Here’s Why Your Ice Cream Will Be More Expensive This Summer

This is the time of year when people spend their days relaxing on the beach or beside the pool, and nothing pairs better with the hot sun than cold ice cream.

But there’s bad news for people who like to treat themselves to a cone or a cup of soft serve: prices for vanilla are expected to skyrocket worldwide, and the cost of your favorite treat will go up with them.

Bakers and fans of sweet treats might also notice their wallet getting lighter, and it could take years for prices to bottom out again.

This may be surprising, but vanilla – the plainest of the food flavors – is one of the rarest and most expensive spices on the planet.

Vanilla is just a pain to grow. The flavor comes from pods that grow in vanilla orchids, which only bloom once per year. Hand-pollinating the flowers and drying out the pods means it takes as long as 4 years to grow a batch.

So when Madagascar, which produces 80{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} of the world’s vanilla, was hit by Cyclone Enawo last month, vanilla prices started rising steeply.

One ice cream store owner says the price for a bag of vanilla beans has jumped more than 400{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee}, from $72 to $320. Another says he stockpiled vanilla extract when the crisis started, because otherwise he could never afford to keep his store open.

If there’s one consolation about this vanilla shortage, it’s that the sweets and treats in your grocery store probably won’t be affected.

Most major food companies use synthetic vanilla flavoring in their products. Still, it wouldn’t hurt to start stockpiling tubs of  Häagen-Dazs now…just in case.

And if you do, be sure to top it with some delicious monkey butter!

[H/T: Boston Globe]

Share this post to break the bad news to an ice cream fan!

Avocado Related Injuries Peak At This Time Every Year, Now Doctors Want Warning Labels

Avocado hand is a real thing and it’s being called a middle class menace.

According to the secretary of The Times, knife injuries related to cutting avocados has grown at such a significant rate that The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons is actually calling for safety labels on the fruit.

Apparently, the phenomenon is not isolated to the U.K. either. In an intereview with Jezebel regarding ‘avocado hand,’ Dr. Nader Paksima, explains that it’s a classic injury that typically spikes around the celebrations of Cinco de Mayo.

Paksima, an orthopedic surgeon at NYU Langone’s Hand Center, explains that it’s a seasonal injury that happens when people aren’t paying attention. The doctor explains that “avocado hand” is a seasonal occurance: “All the sudden, it’s Cinco de Mayo, people are making a bunch of guacamole, and then you’ll see a couple.”

While some injuries are less severe than others, some serious injuries can result in nerve laceration and outpatient surgery.

As a result of this seasonal phenomenon, some doctors are advocating for warning lables on avocados. “We don’t want to put people off the fruit, but I think warning labels are an effective way of dealing with this,” British plastic surgeon Simon Eccles told The Times.

In light of the growing wave of avocado injuries, please take a moment to review the proper way to cut an avocado – without lacerating a nerve or chopping a tendon:

[h/t LadBible / The Times / Jezebel]

Another Passenger Was Kicked Off Their Flight – Just For Using The Washroom

If you have a vacation scheduled in the next few weeks, you might want to consider changing your plans. It seems like every day there’s a new story about passengers who had some bad experiences flying the unfriendly skies.

American Airlines fired a flight attendant this week when the aftermath of their confrontation with a passenger went viral, and United landed in more hot water after a customer’s world-famous pet died on one of their flights.

Meanwhile, more information is coming to light every day about the confrontation between security officers and a United passenger that was caught on camera. But today one more story about a passenger who was unfairly removed from a flight is making headlines around the world.

A man identified as Kima Hamilton, 39, from Milwaukee was kicked off a Delta airlines flight. The incident took place earlier this month, but video of his confrontation with airlines staff has only attracted attention in the past few days.

Hamilton was one of the passengers on a flight from Atlanta to Milwaukee that  reportedly spent 2 hours on the tarmac waiting for takeoff.

While the plane was being taxied to the runway Hamilton realized he needed to use the washroom badly. When the flight crew announced his plane was third in line to takeoff, he decided to head to the washroom, but a flight attendant told him he couldn’t stand up until the plane was in the air.

Hamilton managed to wait another half hour before trying again, but when you’ve gotta go, you’ve gotta go. He made a quick run to the bathroom, but as he did the pilot announced that the plane would be returning to the gate so a passenger could be removed.

Click the next page to see the video of Hamilton’s removal!

When Hamilton came back to his seat, he found a flight attendant waiting to speak with him. The Delta employee told him he had to get off the plane, refusing to answer any of his questions and saying that he would only talk outside the plane.

In a video recorded by another passenger, Hamilton can be seen apologizing and asking why he has to be removed, saying he couldn’t help but go to the washroom.

“I’m not really clear on why I’m being asked to leave this plane,” he says, “I purchased this ticket, I had an emergency. I had to pee.” Other passengers can be heard agreeing with him, and asking the Delta employee why he had to leave.

It took several minutes and a second Delta employee to convince Hamilton to leave his seat. He told WISN that after leaving the plane, 2 FBI agents were waiting to speak with him.

But once he explained the situation, Hamilton says that even they seemed surprised he was kicked off the flight, telling him that “some of the language that was associated with my name wasn’t accurate.”

To get home to Milwaukee in time to supervise a class field trip, Hamilton had to spend 3 times his original ticket price on another flight (this time he flew Southwest).

Another passenger says Delta refunded part of the cost of Hamilton’s ticket, but they’re not apologizing for their flight crew.

“It is imperative that passengers comply with crew instructions during all phases of flight, especially at the critical points of takeoff and landing,” they said in a statement. That may be true, but it still seems a little extreme to kick a passenger off their flight over a bathroom break!

Did Delta make the right decision in this case?

Watch: She Did A Favor For This Stranger, But Then She Started Saying Hateful Comments

Disturbing comments made by a woman at a Trader Joe’s in northern Virginia are making headlines around the world, and once you see this video you’ll understand why.

It was shared on Facebook by comedian Joe McLellan but recorded by his friend, a Muslim woman who wants to remain anonymous.

She was shopping at the grocery store, and let a woman who seemed to be in a hurry cut ahead of her in line. Instead of saying “thank you” and  checking out, the woman started making hateful comments about other shoppers.

That’s when McLellan’s friend started recording:

According to McLellen’s Facebook post, the woman in the footage made hateful and racist comments about a Muslim woman wearing a niqab before the video started.

In the recording, the woman accuses McLellan’s friend of “playing dumb.” When she tells the woman she regrets letting her cut in line, she says “I wish they didn’t let you in the country.”

She also says that “Obama’s not in office anymore, we don’t have a Muslim in there anymore,” adding that “he may be in jail too.”

Islamophobia at Trader Joe’s

A friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous) just sent this to me. I’ve confirmed that it’s real. This happened today at the Trader Joe’s in Reston, VA. This woman was in a hurry so my friend (who is a Muslim woman) offered to let her go in front of her in line. That’s when she started talking bad about a different Muslim woman in the store (who was wearing niqab) and asking my friend why she didn’t cover as well. My friend replied it was a choice and the woman didn’t believe her and started talking about FGM and telling her “I wish they didn’t let you in the country.” That’s when my friend started filming.

Enjoy. Let’s make this lady famous.

(MEDIA: My friend has decided not to give any interviews. However, she says you may air the video as long as you give proper credit and ID her only as a friend of mine.)

Posted by Jeremy McLellan Comedy on Saturday, May 6, 2017

The video, which has been viewed over 4 million times in just a matter of days, has outraged people around the world.

In the comments, viewers have shamed the woman for her comments and praised McLellan’s friend for standing up to the abuse.

“The girl on the video sounds upset I feel bad she had to deal with this woman,” one person wrote. “She was trying to maintain her composure.”

“I hope every one of those avocados are rotten.. like your soul!” added another person.

Share this video if you think this behavior is unacceptable!

Her Overdose Went Viral, But She Calls It A Blessing In Disguise Now That She’s Sober

It was the sort of shocking video that people share on social media without thinking: a young woman slumped in the front seat of her car after crashing into another parked vehicle. While stories and pictures about drug abuse make headlines, we often forget the people at the heart of the situations. For the young woman in that viral video, Katrina Henry, the embarrassing scene was the first step on her road to recovery.

Warning: some viewers may find this video disturbing.

Posted by Jon Adams on Tuesday, March 21, 2017

In an interview with Fox 59, Henry revealed the long and twisted path that lead her to drug addiction. She was once a happy student and a cheerleader who loved to draw, but skeletons in her closet lead her to abuse pain pills.

After that, Henry’s self-destructive cycle got worse and worse, leading her into a cocaine addiction and the overdose that was viewed hundreds of thousands of times on Facebook.

“They took me to the hospital, handcuffed me to the bed. I died. I overdosed and died,” Henry said. But after a month in a recovery and therapy program, Henry is thankful for the video, because hitting “rock bottom” made her finally confront her demons.

After years of feeling like a “failure and a loser,” Henry is learning to enjoy life without drugs once again.

She’s sharing her own story as a reminder to everyone that even at your lowest point, you can turn your life around.

“I just had to have it taken away from me, or almost taken away from me, in order for me to feel like I am worth something. That maybe I am here for a reason.”

Share this woman’s incredible story if you believe in second chances!

Notice Your Groceries Are Shrinking While Prices Stay The Same? You Could Be Right

Are you struggling to explain why your family seems to eat through more bags of chips, candy bars and juice cartons than they did a few years ago? Science has an answer, but it might upset you.

Researchers at the UK’s Office for National Statistics have crunched the numbers on the sizes and prices of groceries, including necessities like toilet paper and snack foods like chips and candies. They found that while the sizes of these items are shrinking, the prices aren’t dropping.

Experts call this trend “shrinkflation,” and it affects us just as badly as our neighbors across the pond. According to the ONS, 2,500 items have shrunk over the last 5 years, while only 600 have gotten bigger, so every family is bound to have one item in their cart that keeps getting smaller.

While companies blame these changes on rising prices for ingredients like sugar and cocoa, ingredient costs have actually gone down recently, according to the ONS, while families are still feeling the pinch.

In fact, according to consumer research company Which?, everyday items like coffee, orange juice and toilet paper have shrunk the most:

It’s not surprising that prices for expensive fair trade coffee are on the rise, with this one’s package shrinking by 12{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} while prices actually went up per 100g. Lots of other companies are following suit.

Value brand Andrex caused a stir in the UK when they cut down the number of sheets on each roll from 240 to 221 with no price drop, meaning every package is 8{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} lighter. Check your Charmin – it’s probably shrinking too.

Learn how much Doritos, Tropicana and other products have shrunk on the next page!

The chip brand shrank 10{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} from 200 grams in every bag to 180 grams, which is a big difference considering potato chip bags are already mostly full of air to begin with.

Mouseprint.org

Tropicana’s premium juice line shrank by 5 ounces without discounting the price according to Which?, meaning you’ll wind up buying more juice overall. Even the regular packages have been slowly shrinking.

In one of the most famous cases of shrinkflation ever, Coke discontinued their 2 liter bottles and introduced the new 1.75 liter bottle. It was a 12{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} reduction that only got a 5{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} price drop, leading angry fans to start a petition asking Coke to switch it back.

While snack foods are hit the hardest by shrinkflation, Oreo cookies seem to have a particularly tough time. America’s favorite cookies have shrunk again and again over the years, with a recent cut translating to 4 less Double Stuf Oreos in each package.

Mondelez International caused a stir last year when they hit the iconic triangular Toblerone bar with a shrink ray, reducing each bar by more than 10{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} from 170 grams to 150 to stay competitive in discount shops.

But they’re not the only candy makers downsizing their products: bags of candy (like Reese’s Pieces and their incredible empty boxes) are shrunk pretty often. Over the years a bag of Maltesers has gotten 15{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} smaller with no price change.

Have you noticed any products getting smaller? Share this post and tell us!

Student Who Received $1 Million In Financial Aid Could Be Facing Jail Time

Funding for university or college can be extremely difficult to come by. Going through student loan centers, banks, and just saving up all take time and effort. Often times, students need a little extra help to make it through the year.

Sibongile Mani, an accounting student, normally received $108 from her university but something happened this year that changed her life.

She got $1,080,000 instead.

Mani, who studies at Walter Sisulu University in South Africa was shocked to find the staggering amount in her bank account, but she rolled with it. Over a course of 73 days, Mani lived her life like a queen. Friends noticed her basic hairstyle was replaced with $230 Peruvian weaves, her outfits all became designer, and the shopping didn’t stop.

Mani even began spending the fortune on her friends, buying them all expensive items, throwing them parties, and attending wild parties across the country. Suspicions began to grow when an ATM receipt was found and leaked online, showing her incredibly high balance.

But what finally tipped everyone off to Mani’s new, expensive lifestyle?

Eventually, Samkelo Mqhayi, deputy branch secretary of the South African Students Congress (SASCO), saw the receipt and put two and two together.

“She threw surprise birthday parties for her friends and showered them with expensive gifts and flew them to events where she bought the best seats,” Mqhayi said. “When the receipt was leaked showing a balance of R13.6-million ($1,050,000) in her account I called NSFAS and they checked their records and confirmed that the initial amount was R14-million ($1,080,000).”

Spending an average of $860 a day, Mani managed to use $65,000 of the money mistakenly given to her. Other students also took notice of Mani’s luxurious life.

“She went from a hard up, humdrum run-of-the-mill student to one who was leading a lavish lifestyle and seemed to have no bottom to her purse and lived the high life,” one said. “She became very glamorous in beautiful dresses with all the accessories and we thought she must have won the Lottery. She must have thought she had won it too when she got that cash!”.

As for SASCO, they seem to be blaming Mani for spending the money.

“We are shocked. Not so long ago we were protesting for thousands of students who were left without funding due to fund shortages,” branch chairman Zolile Zamisa. “Yet she was living a lavish lifestyle hosting birthday parties for her friends at up-market champagne clubs and other expensive hangouts. This cannot be allowed to happen again”.

It should be noted that the university confirmed that despite the accidental deposit, no students lost out on funding because of this error. One student just got way more than she was expecting.

Mani doesn’t believe she’s at fault here, though.

She even recounts her own version of what happened, saying she informed officials of what happened and was told to keep quiet.

“[I think] i should tell my own story. I received my stipend on Thursday [and] did not pay much attention to it until the weekend that’s when i noticed the large figure. On that Sunday I received a call from faculty at WSU [and] was told to meet them at Vincent Park Monday morning. I can’t name the faculty members I met with as I’ve been told to keep those details until I’m official probed [sic]. When we met that Monday i was informed to hold onto the money [and] not tell anyone as i would be in trouble too. I was told they had a friend in financial aid they were working with. I went back and called my friend and told her [what] happened. Two days later i was told to keep the money [but] not make it show that I have it. Whatever I spend would be mine the remainder be withdrawn end of year when uni closes and put into another account and moved. That was when the spending began.”

Despite Mani claiming it was all the student loan center’s fault, she is being told to repay the money and is now a criminal suspect.

Intellimali chief executive Michael Ansell said: “Legal action will be taken against the student. A forensic investigator had been appointed.”

Legal experts say it’s extremely possible that Mani is charged with theft, which in this amount could result in jail time.

Do you think the student was at fault here, or the financial aid office?

One Man Saved A Bus From Plummeting 300ft In The Nick Of Time

Going on a tour of the Austrian Alps sounds like a dream for a lot of people. For one group of tourists, it turned out to be their worst nightmare. A tour bus full of passengers avoided near catastrophe while travelling through the scenic mountains, all thanks to one passenger.

EPA

The bus held 21 tourists as well as a driver, when one of the tourists noticed something was wrong. A 65-year-old man from France was sitting right near the driver when he realized that he didn’t look like he was doing well. The bus was heading down the road that surrounded the steep 330-foot drop, when the 76-year-old driver collapsed.

Luckily, the quick-thinking passenger managed to step in at the last second…

As the bus was heading towards the cliff, the tourist rushed forward and was able to pull the emergency brake, stopping the bus “at the last second” according to the news agency.

“We were a hair’s breadth from catastrophe,” the police spokesman said, saying that it was “incredible luck” that the tourist was able to stop the bus in time.

Polizei Zell Am Ziller

Thanks to his quick thinking, the bus was able to come to a stop after it hit a tree. It ended up with the trunk jammed into the front of the bus, but at least it didn’t fall over the edge. Nine people were brought to the hospital, but it could have been a lot worse.

This isn’t the first time that an incident like this has taken place on the Austrian Alps. Back in 2004, a coach bus went off the road, and ended up going over a 30m cliff. In that case, five tourists passed away from the crash. Hopefully bus companies can use situations like this to learn from and help prepare their passengers for events like this so they know how to use the emergency brake to prevent future disasters.

Man Tries To Kiss The Fish He Caught, Then It Jumped Down His Throat And Stopped His Heart

A British fisherman survived the kiss of death when a fish jumped down his throat and blocked his windpipe.

Sam Qulliam, 27, went into cardiac arrest in Boscombe Pier in Bournemouth, England, after a six inch Dover sole fish wriggled out of his hand and leaped into his mouth. He said he was trying to “kiss the fish” – a tradition inspired by Rex Hunt, an Australian TV fisherman, before throwing it back into sea.

“I squeezed it and like a bar of soap it jumped out of my hand and into my mouth. It got out of my hands and into my mouth and basically swam straight down my throat,” Quillam said.

“I ran round the pier like a headless chicken and then passed out. It was terrifying from what I remember.”

Quilliam’s friends immediately called 9-9-9 (the UK’s emergency telephone number) and performed CPR until help arrived.

Paramedics were able to yank the fish out with forceps in an ambulance, despite the barb and gills becoming stuck in his throat.

Steve Perry, who had been fishing with Quilliam for seven years, said it was a traumatic event.

“He was rigid, struggling to get breath, blood was coming from his mouth. I was very serious, nothing comical about it. We went from a great night catching fish from some friends to him on the floor.”

Paramedic Matt Harrison said it was crucial they were able to extract the fish out on their first attempt.

“It was clear that we needed to get the fish out or this patient was not going to survive the short journey to Royal Bournemouth Hospital,” he said.

“I was acutely aware that I only had one attempt at getting this right as if I lost grip or a piece broke off and it slid further out of sight then there was nothing more that we could have done to retrieve the obstruction.”

When asked if he would ever smooch a fish again, Quilliam said he wouldn’t rule it out in the future.

“Probably just a bit bigger… and not a sole.”

Walmart Revealed The Most Popular Item In All 50 States, And Some Of Them Are Pretty Weird

There’s no prize for guessing the most popular items on Walmart.com last year: water bottles, paper towels and toilet paper always claim the top spots.

But when you dig into the data to find each state‘s favorite item, things just get weird. Walmart revealed which item each state is obsessed with, and it’s raising a lot of questions about our neighbors.

See which item your state can’t get enough of:

Alabama – Crayons

Recycle Nation

School supplies was a running theme on the list, and snagged the top spot in three states.

Alaska – RV and Marine Antifreeze

Team RV

So Alaskans love the great outdoors – go figure.

Arizona – L.O.L. Surprise! Dolls

Best Buy

We think Arizonans left their Christmas shopping a little late this year.

Arkansas – Chocolate

NDTV Food

Chocolate is a big seller around Valentine’s Day, but in Arkansas the sweet tooth rules year-round.

California – Protein Powder

Eat This, Not That

A must-have if you’re going to hit Muscle Beach.

Colorado – Peanut M&Ms

Mental Floss

The country is obsessed with these sweet treats, but Colorado’s hooked on the peanut variety.

Connecticut – Ghost in the Shell on DVD

Paramount Pictures

Well, this movie had to be a hit somewhere.

Delaware – Spiced Jelly Candy

Rayge Candy

One word: blech!

Florida – Sparkling Cider

Unoriginal Mom

You’d think Floridians would pick orange juice.

Georgia – Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Chair

Toys R Us

Seems everyone in the state is obsessed with this handy toddler seat.

Hawaii – Barbie Farmer Doll

GottaToy

It figures Barbie as a farmer would be a hit…but we expected somewhere with more farms.

Idaho – My Little Pony Mini-Collection

Amazon

If your kids ask for it, you’ve got to get it.

Illinois – Erasers

Thrifty Fun

Another school supply item that took the top spot. We all make mistakes sometimes, Illinois.

Indiana – Instant Coffee

Bali Post

Are you folks in Indianapolis having a hard time waking up?

Iowa – Water-softening Crystals

Mr. Water Geek

Something we all need once in a while.

Kansas – Ozark Trail Tumblers

Egghead Forum

Folks in Kansas like to get outside, but just to enjoy a drink or two.

Kentucky – 4×6 Photo Prints

Wisholize

People still print out photos?

Louisiana – Root Beer Extract

Lick My Spoon

It seems folks in Louisiana would rather make their own root beer. To each their own, I guess.

Maine – Brownies

Inspired Taste

Who can blame them?

Maryland – Glue Sticks

Hip 2 Save

Another case of thrifty parents ordering their school supplies online. In my opinion, the liquid glue tastes much better.

Massachusetts – Refrigerators

Appliance Canada

A weird appliance to buy online, but we won’t judge.

Michigan – Lavender-scented Cleaning Products

Seventh Generation

Ooh la la!

Minnesota – Flamin’ Hot Cheetos

The Hustle

Presumably we’re buying these in bulk, because we just can’t get enough of them.

Mississippi – Oil-Less Fryer

Williams-Sonoma

A tasty yet healthy choice.

Missouri – Life Savers

Candy Warehouse

They’re a hole lot of fun.

Montana – Madden NFL Video Games

EA Sports

There’s only one each year, but apparently in Montana people can’t be bothered to drive out to the store for their copy.

Nebraska – Pressed Makeup Powder

Makeup Source

Pretty smart to order your brand online, as long as it doesn’t get shaken up in the mail.

Nevada – Dog Treats

KitchMe

Dog and cat foods were popular entries on the list.

New Hampshire – Cinnamon-flavored Toothpaste

Janny: Organically

Ewwwwwww.

New Jersery – Pool Salt

ACM Chrome

We get it New Jersey, you have a swimming pool, you don’t need to rub it in.

New Mexico – Cat Food

Catster

Cat and dog foods were popular entries on the list.

New York – Cheerios

TIFO

A healthy but tasty breakfast option.

North Carolina – Mayonnaise

Serious Eats

Can’t go wrong with mayo.

North Dakota – Watermelon Flavored Gum

Exit

Okay, now we want some too.

Ohio – Grape-flavored Drink Mix

Welch’s

Tasty, and pretty thrifty if you’re mixing your own.

Oklahoma – Barbecue Sauce

Food Network

No surprise here.

Oregon – Humidifiers

Bang Good

It’s not humid enough already out in the Pacific Northwest?

Pennsylvania – Plastic Hangers

Eisho Hanger

Well at least they’re not metal ones.

Rhode Island – Christmas Lights

Cardston

Celebrating a littler early this year?

South Carolina – Coin Banks

RIVS

Where I’m from we called ’em piggy banks, but that’s just me.

South Dakota – Orange Juice

Jewel 92

The best way to start your morning.

Tennessee – Disney Infinity Power Discs

I Heart Infinity

Bless the dedicated parents who are still buying these video game accessories for their kids.

Texas – TV Wall Mounts

Simply Real Moms

Nothing says “Texas” like a flat screen so big you have to mount it on the wall next to a steer head.

Utah – Personal Travel Care Kits

WeddBook

Remember to keep your liquids under the FAA limits!

Vermont – Sweet Canned Corn

Sugary Kitchn

Sounds like a bargain to us.

Virginia – Coolers

Sportsmans Guide

A must-have for those warm Virginia summers out on the deck.

Washington D.C. – Great Value French Fried Onions

Alibaba

We won’t judge, everyone needs a guilty pleasure.

Washington State – Vanilla Frosting

King Arthur Flour

Yum!

West Virginia – My Life As Dolls

Hip 2 Save

These hip toys are really popular with parents.

Wisconsin – Green Bay Packers Bath Mat

Packers Sideline

Of course.

Wyoming – Flannel Shirts

Dirty South Vintage

Not a bad idea, since it gets pretty cold in the mountains.

You can check out the complete list on Walmart’s website.

Trapped Horse Panics In His Pen As The Waters Rise, Then Hero Cowboy Rides Over [VIDEO]

As the waters rise in Houston, Texas and surrounding areas, the flooding brought on by Hurricane Harvey has devastated hundreds of homes and properties.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced and, tragically, 10 people are confirmed dead from the disaster.

The devastation is indeed unprecedented, but that hasn’t deterred these American cowboys from doing what they do best.

These true blue heroes know no other way to live life. As they waded into the rising waters to save other people’s abandoned livestock, the older cowboy admits an honest truth we should all live by…

Father and son cowboys are heroes in the eyes of these abandoned farm animals. The true heroism and selflessness of these two men have saved the lives of people, horses and livestock in Texas.

Chance and Rowdy Ward hopped on their own horses and began riding out to the surrounding farms to help as many living things escape the rising waters as they could.

Chance shared videos of some of their harrowing rescue efforts on Facebook to spread awareness of the truly devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

In one viral video, Rowdy ropes a feisty stud colt who had been trapped in his pen. As Rowdy does his best to keep his own horse calm, he muscles open the gate to the pen and guides the trapped stud to freedom.

All animals were saved

Posted by Chance Ward on Monday, August 28, 2017

“This is what we do,” Chance says in the video. “We help livestock. We try to help people.”

According to his caption, all of the animals were saved that day!

The local heroes have been receiving praise for their efforts and support for the abandoned animals.

“I am in AWE OF YOUR ABILITY AND COMPASSION IN SAVING THESE HORSES !!!” Wrote one grateful fan, Kevin Maloney. “Please keep taking and sharing your wonderful exploits so that the rest of us horsemen can watch you …and hopefully learn.”

Just helping.

Posted by Chance Ward on Monday, August 28, 2017

Thankfully, there are people like Chance and Rowdy who are willing to go above and beyond to make sure that no person or animal is left behind in the flood.

You can be a hero to those affected by Hurricane Harvey too. Follow the link to donate to the American Red Cross in support of efforts to keep shelters open and distribute much-needed supplies.

[h/t SoShareThis]

Photographer Captures Rare Glimpse Of Reindeer Riding Tribe In Stunning Pictures

Our world is such a big place, we sometimes forget how different people can be across this beautiful planet.

While we drive to work, talk to each other on our cell phones, and surf the internet, there are cultures that still live much like they did hundreds of years ago.

Hamid Sardar

The Dukha people of Mongolia are one of those cultures.

Also known as the Tsaatan, or “reindeer herders,” the Dukha live along Mongolia’s Russian border.

Hamid Sardar
Hamid Sardar

For generations, the tribe lived as wandering nomads, using domesticated reindeer for transportation and hunting animals like moose and deer to feed themselves.

Hamid Sardar

Now, there are less than 300 Dukha living in just over 40 families, and their way of life is slowly changing with the times.

Hamid Sardar

Photographer and researcher Hamid Sardar captured a rare, close-up glimpse of life among the reindeer herders.

Sardar explains that the Dukha have a deep, spiritual relationship with the reindeer they herd.

Hamid Sardar

“The deer is a totem and each person in the tribe is connected to one spirit deer which protects that person, absorbing all disease,” he told The Independent.

Hamid Sardar

“The Dukha do not have enough reindeer to use them for meat, so the only time they eat deer is when the spirit deer dies”

But as the Dukha’s reindeer herd shrinks, their way of life is changing quickly.

The Dukha have moved their tribe closer to small towns, where they can take their children to hospitals and schools.

Taylor Weidman / Al-Jazeera

Restrictions by the government have also made it harder for the Dukha to hunt for their food.

With less and less reindeer to tend, the tribe has also started to rely on tourism to make ends meet.

Hamid Sardar

Visitors can ride the Dukha’s domesticated reindeer, and watch their traditional performances.

But even as life changes for the Dukha, traditions are still passed from generation to generation.

Hamid Sardar

Eagle hunting, practiced by Mongolians for more than a thousand years, continues today as brave hunters and their birds catch martens and rabbits to feed their families.

Hamid Sardar
Hamid Sardar
The Dukha also hunt using trained wolves.Hamid Sardar

While the Dukha tribe’s future is uncertain, Sardar’s photos capture their remarkable way of life as it exists today.

Hamid Sardar

It hasn’t changed much over hundreds of years, but this could be the world’s last glimpse of the reindeer riders as we know them.

You can see more of Sardar’s photos on his website.

Let’s share these beautiful photos so everyone can appreciate them!

[H/T: Shareably, AlJazeera, Independent]

France Completely Changed Their Laws Around Photoshop, Should The U.S. Do The Same?

People have always felt squeamish about the standards for beauty that are presented in things like fashion magazines and ads, and the 21st Century has only added to that thanks to the rise of digital photography and photo editing.

Adobe

Over the past few years, the appearance of Photoshopped images of models has become increasingly common in the fashion industry, to the point where it’s almost expected. However, that’s not to say that the public is exactly happy about it; there have been several prolific cases of activists, the models themselves, and even celebrities expressing outrage and disgust at the practice.

Vanessa Hudgens made a point of labeling that her photoshoot for Bongo was untouched and unalteredBongo

It’s easy to understand what people see as the issue here; the fashion industry has long been under fire for presenting an increasingly self-conscious world with an “unrealistic” standard of beauty. This of course only gets more contentious with the practice of photoshopping models, as these images are now setting a beauty standard that is quite literally impossible for many, including the models, to achieve.

Redbook Magazine

On the other hand, some people have argued that these publications are under no obligation to cater to everybody, and that people should be able to understand that an image in a magazine isn’t meant to be representative of real-life expectations.

Complex

Well, apparently France feels that photoshopping is an issue, as they’ve just introduced a law requiring all publications to be more diligent in highlighting when a picture has been edited.

The details about the new law are interesting, and we’re curious what you think about it…

As of October 1, just in time for the world-famous Paris Fashion Week, all commercial images in France that feature digitally retouched models must all have the inscription “photographie retouchée”, or “retouched photograph”. Failure to do so carries a steep fine of 37,500 Euros, roughly $44,000 US.

Total Beauty

This is thanks to the new law that’s being referred to as the “photoshop decree,” which was part of a larger public health law, which was created for the “prevention and early diagnosis of eating disorders.” Article 19, the “decree” section of the law, explains that “all commercial images that have been digitally retouched to make models look slimmer, or larger, must be accompanied by the label: ‘retouched photograph.'”

YouTube

This new law was promoted by former health minister Marisol Touraine, and signed by former president François Hollande in January 2016. The idea behind it is to apparently tackle eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia as matters of public health.

Twinpossible

What do you think? Some are applauding the law as being a good step towards treating eating disorders with the seriousness and attention that they deserve, while others have already argued that it’s up to an individual person to be more media savvy and to understand that they shouldn’t be comparing themselves to models.

Share your opinions with us in the Facebook comments.

After A Deadly Bus Crash, Musician’s Emotional Tribute Goes Viral

People around the world are paying tribute to a town of just 6,000 people from Saskatchewan, Canada in the wake of a deadly bus crash.

Even if you’re not from Canada, by now you’ve probably heard of the tragic accident that claimed the lives of several players on the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team.

It’s a small-town tragedy that has attracted attention across the planet – mainly because hockey-lovers everywhere have had their hearts broken by the news.

As tributes pour in for the young players who lost their lives, a song inspired by the accident is getting the most attention.

Humboldt Broncos Crash
The scene of the accident.Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press

The Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team – 29 people in all including coaches, athletic trainers and stat keepers – were riding their bus through rural Saskatchewan on their way to a hockey game last week.

At a quiet intersection outside of the tiny town of Tisdale, the bus struck a tractor-trailer and both vehicles were destroyed.

While the driver of the tractor-trailer survived the accident, 16 of the people onboard the bus were killed, including all of the team’s coaches.

Humboldt Broncos
The Humboldt Broncos pose in a photo from the team’s website.Humboldt Broncos

The other 13 people were injured, and this week a dozen of the survivors are still in hospital, with three of them in critical condition.

Canadian officials are still investigating the accident, and no charges have been laid.

But at the intersection, the bus would have had right of way while the truck was behind a stop sign.

Humboldt Broncos crash
A cross made from hockey sticks at the site of the accident.Jonathan Hayward / Canadian Press

The same intersection was the site of another deadly accident 21 years ago, which left six people dead.

Investigators say that the truck driver involved in the crash was a rookie, who had completed his 15-day training just two weeks before the accident.

His trucking company, Adesh Deol, has had its license suspended as the investigation continues.

But as investigators continue to look for clues, tributes for the hockey team have poured in from around the world.

Since the accident last week, condolences and tributes to the Humboldt Broncos have come from countries around the world.

Prayers for Humboldt sign.
A sign in Humboldt, Saskatchewan.Liam Richards / Canadian Press

Flags were lowered, townspeople wore the team’s jerseys out of respect, and flowers were donated in the team’s colors – green, white and yellow – from around the world.

A local florist told Global News she had received orders from the United States, and even as far away as Australia.

Humboldt Broncos flowers.
Flowers outside the team’s home arena in Humboldt.Liam Richards / Canadian Press

“It’s people with heavy hearts, just wanting to do something, anything for the families, for the community,” she explained.

People across Canada have also been leaving hockey sticks on their porch at night, as a silent but visible tribute to the late hockey players.

Hockey stick
A hockey stick left out overnight to honor the crash victims.K. Rawlick-Gordon / Twitter

Flowers were even left on the players’s cars at the town’s Elgar Petersen Arena, where they had departed from on their fatal trip.

Humboldt Broncos flowers.
Flowers left on the cars of the crash victims in Humboldt.Elizabeth Cameron / StarMetro Calgary

At NHL hockey games following the accident, players from opposing stood together for a moment of silence to honor the Broncos.

Humboldt Broncos NHL
NHL – Twitter

Even world leaders have paid tribute to the team in the wake of the disaster.

Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, attended a memorial service for the accident victims last weekend.

Queen Elizabeth II and President Donald Trump also shared their condolences on Twitter.

Donald Trump
President Trump paid tribute to the team on Twitter.realDonaldTrump / Twitter

One of the more uplifting stories to come from the tragedy is the late Logan Boulet’s.

Logan Boulet.
Boulet’s death caused a nationwide spike in organ donor registrations.SJHL

The 21-year-old player was an organ donor, and his death has caused an incredible spike in organ donor registration across Canada.

In Boulet’s home province of Alberta, registrations for organ donation were over seven times higher than usual in the weekend following the accident.

Boulet’s father told CTV News that his son’s decision was inspired by one of his coaches, and that the young hockey player was “a giver, not a taker.”

It’s heartwarming that even such a dark cloud includes a silver lining like this.

And the accident also inspired a Canadian musician to write a song that’s going viral this week.

Jay Smith from Kingston, Ontario felt a strong connection to the Humboldt Broncos crash for a number of reasons.

He told the CBC that as “a Canadian, as a father, as a person who grew up around hockey,” he felt haunted by the deadly accident.

While thousands of Canadians and hockey fans around the world have honored the Broncos in their own way, Smith’s tribute was unique.

This is the first I’ve been able to get anything out of myself about what happened. My heart goes to every single person involved in this awful accident. I love you all. Just recorded this everyone in the house is sleeping so I tried to be quiet but I had to sit and write this and get it out of my heart. Love Smitty. #humboldtyourloved

Posted by Smitty Kingston on Monday, April 9, 2018

The musician, who goes by Smitty Kingston online, wrote a song honoring the 16 people who lost their lives in the crash.

“I kind of just tagged it as ‘Humboldt strong, and leave a stick out by the door,'” Smith explained.

“I just had to write it and get it out of my head.”

The song obviously meant a lot to hockey fans, because it has racked up over a million views in less than a week.

Smith was surprised by his viral fame, but says he just wanted to honor the young players who died, and help their families find piece.

“[I’ve] travelled on the bus with my teammates and friends and done all of the same things and yes, it just kind of hits home real big.”

The viral drawing includes the Humboldt Broncos and the late Jonathan Pitre.Kerry MacGregor

Another popular tribute to the Broncos is a drawing by author Kerry MacGregor, which connects two tragic Canadian news stories from the past week.

In her drawing, the late hockey players are seen in their hockey gear, welcoming Jonathan Pitre to heaven.

Jonathan Pitre
Jonathan Pitre and his mother Tina Boileau at an NHL hockey game.Tina Boileau – Facebook

Pitre received worldwide attention for his painful condition, epidermolysis bullosa, which made his skin extremely fragile and brittle.

Known as “the butterfly boy” because his skin was like a butterfly’s wings, Pitre was a fan of the Ottawa Senators NHL team.

Like Smith, MacGregor said she needed to draw the heartwarming image as a way of dealing with her grief over the accident.

“I decided I had to get the idea out of my brain and put it on paper, and then maybe I’d be able to go back to my regular job,” she explained.

The families of the accident victims and crash survivors are raising money, including to support medical and funeral expenses.

So far more than $8 million has been raised in less than a week.

You can donate to the fund and support Humboldt on GoFundMe. #PrayersForHumboldt

[H/T: The Globe and Mail, CBC, Global News]

Can You Guess America’s Happiest State? Prepare To Be Surprised

If you feel like you had a crummy year in 2017, you’re not alone.

Across the country, Americans were feeling more stress, less fulfillment, and were worrying about their future, according to a new poll.

Gallup-Sharecare

Every year since 2008, research company Gallup and wellness website Sharecare have taken the country’s pulse and asked Americans how they’re feeling.

The latest poll of more than 160,000 Americans saw a historic drop in the country’s mood, with 21 states doing noticeably worse while none improved.

Wikimedia

For comparison, just 15 states were feeling worse in 2009, after the housing market crashed.

The study tracks five markers of health and happiness:  Purpose, Social, Financial, Community, and Physical Health.

A Healthier America

Nationwide, America’s emotional health, mental health, and psychological well-being took a hit last year, and a worrying number of people reported feeling less interested in the things they do.

Thankfully, the news wasn’t all bad. In fact the top spots on the poll’s list of happiest states reveal something surprising: you don’t need to live in Hawaii or California to enjoy life (but it helps).

You may be surprised to learn that South Dakota and Vermont tied for the top spot on the “2017 State Well-Being Rankings.”

South Dakota’s Spearfish CanyonThe Planet D

While South Dakota ranked the best in the country for the finance and community categories, Vermont scored the best for community and physical health.

Burlington, VermontNew England.com

The researchers say residents in these states are healthy, eat well, live in good communities and are able to stay on top of their bills.

While sought-after destinations like Hawaii and Colorado also made the top 10 (Hawaii has made the top 10 every year since the poll began), the results prove happiness is everywhere.

Gallup-Sharecare

Well, maybe not in West Virginia.

That state ranked dead last in this year’s poll, which isn’t surprising. West Virginia’s obesity epidemic, high rate of diabetes, and mental health crisis have earned it the bottom spot on the list every year since 2009.

The Smoker’s Club

Oklahoma, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana rounded out the list’s bottom five spots.

But let’s not focus on the gloomy facts. A record 56{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} of Americans also reported they were “thriving” on this year’s survey.

You can see the full survey and read more about the poll here.

How did your state rank? Do you think the results fit your family?

After 80 Years, One Man Has Finally Solved The Mystery Of Amelia Earhart’s Final Flight

It seems like we can finally close the book on America’s most famous unsolved missing person’s case.

New research may have finally solved the mystery of famous pilot Amelia Earhart, who vanished in 1937.

The groundbreaking aviator was just 39 when she disappeared, but had already become world-famous as a pioneering female flyer.

Earhart set records as the female pilot who flew the furthest and the highest, including becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo.

She was attempting her most daring feat of all – a 29,000 mile round-the-world flight – when she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, vanished without a trace.

Earhart and Noonan.San Diego Air and Space Museum

Earhart and Noonan began their voyage on July 2, 1937, from the small Pacific island of Papua New Guinea.

The pair were heading east for Howland Island, more than 2,500 miles away.

During the flight, Earhart reported bad weather, thick clouds, and trouble with her plane’s on-board radio.

Earhart’s last message before vanishing was this:

“Gas is running low. Have been unable to reach you by radio. We’re flying at 1,000 feet.”

Since then, professional investigators and amateur sleuths have puzzled over just what happened to Earhart, and there has been no shortage of strange theories in the decades since she disappeared.

But an expert says he has finally proven one of them to be true with “99.9{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee}” certainty.

One of the most popular explanations for Earhart’s vanishing act is that she and Noonan were taken prisoner.

A popular book explained that Earhart crashed or landed safely on a small island, before being captured by Japanese soldiers.

The theory alleged that the pilot and her navigator were treated as spies by the Japanese military, and probably died on the Japanese island of Saipan.

This photo claimed to show Noonan (left) and Earhart (right) after being captured by the Japanese.National Archive

Last year, a documentary on the History Channel called Amelia Earhart: The Lost Evidence, even turned up a photo of “Earhart and Noonan” in Japanese custody.

But experts quickly pointed out the theory didn’t fit with evidence from Earhart’s flight record.

Then, a blogger proved the photo had been taken two years before Earhart’s final flight, sending researchers back to the drawing board.

In a surprising twist, the key to solving Earhart’s disappearance was found just three years after she vanished.

An expedition on the tiny Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940 discovered a human skeleton.

At the time, the bones were reported to belong to “a stocky, middle-aged man.” While records of the skeleton survived, the bones themselves were eventually lost.

It wasn’t until 1998 that anthropologist Richard Jantz realized the skeleton could belong to Earhart after all.

By studying the bones, photos of Earhart, and her flight records, Jantz says he can finally explain what happened to the pilot after her doomed voyage.

And it changes everything we thought we knew about the mystery.

After comparing the Nikumaroro skeleton with a huge sample of other bones, Jantz has no doubt that the skeleton belongs to Earhart.

“These bones are much more similar to Amelia Earhart than they are to anyone else,” he explained to Today.

He says if the bones aren’t Earhart’s the person who left them behind “just happened to be very similar to her, and that’s unlikely.”

Nikumaroro, Kiribati and Amelia Earhart.Geoview / Smithsonian Institute

That means that Earhart survived a plane crash or emergency landing, and lived on Nikumaroro for some time before her death.

Other artifacts on the island, including part of a woman’s shoe and the box for a navigational instrument, seem to support Jantz’s theory.

While there’s no way to DNA test the skeleton to confirm the theory beyond a shadow of a doubt, Jantz says he is “99.9{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} sure” of his theory.

Other experts agree the facts add up, which means one of America’s most famous mysteries could finally be solved.

Whether or not the facts ever revealed with 100{49382ccf8aa3307257579caf6f867159d328eca730a0976815a1bacefc5bc6ee} certainty, it’s fascinating to finally learn the truth.

Are you glad to finally know what happened to Earhart? Do you believe this theory?

[H/T: The Chicago Tribune]