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Monday, August 25, 2014

Lena Dunham’s New Book Takes You Inside Her Therapy Sessions

Lena Dunham’s New Book Takes You Inside Her Therapy Sessions


Lena Dunham’s New Book Takes You Inside Her Therapy Sessions

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 10:57 AM PDT

The New Yorker premiered the first excerpt from Lena Dunham’s upcoming memoir, Not That Kind of Girl, on Monday. Fans of the Girls creator and star knew before that she had struggled with mental health problems: her character’s O.C.D. on the show is based on her own personal experiences. But it looks like Dunham’s new book will give readers their first insight into the details of her therapy sessions.

“The germophobia morphs into hypochondria morphs into sexual anxiety morphs into the pain and angst that accompany entry into middle school,” Dunham writes. She unpacks her many problems in various therapist’ offices, at school, with her parents and even in hushed tones over the phone with a therapist when lying next to a boy in bed.

Dunham invites us, once again, to psychoanalyze her work. Whether it’s in print of on TV, she tempts audiences to judge her and moves defiantly forward when we do. I suppose she’s trying to teach us all a lesson.

[The New Yorker]

This Video of a Tiny Hamster in a Tiny Mansion Is Hugely Adorable

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 10:56 AM PDT

Whether it’s Tumtum and Nutmeg or Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of Two Bad Mice, the joy of seeing tiny animals act like people is universally appealing.

In the wake of viral video Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Burritos and hit sequel Tiny Hamsters Eating Tiny Pizzas, YouTube hamster fanatic and tiny food enthusiast April's Animals has released a follow-up that you have to see, featuring a tiny hamster living in a tiny mansion. It’s two minutes of adorableness as a tiny rodent sleeps in a tiny bed, sits in a tiny chair, and uses a tiny bathtub before eating a giant strawberry with its tiny little hands.

It’s a much-needed cute break for when the news cycle gets you down, and you have watched all of Beyoncé’s VMA performance. Twice.

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You Might Actually Like Facebook’s New Changes

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 10:55 AM PDT

The era of clickbait may be coming to an end. Facebook says it’s taking steps to keep the hyperbolic headlines—about the unbelievable, amazing, overly-sentimental news that will restore your faith in humanity and leave you literally crying—out of your News Feed.

The problem with these kinds of stories is that they work—they tend to draw a lot of clicks and thus appear prominently in users’ News Feeds—but they rarely deliver meaningful content to live up to the headline in the first place, according to a blog post written by Facebook research scientist Khalid El-Arini and product specialist Joyce Tang. The social networking giant’s own survey says that 80% of users would prefer to have enough information to decide whether they’d read an article before clicking through.

So to identify and weed out clickbait (and to keep users coming back to the site), Facebook is evaluating News Feed content on two criteria. The first is reading time—if users are all clicking on a link and immediately returning back to Facebook, the story probably didn’t deliver on the promise of its headline. The second metric is engagement—if Facebook users are all clicking on a link without commenting, sharing or liking it, the story probably is low on substance.

The site will also prioritize articles that are shared as links, rather than as photos with with URLS tucked into a caption—a method of sharing that lets users and publications to draw clicks with less information and potentially misleading photos that aren’t actually in the story.

These changes will help Facebook turn its News Feed into a more enriching a experience: a place to catch up on well-reported news stories, expand horizons with insightful op-eds, stalk exes and find out which high school classmate is having a baby.

See Who Wore What at the 2014 VMAs

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 10:54 AM PDT

Dressing up is half the fun with any awards show, and the Video Music Awards are no exception. As always, big stars posed on the red carpet to show off their newest looks.

In their coverage of the event, People highlighted Taylor Swift’s choice of a Mary Katrantzou romper/unitard, and rapper Iggy Azalea’s cutout Atelier Versace gown. Meanwhile, Katy Perry’s floor-length denim dress was an “ode to Britney and Justin”–the same outfit that Britney Spears wore to the 2001 VMAs when she was still dating Justin Timberlake. Talk about a serious throwback.

[People]

Ferguson Gathers to Say Farewell to Michael Brown

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 10:39 AM PDT

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church in St Louis on Monday for the funeral of slain Missouri teen Michael Brown.

Musicians, politicians, civil rights activists, and residents of the teenager’s hometown of Ferguson joined the family in mourning the African American 18-year-old, whose fatal shooting by a police officer on Aug. 9 exposed racial tensions within the suburb and sparked widespread demonstrations and several nights of violent protest.

"Michael Brown's blood is crying from the ground…crying for justice," said Michael's uncle, Charles Ewing. "At such a time as this, God is shaking this nation."

Though it was a somber occasion, the church sanctuary was often overrun with praise as family members and friends took to the podium to share memories of the young man they called "Mike Mike." Brown would have been about a week into his freshman year of college on Monday.

