We've been doing it all wrong. Professor George Saunders tells us why in his commencement speech at Syracuse. At 1:50, he talks about monkeys in a truly horrifying way. At 4:39, he gets to the point. At 6:33, he speaks about solutions.
Summer is officially over, which means we’re looking for any excuse to get together and watch a game or grill outside in the cooling temperatures.
The thing about hosting though is figuring out what to feed your guests—especially with rising prices all around. And frankly, everyone is sick of pizza.
Albertsons has you covered with fresh, organic ingredients to create delicious meals that cost under $5 per serving to create. The philosophy of their O Organics® product line is “NON GMO. AND YES GTF (Great Tasting Food).”
All photos courtesy of Albertsons
Eating organic is good for your body and the planet, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. By following a few suggestions, you’re almost guaranteed to impress whatever crowd you’re serving: friends, family, colleagues, even a romantic interest.
You’ve got this in the bag, friend—so create a party playlist and get your cutting board ready.
Starting with appetizers, Roasted Tomato Salsa is a crowd favorite. It’s versatile and easy to customize and can be served with eggs for a festive brunch or with tortilla chips as a cure for the munchies while everyone waits for the main course. There is some prep work involved, so we recommend making the salsa ahead of time and storing it in the fridge. While the recipe doesn’t specifically call for organic tomatoes, organic Roma tomatoes can be swapped in or out, depending on your mood.
Another option is to pick up a few bags of O Organics® baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, celery and cucumbers to make a crudite tray. For a main course that is sure to please a crowd, Killer Beef Chili costs less than $3/serving to make, and can easily be morphed into taco salad if desired.
Spray a 5-quart pot with nonstick cooking spray. Over medium high heat, brown ground beef, seasoning with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper, about 4-5 minutes.
Add garlic into beef and cook for about 30 seconds. Push all ingredients to one side of the pan and add chili powder to the cleared side. Stir to toast the seasoning, about 30 seconds. Add tomato paste to chili powder and toast, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients, stirring thoroughly to combine. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and let simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Remove from heat and add remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Serve.
Don’t like beef or beans? No problem! Try our Spinach & Artichoke Quinoa Stuffed Peppers. These stuffed peppers make a great vegetarian main dish (to make it vegan, remove the cheese), and add cheery pops of color to any table. Pair with a simple salad and crusty bread, and it’s a whole meal.
Preheat oven to 450º. Cut bell peppers in half and remove seeds. Spray both sides lightly with olive oil spray. Place cut-side-down in a 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, combine all other ingredients with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Remove peppers from oven and scoop quinoa mixture into bell peppers. Top each with a tablespoon of shredded cheese.
Turn oven down to 350º. Cover dish with foil and place back into oven for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and quinoa mixture is hot.
If you’re looking for a few easy (or complicated!) side dishes, or maybe you’re thinking about hosting a lunch rather than a dinner, all you have to do is use the search bar in the Albertsons recipe database where you’ll find not only shopping lists, preparation instructions, and more, but you can also create a profile to order groceries for a fast and easy pickup.From desserts to breakfast to lunchbox, O Organics® products are more than organic, it’s flavorful food that you can’t get enough of. Always grown without synthetic pesticides, O Organics produce is farmed to conserve biodiversity, USDA certified organic, and always non-GMO. Get to your nearest Albertsons today and load up! No Albertsons in your area? You can also find O Organics® products exclusively at Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, ACME, Shaw’s, Star Market, Tom Thumb, Randalls, and Pavilions.
'As you know, I have always been an open book.'
Celine Dion has shared the devastating news that she has been diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome.
In an emotional video to her fans, the 54-year-old French-Canadian singer apologized for taking so long to reach out and explained that her health struggles have been difficult to talk about.
"As you know, I have always been an open book, and I wasn't ready to say anything before. But I'm ready now."
While she has been dealing with health problems for a long time, doctors have only recently figured out why, and the diagnosis means she has to cancel her upcoming shows and reschedule her European tour.
"I have been diagnosed with a very rare neurological disorder called stiff person syndrome, which affects something like one in a million people," Dion said. "While we're still learning about this rare condition, we now know this is what's been causing all of the spasms that I've been having. Unfortunately, these spasms affect every aspect of my daily life, sometimes causing difficulties when I walk and not allowing me to use my vocal cords to sing the way I'm used to."
