Salma Hayek, A Woman in Motion

Salma Hayek, A Woman in Motion

Salma Hayek told a packed house of women at the annual Women in Motion symposium she hosts during Cannes that she was laughed at as a young actress for being a Mexican Arab who thought she could make it in Hollywood. They obviously didn’t remember what Salma Hayek looked like at nineteen when trying to break in. Or that she was half Arab, which she might be making up. Nobody checks facts at these events. Applaud and try to remember what a smile was like before Botox.

Things turned dark when Hayek started using the term “violent” to explain how the male dominated entertainment industry treats young women. She meant it figuratively. So kind of like a compliment when paired with a monkey metaphor.

“Hollywood’s particularly macho. If they realize that you are smart, their anger gets multiplied. They say ‘Get a monkey’ and then the monkey talks and they say, ‘Oh my God, maybe we are going to make money.’ Then one day they see the monkey doing algebra and they say, ‘Kill the monkey!’ It’s very violent, this natural force to try to suppress.”

This was either a feminist rant or she was leaking the plot to the upcoming Planet of the Apes installment. She certainly has a point about young women being mistreated in the entertainment industry. Though she forgot to mention young men as well. How much cock did James Franco suck to catch his break? Yes, it still counts if it didn’t bother him so much and even half the hummers were his idea.

It’s hard to take a hot woman with low cut tops seriously when it comes to manners of being kept down. Also, women with billionaire husbands whose company sponsors her ritzy Cannes symposiums. Nobody symposiums in Akron. Hayek has a soft out for her good looks:

“It is true that maybe if you are pretty you can get parts easier but it’s really violent to assume if you are pretty you are stupid.”

More violence. Nobody experiences it quite like wealthy female celebrities. 

Photo credit: Getty Images

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A Senator Just Introduced The First Ever National Gig Economy Bill

If you’ve ever taken a paid sick day, collected worker’s compensation, or contributed to an employer-backed retirement plan, you’ve taken advantage of benefits that are only accessible to traditional employees. But millions of working Americans who aren’t classified as employees — whether they work in the gig economy, or as temp workers, or some other precarious work situation — don’t have these benefits.

On Thursday, the first piece of federal legislation aimed at addressing on-demand workers’ lack of benefits will be introduced by Virginia democrat Senator Mark Warner. The bill would create a $20 million fund that organizations across the country could use to build and evaluate portable benefits programs for independent contractors.

The idea behind portable benefits is that contract-based workers should, along with the company or companies where they work, pay jointly into a fund that can be used to cover healthcare costs and lost pay in case of injury, or even fund retirements. They’re called portable benefits because rather than being tied to a single worker with a single job, the fund can travel with workers from gig to gig, platform to platform, part-time job to full-time work, and back again.

Senator Warner, who estimates that currently a third of the US workforce falls outside traditional employment and predicts that figure will increase to 50% by 2020, said his goal is to get people to break out of the “mindset that … the only way you got benefits was if you’re a full-time, permanent employee.”

“[Portable benefits is] that emergency fund,” Warner told BuzzFeed News Wednesday. “It might be a fund to take care of a disability if you get hurt. It might work with some existing retirement programs. Part of it would be, depending on what happens with Obamacare, an ability to help deal with health care expenses. I think there will be a variety of models.”

Warner’s fund, if approved, would allocate $5 million in grants to organizations already conducting portable benefits experiments, and $15 million to encourage new programs, according to a draft of the bill reviewed Wednesday by BuzzFeed News. He said a wide range of organizations, from nonprofits to startups to labor unions, are encouraged to apply. The grants made available in 2018 will be awarded by Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta, and reviewed by the Government Accounting Office in 2020.

The notion of creating portable benefits funds for on-demand contractors has broad support, including from Princeton economist Alan Kreuger and former Labor Secretary Robert Reich.

“There’s no question we have to move toward portable benefits,” Reich wrote via email to BuzzFeed News. “It’s not just gig economy workers who need them, but the large and growing number of people working part-time on any number of jobs. One way to structure it would be for workers to pay into a joint fund that would spread risks and also gain them economies of scale. I also think companies that employ contract workers should be required to pay into the fund on the basis of how many workers they contract with.”

