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Surprisingly Sustainable: Oktoberfest’s Green Side

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Some celebrations are almost synonymous with waste. Picture the plastic-bead-strewn streets of New Orleans after Mardi Gras, or the mountains of plastic packaging and wrapping paper after Christmas. For the environmentally conscious, the incredible wastefulness of these occasions is enough to make a Scrooge out of even the most festive individual.

Surprisingly, an environmental hero has arisen from a most unlikely holiday. A celebration that seems to have no other purpose than excessive drinking. No, not St. Patty’s Day (although there are ways to go green then, too!). Friends, we’re talking about Oktoberfest.

Yes. Really.

The Environmental Oscars

Here’s a tidbit that might shock you — it certainly surprised us. Oktoberfest — the real one, that is, held in Munich, Germany, each autumn — is one of the most environmentally friendly events out there. So much so, in fact, that it was awarded the Environmental Oscar in 1997 for its efforts to be as minimally wasteful as possible.

How have Oktoberfest organizers achieved this? Three main aspects contribute to their environmental success:

Disposing of Disposables

In 1991, the city of Munich banned disposable servingware. No more paper plates, no more plastic forks. Instead, food was served on real plates, with real silverware. Drinks were served in glasses, rather than plastic tumblers. This one change reduced waste at the annual festival by over 90 percent. It’s an encouraging statistic for festivals worldwide, especially those that think that waste-free celebrations are beyond their capabilities. After all, Oktoberfest is hardly a small-time operation; it hosts six million visitors each year. If they can go without one-time-use tableware, surely your next backyard barbecue can too!

Organics & Recycling

Gray water from washing all these dishes doesn’t just go down the drain, either. In almost half the festival tents, gray water is reused to flush the toilets (I’ve always wondered why we don’t do this everywhere). Reusing water like this drastically reduces the need for fresh water, and ensures that Oktoberfest gets the most use out of every drop. Much of the food served at Oktoberfest — including the meat — is also organically sourced. And while we could definitely make a strong case for reducing the amount of meat eaten at the bacchanalian beer fest (each year, attendees devour tons of sausages and almost 500,000 chickens), choosing poultry that’s been organically raised does make a huge difference.

Renewable Rejoicing

Since the year 2000, streetlights, toilets and all other public areas of the festival have been powered by renewable energy, making the festival one of the greenest in terms of how it powers its raucous celebrations. This attitude of environmental awareness has filtered through to its vendors, too — approximately 60 percent of them have followed suit and also chosen renewable power sources.

Oktoberfest is one of the purest festivals out there when you look at pure intent. It was originally celebrated to mark the marriage of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to the Saxon-Hildburghausen Princess Therese on Oct. 12, 1810. These days, it’s a chance to celebrate good beer, great brats and dudes in lederhosen. But the way Munich has focused on creating sustainable Oktoberfest celebrations is an example to all of us that life needn’t be dour and stark to be eco-friendly. In fact, quite the opposite.

Your Own Green Event

So, how can you bring a little of Munich’s environmental sensibilities to your own Oktoberfest celebrations — or any other party, for that matter? It is possible, even if you can’t use gray water to flush your toilet or suddenly switch to renewable energy:

Use e-vite sites like Green Envelope or Paperless Post to create online invites instead of mailing paper ones.
Follow Oktoberfest’s lead and ditch the disposable plates, cups and silverware. If you’re worried about tipsy guests breaking your good dishes, pick up an inexpensive set at Goodwill or Value Village. It’ll likely be the same price as (or cheaper than) disposable stuff, and you can reuse for many parties down the road. Just remember to wash well before use.
Provide bins for compost, recycling and garbage. Often just providing guests options for eco-friendly waste disposal is all you need to do to decrease the amount of waste your party produces.
If you’re going all out for the celebration, rent a costume instead of buying one. Good lederhosen don’t come cheap, and cheap ones won’t last long. Get into the spirit by renting a costume that’ll help you dress the part without taking up space in your closet the rest of the year.
If it’s in your budget, offer your guests organic refreshments and food — organic and/or local chickens, sausage and even beer if you can find it!

We hope you have a fantastic time celebrating good beer, great friends and the crisp arrival of fall. Happy Oktoberfest!

Feature image courtesy of Shutterstock

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Surprisingly Sustainable: Oktoberfest’s Green Side

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Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher Dies After Heart Attack

Mother Jones

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Actress Carrie Fisher has died after suffering a massive heart attack last Friday. She was 60 years old.

Fisher, who was known for her role as Princess Leia in the Star Wars franchise, starred in several films and TV shows and wrote books about her struggle with substance abuse, including the bestseller Postcards from the Edge. She went into cardiac arrest when she was flying to Los Angeles from London, where she was promoting her new memoir, The Princess Diarist. She died in the hospital today.

This article – 

Star Wars Actress Carrie Fisher Dies After Heart Attack

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The Trump Files: The Many Times Donald Sang the Praises of Hillary Clinton

Mother Jones

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Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange but true stories, or curious scenes from the life of GOP nominee Donald Trump.

It’s Election Day. Still undecided about whom to vote for? Perhaps these words of endorsement might help you make up your mind. They’re about Hillary Clinton—and they came from Donald Trump. He’s lavishly praised Clinton and her husband for years, including the time when he…

…told a reporter that “Hillary Clinton is a great woman. And a good woman.”

“I think she’s going to go down, at a minimum, as a great senator,” Trump told NY1, a New York cable news channel, after Clinton lost the Democratic primary to Barack Obama in 2008. “I think she is a great wife to a president, and I think Bill Clinton was a great president.”

…talked up Hillary in his book.

Trump made sure to include a photo of himself with Clinton within the first 10 pages of his 1997 book, The Art of the Comeback, along with a fawning caption. “The First Lady is a wonderful woman who has handled pressure incredibly well,” he wrote.

…praised her hard work during a Fox News interview.

“I really like her and her husband both a lot,” Trump told Greta Van Susteren during the 2012 campaign. “I think she really works hard. And I think, again, she’s given an agenda, it is not all of her, but I think she really works hard and I think she does a good job. I like her.”

…wanted Clinton to win the nomination in 2008.

Wolf Blitzer asked Trump in 2007 about Clinton, his current sidekick Rudy Giuliani, and the pair’s chances of getting presidential nominations. “They’re both terrific people, and I hope they both get the nomination,” Trump said, adding at another point that “I know her…very well. She’s very talented.”

blogged that she’d make a great president.

“I know Hillary and I think she’d make a great president or vice-president,” Trump wrote in a 2008 blog post discovered by BuzzFeed.

…wanted to help her and Bill buy a house.

Trump lamented to Larry King in 1999 that the Clintons hadn’t turned to him for help in buying a house in Chappaqua, New York. “I just wish I could have maybe represented him in buying the house, and her, because I think I could save them about $600,000 or $700,000,” he said. Trump was exploring a run for the Reform Party presidential nomination at the time, but he still told King of his future political rival, “I like her very much.”

Read the rest of “The Trump Files”:

Trump Files #1: The Time Andrew Dice Clay Thanked Donald for the Hookers
Trump Files #2: When Donald Tried to Stop Charlie Sheen’s Marriage to Brooke Mueller
Trump Files #3: The Brief Life of the “Trump Chateau for the Indigent”
Trump Files #4: Donald Thinks Asbestos Fears Are a Mob Conspiracy
Trump Files #5: Donald’s Nuclear Negotiating Fantasy
Trump Files #6: Donald Wants a Powerball for Spies
Trump Files #7: Donald Gets An Allowance
Trump Files #8: The Time He Went Bananas on a Water Cooler
Trump Files #9: The Great Geico Boycott
Trump Files #10: Donald Trump, Tax-Hike Crusader
Trump Files #11: Watch Donald Trump Say He Would Have Done Better as a Black Man
Trump Files #12: Donald Can’t Multiply 17 and 6
Trump Files #13: Watch Donald Sing the “Green Acres” Theme Song in Overalls
Trump Files #14: The Time Donald Trump Pulled Over His Limo to Stop a Beating
Trump Files #15: When Donald Wanted to Help the Clintons Buy Their House
Trump Files #16: He Once Forced a Small Business to Pay Him Royalties for Using the Word “Trump”
Trump Files #17: He Dumped Wine on an “Unattractive Reporter”
Trump Files #18: Behold the Hideous Statue He Wanted to Erect In Manhattan
Trump Files #19: When Donald Was “Principal for a Day” and Confronted by a Fifth-Grader
Trump Files #20: In 2012, Trump Begged GOP Presidential Candidates to Be Civil
Trump Files #21: When Donald Couldn’t Tell the Difference Between Gorbachev and an Impersonator
Trump Files #22: His Football Team Treated Its Cheerleaders “Like Hookers”
Trump Files #23: Donald Tried to Shut Down a Bike Race Named “Rump”
Trump Files #24: When Donald Called Out Pat Buchanan for Bigotry
Trump Files #25: Donald’s Most Ridiculous Appearance on Howard Stern’s Show
Trump Files #26: How Donald Tricked New York Into Giving Him His First Huge Deal
Trump Files #27: Donald Told Congress the Reagan Tax Cuts Were Terrible
Trump Files #28: When Donald Destroyed Historic Art to Build Trump Tower
Trump Files #29: Donald Wanted to Build an Insane Castle on Madison Avenue
Trump Files #30: Donald’s Near-Death Experience (That He Invented)
Trump Files #31: When Donald Struck Oil on the Upper West Side
Trump Files #32: When Donald Massacred Trees in the Trump Tower Lobby
Trump Files #33: When Donald Demanded Other People Pay for His Overpriced Quarterback
Trump Files #34: The Time Donald Sued Someone Who Made Fun of Him for $500 Million
Trump Files #35: Donald Tried to Make His Ghostwriter Pay for His Book Party
Trump Files #36: Watch Donald Shave a Man’s Head on Television
Trump Files #37: How Donald Helped Make It Harder to Get Football Tickets
Trump Files #38: Donald Was Curious About His Baby Daughter’s Breasts
Trump Files #39: When Democrats Courted Donald
Trump Files #40: Watch the Trump Vodka Ad Designed for a Russian Audience
Trump Files #41: Donald’s Cologne Smelled of Jamba Juice and Strip Clubs
Trump Files #42: Donald Sued Other People Named Trump for Using Their Own Name
Trump Files #43: Donald Thinks Asbestos Would Have Saved the Twin Towers
Trump Files #44: Why Donald Threw a Fit Over His “Trump Tree” in Central Park
Trump Files #45: Watch Trump Endorse Slim Shady for President
Trump Files #46: The Easiest 13 Cents He Ever Made
Trump Files #47: The Time Donald Burned a Widow’s Mortgage
Trump Files #48: Donald’s Recurring Sex Dreams
Trump Files #49: Trump’s Epic Insult Fight With Ed Koch
Trump Files #50: Donald Has Some Advice for Citizen Kane
Trump Files #51: Donald Once Turned Down a Million-Dollar Bet on “Trump: The Game”
Trump Files #52: When Donald Tried to Shake Down Mike Tyson for $2 Million
Trump Files #53: Donald and Melania’s Creepy, Sex-Filled Interview With Howard Stern
Trump Files #54: Donald’s Mega-Yacht Wasn’t Big Enough For Him
Trump Files #55: When Donald Got in a Fight With Martha Stewart
Trump Files #56: Donald Reenacts an Iconic Scene From Top Gun
Trump Files #57: How Donald Tried to Hide His Legal Troubles to Get His Casino Approved
Trump Files #58: Donald’s Wall Street Tower Is Filled With Crooks
Trump Files #59: When Donald Took Revenge by Cutting Off Health Coverage for a Sick Infant
Trump Files #60: Donald Couldn’t Name Any of His “Handpicked” Trump U Professors
Trump Files #61: Watch a Clip of the Awful TV Show Trump Wanted to Make About Himself
Trump Files #62: Donald Perfectly Explains Why He Doesn’t Have a Presidential Temperament
Trump Files #63: Donald’s Petty Revenge on Connie Chung
Trump Files #64: Why Donald Called His 4-Year-Old Son a “Loser”
Trump Files #65: The Time Donald Called Some of His Golf Club Members “Spoiled Rich Jewish Guys”
Trump Files #66: “Always Be Around Unsuccessful People,” Donald Recommends
Trump Files #67: Donald Said His Life Was “Shit.” Here’s Why.
Trump Files #68: Donald Filmed a Music Video. It Didn’t Go Well.
Trump Files #69: Donald Claimed “More Indian Blood” Than the Native Americans Competing With His Casinos
Trump Files #70: Donald Has Been Inflating His Net Worth for 40 Years
Trump Files #71: Donald Weighs In on “Ghetto Supastar”
Trump Files #72: The Deadly Powerboat Race Donald Hosted in Atlantic City
Trump Files #73: When Donald Fat-Shamed Miss Universe
Trump Files #74: Yet Another Time Donald Sued Over the Word “Trump”
Trump Files #75: Donald Thinks Exercising Might Kill You
Trump Files #76: Donald’s Big Book of Hitler Speeches
Trump Files #77: When Donald Ran Afoul of Ancient Scottish Heraldry Law
Trump Files #78: Donald Accuses a Whiskey Company of Election Fraud
Trump Files #79: When Donald’s Anti-Japanese Comments Came Back to Haunt Him
Trump Files #80: The Shady Way Fred Trump Tried to Save His Son’s Casino
Trump Files #81: Donald’s Creepy Poolside Parties in Florida
Trump Files #82: Donald Gives a Lesson in How Not to Ski With Your Kids
Trump Files #83: Listen to Donald Brag About His Affairs—While Pretending to Be Someone Else
Trump Files #84: How Donald Made a Fortune by Dumping His Debt on Other People
Trump Files #85: The Saga of Donald’s Short-Lived Weight-Loss Program
Trump Files #86: When Donald Bought a Nightclub From an Infamous Mobster
Trump Files #87: Donald Sues Himself—And Wins!
Trump Files #88: Donald’s War on His Scottish Neighbors
Trump Files #89: When Donald Had to Prove He Was Not the Son of an Orangutan
Trump Files #90: Donald Made Charity Pledges In His Dead Brother’s Name, Then Apparently Never Delivered
Trump Files #91: There Once Was a Horse Named DJ Trump
Trump Files #92: How Donald’s Lawyers Dealt With His Constant Lying
Trump Files #93: Donald Flipped Out When an Analyst (Correctly) Predicted His Casino’s Failure
Trump Files #94: Cosmo Once Asked Donald to Pose Nude for $50,000
Trump Files #95: Donald Attacks a Reporter Who Questioned His Claim to Own the Empire State Building
Trump Files #96: When He Had the Hots for Princess Diana and Then Denied It
Trump Files #97: Famous Tic Tac Gobbler Donald Trump Had This Breath Advice for Larry King
Trump Files #98: How Donald Drove Palm Beach Nuts With an American Flag
Trump Files #99: Trump Finds the Silver Lining in an Ebola Outbreak
Trump Files #100: How Donald Screwed Over New York City on His Tax Bill
Trump Files #101: Donald’s Words to a Grieving Mother
Trump Files #102: Trump’s Long History of Getting Sued by His Own Lawyers
Trump Files #103: Watch Donald Get Booed Mercilessly at Wrigley Field
Trump Files #104: Trump Wanted a TV Show of Him Ogling Women
Trump Files #105: Guess Who Gave Donald His Big Awards
Trump Files #106: When a Sleazy Hot-Tub Salesman Tried to Take Donald Trump’s Name
Trump Files #107: The Time Donald Trump Got Called Out for Failing to Hire Minorities
Trump Files #108: Donald Accuses “Miss Nude Southern USA” of Trademark Infringement

Link – 

The Trump Files: The Many Times Donald Sang the Praises of Hillary Clinton

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The Trump Files: Donald’s Mega-Yacht Wasn’t Big Enough For Him

Mother Jones

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Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange-but-true stories, or curious scenes from the life of GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Donald Trump’s yacht, the 282-foot-long Trump Princess, was probably the Trumpiest of all the tycoon’s toys. It was one of the largest yachts in the world when he bought it from the Sultan of Brunei in the late 1980s, featuring plenty of marble and gold decor and over-the-top amenities including a helipad, a disco, and a movie theater. Trump even had to dredge the Atlantic City channel so it could accommodate his ship.

But the yacht still wasn’t big enough.

Just a year after he bought the Trump Princess, Trump announced he was looking for an upgrade. He told Newsday in June that he planned to build a new yacht—”something in excess of 400 feet long, closer to 500 feet”—so that it could fit all the casino high-rollers who liked to come aboard.

A Dutch company reportedly had the inside track with plans for a 420-footer that Dutch journalist Peter Degraaf of De Volkskrant told Newsday was “maybe the greatest ship ever built in the world, and it’s exactly what Mr. Trump wants—the greatest and most luxurious yacht.” Trump figured he might simply name it the Trump Princess II rather than paying homage to his then-wife Ivana as a reporter suggested. “I like to keep things low-key,” he explained.

But the new and improved Princess was never built, and Trump soon had no yacht at all. After his net worth crashed under a gargantuan debt load in 1990, Trump was put on a strict monthly allowance by his creditors. He was allowed to keep the yacht, but by 1991 he was forced to sell the Trump Princess—or had it repossessed, according to some reports.

Read the rest of “The Trump Files”:

Trump Files #1: The Time Andrew Dice Clay Thanked Donald for the Hookers
Trump Files #2: When Donald Tried to Stop Charlie Sheen’s Marriage to Brooke Mueller
Trump Files #3: The Brief Life of the “Trump Chateau for the Indigent”
Trump Files #4: Donald Thinks Asbestos Fears Are a Mob Conspiracy
Trump Files #5: Donald’s Nuclear Negotiating Fantasy
Trump Files #6: Donald Wants a Powerball for Spies
Trump Files #7: Donald Gets An Allowance
Trump Files #8: The Time He Went Bananas on a Water Cooler
Trump Files #9: The Great Geico Boycott
Trump Files #10: Donald Trump, Tax-Hike Crusader
Trump Files #11: Watch Donald Trump Say He Would Have Done Better as a Black Man
Trump Files #12: Donald Can’t Multiply 17 and 6
Trump Files #13: Watch Donald Sing the “Green Acres” Theme Song in Overalls
Trump Files #14: The Time Donald Trump Pulled Over His Limo to Stop a Beating
Trump Files #15: When Donald Wanted to Help the Clintons Buy Their House
Trump Files #16: He Once Forced a Small Business to Pay Him Royalties for Using the Word “Trump”
Trump Files #17: He Dumped Wine on an “Unattractive Reporter”
Trump Files #18: Behold the Hideous Statue He Wanted to Erect In Manhattan
Trump Files #19: When Donald Was “Principal for a Day” and Confronted by a Fifth-Grader
Trump Files #20: In 2012, Trump Begged GOP Presidential Candidates to Be Civil
Trump Files #21: When Donald Couldn’t Tell the Difference Between Gorbachev and an Impersonator
Trump Files #22: His Football Team Treated Its Cheerleaders “Like Hookers”
Trump Files #23: The Trump Files: Donald Tried to Shut Down a Bike Race Named “Rump”
Trump Files #24: When Donald Called Out Pat Buchanan for Bigotry
Trump Files #25: Donald’s Most Ridiculous Appearance on Howard Stern’s Show
Trump Files #26: How Donald Tricked New York Into Giving Him His First Huge Deal
Trump Files #27: Donald Told Congress the Reagan Tax Cuts Were Terrible
Trump Files #28: When Donald Destroyed Historic Art to Build Trump Tower
Trump Files #29: Donald Wanted to Build an Insane Castle on Madison Avenue
Trump Files #30: Donald’s Near-Death Experience (That He Invented)
Trump Files #31: When Donald Struck Oil on the Upper West Side
Trump Files #32: When Donald Massacred Trees in the Trump Tower Lobby
Trump Files #33: When Donald Demanded Other People Pay for His Overpriced Quarterback
Trump Files #34: The Time Donald Sued Someone Who Made Fun of Him for $500 Million
Trump Files #35: Donald Tried to Make His Ghostwriter Pay for His Book Party
Trump Files #36: Watch Donald Shave a Man’s Head on Television
Trump Files #37: How Donald Helped Make It Harder to Get Football Tickets
Trump Files #38: Donald Was Curious About His Baby Daughter’s Breasts
Trump Files #39: When Democrats Courted Donald
Trump Files #40: Watch the Trump Vodka Ad Designed for a Russian Audience
Trump Files #41: Donald’s Cologne Smelled of Jamba Juice and Strip Clubs
Trump Files #42: Donald Sued Other People Named Trump for Using Their Own Name
Trump Files #43: Donald Thinks Asbestos Would Have Saved the Twin Towers
Trump Files #44: Why Donald Threw a Fit Over His “Trump Tree” in Central Park
Trump Files #45: Watch Trump Endorse Slim Shady for President
Trump Files #46: The Easiest 13 Cents He Ever Made
Trump Files #47: The Time Donald Burned a Widow’s Mortgage
Trump Files #48: Donald’s Recurring Sex Dreams
Trump Files #49: Trump’s Epic Insult Fight With Ed Koch
Trump Files #50: Donald Has Some Advice for Citizen Kane
Trump Files #51: Donald Once Turned Down a Million-Dollar Bet on “Trump: The Game”
Trump Files #52: When Donald Tried to Shake Down Mike Tyson for $2 Million
Trump Files #53: Donald and Melania’s Creepy, Sex-Filled Interview With Howard Stern

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The Trump Files: Donald’s Mega-Yacht Wasn’t Big Enough For Him

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Friday Cat Blogging – 17 June 2016

Mother Jones

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Hilbert and Hopper get along fine, but they don’t cuddle up together much anymore. Yesterday they did, however, when Hilbert decided to barge into the pod that Hopper had already staked out. Usually she gives up pretty quickly when this happens (you can almost feel Hopper mentally rolling her eyes and then heading off to some Hilbert-free spot), but this time she held her ground. Aren’t they adorable?

And speaking of adorable, yesterday I wrote a post wondering what the hell Donald Trump meant by this: “Every time you turn on one of those aircraft carriers it costs you probably a million bucks. I’d say, don’t turn it on. The captain would say, we want to show you how great these engines are working. No, I don’t want to hear it, just stop.”

Well, a reader from Denmark emails to suggest that this was—wait for it—a Reaganesque reimagining by Donald, who told this story years ago about his own yacht. As soon as he started talking about things that float on the water—i.e., aircraft carriers—his mind apparently drifted back to his own personal experience with things that float on the water—i.e., the ill-fated Trump Princess megayacht. And if my reader is right, a captain of the Trump Princess once wanted to show off his ship’s engines to the boss, who was horrified at the potential expense of firing them up.

This totally makes sense, since Trump is so self-involved that everything always relates back to himself in one way or another. And it also makes sense that he might not have wanted to fire up the engines in his yacht—especially since he was in the process of going bankrupt at the time—whereas it makes no sense at all to worry about “turning on” the engine of a nuclear-powered Nimitz-class supercarrier. So: can anyone verify this? Did Trump originally tell this story about his own yacht, and somehow drifted back in time when he was talking about aircraft carriers yesterday?

And now, since you’ve all been so patient about me sneaking a Trump story into a catblogging post, on to the cats.

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Friday Cat Blogging – 17 June 2016

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Ted Cruz’s Daughter Schools Him on Taylor Swift

Mother Jones

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The CNN Town Hall with Ted Cruz and his family on Wednesday night began with host Anderson Cooper talking to the candidate about the usual political subjects, including his thoughts about GOP front-runner Donald Trumps’ vocal opposition to the current system of gathering delegates in advance of the Republican National Convention. Cruz said Trump is acting like a “union boss thug” by threatening delegates and noted that he’s only complaining about the process because recently he has lost several key primaries. “In the last three weeks there have been 11 elections in 4 states. And we have beaten Donald in all of 11 of them,” Cruz said. “He’s unhappy about that.”

When Heidi Cruz joined her husband on stage and audience members came to the mic, the questions moved from the political to the personal: What was their first date? (A dinner when the two were working on the Bush campaign in 2000). What did she think was his “most annoying” quality? (His iPhone). Cruz also told the audience that he loves movies, but his wife isn’t interested in them, and after The Princess Bride, his favorite movies are The Godfather series, including The Godfather Part III.

But the real highlight of the evening came when Cruz’s two young daughters, dressed in identical yellow dresses, were asked who they would first want to invite to visit the White House. Caroline, whose eighth birthday is on Thursday, and five-year-old Catherine, were shy about naming their favorite pop star, but their mother Heidi answered for them: “The girls would love to have their first guest be Taylor Swift,” she said.

The girls may not have had much to say on the Cruz vs. Trump delegate fight, but they weighed in on a different kind of “Bad Blood” (#sorrynotsorry). The whole family exchange was pretty adorable.

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Ted Cruz’s Daughter Schools Him on Taylor Swift

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Barbie Designer: If We Made Her Look Normal, Her Clothes Wouldn’t Fit

Mother Jones

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By now, it’s well known that Barbie’s body isn’t exactly realistic. If the famous doll were human, her waist would be just 16 inches around—half the size of the average American woman’s. She hasn’t always been this way; in fact, before 1997, Barbie was even less realistic.

In an interview with Fast Company Design, Kim Culmone, vice president of design for the Barbie doll, spoke candidly about why the doll remains so proportionally different from real women. Her argument essentially boiled down to: We can’t make Barbie more realistic because her clothes wouldn’t fit anymore.

Co.Design: What’s your stance on Barbie’s proportions?

Culmone: Barbie’s body was never designed to be realistic. She was designed for girls to easily dress and undress. And she’s had many bodies over the years, ones that are poseable, ones that are cut for princess cuts, ones that are more realistic…Primarily it’s for function for the little girl, for real life fabrics to be able to be turned and sewn, and have the outfit still fall property on her body.

Co.Design: So to get the clean lines of fashion at Barbie’s scale, you have to use totally unrealistic proportions?

Culmone: You do! Because if you’re going to take a fabric that’s made for us…her body has to be able to accommodate how the clothes will fit her.

In actuality, Barbie was created in 1959 so that the daughter of Ruth Handler, co-founder of the Mattel toy company, could imagine herself as an adult. In 1977, Handler told the New York Times she invented Barbie because “every little girl needed a doll through which to project herself into her dream of her future.”

When asked whether she thinks girls compare their own bodies to Barbie’s, Culmone said no way.

Co.Design: You don’t think there’s a body comparison going on when you’re a girl?

Culmone: I don’t. Girls view the world completely differently than grown-ups do…Clearly, the influences for girls on those types of issues, whether it’s body image or anything else, it’s proven, it’s peers, moms, parents, it’s their social circles.

When they’re playing, they’re playing. It’s a princess-fairy-fashionista-doctor-astronaut, and that’s all one girl.

But a 2006 study in the American Psychological Association found that girls exposed to Barbie had lower self esteem and a desire to be thinner. Another 2006 study showed that young girls ate significantly more after playing with average-sized dolls.

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Barbie Designer: If We Made Her Look Normal, Her Clothes Wouldn’t Fit

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Thermos Funtainer Bottle, Disney Princess, Styles May Vary,12 Ounce

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Thermos Funtainer Bottle, Disney Princess, Styles May Vary,12 Ounce

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Thermos Funtainer Bottle, Disney Princess, Styles May Vary,12 Ounce

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