20 Signs Youre Doing Better Than You Think You Are

  1. Youpaid the bills this month , and maybe even had extra to be allocated to non-necessities. It doesn’t matter how much you belabored the checks as they went out, the point is thatthey did, and you figured it out irrespective .
  2. You question yourself . You doubt their own lives. You feel miserable some days. This means you’re still open to growth. This means you can be objective and self-aware. The best people go home at the end of the day and think:” or … maybe there’s another way .”
  3. You have a task . Forhowever many hours, at whatever rate, you are earning fund that helps you eat something, sleep on something, wear something every day.It’s not failing if it doesn’t seem the style you thought it would you’re valuing your freedom and taking responsibility for yourself .
  4. You have time to dosomething you enjoy . Even if” what you enjoy” is sitting on the couch and ordering dinner and watching Netflix .
  5. You are not worried about where your next meal obtained from . There’s food in the fridge or pantry, and you have enough to actually pick and choose what you want to eat .
  6. You can eat because you enjoy it . It’s not a matter of sheer survival .
  7. You have one or two truly close friends . People worry about the sum but eventually tend to realize the number of people you can claim to be in your tribe has no bearing on how much you feelintimacy, acceptance, community, or joy. At the end of the day, all we really want are a few close people who know us( and love us) no matter what .
  8. You could afford a metro ride, beaker of coffee, or the gas in your auto this morning . The smallest conveniences( and oftentimes, necessities) are not variables for you .
  9. You’re not the same person you were a year ago . You’re learning, and evolving, andcan identify the ways in which you’ve changed for better and worse .
  10. You have the time and means to do things beyond the bare minimum . You’ve perhaps been to a concert in the last few years, you buy volumes for yourself, you could take a day trip to a neighboring city if you wanted you don’t have to work all hours of the dayto survive .
  11. You have a selection of attire at your disposal . You aren’t worried about having a hat or gloves in a snowstorm, you have cool clothes for the summer and something to wear to a bridal. You not only can shield and decorate your body, but can do so appropriately for a variety of circumstances .
  12. You can sense whatisn’tright in your life . The first and most crucial step is simply being aware. Being able to communicate to yourself:” something is not right, even though I am not yet sure what would feel better .”
  13. If you could talk to your younger ego, you would be able so say :” We did it, we built it out, we survived that terrible thing .” So often people carry their past traumasinto their present lives, andif you want any proof that we carry who we were in who we are, all you need to do is see how you respond to your inner child hearing, from the person or persons they became .
  14. You have a space of your own . It doesn’t even have to be a home or apartment( but that’s great if it is ). All you need is a room, a corner, a desk, where you can create or rest at your discretion; where you govern who gets to be part of your weird little world, and to what capacity. It’s one of the few controls we can actually exert .
  15. You’ve lostrelationships . More important than the fact that you’ve simply had them in the first place is why you or your former partner chose not to settle. You opened yourself to the possibility of something else being out there .
  16. You’re interested in something . Whether it’s now how to live a happier life, preserve better relationships, reading or movies or sex or society or the axis on which the world spins, something intrigues you to explore it .
  17. You know how to take care of yourself . You know how many hours of sleep you need to feel okay the next day, who to turn to when you’re heartbroken, what you have fun doing, what todo when you don’t feel well, etc .
  18. You’re working toward a objective . Even if you’re depleted and it feels miles back, you have a dream for yourself, however vague and malleable .
  19. But you’re not uncompromisingly set on anything for your future. Some of the happiest and best adjusted people are the ones who can make any situation an ideal, who are too immersed in the moment to intricately planand decidedly commit to any one specific outcome .
  20. You’ve been through some crap . You can look at challenges you currently face and compare them to ones you thought you’d never get over. You can reassure yourself through your own experience. Life did not get easier, you got smarter .

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The 5 awkward times experts shut down news anchors by being experts.

These are just the times experts talked back when news hosts were misleading viewers. What happens when these experts aren’t around?

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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens

Its important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. Im going to tell you that libraries are important. Im going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. Im going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things.

And I am biased, obviously and enormously: Im an author, often an author of fiction. I write for children and for adults. For about 30 years I have been earning my living through my words, mostly by making things up and writing them down. It is obviously in my interest for people to read, for them to read fiction, for libraries and librarians to exist and help foster a love of reading and places in which reading can occur.

So Im biased as a writer. But I am much, much more biased as a reader. And I am even more biased as a British citizen.

And Im here giving this talk tonight, under the auspices of the Reading Agency: a charity whose mission is to give everyone an equal chance in life by helping people become confident and enthusiastic readers. Which supports literacy programs, and libraries and individuals and nakedly and wantonly encourages the act of reading. Because, they tell us, everything changes when we read.

