Monthly Archives: April 2020

The best Amazon Kindle cases

  • Amazon Kindles are lightweight and portable e-readers designed to go anywhere you go, but they are also fragile and prone to damage.
  • A good case can protect your Amazon Kindle, and they don’t have to break the bank.
  • Because Kindles come in different shapes and sizes, make sure you choose the right case for the Kindle you own.

Amazon’s popular Kindle e-readers are lightweight and easy to carry around, but they are also prone to damage if you’re not careful. Whether you’re reading a best-selling novel by the pool or you tend to throw your tech around, putting a Kindle into a protective case is the obvious solution. But, the number of cases available, in a variety of styles and price points, can feel seemingly endless.

After researching all the popular cases for Kindles – from both Amazon and third-party makers – we narrowed down our recommendations to three great options. All cases are folio-style in that they have a hard-shell backing, with the front opening like a book cover, They don’t add additional significant weight and provide a Kindle with protection, and even include useful features like auto on/off. We also have two honorable mentions that are worth considering.

For this guide we focused on cases for the current 10th-generation of Kindles: Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis. Whatever case you decide on, make sure it is compatible with your particular Kindle, as Kindle shapes and sizes vary from model to model, and year to year (most of these recommended cases will not fit models from previous generations, despite sharing the same name). In each of our recommendations, we note which Kindle the case is available for; in some instances, we may only recommend a case for a specific Kindle.

Here are the best Kindle cases:


The best fabric Kindle case

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Amazon

The Amazon Kindle Fabric Cover offers the best balance of great design and protection.

Available for: Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis

This case from Amazon comes with a hard shell and a fabric cover that’s available in a variety of colors (varies by Kindle). While it would’ve been nice to choose from even more colors, its thin and lightweight design makes it easy to add to the Kindle without adding too much bulk in a bag or purse. For most people, the fabric Kindle case is the best, thanks to quality construction.

A magnetic closure and soft interior ensure the cover stays closed and the screen is protected at all times – great for when the case jostles around in a bag. We wish it had a kickstand on the back of the case, especially for the price. It is still be easy to hold during use, which is how most Kindle owners use it anyway.

The case also has an auto-on/off feature when the cover is open or closed. However, some users who bought the version for the regular Kindle noted a quicker battery drain than usual, and suggest it may have something to do with the magnetic closure. If you encounter this, definitely get in touch with Amazon.

The Paperwhite version is also “water-safe.” Because the Kindle Paperwhite itself is waterproof, the thinking here is that users are more likely to carry the Paperwhite to places like the pool or beach, and need a case to complement. Note that the fabric case for the Oasis or regular Kindle is not (irony is that the Oasis, like the Paperwhite, is also waterproof); if you own one of these Kindles and would like a water-resistant case, go with a leather product.

While it is one of the most expensive options in this list, it offers outstanding value and quality for the price.

Pros: Great design, lightweight, magnetic closure, soft interior keeps screen safe

Cons: Few colors, one of the pricier options on our list, no kickstand for easy viewing


The best Kindle case for outdoor use

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Fintie

The Ayotu Case is an outstanding option for anyone who plans to use the Kindle outside or anywhere it might get wet.

Available for: Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis

With a seemingly endless supply of colors and designs – ranging from pastels to graphics – the Ayotu cases also have similar qualities like the Amazon Kindle Fabric Case. There’s a magnetic closure that prevents the folio cover from opening, and it wakes-up the Kindle when the cover is opened.

But what makes the Ayotu cases our pick for outdoor use are the extra protective qualities. The cover is constructed of multiple layers of hard and soft materials that help resist water and drops. The hard backing also protects the Kindle on all sides. The microfiber lining on the inside helps prevent scratches on the screen.

Due to the construction, the Ayotu cases are bulkier than others. But if extra protection is what you need, the Ayotu offerings are good options.

Pros: Plenty of colors and designs, auto wake/sleep, rugged build

Cons: Some designs will not suit everyone’s taste, a little bulky


The best leather Kindle case

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ACDream

The CoBak Leather Smart Cover is designed for anyone who likes the look and feel of leather in a Kindle case.

Available for: Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, and Kindle Oasis

CoBak’s cases are made from quality artificial leather that comes in a variety of colors, ranging from rose gold, black, and blue, to graphic designs featuring butterflies, swans, and even Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” The interior is made from a soft lining to reduce the chances of your Kindle being scratched when not in use.

And, since the case is water-resistant, it can handle occasional rain or splash from the pool when outside; CoBak claims its cases are waterproof, but unless it’s the Kindle Oasis or Paperwhite, it will not waterproof the actual device.

Some users said they wished the case had better protection around the corners of the Kindle, so be aware of that.

Pros: Nice faux-leather, variety of colors and designs, anti-scratch interior

Cons: Limited corner protection


What else we considered

Amazon Kindle Leather Case: From Amazon, this is another option for those who like a case with a leather finish. It feels higher-end than other leather Kindle cases, and it is designed to be lightweight and thin enough to not add too much bulk to the Kindle. We aren’t a fan of the rather large magnetic clasp on the side – it’s unattractive, but some may like it for easier opening. We also wish more colors were available. Amazon says it’s made from genuine leather, but we aren’t sure if it’s synthetic or animal-based. Ultimately, it’s the high-price that stopped us from making it a must-have.

