25 Cheap, Fun Things To Do When You’re Stuck Inside On Cold Winter Days

1.Get your sleep on. Make up for all those sleepless nights by curling up in your bed and dream the night-or day-away. Give your mind a much needed break.

2.Catch up with friends. Abuse Skype & FaceTime if you are stuck inside the house. Maybe have group calls with your best friends. Or catch up with old friends. It is a good chance to reconnect because you will actually have enough time to talk about things.

3. Clean your closet. Give away things you no longer need. Mix & match your items. Make it look pretty.

4.Test your business skills. Make some extra cash and sell some your stuff online, see if you can bargain.

5.Take an online course. Or watch an interesting documentary. If you want to feel productive in a snowstorm, online learning is your best bet.

6.Catch up on your favorite shows or re-watch old ones. Some shows never get old. This is the best time to re-watch some of your all-time favorite shows or watch a new one. Warning: you may not be able to get off the coach until you finish the whole season.

7.Try a new recipe. Feed yourself some ideas from your favorite food channel and hop in the kitchen to try some of them. Play Master Chef with some of your family members even, if you want to make it more fun & challenging.

8.Read a good book. A book that will inspire you to go out there and kill it after the storm is over.

9.Play games. Perfect time for Pictionary, taboo or even twister if you are having a snowmagedon slumber party.

10.Take a trip down memory lane. Look at old pictures of your friends and family. Read your journal or your diary. Read old letters or birthday cards from your friends. You will be surprised at how these little things warm your heart and leave you feeling revitalized.

11.Do home exercises. Look up videos of a new workout youve been meaning to try. Zumba, insanity, yogaetc. That way you wont feel so bad about stuffing your face with all those groceries you bought.

12. Practice your bar tending skills. Make your own happy hour at home. Mix your own drinks & pour some more shots as long as you dont text your ex.

13. Cuddle.With your partner, with your friends, with your pets, or with your blanket.

14. Dance. You cant go wrong with that one. Put your favorite dancing jams and shake those hips.

15. Sing.Time to bring out that Karaoke machine. Sing along with you friends or family and make sure the neighbors dont call the cops on you.

16.Pamper yourself. Take a hot bubble bath. Try a new facial mask.

17.Shop online. When the urge kicks in, start looking at all those sales items. They know you will be shopping, and they will come for you and find you.

18.Work on your portfolio or your resume. Update your portfolio. Make your resume more appealing. If you have a blog; work on customizing it or picking a different theme. This is a good chance to sharpen your edges.

19.Have some time for yourself to relax and get out of your own head. Listen to some relaxing music and picture the life you want for yourself. Relinquish all your responsibilities and negativity for a few hours.

20.Bring your inner interior designer out. Redecorate your bedroom or your living room. Make small changes in your personal space to make it a lot more inviting.

21.Take online quizzes and personality tests. We all know thats your guilty pleasure.

22.Watch DIY tutorials and listen to self-help podcasts. They are more helpful than you think.

23.Do something cute for someone. Whether a pic collage, a scrapbook or just a nicely written message. Show someone you appreciate their warmth in this brutally cold weather.

24.If you really have to get out, have snowball fights.

25.If you cant find anythingelse to do, stalk your bae on social media.

Read more: http://thoughtcatalog.com/rania-naim/2016/01/25-cheap-fun-things-to-do-when-youre-stuck-inside-on-cold-winter-days/

Why did Michaels pull this amazing ‘daddy’ sign from stores?

You’d think that Michaels, the hot retailer for scrapbooking moms and 5th-graders in need of poster board and paints, would be the most G-rated, vanilla place around. But it turns out that someone at the company might be down to get tied up with yarn by “daddy.”

Tumblr usermerbearediespotted a sign that looked a bit out of place in the store. Instead of gracing the aisles of Michaels, it should probably have been in someone’s BDSM chamber. Or perhaps the craft store figured that submissive bottoms might want some decor for their room.

The picture has racked up tons of notes and was largely an inside joke for Tumblr. But more recently, the sign was brought to the attention of the Michaels higher-ups.

Author Catherynne Valente also noticed the sexually-tinged sign and tweeted out a picture.

Valente didn’t @ the crafts store, but they did catch wind of it. And, unfortunately, it looks like they pulled it from their shelves. Now where will daddy-lovers get their interior design pizzazz?

This all went down in April, but with Tumblr realizing that the sign was no more, the original post has been making the rounds once again. User ahsadlerwrote: “i cant believe we kinkshamed michaels into a product recall.”

Daddy won’t be too happy about this.

Read more: http://www.dailydot.com/lol/michaels-crafts-daddy-sign/

9 Things You’ll Regret Not Doing Before Leaving Your Study Abroad City

There comes a sad time in everyone’s semester abroad when you realize it’s coming to a close. After spending the last few months taking in new cultures and customs, drinking and eating to your heart’s content, making new friends and seeing new sights, it becomes hard to fathom the idea that this lifestyle isn’t going to last forever.

You have to go back home to real life, filled with internships, classes that aren’t pass-fail and open container laws. So, when it hits you that you’re reaching the end of your program and you start to panic, follow these tips to make sure you make the most of your time:

1. Make your bucket list.

Chances are, you’ve done a ton in your city so far, but there are definitely things you’ve missed. Look up museums, parks, restaurants and underrated sites, and put them in a Word document. Include anything and everything, and see how much you can cross off the list before you leave.

If you’re stuck, just look up your city onGoogle. You’ll be amazed by how much you didn’t know you haven’t seen.I ended up crossingeverywhere off my list, which not only helps me remember all the places I visited, but it will also make writing those abroad bibles for future abroad students a lot easier.

2. Seeall the sights (again).

Upon arrival inyour city, you definitely checked out all of the main tourist sites, took your photos and moved on. At the end of your trip, use a few days to go revisit them.

You’ve been immersed in the city for three months now, and you know much more than you did originally. You’ll be able to appreciate them in a different way, so go enjoy them one more time before you head home.

3. Eat out, and eat everything.

It’s easy to fall into a rut and cook your own meals while abroad, especially sinceit saves money. But almost everyone I’ve talked to who has gone abroad before me has said their biggest regret is not eating out more.

Put more restaurants on your bucket list, and eat at as many new ones as possible. My friends and I started trying one new restaurant per week, and it has made all the difference. Use these opportunities to try dishes you might not have before, as well as to enjoy some of your city’s favorites.

4. Learn to cook traditional dishes.

A huge part of another country’s culture is its food. Studying in Rome, there are four pasta dishes that are considered specialties. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m going to want to eat when I’m back home.Learning how to make at least one of these signature dishes is really important, not only so I can enjoy it in the future, but also so I can understand a deeper part of the Roman culture through actually cooking it myself.

So, find a recipe online, and learn to make one of your city’s favorite dishes. Bonus points if you have native friends from the city who can teach you one of their families’ recipes.

5. Hit the bars.

Along the same lines of the restaurant tip, make sure you try any nightclubs and bars you haven’t hit yet. It’s important to go to your favorites again before you leave, but chances are, you’ve been traveling to other countries on a lot of your weekends. Asa result, you’ve been tending to stick to the same places while you’re home.

You want to make sure you experience all of the nightlife your city has to offer, so it’s not a bad idea to try some new places. Don’t just go to the American bars. There’ll be plenty of those when you get home.