Supporters of portable benefits at the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work Initiative have argued that rather than sweeping change, the best way to figure out how to update the social safety net is through experimentation on the local level.

Senator Warner, who worked in the technology industry prior to his career in politics, has been talking about creating laws to reign in the gig economy for years now. In 2015, the senator talked about creating a new classification of worker, a legal status that would ideally have blended the protections that employees receive with the flexibility and independence that contractors enjoy.

For now, the idea of creating a new type of worker in the US economy is pretty much dead. But, with Warner’s help, the idea of creating a portable benefits fund has taken its place. “[Portable benefits] could evolve into a third worker classification,” Warner said. “I think it will more likely evolve into a much more flexible benefits system that would be complementary to a traditional benefits system.”

While Warner’s bill is the first federal legislation to directly address the on-demand economy, a couple of states have proposed portable benefits bills. In Washington state, legislators are considering a bill that would require on-demand companies to contribute 25% of the the money they make per transaction and put it toward a benefits fund. And in New York, a similar (though less generous) piece of legislation was recently tabled while Governor Andrew Cuomo assembles a task force to investigate the issue further.

Meanwhile, some on-demand companies have already started introducing experimental programs around benefits for their workers., which matches caregivers with families, announced last fall that it would be offering workers $500 a year to cover expenses associated with health care and transportation. More recently, Uber raised its rates in eight states by five cents per mile and said those funds would be made available to drivers, who have the option of using the money to buy personal injury insurance.

But while funds for portable benefits would help fill a crucial gap in coverage, not everyone thinks it’s the best solution to the dilemmas that on-demand workers face. In the case of the proposed New York bill, the creation of a portable benefits fund would mean codifying in law gig economy workers’ status as independent contractors. If the law was passed, the workers would never be classified as employees.

Workers across the gig economy have sued companies including Uber, Lyft, Handy, Instacart and Postmates for misclassification, arguing that they should have been hired as employees and are owed back pay for minimum wage, overtime, and unpaid benefits. Some, including Harvard Law’s Maia Usui and former NRLB chair Wilma Liebman, see the whole concept of creating portable benefits funds as a potential way for the tech industry to sidestep their legal obligations to workers. It’s worth noting that on-demand cleaning startup Handy helped write the New York portable benefits bill, which was supported by lobbying firm Tech:NYC, an organization that counts Uber among its members.

Dan Teran is CEO of Managed by Q, an on-demand office management startup that’s notable for hiring its workforce on as employees, providing them with benefits, and even offering stock options. “The idea that we would create a framework to provide employer paid benefits to people who can’t currently access them is a net positive. However, it shouldn’t be a trap door into deregulating labor,” Teran told BuzzFeed News regarding the portable benefits debate. “As these new frameworks are being built, government agencies should continue to enforce existing worker protections.”

Warner said he’s familiar with these criticisms, but said focusing on the benefits and protections that have been lost won’t help address the immediate problems people are facing in the 21st century economy.

“We can’t just wave a magic wand and say ‘Everyone is going to work the same job for 35 years again’. There were a lot of good things about the 20th century economy. Even if you didn’t have that much money, you had predictability,” he said. “We don’t have that now. This tries to meet the workforce where it’s at, and where it’s headed.”


We Asked Scientists About UKIP’s “Ban The Burqa Because Of Vitamin D” Policy And They Were Not Impressed

One of its reasons for calling for a ban on niqabs and burqas, which cover the face, is that they prevent people from getting enough vitamin D. The line in full is “Clothing that hides identity, puts up barriers to communication, limits employment opportunities, hides evidence of domestic abuse, and prevents intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight is not liberating.”

We thought it was worth asking a couple of scientists whether this reasoning makes any sense. The short answer is “not so much”.

“It’s a pretty ridiculous reason,” Martin Hewison, a professor of molecular endocrinology at the University of Birmingham, told BuzzFeed News.

