A public confession of an undocumented immigrant got Hillary Clinton's attention.
She was totally chill about it, too.
There was a massive jump in credit card fraud in America in 2021 due to the pandemic. According to CNET, fraud involving credit cards jumped 69% from 2020 to 2021, affecting 13 million Americans and costing $9 billion.
In a world where online transactions are part of everyday life, it’s hard to completely protect your information. But, by staying vigilant and monitoring your accounts you can report fraud before it gets out of hand.
A TikTok user by the name of Lauren (@absolutelylauren) from San Diego, California, got a notification that there was a $135 charge on her card at Olaplex’s online store that she hadn’t made. Olaplex sells products that repair excessively damaged hair. Before reporting the charge to her credit card company she asked her family members if they used her card by mistake.
“I don’t wanna shut my card down if it’s just my mom ordering some shampoo,” Lauren said in the video. “Definitely not my two younger brothers, they’ve got good hair but they don’t color it.”
After realizing the charge was fraudulent, most people would have called their credit card company and had their card canceled. But Lauren was curious and wanted to know who stole her information and used it to buy hair care products. So she concocted a plan to get their information. She called Olaplex’s customer service line asking for the name and address of the purchaser to see if it was made by a family member.
"Hey, can you help me with something?” Lauren asked Tanya, the Olaplex customer service agent. “If I can give you the time and date, purchase amount and card number and whatever could you let me know who placed an order?"
Tanya had no problem helping Lauren with her request.
olaplex customer service is top tier 😤 #creditcardscam
“At this point, I’m willingly giving Tanya enough info to steal my card as well — she could have very well taken advantage of me in that moment but she didn’t,” Lauren said. “She comes back — tell me why she gave me the little scammer their full government name and address.”
Tanya revealed that a guy named Jason in a modest suburb in Texas used her card to buy a gift for his wife. “They also did it on Black Friday so at least they got a deal I guess, it was the gift set,” Lauren continued.
Lauren then called her credit card company and shared the information she had on the fraudster. The card company is currently investigating the situation.
One commenter thought that Olaplex wasn’t supposed to share that information with Lauren. “For some reason, I don’t think olaplex was supposed to give that info,” Arae270 said.
“I definitely gave them the option, but I explained that it was an unauthorized purchase, and if the name did not match anyone that I knew that I would just tell them to cancel the order and refund me, I told the girl that they would probably save everyone, a headache!” Lauren replied.
People should use utmost caution before deciding to track down a credit card thief. But kudos to Lauren for being clever enough to track down the person who stole her card information to help the authorities with their investigation. She didn’t put herself in harm's way and if someone follows up on the tip, maybe they can prevent the same thing from happening to someone else.
Recess is one of the most coveted times of day for elementary school students.
Recess is one of the most coveted times of day for elementary school students. It's a time when they get to run, climb and talk as loud as they like to get all of their sillies out before heading back into the classroom. But several students at Glen Lake Elementary School in Hopkins, Minnesota, noticed not everyone was getting a chance to play.
The school has multiple students that have physical disabilities that keep them from being able to play on the available playground equipment. Because the equipment isn't wheelchair accessible, the children who use wheels to get around have to sit on the sidelines and watch their classmates play.
This reality didn't sit right for the other students at Glen Lake. They asked their teacher, Betsy Julien, how they could make it so the other kids got a chance to play alongside them during recess. When they learned that new, more accessible equipment would cost $300,000, the kids didn't let it deter them. They committed to raising the funds however they could, and got to work with the help of their teacher.
The kids started collecting spare change, holding bake sales and even cold calling businesses in an effort to raise the money for the adaptive playground equipment. For months, the students worked to raise the money and they recently reached their goal with the help of the community. Rhys Riley, a student from Julien's class, told CBS News through tears, "I was just really happy that we made it."
One of the students who would get to use the new playground equipment told CBS, "First time I set foot on this playground, I'm probably going to start crying from seeing the effort all the school has made."
Now that the goal has been reached, these kiddos aren't stopping. They're focusing on raising enough money to get adaptive playground equipment for other schools in the district so no kid has to sit out during recess. The empathy and determination of these kids is absolutely inspiring.
Watch the interview below, but be prepared—you're going to need tissues.
'She does love Philly. She loves hoagies, she loves water ice. And I mean the big one is Target. She is obsessed with Target.'
Who doesn't love perusing the aisles of Target? For many moms it's like a mini-vacation if you can manage to get out of the house without children. You grab a coffee and walk down every aisle touching anything that looks like it may feel soft. It's sort of like an American parent's pastime.
And when you can't sneak away without your custom-made tiny human in tow, you bring them with and by default it becomes an activity they also enjoy. Turns out Rupert Grint's 2-year-old daughter, Wednesday, took note during her time living in America and since returning to the U.K., where there is no Target, she misses it. Every American reading this just audibly gasped.
