I am the Queen of Awesome. My words do not represent my employer, but I bet you already knew that.
6837 stories

Chickenpox hits Royals clubhouse; Kelvin Herrera, Alex Rios infected

1 Share

As he pondered how to handle a health crisis facing his baseball team, Ned Yost reached out this past weekend to his mother. Several Royals also contacted their families, all asking some version of a question they had not pondered since childhood: Mom, did I ever have the chickenpox?

The answer became imperative, at the behest of the Royals training staff, as the team dealt with an outbreak as they completed a weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. Royals outfielder Alex Rios and All-Star reliever Kelvin Herrera have both been infected with the virus and could miss at least two weeks of action, team officials told The Star.

Rios and Herrera each left the team over the weekend and flew to Kansas City before the series ended. An examination on Monday of both players confirmed the diagnosis, a team official said.

Team officials are expected to address the situation before Tuesday’s game against the Tigers. The Royals believe the infections are limited to only Herrera and Rios. The most at-risk players are those from countries in Latin America, where the chances of childhood inoculation are lower, experts say.

Even in the hothouse of a major-league clubhouse, where players mingle in close quarters for upwards of nine months, the situation is unusual. Members of the Royals front office and big-league staff greeted the news with incredulity. Though the scenario sounds more amusing than worrisome — a potential World Series contender stricken by a children’s illness — the reality is far more insidious, given the severity of the virus when adults catch it.

The uncertainty with Rios has already affected the team’s roster. Unable to guarantee his return this season, the Royals acquired Atlanta outfielder Jonny Gomes on Monday evening for a minor-league infielder. The club hopes the influx of fresh arms brought by September roster expansion can compensate for Herrera’s absence.

The chickenpox virus spreads through the air or through bodily contact. The symptoms are well-known to parents, as itchy blisters overrun the skin and the body grapples with fatigue and fever. Chickenpox manifests in the same way for grown-ups, only patients suffer more and face complications such as pneumonia and brain infections, experts say.

“For adults who get chickenpox, it tends to be much more severe,” said Rafael Harpaz, a medical epidemiologist from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Harpaz indicated the rate for hospitalization because of the infection is much higher once the patients reach adolescence.

“A child might have a couple hundred lesions,” Harpaz said. “An adult might have over 500. The likelihood that they’ll end up getting pneumonia is much higher. That’s pretty rare in children. So there’s a number of complications that are more common in adults than in children.”

Even with the infections limited to only two players, the Royals must stay vigilant, experts say. After exposure to the virus, victims can still take up to three weeks to display symptoms.

“If you’re exposed on day zero, the realistic expectation is the earliest you’ll get the disease is day seven,” said Aaron Glatt, a physician specializing in infectious diseases and a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. “So they actually need to look for symptoms from day seven after exposure to day 21 after exposure. That’s when the disease manifests after you get it.”

The Royals think Rios was the first player infected. Yost scratched him from Saturday’s lineup about an hour before the game began. The team decided to send him home, but felt uncomfortable putting him on a commercial flight. So they chartered a private jet to fly Rios to Kansas City.

Shortly after Rios’ plane took off on Sunday, Herrera reported similar symptoms upon his arrival to the clubhouse. The training staff quarantined him, and the club repeated the charter process for a second time.

It is unclear how Rios contracted the virus. Doctors did not pioneer a vaccination until 1996, but in general, experts say when after a person contracts chickenpox, the infection does not return. Most Americans experience this as children.

Harpaz, the expert from the CDC, suggested that “for reasons that are not well-understood,” people raised in Caribbean climates are often more susceptible to the chickenpox as adults in America. Rios grew up in Puerto Rico. Herrera grew up in the Dominican Republic.

“One of the main theories is that the virus just doesn’t last as long in tropical conditions,” Harpaz said. “So the likelihood of you catching it is enough reduced to make it that less contagious.”

In the wake of the infections, trainer Nick Kenney canvassed the club asking players about their history with the chickenpox. The behavior of the team matches the advice of experts.

“They need to make sure that everybody else on their team is immune, either having had chickenpox before, or having gotten the vaccine,” Harpaz said. “And they should clearly quarantine the person who is infectious from the others.”

Read the whole story
6 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
Share this story

McDonald’s Franchisees Vote In All-Day Breakfast, Will Start October 6

1 Share

After months of speculation, testing, and fretting over egg shortages, the day is finally here: McDonald’s franchisees have cast their votes, and all-day breakfast is going nationwide. Maybe they’ll use up those margarine stashes more quickly than anticipated. The menu varies slightly according to whether the restaurant is in a “biscuit market” or a standard breakfast market, but the important part is that it’s breakfast. All day.

“This is the consumers’ idea. This is what they want us to do,” the president of McDonald’s USA told the Wall Street Journal, forgetting that not everything that consumers want is necessarily good for us. Franchisees actually led the charge for the menu change, which is a brilliant plan since it makes more items available without adding any different ingredients or equipment to the restaurant. No wonder franchisees, who have complained that the McDonald’s menu is too expansive, think it’s a great idea.

All-day breakfast has been successful in test markets, and is a much-anticipated change. It’s also the biggest change to the menu since the McCafé concept came out six years ago.

McDonald’s is on its social media game today, searching way back in Twitter and answering people who posted about all-day breakfast in the past. Whether it was to praise a test market or whine about how McMuffins disappear at 10:30, the McDonald’s social media team wanted to share the good news. The notes are posted so that everyone who follows McDonald’s can see them, and they include really excellent animated GIFs.

They found tweets dating back to 2007.

Not that responding to more recent ones wasn’t cool too.

Of course, it’s smart to engage with celebrities when launching a big social media campaign, and celebrities tweet about fast-food breakfast too:

And TV shows.

Read the whole story
7 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
Share this story

Calling Idris Elba 'Too Street' Is Racist, Just Not For The Reason You Think

1 Share

Earlier today, James Bond author Anthony Horowitz posted a public apology via Twitter following comments he made in a recent interview about actor Idris Elba. Talking to The Daily Mail on Aug. 29, Horowitz declared that Elba is "too street" to play Bond on the big screen. There was an almost instant outrage.

Horowitz's comments were dismissed by livid Internet users and writers as racist, his use of "too street" a thinly veiled way of saying that Elba is simply too black to play the role. But Horowitz's comments actually went far beyond race, demonstrating the way that sometimes stereotypes about black actors have everything to do with their blackness and how it relates to their perceived class.

When he said Elba was "too street" to be Bond, Horowitz wasn't necessarily talking about race. After all, the author did offer his own dream casting for a black Bond: actor Adrian Lester, best known in the UK for his role as a suave conman on the television drama "Hustle." Lester is a talented and capable actor but, more importantly in contrast to Elba, he's posh, with a lilting, middle-class British accent. 

Horowitz's conception of Bond is a suave, inscrutable, posh Bond, and his comments seemed to suggest that he was more concerned with Elba's working-class background and accent. This makes sense, since the UK has always had a distinct relationship to class and socially hierarchy, with even the way a person speaks determining how far they can make it in society.  So, then, his comments weren't racist, right? Classist, maybe, but not racist? Well, not quite. It's more complicated than that.  

In his apology, Horowitz conceded that he "clumsily chose the word 'street'" because he had in mind Elba's gritty portrayal of a hardened detective on the hit BBC series "Luther." From his apology it's apparent that Horowitz truly didn't feel his comments were problematic -- he named a black actor he thought was suited for the part, after all. But Horowitz's comments play into a kind of seemingly innocuous Hollywood racism that fails to see black actors as anything more than "types."

Idris Elba is an actor. He has mastered an American accent, various African accents, and yes, and varying kinds of English accents. He's played police detectives and single dads, Norse gods, and soldiers. To dismiss him as "too street" is to have a profound lack of imagination and respect of his skill as a performer. 

This is a reality that so many black actors face. Daniel Craig has played lower-class characters with Cockney accents in the past, but they haven't defined him or blocked him from getting different roles going forward. Indeed, his version of the Bond character  has been applauded specifically for bringing a sense of street-sense and grittiness to the franchise. (Case in point: the "Casino Royale" scene where he's asked if he wants his martini shaken or stirred and he answers, gruffly, "Do I look like I give a damn?") 

Last month, Zoë Kravitz revealed that producers told her she was too "urban" to play a character in The Dark Knight Rises (most likely Juno Temple's bit part as a petty thief). Let's be real. Is there anything particularly "urban" about Zoë Kravitz? And, beyond his non-posh British accent (which in America doesn't even register as anything but incredibly sexy), what exactly is so inherently "street" about Elba? For black actors, range or talent has nothing to do with it. They're either too black or not black enough. So while Horowitz's use of "too street" may not have been intentionally racist, his inability to separate Elba from one great performance kinda is. 


Also on Huffpost:


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

Read the whole story
7 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
Share this story

From Manspreading to Mansplaining — 6 Ways Men Dominate the Spaces Around Them — Everyday Feminism

1 Share

A few weeks ago, I was having a meeting with a friend at a coffee shop. It was hot out, I was slouching a bit, and without my really noticing, my legs were sticking out into the aisle. A woman who came by had to walk around them to get inside.

My friend laughed. “Dude, are you manspreading right now?”

“Am I? Maybe. I don’t think so. Maybe…”

I totally was.

In truth, at first I was defensive and had assumed that I wasn’t mainly because I’m not “that guy” – you know, the super entitled jerk who takes up more space than he deserves.

But that’s the thing about manspreading. It’s not about men actively choosing to be jerks or trying to be sexist and ableist (since the outcome of our manspreading not only takes up space under the guise of our needing more room, but also often makes space less accessible for some people with disabilities).

It’s entirely about our socialization – about how we’ve been taught (in subtle and overt ways) never to consider how entitled to public space we may act or feel.

So when countless women point out (often in hilarious ways) that we’re manspreading all over the place, we quickly hear the refrains of “Women do it, too!” and “Stop conflating someone being rude with sexism and toxic masculinity.”

But the problem actually is toxic masculinity and, by extension, sexism – it’s just not as obvious as sexist name-calling or men being physically abusive.

After all, it’s our masculine socialization that ingrains in us from the youngest of ages the idea that we are entitled to what’s around us.

And this is intensified when we add in other forms of social power (or a lack thereof) to the equation.

When male entitlement compounds with class privilege, White privilege, and other forms of privilege, we see the amplification of this privilege and entitlement (all too perfectly exemplified in Donald Trump’s “I’m rich, so I can do what I want” braggadocio).

On the other hand, when White supremacist systems endlessly brutalize and humiliate men of Color while reducing them in the media to strict portrayals of hypermasculinity, then masculinity, the only sense of social power that some men of Color may feel, can show up in hypermasculine expressions or in a sense of entitlement to public space.

We as men have been so inundated with the idea that all space is our space that we, often subconsciously, act as if that’s true – both in our body language and in more overt expressions of entitlement like dominating conversations, talking over other people, and harassing women on the street.

A hilariously perfect illustration of male entitlement to public space, the KoolAid man busts through a wall of a party, shouting “not all men.”

Thus, I do think manspreading is a problem– not because it’s the ultimate example of misogyny, but because it’s a perfect, public representations of the much more concerning issue of sexist male entitlement.

So when we as men experience a lifetime of messages that tie up our identity with entitlement to space and bodies, it makes perfect sense that we would take up more than our fair space on a crowded bus – but we must also understand that this is indicative of something so much bigger.

The point is that, in and of itself, manspreading in public isn’t inherently sexist.

But when it’s taken in the context of power and oppression and all of the other ways that we consciously and subconsciously assert our entitlement into public space, it’s suddenly something entirely sexist.

With that in mind, here are six spaces in which our entitlement shows up in forms other than manspreading, offered with the hope that we as men will reflect a bit on how we can work toward better ways of being in community.

1. Men Dominate Physical Space

Though I’m not into the whole Crossfit thing, one of the things I have heard many women say is that Crossfit is pretty inclusive and that they’re much less likely to experience the “gym dudebro” entitlement at a Crossfit gym.

I can’t tell you how many committed female and gender non-conforming gym goers I’ve talked to about how hard it is to be in gyms with men who either constantly hit on and harass them or leave little room for them with their grunting, screaming, and throwing weights.

And like manspreading, this might just be a case of individuals being rude if it weren’t for all the ways that we as men show entitlement to physical space.

In my own case, it’s shown up with my friends on the dance floor. We love to dance, and we love to really get into it. When there’s a crowded dance floor, that’s not my scene. I want one where we can really move. But when that makes it hard for others to enjoy their time on the dance floor (as we’ve been accused of in the past), our reaction needs to be less “They’re just fun killers” and more “How can we have this awesome time while respecting other people’s space?”

From hyper-competitively running over women in mixed gender sports to dudes taking up entire tables in crowded libraries or coffee shops, we could do better to thinking critically about the physical space we’re occupying – and call on other men to do the same.

2. Men Act Entitled to Intellectual Space

Whether we’re mansplaining something that people who don’t share our gender clearly can understand for themselves or actively contributing to intersectional gender oppression in the academy, men are really good at dominating intellectual space.

This is something I know I’m really good at, and it’s something I need to work on.

I show entitlement to intellectual space by talking down to others in online debates or in coffee shop discussions. But it’s uniquely problematic when I’m doing this, as I have been known to do, to women about women’s issues.

And much like admitting that I, too, am guilty of manspreading, admitting this doesn’t mean that I’m a terrible human being, but it does mean that if I really want to be in solidarity, I need to work on it and do better.

3. Men Dominate and Control Professional Spaces

We don’t need a Harvard study to tell us that the business world is filled with male dominance and entitlement. All we have to do is listen to any woman works in these environments.

Yet, much like manspreading, we have dudes constantly denying even the possibility that it might be sexism and masculinity that’s the problem.

Simply telling women to “lean in” demands nothing of us as men. It frees us from listening and reflecting, rather than dominating and acting entitled in professional environments.

It frees us from working to change male-dominated fields (from kitchens to board rooms) and from following the leadership of women who are demonstrating different ways of leading in the workplace.

If we would claim that our values support women’s leadership, we need to call upon our workplaces to reflect less male entitlement and control.

4. Men Regularly Show Entitlement to Social Spaces

I’ll be the first to admit it. I’ve been that guy on countless occasions, the one making a scene and shouting over other people to be the “hilarious” center of attention at a party. And I’ve been the one who takes off his pants or otherwise acts a fool.

But our entitlement to social space, an entitlement that often gets rewarded by people of all genders, doesn’t have to be as obvious as the center of attention at a party.

Many men’s voices tend to be on the louder side, but that doesn’t mean that we are incapable of regulating our tone of voice so we aren’t dominating a room with our booming baritone. Nor do we have to interrupt others to get in that “priceless” joke or to have our point heard.

We can take the time to reflect on how we take up (physical or proverbial) space at parties or dinners, and we can step back. And we can call on other men to listen when we notice that our fellow men are interrupting or talking over.

And it doesn’t have to be a cape-wearing, save-the-day sort of moment. It can be as simple as, “What were you saying about ______?” to the person who was interrupted while taking the time to listen.

5. Men Control Political Spaces

We are all well aware of the ways that men are demonstrating feelings of entitlement to women’s bodies through the regulation of their healthcare.

But there are far more subtle ways that men demonstrate entitlement in the political sphere

Even among the most “progressive” of men, what are we using our political power and energy for? Are we focusing on electing ourselves or other men? Are we allowing traditional male dominance to shut women out of our various formal and informal political processes?

Because there are all sorts of badass women, genderqueer, and gender non-conforming people we can support who align with our values – but the systems we’ve created for political process aren’t designed to support their election.

It’s not enough to say that “more women need to run” if we’re not going to actively support changing the culture of politics that values traditional forms of male leadership and that centers “electability” on traditionally masculine ways of being.

6. Men Consistently Demonstrate Entitlement in Intimate Spaces

Let’s be clear – none of these other forms of entitlement can be separated from how we as men act as if we’re entitled to the bodies of other people, most often women.

There is a direct, demonstrable link between male feelings of entitlement and the incredible rates of sexual violence that we see in the US and elsewhere.

We simply cannot separate manspreading or any other form of male entitlement from sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and male sexual entitlement because they all have the same toxic root: male socialization that tells us we are entitled to take what we want.

Manspreading, Just Like All Forms of Male Entitlement, Relies on the Silence of Men

That’s why when someone says that we should “focus on more important issues” than how much space men are taking up on the train, I think they’re missing the point. We as men should call out manspreading not because it’s the worst form of sexism but because it’s a symptom of the sickness that is toxic masculinity.

Whether we’re talking about manspreading or endemic sexual and intimate partner violence, the harm caused by male entitlement is men’s problem to solve.

We make the issue of toxic male entitlement our issue when we as men choose to speak out, to call on men to change, and to, perhaps most importantly, work on ourselves.

And by taking up this challenge, we open the doors to real change.

After all, women can tell men to close their legs on the bus, but public space doesn’t get more inclusive until men decide to change. And women can call on men to stop rape, but it doesn’t stop until men choose to change not only ourselves and our attitudes toward sexual entitlement, but also the systems that support and protect rapists.

Because in the end, male entitlement isn’t just about the behaviors of individual men. It’s about systemic gender violence and control that shows up through the daily entitlement of men, and we need to take responsibility for how we are complicit in those systems.

A simple place to start? Be more aware of how much space we’re taking up and call on other men to do the same.

Jamie Utt is a Contributing Writer for Everyday Feminism. He is the Founder and Director of Education at CivilSchools, a comprehensive bullying prevention program, a diversity and inclusion consultant, and sexual violence prevention educator based in Minneapolis, MN.  He lives with his loving partner and his funtastic dog. He blogs weekly at Change from Within. Learn more about his work at his website here and follow him on Twitter @utt_jamie. Read his articles here and book him for speaking engagements.

Read the whole story
7 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
Share this story

Racial Slur Burned Into Florida Man's Front Lawn

1 Comment

A man in Palm Bay, Florida, says his family feels threatened after vandals used a chemical to burn the racial slur n***** into his front lawn.

Courtney Gordon told WESH-TV that someone likely used weed killer to plaster the hateful word on his lawn, which faces the street. Now everyone can see the 3-foot letters.

"I feel like this is a threat to me and my family, so I'm not too happy about it," Gordon said. "You can see them slowing down when they go by my house, so everybody's just driving by and reading it."

Watch the full interview over at WESH-TV.

He said he may know who did it -- a "group of them, and I leave them to God," he said.

Gordon notified police, who are investigating. If the attack is classified as a hate crime, the vandals could face a higher misdemeanor charge, Raw Story reports.

The incident comes as a national debate rages over the classification of hate crimes. Fox News spent airtime last week debating whether a black man shooting two white journalists was one, though bloggers have pointed out that the station and others have been quick to avoid classifying certain white-on-black attacks, like the massacre of nine black parishioners in June in Charleston, as hate crimes.




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

Read the whole story
9 hours ago
*IF* it's classified as a hate crime? How is this anything but a hate crime?
Overland Park, KS
Share this story

Google to Penalize Mobile Sites With Annoying App Install Ads

2 Comments and 3 Shares

15347555878_efa364253d_hYou know, I know, and 69% of Google's survey group knows that there's nothing more annoying than being pestered to install a site's app just because you happen to be on a mobile device. And finally Google is going to do something about it.

Google announced today that it will soon start downranking sites that throw up a full page advert and prompt you to install a mobile app whenever you visit from a mobile device. According to a post on the Webmaster Central blog, Google’s mobile-friendly test will soon tell you whether a site should avoid app install interstitials.

After 1 November, any page that shows an interstitial that "hides a significant amount of content" from a search engine visitor will no longer be considered mobile-friendly. As a result, they will likely rank lower in Google's search results.

Alas, this new mobile-friendly rule will not apply to all throw up ads; an interstitial that prompts you to join a mailing list, or one that shows you a paid advert, is still okay under Google's rules. Also, Google will not penalize sites that push their mobile apps with a smaller nag banner, so this is at best a partial solution to the harassment.

On a related note, it's not clear whether Google is going to penalize its own sites for breaking this rule, or if Google will stop prompting mobile users about installing its apps. Gmail, for example, pestered me just now about using the Inbox app on my iPad (I prefer Gmail in Safari).

Between penalizing sites for load times and for not being usable on small screens, Google has done a lot to make the web easier to use on a small screen. But if it pushes through on this without also cleaning up its own house, Google will have fallen into the "do as I say, not as I do" trap.

image by www.nogran.sk

The post Google to Penalize Mobile Sites With Annoying App Install Ads appeared first on The Digital Reader.

Read the whole story
9 hours ago
throw-up ads. apt.
Earth, Sol system, Western spiral arm
9 hours ago
9 hours ago
Overland Park, KS
Share this story
Next Page of Stories