There’s a powerful new ad showing how Tennessee is helping make the Smoky Mountains a bit more beautiful this fall for those who have colorblindness.
The Tennessee Department of Tourism Development released something special — the rare instance of a state-sponsored video, featuring the experiences of five people, that genuinely tugs at the heartstrings.❤️
Every October and November, the Great Smoky Mountains are draped in gorgeous shades of reds, yellows, and oranges — sights that draw people near and far to the east side of the state. However, for about 13 million Americans with colorblindness (most of whom are men), the Volunteer State’s radiant rolling hills appear as duller, brownish versions of their true selves.
“Everybody at work was saying how pretty the colors are,” one man, who has colorblindness, says in the video — a joint effort between the state’s department of tourist development and marketing agency VML. “You don’t know that you’re missing it because you never saw it to begin with.”
To make the colorful mountains pop for people who couldn’t see them, Tennessee has installed “colorblind-less” viewfinders at three locations in the area.
The viewfinders — installed at Ober Gatlinburg, the westbound I-26 overlook near Erwin, and Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area — are equipped with glass that enables those with red-green colorblindness to see a fuller spectrum of hues, according to Knox News.
For the guys featured in the video — none of whom had ever seen the Smokies in all their red and yellow glory — the special viewfinders brought the brightness of the Tennessee mountains to life.
Their reactions speak for themselves.
“Wow,” one man muttered to himself softly, sniffling, the experience somewhat bittersweet.
“I’m glad to have seen it,” he says. “I just wish I had seen this all my life.”
“Unbelievable,” another says.
“I feel like now I know why people come from miles and states around just to see this.”
“[It’s] kind of like how I would imagine the difference between here and heaven.”
Tennessee didn’t have to move mountains, so to speak, to make the Smokies more beautiful to millions of people. There are small things we can all do in our own communities to make our schools, parks, cities, and homes more inclusive for every guest to enjoy. And that’s the truly beautiful thing.
Way to go, Tennessee.
Don’t be jealous, but the folks at Business Insider managed to get their hands on an advance copy of Joe Scarborough’s Christmas EP, “A Very Drumpf Christmas.” If the idea of a Trump-themed Christmas EP sounds too hard to believe, understand this is Joe Scarborough we’re talking about. It’s real, and it’s bound to be spectacularly lame from early accounts.
The EP includes three songs, complete with sleigh-bell jingles, lyrics about reindeer, and a track titled “The Drumpf,” a jazzy, ballad-tempo cut seemingly indebted to “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
“Oh you can save our Christmas from going kerplumf, from that orange creep that children call the Drumpf?” the band sings on “The Drumpf,” which also references former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci.
This is just creepy ex territory now https://t.co/qEuQ6uqsYJ
— Mujahed Kobbe (@Moj_kobe) November 16, 2017
Scarborough has pledged to put out an EP every month, so who knows what other holidays will receive the Trump treatment?
When 55-year old Regional Marketing VPs go to Rock n Roll Fantasy camp, learn 2 chords, and suddenly decide to chase their dreams of becoming the next Bruce Springsteenhttps://t.co/u2qNMfb0XX
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) November 16, 2017
Pretty much exactly what I imagine hell is. https://t.co/g0zOEqP10P
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) November 16, 2017
We are in hell https://t.co/2f4uvsJdhf
— Comfortably Smug (@ComfortablySmug) November 16, 2017
*holds gun to head* https://t.co/VbBUJScLFl
— jake merch 🌹🏴 (@jakefm) November 16, 2017
Joe Scarborough to release Trump-themed Christmas EP titled 'A Very Drumpf Christmas' https://t.co/zmxc0vBmd8 pic.twitter.com/YlFaTfVdxk
— Just Karl (@justkarl) November 16, 2017
Two questions 1) is the universe plugged into a power source
2) can we please yank that fuckin cord https://t.co/sUVl6GmWKP
— Josh Raby (@JoshRaby) November 16, 2017
it's about time some of his friends and family stepped in. https://t.co/LuXkatjOZX
— David Harsanyi (@davidharsanyi) November 16, 2017
As always, @JoeNBC is on the cutting edge…of last year's lame jokes. #Caring https://t.co/gC5gnX5wO0
— Derek Hunter (@derekahunter) November 16, 2017
Are you a masochist who somehow thinks 2017 hasn’t quite been torture enough? WELL, HAVE I GOT THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR YOU!!! https://t.co/7tEK0mX1Yp
— ErinSiobhan (@ErinSiobhan) November 16, 2017
2017 is almost over https://t.co/Xzvxi5QJTz
— Erica K. Landau (@ericakland) November 16, 2017
Haven't we been punished enough already https://t.co/u1B5zFs7QU
— Kristen Smith (@kristen_smith) November 16, 2017
Sure, just cram it all in now. Gotta set those goal posts high for 2018. https://t.co/lcGoIIRLpz
— Leonardo Doujinshi (@ThatCarlGuy) November 16, 2017
Does Mika get dressed up in a fringe dress and dance in a gogo cage? These two belong in a cage. https://t.co/avHA3Jgs7r
— BayAreaFrau (@bayareahausfrau) November 16, 2017
This will be what takes down Trump. https://t.co/2eiN7831NO
— Joe Berkowitz (@JoeBerkowitz) November 16, 2017
With 4m or 17% of all online ebooks being pirated, novelists including Maggie Stiefvater and Samantha Shannon say theft by fans puts their books at risk
The bestselling American fantasy novelist Maggie Stiefvater is leading a chorus of writers warning readers that if they download pirated ebooks, then authors will not be able to continue writing because they will be unable to make a living.
Stiefvater, author of the Shiver and Raven Cycle series, raised the issue after she was contacted on Twitter by a reader who told her: I never bought ur books I read them online pirated. On her website, Stiefvater later explained that, when ebook sales for the third book in the Raven Cycle Blue Lily, Lily Blue dropped precipitously, her publisher decided to cut the print run of the next book in the series to less than half of its predecessors.
This is also where people usually step in and say, but thats not piracys fault. You just said series naturally declined, and you just were a victim of bad marketing or bad covers or readers just actually dont like you that much, wrote Stiefvater, who had seen fans sharing pdfs online and was intent on proving that piracy had affected the Raven Cycle. So she and her brother created a pdf of The Raven King, which consisted of just the first four chapters, repeated, and a message explaining how piracy affected books.
You are what you eat, or so the adage goes. It is this idea that has helped the organic food industry grow into a multi-billion dollar a year industry, as people want to better not only themselves but also the environment by eating organic products. But is the “clean” food actually better for you than more commercially grown varieties? Well, the science on that one is far from settled.
There are two main arguments when it comes to the benefits of organic food, specifically crops. The first posits that the nutritional content of plants grown free of synthetic pesticides is greater than the same plants grown under normal conditions, giving those who eat them certain “health benefits”. The second is that organic farms improve animal welfare, providing a more humane environment in which to raise livestock, as well as being better for the surrounding countryside and wildlife. While the organic foods industry hold these up as fact, there are some serious doubts as to the truth of the claims.
It is claimed that organic crops contain more nutrients than non-organic foods. One analysis from Newcastle University that looked at 343 studies, for example, found that organic crops contained up to 60 percent more antioxidants than conventionally grown crops – equivalent to eating an extra one or two portions of fruit or veg a day. Antioxidants, it is claimed, are good for you as they mop up free-radicals that are known to damage DNA and increase the chance of genetic mutations.
But it’s by no means clear that consuming more antioxidants is genuinely good for you. In fact, there is strong evidence to suggest the opposite. A Cochrane review, internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care, found that rather than improving health, taking antioxidant supplements actually slightly increased mortality rates. The review included 78 randomized clinical trials involving 296,707 participants who each received either antioxidant supplements (composed of beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium), a placebo, or nothing. Those that took the supplements were up to 1.04 times more likely to die. While in high concentrations free radicals are harmful, at lower levels they may be beneficial.
The review concludes by stating that “the current evidence does not support the use of antioxidant supplements in the general population.” However, the same Newcastle University study that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition also found that these foods contain lower levels of heavy metals, such as cadmium, than conventionally grown crops. This could be down to the lower use of pesticides, but it could also be down to natural variations in crop varieties or differences in climate and soil type.
The other main advantage of going organic is the claimed benefit to the environment. To be sure, some practices employed by organic farms, such as crop rotations and the move away from monoculture, are good for the environment. But because the yield from organic farms is lower than from conventional farms, it means that they actually require more space to get the same amount of crop. This means that more land has to be cleared.
To be sure, the industrialization of agriculture is massively damaging to the environment. But other technologies such as the genetic modification of crops do have the potential to make a real difference. They can be designed to have higher yields, resist certain pests, and contain more nutrients, all of which would be highly beneficial. Basically, it’s not cut and dry. Organic foods are not objectively better for the environment, but then neither are they worse.
So if the crops aren’t necessarily better for your health or the environment, then what is it about them that makes people think they are? Well, it could have something to do with the “halo effect”. This is related to how people tend to overestimate how healthy a food is based on a single claim. For example, many people judge foodstuffs that claim to be “low in fat” as having fewer calories, meaning that people will tend to eat more of that product, even though this isn’t usually the case.
The impact of this particular psychological effect on organic foods has been tested before. Researchers from Cornell University subjected members of the public to a double-blind taste test in which they gave participants “regular” crisps, yogurt, and cookies and asked them to compare these with “organic” crisps, yogurt, and cookies. In reality, all the food being tested was organic, but overall the public estimated that the foods with an organic label had fewer calories, were lower in fat, and higher in fiber. Not only that, but they also said that they were willing to pay more for the “organic” foods, even though the participants found no significant difference in taste between the products.
While the study, which was published in the journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, was only small and the authors note that the participants may have said they would pay more for the organic products simply because they felt like that would be expected, it does raise some interesting ideas about the perception of foods labeled as organic.
In fact, the USDA has stated that the official labeling of foods as “organic” in the US does not guarantee that the products are safer or of better quality or nutrition. It has even been suggested that the labeling was developed in part to bolster the sales of domestic organic crops. “Let me be clear about one thing. An organic label is a marketing tool,” Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman is reported to have said when the new USDA organic labeling system came into play. “It is not a statement about food safety. Nor is ‘organic’ a value judgment about nutrition or quality.”
It’s also worth pointing out that many people believe that organic food is pesticide free. It’s not – organic food doesn’t use synthetic pesticides, but farmers are free to use as many “natural” pesticides as they like. And as we often point out, something being natural doesn’t make it good for you.
Organic food may have higher levels of certain nutrients, but these differences may be natural variations, and there is no evidence to suggest eating more of them are better for you anyway. Some of the agricultural practices may be better for the environment, but at the same time, others are worse. And in the end, the perceived benefits from organic foods might just be that, perceived.
When Apple announced it was getting rid of Touch ID for facial recognition, the company said it was a more secure option with only a one in 1,000,000 chance of being hacked.
“If you happen to have an evil twin, you need to protect your data with a passcode,” marketing vice president Phil Schiller joked during Apple’s iPhone X announcement.
Well, it turns out you don’t need an evil twin because Apple’s Face ID can be hacked using a mask, according to IT security researchers at Bkav.
The researchers didn’t use any special software or hacks to bypass Face ID, instead using a 3D printed frame, makeup, a silicone nose and 2D images, along with special processing on the cheeks and around the face where there are large areas of skin.
The security experts said they were able to bypass the system because they had understood how Apple’s artificial intelligence worked.
“Everything went much more easily than you expect. You can try it out with your own iPhone X, the phone shall recognise you even when you cover a half of your face,” the hackers explained.
“It means the recognition mechanism is not as strict as you think, Apple seems to rely too much on Face ID’s AI. We just need a half face to create the mask. It was even simpler than we ourselves had thought.”
The researchers claim the entire mask used to trick Face ID cost less than $A200 to create.
“We used a popular 3D printer. Nose was made by a handmade artist. We use 2D printing for other parts (similar to how we tricked Face Recognition 9 years ago). The skin was also handmade to trick Apple’s AI,” they wrote.
In closing, the security experts had a scary warning for owners of the iPhone X.
“After nearly 10 years of development, face recognition is not mature enough to guarantee security for computers and smartphones,” they wrote.
“As for biometric security, fingerprint is the best.”
This story originally appeared in news.com.au.
Juli Briskman has been hailed as a hero and fired from her job for a spur-of-the moment demonstration that quickly spread around the world
Juli Briskman found flowers on her doorstep on Monday night. Juli: I dont know you and yet I am so proud of you, an accompanying note said. Youre my hero. Truly. Thank you for standing up to this admin. We need more like you. Continue to resist. Were with you all the way. Sally M.
Briskman does not know who Sally M is, but she knows what motivated the message. In the past week, she has received media calls from as far away as Colombia and Sweden as well as her share of hate mail. One told her: I hope you get used to saying, Do you want fries with that?
It is all because of a split-second decision that made Juli Briskman a hero of the resistance and a case study in the wildly unpredictable effects of social media.
It was 3.12pm on Saturday 28 October when Donald Trump, after a round of golf, departed the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, northern Virginia. His motorcade, which included the Guardian and other journalists, overtook a female cyclist wearing a white top and cycling helmet, who responded by raising the middle finger of her left hand.
The fleet of vehicles swept on imperiously on but then slowed for a red light, and the cyclist caught up. She persisted. She flipped the bird a second time before turning right as the motorcade turned left.
A photo of her act of defiance took off on social media. The Washington Post called it the middle-finger salute seen around the world. The late-night TV host Stephen Colbert said: No one has summed up the mood of the country better Long may she wave.
Two Snapchat posts by the reality TV star Marnie Simpson have fallen foul of the UK’s advertising rules.
The Geordie Shore and Celebrity Big Brother cast member uploaded images of products from two firms that she has business relationships with, without identifying them as adverts.
This was judged to be a breach of the rules against “hidden” advertising on social media.
It is the first case of its kind to have involved Snapchat.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) normally deals with such matters by ordering offending posts to be deleted or amended.
But since Snapchat Story posts automatically self-delete 24 hours after being added, Ms Simpson has not been ordered to take any action.
The two companies involved, however, have agreed to ensure the hashtag #ad appears alongside adverts they produce in the future.
Ms Simpson could not be reached for comment.
The 25-year-old has been a “brand ambassador” for tooth polish-maker Diamond Whites for nearly two years, while her management agency, Unleashed PR, began selling a range of coloured cosmetic contact lenses marketed as being “iSpyEyes by Marnie Simpson” earlier this year.
On 20 June, Ms Simpson uploaded two images.
The first showed her posing with a Diamond Whites case with the text “50% of [sic] everything” superimposed, and a link to the company’s site.
The second featured the celebrity wearing a grey lens on one of her eyes, with the words “mrs grey coming soon” placed alongside her.
In both cases an unidentified individual contacted the ASA to complain the images had not been identified as ads.
Diamond Whites tried to defend the promotion featuring its product on the grounds that Ms Simpson’s followers would already be aware of her commercial relationship with the firm. But the watchdog did not accept that this would be known by everyone who saw the image.
Unleashed PR suggested that in its case the wording featured was so vague that consumers would not know what product was being advertised or where to buy it. But the ASA said its code still required marketing promotions to be flagged as such.
“These might be our first Snapchat rulings, but the principle behind them is as old as the hills – ads, wherever they appear, must be obviously identifiable as ads,” the authority’s chief executive Guy Parker told the BBC.
“It’s just not fair to expect people to play the detective, to work out the status of a tweet, post or story.”
Other recent cases where the advertising watchdog has intervened:
- a post by the make-up blogger Sheikhbeauty on Instagram promoting Flat Tummy Tea that did not make clear she was being paid by the drinks company
- a tweet by the TV presenter AJ Odudu that featured a photo of an Alpro dessert with text describing it as one of her favourite snacks, but without any acknowledgement that she was being paid to promote it on social media
- a video uploaded by Made In Chelsea TV star Millie Mackintosh advertising a Britvic drink that used #sp – referring to “sponsored post” – to identify its nature. The ASA said it did not think consumers would realise what the hashtag referred to
The ASA does not have the power to impose fines itself, but can refer repeat offenders – whether they are brands or the celebrities endorsing them – to Trading Standards to take further action.
However, it hopes that the negative publicity that arises from its interventions acts as deterrent enough.
Even so, the ASA acknowledged earlier this month that an increasing amount of its time was being taken up policing “influencer marketing”. And it urged marketers to put monitoring systems in place so that they themselves could spot and fix instances where celebrities had failed to use the #ad label.
Juli Briskman, a 50-year-old mother of two, said marketing company bosses called her in and fired her for obscene gesture
A woman whose picture went viral after she raised her middle finger at Donald Trump as his motorcade passed her on her bicycle has been fired from her job.
Juli Briskman was cycling in Virginia last month when she offered the gesture in a gut reaction to Trumps policies, she said.
He was passing by and my blood just started to boil, she told the Huffington Post. Im thinking, Daca recipients are getting kicked out. He pulled ads for open enrollment in Obamacare. Only one third of Puerto Rico has power. Im thinking, hes at the damn golf course again.
I flipped off the motorcade a number of times.
A photographer traveling with the presidential motorcade snapped Briskmans picture and the image quickly spread across news outlets and social media. Many hailed Briskman as a hero, with some saying she should run in the 2020 election. Late-night comedy hosts also picked up the story.
Briskman had been working as a marketing and communications specialist for a Virginia-based federal contractor, Akima, for six months. She thought it best to alert the HR department to the online fuss. Bosses then called her into a meeting, she said.
They said, Were separating from you, Briskman told the Huffington Post. Basically, you cannot have lewd or obscene things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off obscene.
She said the company was displeased she had used the image as her profile picture on Twitter and Facebook, and told her it violated social media policy and could hurt the companys reputation as a government contractor.
Briskman said she pointed out that her social media pages do not mention her employer, and that the incident happened on her own time. She also said another employee had written a profane insult about someone on Facebook, but had been allowed to keep his job after deleting the post and being reprimanded.
Virginia, however, has at will employment laws, meaning private-sector employers can fire people for any reason.
Suddenly, the 50-year-old mother of two found herself looking for a new job.
Briskman, who votes Democratic, said she planned to look for a new job with an advocacy group she believes in, such as Planned Parenthood or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
After leaving his Virginia golf club and before passing Briskman, Trumps motorcade passed a pedestrian who gave a vigorous thumbs-down gesture. Another woman had been standing outside the entrance to the golf club, holding a sign saying Impeach.
As news of Briskmans firing spread, many social media users asked why she was being penalized for expressing free speech on her own time, under the first amendment to the US constitution.
Akima did not immediately respond to a request for comment. On Monday, its website went down. Someone began a crowdfunding page online to raise money for Briskman.
Briskman said she had no regrets about the attention her public show of displeasure received. In fact, she said, she was happy to be an image of protest.
In some ways, Im doing better than ever, she said. Im angry about where our country is right now. I am appalled. This was an opportunity for me to say something.
Juli Briskman revealed that her employer, Akima LLC, fired her once they realized she was the woman in the picture, she told the Huffington Post.
On its About page, Akima says it has a wide variety of interests in government contracting, playing “leadership roles in information technology, data communications, systems engineering, software development, cybersecurity, space operations, aviation, construction, facility management, fabrication and logistics.”
Briskman said that she recently changed her Facebook profile picture to herself giving Trump’s motorcade the finger, and when Akima found out about it, its HR department notified Briskman that she had violated its policy on social media posts.
“They said, ‘We’re separating from you. Basically, you cannot have ‘lewd’ or ‘obscene’ things in your social media. So they were calling flipping him off ‘obscene.’”
Briskman said she informed the company that her social media profile did not associate her with the company in any way, but Akima reportedly was concerned that her employment with the company could negatively affect their business, as they rely on government contracts. From the Huffington Post:
Briskman, who worked in marketing and communications at Akima for just over six months, said she emphasized to the executives that she wasn’t on the job when the incident happened and that her social media pages don’t mention her employer. They told her that because Akima was a government contractor, the photo could hurt their business, she said.
According to Briskman, her termination stands in contrast to a male employee at the company, who she says posted on Facebook in a thread about Black Lives Matter, calling someone “a fucking Libtard asshole.” Briskman said he deleted the post at the company’s request and was allowed to keep his job.
Read the whole interview at the Huffington Post here.