And its that change, and that act of reading that Im here to talk about tonight. I want to talk about what reading does. What its good for.

I was once in New York, and I listened to a talk about the building of private prisons a huge growth industry in America. The prison industry needs to plan its future growth how many cells are they going to need? How many prisoners are there going to be, 15 years from now? And they found they could predict it very easily, using a pretty simple algorithm, based on asking what percentage of 10 and 11-year-olds couldnt read. And certainly couldnt read for pleasure.

Its not one to one: you cant say that a literate society has no criminality. But there are very real correlations.

And I think some of those correlations, the simplest, come from something very simple. Literate people read fiction.

Fiction has two uses. Firstly, its a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if its hard, because someones in trouble and you have to know how its all going to end thats a very real drive. And it forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, youre on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far.

The simplest way to make sure that we raise literate children is to teach them to read, and to show them that reading is a pleasurable activity. And that means, at its simplest, finding books that they enjoy, giving them access to those books, and letting them read them.

I dont think there is such a thing as a bad book for children. Every now and again it becomes fashionable among some adults to point at a subset of childrens books, a genre, perhaps, or an author, and to declare them bad books, books that children should be stopped from reading. Ive seen it happen over and over; Enid Blyton was declared a bad author, so was RL Stine, so were dozens of others. Comics have been decried as fostering illiteracy.

Enid
No such thing as a bad writer… Enid Blytons Famous Five. Photograph: Greg Balfour Evans/Alamy

Its tosh. Its snobbery and its foolishness. There are no bad authors for children, that children like and want to read and seek out, because every child is different. They can find the stories they need to, and they bring themselves to stories. A hackneyed, worn-out idea isnt hackneyed and worn out to them. This is the first time the child has encountered it. Do not discourage children from reading because you feel they are reading the wrong thing. Fiction you do not like is a route to other books you may prefer. And not everyone has the same taste as you.

Well-meaning adults can easily destroy a childs love of reading: stop them reading what they enjoy, or give them worthy-but-dull books that you like, the 21st-century equivalents of Victorian improving literature. Youll wind up with a generation convinced that reading is uncool and worse, unpleasant.

We need our children to get onto the reading ladder: anything that they enjoy reading will move them up, rung by rung, into literacy. (Also, do not do what this author did when his 11-year-old daughter was into RL Stine, which is to go and get a copy of Stephen Kings Carrie, saying if you liked those youll love this! Holly read nothing but safe stories of settlers on prairies for the rest of her teenage years, and still glares at me when Stephen Kings name is mentioned.)

And the second thing fiction does is to build empathy. When you watch TV or see a film, you are looking at things happening to other people. Prose fiction is something you build up from 26 letters and a handful of punctuation marks, and you, and you alone, using your imagination, create a world and people it and look out through other eyes. You get to feel things, visit places and worlds you would never otherwise know. You learn that everyone else out there is a me, as well. Youre being someone else, and when you return to your own world, youre going to be slightly changed.

Empathy is a tool for building people into groups, for allowing us to function as more than self-obsessed individuals.

Youre also finding out something as you read vitally important for making your way in the world. And its this:

The world doesnt have to be like this. Things can be different.

I was in China in 2007, at the first party-approved science fiction and fantasy convention in Chinese history. And at one point I took a top official aside and asked him Why? SF had been disapproved of for a long time. What had changed?

Its simple, he told me. The Chinese were brilliant at making things if other people brought them the plans. But they did not innovate and they did not invent. They did not imagine. So they sent a delegation to the US, to Apple, to Microsoft, to Google, and they asked the people there who were inventing the future about themselves. And they found that all of them had read science fiction when they were boys or girls.

Fiction can show you a different world. It can take you somewhere youve never been. Once youve visited other worlds, like those who ate fairy fruit, you can never be entirely content with the world that you grew up in. Discontent is a good thing: discontented people can modify and improve their worlds, leave them better, leave them different.

And while were on the subject, Id like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if its a bad thing. As if escapist fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.

If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldnt you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with(and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.

As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.

Tolkien's
Tolkiens illustration of Bilbos home, Bag End. Photograph: HarperCollins

Another way to destroy a childs love of reading, of course, is to make sure there are no books of any kind around. And to give them nowhere to read those books. I was lucky. I had an excellent local library growing up. I had the kind of parents who could be persuaded to drop me off in the library on their way to work in summer holidays, and the kind of librarians who did not mind a small, unaccompanied boy heading back into the childrens library every morning and working his way through the card catalogue, looking for books with ghosts or magic or rockets in them, looking for vampires or detectives or witches or wonders. And when I had finished reading the childrens library I began on the adult books.