6. Buy gifts and souvenirs.

If you’ve been slacking on gifts for your family and friends, now’s the time. Get shopping. On the other hand, if there was anything you’ve been meaning to get for yourself as a memento of your city, you should also make that a priority. If you see something you like, you might as well buy it. You don’t know if or when you’ll make it back there before you leave.

7. Write things down, and get organized.

We all say we’re going to keep a journal while abroad, but things get hectic and you fall behind. If you find yourself on a long train ride or with some extra free time, try to write down as much as you can. You’ll thank yourself in the long run.If you were planning on making a scrapbook when you got home, now is also the time to start organizing all your tickets and bus passes.

8. Explore nearby areas.

With only a short time left, it’s important to stay in your city. I wouldn’t recommend planning any trips out of the area for your last weekends. However, chances are, there are some cool spots nearby you could check out. Grab some friends, find some nearby beaches or gardens or go on a hike.

9. Say yes.

Before you know it, you’re going to be on a long plane ride home. You can sleep then. Take advantage of every experience you can, and say yes as much as possible. Roommates are going out to dinner? Say yes. Someone wants to go hang out and grab a drink? Say yes. Don’t just sit in your room. Go out and see things.

Spend your last few weeks taking photos, taking risks and making memories. Enjoy the time you have left with your new friends, and take in as much of your city as you can. As clichd as it sounds, you need to be making your moments count, instead of counting the moments you have left.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/regret-study-abroad-city/1481326/

8 Fun Things To Look Forward To On Your First Mother’s Day As A New Mom

Once you have your first baby, your world is changed forever. You’ve brought a new life into the world, and the needs of your child are now more important than your own.

The journey you’re about to make will last a lifetime, and you now have a special day set aside just for you. Mother’s Day was established in 1914 to commemorate the millions of special women just like you: the ones who make sacrifices to ensure that their children have the best lives possible.

There are many exciting things you have to look forward to as a first-time mother.So, here’s what it’s like to celebrate your first Mother’s Day as a new mom:

1. You have the day to yourself.

Let’s face it: With motherhood comes hours of hard work and dedication. As your first Mother’s Day approaches, you may be looking forward to having a day to yourself.

This often involves being pampered at the spa, getting manicures and pedicures or simply taking some time to relax and enjoy the fact thatyou’re able to reward yourself with a bottle of wine.

2. You get to capture these special moments.

Time flies when you’re having fun. Before long, your little bundle of joy will be all grown up and ready to face the world.

This makes photo gifts all the more special. They take on a variety of creative and unique forms.

It doesn’t matter whetheryour loved ones make a scrapbook, create a standard photo album or make photo mugs, photo mouse pads or professional framed family photos. They capture these moments, and they help you remember the old times for many years to come.

3. You get mom’s night out.

As a new mom, you likely take as many moments as you can to peek in on your new addition with pride. However, on Mother’s Day, it’s OK to hire a babysitter and finally take the night off.

Whether you go out with your significant other to enjoy some Mother’s Day wine or go dancing with a few of your best girlfriends, the attention will be on you. Some of the exciting things that may be in store for you include the following:

  • Dinner at a nice restaurant
  • Dancing
  • Watching a new movie at the theater
  • A nice, long bubble bath

4. It’s dad’s turn.

New mothers have to wear numerous hats. From changing diapers to preparing bottles, the tasks can seem endless.

However, one of the best Mother’s Day gifts a new dad can provide is switching roles and walking a mile in your busy shoes. This leaves you to do whatever you please.

You may even receive a dinner that’s been prepared especially for you.

5. You finally getto sleep through the night.

This is a common, early Mother’s Day gift that new moms everywhere appreciate. It’s no secret that getting a full, restful night’s sleep with a new baby in the house can prove difficult.

You’re often interrupted due to midnight feedings and other duties. However, the night before Mother’s Day, you may be off the hook.

New dads understand the importance of sleep, and it’s entirely possible that he’ll take care of the things that need to get done during the evening hours. Be prepared to wake up early, however: You may be in store for some breakfast in bed.

6. Youreceiveyour first Mother’s Day card.

Before long, you’ll have celebrated many Mother’s Days. However, the first one is special. It marks your entrance into the world of motherhood, and it foreshadows the many memories you have yet to come.

Even if the card is simple, it will long serve as a reminder of the place where the whole experience started. You’ll want to be sure to store it somewhere safe.

7. You get new clothes for the new you.

Pregnancy takes a toll on your body. You’ve likely transformed your wardrobe over the course of the past nine months.

However, now that your baby has entered the world, your body is on its way to returning to its original form. This makes your first Mother’s Day a great time for you to recreate your closet.

Be prepared for the possibility of receiving a gift card to your favorite clothing store. You may even be released from your motherly duties for the remainder of the day, so that you can indulge in a much-deserved shopping spree.

8. There are many years of joy still to come.

As a new mother, you have the exciting job of raising a child ahead of you. While that job’s not an easy one, it’s a rewarding experience that can’t be compared to any other.

As you anticipate what to do on Mother’s Day, keep in mind that this is now your day.The people you spend your time caring for will shower you with love and attention.

This is your day to relax and accept the appreciation you receive for a job well done.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/fun-things-to-look-forward-to-first-mothers-day/1483988/

Hilariously Bad PSAs That Backfired Even More Hilariously

Where would we be without public health campaigns? Over the decades they’ve prevented forest fires, taken bites out of crime, and demonstrated how egg-like your brain is on drugs. Unfortunately, sometimes these campaigns are made by hilariously out-of-touch public officials who have no idea how to talk to their audience. As a result …

#6. Colorado Puts Up Human-Sized Cages To Warn Teens About Marijuana

Colorado officials were really put into a bind after the state legalized recreational marijuana and still wanted to warn young people about its risks. This would prove to be difficult, because for many years keeping kids off drugs involved outrageous scare tactics. So how do you go from “GARBAGE KIDS, YOU’LL DIE IN JAIL” to “Behave yourself, please, if it’s not too much trouble?”

Their solution was obvious. Life-sized rat cages all over Denver. The cages even included huge water bubblers, because no expense should be spared when you’re … comparing weed to being a hamster? Making a comment on tacky art? Making a fan Honey, I Shrunk The Kids film? Honestly, what the shit is with the giant gerbil cages?

“It’s like … when you think about it, despite all our rage, we’re still just rats in a cage, you know?”

Whatever the artistic message was meant to be (stoners smell like sawdust, maybe?), each cage came equipped with the same messages we’ve all come to find ridiculous. For instance, if you went inside, you could read hysterical ravings from scientists laughing at your brain damage, or see warnings of how pot can cause schizophrenia. Which isn’t entirely untrue, but smoking pot is still magnitudes safer than wandering into giant hamster cages.

The campaign cost $2 million, which may or may not be a great deal, since there isn’t a lot of consumer data on man-sized rat habitats. Marijuana activists weren’t happy about any of it. Many men and women spent years fighting against exactly this type of absurdity to make pot legal, and suddenly these giant art installations arrive, dripping with antiquated fear tactics. Teens basically laughed it off by tagging the signs and posting photos of themselves rolling joints inside the metal bars.

“We scientists built giant cages for children! And we will have the last laugh
when marijuana makes YOU the crazy ones! HA HA HA!”

Multiple participants in the program backed out when they saw the lunacy of these fear cages. School districts refused to put them on campuses, and the entire city of Boulder straight-up rejected them, presumably on the grounds that “Holy Shit, Are You Kidding Me, Denver?”