Fintie Slimshell: We like that this case comes in a variety of designs, and it’s something to consider if you want to show-off some flair. The cover is made with synthetic leather on the outside and soft fiber on the inside. It’s slim, but we don’t like the bulky magnetic closure that sticks out. If you can overlook that, it’s a good option if you want more design options than what Ayotu and CoBak offer.

22 perfect gifts to show your appreciation to nurses and healthcare workers

Adidas Ultra Boost 20

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Mount Sinai Queens
  • The work nurses do is essential to society, although it often goes without recognition or praise.
  • As the fight against COVID-19 continues, there’s no better time than now to show your appreciation for them.
  • We rounded up more than 20 gifts to give to nurses, including useful items to bring to work as well as relaxing items to use at home.

Nurses are some of the hardest working professionals you’ll ever meet. It’s a job that requires a high level of empathy and compassion, and it often goes without recognition or praise.

Being a nurse can be demanding both physically and mentally under normal circumstances, but as the fight against COVID-19 continues, the demand is even higher. Healthcare professionals are putting themselves at risk on a daily basis to take care of people, with many of them on the frontlines.

Whether you’re a patient, a family member of a patient, or you know a nurse personally, there’s no better time to show your appreciation for the work that they do than now.

My girlfriend has worked as a registered nurse for more than two years, so I’ve personally witnessed how hard it can be on a person. To help you pick out the perfect gift that can make their lives a little easier, I’ve put together a combination of items I’ve gifted personally, along with a handful of products that she recommends.

22 great gift ideas for nurses and healthcare workers:


Hand cream for dry skin

O’Keeffe’s Working Hands Hand Cream, $5.99

Your favorite nurse’s hands can get extremely dry from repeated hand washing and sanitizing, but O’Keeffe’s Working Hand Cream can quickly repair the damage.


Comfortable sneakers

Adidas Ultra Boost 20, $180, available in multiple colors for men and women

Comfortable shoes are an absolute must for nurses, and the Adidas Ultra Boost is one of the best options. With every item purchased over $20, Adidas will donate an additional $2 to the WHO COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.


A Disney Plus subscription

Sign up for Disney Plus, $6.99 per month or $69.99 per year ($5.83/month)

When you’re shopping for gifts for nurses, keep in mind that not every gift has to be related to their work. With everything from classic Disney movies and shows to Star Wars and Marvel movies, a Disney Plus subscription is a great way for them to unwind and stay entertained on their days off. Learn more about Disney Plus here.


A water bottle to keep drinks cold on long shifts

Hydro Flask 40 ounce Wide Mouth, $49.95

Nurses might not have a fancy kitchen filled with snacks and drinks like your average corporate office, but they do still need to stay hydrated throughout their shifts. The Hydro Flask 40-ounce water bottle is designed to keep drinks ice cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours, so they can enjoy their drinks at the right temperature.


Compression socks

FuelMeFoot Compression Socks, starting at $7.37

If you ask a nurse if they’ve ever experienced pain or soreness from long, busy hours on their feet, they’ll surely say, “yes.” A good pair of compression socks can help increase blood circulation and alleviate some of that pain. Plus, with many fun colors available, they can always go to work wearing cool socks.


A new set of scrubs

Shop all scrubs and medical wear at FIGS

Give the FIGS Frontline Set, $72

New scrubs are always welcome by nurses. FIGS is one of the most popular brands for its well-fitting scrubs that come in a variety of styles. And if you don’t know a nurse to personally gift, you can buy a Frontline Set and FIGS will deliver a new pair to an in-need healthcare professional.


A smartwatch

Apple Watch Series 5, starting at $384

Time management is a huge part of being a good nurse, so watches are a perfect gift. An Apple Watch is a great option because they can set timers and alarms, and also get important notifications without having to always check their phone.


An e-reader

Kindle Paperwhite, $129.99

The Kindle Paperwhite makes it easy to enjoy your favorite books wherever you go. Whether they decide to use it on their days off or on their lunch break, this is a wonderful gift for readers.

If they’ve already got a Kindle, or they read on their phone or iPad, you might look into gifting a Scribd membership. It’s lesser-known than apps like Audible, but it’s a better deal and will give them access to hundreds of thousands of books and audiobooks.


A Brooklinen gift card for really nice sheets

Gift a Brooklinen Gift Card

Anything that can potentially promote a better night’s sleep is a nice gift idea, but quality sheets are the best place to start.

Brooklinen has quickly become a standard-bearer for startups offering premium bedding at affordable prices. Their sheets look great, feel even better, and can genuinely offer you a better night’s sleep. They’re also our pick for the best luxury sheets you can buy.

You can get a Queen sheet set (flat sheet, fitted sheet, and two standard pillowcases) for as little as $129 altogether.


A weighted blanket

Gravity Blanket, starting at $189

It goes without saying that nursing can be stressful, and with many healthcare professionals picking up extra shifts or working nights, they can often be sleep-deprived. To help them get the best sleep possible, consider gifting them a weighted blanket. Research suggests that weighted blankets decrease cortisol (the stress hormone) and increase melatonin to help promote a more relaxing and fulfilling night of sleep.


A device for streaming TV

Fire TV Stick, $39.99

The Fire TV Stick is Alexa-enabled, so they can leisurely control content like Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu, STARZ, SHOWTIME, or CBS All Access using only their voice. They can also stream Pluto TV, IMDb Freedive, and others services for free.


A Starbucks gift card

Gift a Starbucks gift card with email delivery, starting at $15

Caffeine fuels many people in their professional lives and nurses are no different. A Starbucks gift card might seem like a simple gift, but it’s one that will definitely be appreciated.


An essential oil diffuser

PureMist Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser, $19.99

Working in a hospital can be chaotic and hectic, so it’s always a great idea to help nurses create a peaceful and relaxing environment at home. The PureMist Ultrasonic Diffuser lights up and can be used with their favorite essential oils, creating a soothing aromatic experience.


Scented candles

Gift Otherland Candles here, $36 for A Single Flame or $86 for The Threesome

Candles are another wonderful way to improve someone’s mood and Otherland is one of our favorite places to buy them. The brand offers hand-poured non-toxic candles in a range of desirable scents.


A visa gift card

A $100 Visa Gift Card, $105.95

A $200 Visa Gift Card, $206.95

While a Visa gift card might not seem like a super thoughtful gift, it actually is. Nurses can use it to buy lunch during the week, new scrubs, sneakers, or whatever else they might consider useful. After all, they know best what they need.


A container for bringing lunch or dinner to work

S’well Eats container, $40-$50

The S’well Eats container is the perfect gift for nurses who like to bring their meals to work with them. Available in 16-ounce and 21-ounce versions, the S’well Eats can keep food cold for up to 12 hours and hot for 7 hours.


High-quality noise canceling headphones

Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, $299 (Originally $349) [You save $50]

A quality pair of noise-canceling headphones is a great way to disconnect from the outside world and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II is one of the highest-rated options available. Whether it’s on their commute, their break, or days off, you can be sure they’ll get a lot of use out of these fan-favorite headphones for years to come.


Comfortable loungewear for their days off

Shop MeUndies Loungewear for men and women here

Everyone deserves comfortable clothes to lounge our sleep in. While you might be wearing them all day, every day while living and working at home, nurses will still appreciate being able to change into them after a long shift. MeUndies makes some of our favorite loungewear, and with a range of colors and patterns to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Read our full review on MeUndies loungewear.


A pain-relieving massager

Theragun massagers, starting at $199

Thergun massagers are mostly used by athletes after workouts, but completing a full shift as a nurse can be a workout in and of itself. The massagers use deep tissue percussive therapy to help alleviate pain and speed up recovery. Read our full review on the Theragun G3 model.

Theragun announced on April 9 it would begin offering healthcare professionals discounts of up to $250 on its G3Pro and G3 massage guns through May 4. To qualify for the discount, medical personnel must send an email containing their medical ID (or relevant employment documentation) to info@theragun.com with a subject line of Frontline Discount. If the gift doesn’t need to be a surprise, you might want to consider buying them a Visa gift card and allowing them to purchase it themselves at the discounted price.


Silicone wedding rings to wear to work

ROQ Silicone Wedding Rings, starting at $5.99

Many nurses choose not to wear their wedding or engagement rings out of fear of losing or damaging them at work. ROQ Silicone rings are the perfect solution for allowing them to symbolize their commitment without risking their precious rings.


A nurse-themed reel badge from Etsy

Mandag433’s Nurse Badge Reel, starting at $9.99

Nurses and other essential hospital workers are usually required to keep their IDs visible and these badge reels from Etsy are the perfect way to do it. Designed by Etsy seller Mandag433, these badges are available in a bunch of themes for workers in different departments.


An Instant Pot that makes delicious meals with little effort

Instant Pot Duo 6-Quart, $79

The last thing nurses want to do after working a 12-hour shift is come home and have to make dinner. The Instant Pot Duo is excellent at cutting down cooking time and is versatile enough to create a variety of dishes.

Rep. Adam Schiff told Google and Twitter to step up their fight against coronavirus misinformation with an unexpected message: Be more like Facebook

Adam Schiff.

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Adam Schiff.
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Reuters

  • Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff has called on Google and Twitter to step up their efforts in fighting misinformation on their platforms.
  • Schiff pointed the companies to look at what Facebook has been doing, which was rare kudos for the social network in its fight against misinformation.
  • Schiff wants YouTube and Twitter to not only stop users finding misinformation, but redirect them to better information when they do.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Facebook is used to being grilled by lawmakers over its handling of misinformation, but the company received a rare kudos from Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who has called on Google and Twitter to step up their own efforts in the battle against disinformation related to the coronavirus.

In a letter shared on Twitter, Schiff congratulated Google and Twitter for their early commitment to fighting misinformation, but went on to criticize both platforms for not doing more to provide the right information, too.

“Among the harmful misinformation currently on YouTube, recent reporting has shown that it is easy to find videos spreading false and dangerous statements about the coronavirus or treatments, including conspiracy theories linking the virus to 5G towers, anti-vaccine messages suggesting the virus was engineered, and videos suggesting that drinking or consuming bleach may cure the disease” wrote Schiff.

He drew on examples of similar content being shared on Twitter.

But what was more surprising was how Schiff pointed to Facebook as the shining example of what these companies should be striving towards.

“As you are likely aware, Facebook recently announced plans got display messages to any users who have engaged with harmful coronavirus-related misinformation that has since been removed from the platform and connect them with resources from the World Health Organization,” he wrote.

Facebook has been fighting its own war on misinformation around the pandemic, cracking down on fake cures, stamping out conspiracy theory groups, and rolling out the feature mentioned in Schiff’s letter, which will alert users when they interact with a post that shares disinformation about the coronavirus, and point them toward information from the WHO.

Google was also early to fighting misinformation on its own platforms, and has taken various steps to do so, including making financial contributions to fact-checking organizations.

The company told Business Insider today that it removed 2.7 billion “bad ads” in 2019, and that it has improved efforts with the coronavirus.

“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have closely monitored advertiser behavior to protect users from fraudulent ads that look to take advantage of the crisis,” a Google spokesperson told Business Insider.

But it’s YouTube that Schiff is still concerned about, and why his letter was co-addressed to Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. YouTube has had to respond fast to curb the rise of misinformation on its platform, but things have slipped through.

A Business Insider investigation found examples of ads flouting YouTube’s rules for price-gouging by adopting creative methods to get through the filter.

Schiff hasn’t asked for a response from the companies, and right now neither YouTube nor Twitter has announced plans to introduce features similar to Facebook’s on their own platforms. However, YouTube this week announced it will start showing fact-check information panels when users search for certain topics likely to spread misinformation.

As for Twitter, it recently updated its guidelines to demand users take down tweets that “incite people to action and cause widespread panic, social unrest or large-scale disorder.”

A ‘Space Jam’ sequel is coming next summer with LeBron James and Bugs Bunny and we finally know the name

Are you ready for

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Are you ready for “Space Jam 2”?
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Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports, Warner Bros.

Everybody get up it’s time to slam now. On Thursday, basketball star LeBron James surprised fans on Twitter by revealing the name of the anticipated “Space Jam” sequel.

It will be called “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”

The Los Angeles Lakers’ player previously teased his role in the sequel to Business Insider in 2016.

“We don’t want to rush it. We don’t want to do something that’s not authentic to the ‘Space Jam’ brand,” James told Business Insider editor-in-chief Alyson Shontell at the time.

The original 1996 movie followed Michael Jordan – playing a fictionalized version of himself – as he teamed up with Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes gang in a basketball match against the aliens of Moron Mountain.

This time around, James is also expected to team up with Bugs and the Looney Tunes characters, though it’s unclear if they’ll be going up against the Monstars again.

In addition to the title reveal, the official “Space Jam” Twitter account revealed the movie’s logo.

The new title.

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The new title.
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Warner Bros.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” is expected to be in theaters on July 16, 2021.

Alan Cumming on why he likes ‘queer’ and how he intends to break down boundaries as a new podcast host

Alan Cumming is a cohost on the new podcast

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Alan Cumming is a cohost on the new podcast “Homo Sapiens.”
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Courtesy of Alan Cumming.

  • The Scottish actor Alan Cumming, known for “Cabaret” and “X-Men,” is to cohost the LGBTQ podcast “Homo Sapiens” this May alongside filmmaker Chris Sweeney.
  • He says being “curious about people” led him to the project.
  • He believes the strength of podcasting derives from not needing to look at screens.
  • The actor hopes to break stigmas around topics like sex and gender conformity.
  • He has won more than 40 humanitarian awards for his LGBTQ activism.
  • He prefers the term queer if he is to use any label because it’s “not just about what you do with your genitals.”

Alan Cumming is up front about discussing sex. In fact, for some, his reputation for tackling stigmas transcends his reputation as a film and TV star. When not playing a lead in “X-Men” or a Bond baddie in “GoldenEye,” the Scottish actor is an award-winning LGBTQ-rights campaigner, passionate about using his surname in a light and comedic way to smash stigmas around sex and queer culture. Cumming also takes on prolific queer roles, as in the CBS show “Instinct,” in which he played the first gay lead in an American network drama.

Backstage at London’s Old Vic theater, where Cumming was starring opposite Daniel Radcliffe in the existential Beckett play “Endgame,” a towel is embossed with “Club Cumming” after the star’s naughtily named New York bar and cabaret. It’s carefully folded by the shower. (On his website, the actor’s fragrance, Cumming, is advertised alongside a video of the actor seductively undressing with a hook-up).

Reclining on a narrow single bed half tucked under his dressing-room table, Cumming seems more as if he’s about to hang out with close friends than conduct an interview, but he extends me a warm welcome. He’s excitable as he scrolls through Meghan Markle news on his phone; his candor is to set the tone for the rest of the interview. We’re meeting to talk about Cumming’s new role as a guest host for the LGBTQ podcast “Homo Sapiens,” a role that seems a glove fit for Cumming’s warm and chatty personality.

Periodically shouting at the speaker when it doesn’t stop playing – “Alexa, f— you!” – Cumming is an addictive, heady mix of acerbic and approachable. Keen to approach “Homo Sapiens” with lashings of his own brand of LGBTQ activism, Cumming tackles serious subjects by offering comedy, intellect, and a friendly ear.

“I’m a chatty Cathy,” he says, reclining further on the bed. His accent is still thickly Scottish despite years of stateside living. The only giveaway that I’m in the company of a Hollywood actor is the expensive-looking reusable water bottle he is rhythmically shaking back and forth. “It’s got a thing that goes through it, not infrared, the other thing? UV!” he explains, humanizing the bougie product with a big dollop of on-brand affability. “It cleans the water so you can have s—ty old water and you shake it and it’s clean.”

“I’m curious about people,” he continues, shaking the bottle from side to side. “I’m also good at disarming them, getting them to be open and vulnerable by just making them comfortable. I’m also good at letting people let go. When I DJ at Club Cumming I show people that I’m not going to judge you – I’m going to be jumping around and making a fool of myself.”

And in 2020, podcasts have become Cumming’s digital club room. “I think it’s interesting to think about the difference between podcasts and the whole digital world; most of that’s about looking at a screen and engaging just with a screen rather than listening. With podcasts, it’s actually a more passive thing – you can actually be in the world and be doing stuff, or just listen on your phone.”

Cumming may be good at disarming his guests, but he and his cohost Chris Sweeney, a filmmaker who we also met for our interview, are keen to assert they aren’t journalists. “I want it to feel like you’re just having a chat with us,” Cumming says. “I want it to feel like you’re coming to my house, or I’m having a party in my apartment. This is an extension of that.”

He dislikes the highly pressurized style of most TV show interviewers, though he commends “that British boy” James Corden’s approach. “It’s so liberating to see people not just vomiting out their hilarious anecdotes,” he says. “It’s such a broken model I think.”

Episodes in the fourth season of “Homo Sapiens,” launching this May, will respond to some of the latest discussions prevalent within LGBTQ culture. They include the deconstruction of gender, the continued platforming of diverse voices, and the destigmatizing of conversations around sex, particularly anal sex.

Patti Smith and Stephen Fry are among the guests in the new season, which has a theme of icons, “but icons doesn’t necessarily mean an older person,” Cumming clarifies. One millennial interviewee is the burgeoning playwright Jeremy O’Harris. “He goes to an old-folks home on a Monday night and plays bingo with all the old people and takes, what are those dogs everyone doesn’t like because they’re so scary? Massive head? Pit bulls. He takes pit bulls home and smothers them with love and tries to train them. And he always talks about trans issues, whenever there’s an attack or a murder he’s all over that. I think it’s just about people who make a difference. And also he’s fabulous.”

“He speaks about being a black queer body and how objectified you are,” adds Sweeney. “People will happily message you on an app going, ‘I like black dudes.’ It’s like, what?” Cumming acknowledges that both he and Sweeney are white men tackling issues around diversity, saying the podcast could be a venue for anyone to “find out more about queer black culture” or other subjects explored with each guest.

Which guests would epitomize their message of inclusion and acceptance? “Let’s get Harry!” Cumming bursts out seconds after Sweeney had noted how the former One Direction star Harry Styles has become an icon for people who feel different. He has been going out in public wearing both male and female clothes and has refused to say whether he is gay, straight, or somewhere in between.

Sweeney agrees with Styles that definitions are blurring. “I think it’s also making sex sexier again,” Cumming asserts. “Just kind of finding out what your desires are. Your desires, for me anyway, your sexuality and your desires change. It’s never black and white.”

Pansexuality is the latest sexual movement rapidly gaining pace. The label refers to people who prioritize the individual, regardless of their gender. “I think that’s great, but it’s another f—ing label, do you know what I mean?” Cumming says. “I just feel like I like queer because queer is not just about what you do to your genitals.”

And that may be the “Homo Sapiens” mission statement. To humanize queer issues and queer people and, ultimately, to unite LGBTQ communities through the power of the podcast.

Cumming’s fans will have plenty of “brand Cumming” moments to treasure, as episodes are delightfully peppered with his trademark declarations of sex positivity. I’m offered one myself when the interview wraps, and I mention that I’m looking forward for the forthcoming James Bond film “No Time To Die and that as a member of the LGBTQ community I’ve always wondered why I adore the series so much when Bond’s creator, the author Ian Fleming, declared that it was for heterosexual men.

Cumming’s ears prick up. “James Bond? That’s about a real sexy powerful man who does everything,” he quips excitedly. “He’s like Superman: He can kick butts, he can kill people, he’s clever, he’s funny, he’s witty, and he’d be a great f—!”

The San Antonio Zoo is launching a drive-thru zoo with ‘a sloth-like 4 mph’ speed limit

The San Antonio Zoo has launched a drive-thru experience throughout May so visitors can see the animals while socially distancing.

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The San Antonio Zoo has launched a drive-thru experience throughout May so visitors can see the animals while socially distancing.
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YouTube/San Antonio Zoo

  • The San Antonio Zoo launched a drive-thru experience that sold out so fast the zoo decided to extend the dates.
  • Guests will be able to drive through the zoo at “a sloth-like 4 mph” on a pre-mapped route.
  • The zoo, like most other businesses, shut down in mid-March due to coronavirus lockdown measures and furloughed nearly 60% of the 700 staff members.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The San Antonio Zoo has launched a drive-thru experience for visitors to see the animals from the safety of their vehicles while practicing social distancing.

The zoo initially planned to host the drive-thru experience during the first weekend of May, but tickets sold out so quickly that the zoo added more dates all the way up to May 17th.

Guests must drive through the park at no more than a “sloth-like 4 mph,” according to the zoo’s website.

A map on the site shows the route drivers will take, passing by bears, birds, leopards, lions, reptiles, and monkeys. The zoo has even offered an audio tour on its website for visitors to play as they drive.

The zoo, like most other businesses, had to shut down in mid-March due to coronavirus lockdown measures, and CEO Tim Morrow told USA Today that nearly 60% of the zoo’s 700 staff members were furloughed.

Some of those employees will return to help run the drive-thru throughout May.

“To be able to get those team members back sooner rather than later makes us very happy,” Morrow said.

Since the zoo’s closure, the staff has hosted Facebook Live events showing viewers the animals and urging them to “Stay PAWSITIVE.” The videos have also solicited donations to the zoo’s emergency fund.

Morrow told USA Today the zoo costs between $300,000 and $500,000 per week to operate.

“Unlike most zoos in the country, we are 100% dependent on people visiting and buying tickets and spending money,” Morrow told USA Today. “We’ve been fundraising, like every nonprofit in the country, trying to raise money to really cover expenses while we get back up on our feet and get loans and all of the things every business is doing.”

Trump claims he has evidence the coronavirus originated in a Wuhan lab but that he’s ‘not allowed to tell’ anyone what it is

  • President Trump said Thursday that he has evidence showing that the coronavirus originated from a lab in Wuhan, China, but he can’t share what it is.
  • “I can’t tell you that,” Trump said when a reporter asked what information gave him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus came from the lab. “I’m not allowed to tell you that.”
  • The Office of the Director of National Intelligence put out a statement Thursday saying the US intelligence community agrees with the “wide scientific consensus” that the coronavirus was not “manmade or genetically modified.”
  • The statement said intelligence agencies will continue to “rigorously examine” whether the virus was “the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”
  • Multiple intelligence officials told The New York Times, Politico, and other outlets that there is no evidence so far to back up the theory that the coronavirus was created in or escaped from a Wuhan lab.
  • Sources also told The Times that Trump administration officials are pressuring US spies to link the virus to the lab, and one former official described senior aides’ repeated emphasis of the lab theory as “conclusion shopping.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump said on Thursday that he has evidence showing that the coronavirus originated from a lab in Wuhan, China, but he can’t share what it is.

Fox News reporter John Roberts asked Trump whether he has seen any evidence to date that gives him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

“Yes, I have,” Trump said, before going on a tangent about the World Health Organization and accusing the group of being a “public relations agency for China.”

“They shouldn’t be making excuses when people make horrible mistakes,” Trump said. “Especially mistakes that are causing hundreds of thousands of people around the world to die. I think the World Health Organization should be ashamed of themselves.”

A few minutes later, Roberts pressed Trump again and asked whether he has conclusive evidence that the coronavirus is not a naturally occurring virus.

“You’re talking about the virus and where it came from?” Trump asked, to which Roberts replied in the affirmative.

Here was Trump’s response, verbatim:

“No, we’re going to see where it is. We’re going to see where it comes from. And you know, look, you know every theory. You had the theory from the lab, you had the theory from many different – the bats, the type of bat, and the bat is 40 miles away, so it couldn’t have been here and it couldn’t have been there, and we have a – there’s a lot of theories. But, yeah, we have people looking at it very, very closely. Scientific people, intelligence people and others, and we’re going to put it all together, and I think we’re going to have a very good answer, eventually.”

“And what gives you a high degree of confidence that this originated from the Wuhan Institute of Virology?” Roberts asked again.

“I can’t tell you that,” Trump said. “I’m not allowed to tell you that.”

The president’s remarks came after the Office of the Director of National Intelligence put out a statement saying the intelligence community agrees with the “wide scientific consensus” that the coronavirus was not “manmade or genetically modified.”

The statement continued to say the intelligence community will “rigorously examine emerging information and intelligence to determine whether the outbreak began through contact with infected animals or if it was the result of an accident at a laboratory in Wuhan.”

Multiple intelligence officials and those familiar with the matter told The New York Times, Politico, and other outlets they have found no hard evidence so far to back up the theory that the novel coronavirus was created in or escaped from a Wuhan lab.

Sources also told The Times that Trump administration officials are pressuring American spies to link the virus to the lab, and one former intelligence official described senior aides’ repeated emphasis of the lab theory as “conclusion shopping,” a disparaging term analysts use to describe politically motivated demands.

Roberts also asked Trump about the ODNI’s statement on Thursday.

“Who was that, who was that that said that?” Trump replied after Robert brought up the statement.

“The Office of the Director of National Intelligence,” Robert said.

“Yeah, but who in particular, who was the man that made that statement?” the president said.

“It was a statement that the ODNI -” Robert began, before Trump cut him off.

“Oh, he would know that, huh?” Trump said, referring to his handpicked acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell. “National intelligence, okay. So we’ll see.”

Trump says Biden ‘should respond’ to Tara Reade’s assault allegation, but suggests the accusation could be false because ‘I’ve been falsely charged numerous times’

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event on protecting America’s senior citizens in the East Room of the White House April 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.

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U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during an event on protecting America’s senior citizens in the East Room of the White House April 30, 2020 in Washington, DC.
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Win McNamee/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump said that fomer Vice President Joe Biden “should respond” to allegations made by a former Senate staffer, Tara Reade, who alleges that Biden pushed her against a wall and sexually assaulted her in 1993.
  • Biden’s campaign has denied the allegations and several of his Democratic allies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have stood by him.
  • On Thursday, Trump was asked to respond to the accusation.
  • Trump said he thought Biden “should respond” but then added “it could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations. I’ve been falsely charged numerous times.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump said Thursday that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “should respond” to a new allegation of sexual misconduct by a former Senate staffer, but also theorized that the allegation could be false because of the numerous accusations made against him in the past that the president has aggressively denied.

Trump was asked for his response to the accusation during a Thursday White House event dedicated to protecting America’s senior citizens.

Tara Reade alleges that she was assaulted in 1993 when she was a staff assistant for then-Senator Biden. Reade alleges that Biden pushed her against the wall, put his hand up her skirt, and digitally penetrated her. She alleges she faced career retaliation when she tried to report his alleged conduct. In 2019, Reade initially accused Biden of touching her neck and shoulders in a way that made her uncomfortable, but she has since expanded her allegation.

Biden’s campaign has denied the allegation, and his Democratic allies like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have stood by him. The New York Times interviewed Senate staffers at the time who could not recall discussion of such an incident, or similar conduct by Biden.