They were good librarians. They liked books and they liked the books being read. They taught me how to order books from other libraries on inter-library loans. They had no snobbery about anything I read. They just seemed to like that there was this wide-eyed little boy who loved to read, and would talk to me about the books I was reading, they would find me other books in a series, they would help. They treated me as another reader nothing less or more which meant they treated me with respect. I was not used to being treated with respect as an eight-year-old.

But libraries are about freedom. Freedom to read, freedom of ideas, freedom of communication. They are about education (which is not a process that finishes the day we leave school or university), about entertainment, about making safe spaces, and about access to information.

I worry that here in the 21st century people misunderstand what libraries are and the purpose of them. If you perceive a library as a shelf of books, it may seem antiquated or outdated in a world in which most, but not all, books in print exist digitally. But that is to miss the point fundamentally.

I think it has to do with nature of information. Information has value, and the right information has enormous value. For all of human history, we have lived in a time of information scarcity, and having the needed information was always important, and always worth something: when to plant crops, where to find things, maps and histories and stories they were always good for a meal and company. Information was a valuable thing, and those who had it or could obtain it could charge for that service.

In the last few years, weve moved from an information-scarce economy to one driven by an information glut. According to Eric Schmidt of Google, every two days now the human race creates as much information as we did from the dawn of civilisation until 2003. Thats about five exobytes of data a day, for those of you keeping score. The challenge becomes, not finding that scarce plant growing in the desert, but finding a specific plant growing in a jungle. We are going to need help navigating that information to find the thing we actually need.

A
Photograph: Alamy

Libraries are places that people go to for information. Books are only the tip of the information iceberg: they are there, and libraries can provide you freely and legally with books. More children are borrowing books from libraries than ever before books of all kinds: paper and digital and audio. But libraries are also, for example, places that people, who may not have computers, who may not have internet connections, can go online without paying anything: hugely important when the way you find out about jobs, apply for jobs or apply for benefits is increasingly migrating exclusively online. Librarians can help these people navigate that world.

I do not believe that all books will or should migrate onto screens: as Douglas Adams once pointed out to me, more than 20 years before the Kindle turned up, a physical book is like a shark. Sharks are old: there were sharks in the ocean before the dinosaurs. And the reason there are still sharks around is that sharks are better at being sharks than anything else is. Physical books are tough, hard to destroy, bath-resistant, solar-operated, feel good in your hand: they are good at being books, and there will always be a place for them. They belong in libraries, just as libraries have already become places you can go to get access to ebooks, and audiobooks and DVDs and web content.

A library is a place that is a repository of information and gives every citizen equal access to it. That includes health information. And mental health information. Its a community space. Its a place of safety, a haven from the world. Its a place with librarians in it. What the libraries of the future will be like is something we should be imagining now.

Literacy is more important than ever it was, in this world of text and email, a world of written information. We need to read and write, we need global citizens who can read comfortably, comprehend what they are reading, understand nuance, and make themselves understood.

Libraries really are the gates to the future. So it is unfortunate that, round the world, we observe local authorities seizing the opportunity to close libraries as an easy way to save money, without realising that they are stealing from the future to pay for today. They are closing the gates that should be open.

According to a recent study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, England is the only country where the oldest age group has higher proficiency in both literacy and numeracy than the youngest group, after other factors, such as gender, socio-economic backgrounds and type of occupations are taken into account.

Or to put it another way, our children and our grandchildren are less literate and less numerate than we are. They are less able to navigate the world, to understand it to solve problems. They can be more easily lied to and misled, will be less able to change the world in which they find themselves, be less employable. All of these things. And as a country, England will fall behind other developed nations because it will lack a skilled workforce.

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.

I think we have responsibilities to the future. Responsibilities and obligations to children, to the adults those children will become, to the world they will find themselves inhabiting. All of us as readers, as writers, as citizens have obligations. I thought Id try and spell out some of these obligations here.

I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing.

We have an obligation to support libraries. To use libraries, to encourage others to use libraries, to protest the closure of libraries. If you do not value libraries then you do not value information or culture or wisdom. You are silencing the voices of the past and you are damaging the future.

We have an obligation to read aloud to our children. To read them things they enjoy. To read to them stories we are already tired of. To do the voices, to make it interesting, and not to stop reading to them just because they learn to read to themselves. Use reading-aloud time as bonding time, as time when no phones are being checked, when the distractions of the world are put aside.

We have an obligation to use the language. To push ourselves: to find out what words mean and how to deploy them, to communicate clearly, to say what we mean. We must not to attempt to freeze language, or to pretend it is a dead thing that must be revered, but we should use it as a living thing, that flows, that borrows words, that allows meanings and pronunciations to change with time.