Dr Sheena Cruickshank, a senior lecturer in immunology at the University of Manchester, agreed: “I think they’re looking for a convenient excuse.”

It’s true that wearing a burqa or niqab prevents your body making as much vitamin D – which is manufactured in the skin on contact with UV light – as it might.

But that’s true of all clothing, and of being inside a building or a car. Or wearing sun cream.

“If you’re pasty like me,” says Hewison, “when you go out in the sun you won’t make vitamin D because you put on sunscreen. That’s the advice we give people, but sunscreen prevents you making vitamin D.

“Or if you’re in a car a lot, you won’t [make vitamin D] because the windows stop the UV light getting through. I lived in California for a while and lots of people were vitamin-D deficient there, because they spent so much time in their cars.”

He wouldn’t recommend people expose themselves more to the sun, because that can raise the risk of skin cancer.

It IS true, though, that vitamin D deficiency is a real problem in Britain.

“A lot of people in the UK are deficient,” says Cruickshank, “because we don’t get enough from sunlight, and we aren’t topping it up with our diets.” She says that she herself noticed that she was suffering bone aches, and was found to be vitamin-D deficient, which she now treats with supplements.

And it’s definitely worth trying to make sure that you’re getting enough.

“Sun is not the only source of vitamin D,” says Cruickshank. Oily fish, cheese, and specially fortified foods such as some cereals are other means, as well as supplements such as cod-liver oil.

But the scientists told us that banning niqabs and burqas is not a helpful way of improving Britain’s vitamin D regime.

“The message we need to get out is that we’re all at risk of vitamin D deficiency, not just people in clothing like burqas,” says Hewison.

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How to Treat a Venomous Snakebite

Out of the 3,000 or so snake species in the world, less than 10% are venomous in a truly dangerous way. But that still leaves a few hundred varieties you need to keep an eye out for the next time you’re tromping through the wilderness. As always, the best way to treat a snakebite is to prevent it. Avoid hiking in areas where snakes are known to be a problem, wear heavy boots that cover your ankle, step carefully in areas of tall grass, and watch out when stepping or reaching under rocks where snakes typically rest up.

If you are bitten, remain calm above all else. One of the most dangerous aspects of a snake bite is that it causes people to panic. Panic is bad because it elevates heart rate and blood flow to increase venom absorption and it leads to poor decision making, all of which puts you at far greater risk of serious injury.

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

The post How to Treat a Venomous Snakebite appeared first on The Art of Manliness.


Young Manchester Bombing Victims Get a Special Visit From Queen Elizabeth II

The deadly terror attack outside of an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England on Monday night left 22 dead and over 50 injured. After the explosion, the royal family reached out to share their "deepest sympathy to all who have been affected by this dreadful event," and on Thursday, Queen Elizabeth II personally visited a few of the attack’s youngest victims in the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. Millie Robson, 15, wore an Ariana Grande t-shirt and a big smile while chatting with the queen, who later called the suicide bombing "dreadful" and "very wicked." The 91-year-old monarch also spoke to 14-year-old patient Evie Mills, who received tickets to Ariana’s show as a birthday present, as well as Amy Barlow, 12, who was there with her mother and father.

The queen reassured them all that "everyone is united" following the attack. "It’s not something you expect at all," she told Millie’s father, who said he was waiting outside the exit of the arena when the bomb went off. Before she was injured, Millie had met Ariana backstage after winning VIP passes. The pop star – who’s been recovering at home in Florida with the help of boyfriend Mac Miller – wasn’t physically harmed in the attack, but tweeted to fans that she was "so so sorry."

In the queen’s official statement after the explosion, she made sure to call out everyone who helped save lives. "I want to thank all the members of the emergency services, who have responded with such professionalism and care," she said. "And I would like to express my admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded, with humanity and compassion, to this act of barbarity." After meeting the victims, Queen Elizabeth took some time to thank the doctors, nurses, and other staff in person during her brief tour of the hospital.


Listen to Sia’s New Wonder Woman Song “To Be Human”

Listen to Sia’s New Wonder Woman Song “To Be Human”

Sia has shared a new song, “To Be Human.” The singer-songwriter’s latest track arrives as part of the forthcoming soundtrack for Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine. The song also features the UK artist Labrinth; hear it below. Sia recently appeared on Norwegian production duo Stargate’s song “Waterfall” alongside Pink. Her last studio album, This Is Acting, came out in January 2016. Wonder Woman hits theaters June 2; the soundtrack is out the same day via WaterTower Music.


Ariana Grande’s Manager Refuses to Let Hate Win After Attack: “My Answer Is No”

Scooter Braun is choosing to stay positive following the horrific terror attack that left 22 dead and more than 50 injured at Ariana Grande’s concert in Manchester on Monday night. On Wednesday, the "Into You" singer’s manager posted a series of heartfelt and powerful tweets offering his condolences to the victims and encouraging his followers to not let fear rule their lives.

Following the attack, Ariana has put the entire leg of her European tour on hold, and recently had an emotional reunion with her boyfriend, rapper Mac Miller, on Tuesday when she flew from the UK to her hometown of Boca Raton, FL. "broken," she wrote on Twitter after the concert. "from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words."


There’s a Reason Everyone Is Talking About This Fan’s Magical Story About Roger Moore

Roger Moore passed away at the age of 89 on May 23, but it’s already clear that his legacy will live on for a very long time. Not only did the actor, who was best known for playing James Bond in the 1970s and ’80s, touch the lives of his three children, Deborah, Geoffrey, and Christian, who spoke about their dad’s spirit in a touching statement, but he also put so much extra thought into his interactions with fans. Shortly after Roger’s death, a fan named Marc Haynes shared an incredibly touching story on Facebook about meeting the star when he was just 7 years old, only to run into him again 23 years later:

    "As a 7-year-old in about 1983, in the days before First Class Lounges at airports, I was with my grandad in Nice Airport and saw Roger Moore sitting at the departure gate, reading a paper. I told my granddad I’d just seen James Bond and asked if we could go over so I could get his autograph. My grandad had no idea who James Bond or Roger Moore were, so we walked over and he popped me in front of Roger Moore, with the words, ‘My grandson says you’re famous. Can you sign this?’

    As charming as you’d expect, Roger asks my name and duly signs the back of my plane ticket, a fulsome note full of best wishes. I’m ecstatic, but as we head back to our seats, I glance down at the signature. It’s hard to decipher it but it definitely doesn’t say James Bond. My grandad looks at it, half figures out it says Roger Moore – I have absolutely no idea who that is, and my hearts sinks. I tell my grandad he’s signed it wrong, that he’s put someone else’s name – so my grandad heads back to Roger Moore, holding the ticket which he’s only just signed.

    I remember staying by our seats and my grandad saying, ‘He says you’ve signed the wrong name. He says your name is James Bond.’ Roger Moore’s face crinkled up with realization and he beckoned me over. When I was by his knee, he leant over, looked from side to side, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said to me, ‘I have to sign my name as Roger Moore because otherwise . . . Blofeld might find out I was here.’ He asked me not to tell anyone that I’d just seen James Bond, and he thanked me for keeping his secret. I went back to our seats, my nerves absolutely jangling with delight. My grandad asked me if he’d signed James Bond. No, I said. I’d got it wrong. I was working with James Bond now.

    Many, many years later, I was working as a scriptwriter on a recording that involved UNICEF, and Roger Moore was doing a piece to camera as an ambassador. He was completely lovely and while the cameramen were setting up, I told him in passing the story of when I met him in Nice Airport. He was happy to hear it, and he had a chuckle and said, ‘Well, I don’t remember but I’m glad you got to meet James Bond.’ So that was lovely.

    And then he did something so brilliant. After the filming, he walked past me in the corridor, heading out to his car – but as he got level, he paused, looked both ways, raised an eyebrow and in a hushed voice said, ‘Of course I remember our meeting in Nice. But I didn’t say anything in there, because those cameramen – any one of them could be working for Blofeld.’

    I was as delighted at 30 as I had been at 7. What a man. What a tremendous man."