Dion expresses hope, but stiff person syndrome is a tough diagnosis, especially for a professional singer. The condition is marked by stiffening muscles in the trunk and abdomen, progressively moving to the legs and other extremities. Other symptoms include painful muscle spasms that can occur randomly or be triggered by noise, emotional stress or physical touch. These spasms can last minutes or hours and can be severe enough to dislocate limbs or break bones.
The severity of symptoms and speed of decline vary from person to person. Treatments and therapies can help manage symptoms, but much about the disorder remains a mystery. There is no known cause and no cure at this time.
The pain of processing this news is apparent in Dion's video message to her fans. "All I know is singing," she said. "It's what I've done all my life. And it's what I love to do the most."
"I miss you so much," she added. "I miss seeing all of you. Being on the stage, performing for you. I always give 100% when I do my shows, but my condition is not allowing me to give you that right now. For me to reach you again, I have no choice but to concentrate on my health at this moment. And I have hope that I am on the road to recovery."
Celine Dion is consistently ranked as one of the top female vocalists of all time and has performed live in front of millions in countless sold-out shows. She is known not only for her unique vocal quality and wide range, but for her passion and dedication to her craft, as well as to her fans.
No one wants to get a diagnosis like this, but for someone who loves performing above all else, it's particularly heartbreaking. Thankfully, Dion is surrounded by love and support from family, friends and fans who will lift her up and help her through whatever the future brings. Wishing her all the best as she faces this daunting challenge.
Carole Baskin fought for 11 years to get it passed.
Netflix’s “Tiger King” will go down in history as the collective distraction that helped America get through the dark, depressing days of early COVID-19 lockdowns. The show followed the true story of the feud between private zoo owner Joe Exotic, the self-described “gay, gun-carrying, redneck with a mullet,” and Carole Baskin, founder of Big Cat Rescue.
Exotic is currently serving out a 21-year prison sentence for animal rights abuses and hiring someone to kill Baskin.
The show was a raucous look inside the world of big cat owners and brought a lot of attention to the animal abuse that runs rampant in the industry. The light it shed on the industry was so bright it led Congress to take action. The Senate unanimously passed the Big Cat Public Safety Act on December 6. The House had already passed the bill in July.
The White House has signaled that President Biden will sign the bill into law.
\u201cVICTORY! The Big Cat Public Safety Act\u2014championed by Carole & Howard Baskin & backed by PETA\u2014passed the Senate!\n\nOur lawsuits against the biggest #TigerKing villains nearly annihilated the cub-petting industry.\n\nOnce @POTUS signs it, public contact with big cats will be BANNED.\u201d— PETA (@PETA) 1670436010
The legislation prohibits keeping tigers, lions and other big cat species as pets and bans public contact with these animals, including paid interactive experiences like cub petting. Those who currently own big cats will be able to keep their animals so long as they register them with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and do not allow them to have direct contact with the public.
There are an estimated 7,000 captive tigers in America living either in zoos or with private owners.
“I am harder to intimidate and kill than some thought!” Carole Baskin joked in a video celebrating her legislative victory. “The passage of the bill is the successful culmination of many years of battling against narcissistic, abusive, dangerous men who dominated the cruel trade and did everything they could to stop its passage, including wanting to intimidate, discredit and even kill me,” Baskin added.
“Within a decade, most of the thousands of big cats living this way will have passed away, and in 20 years, no big cats will be living in this kind of misery,” she continued.
The passage of the legislation was also applauded by The Humane Society.
“An extraordinarily cruel era for big cats in the U.S. finally comes to an end with the passage of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. We’ve been fighting for this moment for years because so many so-called ‘Tiger Kings’ have been breeding tigers and other big cats to use them for profit,” Kitty Block, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement.
The legislation is a big win for the animals and people as well. The Humane Society reports that since 1990, there have been more than 400 incidents involving captive big cats, and five children and 19 adults have been killed and hundreds of others injured.
Many objected to how Joe Exotic was celebrated for the few weeks that “Tiger King” ruled popular culture because he was, in the end, a man who profited from animals’ misery. Now, we can look back at the show’s popularity and see that it’s played a positive role in protecting these majestic animals from abuse for the foreseeable future.
Even politicians' children deserve privacy during a mental health crisis.
Editor's Note: If you are having thoughts about taking your own life, or know of anyone who is in need of help, the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline is a United States-based suicide prevention network of over 200+ crisis centers that provides 24/7 service via a toll-free hotline with the number 9-8-8. It is available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.
