Mom of Woman Killed in Horrific Limo Crash Alongside Boyfriend Speaks Out: ‘There’s Nothing Worse’

When she heard news about the horrific limousine accident that left 20 dead in upstate New York on Saturday afternoon, Martina Wieblitz Halse desperately tried to contact her daughter, Amanda Halse, who she knew was traveling with a large group in that same area.

Martina and her daughter, Karina Halse, repeatedly texted and called Amanda, but with each message sent and number dialed, their attempts went unanswered.

Then, their worst fears were realized when an investigator appeared at their door.

“I don’t even know what injuries she had,” Martina tells PEOPLE of finding out Amanda, 26, was in the limo when it crashed. “They told me that they took her out of the limousine and put her in an ambulance to go to the hospital and she still had a heartbeat.”

Amanda ultimately died from her injuries, which she suffered as she was celebrating her friend Amy Steenburg’s 30th birthday on October 6. The group of friends were in a limo that failed to stop at a T-intersection in the rural town of Schoharie in upstate New York. The limo flew into a nearby parking lot and crashed into an unoccupied SUV, killing the driver and all 17 passengers. The accident also claimed the lives of two pedestrians, who were struck by a parked SUV after it was slammed into by the limo.

“It’s terrible. I lost my baby. I last saw her the week before on a Saturday,” Martina says. “There’s nothing, nothing worse than this.”

RELATEDCouple Killed in Limo Crash Were ‘Amazing Parents:’ They Were Devoted to Their Kids’

Martina, who is paralyzed, says she she saw a lot of herself in her daughter, Amanda, including her love of arts and crafts. Because of Martina’s condition, Amanda would spend time helping her mother tend to the flowers in her garden. The two had initially planned to go to a fall festival on Sunday, after Amanda returned from her trip with her friends.

“She was way too young ,” Martina says through tears. “She was such a kind person, everybody loved her.”

Amanda also shared a close relationship with her siblings.

“I am hanging in there. Taking it one step at a time,” says Amanda’s sister, Karina. “I feel a sense of strength when I talk about my sister so I believe she is helping me through this, but overall, I feel empty, devastated and just sad.”

During the drive, Amanda had been accompanied by her boyfriend, Patrick Cushing, 31, who was also killed in the crash.

“Patrick was such a passionate and good-hearted person. He had such empathy and kindness,” his brother, Justin Cushing, tells PEOPLE.

Patrick was a gifted athlete and played dodgeball for Team USA, Justin says, but most of all, he deeply loved those closest to him.

“He loved, hugged and cried with his friends and family like their problems were his,” he explains. “ celebrated with those same family and friends like our successes were his personal goals.”

RELATED4 Sisters, Their Husbands, Newlyweds & Parents Among 20 Killed in Tragic Limo Crash

While he was passionate about photography and sports, Patrick was also devoted to his role as a godparent to Adam and Abigail Jackson’s two young daughters, Archer, 4, and 16-month-old Ellie.

“He took it like he was an adopted third parent,” Justin says. “He kept her pictures in his phone to show off like they were his own.”

Adam and Abigail also lost their lives in the crash, which is still under investigation. A GoFundMe page has been set up to provide for their daughters, which has raised more than $ 65,000.

With nearly two dozen people lost in the accident, the pain of the tragedy is felt far and wide. For Justin, who served as best man for Adam in his wedding to Abigail, the devastation is unimaginable.

“I lost my two best friends in this, in my brother and Adam. I lost my cousin in Erin ,” he says. “This was all so hard to write and I’m shaking knowing I’m missing something important to his life.”


PEOPLE.com

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Late-Night TV Has a Growing Problem: Maybe There’s Too Much of It

Something funny is going on with late-night TV, but it’s not the sort of development that’s going to make anyone laugh. Netflix’s decision to cancel programs led by comics Michelle Wolf and Joel McHale that emulated traditional late-night series, revealed Friday, marks just the most recent move in what might be seen as a scaling […]

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‘There’s Something About Mary’ at 20: Cameron Diaz, the Farrelly Brothers on ‘Hair Gel’ Scene and Other Raunchy Gags

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There’s a Big Gaming Desk Sale Going on Right Now

If you buy something through this post, IGN may get a share of the sale. For more, read our Terms of Use.

Whether you live in a house or an apartment, a dorm room or a rented room, investing in a computer desk is a good idea. You could sit yourself down at the kitchen table and type away on your laptop, but it’s not the best place to be once mealtime rolls around. And if you’re a PC gamer, you know the importance of a good gaming desk. Luckily one of the most popular and well-reviewed gaming desk models from Arozzi is on sale now. And if it doesn’t suit your needs, I’ve compiled more big and small computer desk options to consider as well. Some are on sale, and others are just a good daily buy.

Continue reading…

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There’s no stopping LeBron — but the Celtics are still in the way

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Doctors Reveal Whether There’s Any Hope Of Fixing Your ‘Text Neck’

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Portugal. The Man, Nothing More, Greta Van Fleet Prove There’s Still Life in Rock Music

For a half century, rock was the darling of the pop music industry — it was both the sound of teen rebellion and the cash cow of the business. But over the past few years the genre has grown steadily weaker, due to a lack of new blood and the passing of such legendary single-name […]

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There’s Not That Much Fashion in FX’s Big Versace Drama: There’s Not That Much Fashion in FX’s Big Versace Drama

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Some Stars May Shun Black at the Golden Globes: ‘There’s Some Backlash to the Wear-Black Mandate’

As stars prepare for Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, the one sure bet is that the red carpet will be going dark, at least as far as the clothing is concerned. In solidarity with Hollywood’s anti-sexual harassment movement, now officially named Time’s Up, the plan has been for actresses (and the actors who support them) to wear black to send a united message. But as buzz has built around the moment and the movement, the inevitable resistance from some attendees has taken hold as well.

According to a PEOPLE source, “There’s some backlash to the wear-black mandate. Some feel women should celebrate their newfound power, strong voices and the future by wearing a wide variety of brighter shades. Instead of distracting from the real issue with a mandate to wear one particular color. There will be big important speeches, no doubt, and they will make a much better statement.”

RELATED PHOTOS: 2018 Golden Globes Nominees at Their Very First Awards

But that doesn’t mean everyone will be wearing brights, either. Stylist Ilaria Urbinati previously confirmed that her clients, such as Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Tom Hiddleston and Armie Hammer would be taking a stand alongside the female stars, and Johnson confirmed this on his own as well.

“Because everyone keeps asking me… YES, the men WILL be standing in solidarity with women on this wearing-all-black movement to protest against gender inequality at this year’s Golden Globes,” Urbanati wrote. “At least ALL MY GUYS will be. Safe to say this may not be the right time to choose to be the odd man out here… just sayin…”

And actress Eva Longoria, who is one of the founding members of Time’s Up, spoke to the New York Times about the red carpet blackout, saying that many stars planned to participate in appropriately somber attire. “This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment,” the star said. “For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.”

-With reporting by Elizabeth Leonard


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There’s No More Gilmore Girls in the Works Right Now, But…

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This Is Us Star Mandy Moore Warns “There’s Darkness Coming” & Viewers Should “Be Patient”

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The Roseanne Revival Is Officially In Production and There’s a Cast Photo to Prove It

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A-Rod Says There’s No “Better Role Model” For His Daughters Than J.Lo

Alex Rodriguez and Jennifer Lopez have seamlessly merged their families and bonded with their kids together. Back in April, the couple took their children to the Dominican Republic for Easter weekend, where J.Lo captured a photo of Natasha, Rodriguez’s 12-year old daughter, with Lopez’s daughter Emme, age 9, on her back. Now, the World of Dance judge is bonding with A-Rod’s youngest girl in a new way.

Rodriguez posted a video of his youngest girl Ella, 9, singing Alessia Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful,” alongside Lopez. “Coach JL,” he captioned the pic, tagging famous vocal coach Stevie Mackey, who was playing piano in the background. Who better than the former American Idol judge to school Ella on how to work her vocals? Lopez formed part of the groundbreaking singing competition on-and-off from season 10 in 2011 to the last season in 2015.

The former Yankee recently gushed about Lopez’s influence on his daughters. “There is not a better role model than Jennifer,” he told Extra. “My daughters, they look up to , being a Latina woman in this country, doing the things she has done and the way she pays it forward. If it doesn’t help socially, she is not interested. I can’t even keep up with her jobs. She’s Superwoman, and my daughters, the way they look at her, she has been a great..for them.”

Aside from bonding with family, the two have made sure to spend time alone together with lavish date nights and rigorous workout routines. For Labor Day Weekend, they traveled to Las Vegas to take part in a group fitness class as a team—and shared the experience on social media. “You push me I push you,” wrote J.Lo in a photo of them sitting on yoga mats.

“We love living a healthy lifestyle,” Rodriguez added, “We ride bikes in the city, we run in Central Park, we do yoga, we do Pilates.”


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Hate and violence around the globe? There’s an app for that.

Hate and violence around the globe? There’s an app for that.The plague of “fake news” may be news to Facebook (FB), but it’s a familiar foe to a small non-profit in Washington that’s trying to use mobile apps, big data and social media to promote peace and accountability in places like Iraq, Kenya and Mexico where those technologies have often been abused to spread lies and hate. The PeaceTech Lab aims to develop “technology that can be applied to tackle the triggers of violence,” president and CEO Sheldon Himelfarb said in an interview at the lab’s Washington headquarters at the U.S. Institute of Peace.



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Shonda Rhimes’ Netflix Deal & Grey’s Anatomy: Why There’s No Reason to Worry

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There’s a Huge Sale on KitchenAid Mixers and Attachments at Williams Sonoma Right Now

 

While we know you love using your KitchenAid Stand Mixer to make a Dark Chocolate Cake with Nutella Frosting and chocolate chip cookies, wouldn’t you also love to be able to use it to make ice cream or spiralize veggies? For a limited time, Williams Sonoma is running their Biggest Bake Sale, offering 20 percent off qualifying KitchenAid Mixers and Attachments, plus free fast shipping.

KitchenAid® Stand Mixer Ice Cream Maker Attachment: $ 79.95, regularly $ 100
KitchenAid® Stand Mixer Slow Juicer Attachment: $ 179.95, regularly $ 230
KitchenAid® 3-Piece Pasta Roller & Cutter Set: $ 199.95, regularly $ 250
KitchenAid® Spiralizer Attachment: $ 99.95, regularly $ 130

See all KitchenAid items that are on sale during the Biggest Bake Sale event.


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There’s A Japanese Word For People Who Buy More Books Than They Can Actually Read

Book hoarding is a well-documented habit.

In fact, most literary types are pretty proud of the practice, steadfast in their desire to stuff shelves to maximum capacity. They’re not looking to stop hoarding, because parting with pieces of carefully curated piles is hard and stopping yourself from buying the next Strand staff pick is even harder. So, sorry Marie Kondo, but the books are staying.

The desire to buy more books than you can physically read in one human lifetime is actually so universal, there’s a specific word for it: tsundoku. Defined as the stockpiling of books that will never be consumed, the term is a Japanese portmanteau of sorts, combining the words “tsunde” (meaning “to stack things”) and “oku” (meaning “to leave for a while”). 

We were reminded of the term this week, when Apartment Therapy published a primer for those looking to complete book-hoarder rehab. Several blogs have written on the topic before, though, surfacing new and interesting details about the word so perfect for book nerds everywhere.

While most who’ve written on the topic of tsundoku use the word to describe the condition of book hoarding itself, The LA Times used the term as a noun that describes the person suffering from book stockpiling syndrome, or “a person who buys books and doesn’t read them, and then lets them pile up on the floor, on shelves, and assorted pieces of furniture.”

Tsundoku has no direct synonym in English, Oxford Dictionaries clarified in a blog post, defining the word as “the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piling it up together with other such unread books.” An informative subreddit provides even more context, explaining that “the tsundoku scale” ranges from just one unread book to a serious hoard. “Everyone is most likely to be ‘tsundokursed’ one way or the other,” it warns.

According to Quartz, tsundoku has quite a history. It originated as a play on words in the late 19th century, during what is considered the Meiji Era in Japan. At first, the “oku” in “tsunde oku” morphed into “doku,” meaning “to read,” but since “tsunde doku” is a bit of a mouthful, the phrase eventually condensed into “tsundoku.” And a word for reading addicts was born.

Speaking of addictions ― the term “bibliomania” emerged in England around the same time as “tsundoku.” Thomas Frognall Dibdin, an English cleric and bibliographer, wrote Bibliomania, or Book Madness: A Bibliographical Romance in the 1800s, outlining a fictional “neurosis” that prompted those suffering from it to obsessively collect books of all sorts. 

Bibliomania has a dark past, documented more as a pseudo-illness that inspired real fear than a harmless knack for acquiring books we won’t have time to read. “Some collectors spent their entire fortunes to build their personal libraries,” Lauren Young wrote for Atlas Obscura. “While it was never medically classified, people in the 1800s truly feared bibliomania.”  

Tsundoku seems to better capture the lighter side of compulsive book shopping, a word that evokes images of precariously stacked tomes one good breeze away from toppling over. While there’s no English equivalent quite as beautiful, no one’s stopping you from incorporating the Japanese word into your regular vocabulary.

“As with other Japanese words like karaoke, tsunami, and otaku, I think it’s high time that tsundoku enter the English language,” Open Culture wrote in 2014. “Now if only we can figure out a word to describe unread ebooks that languish on your Kindle. E-tsundoku? Tsunkindle?”

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There’s a Real Life Forrest Gump Running Across America Right Now

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There’s finally a smartwatch for watch aficionados

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Critical Shopper: There’s Nothing to Fear at Simone Rocha

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There’s now an indoor potty for small dogs

There’s now an indoor potty for small dogsA new product called BrilliantPad will let your pooch poop inside. The company that makes it claims it’s ultra-absorbent and eco-friendly and refreshes automatically. After Fido does his business, the motorized pad dries up liquid and dissolves solids…then the system replaces the soiled pad with a fresh one. BrilliantPad is still in the Indiegogo crowdfunding stage and hopes to raise $ 50,000. If you have a dog that weighs less than 35 pounds, you can get in on the early-bird price of $ 99. This self-cleaning potty will definitely be a game changer for dogs and their owners. …



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Good News: There’s No Definitive Link Between Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer

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There’s No Such Thing As ‘Traditionally American’ Music

When asked this week by CNN’s Erin Burnett whether Kanye West would be performing at Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration ceremony on Friday, Tom Barrack, the chairman of the presidential inauguration committee, at first offered up a response that seemed suitable enough. 

“We haven’t asked him,” Barrack said. “He’s been great. He considers himself a friend of the president-elect, but it’s not the venue.”

Barrack could have stopped there and moved on easily enough. But he didn’t. Instead, Barrack tacked on one more reason that West, who met with the president-elect as recently as December, had not been invited to perform.

“It’s going to be typically and traditionally American,” he said. 

The remark has since provoked swift anger online, as many people interpreted Barrack’s use of the phrase “typically and traditionally American” as little more than racially coded language meant to imply “white,” first and foremost. West, in the way Barrack speaks of him, is not just a representative of hip-hop, but a representation of something standing in opposition to a more homogenous version of America that so many white Americans want to believe existed, but never really did. 

Whatever you think of West and his music, it should not distract you from the fact that the criticism of Barrack is not only correct, but necessary. By making the remarks on CNN, the chairman of Donald Trump’s inauguration committee perpetuated a fundamental misinterpretation of the history of American music.

Simply put, “traditionally American” music doesn’t exist. And for Barrack to imply that such a thing can only be defined by white artists is for him to continue on with one of America’s actual traditions: whitewashing the contributions of African-Americans and other cultures out of American history. 

Whenever the U.S. has come close to a “traditionally American” music, it has almost always come from black America. The banjo, so closely associated with bluegrass, has its origins in West Africa. “The Entertainer” and “Maple Leaf Rag,” two of America’s most defining tunes, were created by Scott Joplin, a black man. 

Blues, rock and roll, soul and hip-hop all have their roots in black culture, not to mention gospel and R&B. Jazz, that beautifully chaotic and winding musical form, referred to by some as  America’s classical music,” is certainly not what Barrack was thinking of when he referred to “traditionally American” music. For if there has been an American musical tradition, it has been white performers popularizing and profiting from black music, from jazz to Motown, as black musicians turn and create a truly sound different once more. 

In the early 20th century, black contributions to folk music were minimized by white historians to more closely align the sound with the rural white man. Today, in the 21st century, black Americans are struggling to have their contributions to country music ― a genre often seen as just as white as folk ― recognized in much the same way.

Even some of America’s earliest popular songs weren’t American at all. “Barbara Allen,” sung during Colonial times, actually originated in England, as did the tune of the “Star Spangled Banner.” “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” one of the most American-seeming songs of all time, was originally sung by the British soldiers before the Revolutionary War as a way to mock the simple-looking Americans. 

In truth, perhaps the only traditionally white American sound was so explicitly racist that few would dare associate with it today. At minstrel shows in the 19th century, Northern white people dressed up in blackface and sang songs like “Zip Coon” and “Oh Susanna” while mocking black people and black music their characters were based on. The music became popular — so much so that in a sick turn, black Americans felt compelled to eventually impersonate white Americans’ humiliating impersonations of them for a chance at success in the entertainment industry. 

The history of music in America is much like the history of America itself. It is shameful, chaotic, messy and confusing. And somehow, simultaneously, it is rich, creative, energetic and intertwined, too. It is a pot of culture, constantly melting together to create something thats fights against tradition, and, from time to time, creates something new.

But make no mistake: There is no such thing as traditional American music. And to believe there ever has been is to misinterpret what it is that makes America great. 

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Don’t Worry About the Vampire Diaries Christmas Cliffhanger, There’s Way More Crazy to Come

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There’s Evidence Carl Grimes Will Die On ‘The Walking Dead’

You can see this coming a mile away, even if you’re rocking an eye patch.

Things already weren’t looking good for Carl Grimes on “The Walking Dead.” His eye has been shot out, the Saviors are now in control of Alexandria and he’s going after the new villain, Negan, despite the fact that his aim is like this:

Yeah, it wasn’t good. Now, it’s even worse.

The speculation is that Carl Grimes, aka Chandler Riggs, is going to be killed off “Walking Dead” so Riggs can go to college. 

The actor tweeted about his future plans to attend school earlier in November:

Ok, so Carl is going to college. No big deal, right? Unless you’re Enid. Long distance relationships aren’t ideal for the zombie apocalypse.

Then Riggs’ father posted a message about his son completing his “Walking Dead” contract, and that’s what has everyone worried:

Completed 7 years on TWD! #freedom #thewalkingdead

A photo posted by William Riggs (@dadszombieroadtrip) on

Yeah, William Riggs, Chandler’s father, included “#freedom” at the end of the message. 

Comicbook.com reports a since deleted Facebook message from Riggs’ dad was even longer and “sounds a lot like a goodbye.”

 7 year contract completed! Grateful to AMC, Cast & Crew, TWD fan base, and especially Chandler for always being 100% dedicated. Whether is was getting up at 4 AM, working in the freezing cold past 2 AM, leaving his friends and carefree kiddom behind, scrambling to make up missed schoolwork, he has done it without complaint and always made me proud & amazed to be his dad!

Does this mean Carl is leaving the show?

Fans of the comics know Carl has a large role to play still on “The Walking Dead,” and comic creator Robert Kirkman previously said Carl was his favorite character in a Reddit AMA. It’d be strange for him and showrunner Scott Gimple to kill him off so soon.

Auburn University, where Riggs is set to go to school, is driving distance from where the show films in Georgia: Going to school and staying on the show also seems manageable.

Plus, as far as contracts, Andrew Lincoln and Norman Reedus reportedly recently renegotiated their contracts for Season 8. Even if Riggs’ contract is finished, that doesn’t mean he’s gone.

Still, in the same AMA that Kirkman named Carl as his favorite character, he also joked about killing Carl. In response to a fan asking about a spoiler, Kirkman said:

What spoiler are you talking about? I don’t know what spoiler you’re mentioning here. I really don’t like to spoil things at random on things like that. Negan killed Carl?

Kirkman previously joked on “@midnight” about Steven Yeun’s character Glenn getting killed by Negan’s baseball bat. This happens in the comics and came true on the show in the Season 7 premiere.

Don’t you get any ideas, Negan.

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Why There’s No Better Time Than Now For An Attitude Of Gratitude

As much as I’d love to vote 2016 off my island, the Year From Hell still has about six weeks during which we undoubtedly will ask “Can this get any crazier?” It reminded me of this column I wrote five years ago. It bears republishing in this, the Season of Our Country’s Discontent. Here it is in its entirety:

I have a friend who I use instead of Prozac. Whenever life feels overwhelming, I call her and ask her to lunch. Apparently, she’s the drug of choice for many people because her calendar is always heavily booked; I love that she squeezes me in when I use the secret emergency code words “It’s been so long since we’ve talked!”

I can talk to Jae Wu about anything and she hears me. Notice, I didn’t say she listens. Lots of people listen — my dog listens if I hold a cookie in my hand — but no, Jae actually hears. She nods sometimes when I’m speaking, but mostly what she does is hear me. Jae never feels compelled to rush in and fill the pause of a conversation the way I do. She also hears the silence.

Jae’s life is not without complications of its own. She owns a successful real estate firm on the Westside of Los Angeles — and holds the distinction of probably being the only top-producing real estate agent in LA who has never tried to get me to write about one of her listings. Jae is also mom to two boys, one with special challenges. When she learned of her son’s diagnosis, she did what Jae does: She kept breathing.

I met Jae quite by fate, since as Jae taught me, there are no such things as coincidences. Awhile back, I founded a women’s networking group for entrepreneurs. One month, our keynote speaker canceled at the last minute and someone suggested Jae as a fill-in. She came, she spoke, and nobody in the room budged from their seats for the next few hours. Jae not only hears; when she speaks, she speaks from the heart.

Once you meet Jae, you become part of her circle, one of her peeps. She “match-makes” among her minions, sending new and interesting friends your way. You need something? She knows someone who knows someone who knows someone. And she means it.

From the day I met her, I’ve wanted to unravel the mystery of Jae. How is it that she carries such a full load and doesn’t let it weigh her down? I’m a spiritual person, and by and large a happy person — but Jae has this calmness about her that sets her apart. When Jae enters a room, she becomes its center. How is that?

Jae says she wakes up each morning and before moving from the bed, she mentally runs down everything she is grateful for. She makes lists in her head of all that is right with the world, all that she loves, all that she is looking forward to that day, tomorrow and the next. She thinks about how she can make all the people she knows happy. She does this every day. She starts her day with an attitude of gratitude.

Jae Wu’s life isn’t any less stressed or complicated than mine or yours — far from it. It’s that she knows something we know but don’t always remember. She knows that like beauty, happiness — dare I say inner peace? — is in the eye of the beholder. She knows it feels better to give than to get, to share than to hoard. She knows the difference between needs and wants. She knows that kind people trump mean ones, that your burdens are lighter when shared and that every day is a gift awaiting your unwrapping. She knows that even in the face of illness, there is life to be lived between the cracks.

I keep hoping that her attitude of gratitude will rub off on me. But for now, I am just grateful to be having lunch with her soon.

— 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.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

There’s Only One Way To Keep You Alive Cool Trendy TV – Mens T-Shirt – Athletic heather – 3 X-Large

There’s Only One Way To Keep You Alive Cool Trendy TV – Mens T-Shirt – Athletic heather – 3 X-Large


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There’s a $13 Billion International Battle Over Who Will Keep Your Pants Zipped

A look inside the ongoing zipper wars.

Style – Esquire

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There’s Only One Way To Keep You Alive Cool Trendy TV – Mens Tank Top – Athletic heather – Medium

There’s Only One Way To Keep You Alive Cool Trendy TV – Mens Tank Top – Athletic heather – Medium


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There’s a Coqui in My Shoe!

There’s a Coqui in My Shoe!


There’s a Coqui in My Shoe! is a children’s story celebrating Puerto Rico’s national treasure, the coqui (a small tree frog). Find out in this charming tale how the friendship between Carlito the Coqui and Armando blossoms. Fun facts about the coquis are included, making this an educational read as well as entertaining.Product DetailsHardcover, 66 pages, by Marisa de Jesus PaolicelliIllustrated by Tanja BauerleISBN: 978-0979764103
List Price: $ 21.99
Price: $ 21.99

There’s a tiny drone inside this prototype phone case

Bored with your phone case? Wish it did something more than just protect your phone in the event of an unfortunate mishap? The Drone-in-a-Phone is coming to brighten up your world by combining the convenience of a case with the current must-have tech product, the drone. It’s a concept from Buzz Technology, and although it doesn’t look like much at the moment, will apparently make it to Kickstarter later this year. The tiny drone fits inside the case, and unfolds ready for tethered flight when removed, with the clever part being the camera used by it comes from the phone itself. Think of the whole concept like a modular phone case based around cameras, because Buzz Technology doesn’t stop at fixing a camera to a tiny drone.Related: PhoneDrone turns your phone into a quadcopter The case incorporates three camera modules taking standard, fisheye wide-angle, or macro shots, which can be attached to the drone or other accessories. These include a magnetic attachment to turn it into an action cam, an extendable built-in selfie stick, and a pair of sunglasses for Google Glass-style hands-free video recording and picture taking. If you’re wondering about the tether, it’s this which makes the drone so small. It provides the power, a way to transfer images, and stops it from being blown away by a strong gust of wind. The company has made its prototypes using 3D printers, and is looking for investors and manufacturing partners to make the final product a reality. It’s hoping to have the Kickstarter campaign live after the summer. Modular phones, and modular accessories for phones, are going to be big news on 2016, primarily thanks to LG, the G5, and all its Friends. The new smartphone works with a camera and an audio module now, but more are coming in the future, with LG wanting to work with designers and developers on new projects. Whether the Drone-in-a-Phone prototype becomes a real product we can buy remains to be seen.

Yahoo Tech

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There’s Something Unsettling About These Frozen Pants Standing Up on Their Own

Thanks, Minnesota.

Style – Esquire

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You Can Rent Out an Entire Floor of This NYC Hotel, But There’s a Catch

No slip-n-slides in the hallway.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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There’s a New Reality Star With a Major Princess Connection

When Ladies of London comes back to TV next month, we'll be meeting a new blond cast member: Caroline Fleming, a former Danish baroness and model who was previously married into James Bond royalty (her…


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There’s One Huge Easter Egg In ‘Ant-Man’ You Might’ve Missed

 

For such a tiny superhero, “Ant-Man” is a big movie.

(Warning: Major “Ant-Man” spoilers!)

The film introduces us to the Ant-Man backstory, connects perfectly into the current Marvel timeline and even ties up some loose ends from another Marvel movie, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” That moment happens in the post-credit scene, which Marvel president Kevin Feige already revealed is a peek at “Captain America: Civil War,” something which “Ant-Man” director Peyton Reed also confirmed to The Huffington Post. But there’s something else you may have missed that’s an even bigger deal.

“Ant-Man” has Marvel’s first big Spider-Man reference. 

Image: Giphy

OK, gosh, hold your horses.

We know Spider-Man is reportedly showing up in future Marvel movies, but rumors of an Easter egg in “Ant-Man” started getting around even before the first screenings. Spider-Man isn’t mentioned by name in the film, so we asked Reed for his thoughts.

“There is one Spider-Man reference,” Reed confirmed to HuffPost. “It really sort of became organic to our story.”

Reed said it all happened because of Ant-Man’s earlier encounter with another Marvel superhero, Falcon, which the director called a true “wish fulfillment” to see those two go against each other. As those who’ve seen the film know, this encounter results in Falcon looking for Ant-Man at the end of the movie. Then, when Michael Peña’s character, Luis, is telling Ant-Man, aka Paul Rudd, that someone’s looking for him, he mentions a female journalist.

Reed said, “This young journalist character, she’s sort of got this inside track and she makes a reference to [Falcon], ‘Okay, you’re looking for this guy. What are his powers? You gotta be more specific because we’ve got guys that do this and that,’ and it just made sense for the story.”

Image: Tumblr

When you watch the movie, look out for that moment. Like we said, she doesn’t mention him by name, but she lists specific powers that should now have your Spidey senses tingling. 

The Oscorp Tower from the “Spider-Man” universe reportedly almost made it into the first “Avengers” film, and the building may or may not have made it into “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” depending on who you ask. Still, this is the first no-doubt-about-it reference to our own friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

And that makes us feel pretty good.

Peter Parker's Dance (Spiderman 3) FULL

Image: YouTube/MakeAGif

No, not that good, Tobey Maguire. Never that good.

Also on HuffPost:

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

There’s One Huge Easter Egg In ‘Ant-Man’ You Might’ve Missed

 

For such a tiny superhero, “Ant-Man” is a big movie.

(Warning: Major “Ant-Man” spoilers!)

The film introduces us to the Ant-Man backstory, connects perfectly into the current Marvel timeline and even ties up some loose ends from another Marvel movie, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” That moment happens in the post-credit scene, which Marvel president Kevin Feige already revealed is a peek at “Captain America: Civil War,” something which “Ant-Man” director Peyton Reed also confirmed to The Huffington Post. But there’s something else you may have missed that’s an even bigger deal.

“Ant-Man” has Marvel’s first big Spider-Man reference. 

Image: Giphy

OK, gosh, hold your horses.

We know Spider-Man is reportedly showing up in future Marvel movies, but rumors of an Easter egg in “Ant-Man” started getting around even before the first screenings. Spider-Man isn’t mentioned by name in the film, so we asked Reed for his thoughts.

“There is one Spider-Man reference,” Reed confirmed to HuffPost. “It really sort of became organic to our story.”

Reed said it all happened because of Ant-Man’s earlier encounter with another Marvel superhero, Falcon, which the director called a true “wish fulfillment” to see those two go against each other. As those who’ve seen the film know, this encounter results in Falcon looking for Ant-Man at the end of the movie. Then, when Michael Peña’s character, Luis, is telling Ant-Man, aka Paul Rudd, that someone’s looking for him, he mentions a female journalist.

Reed said, “This young journalist character, she’s sort of got this inside track and she makes a reference to [Falcon], ‘Okay, you’re looking for this guy. What are his powers? You gotta be more specific because we’ve got guys that do this and that,’ and it just made sense for the story.”

Image: Tumblr

When you watch the movie, look out for that moment. Like we said, she doesn’t mention him by name, but she lists specific powers that should now have your Spidey senses tingling. 

The Oscorp Tower from the “Spider-Man” universe reportedly almost made it into the first “Avengers” film, and the building may or may not have made it into “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” depending on who you ask. Still, this is the first no-doubt-about-it reference to our own friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

And that makes us feel pretty good.

Peter Parker's Dance (Spiderman 3) FULL

Image: YouTube/MakeAGif

No, not that good, Tobey Maguire. Never that good.

Also on HuffPost:

To subscribe to our HuffPost Entertainment WhatsApp account:
1. Download WhatsApp on your phone.
2. Save this number, 347-334-1794, in your phone’s contacts.
3. Text “POP” to that number via your WhatsApp account.
You can unsubscribe at any time by texting “STOP” to the same number.

— 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.



Entertainment – The Huffington Post
Entertainment News-Visit Adults Playland today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Just Played There’s Nothing Like “Her Story”

Just Played - Her Story - Thumb

From the writer of Silent Hill: Shattered Memories, this FMV murder mystery defies traditional storytelling.
GameTrailers.com Videos Hub

#ThePowerOfMakeup Proves There’s No Shame In Wearing Makeup

Shaming, in all its forms, is a terrible reality in our society. Anyone brave enough to share photos of themselves on the Internet is immediately subject to criticism, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a makeup tutorial on YouTube without at least a few hateful comments underneath.

Every so often, however, something awesome comes along in response as a result. #ThePowerOfMakeup hashtag, is one of those things.

It all started with a viral YouTube video by hair and makeup artist NikkieTutorials that sent both men and women to Instagram to post selfies with half a face of makeup on — not only to defend the decision to wear it, but to prove its ability to help people express themselves, and, consequently, shut down said shamers.

“I feel like lately makeup shaming has become a thing,” wrote NikkieTutorials. “It’s as if putting makeup on to have fun is a shame. Therefore, I thought it would be cool to show you the power of makeup. A transformation. Because makeup… is FUN!”

#thepowerofmakeup

A photo posted by Teacher Jasmine (@teacher_jasmine_walkswebs) on

The idea is to show people that the decision to wear or not wear makeup is, of course, up to each individual person themselves. “We wear makeup because it’s fun. Stop shaming women and men for the way they look, whether it be about their weight, the way they dress, or the amount of makeup they wear!” one participant wrote.

Preach.

The tranforming powers of makeup indeed!… now I’m posting this for varied reasons. Too often I see women beating themselves up about not having perfect brows/lips/cheeks/skin etc. Tons of folk who know me say I have perfect skin, which is baws. I just have decent makeup skills to cover my skin. Right now I’m having fairly bad break outs due to stress, bad diet & neglect. I have acne scarred skin, I have spots, massive pours, I have skin colour irregularities due to my acne, i have old piercing scars, i have a non existant top lip, hobbit nose, my brows are thinning & I have rediculous combination skin with random patches of dryness which makes applying foundation a nightmare at times. I’m not saying I’m the worst when it comes to bad skin & facial features but I’m just showing you what good makeup can achieve… Hell, a good skin care routine could fix most of my issues but at the end of the day this doesn’t fuss me… people get so embarassed & angry over bad skin & unloved facial parts but it’s truly daft to. I’m human, you’re human, give yourselves a break. I have no issues with my face being like this, i like my face as is… sure I’d love to not have as many break outs but it happens. Break outs can be unavoidable at times, just take care of yourself & your skin as best as you can & make the most of it. Screw the airbrushed models with no pores on their face, loads of factors attribute to better skin, so if you feel crappy about your skin then change your routine (or start one), eat better, hydrate yourself, invest in better products, persistance is key & if you’re worried it’s something more serious then go see a dermatologist who can diagnose & treat your problem. Don’t get jealous of others, be happy in your own skin, it’s the only one you have 🙂 ….Unless you’re Buffalo Bill… take his advice… IT PUTS THE LOTION ON ITS SKIN!!… if you want that glowing skin, it’s all about the moisturising! 😉 #skin #piercings #piercedgirls #gamergirls #septum #septumstacking #makeup #mua #motd #muotd #blenditbitch #expression #youtube #peabrain #cyber #alien #neon #breakout #life #beauty #thepowerofmakeup #transformation #transformationtuesday #health

A photo posted by Paula Sheard (@vapidautomaton) on

H/T Bustle


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‘Batman: Arkham Knight’ May Be Game Of The Year — But There’s One Big Problem

arkhamknight

Batman attempts to deactivate an exploding collar on Catwoman in “Arkham Knight.”



Months after GamerGate first set video game culture ablaze with unbelievable resistance to the idea of feminist perspectives in the gaming industry, we have a new title that features some of the most compelling female characters in pop culture. “Batman: Arkham Knight,” which came out Tuesday, spotlights Poison Ivy, Catwoman, Oracle and Harley Quinn in major roles. But while these women are often represented as strong, independent and able in other media, their featured roles here often tell a different story: They are damsels in distress.

Many, many people will play this game, if previous entries are any indication. The last main title in the series, which has a couple of spinoffs, sold over 5 million copies. And that aside, “Arkham Knight” is actually an exceptional game taken on its own merits: It is devoted to a cohesive aesthetic and narrative in a way few other games are, the set pieces are compelling and it’s brimming with things to do. One moment you’ll be studying the microscopic details of a crime scene, and five minutes later you’re dodging drone fire in the middle of a populated city street. It all feels crunchy and good.

“Arkham Knight” will likely earn accolades as one of the standout titles of the year — it already holds a 91 on Metacritic — and that is precisely why its sins should not be ignored.

(Note: The text that follows contains some spoilers for the storyline in “Arkham Knight.”)

poison ivy
Poison Ivy appears in “Arkham Knight” with a barely-there shirt and a mossy crotch.

It’s really no big secret that gaming and tech are male-dominated industries, even if consumers are split basically down the middle in terms of gender. Plenty of people will play “Arkham Knight” and probably ignore its oftentimes troubling presentation of women — perhaps that’s simply because the game is exciting, and as soon as you settle into a moment, something explodes and you’re off to something else.

But others will play the game and feel offended. Or disgusted. Or threatened. Or simply unwelcome. Even if those people were outnumbered 100 to 1 in a population of 5 million customers, it would be worthwhile to examine why and do better next time. Because here’s the trouble with “Arkham Knight”: It is a great game tarnished by its dreadful depictions of certain characters and situations.

arkham knight
Poison Ivy is held hostage in “Arkham Knight.”

The baseline problem with “Arkham Knight” is that instead of taking opportunities to depict strong women, the game makes them weak. For the most part, the female characters suck.

When you first come upon Poison Ivy early in the story, she has a gun to her head. You rescue her, and then you lock her in the back of the Batmobile and drag her to police headquarters. Later in the game, Batman determines that Ivy can communicate with — literally — a big old tree that could counteract the effects of a chemical weapon that Scarecrow intends to detonate somewhere in Gotham City. So Batman hauls his way back to lockup and drags her back to the Batmobile like she’s a petulant child. Poison Ivy is basically a power-up for the player to collect, like a mushroom in “Super Mario.”

She is barely wearing clothes throughout the entire ordeal.

arkham knight
“Arkham Knight” recreates a troubling scene from “The Killing Joke” in which Barbara Gordon is shot and paralyzed by the Joker.

Catwoman, often portrayed as Batman’s equal, fares no better. Like Ivy, her storyline begins in custody. Her outfit is unzipped enough to show a massive slice of cleavage. Why? Because Catwoman is “sexy” and it’s apparently hard to portray sexiness without showing boob?

The Riddler has strapped her to a chair, and Batman is called to rescue her. You arrive on the scene and find that there’s an entire ordeal required to free her: Riddler has fitted her with a choker that will explode unless you deactivate a number of locks. The gameplay sometimes has Batman and Catwoman working together — you can switch between them at points — but the pattern almost invariably requires Batman to complete some feat of cunning, force and reflexes while Catwoman bums around in a locked chamber. Her liberation is essentially a prize for you, the player.

Things are absolutely worst for Oracle, a hero in a wheelchair who assists Batman remotely. To detail her storyline would reveal much about the largest plot points in “Arkham Knight,” but things do not go well for her. An incredibly problematic storyline from the comic books is retread in vivid detail: She is abducted and maimed and exists almost entirely in this context to stir angst in the featured male characters. Batman, Robin, Commissioner Gordon and Alfred fret over her like a baby missing from the crib.

harley quinn
Harley Quinn steps up.

These are not failures from a gameplay perspective. But they are artistic missteps, awful quirks that will make this game — and perhaps all video games by extension — seem incredibly stupid to any critical thinker who may have thought to give “Arkham Knight” a try.

This game does not exist in a vacuum. It arrives at a moment when women are still being shut out of the gaming and tech industries to the point where many are even looking for work elsewhere. It is bizarre that “Arkham Knight” both includes many women and diminishes them so plainly.

All of that said, there are some important caveats. First: Harley Quinn — Joker’s deranged on-again, off-again girlfriend — is actually kind of cool this time around. Her character design in “Arkham City” (NSFW) was incredibly sexualized and seemingly intended purely for the male gaze. (For an interesting discussion of this very topic, listen to episode 58 of the lovely “Isometric” podcast.)

Here, Harley Quinn’s decked out in a pretty serious tutu and barks orders at a bunch of armed dudes. She’s more covered than not. The whole thing struck me as fairly whimsical and a step in the right direction, even if it’s not a perfect representation.

And no one can argue that the comic book source material is free from cheesecake. There are, in fact, many comics featuring these characters that are several orders of magnitude more sexist than “Arkham Knight.” Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn in particular are often exploited for sexy fluff, as this page from “Harley and Ivy #2” shows. It’s by the great Paul Dini and Bruce Timm:

poison ivy

But there’s a major difference between this comic and something like “Arkham Knight” — something that maybe isn’t so obvious. This Poison Ivy could be appealing to men and women alike. The entire miniseries is devoted to Harley and Ivy wreaking havoc on their own terms — it’s “sexy” more than “sexist.” They actively and successfully strike back against the forces that oppress them. They aren’t seeking the approval of men, and they certainly don’t need a player to rescue them.

And not that we need an eye for an eye, but the two ladies also take a second to objectify some dudes in the third issue:

harley and ivy

It’s ostensibly fun for everyone. And that’s what we could use a little more of in these games.

— 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.

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Theres No Place Like home Infant Creeper Cute Infant Bodysuit by CafePress

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Uh-Oh: The Mindy Project Has Been Canceled (but There’s Still Hope for the Show!)

Just this afternoon, we were wondering about the fate of our beloved Mindy Project, and now we have an answer: Fox has passed on a fourth season of the show, according to The Hollywood Reporter….




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Irv’s Luggage – There’s Still time! Order from Irv’s Luggage by SUNDAY, 12/21 MIDNIGHT, choose In Stock marked items and Expedited Shipping.

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There’s Only One Real Difference Between Liberals and Conservatives

Your crazy old divorced uncle is a Conservative. Your crazy young divorced aunt is a Liberal.

Liberals are concerned about economic inequality. Conservatives are confident that one day they’ll be rich.

Conservatives vote. Liberals don’t vote, but they urge their fellow like-minded liberals to get involved.

Liberals are honest about the complex issue of race. Conservatives “don’t see color.”

Conservatives don’t want to hear liberal Hollywood celebrities talk about politics. Liberals also don’t want to hear liberal Hollywood celebrities talk about politics.

Conservatives are enamored with conservative Hollywood celebrities who talk about politics. Liberals don’t know who those celebrities are. “You know- Nick Searcy. You’ve seen him. He’s on that show Justified. You know- Justified. It’s on FX. Well, I’m sure you’d know him if you saw him.”

Liberals are pro-choice. Conservatives had an abortion years ago, but now they’ve seen the light and don’t think other people should be allowed to have one.

Conservatives celebrate Christianity. Liberals celebrate Christmas.

Conservatives vote against their own self-interest. Liberals vote in the interest of their own self-loathing.

Liberals support good teachers. Conservatives support eliminating bad teachers.

Conservatives oppose violent Islamic extremism and the homophobic, misogynistic, oppressive ideals that it represents. Liberals oppose Israel.

Liberals, for the most part, support the Democratic Party platform of fair taxation, equal rights, and job creation. Conservatives, for the most part, support the Democratic Party platform of fair taxation, equal rights, and job creation.

Conservatives support free speech. Liberals support free speech unless it’s politically incorrect.

Conservatives watch FOX News for their news. Liberals watch FOX News for laughs. Both Conservatives and Liberals think that CNN is horrible. Nobody watches MSNBC.

Conservatives hate soccer. Liberals love soccer once every four years.

Liberals benefit from Obamacare and are disappointed with it. Conservatives benefit from Obamacare and want to get rid of it.

Conservatives watch race car driving for the crashes. Liberals would watch race car driving if there were more crashes.

Conservatives have lost interest in Sarah Palin. Liberals are still obsessed with her.

Liberals love having sex. Conservatives hate when other people have sex.

Conservatives try to get their Liberal Facebook friends to see the light. Liberals try to find out which of their Facebook friends is Conservative so that they can de-friend them.

Conservatives are disappointed with President Obama because he’s too liberal. Liberals are disappointed with President Obama because he’s not liberal enough. Moderates are disappointed with President Obama, though they can’t put their finger on why exactly.

Liberals believe in global warming because of the scientific data. Conservatives don’t believe in global warming because it felt a little nippy this morning.

Conservatives believe that we can stop global crimes against humanity though the use of military force. Liberals believe that we can stop global crimes against humanity by tweeting #StopGlobalCrimesAgainstHumanity.

Conservatives think that corporations create jobs. Liberals think that corporations create jobs in China.

Liberals think it takes a village to raise a child. Conservatives think it takes a family to raise a child. Children are actually being raised by TV, video games, and the Internet.

Conservatives think that unemployed people are responsible for the nation’s problems. Liberals think that unemployment is a result of the nation’s problems.

Conservatives support old-fashioned, traditional values. Liberals are into being edgy. Conservatives think that being edgy is lame… which it is.

Liberals oppose police brutality. Conservatives oppose police brutality unless the unarmed suspect appears “thuggish.”

Conservatives listen to new country music on the radio. Liberals listen to real country music — like Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson — on their iPhones.

Conservatives think schools should teach abstinence in high school health class. Liberals think schools should hand out free condoms in elementary school.

Liberals are funny. Conservatives are corny.

Conservatives are organized, reliable and polite. Liberals think that being disorganized, unreliable, and rude is part of their “charm.”

Liberals have a black friend. Conservatives know a black guy.

Liberals support people in menial jobs. Conservatives applaud people in menial jobs. People in menial jobs just want to be respected.

Conservatives don’t think they are homophobic because they started supporting gay marriage in 2012. Liberals know they’re not homophobic because they started supporting gay marriage in 2007.

Conservatives believe in God. Liberals believe that God created evolution.

Conservatives can’t name three judges on the Supreme Court. Liberals can’t name three judges on the Supreme Court. Both Conservatives and Liberals can name three cast members from Jersey Shore.

Liberals have a weak stance on immigration. Conservatives have a strong stance on immigration… but it’s evolving.

Conservatives are proudly uninformed. Liberals are proud to be informed about issues that nobody cares about.

Liberals are involved in sex scandals that ruin their career. Conservatives are involved in sex scandals that they get away with.

Conservatives support issues that help their families. Liberals support issues that help families.

Liberals love that the world of college academia is a place to share ideas. Conservatives hate that the world of college academia is a place where they can’t share their ideas. College students love that the world of college academia is a place where they can drink and have sex.

Conservatives support the troops by saying that they support the troops. Liberals say that saying you support the troops is not really supporting the troops.

Conservatives like movies with action, violence and lots of explosions. Liberals like movies with action, violence lots of explosions, and characters we can care about.

Liberals believe in some elements of socialism. Conservatives hate socialism and they only believe in some elements of it.

Conservatives have a problem with women. Liberals have a problem with Conservative women.

Conservatives are friendlier than Liberals. Liberals are nicer than Conservatives.

Conservatives don’t want to be blamed for Ted Nugent. Liberals don’t want to be blamed for Rosie O’Donnell. Nobody wants to be blamed for the Kardashians.

Conservatives believe in the death penalty for all the people on death row. Liberals are opposed to the death penalty because they believe all the people on death row are poor.

Conservatives are more physically attractive than Liberals, but Liberals are sexier.

Liberals have a better personality than Conservatives, but they’re condescending about it… which is an ugly personality trait.

Liberals don’t trust the media unless it’s “alternative” media because if it’s “alternative,” it must be trustworthy. Conservatives don’t trust the media because the media they watch and listen to tells them not to trust the media.

Liberal billionaires use their money to support worthy causes. Conservative billionaires use their money to support Conservative causes.

Liberals show their compassion by helping others. Conservatives think they are showing compassion by not helping others.

Conservatives are afraid of not having guns. Liberals are afraid of Conservatives with guns.

Conservatives love the past but fear the future. Liberals hate the past but fear the future.

Liberals are full of crap because they don’t really believe what they say. Conservatives are full of crap because they truly believe what they say.

There are good Liberals and bad Liberals. There are good Conservatives and bad Conservatives. Serial killers are apolitical.

Liberals like to have fun. Conservatives like to have fun. Liberals and Conservatives like to have fun with each other… unless they’re talking about politics… or especially when they’re talking about politics.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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There’s A Tiny Pool In The Middle Of The Mojave Desert, And You Can Swim In It

Somewhere in the depths of California’s Mojave Desert, in a location identifiable only by guarded GPS coordinates, is a tiny pool.

This pool, imagined by Austrian artist Alfredo Barsuglia, is open to the public. All one needs to do is inquire at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in West Hollywood about the longitude and latitude of the artificial oasis, plopped down in the middle of the arid spaces.

pool

But don’t forget to ask for the key, as well.

It will open the pool’s cover, unveiling the four-foot by 12-foot body of water for just 24 hours to any one person or small party at a time. Painted white to stand out against the sprawling sand that fills the deserted horizon, the minuscule bit of paradise stands as a Minimalist sculpture abandoned by its maker so that adventurous nomads can experience a moment of pure, tranquil bliss.

Barsuglia’s contemporary sanctuary is titled “Social Pool,” not so subtly hinting at the piece’s idealistic undertones. The trek through the roadless region is as much a part of the retreat, as you journey into the remote void to relax inside an art project. No doubt the artist has big expectations for how you’ll bide your time. Like what it means for an artist to hide gallons of water in a drought-riddled state?

pool

Yet the word “social” hints at the transformation the pool will undergo once visitors flock to the luxurious pitstop. The obviously absurd creation replicates a symbol of excess, and will no doubt spark an entirely exclusive Instagram hashtag. Barsuglia recognizes that the “inconvenience” of getting there juxtaposes nicely with the expected escape of being there. Like all bold (semi-)public artwork, “Social Pool” is subversive, goading its waders to ponder broader issues.

In this case, the commercialization of art.

pool

“The work embodies the massive socio-economic changes that have taken place in the last forty years,” a description of the project reads. “It thus understands itself as the product of an economy in which privacy and immateriality have been fully commodified… For many a consumer, art is expected to operate according to the principles of the service economy rather than following humanist ideals of intellectual or moral stimulus and education.”

Whether the dramatic appearance of the pool will outweigh the artist’s intentions, or the ridiculous idea of a desert pool will overshadow any deep thoughts on the consumer economy, is yet to be seen. We can only speculate until we get a chance to wield the sacred key.

pool

“Will it make viewers, who’ve had to hike through the desert clutching a gallon of water, more enlightened about the way we manage humanity’s most precious resource?” LA Times’ Carolina A. Miranda asked. “I sure hope so, especially the city managers who insist on planting grass all over a region it wasn’t meant to grow.

In case you’re planning your trip to “Social Pool” already, note that you’ll need to bring a gallon of water per person to replenish the pool. And if you’re an Easter Coaster lamenting your inability to visit “Social Pool,” check out New York’s take on pools of the future here.
Arts – The Huffington Post
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