Sunday, May 31, 2015

Sports Car Agility, Muscle Car Heart: The 2015 Corvette Z06 Convertible

Z06 is the unapologetic mechanical embodiment of American swagger, that trait Marxists currently berating our society want to beat out of every American boy before feeding him a steady diet of Howard Zinn.

Hawkeye Pierce's 1975 Commencent Speech To Columbia University's Medical Students

In 1975, a reel doctor gave a speech to real doctors when M*A*S*H surgeon Hawkeye Pierce (Alan Alda) gave the commencement address to the medical students graduating from Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons. 40 years later, Alda's advice is good medicine for us all.

Windows 10 Release: Words Of Caution From IDC And A PC Maker

The Windows 10 release may arrive with more of a whimper than a bang. Microsoft's new operating system is not expected to"to drive a surge in new PC shipments," IDC said in a research note this past week, despite the "free upgrade for consumers." The larger point is that it's an uphill [...]

What Is The 'Smart Money' Telling Us About Oil?

The 'smart money' is betting against crude oil's recent rebound, while the 'dumb money' is betting it will continue.

Updated: Cities: Skylines mod masterclass might just solve your traffic problems

Updated: Cities: Skylines mod masterclass might just solve your traffic problems

Update: Missed the show? Fear not - you can watch it in full below.

YouTube :

Original story below...

Cities: Skylines has already garnered a tonne of critical praise, trumping 2013's SimCity and, in the eyes of many, marking a new benchmark for the city simulation genre. However, it's been the encouragement of player-made mods that has really helped its community to flourish (just check out the Cities: Skylines modding Subreddit if you want proof). Right now there are around 33,000 available mods and counting.

In fact, developers aren't just leaving the doors wide open for modders - they're also hosting an in-depth modding masterclass over Twitch later today to demonstrate how players can make better mods. They'll also be discussing the shift towards giving players more creative roles in these sorts of games.

The 'How To Masterclass' will take place today at 7PM GMT/2pm EDT/11am PDT on the Paradox Interactive Twitch channel. If you're a Skylines enthusiast, it's probably worth a watch.

A's Melvin extends Coliseum invite to Stephen Curry and the Warriors

A's Melvin extends Coliseum invite to Stephen Curry and the Warriors

Paul Posluszny feels Jaguars will have success in near future

Paul Posluszny was back where he belonged last week when the Jacksonville Jaguars began their organized team activities and said he wants to be part of the team's success in the not too distant future.

Updated: Cities: Skylines mod masterclass might just solve your traffic problems

Updated: Cities: Skylines mod masterclass might just solve your traffic problems

Update: Missed the show? Fear not - you can watch it in full below.

YouTube :

Original story below...

Cities: Skylines has already garnered a tonne of critical praise, trumping 2013's SimCity and, in the eyes of many, marking a new benchmark for the city simulation genre. However, it's been the encouragement of player-made mods that has really helped its community to flourish (just check out the Cities: Skylines modding Subreddit if you want proof). Right now there are around 33,000 available mods and counting.

In fact, developers aren't just leaving the doors wide open for modders - they're also hosting an in-depth modding masterclass over Twitch later today to demonstrate how players can make better mods. They'll also be discussing the shift towards giving players more creative roles in these sorts of games.

The 'How To Masterclass' will take place today at 7PM GMT/2pm EDT/11am PDT on the Paradox Interactive Twitch channel. If you're a Skylines enthusiast, it's probably worth a watch.

Jimmie Johnson shares special moment with young fan at Dover

This is what it's all about folks. Jimmie Johnson's biggest little fan gives his hero three hugs at the drivers' meeting at Dover.

New Maroon 5 Video Drops (Featuring Guest Appearance By Adam Levine's Butt)

If you were saddened by the fact you might have to go your whole life without seeing Adam Levine's butt, well ... congratulations?

The video for Maroon 5 single "This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like A Motherfucker" has officially dropped, and the derriere of band frontman Levine makes an appearance in the first 30 seconds. The whole video is in black and white, though, so don't worry, it's artsy.

According to a recent post on Levine's Instagram, fans aren't the only ones enjoying that particular aspect of the video.

A photo posted by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on

Ah, moms. As for Levine's take on the subject? Look no further ... (NSFW):

Oops...we just dropped our new video. Link in bio!

