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9 Words That Don't Exist, But Definitely Should

Thu, 2015-05-28 14:03
The world is always changing, and it starts with your dictionary. Case in point:

Dude, totally been there. Similarly, here are some of our own offerings of new words that don't really exist yet, but definitely should in the future.

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Stunning Book Of Portraits Shows 'Beauty After Breast Cancer'

Thu, 2015-05-28 13:50
When facing a preventative double mastectomy, Katelyn Carey had no idea what to expect. Now that she is past her procedure, she wants to tell other women in her position: You're not alone.

Carey, a nurse and mother of two, has a family history of breast cancer and underwent a preventative mastectomy at the age of 29. Inspired by her experience, she is creating Beauty After Breast Cancer, a book of portraits and narratives that explains what breast cancer survivors went through, and shows what their bodies look like now.

(Some images below may be considered NSFW.)

"Every six months I go in for a new prosthesis/insert and a new bra. Nobody really knows that half of my shape comes from the prosthesis. It’s not like I’m missing an arm or a leg (and I count my blessings for that!). I sometimes walk down the street and wonder how many women have a prosthesis under their blouse like mine. It’s comfortable to wear, and makes me look like me again."

Carey hopes to publish the book in the autumn of 2015. Her goal is for cancer centers and breast centers around the world to use the book as a tool to hearten women facing treatment and surgery by providing information about various surgeries, and personal stories from women who have had them.

"The one crucial difference between us and the other resources out there is that Beauty After Breast Cancer is the coordinated efforts of medical staff with breast cancer patients in order to create the book that we as patients wish we'd had at the time of our diagnosis," Carey told The Huffington Post. "I believe that modern medicine can be compassionate. I believe that we can use our hardships to help others who must walk similar paths to the ones we have stumbled on."

"Now, whenever I am feeling less-than-secure, I have only to look at my husband, or at the photos that show me through his eyes. Beautiful. Or I can look at one of my children’s hands, curled on my breast as he rests on my lap, and know that I will be here for my kids as long as they need me. I was strong for my family even before I had met them, and they find me beautiful. So how could I help but to feel my beauty now?"

Carey and photographer Joseph Linaschke have worked with 33 breast cancer survivors ranging in age from 29 to 82. These women have undergone lumpectomies and single and bilateral mastectomies. Some have chosen to have full or partial breast reconstructions; others have decided against reconstruction or even "deconstructed" their implants at a later date.

"We don't hold back, and the photos show both 'ideal' outcomes as well as surgeries that had complications." Carey said. "Yet we are still managing to be uplifting and unintimidating with the portraits and stories we are sharing. A woman who has just heard the words, 'you have breast cancer' does not need to be scared further. I feel the faceless portraits of scars remain too harsh for someone who has no experience with breast cancer."

"I had originally pictured a beautiful new set of boobs with an amazing mural of tattoos. But I now find that boobs are not essential to my beauty or femininity. The benefits of enduring another major surgery just aren’t there. It’s very empowering to realize that I have nothing to hide and no reason to hide. I realize now that my beauty comes from knowing that I already am beautiful- I don't have to do anything else."

Carey launched a Kickstarter fundraiser in October 2014 that fell short of its funding goal, but remains determined to see the book published.

"More and more I wish I had this book when I was going through my surgery," Carey wrote. "And I guess that's the point of all this."

See more stunning images and narratives from Beauty After Breast Cancer below, and learn more about the project here.

"I am a mass of scars. They tell the story of my life: from my hysterectomy, to my stretch marks from three children, to my gallbladder surgery, to my breast scars. But if anyone thinks those scars and stories somehow make me a lesser person, I don’t really care to know that person anyway. I am a thirty-two year survivor of breast cancer, and my life is full and rich."

"Cancer showed me the strength of my husband, and the depth of his love. As my dear husband, Dan, gently took off my bandaging he made sure he did not have a look of shock on his face, as he knew I was watching for his reaction. He lovingly cared for me all the way through the cancer and now, when I had no breasts, he loved me just the same, and emptied my drains for me with as much gentleness as he could. Even now, he prefers me without my mastectomy bra -- he loves me -- ME, breasts or no."

"I couldn’t stand the scar. While some people wear their scars as a testament of their strength, my scar reminded me of all that I was forced to change, about how life goes haywire despite your precautions, and how little control I have.  The scar was about what had been done to me. I needed to change it into a thing of beauty and strength that reflected who I’d become despite it.

And so Shoyru the dragon came to me. She is not hiding my scar, she is encompassing it and making it part of her own body.  She moves my eye’s line of sight to what IS there -- the beauty and fierceness -– and away from what is no longer.  Her arrival shifted me from loss to creativity, from what happened to me to what I chose for myself.  I am not hiding from what is or trying to go back to what was, I simply accept that cancer happened… and here is what I did with it."

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11 Must-Visit Food Halls Across the U.S.

Thu, 2015-05-28 13:49
By Patty Lee

The word "food court" usually brings to mind the same-old joints serving the same-old stuff: sickly sweet chicken teriyaki, leaden slices of pizza and doughy, dry cinnamon buns. Not anymore. Today's food halls are far more ambitious, taking in some of the finest chefs, artisans and purveyors in town. Take a tour of 11 gastro-emporiums across the country that are redefining what it means to be a food court.

Krog Street Market, Atlanta
A sprawling complex located in one of ATL's hottest food 'hoods, the Inman Park hub boasts a dozen eat-in restaurants and bars, along with nearly a dozen more retail shops.
To eat there: Find Tex-Mex specialties (bean-and-cheese nachos, puffy tacos) at chef Ford Fry's Superica; meat-centric cooking (grilled beef-cheek bread pudding, braised brisket) at The Cockentrice; and Japanese small plates and cocktails by ace bartender Arianne Fielder at Craft Izakaya.
To take on the road: Grab a scoop from cult-favorite ice cream shop Jeni's Splendid or chocolate from bean-to-bar cocoa maker Xocolatl.
What's next: Krog Street will continue to bring in new vendors, including Spice Road Chicken stall chef Asha Gomez and another full-service restaurant and bar from some of ATL's top bartenders. (Photo by Sarah Dodge)
99 Krog St.; 770-434-2400

Gansevoort Market, New York City
Chelsea Market has some new competition thanks to the recent opening of this industrial-chic food hall in the Meatpacking District boasting 24 vendors and a small but stunning skylit dine-in area.
To eat there: Taking a note from Basque tavernas, Donostia doles out pintxos that feature both fresh and preserved seafood. The Express outpost of David Bouhadana's Sushi Dojo, on the other hand, focuses on raw fish available in rolls or a chirashi bowl.
To take on the road: A treat from Dana's Bakery, which does French macarons in all-American flavors like s'mores, red velvet and Key lime pie.
Read more about NYC's thriving food hall scene here. (Photo by Kelly Dobkin)
52 Gansevoort St.

St. Roch Market, New Orleans
Set in the historic home of a 19th-century market by the same name, the icon — which had been closed since Hurricane Katrina — made a big comeback this April with a new roster of 15 artisanal vendors.
To eat there: Along with a number of seafood slingers (this is NOLA, after all) like Curious Oyster Company and Elysian Seafood, you'll also find spots such as Koreole — serving Korean-Creole mash-ups like japchalaya — and Mayhaw, an ingredient-driven cocktail bar from drinks maven Ali Mills (Dash and Pony, Patois).
To take on the road: Cochon Butcher alum Kristopher Doll's first solo venture, Shank Charcuterie, is stocked with his top-notch sausages and other meats. (Photo by Rush Jagoe)
2381 St. Claude Ave.; 504-609-3813

The Hall, San Francisco
The Mid-Market revitalization took a delicious turn last fall, when this upscale food hall highlighting six local vendors and a bar (open till 11 PM nightly) made its debut. There's communal indoor seating, along with a space for outdoor dining.
To eat there: Scott Peterson and Ted Wilson, who opened The Hall, also run Fine & Rare, which turns out inventive seafood dishes (crab Louie salad, house-smoked salmon Reuben) and pours wines from Wilson's self-titled label. Food truck Little Green Cyclo has gone brick-and-mortar with Vietnamese dishes (beef pho, banh mi) that use sustainably sourced and organic ingredients. Click here for more recommendations.
To take on the road: Fuel up for your trip home with coffee at Dignitá. (Photo by Virginia Miller)
1028 Market St.; 415-558-8293

Union Station, Denver
After a $54 million renovation, this restored train depot re-opened last summer with a slew of new food and drink establishments, including a burger joint, throwback ice cream parlor and a hidden bar.
To eat there: Located just north of the Great Hall, Mercantile Dining & Provision isn't just the biggest restaurant inside Union Station, it's also one of the hottest. Run by chef Alex Seidel (Fruition), the sprawling 5,000-sq.-ft. space houses a two-in-one concept: a restaurant with a European-inspired menu, plus a market selling artisanal goods. For details on more Union Station vendors, click here.
To take on the road: Grab a smoothie, sandwich or salad for your ride at Fresh EXchange or a boozy milkshake at MilkBox Ice Creamery.
1701 Wynkoop St.

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles
After a century of peddling food and wares in Downtown LA, this open-air bazaar has been undergoing a major revamp over the last year. A fresh wave of food vendors have breathed new life into the spiffed-up market, making it a true rival to West Coast counterparts like the Ferry Building and Melrose Market.
What's new: Newcomers include two new seafood options, Mark Peel's Bombo (serving steamed mussels, fish stew, etc.) and The Oyster Gourmet, plus Madcapra, the falafel spot from NYC transplants Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (formerly of Brooklyn's Glasserie).
To eat there: Chase down smoked meats and Southern sides with an ice-cold Shiner Bock at Horse Thief BBQ or fill up on egg-centric specialties at the single-concept Eggslut.
To take on the road: Health-minded shoppers can pick up sips from Press Brothers Juicery — with combos like Liquid Gold (pineapple, lemon, mint) and Charge (carrot, celery, apple) — or kombucha by Better Booch. Those in need of a java fix should stop by G&B Coffee, co-owned by U.S. Barista Championship winner Charles Babinski.
317 S. Broadway; 213-624-2378

To find out about more must-visit food halls, read the full story on Zagat!

More from Zagat:

America's Next Hot Food Cities

The 10 Best New Burgers Around the U.S.

America's Most Iconic New Dishes

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Esquire Gathers Your Favorite Comedians To Uncover The Greatest Jokes Ever Told

Thu, 2015-05-28 13:17
Mitch Hedberg for sainthood.

What comes to mind when you think of the best joke you've ever heard? Maybe it's just stupid or maybe it's dirty, but for whatever reason, it's memorable for you. On Thursday, Esquire released a feature on the best jokes ever told by your favorite comedians, picked by your favorite comedians.

Wyatt Cenac, Mike Birbiglia, Jessi Klein and some of the best stand-up comedians working today recalled the best joke they've ever heard in the piece. Some are very punny, others a tad raunchy, but all of them are funny in their own way.

Here are a few of the best.

"Lavell Crawford. Very, very fat man. Very funny. He had a joke: The other day I got out of the car and this little boy was walking by. He just stopped and he stared at me and he was like, 'Whoa.' Then I was like, 'Boy, whatchu lookin’ at?' Little boy was like, 'I can’t even fit all of you in my eyes.'" - Damon Wayans Jr.

"It’s from Anthony Jeselnik: When I finished high school, I wanted to take my graduation money and buy myself a motorcycle, but my mom said no. See, she had a brother who died in a horrible motorcycle accident when he was 18. And I could just have his motorcycle." - Riki Lindhome

"By Mitch Hedberg: I'm sick of following my dreams -- I'm just going to ask them where they are going and hook up with them later." - Natasha Leggero

Check out the Esquire write-up for the rest of the greatest jokes ever told.

Photograph by Matthew Salacuse, Courtesy of Esquire

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5 Guys Overlooked in Love Who Might Actually Make You Happy

Thu, 2015-05-28 13:09
In the dating world, many people looking for love have conscious or unconscious shopping lists of qualities or characteristics they'd like in their ideal mate. Most people want chemistry, laughter, wealth and to be treated well. Also popular are good looks, snappy dressing and good hygiene. It's been said that "Mad Men's" Don Draper was the epitome of desirability. He's the eternal 'bad-boy' we know we should grow out of once we reached adulthood. But did Don ever stay faithful to anyone or make a woman really happy?

If you want love, devotion and loyalty, check out these gems in the rough who will potentially worship you for the rest of your life.

1. Bald men. Men who embrace their baldness are more appealing than the guy wearing a comb-over or rug. (Bruce Willis vs. Donald Trump) They're not trying to fool anyone. I personally respect a guy who is honest with himself and others. 80% of men lose some of their hair. If they lose all of it, there's less grooming time -- which means more time to spend sharing their sex drive with you. Rumors (probably started by balding men) are that too much testosterone and machismo are the reasons why men lose their hair, making them more masculine and increasing their sex drive. Is this why balding men seem ballsier than other men?

2. Divorced dads. Their life experience is more multi-faceted than carefree, never-married single men or childless divorced guys. Caring for children in their lives demonstrates they can handle responsibility and that they prioritize family.

3. Older men. They've seen it all and done it all. Now they want to rest and focus on you, or have a companion to do the best of it all over again. If you like to be wined and dined, consider an older partner.

4. Mr. Cuddly. If you had a favorite teddy bear as a child, now is the time to revisit that coziness -- with grown-up benefits. This guy doesn't spend all his time in the gym, which means he'll be spending his time out dining with you. Gabriel Iglesias says, "I'm not fat, I'm fluffy." A guy with a few extra pounds probably likes his comforts. As his companion, you'll be indulged as well. You can both spread out together with no judgement!

5. Bad dressers. In real estate, fixer-uppers are always a great value. Maybe he doesn't care how he looks or just doesn't know any better. Maybe he's the worst on the block, but inside, he's got great bones. Perhaps that sloppy dresser has a rich inner life that involves reading books or binge-watching cable shows. A schlump might pay more attention to you than to himself. If you are willing to do the light sanding and other renovations, you'll reap great rewards. Spackle not included.

When reviewing these five kinds of guys, I realized there's someone who is all of these men rolled into one: Louis CK: The balding, over 40, divorced dad is a cuddly, schlumpy dresser. He's a creative, hard working risk-taker who focuses on being a good dad and how soul-crushing bad relationships can be. If he met the right person, he'd rock their world in an anti-Don Draper way.

For a humorous peek at amorous adventures after 50, check out The Last Place She'd Look or visit, and follow Arlene on Facebook.

For more by Arlene Schindler on Huffington Post, click here.

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Hillary Clinton Is Taking Democrats Backward on Climate Change

Thu, 2015-05-28 13:06
When Barack Obama announced his Presidential campaign in Springfield, Illinois he spoke of climate change.

Let's be the generation that finally frees America from the tyranny of oil. We can harness homegrown, alternative fuels like ethanol and spur the production of more fuel-efficient cars. We can set up a system for capping greenhouse gases. We can turn this crisis of global warming into a moment of opportunity for innovation, and job creation, and an incentive for businesses that will serve as a model for the world. Let's be the generation that makes future generations proud of what we did here.

Obama was the first major party nominee for President who made climate change a central theme included in every major campaign speech. He even showed politicians how to make it sound poetic. It helped elect him twice. Climate change or clean energy policy was a significant portion of every State of the Union address. That's something environmentalists should celebrate for what it says about the electoral appeal of the issue.

Nearly seven weeks after she announced her campaign for President, Hillary Clinton has yet to make a noticeable statement on climate change. At her first campaign speech in South Carolina Wednesday she didn't mention it all, despite the threat of more hurricanes hitting the state.

The best gesture for the climate movement so far is a tweet from an adviser. It's a disappointing step backward from having climate take center stage.

It's a risky move since Clinton already has a credibility problem on climate. Her most significant actions to date are promoting fracking as Secretary of State and allowing oil industry influence to corrupt the state department process on Keystone XL pipeline. The climate crisis requires bold, aggressive action against entrenched corporate special interests, which isn't a style of politics Clinton is known for.

Clinton will probably have an easy time getting endorsements from beltway green groups hoping to gain influence. But as Pat Quinn learned in Illinois, and Mark Udall learned in Colorado, promoting regulated fracking is a tough sell to environmental voters no matter what endorsements a candidate can brag about. Without a major change to her campaign, primary voters will be forced to look elsewhere for a climate champion.

After making a joke in South Carolina about coloring her hair, Clinton claimed, "you're not going to see me shrink from a fight." But so far, she's ducking the most urgent fight of our time.

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5 Reasons Illinoisans Are Paying for the Madigan/Rauner Budget Fight

Thu, 2015-05-28 12:29
Illinois lawmakers only have until midnight May 31 to approve a state budget and spending plan that is balanced and funds all of the programs the state needs to run efficiently. The House and Senate Democratic majorities very likely will approve one, but it will be rejected, in whole or in part, by the Republican governor because it will spend more than the state's taxpayers are required to give, at the moment.

Then, we citizens will sweat it out into June, July, and perhaps August, as 30-year House Speaker Michael Madigan and veteran private equity dealmaker Gov. Bruce Rauner try out outlast and outmaneuver each other.

Madigan held one of his rare, classic press conferences Monday to explain for the media and taxpayers his approach.

Here's why the whole exercise is fruitless and we, my fellow citizens, are the suckers being played for the fools we apparently are:

1. Madigan reminded all within earshot that when Rauner first gave his state budget address, which did indeed include more than $2 billion in pension savings that were unlikely to be achieved, that the Speaker called it "reckless" then and has been calling it "reckless" since.

2. Then the Speaker proceeded to tell reporters that he consistently has said Illinois needs a balanced approach of both spending cuts and new revenue. Therefore, he said, House and Senate Democrats will work this week to pass a budget for next year that spends more than $3 billion more than the state takes from taxpayers.

3. So, you might logically ask, if Rauner's budget with $2 billion in phantom savings was "reckless," what does that make Madigan's admittedly out-of-whack $3 billion-plus budget? Extremely reckless? (Actually, it appears to be closer to a $4 billion hole.)

4. Rauner chose to create and manage secret, closed-door working groups on the budget and other key pieces of legislation he sought as part of his plan to do things differently, shake up Springfield and turn around Illinois. Differently how? Before Madigan took to the podium on Memorial Day, though, Rauner's office had issued a statement suggesting Madigan was walking away and "doubling down on a broken budget and massive tax hike."

5. That statement was followed by more of the same from the House and Senate Republican leaders, as well as the Illinois Republican Party.

Check out three more reasons why Illinoisans are really the ones to get the short end of the budget stick at Reboot Illinois.

Sign up for our daily email to stay up to date with Illinois politics.

NEXT ARTICLE: 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites in Illinois in 2015

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Rand Paul Says Crime Is A 'Spiritual Problem'

Thu, 2015-05-28 12:14
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul (R) on Wednesday made an unexpected remark about the nature of crime in a city that has seen more than its share of it.

"There is crime going on all across America. It is not a racial thing, it is a spiritual problem," the 2016 presidential hopeful said during a campaign stop in the South Side of Chicago, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Speaking before a mostly African-American crowd outside New Beginnings Church in Woodlawn, Paul continued, "I think government can play a role in public safety, but I don't think government can mend a broken spirit. Government can't provide you salvation, government can't save you ... Ultimately, salvation is something you accept yourselves."

The libertarian-leaning senator's attempt to tie crime to spirituality, rather than to more tangible factors like poverty, racially biased policies and inadequate economic investment, sounded less like what Paul has said in the past and more like the traditional message touted by other GOP candidates seeking the party's nomination.

Typically, Paul's stances on crime and criminal justice issues have shared more with socially progressive viewpoints than socially conservative ones: He has called for demilitarized police and reform of racist drug laws, and argued that poverty impacts incarceration rates. Of the Republican candidates in the race, Paul has been the most open and unabashed in his effort to connect with black voters, despite the friction it sometimes causes in his own party.

In his speech on Wednesday, Paul highlighted his ability to be tough on crime, while also making the effort to reach out to the largely black audience.

"You may be saying to yourself, 'Why is this white guy saying black lives matter, what does he know about crime in my neighborhood?'" Paul said, referring to the rallying cry that has become popular in the aftermath of recent deaths of African-American men at the hands of white police officers. "Well, I've got crime in my neighborhood too ... We've got some kind of thing going on in our country, and we need to come to grips with it."

Paul's attempts to connect with the audience on the issue of racial justice were a sign that while Chicago's black voters have historically voted Democrat in a perennially blue state, it's exactly these voters Paul wants -- and needs. Still, the candidate took time to tout his economic message as well, saying he'd like to see "dramatically lowered" taxes for businesses on a South Side block he visited. He noted that he especially wants to lower taxes for businesses that are run by and employed locals.

"My idea is not to take money from Washington and send it to the South Side of Chicago, but take money from the South Side of Chicago and never send it to Washington," Paul said, according to CBS Chicago.

Paul had been invited to speak by New Beginnings Pastor Corey Brooks, who has previously faced criticism for supporting the candidacy of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican.

“On the South Side, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or Republican, we’re just excited that you’re coming to hear our views,” Brooks said on Wednesday, according to DNAinfo Chicago.

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Alec Baldwin's 'Love Ride' Surprises Young Couple With Hilarious Mobile Therapy

Thu, 2015-05-28 09:36
Maybe Jack Donaghy is exactly the person you'd want analyzing your relationship.

Alec Baldwin is back for more mobile relationship therapy, and this time, he's brought the "cone of silence." On this episode of "Love Ride," Baldwin and his sidekick Jemima Kirke are getting to know Jennie and Jimme. Jimme is a musician who wants his fans to believe he's younger than he is, and Baldwin wants to know when he's going to man up and get a real job.

We could watch Alec Baldwin read the phone book. Are there still phone books?

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Top Five Detour Adventures You Need to Know About Between Las Vegas and Denver

Thu, 2015-05-28 09:31
As an adventure photographer and writer I am always searching for the "off the beaten track" activities and photo ops while on my travels. You can find me climbing cliffs and waterfalls and asking around for the hidden gem "locals only" spots. So when my 75-year-old father wanted to do a road trip from Las Vegas to Denver together, I struggled with not only finding cool places to stop and explore, but also ones that were easy enough for my dad to do.

I inherited my sense of travel and adventure from my dad, but I felt like he had given up on getting out and exploring years ago. Either because in his old age travel has just become too difficult or because these places were just too hard to find. Thanks to modern technology, and good old-fashioned conversations with locals at a diner in Utah, I was able to restore my dad's pioneer spirit and plan a fun road trip full of surprise adventures. I discovered that some of these places are way easier to find than you would think.

1. The Narrows Hike at Zion National Park

A nice way to break up the drive and get out of the heat of the desert is by stopping in Zion National Park. We discovered a hidden gem in the park called "The Narrows". The Narrows is deep within the canyon of Zion National Park and you have to take a shuttle from the visitor's center to get there. The hike itself gets its name, because you are hiking along a river and then the two steep canyon walls on either side of you (about 20 feet wide) start getting more narrow and more narrow until you are hiking through the river itself. We wore just bathing suits, water shoes, and had our cameras in a waterproof backpack. It was such a fun, refreshing hike to splash through the canyon, stop to swim, and just take hilarious videos and photos. It's definitely one of the more unique, fun, hikes I have ever done.

2. Antelope Canyon in Page, Arizona

Most of you have seen photos of this place and not ever realized where it was. Not to mention it is the location of the world's most expensive photo ever sold by photographer Peter Lik ($6.5 million). Located just a few miles outside of Page, Arizona, you have to book a tour to go see either the Upper or Lower Antelope canyon. Upper Antelope is flat and sandy and the more popular of the two. Most pictures you have seen are from the Upper. The Lower Antelope is accessed via ladders and a crack in the earth and is a bit more strenuous to visit. We booked a tour and had to jump into a Suburban with a Navajo guide who drove us miles over a sandy wash in the middle of the desert until we ended up at the crack of this canyon. It was so surreal and beautiful walking through the narrow sandstone cracks that have been carved by water over a million years. I was obsessed with the lines, lighting, and colors there and I just couldn't stop taking photos!

3. Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona

This landmark is only a 10 minute drive from Antelope Canyon, easy to find from the main road, and just a 15 minute walk up over a hill to a cliff's edge about 1,000 feet high overlooking the Colorado River. Horseshoe Bend aptly gets its name because it is the point of the Colorado River that somehow sharply curves around a huge rock formation like a horseshoe. All ages can make this easy trek, but beware because there is no fence, wall, or boundary and you can literally just walk off a cliff if you are not careful. Even though I am not afraid of heights, it still was nerve-wracking to stand on the edge to take a photo. Instead, I had to sit and try to take it all in, because it was one of the most majestic views I have ever witnessed.

4. Arches National Park in Moab, Utah

The next day we took off again to hit the town of Moab, which is the epicenter for visiting Arches National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Petrified Forest National Park, and Dead Horse Point State Park. Not to mention there is every adventure activity to do there from riding ATVs to white water rafting. Moab is such a cute little town with an actual nightlife and people come from all over to back pack and discover the glorious, unique landscape by day, and drink in the bars by night. We opted to go to the most famous of all, Arches National Park and to drive through Monument Valley on the way there. The landscape of Utah changes so quickly as you are driving. Just as quickly as the desert turned into mountains and rivers in Zion, it turned back into desert, and then into bizarre rock formations and arches dotting the horizon. We found out a lot about the geology of that area. That the landscape used to be the bottom of an ocean, then the waters evaporated leaving a huge salt bed, that over millions of years had silt and sediment deposited on top of it from the rivers of the Rocky Mountains. All of that weight made the salt unstable and it pushed up all of these rock formations, which the wind and sand eroded into the arches you see today. It's quite amazing to even imagine all of this when you are standing in this alien landscape.

5. The Crystal Mill in Marble, Colorado

About an hour outside of Aspen Colorado is a little town called Marble. We had heard of this infamous Crystal Mill from the 1890's that is part of a ghost town deep into the wilderness. There are no roads to the Mill. You either need an ATV or have to hike in the wilderness for 8 hours to get to the Mill. We opted to rent an ATV from the guy who literally had a sign in his yard "ATV's for rent". Armed with a picnic from Whole Foods, a wilderness map, and an ATV, we were ready to go! We rode for hours along gorgeous scenic roads, over boulders climbing to 11,000 feet in elevation on a cliff edge to find the Mill. In the distance were the blue, ice-capped Rocky Mountains and it was just breathtaking...literally. I am so glad that my Dad drove the ATV so I could sit on the back and take photos. When we finally reached the mill, we just sat and had our picnic and tried to take it all in.

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Here's How Many People In Each State May Not Be Able To Afford Insurance If The Supreme Court Rules Against Obamacare

Thu, 2015-05-28 06:34
The Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in a major new lawsuit against Obamacare this June, and the health coverage for millions hangs in the balance.

This challenge to the Affordable Care Act, called King v. Burwell, came from longtime Obamacare opponents who claim that, because of a key phrase in the law, the federal government may provide tax credit subsidies only in states that operate their own health insurance exchanges. Thirty-four states declined to establish these marketplaces, and instead left that responsibility in the hands of the federal government.

If the Supreme Court rules for the plaintiffs in this case, it would eliminate health insurance subsidies for 7.5 million low- and moderate-income people in those states, causing most of them to become uninsured when their premiums become unaffordable without financial assistance.

Here's how the numbers break down in each state with a federally operated health insurance exchange.

Infographic by Alissa Scheller for The Huffington Post. Jonathan Cohn and Jesse Rifkin contributed reporting.

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Chicago's Most Scenic Bike Trails

Thu, 2015-05-28 05:37
Spin class is great for clearing your conscience. (Adios, salted-caramel cupcakes.) But could it be any darker or louder? This weekend, break out your real bike--the one that moves--and log some miles on these leafy, scenic trails that'll get you outdoors, off the city streets and back into pedaling your own way.

Lakefront Trail (South). More details.

Green Bay Road Trail. More details.

North Branch Trail. More details.

Kal-Haven Trail. More details.

Illinois Prairie Path. More details.

Palos Forest Preserve. More details.

Morton Arboretum. More details.

Des Plains River Trail. More details.

The 606. More details.

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Food Critic Josh Ozersky Drowned During Seizure, Medical Examiner Says

Thu, 2015-05-28 03:41
CHICAGO (AP) — The Cook County medical examiner's office says food critic Josh Ozersky, who was found dead in a Chicago hotel room earlier this month, drowned in a shower while suffering a seizure.

The 47-year-old Ozersky, known for his witty and snarky writing generally focused on his obsession with meat, was in Chicago for the James Beard Foundation Awards. He was found dead May 4 at the Conrad Chicago Hotel. The medical examiner's office announced the cause of death Wednesday.

Ozersky was a food writer for Esquire and a frequent contributor to other publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Food & Wine. He also was founding editor of New York Magazine's Grub Street blog.

Ozersky was on the awards committee for this year's Beard Foundation awards, which honors top chefs.

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Man Who Blew Pot Into Pet Chameleon's Face Acquitted Of Animal Cruelty

Wed, 2015-05-27 18:52
CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has acquitted a Chicago man of animal cruelty charges filed after the man posted a video of himself smoking marijuana with a chameleon.

After viewing the video and hearing the arguments of prosecutors and defense attorneys, Cook County Circuit Judge Robert Kuzas ruled Wednesday that Bruce Blunt's behavior was "uncalled for and immature" but didn't rise to criminal behavior. Blunt posted a Facebook video of himself smoking marijuana with the chameleon, Binna, earlier this year. That prompted a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

After his acquittal, Blunt said he blew smoke into the chameleon's mouth because it seemed to calm the aggressive reptile.

The Chicago Tribune reports ( ) Blunt said he hopes to get the chameleon back from Chicago Animal Care and Control.


Information from: Chicago Tribune,

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Jimmy John's Enforces An 'Insanely Restrictive' Dress Code On Franchisees And Their Workers

Wed, 2015-05-27 17:30
WASHINGTON -- If you want to work at a Jimmy John's sandwich shop, you'll need to bring a "killer work ethic" and a "rock star personality," as the chain's job advertisements like to say.

You're also going to need a surprisingly particular wardrobe.

Despite its efforts to cultivate a cheeky and irreverent image, the Jimmy John's franchise apparently enforces a strict grooming and dress code that's distributed to the chain's franchisees around the country. The Huffington Post obtained a copy of the most recent guide, which lays out more than two pages' worth of clothing and hygiene stipulations that sandwich-makers, delivery drivers and other employees must meet.

Workers who don't have the appropriate clothes must find them, and franchisees who fail to uphold the sometimes-confusing guidelines can be downgraded by corporate. According to Jimmy John's franchisees who spoke on the condition of anonymity, it's not uncommon for store owners to dip into their own pockets to help employees meet the corporate dress requirements.

There's nothing unique about a chain wanting uniformity across stores, and many of the dress code's stipulations -- like those restricting beard length, jewelry, clothing color or tattoos -- are fairly common in the restaurant world. (Starbucks, for instance, only recently relaxed its tattoo policy for workers.)

What sets the Jimmy John's code apart is its level of detail. One store owner described it as "insanely restrictive." The guide regulates not just the color of workers' dress shoes but the color of their shoe soles (dark brown or black only). Pants can't have any cuffs or cargo pockets. Workers' jeans can't have any "excessive stitching."

Jimmy John's Dress Code

Some stipulations from the guide:

  • If your hair happens to be dyed, you may want to take your application over to Potbelly: "Coloring of hair limited to natural hair colors only (no purple, green, etc.)"

  • The guide instructs workers on how to shave: "If you have a beard you must shave below your jaw line to create a clean distinctive line and shave a portion of your cheek to create a clean distinctive line." (Some restaurants other than Jimmy John's don't allow beards at all.)

  • Pants must be plain blue jeans or "medium tan" khakis. No "excessive stitching" allowed, though the term "excessive" is not defined. Pants must extend "below your ankle bone." Rolls or cuffs are forbidden, as are skinny jeans.

  • No high-tops allowed. Low-rise athletic shoes may be worn if they are black, white, gray or red, but "any other accent color must be limited to 25% or less of the shoe." Dress shoes must be black or dark brown, as must the soles. "All socks must cover the ankle bone."

  • Only one cause bracelet may be worn, and it must be "professionally made, for an approved national cause, must be no wider than ½ inch, must be all one color, and must be the 'rubber' style."

  • Only one plain earring per ear; hoops may have a diameter no wider than a dime's. "All holes in ears resulting from gauges or plugs that are the size of a dime and larger than 3/32" must be filled with a Kaos Softwear Flesh Tone Hider Plug that matches the color of the employee's skin. The approved sizes are from 9/16" (14mm) to 3/32" (2.4mm). Gauge holes that are larger than a dime must be covered by Band-Aids. Gauge holes that are smaller than 3.32" must be left empty."

  • "No visible tattoos or portions of tattoos are allowed."

The rules are complicated enough that Jimmy John's corporate created a pictorial guide, which HuffPost also obtained, providing examples of what's kosher and what's not. Yet even after a close reading of the dress code, it's not necessarily clear from the pictorial guide why one pair of pants or shoes is acceptable while another is not:

Jimmy John's Dress Code Pictorial

Silly as it may seem, such a strict dress code may be putting franchisees in a bind. Jimmy John's shops tend to pay close to the minimum wage, employing college and high school students looking for extra cash and low-income earners trying to make a living. The guidelines can end up forcing workers -- or their bosses -- to pay for clothes they don't already have.

If they don't, there may be a greater price to pay. Jimmy John's representatives regularly visit franchise locations, auditing owners on the cleanliness, maintenance and appearance inside their stores -- including uniform adherence. If workers are out of compliance, a franchisee's grade can slip. And that can make it harder to, say, expand and open up more locations, a common path to profitability.

The Jimmy John's dress code cuts to the heart of the problem with the franchising model. Jimmy John's operates under such a model, just like McDonald's, Subway and almost all other brand-name fast-food companies. That means most of the stores are owned and operated by individual franchisees, rather than Jimmy John's corporate. Franchisees get to buy into an established brand and business model, and in exchange they pay fees to the franchiser.

Under this arrangement, the franchisees are technically the employers, which means they -- not Jimmy John's or any other franchiser -- are on the hook when, say, labor laws get broken. Critics of this system say it allows big franchise brands to dodge accountability in the stores that bear their names. With the franchise model now under attack on several legal fronts, the franchise lobby continues to insist that franchisees are the ones who control the workers inside stores.

But that argument gets tricky when Jimmy John's corporate is setting work conditions of the most elemental sort, regulating what a worker must look like when he or she shows up for a shift. If Jimmy John's can dictate what color your hair is, how much stitching is on the pockets of your jeans, or how you shave your neck in the morning -- and essentially punish franchisees for noncompliance -- is the company not exerting at least some control over the work experience?

Jimmy John's declined to answer HuffPost's questions regarding the dress code.

In addition to its tight dress code, Jimmy John's also created a restrictive noncompete agreement for workers to sign, as HuffPost first reported last year.

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Locking Up Juvenile Offenders Doesn't Work, Pew Study Suggests

Wed, 2015-05-27 17:16
Reduced sentences and community-based treatments are more effective for most juvenile offenders than locking them in correctional facilities, according to new report by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

The report, released last month, says research shows that lengthy stays for juvenile offenders in out-of-home settings, like a correctional center or residential facility, are expensive for governments and fail to reduce young offenders’ risk of recidivism, making for a poor return on investment.

Alternatives to correctional facility placement showed better outcomes for young offenders in numerous studies cited by the Pew report.

In Texas, a study released this year found that youth in community-based treatment and surveillance programs had lower rearrest rates than those with similar criminal histories and demographic backgrounds who were sent to state facilities. A separate longitudinal study looking at adolescent offenders in Arizona and Pennsylvania found that those placed in a facility did not have a significantly different recidivism rate than those put on probation.

In Ohio, an evaluation of a state program that supervises young offenders in the community as an alternative to incarceration found that recidivism for low-risk and moderate-risk youth sent to facilities was double that of those monitored in the community. The high-risk group monitored in the community had a higher recidivism rate than those in a facility.

The Ohio program, founded in 1993, has cut the state Department of Youth Services institutional population to fewer than 510 in June 2013 from 2,600 in May 1992, according to the program’s website.

The report found mixed evidence on whether the length of a juvenile offender's incarceration affected recidivism. A study in Florida found no consistent relationship between the length confinement and the likelihood of reoffending, while a separate study in Ohio found that longer stays in state facilities were associated with higher rates of being incarcerated again.

The report noted that many states have taken action to either limit juvenile offenders’ placements in facilities or to moderate their sentences. Hawaii banned commitment to youth facilities for misdemeanor offenses, and Kentucky prohibited misdemeanor offenders and low-level felons from being committed to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

The Texas state legislature this week approved legislation juvenile justice advocacy groups called “a fundamental shift in how young people would be served by the justice system,” the San Antonio Current reported. The bill, which awaits the expected signature of Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, would keep young offenders out of large, state facilities and in regional and community programs instead. The bill also would keep 17-year-olds out of the adult justice system.

At the federal level, there is progress as well. The Youth Promise Act, aimed at keeping at-risk youth out of the prison system by awarding grants to local governments for programs that prevent juvenile delinquency, was introduced this month, for the fifth time, by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) with more bipartisan support than ever.

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Ohio Sheriff's Deputy Fired Over Racist Tweets Comparing Baltimore Protesters To 'Planet Of The Apes'

Wed, 2015-05-27 17:01
An Ohio sheriff's deputy was fired Wednesday after he admitted to posting racist comments on his Twitter account.

Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly confirmed to The Huffington Post that deputy Zachary Davis was terminated after the sheriff's office received a complaint about a series of racially insensitive tweets Davis published to his Twitter account in April.

Kelly said he received an email from a concerned community member who expressed anger over tweets Davis sent in the days after protests unfolded in Baltimore following the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Davis' tweets compared the unrest in the city to a "real life planet of the apes," and described Baltimore residents as “ignorant young people” who deserve “every stereotype they’ve ever been labeled.”

Davis' account was public early Wednesday and was later made private. His tweets were also deleted. However, prior to their removal, Kelly says he printed the comments and presented them to Davis, who admitted to publishing them.

Screenshots of the tweets were also posted online and obtained by HuffPost.

"I had nothing to say to him except that I'm disappointed and that it will not be tolerated," Kelly told HuffPost. "I found it offensive. Swiftly and surely, he was terminated."

Kelly said that Davis "did not believe he was racist" for publishing such comments.

The letter sent to the sheriff's office expressed concerns over the "insensitivity, hostility, and maliciousness" reflected in the tweets, and stated that such derogatory statements are unacceptable under any circumstances but especially troubling coming from a deputy who "holds the power of the state."

"Davis’s tweets are offensive, inappropriate, and inhumane for the way they treat the black citizens of Baltimore, striping them of their humanity and rendering them 'apes' who should be 'slayed' to be taught a lesson," the letter reads.

Davis joined the force in April. Kelly said he has met with the local NAACP president, who supports his decision.

"I’ve done everything I can do to try and correct this problem," Kelly said. "It hurts us and this community and there’s no place for it."

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Television Mogul Byron Allen Defends 'Blackface' Obama Comment

Wed, 2015-05-27 16:21
It appears television mogul and host of "Comics Unleashed" Byron Allen is standing by previous comments he made referring to President Barack Obama as a “white president in blackface.”

Earlier this week, Allen spoke to a TMZ cameraperson about his disappointment over the words the president chose in discussing last month's violent tensions in Baltimore, referring to some of those rioting as “thugs” during an April 28 press conference.

Yesterday, Allen followed up on his comments during an appearance on “TMZ Live,” elaborating on his frustrations with the Obama administration.

“What we’re witnessing is a national crisis,” he said. “When you see young black men on the streets rioting it’s because of the two Americas. And by the way, in a lot of black cities unemployment amongst black men is 50 percent.”

According to the most recent figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate for African-American males over 20 years old is 9.2 percent -- nearly twice the rate of unemployment among white men in the same age group. An October 2014 report in Al Jazeera notes high incarceration rates, lack of training, and discrimination as some of the contributing factors for the gap.

After launching his comedy career as a staff writer alongside Jay Leno and David Letterman and becoming the youngest standup comedian to appear on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson," Allen founded Entertainment Studios in 1993. Entertainment Studios is now a global media production and distribution company with eight HD networks.

In his TMZ interview, the Detroit-native and television veteran claimed his public criticism towards the president stems from a previous in-person encounter during a dinner when he personally invited the president to have a meeting about his concerns over racist comments made by former AT&T president Aaron Slator, and the broader problem of race and racism in corporate settings.

Despite his invitation, Allen has yet to hear a response from POTUS.

“As the President of the United States if you’re going to call those kids in Baltimore ‘thugs’ why don’t you talk to the chairman of AT&T who’s calling us the n-word, covering it up for two years, and say ‘you need to sit down and talk to Knoyme King and Byron Allen and resolve these issues,’" he said. "You can’t be the biggest telecommunications company in the world calling us the n-word. You’re the president, but you’re also black man.”

Prior to Slator’s April termination from AT&T, the former advertising and sales executive was the subject of a $100 million discrimination lawsuit after a 50-year-old African-American woman and employee, Knoyme King, accused him of subjecting her to discriminatory behavior and using his work phone to send racially offensive images, according to reports.

As for a resolution to Allen’s concerns, he went on record during his "TMZ Live" appearance to state that he’s not mad at President Obama and is still open to sitting down with him for a conversation on the topic.

Allen did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.

Check out more of Byron Allen’s comments in the clip above.

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The 12 Best Burgers in America

Wed, 2015-05-27 16:05
By Abbey Chase

From In-N-Out and White Castle to menus from Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Daniel Boulud, no food spans the gap between high-end and budget dining like the classic American burger. Yet while there are many great burgers in bars and restaurants across the country, there's nothing quite like burger joints, where you're spoiled for choice when it comes to toppings, sides, and shakes. Whether you're in search of the birthplace of the American burger or a spot with a more modern twist, here are ten of America's best burger joints.

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SAIC's Fashion 2015: The Walk (PHOTOS)

Wed, 2015-05-27 14:52
As the school year came to a close, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) celebrated the 81st edition of its annual runway show, Fashion 2015, culminating in THE WALK, SAIC's annual benefit supporting the production of student work and scholarships. This year, world-renowned fashion critic, journalist, and filmmaker, Diane Pernet, received SAIC's 2015 Legend of Fashion Award for her outstanding contributions in the fashion industry. Along with pioneering the advent of online fashion journalism through her website, A Shaded View on Fashion, Pernet is also credited with spearheading the fashion film genre, providing a new medium through which artists, photographers, and designers can collaborate on creative projects.

SAIC's annual production is arguably the best fashion show to grace any Chicago catwalk. Featuring more than 200 original garments crafted by undergraduate students in SAIC's internationally renowned fashion design program (boasting a long list of distinguished alumni including Cynthia Rowley, Maria Pinto, and Gary Graham), the evening was kicked off with a performance piece entitled The Dolls by artist and associate professor of Film, Video, New Media and Animation at SAIC, Claudia Hart.

Beginning with the sophomore year students who each presented one avant-garde look challenged by a limited color palette, models paraded in intricate looks that altered the human form - overly-accentuated hips and shoulders, constrictive sculptural pieces (a golden pedestal, wire cages, an accordion torso can be seen in the photo gallery), and a few unwieldy hand props including breadsticks and a ball and chain -plus a standout piece for its jarring depiction of a human face with hair and mysterious limbs flanking the ensemble.

Juniors were tasked with creating three looks for their presentation. Traces of the avant-garde explored in their sophomore year remained strong in these collections particularly in Mady Berry's vibrant Beetlejuice-esque trio beginning with a knit flowering cactus. Nana Park's monochromatic collection was a standout for her excellent millinery work and dreamy white gowns that floated gracefully down the runway.

It was in the senior year collections that dealt with deeply personal stories and showcased the brilliance of these designers and the education they have received from SAIC. Sin See Leung's boy x mAn explored her coming to terms with graduating and the duality of youth versus adulthood. Shorts suspended below the knees paired with a disproportionately tailored blazer and a jumpsuit with shortened sleeves and legs featuring contrasting prints portrayed Leung's personal challenge of crossing the threshold into adulthood. Must we relinquish our childhood once we cross that threshold? Leung's collection encourages the viewer to find the balance.

Kaleigh Moynihan's DaVina Francois (named after a mesmerizing woman she met on the streets of Chicago) brought a refreshing cast of models that breathed life into the creations they wore. Rightly so since Moynihan designed each of her pieces to fit the personality of the models wearing them. A bubble-blowing happy-go-lucky model began the collection who was soon chased down by a caveman-like aggressor brandishing a mannequin arm. Following in their chase was a stunningly voluptuous woman wielding her flower power and vivacious personality. Closing out Moynihan's collection was perhaps an introvert encased in a striped shell with a very talented model who seemed to have been on wheels the way she glided down the runway. Other standouts included Ingrid Yeo's introspective Army of Me which featured looks inspired by her clumsy personality. I loved the print details that included broken glass and coffee cup spills. Samantha Sipos presented the most wearable collection of the evening showcasing her fantastic attention to detail in her choice of textures and stitched designs in Some Wounds are Like Cages. James Oh's Finding Moon River represented his longing for a dreamy past that is impossible to reach which was particularly resonant with me because that is the reason why I photograph. My camera and my work is a coping mechanism to keep all these beautiful sights around me - hoarding memories and visions that can't possibly be felt or seen in the same light again.

Relive the incredible fashion show with exclusive backstage access and check out the wonderfully dressed attendees letting loose at the after party in the two galleries below!

The evening was sponsored by Swarovski, MacLean-Fogg, Richard and Ellen Sandor Family, Bill and Stephanie Sick, McDonald's, Ulta, Bank of America, Exelon, Gallery Aesthete, Macy's Ariel Investments, Mesirow Financial, Steller Enterprise, and Virgin Hotels.

The Walk Fashion Show:

After party at the Harris Theatre rooftop:

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