We writers and especially writers for children, but all writers have an obligation to our readers: its the obligation to write true things, especially important when we are creating tales of people who do not exist in places that never were to understand that truth is not in what happens but what it tells us about who we are. Fiction is the lie that tells the truth, after all. We have an obligation not to bore our readers, but to make them need to turn the pages. One of the best cures for a reluctant reader, after all, is a tale they cannot stop themselves from reading. And while we must tell our readers true things and give them weapons and give them armour and pass on whatever wisdom we have gleaned from our short stay on this green world, we have an obligation not to preach, not to lecture, not to force predigested morals and messages down our readers throats like adult birds feeding their babies pre-masticated maggots; and we have an obligation never, ever, under any circumstances, to write anything for children that we would not want to read ourselves.

We have an obligation to understand and to acknowledge that as writers for children we are doing important work, because if we mess it up and write dull books that turn children away from reading and from books, we ve lessened our own future and diminished theirs.

We all adults and children, writers and readers have an obligation to daydream. We have an obligation to imagine. It is easy to pretend that nobody can change anything, that we are in a world in which society is huge and the individual is less than nothing: an atom in a wall, a grain of rice in a rice field. But the truth is, individuals change their world over and over, individuals make the future, and they do it by imagining that things can be different.

Look around you: I mean it. Pause, for a moment and look around the room that you are in. Im going to point out something so obvious that it tends to be forgotten. Its this: that everything you can see, including the walls, was, at some point, imagined. Someone decided it was easier to sit on a chair than on the ground and imagined the chair. Someone had to imagine a way that I could talk to you in London right now without us all getting rained on.This room and the things in it, and all the other things in this building, this city, exist because, over and over and over, people imagined things.

We have an obligation to make things beautiful. Not to leave the world uglier than we found it, not to empty the oceans, not to leave our problems for the next generation. We have an obligation to clean up after ourselves, and not leave our children with a world weve shortsightedly messed up, shortchanged, and crippled.

We have an obligation to tell our politicians what we want, to vote against politicians of whatever party who do not understand the value of reading in creating worthwhile citizens, who do not want to act to preserve and protect knowledge and encourage literacy. This is not a matter of party politics. This is a matter of common humanity.

Albert Einstein was asked once how we could make our children intelligent. His reply was both simple and wise. If you want your children to be intelligent, he said, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales. He understood the value of reading, and of imagining. I hope we can give our children a world in which they will read, and be read to, and imagine, and understand.

This is an edited version of Neil Gaimans lecture for the Reading Agency, delivered on Monday October 14 at the Barbican in London. The Reading Agencys annual lecture series was initiated in 2012 as a platform for leading writers and thinkers to share original, challenging ideas about reading and libraries.

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Taylor Swift: judge dismisses DJs case against pop star

Judge regulations David Mueller failed to prove Taylor Swift personally set out to have him fired after 2013 photo opportunity

A judge on Friday threw out a Denver radio hosts instance against Taylor Swift in a trial that delved into their duelling lawsuits over whether he groped her during a backstage meet-and-greet and whether she and her squad ruined his career.

US District Judge William Martinez determined that the pop starring could not be held liable because David Mueller failed to prove that she personally set out to have him fired after the 2013 photo op. His identical allegations against Swifts mother and her radio liaison will go to jurors for a verdict.

Mueller denies groping Swift and sued the vocalist, her mom, Andrea Swift, and their radio handler, Frank Bell, seeking up to$ 3 million as compensation for his ruined career.

The singer-songwriter said in her countersuit that she wanted a symbolic$ 1 and the chance to stand up for other women. The jury will still consider her claim.

Swift teared up as the judge read his decision, saying there was no evidence that her actions were insincere. Afterward, her squad smiled and espoused. Muellers side did not speak.

The move came after days of witnes from the singer and others and just before jurors were set to hear closing arguments.

Swift spent an hour on the witness stand on Thursday defiantly recounting what she called a despicable and horrifying and shocking encounter before a concert.

He bided attached to my bare ass-cheek as I careened away from him, Swift witnessed. It was a definite grab. A very long grab, she added in her testimony.

Swifts testy exchange with Muellers attorney occasionally elicited chuckles even from the six-woman, two-man jury. She got a laugh when she said her security guard assured Mueller lift my skirt but someone would have had to have been underneath her to consider the actual grope and we didnt have anyone positioned there.

Swift testified that after the photo was taken she tried to get as far away from Mueller as she could. She said she told him and his girlfriend, who was also in the photo, thank you for coming in a monotone voice before they left.

She also said she was stunned and did not say anything to Mueller or halt the event after he left because she did not wishes to frustrate several dozen people waiting in line for photos with her.

In the image, indicated to jurors during opening statements but not publicly released, Muellers hand is behind Swift, only below her waist. Muellers then-girlfriend, Shannon Melcher, is on the other side of Swift. All three are smiling.

