Want To Work For Us? Apply To Be Our Fall Marketing Intern


For college credit only // NYC // Works in office part-time


  • Assist the Marketing Director with daily marketing tasks
  • Assist with reviewing and analyzing marketing analytics
  • Assist with planning and securing marketing event details
  • Assist Content Creator with Instagram styling
  • Source and secure styling items when necessary
  • Assist the Office Community Manager with relevant office administration such as PR mailings

Desired Qualifications:

  • Minimum high school diploma or GED required
  • Must be based in or near New York, able to work out of our Manhattan office at least 2 days a week
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Must be a self-starter, able to work without constant supervision
  • Previous Marketing & Styling experience a plus
  • Must be able to receive college credit

Please note, this is an unpaid position but college credit is available.

The Application:

The subject line of your email should be formatted as follows: FULL NAME – FALL MARKETING INTERNSHIP

  1. Full Name, Age, Hometown
  2. Email address / Instagram handle / Facebook link
  3. Education
  4. Current and past employment
  5. Describe your previous work experiences and relevant accomplishments. Let us know why you want to work for Betches and why you think you’re a good fit. Be professional. We do NOT want to hear about how you spent your summer blacking out on boats and blowing off your internship, for obvious reasons.
  6. Please download and fill out this FORM (just standard official stuff) and attach it in a PDF.
  7. Send a link to or attach any relevant, preferably humorous, writing samples.
  8. Email all this to [email protected]!!

Read more: http://www.betches.com/betches-fall-2017-marketing-internship

The women in Scotland championing comic books – BBC News

Image copyright DC Thomson & Co Ltd
Image caption An illustration from 1977’s The Nine Lives of Kitty Foster, which features in a new exhibition on girls’ comics in Dundee

Perceptions that comics and graphic novels are just about city-wrecking scraps between superheroes and super villains are being challenged by a growing number of women in Scotland interested in the genre.

Among these women are a university masters degree graduate and artists and writers from across Scotland.

In their own words they tell of why they are passionate about comics and how they are so much more than stories about caped crusaders.

Tanya Roberts: Comic and graphic novel artist

Image copyright Tanya Roberts
Image caption Artist Tanya Roberts and examples of her artwork

Edinburgh-born artist Roberts has illustrated comics based on Star Wars spin-off Clone Wars, as well as Toy Story and Strawberry Shortcake.

Among her current projects is creating a graphic novel called Abeyance, with her husband.

She believes that now is a good time for female artists, writers and readers, but also for comics generally, irrespective of gender.

“There are a few good reasons for it,” she says.

‘Emotional connections’

“Comics, the characters that are within them and the worlds that they create are now people’s playgrounds.

“People can write about them, dress up like them even create alternative universes or fan art for them.

“All of this of course is then posted to various online social media type things and perpetuate people’s interest in that particular fandom. That, in turn, sells more comics.

Image copyright Tanya Roberts
Image caption Art from Roberts’ graphic novel Abeyance

“I think the differences in attracting a male/female readership is subtlety small. Because I go to conventions and sell my material to people I get feedback and notice who is buying my artwork.

“Females seem to appreciate character relationships and that emotional connection between them a bit more. I know I do, as a female reader, get inspired when there’s great characters in the story with interesting relationships to others.”

Roberts believes there to be a healthy female audience for comics.

She says: “Girls don’t only seem to cosplay as their favourite characters they also buy comics too.

“I always get excited talking to people who are inspired by comics and even more so to learn that they have taken their passion even further, that it in turn has inspired them to create something, like fan art, fiction or even their own original stuff.

“To which I say to them: see you next year at the stall next to mine selling your own comic.”

Louise Quirion: Comic book exhibition curator

Image copyright Louise Quirion
Image caption Louise Quirion giving a tour of a new exhibition on comics in Dundee

French-born Louise Quirion is a graduate of University of Dundee’s MLitt course in Comics and Graphic Novels.

She is also the curator of Girls in Print, an exhibition running until 21 October in the university’s Tower Building Foyer.

The exhibition includes more than 30 original artworks from a number of Dundee publisher DC Thomson’s titles such as The Topper, Bunty and Twinkle.

“When I began looking into this area, I was amazed at the range of stories covered by girls’ comics,” says Quirion.

Image copyright DC Thomson & Co Ltd
Image caption An illustration from 1977’s Spellbound comic story Beware the Mystery Dolls

“As well as school and ballet stories, there are also sports stories, historical dramas, science-fiction and tales of the supernatural.

“This exhibition is a great opportunity to discover or re-discover the high school stories of the Four Marys or the space adventures of the Supercats, while appreciating rarely seen original art.”

