A ‘super blood wolf moon’ in January will be the last total lunar eclipse until 2021 — here’s how to catch it

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Super blood blue moon

  • A total lunar eclipse will occur on January 20. 
  • This "super blood wolf moon" gets its name because the eclipse will occur when the moon is full (called a wolf moon in January) and closer to Earth than normal (a super-moon). The Earth’s shadow will make it appear reddish.
  • The lunar eclipse is slated to last one hour and two minutes.

On January 20, the Earth will pass between the sun and moon, block light from the sun and casting a shadow on the moon.

This is a total lunar eclipse, and it will be the last one we see until May 2021 (though there will be partial lunar eclipses before then). 

Total lunar eclipses are not that rare — the last one occurred in July 2018 — but this one stands out as a "super blood wolf moon." 

That name is based on the eclipse’s timing and the moon’s position relative to Earth. Total lunar eclipses make the moon look orange-red because of the effect that Earth’s atmosphere has on the sunlight that passes through it, which is why they are often called blood moons. Full moons that occur in in January are known as "wolf moons" (each month gets its own full-moon name), and this one will appear especially bright and big because the moon will be a little closer to Earth than normal — hence the label "super."

The total lunar eclipse will be fully visible to people in North America, South America, Greenland, Iceland, western Europe, and Africa. People in other parts of the world will see a partial eclipse.

According to NASA, the total lunar eclipse will last one hour and two minutes. For those on the US East Coast, the total eclipse will begin around 11:41 p.m. local time with a peak at 12:16 a.m.  

During a lunar eclipse, the moon first touches Earth’s outer shadow, called a penumbra, then moves into the full shadow, called the umbra. It then goes back into the penumbra.

how total lunar eclipse works blood moon umbra penumbra earth shadow refraction diagram physics nasa shayanne gal business insider graphics

About 80% of Earth’s atmosphere is nitrogen gas, and the rest is mostly oxygen. After our atmosphere takes in white sunlight, that gas mixture scatters around blue and purple colors, which is why the sky appears blue to our eyes during the day. 

During a lunar eclipse, Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light and refracts the red — a process similar to what we see during sunrise and sunset. That’s why the moon appears to turn red when in Earth’s umbra.

Watching a total lunar eclipse is not dangerous — unlike looking at a solar eclipse without protection — so you don’t need any special glasses.

 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Why the moon turns red during a total lunar eclipse

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32 Trading Quotes To Understand Forex

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32 Quotes To Understand Trading

32 Quotes To Understand Trading

Trading requires a strong, clear mind to be able to see the opportunities and also the threats. For that, a good trader not only relies on his trading knowledge, but on his ability to foresee how a market is going to react to any given external stimulus. If he isn’t able to control his impulses, he might end up losing everything or making decisions that will drive him to that point. Skill and mental state have to go hand in hand to be successful in trading.

These trading quotes will surely help a trader to become profitable and understand that hidden mental game that underlies behind any trading endeavour:

1. “The financial markets generally are unpredictable. So that one has to have different scenarios… The idea that you can actually predict what’s going to happen contradicts my way of looking at the market.”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

2. “The markets are always on the side of exuberance or fear. It’s fear and greed. Right now greed has the better of it, which is rather nice (for investors) as long as it doesn’t get out of hand”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

3. “It’s not whether you’re right or wrong that’s important, but how much money you make when you’re right and how much you lose when you’re wrong.”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

4. “Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes.”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

5. “The worse a situation becomes, the less it takes to turn it around, and the bigger the upside.”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

6. “If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing is boring.”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

7. “I’m only rich because I know when I’m wrong…I basically have survived by recognizing my mistakes.”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

8. “My approach works not by making valid predictions but by allowing me to correct false ones.”

― George Soros, billionaire, trader and investor

9. “Trading doesn’t just reveal your character, it also builds it if you stay in the game long enough.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Paradigm Shift: How to cultivate equanimity in the face of market uncertainty

10. “Money is just something you need in case you do not die tomorrow. Let this is a reminder for you not to obsess over profits and losses. In whatever you do, strive for enjoyment, focus, contentment, humility, openness… Paradoxically (and as an unintended consequence) your trading performance will improve significantly.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

11. “The expectation that you bring with you in trading is often the greatest obstacle you will encounter.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Paradigm Shift: How to cultivate equanimity in the face of market uncertainty

12. “Confidence is not “I will profit on this trade.” Confidence is “I will be fine if I don’t profit from this trade.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

13.“The goal of a successful trader is to make the best trades. Money is secondary.” 

– Alexander Elder, professional trader and teacher of traders

14. “Events, circumstances, and experiences arise and pass away. Winning trades, losing trades, fear, greed, sadness, happiness, and eventually your own life. Everything is in a constant flux. Learn to go through it with stability of mind. A meditation practice helps a lot.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Zero to Hero: How I went from being a losing trader to a consistently profitable one – a true story!

15. “Losers average losers.” 

― Paul Tudor Jones, one of the greatest traders in history

16. “Where you want to be is always in control, never wishing, always trading, and always, first and foremost protecting your butt.” 

― Paul Tudor Jones, one of the greatest traders in history

17. “A quiet mind is able to hear intuition over fear.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Zero to Hero: How I Went from Being a Losing Trader to a Consistently Profitable One

18. “All statistics have outliers. Money management, therefore, is key to the process of good trading.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Paradigm Shift: How to cultivate equanimity in the face of market uncertainty

19. “Trading mastery is a state of complete acceptance of probability, not a state of fight it.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Paradigm Shift: How to cultivate equanimity in the face of market uncertainty

20. “Don’t ever make the mistake of believing that market success has to come to you fast. Trade small, stay in the game, persist, and eventually, you’ll reach a satisfying level of proficiency.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Paradigm Shift: How to cultivate equanimity in the face of market uncertainty

21. “Freedom from blind reactivity begins with self-awareness.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

22. “Money matters, but not as much as you probably think.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

23. “Win, loss whatever emerges in the short-term, place and manage your next trades untouched, unattached… always keeping your eyes on the long-term picture.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

24. “When you learn to let go of the need to be right, being wrong gradually lose its power to disturb you.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Paradigm Shift: How to cultivate equanimity in the face of market uncertainty

25. “Focus, patience, wise discernment, non-attachment —the skills you acquire in meditation and the skills you need to thrive in trading are one and the same.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Zero to Hero: How I went from being a losing trader to a consistently profitable one – a true story!

26. “Reaching any goal in trading requires specific domain knowledge and technical skills. But then, after that, it’s all mindset management. Yet most people ignore that —they automatically think they have that last part all figured out, and it’s a mistake.”

― Yvan Byeajee, Paradigm Shift: How to cultivate equanimity in the face of market uncertainty

27. “The process by which one accumulates money is so simple, yet so hard to implement for most.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

28. “Genuine acceptance that there will be losses on your way to market success will greatly decrease the hurt when they eventually come.”

― yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

29. “Ultimately, consistent profitability comes down to choosing between the discomforts you feel when you follow your plan and the urge to let yourself be captures ( and ruled) by your emotions.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

30. “There are no guarantees in trading. The sooner you accept that you sooner you can release your expectations and focus unconditionally on a proven process.”