"He said one day the world would know his name," a family member said. "He did not know how his name would be remembered, but we are here today remembering the name of Michael Brown."

Eulogizers calling on members of the community to channel their anger over the death of the teen in positive ways—through voting and peaceful assembly—and calling on the country to take a hard look at how law enforcement engages with black and minority communities.

“America, it’s time to deal with policing,” said Rev. Al Sharpton, who delivered a speech at the funeral. “We’re not anti-police. We respect police. But those police that are wrong need to be dealt with just like those in the community that are wrong need to be dealt with.”

Brown's mother Lesley McSpadden, wearing a red sleeveless dress, sat just steps from her son's closed casket which was surrounded by enlarged photos of the teenager. Throughout the service, mourners reached to console McSpadden, who was often overcome with emotion.

Brown's funeral comes two weeks after the teen was shot by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in circumstances that are still unclear. The investigation into Brown's death is still ongoing, though the federal government has stepped in to conduct a separate analysis of the events alongside local authorities.

You Know Things Have Gone Too Far When a Samsung Galaxy Challenges an iPhone to the Ice Bucket Challenge

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 09:42 AM PDT

Some people are dumping buckets of ice water over their heads to raise awareness for ALS. Others are dumping buckets of ice water over their head to raise awareness for their social media profile. Samsung, for instance, dumped a bucket of ice water over a waterproof Galaxy S5 to bash Apple’s non-waterproof iPhone.

Brands, amiright? Always finding a way to latch onto the latest viral trend…

Chili’s had a more subtle approach to the challenge:

And Ronald McDonald had the most confused, failing to mention donations and nominating all “redheads”:

The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised more than $80 million for ALS research since July 29.

5 of the Biggest Facebook Mistakes (and How to Fix Them)

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 09:40 AM PDT

The world’s biggest social network turned 10 this year. With 57% of the American population — and 73% of teenagers — among its user base, Facebook has morphed from a way for college undergrads to communicate to a multi-tentacled service that has become an integral part of our everyday lives, from connecting us with long-lost friends to serving as the Internet’s de facto photo-sharing service to doubling as a universal login to thousands of sites and apps across the Internet.

But with regular introductions of privacy-flouting new features and different sets of etiquette for connecting with colleagues, friends and family, it can be all too easy to make a Facebook misstep that sends the wrong message into the world.

Below are five of the most-common Facebook faux pas – and how to avoid them.

1. Not putting a professional face forward

If you haven’t been keeping an eye on your privacy settings, photos and posts intended for friends can end up on your boss’s newsfeed. A CareerBuilder study found that nearly 39% of employers use social media to screen job candidates, and a 2012 report from technology research company Gartner predicted that by 2015, 60% of employers will be monitoring employees on social networks.

If your boss is your Facebook friend, you can prevent them from seeing what you post by going to Settings > Privacy > "Who can see my future posts," selecting "Custom" from the dropdown menu and adding their names. To keep them from seeing posts and photos you’re tagged in, go to Settings > Timeline and tagging > "Who can see things on my timeline," select Custom from the dropdown menu and add their names.

If your boss or potential employer isn’t your Facebook friend, simply go to Settings > Privacy then select "Friends only" as the audience for "Who can see my future posts" and "Limit past posts." On the same page, you can also edit who can look you up — public, friends of friends, or friends only — and disable Google and other search engines from linking to your Facebook profile.

Finally, you can create a Restricted list — anyone on this list can only see the information and posts you make public. This can be an effective way to avoid looking suspiciously absent from Facebook, without giving up too much information. Head to Settings > Blocking, and edit "Restricted List."

In all cases, if you and your boss have mutual friends, he or she will still be able to view any posts or photos you may be tagged in with those friends.

2. Oversharing, oversharing, oversharing

We’ve all done it, but now there's proof that oversharing is the easiest way to get unfriended on Facebook. A study by Christopher Sibona at the University of Colorado Denver found that the top four reasons people delete friends are because their posts are frequent or trivial posts, polarizing, inappropriate or too mundane.

"Share things that are meaningful, witty, newsy or interesting — and be discriminating in how often you post on Facebook," recommends Jessica Kleiman, a communications specialist and co-author of the book Be Your Own Best Publicist.

Still, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an audience for that polemic on national politics (or what you had for breakfast). If there are particular people you think would appreciate more controversial — or more mundane — statuses, you can customize the audience for individual posts. Below the status box, click the tab next to "Post" and select Custom to bring up options for "Who Should See This?". You can then select a specific audience such as Close Friends, or a custom list (if you made one), say for your sports league. You can also select Custom and manually enter friends that can or can’t view the post. You can make this setting your default to avoid future oversharing.

However, Kleiman cautions, "Even if you use filters on Facebook to keep your posts only visible by 'friends,' one of your 850 closest friends online is probably friends with someone you wouldn’t want to see that post."

3. Allowing Facebook apps to overshare for you

Along with posts about that ham and cheese toastie you were eating, oversharing may take the form of posts by apps you’ve linked to Facebook.

Privacy protection company Secure.me found that 63% of apps request the ability to post on the user’s behalf. While giving this permission may allow your info to be shared where it shouldn’t, more irking is the fact that, say, Spotify can post what '80s pop ballad you’re listening to, or Candy Crush Saga can update all your friends on your progress.

You can allow or disallow third-party apps to post to Facebook when signing up, but if you didn’t do that, you can edit all permissions from a single page. Select Activity Log from the top right dropdown menu on your profile or news feed, then All Apps (on the left) to view posts made by apps.

To prevent individual apps from posting, hit More (under All Apps), scroll to the offending app, then click the top-right arrow to customize where the app can post to on your behalf — certain friends, all friends, or not at all. You can also tweak the audience for each post by clicking its lock icon. Click the neighboring pen icon to remove the post from your Timeline, mark it as spam or delete the app from your Facebook profile entirely.

4. Allowing others to post content about you that you don't like

A Pew Research Center survey found that one of the aspects users most disliked about Facebook was that friends can post personal content, such as photos, about a user without his or her permission.

If you’ve been tagged in an unflattering photo, you can remove the tag by clicking on the photo, hovering over its base, and selecting Options / Remove Tag, so that the picture will not turn up in "Photos of You." To stop it from appearing on your profile page, you must separately toggle "Allow on Timeline" to "Hide from Timeline" in the top-right of the window. However, the photo can still be viewed in other people’s News Feeds and the poster’s albums page, so if you abhor the picture, contact your so-called friend and ask them to take it down.

You can also disable certain — or all — people from posting on your Timeline. Go to Settings > Timeline and Tagging > "Who can add things to my timeline" and select "Only Me." *(Friends will still be able to view your Timeline.)

To block particular people, head to Settings > Blocking, and add the names to the Restricted list. Then go to Settings > Timeline and Tagging > "Who can add things to my Timeline," and select "Friends." Friends on the restricted list won’t be able to post on your Timeline, or view it unless you have set it to be public.

5. Being resigned to a boring news feed

Does it feel like you’re reading more and more posts from friends you don’t really care about? You’re probably not imagining it. In December, Facebook updated its News Feed algorithm to push up posts with links and push down memes. Links with more comments were also favored. Stories that show up are also influenced by which friends you interact with the most.

Meanwhile, a Stanford University study found that user posts that aren’t liked or commented on tend to be viewed by fewer people, so you may find that your college buddy’s engagement announcement floats to the top of your feed, while your best friend’s gripe about the cost of daycare is nowhere to be seen.

To get around this, head to your feed, click on "News Feed" in the top left, and toggle the option to show Most Recent instead of Top Stories. To ensure particular friends’ posts pop up on your feed, add them to your Close Friends list. On your news feed, scroll down the left-hand menu, hover over Friends and click More > Close friends, then add their names in the right-side text bar. Hit Manage List in the top right to select the particular types of updates you get — for example, photos and status updates, but not games or comments.

If someone’s status updates are getting on your nerves but you’re not quite ready to unfriend them, you can unsubscribe from their updates entirely by clicking in the top right of the offending status in your news feed, then selecting "Hide All."

This article was written by Natasha Stokes and originally appeared on Techlicious.

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Black Cat Interrupts Barcelona Game

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 09:28 AM PDT

It looked like an unlucky beginning to the Spanish soccer season yesterday when a black cat wandered onto the field, mere minutes after kickoff in the Barcelona vs. Elche match.

The feline intruder upstaged all the players as it raced around the field and evaded capture, much to the delight of laughing fans and commentators. It eventually trotted off the field, apparently done with its time in the spotlight.

Turns out the cat was a bad omen for Elche – Barcelona won the match 3-0.

Manu Fernandez – AP

Female Soldier Turns Gun on Self at Fort Lee, Va. Army Base

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 09:27 AM PDT

A female soldier at the Fort Lee U.S. Army base in Virginia shot herself in a possible suicide attempt Monday morning, according to a statement on the U.S. Army Fort Lee Facebook page, sparking a lockdown after reports of a shooter on base.

“Fort Lee first responders responded to a report of a female Soldier with a gun inside the Combined Arms Support Command Headquarters, Bldg. 5020 at approximately 9 a.m. today. Early reports indicate the Soldier turned the weapon on herself and fired one shot, injuring herself,” said the statement.

The base said the shooter had been transferred to Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center and her condition was unknown. The army said it would begin an investigation.

The shooting comes just a few months after a soldier at Fort Hood Army base in Texas shot and killed four people and injured several more. That shooter, Army Spc. Ivan Lopez, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Mourners Gather to Say Goodbye to Michael Brown

Posted: 25 Aug 2014 09:19 AM PDT

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