Bearded dudes pose for merman calendar to raise money for a worthy cause

Behold the “Merb’ys”—a breed of Canadian bearded mermen flapping their fur and fins for a good cause. 

The gentlemen of Newfoundland and Labrador Beard and Moustache Club are posing in nowt but their merman garb for a dudeoir-style calendar to raise money for mental health organisation Spirit Horse NL.

And, the photos certainly don’t disappoint. The calendar—which can be previewed online—features bearded mermen posing in pumpkin patches, pubs, and on various beaches. 

The Merb’ys are thus-named because “the Newfoundland mermen are a different breed,” says Hasan Hai, founder of the beard and moustache club. Hai came up with the idea of a merman calendar after a friend of his posted a photo from a mercreature themed dudeoir shoot on his Facebook wall. 

He decided to organise a calendar, and posted an “open call to the universe” on social media, which received an unexpectedly high response. 70 or 80 people got in touch with Hai, offering to model or photograph. 

Hai knew he wanted to raise money for charity, but hadn’t yet settled on a charity. When he came across Sprit Horse NL and heard the stories of the people they help, he suggested using the calendar to raise money for the organisation. 

“It basically uses horses to provide equine therapy for people with mental illness, people who want to live better lives, people with physical limitation,” Hai told CBC. 

Donning a fin was a challenge for the men during the calendar shoots. “Moving around in a fishtail is not as easy as you would think,” Hai continued, adding that there was “a lot of hopping” and squirming involved behind the scenes.  

The calendar, which has received an overwhelming number of pre-orders, can be purchased online for $25 CAD ($19.70 USD, £14.99) from the Beard and Moustache Club website. 

Major props to the Merb’ys of Newfoundland!

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/11/10/mermen-dudeoir-calendar-newfoundland/

Jimmy Kimmel’s baby may save healthcare for 30 million people

Image: randy holmes/ABC via Getty Images

Welcome to 2017, where the American government has ceded its already crumbling moral authority to the former host of The Man Show.

Don’t you miss the 2016 election now?

Still, the last few days have produced some of the best material late night television has ever had to offer, and all it’s because of former Man Show star, Win Ben Stein’s Money co-host, and late night host, Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel has not only taken on the Senate’s practically homicidal Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill, he’s done it without resorting to lies or distortions (how quaint!). He accomplished this by speaking from a place of deep empathy, and by centering on a character that remains untouchable across the political spectrum: his baby.

Back in May, Kimmel’s newborn son had to undergo an emergency open-heart surgery. It was this hardship that brought America’s perilous healthcare situation into sharp focus for the comedian. And as he’s grown more vocal about the issue, he returns to his own child as the impetus for his outspokenness.

That’s why every counter-attack by GOP politician and pundits against Kimmel has fallen flat on its face: in the symbolic war between sick babies and man-baby Senators, the sick baby will always win.

By positioning his baby at his monologue’s heart and center, he’s created the most sympathetic protagonist imaginable and made anyone who opposes that character a hateful antagonist by extension (which, I mean, is accurate). Everyone who attacks Kimmel’s position, is essentially attacking his baby. 

Not a good position for a politician.

“Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there’s a good chance you would never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” Kimmel said in May. “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make … we all agree on that, right? I mean, we do!” 

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign.

When I was a social worker, we talked a lot about “worthy victims” and “unworthy victims.” “Unworthy victims” are people a society has collectively decided are victims because of their own poor choices: the poor, victims of sexual assault, the homeless, welfare recipients, people of color, criminals and undocumented immigrants. “Worthy victims,” by contrast, are folks that society has deemed sufficiently worthy of empathy (and consequently, of charitable donations) including sick children, the elderly and people with *certain* disabilities.

That doesn’t mean that worthy victims are exactly living large in America. Just think of the folks who were cruelly pulled from their wheelchairs by Capitol police while protesting Trumpcare that summer. But it does mean that they, culturally at least, have tremendous worth. I can’t think of a stronger symbolic lead than Kimmel’s son — a sick, wealthy kind with a devastating illness — followed closely by his acerbic father. Is there anything Americans love more than a cynical man, who simultaneously knows his facts and is deeply in touch with his own tenderness?

Of a Fox and Friends host who attacked Kimmel for his monologues, Kimmel had this to say:

“And you know, the reason I’m talking about this is because my son had an open-heart surgery and has to have two more, and because of that, I’ve learned that there are kids with no insurance in the same situation,” Kimmel said. “I don’t get anything out of this, Brian [Kilmeade], you phony little creep. Oh, I’ll pound you when I see you.”

Just look at how these Republican politicians and pundits tiptoed around his attacks, especially as  they relate to Kimmy’s son, and relied on the tired excuse than Kimmel wasn’t smart enough to analyze the bill because’s he’s a late night comedian. 

Remember: these folks voted for a man who recently made up an African country in front of Africans and didn’t realize that Frederick Douglass was dead, so we’re not exactly dealing with “wonks” here. 

All late night comedians have in some ways impacted culture and by extension, politics, but Kimmel might become the first late night politicians to have an immediate, substantive impact on policy. There’s a Jimmy Kimmel test Senator Cassidy once told Congress it has to pass. Kimmel even ended his monologue with a screen full of Senator’s phone numbers, amplifying his personal story and turning it into collective action.

Babies work. There’s a reason why every politician is required to take a photo with them at some point in their campaign. There’s a reason why political ads that include children, like this one of Hillary’s, are far more effective than those that feature rehabilitated criminal — even though both would be endangered by Graham-Cassidy.  Kimmel even admitted that he was “politicizing his baby” for the greater good.  

Doing anything that might directly harm babies is one the last moral lines we have around these broken parts. Let’s see if one man’s 13-minute monologues are powerful enough to keep us from crossing it.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/09/21/jimmy-kimmel-secret-weapon-baby/

‘Beer yoga’ is a real thing, now, because of course it is

Hmm, beer.
Image: bieryoga/facebook

Nothing like putting down an icy cold beer. Except, of course, achieving a higher state of being and eventual transcendence of the Self through the practice of yoga.

But what if you could do both, at the same time?

Yes: Beer yoga is here. After being enjoyed by Berlin hipsters, it’s now found its way to Australian shoresa land where beer’s most definitely a religious practice, at least as much as yoga. And not in the best way.

Germany’s BierYoga A.K.A BeerYoga bills itself as the “marriage of two great lovesbeer and yoga. Both are centuries-old therapies for mind, body and soul,” according to its website.

And if you think they’re just being cute, think again.

Image: bieryoga/facebook

“BeerYoga is fun but it’s no joke,” founder and yogi Jhula writes. “We take the philosophies of yoga and pair it with the pleasure of beer-drinking to reach your highest level of consciousness.”

But even Jhula wasn’t the first person to promote enlightenment through yoga under the influence of alcohol. The instructor told Ex Berliner they first saw it done at (American culture festival/desert apocalypse party shitshow) Burning Man.

But wherever it came from, it’s definitely now a thing, and a thing being marketed unironically Down Under.

Two special sessions of beer meets asana will take place in Sydney this weekend, where students can learn yoga poses involving “beer salutations” and balancing beer bottles on one’s headjust watch out for bottle smashes.

The event page assures would-be attendees that no yoga experience is necessary. Just an “open mind and a love of beer.”

And if you think that all this does nothing to curb binge-drinking and/or cheapens a legitimate and sadly oft-perverted spiritual practice, then you can just Namaste away.

[h/t Broadsheet]

BONUS: NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/01/17/beer-yoga-comes-to-australia-of-course/

Wildlife workers rescue raccoon with a peanut butter jar stuck on its head

Weve heard about getting caught red-handed with your hand in the cookie jar, but what about getting caught with your head stuck in a peanut butter jar?

It sounds a little embarrassing, but thats what happened to raccoon out wandering in someone’s yard out on Long Island, New York.

The little creature was probably super hungry for some peanut butter, so he said why not just stick my whole entire head in the jar? Thatll surely get me every last drop.

Smooth thinking, raccoon. You didnt think about how youd get yourself out of there, huh?

Two wildlife rehabilitators, Cathy St Pierre and Bobby Horvath were quick to come to the raccoon’s aid, according to Newsday, and St Pierre uploaded two videos of the whole account to her Facebook page.

The two saviors were able to get a hold of the hungry raccoon, and they oiled his neck up with coconut oil to ease it off.

The trick worked and as soon as the jar was removed the raccoon made a quick getaway probably to do the same thing all over again in someone elses yard.

Animals will do that. If they smell something appetizing theyll put their heads in there to get the snack and wont have the dexterity to get themselves out, Horvath said in the Newsweek report.

Silly raccoon, peanut butters for humans.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/09/raccoons-head-stuck-in-jar/

Far too many men are sharing their stories online of making love to a coconut

Never look at a coconut the same way again.
Image: Shutterstock / Golubovy

Y’all, this is some NSFW, super graphic, sometimes really disturbing stuff. You’ve been warned.

If we learned anything from watching American Pie, or from just living life, it’s that men will put their penises in pretty much anything.

This past weekend, a Reddit user who goes by coconutthrowaway69 posted a truly graphic and supremely horrific story of his experience masturbating inside a coconut.

Basically, when he lived in humid, hot Mozambique, he made a hole in a coconut and made love to it many times over the course of a week. Then, (SORRY ABOUT THIS) maggots infested the coconut, without him knowing and got all over his penis during his last tryst with the plant.

You know, tale as old as time.

This story features unforgettable quotes such as, “For the next week the coconut is my saviour. Whenever I want to get off I simply take it out and fuck it in its delightfully tight hole made better each time by accumulating volumes of my semen and butter acting as a lubricant.”

Poetic, really.

But that’s just where the story begins.

After this, other Reddit users were apparently feeling inspired and decided to post their own anecdotes of when they too fucked a coconut. These stories became so common, the act developed a new name coined by Buzzfeed; “coco-nutting”. Guys, it’s pretty much a big trendy internet-thing now.

Coco-nutting is so popular, it even has it’s own Subreddit called R/Cocofleshlights.

If you are a lover of the tropical coconut-flavor, these stories might gross you out a bit. Or they might turn you on? Honestly, who even knows anymore.

We must say, it’s highly likely that most of these are fake. Though almost every fruit has probably been used as a sex toy at some point, a lot of these stories are a little far-fetched.

For example this guy:

Or this husband:

Or this dude who tried to think outside the coconut:

The internet is a weird and wonderful place, which should probably be burned to the ground.

Even if these are all fake, most of us will not be able to drink coconut milk ever again.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/08/07/reddit-coco-nutting/

Sweet grandmother’s sassy cake smash will make you excited to turn 90

Live everyday like you’re turning 90.

Brigitte Godwin, a photographer from Australia, posted an adorable video on Facebook last week for her grandmother’s 90th birthday. It features Brigitte’s nan having the time of her life donning a tiara, drinking French champagne, and taking part in a very eloquent cake smash.

It’s impossible not to giggle along with the bday queen as she struggles to get through “Cheers Bitches” with a straight face.

It’s no surprise that since being uploaded the video has received a lot of positive attention from people who just can’t get enough of her youthful energy.

The entire setup was a complete surprise to the birthday girl who thought she was going out to lunch with her grandkids. According to Brigitte, this was her nan’s first time wearing a tutu, eating red velvet cake, and drinking French champagne.

You’re never too old to experience new things and do so with style.

Honestly, it looks like she had a better time than most of us on our 21st birthday. Brigitte definitely scored lots of grandkid points for this one.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/07/07/grandma-cake-smash-video/

‘Walking Dead’ actress had the perfect clap back for people hating on her nursing photos

Bad ass mama and zombie fighter.
Image: Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Women are often shamed for breastfeeding in public, so it’s super satisfying when a mom gets the chance to clap back.

Christian Serratos, who plays Rosita on The Walking Dead, was recently criticized on Instagram for posting a photo of herself nursing her daughter. It was meant to show off the necklace she’s wearing, and honestly you can barely even see her chest.

Thank you for our custom D.C.W necklaces that represent us and OUR DAUGHTER @jewelsbydurrani

A post shared by Christian Serratos (@kishserratos) on

While many of her fans praised the actress for normalizing breastfeeding, other Instagram users left comments attacking Serratos, claiming she was “doing it for attention.” Sigh. Trolls just can’t let a mother do what she has to do.

But fear not, Serratos did not let the haters bring her down. She responded with another nursing photo, along with a pointed message to those who left the nasty comments.

Of course, her fans absolutely loved that she shut the negativity down. Seriously, how many times do we have to go through this before people realize it’s a completely natural thing?

Combating zombies and Instagram trolls, all in a days work.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/07/07/walking-dead-star-nursing-clapback/

Here’s what you need to know about that study suggesting french fries increase your risk of death

At least you still have Bloody Marys.
Image: Facebook

Alright, french fry lovers, you might have heard that apparently, the amount of times per week you eat fried potatoes could increase your risk of death.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who eat fried potatoes two or more times a week were at an increased risk of mortality.

But the results of this one study aren’t as scary or dire as they sound.

The 4,400 members of the study (aged 45 to 79) were divided into groups based on how often they ate fried potatoes per week. The study ran over the course of eight years and during that time, 236 of the participants died. Researchers helmed by lead author Nicola Veronese determined, “those who ate fried potatoes two to three times per week were twice as likely to die early compared to those who didn’t eat fried potatoes.”

However, noted nutrition, food studies and public health professor at New York University Marion Nestle says you don’t need to bemoan your last Sunday Funday fry-fest just yet.

She tells the Chicago Tribune, “”First, this is an association […] Fried potatoes are associated with somewhat higher mortality, but this does not mean that they cause death. People who eat a lot of fried potatoes might have other unhealthy lifestyle practices […]Second, the association is not strictly dose-related. At lower levels of intake, the association is not statistically significant.”

Adding to the good news, eating unfried potatoes didn’t impact health negatively and Time says, “more research with larger groups of people is needed to investigate the link before saying that overeating fries causes an increased risk of death.”

You mean fried potatoes aren’t a health food? This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news. Everything in moderation, after all. But that didn’t stop people from having a field day about the new info on social media.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/19/french-fries-bad/

This hackathon wants to help destigmatize the sex tech industry

In a pitch presentation that capped off hours of collaboration at New York’s first SexTech Hackathon, the subject turned to a decidedly unsexy scenario: Parents talking to their kids about sex.

“How can we foster a safe environment at home for children having conversations about sexual education with their parents?” asked one of the hackathon’s more than 40 participants during a pitch presentation for what would become the event’s winning project.

Better communication would emerge as a theme as hopeful entrepreneurs many of them new to sex tech considered how tech can be used to enrich human sexuality.

Participants get to know one another before breaking into teams.

Image: sextech.nyc

For six hours on Jun 10 at New York’s ThoughtWorks, participants with a range of backgrounds from coding to design to sex therapy worked in teams to imagine products that fall under the vast umbrella of sex tech. Though the term often covers forms of adult content VR pornography, for example the event’s website made clear the criteria for hackathon participation : “While we recognize sexuality is a diverse field, we will not be accepting hack teams for anything related to pornography or entertainment.”

Rather, Saturday’s event was meant to push ideation in the realm of sexual education and pleasure. Following a pitch and feedback session, a panel of sex tech entrepreneurs would select a winner.

Seven teams, formed just a few hours earlier, pitched their visions to the judges panel. “Spinucation” a connected game that aims to start conversations about sex between parents and children took home the top prize: one month to develop the project at Galvanize, a “learning community for technology.”

The winning team’s concept features an app-connected toy, modeled after Spin the Bottle, that determines who will answer a question prompt from the app. Questions would come from an AI built into the app that would use news items on sex and sexuality to generate content. Made for children between ages 5 and 18, the game would also allow parents to choose which topics they want to discuss with their children.

“This is a tech environment, obviously, and we are very critical about technology and how we often end up hiding behind avatars instead of having a more human one-to-one interaction,” said Elena Habre, a designer who worked on the concept. “So we were also thinking how can we leverage AI, but not to hide behind it, but [to] have it facilitate a conversation.”

The winning team answers questions from the judges panel.

Image: sextech.nyc

Other team presentations included concepts for VR that simulates sexual situations for educational purposes, an app or website that would help users understand if they perpetuate rape culture, a subscription box that helps couples in long-term relationships try new things in the bedroom and, the event’s runner-up, an app that facilitates conversations about sex between partners.

While the event’s goal was to encourage female-led innovation in this space, the hackathon open to all genders featured a near fifty-fifty split between men and women participants. The organizers acknowledged a need for a future hackathon organized entirely for people who identify as women.