On a bizarrely similar note …

#5. An Australian Anti-Pot Sloth Becomes A Mascot For Stoners

If you picture Australia as a lawless wasteland where kangaroo boxing is the only currency, you’re very lucky. In the less exciting reality, it’s a civilized nation very much like yours, especially when it comes to pot. Which is to say the drug isn’t exactly legal there, but everyone totally smokes it.

To avoid the Marijuana Apocalypse, the government needed a way to communicate with young people … a way to convince them not to get high. Maybe some kind of mascot who could represent all the terrible side effects of pot? Running with that idea, they created Stoner Sloth. As you know, a sloth is like a monkey mixed with Wolverine that moves so slow it seems to spend its entire life snuggling. Female sloths scream into the night when they want sex, and they often shit half their body weight. So if you want young people to not be like your mascot, a sloth probably isn’t your best choice.

“We’re more or less the greatest animal. Hi, I’m Sloth.”

The Stoner Sloth ads featured stupid situations where the sloth failed at basic tasks, like passing salt, and they were immediately mocked online. At-risk youth simply were not fazed by the dangers of slurred speech and poor salt passing. Stoner Sloth was meant to be a meme-able weapon against drug use, but he was quickly adopted as a mascot for the other side.

“Pass the salt? Fuck you, I’m not like you, DAD.”

Needless to say, the intent of the $500,000 campaign was definitely not to provide the weed community with the perfect, awesome mascot. One of the campaign’s creators, the National Cannabis Prevention And Information Centre, tried to back away from it, claiming they never would have agreed to it in “its present form,” as if there’s some alternate universe where a high-as-fuck sloth is an effective tool for change.

The campaign was such a failure government officials were making fun of it. Australia’s own science agency started making stoner sloth memes and the actual premier tweeted they were weird as shit.

OK, not exactly, but “Quite something,” is premier code for “weird as shit.”

And in a twist that seems too perfect to believe, the organizers of the campaign had no idea the domain StonerSloth.com already existed. Amazingly, it led to a Colorado-based pro-marijuana site, and the owner of the site said the campaign drove a sudden surge of traffic from Australia.

Think about that for a second. It means that even if you were in the tiny, tiny group of people who took the ads seriously enough to seek out more information on the dangers of marijuana, you were sent to a page with the exact opposite message. There have been a lot of failed, widely ridiculed anti-drug campaigns, but this may be the first to clearly, objectively promote the use of drugs.

Or, maybe not …

#4. A ’70s Anti-Drug Movie Makes Drugs Seem Fun

While we’re on the subject of hallucinogens and mixed-up messaging, we turn to the early 1970s. The psychedelic ’60s were over, and people were starting to realize rampant mind-expanding drug abuse was a danger to America’s future. So in 1971, the National Institute Of Mental Health produced a film to warn of the dangers of LSD. It was called “Curious Alice.”

It begins with Alice, the same one from Alice In Wonderland, falling asleep while reading. She finds herself in a dream world, only less colorful and magical than the one you’re familiar with. She ends up in a gray room lined with medicine cabinets, each filled with pills and booze.

“Ugh. W-where am I? Last thing I remember was Keith Richards asking if I wanted to party.”

Some more surreal insanity happens, but as you’d expect from a bad cartoon tasked to a government agency, there’s not a lot of artistic depth. Alice eventually encounters a flask on the floor with a note that says “Drink Me.” We’re not saying she’s dumb, but it takes her only six seconds to decide, “This note makes some good points, fucking glug-glug.” She drinks the entire thing and instantly goes insane. She falls through her own mouth into a forest of neon, smiling with wonder the whole time. Whatever was in that flask was pure, amazing happiness.

“Drugs are AWESOME.”

“Seriously, anything that isn’t drugs is DEAD TO ME.”

What follows is 10 minutes of pure idiot nonsense. It’s a clumsy, low-budget adaptation of the original Alice In Wonderland story that includes a bit of anti-drug education, but it’s surrounded by so much other insanity it might as well be in Esperanto. It seems like the filmmakers’ only message is, “Using LSD will, like, turn your world into Alice In Wonderland, for real!” Among the sliver of the audience gullible enough to believe the message, half were probably scared and the rest thought it looked amazing. Both wound up with bad information. That’s what this film is: a way to make only the very stupid a bit stupider.

There isn’t even really a lesson in the film. Alice doesn’t overcome some allegory for addiction or learn any tips for dealing with a cocaine headache. She simply wakes up, brushes it off, and moves on with her life. If you take nothing else from this government-funded film about the dangers of LSD, it should be this, children: Drugs are weird and fun, and they have no consequences whatsoever.

“Cats don’t talk when you’re sober? Man, I need to go score some more ‘Drink Me’ flask.”

Not that recreational drug use is the only subject that seems to cause PSA creators to lose their goddamned minds …

#3. Flint Tells Citizens To Enjoy Safe, Wonderful, Terrific Lead

As you’re probably aware, Flint, Michigan, had a bit of a public safety crisis on its hands recently when it was discovered their tap water contained more lead than a dead gunfighter. Before it blew up into a national story, Flint tried to sweep the potential danger under the rug with a fun, informative poster on their website.

“Don’t drink bath water! YUCK! And avoid irreparable learning disabilities? ICKY!”

“Hey Flint! It Is Safe To Wash,” which is what the poster actually fucking says, shows a pair of babies soaking in the poisonous water under fun fonts describing the harmlessness of the toxic metal. It looks like a sudden ad parody in a serial killer’s manifesto, but to be fair, the poster isn’t wrong. Bathing in lead-laced water is apparently fairly safe as long as it’s at low temperatures and you avoid drinking it. Unfortunately, the babies in the ad still wonder where mommy goes when her face goes behind her hands, so it might not be the best idea to toss them in poison and hope they keep their mouth closed.

Eventually, the city took down the poster and replaced it with a more official-looking fact sheet, claiming the first one was “outdated.” Flint officials made no mention of the original poster being the work of a stranger now known as The Scrapbook Strangler, despite that obviously being true. The new sheet maintains how lead-filled bathwater is sort of safe but specifies more clearly that soaking babies in contaminated fluids shouldn’t be anyone’s Plan A. It’s a step in the right direction, Flint!

#2. An Anti-Drunk-Driving Program Warns Of Banging Undesirable Women

In a 2012 study, 1.1 percent of Tennessee drivers admitted to driving drunk as recently as a month before. It was over three times higher in Montana, which may indicate more honesty in Montana, or even less to do. The point is, if one person in Tennessee admits to driving drunk, there are probably 20 others ashamed enough to keep it to themselves. So Tennessee public safety officials set out to do something to help prevent it. Something very, very stupid.

They decided to mass-produce coasters so bars could stick a safety message right on the bottom of every drink. You’re probably thinking, “That makes sense. I’m sure it was something simple like DON’T DRINK AND DRIVE or TAKE A CAB, MURDERER.” You’re right, those would have been good. Instead, they went with …

“Buy a drink for a marginally good-looking girl, only to find out she’s chatty, clingy,
and your boss’ daughter.”

In 20 words, they managed to sexually objectify women, mock them for two different gender stereotypes, and include absolutely nothing about drunk driving. As any sane person could see, this was madness, so a local newspaper, The Tennessean, asked the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office (the ad wizards behind the campaign, who totally crush ass, you guys) what they were thinking. The director gave a statement saying that they never intended to cause offense, and each of the coasters and fliers were designed to “reach the young male demographic.” That’s right, they made fliers too. Want to see one?