A photo posted by Adam Levine (@adamlevine) on

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Sport and Society for Arete-Catching Up

As I mentioned previously it seems as if there are always some bizarre or hilarious developments in the world of sport while I am out of touch. A few days ago I reported on my experiences watching hockey in Russia. Now I want to revisit what many of you will consider old news.

The first story to break as I winged my way to Moscow was the release of the Wells Report on what has been called "Deflategate." First it is clear that Americans are in dire need of some way to discuss scandal without using the suffix "gate." Second, the report itself offered much that was predictable. The Patriots were guilty of something and the guilty parties were in the equipment room, probably prodded into action by Tom Brady. The Patriot's quarterback denied any knowledge of tampering with the footballs offering an expected pose of indignation from one of the golden boys of the NFL. No one outside of New England was buying his story. Coach Belichick of course had no comment and was quickly ready to move on. The hapless Commissioner made his usual pledges to find the truth and shuffled into action.

Goodell decided that a four game suspension was appropriate for Tom Brady and he issued a one million dollar fine and took away two draft picks from the Patriots. Robert Kraft said he would not appeal the fine even though he disagreed with the report. Brady is appealing his suspension and the NFLPA is joining the appeal and also objecting to the fact that the Commissioner will hear the appeal of his own actions at a hearing where he will be a witness. What's the problem with that?

Brady's fans were outraged, while Brady haters were delighted. An educated guess is that Brady will get a reduced suspension and if he is found to abstain from all "air releasing activities" during the off-season he might even have the entire suspension lifted. Whatever happens in the appeal process it is a near certainty that the Commissioner will come off poorly.

Of more interest than this trivial tempest were revelations that those tributes to our servicemen carried out at NFL games and many other sporting events may have been less expressions of the patriotism than paid advertising from the Department of Defense.

The "Hometown Hero" salutes cost the Defense Department some $5.4M over the past four years. The NFL and other leagues and teams have been amply rewarded for their less than genuine patriotism. Public relations can be a dirty business, and when it is used to tug at the heart strings to manipulate fans it approaches the level of scandal and gross hypocrisy. The Army National Guard and the Air Force were the biggest advertisers, while the Atlanta Falcons were compensated at the highest rate for their tainted patriotism. Beyond the NFL, money has flowed to Major League baseball teams, NHL teams, NASCAR, and college football teams.

Watching these tributes to the troops I have often wondered how much was being spent on the flyovers, the family reunions, and other PR acts of patriotism. I always assumed that some of the cost was being borne by the Defense Department, but even in my most cynical moods I never thought that is was simply an advertising purchase. I thought it was simply a PR exercise to make sports franchises look patriotic.

On May 11 Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona sent a letter to the Defense Department asking for an accounting of the spending on patriotic tributes at sports events. Senator Flake said that "giving taxpayer funds to professional sports teams for activities that are portrayed to the public as paying homage to U.S. military personnel would seem inappropriate."

It turns out that flyovers are fairly costly. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps participate in some 850 flyovers annually, according to a report by Josh Robbins of The Orlando Sentinel. The cost for fighter jets is about $36,000 a show and no doubt it is considerably more for Stealth Bombers. Perhaps the worst example of this practice is exemplified by an estimated $450,000 paid for a flyover at the Super Bowl in Dallas in 2011. Remarkably the Stadium was closed and no one inside the facility saw the display of American air power. A Navy spokesman claimed that it was not a waste because everyone inside the Jerry Dome could see it on the big screen televisions inside the stadium. Given that sort of logic I am looking for a flyover at my house the next time I watch the Super Bowl.

Walt Disney is often quoted as saying that the goal of the Disney Parks is to offer an experience to visitors in which they will not be able to distinguish the real from the artificial or fanciful. Is this what it has come to in our public relations riddled culture? When this sort of fraud is perpetrated in the arena of sport, the ultimate reality event, and done so to manipulate the public emotions in support of the military, how can the result be anything but disgust and a sharp increase in cynicism?

Finally on a lighter note it has been announced that the long awaited "Bud Selig Experience" has opened at Miller Park in Milwaukee. I cannot wait to visit this latest tribute to the ex-Commissioner of Baseball. I look forward to being able to try to break the players union, reward my friends with baseball franchises, fleece the taxpayers, and best of all to feel the power when canceling the playoffs and the World Series.

On Sport and Society this is Dick Crepeau reminding you that you don't have to be a good sport to be a bad loser.

Copyright 2015 by Richard C. Crepeau

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5 Student Loan Tips for Recent College Graduates

After graduation, student loan management is the last thing you want to think about. If you have landed your first full-time job, the reality of paying back your student loans is right around the corner. If you have been out several years, this is still an opportune time to learn more about your student loans and potentially save money.

Here are some tips to get you ahead and get the most out of your educational investment:

Understand Your Loan Terms

  1. Review what types of student loans you have. The term for each loan and the interest rate. There are multiple types of student loans such as federal subsidized or unsubsidized loans and private loans. Different loans have different benefits associated with them. Ex: Subsidized loans are great to have if you wish to go back to school, as they do not accrue interest in periods of deferment.

  2. Find out what type of interest rate you have. Fixed rates will remain the same throughout the loan or is it a variable rate that can fluctuate with the market.

  3. Find out what term you have on each loan. While you may like low monthly payments, you may not want to keep a loan around for 10 years. Calculate how much you should pay to pay off your loans sooner or even consider consolidating your loans into one balance to make repayment easier.

Take Advantage of Your Grace Period

Most federal student loans and some private loans have a grace period after graduation where the borrower does not need to make any payments. Keep in mind that if you had a break in school attendance before graduation you may have already used some or all of your grace period. During the grace period, you should get all of the details of your student loans and examine what type of repayment options they have available to you. If the standard repayment option is not affordable for you, discuss the different payment options with your student loan lender.

Understand How Student Loans Affect Your Credit

Paying your student loans on time is a great way to establish a strong credit history. Your payment history can strongly affect your future depending on if you pay well or not. Student loans reflect as installment loans with fixed monthly payments on your credit report. Making payments on time attributes to 35% of your FICO score and is the highest weight factor in your credit score.

The payments you make on your student loans can have an impact on future credit applications for an auto loan or even a mortgage. Lenders will factor your student loan payments into your debt to income ratio whether or not your loans are in deferment at the time of your application. Managing your student loans effectively can help you with later life milestones, so it is important to not neglect your student loan payments.

Know Your Repayment Options

There are many repayment options available for students who are struggling to make their payments. Many federal loans often have deferment or forbearance options available to borrowers who need a break in payments due to financial hardship or wish to return to school. Other repayment options include income-driven repayment plans and Pay As You Earn.

Private student loans may offer similar federal benefits, but be sure to contact your servicer to see what benefits you have if you are in financial hardship. You may be surprised to find out payment programs you are eligible for and can take advantage of.

Stay Aware of Market Rates

As you begin repayment on your student loans, knowing how your interest rates compare to market condition could save you a lot of money. As you build up a stronger credit profile and pay your bills on time, you can potentially get a better interest rate on your student loans. Student loan refinancing rates are subject to market conditions so understanding when rates are low can signal the perfect time for a refinance.

It is important to stay proactive with your loans in order to pay back your student loans faster and potentially save money while doing so. Start setting goals now and reduce your student debt burden.

To learn if your student loan interest rates could be lowered, visit Credible.

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An Anthropological Approach To California's Vaccination Problem

pacific standard

By Tom Jacobs

As we were reminded during California's recent measles outbreak, a surprising number of well-educated people decide each year not to have their children immunized against an array of communicable diseases. Trying to discern why they make this dangerous decision is a priority for public health officials, and a perplexing puzzle to the rest of us.

Newly published research shows that cultural anthropology can both help us understand their thinking, and suggest ways of productively communicating the importance of vaccination.

San Diego State University anthropologist Elisa Sobo spent time with a community of parents whose children attended a California Waldorf School. It's part of a large, international network of alternative schools that emphasize independent thinking and creative expression.

These schools are often criticized for having high rates of non-immunized children, and that was clearly true of the campus Sobo visited: Just over half of the parents filed "personal belief exemptions" indicating their child was un- or under-vaccinated.

The desire to "fit in" with a group of self-defined free-thinkers in fact leads to a kind of groupthink, in which dissent is effectively silenced.

Tellingly, she found the percentage of kids who are vaccinated goes down the longer they have been at the school. This suggests that, while parents who choose such schools may be skeptical of vaccines, there's something about the culture of the institution that bolsters this skepticism and effectively discourages the otherwise-common practice.

That's exactly what Sabo found when she interviewed 24 parents and conducted a focus group with a dozen of them. She discovered they were "highly educated, and took seriously their perceived responsibility for child health."

