Tag: Lifestyle

To be a female celebrity means that you cannot even Instagram your perfect abs without being attacked by trolls. Luckily, Jennifer Lopez knows how to keep the peace.

Because the internet is both a wonderful and a terrible place, J.Lo’s delightful Instagram mirror selfie was instantly met with comments accusing her of Photoshopping the image.

Most detractors focused on the little smudge on the right side of the photo (just under the bottom of J.Lo’s sweatshirt). 

Ayyyyy… 😂

A post shared by Jennifer Lopez (@jlo) on

And come on. One simply cannot disrespect J.Lo, who blessed you with both “If You Had My Love” and The Wedding Planner, in this manner.

Obviously, she had a perfectly reasonable explanation: a classic mirror smudge. Friends … who among us?

Lord bless the haters, indeed.

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Are your Spidey senses tingling yet?

One of the first media screenings of Spider-Man: Homecoming took place Friday night, and while official reviews are still under embargo, audience members were allowed to share their general thoughts on social media following the film.

And boy, did people have a lot to say. Mashable‘s movie reporter Angie Han noted on Twitter:

Happily, first reactions to the movie — the third Spidey reboot in just 15 years —  were mostly over-the-top raves, with people highlighting their love for new Spider-Man, Tom Holland, Michael Keaton’s villain, and the comedy throughout. This reporter, for one, loved how downright teenage parts of the film felt. Much has been made about how young the cast is this time around, but the whole gang seems to have won Twitter over.

Just check out a smattering of the reactions below.  

Who knew being a ~teen~ superhero could be this fun?:

Tom Holland:

Michael Keaton:

Between this and Wonder Woman, superheroes are having a very good 2017.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7. 

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Walk down the sidewalk of any major city and it’s likely you’ll see the same exact scene: Masses of people staring down at their phones instead of interacting with other living, breathing humans. At some point, after the smartphone became an essential part of our lives, push notifications and news feeds have commanded more and more of our attention.

You could just not use a phone, of course, but then you’re completely disconnected. Is there a middle ground between giving in to total digital immersion and being off the grid? 

A Swiss technology company called Punkt thinks so. It recently released its retro-inspired “dumbphone,” the MP01. The cool-looking feature phone takes us away from apps as it allows nothing more than texting and calling.

According to App Annie, we collectively spent 900 billion hours using apps in 2016. That’s a ridiculously huge amount of time, but with a dumbphone your personal app tally will be zero. Say “goodbye” to your digital lettered keyboards and “hello, old friend” to those numbered push-button keyboards. 

Punkt’s tagline is simple and straightforward: “Offline as the new luxury.” And its MP01 dumbphone is all the rage. It’s generally getting positive reviews, the phone has inspired an active (and very ironic) audience on Twitter.

While it might seem like the end of the world to give up your smartphone, Punkt has some words of wisdom.

“The more our phones do, the more they demand of us. Sometimes it’s good to take a break. But until now, the only alternative to hyper-connected smartphones has been the kind of phone you find at the back of a drawer,” Punkt says on its website. “The Punkt MP 01 is a stylish, well-crafted mobile phone which focuses on modern simplicity, inside and out. It makes phone calls and sends texts. That’s all.”

That’s all. Yeah, you might just actually want to give dumbphone a try now. 

As of now, you can only run the 2G phone with T-Mobile in the U.S., but it’s a start. Compatibility throughout the rest of the world is spotty as well, but you check it here. The good news is that Punkt will probably be releasing a new phone (supported by more networks) before T-Mobile ditches 2G in 2020.

Punkt is making it super easy for all of us to try living a less-connected life. The company is offering hassle-free 30-day return policy. If you give the dumbphone a shot and decide the less-connected lifestyle isn’t one you’re into, Punkt is totally cool with it. Just send it back and return to your endless app scrolling. 

Punkt isn’t the only tech company to come out with a dumbphone. The Nokia 3310 that was recently released is a reboot of the company’s 17-year-old phone of the same name. The phone lets you make calls and send text messages. It also has a 2-megapixel camera and calculator app. Oh yeah, and Snake.

One downside of the Punkt is the price tag: It costs $295, which is pretty steep for a phone that can’t even run Twitter. Still, it boasts a very cool design, and given its tagline, it’s clearly trying to create a luxury mobile brand centered around feelings of nostalgia and digital overload. And technically there’s a value factor here — while you’ll need replace your iPhone 7 in a year or two, presumably the Punkt will work perfectly until the carriers turn 2G networks off. (If you’re still balking at the cost, the Nokia 3310 is just $65.)

So for whatever reason you’re choosing to pick up a dumbphone, we’re all for it. Punkt may just begin a movement here, and if so, we can’t wait for the Motorolas and LGs of the world to roll out dumbphones of their own. 

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To the Bone doesn’t premiere on Netflix until July 14, but the streaming platform is already facing sharp online criticism from people who say the trailer’s portrayal of a young woman’s eating disorder is triggering and potentially harmful. 

One look at the Twitter hashtag #TotheBone and it’s easy to see why those who’ve had eating disorders are worried about how the film portrays a complex condition like anorexia, which often isn’t accurately or responsibly depicted in the media. 

The two-minute trailer focuses on Ellen, played by actress Lily Collins, who counts calories and becomes increasingly frail until a presumably triumphant turnaround. Ellen’s extreme thinness is the subject of much of the criticism, as are fears that the movie romanticizes what can be a fatal disorder. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) recommends against showing “dangerous thinness” because of the way that imagery can affect people experiencing or recovering from an eating disorder. 

“The images, for someone who is at risk or struggling, it can be a very visceral experience.

“The images, for someone who is at risk or struggling, it can be a very visceral experience, it can trigger all kinds of upsetting feelings,” says Claire Mysko, CEO of NEDA. Some viewers, she says, may see it as a “race to the bottom” to lose even more weight. 

The trailer has been viewed more than 1 million times since debuting Tuesday.

Marti Noxon, the film’s writer and director, responded to the criticism on Twitter soon after the trailer dropped. “We hope the film helps people talk about a subject that is too often ignored,” she wrote.

She followed up with a more comprehensive statement Thursday night that acknowledged her own experiences with anorexia and bulimia and stressed the importance of responsibly portraying what it’s like to have an eating disorder. 

“My goal with the film was not to glamorize EDs, but to serve as a conversation starter about an issue that is too often shrouded by secrecy and misconceptions,” she wrote. 

The initial fallout over the trailer probably feels like familiar territory for Netflix. When the streaming platform released the fictional young adult series 13 Reasons Why in March, mental health experts and suicide survivors argued that the show’s graphic portrayal of suicide might negatively influence young, impressionable viewers. Researchers have shown that news reports and dramatizations of suicide may be linked to a temporary spike in suicides.

Aside from the complicated subject matter, To the Bone shares another similarity with 13 Reasons Why: Both projects were made with the hope that they’d tell an important story by tackling a common but highly stigmatized experience. Noxon based the film on her own experiences and Collins has talked about previously battling an eating disorder as well. 

“I was writing to try to help people who don’t understand, who can’t relate to why someone would starve, or throw up, or just spend their life obsessed with food, or obsessed with their body size,” Noxon told Indiewire earlier this year.

Thirty million Americans experience an eating disorder at some point in their lives, according to NEDA. In order to help raise awareness, To the Bone partnered with Project Heal, an organization that raises money to help people get access to treatment. In her statement issued Thursday, Noxon described how she spoke with survivors to inform the film and worked with Project Heal throughout the production “in the hopes of being truthful in a way that wasn’t exploitative.” 

“There are a lot of people who struggle in higher-weight bodies, people of all ages, races and genders whose stories don’t get told.” 

While Mysko wishes the trailer had fewer scenes portraying extreme thinness, she is hopeful that the film will share an important story about illness and recovery without glorifying eating disorders or erasing the diversity of people’s experiences. Collins’ character is cast as a thin, white, middle-class woman. 

“There are a lot of people who struggle in higher-weight bodies, people of all ages, races and genders whose stories don’t get told,” says Mysko. 

While the public commonly associates extreme thinness with anorexia, not everyone with the disorder has that body type. Hollywood, however, often defaults to the stereotype even as other aspects of a person’s life, including their work, relationships, and education, are deeply affected by anorexia and offer alternative ways to show the condition’s impact. 

Andrea LaMarre‏, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Family Relations and Applied Nutrition at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada, who has spoken about her own eating disorder, says that the passionate reaction to the trailer reflects a larger frustration with how these stories are told and whose experiences they feature. 

“It’s representative of an ongoing tension in the field, and this [trailer] has crystallized it,” she says. 

Critics of the trailer also pointed out that it offered no mental health resources for those who might need support after seeing the images pop up in their newsfeed. Mysko is hopeful that Netflix, which received the same criticism over graphic episodes of 13 Reasons Why, will air the film with the contact information for appropriate helplines. 