― Yvan Byeajee, The essence of trading psychology in one skill

31 “Trading the markets is a totally self-centered activity. Nobody’s life gets better because you trade. Except your broker’s life.”

― Robert Rolih, The Million Dollar Decision: Get Out of the Rigged Game of Investing and Add a Million to Your Net Worth

32. “Always make confident that you are wise with choosing the services for your trading activities. Ensure that you will get the most reliable predictions available today.”

― Pam Sotiropoulos, a professional forex trader

Bonus Quote

“The biggest risk is not taking a risk. In a world that’s changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks.” 

– Mark Zuckerberg, Founder of Facebook

from tradersdna – resources for traders/investors for Forex, Stocks, Commodities, Bitcoin, Blockchain, Fintech and Forum http://bit.ly/2BN4wL6
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‘Black Mirror: Bandersnatch’ marks the dawn of a new era in television

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This is a choose-your-own-adventure review of the brand new choose-your-own-adventure Netflix special, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch

You can choose to remain entirely spoiler-free until you experience it for yourself. In which case: this is quite simply a brilliant, groundbreaking piece of interactive television. One that has cracked the code as to how you let the viewer make interesting storytelling choices without spoiling the immersive mood of good drama. 

(Important spoiler-free caveat: Netflix hasn’t yet cracked the code of how to show this interactive episode to its best advantage on actual TV boxes, not even the top-of-the-line Apple TV 4K. You’ll probably end up watching on a laptop, tablet or phone. Which is odd, because all you need to play is go left, go right and…OK — things any TV remote can do.) 

Then there’s option B. You could choose to be very mildly spoiled (there’s little here beyond what you’ll see in the first five minutes). To paraphrase a movie that is highly appropriate to this subject matter: take the red pill and I’ll show you how deep my Choose Your Own Adventure rabbit hole goes.  

Bandersnatch manages to be many things at once: a trippy meta-mindfuck of a Black Mirror episode, simultaneously the longest and the shortest one that creator Charlie Brooker has written (it will last anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours); an homage to 1984; a horror; a time travel story; a Philip K Dick pastiche; and the most essential philosophy lesson we’ve seen since the Good Place.  

But most of all it’s something new in the world: successful interactive TV, something I’ve been waiting to see for years. 

Choose your own failure

I remember trying Netflix’s kids-only interactive stories from 2017, such as Puss in Books, and willing them to feel worthwhile, even for kids. Same goes for an interactive Dungeons and Dragons story released on DVD more than a decade ago. But both relied on cheap CGI, had clunky plots, and choppy pacing that stopped the action cold with each choice. They were hardly templates for a new age of entertainment. 

For a lifelong fan of print-based Choose Your Own Adventures, such as the classic Steve Jackson Sorcery! books (now available as iOS apps), these were baffling failures. Anyone who’s held their breath thumbing through those pages, one finger on the last entry you read in case you die on the next one, knows the power of interactive stories. We know the thrill of the do-over. 

We know the thrill of the do-over. 

Why couldn’t visual media get it right? Why had TV ceded that ground to videogames, when there is a hybrid of the two waiting to be born? 

Choose your own cereal

Brooker, a storytelling nerd who used to work at a videogames magazine, gets it. On the one hand, he keeps the story flowing with quick, light, amusingly mundane, highly realistic decisions such as a choice between breakfast cereals, or between music tapes. (As in the game of real life, such seemingly small choices will have enormous consequences for the story later on.)

On the other, heavier hand, he’s constructed something so compellingly meta it deserves some kind of meta-Oscar. It’s a sprawling choose your own adventure narrative about a kid, Stefan, who’s trying to turn a sprawling choose your own adventure book into a sprawling choose your own adventure videogame. He soon meets someone who opens his mind to what storytelling is all about.

The choices you have to make reflect the limits of free will that games designers impose on their characters — and Stefan comes to realize those limits in fascinating ways, on his way to one of five groups of endings. You will become a bigger part of those endings than you suspect. 

The in-universe book Stefan is trying to adapt is called Bandersnatch (the reference to Lewis Carroll’s glorious nonsense verse, “Jabberwocky”, seems more appropriate as the story goes on). It’s a doorstop of a space fantasy book that broke its author’s brain — imagine Philip K Dick taking a decade to write a Choose Your Own Adventure — which only increased its allure. 

I would have read the crap out of Bandersnatch as a kid, and that wasn’t the only thing that made me feel a strong instant bond with everynerd Stefan. The music tapes, the computer game tapes (Manic Miner!), the cereal (Frosties!), the 2000AD comic books — Stefan’s 1984 childhood was almost entirely mine too. For a Brit, this is even more authentically nostalgic than Stranger Things. Get out of my head, Brooker!

Choose your own entertainment future

You might think, after watching/playing it, that Black Mirror‘s creator just dropped the mic on this whole genre before it can even get off the ground. He effectively deconstructed the interactive story. What is there left to say? 

Well, just exactly as much as there is to say in stories, period. There is no life, no situation, that could not be rendered more fascinating by following all the branch points of what might have been. 

For proof, I recommend a couple of fascinating and criminally obscure choose your own adventure books: Pretty Little Mistakes: A Do-Over Novel by Heather McElhatton, a NPR commentator, and Life’s Lottery by thriller author Kim Newman. Both are mature looks at a single life, and how small choices can send them spinning off into wildly different directions. 

Just imagine what future showrunners can do with this technology.

Just imagine what future showrunners can do with this technology. Imagine a crime drama where the team may or may not solve the case every week, depending on your guidance. Imagine a season of Game of Thrones that is wildly different from the season your best friend is watching, because you made different choices three seasons earlier, leading different characters to their deaths. 

Imagine how many times you, a total stan for your show, would want to watch and play all over again, exhausting all options to find the perfect ending for your favorite characters. Imagine how much the networks would love that, not to mention potential advertisers. 

As soon as Netflix allows this thing to go mainstream by letting it play on actual TVs, the choices for adventure are endless. 

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40 Reasons To Switch Careers After 40

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happy businessman with cardboard box with office supplies in hands standing outside office building, quitting job concept

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Thomas Edison once quipped that man’s greatest weakness lies in giving up. “The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time,” said the famous inventor.

If Edison and his team of researchers gave up after more than 3000 tries, the light bulb might have never been invented.

A never say die attitude is admirable everywhere, except when discussing careers. Quitting a job, leaving a company, or giving up a career you spent years building isn’t an easy decision, even when it’s the right call.

Here are 40 logical reasons to switch careers after the age of 40. Most may not apply to your specific situation, but if more than a few hit the nail on the head, it’s time to brush up the resume, launch a new business, or explore new career paths.

Few jobs have true security

Many Generation Xers were raised to think of only pursuing careers in safe industries. Truth be told, no job is ever really safe.

Huge companies, corporations, and brands shut down all the time. At one time, being named the CEO of Toys R’ Us or Brookstone meant financial and job security for possibly a lifetime. Now, no company seems susceptible to downsizing.

You’re in the prime of your potential

According to PayScale, full-time workers with Bachelor’s degrees tend to earn their highest income in their 40s and 50s. If making the most money in your present career is important, stick around.

After your 40s? Your salary will remain about the same. Unfortunately, your responsibilities in the company will likely increase since you make the most money and have been with the organization the longest.