They also prided themselves on being "independent thinkers" who are deeply skeptical of both big government and big corporations. This shared sense of identity, she writes in the journal Medical Anthropology Quarterly, reinforces anti-vaccination attitudes, which gradually coalesce into a cultural norm parents are reluctant to deviate from.

Opposition to vaccination becomes, for many, intertwined with their perception of themselves as intelligently skeptical parents.

One potential source of this skepticism is "anthroposophy," which Sobo describes as "a holistic philosophy promoted by Waldorf education's founder, Rudolf Steiner." Among other things, this school of thought argues that the fevers and inflammation that accompany common childhood diseases "contribute to cell renewal and growth, as well as to overall immune-system strength."

Sabo reports this philosophy is not specifically taught as part of the Waldorf curriculum. But it may have seeped into some parents' thinking, leading them to question the wisdom of immunization.

Besides the purported "benefits of getting a disease naturally," anti-vaccine parents frequently mentioned "the profit motives of those who make, sell, and distribute them."

Other stated concerns included side effects and perceived toxicity of vaccines. This information largely came from alternative-medicine publications and websites, which were widely shared among the Waldorf parents.

"Such sources -- which supported talk of vaccine toxicity, ineffectiveness, needlessness, and developmental inappropriateness for small bodies -- were more likely to be publicized within the school community via social networks than were mainstream scientific materials," Sabo writes. "This was because of (unwritten) community rules favoring alternative perspectives and stigmatizing conventional ones."

Sabo's research identifies two important ironies. First, she writes, "Although Waldorf education has a social mission, participants (in this study) overlooked the plight of disease-vulnerable people."

Second, "the equation between non-vaccination, the independence of mind that it is taken to signify, and Waldorfian identity make it harder and harder to contravene the norm without threatening one's sense of group membership."

In other words, the desire to "fit in" with a group of self-defined free-thinkers in fact leads to a kind of groupthink, in which dissent is effectively silenced.

How can this be countered? "Vaccine promotions should leverage parents' favored ideas and address community concerns," Sabo writes. "Pro-vaccine messages aimed at Waldorf parents should emphasize how vaccination, booster shots included, help children's immune systems naturally (vs. working synthetically)."

In addition, she writes, "Publicizing that about half of Waldorf students are fully vaccinated ... will also be helpful," as it will demonstrate "that vaccinating one's children is not inimical to being free-thinking" or a member of the school community in good standing.

"Because such actions have the potential to dislodge vaccination's social stigma," Sabo writes, '"these could be the most important practical steps of all."

Findings is a daily column by Pacific Standard staff writer Tom Jacobs, who scours the psychological-research journals to discover new insights into human behavior, ranging from the origins of our political beliefs to the cultivation of creativity.

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Heartfelt tributes pour in for Beau Biden

Beau Biden dies of brain cancerLeaders from both sides of the political aisle are mourning the death of Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, who died Saturday of brain cancer at age 46.

Secretary of state hurt while riding bike in France

Kerry broke a thighbone, his spokesman says. The injury is near the site of a previous hip surgery and Kerry is returning to the U.S. for treatment. FULL STORY

EXCLUSIVE: Inside a U.S. spy plane

Chief National Security Correspondent Jim Sciutto gets an exclusive look inside a P8 Poseidon surveillance aircraft on an active mission.

Tragedy haunts Joe Biden once again

Tragedy has not just afflicted Joe Biden, it has shaped his political soul.

O'Malley: Either Clinton or Bush would suit Wall Street

fishing 2 today

Another shot from today at Oyster Landing in Murrells Inlet, SC.   Austin Bond

The Tide Is Turning For Spain's Real Estate Market

The seventh consecutive quarterly increase in Spain's GDP is boosting the local real estate market, which finally looks ready for growth.

Sujit Nair On South India -UK Relationship

Sujit Nair On South India -UK Relationship

How Joe Biden Grieved -- And Survived -- His Family's Darkest Moment

There was a moment when Joe Biden's whole family was either in the hospital — or dead. And it should've been the happiest time of his life.

NBC looks to find new role for suspended Brian Williams, CNN says

(Reuters) - NBC is attempting to find a new role for Brian Williams, one of America's most prominent television journalists, after suspending him for fabricating a story that he had come under fire on a helicopter during the Iraq war, CNN reported on Sunday.

Agent: Manziel harassed by a fan at PGA tournament

Johnny Manziel was harassed by a fan at the Byron Nelson Classic, according to his agent.

Live on FS1: Follow the action from Dover International Speedway

Live on Fox Sports 1: Follow the action in the FedEx 400 benefiting Autism Speaks from Dover International Speedway on RaceTrax. Keep up with your favorite drivers with live scoring updates and up-to-the-second tweets.

Brewers place Khris Davis on DL with right knee injury

MILWAUKEE (AP) The Brewers have placed Khris Davis on the 15-day disabled list after the left fielder tore the meniscus in his right knee.

Innovators: Great tech innovators: Shigeru Miyamoto

Innovators: Great tech innovators: Shigeru Miyamoto
  • Age: 62
  • Company: Nintendo
  • Best known for: Creating some of the biggest, most influential games of all time.
  • Quote: "I think that inside every adult is the heart of a child. We just gradually convince ourselves that we have to act more like adults."

Nobody knows the meaning of the word "fun" quite like Nintendo's Shigeru Miyamoto. He joined Nintendo in 1977, just as the company was starting to transition into video games. Miyamoto's first big breakthrough moment was Donkey Kong, a game that was actually inspired by the love triangle dynamic in Popeye. But instead of Bluto, Popeye and Olive Oyl, it was a gorilla (Bluto) a carpenter (Popeye) and a girl (Olive).

In fact, most of Nintendo's biggest franchises can be attributed to "Shiggy" Miyamoto, including Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox and F-Zero.

One of Miyamoto's more recent moments of significance was the creation of the Wii. Miyamoto played a big role in the creation of Nintendo's "Project Revolution", which ended up living up to its codename. The Wii made motion gaming mainstream and turned out to be a massive success, despite lacking the graphical grunt of its two arch rivals, the PS3 and the Xbox 360.

Miyamoto's success undoubtedly stems from his philosophy: if a game is fun for him, others will find it enjoyable too. His focus isn't on the graphics but the mechanics and the gameplay - and he hates cutscenes. In 1999 he said: "I will never make movie-like games".

Miyamoto's is still Nintendo's greatest asset, and he continues to work on titles for both the Wii U and the 3DS - showing no signs of stopping. Games have been his life, and Miyamoto has earned his place at the top of the podium by never letting anyone or anything stand between him and his philosophy.

"Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock-n-roll."

  • In partnership with Microsoft, powered by the HP Spectre x360

Spanish Police Seize Hundreds Of Pounds Of Cocaine Hidden In Pineapples

MADRID (AP) — Spanish police say they have arrested three suspects and seized 200 kilograms (441 pounds) of cocaine that had been concealed within a shipment of pineapples that arrived at the southwestern port of Algeciras in containers sent from Central America.

The drug was hidden inside carefully hollowed-out pineapples that had been placed within 11 containers, a statement says. The cocaine had been covered in a protective coating of yellow wax that helped disguise it, the statement says. Two of the suspects are Spaniards of Colombian descent who own fruit-importing companies in Madrid and Barcelona, although investigations are still ongoing.

Another container with drugs was stopped at the Belgian port of Antwerp, although its final destination was listed as the Netherlands.

Sunday's statement didn't specify when exactly the arrests were made.

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Time to Order the Books!

Last year when my business partner, Peggy, and I attended BookExpo at the Javits Center in New York, we went as prospective bookstore owners. At the time, we had no specific location, no signed lease and many unknowns. I wrote about some of my concerns in owning an independent bookstore here.

After I had posted that blog, I was contacted by a strong support team and Peggy and I joined the American Booksellers Association and the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association. We attended their meetings, talked to other bookstore owners, and applied for a loan with the help of the Small Business Development Center. We also raised funds from a Crowdfunding campaign to help us in our initial efforts. When we told people we were planning on opening a bookstore, some expressed surprise due to the ubiquitous eBook presence while others familiar with the upswing in independent bookstores were thrilled. However, everyone responded favorably when they also found out that we were going to get a tavern license so that we could offer wine and beer, along with coffee and tea, as well as other refreshments in our café.

We even got some press in some Long Island papers. One comment that followed one of the articles covering our story was from a man who said that Peggy and I were nothing more than two bored housewives trying to make owning a bookstore our hobby and quite likely it would never come to fruition. Obviously, he knew nothing about us.

Well, since then, we plowed through all the roadblocks, didn't let discouragement win, and attended this year's BookExpo with a specific location for our store and a signed lease, and were prepared to order the books! It is our intention to open Turn of the Corkscrew, Books & Wine by August of this year. We will be located in a charming 100-year old house with a fireplace for those cold winter evenings and a patio for the warm summer breezes. Without a doubt, there will be times that Peggy and I will take a moment from shelving books, meeting customers' needs, and reading the latest children's book to our young guests, to absorb all that we went through to make this desire a reality. Two bored housewives? I think not.

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Meet The Disease That Feels Like ALS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's All At Once

2015-05-31-1433089209-3529380-outsideonlinedotcome.jpgBeing released this week is a new documentary from intrepid filmmaker Lucy Walker about confronting one of life's most daunting moments.

Breakthroughs in modern science allows us the ability to take a peek under our genetic "hoods" at minimal cost and with unprecedented speed. Services like 23andMe allow any consumer to explore their gene profile, which could be empowering or frightening depending on your perspective and family history. This data, when used in the clinic, provides physicians incredible tools in the quest to practice fully personalized medicine.

Our genes provide the blueprint for our individuation, and come replete with a mixed bag of advantages and potential disadvantages--a natural person-to-person variation which was essential to driving our species forward by way of natural selection. Today, being tethered to negative health outcomes, especially when we can see these risks decades before their potential emergence, are inconvenient (to say the least) in a time when overcoming our biological limitations seems to be as natural as genes themselves.

For many, genes are not destiny, but for some, the genetic risks present high enough odds to elicit serious life questions. For others, genes do determine certain health outcomes. One such disease with a determinant gene is Huntington's Disease. Many describe having Huntington's Disease as having ALS, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's all at the same time. Today, there are approximately 30,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease.

2015-05-31-1433089291-8582118-lionbigv8b_213.jpgIn The Lion's Mouth Opens, young filmmaker-actress Marianna Palka gathers her friends around her as she finds out whether she has inherited this fate, an incurable degenerative disorder which took her father and now has a 50% chance of taking her body and her mind.

I couldn't wait to ask my friend Lucy Walker about her experience documenting this harrowing journey, her thoughts on genetic testing, and how to get involved with Marianna's story.

What drew you to Marianna's story?
It was Marianna's idea to make a film about her journey of being tested for Huntington's Disease and she'd seen my documentaries and so she reached out to me. She wanted to shine a light on the disease and on the testing process as a project to help the Huntington's Disease Society of America. I hadn't heard of the disease so I had to google it, and I was extremely moved by what I learned. I instantly wanted to help Marianna and so I agreed. I found Marianna so compelling and charming I knew she'd make a riveting documentary subject and if you watch the film you'll agree, it's impossible to take your eyes off her. Everyone who watches the film falls in love with her and her beautiful, hilarious spiritedness.

Some people would "rather not know" their genetic risk factors for awful diseases. What do you say to those people?
I'd say I completely respect everyone's decisions and there are excellent reasons to get tested and there are excellent reasons not to get tested. It's a completely personal decision about whether or not to find out about what fates our genes might hold. Neither I nor Marianna would recommend that people undergo testing unless they are 100% sure they want to know, because there's no way to go back to not knowing if you don't like the result. I don't have Hungtington's in my family so I'll never know what I would do in Marianna's shoes, but personally I've elected to go through genetic testing both 23andme more for personal curiosity and also some other doctor-administered tests for some other serious conditions, so I suspect I might be inclined to get tested, even for Huntington's, which I believe is the most daunting test of all because at this point there is no cure and it is perhaps the most daunting prognosis imaginable. What we can be sure about is that more and more people are facing this question as so many more gene tests are becoming available, and so the film is close to home for a lot of people.

In The Crash Reel and in The Lions Mouth Opens, you're filming some of the most tragic moments in the lives of your subjects--in the former, traumatic brain injury, in the latter, a horrific neurodegenerative disease. How do you prepare and does it take a toll on you?
I feel so lucky to be working with such inspirational, courageous, profoundly awesome people as Marianna Palka in The Lion's Mouth Opens and Kevin Pearce in The Crash Reel. Honestly I feel like it is a gift to be near them as they tackle some of life's most confronting twists and turns. I've faced down some daunting moments in my own life where I encourage myself by consciously thinking "what would Marianna do" and channeling her spirit. As Jason says in the movie, she doesn't "let something as simple as fear stop her from doing anything". Wow.

Is health generally a topic you're interested in? Why?
I'm obsessed with health and doing what I can to be healthy and active for as long as I can. I took care of my mother when she had cancer and I lost both my parents when they were young and I feel completely motivated to do what i can to take good care of myself. I also just feel better when I exercise daily, sleep sufficiently, meditate, don't eat sugar, etc. It's also fascinating to me how much we are learning these days, there are so many breakthroughs I'm thrilled by the new information. I'm also fascinated by how intelligent our bodies are, and how our body intelligence works -and how modern life can sometimes undermine it, so it's important that we understand what's going on and avoid the pitfalls of such modern health hazards as lights at night, plastic containers, antibiotic overuse, sugary foods, etc.

How can we best help those suffering with Huntington's Disease?
Tune into our film The Lion's Mouth Opens on HBO, premiering June 1st 9pm/8c and thereafter on HBOGo and HBONow - that's the one step that we'd love for everyone to take! Huntington's Disease is less well known than it should be considering that it affects 1 in 10,000 Americans. This is because it only runs in families - unlike say cancer or HIV, it can't be acquired by anybody unless they have a parent with it, so people haven't heard about it unless they have it in the family, and even then people often don't even talk about it because it's so frightening. The good news is that there is a lot of breakthrough research happening currently, and they have identified the gene and it's a single gene (so you could say that Huntington's is a step closer to a cure than Parkinson's or Alzheimer's which are in the same family). And meantime the best way to help is to discuss it openly, so that people are better aware of it. Last year there was a heartbreaking news story of 5 cops arresting and beating up a man who had HD symptoms because they misunderstood his involuntary movements and thought he was resisting arrest. There is also a HD Parity Act that should be passed because people with HD need special protections from discrimination. Everyone in the HD community asks us to tell just one person about the disease so that the challenges faced by the community can be better understood and addressed.


The Lion's Mouth Opens premiers on HBO June 1st 9pm/8c and can be found on HBOGo and HBONow.

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Farrah Abraham Celebrates Her 24th Birthday In A Bikini

Just two days shy of her 24th birthday, "Teen Mom OG" star Farrah Abraham headed to Las Vegas for a birthday pool party -- and she was sure to dress for the occasion.

Wearing a bright, printed bikini and armed with a water gun, the mother of one posed for photos at the Palms on Friday night:

farrah abraham
farrah abraham

The birthday girl took poolside photos with fans and was also joined by "Pawnstars" star Chumlee and "Jersey Shore" alum DJ Pauly D.

In other "Teen Mom" news, Maci Bookout gave birth to her second child, a baby girl named Jayde, on Friday.

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How Randi Zuckerberg Finally Found Work-Life Balance

The phrase "work-life balance" is surprisingly controversial, sparking heated debates among dedicated employees, hard-working parents and people who fall into both camps. Is it a goal worth striving for, an unrealistic and unattainable idea, or something entirely different?

In recognition of National Amazing Month, The Huffington Post spoke with Randi Zuckerberg -- successful media entrepreneur, editor-in-chief of Dot Complicated, and proud mother -- to find out how she thinks about and acts on the challenge of balance in her daily life. Her insights reveal that many of us struggle with the same task, offer ways to handle it, and acknowledge that ultimately everyone is responsible for finding a customized solution that works for them as an individual.

Read on to hear the ways Zuckerberg works to create a semblance of balance, as well as the passions that keep her energized and motivated.

What are your thoughts on the idea of "work-life balance?" Is it possible?
I think you can have a great work life and a great life life, but probably not at exactly the same time. A lot of people put pressure on themselves to do everything well every day -- be a great friend, be great at their job, be a great spouse, be a great parent. For me, my philosophy has been more about giving myself permission to be "well-lopsided." So some days being all in on my career, some days being all in on my family, and as long as it balances out in the long run, feeling okay with it and giving myself permission to live my life that way instead of feeling like I have to give half of myself to all of those things every day.

Are your coworkers and family members receptive to that philosophy?
Yes. You know, the nature of my career has been a little bit different because I have been in media. Pretty much every single year, I've had one big, marquee project that's taken me on the road for about two months away from my family. At the end of 2013, I was on a multi-city book tour, last year I had the amazing opportunity to perform on Broadway, and this year I'm actually commuting back and forth to L.A. on a filming project. So I think my family has certainly gotten used to this where for a two or three-month period, I'm all in on my career, and then when I come home on the weekends or take time after that, I'm really all in on my family. I've trained the people around me that my career looks a bit different than a 9-to-5 desk job career, and for me, I really feel like I thrive when I can focus on one thing exclusively, be that my career or my family.

And that backs up the current science that explains how we aren't actually capable of multitasking.
Totally. And there's a lot of research that shows it makes us unhappy, too. I was reading research that said the single best thing you can do to be happier is to stop multitasking. For me, I know different people work in different ways, but I really need to focus on something for an extended period of time to unleash my creativity. If I'm constantly distracted by text messages and emails and jumping around to other things, there's no room to go deeper. I'm much more of a one-project-at-a-time person.

You mention going "all in" for your work and your family. When do you go "all in" for yourself?
I think unfortunately, for a lot of working parents, that's the first thing to fall by the wayside. For me it's about lots of little things. I try to log my steps every day, so even sometimes when I'm on a call, I'll do it while walking around the neighborhood. I try to sneak it in, but I could be a lot better about it. Quite frankly, that's just the first thing that vanishes. There's a lot of guilt that goes along with splitting your time, especially if you're a working parent of two very young children. I do feel like any moment I'm not working, I should be focused on my family. I'm not sure if that mommy guilt ever goes away, but it certainly makes it harder to indulge in time for yourself.

How do you go about dealing with that "mommy guilt" in the short term?
I think it's really about surrounding yourself with people who support you, and are encouraging and helpful. I'm so lucky to have my amazing husband, who, when I tell him I'm going away for these adventures, doesn't even bat an eyelash. He says "Of course, I'll step it up and be the primary child caregiver for those few months." And times I express feelings of guilt, he's like, "No, you're doing great for our family, you're setting a great example for our boys to look up to," and I think having people that make you feel good about your choices and reinforce them rather than undermine you and make you feel guilty is just an amazing thing. I feel so grateful to have so many people like that in my life.

That level of communication and compromise can be tough to achieve in a marriage. How do you do it?
I think you kind of know what you're getting into with someone when you first meet them. For us I think we've always appreciated that both of us are very ambitious and focused on our careers, and there's just a little bit of a give and take. When I'm on these big projects, he'll pull back a little from traveling or doing things for work like that, and then when I'm back, I'll be the one who stays home a little more so he can push forward with his career initiative. It's about balance in the long run. We both don't have to have amazing things going on every single day and at the same time, but so long as we don't look back over a 10-year period and think one of us comprised more than the other, I think that's really the key to success.

You clearly have several priorities constantly trying to top your list. How do you manage them?
I have this mantra that I've been keeping with over the past few years. Every morning when I get up, I feel like there's five categories that I choose from: work, sleep, family fitness and friends. And every day, I can pick three of those five categories to do that day. You can't choose all five -- a lot of parents feel that way, and it's just not realistic or possible. You're going to burn out. So pick three, and you can pick a different three every day. I always do work and family, and then when possible I try to pick sleep. Although with a six-month-old baby in the house, that can be a hard one. But I do try to sub them out sometimes so I'm not always neglecting my friends or I'm not always neglecting my fitness. As long as it balances out over the long run.

Do you have a favorite way to de-stress each day?
My most favorite thing to do is have FaceTime meals with my boys. It seems really silly, but sometimes I'll just open up my computer and we'll all have dinner together, even if we're all in different parts of the world. Sometimes we aren't even talking, but I feel like we're a normal family sitting down and eating dinner together when we do that. And for me, I love to run. I am just starting to get back into it because most of last year I was pregnant, but the year before, I ran 1,000 miles in the calendar year, and I'm really hoping to get back to that place, averaging about three miles per day. Next year I'm going for 1,200 miles. It's a goal that's attainable, but it's something you have to do and think about every single day.

How about meditation and gratitude?
In our family, we've always had a gratitude practice. On Friday nights, we are always together. While we eat dinner, we all go around and say two things we're grateful for that happened that week. I do think it's important to take that time to pause and feel grateful and appreciative of the stuff in your life. I'd love to start incorporating even more of that.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GOP Senator: NSA reform bill will pass

Jim Sciutto talks about the NSA with Sen. Mike Lee who says, "I think the question is not really about whether we will get this passed, but when."