• How To Have Yourself A Guilt-Free, Green Christmas

    The festive season is always the perfect excuse for excess. Between all the mince pies, Christmas drinks, gifts and tinsel, it’s not only the most wonderful time of the year but the most wasteful, too. UK households generate 30% more waste over the Christmas period, and last year Brits binned the equivalent of 108 million rolls of wrapping paper and 54 million plates of food. According to a survey by sustainable packaging initiative Beyond the Box, 60% admit they don’t know what can and can’t be recycled at Christmas time.

    As this is a busy and stressful period for many, hopping from one party to the next and running around for last minute gifts, it’s understandable that you might not have time to research the most sustainable options available. Fifty-three percent of Brits admit that it’s sometimes easier to throw things in the bin rather than work out whether they can be recycled. Luckily, we’ve done the work for you. If you’re dreaming of a white green Christmas, read on for our top five eco-friendly festive tips.

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    It’s the annual Christmas debate: should you buy a real tree or a fake one? While it’s true that using the same artificial tree every year doesn’t produce more waste, many are made of PVC, which isn’t widely recycled and will likely end up in landfill. Most fake trees are also produced in countries like China and Taiwan, where environmental regulations aren’t as strict, and shipping across the world contributes to a huge carbon footprint. If real trees aren’t your cup of tea, opt for less traditional ones made of sustainable materials like wood.Choosing a real tree will limit plastic waste and since they’re grown in special tree farms, cutting them down doesn’t contribute to deforestation. Many local councils will collect your tree after Christmas and drop it off at a recycling centre where it can be chipped for pathways or turned into soil or compost – check to see if yours offers this service.If you want to go the extra mile, you can rent a potted tree through schemes like Forever Green Christmas Trees and Love A Christmas Tree – simply arrange delivery and return the tree without any decorations when Christmas is over. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you could buy a potted tree and avoid having to go through this whole palaver each year.
    Research by price comparison site finder.com estimates that Brits waste £5 billion on unwanted Christmas gifts over the holiday season. Generosity is a wonderful trait but this year, try being a little more mindful with your gift-giving and ask yourself if you really need to buy a present for your second cousin’s new girlfriend.Another way to cut back on unnecessary gifts is to do Secret Santa, not just in the office but among friends and family as well. Adopting a quality-not-quantity approach to presents could significantly reduce waste (and your overdraft). When shopping, opt for conscious consumerism. Stick to cruelty-free beauty and sustainable fashion brands, go for upcycled vintage like Mary Benson x Gemma Cairney berets, or buy products that help cut back on waste, like THINX period pants.
    A lot of festive wrapping paper isn’t recyclable due to the use of plastic, dyes and glitter. If you’re unsure how to dispose of your wrapping, try the ‘scrunch test’: Simply scrunch a piece of the paper in your hand – if it remains scrunched, it is paper-based and can be recycled; if it springs back, it likely contains metallised plastic film and is non-recyclable. Wrapping made from recycled materials is easy to find (your local post office will probably stock recycled brown paper and it’s cheap as chips), and instead of using sticky tape go for twine or paper tape, both of which can be recycled.Better still, try going without wrapping paper altogether or, if you’re giving someone multiple gifts, wrap them in a bundle rather than individually. Another option is to tie presents up in natural materials like cotton, hemp or silk, in keeping with the Japanese tradition of furoshiki – wrapping an item in a reusable piece of fabric. High street fave Lush sells knot wraps for this exact purpose, and they’re so beautiful they have the added benefit of being an extra gift.If you’re trying to save money – and let’s be honest, who isn’t – then get thrifty and upcycle brown paper bags from your last takeaway by tying some ribbon around them and turning them into minimal gift bags. Just make sure there are no grease stains…
    Christmas is a gloriously indulgent time, but while food is one of the best parts of the holiday season, it’s also the cause of a huge amount of waste. According to Unilever, the UK threw out the equivalent of 4.2 million Christmas dinners last year, which amounts to £64 million worth of food.The easiest way to cut back on food waste is to avoid buying more than you need by planning your meals (especially if you’re hosting a dinner or party), and try to buy loose food that doesn’t come in plastic packaging. Shopping at your neighbourhood grocer or market is also a great way to support your local economy and reduce your carbon footprint, so keep an eye out for farmers’ markets near you. If you’re willing to part with tradition and ditch the turkey and pigs in blankets, try opting for more veggie and vegan dishes. Should that be too much of a sacrifice, stick to local, free-range and organic meat wherever possible.
    Fairy lights and baubles scream Christmas, but all those pretty decorations aren’t great for the planet. LED lights with timers are a great way to save energy, as is remembering to turn off fairy lights during the day and while you’re out of the house. Figures show that 189 million batteries are used over the festive period, so use rechargeable batteries where you can, and remember to recycle disposable ones.As for decorations? Instead of festooning your flat with plastic knick-knacks and tinsel, go for decorations made from glass, wood, burlap or organic cotton (if you’re creatively inclined, why not try some DIY?). Nature is the best source for decor inspo, and things like pine cones, holly and cinnamon sticks make for a very atmospheric and fragrant room.Speaking of fragrance, most candles contain paraffin wax made from petroleum, which are no good for the environment – or your health, for that matter. Candles made from soy or beeswax are smoke-free and biodegradable.

    Source: Refinery 29 UK

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  • Victoria’s Secret Model Accused of Fat-Shaming Customers Eating at In-N-Out

    Victoria’s Secret model Kelly Gale really wants us to know she doesn’t eat In-N-Out. 
    Gale has come under fire after posting a series of Instagram stories at the fast food joint, where she munched on a pear (instead of burgers and fries) and even completed her rigorous workout routine. 

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    The Instagram story obtained by E! shows the model inside the restaurant with a friend saying, “We’re at…In-N-Out? So I guess I’m having my pear.” In the next video, Gale asks her friend, “You don’t eat In-N-Out? Me neither.”

    Embedded video

    Victoria’s Secret model Kelly Gale received backlash for exercising outside of an In-N-Out. https://eonli.ne/2RSm5jW 

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    The story continues with Gale showing off her workout equipment right outside the fast food joint with the caption, “Who else works out at an In-N-Out?”

    Driving the point home again, the model posted another photo with the caption, “Not gonna pretend that I eat here guys cause I don’t.”

    At the end of the story, Gale receives a huge delivery of vegetables to reward herself after working out.

    The post sparked backlash across social media with many accusing the model of fat-shaming and mocking In-N-Out customers.

    Who the hell does @KellyGale_ think she is? How dare you #fatshame others? #kellygale @innoutburger is the best and you can eat whatever you want Ms. Gale but please don’t be so pathetic and unkind to others. #Entitlement is not cute #InNOut

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    Yo #KellyGale, THIS is how you shoot fitspo at #innout @KellyGale_, treat yourself to a double double. It’ll help you think straight.

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    So @KellyGale_ is fat shaming customers at a fast food restaurant for no good reason but to make herself feel better or to get her name out there.
    Who is #KellyGale anyway??

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    Cali sunset

    I’ve loved VS models and thought highly of them since I was ten. Man you’re the worst tho. I’m vegan and don’t eat in-and-out and you’re obnoxious there was not need to work out there. Can’t you afford a gym. You should be ashamed.

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    The only thing I got from @KellyGale_ video is that she likes to go to places and eat there without actually ordering their food and thinks body shaming others is cute. What a shame to use your influence this way. #bodyshaming #allbodiesarebeautiful

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    The fact that @KellyGale_ felt it was necessary to go out of her way to shame people eating a burger and fries is pitiful. You don’t eat burgers?? DON’T GO TO THE BEST BURGER JOINT EVER THEN! Your loss #InNOut

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    Others thought Gale was just telling the truth about fast food and promoting healthy eating.

    For everyone freaking out over Kelly Gale, let me point out that only insecure people freak out over things like being told the truth. If she offends you by saying that eating fast food isn’t healthy, you are the problem, not her.

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    People getting salty at Kelly Gale for working out outside of an In-N-Out is comical. She’s drawing attention to healthy living, sorry that you’re realizing that stuffing your face with fast (fake) food doesn’t align with that

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    She’s promoting a healthy lifestyle. There’s no reason for anyone to get upset over this. People need to chill out. #KellyGale #InNOut

    Victoria’s Secret model Kelly Gale received backlash for exercising outside of an In-N-Out. https://eonli.ne/2RSm5jW 

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  • Here’s Why People Kiss Under the Mistletoe at Christmastime

    From Harry Potter’s first kiss to Justin Bieber’s holiday tune, kissing under the mistletoe is everywhere in pop culture. But this Christmas tradition — that if you’re standing under the leafy plant, it’s time for a smooch — existed long before it ever appeared in movies and pop songs.

    While historians are uncertain about why kissing under the mistletoe started, there is a general consensus regarding when and where the custom began, and how it became popular during Christmastime.

    The origins of kissing under the mistletoe, a plant that often bears white berries, are often traced to a tale in Norse mythology about the god Baldur. In the story, Baldur’s mother Frigg casts a powerful magic to make sure that no plant grown on earth could be used as a weapon against her son. The one plant the spell does not reach is the mistletoe, as it does not grow out of the earth, but out of a tree’s branches. The scheming Loki, upon learning this, makes a spear out of mistletoe — the spear that would eventually kill Baldur.

    But the connection between that story and the tradition is unclear, and may not even exist at all.

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    In many tellings, Frigg declares the mistletoe to be a symbol of love after her son’s death and promises to kiss anyone who passed underneath it. If that’s an accurate version of the story, it would be clear how it directly connects to the romantic act of today. Historian Mark Forsyth says this is not actually the way the story ends, however. Forsyth is the author of A Christmas Cornucopia: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Yuletide Traditions, and examined four Norse accounts of the god’s murder and the events that followed. “Baldur’s death involves mistletoe, but it’s got nothing to do with kissing or Christmas,” he tells TIME.