You’re never too old to start something new

The adage that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is really just an excuse for old, stubborn dogs.

Every day, you’re learning a new trick, either on a smartphone, a computer, on the daily commute, in the gym, or anyplace continually adapting to changes is a necessary component for growth.

The key to learning new tricks is confidence based repetition. Repeating the new method over and over until performing it on command becomes second nature.

You don’t really love your job

A 2017 survey found that people don’t don’t actually hate their jobs. Less than 10% of the people surveyed said they hated their job. Over 53% of the study group said they loved their job.

This could very well be true, but the question must be asked: “do these people love their current position or do they have a true passion for what they do?” Some people might love their job only because it’s easy, they’re the boss, the hours are flexible, the pay is substantial, job security exists and hundreds of other reasons.

It’s entirely possible to love a job without really being invested in work.

You really don’t feel anything about your job

Circling back to the survey above, 36.9 percent of the people polled admitted to feeling neutral about their job. They didn’t love the position but didn’t feel strongly enough about the job to say they hated going to work.

Having zero feelings about a job might be worse than hating going to work. There’s no worse feeling in life than going through the motions, clocking in and out, putting in the time just to collect the paycheck and daydream about other pursuits.

No one would ever admit “I don’t love or hate my husband, I’m neutral” or “It’s fine if my favorite team wins or loses, I don’t mind either outcome.” Jobs and career is the only instance where a neutral stance is entirely acceptable.

You’re financially stable

You’ve pinched pennies, invested wisely, kept debt low and would feel financially secure if everything came crashing down and a layoff looms at the end of the week.

So if you’re ready in case of emergency, why not take the leap?

Here’s how much money the average 40-year-old should have stashed away. If you’re amount equals or succeeds this number, it’s time to consider taking some career chances.

You’re not the same person

To pay off student loans, you likely took the first job offer right out of college. That first opportunity led to another, and then another, and the career path brought you to the position you hold now.

Our personalities evolve over time due to life changes, societal changes and countless other outside factors.

Are you really the same person you were at the age of 21? If 41-year-old you is drastically different than your 21-year-old self, why would you stay in the same career that interests only 21-year-old you?

Because your “dream job” might be holding you back

Heather Monahan rapidly climbed the radio sales ranks and eventually landed in the role of Chief Revenue Officer. In 2017, she was recognized as a Glass Ceiling Award winner and named one of the Most Influential Women in radio. She was finally where she wanted to be.

That same year, she was unexpectedly let go.

Monahan could have easily found another job in radio. Instead, the 43-year-old pursued her own passions to elevate others to do the same. She soon realized that her “dream job” wasn’t actually fueling her real dream.

“By making the leap and leaving that old environment, I was able to get clear on who was trying to hold me back and how much that was affecting me without even realizing it at the time.  Ripping that band-aid off forced me to take a hard look at how I was allowing myself to be treated and how I was going to change that moving forward.”

You’re current job is making you sick

Your job could be making you sick, and you don’t even realize career is the culprit.

Stress at work can keep you up at night, lead to excessive use of drugs and alcohol and contribute to advanced health risks like depression and heart disease.

There will never be a right time

There’s a strong chance you contemplated a career change long before you clicked on this article. If you’re yet to take the leap, you’ve probably come close but talked yourself away from the ledge with the excuse that “it’s not the right time.”

Stop kidding yourself. There will never be a right time. You’ll never have enough money, the kids will never be the right age, you’ll never have enough in the bank, the job market will never be perfect, and you’ll never feel absolutely confident it’s the right decision.

Waiting for the perfect time is just your brain trying to talk you out of following your gut.

Some people don’t see success until after 40

Sit down for this surprising fact – if you took a chance on a new career after the age of 40, you would not be alone. Shocking!

Okay, not that surprising, but what you might find astonishing is that some of the most successful people in the world didn’t really hit their stride until after celebrating the big 4-0.

Martha Stewart, Henry Ford and a guy named Abe Lincoln didn’t become world-conquerers until after the age of 40. Ray Kroc, the man behind McDonald’s going global, was a traveling salesman until the age of 52. Sam Walton opened his first Wal-Mart at 44!

Are you the next Martha or Abe?

You’re no longer worried what people think

There are many positives – and a couple negatives – about turning 40. One of the most significant benefits at this age is you slowly stop giving a crap what other people think about you.

Call it the embarrassment reflex – the little voice inside that claims “people are watching your every move, don’t do anything to look like a fool.”

That voice slowly dissipates after coming to the realization that other people are thinking about you, or watching your every move, as much as you think.

You’re expected to go through a mid-life crisis

Think about your friend, the one who’s always doing insane things out in public. He’s the guy crashing weddings, photobombing famous people, and generally getting into crazy situations on a daily basis.

After a while, his antics become second-nature because “that’s just what he does.”

Well, everyone goes through a life-change at 40, but it doesn’t have to be a crisis. If you’re expected to make sweeping changes at this age, few people will blink an eye when it actually happens.

Your priorities are way different now

With age comes different priorities. Two of those priorities are directly connected to career. After 40, happiness in life trumps achievement, and you become much better at detecting and eliminating toxic relationships.

If your current job involves more bad days than good, or your workplace is incredibly toxic, it’s time to make an exit.

Utilize those LinkedIn connections

Are you letting a robust LinkedIn profile with hundreds of connections go to waste? Most likely.

With 260 million active users, a connection to your next career is just a button click away.

Join active groups, attend conferences, constructively contribute to conversations, reach out to college friends and open yourself up to more opportunities.

If you don’t take the leap, you’ll regret it forever

Regrets. By age 40, you’ll likely have a few, but to quote Frank Sinatra hopefully “too few to mention.”

Still, regret is a powerful motivational tool, and there are few quotes more haunting than motivational guru Les Brown’s observations on not taking chances while alive.

Brown has often said:

“The graveyard is the richest place on earth, because it is here that you will find all the hopes and dreams that were never fulfilled, the books that were never written, the songs that were never sung, the inventions that were never shared, the cures that were never discovered, all because someone was too afraid to take that first step, keep with the problem, or determined to carry out their dream.”

40 is the time to change many things in life

Turning 40 comes with many proclamations of healthy changes. This will be the year to get in shape finally, lose weight, travel more, complain less and do everything that may negatively affect life and health in the years to come.

If you’re making numerous physical changes, then a career change is also a wise move. Especially if your job is a real obstacle for overcoming unhealthy habits.

It’s hard to stick to a healthy eating plan if you’re shoving free food in the office kitchen into your mouth. Traveling more isn’t possible if your job offers little vacation time.

Make sure the place your spending 8 hours a day isn’t derailing your attempts to live a healthier lifestyle.

You might be missing out on bigger money

Every job has a ceiling. There’s a limit to job title and the monetary compensation.

So what if the new career has double or triple the eventual earning potential, but you’re too scared to make the leap because of the early losses in salary?

Even though a new career in a new line of work could mean a loss of wages now, it’s important to see the bigger picture in future income and possible avenues of advancement.

Some industries are experiencing a shortage

Depending on your career interests, your intended field could be experiencing tremendous lows in the number of qualified applicants. This means more opportunities for a 40-year-old upstart like yourself!