To show how comics have evolved today, the exhibition also features work by current female comics artists such as Kate Charlesworth, Tanya Roberts and Gillian Hatcher.

‘Marketing strategy’

During her research for the display, Quirion became interested by how publishers in the UK target readers with gender-specific titles, which is a different approach to other parts of Europe.

She says: “I find it fascinating because France and UK are geographically very close, and yet their comic cultures are based on very different ideas.

Image copyright Maria Stoian
Image caption Modern works also feature in the Girls in Print

“I feel like this separation girls/boys is mostly a marketing strategy. They are still using it in Japan and it works great there.”

But she adds: “Everyone reads comics in France, whatever their gender or age is, so the best strategy is more to appeal to everyone.

“I know American comics are pretty popular right now, but I encourage anyone that likes comics to also read other things.”

Team Girl Comic: Scottish-based collective of comic book creators

Image copyright Clare Forrest
Image caption Artwork by TGC artist Clare Forrest

TGC was set up to as a support network for women cartoonists across Scotland, and features in Louise Quirion’s Girls in Print exhibition in Dundee.

Gill Hatcher, editor and founder of the group, says: “The number of women and girls in Scotland both attending comic events and making comics has exploded in recent years.

“When TGC began in 2009 we were a very small tight-knit group, but the number of people getting in touch and asking to join keeps on growing.

“There are a lot more opportunities for young people to learn the craft of writing and drawing comics, and lots more channels for them to get their work out to a wider audience.

“And gradually, as more women have got involved in the Scottish comics scene, the more it has opened up to new creators who might have previously felt intimidated or unwelcome.”

Image copyright Cover of That Girl Comic
Image caption Ren Wednesday’s cover art for TGC’s anthology That Girl Comic

Hatcher says the subjects women want to tackle through comic stories and art are wide-ranging.

She says: “Our contributors write about all sorts of subject matters, often highly personal and touching on politics, identity and feminism.

Image copyright Gill Hatcher
Image caption An illustration by Gill Hatcher

“There’s often a lot of humour in the stories we tell too.”

Hatcher adds: “Our latest anthology, That Girl Comic, featured our artists’ different takes on the theme ‘growing up’ and we ended up with a great mixture of childhood memories, teenage angst and present-day reflections, as well as some more surreal and whimsical interpretations.”

Vicky Stonebridge: Artist and comic book fan

Image copyright Vicky Stonebridge/Northings
Image caption Vicky Stonebridge and an example of her comic book illustrations

Stonebridge, a painter, craftworker and co-organiser of the Highlands’ popular but now defunct HiEx comic convention, is based in Lochcarron in Wester Ross.

Growing up in the Highlands, she recalls pouring over a comic her dad bought her when she was three or four.

“It wasn’t the Dandy and Beano I later came to love, but a ‘boys’ comic with sci-fi, action and crazy perilous monster stories in it. I loved it,” she says.

“I was an early reader, but didn’t really get what was going on, there was a giant rat man who was mugging people and being generally menacing.”

‘Geek culture’

Stonebridge’s interest in comics was reignited later at art college when a friend showed her a copy of the British sci-fi and fantasy adventure comic, 2000AD.

She says: “It blew me away. I was the only other person I knew who read it, it was for a long time the only comic I knew.

“I even wrote part of my dissertation about it. I loved the escapism, the action, satire, punk attitude, fantasy and adventure. I was never a girly girl so stories of ballerinas and public school girls were never going to cut it with me.”

Image copyright Vicky Stonebridge
Image caption Stonebridge fell in love with sci-fi and fantasy art at a young age

She adds: “My love of sci-fi went along similar lines, with a teacher taking a book off me when I was seven as it was ‘too old for me’.

“I still remember vividly the aliens, mutants and space paradoxes that excited me, and the feeling of resentment at being told it wasn’t for me.

“This is why I enjoy working with young people and encouraging their interests in comics, geek culture , genre fiction and art, because I think it is important to support them in their journey of discovery in order to foster creativity and imagination instead of closing doors.”

‘Always evil’

Stonebridge says a big challenge with comics is challenging the way female characters can be portrayed in the illustrations.

“There are lots more examples of strong female characters in comic books and film adaptations coming to the fore,” she says.

“2000AD always had some strong women, but often these were sidekicks to the main male character.

“The character Psi Judge Anderson is an interesting character, some writers and artists have given her real depth, and yet there still persists other artists who still portray her as a pouting doll with ridiculous breasts.