    Although Forsyth does not know why kissing under the mistletoe started, the author says he does know that the tradition began between 1720 and 1784, in England.

    Kissing under the mistletoe wouldn’t have existed as a popular tradition before 1720 because the most extensive research about the plant was published that year, and it did not reference the practice, Forsyth explains. John Colbatch, an English apothecary and physician, wrote two books on the mistletoe in 1719 and 1720. “He had a whole section on superstitions and customs associated with mistletoe,” Forsyth says, “and doesn’t mention anything at all about kissing under mistletoe.”

    Instead, the earliest reference of kissing under the mistletoe that Forsyth found comes from a song published in a 1784. The verses read,

    “What all the men, Jem, John, and Joe,

    Cry, ‘What good-luck has sent ye?’

    And kiss beneath the mistletoe,

    The girl not turn’d of twenty.”

    Other historians have also cited these lines as the first reference of the tradition. But what happened between 1720 and 1784 that made kissing under the mistletoe a holiday phenomenon remains unknown. “I can take a pretty shrewd guess that it involved a particularly lusty and inventive boy, and a particularly gullible girl,” Forsyth writes in his book.

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    Literature and art from the 18th and 19th centuries expanded upon this idea. Charles Dickens in The Pickwick Papers, published in 1837, portrays the holiday frenzy associated with this particular type of kiss. He writes that younger ladies “screamed and struggled, and ran into corners, and threatened and remonstrated, and did everything but leave the room, until some of the less adventurous gentlemen were on the point of desisting, when they all at once found it useless to resist any longer, and submitted to be kissed with a good grace.” In an art print from 1794, servants in a kitchen are poised for a smooch under the mistletoe, with a caption describing “Saucy Joe” who “rudely” kissed “Bridget the Cook.”

    The women in both scenes were depicted as resisting the kisses but having to give in after being caught passing under the mistletoe. Historians have said that they would have believed they had to accept kisses from men or risk bad fortune. Exactly how serious the resistance was is hard to say based on documentary evidence, but Forsyth says there were several stories from the period that depicted women “using the mistletoe excuse to elude possessive husbands and parents” who might have otherwise prevented such kisses.

    “A brief inspection of the ceiling would be all that it took to avoid that, whereas being forced into a loveless marriage in a world without divorce or any semblance of women’s rights would have been rather harder to escape,” he tells TIME. Noting that it is extremely difficult to decode a phenomenon two centuries later, he adds, “I can say with some certainty, though, that accidentally finding yourself under the mistletoe would have been very, very far down the list of worries and disadvantages of a woman alive in the year 1800.”

    Stateside, the popularity of kissing under the mistletoe as a Christmas tradition can be more easily traced, back to Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book, which was published in 1820.

    The American writer had returned from England, and recorded the yuletide traditions he had observed abroad. In the chapter named “Christmas Eve,” a footnote reads, “The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases.”

    Forsyth says that Irving’s text, a bestseller, played a huge role in accelerating the tradition’s popularity. “Christmas was only a very, very minor festival in the early 19th century,” he explains. “Irving made the template for the modern Christmas in a lot of senses.” Because kissing under the mistletoe was mentioned in The Sketch Book, a large American audience was introduced to the practice, and eventually adopted this act — and ushered it over the centuries as it went from a semi-scandalous oddity to a well-known mutual romantic gesture of holiday cheer.

    This article first appeared on TIME

  • In their own words: how solo travel transformed the mental health of these teenagers

    While some see travel as a means of escape, others see it as a way to heal wounds. Working on projects and meeting people overseas certainly proved to be cathartic for these teenagers.

    ‘It was liberating not to be defined by what had happened’

    After Bridie O’Hare, 19, from Cleethorpes, was caught up in the Manchester Arena bombing on May 22 2017, a job with Camp America in June was the beginning of the healing process.

    The Ariana Grande concert had just finished and I was still in my seat, getting my phone out to call my mum and find out where in the car park she was, when the bomb went off. Just before the sound, it was almost like the air went still and everyone froze; then it felt like a sonic boom echoing through the building. I knew instantly what it was, judging by everyone else’s reactions, and my immediate thought was: ‘It’s going to happen again, I need to get out now.’ Luckily, I wasn’t far from an exit, but it was mass panic; people were pushing and shoving, kids and adults were screaming – everyone was in fight or flight mode. 

    I don’t remember much else before getting to the car park; I know some people saw flames, and of course some saw horrific sights they’ll never forget. Although I made it out safely, it was with the overwhelming sense that if I’d been sitting somewhere else, I might never have made it. I didn’t see myself as lucky – more like guilty that I’d survived, when many others didn’t.

    Afterwards, I went from being a normal, happy, outgoing person to being very withdrawn, and wary. I was scared of going out – what if it happened again? Eventually I started seeing a counsellor, and tried to get back to normal. I even took up my place at Leeds University that September, but I just couldn’t deal with it. I found it hard being in an unfamiliar setting, surrounded by people I didn’t know, so I moved back home in January [2018]. There I felt safer, but [the attack] was still in the news; I felt I couldn’t get away from it. I was having nightmares and always thinking about what had happened. 

    Pescadero - Credit: Getty
    Natural landscapes abound in Pescadero Credit: Getty

    I’d always wanted to do Camp America, spending a summer working at a camp with young people. My mum agreed that a change of scene would be a good idea. I hoped that by getting some distance, I would be able to be myself again. 

    In June I headed to the Skylark Ranch, a girl scout camp in Pescadero, California, just north of Santa Cruz. I had no idea what would be expected of me, but my role was to help run activity programmes for the girls, who ranged from around seven to 17.

    My responsibilities varied from overseeing horse-riding to a really fun survival course based on the US TV show Gilligan’s Island. We had to show the kids how to make beds out of sticks and twine, and cook meals on a campfire. I’d never pictured myself doing anything like that, but it was great fun. At the end of that activity, we did a ‘mud hike’, where we all slid down a mudslide into a giant pit of, well, mud! It’s the sort of thing I would never normally do, but it helped me feel like a kid again and forget all my worries. Having some responsibility, and helping make a change in young people’s lives that hopefully they’ll remember forever, was a great feeling. 

    Bridie O'Hare - Credit: Alex Parkin
    Bridie at Camp America Credit: Alex Parkin

    I made really good friends at camp, and after it was over a few of us went on a road trip to New York. I rarely thought about what had happened, and it was liberating not to be defined by it. It did randomly come up in conversation once, but by then I really trusted the people around me so I felt comfortable talking about it. I was sad to come home, but now I really feel I can move on with life and hopefully go back to uni next year.”

    Further information: campamerica.co.uk

    ‘Out there, I could be myself’

    Alex Smith*, 19, from Coventry, found that a trip to Nepal when she was 16 helped put her problems at school into perspective.

    At the top of the steep steps leading to a viewpoint that overlooks a vast valley in the Annapurna Foothills of Nepal, I burst into tears. As part of my volunteering trip with Global Vision International, we were lucky enough to travel around the country – and this trek took us down the valley, then up these steps, the stairs to Ghandruk. As I looked across at the seemingly endless landscape we’d traversed, I felt an incredible sense of achievement, coupled with a feeling of being utterly tiny and insignificant. It gave me a real sense of perspective; suddenly all the problems I’d experienced back home faded into insignificance. 

    The girls at my school who made me feel bad about myself just didn’t matter – out here, I could be who I was, and everyone I’d met so far had responded to me on that level. It was a highly emotional experience, and it has stayed with me ever since. 

    Annapurna Foothills of Nepal - Credit: Getty
    The Annapurna foothills, Ghandruk Credit: Getty

    Things started to get difficult for me at the all-girls school I attended around Year 9. I wouldn’t call it outright bullying, but something harder to put your finger on. I’d describe myself as an individual, not like everyone else, but that can make you a target. Once, I came in wearing a pair of shoes I’d saved up for, but because some of the girls thought they looked unfashionable, they shared pictures of them on Instagram, saying how horrible they were. I was also teased for the fact that I can speak Mandarin – I’ve been learning it for years – and I became more and more shunned and isolated. No one wanted to sit with me at lunchtime, or pick me for gym teams; there was nothing outright nasty, but it was enough to make me miserable and vulnerable. I became withdrawn, and gave up on making friends, throwing myself into my studies. My parents didn’t notice how unhappy I was; they saw my good grades and thought I must be OK.

    By the time I was 15, things were bad enough for my parents to start thinking about me changing schools. I just wanted to get away from everything and began researching how I could. I found GVI, the only organisation that offered a volunteer programme for people my age, and applied. I chose Nepal because it sounded fascinating. I’d only ever been on family holidays to Spain, and, once, to Sri Lanka, but I’d never done anything truly adventurous. So the next summer I flew off to Kathmandu, more excited than nervous. 

    Kathmandu - Credit: Getty
    “So the next summer I flew off to Kathmandu, more excited than nervous” Credit: Getty

    It felt instantly overwhelming: the noise, the chaos, the dirt roads… but also absorbing. The volunteer work involved cleaning and renovating the dormitories of a school in a tiny village in the middle of rice fields. Seeing where these children lived, it felt so different to my own life – but it was amazing. It showed that I could make a difference to others; as a teenager, you don’t feel like you have much power or agency to make things happen, but this proved that, actually, you do. 

    I felt blissfully disconnected from everything during the two weeks I was there; there was very little Wi-Fi, so it felt like a release from the pressure of social media, which I do think can also be damaging to mental health. A lot of the girls at my first school had the attitude ‘If it’s not on Instagram, did it even happen?’ rather than just enjoying a moment for what it was. 

    I loved connecting with people who were different from me. We visited a shelter for women who had been sold into sex slavery and escaped, but had then been rejected by their families. I’d shaved my head for charity and all these women had shaved heads, too – their hair had been removed when they’d been sold. It was a powerful moment of connection, but for very different reasons. 

    When I got back, I started at a new school, which felt like a clean slate. I made new friends there, and had much more confidence to be myself. It felt as if I had matured so much in a very short space of time. 

    These days, I don’t get stressed about small things and I also feel incredibly lucky to have so much when so many people have so little. Next year I plan to go to college, but I would definitely do this again – and I recommend it to anyone.” 


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    * Name has been changed

    ‘Looking out at the view made me feel like I didn’t have a care in the world’

    Jonathan Berry, 19, from Liverpool, struggled with depression in the aftermath of his parents’ divorce, but working with elephants in Chiang Mai helped him feel happier.

    Just after I got back from volunteering in Thailand this summer, I met up with my friend Joanne and she said she’d never seen me look so happy. It’s certainly true that when I was out there I hadn’t felt that good about myself in a very long time. 

    Chiang Mai - Credit: Getty
    Jonathan spent time in Chiang Mai Credit: Getty

    When I was 14, my parents went through a bad divorce. My brother, sister and I were caught in the middle, and as a result I don’t have a relationship with my mum any more. I thought I was dealing with it all OK, but over the next few years I became more and more depressed. I had no idea what I wanted to do after my A-levels and felt really unfulfilled and directionless. I rotated between different jobs and apprenticeships, so I wasn’t left on my own to sit and think. I tried to explain how I felt to Joanne, but didn’t feel I could open up to others. 

    While I was at school, we’d gone on a group trip to Peru when I was 15, helping out on a project there. I’d really enjoyed it, and liked knowing that I was contributing to a good cause. Earlier this year, the school where I’m doing teacher-training offered to extend my contract full-time, so I took the opportunity to find another volunteering project before I started again this September. I chose one via GVI, in Chiang Mai, which offered the chance to work with elephants, an animal I love, on a conservation programme. 

    I’d never been away on my own before, so it was scary, but I soon felt like part of the group. I was there for four weeks, but you can stay just one week, so new people were coming and going all the time. My job was to help collect data on eight elephants near Huay Pakoot, where we were based. 

    Jonathan Berry
    Jonathan in the rainforest near Huay Pakoot

    Every day we’d hike out into the rainforest to find them, which could take hours, but there was a lot of camaraderie and bonding between the volunteers and the Thai staff. What really struck me, too, was that I never saw anyone local who didn’t have a smile on their face. The villagers would be working hard every day, farming, and yet they still found life good. It made me realise we don’t have a leg to stand on back home, as far as complaining goes – yet so many of us are miserable. These people were satisfied with very little. 

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    I got into a routine every morning of going to a little café run by one of the villagers. I’d get there just as the sun rose and have my coffee lying in a hammock on his deck, overlooking a valley. It was my bit of me-time every day, and I’d look at the view and feel like I didn’t have a care in the world. 

    Making friends helped. Several volunteers based in the UK have come to Liverpool to visit, and I’m off to Northern Ireland soon to meet up with another guy. The experience helped clear my head and made me realise I don’t have it that bad – so I’m going back to Thailand after Christmas. 

    I think mental health issues should be discussed more openly at school, so young people know where they can go for help. I’m currently liaising with government authorities to try to get people to come and talk to the kids at my school. I now feel 100 per cent happier, and a lot more stable. Going away has had a profound effect on who I am, and how I feel.”

    Further information: gvi.co.uk

    Article originally appeared on The Telegraph

  • Brainstorm Health: Health Care Predictions, Diabetes Tests, Gilead CEO

    Good afternoon, readers. We have a special treat for you today—Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts, longtime health care venture gurus at Venrock, are back to offer even more of their unique wisdom on what we might expect in the health care world come 2019. I hope you take the time to read Bob’s and Bryan’s insightful analysis. I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

    Health Care Predictions for 2019

    It is soothsaying time again. Our annual plunge into the choppy waters of predicting the future, amid increasing economic and political uncertainty. Ever gluttons for punishment, we are ready to make 10 new predictions for 2019. But first, we should look back on how we did predicting what happened in 2018

    In 2018, five of our 10 predictions came true and two more seem on-track to become true in 2019. We correctly predicted another Theranos with the implosion of Outcome Health. We were correct that Amazon would not disrupt PBMs, rather they launched their Atul Gawande led collaboration with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway.

    Our successful exits prediction was validated by Flatiron, Landmark, and Pillpak. Also, Medicare Advantage gained in popularity with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issuing favorable rules and nearly 50% of new Medicare beneficiaries choosing a Medicare Advantage plan. Finally, we were correct that payers would aggressively acquire higher margin, less regulated businesses with Aetna merging with CVSCigna merging with ESI, and perhaps, soon, Humana merging with Walgreens.

    We missed on our predictions that hospitals would slow hiring. In 2018, hospitals added about 250,000 jobs and were able to keep raising prices to offset rising labor costs. We were overly optimistic that AI would make a big impact. While AI has lots of potential and may eventually warrant “Intel Inside” status, we are yet to see meaningful commercial traction, outside of it being included in every innovative product description. We were also wrong about big pharma getting bigger (but next year…). We remain hopeful that our predictions about CRISPR commoditizing, as demonstrated by China’s gene editing of a baby in November, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) being repaired, since we will soon have a Democratically controlled Congress that will no longer contemplate repeal, will both come true in 2019.

    Now, onward with our 10 predictions for 2019.

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    1. More payer consolidation

    There is stiff competition from not only stalwart United Healthcare, who boasts much lower administrative costs and higher margins, but also the rejuvenated higher margin PBM-enabled versions of Aetna and Cigna. As a result, many smaller payers will struggle to retain national accounts as well as compete against pure plays in the Medicare Advantage and Medicaid markets making them use their strong balance sheets to become acquirers. We also think the growth of Medicaid, with several states electing to expand, and Medicare Advantage will also trigger M&A in order to enter these growing and more profitable market segments.

    2. Physician-led Accountable Care Organizations will grow rapidly

    Medicare’s Accountable Care Organization (ACO) 2.0 regulations strongly favor doctor-led ACOs over hospital-led ACOs. Doctors will quickly realize that they can earn much higher wages independent from hospitals. Moreover, access to capital, managed care contracts, and low-cost analytical tools will make it easier to doctors to gain the benefits of scale while retaining independence. We anticipate the fracturing of some large health system’s employed groups, when the primary care doctors realize that they can do better if they break free. We also expect the performance gap between doctor-led ACOs versus hospital-led ACOs to become even more dramatic.

    3. Doctors get less dissatisfied

    We believe health systems have heard the cries from doctors about terrible user experience and administrative burden of electronic health records. Since health systems cannot afford to replace doctors who make credible threats of retiring or resigning, they will make investments to improve morale. We are bullish that electronic health records will move doctor user experience up the product roadmap priority list and that innovations like voice interfaces and machine learning will help a great deal. Teams at Google and many start-ups are making large strides in building voice technology to reduce typing, electronic medical record clicking, and searching burdens for doctors. Interestingly, it may be easier to use voice for healthcare than for consumer applications since the vocabulary is smaller and context is far more predictable. Amazon’s newly released tools to mine clinical data will help make these systems work better too.

    4. Interoperability becomes interoperable

    Five years after being declared successful, forces will finally come together to lead breakthroughs on cross health system and platform interoperability. Electronic health record firms are coalescing around standards for exchanging data (HL7 FHIR) and CMS is expressing willingness to use regulatory power to drive adoption with the “patients over paperwork” initiative. States are pushing for connectivity as one tactic to address the opioid epidemic and to improve resiliency from (seemingly more frequent) natural disasters, necessitating the need to access data. At the local level, the prisoner’s dilemma of health systems leveraging market power to impose three-week turnarounds and PDFs no longer makes sense when physicians on both sides of the transaction are increasingly trying to manage risk.

    5. Consolidation in digital health

    Growth equity will get tighter in 2019 for small companies that have not achieved product market fit. This will lead to a flurry of consolidation into platforms. Many new companies have been started over the last five years, and it is time to sort the true successes from the “just OKs”. Compounding this trend is large employers going from being the early adopters, to more willing to rely on their health plan partners who have responded to the proliferation of point solutions by incorporating many of them into their standard benefit designs. This will be a rough transition for many early stage companies since payers have even longer sales cycles and higher standards for proving effectiveness than large employers.

    6. InsureTech takes a lump or two

    We think that we are near peak hype cycle for insurance technology. 2019 is likely to be a year of toe stubbing for many. Upcoding is one area of risk since it has proven to be the fastest way to make money in Medicare Advantage. Coding has led to a cat-and-mouse game of payers mining charts for uncoded diseases and CMS auditing them and nearly always finding errors and levying fines. Upcoding is so pervasive that CMS actually cuts Medicare Advantage reimbursement annually using a “coding intensity adjustment.” Start-up payers that have enjoyed great fundraising success are likely to find the very complex operations and scaling required for their actual businesses much harder than investor PowerPoint pitch creation.

    7. Dialysis disrupted

    It is Norman Rockwell-esque that patients drive to brick-and-mortar dialysis centers three days a week and lay in a chair for three hours at a time. Just as Sears has been replaced by home delivery, dialysis centers will be supplanted too. It is far better for patients to have their blood cleansed daily and it is cheaper to have patients do it themselves daily at home. Sweden has embraced patient self-serve dialysis for years and it has proven to be both safer and more reliable than dialysis centers. As we move to risk-based payments, better and cheaper approaches to care will be embraced by doctors managing risk.

    8. Telemedicine takes off

    We think that 2019 will be the year that payers finally realize that it is far better to fully embrace and encourage telemedicine usage as opposed to burying it in their unengaging member portals and clunky mobile apps. Oscar compellingly reports that more than half of their members use telemedicine and rely on Oscar to route them to care, increasingly telemedicine. Kaiser will do more than half of all visits virtually. Health plans now have enough years of claims data to discover that telemedicine saves a bunch of money and makes members far happier than going to a doctor’s office. Even Medicare is adding codes to reimburse telemedicine. As a result, we expect telemedicine usage to more than double in 2019, while making substantive inroads beyond flu & cold into areas such as chronic disease management.

    9. PBM disruption talk becomes reality

    While Trump’s proclamations about lower drug prices have backfired, with drug companies raising prices even more aggressively, a byproduct of Executive branch rhetoric has been scrutiny over drugs getting marked up a bunch, after they leave the drug maker. Drugs are marked-up, on average, 40% by the distribution system. The current opacity about how money flows, leads to patients paying more for drugs and excessively large margins being captured by intermediaries. We expect next generation pharmacy supply ecosystem efforts to gain real traction in 2019.

    10. Real progress with new DNA sequencing platforms

    DNA sequencing is a very large, and growing, opportunity. New applications, such as single cell genomics, have driven growth over the last 24 months. We believe that new sequencing platforms (or at least the specter of them) will enter the fray in 2019, leading to decreasing per Gb pricing (while still providing healthy margins) which will both open up additional applications and volume as well as erode Illumina’s market dominance.

    We look forward to seeing what happens and reporting back to you next year.

    Bob Kocher and Bryan Roberts are both health care investors and partners at the venture capital firm Venrock.

    DIGITAL HEALTH

    There’s too much at-home diabetes testing. A new study analyzing data from some 370,000 people finds that many Americans with well controlled diabetes symptoms don’t regularly have to monitor their blood sugar at home. To be clear, this applies to patients who, say, don’t have to take medication—but among this group, nearly half who do so (and often have to submit insurance claims in order to do the finger pricks) don’t have to, according to the study authors. (Reuters)

    INDICATIONS

    Gilead is getting a new CEO. Gilead Sciences has picked up Roche executive Daniel O’Day to be its next CEO, ending a search that’s been ongoing since the summer. O’Day will take over for John Milligan and control a biotech giant that’s sitting on massive piles of cash; while at Roche, O’Day oversaw several successful drug launches and the pharmaceutical arm’s purchase of Flatiron Health, a digital health and cancer-focused data upstart. (Wall Street Journal)

    THE BIG PICTURE

    Kaiser Permanente mental health workers begin strike. About 4,000 mental health clinicians and workers at the renowned Kaiser Permanente medical centers have launched a five day strike, protesting as part of a dispute with the non-profit giant over staffing boosts and long therapy appointments, Modern Healthcare reports(Modern Healthcare)

    REQUIRED READING

    Why a Conservative Supreme Court Acted in Favor of Planned Parenthoodby Natasha Bach

    The Average American Household Has $8,284 in Credit Card Debtby Don Reisinger

    Spotify Moves Its San Francisco HQ Due to Safety Concernsby Brittany Shoot

    The Highs (and Lows) of a Remarkable Year in Businessby Fortune Staff

    Produced by Sy Mukherjee

     

    Article originally appeared on Fortune

  • how to stay fit the right way

    How to Stay Fit the Right way

    How to Stay Fit the Right way

    One great thing about a fitness program is the benefit to your body. This article is jam-packed with great advice, tips and tricks to help you get in shape. Keeping yourself healthy will allow you to look your best and not get hurt. Never allow your body to fall into disrepair. Pay attention to the below tips.

    One way to incorporate fitness into your life is to begin a garden. Gardens aren’t a joke, they require a lot of effort and labor. You need to dig, weed, and squat down quite a bit. It’s one of several hobbies you can do around that house that can actually help you get in shape.

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    By changing up the different exercises you do, you get better benefits overall to your body. Someone who usually uses an indoor exercise bike can bike around on the streets in their neighborhood. Running up a hilly sidewalk will result in different muscles being used and challenged. Variety helps with results.

    You will want to be sure you aren’t spending any longer than an hour to lift weights. Muscle wasting will begin after an hour of lifting weights. This is why you should lift weights for only an hour or less.

    Maintain a log of the exercise you complete each day. This includes every exercise, what you eat, and even what you drink. Youhow to stay fit the right way may even find including the day’s weather to be helpful. This will help you use the data to recognize patterns. If you need to skip exercise at any time, include the reason in your daily record.

    Having a strong core is very important. A strong, stable core will help with each and every exercise you do. One way to increase your core strength is by doing sit-ups. Sit-ups are also known to augment range of motion. As a result, your ab muscles will both lengthen and strengthen.

    You need to have good footwear when you are working out. Wearing the right kind of shoes is key to getting the most out of your workouts. Also, your feet may feel uncomfortable after you workout and it could discourage you from working out.

    Wear whatever you feel most comfortable in during workouts. If you workout in public, you may be tempted to dress for the benefit of others. Resist that temptation. You should only wear clothes you can comfortably move in and do exercises without embarrassment. When you wear comfortable clothing, you can concentrate on your fitness rather than on your attire.

    When biking, stick to 80-120 revolutions per minute. Keeping this persistent pace will help you to go further and enjoy bicycling more. RPM can be determined by keeping track of how many times one knee comes to the top for 10 seconds, and then multiplying that number by 6. This is the rpm you should strive for.

    A kickboxing class is a great way to get fit. No one tries a few rounds of kickboxing without working up a serious sweat and feeling like they’ve really gotten a great workout. This exercise is great for quickly burning lots of calories and building up your strength.

    Are you interested in making your chin-ups more easy to perform? You can reorient the way you view chin-ups. Visualize chin-ups as you drawing your elbows down towards your body, rather than pulling your whole body up. These little mind tricks make the exercise a whole lot easier.

    The benefits of fitness reach far beyond the physical benefits. Regular exercise can also bring emotional benefits. When you exercise, you release endorphins, which are chemicals that make you feel happier. Exercising also improves your appearance, making you gain confidence. In some ways, just a couple of routines stand between you and contentment.

    Make sure to stretch your muscles between sets of exercises. The idea behind stretching muscles you’ve just worked on is that you can increase your strength by adding to your ability to build muscle through increased circulation. However, because your muscles are already tired this type of stretching should be carefully considered to avoid injury of tired muscles. Incorporating stretches into a strength training workout in this fashion can, according to studies, boost results by as much as 20%. Stretching will also lessen the chance you have of getting injured.

    It’s a good idea to alternate some sit-ups into your workout along with your crunches. The negative things that are said about sit-ups have led many people to believe they have no use. One classic sit up to continue to avoid is the anchored feet sit up. This style of sit-ups can be harmful to your back.

    Try counting in revers order when doing repetitions. Rather than counting from 1 to 10, for example, count from 10 to 1. This helps to shorten your workouts and makes them simpler as you are now thinking in smaller amounts. Seeing your numbers dwindle down to zero is a great motivator.

    One great way to become physically fit is by rollerblading. Even though it’s not as popular to roller blade now as it used to be, it’s still a great exercise. Another benefit of roller blades is that they are very easy to find.

    As you exercise the bicep muscles, make certain you lift weights correctly. It is vital that you don’t stress the muscles too much early on in the process or you could cause serious damage. The proper form is to extend the wrist backwards slightly and hold while you lift. Then, release the wrist back into normal position slowly. Using this technique will prevent injury while building muscle.

    Free weight squats are important in developing a muscular body. Squats can help you build your calves, abs, lower back, quads, and hamstrings since it increases the growth hormones to boost your body mass.

    You do not have to put your body and mind through torture in order to get fit. The strategies in this article were designed to be easy to fit into your schedule and lifestyle. Put the effort into staying fit–it’s worth it in terms of how much more healthy and attractive you’ll be. Do not hesitate to revisit this article whenever you are in need of fitness inspiration.

  • grind and brew

    Best Grind And Brew Coffee Maker – Treat Yourself By Checking Out These Coffee Tips!

    Best Grind And Brew Coffee Maker 2018

    Everyone loves a freshly brewed cup of coffee at your local coffee shop, but do you ever wonder why your own homemade coffee doesn’t taste quite as good. Well this is a problem that many people face but if you read on, you can learn how to make cafe style coffee right in the comfort of your own home.

    There are coffee makers that are great for brewing only single cups of coffee. You can also choose from many different flavors. Each maker has a different attribute, so select wisely.

    To make a good coffee, always start with fresh beans. They should look kind of oily, and they should be potent. Try to avoid very dry beans, any grocery store beans, and any beans that have been exposed to air for a long time. Your best bet is to either roast beans yourself or buy them from a local roaster.

    If you want fancy latte decorations without a fancy latte price, you can try making your own. There are various guides online that can get you started. With some practice, you can make latte art as good as any barista using milk and melted chocolate. You willgrind and brew not only save money by creating beautiful latte designs, but you’ll impress your guests too.

    The human body needs at least four hours to eliminate caffeine. You should keep this in mind if you want to drink a cup of coffee before going to bed. It is best to drink a decaffeinated beverage if you need to go to sleep within the next few hours.

    Makes sure your brewing water is clean and tastes good. Your coffee is only as great as the water used to make it. See what the water tastes like before putting it into a coffee maker, or make sure to use filtered water always.

    For better coffee, try using a French press. Coffee made in a French press is often more aromatic and flavorful. This kind of press helps more of the coffee’s oils go into the coffee itself instead of getting trapped in a coffee pot filter. The more oil you have, the better your coffee will taste.

    Do you enjoy the fancy beverages you can get in coffee shops? You can make most of these beverages at home if you have milk, cream and chocolate syrup. Use the Internet to find tutorials on how to make your favorite drinks and with a little practice, you will be able to make the same beverages you can get at your favorite coffee shop.

    Do you not have much success repeating coffee shop tastes at home? One way to immediately improve the taste is to use more actual coffee grounds. For every six ounce measurement of water, coffee shops will use two tablespoons at most of coffee. Practice with these numbers and the blends you prefer so you know exactly what you need to create the ideal brew.

    Be sure to regularly clean out your coffee maker or pot. If you wait too long between cleanings, your coffee is more likely to have a foul taste and you may even find coffee grinds in it. A good rule of thumb is to clean it out at least once a week.

    Make sure your coffee pot is clean. In order to get the freshest tasting coffee you must be sure you are using a clean coffee pot. You can clean it by using a teaspoon of vinegar with a full coffee pot of water. Run your coffee pot as though you are making coffee.

    If you make your own iced coffee, avoid just pouring hot coffee over ice. This waters down your coffee. After brewing your coffee, put it into a tray for ice cubes and freeze it. This will allow the iced coffee cubes to keep your coffee from becoming too watered down.

    Once you have opened your coffee, it is important that you store it properly. Conditions that are too hot or too cold could take away its flavor. Store coffee in a container that can be sealed tightly and keep it in a room that has room temperature. Keep it away from the stove!

    If you are among the people who enjoy iced coffee, there is a way to keep your brew from becoming diluted. Make a pot, allow it to cool. Then, pour it into ice cube trays. Use the frozen coffee to ice your fresh coffee. You will avoid the weak flavor that sometimes accompanies the end of a cup of iced coffee.

    Don’t be afraid to spice up your coffee grounds. You can add lots of different things to develop different flavors, like allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other spices. If you’re afraid of adding too much, you could even add a pinch after the brewing cycle instead. You’ll be surprised at the flavor combinations you can create!

    Mix flavors if you want to create a unique and individualized brew. Shops specializing in coffee will be happy to assist you in selecting the right blends to suit your individual taste, and they may also let you sample prior to purchasing.

    Coffee roasts determine the flavor of your coffee. Try different roasts and blends to find the best taste for you. Dark roasts typically have been roasted for a longer period of time. They usually have a stronger and more bitter taste than the lighter roasts. A blend can give you the perfect combination for the perfect cup.

    Grind And Brew Coffee Maker

    As a general rule, the strength and flavor of your freshly ground beans relies heavily on how you grind and brew them. For example, coarsely ground beans brew much faster while still giving good flavor. On the other hand, ground beans must be brewed slowly but give you the most depth.

    As was mentioned earlier in the article, making your own coffee doesn’t always turn out as well as it does when you order from a coffee shop. However, if you implement the tips and tricks given in this article, you are well on your way to creating wonderful tasting coffee time and time again.

  • fitbit fitness tracker

    Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker – Get Fit Today!

    Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker – Get Fit Today!

    Being fit offers many different benefits. Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the proper steps they should be taking for beginning the fitness program right for them. The strategies in the article below can help.

    The best way for a person to get more out of his or her routine is to do a wide variety of exercises. If a person is used to exercising on a treadmill, running around the neighborhood will yield varying results. You will have more of a workout because you are not running on a flat surface. By adding variety to workouts, one can avoid the body becoming too accustomed to any given exercise, which keeps weight loss steady.

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    Treadmills, whether at home or in the gym, are convenient, but a run outside is a better exercise. While treadmills are convenient and great for use during the winter, running on pavement is better.

    Before you start a workout on a bench, test the thickness of the padding by pressing your fingers firmly down on the cushion. Iffitbit one black the wood can be felt directly under the top pads, you should consider using another machine. If you are using a bad machine, you can injure yourself.

    If you want to become stronger more quickly, do your fitness routine ten percent faster. Speeding yourself up this way will increase your endurance level and force your muscles to exert more effort. For instance, if your usual workout takes thirty minutes, try to get it done in twenty-seven minutes next time.

    Changing how you refer to exercising can be helpful. These words may kill your motivation right from the start. Try using the name of the activity instead, like running or cycling.

    People often try to do abdominal exercises on a daily basis. However, that is not healthy for the stomach muscles. Abdominal muscles should have recovery like all other muscle groups. Rest your ab muscles for a few days before working them out again.

    When you are working toward being more fit, pay your personal trainer ahead of time. You will be more likely to stick with it because the money is already spent. The reason for this is that you have already spent your money. This way you know that the money is gone and you should get the most out of it.

    An excellent exercise designed to add bulk to the quadriceps is the box squat. If you want explosive power for doing squats, try box squats. They are excellent! Just use a box behind you. Then simply perform a normal squat but stop and hold it when you are positioned right over the box.

    Volunteering in your community can also be a great way to get a workout. A lot of different charities need menial labor. It’ll get you off the couch and help people in need at the same time.

    If you’re having trouble following through with a fitness plan, ask your friends to join in. Your commitment to your goals will be easier if you have a friend to keep you motivated. You will find that you tend to work harder with a little competition and achieve your goals more quickly.

    Exercising every day is the most effective way to get into shape. This ensures that the hard work you are putting in does not go to waste. Doing this will also make exercising a routine. Be certain you save days for light exercise, however, to make sure you aren’t overdoing it.

    Add fitness activities to your daily routine. If you stay busy all day with things that do not help you increase your fitness level, you are missing some good chances to maintain or even enhance your fitness level. Any occasion of free time throughout your day could be utilized wisely by engaging in physical fitness.

    Workout many areas of your body, not just a few. Some people favor one side or one group of muscles, thinking they are going to expedite results. Actually, you run the risk of overworking your muscles and straining them, which provides less than stellar results.

    Have you considered using fitness video games, or did you not know they exist? Games like Wii Fit, Dance Dance Revolution, and others, can get you off the couch and on your feet!

    Go shopping for workout shoes in the evening rather than morning or afternoon. During this time of the day, your feet are at their largest, so when you try them on at this time, you know you’re going to be comfy working out in them.

    Don’t eat directly before working out. You might get an upset stomach if you exercise right after eating. As a result, you may get nauseous, vomit, or have diarrhea. If at all possible, put off your meal until after you have worked out. Make your post-exercise meal a light one, accompanied by plenty of water.

    If you are lifting with a bar and doing presses you can pull the bar towards you when you do it. This helps you workout the chest area much better, which results in a much better work out. If you want to work out the triceps try squeezing the bar out.

    If pain or fatigue are causing you problems, then stop exercising for now and call your doctor. Just as you log your successes and goals, you should also log any pain or injuries along the way.

    When you run, breathe deeply. You have to provide enough oxygen for your body to exert itself, so breathe deeply with every inhale. Doing so will also increase the capacity of your lungs.

    Do you want legs that will have all people looking at you? Then it is important that you try both seated and standing lower leg lifts. Calf muscles are made of two segments and varying exercises is the best way to work out the entire muscle.

    As you just read in the article above, getting in shape offers a lot of health benefits, namely through your overall appearance and how much stamina you will now have. Hopefully the information from this article has inspired you to embark on your own fitness program. If you follow the above tips, you are certain to notice your fitness level improve almost immediately.

  • kona french press

    How to Make French Press Coffee at Home

    How to Make French Press Coffee at Home

    That morning cup of coffee is something million of Americans can’t live without. You might start asking yourself “what more is there to know about coffee”, but do you know what? With all the blends out there and all the different styles, there are some things about coffee you might not know. Here are some tips to make coffee even more palatable to you!

    If you are concerned about your waistline or have diabetes, use Stevia in place of sugar. Stevia is a sugar substitute made from plants. It can sweeten your coffee without the unnecessary sugar. You can find it at most grocery stores.

    Try adding spices to your coffee grounds to create your own “artisan” flavors. Think about things you would add to chocolate if you are having trouble deciding what to try. Start with simple things like cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also do things like adding a little vanilla abstract to your cup to enrich the flavor of your coffee.

    There are many health benefits that have been discovered from drinking coffee. Feel free to indulge in your morning cup without fear. You may want to switch to decaf if the caffeine in the coffee effects other medications you are taking. Reduce or eliminate creamer and sugar to maximize these benefits.

    Get yourself a good coffee grinder. This really brings out the flavor of the coffee by leaving the oils intact. Generally, grinders will allow you to pre-select how coarse you want your beans ground. You can also find grinders that are built into some of the more kona french presspopular brands of coffee makers.

    Do not store your coffee in a container that is made of plastic or metal. These materials can change the way that coffee tastes. The best thing to do is to store your coffee in a glass jar that is able to be sealed shut with no way for air to get in.

    A good tip to keep in mind when brewing coffee is to rinse off your paper filters before actually brewing your coffee. Rinsing off the paper filter will get rid of any loose paper particles, which will prevent your coffee from tasting funky. All it takes is a few extra seconds.

    Coffee starts to lose flavor about six hours after it is initially roasted. This is why you should do everything you can to keep your coffee from getting a lot of air. When you store your coffee, use an airtight container so you can keep the quality of each cup at a high level.

    Many people use bacon soda to keep smells from permeating refrigerators, but used coffee grounds have the same effect. Coffee acts like a natural sponge, and it will absorb any odors it comes in contact with. This is why you should place a small dish of them in your refrigerator to keep odors at bay.

    You might really want to drink your coffee when you wake up, but resist the urge to do so until the pot has finished brewing. Even though some machines let you do this, your coffee will be worse. Instead think about getting a machine that has a timer. If you do this, your coffee will be all ready when you get up in the morning.

    Kona French Press Coffee

    In order to create coffee with a delicious, rich flavor, try a French press. The paper filters in a drip-style coffee maker absorb the flavorful oils in coffee. A French Press doesn’t use a filter, instead uses a plunger to keep the ground beans out of your coffee. The oils stay in the brew making for richer coffee.

    For better coffee, try using a French press. Coffee made in a French press is often more aromatic and flavorful. This kind of press helps more of the coffee’s oils go into the coffee itself instead of getting trapped in a coffee pot filter. The more oil you have, the better your coffee will taste.

    Use a French press for the best tasting coffee. The purpose of this press is to produce more oil from your coffee beans. This avoids the common problem of paper filters absorbing all the oils that standard coffee makers use.

    Use a French press for your coffee rather than a standard drip. The reason for this is because a greater amount of the coffee oils will get in your cup rather than in the machine filter. As a result, your cup of coffee will taste a lot better. Give it a try!

    Adapt your coffee to water ratio in function of the technique you are using to brew your coffee. A Technivorm or a vacuum pot will require you to use more coffee grounds than a French press or a drip machine. Drip machines are actually the cheapest way to make coffee but you will get a better flavor with other techniques.

