Mumford & Sons, John Legend to perform for Barack Obama and British prime minister!/CharlesDharapak/status/179984046028365825

From the Kansas City Star:

There’s something special for the Obamas and something special for the Camerons in the entertainment lineup for Wednesday’s state dinner for the British prime minister and his wife.

The Obamas are big admirers of John Legend, who was scheduled to sing. And David and Samantha Cameron are huge fans of Mumford & Sons, a British folk rock band due to perform.

Read more:

Here’s What It’s Like When Everyone Thinks Your Girlfriend Is Your Carer

Shane Burcaw and Anna Reinalda are the most awesome couple you’ve ever seen.

1. Here’s Shane Burcaw and his girlfriend, Anna Reinalda.

Shane Burcaw / Anna Reinalda

2. Burcaw suffers from spinal muscular atrophy. BuzzFeed News asked him about his condition. He said:

I have an enormous penis. Am I allowed to say that? Off to a great start! But seriously, I was born with a disease called spinal muscular atrophy that causes my muscles to waste away as I get older. I’ve been in a wheelchair since I was about 3 years old and my body is incredibly weak, so I rely on people to help me with pretty much every aspect of staying alive.

Oh yes, the other really important thing about Burcaw is this: He’s a very funny guy. His blog, Laughing at My Nightmare, has over half a million followers. It’s by turns moving and hilarious: He’s writing about a condition that will eventually kill him. But take a while to read it: His humour in the face of his daily struggles is inspirational.

4. Anyway, a couple of days ago Burcaw wrote an article for the The Morning Call about Reinalda, his girlfriend of two months, and how strangers assume she’s his nurse.

He wrote:

Once, a person blankly asked if she was “the one who takes care of him.” We’ve gotten used to this bizarre, recurring question, and often find ways to poke fun at their ignorance.

“He’s my dad,” Anna will answer with deadpan perfection.

“I just pay her to be my friend,” I will say.

In the thoroughly heartwarming piece, Burcaw said he didn’t think he was worthy of romantic affection for much of his young life. “I worried that my physical limitations would prevent girls from wanting to date me,” he wrote. “I will not be able to pick her up in my car, I can’t give hugs or hold hands very well, and we will be limited in the activities we can do for dates.”

But at college, he “met some spectacular people who helped me shake the notion that love was only for the physically abled”.

He added: “Once I realised that there are girls out there who are more than happy to ‘make it work’, the fear of being unloved for all eternity drifted away like a funny joke of the past.”

And he wrote about how he and Anna had bonded over laughter:

One of our main sources of bonding became teaching her how to keep me alive, like how to brush my teeth without choking me, or how to put my shoes on without snapping my ankles … She deserves an award for putting up with my relentless teasing.

5. So we decided to ask them more about their relationship.

Shane Burcaw / Anna Reinalda

6. We started by asking about their first date. Reinalda said:

Our first date wasn’t strictly speaking a date, but it was our first meal together one on one. We were both ridiculously nervous to even be in the same room together, but the wheelchair had nothing to do with that. My first time driving his van was slightly nerve-wracking, but only because the vehicle was older than I am and probably not the safest thing to have on the road. At the restaurant, we sat next to each other, laughed at our stupid shyness and just enjoyed exploring each other’s minds.

I think that by far the strangest thing to me was having a stranger approach the table to congratulate Shane on the success of his book and his column in the Morning Call [a Pennsylvania newspaper]. The whole fame thing isn’t something I’m used to. But cutting his food, giving him sips of his ‘dicksweat’, also known as beer, and remembering to drive slowly enough to avoid setting Shane’s head off-balance were things that came without a second thought.

7. And when did they realise a relationship could work? She said:

It was never really a question for me as to whether we could make a relationship work. From pretty early on in our friendship, Shane was practically throwing himself at me. I’m kidding, but we did both express that we had hopes of some day having a romantic relationship, though we agreed that it was best to get to know each other first.

8. And Burcaw told us:

I realised very early on that Anna was smarter and funnier than me, and I knew right then that I wanted a relationship with her if that’s what she wanted.