It's an unspoken rule that children of politicians should be off limits when it comes to public figure status. Kids deserve the ability to simply be kids without the media picking them apart. We saw this during Obama's presidency when people from both ends of the political spectrum come out to defend Malia and Sasha Obama's privacy and again when a reporter made a remark about Barron Trump.
This is even more important when we are talking about a child's mental health, so seeing detailed reports about Ted Cruz's 14-year-old child's private mental health crisis was offputting, to say it kindly. It feels icky for me to even put the senator's name in this article because it feels like adding to this child's exposure.
When a child is struggling with mental health concerns, the instinct should be to cocoon them in safety, not to highlight the details or speculate on the cause. Ever since the news broke about this child's mental health, social media has been abuzz, mostly attacking the parents and speculating if the child is a member of the LGBTQ community.
Cruz's child should not have to have her most vulnerable moment broadcasted around the globe. Adolescent children are notoriously private and may easily feel embarrassment or shame, except they generally have far less tools to know how to cope. The media listing so much information about the child's attempt at self-harm will likely do more harm than anything else thanks to a teen's proclivity to feel shame.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 15-24 and nearly 20% of high school students have seriously contemplated suicide, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). Kids that are LGBTQ are more than four times more likely to attempt suicide than their peers that are not a part of the LGBTQ community, according to The Trevor Project. It's clear that mental health issues that lead to either attempted or completed suicide are not relegated to a certain political party's children. It's a widespread issue plaguing parents and mental health professionals across the country.
If you couple the shame aspect with the stigma surrounding mental health, you're creating a recipe for disaster. We're talking about a teenager who has to go to school with peers who know who her father is. This isn't some unnamed child that no one would put the pieces together on. Once you name the politician and state the age and gender of the child, there's no mistaking who you're talking about.
Reporters aren't bound by HIPAA laws and there's not always a regard for protecting someone's privacy if the story is salacious enough. That's not to say that people who report the news are intent on hurting children, it's that sometimes we don't always think about the person on the other side of the story, especially the parents of a hurting child who will have to deal with the consequences of the report.
Media and consumers should use this moment to take a step back and look at how we view children of politicians and celebrities. Should they really be a commodity because their parents chose a public career? Should we disregard the very real pressure these kids are under to report intimate details of a tragic event? Or should we simply remember they're children and didn't ask for their moments of weakness to be laid out on display for the world?
I personally believe we should allow them to be children and we should remember what it was like at their age so we can fully appreciate how they might feel seeing their private suffering out in the world. I'm not saying not to report, I'm saying use discretion. A simple blurb that said, "One of Senator Cruz's children has been injured and taken to the hospital, but they are expected to make a full recovery," would have been plenty of information.
The world didn't need the details, and hopefully if something like this happens in the future to a family in the spotlight, the media will do a better job at protecting the child's privacy. Here's wishing Cruz's child a speedy recovery and future mental wellness.
Jack Black is an incredibly talented singer.
The medley that closes out the second side of the Beatles’ “Abbey Road” album is one of the most impressive displays of musicianship in the band’s storied career. It also provided the perfect send-off before the band’s official breakup months later, ending with the lyrics, “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make.”
In 1969, “Abbey Road” was the last record the group made together, although “Let it Be,” recorded earlier that year, was released in 1970.
At first, the medley was just a clever way for the band to use a handful of half-finished tunes, but when it came together it was a rousing, grandiose affair.
Arranged by Paul McCartney and producer George Martin, the medley weaves together five songs written by McCartney, "You Never Give Me Your Money," "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window," "Golden Slumbers," "Carry That Weight” and "The End," and three by John Lennon, “Sun King," "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam."
Fifteen seconds after the medley and the album’s conclusion, there is a surprise treat, McCartney’s 22-second “Her Majesty,” which wound up on the record as an accident.
Jack Black and Kyle Gass, collectively known as Tenacious D, recently reimagined two of the songs in the medley, "You Never Give Me Your Money" and "The End," for acoustic guitars for a performance on SiriusXM's Octane Channel. Like everything with Tenacious D, it showed off the duo’s impressive musical chops as well as their fantastic sense of humor.
The truncated version of the medley was also a wonderful tribute to the incredible work the Beatles did 53 years ago.
Warning: This video contains NSFW language.