    Your French press can be refrigerated if you enjoy iced coffee. This will cool it down significantly before morning. Combine this method with using only cold water to make a coffee that tastes clean and sweet.

    Learn about what sort of coffee grind to use. The type of grind you should use depends on how you are making your coffee. Course grinds are better when using a French press. Medium grinds are best for auto-drip coffee makers. Fine grinds are best suited for coffee makers that use cone filters.

    Use a French Press. A French Press is a wonderful little contraption that ensures that you get more of the coffee oils in your cup of coffee. Usually, with traditional machines, the oils can end up stuck on the filters you use. Try some coffee made with a French Press, and you’ll taste the difference.

    If you enjoy brewing your own coffee, you may want to try a french press. A French press is great if you enjoy strong coffee or if your coffee grinder can only produce courser grounds. They are simple to use, and many people believe they produce the best-tasting coffee.

    Now that you’ve read this article, you should know a lot more about this extremely popular drink. Take the tips in this article and use them to help you get even more enjoyment out of the drink you love so much. In fact, share the information with others and they will appreciate it!

  • tips for camping

    Fun Advice For A Memorable Camping Trip

    Are you thinking about going camping? No matter if you wish to go for an entire week or just a quick overnight, planning is essential. You will find helpful information below that will assist you in creating a camping plan that is both relaxing and fun.

    When going camping you need to ensure that the tent you build can easily hold you and anybody else that comes along. This will allow everyone in your tent to be comfortable at night and to easily get up if they need to use the bathroom.

    Before you set out on your camping trip take the time to check the weather forecast for the area that you will be visiting. There are countless websites that contain information about what sort of weather you should expect at the area you are going camping at. If you have the correct weather information, you will be better prepared with proper equipment and clothing.

    Proper planning and preparation can keep you safe and make your camping experience more enjoyable. Always be well prepared prior to leaving on your camping trip. When heading to a new spot, be sure to research the area thoroughly so you know what to expect with regard to weather and wildlife.

    Tips: how do you make cold brew coffee at home

    The incredible orange should be on everyone’s camping supply list to keep away bugs and provide something healthy to eat. Enjoy the oranges and then rub the inside of the peel on any exposed skin to keep insects at bay.

    Always set up your camp before nightfall. Figure out where you can park if you are driving an RV. If your camping with a tent, make sure to find a dry area that is also flat so you can pitch your tent with ease. Doing this during daylight hours will save you hassle and frustration. You will be able to see due to the sunlight and you will have an easier time.

    Remember to bring along wilderness-friendly activities. Playing cards, board games and fishing poles can make for lots of fun. Children often complain that they’re bored wherever they go, so bring along as many items as you can think of to keep them entertained.

    Duct tape is a handy item to pack with you on any camping trip. It has a myriad of uses for campers, just as it does for homeowners. You can slap a piece of it on a leaking air mattress. You could patch a hole or tear in your sleeping bag, tarp or tent. If you’re planning on taking a long hike, place it on your feet to prevent blisters. You can also put it over bandages for extra protection.

    Living off the land is part of camping, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go prepared. You should take sleeping bags and extra blankets. This helps to warm you up in case it gets too cold at night. They are also good to use for extra padding.

    Pack extra flashlights and batteries when you are packing for your trip. Even after the sun is gone, you may need to see. Havingtips for camping an adequate amount of light can help avoid injuries from falls and running into animals living in the wild. When you go camping and your kids come along, it is smart to let them each have their own flashlight.

    Make sure that you choose the right sleeping bag for the conditions on the campsite. Bags that are light are good for warmer places and a sleeping bag that’s heavier works best when things are colder. The main goal with your sleeping bag is to conserve body heat, which means having a snug bag that hugs the body.

    Don’t let your kids out of your sight. Not only can your children get lost, but they may also encounter cars that enter the campsite. Something bad can occur in a split second, so it is necessary to watch children constantly.

    People will often forget to build their shelter before sunset. It is extremely difficult to pitch a tent whenever it is dark. It is possible to see what you are doing by the light of the campfire or with the aid of a flashlight. It is so much easier to erect your tent and organize your camping area before sunset.

    Always keep some duct tape with you when you’re out camping. Although tent fabric technology has come a long way, tearing is still a possibility. A little duct tape can be the difference between a comfortable and dry night’s sleep and a drippy night spent awake.

    Always take a map with you, and make sure you know how to read the map and a compass before you go. You can get lost no matter where you are camping, keep that in mind. You can avoid a possible disaster by becoming knowledgeable about using these items that can save your life.

    When erecting your tent, ensure that all of the tent’s seams are sealed. You can purchase a tube of tent seam sealer at all good sporting goods stores. Sealing the seams of your tent will prevent any insects or water from getting inside.

    Think about how you are going to get food cooked at your campsite. This decision must be made prior to heading out on your trip so you can pack accordingly. Everyone likes the idea of cooking over an open flame, but without the proper cooking supplies, it can be very difficult.

    When you go camping, dress in layers. Weather in the outdoors can change very quickly. While the early morning may be freezing, by afternoon it can get hot and humid. Nighttime can often be much colder than mornings and afternoons. Dressing in layers will allow you to easily change your clothes as the weather changes.

    With any luck, you now have what it takes to properly plan your camping adventure. You may have noticed that it takes the same amount of planning whether you are going for a weekend or a week. Get yourself prepared today so that your future trip will go as smoothly as it possibly can, and you can avoid any dangers out there.

  • camping for everyone

    Make A Camping Trip Enjoyable For Everyone

    Camping is the ideal getaway for enjoying time with family and friends. But, some people don’t even bother going on a trip because they think the whole process is difficult. It doesn’t have to be if you have the right tips. Continue reading to get some great camping guidance that can transform you into an enthusiastic camper in short order.

    Make sure you have a survival kit with you during your entire camping trip. Your survival kit should contain a survival knife, water-purifying tablets, waterproof matches, first aid kit, and a flare gun. This kit can keep you alive! Your kit should not be left behind at the camp site, but should be carried with you wherever you go.

    Understand your medical coverage. Sometimes, being covered while out of state requires an additional policy. It is even more critical if you are camping outside of your country. Be sure that your insurance will cover you, no matter where you are.

    If you are going camping, be sure to have a first aid kit. What you include will depend on where you are going and when. Be sure to do your research and bring along any location-specific items you will need.

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    Kids love to camp, but make sure you plan activities for them. Kids can easily get bored if you are in the woods for a long time. They may not know what it’s like to fish or do things in nature. Teach them how to perform these acts before you set out to camp.

    Make sure that you bring things to occupy yourself when camping. Card games, fishing poles or games like a scavenger hunt can be very entertaining in the wild. If you’re bringing along kids, it doesn’t hurt to go overboard when thinking of what to bring for fun.

    Are you a beginning camper and have just purchased your first tent? Before going on the trip, set up the tent at home. This will allow you take an inventory of all the necessary equipment needed to set up the tent. This lets you get it done before night falls.

    When it comes to camping, always be prepared for whatever comes your way. Make sure you have put a little thought into things in case the unexpected does occur. The weather can suddenly change, surrounding circumstances can change, injuries and illness can happen, etc. Never take unnecessary risks or be careless, and always think before you act.

    It’s a good choice to take off from your automobile or base when your phone has a full battery. Also, bring additional batteries in the event of an emergency. A cell phone is perhaps the most useful item of emergency equipment that you can carry with you, but you do need to ensure that it does not run out of juice.

    You must always pack a survival kit and first aid kit. If you do this, you can easily take care of problems that may occur without camping for everyonehaving to cut your trip short. Carrying these items can help a situation stay safe, rather than turning very harmful or even fatal.

    Camping can be a great get away, or a living nightmare. Preparation is the difference between the two. When you prepare correctly, your trip will be great.

    A simple and obvious piece of advice is that you should create your shelter when it is still light. When it’s dark, it’s hard to pitch your tent. You will need to build a fire or have a sufficient number of flashlights. It is simply much easier to do this while the sun is still out so that you are all set whenever it gets dark.

    When camping, wear layers. Outdoor weather can change without much warning. A cold morning can turn into a very hot afternoon. It may get cold late at night, so make sure you are prepared. Make sure to layer your clothing so you are prepared for anything.

    Make sure to plan fun things to do from your trip’s start to its finish. Only planning for campfires and smores might leave you bored for the rest of the day. Be creative and think of activities that will be fun for each family member. Think about the ages of your children when making plans.

    A shower curtain that is past its prime is a quick and inexpensive tarp for placement under your tent. You can use it for a variety of other purposes as well. Do not throw out any old shower curtains — you can save them for camping.

    Toilet paper is an important item to bring with you on your camping excursion. Sure, you may be able to use leaves or something natural, but there’s no reason to torment yourself when you can find toilet paper or baby wipes at most stores.

    Always bring lots of sunscreen. You need to be protected from the sun’s rays. Locate a sunscreen that gives you the best protection. You might even consider a sunscreen with bug protection. You don’t want to slather yourself with too many chemicals while you are camping.

    Bring plenty of water, food and other drinks in your supplies. If your campsite is known to have an abundance of bears, be certain to store all food away from your sleeping area. Burn your garbage so that its odor does not draw bears in.

    If you are camping along a stream or river, always set up your bathroom area downstream. This ensures that any water that flows through your camp site won’t be contaminated with your “special gift.” Try to take care of this business more than a hundred yards from your campsite.

    Check out your recipe books to see the things that you can cook while camping. A few quick recipes can help you stay well fed throughout your trip. It is possible to create some variety. There are other simple foods that you can prepare while camping. So plan out a couple of meals to make and impress everyone you camp with.

    Camping is not as hard as it seems now that you have read this article. You can master it. Use the tips that you learned on your next camping trip. Before you know it, you will be enjoying nature!

  • camping coffee maker

    Camping coffee maker

    Taking a vacation can be great, and when a camping trip is the choice, the excitement can be endless. To enjoy your camping trip to the fullest extent, heed the tips included in the article below. They will be essential in enjoying your wilderness excursion.

    Look up activities to engage in prior to getting to your destination. This will allow you to check for any deals that may be offered. Also, it will help you be more prepared when you actually get to your destination. You can find trails that may be appropriate for everyone in your family or restaurants that you would enjoy.

    If you are traveling with children, give them the opportunity to assist you when you get to the campground. They can carry gear, support you as you set up the tent and look for firewood. Not only will it keep them busy and out of trouble, it will be fun for them as well.

    Take only photos and leave only footprints. That is the rule of thumb when camping. Only use the natural resources that you need and do not leave any traces that you were camping when you leave. Pick up all trash, extinguish and cover any fire pits, bury all human waste, and make the area where you camped look exactly as it did when you found it.

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    If you are traveling with children, consider staying at a campground that is specifically designated for families. Campers in these areas know what to expect and will not have an issue if you have a cranky toddler or your children want to run around, scream and play. You will probably be more relaxed as a result and have a better time.

    With camping, comes the campfire. Make sure your campfire is in an open space and far enough away from brush or trees so you don’t run the risk of a stray spark catching them on fire. Surround the fire with stones to help keep it contained. Most importantly, never leave any campfire unattended. If you need to leave for any reason, make sure the campfire is extinguished completely.

    Make sure your survival kit is available on a constant basis. Survival kits must include water purification tablets, a knife, a firstcamping coffee maker aid box, flare gun and waterproof matches. This kit can keep you alive! Keep it with you at all times when you leave your campsite for any reason.

    When planning for your camping trip, don’t forget to pack the sunscreen. Just because you are not on the beach doesn’t mean that you don’t need protection from the sun’s burning rays. A sport sunscreen can be a smart choice if you will be doing strenuous physical activities during your trip.

    Take along pillows that are especially for camping. Your standard pillow that you have at home will not be comfortable if the conditions become humid. The tend to absorb ambient moisture and grow mildew as well. Pillows specifically designed for camping will not draw in wetness like regular pillows will.

    Collect more wood than you think you are going ot need. Unless you go camping every day, you probably don’t have an accurate idea of what “enough wood” actually looks like. You can always leave the extra wood in a pile as a gift for anyone that uses the campsite after you.

    Bugs do not like fire at all, so it is a good idea to keep your fire burning all night while you are sleeping. If you find that there is a huge bug problem during the day, it would help to keep a fire burning at that time as well.

    Know the climate of your camping area. You will want to have the proper clothing packed for the trip. Knowing how cold the nights get or how hot the days are will help you dress best. You will not want to get caught in the great outdoors with inadequate protection.

    Remember, when you are camping you will not have access to many kitchen luxuries. At most, you will have a can opener as well as a basic burner. This means canned foods make a great meal, but even better are things that need very little preparation, like peanut butter sandwiches.

    Be sure to check your first-aid kit before you leave for your trip. You need to be sure it has all the basic necessities. Make sure it includes items like bandages, tweezers, disinfectant, ointment, etc. You never know when something may injure you or another person on your trip, so it’s best to be prepared.

    To avoid those nasty mosquito bites the next time you go camping, try the peel from an ordinary orange. Don’t worry if you forget the bug spray. Rub this inner peel of the orange over your exposed skin and watch the magic at work. This will help you to avoid insects.

    A polite thing you can do for the campers who follow you is leaving wood for them. Think about how difficult it can be to find some wood if there is none on the campsite, especially when it is dark. So, be courteous to others and leave as much wood as you can.

    Be thankful for your opportunity of camping on your campsite by cleaning up more trash than you brought in. This is an excellent method of showing appreciation and being polite to other campers who will be using the site. Pick up all your mess, and pick up a few pieces of other litters that is not yours. If everyone were to follow your example, the great outdoors would be a cleaner place for all.

    Consider leaving a handwritten note to the following campers. In this note, you can inform them of some things that interested you during your camping experience. You could even wish them well during their stay. This is a nice gesture they are certain to appreciate, and it only takes a few short minutes of your time.

    Camping is much more enjoyable and easier when you’ve got proper advice. hopefully, this article has provided you with that. Apply what you have learned here, and have the most wonderful time enjoying your next camping adventure.

  • stairs in the wood

    Stairs in the woods

    While you may think that getting deep into the woods or mountains is easy, it’s important to have some making information in mind before you go for the sake of your safety. The tips and tricks that we’ve provided to you here should help make your next trip much more enjoyable.

    Make sure to find your shelter before it gets dark. Once darkness falls, it is very difficult to set up camp. That can be especially true for someone who live in the suburbs and is not used to total darkness. Do whatever you can to make sure that you find a safe location for your tent and pitch it before you find yourself in this sticky situation.

    Make sure your survival kit is available on a constant basis. In your survival kit, be sure you have waterproof matches, a flare gun, a first aid kit, water-purifying tablets and a knife. These are essential items for your survival if you ever get lost. This kit should be carried with you and not left back at camp.

    Don’t worry about over-packing for the kids. Camping can be dirty! Your kids may love playing around in the grass and dirt. Therefore, you will need to understand that a clean trip is probably out of the question. You can not really prevent it from happening, but you can pack extra clothes. Staying prepared is the best way to avoid issues on your trip.

    Take a class on how to do first aid. This is especially important if you are taking kids with you. This way, should an accident occur, at least you are properly prepared until help arrives. Be sure to do thorough research too. Know if there are any poisonous snakes in the area, what type of wild animals call those woods their home, etc.

    Check the terms of your health insurance before leaving. Out-of-state traveling will sometimes require additional coverage. This is very important if you will be camping in a foreign country. It is essential to be prepared in case of emergency.

    Camping and swimming are a great combination. When camping, home showers can seem like a luxury. Spending some time in cool water can help you stay clean and refresh your spirits, so a little swimming can soothe the part of your heart longing for a bath.

    Bring oranges with you since they are great for snacking and repelling insects. Keep the peels when you are finished eating them. Rub the peels on your body and mosquitoes will stay away.

    For the latest: stairs in the woods

    Buy yourself some camping pillows for your trip. Since standard pillows can pick up a lot of humidity, debris or even creepy-crawlers, leave them safely at home. Because they absorb moisture from the air, they can quickly mildew. Camping pillows are specially coated to prevent moisture absorption.

    Kids like camping, but they need structured activities. If you are deep in the woods, away from everything, they may get bored. The may not be accustomed to activities like pitching a tent or fishing. Spend a day teaching them what they need to know before you leave for your trip.

    If you bring a dog with you to go camping, keep it leashed up and keep an eye on it. Many people fear dogs. You should be respectful of other campers while at the site. Also, your pet could be destructive to other people’s belongings.

    Pack ready to eat foods in your camping gear, like trail mix and jerky. These little nutritious snacks can come in handy after a long day. Even if you don’t eat them, these are non-perishable snacks that have a long shelf life.

    A wonderful tip for camping is to take extra utility knives. Utility knives can be quite versatile, so be sure to have an extra with you.

    Though camping can be the best relaxation you can have, things can go south easily. The distinction often boils down to your level of preparation. If you are well prepared for any possible situation, you are likely to have a great camping experience.

    Remember to choose a sleeping bag that is suitable for the season you are camping in. In summer weather, for example, you’ll need a light bag that will help you stay cool. When it’s cold, you need to have a sleeping bag that will handle sub zero temperatures.

    Safety procedures should be acknowledged when you’re out camping. This means you’re going to have to stay away from various forms of wildlife that may be in the area you’re camping in. Small wildlife, such as squirrels, can be very dangerous despite their tiny size. If you encounter a bear, resist the urge to feed them.

    If you think you might enjoy a camping trip but have never actually tried it before, give yourself a quick test-run to make sure you like it. Set up a tent in your backyard, and do a campout back there. Don’t go back inside the house for any creature comforts. If you find this to be an enjoyable experience, chances are good you will like camping out for real.

    For an inexpensive and disposable way to protect the bottom of your tent, use an old vinyl shower curtain as a tarp. You could also use it as a floor for your washing or cooking area, allowing you to control the run-off. Torn and battered shower curtains are great to use for camping out in the wilderness.

    Make sure to have adequate amounts of food and water. If you are camping in an area where bears are common, make sure you store your food supplies away from the area you are sleeping in. Dispose of any food scraps by burning them, so that their smell does not lure bears towards your campsite.

    Learn how to know poisonous plants when you see them. It can sometimes be hard to distinguish non-poisonous plants from poisonous plants, unless you know exactly what to look out for. Buy or borrow a book about poisonous plants or carry out some research on the World Wide Web. Once you are armed with this knowledge, you can avoid being harmed by any poisonous plant life.

    The more organized you are, the better your camping trip will be. Use the tips you’ve just been provided with to have a relaxing and more secure camping trip.

  • cooking while camping

    Camping Will Be Fun With These Tips

    It’s always important to do a little research about camping before setting off on your trip. There are so many different things that can happen while you are out there. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared, and can save you a lot of trouble. Here is some advice to help you have the best camping trip possible.

    When you are camping, a necessity for your gear is a survival knife. This is the most important part of your camping gear. Buy a high quality survival knife, not just the cheapest you can find, your life may depend on it. These knives are all very similar; they have a long blade serrated on one side and a hollow handle. Inside the handle you can carry fishing line, hooks, a compass, and matches as a small survival kit.

    Particularly, if you have children, you need to consider what to do if you have inclement weather one day. Gather together a few supplies to have on hand in case you need to stay in your tent. Bring a board game, play doh and art supplies. Don’t let your family members touch these items until it rains so that they don’t lose their appeal.

    Bring a plastic garbage bag and put all of you family’s dirty laundry in it. This keeps the items from mixing in with your clean clothing. It also makes things convenient for you when you return home. You can simply dump out the bag in your washing machine and begin working on it all immediately.

    When you decide to go camping you want to make sure that you bring a flashlight with some batteries. You want to be able to see in the middle of the night just in case you have to get up and go to the bathroom, or just to move around.

    Make sure that you avoid any venomous plants. A good way to do this is to stop at the ranger station and ask what kinds of poisonous plants are in the area so you can identify them if you come into contact with them on the trail. Never eat anything while hiking on the trail if you do not know it is edible.

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    When choosing a tent, pick one that has plenty of room for you and all of your camping companions. That makes it easier for everyone to have a comfy time while they’re asleep and moving around when they have to get up in the dead of night.

    When going camping, try to buy non-perishable items to eat. There are no refrigerators in the wild, so everything you bring has to be kept in good order. You can certainly bring a cooler to put food in, but the cooler will be added bulk on your trip. Therefore, make an effort to bring more non-perishable foods than perishable.

    To start your fires at camp, use dryer lint as kindling. Start collecting lint from the filter in your tumble dryer several weekscooking while camping before your camping adventure. Hang up a grocery bag beside your dryer and collect the lint in it. Using this for your kindling will save you time looking for it, and it will work even better than any kindling that you do find.

    If you’re new to camping, you’re going to want to arrive early to the campground. The reason for this is you will be new to the campground site and rules, and this will slow you down. You don’t want to be stuck setting up camp after dark, so just arrive a little earlier than you usually would.

    To avoid blistered and chapped feet on your camping trip, bring a bar of soap along! Prior to any lengthy walk, rub the soap into the heals of your socks and this will minimize friction, thus reducing soreness. Keep the soap in your pocket for a quick dose when your feet start feeling beat-up or blistered.

    Take along a box with essential supplies when you go camping. Include things like stick matches, a flashlight, cooking tools and hand cleaner. Prepare in advance. Think about all the things you might need days before you leave on your trip, especially if you will be far from any store.

    It is a good idea to pitch your tent on a piece of land that is level. This will ensure you sleep better, which means you will have more energy for the next day. If you have to sleep on an incline, make sure that your head is tilted uphill.

    Make a list of essential items to take on your camping trip before you leave. If the campgrounds are located at fair distance from your home, then this step will be crucial. A couple of days before your trip, make a list of everything you need, checking things off as you pack them

    Snow Camping

    Recreational camping is not just for warm weather. If you are feeling especially adventurous, you can go camping in early spring and late fall at most camping grounds. You can even camp in the snow if you have the right gear. Make sure your sleeping bags are suitable for whatever weather you are camping in.

    If you’re camping in the snow, don’t pitch your tent right under trees. Many people think that the trees will shield the tent from the snow. The bigger issue is that the trees can collect that snow and create snowballs. If the wind blows the branches with these snowballs, they will fall and crash onto your tent.

    After you set up the ground to pitch your tent in the snow, take some stakes from your pack and start pitching your tent. Use a four-weather or winter tent for this situation. These tents are designed to survive the weight of snow and any harsh winds you may encounter at your location.

    As you can see, camping isn’t as easy as just setting up a tent and falling asleep. There are plenty of other things to think about as well. Now that you’re more knowledgeable about camping, you should have no trouble coming up with a plan to make your camping trip go well.

  • duncan hunter

    Tequila, Video games and Holidays – How Rep. Duncan Hunter spent republican campaign funds

    On 10th January, 2017, representative Duncan Hunter of California theatre was addressing the media in front of a painting that was offensive to him, it was removed but was later hung in the U.S. Capitol. Hunter and his wife were accused of using $250,000 campaign funds for their individual needs.

    On Tuesday, a prime federal tribunal charged representative Duncan Hunter of California theatre and his wife Margaret Hunter on 60 counts for allegedly using $250,000 of the campaign funds to cater for their personal needs.

    As claimed by the accusations, the couple had planned” to make themselves and others rich, by using campaign funds for leisure and personal gains, alongside the gains of those with close relationships with the Hunters.”

    Hunter is a republican who was elected on 2012 to represent California’s 50th District, which comprises of San Diego County. Prior to his election, Hunter was representing California’s 52nd district, after assuming office in 2009, based on his career in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    duncan hunterFor more than seven years, his wife earned $116,000, working on and off for his campaigns. Besides, she was accessing the campaign funds, as well as its credit card.

    A repetition of extravagance by the Hunters is shown by the accusation, which is alleged to be paid using campaign money, which was to be used in electing Hunter to the congress.

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    As stated in the allegation, the Hunters used the money from December 2009 to almost the end of the year 2016. Irrespective of getting warnings and questions from the campaign treasurer, they used the money on alcoholic drinks, consumer electronics, clothing, fast food, school fees, family groceries, theatre tickets, racetrack outings, golf days, holidays, and dental work among others.

    Whenever the campaign treasurer questioned them about their way of spending, they are alleged to repeatedly lied to him.

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    In a statement made by the U.S. Attorney, Adam Braverman,” The allegation states that Congressman Hunter and his wife were repeatedly dipping their hands into campaign funds like their bank accounts, and went ahead to falsify the finance reports of FEC campaign, in order to cover up their traces.”

    “Instead of abusing their positions for personal benefit, elected representatives are supposed to jealously protect the trust of the public. Today’s accusations serve as a reminder that the law is above all.”

    As stated in the accusation, 16 friends who comprise of three unnamed congressmen and golf friends, enjoyed the gains of the coffers together with the Hunters.

    It was said Hunter’s problem was simple: Their expenditure was higher than their income, thus dipping their hands into campaign coffers to cater for the variation.

    Representative Duncan Hunter of California was addressing the media in front of a painting he had found abusive and removed it, but on 10th January 2017, the painting was hung again in the U.S. Capitol. Hunter and his wife were facing charges of using $250,000 of the campaign coffers for personal gains.

    The charge stated,” The Hunters substantially used more than they were earning in the entire duration. In a duration of seven years, they had overdrawn their bank account with over 1,100 times, leading to insufficient funds and overdraft bank fees estimated at $37,761.”

    “Their credit cards were often charged to the maximum, with balances being five-figures. The estimated returned payment fees, over the limit, interest, finance charges, and lateness fees were $24,600.”

    “From these offenses and notice of their late payments and outstanding debts of their family dentist, children’s school and other creditors, the Hunters were aware that they had to use campaign coffers to pay for most of their desirable purchases.”

    A personal ski trip at a cost of $1,008.72 at Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa, and Casino for Duncan Hunter’s and his friend was in his expenditure activity. The cost comprised of three nights lodging, foods, and drinks.

    As stated in the charge, his wife purchased family and friends’ items at a cost of $2,569.96 at Barnes & Noble, but was noted as campaign charge for “booklets on San Diego.”

    $1,912.66 of the campaign coffers was used by the Hunters “For a family member, who was invited by Hunter to be present at Pittsburgh Steelers game at Heinz Field, as a birthday gift.”

    Margaret Hunter told the campaign treasurer that she purchased “holiday gift certificates” worth $704, while she used the fund to purchase tickets for five children and seven adults at the Old Globe Theatre, to watch the play “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

    $399.06 was spent by Duncan Hunter to purchase a Nikon Coolpix S9100 digital camera, alongside an SD card and battery at Best Buy. He used the camera to take photos on a family holiday in Idaho and other events.

    According to the charge,” Hunter lied to his treasurer that he used the fund on computer software, paper, and ink, to falsify and hide the unauthorized transaction.”

    Furthermore, Hunter was alleged to use $1,067 of the campaign coffers for family activities at the Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, with an additional $399 as fees for a zip-line ride.

    In a year, the Hunters used $1,528.68 of the campaign coffers as charges for “Video games at Steam Games.”

    Additionally, the Hunters spent $6,288.74 at Hawaii’s Aston Kaanapali Shores Resort for a family holiday, prior to repaying $5,245.71 to the campaign, when the treasurer raised some questions.

    Margaret Hunter paid “$700 of the campaign funds to a local dentist to cater for the family’s delayed balance of $7,258, which resulted from various family dental services.”

    With a stopover at Las Vegas, the Hunters spent $3,724.07 on a family holiday to their nephew’s Boise wedding.

    As per the accusation, “On around 19th-29th of November 2015, the Hunters paid for a family holiday to Italy, using $14,261.33 of the campaign funds.”

    “Around 23rd November 2015, Duncan Hunter tried to plan for a day tour of a U.S. naval facility, with an aim of covering up the campaign funds that they had used on a family holiday to Italy.”

    “However, the reply of the naval officials was that they could only offer the tour on a specific date, and Duncan Hunter said they will discuss the date with his wife, he later told his chief of staff,’ tell the navy to go f*** themselves’, the tour did not happen.”

    Margaret Hunter had emailed her friend that “Italy was fantastic. Honestly, so far, it is the best family tour. As the saying goes, “You would never see me, if it was free to travel.” But, she went ahead to tell the campaign treasurer that costs incurred during their Italy tour, “were mainly linked to defense/ military meetings.”

    In addition, the charge stated that $354.25 of the campaign funds has been spent by Duncan Hunter, “to purchase drinks at Jack Rose Dining Saloon, where his brother was being entertained at a bachelors party.”

    “On 4th March in 2016, Duncan Hunter used $3354.25 of the campaign funds in Washington, D.C, at E1 Tamarindo restaurant to buy one steak and 30 shots of tequila, in a personal 80’s bachelors party.”

    Until 2017 when the justice Department received investigations from the House Ethics Committee, there was an investigation of Hunter’s campaign spending. The USA reported today that the attorneys of Hunter, Gregory Vega, and Elliot Berke made a statement saying their client “noted the expenditure challenges facing his campaign committee in 2016.”

    Also, the statement said that “from sufficient warning, Hunter took corrective actions after consulting the EFC, where he and his wife finally repaid approximately $60,000 to the campaign. Additionally, his stand is that despite the size of any mistakes done, they were by accidental and not intended.”

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    source: newsweek