Melcher witnessed on Friday that she saw nothing happen during the brief encounter and that she and Mueller were rudely tackled and escorted out of the arena that evening. Melcher said Mueller was devastated by the accusation.

She said she and Mueller started out as co-workers at country station KYGO-FM and became romantically to participate in February 2013, a few months before the concert. They drifted apart late in 2013, but Melcher says they remained friends.

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This artist graffitied the worst tweets he could find, right outside Twitter’s office.

The man’s eyes bulge down at the ground. All around him, it is littered with spray-painted, stenciled messages.

Their contents, written in a mix of English and German, are vile. The scalp crawls to read them.

“Let’s gas some Jews together, ” reads one stencil.

“Gays to Auschwitz, ” reads another.

The nose automatically wrinkles i look at them.

The man shakes his head. “I work in an advice center for Roma and Sinti so we’re used to this kind of racist bullshit. But these…”

“These are all tweets, ” the cameraman says. “Tweets, ” the man repeats quietly. He seems shocked and a little sad.

For the past six months or so, German artist Shahak Shapira had been the information and flagging inappropriate tweets like these to little avail.

Shapira employed Twitter’s is under the responsibility of flag about 300 of them, he told The Associated Press. Most of his grievances ran unanswered, and whenever he’d check back, the majority of the tweets were still visible.

Feeling ignored and frustrated, Shapira decided there was one sure-fire style to get heard.

Early in the morning, Shapira and a crew of workers arrived on the doorstep of Twitter’s German headquarters in Hamburg and proceeded to stencil approximately 30 of the worst ones right on their doorstep.

For a lot of people, this is already what social media is like. Image from Shahak Shapira/ YouTube.

A video of people’s reactions to the display was published on YouTube on Aug. 7, 2017. The camera captures a human in a collared shirt walking by. He gazes at the tweets. “It’s just disgusting, ” he says.

For a distressing number of people, stumbling through hateful messages on social media is a daily struggle.

For some, scrolling through our social media feed is comparatively benign. The problem of harassment or hateful language can seem unimportant because it’s easy to dismis a number of problems when you don’t see it.

But the truth is that there are many people who do have to see these kinds of things every day. Harassment and online abuse have been a problem for years. A Pew Research poll found that as many as 4 of every 10 internet users has experienced harassment.

And if your job is linked to work on social media, as many of ours are these days, you don’t really have a option about whether you have to see this.

By thrusting this language into the real world, Shapira has built it hard to ignore. If people don’t wishes to tolerate this graffiti on the streets, perhaps we shouldn’t tolerate it on the internet either.

You can watch the full video below:

Twitter did not comment on the “artwork, ” although the AP reports that by Aug. 9, about half of the stenciled tweets had been removed online .

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This artist’s unusual paintings are helping people love their bodies.

Cinta Tort Cartr, known as Zinteta online, has always loved creating art, but she recently started using humen as her main canvas.

The 21 -year-old artist, who hails from a small town in Spain, tells this experiment with kind started a few months ago.

In a short amount of time, it’s stimulated her internet-famous in the best way.

All photos by Zinteta, used with permission

One of her first topics? Herself. One day while sitting in her apartment, she decided to take a brush and some paint to her stretch marks.

The result was a glorious rainbow detonation, and it had a profound impact on the way Zinteta considered her own body.

For the first time, she no longer ensure her stretch marks as flaws.

It got her thinking about the pressures society puts on women and their bodies.

She decided to paint stretch marks on other women, hoping to spread her message of self-acceptance far and wide.

As an elementary school teacher, Zinteta has a front-row seat for the effect of messages girls get during their formative years and how we might be better able to empower them.

Her work is speaking to women of all ages, all backgrounds, all sizes, and all ethnicities.

Oh and mamas! Moms are perfectly loving Zinteta’s gorgeous creations.

It’s no secret that pregnancy and childbirth often leave behind “battle scars.” They can become a source of shame for many mommies, but Zinteta hopes she can convince women to consider them differently.

“These stretch marks speak about something that is precious: bringing someone to the world, ” she says in an email.

Stretch marks don’t only come from major changes in weight or pregnancy. They’re a normal part of growing and living life.

Oh, and by the way, guys can get them too.

If anything, stretching marks are simply a sign that you’re a living, breathing human.

“I think it’s important to accept all of you, ” Zinteta told the BBC.

It’s a lesson that’s taken her a while to learn. She admitted in an interview with Metro that she suffered from anorexia as a teenager and never felt like her body was good enough.

Her art has helped her mend, and she’s hoping it can do the same for others.

So far, it has.

“People send me lovely messages and photos about their stretch marks, ” she says.

Some of her fans are even painting their bodies at home as part of their journey to love themselves fully.

Zinteta is happy to be a part of what she calls, a “revolution.”

Accepting ourselves for exactly who we are? That’s a revolution that’s far, far overdue.

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Netflix and Amazon on edge as Disney plans own streaming service

Studio will pull all titles from rivals and try to corner market in family-friendly fare from 2019

Disney is to pull its movies from Netflix and take on the streaming company with the launch of its own service from 2019, showing family-friendly fare such as the Toy Story films, Frozen and its forthcoming sequel, and The Lion King. The move is being seen as a potential major challenge to Netflix, whose shares fell 4% in after-hours trading on the back of the news, and to Amazon.

Disney said it had not yet made a decision on whether to include Marvel, home to the Avengers franchise and characters such as Iron Man and Captain America, and Lucasfilm, the company behind Indiana Jones and Star Wars, in the new service. The company has been identified as a potential buyer of Netflix, with which it has an exclusive film distribution deal in the US, with a market value of about $75bn.

Disney is launching its service in the US, but chief executive Bob Iger told analysts to think of it as a global service. The company is also launching a streaming service for ESPN, the sports network with rights to top flight-competitions including Major League Baseball and the NFL.

The launch of our direct-to-consumer services marks an entirely new strategy for the company, said Iger, one that takes advantage of the incredible opportunity that changing technology provides us to leverage the strength of our great brands.

The service will initially be family-focused, drawing on Pixar and Disney fare and including productions from the Disney Channel and Disney Junior.

Disney said it would become the exclusive home in the US for subscription video-on-demand viewing of the newest live action and animated movies from Disney and Pixar beginning with the 2019 theatrical slate. The media landscape is increasingly defined by direct relationships between content creators and consumers, said Iger.

In 2015, Disney began experimenting with its own streaming service in the UK, Disney Life, priced at 9.99 a month and specialising in kids and family content from Bambi and The Jungle Book to Pixars Toy Story franchise, as well as more modern blockbusters such as the Pirates of the Caribbean series.

Disney gained the capability to launch the new streaming service thanks to its purchase of a majority stake in BAMTech, a subsidiary of MLBAM, the internet arm of Major League Baseball. Disney already owned a stake, but is paying $1.58bn for an additional 42%.

Earlier this week, Netflix moved to reduce its reliance on licensing intellectual property from rivals by acquiring comic book company Millarworld. It hopes that the company whose properties Kick-Ass and Kingsman have already been turned into films that have been shown on the network will do for it what the acquisition of Marvel has done for Disney.

By owning its own franchises, Netflix is hoping to reduce its rapidly growing content budget. It has already committed to spending $16bn on the production and licensing of films and TV shows over the next five years.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

9 surprisingly heartwarming moments you may have missed in last night’s ‘Game of Thrones.’

Welcome to A Song of Nice and Fire Upworthys weekly series recapping one of the most brutal shows on TV. Since brutality is not really in our wheelhouse, Eric March has taken it upon himself to dig deep, twist and turn, and squint really hard to see if he can find the light of kindness in all the darkness. He may not always succeed, but by gosh if he wont try his best.

Heres what he found on this weeks “Game of Thrones.”

FIREBALL!

For an episode high on characters non-consensually set ablaze, “The Spoils of War” featured a lot of man’s-kindness-toward-his-fellow-man. I didn’t even have to squint that hard.

Let’s dive right in!

1. The Stark siblings reunite!

“You guys are weird.” Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

After six and a half seasons, thousands of miles traveled, several months of assassin training, two nightmare marriages, and one attempt to kind of become a tree, the remaining three children of Ned and Catelyn Stark finally get the band back together and it’s glorious.

Sure, it’s also a little awkward. Bran behaves like the world’s most insufferable college freshman home for Thanksgiving who has thoughts about the categorical imperative, while Sansa increasingly suspects that Arya’s kill list might include a certain red-headed sister whose name rhymes with Pantsa Park. Arya, meanwhile, is too busy fighting knights three times her size to a draw to really bother with any palace intrigue, stirring up some of her sister’s long-buried childhood resentment. But for the most part, everyone hugs and has a nice, easygoing break from the generational trauma they’ve been subjected to.

And just like at most family reunions…

2. Everyone gives everyone a dagger!

Like a fruitcake on Christmas morning, Westeros’ most infamous stabbing implement the knife that almost ended Bran way back in season one spends a majority of last night’s episode being re-gifted. Littlefinger gives it to Bran, who gives it to Arya, who gives it to Brienne, who gives it back to Arya. Sure, they all have different motives, not all of them 100% pure, but hey, it’s the thought that counts!

Judging by Arya’s rapid mastery of the weapon, I can easily imagine it making its way into a certain perpetually-on-the-edge-of-cynical-laughter face before too long.

Careful who you pawn that fruitcake off on…

3. A Lannister pays her debt.

What do you know? Cersei actually delivers on her promise to make good on her loan from the Iron Bank.

“Profits. Dividends. ROI.” Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

That’s A+ financial responsibility, even if it involved poisoning an old woman to death to make it happen.

Gotta balance those books!

4. Bran thanks Meera for dragging him thousands of miles through the snow.

Yes, he does so in the most ungrateful, detached way possible and leaves out a few minor details and incidental dead friends, but if we set the bar as low as we possibly can, he does say thank you. Turns out you can be all-knowing and all-seeing and still recall the essential Emily Post.

Anyway, Meera’s off the show now probably, so score one for character economy!

5. Jon gives Daenerys a free art history lesson in the dragonglass mine.

Time was, a guided tour of the catacombs beneath Dragonstone would set you back 175 euros and a cooler full of overpriced baguettes, but here’s Jon, giving it to Daenerys free of charge!

“I think I’m gonna take a pool day, but you two go ahead!” Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO.

Of course, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. It turns out that in addition to enough dragonglass to slay an army of white walkers, the mine contains some seriously spiral-y etchings that conveniently help Jon sell the story he failed to adequately transmute to his potential ally-in-walking-dead-killing a few days (Weeks? Months? Centuries? What is the timeline on this show?) prior. Panicked, throne-room descriptions of ice zombies delivered by a man wearing an IKEA shag rug on his back? Eh. The same story scratched onto a cave wall? That’s the sort of thing that gets a dragon queen on board.

Jon wins her over enough that Dany offers her killing prowess in exchange for your standard pledge of undying loyalty and submission (“Bend the knee”). Unfortunately, there are some plan-hitches even Dany is unaware of.

Thankfully…

6. Tyrion delivers the good news first!

“Also, loooove the sash.” Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO.

Good communicators know how to sandwich bad news in between the good, and that’s exactly what Westeros’ smartest, most prolific talker does by leading with the glorious capture of Casterly Rock before filling in the small matter of the trapped Unsullied, ransacked resources, and dead allies.

The delivery is so tactful that Daenerys remains cool enough to probe Jon for advice and seems to take it when he reminds her why people are into her in the first place.

People, that is, like him. He seems into her.

Also, she is his aunt.

Weirdly, we all ‘ship it.

7. Jamie casually persuades Randyll Tarly not to whip a bunch of his soldiers.

Look, it really sucks when your exhausted army is moving at a snail’s pace, and flogging the slow-moving dudes does seem like the kind of thing that would speed things up, but props to Jamie for urging his co-commander to at least give the guys a stern talking-to before going all “Fifty Shades of Grey” on them.

Later, Jamie, the most morally medium Lannister, continues to get right with his gods by attempting to talk Tarly’s son Dickon out of his shell shock. His efforts are nearly undone by Bronn, who not only laughs at the dude’s admittedly hilarious name but proceeds to mock his pampered upbringing with a well-/poorly timed poop quip.

But the sellsword rapidly redeems himself because not seven seconds later…

8. Dany goes for a dragon ride!

What good is painstakingly raising three dragons from birth if you’re going to sit around and not ride them? To the delight of viewers and horselords alike, aspiring Queen Daenerys finally scratches the itchfor the first time since landing in Westeros.

Her first destination? Straight at a bunch of unsuspecting Lannister soldiers (cf. the above “FIREBALL!”).

Mercifully, in the ensuing (epically one-sided) carnage…

9. Bronn ditches his sack of gold to save Jamie’s life…

“Um … hm!” Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

…when they and several hundred of their closest foot soldiers find themselves under combined assault from the Dothraki, who apparently brought a teleportation machine over from the steppe (again, I have to ask how quickly is time moving on this show?) and the aforementioned 50-foot fire monster from the maw of hell. In an act of utter and utterly surprising selflessness, when forced to choose between his spilled gold and the lives of his comrades, Bronn elects to leave the cash money behind and make a beeline for the scorpion in a vain attempt to spear Daenerys’ one-woman scaly air force out of the sky.

Indeed, for a supposedly honor-less killing machine, not only does Bronn sniff out the oncoming horde in the first place and trade his pay for the chance to save a couple dozen Ed Sheerans, he (or some guy who really looks like him) also risks involuntary immolation to push Jamie into the most conveniently adjacent river of all time, sparing him an untimely death-by-Drogon.

Give that man his castle, already.

P.S. While it’s not exactly “nice,” credit to director Matt Shakman for providing lots of long, lingering shots of Lannister soldiers screaming and staggering around on fire, reminding us that war really, really sucks if you’re the little guy even if you fight for the baddies.

Random Acts of Niceness

  • Jon, who hasn’t seen Theon since all that, you know, stuff went down, demonstrates heroic restraint and refrains from smashing the ironborn lordling’s face in. Funny how so many of the nicest moments on this show involve one character not killing another character they emphatically should kill! Take it where you can get it, I guess.
  • Littlefinger promises to protect all of Catelyn Stark’s children, which seems sweet until you remember it’s a vow that conveniently leaves out a certain sibling/cousin/bastard who just happens to be out of town giving museum tours at the moment.
  • Thanks to Stannis, Davos is now an insufferable grammar pedant who knows the difference between “less” and “fewer.” Stannis appreciates the congrats.

Whew! Lots to cover on the kindness beat. Join me next week when, hopefully, Jamie finally learns Dickon’s name (assuming the golden-armed general hasn’t drowned), Sam finally gets to read the long academic tome of his dreams, and Tormund and his wildling brigade report nothing of note going on at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea false alarm!

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

Why the book phone challenge is the social media craze of the summer.

Dunking on strangers is great. Standing like a mannequin is fine too. But if you want to make a splash on the internet this week, you better pick up a book.

The #bookphonechallenge encourages users to pick up their latest reads and hold them to their ear like a phone. It’s similar to photos you may have seen of rappers, entertainers, and the suddenly cash-rich holding stacks of money to their ears like phones only this time, it’s for people who love to read.

The #bookphonechallenge started with Lord Jamar, a hip-hop artist from the group Brand Nubian.

In his first post, he wrote, “On my phone, knowledge is calling.” Soon after, he made a funny video using his books as a make-believe phone. The challenge was born.

Y’all wanna make the BOOK PHONE a CHALLENGE???…Then make it happen!!! #bookphonechallenge

A post shared by Lord Jamar Allah (@lordjamar) on Jul 29, 2017 at 9:07am PDT

Since #bookphonechallenge began July 29, more than 9,000 posts have used the hashtag.

The challenge has spread quickly on social media, particularly among black users. It’s the perfect combination of hip-hop culture, continuous learning, and great photos. Since reading is perfect for all age and stages, everyone can participate!

From sweet babies starting on the right track…

…to older kids finding their favorites and exploring the world around them.

Grown folks are in on it too. Sharing what they’re reading for business or pleasure…

#bookphonechallenge part 1

A post shared by Ben-G From The LPC (@bengfromthelpc) on Aug 2, 2017 at 7:35pm PDT

…as well as the books that inspired and challenged them.

As an adult, reading isn’t always carefree or fun.

(Finals are no joke.)

But when it comes to learning new things or exploring new places, a good book is the only thing you need.

(Well, most of the time.)

Yes I wanted in on the #BookPhoneChallenge too! #MoveWithMelo

A post shared by Melo (@movewithmelo) on Aug 3, 2017 at 5:44pm PDT

Take part in the #bookphonechallenge or just take a minute to recommend a good read to a friend.

Because unlike the running man or ice bucket challenge, reading will never go out of style.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com

David Cameron: from prime minister to reluctant festival-goer

Former PMs glum expression in a couples selfie at the Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire indicates it was not to his liking

In a possible sign that he had taken inspiration from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyns Glastonbury appearance this year David Cameron was spotted at the upmarket Wilderness festival in Oxfordshire by unsuspecting festival goers.
The former “ministers ” was seen in a selfie taken by Labour activist Vanessa Price and her husband. He seemed to be sporting an expression not dissimilar to that which he had where reference is resigned as prime minister in June last year.

Cameron was appearing immediately at the lens, while his wife, Samantha, seemed more concerned with the on-stage entertainment, which included the likes of Two Door Cinema Club, Bonobo and Grace Jones.

Price told the BBC: We took the selfie and then Steve looked at it and said, oh my God, I think thats David Cameron. I couldnt believe he was staring at the camera I dont think he was having a good time.

The Wilderness festival in Cornbury Park near the Camerons Oxfordshire home boasts a lakeside spa, yoga workshops and a Sunday Cricket match a far cry from the average celebration.

Bank of England governor Mark Carney was spotted at the same event last year wearing a glisten tattoo on his face as he took a breaking from the British economy post Brexit referendum. Unable to join him last year, since he was dealing with the fall-out from the Brexit referendum, Cameron seems to have seized the opportunity this year instead.

The Camerons appearance came as Conservative MP George Freeman announced plans for a Tory Glastonbury in September. The Norfolk MP is organising a one-day celebration of ideas in response to the popularity of Corbyns Glastonbury appearance in the hopes of boosting the partys dwindling grassroots support.

Perhaps Cameron is just warming himself up for the Conservative Glasto. With that expres, though, it does not look like hell be attending another festival anytime soon.

Make sure to visit: CapGeneration.com