What Is The True Cost Of America's Obsession With Guns?
I somehow doubt that the Second Amendment was intended to cover the right of mass murderers to purchase assault weapons. It appears that Bill Moyers agrees with me.
No, you're probably not losing your hearing.
It seems everyone needs subtitles nowadays in order to "hear" the television. This is something that has become more common over the past decade and it's caused people to question if their hearing is going bad or if perhaps actors have gotten lazy with enunciation.
So if you've been wondering if it's just you who needs subtitles in order to watch the latest marathon-worthy show, worry no more. Vox video producer Edward Vega interviewed dialogue editor Austin Olivia Kendrick to get to the bottom of why we can't seem to make out what the actors are saying anymore. It turns out it's technology's fault, and to get to how we got here, Vega and Kendrick took us back in time.
They first explained that way back when movies were first moving from silent film to spoken dialogue, actors had to enunciate and project loudly while speaking directly into a large microphone. If they spoke and moved like actors do today, it would sound almost as if someone were giving a drive-by soliloquy while circling the block. You'd only hear every other sentence or two.
But with today's technology, microphones are so small they can be strapped just about anywhere on an actor. This allows the actor to move about the set freely and speak at a normal volume without worrying that their words won't be picked up. So then why can't we hear them? Turns out it's super complicated…and also not.
"A lot of people will ask, 'Why don't you just turn the dialogue up?' Like, 'Just turn it up.' And...if only it were that simple," Kendrick said before explaining, "If you have your dialogue that's going to be at the same volume as an explosion that immediately follows it, the explosion is not going to feel as big. You need that contrast in volume in order to give your ear a sense of scale."
Sure, you may be thinking, well that kinda explains it, but why do the music and other cinematic noises sound like they're beating on your eardrum while the dialogue sounds like the actors are whispering every line? That doesn't seem very balanced. There's more to it, and again, it falls back onto technology.
In the video, they explain how our televisions are too thin to hold large speakers facing in the correct direction, and until this video, it didn't dawn on me that the speakers to my television are indeed in the back. No wonder we can't hear. The actors are quite literally talking to our walls.
And there's more. Check out the full explanation in the video:
He was flashy, not materialistic.
A startling number of professional athletes face financial hardships after they retire. The big reason is that even though they make a lot of money, the average sports career is relatively short: 3.3 years in the NFL; 4.6 years in the NBA; and 5.6 years in MLB. During that time, athletes often dole out money to friends and family members who helped them along the way and can fall victim to living lavish, unsustainable lifestyles.
After the athlete retires they are likely to earn a lot less money, and if they don’t adjust their spending, they’re in for some serious trouble.
In a candid interview with NFL Hall of Famer and TV personality Shannon Sharpe, Chad Ochocinco (legally Chad Johnson) revealed that he saved 80 to 83% of the $48 million he made in the NFL by faking his lavish lifestyle because it made no sense to him.
The former Cincinnati Bengal, New England Patriot and Miami Dolphin was known for being a diva on the field but was financially conservative when he took off his jersey. He wore fake jewelry from Claire's and prefers to fly coach instead of private.
\u201c.@ochocinco saved 83% of his salary by flying Spirit & wearing fake jewelry\u201d— shannon sharpe (@shannon sharpe) 1675126258
"I ain't flying private. Put me on Spirit," Ochocinco told Sharpe. "Exit row, window seat, that's all I need. As long as I get from point A to point B. I don't need private."
Ochocinco didn't need to project an image because his reputation spoke for itself. "If you can get to a point in your career where your name becomes bigger than anything you can purchase, there's your value,” he said. “My name itself, Ochocinco, at one point, was bigger. We talk about watches and jewelry and chains—never bought real anything while I was playing. What was the point? I went to Claire's.”
The former NFL wide receiver doesn't need a fancy watch when it’s free to ask someone the time.
"Why am I buying a $50,000 watch? An $80,000 watch? What time is it real quick?" Ochocinco asked Sharpe. "How much that cost me? Time is free," Ochocinco said.
He admitted that spending all your time and money trying to impress people is a losing game that doesn’t get anyone anywhere. "People aren't going to listen because we are caught up in looking a certain way, living a certain way, trying to appease others who don't really care nothing about you, just to say 'Oh, I got it.'"
He admitted that he gives his kids whatever they need and lets them splurge some but wants them to understand the importance of living within their means.
“I allow the kids to enjoy, but I need them to understand there’s gonna come a time you’re gonna have to get off that payroll, but for right now, I will always be there for them,” he told Sharpe. “No matter what they want. Long as you don’t try to live a lifestyle that you know you can’t afford.”