9. We asked them more about negative experiences they’ve had. Reinalda said:

People are overall very nice about the whole wheelchair thing; they hold doors for us and tend to be respectful of our space, which is lovely. But there are definitely occasions where I’ve felt the taboo of disability creeping up on us. For example if we’re out to dinner, until Shane opens his mouth, waiters tend to look at me to tell them his order. It isn’t a huge deal for either of us, I don’t think. We usually ignore little things like that because it most often comes from a genuine lack of understanding, which is entirely valid.

10. And Burcaw said:

In my 22 years of being in a wheelchair I’ve learned to roll my eyes and laugh at this sort of behaviour. But it is rather annoying. Anna and I make light of these situations by screwing with them.

Shane Burcaw / Anna Reinalda

12. So what do the pair have in common? Burcaw said:

Anna and I really connected over writing. We both majored in English and found that we can talk for hours about books we’ve read, or pieces that we’re currently working on. We may or may not even be working on a book together.

13. And Reinalda told us:

We’re both warm-weather people, and neither of us, Shane in particular, enjoys being cold very much. So most of our outings up until now have been indoor and food related. But we look forward to all kinds of outdoor adventures when the snow melts. We’re actually planning a southern mini-vacation in a few weeks to get a headstart on spring temperatures!

14. Then we asked them about the one thing they really like about the other person:

Reinalda told us: “He takes wonderful care of our betta fish, Crème de Menthe.”

And Burcaw said: “She has the world’s most adorable yawn, which reminds me of Little Foot from The Land Before Time. She’s constantly making me laugh. It’s so tough to pick my favourite thing about her, because there are so many things about Anna that make me feel unbelievably lucky to even know her, let alone be in a loving relationship together.”

15. And these guys are pretty upbeat about the future, you know.

Burcaw told us: “It’s probably a little early to be saying this, but I’m going to have her babies.”

Pretty awesome, huh? And if you enjoyed that, Burcaw would like you to go to his shop and buy an autographed copy of his memoir: “The proceeds will go to my nonprofit organization, which helps people with muscular dystrophy!”


Burcaw’s article first appeared in The Morning Call. An earlier version of this post said it first appeared in the Huffington Post — which subsequently ran it. BF_STATIC.timequeue.push(function () { document.getElementById(“update_article_correction_time_4949400”).innerHTML = UI.dateFormat.get_formatted_date(‘2015-02-11 12:10:34 -0500’, ‘update’); });

Read more:

Having Something Like This At Your Wedding Would Truly Make It A Magical Day.

Disney always releases interesting products for the sake of entertainment (and money, of course). So it’s no wonder they’re looking to cash in on girls who grew up singing along to every Ariel, Jasmine, and Belle song in the Disney catalog. And there’s no better way to do this than by finding a way into a $51 BILLION wedding industry in America.

Disney recently unveiled a cake mapping technology with the ability to make your cake the envy of every person in the room.

It will also make every eligible bachelor quiver with fear.

We hope you both live happily ever after.

Disney patented this technology in 2012, making the dreams of every girl possible.

(via Buzzfeed)

I don’t know if I would want to have a Disney wedding. I’m also aware that I wouldn’t have the final say as a groom. I suppose I could appreciate a Lion King cake if I had to.

Read more:

Jason Biggs tweets about ‘ambien sex fest,’ ‘ejaculant soaked tanktop’!/JasonBiggs/status/248966616728084480

Despite public outcry over Jason Biggs’ disgusting, sexually degrading tweets about Paul Ryan, Janna Ryan and Ann Romney, he wasn’t given the boot from his “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” voice-over gig. Nickelodeon simply “insisted Jason use better judgment and discretion in public communications while affiliated with our brand.”

Easy enough, right? All he had to do was delete a few tweets and keep his Twitter stream free of “graphic or vulgar language.” But Pig Biggs couldn’t hack it.

In addition to joking about joining in an “ambien sex fest,” he tweeted about cheating on his wife (for the lulz) and retweeted a dig at Paris Hilton and her “ejaculant soaked tanktop.”

@EliBraden: @JasonBiggs @jennyandteets You should totally cheat on her just for laughs! LOL” Great idea! Done! LOL

— Jason Biggs (@JasonBiggs) September 21, 2012

And on Sunday he tweeted about being “horny.” Hardly shocking, but not exactly kid-friendly fare.

