Every Official Wine Drinking Holiday To Add To Your Calendar Right Now

There are holidays that every betch regularly celebrates: New Year’s Eve, Skanksgiving, any religious holiday we can use to get out of work, etc. These holidays ensure a chance to drink to the point of near liver failure, or serve merely as an excuse to Day Drink. TBH these days, a new episode of is one hundo p a reason to celebrate with a large glass of Sauvignon Blanc. But if you want dont want to be labeled as an alcoholic by your friends/family/therapist there are actually days to drink with less shame. They may be completely arbitrary and fake holidays, however, that you need to add to your calendar like, yesterday, because they all involve wine. And anything that involves wine is a great fucking reason to celebrate.Jot down the dates of these official wine holidays, and stock up on your wine in preparation.

We would also just like to point out that just because many of these holidays celebrate a specific wine doesn’t mean that you necessarily have to follow it to a T. Like, if you don’t want to drink red wine on National Red Wine Day because it falls on August 28th and what kind of monster drinks red wine in the summer, we’re not going to judge you. So long as you celebrate with some type of fermented grape, you’re doing the right thing.

February 18: National Drink Wine Day

We just missed this one (sad!), but mark it for next year. Any holiday that’s dedicated to drinking wine specificallyas opposed to swirling it around in your glass and pretending to know shit about it, I guessis an automatic yes in our books. Is “National Drink Wine Day” basically just every Monday night for me? Maybe, but who asked you, mom?

April 24: Sauvignon Blanc Day

Good for all of you Kim Crawford lovers out there. Sauvignon Blanc Day was created in 2010 specifically to encourage consumption of this delicious white wine. So, drink up.

May 9: World Moscato Day

This holiday is even newer, with its humble beginnings originating in 2012. This holiday was actually founded by a winery (Gallo Family Vineyards) and its moscato production has risen 2 percent since. So yeah, another great holiday (and marketing ploy). But we’re not mad. Maybe call out of work the next day so you can tend to your inevitable sugar hangover.

May 25: National Wine Day

If you don’t know what a holiday called “National Wine Day” entails, you definitely can’t fucking sit with us.

May 26: National Chardonnay Day

A personal favorite, this floating holiday is designed for you to celebrate it in tandem with Memorial Day. So break out the Kendall Jackson and get ready to spend a weekend drowning in wine. For the troopsor whatever Memorial Day celebrates.

June 11 (and/or/and August 14th): National Ros Wine Day

Ros all fucking day. A wine so special, it deserves two dates for optimal celebration.

July 25: National Wine and Cheese Day

Wine and cheese: the greatest food pairing in the history of time (it’s a scientific fact). Naturally, this is a great excuse to eat all of the cheese and chase it with all of the wine. Just don’t do it in that fucking gross cheese-y wine shooter. Buy some brie like a goddamn adult.

August 4: National White Wine Day

Moscato, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc. The more, the merrier to celebrate.

August 28: National Red Wine Day

We really don’t discriminate against any varietal of wine, even if it’s not exactly seasonally appropriate.

November 4: National Wine Tasting Day

How does this differ from National Drink Wine Day? I really have no clue, but then again, why am I complaining? Carry on, nothing to see here.

November 7: International Merlot Day

This one is going global. Around the world, raise your glass to all of our alcoholic soul sisters. Then, pour one out for them because apparently America is the only country that gets not one, but 13 ways to celebrate our favorite drink.

December 31: Champagne Day

Definitely not a coincidence this falls on New Years Eve. Now we just have to get national boozy brunch day to become a thing…

Read more: http://www.betches.com/every-official-wine-holiday

The giant-killing FA Cup is no longer such a football fairytale | Matthew Engel

Football loves a fairytale especially if it involves an underdog and the FA Cup. But the reality is rather murkier

In an ever-changing game in an ever-changing world, there is something wonderfully reassuring about the FA Cup. Even its language has a quasi-liturgical permanence. Every year the football writers tell us about the romance and magic of the cup, which is a great leveller. Feats of giant-killing are performed against goliaths by minnows, a word first identified by The Guardian as a cliche in 1961. (Quite how minnows are meant to do this is unclear; food poisoning, presumably.)

And these ritual incantations have had a fine old workout these past few weeks, even before minnows Lincoln beat goliaths Burnley to become the first non-league team since 1914 to reach the tournaments last eight. Whatever happens next, the 9,000 Lincoln supporters allotted tickets for the next game at Arsenal on 11 March will have a splendid day out. Beating Arsenal? That would be a fairytale.

But these lower-division successes, like once-a-century storms and floods, are now getting more frequent. Already this decade, Bradford City have reached the final of the League Cup and the last eight of the FA Cup. Four years ago, Luton, then also outside the league, knocked Norwich out of the Premier League.

It would be good simply to celebrate the joy of all this. But just as unusually early daffodils can be simultaneously delightful while portending uncomfortable truths about climate change, these unexpected results also say something much less fairytale-ish about football.

This seasons other over-achievers, Sutton United, whose own FA Cup run was ended by Arsenal last Monday, immediately found themselves immersed in a scandalette when their reserve goalkeeper 20-stone Wayne Shaw, AKA the roly-poly goalie, ostentatiously ate a pie on the subs bench during the Arsenal match.

Shaw had previously been in line for elevation to temporary status as a national treasure, or at least a listed building. However, the pie-eating appeared to be connected to a bet offered by a firm called Sun Bets a company itself connected to a well-known newspaper that is not averse to stunts. These novelty bets are not part of mainstream bookmaking, but are funded by the marketing departments. Shaw has now left Sutton, and multiple investigations are under way. Fifteen minutes of fame should always be handled with care.

When analysing the shock results themselves, one also has to follow the money. Sutton got to the last 16 by beating Leeds, who put out their second team. Leedss priority this season is to climb back on to the Premier League gravy train after 13 years absence; the FA Cup was a much less lucrative distraction. The exits of Liverpool, Newcastle and Brighton all have similar explanations.

Wayne Shaw eats a pie on the touchline. Photograph: BBC

The football historian David Goldblatt remembers Billy Bremner, the great Leeds terrier of the 60s and 70s, saying that if he had not won the FA Cup his career would have been incomplete. You couldnt imagine anyone saying that now with any degree of earnestness. The top players think of it as a bit of an afterthought. The financial differences are so stark compared to the League, theres no comparison.

This can also be seen as a product of English footballs globalisation. Whereas every homegrown, jumpers-for-goalposts kid used to fantasise above all about climbing the steps and lifting the Cup, this has far less resonance abroad, where the Premier League is everything. The cup has never meant anything like as much in other footballing countries, says Goldblatt. In Italy, its hardly taken seriously at all.

Foreign players and fans are not steeped in the mystique, and cup final day no longer clears the shopping centres the way it once did. Only the BBC, clinging desperately to one of the last baubles in its denuded sporting treasury, still hypes it all up as though it was 1973.

English football is also more mobile than it once was. Clubs can now rise and, above all, fall, like characters in a Dickens novel. Goliaths are turned into minnows, and sometimes vice versa, depending primarily on the ownership. It matters not whether the self-appointed saviour, jetting in to proclaim undying devotion to a team he has only just been told about, is a money-launderer, a property speculator or an egomaniac. The question, which only gets answered with time, is whether he plans to inject money or extract it. Disaster is a constant threat ask any Leeds supporter.

Luton were once above Norwich in the pecking order. In 1960, Burnley were champions of England. In 1987, they were not just languishing in the depths of the old fourth division, but had to win their final match to stay in the league at all. They did win, and the team they sent down instead was Lincoln. Now they are big-time again. So the whole notion of giant-killing has become muddied.

Burnley were trying harder than most last week. Seemingly safe from relegation, but with no higher ambitions, the FA Cup might have been up their street. But even if Lincoln do go on and win the final an outcome more improbable even than Leicester becoming champions there will still be an underlying sense that fairytales are not what they were. (And on this weeks evidence, their manager, Danny Cowley, will have to watch his back.).

The greatest of them all happened in 1972: Hereford United of the southern league v Newcastle, not with their reserves but at full power, complete with Malcolm Macdonald, the Wayne Rooney of his day. It was Hereford 2, Newcastle 1, after much drama (the match even has its own Wikipedia page). Journalist and Hereford fan Tom Knight was on the terraces as a 16-year-old that day. Nothing really ever happened in Hereford, he recalls now. Then we thought we were suddenly part of the world, the world where things happen.

Four decades later, Hereford went bust after falling into the hands of sugar daddies who turned sour. Last season, the successor club were in a league so low they were playing villages: not just minnows, but plankton. They are slowly climbing again. Well-intentioned benefactors welcome.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/25/fa-cup-giants-minnows-no-longer-football-fairtytale

My Shop: How business rates are hitting home – BBC News

Image caption Which of these shopkeepers are the winners and losers with the business rate changes?

There is growing unease in the business community as it braces itself for England’s first rate revaluation since 2010.

The government is promising help in the Budget, but critics are calling the rates system itself “unfit for purpose in the 21st century”.

As the commercial rental value of business premises are brought up to date, there will inevitably be some big losers. (You can learn more about the process here.)

To get a snapshot ‘rate reaction’, we asked six shopkeepers we have previously profiled for our My Shop video series to reveal how they will be affected in April. Some are angry, some pleasantly surprised – and one thinks he knows a better way.

‘How will I survive?’

Image caption Mike Wells runs his self-proclaimed “bloke’s paradise” in Essex

“Trying to find the extra cash is going to be close to impossible,” complains Mike Wells.

His shop Uptomen in Leigh-on-Sea is devoted to male products, from shaving foam to belt buckles. Surprisingly, it attracts a mainly female clientele, looking for gifts for the men in their lives.

He is one of the unlucky shopkeepers who will pay more when new business rates kick in. 1,000 more a year to be exact.

This is because the ‘rateable value’ of his shop, which he runs alone, has gone up 2,000 to 17,250.

“My own personal wage is way below minimum wage,” he explains, “and has been at the same level for almost five years, just 4 per hour. How will I survive?”

“Landlords are generally a greedy bunch and whilst they are happy to raise rents when times are good, they (in my experience) never reduce them when times are hard.”

“A tax based on a business’s ability to pay would be much fairerOh yes, one of those already exists. Corporation tax.”

‘Pips are squeaking’

Image caption Former naval officer Andrew Gadsden runs All About Tea in Portsmouth

Spare a thought for tea-importer Andrews Gadsden in Portsmouth.

He made a Brexit bonus by stocking up on lots of tea in dollars before the referendum – but much of those savings will now be needed to pay his rates bill.

He is looking at a 44% rise, as the rateable value of his warehouse-cum-cafe goes up from 18,997 to 27,346.

“To stand still I must sell 20,000 more tea or reduce staffing – that’s the reality,” he says.

The high value of his large premises means that he has never qualified for any relief – which the government offers to small businesses in lower property bands.

“Effectively this [rate rise] will come out of my pocket, a pay cut for me.”

“Mrs May says ‘Britain is open for business’. Well the pips are squeaking.”

Crates and rates

Image caption Catch Steve Everitt’s on the right day and you will find him dressed as his beloved Bilko

Not all our shopkeepers are losing out.

When he turned 50, Steve Everitt decided to follow his dream and build a Phil Silvers-themed memorabilia shop in Coventry.

In his first year of business, 2015, he was based in an old shipping container in the FarGo Village mall. He did all his paperwork and was pleased to find his crate generated zero rates.

However, when he graduated to a more conventional retail space in the mall last year he had to pay 565. It would have been free but retail relief was abolished that year, he recalls sadly.

The latest revaluation has returned his rates to zero for 2017.

In the new system business properties rated at up to 12,000 pay zero rates (the threshold used to be 6,000).

It’s good news for a shop that runs on passion and niche marketing.

‘I’m not sure it’s fair’

Image caption Carin Mansfield’s clothes take inspiration from centuries-old English worker styles

Clothes maker Carin Mansfield also benefits from the threshold change.

She makes ‘new vintage’, hand-made clothes that are expensive, but she says will last for 50 years – long enough to survive around seven business rate revaluations.

Her small shop IN-KU is near Warren Street in central London – but it’s tiny and actually doesn’t get a huge amount of footfall.

When it was rated back in 2010, her value was set at 6,500. She paid around 50 per month to Camden Council, she says.

Her new rateable value is 9,000. Despite the rise, she now doesn’t have to pay anything.

“I am not sure if it is fair to use the square footage as a calculation [for business rates],” she says.

“IN-KU has very small square footage, but it works for my purpose.”

‘Don’t complain’

Image caption Cheaper, larger commercial lets in the north have allowed Colin Shenton’s business model to expand

Ziferblat is a small franchise of “pay per minute” cafes that are thriving since expanding outside of London, where commercial rents are cheaper.

In these innovative cafes, you can consume as much food, drink and wi-fi as you like – on the clock.

“The effect on us is neutral,” explains owner Colin Shenton.

“Our rates in Manchester rise by 15%, in Liverpool it stays the same and in Leeds it drops by a third.”

Having a geographical spread has protected them, as commercial property prices vary across the country.

“It must be fair that a small retailer in a market town pays less than a multinational on Bond Street,” says Mr Shenton.

“Retailers should not complain,” he reckons. “In theory, higher rents should mean higher turnover from their more desirable location.”

What really matters is the multiplier that local councils apply to the valuations, he adds.

‘If I won the lottery…’

Image caption Jon Sharkey also plays in a progressive metal band at night on Liverpool’s eclectic music scene

Jon Sharkey’s music t-shirt business in Liverpool’s St. Quiggins centre is barely big enough to park a van in – in fact it doesn’t even have solid walls.

He’s chuffed that he’s been nominated for ‘Best New Business’ at this year’s Liverpool Retail Awards – alongside well-known names such as Victoria’s Secret.

Though business-savvy, he is not entirely sure how his business rates have changed. His significant outgoings are streamlined into one payment he makes to the people who run the shopping mall. It’s an arrangement he prefers.

“When I was researching potential sites for my business, the cheapest high street units I could find in the city centre started at more than seven times my current annual rent,” he says.

And many of those units still lie empty, he points out.

“If it were up to me, every major city would have a building like ours, filled with small starter units, rented out to young independent entrepreneurs with all major bills included in the rent and then handled by the building owners.

If I won the lottery, I’d do it myself!”

To see the video about Jon Sharkey’s shop and all the others mentioned here, visit the My Shop page. The series by the BBC Business Unit focuses on distinctive, independent shops and is filmed on a smartphone. To suggest a shop email us. For the latest updates about the series follow video journalist Dougal Shaw on Twitter or Facebook.

Related Topics

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39045914

Fuck Thigh Gaps, Ab Cracks, And Back Dimples

Did you know that getting a thigh gap, a defined ab crack, or the goddess-like back dimples will make you more beautiful, valuable, and happy?

If you scroll through social media, or popular health and fitness resources, and soak in the plethora of motivational memes and images displaying these features, you may be inclined to think so. Theres no shortage of these hot, new, must have, this-is-what-a-real-woman-looks-like traits being featured along side, of course, the accompanying diet tricks, gimmicks, and exercises to get them.

But, and Ill try to put this delicately: claiming features like thigh gaps, ab cracks, and back dimples as must have features is absolute bullshit. (So much for being delicate, but its true.)

No physical feature or body shape makes you more or less valuable.

Apparently our bodies are walking resumes, and these hot new physical features displayed by celebrities, fitness professionals, social media icons, and photo-shopped models are just items were supposed to add to it with the expectation that well be more beautiful and valuable. So what if your anthropometry and genetic make-up makes certain it features physically impossible to obtain? Doesnt matter; these are the standards, and youd better try to fit the mold if you want to be beautiful.

Enough with the body-shaming bullshit.

And I mean all of it. Any group claiming X is the new Y or spitting mantras that begin with Real women needs to end. Every body is unique. There is no single feature that defines beauty or self-worth or fitness. Look at it this way: no one else (except an identical twin) has your genetic makeup; youre truly one of a kind. So why do we think its acceptable to declare single features or shapes as must have or ideal? Why do some think its motivational to attempt to shove every woman into a single mold?

Some women are tall, some are short. Some have long limbs, some have short limbs. Some have physical limitations, some dont appear to have any. Some are thick and some are thin. Some achieve results more quickly and others have to work harder to make any discernible progress. Women come in a variety of shapes and sizes and so this declaration of must have features is abhorrently ridiculous. And stupid. And degrading.

A woman I once worked with had what would be described as a short and stalky physique; she despised it. I just wish I was taller so I could have long and lean muscles, she said during our first meeting. The marketing messages and images of long and lean muscles being something women should desire were seared into her mind. This was a battle she could never win because she cant change her anthropometry.

We had a conversation about changing her perspective and the need to stop wasting energy and berating herself for things she cant control. She loved the idea of being able to love and embrace her body, but knew it wasnt a quick transition. It would be a process.

The plan of action we created: put her energy and focus on what her body could do with strength training. She would begin by learning basic exercises with the goal of improving her performance each time a workout was repeated. Outside of the gym she was instructed to pause and reflect when she start having the I hate my short body thoughts. When those thoughts began to bubble to the surface, she had to stop the conversation. Once she successfully paused, she would then redirect her focus to be grateful for something her body could do. For example, instead of saying, I wish I had a long and lean appearance she would stop the conversation from progressing like it normally would and instead say something like, Im grateful that I have ample energy to play with my kids, or I dominated todays workout.

The energy that previously went into hating her body shape was redirected toward strength training and other elements she could control. The premise was simple, yet powerful: her goal was to discover what her body could do, and then do more. With strength training she began with a beginner program and improved her performance each time she repeated a workout. Squats, in particular, came naturally to her and she progressed quickly. She began with goblet squats to learn proper technique and then switched to barbell back squats to take advantage of the greater loading potential. Her strength increased, and more plates were slapped onto the barbell.

A beautiful transformation occurred: as she progressed with strength training, for the first time she could recall, she was actually proud of her body. She was flabbergasted at her bodys abilities and previously unrealized strength. I didnt know I could be this strong! she exclaimed at the end of a workout.

These gym moments proved valuable when old thoughts crept into her mind. Over time, the previous, I wish my body thoughts became less frequent, and were quickly replaced with empowering statements such as her ability to squat more than she thought possible: This is what my body can do. Im going to make most of it, and then do even more, because I can.

Embracing what her body could do led to an increase in self-confidence and happiness. She was no longer focused on things she couldnt control (her limb length) and highlighted her abilities (with strength training). She began to care less about what other people declared women should look like and chose her own values.

So I say once again: fuck thigh gaps, ab cracks, and back dimples. Embrace your body; discover what it can do; find your natural strengths and highlight them; do things that make you feel good; become the best damn version of yourself. And encourage every other woman to do the same.

You can, and should, embrace your body and all its features, and you should encourage every other woman to do the same.

Thats one of the many overlooked benefits of strength training: it allows you to discover what your body can do and increases confidence. Strength training doesnt discriminate; it doesnt care what your age is, any limitations you possess, or what body shape you have. Strength training is for everyone.

Look, Im not suggesting any of this it body features and standards proclaimed to be ideal will ever die out; there will always be traits and features considered desirable and others declared must-repair flaws and tips, tricks, and products to help us get or remove them.

But heres the great news: we can exit these conversations.

We have the choice to refuse this nonsense.

We can say, Some women have thigh gaps, and thats cool. Some women dont, and thats cool too. Now, excuse me while I go appreciate my body for the awesome things it can do instead of obsessing over physical features some source is trying to convince me is important and valuable.

Every woman should appreciate her body, and take the necessary steps to get there if shes not already. No physical feature, size, or shape equates to value, worth, and beauty.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/nia-shanks/2017/02/fuck-thigh-gaps-ab-cracks-and-back-dimples/

Our Final Oscar Predictions

And just like that, the Oscar race is over.(Just like that meaning after months of tiresome campaigning and one of the most heated Best Picture debates in history.)

Voting ended Tuesday,so theres no more time to haggle over who will score Hollywoods heftiest insignia. Having covered awards season since it began in September, heres my humble take on who will win, and who should, at Sundays Oscars.



Nominees:Arrival / Fences / Hacksaw Ridge / Hell or High Water / Hidden Figures / La La Land / Lion / Manchester by the Sea / Moonlight

Will win: After months of festival buzz and precursor beacons, the two-pony La La Land/Moonlight battle found an 11th-hour challenger in box-office smash and SAG Awards champ Hidden Figures. If the Academy prefers navel-gazing escapism, itll be La La Land, a much-needed respite from our political horror show. But Moonlight and Hidden Figures offer a social consciousness that La La cant muster they are, in essence, more important movies. In the end, Hollywood loves Hollywood, and with a record-tying sum of nominations (14!), well probably see a city of stars on Oscar night.

Should win:If Best Picture were truly about anointing the years best movie, the dynamic storytelling inMoonlight presented as three chapters in the life of a boy shielding himself from the worlds merciless strictures would win outright.



Nominees:Damien Chazelle, La La Land / Mel Gibson, Hacksaw Ridge / Barry Jenkins, La La Land / Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea / Denis Villeneuve, Arrival

Will win:If La La Land is destined for Best Picture, the Academy might toss Best Director to Barry Jenkins (Moonlight). Gotta stay woke. But most signs point to Damien Chazelle (La La Land), who scored the predictive Directors Guild prize. Chazelles win would follow the Academys recent inclinations toward the categorys most technically ambitious nominee(Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu for Birdman and The Revenant, Alfonso Cuarn for Gravity, Ang Lee for Life of Pi). From its single-take freeway dance party to the culminating dream ballet, theres no denying that La La is a dazzling swirl.

Should win:To combine the fractured triptych of Moonlight into a cohesive character study requires the utmost discipline. To make it a visually stirring sociological screed with a relatively small budget is a feat, especially for second-time director Barry Jenkins. If anyone should unseat him, its Denis Villeneuve (Arrival),a master of nerve-shattering extraterrestrial drama.


Sony Pictures Classics

Nominees:Isabelle Huppert, Elle / Ruth Negga, Loving / Natalie Portman, Jackie / Emma Stone, La La Land / Meryl Streep, Florence Foster Jenkins

Will win:Isabelle Huppert has superseded Natalie Portman as Emma Stones key competition. The decorated French actress has never received an Oscar nomination, so a win for Huppert doubles as a de facto lifetime appreciation nod. But Stone grabbed the SAG Award, which best predicts the acting races. (Huppert wasnt even nominated.) Shes also a charm machine whose movie is far less morally confounding than Hupperts.

Should win:Isabelle Hupperts work in Elle is a master class of subdued emotions and unconventional appraisals. But if theres anyone who transformed on screen last year, its Natalie Portman. Her tightrope walk as a newly widowed Jackie Kennedy was both an impersonation and an impressionistic reading on an impossibly scrutinized historical figure. At every turn, she seemed close to combusting in all the right ways. Like Jackie herself, Portman held it together like someone who has mastered the art of performance. Actors dream of roles this rich.


Roadside Attractions

Nominees:Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea / Andrew Garfield, Hacksaw Ridge / Ryan Gosling, La La Land / Viggo Mortensen, Captain Fantastic / Denzel Washington, Fences

Will win:Casey Affleck has steamrolled through awards season,despite the media attention paid to his resurfaced sexual harassment allegations. Affleck grabbed just about every accolade, until the SAG Awards, which have correctly predicted this category for the past 10 years, threw its support behind Denzel Washington instead. Voters may not want to honor another alleged abuser, so bet on Washington, whos made a lot of friends during his long tenure in Hollywood.

Should win:Ignoring Afflecks alleged transgressions is a big ask, but its hard to argue that his mumbly turn as a grief-stricken janitor wasnt one of the years first-rate screen performances. As a backup, Viggo Mortensen remains king.



Nominees: Viola Davis, Fences / Naomie Harris, Moonlight / Nicole Kidman, Lion / Octavia Spencer, Hidden Figures / Michelle Williams, Manchester by the Sea

Will win:If youre going to bet the farm on one prediction, make it Viola Davis.She won a Tony for Fences in 2010, and shes scored almost every major precursor prize for playing the same role on the big screen. Its fierce work, snot hovering on her upper lip during teary confrontations with Denzel Washington.It helps that two previous losses make it seem like Davis turn, even if her role is too hefty for the supporting realm.

Should win:Frankly, every nominee in this category has done more interesting work elsewhere. Ill give Davis the benefit of the doubt,despite the category fraud.


The Weinstein Co

Nominees: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight / Jeff Bridges, Hell or High Water / Lucas Hedges, Manchester by the Sea / Dev Patel, Lion / Michael Shannon, Nocturnal Animals

Will win:Think of the Golden Globes and SAG Awards as auditions for the Oscars. Delivering a dynamic acceptance speech can galvanize support, which bodes well for Mahershala Ali, who gave one of the seasons strongest sermons the weekend that Donald Trump enacted his travel ban. Ali doesnt appear in Moonlight that much, but he does the most with his screen time, humanizing the sort of drug-dealer character often reduced to clichs. If theres an underdog out there, its Dev Patel. The Lion star scored the BAFTA a couple of weeks ago, and you never know how many babies Harvey Weinstein has kissed on Patels behalf.

Should win:Jeff Bridges is pretty Jeff Bridges-y in Hell or High Water, and the Lion script doesnt let Dev Patel flex enough cinematic muscles. Toss them aside for a trifecta of surprising performances, none of which outpaces Mahershala Ali, who speaks magnitudes with the blink of an eye.



Nominees:Damien Chazelle, La La Land /Yorgos Lanthimos and Efthimis Filippou, The Lobster / Kenneth Lonergan, Manchester by the Sea / Mike Mills, 20th Century Women /Taylor Sherdian, Hell or High Water

Will win:If theres one La La Land win worth protesting, it would be this. Despite the movies charming flourishes, Damien Chazelles script is hardly its hallmark. But this is a tough category to predict because the Writers Guild Awards classified Moonlight (inspired by an unpublished play) as an original screenplay, whereas the Academy calls it an adapted work. Unless voters opt for an across-the-board La La sweep, this seems like Kenneth Lonergans game. A previous nominee for You Can Count On Me, Lonergan won the BAFTA and has a reputation as one of Americas finest writers, both onstage and on the big screen.

Should win:A vote for The Lobster is a vote for all the weird little movies that mainstream audiences dont appreciate enough, and Manchester by the Sea boasts rare soul-stirring dialogue that mirrors humanity. But 20th Century Women is a dream of a script, using mixed perspectives and the subtle passage of time to craft a feminist reverie.



Nominees:Luke Davies, Lion /Eric Heisserer, Arrival / Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney, Moonlight / Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi, Hidden Figures / August Wilson, Fences

Will win:August Wilson won a Pulitzer for Fences, so whats to say he wouldnt score a posthumous Oscar for its script too? Moonlight and Arrival, thats what. They won the Writers Guild prizes, and its hard to believe the Academy wouldnt recognize the power of Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraneys delicate triptych.

Should win:It really feels like there arent many movies in the world like Moonlight.


ESPN Films

Nominees:13th / Fire at Sea / I Am Not Your Negro / Life, Animated / O.J.: Made in America

Will win:O.J.: Made in America has 7.5 hours working for it how can anyone vote against something so sprawling? Working against it: arguments that the acclaimed examination of O.J. Simpsons murder trial, which also aired as an ESPN miniseries, is technically a miniseries. In that case, one of its thematic cousins 13th or I Am Not Your Negro could seize its trophy. Both movies have seen a ton of positive press over the past few months, and Negro benefits from an 11th-hour theatrical bow that has proven lucrative.

Should win:What a doozy of a category and Weiner, one of 2016s best movies, isnt even nominated! O.J. is a feat of nonfiction storytelling, but few race documentaries are as bold and succinct as I Am Not Your Negro.


Amazon Studios

Nominees:A Man Called Ove / Land of Mine / The Salesman / Tanna / Toni Erdmann

Will win: The much-lovedToni Erdmann seemed like a runaway until Donald Trumps travel ban risked preventingThe Salesman director Ashgar Fahardi, one of Irans most distinguished filmmakers, from attending the Oscars. Voters can resist Trumps politics by rewarding Fahardis film.

Should win:Even without Trumps disruption, The Salesman deserves this for its complex portrait of a decaying marriage.



Nominees: Kubo and the Two Strings / Moana / My Life as a Zucchini / The Red Turtle / Zootopia

What will win:Zootopia,a surprisingly topical movie about prejudice and racial profiling, made $1 billion at the global box office.

What should win:Zootopia is an acceptable choice, but the beautiful Kubo and the Two Strings raises the bar for animated movies.


Fox Searchlight

Nominees:Mica Levi, Jackie / Justin Hurwitz, La La Land /Dustin OHalloran and Hauschka, Lion / Nicholas Britell, Moonlight / Thomas Newman, Passengers

Who will win:La La Land is a musical, and musicals tend to dominate the music categories. Imagine.

Who should win:Before the first frame of Jackie, Mica Levis score announces itself with haunting force. It twists the unconventional biopic into a psychodrama that plays like a horror piece. Theres nothing like it.



Nominees:Audition (The Fools Who Dream), from La La Land / Cant Stop the Feeling, from Trolls / City of Stars, from La La Land / The Empty Chair, from Jim: The James Foley Story / How Far Ill Go, from Moana

Will win:Again, prepare for musical dominance, with a possible upset from Lin-Manuel Mirandas Moana anthem, which could split the La La Land votes. City of Stars has always been front and center in the La La marketing, now playing atop television spots touting the movies awards glory. But Audition (The Fools Who Dream) is more powerful, a Broadway-esque showboat that speaks to the storys themes. Regardless,prevalence counts. Expect City of Stars to serenade its way to the Oscar stage.



Best Film Editing
Will win: La La Land / Should win: La La Land

Best Cinematography
Will win: La La Land / Should win: Arrival

Best Costume Design
Will win: Jackie / Should win: Jackie

Best Production Design
Will win: La La Land / Should win: Arrival

Best Visual Effects
Will win: The Jungle Book / Should win: The Jungle Book

Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Will win: Star Trek Beyond / Should win: A Man Called Ove

Best Sound Editing
Will win: La La Land / Should win: Deepwater Horizon

Best Sound Mixing
Will win: La La Land / Should win: Arrival

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/oscar-predictions-2017_us_58a70d52e4b07602ad53e286?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Little Boy’s Family Decided To Surrender His Dog, So He Left A Heartbreaking Note

In an ideal world, all animals adopted out from shelters would be great fits for their families and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. One family was recently heartbroken about surrendering their furry friend when they brought him to the Humane Society of Utah in hopes of giving him a second chance at finding a forever home. The dog, named Rhino Lightning, is playful and rambunctious, and he was accidentally injuring the smallest members of the house when he played.

What made this surrender different was the spiral-bound notebook full of instructions written by the boy who so clearly loved his dog. Humane Society staff had never seen anything like it before and they were committed to following his instructions to the T.

The note was addressed to the new family Rhino would go home with. The little boy called him a “striped dream” and said his “cheeks make a lot of slobber.” He also gave instructions about the pup’s likes and dislikes.

“He was my puppy,” the kid wrote of the 3-year-old dog. “I really hope he is in a good environment. I really miss him.”

The shelter publicized the note along with Rhino’s adoption application, noting they would like to find someone willing to keep the dog’s name who would be interested in following the instructions left by his previous owner.

Youtube / Arin Greenwood

“It was very heartbreaking to see from his perspective, his relationship and friendship with this dog,” said DeeAnn Shepherd, marketing director for the Humane Society of Utah. “But we hope that he sees the story and knows that his best friend is going to find a new home.”

(via TODAY and Huffington Post)

Read More: When Thousands Were Forced To Evacuate, These Furry Friends Were Left Behind

Read more: http://www.viralnova.com/dog-with-notebook/

New voice for disabled consumers – BBC News

Image copyright Science Photo Library
Image caption Disabled employees and customers will be able to get their views across

Disabled people will get a fresh chance to make their voices heard as consumers, thanks to a government initiative to be announced on Tuesday.

Eleven sector champions are being appointed to help make different areas of business more accountable to the disabled.

They will cover business sectors including banking, tourism, retail and public transport.

The initiative is being launched by the Department for Work and Pensions.

“There are currently more than 11 million disabled people in the UK and the spending power of their households – ‘the purple pound’ – is almost 250bn,” a spokesperson said.

“But many businesses are missing out on this potential customer base by having everyday products and services which aren’t available to disabled people – who, as a result, are regularly excluded from experiences and opportunities that many others take for granted.”

The sector champions are:

  • Helen Drury, corporate responsibility manager at shopping centre owner Intu (retail)
  • Suzanne Bull, chief executive of Attitude is Everything (music)
  • Huw Edwards, public affairs director at UKActive (leisure)
  • Chris Veitch, co-founder of Access New Business (tourism)
  • Robbin Sheppard, chairman of Bespoke Hotels (hotels)
  • Dan Brooke, head of marketing, press and publicity at Channel 4 (media)
  • Sam Phillips, chief marketing officer at Omnicom Media Group (advertising)
  • Michael Connolly, regional training and standards manager at OCS Ltd (airports)
  • Jane Cole, managing director at Blackpool Transport Services (buses)
  • Trudie Hills, disability manager at Lloyds Bank (banking)
  • Jo Twist, chief executive of UKIE (gaming)

The aim is for them to “amplify the voices of disabled customers and employees within their own industries”, promoting changes and improvements that will make a difference to them.

At the same time, they will strive to show other businesses the merits of making disabled customers a priority.

The Minister for Disabled People, Work and Health, Penny Mordaunt, said: “As a public advocate for accessibility, these champions will help businesses realise the value of disabled consumers and the importance of catering to every customer’s needs.

“These industries must become fully inclusive. Not being able to access the high street, products and services, transport or simply to access a loo jars with our national values: it must change.”

Suzanne Bull of Attitude is Everything, an organisation that aims to improve deaf and disabled people’s access to live music, said everyone should have the right to enjoy the arts.

“Only 3.6 million of the UK’s 11 million disabled adults attended a live music event last year,” she said.

“Fear of discrimination can deter deaf and disabled people from attending music events, but without their participation change won’t occur.

“I’ll be making a solid business case for accessibility and will be sharing best practice and innovative ideas, many of which don’t only just focus on physical access, and demonstrate that ways of working can be adopted by other industries with a high degree of success.”

Disability Works

  • The BBC’s business and economics unit is looking at how businesses work with people with disabilities and how disabled people have made business work for them
  • A range of stories will feature across online, TV and radio this week
  • On Twitter and Facebook you can follow the hashtag #DisabilityWorks and at the end of the week you can download the Ouch podcast

Disability Works: Breaking down barriers in business

More Disability stories

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39028509

Top 10 Reasons School Choice Is No Choice

On the surface of it, school choice sounds like a great idea.

Parents will get to shop for schools and pick the one that best suits their children.

Oh! Look, Honey! This one has an exceptional music program! That one excels in math and science! The drama program at this one is first in the state!

But thats not at all what school choice actually is.

In reality, its just a scam to make private schools cheaper for rich people, further erode the public school system and allow for-profit corporations to gobble up education dollars meant to help children succeed.

Heres why:

1) Voucher programs almost never provide students with full tuition.

Voucher programs are all the rage especially among conservatives. Legislation has been proposed throughout the country taking a portion of tax dollars that would normally go to a public school and allowing parents to put it toward tuition at a private or parochial school. However, the cost of going to these schools is much higher than going to public schools. So even with your tax dollars in hand, you dont have the money to go to these schools. For the majority of impoverished students attending public schools, vouchers dont help. Parents still have to find more money somewhere to make this happen. Poor folks just cant afford it. But rich folks can so lets reduce their bill!? They thank you for letting them buy another Ferrari with money that should have gone to give poor and middle class kids get an education.

2) Charter and voucher schools dont have to accept everyone

When you choose to go to one of these schools, they dont have to choose to accept you. In fact, the choice is really all up to them. Does your child make good grades? Is he or she well-behaved, in the special education program, learning disabled, etc.? If they dont like your answers, they wont accept you. They have all the power. It has nothing to do with providing a good education for your child. Its all about whether your child will make them look good. By contrast, public schools take everyone and often achieve amazing results with the resources they have.

3) Charter Schools are notorious for kicking out hard to teach students

Charter schools like to tout how well they help kids learn. But they also like to brag that they accept diverse students. So they end up accepting lots of children with special needs at the beginning of the year and then giving them the boot before standardized test season. That way, these students low scores wont count against the charter schools record. They can keep bragging about their high test scores without actually having to expend all the time and energy of actually teaching difficult students. Only public schools take everyone and give everyone their all.

4) Voucher and charter schools actually give parents less choice than traditional public schools

Public schools are governed by different rules than charter and voucher schools. Most public schools are run by a school board made up of duly-elected members from the community. The school board is accountable to that community. Residents have the right to be present at votes and debates, have a right to access public documents about how tax money is being spent, etc. None of this is true at most charter or voucher schools. They are run by executive boards or committees that are not accountable to parents. If you dont like what your public school is doing, you can organize, vote for new leadership or even take a leadership role, yourself. If you dont like what your charter or voucher school is doing, your only choice is to withdraw your child. See ya.

5) Charter Schools do no better and often much worse than traditional public schools

Pundits and profiteers love to spout euphoric about how well charter schools teach kids. But there is zero evidence behind it. That is nothing but a marketing ploy. Its like when youre in a bad neighborhood and walk past a dive that claims to have the best cup of coffee in the city. Yuck. Surely, some charter schools do exceptionally well. However, most charters and almost all cyber charters do worse than their public school counterparts. Fact.

6) Charters and voucher schools increase segregation

Since the 1950s and 60s, we used to understand there was no such thing as separate but equal education. Before then we had Cadillac schools for white kids and broken down schools for black kids. The Supreme Court ruled that unconstitutional. But today we have Cadillac schools for rich and middle class kids (most of whom are white) and broken down schools for the poor (most of whom are black or brown.) After making tremendous strides to integrate schools and provide an excellent education for everyone, our public schools have been resegregated. Charter and voucher schools only make this problem worse. They either aid in white flight or leach away minority students. This just makes it easier to give some kids a leg up while keeping others down.

7) Charter and voucher schools take away funding at traditional public schools

It costs almost the same amount of money to run a school building of a given size regardless of the number of kids in it. When students leave the public schools for charter or voucher schools, the public school loses valuable resources. It now has less revenue but the same overhead. So even if you found an excellent charter or voucher school to send your child, you would be hurting the chances of every other student in the public school of having their own excellent education. This is what happens when you make schools compete for resources. Someone ends up losing out on an education.

8) Properly funding parallel school systems would be incredibly wasteful and expensive

We could fix this problem by providing adequate funding for all levels of the school system traditional public schools, charters, voucher schools, etc. However, this would be exorbitantly expensive. We dont adequately fund our schools now. Adding additional layers like this would mean increasing national spending exponentially maybe by three or four times the current level. And much of that money would go to waste. Why have three fully stocked school buildings in one community when one fully stocked building would do the job? I dont imagine residents would relish the tax hike this would require.

9) School choice takes away attention from the real problems in our public schools poverty and funding equity

We have real problems. More than half of public school students live below the poverty line. They are already several grade levels behind their non-impoverished peers before they even enter kindergarten. They need help tutoring, counseling, wraparound services, nutrition, etc. The predicament is even more complicated by the way we fund our schools. Throughout the country, poor districts get less money than wealthy or middle class ones. The students who go to these schools are systematically being cheated out of resources and opportunities. And instead of helping them, were playing a shell game with charter and voucher schools. The problem isnt that parents dont have several excellent choices. If theyre poor, they often dont have one.

10) School choice is not supported by a grass roots movement. It is supported by billionaires.

The proponents of school choice will tell you that they are only doing the will of the people. This is what parents want, they say. Baloney. While there are individuals who support school choice, the overwhelming majority of money behind this movement comes from conservative billionaires actively trying to dismantle the public education system. They want to steal the public system and replace it with a private one. They dont care about your child. They just want to steal the hundreds of billions of tax dollars we pay to educate our children. This is not philanthropy. It is a business transaction meant to screw you and your child out of your rights.

If we really want to ensure every child in this country gets an excellent education, the answer isnt school choice. Instead, we need to commit to supporting our public school system. We all need to be in this together. Yes, our schools should look at the needs of each child and tailor education to fit appropriately. But that shouldnt be done in parallel school systems. It should be done under the same umbrella. That way, you cant defund and defraud one without hurting all. It cant just be about your child. It has to be about all children.

Thats the only choice worth making.


This was originally published on my blog.

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/top-10-reasons-school-choice-is-no-choice_us_58a8d52fe4b0b0e1e0e20be3?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

Smerconish: ‘This is a golden age of journalism’

(CNN)After President Donald Trump tweeted that the media “is the enemy of the American people,” CNN’s Michael Smerconish delivered a searing defense of the press Saturday, arguing that this is “actually a golden age of journalism.”

Trump’s tweet came after a news conference Thursday ostensibly called to announce new labor secretary pick Alexander Acosta devolved into a tirade against the media. The press, the President said at one point, should be “ashamed of themselves.”
Smerconish noted in his response to Trump’s remarks that the President “uses every opportunity to bash us.”
    “On his media criticism, I vehemently disagree — and not just because I’m here at CNN,” he said. “The President is attacking of our best checks on government, especially where Congress shows no interest in playing that role.”
    Now more than ever, people should be investing in journalism and supporting press outlets, the CNN anchor said.
    “We all know that in the Internet age, print advertising is plummeting nationally and newspaper staffs have been eviscerated across the country,” he said. “In recent months, even revered institutions like The Wall Street Journal and New York Times have been offering employees buyouts and laying people off.”
    Smerconish called that a “damaging trend,” especially for local media.
    “Where there’s no investigative journalism, government at a local, state and national level goes unchecked,” he said.
    There is no replacement for fully staffed newsrooms, he added.
    “Sure, there’s been an explosion of self-described journalists, bloggers,” he said. “But people with laptops sitting in their PJs are no substitute for old-fashioned gumshoe, investigative reporters.”
    America needs “revelatory journalism that takes time and money,” Smerconish continued, citing CNN investigative reporting on links between Trump and Russia.
    “This is actually a golden age of journalism, one that makes me proud,” he said.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/18/politics/smerconish-commentary-on-trump-media-stance-cnntv/index.html

    The Top 8 Foods You Think Are Healthy, But You’re Wrong

    When it comes to throwing shade, were obv on board. Being able to secretly be a bitch or hate someone without them knowing is like, the rules of feminism. But when it comes to our food choices being shadily unhealthy and betraying our trust, its not cute. So we’re here to tell you which foods have been lying to you and masquerading as health foods when they’re secretly junk food (or really, not-so-secretly since it’s on the nutrition label).

    1. Yogurts

    Not all yogurts! you scream at your computer. Fine, bitch, but understand that pretty much almost all flavored yogurts (or the ones with those super cute flippy lids) are FULL OF SUGAR. Not just like oh Im cheating and having a jelly bean teehee! amounts of sugar. Were talking full blown this-is-your-sugar-intake-limit-for-the-day amounts. You best be opting for full-fat unflavored Greek yogurt if you need a fix. Top it with whatever you want shit, add 3 tablespoons of sugar to it and youll essentially have one of those fucking Chobani flips.

    2. Caesar Salad

    A question we often ask ourselves: If it contains bread and cheese, is it still a salad? The answer is yes, but just because something fits a definition, it doesnt mean it belongs in and around your mouth. This ESPECIALLY applies to a Caesar fucking salad. On every menu literally everywhere and ALWAYS seemingly a safe choice, the average Caesar salad includes creamy dressing, a lot of cheese, and bread baked in a concoction of more cheese and oil. Look at the facts: The Caesar salad was created in Tijuana, tequila shot capitol of the world, because the kitchen ran out of normal shit and Mr. Caesar (literally his name) needed to serve some Hollywood bitches SOMETHING. Also, it was a finger food, which INSTANTLY ranks it on our list of unhealthy shit. Mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, pizza rollsI think Ive made my point. Aside from celery sticks, almost NOTHING you can hold and eat is under 500 calories. Next.

    3. Granola

    Sprinkling granola on your Greek yogurt parfait makes you feel skinny and chic, but you wouldnt feel so adorable if you knew that most granolas are full of sugar and fat. How? Because thats literally how theyre made. You take oats or some other fucking grain you find in bulk at whole foods, mix it with fair trade, organic, non-animal-endangering sugar, butter or honey, nuts, and bake it. Yeah. Let that sink in. That shit is practically candy. Same goes for granola bars, which require EVEN MORE sugar and sticky shit so they can be formed into the perfect rectangle. Ever heard of KIND bars? They literally GOT CALLED OUT BY THE FDA for marketing themselves as healthy when, clearly, they belong in the candy aisle. Dont buy into your hippie liberal douche friends hype: Granola is not healthy.

    4. Cereal

    “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”not if youre scarfing down chocolate sugar puffs in a sea of fat-laden milk. Honestly, if you MUST have cereal, we require you either a) be hungover; b) are eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch the only acceptable cereal; or c) are a child under the age of 9. None of those are health reasons, but unless youre eating GrapeNuts, youre popping calories like pills anyway. Slather some sad butter on your sad toast or squint at the sourness of a grapefruit and accept adulthood.

    5. Potatoes

    This shouldnt come as a fucking surprise, but potatoes suck. Honestly, how are they even considered a vegetable? Based on the USs ability to name pizza a vegetable and vote a literal human Cheeto into office, I guess we shouldnt be surprised, but still. Regular white potatoes have like, literally no health benefits. If you MUST partake in a potato, make it a sweet potato. At least you can pass off the carby starch mine with vitamin benefits.

    6. Smoothies

    You come to work sippin on your green smoothie and, having just come from cycling class, youre officially allowed to look down on everyone else. Too bad, so sadthat shit is full of fat. Despite having a fuckload of fruit, those same fruit juices host tons of calories and sugar and no fucking fiber. Plus, your smoothie probably has DING DING DING YOGURT to help fill you up. Do us a favor: go buy a Vitamix and blend a smoothie made of spinach, avocado, and green grapes. Thin it with water. Then, youll have a borderline healthy smoothie. Will it taste good? Um, no, but healthy shit usually doesnt.

    7. Diet Soda

    Feel free to crucify me in the comments, but if youre still drinking sodadiet or notyoull probs get fat and/or cancer, we assume. IT ISNT GOOD FOR YOU. Start drinking fizzy water instead. We know its harder than weaning yourself off drugs (probably), but, really, your skin, thighs, and overall health will thank you.

    8. Dried Fruit

    Whether youre trying to get un-hooked from jelly beans or need help pooping, dry fruit always seems like a healthy option. NOT FUCKING TRUE. A handful of dried banana chips or dried cranberries have the same amount of sugar as a lot of candy. So, like, you may as well just eat the jelly beans. Or, buy a dehydrator and make your own dried fruit, sans added sugars.

    Read more: http://www.betches.com/8-foods-that-are-actually-unhealthy