Even though Ochocinco was a multimillion-dollar athlete and one of the biggest names in sports, his message pertains to just about everyone. People should spend their time, energy and money creating a reputation for themselves rather than wasting their resources trying to impress people.
Fancy cars, jewelry and friends who like you for your money won’t be around for long. But your name lasts forever.
You can only access the cave from the basement of the home and it’s open for business.
Have you ever seen something in a movie or online and thought, "That's totally fake," only to find out it's absolutely a real thing? That's sort of how this house in Pennsylvania comes across. It just seems too fantastical to be real, and yet somehow it actually exists.
The home sits between Greencastle and Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, and houses a pretty unique public secret. There's a cave in the basement. Not a man cave or a basement that makes you feel like you're in a cave, but an actual cave that you can't get to unless you go through the house.
Turns out the cave was discovered in the 1830s on the land of John Coffey, according to Uncovering PA, but the story of how it was found is unclear. People would climb down into the cave to explore occasionally until the land was leased about 100 years later and a small structure was built over the cave opening.
The idea was to make it accessible to visitors and use the cave as a tourist attraction, and the small structure was eventually built into a two-story house. But it was closed to the public in 1954 after the land was purchased for limestone mining and it remained closed for nearly 70 years. (In the words of Stephanie Tanner, "How rude.") Sometime during that 70-year closure, the home that contains the cave was purchased by Dara Black, and in 2021, it reopened to the public.
Currently, the home is occupied by Black, but to gain access to the cave you can simply book a tour. The best part about booking a tour is that you only have to make a donation to enter. It's a pay-what-you-can sort of setup, but since someone actually lives in the home, you can't just pop in and ask for a tour. You have to go during the "open house" times available.
According to the Black-Coffey Caverns Facebook page, they treat the tours truly as an open house, complete with snacks and drinks. There's a waiting room area where people can chat and eat their snacks while they wait for the tour to start. They also offer cave yoga once a month. According to Uncovering PA, the tour takes about 45 minutes to complete and there are about 3,000 feet worth of passageways.
Imagine living on top of a cave and just taking strangers on a waltz under your floorboards essentially. It makes me wonder if the house is quiet at night or if you can hear echoes of the cave sounds while you're trying to sleep. From the Facebook page, it appears that the cave doesn't have any lights, but there were pictures with some Christmas lights mounted to the cave walls. Otherwise, you have to use flashlights.
Hopefully, no mischievous children decide to play hide and seek or you just might have to call in a rescue crew. Literally. But what an unbelievable "pics or it didn't happen" kind of story to tell. It's not every day you run into someone that has a door that leads you to an underground cave.
If you want to see what a cave tour looks like starting from the outside of the house, check out the video below:
“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany.”
Having a baby is not an easy feat no matter which way they come out. The pregnant person is either laboring for hours and then pushing for what feels like even more hours, or they're getting cut from hip to hip to bring about their bundle of joy. (Unless you're one of those lucky—or rather not-so-lucky—folks who get to labor for hours only to still end up in surgery.)
Giving birth is hard and healing afterward can feel dang near impossible, especially given that most states in the U.S. only offer six weeks of maternity leave and it's typically unpaid. But did you know that not everyone has that experience?
A mom who had her first child in the U.S. before meeting her current husband and relocating to Germany is shedding light on postpartum care in her new country. The stark contrast is beyond shocking to women living in the U.S. and she's got a few considering crossing the ocean for a better quality of life.
Aly, whose TikTok username is @usa.mom.in.germany, took to the platform to explain the resources provided to postpartum moms provided completely free. "Daily in-home visits with a nurse-midwife to check on me and the baby, up to three years parental leave while my job is protected, mental health therapy appointments every other week," Aly recounted.
Wow. Just those few things are beyond impressive, especially given that they're free, but she wasn't done. The list seemed neverending and people who live in the U.S. had some feelings about it.
“Every video you make gets me closer to actually moving to Germany,” one woman said.
Another wrote, "Why did this make me sob. It feels like I was robbed of the early years living with my babies in the US."
"Sobbing as I'm currently pregnant with my second, and I need a break to love my kids the way they deserve," one mom shared.
Honestly, I relate. My third child spent the first six months of his life in an airplane hangar because I had to return to work, still swollen from my c-section, and my husband was out of paternity leave. We had to work opposite shifts to make it work and the hour overlap meant my son got to watch F-15s take off wearing noise-canceling earphones much too big for his tiny baby head. Not the ideal situation, but who knew there was another way?
