Jessica Mindich, owner of Jewelry for a Cause, "gives lethal weapons gorgeous second lives, says Oprah.com. For her Caliber Collection ($150 and up), she worked with Newark Mayor Cory Booker to develop the concept of using the brass and steel salvaged from guns seized and shell casings collected by the city's police. Mindich's team turns the metal into cast bracelets, cuffs, and cuff links, each embossed with a gun's serial number and the word "Newark." Mindich has pledged to donate a fifth of the proceeds to a gun buyback program, and she hopes to soon bring the concept to other high-crime cities.
Golden boy quarterback Andrew Luck isn't afraid of fans hating him one day: 'You have to have skin like an armadillo'
There are plenty of things that set Andrew Luck, 25, apart from other football players. As the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts, Luck is posed to become the next football superstar in the vein of Peyton Manning and Tom Brady — he's destroyed passing records, bringing his team closer and closer to the Super Bowl each year. And, maybe most noteworthy of all, Luck is actually immensely likable and down-to-earth, both on field and off.
He's always been this way, too: Luck was a star player in college, running more than four miles of yardage and graduating as his school's co-valedictorian, according to a profile in Rolling Stone. He humbly added that he had never thought, "I'm good enough to play in the NFL," taking his early successes and goals step by step. Now known for being bookish and weirdly friendly on the field ("Luck routinely compliments the NFL players who sack him or knock him down, saying things like 'Hey, nice hit!' as they try to beat his head in," Rolling Stone notes), Luck can't really imagine a time when the tides might turn against him:
Americans love to turn on their celebrities. In sports especially, we root for them on the way up, then pelt them on the way down. Once-adored superstars like LeBron and Brady became villains after too many years in contention. I ask Luck about that phenomenon given that it might be in his future. His answer is hilarious.
"I bet Tom Brady doesn't give a shit about what people think about him," he says. "Or Peyton. You play quarterback long enough, you hear some things. You have to have skin like an armadillo." [Rolling Stone]
Luck won't settle for simply being thick-skinned, like the rest of us mortals. Jeva Lange
President Obama isn't the only one making a visit to Alaska this week, according to a new report from Pentagon officials. The U.S. military has spotted five Chinese navy ships off the coast of Alaska in the Bering Sea, heading in the direction of the Aleutian Islands. The presence of the Chinese ships, including three combat ships, a replenishment vessel, and an amphibious ship, marks the first time that the U.S. military has reported seeing "any such activity in the area," The Wall Street Journal reports.
Although China's defense ministry could not be reached by the Journal for comment, the presence of Chinese warships close to U.S. territory is likely connected to China's efforts to ramp up its military activity as its economic power expands. "I don't think we'd characterize anything they're doing as threatening," one defense official told The Wall Street Journal.
Other officials theorized that the ships' presence could be due to China's growing interest in using the Northern Sea Route to transport goods, since that route between Asia and the West can be up to several days faster than the Suez Canal route. "It's difficult to tell exactly, but it indicates some interest in the Arctic region," one Pentagon official said. "It's different." Becca Stanek
Does Donald Trump cheat at golf? That's the subject of an investigation by The Washington Post, which offers a good amount of anecdotal evidence that he does. Trump, of course, denies the claims, and he does seem pretty confident in his prowess on the links, going so far as to say he would put the presidency on the line in a face-off with President Obama.
"His swing looks like it's coming along beautifully, his game looks much better," he told The Post. "I'd love to play him for the presidency." [The Washington Post]
Evolution usually allows animals to get better at avoiding death. However, new evidence reported by Vanderbilt University seems to find that the rise of early animals hundreds of millions of years ago was the cause of the first massive die-off of complex life — not a super volcano or a meteorite.
Scientists believe that for more than 3 billion years, microbes were the only life on Earth. At some point, a few of the microbes evolved to be able to photosynthesize, or convert sunlight into energy. The byproduct was toxic to most of the other microbes, who were used to an oxygen-free environment. But for the microorganisms photosynthesizing, the development allowed them to become complex, multicellular forms called Ediacarans, which took over the planet around 600 million years ago. Ediacarans were basically like plants: immobile marine life shaped like discs, tubes, fronds, or quilts.
Paleontologists call the ensuing period the "Garden of Ediacara," emphasizing the so-called peace of the era — that is, Ediacarans politely didn't eat each other. At least not until 60 million years ago, when they evolved even further into what we now call animals (vertebrates, mollusks, anthropoids, annelids, sponges, jellyfish).
It was these independently moving, hungry critters that caused the first extinction, by eating all the Ediacarans, the scientists say.
"This study provides the first quantitative palaeoecological evidence to suggest that evolutionary innovation, ecosystem engineering, and biological interactions may have ultimately caused the first mass extinction of complex life," Simon Darroch, the assistant professor of earth and environmental sciences at Vanderbilt University, told Science Daily.
Perhaps that's just a fancy way of suggesting that it's a dog-eat-dog world out there, and may the hungriest mollusk win. Jeva Lange
Some Americans are so desperate to make a point about America's political system that they're willing to vote for Donald Trump to prove it, Politico reports. That's right: Even though Trump haters might find the real estate mogul's immigration policy "absolutely revolting," his persona to be "a joke," and his comments to be "racist" and "sexist," come time for the Republican primary they're still casting their ballot for The Donald.
"This is the candidate America deserves," Jeff DeFlavio, a small-business owner and registered independent, said of Trump to Politico. "His immigration policy is disgusting to me. It's absolutely revolting... I really don't want him to become president ever. Ever. He would destroy the world, which is what's so wonderful about him."
Another Trump hater, Rasheen Carbin, a Republican, explained that he's voting for Trump to push the Republican Party to the point of finally acknowledging its failings. "I'm going to vote for him because I want the Republican Party to finally acknowledge that it's broken, and if Trump is the nominee, I don't know how it could be more obvious. Sometimes things need to be broken so they can be remade stronger."
For others, the entertainment value Trump provides in a presidential field with which they're otherwise disenchanted is an attraction, Politico says. One such person explained: "Everything Trump says I don't agree with, like building a wall around the country, but I don't think it's going to happen... I don't think anything anybody else says is going to happen, and I'd rather have the guy who brings entertainment value." Another commented, "I think politics is kind of a joke in this country. I don't think it matters who will get elected president."
So far, pollsters don't know how strong the Trump hate vote is, or how likely it is that all these haters will actually follow through on their smack talk. A "real-life political mockumentary" might seem entertaining until it becomes, well, real. Becca Stanek
A membership to the climbing gym Brooklyn Boulders will run you $115 a month, which isn't so terrible when it's also doubling as your office space (this is a big thing in the tech world, apparently). But be warned before you sign up: There's a "hidden fee" of sorts that might make some introverts — or gym-averse workers — squirm:
The co-working areas — open to members, as well as to visitors who pay $28 for a day pass — come with their own fitness rules. "We want to incentivize people to not be sitting," [BKB co-founder Lance] Pinn says. So the gym levees a physical rent for using the space: five sit-ups or five pull-ups every half hour, or one conversation with a stranger in the spirit of enhanced serendipitous innovation. BKB's Somerville location has pull-up bars directly over desks. A few feet away, members do deadlifts and massacre punching bags while wearing bluetooth headsets. "Physicality stimulates innovation and creativity," effuses one sign in the office space. [Bloomberg Business]
BKB currently has office-gyms in New York (Brooklyn and Long Island City), Massachusetts (Somerville), and Illinois (Chicago). Far enough away from these locations that you're feeling safe from the threat of "physical rent" and forced conversations with random strangers? Don't breathe easy just yet — live-work offices are spreading across the country, so if doing squats between meetings sounds horrible, don't share this with your boss. Jeva Lange
Carly Fiorina mostly keeps the fact that she's the lone Republican woman running for president out of the conversation, telling Laura Ingraham Wednesday that she "never made gender an issue" in her campaign. But that didn't keep the GOP candidate from flaring up at the suggestion she's not in the race for the long haul.
"The people who say that I am in this for vice president — that's sexist," Fiorina said on Ingraham's show. "I'm in this to win this job. No one talks about the men being veep. I think I'm qualified to do the job."
Earlier Tuesday, CNN adjusted the criteria for its upcoming Republican presidential debate to make room for Fiorina, who held her own — and then some — at Fox News' debate for lower-polling candidates in August. Jeva Lange