Live and let live


February 2014

New labeling would make healthy food easier to find


Choosing healthier foods at the grocery store may soon be a little easier.

The Food and Drug Administration is proposing several changes to the nutrition labels you see on packaged foods and beverages. If approved, the new labels would place a bigger emphasis on total calories, added sugars and certain nutrients, such as Vitamin D and potassium.

The FDA is also proposing changes to serving size requirements in an effort to more accurately reflect what people usually eat or drink. For example, if you buy a 20-ounce soda, you’re probably not going to stop drinking at the 8-ounce mark. The new rules would require that entire soda bottle to be one serving size — making calorie counting simpler.

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The NSA Is Spying on Your Webcam Sex


Unless you want a public sex tape, you should probably stop using any kind of digital machine to record your intimate acts. The latest leak from Edward Snowden shows how the NSA and the British equivalent Government Communications Headquarters collaborated to intercept webcam images from innocent Internet users.

The Guardianreveals the surveillance program, the ominously named Optic Nerve. Optic Nerve collected webcam stills from over 1.8 million Yahoo users “in bulk,” but it only grabbed an image every five minutes. The images were filtered using facial recognition technology to find specific targets.

But Optic Nerve couldn’t control what kind of material it was collecting—the documents show that there was plenty of naughty material from the haul. “It would appear that a surprising number of people use webcam conversations to show intimate parts of their body to the other person,” the document reads. The Yahoo webcam system “appears sometimes to…

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Google Doodle? More Like Google Dude-le


SPARK, a “girl-fueled activist movement to demand an end to the sexualization of women and girls in media,” has crunched the numbers on the different types of Google Doodles that the company has published each year since 2010, and the results are kind of depressing. The cute little drawings take over the Google logo on to celebrate everything from holidays to event anniversaries to the birthdays of important historical figures. But two groups they’re not really celebrating all that often? Women and people of color.

The report, which looked at global doodles–those that appeared worldwide–and total doodles, a figure that combined global doodles and those that only ran in a handful of countries–found that 80% of doodles were of men and 20% were of women. Meanwhile, only 22% of doodles depicted people of color.

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According to SPARK:

We need to talk about why the…

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Hero Eats Nothing But Pizza For 25 Years


There is a man out there who eats nothing but pizza. Truly nothing — nothing! — other than hot, cheesy, bready, saucey pizza.

Seriously, he’s real. His name is Dan Janssen, he’s 38, and for the past 25 years he has survived on pizza alone. He is a fully functional human, employed as a woodworker in Maryland, though he does have diabetes and occasionally blacks out when his blood sugar dips too low.

He sat down with his friend at VICEto discuss this extreme lifestyle choice in detail. He began with the basics:

I’ve been eating pizza exclusively every day of my life for the past 25 years, and I’m not just talking about a slice of pizza every day. I usually eat an entire 14″ pizza, and I only eat cheese pizza. I never get sick of it. If I go to one pizza shop or another brand…

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Twenty Fourteen, Unplugged

The Blog

The Twenty Fourteen theme is barely three months old, but it’s already one of the most popular themes on — understandable, since its flexible, magazine-style layout gives you tons of leeway for presenting and highlighting different content.

What if you like what’s under Twenty Fourteen’s hood but want a sleeker look for your blog? No problem! As these three blogs prove, Twenty Fourteen is just as easy to pare down as it is to punch up.

Twenty Fourteen’sdefault layout takes full advantage of its adept way with featured images and content, and shows off multiple custom menu and widget areas:


But it can just as easily take on a clean, single-column look, as Callum Hackett chose:


Callum showcases his longer-form writing with a stark layout that makes his words the focus. He’s replaced the solid-color sidebar with his own image; the subtle colors give the blog visual…

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Groundwood Books and a Twitter Chat

Design of the Picture Book

Groundwood Books

Do you have plans on Thursday? I hope you can join me on Twitter for a chat about books with Groundwood Books. I am thrilled to be a guest in this discussion hosted @GroundwoodBooks:  “A Picture’s Worth…Art & Design in Children’s Books.”

Cool, right?

Joining me is Cybele Young, who I wrote about long, long ago, here. And here, too! What a thrill!

So. Come join us, won’t you?

Thursday, February 27th, at 3:30 pm EST. Use the hashtag #GWChat and be sure to follow me (@carterhiggins),@cybeleyoung, and @GroundwoodBooks.

See you there!


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Street Art in the Abandoned Village of Doel

This Is How Many Calories Are in Popular Starbucks Beverages

A good reminder


Coffee lover and blogger Ryoko of I Love Coffee created the below infographic, which shows the different calorie counts for popular Starbucks beverages. It also compares those calorie counts with popular junk foods, like McDonald’s fries and Skittles.

Think we’ll stick to plain black coffee from now on.


Infographic republished with permission of I Love Coffee

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This Machine Will Translate Your Dog’s Thoughts Into Words

I’d love to have this!


Overly inspired by Pixar’s Up, Swedish researchers are attempting to create a machine that will scan your dog’s brain in order to translate his thoughts into words.

“No More Woof is the result of combining the latest technologies in three different tech-areas – EEG (electroencephalography) sensoring, micro computing and special [brain-computer interface] software,” says the product’s website. While the product isn’t on the market yet, you can put in your pre-order on Indiegogo.

And what will your dog be able to say to you? No More Woof says key phrases might include: “I’m hungry — but I don’t like this!” and “Who is that woman, she looks nice!” Of course, if everything goes according to plan No More Woof wants to produce an uncensored edition that will allow an owner to “hear your dog spelling out its horny thought. Perfect opener in the part! ‘Hey Bitch, wanna play?'”


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