Germany, apparently. They seem to have some things figured out over there. See for yourself below:
Postpartum Resources as a U.S. American 🇺🇸 in Germany 🇩🇪 In the wake of the news of Lindsay Clancy, it becomes overwhelmingly obvious how many of these resources are unavailable in the USA. We need so much more for postpartum mothers. #livingingermany #germanyvsusa #postpartum #lindsayclansy
Is she right?
Tipping culture is rapidly changing in America, so understandably a lot of people aren’t sure what to do when they buy a coffee and the debit card reader asks for a tip. It used to be that people only tipped bartenders, drivers, servers and hairdressers.
Now people are being asked to tip just about any time they encounter a point-of-sale system. There is a big difference between tipping a server who lugged around hot plates of food for an hour-long meal and someone who simply handed you an ice cream cone.
"We're living in an era of inflation, but on top of that, we've got tipping everywhere—tipflation. I take it a step further and call it a tipping invasion. Because that's really what I think it is," etiquette expert Thomas Farley (aka Mister Manners) told CBS 8.
A lot of people are tipping just because they are uncomfortable saying no to the person hovering over them at the counter.
“What is happening is what I like to call the ‘guilt tip.' So we know about a guilt trip. This is the guilt tip. Where because you know you've got to flip that screen around ultimately at the person waiting and who's going to see how much you tipped," Farley added. "Not to mention the three people standing in line behind you are going to see what you tipped."
Things have really come to a head now that Starbucks has gone from a place with a tip jar to adding a gratuity option to its point-of-sale system.
Fitness influencer Meghan Elinor, a former server, went viral on TikTok for posting a video where she emphatically said we shouldn’t be tipping for a cup of coffee. The video has racked up over 1.3 million views and fanned the flames of the debate about tipping culture.
WARNING: Video contains strong language.
“No ma’am, we are not tipping at the Starbucks drive-thru,” Elinor says in the video. “That s*** is hard—being a server, being a busser, being a runner—like, that s*** is real difficult, so yes, I will 100% tip you 20, 30, 40 percent every single day of the week,” she claims. “But Starbucks workers, listen, I love y’all, I do, but I’m not going to f***ing tip you when all you’re doing is taking a cup and handing it to somebody outside the window.”
Elinor’s aggressive tipping refusal struck some people on TikTok as being anti-worker.
"U do u but imma keep tipping them bc i know they deal with some of the WORST customers and they deserve their tips," Caprist wrote.
"You tip a bartender to make a drink what’s the difference with coffee?" Jessica Downie added.
"It’s so cute that you think all we do is pick up a cup and hand it to you," Laura wrote.
Many current and former Starbucks workers added that the tip isn’t just for the person who hands you the coffee. "You don’t have to tip but to inform you the tip goes out to everyone that worked that day not solely the person at the window," Lyssa wrote.
The tip request is also a double-edged sword because some people tip because they believe the staff is underpaid. But the tip jar also lets management off the hook for lower wages. "I used to work at Starbucks, all the tips are added up then divided among all the workers, they use the tips so they can pay the workers less," user3391398860792 wrote.
The tipping debate is difficult, especially for well-meaning people who want those with service jobs to be well taken care of but also don’t want to be overcharged for a cup of coffee.
In the end, people should make economic decisions without feeling coerced, so the decision to tip or not should be a simple one. In situations where tips aren’t essential to the workers, such as getting a cup of coffee, give them one if you feel it’s deserved but never because you feel guilty.
She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.
While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.
So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?
For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.
The year was 1988. Seventy-two thousand people gathered—along with 600 million more watching along on their televisions—to see headliner Stevie Wonder as part of Nelson Mandela’s 70th birthday tribute concert.
However, technical difficulties (or perhaps some divine timing) rendered Wonder unable to perform his act. Chapman had already played a three-song set earlier in the afternoon, and yet she agreed to step up to the microphone.
Armed with nothing but herself and a guitar, the shy and stoic Chapman captivated everyone to silence. And the rest is history.
Using just a simple story, “Fast Car” conveyed a million different themes—the challenges of class and poverty, seeking escape from a small town and yearning for freedom and new opportunity. It’s easy to see why some find the song heartbreaking, while others find it hopeful.
After the Mandela gig, the song became a worldwide hit, earning Chapman Grammy awards and shooting her to stardom. What’s more, she introduced a new wave of socially-conscious music filled with gentle, yet brutally truthful introspection. Since that fateful day, her name is forever synonymous with a quiet revolution. We are quite lucky to get to experience it so many years later.