But though the event was open a diverse set of genders, Bryony Cole hackathon mentor and host of the Future of Sex podcast says the goal was to create a safe environment where women can feel comfortable exploring what might be an unfamiliar industry.

The day started off with a talk from women sex tech entrepreneurs including Mal Harrison, director of the Center for Erotic Intelligence and Kris Jandler, co-founder and CMO of Emojibator. The event also included an ice breaker and discussion session where participants could get to know one another.

Encouraging women-led innovation in sex tech is critical at a time when it’s such a challenge for female entrepreneurs to secure funding in a still-stigmatized industry.

Cole belongs to Women of Sex Tech, a New York-city based group of more than 70 entrepreneurs dedicated to increasing the number and diversity of women working in sex tech. Per its Facebook page: “We want to increase access to funding for female-founded startups in sex tech and decrease the stigma of female sexuality.”

“The interesting thing about that community is they would traditionally be considered competitors,” Cole said. “So we have a group of women that are making sex toys for pleasure, there are people who are doing sex educational apps, and we think these are competitors, but … because the industry is so small and there’s so much stigma, it forced people to band together and go, hey, we need to break through these walls first before we even start to tackle things like how do I sell my vibrator over yours.”

And while these women work to create better opportunities for themselves and their peers, the aim is also to encourage women-led tech industry’s overlooked areas: education, pleasure and, as we saw Saturday, improved communication.

“If you were to look right out to the frontiers of what’s happening in sex tech that’s in VR or teledildonics or AR,” said Cole. “[At this hackathon], we want to solve a really simple problem: We want to get more education about sexual health and awareness to children, or we want to improve the intimacy between couples … That’s nothing crazy and out there that’s just simply the cultural moment we’re at right now.”

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/11/new-york-sex-tech-hackathon/

6 weird things your body doesand why

Future site of some prune fingers
Image: Getty Images

Bodies are weirdlet’s just get that fact out of the way.

Whether they’re giving life, sweating, or just existing, there are more intricacies about the human body than meets the eye. With so many things going on that we’ve accepted as a common occurrence, have you ever stopped to think about why it was happening? We’ve rounded up common and weird ways some bodies reacts under certain circumstances.

1. Fingers turning into prunes

Things get wet when they’re slippery, so your body’s way of adapting to long periods of time under water is turning your finger pads into little prune pads. According to the Scientific American, that weird prune-ness is “optimized for providing a drainage network that improved grip.”

2. Brain freeze

Slurping back your milkshake has it’s consequences. If you want to get down to the nitty gritty of it, Forbes reports that what is happening is your “blood vessels near the back of your throat first rapidly constrict from the coldness and then dilate when the bloodvesselsbecome warmer again.” These pull tissue and trigger a nerve that cause the headache. It’s basically a way for your body of saying “slow down.” Milkshakes are always worth a brain freeze, though.

3. Shivers

Shivering is the body’s way of keeping warm. By expending energy with small movements, the body is working to raise temperature back up to a healthy 98.6F. Pretty simple, and pretty neat.

4. Get taller in space

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s time in space illuminated a variety of information on what space does to the bodyincluding height, thanks to spinal column disks. “On Earth, the disks are slightly compressed due to gravity. In space, that compression is no longer present causing the disks to expand,” CNBC reported. “The result: the spine lengthens, and the astronaut is taller.” Badabing, badaboom.

5. “Feeling” weather changes

While based on majority anecdotal evidence, there might be a bit of truth to the claims that some people can “feel” a storm coming because of achy knees. Cold weather can cause nerve endings in tissues around joints to be feel some sort of “tightness” or “stiffness,” the Weather Channel wrote.

6. Goosebumps

There’s a reason for them, though it’s not that useful of one. Because humans don’t have much body hair, the “contraction of miniature muscles that are attached to each hair” that occurs when we get goosebumps aren’t as useful for insulation as they are with animals, according to Scientific American. So while we get bumps in the cold, they don’t help us stay warm at all unfortunately. As for the times you’re emotional and get goosebumps, blame that on adrenalinealso released when we’re cold.

And now you know! Go forth, and watch weird things happen to your body.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/11/weird-body-things/