“A more consistent 2000AD female character was Aimee Nixon. She switched sides and her allegiances were muddy, but she was always fierce and kick-ass.”

Stonebridge adds: “As I’ve become middle aged myself I crave to see older women characters, as all these idealised slim attractive comic women just don’t resonate.

“I love to see diversity in comics, characters who reflect the real world. There are always gnarly old men characters, but where are the women – apart from being super villains of course, because everyone knows that older women are always evil.”

All images are copyrighted.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-40731872

Krispy Kreme’s Upcoming Chocolate Glazed Doughnut Is The Perfect Eclipse Snack

If you’re obsessed with Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and are equally as enthusiastic about chocolate, you’ll be pleased to learn that Krispy Kreme’s chocolate glazed doughnutis about to be released, and it’s the first one in the company’s history. According to their official press release, Krispy Kreme is releasing this doughnut on Monday, Aug. 21, to coincide with the solar eclipse slated to make its appearance on that same day.

To make things even more exciting, Krispy Kreme will give customers a taste of the specialty doughnut on Aug. 19 through the 20th during evening Hot Light hours (in case you can’t make it on the 21). The specialty doughnut is made with using an original glazed Krispy Kreme doughnut, which is then delicately showered in chocolate glaze making for the perfect solar eclipse snack.

The only downside is that these specialtychocolate glazed donuts are only available in select stores. You can find out if your local Krispy Kreme is participating here. I’m so excited for these double glazed doughnuts, I better make sure I prepare forAug. 21.

In the meantime, check out the video below that shows how the doughnuts are perfectly glazed. I dare you not to drool while watching it.

Whoa, that’s definitely a sight for sore eyes. Chief Marketing Officer of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Jackie Woodward, said in the press release for the delicious doughnuts,

The Chocolate Glazed Doughnut is a delicious way to experience the solar eclipse no matter where you are and we can’t wait for fans to try it.

I think I can speak for fans far and wide when I say, we can’t wait to try it either. I just hope the selling of these doughnuts goes so well, that Krispy Kreme decided to make chocolate glazed doughnuts an official member of their year-round menu.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/envision/food/krispy-kremes-upcoming-chocolate-glazed-doughnut-perfect-eclipse-snack/2040579/

Mo Farah: How easy is it for celebrities to change their name? – BBC News

Image copyright PA/Getty
Image caption Mo Farah wants to follow Andrew Cole and Katie Price by changing his public name

What’s in a name? Sir Mo Farah is about to find out.

The four-time Olympic champion has announced he wants to be known as “Mohamed” when he starts the next chapter of his career.

The 34-year-old, who won a silver medal in his last ever track race at a major championships at the weekend, is switching his focus to road racing.

And he’s marking the fresh start by ditching “Mo” for “Mohamed”.

“My road name is Mohamed,” he said.

“I just feel like Mo is done. I need to forget about what I’ve achieved and what I’ve done.”

‘Almost impossible’

Richard Fitzwilliams, a public relations consultant, says he’s “very surprised” by the announcement.

“Everyone loves him as Mo,” he said. “You would perhaps write Mohamed if you were asked to.

“But Mo – it’s shorter and it’s also the way he became world famous, and it’s how he has run his way into our hearts and minds.

“So (a change) is almost impossible. I think he’s looking for something a little more formal. I don’t think he probably expects people to actually use Mohamed in full.

“Another reason why he has got a tough task is there are millions of Mohameds – and only one Mo.”

But Rebecca May, PR expert and managing director at Alliance PR, says it is possible to change your name and “rebrand”.

She said: “Mohamed is not a name change, as such, he just wishes to be known now by his full name, not nickname.

“These intentions appear to reflect Mohamed’s next sporting chapter and new career direction. It is the next evolution to his brand. Part of that next step is rebranding.

“Well thought-out and with the right intentions, I would fully support a client under the same circumstances.”

William and Ka…Catherine

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Duchess of Cambridge is still widely known as Kate despite attempts to become Catherine

Farah is not the first famous person to attempt a name change – but some have been more successful than others.

After Kate Middleton’s engagement to Prince William, palace officials, members of the royal family, and her fianc, took to calling her Catherine.

The rest of us stuck with Kate.

Mr Fitzwilliams says this is partly down to newspapers’ fondness for nicknames and familiarity.

“In the media, brevity is always preferable, that’s why Catherine didn’t catch on,” he said.

“It’s an attempt to be formal when in fact the informal had already taken hold on the popular imagination.

“We still call her Kate. People had warmed to her as Kate, they knew her as Kate.”

Manchester United striker Andy Cole decided that, at the age of 28, he wanted to be known as Andrew.

Bearing in mind fans already had a long-standing chant with the original name, it wasn’t the easiest request.

Seventeen years on, and the media still haven’t quite grasped it – recent newspaper articles show both versions of his name are still being used.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Yusuf Islam and Muhammad Ali both changed their names after converting to Islam

Yet Muhammad Ali had no such problems.

The American boxing legend had already made a name for himself as Cassius Clay, but in 1964 he dropped his birth name after converting to Islam.

Mr Fitzwilliams said: “That’s a very good example of where he was big enough to change.

“He was huge, he didn’t need marketing. He was a walking brand himself, backed up with all the talent he needed. He was his own mouthpiece.”

British singer-songwriter Yusuf Islam also changed his name, but he found Cat Stevens harder to shake off.

He has now incorporated both into his Twitter handle – where he describes himself as “Yusuf Islam the artist also known as Cat Stevens”.

Model and TV presenter Katie Price made a concerted effort to rid herself of her glamour model alter ego Jordan.

PR expert Mrs May described it as a “successful and strategic rebrand to mark her new phase from glamour to mother and entrepreneur”.

And one celebrity has almost made a career out of changing his name.

American hip-hop star Sean Combs’ various incarnations have included Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, Diddy and Swag (although the last one was just for a week).

Mrs May said: “P Diddy has the bank account to prove that changing his name has not been detrimental to his journey.”

So can Mo pass the baton to Mohamed? His fans – and the world’s PR experts – will watch the handover with interest.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40924069

This guy’s anti-circumcision rant could stand to be cut down

Male circumcision has become a hot topic of debate in recent years. Proponents of the procedure claim it’s harmless and increases cleanliness while lessening the chances of acquiring certain STI’s. Those against it say these claims are untrue, or at least exaggerated, and that circumcision is nothing less the male genital mutilation.

Now, YouTuber, and proud “uncut” man Daquan Wiltshire has decided to throw his two cents into the mix, in an expletive-filled rant, where he argues the case for “natural ass dick”

The billboard that Wiltshire refers to at the beginning of this video is owned by a group called Intaction (a play on the words intact and action) who argue that circumcision is an unnecessary medical procedure perpetrated on young boys, often babies, without their consent.

Here’s how Anthony Losquadro, the executive director of Intaction, explained the organization’s stance in a 2014 interview with Vice.

American society discounts the anatomical function of the foreskin. It is a natural body part that all mammals have, and it contains 20,000 specialized nerve endings, which serve an important function, and it’s very painful and stressful to remove it. It is primarily done in America and the Middle East. Europe, South America, and Asia-they don’t practice this. There it is the exception rather than the rule. Here in America, it is the rule rather than the exception, but that trend is changing.

Currently, the WHO (World Health Organization) claims that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV infection by 60% in heterosexual men, and recommends circumcision in places where the virus is especially prevalent.

WHO/UNAIDS recommendations emphasize that male circumcision should be considered an efficacious intervention for HIV prevention in countries and regions with heterosexual epidemics, high HIV and low male circumcision prevalence.

This recommendation has lead to free voluntary circumcision programs in certain African countries where the HIV/AIDS epidemics are at that their worst. But critics of these programs say they are falsely touting circumcision as protection against HIV, thereby making the problem worse.

One group called The VMMC experience project says HIV has actually increased since the implementation of these programs.

Western public health agencies are endorsing VMMC to curb the spread of HIV by 50–60%. To that end, they are actively misinforming Africans that circumcision is protective against HIV (the “surgical condom” myth). This false security is a leading contributor to the HIV epidemic today. In Malawi, the national HIV rate is reported to have doubled from 10% to 20% in the first year VMMC was implemented.

It’s also a fight that’s also been taken up by MRAs (Men’s Rights Activists), which is a bit like having your drunk uncle trying to convince your parents it’s okay for you to go to a party. Having them agree with you is the quickest way to make sure no one takes you seriously.

Wiltshire’s video suffers in the same way. He has some solid points to make, particularly when he talks about society unfairly categorizing uncircumcised men as gross or “dirty.” It’s just too bad he has to detract from these points by body shaming women, which, ironically, is exactly the type of behavior he’s railing against.

The problem with the video, and why it ultimately fails, is that Wiltshire is basically trying to do standup comedy. It has all the same beats and timing but lacks the crucial element of an audience. This has become a common way to achieve YouTube stardom. A well-rehearsed rant performed directly into the camera, featuring quick chopping editing and strong controversial opinions. Trae Crowder, the so-called “Liberal Redneck” has basically based his entire career on these kinds of videos. It’s something that would be known as “Nicole Arbor Syndrome” if anybody remembered/cared who that was. The difference between these rants and standup comedy is that, even if you disagree with what a standup comedian is saying, you end up giving them some small amount of respect for having the balls to say it in front of a roomful of people. Take that audience away and “edgy” humor loses all its edge because there’s no real risk.

It’s also hard to miss Wilshire’s prominently displayed/extremely confusing Instagram handle “TakeMyVcard.” If anything he says in this video, or any of his other numerous videos, is to be believed, he lost that card long ago. Maybe it would be better for the anti-circumcision movement, and it fact for YouTube, if someone took is camera away instead.

Read more: https://www.dailydot.com/unclick/anti-circumcision-rant/

The First Cheetos Restaurant Is Opening Soon, So Make Reservations Immediately

For some people, Cheetos aren’t just a snack food they aresnack food. So you can image in the resounding excitement that ensued when Cheetos announced its first-ever restaurant, The Spotted Cheetah. The limited time (flamin’) hot spot, created as a send-off to NYC’s Restaurant Week ’17, will be open for just three days (Aug. 15 to Aug. 17), meaning the list of people who will actually get to taste Cheetos’ fine dining offerings will be rather small. Oh, did I mention celebrity chef Anne Burrell is the chef behind the cheesy madness?

In a press release statement announcingher new restaurant endeavor, Burrell said,

As a long-time Cheetos fan, I’m thrilled to join forces with a snack brand that is truly an iconic American staple. I had so much fun curating this specially crafted, one-of-a-kind menu for the first Cheetos restaurant I can’t wait to see guests’ reactions!

From the looks of things online, the one-of-a-kind menu she mentions doesn’t disappoint, either. Though it’ll only be around for three days total, The Spotted Cheetah’s three-course menu has 11 dishes and an affordable $8-$22 per plate price range.

If you’re lucky enough to snag a table before The Spotted Cheetah closes up shop on Thursday, Aug. 17, expect to order things like Cheetos tacos, grilled cheese, and even cookies using all your favorite Cheetos flavors.

The Spotted Cheetah

Here, take a look at a fewof Burrell’s menu items IRL:

Flamin’ Hot Limn Chicken Tacos

The Spotted Cheetah

Cheetos Grilled Cheese AndTomato Soup

The Spotted Cheetah

Cheetos Sweetos Sweet And Salty Cookies

The Spotted Cheetah

I’m already drooling. Burrellhas definitely raisedthe Cheetos bar, and I don’t think I can look at them as just a tasty snack any longer. They are.

Ryan Matiyow, senior director of marketing at Cheetos’ parent company, Frito-Lay, said fans inspired the playful-yet-elevated restaurant idea. He explainedin a press release,

Once again, our fans have inspired us with their creativity and playfulness. We’ve seen their love for Cheetos exhibited through innovative dishes, desserts and beverages, which motivated us to create a restaurant that would bring a full Cheetos culinary experience to life.

Such. A. Good. Idea.

To make a reservation, visitThe Spotted Cheetah’s website or use OpenTable. However, don’t sweat it if you can’t make it, because come Tuesday, Aug. 15, all the recipeswill be available in adigital cookbook. Check out The Spotted Cheetah’s website for more details and to drool over the full menu.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/social-news/a-cheetos-restaurant-called-the-spotted-cheetah-is-coming-to-nyc-for-3-nights/2039873/

Judges Porn Habits And Politicians Medication Found In Anonymous Browsing Data

A rather unnerving piece of research has found that your private data while browsing online might not be that private, after finding out a judge’s porn preferences and the medication used by a German member of parliament (MP).

Two German researchers, journalist Svea Eckert and data scientist Andreas Dewes, found that companies that were paying for data were getting access to a lot of supposed anonymized data. They presented their findings at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas, Nevada, last weekend.

“How would you think we got it: some shady hacker?” Eckert said, reported The Guardian. “No. It was much easier: you can just buy it.”

The data was gathered using “clickstreams”. This is what some companies pay for in order to target adverts towards users. It was obtained by companies using 10 extensions for Google Chrome.

However, Eckert and Dewes found this data was readily available if someone paid for it, with little anonymity. They were able to get their hands on a database of 3 billion URLs from 3 million German users by simply creating a fake marketing campaign for an AI algorithm.

They made fake LinkedIn pages for the company and then called 100 companies asking for browsing data to test out their algorithm. Many were willing to turn over US and UK data, and one also provided German data spread over nine different sites.

This research is particularly relevant because earlier this year the Trump administration basically allowed Internet service providers (ISPs) to collect your private browsing history and sell it on. According to these two researchers, just 10 URLs could be used to identify someone.

“With only a few domains you can quickly drill down into the data to just a few users,” said Dewes, reported BBC News. “It’s very, very difficult to de-anonymise it even if you have the intention to do so.”

Although their data gathering was purely for research purposes, the researchers note how this data could be easily obtained by anyone. The fact they were able to find out information relating to a judge and a German MP should make people a little uneasy.

Read more: http://www.iflscience.com/technology/judges-porn-habits-and-politicians-medication-found-in-anonymous-browsing-data/

Half in US choose cremation as views on death change

(CNN)The memorial service he arranged for a local jazz musician after the cremation is a point of pride for Stephen Kemp of Haley Funeral Directors in Southfield, Michigan.

“I cleared out half of my chapel. They brought in all their bands and friends, and they played music,” he said, recalling how the musician’s friends arranged the deceased’s alto, tenor and soprano saxophones on the wall around a photograph of the man. “The priest came in and gave a small eulogy, and they went out of the funeral home playing ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’ ”
Next, the mourners went to a club in downtown Detroit to host a “jazz breakout,” Kemp said. The entire day was “a wonderful tribute” to a man who had devoted his life to music.
    As a funeral director, Kemp believes, his job is to turn mourners’ wishes into reality. In many cases, today’s reality is cremation.
    In 2016, just over half (50.2%) of Americans chose cremation, while 43.5% opted for burial, according to a new report from the National Funeral Directors Association. Though the trend is new, this is not the first time the cremation rate exceeded the burial rate: 2015 was the first year these rates flipped, the report indicates, with 48.5% of Americans choosing cremation compared with 45.4% selecting burials.
    Liberated from tradition, memorial services have become more expressive and more unique.
    “It is real important for us as funeral directors to adapt to people’s wishes,” said Kemp, who is also a spokesman for the association. As he sees it, a good memorial service can create memories while reviving faded ones.

    Flames and ash

    Cremation’s growing popularity bodes ill for funeral homes. In the United States, the number of funeral homes has fallen nearly 10% over a decade, from 21,495 in 2005 to 19,391 in 2015, according to the National Funeral Directors Association report.
    Jeff Jorgenson, founder of Elemental Cremation & Burial, a green funeral home in Seattle, said that when he got into the industry 11 years ago, “it was one of those things that we talked about as the ‘cremation problem.’ “
    “There isn’t as much money in it, let’s face it,” Jorgenson said, so funeral directors tried their best to resuscitate people’s interest in burials.
    It wasn’t happening, though. The reasons people choose cremation are topped by saving money, with convenience coming in a distant second, according to the new report.
    “Whether we as an industry want to recognize that or embrace it or dance with it, that’s up to the individual funeral director,” Jorgenson said. “Things are changing.”
    Unprepared though the industry may have been, efforts have been made. Nearly 30% of funeral homes in the United States operate their own crematories, and another 9.4% intend to open a crematory within the next five years, according to the report.
    Beyond the choices of “disposition” — how a body is dealt with after death — there are also changes in what services and experiences people want, Jorgenson said. “Things like a memorial service, a visitation or a viewing — these are things that we’re trying to figure out how to tie into these minimal services. And that’s where the industry really struggles.”
    With cremation, more people have begun hosting memorial services in their backyards and homes, Kemp said: “I’ve had funeral services in parks, in bars, in sporting arenas.”
    Among the 53.6% of consumers who would choose cremation for themselves, the number who want a complete funeral with visitation has been declining over the past three years: from 26.6% in 2015 to 14.1% in 2017, according to the National Funeral Directors Association report.
    “Whatever you want to do, we’ll do it, as long as it’s within the confines of the law,” Jorgenson said.
    His Seattle-based company is and has been ahead of the curve for some time.

    Geographic differences

    Kemp said “the West Coast and some of the Northwest part of the US have always done more cremations than burials. And now it’s becoming more popular all over the US.”
    Cremation rates vary across the country, peaking in Washington state, where 76.4% of the dead were cremated during 2015, according to the report. Nevada followed with 75.6%, Oregon at 74.3%, Hawaii at 72.7% and Maine at 72.4%.
    Jorgenson said there are a few reasons why Washington, Nevada and Hawaii have high cremation rates, such as lack of religion, high education rates and transient populations.
    Educated people tend to opt for cremation, he said, and when it comes to transients, “those that die there don’t want to be buried there.” Additionally, some cultures “don’t have a religious purpose for a big ceremony.” In the end, cremation is simply a “practical way to handle your body,” he said.
    “You take out the time constraints; you take out the cost; you take out all the song and dance — I mean, to do a burial, you’re looking at one or two days just in the arrangement process,” Jorgenson said.
    The lowest rates for cremations are found in Mississippi, at 20.9%, trailed by Alabama at 25.7%, Kentucky at 27.3%, Louisiana at 29.7% and Tennessee at 31.3%.
    Kemp explains that “the South and Southeast still lag behind because they’re a little more traditional, and the gravesites are probably a little bit less expensive than what you would see in some other geographical areas.”
    High land costs combined with decreasing burial space mean cremation rates often top 70% in dense urban areas worldwide, according to the report.
    And though religion has played a role in Southern tastes in the past, it may have less impact going forward.

    Does faith matter?

    Cremation is the prevailing practice in places where the custom is ancient and most of the population adheres to Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism or Jainism. Many Americans of Japanese descent, for example, routinely opt for cremation just as they might in Japan, where cremation is nearly universal.
    Other nations with high cremation rates — 80% or higher — include Taiwan, Hong Kong, Switzerland, Sweden, South Korea, the Czech Republic and Thailand.
    Although nonreligious Americans are more likely than others to consider cremation, the proportion of Americans who feel that religion is an important part of a funeral has decreased from just under half in 2012 to slightly less than 40% in 2016, according to the report.
    While more than three-quarters of Americans identify themselves as faithful to one religion or another, fewer than 40% of Americans feel religion is an important part of a funeral.
    The breakdown of religion in the United States includes 22.8% who are unaffiliated, describing themselves as atheists, agnostics or “nothing in particular,” according to a Pew Research Center study. Following non-Christian faiths are 5.9% of Americans, who include Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. The largest group is Christian: 70.6% of Americans. Of these, nearly 21% are Catholics, their large number influencing the shift toward cremation.
    The reason? In 1963, after centuries of insisting on full-body burials, the Vatican lifted the ban on cremation.
    “People still ask us if it is OK to be cremated,” said Mary Ellen Gerrity, director of the Office of Cemeteries for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Metuchen, New Jersey. Apparently, it takes time to get used to a new idea. “Actually, we have a crematory on the property, and yeah, it’s a very busy operation.”
    Scattering ashes is not permitted by the church, Gerrity said, and leaving the “cremated remains on the mantel at home, that’s not a proper burial,” either. In her diocese, and many others, people can place the cremated remains in a niche in the mausoleum.
    Along with cost, geography and religion, Jorgenson said, another important element is tradition.

    The big three options

    “Everyone in my family has been cremated,” Jorgenson said. “And I’m not gonna be any different, right?”
    Under the law in most states, he said, there are only three things you can do with your body: burial, cremation and medical donation.
    “Cryogenic is not a thing, not legally,” Jorgenson said. For example, “space burials,” touted by one company, require cremation first, and a Georgia-based company that creates an artificial reef out of your remains also relies on cremated remains.
    “Everything else is a variation on one of those three things … marketing spin,” he said.
    Some states have begun to allow alkaline hydrolosis or “resomation,” a kind of wet cremation process if you will, with a similar result where all you get back is the bone, Jorgenson said. He hopes Washington laws change in time so resomation can be his own choice.
    “You basically make an alkali solution at temperature and pressure, put the body in for a couple of hours, and it reduces the soft tissues to a liquid,” he said. The process breaks down the bones; “it’s not like you have a cartoon skeleton at the end.” Compared to cremation and burial, he said, resomation has a lower carbon footprint, is cleaner and has significantly less environmental impact. The only downside is that resomation is legal in only 10 states.
    Still, it represents a shift in thinking about death and many believe we have the baby boomers to thank for that.

    The importance of planning

    “I am no expert on death trends, but I do know from the growing popularity of death cafes and the emergence of death doulas that death is coming out of the closet, if you will,” said Ashton Applewhite, author and an anti-ageism activist.
    Applewhite believes people want to be more in touch, at the deepest level, with processes “that were once not industrialized and not hidden out of sight.” It’s like slow food, she said. As they revise their views of old age, baby boomers will also take a more clear-sighted look at disposition.
    “Because there are so many of us, we occupy a unique place in demographic history. We do have a sense of being able to shape the culture. That is arrogant, but it also is legitimate,” she said.
    Kemp, who counts himself among baby boomers, said, “A growing number of people are coming in and saying, ‘This is what I want, and I don’t want anyone to change it.’ ”
    As he sees it, families have become less nuclear, and parents would rather set things up so their kids, who may live at a distance, won’t have the burden.
    “I often caution them to please let your children know what you’re doing,” he said. “In some situations, things have been set up by a parent and then the children find out and they say, ‘What? Mom wanted to be cremated?’ “
    When it comes to disposition, Jorgenson finds that most people “leave it for their family to figure out.”
    “About 30% of people out there will prearrange some form of their disposition beforehand,” he said. This figure is based on prepayment data, he said, and it has been consistent over the past couple of decades. “They tend to be pretty uptight. I mean that in the nicest possible way,” Jorgenson said, laughing. “They’re people like engineers and attorneys and very practical people.”

    Talk about it … and keep talking

    “If your mom has never said what she wanted, you might feel bad about putting her in a cardboard box and cremating her,” Applewhite said.
    Another reason to have a recurring conversation about what you think you want while dying and after death is so that “your family doesn’t have to guess,” she said.
    “There’s a Mexican saying that the appearance of the bull changes when you enter the ring,” she said. “The longer we live, the less afraid of dying — not the more afraid — we become.
    “If you think about the terribly gloomy and negative and ageist lens and youth-oriented lens through which we look at aging … we project, ‘Oh, my God, it must be awful to have to use a walker; it must be awful to be bent over,’ whatever it happens to be.
    “It’s actually the knowledge that time is short that helps people live in the moment,” Applewhite said.
    As an activist, she hopes to provoke more awareness of the “powerful and beautiful aspects to aging.” She also wants people to know that their “anxieties are way out of proportion.”

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    “We’re eventually going to die, but just looking makes it instantly less scary,” Applewhite said. “The more we talk about it, the less afraid we are and the more we can involve whoever we want — friends or family — and … orchestrate the kind of death we think might be fantastic.”

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/09/health/cremation-tops-burials-in-us-study/index.html

    IKEAs Genius Recipe Posters Make Cooking Effortless With A Simple Trick

    IKEA’s mission on this Earth is to make everything simple and understandable, which comes in handy for those of us stumbling through life without a clue. While their furniture sometimes misses the mark, a series of recipes they’ve just released makes cooking look easier than Paint By Numbers, and we’re pretty sure we’ll never be able to follow a normal recipe again.

    The Canadian branch of the Swedish furniture tycoon teamed up with Toronto-based marketing company Leo Burnett to create Cook This Page, an ingenious set of illustrated recipes which they unveiled at a recent IKEA Canada kitchen event. Each one displays drawings of the ingredients needed, and the prospective chef just has to fill in the blanks. The best part? They’re all printed on parchment paper using food-safe ink, so once everything is in place, the page can be rolled up and tossed in the oven. Seriously, does it get any lower-maintenance than that?

    Cook This Page has yet to reach IKEA stores, but the concept is so brilliant that we suspect it might even replace the cookbook in due time! See it for yourself below, and let us know if you would attempt any of these scrumptious delights.

    Ravioli with Swedish meatballs, a Scandinavian take on the Italian classic

    Salmon with lemon and herbs, a restaurant-quality meal you never thought you could make

    Some pretty fancy shrimp that will knock the socks off your next cocktail party

    See it all in action below, and get inspired to set foot in the kitchen for (probably) the first time in your life

    Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/ikea-cooking-recipe-posters/

    Grannies Try Fireball Whiskey For The First Time And Its Magic

    Like the buzz it’s guaranteed to give you, Fireball whiskey seems to have come out of nowhere. Just a few years ago, if someone offered to buy you a shot of something called “fireball” you’d a) ponder for a moment if the Super Mario Brothers were bartending that night or b) scan the bar for the nearest fire extinguisher.

    But thanks to clever marketing maneuvers that involved Twitter, bikini-clad Nashville bartenders and tons of free shots at colleges across the U.S., this brand of cinnamon-flavored whiskey was a thing by 2010. 

    Though it was the youth of America that made Fireball the official shot of getting blackout drunk and sending texts you regret, it’s not just beloved by the youngins’. In fact, Minnesota Vikings long snapper Kevin McDermott tweeted about how his 100-year-old granny likes to party with the spicy booze:

    So why not have other women enjoying their golden years sample the amber elixir? This is precisely what the fine folks at the online magazine Obsev have asked four lucky grandmas to do — and their responses are as magical as being able to shoot fireballs from your palms at walking mushrooms like those crazy Mario siblings.

    Don’t believe us? Here is a little taste of how one grandma responds to her first shot of Fireball:

    Yup. Now go watch the above video!

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/12/31/grandmas-drink-fireball-whiskey-first-time_n_8899794.html