She is cautiously optimistic given that, prior to the film’s Netflix distribution deal, NEDA partnered with its actors to produce a public service announcement addressing common myths about eating disorders. 

“I do believe that there is a commitment to not only raising awareness but connecting people to resources,” she says. 

The trailer controversy, in tandem with the 13 Reasons Why criticism, holds important lessons for Netflix. While the streaming giant continues to take risks on programming that tackles highly stigmatized issues, it still hasn’t quite learned how to respond to the outpouring of feedback from tight-knit communities of patients, survivors, and advocates who have strong feelings about the experiences its shows and films portray. It also hasn’t figured out how to anticipate viewers’ needs for things like trigger warnings and crisis information at every step of the way. 

Until it begins to master those aspects of producing and distributing entertainment meant to confront shame and stigma, it’ll continue to discover its blind spots by trial and error.

If you want to talk to someone about your experience with disordered eating, text the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Organizations like the National Eating Disorder Association (U.S.),National Eating Disorder Information Centre (Canada), The Butterfly Foundation (Australia), the National Centre for Eating Disorders (UK) and We Bite Back can also offer support.

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With a million unique proposals flooding the internet on a daily basis, it’s hard to stand out—unless you’re lucky enough to enlist the help of Kelly Clarkson. 

The singer assisted some fans in making their marriage proposal one to remember at a recent meet and greet, and well, see how cute it is for yourself. 

Alex Malerba proposed to his boyfriend Justin backstage with the singer, and the surprise went swimmingly (spoiler: he said yes!). Justin, who was under the assumption that the two were simply there to take pictures with Clarkson, began crying once Malerba popped the question. 

“Oh my God, I’m so happy,” Clarkson exclaimed after Malerba got down on one knee. “I’m like a part of it. That was so beautiful. Congratulations.”

The three took photos again after the proposal went down.

After the couple told her they had been together for four years, Clarkson cracked a few jokes. “It’s about damn time somebody did it,” she said. “I’m like, ‘shit or get off the pot.’”

“Asking the love of my life to marry me in front of the one and only Kelly Clarkson was an amazing moment!!!!,” he wrote on Instagram, where he shared photos of the experience. 

Congrats to the happy couple! 

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Tumblr just made some big changes to how it approaches NSFW content. 

Earlier this week, the platform introduced a new “safe mode” that, when enabled, prevents users from seeing NSFW content unless they choose to view it.

That may sound like a pretty straightforward change, but it’s already proving to be controversial and not just for the reasons you may think.

First, a bit of context: the Tumblr community has long been known as a free-spirited group where just about anything goes, including porn and many other varieties of NSFW content. Not only that, Tumblr’s openness has given rise to countless communities of people who eagerly share and celebrate much of this content. 

The company’s guidelines do prohibit certain types of material, like harassment, spam, and overly gory images, but in general the company has had very few qualms with sexually explicit content. So, naturally, Tumblr has developed a reputation over the years as the social network with the most porn. In fact, TechCrunch notes that so-called “adult content” is the top category that drives direct clicks to Tumblr’s desktop site, according to data from analytics company SimilarWeb. 

Which brings us back to safe mode and why it has so many people concerned. For one, it appears Tumblr’s content filtering system is being a little overly aggressive in what is determined to be “sensitive” (which may include “nudity in an artistic, educational, or photojournalistic context,” according to Tumblr’s guidelines) or “explicit.” 

Many users are reporting that safe mode is mistakenly flagging harmless photos and illustrations as explicit. Others allege the filtering system is blocking LGBT-themed content that is not sexually explicit in nature (notably, this also came up in 2013 when Tumblr introduced safe search features that prevent NSFW content from appearing in search results).

This is particularly vexing to Tumblr’s legions of underage users as minors are not able to opt-out of safe mode at all.

Yumblr’s safe mode won’t let anyone who is not logged in see NSFW content beginning July 5th.

The safe mode setting is also now automatically enabled for new users and logged out users. Furthermore, logged out users won’t even have the ability to opt out of safe mode beginning July 5th. 

All this raises questions about Tumblr’s motives for “safe mode.” While Tumblr has positioned the changes as a safety feature meant to provide “more control over what you see and what you don’t,” it also just so happens to coincide with the finalization of the sale of Tumblr parent company Yahoo to Verizon. It’s not hard to imagine that Tumblr’s new corporate owners may have an interest in reducing the visibility of some of Tumblr’s more “unsavory” content than Yahoo ever did.

A source close to Tumblr says safe mode has been in the works for more than a year and reiterated Tumblr’s prior statements that the feature is about “choice.” 

Whether that’s the entire story or not, though, the new changes are being seen by some as a worrying sign of what’s to come.

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Image: Shutterstock / JoeyPhoto

Not that you shouldn’t already think twice before jaywalking, but now, you’ve get yet another reason to wait for your light.

Cities in four Chinese provinces are shaming jaywalkers by posting their personal information on public screens, according to state-owned Xinhua. 

The system’s been installed at cities in Shandong and Jiangsu in east China, as well as Fujian and Guangdong in south China, and it uses facial recognition to trace the identities of jaywalkers. 

Cameras take several snapshots of errant pedestrians, as well as a 15-second video which is then displayed on a large screen:

A system in Yancheng, eastern China.

A system in Yancheng, eastern China.

A similar system in Shenzhen.

A similar system in Shenzhen.

Facial recognition software matches the faces of errant offenders with those in a provincial police database. A police officer then checks them for their accuracy, and if they pass muster, the offender’s photograph and personal information (like portions of their ID number and home address) gets displayed.

In some cities, like Jinan, Shandong, traffic police post the identities of errant offenders on social media: 

The man got a 20 yuan ($2.93) fine.

The man got a 20 yuan ($2.93) fine.

Image: Jinan Traffic Police/Weibo

The public shaming has very visible effects—Jinan police told The Paper that being publicly shamed could impact a person’s credit rating, as well as their insurance and pension premiums. 

Offenders get to choose between three forms of punishment—a 20 yuan ($2.93) fine, a 30-minute long traffic safety course and or 20 minutes of assisting police in traffic control. Repeat offenders could be fined up to 100 yuan ($14.64).

Police could also inform errant pedestrians’ employers and residential communities, said Xinhua.

The system in place in Yancheng

The system in place in Yancheng

The system in place in Jinan

The system in place in Jinan

Image: The Paper/Tencent Video

The public shaming’s been naturally effective.

Jinan police have caught over 6,200 jaywalkers in the city since the system was set up in May this year, according to The Paper

The number of errant pedestrians has also fallen from 200 per day, to 20 per day, the city’s traffic police told Xinhua.

“I’ll take note and remind myself the next time I cross the road,” one resident told The Paper. “After all, it’s not a good thing to cross the road while the light is still red.”

Jinan wants to install the system at 50 more major intersections by the end of June. Each unit will cost the city 100,000 yuan ($14,637). 

This isn’t the first time China’s taken, uh, slightly unusual steps to stop jaywalking before. 

In April, turnstiles were installed in Wuhan, central China, to stop pedestrians from dashing across the road. The country’s also deployed dancing aunties to promote road safety at crosswalks, and in January, a robot police officer was deployed at a traffic junction in Xiangyang, central China to stop errant pedestrians, and tell them off.

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Being a CEO—even one of the world’s best CEOs—doesn’t mean you have to stop partying.

Just ask Elon Musk.

The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX came in eighth place on the 2017 Glassdoor Highest Rated CEOs list this year.

But that’s not the best part. Musk gave an interview with Glassdoor and answered some questions on his job and his personal life, in which he shared his love of fun.

“When you’re not planning trips to Mars, how do you like to spend your free time?” a representative at Glassdoor asked. 

“Burning Man, playing team first-person shooters with my kids, movies, hanging out with friends, occasional wild parties,” Musk replied.

Ah, yes, the occasional wild party: 

As for the rest of the list of 100, 26 were tech CEOs. Musk was ranked at number 8 overall but with SpaceX, an aerospace company, not a tech company. 

It’s also important to note that while Jack Dorsey made the list, he was only ranked for Square, the payments company, and not for Twitter. Dorsey’s approval rating for both companies is 73 percent, which is slightly better than the average CEO approval rating of 67 percent. 

The ranking is based on employee feedback on Glassdoor:

1. World Wide Technology’s Jim Kavanaugh (99% approval)

5. Fast Enterprises’ Martin Rankin (99% approval)

6. NVIDIA’s Jen-Hsun Huang (99% approval)

9. HubSpot’s Brian Halligan (98% approval)

10. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg (98% approval)

11. Paylocity’s Steve Beauchamp (98% approval)

13. Intuit’s Brad Smith (97% approval)

15. Salesforce’s Marc Benioff (97% approval)

17. Google’s Sundar Pichai (96% approval)

19. Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen (96% approval)

23. CDW’s Thomas E. Richards (96% approval)

24. SAP’s Bill McDermott (96% approval)

29. Microsoft’s Satya Nadella (95% approval)

31. Juniper Networks’ Rami Rahim (95% approval)

32. Yardi Systems’ Anant Yardi (94% approval)

35. LinkedIn’s Jeff Weiner (94% approval)

38. Square’s Jack Dorsey (94% approval)

39. Expedia’s Dara Khosrowshahi (94% approval)

48. Zillow’s Spencer Rascoff (93% approval)

51. Texas Instruments’ Rich Templeton (93% approval)

53. Apple’s Tim Cook (93% approval)

54. Kronos Incorporated’s Aron J. Ain (93% approval)

83. VMware’s Pat Gelsinger (90% approval)

87. eBay’s Devin Wenig (90% approval)

94. Gartner’s Gene Hall (90% approval)

95. SAIC’s Anthony Moraco (90% approval)

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Artifacts bearing Nazi symbols were recovered by the Argentine Federal Police .

Image: david FERNANDEZ/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Among the slew of Nazi artifacts recently found in a house outside Buenos Aires, Argentina, perhaps the most notable were the toys. 

Toys reportedly meant for indoctrination — including a box of harmonicas with pictures of a smiling boy and a swastika — were just some of the 75 artifacts Argentinian police believe once belonged to Nazi officials, according to the Associated Press.

The items included a bust and a portrait of Adolf Hitler, a huge statue of an eagle atop a swastika, an hourglass on which a swastika was engraved, knives, and more. 

Image: david FERNANDEZ/EPA/REX/Shutterstock

Argentinian officials believe the Nazi memorabilia likely belonged to high-ranking Nazi officials who fled to Argentina and other parts of South America as members of the Third Reich were pursued for committing war crimes. It’s not clear which Nazis this collection of items belonged to, though the Adolf Hitler busts and portraits were found alongside medical devices including one used to measure the size of a person’s head. 

Joseph Mengele, known as “the angel of death,” was a Nazi doctor at Auschwitz concentration camp who tortured Holocaust victims before fleeing to Argentina following the war, where he lived in Buenos Aires for 10 years.  

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It’s one thing to admire the serenity of bioluminescent algae from afar.

But in Port Lincoln, Australia, people were splashing and playing in fluorescent blue water right on the sand. 

Kye Higgins told ABC News he was walking his dog Miss Millie along the beach Sunday when he noticed something strange. 

“It looked like there was glow-stick liquid on her legs,” Higgins told the news outlet. 

The algae lights up when disturbed, creating quite the effect. It’s why you’ll see waves of rich, glowing blue as the water crashes into the shore. Or in the case below, a hand will do in making the algae glow.

So why does this algae, Noctiluca scintillans, light up? According to Ivan Nagelkerken, an ecologist who talked to the ABC, it’s to illuminate predators so they can be seen by larger predators. Devious. 

Credit: Mark Thomas via Storyful

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The wait for Star Trek: Discovery is almost over. After two premiere date delays and a showrunner switch, the hotly-anticipated revival is finally launching on September 24 at 8:30 p.m. on CBS, and it can’t come soon enough. 

After the show’s broadcast debut, the second episode of Discovery will be available immediately on CBS All Access, the network’s digital subscription live streaming service, which will be the exclusive home of the series for the rest of its run. 

New episodes will be available every Sunday exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers in the U.S., as part of CBS’ strategy to entice viewers to sign up for the streaming site — which is already home to The Good Wife‘s critically-acclaimed spinoff, The Good Fight.

The show’s 15-episode freshman season will be released in two chapters: the first eight episodes will run from Sunday, Sept. 24 through Sunday, Nov. 5 before taking a hiatus for the holidays and resuming in January 2018. 

Discovery will follow the voyages of Starfleet on their missions to discover new worlds and new lifeforms, and one Starfleet officer who must learn that to truly understand all things alien, you must first understand yourself. 

The Walking Dead‘s Sonequa Martin-Green stars as First Officer Michael Burnham, alongside a sprawling ensemble cast that includes Michelle Yeoh as Captain Georgiou, who commands the Starship Shenzou; Jason Isaacs as Captain Lorca, leader of the Starship Discovery; Rainn Wilson as classic Trek conman Harry Mudd; and James Frain as the Vulcan Sarek, father of Spock.

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Yo Gotti and Jay Z at the Grammys.

Image: Lester Cohen/Getty Images for NARAS

There’s still plenty of mystery surrounding Jay Z’s new project/album, 4:44, but we at least know now that it’s coming.

The rapper dropped a 30-second snippet of his track “Adnis” online Sunday night, with the album set to be released on Jun. 30 as a TIDAL and Sprint exclusive.

In the trailer for “Adnis,” Moonlight’s Mahershala Ali plays the role of a boxer, with Danny Glover holding the punching bag — although he disappears whenever Ali is in the shot. 

It does leave us wondering if 4:44 could be a visual album, in the vein of Beyoncé’s Lemonade.

The trailer’s release coincides with Father’s Day in the U.S., and the lyrics uttered in “Adnis” are a nod to that fact.

“Letter to my dad that I never wrote / Speeches that I prepare that never spoke / Words on a paper that I never read / Prose is never pen, they stayed in my head.”

It’s the latest in a series of steadily building 4:44-related promos, which have also included posters around New York City, another trailer sans lyrics, and ads online. Theories have sprung up regarding the use of the number four, which is significant in the Carter family.

But until Jun. 30 comes, your guess is good as ours.

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Bey & Jay 1.0

Image: francis specker/CBS via Getty Images

After Beyoncé and Jay Z did such a great job of being themselves, they kindly welcomed miniature versions into the world.

The superstar couple’s twins are reportedly a boy and a girl. What a perfect Father’s Day gift for Jay Z, who is the only dad in the entire world today. 

According to TMZ, the twins were born a few days ago but remain in the hospital due to a “minor issue.” 

The dedicated Bey Hive discovered images of a floral delivery at the hospital that looks suspiciously like something one of their celebrity friends would send to parents of a twin boy and girl whose names happen to start with B and J. 

We hope mom, dad, big sister Blue, and the babies are happy, healthy, and Instagrammable very soon.

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Image: Kalaidjian/BFA/REX/Shutterstock

The queen of the Bey-hive is now officially a mother of three, according to the Daily News and Us Weekly

Us Weekly cited multiple sources for the news but included no other details. The couple are already parents to Blue Ivy, age 5. 

And it’s quite the Father’s Day for Jay-Z, who earlier this week also became the first rapper inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. If the initial reports turn out to be true, it’ll be the second major announcement Beyonce has made on a Saturday night—her game-changing concept album Lemonade also dropped on a Saturday night. 

Members of Beyonce’s infamous online fanbase, The Bey Hive, remained skeptical on Twitter. More than a few were waiting for confirmation from Beyonce herself, with others positing that the twins were actually born weeks ago. 

We’ll continue to update this post as more information becomes available. 

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Girl scouts will be able to earn cyber security badges starting next year.

Image: girl scouts of the usa

Girl Scouts will soon be ready to take over your IT department. 

The organization is teaming up with Palo Alto Networks, an internet security company, to introduce a set of new badges to promote computer and internet literacy and cybersecurity. The initiative aims to foster educational programs across all ages of the Girl Scouts, with a major emphasis on providing access to girls who might otherwise never be exposed to the field.

The 18 new badges will be available to Girl Scouts across the US starting in September 2018. 

The programs behind the badges will cover a wide range of cyber topics, according to CNN Tech. Younger girls will learn the basics of data privacy and online safety, while the older Scouts will be introduced to coding, the principles of firewalls, and even how to become a white hat hacker. 

The new badges aren’t just an effort to give today’s Scouts a more well-rounded experience to go with their cookie sales and camping lessons — they’re an investment in the digital landscape of the future, which will need as many workers as it can get. While there is expected to be a deficit of 3.5 million jobs within cybersecurity field by 2021, a recent study by (ISC)² found that only 11 percent of its current professionals are women.     

“Our mission to prevent cyberattacks and restore trust in the digital age is only achievable if we make meaningful investments not just in technology but also in people,” said Palo Alto Networks CEO Mark D. McLaughlin about the initiative in a press release. “Our collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA to develop curriculum for the first-ever national Cybersecurity badges will positively influence the future of our industry by helping build tomorrow’s diverse and innovative team of problem solvers equipped to counter emerging cyberthreats.”  

Some cyber-centric programs for Girl Scouts exist on the local level, like the Game Design badge offered to L.A. scouts,  but the new initiative with Palo Alto Networks marks the first time badges like this will be available from the governing body of the organization, which will give even more girls across the country access to the education.  

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