“After a few drinks the girls look hotter and the music sounds better. Just remember:
If your judgment is impaired, so is your driving.”

Does the Tennessee Governor’s Highway Safety Office really use bangability as an indicator of impairment? And if so, how do you measure that during a traffic stop? Do police officers say, “Here, look at this photo of this awful, ugly woman,” and let the suspect go if they remain flaccid? Do they give them a DUI if they get out of their car and fuck a pumpkin?

Unsurprisingly, the state apologized and discontinued the campaign, which somehow ended up costing $80,000. It’s hard to receive a lecture about judgment from an agency who thought putting these in bars was a good idea. To make matters worse, fliers with these messages were posted in the women’s bathroom in at least one of the bars, presumably to remind the unattractive, clingy girls who can’t shut up that they need to wait until all the men are drunk before they can seek out disappointing sex. Sorry, ladies. Not all drunk-driving bar fliers have happy endings.

#1. A Danish Get-Out-The-Vote Video Simply Rules Too Much

For all the craziness on this list so far, this PSA from Denmark takes the cake and all cakes forever. To gear up for their EU voting day in 2014, the Danish parliament put out a pro-voting ad that has to be seen to be believed.

In it, a character called Voteman encourages his citizens to go out and vote the only way he knows how: fists, dicks, and throwing stars. He doesn’t care if your weak little body dies getting there; Voteman will get you to the polls. The commercial opens with Voteman beheading a man for not being interested in the election process. Then he sits back and lets five women pleasure his loins. And not in a suggestive way — he is 13 inches deep in a cartoon woman’s mouth amid a sea of asses and boobs.

“I’m polling the electorate.”

That’s everything you need to know about Voteman, but the commercial still gives you his origin story. He once didn’t vote, and the world went to shit. He devoted his life to making sure it never happened again. The ocean of tits is simply a side effect of the glorious democratic process.

Changing into his leather chaps, Voteman hops on his pet dolphins to hunt non-voters.


From there, it’s just a barrage of shurikens and judo murders. It’s the only voting PSA that features nipples, flopping dong, and multiple slayings, and there’s a good chance it’s too over-the-top to be effective, but Voteman is how we want all public service announcements delivered from now until the end of time.

“Good news, non-voter. In Hell, there are no civic responsibilities.”

There’s nowhere to hide from Voteman on election day. He actually bursts into a couple’s bedroom and throws their bed out the window, certainly to their nude death.

“Election day? More like ERECTI-“
“Um, Rob …”
“Nggh … don’t interrupt. Let the joke land.”

Strangely enough, Voteman wasn’t a huge success. The campaign pretty much offended everyone imaginable. It was posted on Danish social media and quickly deleted, but enough people were upset that a spokesperson for parliament responded with the suggestion that the government “be more careful with what we put our name to.”

“The severed head is fun … but is it ‘Danish government’ fun?”

To make matters worse, the ad didn’t even do anything to actually get out the vote. In fact, despite more voters being eligible this time around, voter turnout was lower than the previous voting day, in 2009. So maybe Voteman went too far. Or maybe his message was lost in the bouncing tits and bloody heads. All we know is that if there’s ever a dispute between Voteman and apathetic disillusionment, you should be on Voteman’s side every time.

Deep inside us all — behind our political leanings, moral codes, and private biases — there is a cause so colossally stupid that we surprise ourselves with how much we care. Whether it’s toilet paper position, fedoras on men, or Oxford commas, we each harbor a preference so powerful that we can’t help but proselytize about it to the world. In the next live episode of the Cracked podcast, guest host Soren Bowie is joined by Cody Johnston, Michael Swaim, and comedian Annie Lederman to discuss the most trivial things we will argue about until the day we die. Get your tickets here!

For more times people probably should’ve just decided to spend money elsewhere, check out The 6 Most Counterproductive PSAs Of All Time and 5 Idiotic Health Campaigns That Backfired (Hilariously).

Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article_23782_clueless-psas-that-take-cake-and-all-cake-forever.html

8 Mother’s Day Gifts Your Mom Is Probably Over Getting By Now

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, you’re probably going to be like me and run to Walmart on Saturday night to buy a bottle of lotion, box of chocolates and poetic card for the obligatory visit on Sunday.

But if you’re like me, then you’re just terrible. Mother’s Day is the one day of the year when we should shower our moms with love and appreciation for putting up with all our crap, hijinks and shenanigansover the years.

Here are eight ways to step it up this year and buy something mom actually wants:

1. Box Of Chocolates

Sure, she has a sweet tooth, and mostwomen arechocoholics. But, mostwomen alsolove wine. So, why not skip the candies this year and take your mom away for an afternoon at your local winery? It’ll be a great substitute for something sweet, and the two of you will make sweet memories along the way.

2. Flowers

If your mom is anything like my mom, then she will kill theflowers you bring into the house. It’s never on purpose, but she doesn’t have a green thumb. Instead of buying her something she can enjoy for three days before they start wilting on the kitchen counter, try taking her to a floral show instead. Or, buy her a group of annuals and plant them together.

3. Perfume

Sure, she loves White Diamonds by ElizabethTaylor, but she probably doesn’t like getting it for her birthday, Christmas and Mother’s Day every year. Amp up your game and treat mom to a day at the spa. Give her an hour to detox and let go of all the 25years of stress, headaches and gray hair you’ve caused her. (Sorry, Mom.)

4. Gift Cards

Nothing says, “I had no idea what to get you” more than a gift card. Instead of giving her the gift of having to pick out her gift herself, treat her to a day at the mall. The two of you can sift through her favorite stores and pick up a few shirts or mom jeans that she loves. It’ll be a fun afternoon lookingthrough sales together.

5. Books

If your mom is a bookworm, a fun way is to enjoy reading together is to go out for coffee at Barnes &Noble. Take a seat,and read books that each one of you recommend. It’ll be a lazy day of drinking lattes and sharing what you both loved about your favorite books. By doing so, you’ll also begin to learn more about one another.

6. Dinner

Try a home-cooked meal and invite her to your apartment. Let her rest for once, and have someone make her a meal that she doesn’t have to clean up after. It’ll be a nice gesture to show how drastically your relationship has changed.

7. Gift Baskets

Instead of buying her one of those pre-made gift baskets, buy a basket and fill it with things you know she’ll love, like her favorite lipstick, favorite wine or even crossword puzzles. Make something tailored to her.

8. Framed Photos

Let’s hope you grew out of cheesy macaroni frames. Instead, try tomake a scrapbook of all your favorite moments growing up as a child. Or, make a photo album of all those insignificant moments that made you who you are today. She’ll cry and be touched that you took the time out to do something so special.

At the end of the day, all your mother wants is to be with you. So, spend the day chatting, reminiscing and enjoying each other’s company. That’s really the sweetest gift of all.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/mothers-day-gifts-over-getting/1480131/

Donald Trumps Pals Say Hillary Clinton Is a Lesbian Murderer, Bill Is a Cocaine Fiend

Donald Trump has hinted he has a lot of dirt on Hillary Clinton. But where is he getting his information from? Some of the best, worst Hillary fan fiction money can buy.”>

Hillary Clinton is a murderer and a lesbian and she buys her muumuus on Amazon.com.

Well, she has lesbian associations as well as affairs with men. Thank goodness the appeal of the muumuu crosses the gender divide, because shes really more of a bisexual.

For proof of this look no further than Chelsea Clintons face, a close inspection of which is all you need to know that shes not Bill Clintons daughter, but the product of Hillarys sexual relationship with Webb Hubbell, her old partner at the Rose Law Firm, whose indelicate features, from certain angles, are nearly identical to hers.

Speaking of old flames, Vincent Foster was Hillarys soulmate and while she probably didnt kill him, she definitely moved his body to Fort Marcy Park after he shot himself in the head with a .38 caliber pistol in the White House. Though the Clintons did hire detectives to kill Kathleen Willeys cat and leave its skull on her porch to intimidate her into silence after Bill, a cocaine fiend who trafficked the stuff into the Mena Airport in Arkansas by the ton, sexually assaulted her. His rehab stints never worked. He relied on cocaine too much for energy to globe-trot with pedophiles and impregnate prostitutes in alleyways during his morning jogs.

If it seems like Im an alternate-universe Clinton expert, youre right, but I cant take credit for the things I knowOK, heard.

Its all from the exhaustive works of longtime acquaintances of Donald Trump who, intentionally or not, have written the foundational texts for the Republican nominees case against Hillary Clinton.

Roger Stone and his co-author Robert Morrow, along with Edward Klein, have produced books that amount to a treasure trove of opposition research for Trump. In hundreds and hundreds of pages they have revealed dark, personal secrets and transcripts of private conversations Clinton has had in the intimacy of her own homewith family and friends and even with Steven Spielberg.

Is anything theyve written factual?

Doesnt matter, really, when youve already accused Ted Cruzs dad of playing hacky sack with Lee Harvey Oswald and imagined a parade of Muslims celebrating the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001.

Hes going to use it. Its just a matter of when, Morrow told me of the book he wrote with Stone. I hope its sooner rather than later.

Political observers have generally fared poorly over the last year when making predictions about the election, but Id bet my muumuu that Trump takes the insights he gleans from the curriculum produced by Stone, Morrow, and Klein to a cable chyron near youand sometime before the July conventions. Hes already started. Last week, Trump criticized Clinton for being a nasty, mean enabler of her husbands affairsa page, literally, out of the doctrine.

Im not flattered, Morrow said of the likelihood that Trump would cite his work. Im delighted he is, because it is going to napalm Hillary Clinton. She is going to be burned at the stake in 2016 and everybody should get out their marshmallows and put them on a stick.

There are dozens of books about the Clintons, including but not limited to: sprawling biographies, shitty self-published e-books, books that cast them favorably, books that tear them down, childrens books, and even a cookbook called The I Greatly Dislike Hillary Clinton Cookbook, which includes a recipe for jerk chicken along with dishes named, Liar, Liar; Mouth on Fire Spicy Chili; Meatless Meatballs; and Garbage Bread.

But the most colorful subgenre of Clinton literature is the conspiracy scrapbook. These books tend to differ from books that merely tear them down (think Christopher Hitchenss No One Left To Lie To, 1999). The reporting is questionable, the writing is bad, and the contempt the author(s) has for the subject overshadows the story theyre trying to tell.

Since 2005, four prominent texts that fall into this category have been published by Stone, Morrow, and Klein: The Truth About Hillary (Klein, 2005); Blood Feud: The Clintons v The Obamas (Klein, 2014); Unlikeable: The Problem With Hillary (Klein, 2015); and The Clintons War On Women (Stone and Morrow, 2015).

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And what an eclectic crew the three authors are.

Stone, 64, is the white-haired, body-building, fashion-obsessed, sex-club-visiting former aide to Richard Nixon with a portrait of Nixons face tattooed between his shoulderblades.

Stone was introduced to Trump in the 1970s by Roy Cohn, Sen. Joe McCarthys legal counsel, who mentored Trump politically. Stone remained in Trumps orbit over the decades, advising him informally, before joining his presidential campaign in 2015. He left in August amid staff infighting (he butted heads, in particular, with campaign manager Corey Lewandowski), but he returned to the inner circle when Trump hired Paul Manafort, whod been his partner at Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, a lobbying firm in D.C. that they started in the early 1980s.

For his first (and so far only) book about the Clintons, Stone enlisted Morrowwhose rsum has far fewer traditional bulletpoints than his ownfor help.

Morrow, 51, is a towering and disheveled presence who dresses like a math teacher whos fallen on hard times.

He lives in Austin, Texas, and serves, much to the ire of the Travis County GOP, as the chairman of the Travis County GOP. He survives on an inheritance, and when hes not rating anime porn on a scale of 1 to 10 on Twitter, he devotes his every waking moment to uncovering and perpetuating informationmost of it highly questionable, to put it politelyabout public officials.

He spent much of 2011 campaigning against Rick Perry, who he called a rampaging bisexual adulterer. He even ran an ad against him that asked, HAVE YOU HAD SEX WITH RICK PERRY? ARE YOU A STRIPPER, AN ESCORT, OR JUST A YOUNG HOTTIE IMPRESSED BY AN ARROGANT, ENTITLED GOVERNOR OF TEXAS? He provided a phone number and email address where such people could reach him to get their stories out.

Morrow, interestingly, hates Trump. Hes a Ron Paul devotee who campaignedand volunteered in Iowafor Rand Paul before switching over to support Ted Cruz. Now he likes Gary Johnson, the libertarian. But hes happy to see his work being put to use to destroy Clinton, regardless of how he feels about Trump.

Heres the key point, he said, Donald Trump didnt murder 76 innocents at Waco in 1993, and Hillary did.

He thinks Trump is awfula narcissistic, pathological, lying psychopath who says that he wants to torture the enemy and commit war crimes against their familiesbut, he reasons, the future we do not know but the past we know for certain. And the past, as Morrow understands it, is full of Clintons sins.

The parts of The Clintons War On Women that are written coherently are hard to put down. Imagine a special edition of the National Enquirer that ran several hundred pages long and focused solely on the Clintonsthats sort of what its like.

Stone and Morrow harp on what they say is Bills relentless coke habit, dazzling with tales of him snorting lines as the Arkansas attorney general and then in the governors mansion. They wink-wink for a never-ending chapter on his association with Jeffrey Epstein, the billionaire pedophile, but they never outright allege Bill engaged in pedophilia himself on any of his eighteen trips on Epsteins private plane, which is known as the Lolita Express. (Trump, too, knows Epsteinhe even dined at his house).

Unlike Stone and Morrow, Kleins eccentricities arent apparent on the surface. He doesnt have a Twitter account where he ranks anime boobies like Morrow and hes never posed for a photoshoot dressed up as the Joker from Batman like Stone. Without reading any of his work, you might think Klein is your average veteran reporter. Just a nice 79-year-old guy with a friendly demeanor on the phone, probably somebodys grandpa.

In conversation, hes quick to note his long history in the news business writing for and editing reputable publicationsnot to boast, he says, but just for context. He started out at the New York Daily News, moved onto Newsweek, then The New York Times, and finally The New York Times Magazine, which he edited and, his biography brags, received a Pulitzer during his reign. Hes maintained what he says is not a friendship, but a reporter-source relationship, with Trump for decades. Earlier this month, they had lunch together.

Klein started writing books in the mid-90s and, he told me, began researching Clinton around 2003. Over the last 13 years (and three Clinton books), he said, hes developed countless sourcessome of whom hes interviewed more than 70 times.

This all sounds great and credible until you read what they allegedly told him.

The beginning of Unlikeable, his most recent book, for instance, is an elaborate scene that Klein says happened one evening while she and Bill were having drinks with friends and Bill suggested she contact Steven Spielberg for advice about how to be more likable.

Klein reproduces an entire conversations worth of dialogue between the Clintons, in which Hillary is quoted as saying, I get $250,000 for a speech, and these Hollywood jackasses are going to tell me how to do it!

Later in the book, Klein writes that in the presence of several friends Hillary told Bill, I dont want to be a pantsuit-wearing globetrotter.

In Blood Feud, Klein wrote that Hillary said, verbatim, in a private conversation, Now we are going to be together on the campaign trail, and its going to be complicated. Plus, there is the dynamic that when I run for president Im going to be the boss, and Im not sure Bill will be able to handle that. He says hell be my adviser and loving husband, but Im afraid that if Im elected, hell think hes president again and Im first lady. If he starts that shit, Ill have his ass thrown out of the White House.

Unless Klein wired his sources and his sources were Bill and Hillary Clinton, none of this is likely to be even kind of true. Its possible Klein is a fabulist, or its possible he has terrible sources. Its also possible that hes a looney toon and the multiple sources hes interviewed upwards of 70 times each are all in his head.

Whos to say? If I were Ed Klein I might say I know that last thing for a fact.

I asked Klein about his reporting process.

People ask me, why do they talk to you? he said, People like to talk about their connection to people in power. Theyits something that gives them a sense of their own importance and a lot of them talk to me because they feel that theyre basically letting the world know, or through me, letting me know, that they are connected to people at the highest levels of power.

He added that, though its not always apparent, sometimes people leak information because theyre jealous of the person in power, even if they admire and serve them professionally.

Ive protected them all these years, he said of his sources. He views critical appraisals of his workhis reviews are almost universally condemnatoryas nothing more than the Clinton Slime Room, as Maureen Dowd coined it, hard at work. He does not believe critics are reviewing his books with their own critical thoughts, but with talking points distributed by Clinton and her associates.

Clinton conspiracies are, of course, as old as the Clintons political careers themselves.

In 1995, the White House counsels office produced a 332-page internal memo (PDF) called The Communication Stream of Conspiracy Commerce. Revealed by The Wall Street Journal in 1997 and made public by the Clinton Library in 2014 (though now inexplicably removed from the website), it detailed how Clinton conspiracies made their way from well funded right wing think tanks and conservative newsletters and newspapers to the Internet, then to the British tabloids, wholl print just about anything, then to the New York tabloids, and ultimately to the the mainstream media.

After the mainstream right-of-center American media covers the story, the memo read, Congressional committees will look into the story. After Congress looks into the story, the story now has the legitimacy to be covered by the remainder of the American mainstream press as a real story.

Nowadays, the process is simpler: Trump says something and its immediately a legitimate story, because the de facto Republican nominee and leader of one of the countrys two major political parties saying something crazy is news.

Ive written extensively about the possibility that Trump is a conspiracy theorist, and I maintain thats likely. But likely, too, is the possibility that Trump is merely savvy.

It was just as voters were taking to the polls in Indianawhich had been perceived, a few days before the primary, as a competitive state for Ted Cruzthat Trump went on Fox News to ask why nobody was paying attention to a National Enquirer story alleging Cruzs dad had been with Lee Harvey Oswald just before the JFK assassination.

And just like that, the narrative in the media changed from, Can Cruz Win Indiana? to Donald Trump Connects Cruzs Dad to JFK Assassination.

Who knows if Trump believed any of it, and who cares? It worked. Cruz dropped out of the race a few hours later, making Trump, effectively, the Republican nominee.

For the general, Trump has more than just one tabloid story to knock out his opponent. Hes got an entire librarys worth of poorly written ammo.

And his three horsemen are more than willing to assist.

Donald does not ask me for my opinions on politics, Klein told me. He thinks hes doing me a big favor by letting me hang out with him, and he is, in a way Its all about Donald. Its not about me.

Read more: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/13/hillary-hate-fan-fiction-feeds-trump.html

She Sands Down A Tin Can. When She Adds The Finishing Touch I Want This In My House!

What happens when you empty the contents of a can? You naturally throw it out, right? Well, consider thinking differently about your empty cans as they can actually be used very efficiently as storage containers!

They might seem like trash, but in reality, they can be transformed into useful storage containers that will improve your everyday life.

Here are some great ideas that you can do with tin cans.

Storage Solution For The Office And Kitchen

Mod Podge can be used to stick pages of a cookbook or scrapbook onto your storage cans for a very unique look! You can use these storage cans for the office, in the kitchen, or wherever else you need some organization. Even putting fresh flowers in these cans works wonderfully.

Pin Cushion Storage

Pins can get lost so easily. Creating a pin cusion is ideal. Just need some fabric, poly-fil and some glue. You can learn how to make one

Towel Storage

If you can find a big enough can, then these are a great way to store bathroom towels. More details can be found here.

Store Ribbons In One Place

Punch holes into a can and store your ribbons all in one place. Paint the can to give it a cleaner look.

Details can be found here.

Desk Storage

So if you glue cans onto a flat wood board, then spray paint the whole piece one color, you have a very clever, nice looking, desk storage unit!

Full details can be found here.

Craft Storage Board

Secure the cans onto a board by drilling or using hot glue and heavy duty magnets right onto the cans, that way you can remove them when necessary.

Coffee & Tea Cans Are Perfect For Storage

Coffee and tea canisters are often big enough to reuse as storage for larger items.

Clean them out and give them a new look. Learn how to do that here.

Store Herbs In One Place

Whether its basil, parsley, cilantro, or another herb, you can store them all in one place. Just drill a can to a wooden post.

Paint-Dipped Craft Storage

Dip your tins halfway into paint to create a cool aesthetic. This is great for storing craft supplies.

Hanging Storage

Attach an S-hook to a tin can by drilling hole. Then conveniently hang the can on a rod. This will keep your desk area clutter-free.

Tuna Can Drawer Organizer

Tuna cans are perfect for a drawer organizer because they are small and flat.

Paint Can Cubbies

Lay tin cans flat inside a cubby for convenient storage.

Stackable Storage

Cans can be glued together in a pyramid shape for desk organization.

Or Line Them Up On A Wooden Plank

This is super easy to make and its cost-effective!

Big Cans Can Be Storage Buckets

Add handles to the size of big cans. Then cover them with spray paint to create useful and gorgeous storage buckets.

Store Dog Food

Store your dog food in a big canister!

Use Burlap And Lace For A Chic Look

Transform a plain tin can into a aesthetically-pleasing storage piece using burlap and lace.

Tin Can Caddy

Paint all your cans along with a flat wood plank. Then attach the cans to the flat wood plank making sure that each can stands upright. Add a leather strap to the top to make it easy to carry!

PleaseSHARE these fantastic ideas with your friends and family.

Read more: http://damn.com/she-sands-down-a-tin-can-when-she-adds-the-finishing-touch-i-want-this-in-my-house/

8 Post-Travel Side Effects No One Tells You About

Throughout my travels in the United States, Canada, Africa and Europe, there are a few things I’ve found to be true in all the places Ive visited.

Being a Canadian living in the UK has made me a never-ending tourist in this foreign land.

While there are many similarities among the place I live, the places Ive visited and the place I call home, there are also some things that come with the territory.

These are the things I like to call the “side effects of travel”:

1. Looking Like A Tourist

We hop off the plane, wide-eyed and eager to immerse ourselves in a culture the locals exist in every day.

We have a desire to learn the citys history, appreciate our surroundings and admire its landmarks, all things locals have become accustomed to.

Our trigger fingers shoot pictures at a rapid pace, and our tongues are twisted while we try to pronounce foreign words.

These help us stick out like sore thumbs.

Growing up, were taught, Theres no such thing as a stupid question.

However, the looks Ive been given by locals while traveling would suggest otherwise.

One phrase that is sure to reveal your tourist card is, Sorry, do you speak English?

This phrase is most often muttered while holding a map between my hands in the middle of nowhere.

Another dead giveaway is our natural instinct to flock to the souvenir shop.

A more discrete, yet still touristy move is to ask to keep all the receipts, ticket stubs, etc. throughout your trip.

Scrapbook, anyone?

2. Being Taken Advantage Of

No matter what country you go to, there are always going to be people who suck.

These are the people who jump at the opportunity to take advantage of the unfamiliar traveler.

This is often associated with paying too much for something and wondering why you only have 20 left to last you two days.

You will run into at least one of these creatures during your travels:

The taxi driver whose meter isnt visible as the fare continues to grow

The street salesman who sells you an item at a discounted price, only for you to walk by another salesman selling it for less

The cashier who gives you incorrect change, in the hopes youre too unfamiliar with the currency to notice

The street peddler who throws a snake around your neck, snaps your photo and then demands money in order to remove the snake

These are a few situations where my gut instincts have kicked in, causing me to get defensive.

While I like to hope for the best in people, as a tourist, you are a constant target.

Being out of your comfort zone and automatically having the lower hand puts you in a very vulnerable position.

This is why I believe a little bit of paranoia is a good thing.

You shouldn’t have so much that it cripples you throughout your trip, but you should have enough to keep yourself safe.

Dont be afraid to ask for clarifications, and if necessary, stand your ground.

As in any situation, pick your battles.

However, I do suggest that if a man has a snake around your neck, give him the money and get the f*ck out of there.

3. Getting Lost

Whether it’s because your map is in Italian or because the directions that local gave you were too confusing, getting lost has gotten even the best of us.

There is certainly a beauty in getting lost.

Some of the best things are hidden off the beaten path, unlikely to be found by the to-the-map traveler.

Another type of lost would be the Where the f*ck am I? lost.

Or, the F*ck, was I supposed to go left or right back there? lost.

Or, the slightly more concerning, Am I supposed to be going down this dark, dingy alleyway? type of lost.

I can only assume everyone traveling in uncharted waters has gotten lost.

Or at the very least, believing so helps me feel better about the number of times Ive gotten lost.

The thing is, Ive enjoyed being lost.

I often find that by the third day in a new place, I have a handle on the area and am comfortable getting around.

This is usually just about the same time Im prepared to leave. Go figure.

4. Not Knowing The Customs Or Language

Traveling to a country where the main language is not English can certainly be a struggle.

Of course, theres always that little bit of paranoia that kicks in when youre in a crowd that’s speaking a language you cant understand.

“Theyre definitely talking about me,” you think.

It is in these places where you put your trust in strangers the most, and you hope for the best when asking for help.

Each country also comes equipped with its own set of customs that despite all your Googling and pre-trip research you may not be accustomed to.

As a sign of respect, you should do your best to adhere to each custom.

When you fail to do so, most locals wont hesitate to tell you.

My experience traveling to Morocco was the first time when adhering to particular customs was in the best interest of my safety.

Locals advised that, as a woman, I should not leave the hotel after dark.

Even during the day, in 100-degree heat, I should be covered from head to toe.

I packed long, billowy body suits and did not press my luck.

The things you do at home without even thinking can easily offend those in other countries.

As a Canadian, one of the best habits we have is apologizing.

One can never overuse the word “sorry,” and it is often best to learn the equivalent of this in as many languages as possible.

5. Getting Homesick

One is usually the most vulnerable and insecure when in an unfamiliar place.

Throughout my travels, Ive tried to push myself out of my comfort zone, exposing as much of myself as possible.

I will say that since the beginning of this journey, I have not experienced much homesickness.

I attribute this to traveling with two of my closest friends.

I have created a new home for myself.

Traveling with friends provides me with a constant sense of home and an increased feeling of security.

When I’m traveling and get that pang of homesickness, its not for Canada or even Scotland.

Its for stability.

Constantly being on the move and not feeling settled is what has me missing that sense of home.

Or maybe, it’s just my dreamy bed that I miss.

6. Pride In My Home

Ive become accustomed to people asking me where Im from and what brings me across the pond.

At this point, I almost become offended when I meet someone new, and he or she doesn’t ask me where Im from.

Im exotic and interesting. Why dont they want to know?

Most often, people assume right out of the gate that Im American, without bothering to ask where Im from.

When I correct them and inform them Im actually from Canada, their whole demeanor toward me changes.

They become much friendlier and more inquisitive.

I jump at any opportunity to talk to people about Canada and my family, not only because it educates them about Canada, but also because it makes me feel closer to home.

The fact that so many people havent heard of Toronto amazes me.

Its always entertaining to hear other peoples stories about their visits to Canada, or to hear them impersonate the Canadian accent.

My favorite part is describing the igloo I live in, showing off pictures of my pet moose and telling them all “aboot” our four seasons: winter, winter, winter and winter.

7. Bonding With Fellow Tourists

Theres just something about meeting someone from the same country that forms an immediate connection.

This usually leads to a conversation about all the things you miss from home: Tim Horton’s, hockey, poutine, manners, etc.

This is quickly followed by a list of all the differences between the place youre in and your hometown.

For some reason, you immediately feel comfortable with these people.

The same thing can be said when you’re meeting fellow travelers from anywhere in the world. Ive noticed that when strangers are experiencing the same situation, they turn to one another for guidance and support.

This can certainly be said for people being delayed or inconvenienced by public transportation. Ive never made instant friends the way I have when were all stranded together at a train station, unable to get home.

8. Desire For More

Travel is an addiction.

With each place I visit, I find myself adding more and more places to the bucket list. Im barely even home from one trip when I start planning the next one.

Im learning so much about myself and the world, and I dont want to stop.

The world truly is a beautiful place.

I cant see the travel itch going away, no matter how much I scratch.

So, a word to the wise: If you have yet to travel, prepare yourself. You might become addicted.

I’m constantly plagued with questions about how I do it.

How did I give up a great job to move across the globe and spend two years traveling?

The answer is easy: It’s what I love.

Travel has given me an unwavering appreciation for the world around me and a new appreciation for my home.

If traveling is important to you, get out there and do it.

See everything you want to see, and start crossing items off that bucket list.

Don’t save your life for later.

Read more: http://elitedaily.com/life/side-effects-of-travel/1289859/

9:30 Club: the hardcore venue that hosted the president

The famously stinky Washington DC music den, now 35 years old, was a crucible for the local hardcore scene and even hosted the Clintons

How many times have I been to the 9:30 Club? Thousands, says Ian MacKaye, frontman of Minor Threat and Fugazi and founder of Dischord Records. MacKaye first stepped foot in the club in July of 1980 to see a Bad Brains show and has been a regular, both onstage and off, ever since. This year, the 9:30 Club is celebrating its 35th anniversary, marking the occasion with a party (a three-day Worlds Fair exhibition) and a big book a 264-page oral and pictorial history of the club called 9.30 the Book.