Is this the “better judgment and discretion” Nickelodeon was hoping for? Or does Biggs just think public pressure has subsided enough that he can get away with working blue on his Twitter feed?

Biggs is ostensibly an adult. And — gasp! — adults have been known to make a snicker-worthy dirty joke or two. That’s not the issue here.

As an adult, Biggs opted to work for a children’s entertainment channel rather than flip burgers at Wendy’s. No one forced the Nickelodeon gig on him — his pathetic, flagging career put him in that position. And just a week prior to the Sept. 29 premiere of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” he refuses to keep his Twitter stream clean enough for the “Dora the Explorer” crowd.

Your move, Nickelodeon.


Parents put pressure on Nickelodeon’s advertisers

Read more:

Trolls slime Bristol Palin for ‘Redneck Woman’ dance!/babygirlhotti09/status/252941025214099456

As we have come to expect on Monday nights, Twitter is buzzing with vile slurs against Bristol Palin after her appearance on Dancing With the Stars. This week, however, Twitterers are extra-agitated after “Bristol the Pistol” performed her quickstep to Gretchen Wilson’s country hit “Redneck Woman” and ended the dance by breaking a beer bottle over her partner’s head. Predictably, this sent the online Left into a tizzy.

"This redneck woman is ready to quickstep" says Bristol Palin after going to the gun range. #dwts

— twirlit (@twirlit) October 2, 2012

How dare someone use the word “redneck” on national television?

Bristol Palin attempting to dance to "Redneck Woman" because "it's so me." Since she went there, rename it "Redneck Whore." <snicker>

— ♥♥♥ (@CW_VT_BB_) October 2, 2012

#dwts Bristol Palin with your #redneck ass! What a dumbass for not realizing she just offended half of america!! #DB

— Perfectlyflawd1 (@PerfectlyFlawd1) October 2, 2012

Bristol Palin still don't know how to dance , fuck that skank ! #DWTS

— Julianna (@ovoxo_julianna) October 2, 2012

IKR? God bless America's trash“@antrivers: How patriotic RT @NikkiFabulous: Bristol Palin is proud of being a redneck. Isn't that lovely?”

— Suzanne Sugarbaker (@NikkiFabulous) October 2, 2012

Bristol Whore Palin needs to take her behind on home #dwts #nothereforthat

— JM SocialQueen (@JMSocialQueen) October 2, 2012

Some even took it to another level by repeating debunked internet memes, but why let facts get in the way of insults?

#DWTS As Bristol Palin calls herself a "Redneck woman" DWTS should think hard before they show her son on tv who calls people faggot .

— Thankful daughter (@craigsdaughter) October 2, 2012

Luckily, there were plenty of other “rednecks” on Twitter tweeting support.

From one Redneck to another, Bristol did great!!! @SarahPalinUSA @BristolsBlog @MarkBallas @DancingABC #DWTS

— Randy Hattesohl (@RandyHattesohl) October 2, 2012

@SarahPalinUSA @BristolsBlog @MarkBallas @DancingABC Voted 24 times for Bristol and Mark! Go REDNECK girl! You did great!!

— Erica Windham (@ericainauburn) October 2, 2012

@MarkBallas .. it was great! CANNOT believe KA got higher score! Whatever! Let Bristol know she is a beautiful .. lil redneck girl!

— Kim Floyd (@kimfloyd2012) October 2, 2012

Read more:

In Season 5, ‘Mad Men’ reveals a new side of Don Draper: Mini-skirts and pot?!/BostonMArss/status/183142818007617536

Mark Perigard in the Boston Herald:

Don’t think for a second Don’s gone soft.

He still uses his power in the office to get what he wants — oh, there I go, treading perilously close to revealing a spoiler. Creator/executive producer/writer Matthew Weiner and AMC are so paranoid about leaks that they have forbidden reviewers to divulge even the year.

Here’s a hint: It’s still the ’60s (agreed, duh) — and miniskirts are in, in a big way. The title of the two-hour, fifth-season premiere, “A Little Kiss,” deserves credit for its understatement, if nothing else. It features perhaps the most risque cleaning scene ever filmed for TV.

Go over there to check out the video review of Season 5.


Read more:

Gov. Rick Perry disgusted by president’s use of child props!/WkdWych/status/291694105841516544

The heads of the NRA aren’t the only ones not backing away from the Obama administration’s grab at the guns of law-abiding citizens. Texas Gov. Rick Perry issued a statement today following the president’s heavy-with-children news conference, saying that the exploitation of the Sandy Hook massacre to advance an agenda disgusted him.

In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally. The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president.

@governorperry – SO proud to read your response to the president’s gun legislation today. You’re right, & I am grateful you said it!

— Billy Burleson(@billy_burleson) January 17, 2013

I’m an Okie, born in TX. Gov. Perry’s words make me PROUD! Governor Rick Perry Statement on Obama’s Executive Actions:…

— GretchenInOK (@GretchenInOK) January 17, 2013

Score another point for Texas: Statement by Gov. Perry on President Obama’s Executive Actions… h/t @rightwordwriter

— Brad Thor (@BradThor) January 16, 2013

Thanks to Gov. Rick Perry and AG Greg Abbott, Texans will be keeping their guns regardless of what politicians decide. #TexasProud

— Vanessa (@Texas_Girl84) January 17, 2013


— Geevers1 (@Geevers1) January 17, 2013

“What the Obama administration can’t accomplish by legislation, it does by regulation.” #RickPerry #sotrue

— matti warren (@mattiwarr) January 17, 2013

So. Much. This. —> Statement by Gov. Perry on President Obama’s Executive Actions:…

— PJ Swan (@pjswan) January 16, 2013

Damn shame Perry couldn’t have run a Presidential campaign via press release.

— Michelle Ray (@GaltsGirl) January 16, 2013

In which Rick Perry explains the Constitution to Obama. #KJRS

— Kevin Jackson (@Theblacksphere) January 16, 2013

Not everyone was impressed by the governor’s take on gun violence and its causes.

#walkingtalkinghumanturd #RickPerry is the poster child for why TX gets a bad rep. #RickPerryIsTheRealDemon #FightTheRealDemon

— Marcus Rubio (@MRubz) January 17, 2013

#RickPerry is no better than your average bowel moment. His shameless goal is to turn #Texas into the Wild West. #NRA #specialinterest #scum

— Caught Sober (@caughtsober) January 17, 2013

Through the magic of the Internet, Perry’s admonition that Americans pray for the children soon became … something else.

There is evil prowling in the world – it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds. As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be. Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice. Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children.

Let’s run that through the liberal translator and see what comes out, shall we? All of those people who prayed for the children of Sandy Hook and their families must be feeling pretty stupid right now, huh?

Rick Perry’s solution to gun violence: ‘Pray for our children’

— ThinkProgress (@thinkprogress) January 16, 2013

Gov. Rick Perry: We don’t need laws to prevent violence. We just need prayer.

— David Roberts (@drgrist) January 16, 2013

Rick Perry is an idiot. RT @deadhostess: Rick Perry.. Claims Prayer Is The Answer #religiousNonsense #atheism

— Doktor Zach (@ZachsMind) January 17, 2013

Hey everybody, our prayers to the end of gun violence has been answered. It’s more prayer. Thanks Gov. Perry #Idiot

— Gabriel I Luera (@astexItzcoatl) January 17, 2013

Religious psycho & known Teabagger Perry decries Obama executive orders aimed at curbing gun violence, calls for prayer

— TeapartyCrasher(@VegasJessie) January 16, 2013

Yeah, remember that Bible-thumping wingnut who went to the interfaith prayer vigil in Newtown and said he’d come to “offer the prayers of a nation“? What was that guy’s name again?

Read more:

Vitamix Blenders Spin Off Shards Of Teflon — But It’s Probably OK

Some Vitamix blenders produce tiny black particles of polytetrafluoroethylene, the non-stick chemical more commonly known as Teflon. Customers are upset, though health experts say there’s nothing to worry about.

AP Photo / Tony Dejak / Via

Owners of Vitamix blenders — the expensive pulverizing machines adored by foodies and celebrities, and used by Starbucks, McDonald’s, and Jamba Juice — have taken to the internet over the past year to complain of a mysterious substance coming from the machines’ signature angled blades: tiny black particles.

