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- 08/14/16--21:43: _JFK Terminal Evacua...
- 08/15/16--04:40: _84 Days and a Wake Up
- 08/15/16--05:10: _Ivanka Trump Hangin...
- 08/15/16--06:15: _Donald Trump to Pro...
- 08/15/16--06:40: _The New York Times ...
- 08/15/16--08:45: _At Least 20 Casualt...
- 08/15/16--09:00: _Here's a Crazy Theo...
- 08/15/16--09:15: _Millennial Men Lack...
- 08/15/16--09:30: _Does Selena Gomez H...
- 08/15/16--10:25: _Where Is Our Depend...
- 08/15/16--10:45: _Thanks to This Laun...
- 08/15/16--10:31: _So, Uh, Did The NSA...
- 08/15/16--11:16: _A Karaoke Video of ...
- 08/15/16--09:20: _What The Hell Do We...
- 08/15/16--12:20: _How Many Square Fee...
- 08/15/16--12:40: _Volleyball Mom's Ex...
- 08/15/16--13:00: _Watch Equestrian
- 08/15/16--13:30: _Rudy Forgot
- 08/15/16--06:49: _Today's Best Deals:...
- 08/15/16--17:25: _Trump Spokeswoman A...
- 08/15/16--04:40: 84 Days and a Wake Up
- 08/15/16--05:10: Ivanka Trump Hanging Out in Croatia With Vladimir Putin's Girlfriend
- 08/15/16--06:15: Donald Trump to Propose Ideological Tests for Immigrants
- 08/15/16--09:00: Here's a Crazy Theory We Heard About Andrew Cuomo
- 08/15/16--09:15: Millennial Men Lack the Grip Strength to Protect Our Nation
- 08/15/16--09:30: Does Selena Gomez Have Fans?
- 08/15/16--10:25: Where Is Our Dependency on Hook-Up Apps Taking Us?
- 08/15/16--10:31: So, Uh, Did The NSA Get Hacked?
- 08/15/16--09:20: What The Hell Do We Say About Juanita Broaddrick?
- 08/15/16--12:40: Volleyball Mom's Exploded Suitcase: An Olympic Tragedy
- 08/15/16--13:00: Watch Equestrian
- 08/15/16--13:30: Rudy Forgot
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- 08/15/16--17:25: Trump Spokeswoman Admits Obama Did Not Invade Afghanistan
Police evacuated John F. Kennedy Airport’s Terminal 8 Sunday night after they received reports that shots had been fired. After a preliminary investigation, cops now say there was no shooting—with one official saying “clapping and banging” by people watching the Olympics may have been misinterpreted as gunfire.
The Port Authority told NBC the initial call came in “around 9:30" — or roughly one minute after Usain Bolt finished winning his third-straight gold medal in the 100 meters
This weekend, Ivanka Trump and Wendi Deng Murdoch went “sight seeing” in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Deng Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife, is reportedly dating
Trump and Deng Murdoch have been friends for years—according to People, Deng Murdoch set up Trump with her husband Jared Kushner. Trump and Kushner apparently traveled to Croatia together without their three children.
The timing of the women’s meeting is notable because Trump’s father, the Republican nominee for president, has courted Putin’s affections and expressed his admiration for the Russian autocrat. Numerous advisers to his campaign have ties to Russia, and speculation abounds that Trump’s unreleased tax returns would reveal heavy debts owed to Russian business interests.
The New York Times reported on Sunday that secret documents recovered from an office in Ukraine showed $12.7 million in payments between 2007 and 2012 to Trump’s current campaign manager, Paul Manafort, who worked as a consultant for the deposed, pro-Russia Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
In a speech on Monday, Donald Trump is expected to propose the institution of a new, ideological test that immigrants to the United States would be required to take, the Associated Press reports, so as to determine their positions on social issues like religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights. In any case where it cannot perform adequate screenings, the U.S. would not issue a visa.
After the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida, in June, Trump wanted to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. “As he laid out in his Orlando remarks, Mr. Trump will describe the need to temporarily suspend visa issuances to geographic regions with a history of exporting terrorism and where adequate checks and background vetting cannot occur,” campaign spokesman Jason Miller wrote in an email. And how would that vetting occur? From the AP:
Through questionnaires, searching social media, interviewing friends and family or other means, applicants would be vetted to see whether they support American values like tolerance and pluralism.
The candidate is also expected to call in the speech for declaring in explicit terms that, like during the Cold War, the nation is in an ideological conflict with radical Islam.
Trump’s Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and top U.S. government officials have warned of the dangers of using that kind of language to describe the conflict, arguing that it plays into militants’ hands.
“Mr. Trump will outline his vision for defeating radical Islamic terrorism,” Miller wrote in an email, “and explain how the policies of Obama-Clinton are responsible for the rise of ISIS and the spread of barbarism that has taken the lives of so many.” Last week, Trump said that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were the co-founders
The New York Times estimates that about 50 million people incur “net losses that average $1,000 a year” playing the lottery. Don’t play the lottery
A Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in Yemen’s northern Hajja province on Monday, Reuters reports. At least seven people were killed and 13 wounded. MSF confirmed the attack in a statement to Gawker:
Abs hospital, which is supported by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in northwestern Yemen’s Hajjah governorate, was hit by airstrikes today at 15:45 local time. MSF is currently assessing the situation to ensure the safety of patients and staff. Medical teams are assisting the wounded, and the number of casualties is still unknown.
According to Reuters, medics were not able to immediately evacuate the wounded, as warplanes continued to circle the area.
Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war since Shiite rebels took control of the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014. The Saudi-led coalition, backing the government, commenced airstrikes in March 2015. The United States has quietly provided the pro-government coalition with intelligence and logistical support, the New York Times reported earlier this year.
“Abs hospital has been supported by MSF since July 2015,” the international aid organization said in its statement. “Since then, 4,611 patients have been treated at the facility.”
Earlier this year, I met a source in a Washington, D.C., hotel lobby to discuss a financial corruption case they claimed to be familiar with. In the course of our conversation, this person told me that Andrew Cuomo is not actually the governor of New York. What? Come on, that’s crazy. Or...is it?
Last year, the New York state capital was rocked by a pair of corruption cases brought against Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Both resigned from their positions and were found guilty. Together, Cuomo, Silver, and Skelos were known as the Three Men in a Room—all roads in New York led to them. As the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara’s office showed at trial, Silver and Skelos used this consolidation of power for their own enrichment and gain—trading favors not just for access and influence but sex and money
Their scheming appears to have extended even as far as ensuring that the state’s voting districts were arranged such that the Assembly would remain majority Democrat and the Senate majority Republican—thus perpetuating political gridlock that only these three could navigate—despite the fact that New York voters are overwhelmingly Democrats.
All of which is to say that anyone who took any pleasure from watching Silver and Skelos get taken down was (and, no doubt, continues to be) disappointed that Bharara did not also indict the governor. For his part, the notoriously combative Bharara has encouraged such speculation: “There’s corruption, we believe, in the executive branches” in New York, he said in June. “Stay tuned.”
But there is at least one circumstance under which Cuomo would not be publicly charged with a crime—that is, if he has already been charged, in a sealed indictment, and taken a plea deal that requires his cooperation in another case. Obviously, the feds would go to great lengths to keep such an arrangement quiet, in order to preserve the integrity of an ongoing sting operation. Cuomo, this theory goes, is a rat.
So. According to this person, the governor is not actually the governor: Nobody has ever seen his swearing-in certificate, they said, because it doesn’t exist; there is no certificate, because Cuomo was never sworn in for his second term—as part of his deal, he would have pleaded guilty to a felony (probably something relatively small-bore, like campaign finance violations), and you can’t hold elected office if you’re a convicted felon.
Who is the target in the larger investigation? The banks, probably, or maybe some of the big real estate firms. Or both. And, if not Cuomo, who is the “real” governor? Possibly Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who Cuomo nominated as part of his (purported) deal with the feds. Hochul, incidentally, is married to William Hochul—the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York.
Setting aside the plausibility of this theory, is any of it even possible? In short: Yes. From the U.S. Attorney’s Manual:
9-16.110 - Plea Negotiations with Public Officials
Plea bargains with defendants who are elected public officers can present issues of federalism and separation of powers when they require the public officer defendant to take action that affects his or her tenure in office. The same issues can also arise when the defendant is a candidate for elective office, or when plea negotiations call for withdrawal from candidacy or an undertaking by the defendant not to seek or hold public office in the future.
GENERAL RULE: Resignation from office, withdrawal from candidacy for elective office, and forbearance from seeking or holding future public offices, remain appropriate and desirable objectives in plea negotiations with public officials who are charged with federal offenses that focus on abuse of the office(s) involved.
The key here is that as far as the U.S. Attorney is concerned, “resignation from office” fulfills the public interest. Federal prosecutors, however, often do whatever they can to keep criminal plea agreements out of the public record—especially when defendants agree to cooperate with authorities in other, ongoing investigations. Unfortunately for the theory that this has happened with Cuomo, however, the New York Department of State provided the governor’s signed oaths of office from 2010 and 2014 in response to a Freedom of Information Law request from Gawker. They can be seen here.
And yet. On December 31, 2014, the final day of his first term in office, Cuomo announced a last-minute change of plans. From the Associated Press:
Gov. Andrew Cuomo called off a swearing-in ceremony for his second term that had been planned for Wednesday night, electing to spend New Year’s Eve with his family instead.
The swearing-in ceremony was planned for 9:30 p.m. Wednesday in Albany. But Cuomo instead held a formal and private swearing-in at 2:30 p.m. in Albany, and then headed to New York City.
Cuomo’s office did not return a request for comment.
Update – 1:10 pm
In an email to Gawker, Rich Azzopardi, senior deputy communications director for Andrew Cuomo, who is apparently the governor, wrote: “Crackpot clickbait isn’t journalism.”
Historically, American fathers dreamed that their sons would grow up to be greater men than they were. That was before the dreaded “millennial” generation.
Today, cold hard science proves that the “millennial” male is a weak and tepid creature with the handshake of a wilted lettuce leaf. A disgraceful new study finds that today’s young men, weaned on a diet of “Play Station,” who fancy themselves baseball experts by virtue of pushing buttons rather than ever wielding the mighty lumber on a dirt field, are unable to muster anything close to the grip strength of men 30 years ago. Specifically, the Washington Post reports, the average millennial male could produce a scant 98 pounds of grip strength, versus 117 pounds of grip strength that their 1985 counterparts could produce.
Understanding as we do that grip strength is the unsung hero
Perhaps if “millennials” did not busy themselves so much with “curating” their “Spotify” and tried making friends not with a sex chat “bot” but with a Captains of Crush Gripper, we would not be in this situation. I dare say that the young men of Russia and China who will make up the armies of our rivals in World War Four are equipped with strong gripping and pinching powers cultivated through hard work, while we, the richest nation on earth, will be forced to turn to legions of young men whose willowy fingers, withered from years of doing nothing more strenuous than “swiping right” and pointing to purely imaginary “Pokemons” situated on public streets, lack the strength to pull a machine gun trigger.
Millennials wouldn’t know a weighted pull-up if it bit them right in the “Insta.” As pathetic and unpatriotic a generation as I’ve ever “meme.”
I spent one Saturday morning late last year on my couch toggling back from Grindr to Scruff to Grindr to Scruff. I don’t remember what I was looking for; all I remember is that I was looking. At some point, I realized three hours had passed, and I still hadn’t moved from my couch or started my day. Even if I had, it undoubtedly would have been interrupted by a hook-up app, and/or a hook-up, though the latter was far less likely.
In front of my face and all around me in my neighborhood, according to the apps, were signs of struggle and discontent. “Grindr: come for the waste of time, stay for the constant rejection,” read the profile of one guy who seemed, based on his pic, to be handsome. Other users, signaling their desire to find something more substantial than quick sex, stated they were looking for someone to give them a reason to delete the app. “Ugh, back here,” read the headline of one guy’s Scruff profile. I saw another with a profile containing the Grindr-common phrase, “Sorry lost all my chats,” to inform those with whom he’d communicated previously that he wouldn’t be able to refer to his past conversations with them.
I know why he lost all his chats—because he deleted the app, then caved and reinstalled it. His resolve crumbled, or things didn’t work out with the guy who gave him that reason to delete the app, and he was back. I know because I’ve been there, too, several times. I started using these apps heavily in May 2012 and discontinued use for a few months at a time at various points over the last four years, generally depending on my relationships and their varying degrees of openness. Currently, I haven’t been on any since April.
The hook-up app (in this piece, I’m referring solely to those that facilitate men having sex with men, as that’s where the bulk of my experience with these apps lies) has, in less than a decade, become integral to gay culture—in fact it is designed and run to be a gay space (profiles posted by cis women are deleted), and as such, it’s one of few pure examples in this era of increasing visibility/assimilation of formerly all-gay spaces. The male hook-up app is exclusive in the way that many gay bars with their screaming bachelorettes are not. (Which isn’t to say, of course, that its exclusive ethos isn’t vulnerable—the Daily Beast’s now-deleted Olympics Grindr piece
The hook-up app is integrated into gay culture, and integrated into the hook-up app (or, if you prefer a softer term, dating app) is an open sense of dependency on it and of pushing back against that. At least, that’s how it is in New York, a place that offers what feels like unlimited opportunity to meet other men who are interested in having sex with men. Part of my eventual disenchantment with hook-up apps, I think, came from its functional redundancy in a major metropolitan area teeming with gay bars and weekly parties and sex clubs and circles of friends who get together at one person’s apartment and fuck. Were I in the Midwest, for example, where the nearest available sex partner might be 20 miles away instead of 20 feet away, my experience with these apps might be different, as might this piece.
That said, it seems worthwhile to attempt to distinguish the line between addiction and app use resulting from things being just the way they are, precisely because that line is not at all a bright one.
“The technology has changed much faster than our capacity to manage it or certainly research it, and now we run one of the few treatment centers in the country,” said Dr. David Greenfield, founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction and assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. Greenfield has been studying internet addiction since the late ‘90s. “There aren’t even a lot of doctors who know how to deal with this. There’s nothing in the [smart phone] manual that says, ‘Caution: This device may be addictive.’ But that should be there!”
Greenfield didn’t have Grindr-, Stuff- or any hook-up app-specific data to share with me—in fact, he doesn’t differentiate between any apps when discussing internet addiction. That makes sense within this argument, since beyond sex, there’s something about adopting these apps as a lifestyle that can eventually make you feel stuck behind glass, tapping more out of habit than thought. Our devices have great power to trap us in repetitive behaviors without our noticing how repetitive they are.
“The internet itself is really the addictive medium,” Greenfield explained. “The power of the internet is the variable reinforcement ratio it provides. It gives you a reward in an unpredictable fashion in terms of when, what, and how. Even if you’re on the internet looking for information and just searching for news, or you’re looking at emails or text messages or you’re on an app on your phone, like Grindr or Tinder or whatever, you’re doing exactly the same thing. Every time you get one of those hits, you’re getting a microburst of dopamine in the mid-brain.”
This is apparently what crumbles our resolve to stay off hook-up apps. And just as the hook-up app is embedded into gay culture, the internet is embedded into the larger culture. There is no going back, and besides, no one wants to, and we couldn’t even if we tried. Could it be that dependency on hook-up apps—and the internet more broadly—isn’t an aberration, but a typical practice, a natural part of modern life?
“What matters is whether the behavior interrupts everyday life,” is how Perry Halkits, professor of global public health, applied psychology, and medicine at New York University, differentiated addiction from practice. Halkitis has studied behavior in gay men for over 20 years and is gay himself.
Everyday life increasingly means people with their phones in their faces. But even for those of us who still delineate between the physical world and the virtual one, Halkits’s ostensibly clear-cut boundary includes a vast gray area. If, for example, it takes me twice as long to watch a movie at home because I keep pausing it to check my Grindr messages, does that count as interrupting my everyday life? If that extended viewing process has, in turn, caused me to delay working out, or cleaning my apartment, is it then interrupting? What I’m describing are all more or less leisure activities, and not accomplishing them means little to my survival. They’re ways to make my life better, much like the pursuit and attainment of casual sex. Yet, at least the byproduct of all of these things is tangible, whereas the outcome of Grindr use is temporary in the best-case scenario—after having sex, some time passes, and you want more. A bleaker outcome results from an unsatisfying Grindr hook-up leading to craving more sex immediately after.
“There’s a big continuum between dependency and addiction,” said Robert Weiss, founding director of the Sexual Recovery Institute, author of Always Turned On: Sex Addiction in the Digital Age and Cruise Control: Understanding Sex Addiction in Gay Men, as well as a clinical psychologist who treats sex addiction. “There’s somebody that turns to [an app] when they’re vulnerable, they’re having a hard time, but when they’re doing OK, they don’t turn to it. And then there are people who can’t stop turning to it. It’s not like it’s black and white. But there is certainly a population of people who have discovered the intensity of porn and the repetition of porn and the intensity of app hook-ups and they have decided that’s good enough.”
When hook-up app dependency is examined by professionals, it’s generally done in one of two ways: as internet addiction, or as sex addiction. Rarely acknowledged, it seems, is that these apps sit at the potential intersection of both, which makes them unique and gives them their own, specific narcotic qualities. In a 2015 paper for the journal Sexuality & Culture, “Gamified Eroticism: Gay Male ‘Social Networking’ Applications and Self-Pornography,” recent Ph.D graduate and independent scholar Evangelos Tziallas wrote brilliantly of the gaming aspect and multivalent nature of what he terms “gay male social networking applications” (or GMSNAs):
GMSNAs aren’t just games, but gamified porn platforms that have managed to integrate themselves into gay men’s daily lives by appropriating gaming logic and merging it with an amateur media culture that has placed sexual self-representation and creation in the foreground. Using Grindr and Scruff as exemplars, I will demonstrate that a choreographed dance of pleasurable and frustrated game playing—through an amalgamated system of strategic filtering, screening, monitoring, cajoling, and teasing—formulates the logistical and emotional circuitry of GMSNAs that produce the images and chats that maintain user attachment. It is not because GMSNAs make it easier for gay men to network socially that these applications have triumphed over physical spaces such as bars and bathhouses. GMSNAs have succeeded because they make interaction more legible, enjoyable, and seemingly transparent and controllable to a generation of young men raised with electronics who spend significant amounts of time immersed in virtual environments (Hillis 2009)—they’ve simply replaced typical goals and rewards such as achieving a high score and accumulating virtual trophies with the promise of an ever expanding self-cultivated archive of erotic images and chats.
Among this game’s rewards is something highly personal: Feedback about one’s desirability. A hook-up app is a mirror that may not tell you who’s the fairest of them all, but it can give you some indication of whether you number among the fair ones. Whereas previous generations of gay men could get a vague idea of their desirability from eye contact, spoken compliments, or a high number of interested potential sex partners at bars, parties, and bathhouses, today’s feedback is accessible, tangible, and fits in a pants pocket. That this feedback is often based on no more than a few pictures—highly curated fractions of seconds that have been frozen in time—is a quiet truth drowned out by all the chatter, compliments, and invitations to sex. The value of this type of feedback to members of a population that is full of men who grew up feeling undesirable outside of the mainstream (and often continue to feel that way, regardless of legal and cultural advancement) has the potential to be immense.
There were a lot of reasons that I was so drawn to hook-up apps during the peak of my usage—the pursuit of sex, loneliness, boredom. Beyond existential reasons, these apps tend to draw you back like any thread of communication would. If I opened an app while at work or at some other time when I wasn’t available for immediate sex (just to...check my messages?), I would inevitably set vague plans for “later,” when I was available, which would lead to checking the app again around the time of the scheduled appointment. And then, if that potential sex partner wasn’t online, I’d check again. And again. And again, even.
But what was most compelling was the potential engagement and validation of my ego. It’s highly irrational to absorb any pride from those responding to a split second of your existence, those who are projecting their own expectations and fantasies onto your image when they give you such a response, and yet, absorb it (and even come to crave it) I did. I knew I was being irrational, too—maybe not in those specific moments, but often enough in the moments surrounding them. After teasing all this out at my current remove, this behavior strikes me as compulsive.
Almost every expert I talked to for this story had no answer when I asked what that level and type (that is, charged with sexual potential) of app-based feedback does to one’s psyche. There has been some research conducted in the realm of general internet feedback (repeatedly suggesting a correlation between positive feedback and high self-esteem, and also a connection between self-curation and self-esteem), but this research largely focused on public social media like Facebook, where the platform and feedback is visible to a potentially high number of users. Hook-up apps, though, are platforms made for private interactions.
Meanwhile, in academia, studies on these apps (typically Grindr) generally discuss them in terms of sexual risk behavior and STI/HIV transmission. (Some recent papers available on the U.S. National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health website include: “Acceptability of Smartphone Application-Based HIV Prevention Among Young Men Who Have Sex With Men,” “Patterns of Lifetime and Recent HIV Testing Among Men Who Have Sex with Men in New York City Who Use Grindr,” and “Still a Hard-to-Reach Population? Using Social Media to Recruit Latino Gay Couples for an HIV Intervention Adaptation Study.”)
At least one study, though, does suggest a scientific basis for people liking to be told they’re hot.
“We wanted to do a deeper dive into what you get out of [Grindr] besides sex,” said Stephanie Tong, assistant professor of communication at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Along with a classmate of hers at Wayne, Chad Van De Wiele, Tong authored a study titled “Breaking Boundaries: The Uses & Gratifications of Grindr.” “One of those kind of distinct uses we found was an ego boost: ‘One of the reasons I keep coming back to it is to feel good about myself.’ We haven’t followed up on that, whether that’s prosocial or healthy or if it’s detrimental or both—it could be both in different ways. But the idea [is] that you can get that feeling of social inclusion or approval from the app itself.”
My biggest concern about my use of Grindr is that it will inflate my ego—and that I’ll furthermore get used to that inflation so that the day it pops, and I realize I’m too old to be considered desirable by any but a small niche, will fling me into a free fall. But for men whose egos have been already deflated by cultural stereotypes—as is the case for a gay Filipino-American academic I talked to for this piece, Anthony Ocampo, who feels that American sex culture is hostile to him as an Asian man—hook-up apps can be a necessary and positive corrective.
“As someone who grew up as a gay man of color with my entree being West Hollywood—I wasn’t skinny or lean when I started going out—I developed deep-seated notions that I wasn’t physically attractive,” said Ocampo, assistant professor in the department of psychology and sociology at Cal Poly Pomona, and someone who’s studied the sociology of Grindr. “That took a really long time for me to admit out loud. I think the plus side of Grindr and leaving it on when you’re just chilling is that you get to accumulate empirical evidence that my negative self-image was untrue. If 30 people in the course of 24-48 hours were saying, ‘Hey cutie,’ there’s something about that that counteracts the negative self-image that I had developed over the years of feeling marginalized as a gay man, as a not necessarily fit or buff gay guy.”
Where the responsibility of the app-makers fits into these issues is dicey business itself. Obviously, people who make apps want you to use them. The more often you use them, the more often they can expose you to ads, and the more they can boast about their traffic to potential advertisers. You could argue that an app maker’s best case scenario is addicting all of its users to its product. At the same time, plenty of products that are known to trigger dependency issues—take cigarettes and alcohol—are manufactured daily and readily available. The burden of use regulation falls on the consumer, which is part of the reason that all of these things are legally only sold to adults.
Grindr, Scruff, and the like, though, were largely developed by gay men for gay men, so we can perhaps place slightly more cultural responsibility on them as servers of their own community, who understand it well enough to provide a service that has rapidly worked itself into its culture.
I reached out to Grindr’s press email address several times for this piece and received no response. Scruff, an enormously popular hook-up app along the lines of Grindr whose users tend to skew hairy and bear-y, did, however, get back to me. I sent a list of questions to them—among them: Was the potentially addictive nature of Scruff given any consideration as it was being developed?; Has Scruff consulted with any psychologists/experts on sex addiction, internet addiction, and/or app addiction?; and How does the company reconcile its needs for traffic with compulsive, unhealthy behavior in its users?—and received back a more general statement from Scruff founder and Chief Product Officer Jason Marchant, who also took the opportunity to advertise Scruff’s newish travel feature. The portion of Marchant’s email relevant to my specific inquiry reads:
Our mission at SCRUFF is to connect gay guys with one another and with the global gay community. We strive to build a space that is friendly, safe, and useful for our members.
More than ever, gay men are finding community on SCRUFF. It is reconfiguring the landscape of gay life, especially in areas and in countries that lack safe public spaces for LGBT people. Being an agent of this change comes with great responsibility. In August, 2014 we launched the BenevolAds program to make our members aware of the health and community resources available to them. BenevolAds offers free in-app advertising to nonprofits and government agencies that serve the LGBT community. Currently, we are running ads for over 600 organizations in 22 countries around the world. We have displayed ads created by these organizations to SCRUFF members over 12 billion times. Over 50 of these organizations are running ads pertaining to mental health, sex addiction, and substance abuse. These ads have been shown to members over 450 million times.
We strongly encourage non-profit and state agencies that provide services for LGBT people with sex addiction and other mental health issues to connect with SCRUFF members in the communities they serve by signing up for BenevolAds at http://ads.scruff.com.
Waging a full-scale cultural battle with technology is foolish; technology will always win. Grindr is just the reality, and it’ll only be the reality until something even more efficient comes along to replace it. What scares me about this is that we dove headfirst into this way of communicating without even having any sense of the bottom or how far down it’s located.
Time reveals convenience’s shortcomings. Many guys feel that internet porn has negatively affected their sexual functioning (plenty of clinicians like Weiss, for example, agree with these claims), and a resulting NoFap movement has emerged in response, over a decade after internet porn became a reality. That no such counter-app movement occupies any significant cultural space could speak to many things—the newness of this technology compared to internet porn, cultural compliance, a general lack of anxiety over something that ostensibly makes our lives easier. But everyone should be examining how this technology is affecting his operation because if you’re using it, it’s already infiltrated your system.
“There’s probably some damage being done by having [some] gay men only interact with each other in this manner, but at the same time we have to just go with it, because that’s the way it’s going to be,” said Halkitis. In fact, almost everyone I talked to besides Dr. Greenfield voiced reluctance about deeming hook-up app use an “addiction” so as not to further pathologize gay men’s fraternizing, which has been pathologized throughout history.
Almost everyone I spoke to voiced ambivalence or uncertainty as to where we are headed with the exception of Dr. Weiss. That’s noteworthy given that Weiss has spent so much of his career focused on pathology in sex—the point where “the way things are” becomes an actual problem.
“I think this is part of human evolution,” said Weiss regarding hook-up apps. “Technology has never been as paired with evolution as it is today, but we already know that the human brain adapted to the tools that we were making like flints and iron. We’ve always been presented with problems that new technology has brought about.
“In my generation, my parents said that sex, drugs, and rock and roll was going to be a big problem. It was—a lot of people I know had drug and alcohol problems, there was a lot of divorce, a lot of things evolved out of the cultural and technological revolution of the ‘60s and ‘70s created problems for a lot of people in the decades that ensued. But not everybody. Lots of people used cocaine in the ‘80s—they’re not still struggling with it. Not everybody who had open sex in the ‘70s is still doing it now.
“People evolve and change and try stuff out. But there have always been people who struggle. There have always been people who are addicted. And there have always been people who come along and help those people. We’re creating new problems, but technology always creates new problems. People come along and create new solutions. That’s humanistic. I think most people are going to be just fine.”
I know I am—for now. Whereas I once felt like I was at Grindr’s mercy, I’ve come to think of its online, id-based medium of interaction—mostly just idle chitchat with possible sexy results—as a crawlspace of my consciousness that I installed a few years ago. For now, because I’m in a new relationship—and because my therapist has warned me about dissociating via distractions—that crawlspace is boarded up. Sometimes I hear voices coming from it, beckoning me to check it out and reap its cheap rewards. To this day, Instagram, Snapchat, and plain old texting give me a taste of that old hook-up app feeling. I’ve resisted for months now, but like the rest of us, I’m uncertain as to what the future holds.
Illustration: Jim Cooke/Gawker. App screen shots by the author.
Imagine my plight: I, a full-grown American male, would like nothing better than to do my own laundry. But where is the detergent for me? Everywhere, the scents are flowery meadow this, springtime seabreeze that. Finally, a new contender emerges—FREY enters the fray—and I am liberated at last.
While reading Drug Store News, my trustiest source for drug store news, I noticed a report today on the launch of FREY: Detergent for Men. Instead of the usual sissy smells, I learned, FREY offers “an unmistakably masculine oak and musk scent,” designed for “gentlemen who appreciate quality products designed specifically for their dynamic yet domestic-conscious lifestyles.”
Every Sunday, my girlfriend says to me, “Can you please help with the laundry.” Every Sunday, I reply, “I am a gentleman who appreciates quality products designed specifically for my dynamic yet domestic-conscious lifestyle. I am a modern man, conscious of all the major social issues, and I would jump at the chance to assist with this domestic task, which for generations has unfairly burdened the fairer sex. But I haven’t yet found a detergent that speaks to my distinctly masculine sensibility, and therefore I cannot. Sorry, babe.”
I am particularly excited for the inclusion of musk—a pheromone excreted by male musk deers—in FREY’s scent portfolio. In the popular imagination, musk is the scent of unfettered animal manhood. It is the scent, if I may, of pure hot sex. For some reason, my girlfriend hasn’t been giving me much of that lately, and I can’t figure out why. Maybe it’s the feminine smell of my laundry detergent. I hope FREY helps.
Hackers say they’ve breached a hacking group known as the Equation Group, which is widely speculated to be an offshoot of the National Security Agency. The hackers have provided some files including what could be parts of the agency’s surveillance tools, but are demanding millions of dollars in bitcoins for the rest.
Here’s part of a message the hackers, going by the name “The Shadow Brokers” posted:
!!! Attention government sponsors of cyber warfare and those who profit from it !!!!
How much you pay for enemies cyber weapons? Not malware you find in networks. Both sides, RAT + LP, full state sponsor tool set? We find cyber weapons made by creators of stuxnet, duqu, flame. Kaspersky calls Equation Group. We follow Equation Group traffic. We find Equation Group source range. We hack Equation Group. We find many many Equation Group cyber weapons. You see pictures. We give you some Equation Group files free, you see. This is good proof no? You enjoy!!! You break many things. You find many intrusions. You write many words. But not all, we are auction the best files.
Kapersky Lab, who blew the lid off Equation Group last year, didn’t explicitly say it was the work of the NSA, but the group’s connections to other high profile hacks and the use of similar codenames that were included in documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden raise serious suspicions.
It’s not clear if the breach is real, who posted it, or why, but some security researchers think the breach may be more than just a hoax. Claudio Guarnieri, who works as a technologist for Amnesty International, says the hack seems credible.
The hackers say they’ve only released 40% of the breach, and will release the remaining 60% to the highest bidders. The hackers seem to imply that the file contains the sophisticated hacking tools used by the NSA’s spies. The hackers seem pretty thirsty for bitcoin based on an FAQ they posted with their dump.
Q: Why I want auction files, why send bitcoin? A: If you like free files (proof), you send bitcoin. If you want know your networks hacked, you send bitcoin. If you want hack networks as like equation group, you send bitcoin. If you want reverse, write many words, make big name for self, get many customers, you send bitcoin. If want to know what we take, you send bitcoin.
Q: What if bid and no win, get bitcoins back? A: Sorry lose bidding war lose bitcoin and files. Lose Lose. Bid to win! But maybe not total loss. Instead to losers we give consolation prize. If our auction raises 1,000,000 (million) btc total, then we dump more Equation Group files, same quality, unencrypted, for free, to everyone.
Q: Why I trust you? A: No trust, risk. You like reward, you take risk, maybe win, maybe not, no guarantees. There could be hack, steal, jail, dead, or war tomorrow. You worry more, protect self from other bidders, trolls, and haters.
The NSA and The Shadow Brokers did not return a request for comment.
This morning in Rio, Spanish dressage rider Severo Jesus Jurado Lopez and his horse Lorenzo (please roll the “r”), trotted onto the Olympic course and began a dance routine to the legendary “Smooth” by Carlos Santana and Rob Thomas—perhaps the most indelible song about giving your heart, making it real, or else forgetting about it in the history of recorded music.
We would love to show you video of one of the moments from the Rio Olympics that you will be “telling your grandchildren about.” Alas, NBC’s deeply restrictive policies regarding the reuse of Olympics highlights prevents us from that.
Instead, enjoy the video in the manner that dressage is meant to be viewed: as stock footage that plays behind the lyrics during karaoke.
And then imagine Lorenzo seducing a mare under the glint of moonlight to the sweet melody of “Smooth.”
Video and recording of “Smooth” by Tim Burke
BuzzFeed’s Katie J.M. Baker just published an excellent, nuanced and confounding profile of Juanita Broaddrick, the 73-year-old Arkansas woman who has said for years that Bill Clinton raped her. Baker outlines both Broaddrick’s deep and clearly very genuine desire to be believed, as well as the rabid political frenzy surrounding her claims. She also illuminates the deep dilemma they present for anyone who believes, as Clinton does, that sexual assault survivors “have the right to be believed.”
Broaddrick alleged in 1999 that Clinton raped her in 1978, when he was State Attorney General for Arkansas. The rape occurred in her hotel room, she says, during what she thought would be a morning business meeting.
But the timeline, as it so often is with rape allegations, is muddy: in 1997, when she was subpoenaed during Paula Jones’ civil sexual harassment suit against Clinton, she had signed an affidavit and denied under oath that the rape occurred. She told Baker that was her choice: “I did not want to get involved, and I signed it hoping to stay out of it.” Bill Clinton has never been charged or tried with any crime against Broaddrick, including rape or assault, and both he and Hillary Clinton have adamantly denied the charges for years.
Kenneth Starr gave Broaddrick immunity from perjury charges during the Monica Lewinsky investigation, but found her claims “inconclusive.” The allegations tend to predictably flare up when Hillary is running for office; Broaddrick first went public on a broad scale when she was running for Senate, writing the candidate an open letter calling her “conniving and self-serving.”
The letter also claimed—a claim that Broaddrick has repeated many times in interviews with right-wing outlets— that Hillary Clinton tried to intimidate her into silence while shaking her hand at a campaign stop, a few weeks after the alleged rape:
As soon as you entered the room, you came directly to me and grabbed my hand. Do you remember how you thanked me, saying “we want to thank you for everything that you do for Bill”. At that point, I was pretty shaken and started to walk off. Remember how you kept a tight grip on my hand and drew closer to me? You repeated your statement, but this time with a coldness and look that I have seen many times on television in the last eight years. You said, “Everything you do for Bill”. You then released your grip and I said nothing and left the gathering.
After the Starr investigation didn’t bolster her claims and Clinton won her Senate seat, Broaddrick retreated from public life. The matter lay dormant, sort of, until Clinton began running for president last year, heating up as she pulled further and further ahead.
But Broaddrick told Baker she’s suffered intensely from what sound like PTSD symptoms in the intervening years:
Broaddrick said she is still afraid of enclosed spaces, from the backseats of cars to the last row in an airplane. After the alleged assault, she stopped meeting with men alone in her office. And she credits her 2004 divorce from her second husband to Clinton, too.
Her husband didn’t want her to talk to Dateline, she says, and she felt he always blamed her for letting Clinton come up to her room.
“Clinton was always just right there,” she said. “He was always there between us.”
But Baker gently points out, too, that while Broaddrick claims to be resolutely apolitical, her Twitter feed is increasingly filled with Clinton conspiracy-theorizing, rife with posts about Benghazi and the Clinton Foundation. She’s retweeted posts that accuse Hillary of being mentally ill and evidently believes a far-right claim that Clinton White House Deputy Counsel Vince Foster was murdered by the Clintons. (He committed suicide).
Broaddrick’s relationship with Donald Trump is also complex. She told Baker that Trump didn’t have her permission to use her voice in a brutal anti-Clinton ad that aired in May:
“He starts to bite on my top lip and I try to pull away from him,” says Broaddrick — the clip is from the 1999 Dateline interview — who audibly tears up while Bill smokes a cigar in the background.
Trump’s campaign did not ask for permission to use Broaddrick’s voice in his ad, she said.
“I was really hurt,” she said. “You take the most awful part of my Dateline interview, where I’m crying, trying to relate what had happened to me, and put that in a campaign ad? I thought it was very tasteless.”
At the same time, though, she credits Trump with having empowered her to use the word “rape” in connection with her own experience:
Before this year, Broaddrick had a tough time saying the word “rape” out loud, she said. Then, in January, Trump used the word to describe her claims on The Sean Hannity Show. Afterward, Broaddrick realized she “can’t skirt around it anymore,” she said. “That’s the correct terminology.”
Baker’s story adds another chapter to this bizarre and deeply disturbing saga, one that’s energized conservatives looking to counter allegations of misogyny against Trump, even as it’s stymied progressives who take sexual violence seriously. As long as there’s no definitive proof of what occurred—and there never will be— this story won’t go away. Not for us, and not for Juanita Broaddrick.
Who gives the best advice? You, the idiots slacking off at your stupid job, reading Gawker. One wealthy mom desperately needs your help!
This question was posted today on UrbanBaby.com, the best website on the internet, full of advice-seeking wealthy parents, some of whom are real. We have taken the liberty of inserting bracketed translations of the UrbanBaby jargon so that it may be more easily understood by you, the working class slobs.
WWYD [WHAT WOULD YOU DO]: We live in a suburb with fairly large houses (avg house is about 3000 sqft). I found a 1600 sqft house with 3 bedrooms. It is nice and we can made do with it (1 DC [DEAR CHILD]). I want to buy it but worry about it affecting DC [DEAR CHILD] and his/our friendships, etc. People are superficial here. We can afford a bigger house but we don’t need it. I am that weird mom driving the 7-yr-old Toyota. I have always been socially awkward and don’t want to make it difficult for DC [DEAR CHILD] with my idiosyncrasies.
Is it possible for a child to make friends while living in a house of only 1,600 square feet?
Is it possible for a child to make friends when his mother drives a 2009 Toyota like some sort of freak?
What language would you use to instruct your own children to ostracize this weird, poverty-stricken boy?
The Games of the XXXI Olympiad seem cursed for a number of reasons—but this particular tragedy, no one could have foreseen. For this is the tale of proud volleyball mom Cindy Lloyd’s exploded luggage. And shampoo was fucking everywhere.
Cindy, who is staying on a cruise ship in Rio to support her volleyball-playing daughter, Carli Lloyd, was apparently running late last week upon her arrival, so she dropped her bags off “at the cruise ship” before dashing off to her daughter’s first match. When she returned, Cindy was led to an interrogation room and told that her suitcase had been blown up, even though the authorities had already removed the presumably suspicious cell phone.
The quotes that our dear Cindy then gave to The New York Times about the ordeal are, in no uncertain terms, phenomenal. We’ll let Cindy take it from here.
So Cindy, where was your suitcase’s handle?
The handle was nowhere. It was completely blown up. There was some clothing.
And what kind of bomb did they use?
They use some sort of wet bomb...
...I think, because everything was wet. Some of the clothes were salvageable, but some were melted. Some had holes.
But what about your American flag?
My American flag was melted. And all the toiletries with caps had their caps blown off.
What was it like to be interrogated?
They took me back to this room, and there were some really scary people. They started interrogating me. I don’t know who they were, but there were five or six of them, all in uniform. And after about 10 minutes, they told me they blew up my bag.
But hey, at least you have a fun story!
But I didn’t want to have a story. Watching your daughter at the Olympics was a good enough story for me.
If that’s not enough for you, consider the fact that, throughout this entire interview, Cindy “wore a shirt with holes in it because she had not had time to go shopping.”
While we can’t know for sure how her Olympian daughter, Carli, is taking the news, we feel confident that her response is something along the lines of: “Moooooommmm.”
Correction: Counter to what The New York Times reported, Carli Lloyd is in fact a soccer player, not a volleyball player, as we originally wrote.
Correction #2: Apparently, there is in fact a volleyball player also named Carli Lloyd. I apologize to The New York Times for doubting them, though this entire ordeal is Deadspin’s fault. Deadspin regrets the error.
Nowadays, you can’t open a single tab without running into an article about how horses do not belong in the Olympics. Our very own Gawker Media network, for instance, has become polluted
I agree with my colleagues and friends that “dressage”—the sport of making horses prance around in a circle, as seen in this video
Thankfully, none of these qualities are shared by its brother in horse-sport arms: show jumping. Jumping is a simple sport. It asks horses and their riders to leap over a series of obstacles of various heights and lengths. This drags horse athletics back to what we humans expect to see from part of our Olympic games: sculpted masses of flesh hurtling themselves through the air.
Unlike dressage, it’s pretty easy to tell when a horse screws up. Clipping a hurdle on its way up or down results in a deduction. If a horse blows it so badly that he or she just knocks wildly into the obstacle—dislodging a bar or brick or maybe taking the whole thing down like a perilously arranged soda tower at the grocery store—you will know it. This gives the sport a palpable tension that is easy for our little lizard minds to process.
This weekend’s qualifying round packed more drama than many other more highly publicized sports. For instance, Penelope Leprevost, a French rider whose spot on the medal stand seemed like a foregone conclusion, got bucked off her horse after it stumbled upon leaping over the ninth obstacle. Here is a very crude video of that stunning moment:
According to my browser homepage worldofshowjumping.com, the show jumping track in Rio has given the event an unexpected jolt:
It was in large thanks to Guilherme Jorge’s twelve fence track that the competition got as unpredictable as it did. The fences were set on a height ranging from 1.50 to 1.60 meters, and as wide as 1.90 – but it was the technical aspect rather than the size that mattered in the end. A vertical-vertical-oxer triple combination set at 4abc would turn out to be a defining factor for many, as would the open water at fence seven counting four meters and a bit more – but in the end it was all about the final line with a massive Calcada de Copacabana-themed plank-upright at fence 10 followed by seven or eight strides on a bend line to an oxer-vertical combination at 11ab and then five strides to the last oxer at 12 that would make the first day of Olympic showjumping a hard one for most.
I’m not sure what many of these words mean but the point is that where the results of many Olympic events—including many high-profile ones—proceed along as if mapped out ahead of time, Rio’s show jumping offers the element of surprise. Leprevost was not the only medal contender to have their Olympics turned upside down. Again from worldofshowjumping.com:
The Dutch were not spared either, and considered medal candidates – if not gold medal favorites – the elimination, later disqualification, of Jur Vrieling and Zirocco Blue (Mr. Blue x Voltaire) came as a big blow. With a stop on the middle element of the triple combination, and then a refusal on 11a it was game over for Vrieling – who later had to deal with disqualification from the ground jury for overuse of the whip.
Not only is show jumping simple to watch and dramatic enough to fulfill your base Olympic desires, it’s also a bastion of morality bobbing alone in a sea of international corruption and deception. As you just read, the Dutch got fucked because their horse Zirocco Blue refused to complete part of the course. When Vrieling, his rider, tried to whip the horse back into the competitive spirit, he was disqualified from competition. Vrieling described his horse thusly:
“I came too close into the triple combination and was too far off the b-element, and then Zirocco became scared and insecure,” explained Vrieling after about the surprise exit.
Scared and insecure. Finally an Olympic athlete we all can understand.
“By the way, under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attack in the United States,” said Rudy Giuliani, who served as mayor of New York City on September 11, 2001, at an event with Donald Trump this afternoon.
Here’s video of the speech, via Andrew Kaczynski at BuzzFeed:
And here, via CNN, is video of Rudy Giuliani employing the phrase “never forget” in reference to the 9/11 attacks.
Rudy couldn’t have possibly meant that the attack on the Twin Towers didn’t happen, or that Obama was somehow responsible, could he have? Reporters have noted on Twitter that the former mayor was talking about 9/11 just moments before the bizarre utterance, and based on his verbiage, it’s possible that he meant that there were no attacks between the enactment of the Patriot Act, one month after 9/11, and Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Then again, he did say back in 2010 that “we had no domestic attacks under Bush
In the same speech, Rudy told the Ohio crowd that they were about to be greeted by their own governor. They were expecting onetime Trump opponent John Kasich, and they got Trump running mate Mike Pence, who is in fact the governor of Indiana.
Who knows whether Rudy Giuliani really forgot about the most famous Islamic terror attack in world history and the most important moment of his mayoralty. But it’s safe to say he definitely forgot where he was for a moment today.
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We’ve posted a lot of deals over the years on the original Anywhere Mouse, but the second generation adds a rechargeable battery and (optional) Bluetooth to the mix, which are two huge reasons to upgrade. And of course, it still includes Logitech’s dark field laser sensor, which means it can be used on any surface, including glass.
Today’s $50 price tag is a match for the best we’ve ever seen, so click over to eBay and lock in your order.
In my opinion, working out is all about looking the part. You totally get more from your training session when you’re wearing actual, good workout clothes (probably). Amazon’s Gold Box is full of Adidas training clothes, so if you want to work out after feeling like a failure while watching the Olympics, at least do it with good shorts on.
This Tamrac camera bag won’t hold more than a point and shoot or mirrorless camera plus a few small accessories, but if that’s all you happen to need, it’s a great little bag for $8.
Logitech’s G910 gaming keyboard has just about every feature under the sun, and you can add one to your arsenal for $110 today, one of the best prices we’ve seen.
That gets you exclusive Romer-G mechanical switches, 16 million color individual key lighting, nine programmable G-keys, and even a smartphone dock and accompanying app that allows you to customize the keyboard on the fly. Unlike today’s earlier mechanical keyboard deal, this is indisputably designed for gamers, but if that’s what you’re in the market for, you won’t find a better deal today.
The Timex Weekender is the most popular watch we’ve ever listed, and the one I’ve worn most days since 2014. The Weekender and leather strap pair well with the full range of casual clothing options, and are comfortable and easy to adjust for just the right fit.
Our discount also applies to other Timex options matched with straps, with pricing as follows:
To give some pricing context, the Weekender without the strap can fall to around the $30 range when discounted on Amazon, while the pairing currently goes for $108 at FormFunctionForm and $88 on Huckberry before our discount.
Tell us which watch you’ll be strapping to your wrist in the comments, or tell us about other products you’d like to see us cover or work out an exclusive discount on.
While supplies last (which usually isn’t long), Amazon will sell you an inexpensive sample box full of dog foods and treats, Amoretti syrups, or Crest oral care products, and give you back the cost of the box in the form of a credit on your next related purchase.
Each product page has a link to see what you can spend the credit on, so if it’s something you would have bought anyway, this is like getting the sample box for free.
While it’s plugged in, the Hue Go is basically a brighter (300 lumen vs. 120) version of the Hue Bloom, and is best deployed facing a wall to “paint” it with color. The difference is that you can unplug it, and take it with you for up to three hours at a time. That’s great for deploying during parties, or out on the patio at night.
If you don’t want to dedicate a watermelon-sized chunk of fridge space to a Brita pitcher, this easy-to-install faucet attachment is just $16 on Amazon today, an all-time low.
The Brita on Tap can filter up to 100 gallons of water per filter, and at roughly $10 each, that comes out to just over $.01 per 16 ounce bottle of lead, asbestos, and sediment-free water.
If you still listen to music, or any sounds really, through your computer’s built-in speakers, it’s time for an intervention. The Logitech Z623 speaker set was one of Lifehacker readers’ five favorite computer audio systems
Sugru is right up there with binder clips and the Raspberry Pi in Lifehacker’s pantheon of must-have gear, and you can stock up today with eight packs from Amazon for just $13, the best price we’ve ever seen on the stuff.
If wiping your face down after working out or on a day like today when it feels like the surface of the sun outside is the best thing ever, this one’s for you. Grab six packs of Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes for only $25 when you Subscribe & Save. That’s less that $5 per pack of 25 towelettes or about $0.17 per towelette. Math.
You don’t need a router this powerful. Nobody does. But at ~$50 off, you’ll want to buy it anway
The specs on this TP-LINK AC5400 are pretty eye-popping. It’s a tri-band router with a 1000Mbps 2.4Ghz band and two 5GHz bands that can carry 2167Mbps each, it includes eight antennas and beamforming to hone in on your active devices, and its two USB ports allow you to plug in an external hard drive and a printer simultaneously. And if this all sounds like snake oil, consider its 4.3 star review average from nearly 3,000 customers.
$250's a lot to spend on a router, but today’s price is an all-time low, and this one is future-proof enough that you won’t want to replace it for years to come.
Bentology’s lunch box kit includes five individual containers, plus an outer container to carry any and all of them with you to work. And if you stuff them all inside, they kindly left a little extra space for silverware and napkins. Today’s price is an all-time low, so don’t chew on it too long.
If you tend to buy your movie tickets through Fandango, this deal is basically $5 worth of free movie tickets. Just select any $50 gift card, and use promo code SUMMER16 at checkout to save $5. It also works on email gift cards, so you could just send it to yourself, and apply the credit to your account immediately.
iTunes gift card discounts are noticeably less common than they used to be, and while we do see 20% discounts from time to time, a $100 iTunes gift card for $85 is still a solid deal if you pay for Apple Music, iCloud storage, or PokéCoins.
Timbuk2's Back to School Sale is not something you want to miss. Grab one a new TSA-Friendly messenger bag or one of the new roll-top Tuck Backpacks for 25% off. Be sure to let us know what you pick up in the comments.
Lightning cable deals are nothing new, but if you could use a spare or two, they’re just $4 each from Mpow today.
Use this link and code IHKTA559 if you just want one.
And if you want two, use this link and code HZ4AQL26.
If your apartment’s fridge doesn’t have an ice maker, you don’t have to futz with trays; these countertop ice makers can perform the same function.
Two different models from Ivation are on sale for all-time low prices in today’s Amazon Gold Box. One makes 48 (!!) pounds of ice daily, in three selectable cube sizes, and the other makes 26.5 pounds in two sizes. Normally, I’d suggest going for the smaller model, but in this weather, maybe the giant model can be justified.
Quick, what do you think this is an image of?
The correct answer is tea balls. 6 of them for $7. Use promo code SAL3U6ZU.
Want a mechanical keyboard, but don’t need (or want) a number pad? This tenkeyless CM Storm QuickFire has your name on it for just $67 today. And while it’s technically listed as a gaming keyboard, its understated design and relatively quiet Cherry MX Brown switches make it appropriate for office use as well.
If that’s a little more than you’re looking to spend, this $30 alternative uses off-brand Blue switches, which should be extremely loud and clickly.
It might not be mission-critical equipment for your home, but a good label maker is a nice gadget to keep around, and the popular DYMO LabelManager 160 is back in stock for just $10 today, matching an all-time low.
If you remember the old label makers that literally pressed the letters into a piece of tape, this is a bit more advanced than what you’re picturing. The Dymo LabelManager 160 can print in eight fonts at six sizes, along with clipart and special characters, and you can even preview the entire label on its LCD screen before you print.
We’ve seen this deal a couple times in the last few weeks, but it always sells out quickly, so act fast.
Aerie has kind of dominated the easy, simple undergarments space for a while now (not to mention the anti-Photoshop pledge). So when they have a BOGO sale on bras and bralettes, you’d better believe my cart has 14 things in it. (Also just an FYI, practically every bralette is on sale for $25 or under but the aren’t included in the BOGO).
And in case you missed it earlier, a the Amazon Fire HD 6 is still $30 off.
Range extenders can’t work miracles, but if there’s one corner of your home that struggles to get a good Wi-Fi connection, this $30 gadget might be all you need.
If you bought a bulky case for your iPhone 6/6s and regretted it, Jackery will sell you an ultra-thin alternative for just $1 today. You even get to pick your color.
When you hear the phrase “Bluetooth speaker,” you probably think of a small brick that can fill a room with decent-sounding audio. This is not that kind of speaker.
The Ion Block Rocker though has enough oomph to provide tunes for an entire block party or barbecue, and its 75-hour battery means you don’t even have to worry about plugging it in. As long as you don’t mind buying a refurb, $100 is a fantastic price for a speaker this loud.
If you’re ready to take the plunge into LED lighting, this 6-pack of higly-rated TCP soft white (2700K) bulbs is down to just $18 on Amazon right now, one of the best per-bulb prices we’ve ever seen. They aren’t dimmable, so you won’t want to put them in certain fixtures, but it’s a great bulk pack for filling out ceiling lights and lamps throughout your house.
Once you’ve got them, check to see if your local utility company offers rebates for purchasing LEDs. If so, it’s possible these could pay for themselves even quicker than they would otherwise.
I’m not sure if a minimal, stainless steel cylinder is the most practical design for a rolling pin, but I think it’s definitely the prettiest.
Packing cubes can make organizing clothes and toiletries for your next trip a little less hellish
Anker’s kevlar-wrapped PowerLine cables have been an immediate hit with our readers, and you can upgrade your entire microUSB cable collection today with this $11 5-pack.
There are surely sleeker looking options in the cheap Bluetooth headphone space, but $10 is just about as good a price as you’ll ever see. Promo code EARBUDS5 should work on all three colors.
Want wireless streaming and handsfree calling in your older car? This $21 dongle receives the Bluetooth signal from your phone (or music files from flash drives and microSD cards), and transmits it to the FM radio station of your choice.
We’ve seen several deals on Bluetooth car kits in the past, but most require that your car include an AUX jack, whereas this only needs a working FM radio.
You probably looked at that image up there and laughed. But let me tell you, there’s nothing funny about using the bathroom in the middle of the night and having to turn on an overhead light to see where you’re going. Because as soon as you hit that switch, you know you’re not getting back to sleep for another hour.
GlowBowl fits on just about any toilet, is motion activated, and can even output seven different colors of light. Most importantly though, it won’t wreak havoc on your circadian rhythms. It normally sells for $20, and is worth every penny, but you can pick one up from Amazon right now for $15, matching a Prime Day deal.
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For the second time this month, Donald Trump spokeswoman Katrina Pierson corrected her own historically questionable charges against President Obama, conceding on Monday that the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan was not, as she previously claimed
“I obviously meant to say Syria and not Afghanistan,” Pierson told the Texas Tribune.
On Saturday, Pierson invited CNN host Victor Blackwell to “remember” that we weren’t in Afghanistan until Obama “went into” the country, “creating another problem.” Asked by (a clearly surprised) Blackwell to clarify her comment, Pierson said, “That was Obama’s war, yes.”
According to the Tribune, Pierson blamed both that gaffe and her suggestion earlier this month that Obama’s policies “probably” killed Army Captain Humayun Khan
“You could take ten years of history and try to make anyone look crazy,” Pierson told the paper, once again demonstrating her somewhat abstract relationship with time itself.
[h/t The Hill]