“I don’t know anything about it,” Trump began, before saying he thought Biden “should respond.”

He then went on to surmise that “it could be false accusations. I know all about false accusations. I’ve been falsely charged numerous times.”

Over 20 women have accused Trump of sexual misconduct since ran for president in 2016, with the severity ranging from grabbing and forcibly kissing to sexual assault. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

Trump went on to cite the allegations that surfaced about Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, whose confirmation hearings became a referendum on the #MeToo movement

“If you look at Brett Kavanaugh there’s an outstanding man,” Trump said Thursday. “He was falsely charged. What happened with him, was an absolute disgrace to our country.”

Kavanaugh’s most prominent accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, testified before the Senate in a publicly televised September 2018 hearing that Trump’s Supreme Court pick, along with a friend, Mark Judge, had allegedly attacked her at a party while they were in high school.

Ford told the Washington Post that Kavanaugh was drunk when he cornered her in a bedroom and forced her onto a bed, where they groped her and pulled at her clothes, and Kavanaugh covered her mouth when she tried to scream. She said the attack only ended when Judge jumped on top of them, causing a tussle that allowed her to flee.

Kavanaugh was ultimately confirmed by the Senate after he aggressively refuted the allegations during his own portion of the televised hearings.

The Kavanaugh case has been cited by Trump’s Republican allies in recent days, as they attempt to paint Democrats who stand by Biden as hypocrites.

After Pelosi reaffirmed her support for Biden on Thursday and insisted she had “complete respect for the whole MeToo movement,” Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on a call of his own that the Speaker was “being a hypocrite.”

Photos show New Zealand residents getting back to the beach, the putting green, and the McDonald’s drive-thru line after more than a month in coronavirus lockdown

A masked man waits for a bus on the first day of the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020.

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A masked man waits for a bus on the first day of the easing of coronavirus restrictions in Wellington, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020.
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MARTY MELVILLE/AFP via Getty Images

  • New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday that the country has eliminated community transmission of the novel coronavirus. The country began scaling back its lockdown restrictions soon after.
  • Under the country’s level four coronavirus lockdown measures, residents were required to stay home aside from essential work, grocery shopping, and outdoor exercise near their homes.
  • New Zealand is now functioning with level three restrictions, which means the nation’s non-essential businesses that can operate in a contactless manner are allowed to reopen and citizens can engage in activities that allow for physical distance.
  • These photos show a snapshot of what life has been like for New Zealanders since the restrictions were eased.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

New Zealand residents were on a country-wide lockdown from March 25. When restrictions were lifted on April 28, citizens were allowed to leave their homes and return to activities that allow for physical distance.

Source: Business Insider


While this has allowed citizens to get back to hobbies like surfing and golf, and children under 10 can go back to school, religious gatherings, wedding ceremonies, haircuts remain off-limits. The country’s borders remain closed.

Source: The Washington Post, CNN


New Zealanders can make socially-distanced trips to restaurant drive-thrus. People tweeted that long lines at fast-food restaurants formed early Tuesday morning.

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People order McDonald’s at a drive-thru in Auckland, New Zealand, on April 28, 2020.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: Hemant Parikh/Twitter, The Washington Post


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced at a public briefing on Monday that the country had eliminated community transmission of the coronavirus. Ardern began lifting restrictions requiring residents to stay home the following day.

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: Business Insider, RNZ/YouTube


The country is currently operating with level three restrictions, which means they’re still following social distancing guidelines of remaining 6 feet apart and keeping social gatherings to a minimum.

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People order takeout from Fidel’s Cafe on April 29, 2020, in Wellington, New Zealand.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Sources: New Zealand Government, RNZ/YouTube


“We are opening up the economy, but we’re not opening up people’s social lives,” Ardern said in the briefing.

Source: Business Insider


The ease of restrictions has allowed for one million New Zealanders to work and for 75% of the economy to function, Ardern said at the briefing.

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Bar manager Jack Chrisholm packs supplies for online orders for the Fork & Brewer on April 29, 2020, in Wellington New Zealand.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: RNZ/YouTube


The primary sector of New Zealand’s economy, which includes products like dairy, meat, wool, and wine, will likely catch up quickly, John McDermott, executive director at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research, told the Washington Post.

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A cellar at Church Road Winery in New Zealand on April 24, 2008.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: The Washington Post


These industries are able to operate under social distancing guidelines. However, industries like tourism remain closed.

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Kitchen hand Jatin Singh checks supplies for online food orders for the Fork & Brewer on April 29, 2020, in Wellington, New Zealand.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: The Washington Post


In total, the country has recorded 1,122 confirmed cases and 19 deaths from the disease as of Monday, the nation’s Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said at the briefing.

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Kaipara Flats School teacher Sharon Brown sanitizes the classroom equipment on April 28, 2020 ahead of a small number of children returning to class in Auckland, New Zealand.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Sources: RNZ/YouTube


Bloomfield told New Zealand on Tuesday that the crisis isn’t over yet. “Elimination is not a point in time,” Bloomfield said in the briefing. “It is a sustained effort to keep it out and stamp it out over many months.”

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Members of the public line up outside Night ‘n Day Foodstore in Manners Mall on April 29, 2020, in Wellington, New Zealand.
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Mark Baker/AP Images

Source: RNZ/YouTube

Why can’t I stop sneezing? The science behind sneezes, and how to stop sneezing

Sneezing can occur from allergies, the common cold, or any irritation to particles in the air.

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Sneezing can occur from allergies, the common cold, or any irritation to particles in the air.
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Crystal Cox/Business Insider

  • If you can’t stop sneezing, it’s because your nasal passage is irritated or inflamed.
  • Sneezing is often caused by particles entering the nose – such as pollen, dust, mold, air pollution, animal dander, or exposure to chemicals.
  • To stop sneezing, you should treat your allergies, avoid your environmental triggers, or wear a face mask.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Omid Mehdizadeh, MD, otolaryngologist and laryngologist at the Pacific Neuroscience Institute’s Pacific Eye, Ear & Skull Base Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Triggered by everything from pollen to pepper, sneezing is an involuntary reflex that can protect us from harmful particles.

And while it is a helpful immune response, repeated and uncontrollable sneezing can also be quite annoying.

Here’s how to figure out the cause of your sneezes and how to treat it, so you can stop sneezing.

Why can’t I stop sneezing?

Sneezing occurs when your nasal passage is irritated or inflamed. This is often caused by foreign particles entering your nose, an allergic reaction, or an infectious illness.

But sneezes can also be a result of other factors. Here are the most common reasons why we sneeze:

Allergies

Sneezing is one of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis, or seasonal allergies.

With seasonal allergies, sneezing is caused by irritation to pollen from trees, grass, or weeds. In other cases, the environmental allergen causing irritation may be dust, mold, air pollution, or animal dander.

A 2015 case study found that 15% to 30% of US adults suffer from allergy-related sneezing, and seasonal allergies, also called hay fever, affects about 7.8% of American adults.

Cold or flu

“When you are sick with a cold or flu, the mucous membranes of the nose and throat are irritated, which can also trigger sneezing,” says Edo Paz, MD, at K Health.

This is called infectious rhinitis, and the body identifies the cold or flu as an unwanted foreign particle. Sneezing is also part of how infections can spread, as each sneeze can expel mucus and infectious agents, which can make a cold or flu contagious.

Environmental factors

Environmental pollutants or chemicals like cigarette smoke, chlorine, and even heavy perfume or aftershave can trigger sneezing. This is known as idiopathic or vasomotor rhinitis.

Pollution is a big cause of sneezing, and a 2015 study from the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry indicated that nitrogen dioxide and ground-level ozone are triggers for allergies, particularly when combined with humid environments, and numerous studies have linked climate change to an increase in allergies.

In other cases, changes in the air can increase sneezing, such as changing air temperature, dryness, or humidity.

Drug withdrawal

Many people detoxing from drugs commonly experience sneezing. This is particularly common in opioid withdrawal.

Drugs and alcohol suppress the immune system, and as the body tries to regain balance, sneezing is a common reflex. This will go away on its own as you detox, usually in around three days.

Exposure to bright light

This is known as ‘photic sneezing’ or ‘ACHOO syndrome’ (Autosomal Cholinergic Helio-Ophthalmologic Outburst) and occurs when you are exposed to bright light, like driving out of a dark tunnel into sunshine.

A 2010 study suggests this affects one in four people, and links the strange phenomenon to a miscommunication in the brain between visual and sensory signals.

When to see your doctor for sneezing

While sneezing can be irritating, it’s only a cause for concern in certain cases.

“A health concern would be for those who have compromised immune systems, as this can lead to chronic problems or turn into bacterial infections,” says J. Nicholas Bartolozzi, Physician Assistant with Concierge MD in Los Angeles.

How to stop sneezing

Sneezing is an involuntary reflex, which means it’s hard to prevent on the spot. And while there are some situations when you might want to stop a sneeze, like when your nose is bleeding, it’s generally not recommended.

Preventing a sneeze is not a good idea. “Whenever our body perceives a foreign invader, in this case an irritant, our body sneezes in order to protect itself,” Bartolozzi says.

Instead, Paz recommends treating the underlying cause of your sneezing.

“This can include treating your allergies, clearing your nasal passages with saline rinse, or taking a nasal decongestant to clear extra mucus while you are sick,” he says.

Here are some of the best ways to prevent sneezing before it occurs:

Treat your allergies

Medication like antihistamines, nasal sprays, and decongestants can help mitigate sneezing and other allergy symptoms on a short-term, day-to-day basis.

Immunotherapy (allergy shots) offers a more long-term solution – the American College of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology reports that it can reduce symptoms by 85% for those with allergic rhinitis.

Avoid environmental triggers

If dust or mold is a trigger for your sneezes, you should ensure good ventilation and regular cleaning. “It’s recommended to frequently wipe down surfaces that collect dust, vacuum and open windows when possible,” says Paz.

If air dryness or humidity triggers sneezing, having a dehumidifier or humidifier in your home can also help. Finally, don’t rent a place with carpet: a 2018 study found carpet flooring collects significantly more dust, animal dander, and mold than smooth floors like tiles or laminate, and was linked to an increase in allergies.

Wear a face mask

A 2018 study of the N95 respiratory mask showed that it was able to block large and small particles, from influenza to pollution, which could help reduce irritation.

Plus, recent studies have found that particles from a sneeze can travel at speeds of up to 100 feet per second, spreading up to eight meters – so if you are sick, wearing a mask will help prevent you from spreading your germs elsewhere.

In addition to standard surgical masks, the CDC’s recent guidelines say cloth masks work to prevent the spread of viruses through respiratory droplets. And you can make your own cloth mask at home.

Related stories about allergies: