VICE feed for https://www.vice.comenSun, 16 Dec 2018 17:57:02 +0000<![CDATA[How to Get Some of the Benefits of a Vegan Diet Without Actually Going Vegan]]>, 16 Dec 2018 17:57:02 +0000From the omnivore’s perspective, going vegan seems like an insurmountable task. A lot of sacrifice, a lot of discipline, a lot of explaining your choices to friends and family, and a lot of scrabbling around to get the macronutrients, minerals, and vitamins that ordinarily, you’d automatically get from animal products.

But a growing body of research suggests that making the change to a plant-based diet is worth the trouble given the health benefits it’s likely to impart. I’m talking lower cholesterol, a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, a higher resting metabolic rate, improved management of type 2 diabetes, the reduction of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms and a slew of other outcomes besides.

Still, it seems like a lot of work, right?

Well the good news is that you don’t have to commit yourself to a vegan diet, or even a vegetarian one, to realize some of these proven benefits. Just apply these following four principles to give your health and wellbeing a boost.

Increase your fiber intake

A diet that’s abundant with vegetables, grains, legumes, fruit, nuts, and seeds is going to pack a lot of fiber, something that most Americans don’t consume nearly enough of. “Fiber regulates your entire system,” says Niket Sonpal, New York-based gastroenterologist and professor of clinical medicine at Touro College. Sonpal explains that fiber clears out our intestines and helps keep us to feel fuller for longer periods of time, curbing our impulse to binge and snack.

“Fiber also helps regulate your blood sugar,” he says. “Adding more vegetables like broccoli; snacking on almonds and fruits like pears, blackberries, and oranges; and eating more lentils and beans will add fiber which will help with digestion and excretion which is always a good thing.” Research published in the Journal of Nutrition showed that increasing intake of dietary fiber significantly reduces the risk of gaining weight and body fat—independent of physical activity and dietary fat intake.

And then there are the awesome poops. So do like the vegans do, and add more weight-shedding fiber to your diet. Susan Tucker, a nutritional counselor and founder of Green Beat Life (a nutrition-counseling practice in New York City) suggests that you fill half of your dinner plate with vegetables, a quarter with a starch, and the remaining quarter with protein. “For any meal or snack, always up the fiber content,” she says. “You may find yourself with fewer cravings and skipping the snacks.”

Avoid cholesterol-rich foods

Vegans don’t eat animal fats, processed meats, cheeses, and non vegetable-based oils. This means that they steer clear of cholesterol-rich foods. While the scientific consensus on the ills of dietary cholesterol has softened over the years, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans still strongly recommends eating as little dietary cholesterol as possible. It makes mention of studies and trials that have produced strong evidence that healthy eating patterns that are low in dietary cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart disease in adults.

More from Tonic:

Roughly 30 percent of our calories should come from fats, says New York City-based registered dietician Keri Glassman. The good fats she prescribes are all vegan: Monounsaturated fats (such as olive oil, peanut oil, flaxseed oil, nuts and avocado) and polyunsaturated fats and essential fatty acids (including safflower, sunflower and sesame oils, seeds, nuts, flax and hemp). Instead of eating a fried egg on toast, Tucker says, have a slice of toasted sprouted-grain bread with mashed avocado and a dash of lime. Rather than snacking on an ounce of cheese, try an ounce of nuts.

Pump up the volume

Most plant foods, especially vegetables, provide more volume than animal foods, says Matt Ruscigno, a vegan of 19 years, is a registered dietician, expert in the field of vegetarian nutrition, and the co-author of The No Meat Athlete. In other words, you can eat more food for fewer calories.

“I work with a lot of athletes who are new to veganism. Many are confused by this and end up not eating enough,” he says. The best way to get the benefits of vegan diets is to eat way more vegetables. For vegans, Ruscigno recommends not five servings per day, but five per meal.

“When you begin to incorporate more vegetables into your diet, you begin to realize you can eat more food while consuming fewer calories,” Sonpal says, confirming Ruscino’s theory. “This is a great way of losing weight but keeping your body full of the nutrients it needs to thrive.” Sonpal says that something as simple as subbing in zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, sliced cucumber, olives, cauliflower for rice and potatoes meal sides can really make a huge difference in how you feel.

Cast a wide nutritional net

Meat, fish, eggs, and dairy have been a part of most humans’ diets for a long, long time. There’s a good reason: All of these food groups are packed with the protein, vitamins, and minerals our bodies need. Vegans have to cast a wider net for essential nutrients. As a consequence, they tend to eat more colors of the rainbow and try new ingredients to make nutrient-dense meals. Tucker’s challenge for those of us not ready to say goodbye to cheese, bacon and ice cream? Be as adventurous as a vegan. “Get a wide variety of colors from plant sources into your diet, via fruits, vegetables and legumes, or replace that weekly burger with a quinoa-black-bean burger,” she says.

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This article originally appeared on VICE US.

8xpeapGrant StoddardRajul PunjabinutritionFOODdietVeganPlant BasedvegetarianbodycholestérolFiberEat Thischolesteroil
<![CDATA[One Doctor’s Desperate Attempt to Save Yemen's Starving Children]]>, 16 Dec 2018 17:55:51 +0000

Dr. Makiya al-Aslami runs the only health clinic in Aslam, the poorest district in Yemen, where one in six children is severely malnourished. She walks from bed to bed, checking on her patients, all of them children. She measures their small forearms covered in paper-thin skin and weighs their slight bodies, watching for the tiniest, often imperceptible improvements — a quarter-pound increase, a slightly less distended belly.

On any given day, she handles up to 250 cases.

“This is a malnutrition crisis,” Dr. al-Aslami, 40, told VICE News. “And an even worse one is looming in the distance.”

Somehow, the whole of Yemen presents an even grimmer picture. About 20 million Yemenis are hungry, a shocking 70 percent of the country, according to latest estimates from the United Nations, with 250,000 facing “starvation, death and destitution.” Save the Children estimates at least 85,000 kids have already died of starvation since the war began in 2015.

Nearly four years of war between Houthi rebels and the Saudi-led coalition has decimated the Arab Gulf’s poorest country, killing tens of thousands and tipping Yemen towards the edge of famine. Though both sides have been accused of crimes, the Saudi coalition, which has waged a brutal air campaign and blockade, bears much of the blame. The kingdom is responsible for cutting off most supply routes in Yemen, including the crucial port of Hodeidah, where about 80 percent of the Yemen’s food and aid comes through.

“Even if they bring the entire world's aid and all the crops necessary for life, if the war does not end, Yemen is doomed, one way or another.”

This week, in Sweden, the coalition and the Houthi rebels agreed to a ceasefire in Hodeidah that would include both forces withdrawing out of the port city. This would be the biggest step in a peace process that, despite numerous efforts, has failed to take hold in the war-torn country. But for Yemenis like Dr. al-Aslami who continue to bear the brunt of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, the latest deal is only one part of a lasting solution for peace.

“War taught us patience. War taught us resilience,” Dr. al-Aslami said. “But even if they bring the entire world's aid and all the crops necessary for life, if the war does not end, Yemen is doomed, one way or another.”

This video segment originally aired Dec. 13, 2018, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.

Cover image: In this Oct. 1, 2018, photo, a severely malnourished boy rests on a hospital bed at the Aslam Health Center, Hajjah, Yemen (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed).

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

ev38dmAmel GuettatfiVICE NewsYemenyemen conflictVICE News Tonight on HBOYemen civil waryemen saudi arabiayemen warsaudi arabia in yemenwar in yemen
<![CDATA[The Mother of ‘Messy’: A Look Back at Courtney Love’s ’90s Style]]>, 16 Dec 2018 17:53:54 +0000Courtney Love’s wardrobe is up for sale at Heroine this Thursday. But don’t hold your breath, Hole fans: it’s Love’s well-heeled, grown-up collection of Hedi Slimane, Marc Jacobs, and Givenchy that’s being sold off to benefit charity, not her frayed gingham babydoll dresses or the Doc Martens that have been apocryphally attributed to her.

“I think that a wardrobe is a living, breathing thing, like, I’ve been known to talk to my dresses,” Love told Vogue. If only those dresses sit down for an exclusive interview with GARAGE! It’s hard to think of a celebrity whose outfits have been more scrutinized than Love’s over the years. She cuts an elegant figure these days, but back when her music career was first taking off in the early ’90s, Love’s style was a little more devil-may-care. Call it grunge, call it kinderwhore, call it whatever you want: whether hurling candy at Kathleen Hanna at Lollapalooza or whipping a compact at Madonna at the MTV awards, there’s no denying that Love pioneered and perfected the stylistic art of what we would today call “being messy.”

This inherent messiness of Love’s signature look—sheer slips and witchy velvet, cigarettes clutched dangerously close to her tousled blonde locks, words like “DIVA” and “WITCH” scrawled across her body in Sharpie—had such a powerful effect that, over 20 years later, rebellious teenage girls are still learning the lyrics to “Celebrity Skin” and pairing their Docs with long, frayed dresses. In a twentieth anniversary ode to the album Celebrity Skin, New Yorker staff writer Naomi Fry pinpointed Love’s dress at the 1997 Golden Globes as the look that “transformed Love from a chaotic, thrift-store-wearing avatar of the grunge era to a kempt, Versace-gown-clad star,” but we think her pre-Versace days deserve some love, too. In celebration of Love’s fashion legacy, let’s take a look back at some of her most powerfully messy, pre-glow-up fashion moments.

The Epitome of Babydoll (1994):

Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Love serving herself scrambled eggs from the Planet Hollywood breakfast buffet is the last image I want to see before I die. For more gourmet Courtney food content, read her 2012 Grub Street diary—you won’t be disappointed. Sample entry: “Every day I have my house manager, Hershey—who I stole from the Mercer Hotel with André Balazs’s blessing—wake me up with a hot washcloth for my face, a leg rub, and a plate of toast soldiers.”

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

a3mn9bEmma SpecterFashionmarc jacobscourtney loveHoleHedi Slimaneauctions
<![CDATA[A Few Hard and Fast Rules to Consider Before Starting Your Own Business]]>, 16 Dec 2018 17:45:00 +0000This article originally appeared on VICE US.

If you want to grab the brass ring of entrepreneurship and control your own destiny, there’s good and bad news. The good news is being entrepreneur is a solid and viable career choice, and it’s never been easier and cheaper to start your own business. The bad news is that getting caught up in all the media hype around kick-ass, rockstar entrepreneurs can leave you with some pretty faulty assumptions. After all, their first businesses RARELY resemble their later stage businesses—but it got them in the game, being business owners and experiencing entrepreneurship first hand. In the interest of a little reality check, here are a few things you need to know to get started on your own gig...

Embrace the Ordinary

If you think you’ve got a killer idea that’s going to turn you into the next Mark Zuckerberg, maybe take a breath. Your “original” business idea, whether it’s a product or service, likely isn’t. Original, that is. “Original” forces you into an uphill battle of trying to explain what you do and why it’s unique to clients and customers. And chances are, someone with more resources than you is already working on the same thing. So the time you’ll waste trying to be innovative is time you could spend actually generating cash from an idea that’s not original or sexy at all.

Take a look at College Hunks Hauling Junk, for instance, launched by two college students who started their junk-hauling company with a borrowed van and a few flyers posted around their neighborhood. Today, College Hunks is a multi-million dollar company with more than 100 franchisees. “We didn’t invent the next Facebook or Google,” College Hunks co-founder Nick Friedman tells me, but rather took a "simple concept like trucks and labor," and turned it into a brand recognized for its company culture and service. Essentially, the company professionalized and differentiated a really boring business with clever use of branding and customer service. So think about how you might add your original spin to, say, an accounting business, a tutoring company, a landscaping service, remembering along the way: Unsexy is profitable!

Create a (Very Short) Startup Plan

Forget about the complex, multi-layered business plan you may have learned about in college. Those can take months to write and unless you’re seeking investors (and you shouldn’t anytime soon—see below), you don’t need it. Make your business plan short. One paragraph. This plan is for your eyes only and you’re probably going to revise it again and again. Write down what your business does, how it delivers its product or service, who your customers are, how you’ll market to them, how you’re different from competitors, and how you generate revenue. Make your answers brief—one sentence each. Organize these answers into paragraph form and you’ve got your first draft. You can probably do this over a weekend. Next, take each sentence in your plan and create five immediate action steps. This is your to-do list, so give yourself deadlines. As you work your way through this list, you may find that the answers to the these initial questions may change. If so, revise your plan, keeping in mind what worked and what didn’t. This is a living, breathing plan that should evolve as your journey as an entrepreneur takes shape.

Avoid Taking (and Burning) Money.

Investors are difficult to come by and won’t give you the time of day unless you have actual customers, highly credible partners and/or board members, cash flow, and a clear exit path so that they have a prayer of making money. But you don’t actually need investors if you’re starting a company that can get off the ground right away with your own two hands (and probably the helping hands of a partner).

So forget money pits like the website that will need massive traction before advertisers will give it the time of day, the venture that hinges on licensing unproven intellectual property, the new product that you think is sure to be acquired by a major consumer packaged goods company. Basically, those kinds of things will cost a truck load of cash before you even know if you have a viable business. Instead, explore business models that rely on immediate business-to-business sales, service fees, or other such models where sales are not based on circumstances that are entirely out of your control.

“I worked as an IT consultant for few years so had knowledge about the industry,” Nishidha Kumaresan, CEO of Pioneer Technologies, an IT consulting firm, tells me. “I was working when I started the company. I dipped into savings and part of my salary and took the help of some friends to fund payroll and repaid them once we received payments from our clients.” Kumaresan worked 17 hour days to get her business off the ground so, no, it wasn’t a piece of cake. But she was able to call all the shots.

Think about what resources, tools, and services you and your immediate family, friends, and contacts have that you can immediately leverage. To avoid unnecessary expenditures, steer clear of business ideas that require you to invest in additional resources. Remember you’re bootstrapping, so you’ll have to become an expert at begging and borrowing (no stealing, please).

Assemble Your Tribe

Want to increase your chances of success? Surround yourself with great people who can fill in your knowledge and skill gaps. The sooner you acknowledge what you don’t know, the sooner you can seek out that co-founder who can code, the bad-ass marketer, the detail-oriented operations person. You probably already have these people in your network and they may be just as eager as you are to start something new. "I have tried building a business on my own as well as building one with individuals that mirror my skill and mindsets and both are are possible but uphill battles,” says Tyler McConville, CEO of NAV43, a search marketing agency. “I am very creative and vision-driven. Finding a business partner that is more cautious, logical and methodical was the missing ingredient for my recipe to success.”

These days, you can assemble an army of virtual team mates without spending a dime on office space, thanks to virtual hiring companies like Upwork, Elance, 99designs and a host of others. You’ll need to get comfortable interviewing and building rapport with people in a digital environment. Consider testing out candidates with smaller projects, and then moving toward longer, more complex jobs with people who you like and trust. Even after you start bringing in some serious money, you can use your experience with these digital hiring platforms to grow your distributed team while keeping expenses in check and profits high.

Remember, there’s no such thing as easy money or a free lunch. But if you’re level-headed, realistic, and focused on how you can start generating cash, you’ll be well on your way to having a successful startup.

Scott Gerber is the CEO of The Community Company and coauthor of the book Superconnector: Stop Networking and Start Building Business Relationships That Matter. Follow him on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

kzvx9wScott GerberBrian McManusmoneyBusinessRulesentrepreneurssmall businessbusiness planThe VICE Guide to Life
<![CDATA[Choose Your Own Adventure: Office Christmas Party Edition!]]>, 15 Dec 2018 18:09:46 +0000It is not Christmas until that 45-year-old bald man in your office who says six words a year gets pink and pissed and tries to grab the mic off the party DJ. It’s not Christmas until a sturdy organiser-type from accounts stands bored by your desk and offers you a Santa hat full of folded up name slips of people you have never heard of or met. It is not Christmas until you have had one-thousand, one-hundred-thousand, one-hundred-thousand-million emails about what time to leave for the Christmas party and where, each email escalating in severity and tone, until in the end they are just a high screech like a car alarm with a Love Actually .gif attached. It is not Christmas until you have been allowed to leave at 4PM on a 5PM-end work day as a special treat and the one person in the office who "gets in early" every day has an absolute shit-fit about it. It’s not Christmas until "Last Christmas" has pinged on the office stereo for the fifth time today and everyone looks up and, instead of groaning, is touched for a moment with the wholesome festive spirit. It’s not Christmas until someone has shouted, with semi-hysteria, "Will someone PLEAse eat these mince pies? If we leave them over the weekend the mice will have them!" while everyone puts their big coats on and files into cabs. It’s not Christmas until your Office Christmas Party has ended anti-climactically.

Here’s the Choose Your Own Adventure version. It’s fucking Christmas now:

secret santa

This article originally appeared on VICE UK.

mbykkyJoel Golbychoose your own adventureoffice christmas partyreally fiddly way of writing an article ngl
<![CDATA[Scientists Discover Upside-Down Lakes and Waterfalls At the Bottom of the Ocean]]>, 15 Dec 2018 18:06:40 +0000 A weird wonderland of new ocean life has been discovered in the depths of the Gulf of California.

The otherworldly ecosystem was recently explored by scientists from the US and Mexico. Their expedition focused on a previously uncharted hydrothermal vent field—an area on the seafloor where volcanism has heated the water—in the Pescadero Basin near the Baja Peninsula.

Here, the team found holes in the seafloor “gushing high temperature fluids,” and steaming sediments “laden with orange-colored oil and the rotten-egg stink of sulfide. The researchers also captured footage of strange upside-down lakes and waterfalls, formed as superhot fluids poured out of a vent and pooled beneath the lip of an underwater cavern.

Oasisia and Riftia tube worms.
Oasisia and Riftia tube worms are common throughout the vent field. Image: Schmidt Ocean Institute

The more than 500 degree Fahrenheit waters around the hydrothermal vents were teeming with other species, too—tubeworms, anemones, and blue scale worms.

Thermophilic, or heat-loving, organisms are fascinating to scientists as they test the extreme limits of life on Earth. Also known as extremophiles, some deep sea creatures and their unique existences can provide an analog for possible life on other planets as well. Those which metabolize methane, for example, are key to the hunt for life on Mars and Enceladus where methane has been detected.

The Pescadero Basin was first discovered in 2015 by a Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institution expedition. This current expedition was led aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute vessel Falkor.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

439pd3Sarah EmersonJordan PearsonMbariextremophilesdeep seahydrothermal ventsSchmidt Ocean Institutetay ujaapescadero basinjaich maabaja peninsulaocean expeditionnew ecosystem
<![CDATA[Eric Andre Should Be Trump's Next Chief of Staff]]>, 15 Dec 2018 18:05:52 +0000Donald Trump has a problem: Not even scandal-plagued former New Jersery Governor Chris Christie wants to be his next White House chief of staff. That leaves the president reportedly struggling to fill a once-coveted position, which John Kelly will be vacating in 2020. On Twitter Friday evening, Trump announced that Mick Mulvaney, the current Director of the Office of Management, will serve as acting chief of staff, but he's still seeking someone permanent for the gig. (Reportedly, Jared Kushner is being considered.)

Much like hosting the Oscars, the seemingly enviable and high-profile job is actually undesirable—whoever decides to take on the role of organizing the chaotic White House is bound to fail, and runs the risk of destroying their reputation by implicating themselves in the bad behavior of the administration. It's doubtful that anyone can rein in the mayhem teeming from Trump's pores. That's why the White House needs somebody who embodies chaos, who isn't afraid to act wild and lawless.

So who better than comedian Eric Andre?

As I wrote in an article earlier this month on why Andre would make a great host for the Academy Awards, he is bound to "yield high ratings and may even be written about in the history books." But honestly, Andre is above a petty gig like emceeing an award show—he deserves more influence and power, which is why he belongs in the West Wing. Here are all the reasons why:

He has a penchant for destruction

This would give him and the president something to bond over!

He isn't afraid to be controversial

Eric Andre has said the following things:

  • "You ever bone your grandma to death? Talk about going out with a bang."
  • "I was jacking off to a scene from Django Unchained the other night, and I said, ‘It’s no Roots,’ but then I came anyway."
  • "Gwyneth Paltrow is a leech on society, and she needs to be stopped immediately. If we don't put a stop to Gwyneth Paltrow, Gwyneth Paltrow is gonna put a stop on us."
  • "Not a lot of people know this, but L. Ron Hubbard was a black man."

Meaning that no matter what crazy shit Trump says, Andre will always be able to refocus the news cycle.

Literally nobody else wants the job

Eric Andre, on the other hand, is desperate for a job.

Like Trump, he made a splash at the 2016 Republican Convention

"I want you to have sex with my wife," Andre told Trump ally Alex Jones.

He could intimidate the Trump cabinet into submission

Former Marine general John Kelly was unable to keep the White House in order, but if you look at the interviews Andre did on The Eric Andre Show, it's clearly the comedian has a unique ability to make people uncomfortable.

As chief of staff, Andre would use his shameless antics to his benefit, and make sure that Trump and his staffers stay in line.

He just has the right energy

Follow Eve Peyser on Twitter and Instagram.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

xwjkznEve PeyserHarry CheadlepoliticsDonald TrumpEric Andretrump white house
<![CDATA[We Asked Inmates How Michael Cohen Will Get Treated in Prison]]>, 15 Dec 2018 18:04:58 +0000Donald Trump's clown of a former fixer Michael Cohen was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison on Wednesday after orchestrating hush money payments to two women who said they had affairs with the now-president prior to his 2016 election. Cohen, who went from a wannabe tough guy rubbing elbows with Russian mobsters and threatening reporters to flipping on his old boss and begging forgiveness for falling down a "a path of darkness," previously pleaded guilty to a bevy of federal offenses: violations of campaign-finance law, tax evasion, deception in dealings with a bank, and lying to Congress.

Now he's slated to become the first member of the president's orbit to do a serious bid in the system in which I spent over two decades of my life, beginning March 6. The judge in his case recommended Cohen do time in FCI-Otisville, a medium-security New York prison with a rep for being "rat"-friendly and, as CNN reported, a place often populated by white-collar felons like this one.

To find out how Cohen will get treated in prison, considering his high-profile and the president effectively branding him a snitch, I reached out to those still doing time in my former abode for perspective of what awaits the disgraced lawyer. As they inevitably do in such cases involving informed speculation about an inherently unpredictable world of bars, blood, and boredom, opinions varied—some predicted Cohen was too politically sensitive to face immense danger, while others expected him to face the kind of "soft extortion" often visited on vulnerable inmates.

Either way, his A-list status, ties to (and subsequent split from) the most notorious man in the country, and background as a mover-and-shaker with plenty of cash meant he had no shot of just blending in and quietly serving out his time.

“Had Trump not became president, Michael Cohen would have never went to prison,” Nicholas "Sawed Off" McDougal, who's serving 12 years at FCI Terre Haute in Indiana for armed robbery, told VICE. “He'll be alright at a place like Otisville, a big rat hideout yard. He has money to get him through the next couple years.”

“Cohen will do fine in prison," agreed Israel Mendez, who's doing 30 years over three kilos of cocaine, also at FCI Terre Haute. “He's gonna go in there and be treated like a celebrity. He has money which will make his time easy, and he might end up teaching, and doing good things. When his time is over, this will be a little blip. No big deal at all."

Despite the judge's plug for Cohen doing his bid at Otisville—an institution that made the Forbes top ten “cushiest prisons” list—the Bureau of Prisons (BOP) will send Cohen wherever they want. Indeed, I recall plenty of inmates complaining about the feds not following judges' recommendations and fucking up their plans for how to cope with incarceration.

Still, the prison assassination of Whitey Bulger—among the few recent BOP denizens whose media saturation rivaled Cohen's—meant the feds were likely to take special care in assigning this guy somewhere he could survive.

“The BOP does not want another high-profile inmate getting beat or stomped out by others who may hate Cohen,” Andre Cooper, a man serving three life sentences at FCI Cumberland in Maryland for racketeering charges relating to drugs and murder, told VICE via email. “He might be in a situation like Bulger was and get hurt pretty badly. But, he might get treated like a rock-star because some may feel that he still has some connections out there that could benefit them upon release.”

“I believe Mr. Cohen will be free of any violent acts, but subject to verbal assault during his short stay in federal prison," offered Ralph Sergo, who’s doing ten years for LSD at FCI Coleman in Florida. “Since he will be at a [lower]-security prison most likely, I'm going to say that he'll be fine as long as he can ignore what people say to him. I very highly doubt anyone, even political fanatics, will physically harm Mr. Cohen. In fact, some may welcome him with open arms.”

Because Cohen was cooperating, albeit informally, with Special Counsel Robert Mueller in a celebrity-level case, his housing placement was sure to be scrutinized. In truth, brutal fights are pretty rare at lower-security prison "camps"—it’s not like Shawshank Redemption. However, there's always a guy out there trying to a make name for himself, and Cohen's a known rat, a type prisoners really love to hate.

“There is no way that Cohen makes it through prison without having all kinds of problems," argued Troy Hockenberry, who's doing a ten-year sentence for a gun charge at FCI Terre Haute. “The guy is one of the most well-known snitches in America right now. And I don't care what prison he goes to—he's hit!”

If I were him, or I could advise him, I’d tell Cohen to help as many inmates as possible with their legal work and become an asset. Inmates tend to give competent jailhouse lawyers a pass, even if they are rats, ex-law enforcement and the like.

The other thing that could smooth the way for Cohen is his money, to the extent he still has it. There's nothing like cash to help you make friends inside.

“He won’t have any problems whatsoever and this will end up being parlayed into a book deal for him, thus making him even wealthier," Robert Lustyik, a former FBI agent serving 15 years for corruption, told VICE. “He basically changed American history by covering up information that might have swayed the election. He then made light of his offenses throughout his legal proceedings. When he realized that his offenses were being taken seriously, he decided to save himself and cooperate.”

That's also a concerning element, though: Cohen may be seen as a walking ATM from day one. Some prisoners may try and squeeze him for funds to use on the commissary (where they buy food and other comforts).

“I would like to say that Cohen will have no troubles in prison, but my gut feeling tells me that he will," Ronald Coleman, who’s doing 262 months for conspiracy to traffic weed and launder money, told VICE. “When you see him on camera, his entire disposition just screams "bitch"—not how you want to be seen if you are in prison. On the flip side, I guess they could put him in protective custody, but even in PC I think he'll be paying somebody.”

With Cohen’s lawyer saying after sentencing that his client would disclose everything he knew about the president to the public after the Russia probe wraps up, it will be interesting to see whether he's viewed primarily as a rat or as an opponent of a guy—Trump—many inmates despise. Cohen did not officially sign a deal to cooperate with the US Attorneys, it should be noted, but the coverage of the case and Trump's broadsides make it hard to believe he won't be perceived primarily as a rat—which come in even lower than pedophiles on the prison totem pole.

"No matter how President Trump acts or speaks about people, he still got snitched on," Cooper said. “Michael Cohn is still a stool pigeon in the eyes of most convicts/inmates in the BOP, no matter how anybody wants to look at it."

Robert Rosso contributed reporting to this story.

Follow Seth Ferranti on Instagram and Twitter.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

8xpb9kSeth FerrantiMatt TaylorVICE USprisonDonald Trumptrue crimesnitches get stitchesSnitchesMichael Cohenrussia investigationstormy danielsKaren McDougal
<![CDATA[We Spoke to Noah Centineo About Everything from Flirting to Feminism]]>, 15 Dec 2018 18:04:39 +0000This article originally appeared on VICE Canada.

I never thought I’d live a Tuesday night that would end in a phone call from 2018’s summer crush Noah Centineo, but there we were.

“Hi, Sophie?” he asks as soon as I pick up. He’s smiling. It’s obvious, even over the phone.

The 22-year-old—whose endearing turn as Peter Kavinsky in Netflix’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before shot him to fame in August—quickly took the internet by storm. Fans on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and more fell willing prey to his charisma and mop of perfectly un-perfect hair.

Like today’s other young male heartthrobs—Harry Styles, Michael B. Jordan, the entire Riverdale crew—his effect has been something like Zac Efron’s in 2006. Handsome, husky-voiced, wholesome, with a great smile—he was, right off the bat, loved, supported, invited onto every talk show and into every outlet’s quippy interview/puppy/party game video segment.

But he was 2018’s man. The internet has already been scouring for its 2019 golden boy. Centineo is less a presence on our daily social media scrolls, and his name is no longer one I hear uttered in everyday conversation. Some outlets have reiterated hearty doses of skepticism about his maturity, his skill, his absurdly-fast ascension to fame. Has he lost his moment in the sun? Is his momentum slowing? Is he simply well-rehearsed for interviews, regurgitating the same polished content in an effort to project a perfect package as he tries to maintain relevance in the industry?

I’m about to find out.

I was told we’d only have fifteen minutes to talk. He decides to stretch it to 42. I was told his agent would call me and connect me to him via an unlisted number. He calls me from a personal Floridian phone number instead. We even exchange texts a few weeks later.

His casual refusal to follows the standard ‘rules’ of his profession and of growing fame is the first thing I notice, and it endears me to him immediately. It makes his uniqueness even more obvious. Because Centineo isn’t your typical Hollywood golden boy. He climbs traffic signs during photoshoots. He cusses and writes poetry on the internet—occasionally at the same time. He expresses joy with his whole body and doesn’t seem to have a filter.

Pre-Kavinsky, he starred for five years on progressive family drama The Fosters, and made an appearance in Camila Cabelo’s Havana music video. Since Kavinsky—and subsequent role Jamey in Netflix’s Sierra Burgess is a Loser—Centineo is still landing role after role; amid other projects slated for release in 2019, he was just cast in Elizabeth Banks’s highly-anticipated Charlie’s Angels remake.

Centineo laughs frequently, listens actively, and clicks his teeth when he’s thinking. He explains the unease he’s realized comes hand-in-hand with notoriety; namely, that the public feels a degree of ownership over his life. “I don’t want to close myself off to people or opportunities,” he said. “But I also have to learn how to protect myself.”

Given the tumult of what was, quite literally, overnight fame (he gained over one million Instagram followers in a single dusk-to-dawn), he certainly has had to modify how he manages his personal life. He can no longer post on social media about where he is because he’ll have to manage an influx of fans and paparazzi, visibility he says he is grateful for, though he worries about whomever he’s with—he doesn’t want the attention to make them feel uncomfortable.

He wonders now whether people he meets may have hidden agendas. He does his best to stay grounded even as he fears he’ll get caught up in distractions that come with life in the spotlight. And he is well aware of his privilege; these are what he calls “beautiful” problems.

“There’s certain publications or companies that want something from me but I just don’t feel comfortable giving that to them,” he elaborates. “And, like, I turn down the idea, and all of a sudden I’m a dick because I didn’t feel comfortable doing something. You know? It’s interesting.”

Centineo is remarkably easy to talk to. Part of it is his inherent—and warmly flirtatious—charm. The other is his inherent curiosity. He grills me for several minutes about my dental history.

“Wait, you’ve had 16 teeth pulled? For... for wh... Wh... why? Like, baby teeth too?”

I explain that I had too many rows of incisor teeth. He’s murmuring affirmatively along with the story. “That’s wild,” he finally says. “Have you gotten tested for having superpowers? You probably should.”

The new life he leads has been an exciting transition for Centineo, even as he tries to maintain a balanced and grounded lifestyle. Born and raised in Miami before moving to LA as a teen, the rising star says the smell of fresh cut grass still reminds him of home. He meditates every day, lists sleep as his favorite activity, and enjoys eating vegan, though he doesn’t call himself one (“It’s 2018. [Vegans] have figured out their recipes.”)

He’s playing on the piano, softly. Under his words, a note, a ping, here, there, accenting an intimate way of speaking that is introspective and extroverted at once.

I ask him what single thing he’s most nostalgic for.

“Love,” he sighs, without a pause. What is his love? It’s safety, support, a challenge to be the best version of himself.

He spins me tales of times he’s fallen in love at first sight. Tells me about how dates he’s been on (he went bungee jumping with someone once, but connected more with a girl he met for a simple coffee date). Admits that he recently cried reading a script—an existential love drama—because he related to it so deeply.

“To me, when you’re crying, you’re aligned with some sort of truth,” he offers. “Some inner truth. That’s why you cry. You identify. It’s just ultimate honesty.”

On the subject of honesty, he is willing to admit that he’s a flirt.

“Yeah, no, I flirt with people,” he acquiesces.

He hesitates.

“I think I need to pull that back.”

But he wants to defend himself. “When I’m with someone I give them my time and I give them my energy,” he says, “because I like making someone feel loved! And making them laugh, and just, like, being there with them.”