Skilled trades, such as electricians, carpenters, mechanics, and plumbers are hungry for workers, and IT analysts, highly qualified medical personnel and engineers and architects are always needed.

You need to update your resume anyway

When was the last time you updated your resume? Not your LinkedIn profile but the hard copy version of your resume.

If you’ve had the same job for 20 years, well, the answer is obvious.

Keeping your resume updated is a smart idea, even if you’re not actively looking for employment. It’s better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have one and not be prepared at all.

You already make money off your hobbies

There are thousands of opportunities to make extra cash or cultivate a side hustle. Millions of people each year are turning hobbies into ways of making extra money.

If putting more time into a lucrative side business will turn the hobby into a full-time job, you owe it to yourself to explore that option as a viable work possibility.

Your job has been slowly pushing you out

Every job is a relationship, and just like romantic relationships, a person can sense when something is going wrong in the union.

While the organization might not actively be looking to terminate, there’s a strong possibility they’re doing everything in their power in the hopes you’ll quit.

Do you really want to spend every day in a place you’re not welcome?

You don’t see any future at the company

The quickest way to determine if you’ve outgrown your job or company is to take a long hard look at the people higher up on the food chain.

Take a moment to think about your boss. If the opportunity arose, would you want his or her job? How about the person he or she answers too? Would you want that job if it fell into your lap?

If the answer is “no!” on both counts, there’s no need to stick around any longer. If you don’t want to move up, and staying put isn’t an option, the only way is out.

There’s an entrepreneurial spirit in everyone

Chuck Garrity spent two decades traveling across the country helping people build their business. This was great for job security, but he soon came to the realization that the smarter move was starting his own business.

Garrity’s 20 years experience as an executive in the healthcare technology field trained him well. He took a risk and founded Death of the Fox Brewing, New Jersey’s first craft brewery and coffeehouse experience.

“I essentially took many of the skills I acquired in my corporate job to create something distinctly anti-corporate. At 44, I released my inner punk rocker!”

Because sometimes you overstay your welcome

Job security can sometimes be a curse. Especially when a company is keeping you around because its easier than looking for other options.

Kimberly Fisher worked in higher education for over 20 years, 16 years in one position. After being laid off at 40, Fisher came to the realization that she stuck around in her job for far too long.

“I actually had done myself a disservice staying in higher education for as long as I had.”

There’s a good chance you’d bail on a relationship where neither person really wanted to be with the other. Why stick around a job you don’t want, especially if it’s obvious the company no longer wants you around?

Experience is a commodity

Years on the job have given you a wealth of business experience, many of which aren’t necessarily listed on a resume. That experience will translate even if switching to a completely different career.

“Having gone from corporate America into entrepreneurship at 43 years old has paid major dividends for a few reasons,” explains Monahan.  “I was able to take the experiences I created in corporate America and put them to work for me in my own company.  I had finally built sustainable confidence in myself, so I was able to take a leap of faith and create my own company.”

It’s possible to learn from negative job experiences

Monahan continues, “Leaving that old traditional radio company that I had worked for allowed me to see what I wanted to create and how I wanted to do things differently now that I was in charge.  Having those negative experiences and then getting away from those negative people allows you to know exactly how you don’t want to do things.”

You’re alive but are you living?

Many people reply to the question “so how are you doing?” with the response that they’re alive, so that’s something to be thankful for every day.

While this is true, there’s a significant difference between being alive and living a life.

Scott Petinga is a serial entrepreneur who’s lucky to be alive after being hit by a car at age 18 and being diagnosed with testicular cancer at 31.

“Too many people remain stuck with bland lives, careers they hate and accept only a modicum of accomplishment,” he explains. “Yes, you’re alive, but it is a far cry from living. Be dynamic, pursue your passion, take someone’s breath away, live on the edge, inspire others, love unconditionally, never be satisfied, forget your past, love your mother, be a warrior, don’t over analyze, don’t wish for anything — work for it and most importantly, screw mediocrity.”

Everything is a “risk”

People over 40 refuse to take the leap into a new career because of the risk involved, but as former motivational guru Jim Rohn regularly preached, the avoiding risk in life, is in itself, a risk.

“It’s all risky. The minute you were born it got risky. If you think trying is risky, wait until they hand you the bill for not trying.”

40 is only halftime

Remember that NFL team behind by two touchdowns who refused to leave the locker room after halftime? The head coach told the league “we saw enough in the first half. We’re just going to sit here until the stadium empties out.”

That sounds ridiculous, right?

In 1968, the life expectancy for the average man was 68 years old. Turning 40 meant a man, statistically speaking, was a few short years away from entering the final 1/3 of his life. Now, the average life expectancy for men is 76. For women, it’s 81.

Turning 40 is just halftime. You’ve still got two entire quarters left to play.

Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed

Don’t put off major life decisions until tomorrow. There might not be a tomorrow.

“Not one of us is ever guaranteed that we will wake up,” explains Petinga. “Waiting until tomorrow may actually be too late. Plus, those who experience feelings of satisfaction about their life are more likely to live to an older age.”

You’re old enough to know what you don’t want

Hopefully, by the age of 40, a person knows what they want in life. At the very least, an individual knows what they don’t want in life.

This is precisely why the ages of 40 and above the perfect time to up and quit a job that’s unfulfilling, unrewarding, and possibly an eventual dead end.

Your job serves no greater good

In the classic film Office Space, Tom Smykowski is asked to explain his job to the two men who ultimately seal his fate. He’s asked, “why can’t the customers take their specifications right to the software people?”

At that moment, it becomes painfully apparent to all parties that Tom’s job is pointless.

It’s been said that most jobs are created because someone, at some point, didn’t want to perform a specific task associated with their job. So another position is established to handle one primary function.

If your job can best be described as “completing repetitive tasks, so other people don’t have to”then it’s time to take a baseball bat to the copier and hand in your notice.

Your company serves no greater good

What exactly does your company do?

Now unless you’re in organized crime, your organization does fill some purpose, but if the company were to disappear today, how many people would be impacted?

If you work at a hospital that shuttered tomorrow, thousands of lives would be affected. If you’re working customer service for Potato Parcel, and the company went peels-up, the world would keep spinning.

Working a job that serves a greater good is a more rewarding experience. Even if you get paid less.

Because it’s all up to you

Petinga stresses the importance of relying on your most important commodity – yourself.

“So often I hear older people say that it would be so hard to succeed if they left their current company because no one wants older talent.  Remember if that is your reality then that is what you will create.  I see it so differently.  Why wouldn’t I be successful?  With the track record I have and the experience I have under my belt it almost seems impossible for me to fail.”

If you can’t exactly explain what you do

This scenario usually plays out in every social setting that involves meeting new people. The small talk inevitably turns to career, and you’re asked the dreaded question “so what do you do for work?”

You’ve likely got an automated response since you’re asked so often. If this is true, and you sometimes can’t get through the entire explanation without saying “oh it’s boring, but it pays the bills,” it’s time to move on.

You hate talking about your job

The step beyond being unable to explain precisely what you get paid to do is feeling so completely unfulfilled that you’d rather not even get into the details.

If you avoid talking about your job at all costs, there’s no reason to even show up for work tomorrow.

Turning 40 means finding a career or job worth bragging about.

You can become an expert on your own time

Not long ago, if a person over 40 wanted to make a career change, it meant climbing down the ladder to accept an apprenticeship or entry-level position.

An individual can now dedicate a few hours each night to learning a skill just by watching YouTube clips or downloading how-to books right to their phone. It’s possible to become an expert in any field without ever leaving your living room.

There’s never been a better time

With so many opportunities available today, it’s astounding more people don’t forgo the typical career for a new and exciting course.

From podcast producer and mobile app developer to SEO expert or data scientist, there are thousands of excellent and well-paying jobs that didn’t exist ten years ago.

Your new venture could lead to helping others

A new business venture might be beneficial to more than just your happiness and bottom line.

Garrity realized his dream of opening a brewery while also helping his own community.

“I found it incredibly rewarding to start my own business in my hometown, partner with other local small businesses, and create something unique and innovative (and delicious) in my own backyard.”  – Charles Garrity

Don’t pursue a passion

If you know that a career change is necessary, you’re probably under the impression that “following your passion” is the best advice.

Wrong. Don’t follow your passion. Billionaire Mark Cuban thinks passion is bull. He thinks “following your passion” is the worst career advice ever.

Cuban wrote in a 2012 blog post that following your passion is a bad idea. Instead, the Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank star suggested

“Look at where you apply your time. … You may or may not realize it yet, but how you use or don’t use your time is going to be the best indication of where your future is going to take you.”

You agreed with most of this list

You read this entire list of 40 reasons to switch careers after 40 and agreed with more than half. Isn’t that enough of a clue that the time has come to get a new job?

Chris Illuminati is a 5-time author and recovering ahole. Find more of his work here

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‘Millennial’ Is Now Googled More Than ‘Hipster’ So Let’s Crack A PBR And Look Back At The Good Old Days

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In the late 2000s, anthropologists came across a mysterious subset of humans that had begun to migrate and isolate themselves within enclaves across the United States.

These people in question were hipsters, souls who flocked to places like Williamsburg and Portland in pursuit of a lifestyle defined by a love of irony.

While they might have been trendsetters at the time, hipsters quickly became society’s punching bag and the word itself eventually lost any real meaning it might have had on its way to becoming synonymous with “people who like things I don’t like.”

Things have changed a bit over the past decade and it’s now millennials who hold the proud distinction of representing everything wrong with society as they continue to murder everything in sight.

Now, it appears we can add “hipsters” to the list of things millennials have killed based on an article from Slate that revealed the generation is now more frequently Googled than the flannel-wearing trendsetters of the past.

Hipsters got a lot of hate back in the day, so in honor of their memory, I’d like to take a look back and appreciate the good (and the bad) of the Hipster Era by reflecting on the things that defined them.

Good: Craft Beer

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While they might have been best known for their love of PBR, hipsters caught an irrational amount of shit over their tendency to drink beer from craft breweries, because there’s apparently something wrong with liking drinks that tastes good.

Now, there are more than 6,000 breweries operating in the United States and virtually any bar you walk into will have at least a couple of options for people who are looking for a beer whose most intriguing descriptor isn’t “cold.”

The world is truly a better place.

Bad: Mason Jars

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While hipsters could have decided to make jeweled chalices their drinking vehicle of choice, the powers that be decided it would be a better idea to serve literally everything in Mason jars.

However, people eventually realized basically every other option is superior to a Mason jar and they eventually fell out of fashion. At least anyone still sitting on a stash can get way too into pickling.

Good: Cocktails

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I recently took a look at the history of cocktails and discovered they had a resurgence around the same time hipsters burst onto the scene (the real lesson here is that hipsters liked to get drunk in basically any way possible).

However, there was one downside.

Bad: Bartenders wearing vests

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I don’t know why this started being a thing but I think we can all agree it doesn’t have to be one any more.

Good: Beards

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Back in the day, a beard and a beanie was the standard outfit of hipsters across the country

I fell in line when I moved to Brooklyn a little while after the world had hit Peak Hipster, and while you could argue guys with lumberjack beards might be trying too hard, I don’t know why anyone would willingly choose to shave on a daily basis when given the option.

Bad: Ironic Mustaches 

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A true hipster was constantly on the search for a way to say “Look at me!” without having to say anything at all and ironic mustaches were the perfectly douchetastic way to do so.

Good: Vinyl

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There was once a time when physical media seemed on the brink of extinction— especially vinyl, which was viewed as the ultimate relic.

However, thanks to the audiophilic tendencies of hipsters, physical records experienced one hell of a resurgence and continue to thrive in an increasingly digital era.

Bad: Typewriters in coffee shops

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Did it happen very often? No. But one time is too many times.

Hipsters might be dead but their memory will live forever.

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Explorer Colin O’Brady Becomes First Human To Cross Antarctica In Historic 54-Day 932-Mile Solo Expedition

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American explorer Colin O’Brady has achieved the unbelievable. Against all odds, the 33-year-old adventurer became the first human being to cross Antarctica. The 932-mile battle against the freezing elements took 54 days and he made an incredible last push with an “ultramarathon” effort.

O’Brady, who was told by doctors he would never walk normally again when he was 23-years-old, accomplished the first solo unsupported trek across Antarctica on Wednesday after giving all that he had to make it across the icy, inhospitable terrain. O’Grady’s crossing is truly remarkable because he did not use a kite to propel him, it was completely unaided, and did not receive any supplies.

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O’Brady knew the finish line was close and put forth a spectacular effort. In the last 80 miles of his mission, O’Brady decided he would do the last stretch in one final exhausting push that took over a day to complete. With 77.54 miles left in his expedition that he called “The Impossible First,” he made the decision to not sleep and just keep pushing forward until he achieved his goal. O’Brady went the last 32 hours of his strenuous journey without sleeping becoming the first person in history to cross the frozen southern continent.

“Something overcame me,” O’Brady said of his final push. “I didn’t listen to any music – just locked in, like I’m going until I’m done. It was profound, it was beautiful and it was an amazing way to finish. While the last 32 hours were some of the most challenging hours of my life, they have quite honestly been some of the best moments I have ever experienced.”

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“I did it!” a tearful Brady said to his wife Jenna Besaw and family in Portland, Oregon. “It was an emotional call,” Jenna said. “He seemed overwhelmed by love and gratitude, and he really wanted to say ‘Thank you’ to all of us.” O’Brady even accomplished the miraculous feat ahead of schedule.

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Day 54: FINISH LINE!!! I did it! The Impossible First. 32 hours and 30 minutes after leaving my last camp early Christmas morning, I covered the remaining ~80 miles in one continuous “Antarctica Ultramarathon” push to the finish line. The wooden post in the background of this picture marks the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, where Antarctica’s land mass ends and the sea ice begins. As I pulled my sled over this invisible line, I accomplished my goal: to become the first person in history to traverse the continent of Antarctica coast to coast solo, unsupported and unaided. While the last 32 hours were some of the most challenging hours of my life, they have quite honestly been some of the best moments I have ever experienced. I was locked in a deep flow state the entire time, equally focused on the end goal, while allowing my mind to recount the profound lessons of this journey. I’m delirious writing this as I haven’t slept yet. There is so much to process and integrate and there will be many more posts to acknowledge the incredible group of people who supported this project. But for now, I want to simply recognize my #1 who I, of course, called immediately upon finishing. I burst into tears making this call. I was never alone out there. @jennabesaw you walked every step with me and guided me with your courage and strength. WE DID IT!! We turned our dream into reality and proved that The Impossible First is indeed possible. “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela. #TheImpossibleFirst #BePossible

British adventurers Henry Worsley and Ben Saunders, two of the world’s most accomplished polar explorers, never were able to trek across Antarctica on a solo expedition. Worsley died trying to journey across Antarctica.

O’Brady began his unthinkable adventure on November 3rd and dragged 375 pounds of supplies, food, and his tent across the unforgiving landscape that features hills made of ice called “sastrugi.” “Not only am I pulling my … sled all day, but I’m pulling it up and over thousands of these sastrugi speed bumps created by the violent wind,” O’Brady wrote in an Instagram post on November 12th. “It’s a frustrating process at times to say the least.”

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“I’m no longer the same person I was when I left on the journey, can you see it in my face?” O’Brady wrote on Instagram. “I’ve suffered, been deathly afraid, cold and alone. I’ve laughed and danced, cried tears of joy and been awestruck with love and inspiration.”

“There were several times I considered stopping, putting my tent back up and calling it a day,” he said of his brave journey. “I wanted so badly to quit today as I was feeling exhausted and alone, but remembering all of the positivity that so many people have been sending, I took a deep breath and focused on maintaining forward progress one step at a time and managed to finish a full day.”

“This is something that no one in history has ever accomplished, and people have been trying for 100 years,” O’Brady said.

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In 2016, O’Brady notched his first epic world record by trekking to the top of the highest peaks on all seven continents in a mere 132 days, which included Everest. You really need to read about Colin O’Brady’s absolutely incredible life and how he completely tackled every challenge that life put in front of him, you can do so HERE.

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[SI]

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Watch the ANYmal quadrupedal robot go for an adventure in the sewers of Zurich

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There’s a lot of talk about the many potential uses of multi-legged robots like Cheetahbot and Spot — but in order for those to come to fruition, the robots actually have to go out and do stuff. And to train for a glorious future of sewer inspection (and helping rescue people, probably), this Swiss quadrupedal bot is going deep underground.

ETH Zurich / Daniel Winkler

The robot is called ANYmal, and it’s a long-term collaboration between the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, abbreviated there as ETH Zurich, and a spin-off from the university called ANYbotics. Its latest escapade was a trip to the sewers below that city, where it could eventually aid or replace the manual inspection process.

ANYmal isn’t brand new — like most robot platforms, it’s been under constant revision for years. But it’s only recently that cameras and sensors like lidar have gotten good enough and small enough that real-world testing in a dark, slimy place like sewer pipes could be considered.

Most cities have miles and miles of underground infrastructure that can only be checked by expert inspectors. This is dangerous and tedious work — perfect for automation. Imagine instead of yearly inspections by people, if robots were swinging by once a week. If anything looks off, it calls in the humans. It could also enter areas rendered inaccessible by disasters or simply too small for people to navigate safely.

But of course, before an army of robots can inhabit our sewers (where have I encountered this concept before? Oh yeah…) the robot needs to experience and learn about that environment. First outings will be only minimally autonomous, with more independence added as the robot and team gain confidence.

“Just because something works in the lab doesn’t always mean it will in the real world,” explained ANYbotics co-founder Peter Fankhauser in the ETHZ story.

Testing the robot’s sensors and skills in a real-world scenario provides new insights and tons of data for the engineers to work with. For instance, when the environment is completely dark, laser-based imaging may work, but what if there’s a lot of water, steam or smoke? ANYmal should also be able to feel its surroundings, its creators decided.

ETH Zurich / Daniel Winkler

So they tested both sensor-equipped feet (with mixed success) and the possibility of ANYmal raising its “paw” to touch a wall, to find a button or determine temperature or texture. This latter action had to be manually improvised by the pilots, but clearly it’s something it should be able to do on its own. Add it to the list!

You can watch “Inspector ANYmal’s” trip below Zurich in the video below.

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Good Design Gets Better by The Year

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It’s that time of the year, when I look back on the year gone by, and reflect on the many travels that I undertook, and what is the best that I got from to learn from them. The one that stands out the most, is my annual pilgrimage to Japan and the Good Design Awards, or G Mark. Founded in 1957, and in its 61st year, the sole purpose of the awards is to be an advocate of “good design”, and to enrich ‘life, industry and society as a whole.’ What I appreciate the most about the awards is that takes into account not only product design, industrial design and architecture, but also approaches and concepts towards better living and communities. While Product Design is also about solving a human need and making life better, some of the entries that are shortlisted for the 2018 G Mark, reflect community building by providing food boxes for the poor, better hospitality services by involving a whole village and many such examples.

Good Design Grand Award, Good Design Gold Award and Good Focus Award

Most people visit the Special Exhibition of the “Good Design Best 100″ and the pop-up shop showcasing award-winning products. However, my favorite part is the awarding ceremony, where in a very democratic way that the top prize is awarded. Tokens are distributed amongst the attendees and all get a chance to vote from the Top Six entries, the one Grand Prize.

Shortlisted for 2018 were: Sony Aibo, Gogoro Energy and Transportation Platform and Gogoro Scooter, Portable X-Ray by Fuji Film, Hotel Hanare, The landscape of Tokyo Marunouchi station square and Gyoko street area and Temple activities for solving poverty problems [Otera oyatsu club].

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There was a tie between Gogoro Scooter and Temple activities for solving poverty problems, but the clear winner emerged at the second round of counting – Temple activities for solving poverty problems.

This award-winning program revolves around a group of Temple Priests, who collect the food items offered to the temple deity, and distribute it among the poor children of the community. It solves two things – distribution of the temple surplus and elimination of hunger.

When I spoke with Jury Member Gen Suzuki, I asked him this…

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RS: Good Design focuses on public good, so Aibo may not stand a chance, what is your opinion on that?

GS: Aibo can be used to help old people and people with disabilities, so public good can be seen in projects like this. I don’t think high-tech products and public good are contradictory to each other, for example Sony Aibo robots can be used in elderly nursing homes. Maintaining a real pet can be an issue for the older generation, but Aibo is maintenance-free in that sense and can still provide similar aspects as real pets can.

RS: Your reaction to crowdfunding projects that win the Good Design, because Life Long Design Award is an important aspect for the Good Design Awards and hence, you will expect products to last for a longer time.

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GS: We do see failures in design, but crowdfunding projects encourage young designers. And with G Mark, we can help identify the good products with our jury process and validate them. But we can’t be sure if they will be around thirty years from now. It is a chance we can take, and young designers who fail, can look at it as an opportunity to reflect on why they failed, and look for an alternative route to progress.

RS: What was your favorite product from this year?

GS: “Kamado-san Denki” an electric rice cooker that features an earthenware pot made by Nagatani-en. It is one of the most famous potteries in Japan. Kitchen appliances seem to be diversifying and this rice cooker is the perfect example of traditional earthenware married to high-tech – old fashion and high tech fusion.

My Favorites from the 2018 Good Design Awards Best 100 were Gogoro Scooter, Sony Aibo and Bamboo Bicycle

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The Sony Aibo Team said that they are developing an intelligent product and hope to create a new lifestyle of living with a robot. The one issue they hope to solve, is teaching humans to communicate with AI and robotics with more compassion and love.

The current generation of Aibo is driven by an actuator (motor), and they would like to build a model that moves just like how the human muscles moves. This will give Aibo more mobility and the intelligence to move its arms and legs with artificial muscles. This make the Aibo more realistic and more humanized.

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Bamboo Bicycle by Indonesian Singgih S Kartono hopes to solve the daily commute challenge with a bike that uses resources close to home – the bamboo. Collaborating with a bicycle manufacturer is a clever move as he is aware that he can’t match the competition alone. The next steps in evolution is a folding cycle and cycle for women.

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As a designer or manufacturer, I see how you benefit by the recognition this prestigious award brings to you. But what I truly respect is the diversity of topics and initiatives that you can participate with.

Stay in touch for Part 2 of this series, where I showcase YD’s top 15 of the Best 100 Designs, and look for the 2019 Good Design Awards announcement, right here on Yanko Design.

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Marijuana representation on screen: There’s still a long way to go

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This post is part of our High-tech High series, which explores weed innovations, and our cultural relationship with cannabis, as legalization in several U.S. states, Canada, and Uruguay moves the market further out of the shadows.


Marijuana has long been celebrated in the world of music and song. In the world of movies and TV, meanwhile, the majority of cannabis-loving characters tend to slot in somewhere between bumbling idiots and dangerous outcasts. 

This divide in media representation stretches all the way back to 1936. That was the year a hit jazz song called “If You’re a Viper” provided a positive view of marijuana use that still checks out (“you know you’re high when your throat is dry / everything is dandy”). But it was also the year of Reefer Madness, the infamous propaganda film that depicted pot as a precursor to lunacy and murder; its users were crazed buffoons to be laughed at or pitied.

Fast forward 82 years. Even after widespread legalization and societal acceptance of weed, it doesn’t seem like much has changed. Because yes, marijuana in music is cooler than ever; a recent study found that 75 percent of U.S. top 40 tunes feature positive shout-outs to weed — often for enhancing the creativity or prowess of the songwriter. 

But on screens? Well, even including recent indie movies that landed with a thud (see: Hansel and Gretel Get Baked), our cinematic cannabis canon contains a litany of bro-tastic stoner dudes on couches. The pot smoker is here presented as a hapless fool who keeps getting into scrapes — all brought on, in the immortal words of Afroman, because they got high. (Not to mention hungry.) 

Which is not to say stoner comedies can’t be funny. They’re often hilarious! Take the negative sides of heavy pot-smoking — short-term memory loss, paranoia, poor motor skills — exaggerate them, and you have seams of comedy gold for talented moviemakers to mine.

It’s just that, well, we’ve seen that movie so many times. What Cheech and Chong were doing in Up in Smoke in the 1970s is pretty much what Harold and Kumar did in the 2000s, and what Seth Rogen and James Franco did earlier this decade in Pineapple Express and This is the End, not to mention Mark Wahlberg and a CGI bear in the two Teds. If we’re going to keep doing this, Hollywood, how about some more female leads in stoner comedies? 

If a character gets high in a comedy, it’s generally shorthand for them being a doofus. If they get high in a drama, it’s still code for them being a weird outcast. They may be the hero or a sidekick, but there’s definitely something wrong with them — some kind of arrested development.

Granted, screenwriters don’t always show alcohol in the best light either; we have the Hangover movies as Exhibits A-C there. But at least there’s more balance, even romance, in its portrayal. For every drunk-ass W.C. Fields, there’s a suave Jay Gatsby or James Bond. (Alcohol, which has been found to do more damage to your brain than marijuana in at least one recent study, is surely less deserving of this fair and balanced treatment.) 

And yes, you could argue that alcohol and weed have differing impacts psychologically, but if we can embrace both James Bond and the Hangover bros, we should make room for more nuanced portrayals of weed, too. Yet we more readily think of grand old celebrities who can hold their liquor and use it in their performance — Peter O’Toole being the archetypal example. For the equivalent in the marijuana-user world, you’d have to look to the music business again; someone like Paul McCartney, casual consumer of at least one joint a day since 1965, has no equivalent in movies. 

For a brief time in the 20th century, cinematic stoner heroes could be cool, too (see Easy Rider for the best example). But in the 21st, there is no sign of a mainstream movie hero that can do for weed what Bond did for martinis — that is, to portray it as a refined pleasure often consumed socially. 

Not a central part of the plot, nor an important flaw in the main character (as marijuana was for Joaquin Phoenix’s detective in Inherent Vice) — just a totally legal thing people happen to do on an evening, without it necessarily turning them into the Big Lebowski. 

When someone like Daniel Craig appears in a movie as a character who takes a languid hit off a vape pen and nothing more is said of it, that’s when you know Hollywood is taking weed seriously. (Appropriately enough, Craig opened his 2004 movie Layer Cake doing a long monologue about future drug legalization and how it would prevent mobsters like his character; it’s looking more prescient with each passing year.) 

Good joints, bad joints

Our ongoing Golden Age of Television should provide us with more nuanced portrayals of marijuana usage, right? Well, yes. Sort of. With big caveats.

TV went to pot relatively late in the game, and seemed cautious about putting cannabis front and center in the story even when it went there. The highly bingeable eight seasons of Weeds (2005-2012) made a lot of peripheral use of the plant, and had plenty of marijuana users who weren’t clowns or weirdos. 

But the show was also oddly clear about the fact that its hero Nancy Botwin (the peerless Mary Louise Parker) rarely got high on her own supply. She was just a suburban mom, forced into dealing the green stuff by circumstance. Her personal drug of choice: venti frappuccinos. 

Then there was Broad City, which successfully updated the stoner comedy concept for the small screen (and gave us the female protagonists that the movie business didn’t). Tellingly, Broad City was not developed by network executives, but was born as a series of web shorts. Season 5 will be the last, and attempts to spin off the same schtick into other formats — such as co-creator Ilana Glazer’s short-lived Time Traveling Bong — haven’t gone anywhere so far. 

More problematic were the two seasons of Disjointed (2017 and 2018) on Netflix. Kathy Bates stars as Ruth Whitefeather Feldman, proprietor of a recreational dispensary in Los Angeles, ringleader of a motley crew of stoners including her son and his crush. Netflix opted not to pick it up a third time. And it’s not hard to see why.

Disjointed is, as its title suggests, a strange show and something of a mixed baggie. It is a very 20th century-style studio sitcom, complete with a laugh track. Nothing wrong with that — it’s actually great that pot got its mainstream laugh-track workplace sitcom, its Cheers moment at last. Move over, alcohol! The problem is more that this format seems to have led the writers to go for the weaker, safer, more frequent kind of jokes, usually ones that reinforce marijuana stereotypes. 

Take Disjointed‘s two most clownish, over-indulging stoner characters, Dank and Dabby. In the Season 1 finale — spoiler alert, I guess? — this couple gets stuck on the roof of the dispensary, and we learn what happens when they’re deprived of weed for a few hours: They remember their former lives as academic geniuses. 

It’s intended as a joke, of course, but suddenly Dank and Dabby become tragic figures, chronic underachievers, no less victims of the demon weed than any character in Reefer Madness

Still, there’s a lot to commend the show for in terms of representation. Ruth’s son Travis, a black man, is also that rarest of characters: a rational, normal, non-hippyish, level-headed, business-running, occasional marijuana user. There’s Maria, a suburban mom who takes to vaping with the zeal of the convert. 

And then there’s Carter, the Iraq vet security guard whose internal struggles with PTSD are illustrated with dramatic, trippy animations. His journey, from adamantly refusing to even try pot to discovering that it quiets the bad stuff in his head, is the most touching arc on the show. Carter, a Muslim, is by far the most complex character; had he been the focus of Disjointed, Netflix may not have canceled it. 

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A more successful show, and the only one to truly represent marijuana users on a regular basis, is High Maintenance — which returns for a third season on HBO on January 20, 2019. 

Like Broad City and unlike Disjointed, which was a top-down network-style show from Big Bang Theory guys, High Maintenance floated from the bottom up — starting life as a series of web shorts on Vimeo. At the risk of sounding like a pretentious hipster, the old, obscure ones are still clearly the best; a 15-minute format is the way the show should have stayed.

Each webisode was utterly fresh, a realistic slice of life of a different quirky New Yorker. At some point in the story, usually incidental to the action, each character receives a weed delivery from a bearded bike messenger known only as The Guy (Ben Sinclair). 

In these shorts, The Guy was often the foil for the strangeness of his clients; he was a very New York type himself, a working dealer hustling to make a buck, and he bowed out quick.

When the show stepped up to HBO, a half-hour runtime requirement created a need to stitch the short stories together. The Guy became that stitching, and started to look like more of an eternal stoner type in the process: smoking out with his clients every episode, taking mushrooms and running around the city, and in the final episode of Season 2, even revealing that he has a name. (Unimaginatively, it’s Ben.)  

But the show has opened up a seam of storytelling about New York City, one of the richest character mines in the world. It could dig for years and keep coming up with gold — because how many millions of New Yorkers continue to need a Guy, in the absence of legalization? (New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for legalizing recreational marijuana in 2019, but nobody knows yet whether he’ll actually follow through or is just associating himself with a popular program.) 

Nearly every High Maintenance character is striving for something that makes them sympathetic. They’re trying to make it in the big city, to create something, to find themselves, find love or explore a new fad. They are flawed and fascinating and just so happen to need, or like, the flawed, fascinating uplift that THC provides. They read the news today, oh boy (as in the Season 2 opener, which deals with a never-specified international catastrophe) and they’d love to turn you on. 

In terms of anti-fascist political messages, however, there’s nothing to beat Reefer Madness. Not the 1936 version — the 1998 musical parody, immortalized in an Emmy-winning 2005 Showtime movie starring Alan Cumming and Kristen Bell. 

The musical is mostly 1936 propaganda exaggerated to absurdity. An opening number warns that marijuana is “turning all our children into hooligans and whores.” A gangster’s moll laments her addiction to “The Stuff.” Young innocent Mary Sunshine (Bell) has a handful of puffs and turns into an insatiable dominatrix. 

The American president himself (Cumming) shows up at the end to tell everyone how to combat the green menace. And then comes the sting in the musical’s tale: Once they’ve rounded up all the pot-smoking freaks, the cast vows, it’s time to round up everyone who deviates from the norm based on race and religion as well. 

It’s fair to say this ending is rather more resonant in 2018 than it was in 1998. Life may be good for American stoners in some states right now, but others are still getting arrested and incarcerated by a plainly racist justice system

The public may no longer associate marijuana with Mexican immigrants, as they did during the early part of the 20th century. Nevertheless, the current president squeaked into office after demonizing Mexicans for bringing unspecified “drugs and crime.” Fear of The Other is alive and well, and remains a factor in marijuana policy. 

We really aren’t as far away from 1936 as we think, both on screen and in real life. But if moviemakers and showrunners can give us more than stoner comedy tropes, if they can stop giggling for long enough to give us more even-handed, realistic representations of a mostly harmless intoxicant, then society at large will follow. 

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Please Instagram, don’t take away my mindless, time-killing scrolling

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Please Instagram, don’t take away my mindless, time-killing scrolling

Instagram scrolling is mindless. It should be.
Instagram scrolling is mindless. It should be.

Image: Mashable / bob al-greene

2018%2f04%2f02%2f74%2fheadshot.edeb7By Morgan Sung

It happened to me: I was a victim of Instagram’s botched update. 

I woke up on Thursday and went through my usual morning routine — shut off my alarm after four painful rounds of hitting snooze, cleared my notifications, and blearily scrolled through social media to catch up on whatever I missed out on while I was asleep. Facebook was full of holiday photos from my mildly problematic family friends, and Twitter was refreshingly devoid of hot takes. 

Then I got to Instagram, tapped through whatever popped up on my screen without actually reading it, and seemed to hit a wall while scrolling. Still half-asleep, I closed the app and tried again, when a pop-up told me there was a “new way to move through posts.” I ignored it again and tried my usual mindless scroll, but only went through the comments of a niche meme instead. 

To my horror, I had to tap to get through photos. The mysterious algorithm that banished chronological posts had decided to curse me with Instagram’s latest update, locking me into some sort of horizontal hell of eternal tapping. 

The progress bar, which was supposed to show how much further you had to go before reaching the end, only seemed to get longer the more I tapped. It was almost claustrophobic — there was no end in sight, and you couldn’t hit the top of the feed to start at the beginning. 

There’s something incredibly suffocating about hitting a scroll limit. 

There’s something incredibly suffocating about hitting a scroll limit. 

Even worse, we’re still in the throes of holiday season. Every other post I waded through seemed to be a 7 to 10 photo slideshow of groups wearing matching “ugly” sweaters, with every photo subject contorted into some painful crouch to fit in the frame. I haven’t talked to most of these people in person in years — why did I have to see their distant uncle hunched into a parody of a sorority squat? 

I remember closing the app, sending a quick prayer to the algorithm gods, and opening it again in hopes that it was just a terrible glitch. It wasn’t. I switched to my finsta, which was spared in what seemed to be some sort of user culling, and briefly considered erasing my main account altogether so I didn’t have to deal with the tapping. 

The cursed feed changed back after an hour. 

“Due to a bug, some users saw a change to the way their feed appears today. We quickly fixed the issue and feed is back to normal. We apologize for any confusion,” a spokesperson for Instagram wrote in a statement to Mashable.

According to a tweet from the head of Instagram, Adam Monsseri, it was “supposed to be a small test but we went broader than anticipated.” 

The Great Feed Change and the online panic that followed proves something: People don’t go on Instagram to see what their friends are up to. We use Instagram for mindless scrolling to kill time. Tapping through posts horizontally takes effort, and forces you to actually look at posts before moving on. Sure, it could be great as a social experiment, but who wants that? We just want to be able to wake up and scroll through cat photos until we feel alive again. (And by “we” I mean me. I want to scroll through cat photos until I feel something again.) 

If anything, this hour-long hell made me realize that I need to unfollow a lot of accounts that, in all honesty, I don’t really care about anymore. It makes me want to curate my feed so I’ll only see updates from people that I still talk to and still want to see. 

And it made me miss the chronological feed more than ever before, but there’s little chance of bringing that Eden back. 

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