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16 'Pulp Fiction' Quotes That Will Help You Become A Better Person

Thu, 2014-03-27 12:00
It's been 19 years, six months and four days since the release of Quentin Tarantino's seminal film "Pulp Fiction," as of this writing. A perfect time, we say, to reflect on the myriad life lessons his timeless crime flick bestowed upon us through a pair of hitmen, a gangster, a gangster's wife and assorted others. (No, seriously.)

Below you'll find a curated selection of wise dialogue that will make you appreciate this masterpiece even more.





1. "Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps." -Marsellus Wallace



2. "Just because you are a character doesn't mean that you have character." -The Wolf



3. "If my answers frighten you then you should cease asking scary questions." -Jules Winnfield



4. "Play with matches, you get burned." -Vincent Vega



5. "Any time of the day is a good time for pie." -Fabienne




Wallpaper by Epic Wallpapers

6. "Uncomfortable silences. Why do we feel it's necessary to yak about bullshit in order to be comfortable?" -Mia Wallace



7. "A dog's got personality. Personality goes a long way." -Jules Winnfield



8. "Did you ever hear the philosophy that once a man admits that he's wrong, he is immediately forgiven for all wrongdoings?" -Vincent Vega



9. "Yeah, well the days of me forgetting are over, and the days of me remembering have just begun." -Pumpkin



10. "Look, do you wanna play blind man? Go walk with the shepherd. But me, my eyes are wide fucking open." -Jules Winnfield



11. "Besides, isn't it more exciting when you don't have permission?" -Mia Wallace




Artwork by Genie Melisande

12. "It's the little differences. I mean they got the same shit over there that they got here, but it's just -- it's just there it's a little different." -Vincent Vega



13. "That's when you know you've found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence." -Mia Wallace



14. "You see, this profession is filled to the brim with unrealistic motherfuckers. Motherfuckers who thought their ass would age like wine." -Marsellus Wallace



15. "Ezekiel 25:17. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother's keeper and the finder of lost children." -Jules Winnfield



16. "Hamburgers: the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast." -Jules Winnfield




Artwork by Banksy

Parents Argue Medical Marijuana Helps These Kids Avoid A 'Death Sentence'

Thu, 2014-03-27 10:20
CHICAGO -- Yet another state is considering expanding its medical marijuana laws to include children suffering from debilitating conditions like epilepsy.

On Tuesday, Illinois' Senate Public Health Committee unanimously approved legislation that would legalize medical marijuana treatment for minors in a 8-0 vote.

“Letters have been sent by so many parents who suffer watching their children have seizures — and not just one or two seizures: 100, 200, 1,000 seizures a week,” the bill's sponsor, state Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago), told the Sun-Times. “This could be a life-saving solution for children suffering from epilepsy.”

Nicole Gross, one of the parents of severely epileptic children who lobbied for the bill, testified to just how transformative medical marijuana treatment can be for kids like her son, Chase. Gross said her 8-year-old lost his ability to speak due to his seizures and functions at the level of a 1 1/2-year-old.

"Following his dose of the cannabis oil, we started to see one to two seizures in two minutes, and then two minutes seizure free, five minutes seizure free, then eight ... and when we hit twenty, I cried," Gross told Fox Chicago.

Chase is among the thousands of children across the U.S. -- and among an estimated 1,000 in the Chicago area alone, Fox Chicago estimates -- who don't respond to typical seizure medication but have experienced dramatic improvements using medical marijuana.

Unlike adults who can smoke medical marijuana, children using the treatment are commonly given Cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The oil comes from marijuana plants but has low levels of the mind-altering ingredient THC that creates a high. In recent days, states like Wisconsin, Tennessee and Utah have advanced legislation to legalize CBD oil.

With CBD still illegal for minors in Illinois, Gross was forced to move to Colorado with Chase in order to secure the oil for his treatments. Gross and her family are part of a growing number of people heading to Colorado for treatment, where the number of minors on the state's medical marijuana registry has surged in the past year.

Currently, 20 states have medical marijuana laws on the books, but only some of them include minors.

In Illinois, where the four-year pilot program is considered one of the strictest in the nation, minors aren't the only patients excluded from the state's registry: Only those individuals suffering from at least one of 40 debilitating conditions and illnesses qualify.

The stigma against medical marijuana for kids -- and physicians' subsequent reluctance to prescribe it -- has led families to fire their doctors in search of marijuana-friendly care providers. Other, like Gross, are forced to leave their home state and become a "marijuana refugee" in Colorado.

Gross' husband, Randy, acknowledges there's a belief that CBD oil could be abused, but noted to WGN in a February interview, "it has no street value, so there's no one who can really abuse it. It's something you can't overdose on. You can drink a gallon of it and it won't hurt you."

With the news of the Illinois Senate Committee's vote, Gross hopes the days of his family living in Colorado are numbered.

"The long-term prospect is you're making people decide between a life of seizures in Illinois, and possibly death, because this is often a death sentence," Gross said. "Or, you're making [families] leave their home."

Katherine Bronken, Teen Girl, Dies After Plane Piloted By Father Crashes In Florida

Thu, 2014-03-27 09:58
One of two teen girls injured in a small plane crash in Florida on Saturday died Wednesday afternoon.

Katherine Bronken, 15, was the daughter of pilot Jeffrey Bronken, whose single-engine plane crashed into a six-lane road near Clearwater Airport over the weekend. The girl's father was killed in the crash. Bronken's friend, Keyana Linbo, 15, remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Bronken's plane "nose-dived through power lines" before crashing head first into the median of a six-lane road, WTSP reports.

The pilot reported fuel-related issues to air traffic controllers around 4 a.m. on Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

"The power went out immediately at 4 a.m. Immediately after the power went out, I'd say that within 10 seconds I heard multiple sirens," witness Brian Reitmeyer said, according to WLS.

The pilot, a Chicago-area resident, was flying his daughter and her friend from a Lake County, Ill., airport to Florida for spring break.

WTSP reports:

Katherine posted on her Twitter Friday night, "Just landed in Nashville." And on Thursday night, Keyana posted, "T-minus 24 hours = paradise."

"It's a shock," said Ken Hoxie, a longtime family friend, according to CBS Chicago. "It's a shame. It's a fantastic family. You don't understand sometimes why these things happen, all we can do is pray."

Sadly, this is not the first time the Bronken family has faced tragedy. An older daughter, Christine Broken was killed in a snowmobile crash in 2009, according to CBS News.

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Pothole Repair Crew Gets Truck Stuck In A Pothole (PHOTO)

Thu, 2014-03-27 09:49
Ever feel like there's a hole in your life you just can't fill?

Perhaps it's time to give the public works department in East Lansing, Mich., a call. Judging by this photo, they'll stop at nothing to patch even the deepest abyss -- even when that means filling it with their own pothole-filling truck.

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Post by Robert Boomer.


According to the Lansing State Journal, the above scene resulted after a public works employee backed into a previously unknown sinkhole that had been concealed by a pothole.

NPR deemed the photo an "oddly appropriate" nod to winter, referring to what has been an unusually difficult season for cities from Chicago to Atlanta.

"Well, the pothole is full now, isn't it?" one Redditor joked.

Keep on truckin', guys.

Theme Songs Of The Illinois Primary Election Season

Thu, 2014-03-27 09:22
Ever think election season would be more palatable with a soundtrack? Well, Illinois, here you go--all the songs we were reminded of during the primary election season. Go ahead, sing along.

1. During primary season, when you realize that a Coldplay song perfectly illustrates what candidates want to do to Illinois



"I will try to fix you" - Fix You by Coldplay


2. When you first surveyed the list of gubernatorial candidates



"But I still haven't found what I'm lookin for" - Still Haven't Found What I'm Lookin For by U2


...and saw that Brady's baaaack!



"Guess who's back, back again" - Without Me by the Eminem


...and will probably be back in 2018



"I will be waiting, time after time" - Time After Time by Cindy Lauper


...and then saw a name you didn't recognize: Tio Hardiman... (aka, Quinn's only competition for the Democratic primary)



"Whooo are you?" - Who Are You? by the Who


3. Then the Rutherford scandal breaks and is it just you or do some of the quotes from Dan Rutherford's lawsuit seem inspired by the Beatles?



"Shake it up, baby, now..." - Twist and Shout by the Beatles


4. You know what Rauner had on loop in the locker room pre-debate:



"U Can't Touch This" - U Can't Touch This by M.C. Hammer


5. But hey GOP! Quinn's not plannin' on going anywhere anytime soon



"Never gonna give you up" - Never Gonna Give You Up Rick Astley


6. Rauner's reaction when Brady finally conceded



"No time for losers, 'Cause we are the champions" - We Are the Champions Queen


...and when Rutherford dropped like a rock in the polls



"Another one bites the dust" - Another One Bites the Dust by Queen


...and then there was Dillard - the last man standing against the wrath of the Rauner



"I'm a survivor I'm not gonna give up" - Survivor Destiny's Child


...but in the end, it was Rauner who came out victorious



"And it's sweet, sweet sweet victory, and the one who's last to fall
the winner takes all" - Sweet Victory by Van Halen

7. Now that Rauner's won the GOP vote, is Quinn feelin' that post-primary Rauner heat?



"It's the final countdown!" - The Final Countdown by Europe


8. Make sure to get out and vote in November



"Get up stand up, stand up for your rights" - Get Up Stand Up by Bob Marley


Get ready Illinois, it's General Election Tiiii-iiiiime



"Are you ready for this?"- Are You Ready for This


Gassed by high prices at the pump? You may live in one of these 10 states

Bruce Rauner Rides Wild Wave to GOP Primary Victory; Now the Ride Gets Wilder

Delayed no more no more: Quinn to make budget address this week

See what Illinois's faults and flaws are in our What is Illinois worst at? list

You've got Illinois pride and we know why! Check out this list of what Illinois' best at!


Don't forget to like Reboot Illinois on Facebook!

Facing Unprecedented Extraction Crisis, Illinois Environmental Groups Make Call to Action

Thu, 2014-03-27 08:50
Illinois is facing an extraction crisis. Expanded coal mining and the looming threat of fracking will create an unprecedented two-pronged threat to southern and central Illinois. Grassroots groups on the front lines of the extraction crisis raised the alarm in a letter to the Illinois General Assembly.

The letter calls for an environmental justice agenda to build a new energy economy in downstate Illinois:

1) Ban fracking because a fundamentally weak fracking law cannot produce rules strong enough to protect the public.

2) Establish a coalfields regeneration fund that will target green job growth to areas that have been historically damaged and impoverished by coal, oil and gas.

3) Overhaul broken state regulatory agencies.

4) End state fossil fuel subsidies and the promotion of new coal exports.

There's an old political tradition in Illinois of politicians pandering to environmentalists in Chicago and to the coal industry downstate. Convicted ex-Governor Rod Blagojevich mastered the game by heavily subsidizing coal while keeping environmental groups pacified with new air quality laws, efficiency standards, and support for renewable energy. Subsidies to promote fossil fuels as an economic development tool keep rural Illinois focused on short-term, destructive jobs while most green job creation happens in the northern half of the state.

The old game is changing as people in coal and fracking regions are demanding better protections of their health, land, and water. The threat posed by a fracking has reinvigorated the movement to attract jobs that don't destroy the economic and social infrastructure of our communities. Southern and central Illinois residents are done with being sacrifice zones where politicians make easy compromises.

James Hansen and other leading climate scientists have warned that we must leave fossil fuels in the ground in order to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change. For downstate Illinois, that will include more frequent extreme flooding along rivers, reduction in crop yield for farmers, and worsening drought.

Illinois cannot afford to ignore the deadly consequences of increasing fossil fuel expansion. Environmentalists cannot afford to remain silent as Pat Quinn launches a dirty energy disaster.

The full text of the call to action follows. It was developed by grassroots downstate groups with statewide organizations signing on in support.

Illinois Must Act to Stop Extraction Crisis

"Illinois is facing an unprecedented environmental, social and economic crisis. The anticipated launch of industrialized fracking combined with resurgence in coal mining present a double threat to the people, land, water, and long term economic health of southern and central Illinois.

Illinois coal mining has increased 70 percent in Illinois since 2010 thanks to an increase in coal exports, widespread use of scrubbers to accommodate high sulfur coal, and the reduction of mountaintop removal mining in Appalachia. At the same time, it has become increasingly clear that Illinois' weak fracking law will not adequately protect the public. Leading climate scientists have warned we must leave much of the world's remaining fossil fuel resources in the ground to avoid additional catastrophic consequences of climate change, such as record drought and flooding. The acceleration of fossil fuel extraction in Illinois exacerbates both a local and global crisis. State government must act:

Ban Fracking

Southern and central Illinois must not become a sacrifice zone to a dirty energy policy that will contribute significantly to climate change. Volume limits and other loop-holes will result in an unknown number of wells being exempt from regulation. Even if every provision of the current fracking law is enforced, people and the environment will not be adequately protected. Fracking must be banned.

Create a New Energy Economy in Coal Country

Coal country needs a bailout. Most clean energy jobs are being created in the northern half of Illinois, leaving the rest of the state behind. Downstate deserves more than dangerous, temporary fracking jobs, and empty promises about reviving the coal industry. Establish a coalfields regeneration fund to build a new energy economy targeted to areas left in poverty by boom and bust extraction cycles. We want a future with clean energy jobs like those being created in Iowa and California; not a future as an impoverished sacrifice zone like West Virginia or Wyoming coalfields.

Overhaul Regulatory Agencies

Years of lax enforcement, waived penalties, few inspectors, and recent staff scandals have undermined confidence that the Department of Natural Resources or Illinois EPA can effectively regulate mining and industrialized fracking. Additional funding to hire new staff will not change the institutional culture of agencies that have been unwilling to adequately protect public health. DNR and IEPA must be dramatically reformed or responsibility handed over to federal oversight.

End Fossil Fuel Subsidies and Coal Export Expansion

A report by Downstream Strategies found that the the coal industry costs the Illinois state budget roughly $20 million annually. Illinois must stop subsidizing a devastating industry that will never again provide the jobs it once did. Everyone loses when Illinois promotes coal exports to foreign nations with weak pollution laws. People in developing countries will suffer increased rates of lung disease, heart disease, birth defects, and other health impacts. Illinois suffers the consequences of poorly regulated coal mining. The global community will suffer the impact of climate change. Illinois must end its policy of subsidizing coal through state grants and expanding export infrastructure.

Signed: Buckminster Fuller Future Organization, Canton Area Citizens for Environmental Issues, Citizens Against Longwall Mining, Citizens Act to Protect Our Water (CAPOW!), Eco-Justice Collaborative, Friends of Bell Smith Springs, Gaia House Interfaith Center, Heartwood Forest Alliance, Indiana Forest Alliance, Justice for Rocky Branch, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Nuclear Energy Information Service, S.E.N.S.E. (SIUC Students), Regional Association of Concerned Environmentalists (RACE), Rising Tide Chicago, Shawnee Hills and Hollers, Southeast Environmental Task Force, Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment (SAFE), Students for Environmental Concerns (UIUC Students), Sustainable Springfield Inc, Tar Sands Free Midwest"

Definitive Proof That All The Best '90s Songs Were Hits Of 1999

Thu, 2014-03-27 08:39
It has been 15 years since we lived in a beautiful time called the '90s. There was the catchy angst of Blink-182, Britney Spears' revolutionary pigtails and a brief period of time in which Michelle Williams was allowed to dance next to Beyonce. The glory spanned a decade, but it's clear that all of the best hits (aside, really, from everything Spice Girls) were from the very last year of the 1990s. Presented without further argument, we bring you definitive proof that 1999 had all of the best '90s songs.

"No Scrubs," TLC


"...Baby One More Time," Britney Spears


"I Want It That Way," Backstreet Boys


"Genie In A Bottle" Christina Aguilera


"If You Had My Love," Jennifer Lopez


"Bills, Bills, Bills," Destiny's Child


"Livin La Vida Loca," Ricky Martin


"That Don't Impress Me Much," Shania Twain


"Believe," Cher


"Smooth," Santana Feat. Rob Thomas


"Every Morning," Sugar Ray


"Steal My Sunshine," Len


"Kiss Me," Sixpence None The Richer


"All Star," Smash Mouth


"All The Small Things," Blink-182

Genesis

Thu, 2014-03-27 08:00
In 1986 I stood on the shores of Prince William Sound in Alaska. I was there, a high-school student with the School for Field Studies, studying the thermoregulation strategies of harbor seals. The area we were working in was exceedingly remote, truly untouched by human hands. It was vast. And I stood very small. Transplanted from the teeming concrete sidewalks of Brooklyn, I found myself struck by the magnificence and majesty of this virgin land. It was a feeling that I can only describe as Awe. Our professors taught us to leave the land just as we'd found it, carting out everything we'd brought in, even burning our used scraps of toilet paper. We didn't need to be told twice; it was clear that this was a kind of holy place, a sanctuary.


A photo of me at 17 at Prince William Sound (click to enlarge)



Twenty-five years ago this week, that very same beach was utterly debased. The Exxon Valdez ran aground, spilling 10.8 million gallons of crude oil over 1,300 miles of coastline. The untouched land was slathered with the dregs of our never-ending thirst for power and expansion. Remnants of that oil can still be seen on those beaches today, and marine life populations still have not recovered. The earth and sea that inspired my moment of childhood Awe has been corrupted, the sanctuary despoiled.

The quarter-century anniversary of that tragic event comes as my film Noah is about to be released in theaters around the world, and I cannot help but reflect upon the relationship between that terrible spill and the story from Genesis about how God nearly annihilated the human race because our behavior in this world grieved Him to His heart.

Just as we watched in grief and horror as those endless gallons of crude flowed over the untouched bay, contaminating rock, sand, water, bird and beast, so in Genesis we are told that "God looked upon the Earth, and, behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the Earth." God's grief and outrage were so great that He said, "I will destroy man, whom I have created, from the face of the Earth."

Whether you see the Bible as truth or parable, it is evident that the ancient stories told within it are long-standing philosophical meditations on the world, the sacred, and our place within it. And whether you are a believer or an atheist, I hold that there is wisdom to be found within its pages.

The first two chapters of Genesis both tell the story of Creation. These two tellings lay out two seemingly contradictory relationships between mankind and the natural world. In the first story man is formed and given dominion over the Earth and all the beasts within it. If we look around us, we cannot deny that we do indeed possess that dominion. Where once Prince William Sound was essentially untouched, now, with our understanding of man's influence on climate, we can truly say that there is nowhere on our planet that is not influenced by mankind and our activities. Like it or not, we do preside over this world. The question is simply how we will choose to exercise that power.

In the second version of the Creation story, God breathes the soul into Adam and places him in the Garden "to tend and to keep it." In this telling we are asked to hold the planet and its inhabitants in our safekeeping. It is our first responsibility. Made in God's image as we are, possessing the power to create and destroy worlds, holding dominion over the globe and its inhabitants, we are asked to be good stewards. We have taken the dominion that was offered us. Have we taken the responsibility of stewardship?

This is a question that more and more religious leaders, including the inspirational Pope Francis, have asked us to consider. It is a question that we, believer and atheist alike, cannot afford to ignore.

I think back 25 years and see images of cormorants, feathers smeared with oil, struggling vainly, desperately to fly. It is an image that inspired our depiction of the Nephilim, fallen angles encrusted with tar, unable to wing their way to Heaven.

Noah is a story of man's sin and God's judgment. It is a story of our tendency to fall into wickedness, and of the challenge to live in accordance with our better natures. It is a story of falling short of our responsibilities, of taking the beauty that has been entrusted to our care and corrupting it. But it is also a story of hope, a story of the possibility of change, a story of mercy.

Noah finds grace in the eyes of the Lord. Humanity is given a second chance.

We are living that second chance.

This is our garden. We have dominion over it.

Are we tending it? Are we keeping it?

Will we stand before it with Awe and Reverence, or will we corrupt our way upon it?

It is our choice.

It is our responsibility.

Darren Aronofsky was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. His films are Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, The Wrestler, and Black Swan. His latest film, Noah, opens Friday, March 28.

17 Fixes To Common Internet Problems We All Know And Hate

Thu, 2014-03-27 07:26
If you're reading this, it means some part of you enjoys surfing the Internet. Maybe you even enjoy spending an enormous percentage of your day doing it.

But are you doing it correctly? Is your web browsing as efficient, productive and fun as it could be? If you're unsure, and you should be, follow our 17-step guide to solving some of the Internet's many annoying problems.

Problem #1:
You don't know which Internet browser to use.



Solution: Use Google Chrome. This is basic Internet.

Chrome is the the world's most popular web browser for a reason. To us, what makes it special is the Chrome Store, which offers a wide range of apps and extensions that can help make your surfing faster, more secure and more customizable. In fact, all of our other browsing tips involve Chrome extensions and apps.

Download Google Chrome Here

Problem #2
Opening photos all day takes way too long.



Solution: Hover Zoom, a Chrome extension that enlarges thumbnails whenever your mouse hovers over them.

That means no more clicking on the Facebook photos of that person you're creeping on. It works on a bunch of other photo-centric sites, too -- Flickr, 4chan, Imgur, Reddit, etc.

Download Hover Zoom Here

Problem #3
You're a stickler for privacy while browsing the Internet.



Solution: Collusion, a Chrome extension that will simultaneously terrify and protect you.

Thousands of companies and websites are secretly colluding to collect your personal data as you browse the web, but this extension allows you to track the spread of their data across websites.

A toolbar icon will begin to animate if your "graph" (pictured above) changes. And if that data sharing makes you uncomfortable, Collusion lets you sever the hidden connections.

Download Collusion Here

Problem #4
You don't have time to finish that longread at work.



Solution: Affectionately dubbed the "DVR for everything," Pocket is an app for iPhone, iPad, Android and Kindle that can save articles, videos and images for later. It even works offline.

For Chrome, the Pocket extension puts a small Pocket logo in the top right corner of your browser. See a great piece of investigative journalism you don't have time to read at work? Click the Pocket logo and save it for later.

But careful, your queue of things to read, watch and see can quickly get out of hand.

Download Pocket Here

Problem #5
You're feeling unmotivated.



Solution: Momentum, a kind of personal dashboard, generates a different "New Tab" screen every day with a photograph of beautiful scenery and a motivational quote. It also provides a space where you can list your goal for the day -- so every time you open a new tab, a reminder of that one thing you need to get done is staring you right in the face.

Download Momentum Here

Problem #6
Online ads are the WORST.



Solution: With over 15 million users, AdBlock is the most popular Chrome extension there is, and with good reason. It takes away ads on all your favorite sites, including Hulu, Facebook and YouTube. For those who value their privacy as well while browsing, AdBlock Plus adds an extra layer of protection.

Download AdBlock Here

Problem #7
Twitter is too massive and quick for one dinky column.



Solution: Enter TweetDeck. This infinitely customizable app allows you to manage multiple accounts and create columns for everything under the sun: your favorites, streams dedicated purely to a single search term and much more. You can even have a column dedicated to just @HuffPostTech, if you're into that kind of thing.

Download TweetDeck Here

Problem #8
Your work computer doesn't let you download Spotify.



Solution: Spotify for Chrome! This app provides access to both the service's 20-million song catalogue and Spotify Radio. It also allows you to curate your playlists and discover others. (P.S.: Subscribe to my playlists for best albums and best songs of 2014!)

Download Spotify For Chrome Here

Problem #9
You don't like the way your Facebook looks.



Solution: Social Fixer adds an icon to the top of your Facebook that offers a dizzying number of customizations that you don't normally get. Among its many tricks are hiding political posts, breaking down your feed into tabs and tracking people who unfriend you.

And wait a second: You like the HuffPost Tech page on Facebook, don't you?

Download Social Fixer Here

Problem #10
Google Reader is dead. R.I.P., Google Reader.



Solution: Many different services have vied to become the top RSS reader since Google Reader died. But with a 5-star rating and nearly 69,000 reviews, it appears Chrome users have made their choice: Feedly. This clean, customizable interface allows news junkies to break down all their favorite sites into a single feed for quick scrolling.

Download Feedly Here

Problem #11
You have way too many passwords to remember.



Solution: LastPass, an award-winning password manager that allows you to save your passwords and categorize them, meaning the only password you'll ever have to remember is your LastPass password. In addition, LastPass also helps you generate stronger passwords and speed up your online shopping by adding credit cards and shopping profiles while you browse.

Download LastPass Here

Problem #12
You need a much bigger screenshot than normal.



Solution: Awesome Screenshot, a screencapping tool that allows you to screenshot an entire webpage or a selected area of a webpage. From there, the screencap can be saved and annotated with arrows, circles and text.

Download Awesome Screenshot Here

Problem #13
You have an important email to send but don't want to bother someone on the weekend.



Solution: Boomerang For Gmail lets you schedule messages now to be sent later. Because if you're using Gmail obsessively, you should at least develop some good email etiquette.

Download Boomerang for Gmail

Problem #14
You want to check Instagram at work but can't look at your phone.



Solution: Instagram for Chrome! The app lets you browse your Instagram feed in a Chrome pop-out window. From there, you can like, comment and browse to your heart's desire. In fact, this unofficial version actually feels like it has more options than the official Instagram mobile app.

Download Instagram for Chrome Here

Problem #15
Reddit is wonderful, but it's impossible to navigate.



Solution: There's a Reddit Enhancement Suite that features a never-ending scroll, so you'll never have to click "next page" again. It also has a "My Subreddits" tab, keyboard shortcuts and an inline image viewer so you don't have to leave the page to look at the latest meme photo. It's a must-have for obsessive Redditors.

Download Reddit Enchancement Suite Here

Problem #16
You have serious procrastination issues.



Solution: Do you spend too much time on Facebook or Reddit when you have a big assignment due? As the name implies, Block Site allows you to block websites that are eating into your productivity. You can even customize where the blocked site will redirect you. You can also customize Block Site so that it only applies on certain day or at certain times.

Download Block Site Here

Problem #17
The number of tabs in your browser is too damn high.



Solution: One Tab looks to solve tab overload by putting all of your tabs in a single... tab, saving your computer's memory in the process. When you want to open all your tabs again, you can restore them individually or all at once.

Download One Tab Here

And there you have it. Thank us later.

How A Government Computer Glitch Forced Thousands Of Families To Go Hungry

Thu, 2014-03-27 06:45
Camilla Lewis and her son, Jamarri, did not receive food stamp payments for three months. (Photo: Gerry Smith/Huffington Post)



WAKE FOREST, N.C. -- Janette Simon has four chicken legs and five kids to feed.

Her freezer is bare. And her latest trip to the food pantry yielded little else for dinner this night: a bag of day-old croissants, a box of Corn Flakes, and some canned goods.

She slathers barbecue sauce on the chicken, slides the pan in the oven, and begins her nightly ritual of distracting her five children from hunger.

The 44-year-old single mother often skips dinner herself. She hides Ramen noodle packets in her closet to ration food. She tells her two youngest kids to play outside “so they ain’t thinking about eating.”

“That’s what I have to worry about,” she says. “I gotta look at these kids with their sad faces and no food.”

On the 13th of every month, she has counted on seeing a $600 payment on her food-stamp debit card. But now, that payment is a month late.

Simon and thousands like her in North Carolina had enough to worry about before a computer glitch began to fray this basic part of the social safety net.

Last July, government computers across the state repeatedly crashed, preventing caseworkers from processing food stamp applications and recertifications for weeks. Eight months later, North Carolina officials are still scrambling to clear the resulting backlog.

The food stamp delays can be traced to troubles with a computer system designed by Accenture, one of the world’s largest consulting firms. The company is among a small group of politically connected technology contractors that receive government business across the country despite previous criticism of their work.

Accenture won the North Carolina contract after spending thousands of dollars on political contributions and lobbying in the state. North Carolina hired Accenture even though at least six other states -- Colorado, Florida, Wyoming, Kansas, Wisconsin and Texas -- have canceled contracts with the company in the past decade over problems with its computer systems.

The glitches in North Carolina mark another example of government technology gone awry, turning a program created to sustain millions of people through hard times into a new aggravation. The high-profile failure of the federal health care exchange last fall illustrated what many low-income people have encountered for years: faulty computer systems and websites that prevent them from receiving public assistance on time.

In North Carolina, the fix was simple: In August, caseworkers found that their computers stopped crashing if they switched browsers from Internet Explorer to Google Chrome.

But the backlog kept growing. By the end of last year, more than 30,000 families in North Carolina had waited more than a month to receive food stamps -- a violation of federal rules that require routine applications be processed within 30 days. About one third of those families had waited three months or more.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which oversees the federal food stamp program, has threatened to take a rare and drastic measure: cutting off $88 million in funding to North Carolina if the state doesn’t clear the backlog of cases by March 31.

“These delays are completely unacceptable and a serious failure on the part of North Carolina,” Donald Arnette, the USDA’s regional administrator, wrote in a December letter to state officials. “We have grave concern for the low-income people of North Carolina who are waiting for the assistance.”

Aldona Wos, secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the state’s food stamp program, declined to be interviewed for this story. In a statement to The Huffingon Post, Wos said North Carolina is “committed to providing quality services to our residents by ensuring accurate, timely processing of food stamps.”

She said the state met an initial federal deadline in February to process the longest-waiting food stamp cases after a “herculean effort” by government employees. “As we approach the USDA’s March 31 deadline, the counties and state are continuing to work tirelessly to meet federal timeliness standards,” Wos said.

Last week, Wos said county and state officials expect to meet the deadline. About 1,000 food stamp cases were still considered to be “untimely” by federal standards, according to state figures released last week.

North Carolina officials blame the food stamp delays partly on Obamacare. Under the health care law, states were required to update their aging computer systems to accept Medicaid applications by Oct. 1 of last year.

North Carolina chose to combine food stamp, Medicaid and other welfare programs into a single computer system. When state officials updated the software in July to comply with the law, they did not have time to properly test the system and ran into glitches that created the food stamp delays, according to Julie Henry, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services.

But the USDA has dismissed the state’s explanation, noting in a January letter that many other states complied with the federal health care law “without the dramatic impacts” on food stamp processing that occurred in North Carolina.



Janette Simon sits with her two youngest kids. She often skips dinner to make sure her children have enough to eat. (Photo: Gerry Smith/Huffington Post)



For many already struggling families, those impacts have taken a toll. Camilla Lewis, a 29-year-old single mother in Raleigh, said her $216-per-month food stamp payment stopped arriving in November, around the same time she lost her job as an administrative assistant at a local law firm.

Doctors diagnosed her 2-year-old son, Jamarri, with a digestive illness and told her not to feed him processed food. But without food stamps, her only options were low-priced items like chicken nuggets and instant mashed potatoes, she said.

In late February, she received back payments for the three months food stamps had not arrived. Still, Lewis said state officials “don’t seem to care” about families like hers.

“How can you sleep at night knowing someone's child is starving because their benefits are late?” Lewis said in early February as she stood in her kitchen preparing a frozen pizza for her son. “They say on the news, 'We understand it's a struggle and we have resources for you,’ but in actuality they’re going home at night to a house full of food.”

The problems in North Carolina are not unusual. In recent years, computer errors have disrupted a wide range of government-run programs across the country, including Medicaid, unemployment benefits and child support payments.

Food stamp recipients have been hit especially hard. In October, families in 17 states were unable to use their food-stamp debit cards for several hours. Many had to abandon their shopping carts at the grocery store. Xerox, which manages the cards in those states, said a test of a backup computer system caused the glitches.

In 2004, Colorado’s computer system mistakenly denied food stamps to residents unless they held a driver's license from Guam. Last fall, a contractor for the Georgia Department of Human Services wrongly terminated food stamp benefits for 66,000 people after failing to send them renewal notices in time.

Such errors happen for many reasons, experts say. States are short-staffed and lack technology experts. They rush out new computer systems before the systems are ready. They fail to oversee IT contractors.

The glitches often take months or even years to fix because technology for poor people is not considered a high priority, according to David Super, a Georgetown University law professor who studies government technology projects.

After hiring dozens of engineers and programmers from tech industry giants like Google and Oracle, the federal government largely fixed problems with the health-care website in about two months. But many states have taken much longer to fix computer errors with welfare programs. Colorado’s troubled system for food stamps and Medicaid has been plagued by glitches and delays for the past decade.

“Almost everyone using the Obamacare website was not poor,” Super said in an interview. “In contrast, technology that serves the poor has gotten less and less attention and has been working badly for many, many years.”



The line outside the Catholic Parish Outreach food pantry in Raleigh begins an hour before the doors open. (Photo: Gerry Smith/Huffington Post)



Accenture’s job in North Carolina was to customize software made by an Irish company called Curam, which is owned by IBM. Once part of Arthur Andersen, Accenture had more than 4,000 clients in 120 countries in 2012 and made $28 billion in revenue that year.

Accenture employees have given at least $57,000 to political candidates in North Carolina since 2002, according to state records. The firm also spent about $87,000 on lobbying in North Carolina in 2010, the year it won the state contract.

It is not unusual for government contractors to spend money on lobbying. But Accenture has hired some of North Carolina’s most influential insiders to promote its interests, according to rankings of state lobbyists compiled by the nonpartisan North Carolina Center for Public Policy Research.

One Accenture lobbyist, Charles Neely, is a former Republican member of the North Carolina General Assembly. Another, Angie D. Harris, served as deputy chief of staff to then-North Carolina Gov. Jim Hunt (D). Rick Webb, a former Accenture lobbyist who is now the company’s managing director, previously served as head of the Office of Information Technology Services, the state agency that oversees government IT projects in North Carolina and approved the contract with Accenture.

Accenture was chosen because it “met the needs” of the planned computer system, a spokesman for the state Department of Health and Human Services told HuffPost.

Despite the glitches, North Carolina continues to work with Accenture.

But other states have cut ties with the company after troubled technology projects. In a scathing 2006 report, Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn found numerous problems with Accenture's work managing a state computer system that processed applications for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) as well as food stamps and Medicaid.

After Accenture took over the Texas system in late 2005, families reported delays and inaccuracies in processing applications and CHIP enrollment fell by 8 percent, or more than 27,000 children, Strayhorn found. The project was also behind schedule and $100 million over budget, according to her report.

“Many cases show eligible children are losing health care coverage through no fault of their own, but due to mistakes and errors made by Accenture and its subcontractors,” wrote Strayhorn, a Republican who ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2006.

“Accenture has not met its performance requirements and has not been held accountable for its failure,” she added. “My conclusion is that this project has failed the state and the citizens it was designed to serve.”

Texas canceled its contract with Accenture in 2007, and a subcontractor, Maximus, took over the project. Since then, the state has seen “a dramatic reduction in error rates” for processing children’s health insurance applications, according to Stephanie Goodman, a spokeswoman for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

And yet, Accenture continues to win new government business. In addition to hiring those Google and Oracle employees, the Obama administration awarded a $90 million contract to Accenture this year to take over management of the federal health insurance website.

In a statement to HuffPost, Accenture defended its work.

“Looking in isolation at a small subset of Accenture’s past engagements over the last decade or more that had challenges and trying to argue a conclusion about our performance is simply not accurate,” company spokesman Jim McAvoy said.

“Large scale IT projects are complex in nature, and sometimes will encounter challenges,” McAvoy added. “What is most important is that Accenture is known for collaborating closely with clients when they need to make these changes and adjustments.”

McAvoy disputed the claim that Accenture’s project in Texas went over budget and said the company has “successfully worked, and continues to work,” for many state government agencies in Texas over the past decade.

He said Accenture also has a “long and successful track record” in North Carolina and is helping the state address the food stamp system’s “challenges.”

But some have questioned why North Carolina chose Accenture to build the computer system. Accenture was the only company to bid on the contract. North Carolina officials could have reached out to other companies, however, if they felt that Accenture was not right for the job, according to State Auditor Beth Wood, whose office is investigating the food stamp delays.

“Did we look back and see there were problems in other states and make sure we didn’t run into the same problems?” said Wood, a Democrat serving her second term as state auditor. “I’m not sure any of that was done.”

Accenture’s problems “have been pretty spectacular and should make someone nervous,” said Super, the Georgetown professor. But, he added, “there are relatively few companies offering these services to states, and some others have had serious problems, too.”

In 2009, Computer Sciences Corp. won a $265 million contract with North Carolina to build a new computer system for Medicaid claims. That computer system has been plagued with problems as well. In January, a group of North Carolina doctors sued the state, the company and other contractors, alleging that the glitchy technology had severely delayed thousands of dollars in Medicaid reimbursements.

Like Accenture, Computer Sciences Corp. had hired influential lobbyists in North Carolina. One of them, Lanier Cansler, was the former deputy secretary of the state Department of Health and Human Services. Shortly after the company won the contract, Cansler returned to state government when then-Gov. Bev Perdue (D) named him to lead the state health agency that oversaw the contract.

Several other government technology contractors -- including IBM, Deloitte and Hewlett-Packard -- have likewise come under fire for problems with systems they built for delivering welfare and unemployment benefits.

“All of them have black marks,” said Edwin Kahn, a Denver lawyer who filed a lawsuit against Colorado in 2004 after computer errors delayed food stamp payments in that state. “And they all replace each other when the first one fails.”



Ken Chapman has been waiting for food stamps since October. “I'm not starving, but I'm about to starve," he said. (Photo: Gerry Smith/Huffington Post)



Technology was supposed to make life easier for North Carolina’s 1.7 million residents on food stamps. Under the state’s new computer system, families would no longer need to fill out multiple applications to apply for aid and caseworkers could spend more time helping them and less time on administrative tasks, state officials promised. Plus, the federal government was picking up most of the $187 million cost of the technology.

State officials called the system North Carolina Families Accessing Services through Technology, or NC FAST -- an acronym that suggested food stamps would arrive without delay.

But the new technology required “a big learning curve” for caseworkers who were already struggling to handle caseloads that had doubled since the recession, according to Liz Scott, the assistant human services director in Wake County, which includes Raleigh.

“It was a pretty complex system,” she told HuffPost. “We had issues with staff learning how to use it.”

When the state updated the software in July of last year, Scott said, computers in her office crashed repeatedly and caseworkers fell “farther and farther behind.”

North Carolina is no stranger to technology blunders. In December, the state accidentally mailed 49,000 children's Medicaid cards with their private medical information to the wrong addresses. State officials blamed the privacy breach on "human error in computer programming."

Wood, the state auditor, said North Carolina’s tech problems have been the result of “poor planning and poor monitoring.” For years, she said, the state has lacked staff who understood complex IT projects, resulting in lax oversight and weak contracts that didn’t hold companies accountable for their mistakes.

In a review of 84 government IT projects in North Carolina over the past decade, Wood found that on average, they cost twice as much and took one year longer than originally estimated.

Such problems are not unusual. From 2004 to 2013, only 5 percent of government IT projects were considered “successful,” according to the Standish Group, a research firm. The rest were delayed, came in over budget, or were completely abandoned because they didn't meet expectations.

“It’s bad enough that they are over budget and past deadline,” Wood said. “But then they work horribly and are not even close to what the citizens need.”



A volunteer delivers food at the Catholic Parish Outreach food pantry. (Photo: Gerry Smith/Huffington Post)



The food stamp delays have left North Carolina’s food pantries “busting at the seams” with hungry families, said Terry Foley, director of Catholic Parish Outreach in Raleigh.

One of the state’s largest food pantries, Catholic Parish Outreach served 11,000 people per month last year -- an 11 percent increase from the year before. Foley attributed the surging traffic to the food stamp delays and recent cuts in unemployment insurance.

Due to high demand, Catholic Parish Outreach has been forced to reduce the amount of food it gives families from a seven-day supply to a five-day supply. Another local pantry, Wake Relief, has cut how often it serves families from once every 30 days to once every 60 days.

Ken Chapman, 54, of Raleigh, recently visited a food pantry because his $180 monthly food stamp payment had not arrived since October.

Chapman earns $50 a day digging ditches and removing debris as a temporary laborer. He mostly eats bologna sandwiches and items from McDonald's dollar menu.

“I'm not starving, but I'm about to starve,” he said while sitting on a curb outside a temp agency office in downtown Raleigh, his hard hat and blue jeans streaked with red clay after a long day’s work.

He struggles to explain his situation to his two daughters, who are college graduates.

“For them to see their dad on food stamps, I know it hurts them as well,” Chapman said. “They send me money sometimes. It's terrible. It's devastating. If you're waiting and dependent on food stamps and your card has zero balance and you have zero food in your house, what do you do?”

Chapman has turned to friends, but the ritual has become “degrading and embarrassing,” he said.

“They're like, 'Here comes Kenny.' They know I'm coming for a meal,” Chapman said. “You can have friends, but you can't just show up at their house every day trying to get a meal. It gets old very quick.”

On a recent morning, the line outside Catholic Parish Outreach began to form an hour before the doors opened at 10 a.m. Over the next four hours, more than 100 families signed in at the front desk and waited for their number to be called.

In the waiting room, mothers whispered in Spanish to crying babies while sorting through bins of donated toys and clothes. Several people took fliers listing information on emergency shelters and crisis hotlines. Volunteers checked to ensure that each family had an official referral and had not visited the pantry within the past month.

In a nearby warehouse, jars of peanut butter and cans of green beans were stacked 10 feet high. A sign on a walk-in freezer read, “Meat Distribution: 1 pound per person. Family 4+ use large meat as necessary.” Volunteers stacked bags of potatoes, boxes of cupcakes, and canned goods onto carts and then loaded them into families’ cars.

"It's very hard to meet all the needs of the community when clients' food stamps are delayed," said Foley, adding that many recipients have been forced to choose between paying for food or utilities.

"They might decide to have the heat turned off in their apartment or have their water turned off,” Foley said. “Those are the decisions people are making."




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This Photo Captures The Painful Reality Of Detaining People Whose Crime Was Looking For A Better Life

Thu, 2014-03-27 06:38
About 100 demonstrators gathered outside an immigration detention center this week to protest U.S. deportation of immigrants and the separation of families.

Activists chained themselves to the front doors of the Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden, Ala., on Monday, according to the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, which advocates for immigrant rights. Protesters carried banners and chanted slogans. Seven were arrested.

But perhaps the most powerful conveyer of their message was a sign taped up by detainees inside the facility:



The sign, in one of the detention center’s small windows, read, “We miss our kids.”

Immigrant detainees are often mothers and fathers, and can sometimes be detained for years. According to a 2009 Immigration and Customs Enforcement report, only 11 percent of detainees had been convicted of a violent crime.

Activists argue that it would be more humane to allow detainees who aren't suspected of crimes unrelated to immigration violations to await their court appearance from home. ICE officials have said 99 percent of participants in alternative programs such as ankle bracelets or home detention, complied with court-ordered appearances.

Advocates argue that alternative programs are much cheaper than jail. In 2011, the government detained a record 429,000 immigrants at a cost of $2 billion.

Last year, as the U.S. faced federal budget cuts, ICE released an undisclosed number of detainees. In defending the decision, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano noted that it costs six times more to hold an immigrant in detention than home monitoring.

In fact, with the U.S. detaining more immigrants than ever, a report by the Migration Policy Institute, which studies the global movement of people, found that the U.S. spends more on immigration enforcement, including detention, than on all other federal criminal law enforcement combined.

These Stunning City Skylines Will Give You Another Reason To Travel The World, Right Now

Thu, 2014-03-27 06:00
Last week, we pulled together several beautiful U.S. city skylines for your viewing pleasure. And because you can never have too much of a good thing, particularly when that "thing" is an unbelievable city view, we thought an international version could help you plan for next trip to a bustling metropolis.

When considering the most hypnotizing city skylines from around the globe, three things must be noted: Asia surpasses everyone when it comes to architecture and urban landscaping, "concrete jungles" can actually be breathtaking and nothing will awaken your wanderlust more than marveling at these incredible man-made horizons:

Buenos Aires, Argentina




A sepia-toned night showcases Buenos Aires' sparse yet enchanting skyline. Where does the city end, where does it begin? Only one way to find out... Photo by Kevin Allekotte via 500px.


Chongqing, China





You know it's a good one when you're seeing double. Photo by Min Chen via 500px.


Toronto, Canada




Not bad, eh? You're staring at the world's highest wine cellar, located in the brightly lit CN Tower -- take it all in and maybe drop by for a glass. Photo by Neil Ta via 500px.


Tokyo, Japan




That's Mount Fuji in the background. Just hanging out right there... Photo by Kevin Allekotte via 500px.


São Paulo, Brazil




Buildings and smog for as far as the eye can see... and then some. Photo by Jean-Clément Turblin via 500px.


Jerusalem, Israel




The Dome of the Rock's reflection and the sunset backdrop make everything look like it's plated in GOLD. Photo by David via 500px.


Seoul, South Korea




Cue Ellie Goulding's "Lights" and happy trancing to ya... Photo by Min Soo Kim via 500px.


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil




The "marvelous city" surrounded by mountains, islands and sugar loaves. Photo by Thanat Avit via 500px.


Dubai, United Arab Emirates




Beyond the clouds lies city skyline utopia. Photo by WK Cheoh via 500px.


Singapore




All black everything. Photo by SooSing Goh via 500px.


Shanghai, China




Welcome to the future, it looks a lot like China... but with hopefully less air pollution. Photo by David D via 500px.


Frankfurt, Germany





The fifth largest city in Germany is one for the books. Photo by Sven Klugel via 500px.


Jakarta, Indonesia




Jakarta's night view > Every other night view. Photo by Ismed Hasibuan via 500px.


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia




Take a moment to appreciate the spectacular sight of the Petronas Twin Towers. Photo by Silentino Natti via 500px.


Hong Kong, China




We're in the big leagues now... Photo by Pcarbone Freelance Photographer via 500px.


Sydney, Australia




From across Sydney's Red Harbour, we give you: PERFECTION. Note the world-renowned Opera House to the right side of the skyline. Photo by Enrico Becker via 500px.


Manila, The Philippines




A vanilla sky in Manila... sorry, had to. Also: THRILLA IN MANILA. Ok, stopping. Photo by Chairat Juengmongkolwong via 500px.


Panama City, Panama




A city that looks like it's made almost entirely out of glass. Photo by Jim Nix via 500px.


Moscow, Russia




Under the bridges and cruising down the yellow-lighted river we go. Photo by Sergey Alimov via 500px.


Bangkok, Thailand




Looks like a beautiful storm is coming. Photo by Rasit Rodphan via 500px.


Mumbai, India




If you didn't know, now you do... Photo by Fahim Sayed via 500px.


Istanbul, Turkey




The Bosphorous Bridge lights up the night sky in Istanbul for an incredible view. Photo by Pelin Genç via 500px.


Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates




When it comes to big buildings, the Emirates know what they're doing. Photo by Smithin Das via 500px.


Osaka, Japan




Sleepless in Osaka... Photo by LBG via 500px.


Guangzhou, China




And here's China again, this time with their version of Emerald City... Photo by Fedor Ivanenko via 500px.

Alleged Mexican Drug Cartel Associate Pleads Guilty In Chicago

Wed, 2014-03-26 17:11
CHICAGO (AP) — A reputed associate of captured Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's has pleaded guilty in Chicago to drug trafficking.

Tomas Arevalo-Renteria's surprise change of plea happened Wednesday in U.S. District Court. It was a blind plea, so it's not based on any deal with prosecutors. It comes weeks after co-defendant Alfredo Vasquez Hernandez announced he'd plead guilty, then changed his mind.

Hernandez's lawyer has said his client feared for the lives of his family in Mexico after a false Chicago TV report suggested Hernandez would cooperate with prosecutors. That's why he decided to go to trial after all.

On Wednesday, all sides took pains to note Arevalo-Renteria had never cooperated with U.S. officials and never would.

Arevalo-Renteria, Hernandez and Guzman are accused in an alleged $1 billion drug-trafficking conspiracy.

A Strange Talk With <i>The Auteur</i> Writer Rick Spears

Wed, 2014-03-26 16:40
Earlier this month Oni Press released The Auteur #1 written by Rick Spears and illustrated by James Callahan.

It's hilariously crude and funny all the while feeling fresh and unlike anything on the comic market right now. The art by James Callahan is beautiful and disgusting at the same time, which is no small feat.

I got to sit down and talk to Rick Spears about the series and also able to debut some art from the upcoming issue #2.



Please describe The Auteur in your sleaziest Hollywood pitch.

How about, "It's The Holy Mountain meets Ferris Bueller's Day Off?" Wait, sh*t. I don't know if that makes any sense. How about... "Coming off a disastrous mega-flop disgraced and desperate Hollywood producer Nathan T. Rex enters a downward spiral of drugs, and depravity in a quest to resurrect his career and save his soul. Over budget and behind schedule on the latest installment of the horror franchise, Presidents Day, T. Rex tries to punch up the publicity and gore by hiring a real-life serial killer as a "consultant." What could go wrong?" I don't know if that is my sleaziest. I guess just insert titties in there somewhere.

How did the book come about?

I really wanted to do a book about superheroes, but you know, with a more modern, gritty edge to it. Unfortunately that's not Oni's bag so I pitched them a book about secret agent dragons that run around, and shoot people, and spout ancient mysticism tidbits. They liked that, but we couldn't find an artist. Honestly it was all sort of an accident. My editor Charlie Chu and I were talking on a crappy cell connection and I was telling him about this terrible movie I'd seen. He misheard me and thought I was pitching him and approved it. Chu is very gentle and sensitive and I didn't have the heart to clarify his mistake so I just made up some sh*t to keep things from getting awkward.



You have a 10 million-dollar budget to promote The Auteur. What do you do?

Simple, I'd give the $5 million to the Hero Initiative (heroinitiative.org) and 5 million to the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund (cbldf.org) and just let the book promote itself. The Auteur is going to be a monster.

Why is The Auteur better than every comic out right now?

It's apples and oranges. I'm not interested in making something that competes with other comics. I'm a gentleman of Virginia. Competition is embarrassing. My only goal is to make Callahan's hand hurt, and bring peace and understanding to the world.



Have you sent a copy to Robert Evans? I think you should.

Funny you should ask, I faxed a copy to his tanning bed and received a very complimentary fax confirmation.

What should we expect for upcoming issues?

Our notorious Hollywood producer, Nathan T. Rex takes over the serial killer Darwin's legal defense in the "trial of the century!" It's a meditation on justice and human failure, all in the name of Tinseltown glory!

After that you can expect enlightenment annnnd probably some titties.









Why Acclaimed Chicago Chef Paul Kahan Wants Nothing To Do With The Spotlight

Wed, 2014-03-26 16:24
CHICAGO (AP) — Paul Kahan is one of the most award-winning chefs in America, but don't go looking for him on television.

In fact, the former computer scientist turned last year's James Beard Award winner for best chef shies away from the spotlight almost entirely. Instead, he chooses to focus on his family and the handful of Chicago restaurants he runs with his partners — nationally known eateries like Blackbird, avec and The Publican. "Do I want to compete and do I want to hang out with a bunch of chefs, or do I want to hang out with my wife and work in my restaurants and go home on a beautiful Sunday afternoon and sit in the yard in the garden and drink a bottle of ice-cold rose?" Kahan said during a recent interview at his newest Chicago restaurant Nico Osteria, which opened in December.

"Which sounds better to you?" he said.

Kahan's working relationship with food started with slow-cooked corned beef and hanging salamis at his father's deli. And when he was 15 he worked at Village Fishery and King Salmon, his father's smoked fish business in Chicago. But that didn't inspire his career. At least not then.

Instead, Kahan went to Northern Illinois University on a wrestling scholarship and studied applied math and computer science.

"Culinary school wasn't a real viable option," he said. "I never thought, 'Wow, I could be a chef.'"

Turns out he wasn't a fan of cubicle life, either. So Kahan left the computer field after three months and spent more than 15 years working with popular Chicago chefs Erwin Drechsler and Rick Bayless. It was a good call.

Today, Kahan is executive chef and one of the owners of One Off Hospitality, working together with his partners — including Donnie Madia, nominated for best restaurateur in this year's Beard Awards — to run seven restaurants in Chicago. He counts among his fans Anthony Bourdain and first lady Michelle Obama, and last year shared the Beard Award for best chef with New York's David Chang, the man behind the Momofuko restaurants.

The honor puts him in a select category that includes famous Chicago chefs Bayless, Grant Achatz and Charlie Trotter. Kahan said even though he never was driven to win and hates competing, he's proud of the award. But he's also quick to deflect the praise, saying the award was "a reward for everyone's hard work."

And that work continues to pay off. His restaurant group is up for another four Beard awards this year.

"I think it's political to a certain degree," he said. "I'm sure that I could have capitalized on it, but I don't care."

What he does care about is the food.

Kahan's comfort with a broad range of flavors, styles and cuisines is impressive. Consider his restaurants: Big Star offers Mexican street food; Nico Osteria has Italian seafood; The Violet Hour specializes in artisanal cocktails; avec is a Midwestern take on Mediterranean food; Blackbird focuses on local, farm-fresh food paired with a contemporary approach, and Publican and Publican Quality Meets sport butcher shop-meets-beer hall qualities.

But his restaurants have more in common than their menus might suggest, he said. Their cuisines all draw from the same Mediterranean pantry of salt, olive oil, olives, capers and lemons.

"That's the way that I cooked at Blackbird," he said. "It was American country French. We're sort of a less is more company. We want to do really minimal, really developed flavors."

As executive chef for the restaurant group, Kahan says he tries to foster a nurturing atmosphere in his kitchens. He will cook dishes with his chefs at his house or send them to study with his culinary friends around the country. An avid gardener, Kahan has been known to bring garbage bags filled with vegetables and produce to the restaurants for his chefs to use in dishes.

"I don't raise my voice," Kahan said. "I really let them run the restaurant and they rely on me for creative inspiration. They rely on me for bouncing thoughts and ideas off of."

Nico Osteria's chef de cuisine Erling Wu-Bower said Kahan inspires loyalty because he encourages his chefs and gives them freedom "so they feel the food is really theirs. The food is always first, not dollar signs."

Bayless said he saw that potential for leadership without ego when Kahan worked for him.

"He's never been egotistical, he just likes good food," Bayless said. "He runs a kitchen like I do, which is very calm. He's not the big performance-type guy who's going to be out there doing stuff. That's just not his personality. But clearly he has inspired so many chefs."

___

Follow Caryn Rousseau on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/carynrousseau

Last Call for Healthcare

Wed, 2014-03-26 16:17
In less than a week, we'll realize another important milestone in the long battle for comprehensive healthcare in America -- the deadline to apply for coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA mandates that most Americans must apply for and obtain coverage before March 31 or pay a penalty, and this week is our last chance to take advantage of it until next November. It's our last window of opportunity to do something great -- to better the health of those most likely to live with chronic, untreated health conditions while simultaneously improving the bottom line of our nation's health care system.

Heartland Alliance, the Midwest's leading anti-poverty organization, where I work, is based in Chicago, and here we've been hearing and spreading the enrollment message for months -- the deadline to obtain coverage is March 31 and it's affordable for all. Despite this promise, many of those we serve -- those who live entrenched in poverty -- are fearful of this new health care mandate. For years they've battled homelessness, chronic physical and mental illness, and joblessness. How then can they afford the vital care they've often considered a luxury?

Thanks to the Medicaid eligibility expansions of the ACA, affordable health care is no longer out of reach. Instead, it provides the greatest opportunity to date for those in poverty to get and stay well, and to build and rebuild a stable life. Now, poor single individuals with no dependent children or disabilities -- one of the most often overlooked segments of our population -- are eligible for the program. By expanding this coverage we are making one of the most important investments we can -- we are minimizing human suffering, ensuring each individual in need of care can receive it.

On a more concrete level, however, the coverage offered by the ACA in Illinois and across the country offers a historic opportunity to move from emergency care to prevention on a nationwide scale. Diabetes, for example -- a condition prevalent in low-income and poor communities -- costs approximately $13,700 per year to treat. On the other hand, a preventative screening for diabetes costs approximately $65 at many local health clinics. Approaching treatment from this perspective simply makes financial sense, and we're moving in the right direction. Through both the new ACA insurance plans and expanded Medicaid coverage, affordable preventative screenings can become the norm, saving thousands of dollars per patient. That goes a long way toward balancing the budget, both of the individual, and of our country.

So as we approach March 31, please take a moment to consider your own coverage, and to make mention to your family and friends that in less than a week, the window will close. This is a unique opportunity for each of us, and every uninsured or inadequately insured American should seize the opportunity in these final days. In Illinois, enrollment can be done through getcoveredillinois.gov or if you're outside Illinois, through healthcare.gov.

This May Just Be The Cleverest Internship Application Idea Ever

Wed, 2014-03-26 16:14
When sending out your internship application, how do you ensure that you stand out in a vast sea of other hopefuls? In Leah Bowman's case, it's all about the Lego.

The 20-year-old Northwestern University student -- and Lego enthusiast -- caused quite a stir on Reddit Wednesday when she posted a photograph of a tiny Lego doppelgänger that she painstakingly created to send out to potential employers in the world of advertising and marketing. "Build the perfect Account Service intern," reads a poster she created to accompany the "Leah Intern" Lego sets.

(Story continues below.)


"The final products of a weekend of hard work, ready to be sent out," she wrote in a caption accompanying the picture.

Bowman, who plans to graduate from Northwestern in December, told The Huffington Post that the idea for her Lego mini-me first emerged in response to a request by a specific ad agency to "create a piece of persuasive advertising with you as the product" for an application to a summer internship.

"I've been applying to lots of summer internships this spring break," she said over the phone Wednesday. "I wanted to send out something of my own that would really highlight and differentiate me as a candidate."

Bowman said she used Lego's Digital Designer to create a model of her Lego self, before rummaging through her dad's Lego collection to find the parts needed. She then purchased more Lego pieces online to create sets for other internship applications. The whole process took her about 48 hours, she said.

Thus far, Bowman has sent out one of her "Leah Lego" kits, complete with loose Lego pieces, assembly instructions and information about her skills and experience. She says she's yet to hear back from any potential employers.

When asked by another Redditor why she went to such lengths to create something so unique for an internship application, Bowman wrote, "You would not BELIEVE the competition that is out there."

Somehow, we don't think she needs to worry too much.

"If it don't get you your dream job I would be extremely surprised," wrote one Redditor after seeing Bowman's Lego creation.

Another was so confident in Bowman's talents, he posted this photo (below), along with a comment that read, "You'll fit right in in the agency world."



For more on Bowman's "Leah Intern" Lego set, click through this Imgur gallery explaining the young woman's creative process:

A Redmoon Night to Remember

Wed, 2014-03-26 15:48
In a city with so many theaters, so much music, so much incredible architecture and so many nationally recognized restaurants, it can be hard to stand out as an artistic organization. What will make you exceptional? Fancy cocktails are everywhere and after a while all arts organization fundraisers blur together, unless it's a Redmoon Theater fundraiser.

On Saturday March 15th, I attended Redmoon's "Scale of the City - Spectacle Lunatique 2014" at the theater's headquarters on the South side for what was an experience that stays with me even now. Redmoon seeks to intentionally open our minds to take in all that is possible and all that is wonderous within us and around us. Redmoon invites us in to be a part of the mystery that is the human imagination. The Spectacle Lunatique Gala was no exception.

Stated best by Producing Artistic Director, Frank Maugeri "Redmoon's mission is to create celebrations and spectacles at the scale of our city which generate and galvanize community... and that is what our gala did... create a monumental experience that was dream like, fantastic and interactive driven by our complex mechanical and gorgeous aesthetic resulting in moments of unexpected surprise and overwhelming joy. The evening accomplished its financial goals and will support manifesting our free work that we are uniquely known for, this summer in over 15 south and west side neighborhoods."

Located at their home HQ between the Pilsen and Chinatown neighborhoods, the festivities took place in the two level warehouse and featured gymnasts maneuvering on pulleys, bringing down appetizers from the sky at your request, violin playing bears serenading the guests, theatrical bicyclists riding contraptions that poured wine as they rolled by and ladies wearing big tables moving throughout the evening offering goodies for the taking. A man wearing a fish head blew out bubbles as he walked loftily through the party to usher in the sushi appetizers. Ladies wearing big top hats with truffle cakes as big as your palm crouched down low to let you pluck your preferred pound of plump from their brims. The revolving BBQ platform featuring at least 6 grills spun 'round and 'round handing out plates of chicken and rice, while the silent auction offered unique opportunities like sitting down with Schwa Chef Michael Carlson for an intimate tasting. My personal favorite was playing pool with a big, burly (and loveable) bear.

Along with 8 chef stations (312 Chicago, Dusek's, Embeya, Flemmings Prime Steakhouse, Nightwood, Schwa, Tuesday night Dinner, Vera) and almost as many mixology stations, there were also several bars and an ever-flowing Manhattan fountain. All this, plus a rocking DJ who took us as all late into the night!

Hopefully the above helps you understand how Redmoon aims to turn life on its head so that we see the world anew. And they succeed. Always. At the mid-March Spectacle, Redmoon turned a blank slate of an old warehouse into a trip down the rabbit hole for a truly, other-worldly, fantastical, Alice-in-Wonderland type experience. We went willingly.

Redmoon reminds us that the world is a big place, that ingenuity is important and that we are only as limited as we let ourselves be. Most importantly, Redmoon gives us art that is memorable. As the great musician Yo Yo Ma has said in interviews on the Internet, "Once something is memorable, it's living and you're using it. That to me is the foundation of a creative society."

In helping to form Chicago as an innovative creative society, Redmoon does us an important service. Successful Chicago businessman and Redmoon Community Galvanizer Award Recipient, Howard Tullman, said this in a previous interview about the importance and competitive edge of living in a creative society. " The best business leaders I know are great storytellers and the arts (in all forms) are how we best tell stories, connect facts and data with real emotion, and excite our people to accomplish great things together. This kind of collaborative and innovative growth and team-based learning simply can't take place in a sterile environment. Art stimulates us and leads us forward in all things."

Through its collaborative art, Redmoon helps Chicago and its neighborhoods to tell its fantastic stories and excites our people to accomplish great things together. It leads us forward to be creative and empowered in seeing all that is possible in the world and to champion that. Thank you, Redmoon, I am grateful.

A Redmoon Night to Remember

Wed, 2014-03-26 15:48
In a city with so many theaters, so much music, so much incredible architecture and so many nationally recognized restaurants, it can be hard to stand out as an artistic organization. What will make you exceptional? Fancy cocktails are everywhere and after a while all arts organization fundraisers blur together, unless it's a Redmoon Theater fundraiser.

On Saturday March 15th, I attended Redmoon's "Scale of the City - Spectacle Lunatique 2014" at the theater's headquarters on the South side for what was an experience that stays with me even now. Redmoon seeks to intentionally open our minds to take in all that is possible and all that is wonderous within us and around us. Redmoon invites us in to be a part of the mystery that is the human imagination. The Spectacle Lunatique Gala was no exception.

Stated best by Producing Artistic Director, Frank Maugeri "Redmoon's mission is to create celebrations and spectacles at the scale of our city which generate and galvanize community... and that is what our gala did... create a monumental experience that was dream like, fantastic and interactive driven by our complex mechanical and gorgeous aesthetic resulting in moments of unexpected surprise and overwhelming joy. The evening accomplished its financial goals and will support manifesting our free work that we are uniquely known for, this summer in over 15 south and west side neighborhoods."

Located at their home HQ between the Pilsen and Chinatown neighborhoods, the festivities took place in the two level warehouse and featured gymnasts maneuvering on pulleys, bringing down appetizers from the sky at your request, violin playing bears serenading the guests, theatrical bicyclists riding contraptions that poured wine as they rolled by and ladies wearing big tables moving throughout the evening offering goodies for the taking. A man wearing a fish head blew out bubbles as he walked loftily through the party to usher in the sushi appetizers. Ladies wearing big top hats with truffle cakes as big as your palm crouched down low to let you pluck your preferred pound of plump from their brims. The revolving BBQ platform featuring at least 6 grills spun 'round and 'round handing out plates of chicken and rice, while the silent auction offered unique opportunities like sitting down with Schwa Chef Michael Carlson for an intimate tasting. My personal favorite was playing pool with a big, burly (and loveable) bear.

Along with 8 chef stations (312 Chicago, Dusek's, Embeya, Flemmings Prime Steakhouse, Nightwood, Schwa, Tuesday night Dinner, Vera) and almost as many mixology stations, there were also several bars and an ever-flowing Manhattan fountain. All this, plus a rocking DJ who took us as all late into the night!

Hopefully the above helps you understand how Redmoon aims to turn life on its head so that we see the world anew. And they succeed. Always. At the mid-March Spectacle, Redmoon turned a blank slate of an old warehouse into a trip down the rabbit hole for a truly, other-worldly, fantastical, Alice-in-Wonderland type experience. We went willingly.

Redmoon reminds us that the world is a big place, that ingenuity is important and that we are only as limited as we let ourselves be. Most importantly, Redmoon gives us art that is memorable. As the great musician Yo Yo Ma has said in interviews on the Internet, "Once something is memorable, it's living and you're using it. That to me is the foundation of a creative society."

In helping to form Chicago as an innovative creative society, Redmoon does us an important service. Successful Chicago businessman and Redmoon Community Galvanizer Award Recipient, Howard Tullman, said this in a previous interview about the importance and competitive edge of living in a creative society. " The best business leaders I know are great storytellers and the arts (in all forms) are how we best tell stories, connect facts and data with real emotion, and excite our people to accomplish great things together. This kind of collaborative and innovative growth and team-based learning simply can't take place in a sterile environment. Art stimulates us and leads us forward in all things."

Through its collaborative art, Redmoon helps Chicago and its neighborhoods to tell its fantastic stories and excites our people to accomplish great things together. It leads us forward to be creative and empowered in seeing all that is possible in the world and to champion that. Thank you, Redmoon, I am grateful.


Gay Conversion Therapy Ban Advances In Illinois

Wed, 2014-03-26 15:34
The practice of so-called "conversion" therapy on minors -- in which therapists attempt to "cure" their patients of homosexuality -- could soon be banned in another state.

An Illinois proposal to ban conversion therapy, sponsored by state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago),was approved by the state's House Human Services Committee by a vote of 9-to-6 on Wednesday, the Associated Press reports.

The legislation would create the Conversion Therapy Prohibition Act, which would specifically ban any mental health provider from engaging with efforts to change the sexual orientation of anyone under the age of 18. Anyone caught doing so would be "disciplined by the licensing entity or disciplinary review board with competent jurisdiction," the legislation reads.

The vote was met with applause by Bernard Cherkasov, CEO of LGBT advocacy group Equality Illinois, who urged the full state House to "quickly follow suit" and advance the bill.

"This bill would ensure that the most vulnerable individuals, those already struggling in the face of homophobia and transphobia, are not targeted and subjected to a practice that medical practitioners deem harmful and inappropriate," Cherkasov said in a statement.

The bill was introduced last month by Cassidy on the heels of hearing complaints from her constituents about therapists offering such services in Illinois.

"We want to do what we can to keep our LGBT youth safe," Cassidy told the Windy City Times last month, adding that Gov. Pat Quinn and many of her colleagues have been supportive of the proposal.

Conservative group Illinois Family Institute has been critical of the proposed ban because they claim it "would prevent those children and teens who experience unwanted same-sex attraction as a result of sexual abuse from getting counseling to overcome these unwanted feelings."

In recent decades, practically all mainstream mental health organizations, including the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics, have disavowed the practice of therapists "curing" patients of same-sex attractions.

States including California and New Jersey have already passed similar laws banning conversion therapy for minors and other states, including New York, Massachusetts and Washington, are also considering legislation on the matter.

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