I know, I know. Take a deep breath. They don't have our weird obsession with the bullseye because it hasn't had a chance to hypnotize them … yet. But Grint's daughter, who is fairly new to being across the pond, has felt the joy of being inside that famous red and white store. She has seen the red polos and khaki pants and there's no turning back for her, so Grint, most famously known for his role as Ron Weasley in Harry Potter, built her one.
Recently, Grint stopped by "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" and talked about his daughter, whom he shares with actress Georgia Groome. During the interview, Grint revealed how obsessed Wednesday is with Target, saying she would choose that over going to the park or the zoo. Grint told Fallon, "She loves going to different Targets and kind of seeing how the layout's kind of slightly different. And sometimes she doesn't buy anything, she just wants to kind of browse." Ah, living that American experience.
Fallon reiterates how obsessed Wednesday is with Target, saying, "She's so into Target that you built a little tiny play store for her in your house," as he holds up a picture of the mini retail store. It's complete with a rack of gift cards and scanner.
Watch the interview below:
Move over, border collies, there's a new top dog in town.
If you Google "smartest dog breeds," most lists you'll find put border collies in the No. 1 spot, followed in some order by poodles, German shepherds and golden retrievers.
But a new study of canine cognition from the University of Helsinki puts a whole different breed at the top of the ladder—one that most of us have probably seen before but haven't heard the name of—the Belgian Malinois.
Best known as a police or security dog, the Belgian Malinois is a shepherd breed that looks very similar to a German shepherd. Both breeds are of similar height and coloring, but the Malinois is lighter weight and its ears are more triangular-shaped, according to the American Kennel Club.
So what is it that makes the Belgian Malinois more intelligent than other dog breeds?
The study published in Scientific Reports analyzed 1,002 dogs from 13 different breeds using a battery of smartDOG cognition tests. These tests involve food reward tasks that determine a dog's capacity for memory, problem-solving, impulse control, reading human gestures, copying human behavior and logical reasoning. Despite a wide field of research on dogs, according to the study, only a handful of studies have examined cognition of specific breeds instead of breed groups. Additionally, not much empirical research has been done on nonsocial cognitive traits such as memory, inhibitory control, spatial problem-solving and logical reasoning—all of which were covered in this study.
The researchers identified a few different tests as signifying high intelligence. For the most significant measure of intelligence, logical reasoning, the study revealed no significant difference between the dog breeds. So the three tests the authors singled out instead for measuring and comparing intelligence, according to The Telegraph, were:
- A V-detour test, in which a dog had to detour around a transparent V-shaped fence to get to a food reward, showing some problem-solving ability.
- A human gesture reading test, in which a dog's response to five gestures—constant pointing, brief pointing, pointing with the foot, pointing at something while facing another direction and following a human's gaze—was measured.
- An unsolvable task test, in which a dog tries to access food in an unopenable box, measuring independence and how quickly a dog asked a human for help.
The Belgian Malinois scored 35 out of a possible 39 points on these three tasks, making it the top scorer for high intelligence overall. Border collies came in second with 26 points and hovawarts came in third at 25 points.
The study authors point out that there are strengths and weaknesses in most breeds. Some score very high on some tests and very low on others. Some breeds saw middle-of-the-road scores across most tests.
According to IFLScience, one weakness the Malinois showed was in the cylinder test, in which a dog is taught to retrieve a piece of food from inside an opaque cylinder. The opaque cylinder then gets replaced with a transparent one to see if the dog will go around to the end of the cylinder to retrieve the treat, as it did with the opaque one, or try to go directly through the side of the cylinder to get to it. This test measures inhibition, and the Malinois scored among the lowest of all breeds on it.
Every dog has its bright and dim spots, but it's clear why the Malinois is a dog of choice for security work. High intelligence, of course, but even being low on inhibition can be seen as a plus for a working dog that needs to be highly responsive and act quickly when needed.
“The Belgian Shepherd Malinois stood out in many of the cognitive tasks, having very good results in a majority of the tests,” study author and owner and CEO of smartDOG Dr. Katriina Tiira told The Telegraph.
“Border Collies also performed well in many of the tests," she added.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for many things—but perhaps his greatest legacy is sparking an unshakable hope that someday, change will come.
Just two months before his assassination in 1968, Dr. King spoke to a crowd in Washington, D.C. and famously said, “We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” Spreading (and keeping!) that hope is exactly what Meta aims to accomplish with their latest VR for Good project, MLK: Now is the Time, a 20-minute documentary VR experience featuring the use of hand gesture-based tracking technology.
Developed by TIME/TIME Studios and Flight School Studio for Meta Quest, MLK: Now is the Time drops you into a thoroughly modern interpretation of the March on Washington. Viewers hear first-person stories and can interact with key moments in history, showing them what it means to be an activist. Limbert Fabian, the director of the project, felt inspired to develop something fresh and different that would catch the attention of a new generation. As a parent, he knows what mediums are most likely to engage young people.
“I wanted the audience to walk away feeling that Dr. King's words are relevant today. Perhaps even motivate them to engage in activism at a local level,” said Fabian. “I imagined that one day a high-school social studies class somewhere is going to be diving into that time in our nation's history and our project would be a tool that we can offer them to dive in deeper to look at not the day but the ideas that fueled that gathering, and how the words were meant to push into a future for the country.”
TIME Studios worked closely with the King estate to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the original moment. Audio from the “I Have A Dream” speech is layered throughout, culminating in an encounter with Dr. King and a call to continued action around his vision of one day living in a nation where people are no longer judged by the color of their skin, but by their character.
Because the rules for VR technology are still being written, this project is on the cutting edge of merging the past—in the form of archival footage—and the present. There is a sense of intimacy in the VR world; it’s a space where a person can “drop in” and feel as if they are somewhere else, immersed in a world of activism. But even more importantly, the creators want to inspire a sense of hope, just like Dr. King did every time he spoke.
Some of the key, impactful moments in the film include a simulation of getting pulled over by police, as a person of color. Many people may not regard the police as a threat, but in this VR experience, getting pulled over feels authentic for the user. Their heartbeat may heighten. Their palms may get sweaty. That’s something that will stick with viewers and give them something to think about.
Another aspect, Fabian says, is the ability for people to use their hands to add to the immersion experience. “It’s seamless,” said Fabian. “The act of raising a fist holds weight in a lot of different ways: empathy, defiance, an act of contribution…it’s a gesture that’s easily recognizable. I don’t have to say anything and you instantly know.” This engagement is what makes the experience so unique.
“I want people to leave this experience with a renewed spark of hope. What type of hope that is is not for me to decide. However, for so many, King represented a hope for our nation, and I want people to remember that the legacy of hope did not die when he did,” said Andrina Smith, the writer for the project.
Even though it’s been nearly sixty years since Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his iconic "I Have a Dream" speech, it’s as relevant today as it was when he first uttered those words. Racial inequities and injustices persist; the work is far from over. And this, my friends, is why hope is such an important piece of the puzzle.
The bra scene is pure nostalgia.
Since it was first published in 1970, Judy Blume’s “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” has been a literary rite of passage for young girls. Though written decades ago, the book has remained timeless for its authentic portrayal of that exciting, yet horrifying chapter of female adolescence and all the milestones that come with it—including, but not limited to, that first period.
At long last, fans will get the chance to see this classic play out on the big screen. Movie adaptations of books tend to be hit-or-miss, but the fact that Judy Blume herself gave her seal of approval, even going so far as to say the film is “better than the book,” seems promising.
And judging by the reactions to the trailer released Jan. 12, I’d say that folks are hella optimistic.
A few key moments left people particularly excited and nostalgic:
1. The dreaded “changing bodies” school lecture
Oh, the joys of a stern teacher talking about blood flowing from the vagina at school. Maybe sex education has evolved over the years, but the awkwardness of anatomy conversations at a young age seems to be everlasting.
2. Margaret’s prayers to God that accurately sum up preteen girl angst
Even the nonreligious can relate on some level to just not being the weird one, to please, please, please, please just this once be normal while growing up, and wondering if this discomfort will ever go away. This is an essential part of the preteen experience for many, until we realize, of course, that we are much better off just celebrating who we are. And Margaret's earnest prayers are obviously a major aspect of the book, given the title. Duh.
3. Margaret asking mom for a bra
Margaret and other girls can be seen clumsily experimenting with hairspray, curling irons and other grown-up beauty products in order to “fit in.” But the most coveted, most revered item of all, of course, is the bra.
4. Buying pads for the first time at the local drug store
The utter humiliation at finding out the clerk is a boy. Perfection.
5. And of course, the iconic line…
“We must, we must, we must increase our bust!”
That's right, diehard Blume fans. The trailer has all that and more. Watch below:
Comments to trailers can be fairly mixed. However this one received a mountain of positivity.
"I lost track of how many times I read this book while growing up in the 70s. It’s amazing that it’s taken this long for it to be made into a movie!" wrote one person.
Another added, "I'm honestly surprised that a movie version of this book doesn't already exist. But I guess it's time. LOL I'm here for it. I remember reading this in fifth grade. Such a good book for young girls to read and realize that all the weirdness they are going through is normal. It will definitely be a good film viewing for today's middle schoolers and for all the millennials, Xillennials and gen-Xers who grew up with the book."
Perhaps Margaret’s story is so universal because it was inspired by a real-life experience. On her website, Blume shared that as a sixth grader, she did all the things—like stuffing her bra, doing exercises, lying about getting her period—because she yearned to develop into adulthood the way her classmates were (relatable). Blume put her longings to paper, and the rest is history.
Rather than putting it under a modern spin, the movie takes place in the '70s, and spreads its focus across three generations between Margaret (played by Abby Ryder Fortson), her mother (played by Rachel McAdams), and her grandmother (played by Kathy Bates).
Bates indicated that the book’s original intention would be kept intact as she told People that “I think women throughout history have been taught to feel negatively about their bodies and about the processes that their bodies go through. I think this film will help young women feel better about their bodies."
Whether for nostalgia, or for getting a sweet dose of feel-good comedy, you can see “Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret” in theaters April 28.