The scrapbook-like history features interviews and memorabilia from some of its most well-known patrons (Dave Grohl, Chuck D of Public Enemy, Fall Out Boy) and staff members eager to share their memories about the club that helped define a generation and then somehow kept going.

The 9:30 Club was founded back in 1980 by Dody DiSanto and Jon Bowers, who opened the venue inside a space previously occupied by the locally infamous Atlantis club. (The Bad Brains have a song called At the Atlantis, explained MacKaye.) The new club took its name from its address in an ignored stretch of downtown Washington DC. My fondest memories of the 9:30 Club take place at its original location at 930 F Street. It was an olfactory wonderland of sweat, beer, clove cigarettes, and of course, the Smell, said Scott Crawford, director of the documentary Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington DC, referring to a notorious aroma variously compared to cigarettes soaked in Lysol and the bottom of a garbage mans shoe.

The stretch of downtown Washington DC where the club was located was far from cool, populated by liquor stores, wig shops and famously aggressive rats. Its location did have its perks, though. I remember being stoked about being in the alley back there, said Neil Fallon of the band Clutch. One end had the FBI building, on the other end is Fords Theater where Lincoln got shot and in the middle is the load-in for the club. In hindsight, it was a really unique location.

That was my first out of town of show, said Fred Armisen, who played there with his band sometime around 1988, and later for a Portlandia live show. DC had a really respected punk scene and I had heard of the club because Bad Brains played there. It was kind of legendary. We went down and opened for Government Issue. The alley was really gritty and dirty and I thought Oh thats real punk, because I was a suburban guy.

The 9:30 Club quickly became a stopover for alternative bands getting airplay on college radio like Simple Minds, the Go-Gos, Violent Femmes, and 10,000 Maniacs. REM even played a battle of the bands with another band called REM the winner of the competition got to keep the name.

In the early days though, the 9:30 Club was perhaps best known as a space where local bands like Bad Brains, Teen Idles, Nation of Ulysses and Rites of Spring, as well as DCs sui generis go-go scene, could play. There was a pretty significant punk underground hardcore scene in Washington that was growing and at some point the woman who ran the 9:30 Club, Dody DiSanto, took notice of that and she took an interest in that and us and wanted to work together, said MacKaye. She opened the venue up.

One of the first shows I saw was in June or July of 1981 with three punk bands that Dodi booked Minor Threat, Government Issue and Youth Brigade, said Cynthia Connolly, author of Banned in DC and former booker for the other downtown DC venue, DC Space. What stood out about that show is that it sold out and it was there that we realized that this kind of music was reaching a larger audience than we could ever imagine.

DiSanto also allowed the younger members of the citys nascent punk and hardcore scene into the club, instructing the door to draw giant black xs on the hands of anyone under the age of 18 (the legal drinking age at the time). It was a suggestion that came from MacKaye and his band Teen Idles, who had seen it done at a club in San Francisco. The black xs eventually became a hallmark of the straightedge hardcore scene. I dont think theres another scene in the country that has that and its because of this agreement between the 9:30 Club and the punks, said MacKaye. They gave us a shot and no one ever abused it.

The 9:30 Club became a place for the members of the citys arts and music scene to hang out. At the old club, we were such a tight-knit group of people, it was like a clubhouse more than a club, said Donna Westmoreland, who started working at the club in 1990 as a bar manager, and is now the head of IMP, which owns the club and books acts for other venues. But it was a club that anyone that wanted to be a part of it could join.

Adding to the clubhouse vibe was the spaces layout, a strange L shape which allowed bands and fans to mingle in the long hallways. It was almost always over capacity, too. I saw Jesus Lizard at the old 9:30 on the Liar tour. You cant believe how overpacked it was. There must have been over 300 people and it was 199-capacity, said Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan. Despite packing them in, however, the club always lost money, and when DiSanto and Bowers divorced the club was sold to current owners Seth Hurwitz and Rich Heinecke. By that point the club was an integral part of the fabric of the city and the surrounding suburbs, and was a necessary stopping point for music fans and touring bands. Everybody has their story about their first show at the 9:30 Club, said Westmoreland.

In 1991 I played at the 9:30 club for the first time, says Moby. I was opening up for the Shamen, and even though I was the opening act going on as people were walking in to the club, I felt so amazed to actually be performing on stage at one of the most hallowed and legendary clubs in the United States.

Thats a sentiment reflected again and again by bands who played there. Clutch played their first show at 9:30 opening for Sub Pops Love Battery. As far as I was concerned at that time we had made it as a band. Im sure there were other clubs people wanted to get into, but that was top of the shelf for me, says Fallon. Going backstage there as a band was thrilling.

It really felt like stepping on hallowed ground to finally reach that 9:30 stage as a player, says John Dugan, drummer for the band Chisel (led by Ted Leo) and a former editor at the Washington DC City Paper. While many musicians have memories of playing the club (and Chisel played there a lot), Dugan also has fond memories as a journalist when venerable New York Times writer David Carr ushered a group of young reporters into the aftershow for the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1998. [Carr] negotiated our way in and we saw the show of a lifetime solo Michael Stipe, Pulp and Radiohead. Magic, says Dugan.

A new home

Under the leadership of the new owners, the 9:30 Club started to thrive, but it also started to outgrow its already packed location. When the Black Cat, a new club catering to smaller bands opened, the 9:30 Club decided to make its move. At the beginning of 1996, 9:30 Club moved to a larger and more traditional space at 815 V Street NW, where its been for the last 20 years. Fittingly, go-go band Trouble Funk helped close out the old space, while the Smashing Pumpkins played back-to-back shows to inaugurate the new one. The old space was what it was: the floors were rotting and smelled like cigarettes, says Connolly. The new space really elevated it.

When we moved to a new space it really became about the music, said Westmoreland. People who worked there were no less committed but there was a lot more to accomplish in the course of the day when you go from 200 capacity to 1,200.

One of the ways that the club was able to hold onto its position as a venue for both local acts and national touring bands is that it has a flexible-size venue. With the stage on wheels and the sound and lights on tracks, we can do smaller shows and keep it really intimate when a band is on its way up or maybe on its way down it can feel like its playing to a sold out room, says Westmoreland.

The remarkable thing is that when the club moved it maintained its mojo, said Clutchs Fallon. Theres some aesthetic that they were able to translate from that small club to whatever it is now.

I dont think of it as a club anymore, I think of it as a venue, said MacKaye. I think its one of the best, if not the best run venue in the country and I know a lot of tour managers who would agree with me.

Of course it wasnt just go-go acts and punk bands that made the 9:30 Club a landmark. The Beastie Boys, Justin Timberlake, Bob Dylan and Radiohead have all played the club, and back in 2001 the Clintons rented the space out for a private party. The 9:30 Club is now one of the most attended venues of its size in the world. Everybody knows the 9:30 Club, said Armisen.

For its 30th anniversary, Henry Rollins hosted a show where the Foo Fighters played alongside 9:30 Club mainstays like Clutch, MacKayes new band The Evens, Ted Leo, Trouble Funk and the Slickee Boys. Now, as it celebrates its 35th year, with a book to document its past and one eye on the future, its clear that the 9:30 Club is no longer just a nightclub, but an American music institution.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2016/feb/03/930-club-music-venue-history-washington-dc