“O-ring tiny abrasions leak into my smoothie!” noted one Amazon review. “Not sure what it is but I’m guessing this isn’t the spontaneous generation of vitamins,” quipped another on YouTube. “I find it quite irresponsible that they keep selling these defective blades and making their customers (women and children and babies) eat black plastic,” said a post on Slickdeals.

The shards are made mostly of polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), the non-stick chemical more commonly known as Teflon, the company told BuzzFeed News.

The PTFE flecks apparently come from a seal at the bottom of the containers used in all blender models, Scott Tennant, director of communications at Vitamix, told BuzzFeed News. PTFE “has been used in pots and pans and other cookware for more than 50 years.”

The flecks also contain about 2% graphite, which gives them their black color, Tennant said.

Vitamix conducted an internal analysis late last summer, then contracted an independent standards company to conduct similar tests. Vitamix has not published any of these scientific results.

Vitamix sold 1.4 million blenders last year, typically retailing between $400 and $700.

Though news of the mysterious “black dust” has set many customers into panic mode, ingesting PTFE is not harmful, according to independent health experts.

The reason PTFE works so well as a non-stick coating is because it’s chemically inert: Nothing reacts with it. So if the particles are indeed PTFE, as the company claims, then there’s nothing to fret about, experts say.

“It’s unsightly, and not many people want to have the visual of having black flakes in your food,” Edward Boyer, director of toxicology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, told BuzzFeed News. “But it’s probably better for you than eating a cheeseburger every meal.”

Since last spring, angry customers have been posting evidence of the tiny particles, which become visible if you run the machine with water inside. / Via

“BEHOLD… Very Expensive Black Dust,” wrote one customer above this photo.

geekhack / Via

Vitamix is working on a new, shard-free model.

“We are working toward possible modifications to the seal that we hope to have in place later this year,” Tennant said.

The company will not be recalling the old models because the flecks don’t pose any safety risks, he added. “We do care very, very deeply about customer preferences,” he said. “This was not a safety issue.”

It is true that pure PTFE is usually safe. The exception is when PTFE gets very hot — above 500 degrees Fahrenheit — and turns into vapor. People who breathe in these fumes, such as workers who mill PTFE, can get chills, fever, and respiratory distress.

Vitamix machines produce a lot of heat: The blades spin so forcefully that, after running for several minutes, it can heat the contents of the container, making hot soup. But that’s not enough to vaporize PTFE.

“The good news here is it’s very, very difficult for household equipment to heat up to the point that it can vaporize PTFE,” Boyer, the University of Massachusetts toxicologist, said. “Unless you’ve got a burning Vitamix mixer, you’re not going to have a problem with it.”

Vitamix has offered some customers replacement machines, but many complain that the replacements produce the same particles.

Facebook: VitamixCorporation / Via Facebook: VitamixCorporation

Some customers are frustrated by the company’s lack of transparency about its investigation.

Linda Newnham, a Vitamix customer from Hobart, Tasmania, first learned of the black flecks last October, when someone posted about it in her Vitamix Facebook group. She reached out to Vitamix Australia and Vitamix U.S. several times, by phone and Facebook message, and company representatives told her they were aware of the problem but didn’t have any answers.

“I also posted comments on Vitamix US Facebook page asking for information about the black specks which were just ignored!!,” Newnham told BuzzFeed News by email. “I was quite surprised that a company with such a good reputation had such a bad customer service!!!”

A few months ago, Steven Palmer, an attorney from Cleveland, Ohio, was searching online for a new container for his Vitamix 5200. He came across several of the YouTube videos showing the black dust, then discovered that his own machine made it too.

Palmer sent the company a message through its website: “I am worried that I may be ingesting something harmful. Can you let me know what this is, and how it can be fixed?” A few days later, a customer service representative acknowledged the problem and explained that the flecks were PTFE. Palmer wrote back again, asking more about safety concerns. But the company did not respond.

“We got the machine to make baby food,” Palmer told BuzzFeed News. “They haven’t given a satisfactory answer from my perspective.”

Despite his frustration, Palmer hasn’t ditched the machine. He’s using the powerful Vitamix base with a different container, made by Waring Products, one of Vitamix’s main competitors. (The first Waring container he tried made the same black flecks, but the second one, so far, is clear.)

Read more: