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Pope Francis Addressed Congress with a Moving Speech

pope francis

September 24th, 2015 - By Billy Caldwell Quite simply, I like this Pope. Truly a man of the people. Yesterday, driving around in his modest Fiat four door car, he wanted only to eat with the homeless and see the people in need. Ignored were the politicians and 1%'ers . Pope Francis wanted

High Speed Train to the Desert

High speed train

Are my eyes deceiving me? Waking up this morning, I found out that the long talked about, high speed train to the glitz and glamour of the high deserts of Las Vegas, was becoming a reality. Mind blown. I grew up in that little desert town , and I remember talks of this build

105 Thoughts Every Girl Has In American Apparel

Let’s go with the nylon disco shorts. In silver.

1. Wow, so window display, many colours.
2. Wait, isn’t this the place with the ads that look like porn?
3. Will these clothes make me look like porn?
4. Do I want to look like porn?
5. And why do only the women look like porn?
6. Whatevs, might as well pop in and check out the sale rack.

Naoise Dolan for BuzzFeed

7. That shop assistant is intimidatingly beautiful.
8. She looks like she’s about to tell me that they don’t stock peasant smocks and I should leave before they release the hounds.
9. Her cheekbones don’t think I belong here.
10. Her cheekbones want me gone.
11. Everything here makes me feel poor and clownish.
12. Okay, I have to stay for long enough that cheekbones-girl doesn’t get to think she’s scared me off.
13. I’m not giving her the satisfaction.
14. Let’s start with the sale rack.
15. She’s definitely noticed that I’m starting with the sale rack.
16. But if you don’t want people to start with the sale rack, don’t charge the equivalent of a downpayment on a mortgage for an aubergine-coloured tube bra.

Naoise Dolan for BuzzFeed


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Help Me Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Now

I was deeply moved watching Julianne Moore win the Oscar for “Still Alice”, a movie I was proud and privileged to executive produce. Julianne gives a harrowing performance as a brilliant 50-year-old college professor who loses her brain and herself to early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. This is a huge moment for Julianne — and a huge moment for all of us who have been trying to focus public attention on this staggering disease.

Witnessing Alzheimer’s progress on the big screen is as terrifying as it is in real life. I know, because I’m a child of Alzheimer’s. My father Sargent Shriver’s mind had always been a finely-tuned instrument that left people in awe and inspired. But my family and I watched Alzheimer’s erase that brain — slowly, inexorably, completely. It was terrifying, too, because back then, the disease was surrounded by shame and silence.

Alzheimer’s still carries a stigma of the unknown — even though today, more than 5 million Americans have it. That’s right. Every 67 seconds, another one of us develops Alzheimer’s. Women in their 60s are about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s as breast cancer. With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, there will be 13.5 million of us with Alzheimer’s by 2050. And many people don’t understand that Alzheimer’s isn’t a natural part of aging. Alzheimer’s is a disease that kills.

The truth is, we’re right in the middle of an epidemic, but we as a nation are in denial. An Oscar for “Still Alice” is shining the brightest light yet on Alzheimer’s, but light isn’t enough anymore. Attention isn’t enough. It’s time to get serious. Alzheimer’s is exerting a powerful impact on American families — on our health, our finances, and our futures. And women are disproportionately impacted.

Why women? Back in 2010, when we published “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,” we broke the news that women were more than half the individuals diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and nearly two-thirds of the unpaid caregivers of those who had it. Now those numbers are far worse. Today nearly two-thirds of those with Alzheimer’s are women — that’s more than 3.2 million women. And women are more than 70 percent of Alzheimer’s caregivers, having to reduce their own workload or even drop out of the workforce altogether to care for loved ones.

Women are the epicenter of this crisis, which is why I believe women also have to be the solution. So last week, in partnership with the Alzheimer’s Association and so many inspiring women already working on the front lines to fight this disease, we launched the Wipe Out Alzheimer’s Challenge, a multi-pronged campaign powered by women’s brains. Our mission is to enlist women of all ages to get educated, engaged and empowered to instigate change. Women around the country will go out and raise the alarm, raise awareness, raise the stakes, and raise millions of dollars to fund serious research into women’s brains.

And there’s so much research to do and so many questions to answer. Why is the incidence of Alzheimer’s higher for women? Nobody knows. And why is it that women in their 60s are so much more likely to get Alzheimer’s than breast cancer? Nobody knows. What’s the exact role of estrogen? We don’t know. Is there an Alzheimer’s connection with depression or with diabetes? What about genetics? What can be done during the 20 or so years when the disease develops, before a woman even becomes symptomatic? What’s the impact of diet, stress level, exercise, sleep and cardiovascular condition? It’s time to find out.

We have to fund this research, because for some reason it’s not a priority for the government. In 2015, Washington will spend an estimated $6 billion on cancer research and $3 billion on HIV/AIDS research, but only $586 million on Alzheimer’s. Yet, this disease is costing our federal government $226 billion every year. I don’t get it, but I’m not going to wait anymore.

So Wipe Out Alzheimer’s is stepping in. We’re asking women to put together their own Brain Trusts in their communities — groups that will go out and do some muscular fundraising. But equally important, these Brain Trusts will gather to discuss and disseminate information about what the disease is and isn’t. What are the warning signs we should look for in ourselves and our parents? What’s the difference between normal forgetfulness, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease? Can brain games or meditation slow cognitive decline? Do dietary supplements help?

Local Brain Trust groups will also learn about the devastatingly high cost of Alzheimer’s — how neither Medicare nor the Affordable Care Act covers long-term care, and private nursing homes average more than $80,000 a year. They’ll reach out to help and encourage women whose loved ones have Alzheimer’s. They will be politically engaged and encourage political candidates who support increased funding for Alzheimer’s research. They’ll push their own doctors to get better-educated about cognitive health.

It’s time for the narrative around Alzheimer’s to change. I remember when an HIV-AIDS diagnosis was a death sentence. I remember when cancer was a dirty word and the prognosis was always grim. But AIDS and cancer activists are helping to take these diseases from terrifying to treatable, from hopeless to hopeful. We want to do the same with Alzheimer’s. We want to understand it, prevent it, treat it and beat it. Wipe Out Alzheimer’s is creating a global community of women activists, agitators and agents of change to do just that.

We used to think that the mysterious condition called Alzheimer’s disease happened only to folks in their 80s and 90s. “Still Alice” shows us that’s just not true.

The race for the Oscar may be over, but the race to wipe out Alzheimer’s is on.

This commentary first appeared in the Opinion section of CNN.com.

‘Is Everybody High?’ Musicians Share Their Best Stories About Getting Stoned With Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson At Home In Texas

Getty Image

South by Southwest Festival (SXSW) headliner Willie Nelson is best known for two things; making and performing some of the country’s most enduring music, and weed. Lots and lots of weed. Millions of fans annually flock to his performances to enjoy both, including other famous marijuana enthusiasts, occasional smokers, and first-time potheads.

After participating in the Dripping Springs Reunion of 1972, Nelson started his own Austin-based music festival the following year. Playfully called “Country Woodstock,” Willie Nelson’s Fourth of July Picnic quickly became a staple of the Texas music scene. It also provided a public platform for the musician’s then-unorthodox stance on marijuana.

Nelson opts for vaporizers instead of joints these days, but this hasn’t dampened his support of numerous state and nationwide legalization campaigns. Nor has it lessened how often he smokes, gets arrested, and who he smokes with. What follows are some great stories from musicians about getting high with Willie.

Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion?)

While promoting his collaborative album Heroes in 2012, Nelson talked to GQ about the recording process, a recent vacation he took to Amsterdam, and his good ol’ pal Snoop Dogg, who went by the moniker “Snoop Lion” at the time. The two musicians joined each other in the Netherlands capital for some “coffee:”

GQ: Speaking of Snoop, I hear you shared some time together in Amsterdam.

Willie Nelson: Yah. I was in Amsterdam and I got a call from Snoop and he was, I think, in New York or somewhere and didn’t have anything to do. So he just flew over and we hung out for a few days.

GQ: I assume you two frequented a few of Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops?

Willie Nelson: We had a cup of coffee or two [laughs]. We got to be good buddies.

Both men told the same story on CNN, along with a little elaboration from Snoop in the above interview with Piers Morgan.

Dave Matthews

Rolling Stone garnered all sorts of extras for its September 2014 issue dedicated to Nelson. One of the funniest entries came from fellow singer-songwriter Dave Matthews, whose own live show closely models Willie’s own (many audience members light up, and the stands better resemble the stars.) Of course, Matthews told stories about getting stoned with his friend:

I remember the first time that I met him, the band and I got on his bus and he started rolling joints and passing them around the bus. And at some point, I got this sort of warm dull hum in my head I think everybody was sharing. We’d been chattering, and I don’t know how many joints had been going around the bus, but he raised his hand and said, “Is everybody high?” And then everyone laughed. It was a great moment.

An even greater moment came when Matthews gave his mother, a longtime fan of Nelson, a photo of Willie with the members of the Dave Matthews Band:

Every time I go to visit my mom, who is a huge Willie Nelson fan – as much for the person as for his music – there’s a photograph that we took on the bus and he just looks as bright-eyed as ever, but the rest of us just look as if we are so fucking high. But my mom proudly displays this photo of me cross-eyed on Willie’s bus.

Like any good parent, Matthews’s mom overlooked her son’s poor photographic preferences and kept the photo up. Then again, because she’s such a Nelson fan, she probably forgot Dave was in the picture.

This Is What Magic Mushrooms Do To Your Brain

People have some pretty wild experiences while on ‘shrooms, reporting everything from vivid hallucinations to spiritual awakenings to intense euphoria. But exactly what happens inside the brain to produce such a trip?

That’s the subject of a new video from the guys at ASAPScience.

According to the video, the main psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms is psilocybin, a compound that the body breaks down into a mind-altering substance called psilocin. To find out what it does to the brain, just check out the video above.

Scientists believe magic mushrooms and other psychedelics might have significant therapeutic uses for people with mental health problems like depression and PTSD. But scientists say more research is needed–and maybe a change in laws governing the use of the drugs.

As ASAPScience’s Mitchell Moffit says in the video, “Ultimately, scientists believe that the laws need to change around clinical testing of the drugs so advanced research can be executed to fully understand both the positive and negative effects that this ‘magic fungus’ has on our brain.”

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