for, like, a year, so if you’ve been needing some good luck, this is your time to capitalize.

Aries

Jupiter mobilizing this week is actually excellent news for you because it’s entering one of your most important houses: your money house. Since Jupiter posts up here for the next 12 months, this is your best year to go for that big job, promotion, or to make that big purchase. Big purchase as in an apartment, not like, a Birkin. I mean, get the bag if you want, but don’t expect it to really benefit your life in a major way.

Taurus

Jupiter slides out of your DMs this week. Wait, is it possible to slide out of someone’s DMs or only into them? IDK, but what I’m trying to say is Jupiter is directly opposite your sign starting this week. Jupiter not only controls what goes on with your money, but the planet is also tied to happiness or some shit. You would think it being opposite your sign would be a bad thing, but you’d be wrong in assuming that. The next year is one of prosperity and joy for you. You’re welcome.

Gemini

While most betches are trading bikinis for sweatpants this time of year, you’re actually going to be more focused on your fitness and overall health starting now-ish. Like, thanks Jupiter. Your fitness kick with actually help improve other aspects of your life. You know, because endorphins make you happy and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands. With more focus and energy, you’ll feel more fulfilled at work or with however you’ve chosen to spend your life. Overall, this is an excellent time for you to start working toward some results.

Cancer

Jupiter in Scorpio is, like, the total best for you. Just buckle the fuck up for a great year ahead, really. You’ve been grinding away for what seems like forever, and now that you’ve set up a really strong and decent foundation for yourself, it’s definitely time to reap those blessings. The year ahead promises adventure, romance, and travel opportunities. Things have felt kinda heavy in your life, but the next year is all about lightening the hell up and enjoying the shit out of being a Cancer betch.

Leo

Your life always works better when you work your sign and the planets instead of against them. Normally, you’d scoff at the idea of settling down and letting your nesting instincts kick in, but like, this might actually be a really good year for you to start digging some roots in. It’s important you start laying some foundations for where you want to end up in life, or at least entertaining those kinds of thoughts. By no means do you need to get serious AF and get married and pop out a bunch of babies. Fuck that. No, just like, think about your dream future and work toward that.

Virgo

Let’s be real, Virgo, you are prone to some negative self-talk. It’s probably because you’re a really analytical and intelligent sign, so you’re more apt to contemplate and think deeply about your life choices—that can often mean you’re really critical of others and yourself, though. The next year is all about a more positive outlook. Like, no, you don’t have to start wearing a color that isn’t black. You’ll just be a little easier on yourself and a little more joyful from within. Ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Libra

Not that you’ve ever had a hard time spending money on yourself, but with Jupiter entering your Earnings House, you’ll be more likely to invest in bigger ticket items. Say goodbye to Forever 21 polyester and hello to some J. Crew cotton blends! Over the next 12 months, you’ll be more likely to afford the finer things in life as money-making potential abounds. No more scrimping and saving every last penny so you can look like you have it made; this is the year where you’ll actually have it made. Nice.

Scorpio

Obvi, the sign that benefits the most from Jupiter entering Scorpio is, well, Scorpio. Duh. In case you didn’t already know, you’re a water sign, and this next year is one where your fluidity in all situations will benefit you greatly. You’ll fit in in just about every situation as your ability to adapt will be at an all-time high. Also, you’ll just be overall more likable because everyone else can tell how #blessed you are during the next year and they want some of your luck to rub off on them. Beware of fake friends who want to just bask in your glow and not be a true ride or die.

Sagittarius

You’re the investigator of the zodiac, meaning if someone is lying or being shady, you’re most likely to find out. You’ve had some questions about something in your life and over the next 12 months, you’ll finally get your fucking answers. While you might be losing trust in one aspect of your life, you’ll be gaining some faith and understanding in another. Don’t go out and buy a bunch of crystals or some other bullshit; you’ll have all the clarity you need on your own.

Capricorn

Jupiter is making you increasingly popular in the next year. Sure, normally you’re pretty social and have a tight-knit group of friends, but basically everyone you meet is going to want to be bffs with you this year. Don’t shun anyone new who wants to hang out with you; you’re actually looking at a window where new friendships will be mutually beneficial. Like, they get to hang out with you and you get to use whatever connections they have to offer. Of course, you can’t just use people for their cool party invites. C’mon, be a good person. It’s like, the rules of feminism.

Aquarius

Jupiter travels right across the top of your chart like “YASSS BETCH”. Sort of like what happens when the Sun is at the top of your chart, when Jupiter is above you, you experience a big bump in the eyes of others. Anyone in a position of authority is more likely to see you through rose-colored glasses. Expect awards, compliments, promotions and maybe a few new romantic suitors in the year ahead. Life is not bad for the Aquarius betch this year.

Pisces

Jupiter means knowledge, power, wealth and happiness. In the next year, you’re building toward big awards and accolades. You’ll be #blessed, like all the other water signs, with the power of Jupiter ruling over you over the next 12 months. This of the next year as a time to, unfortunately, keep working hard. But the good news is you’re setting yourself up for one of the most successful years of your life: 2019. Big things are in store for you, Pisces betch! 

Read more: http://www.betches.com/weekly-horoscopes-10-9-17