When he’s really into somebody, he says, he’ll tell them straight up. He has a lady in his life at the moment (fans may be disappointed to hear that it is not his To All the Boys costar Lana Condor, nor is it his Sierra Burgess is a Loser costar Shannon Purser) and he makes sure to tell this girl constantly, he says, how huge a crush he has on her.

By now I’ve realized what makes this epitomical “cool guy” so unique. It’s an intense focus on his feelings and those of others; it’s his heart on his sleeve, in his outstretched hand; it’s the way he owns his emotional intelligence, wearing it with an almost unnerving ease and assurance.

But though he’s spiritual and thoughtful, he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He’s got a young heart and an especially inspiring brand of youthful energy.

He tells me one of his skills is finding creative ways to sneak onto rooftops. And he enjoys bingeing on junk food from time to time, even while he likes to maintain a healthy diet.

“Sweet Tarts are dank,” he says. “10/10.”

Note, though: He doesn’t want anyone sending him Sweet Tarts.

“I heard that happened to Justin Bieber,” he explains. “Not that I’m anywhere near as cool as he is. But apparently, he said, ‘Oh, I love this candy,’ and people sent it to him, and then he got sick and tired of it. Like a song that you play over and over again.”

He’s built a reputation on coming-of-age romantic comedies. But he wants to branch out, he says—to writing and directing and producing, but also to more tactile arts, like the visual arts space.

“I act, but I’m not necessarily an actor,” he explains. “Acting is just the first thing people see when they look at me. So I’d like to do more things.”

He hopes to use his platform for what he calls “many” social issues close to his heart; he says he has a confidential project in the works within the nonprofit sector and hopes to figure out a way to fix what he calls a North American culture that “needs shifting.”

He also has a lot to say about young men and their responsibilities to themselves and to women as they grow up and become active participants in today’s social climate.

“[Men] weren’t just born misogynists! We were taught these ethics and morals,” he says. “And it is a gender thing because clearly one gender has been intimately oppressed for far longer than the other. It’s about time that we step the fuck up and have reverence and respect for one another.”

Centineo is reminded he has another call to make in a few minutes. But he recalls that I have a friend with a birthday the next day, and asks me to tell her he says happy birthday.

I tell him teasingly that I understand why he makes women swoon.

“Oh, gawwwd,” he drawls with good natured tones. “Stop it!”

But I want to know why women swoon over Kavinsky.

“Mmmm,” Centineo hums. “He’s young, he’s athletic, he’s sensitive, and emotionally available. And he cares. He’s going through something with his family, and he cares about what Lara Jean is going through. And I think he’s just a really good guy.”

We trade pleasantries and he murmurs a farewell: “Thanks, love.”

I sit there for a minute, thinking about how in a way, I’d just had a conversation with Peter Kavinsky. I’d gabbed on the phone to Jamey, getting to know him as Sierra Burgess had.

But where Kavinsky and Jamey are fictional, and becoming less-prominent names on our daily social media scrolls, Noah Centineo is here, and he’s the real deal, and—despite 2018 coming to an end—he’s not going anywhere. And for fans, producers, and all the girls he’s loved before, that makes all the difference.

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This article originally appeared on VICE CA.

43959wSophie van BastelaerSarah BermantvNETFLIXentertainmentVICE Internationalnoah centineo2018's boyfriendPeter Kavinsky
<![CDATA[Man Finds Skid-Marked Underpants in His UberEats Order]]>, 15 Dec 2018 18:03:43 +0000On Friday, I had a pretty dismal experience with a food delivery app with a name that sounds a lot like “Schmostmates.” I’ll spare you the details, because writing them out is akin to saying “Let me tell you about this dream I had,” but it ended with me struggling to cancel an order after the restaurant said they only made burgers on Mondays, and the head chef calling me an idiot.

Yes, it sucked, but it’s nothing compared with what a dude named Leo experienced in south Florida on Sunday night.

Leo was in Miami for Art Basel and, around 10 PM, he decided to use Uber Eats to score some dinner from a nearby Japanese restaurant. The order was placed, his meal arrived, and then things got weird. "I grabbed the food and right when I got the food [the delivery driver] took off running and I was like, 'That was kind of odd,'" he told WPLG.

Leo shrugged it off, took his shrimp fried rice and spicy dumplings back to his room, and opened the plastic carrier bag that the driver had handed him. He says that he reached inside and pulled out a large piece of white fabric. “I thought this, when I was pulling it out, this sure is a fancy napkin," he said, before he noticed that it wasn’t a napkin, but a pair of thigh-length underwear that were stained with what appeared to be human feces.

Leo called the restaurant and the Bal Harbour Police Department, and tried to get in touch with Uber Eats itself. He said that all of the agencies expressed appropriate amounts of shock and disgust, but all of them said that there was really nothing they could do about it.

“Disgusting, unhealthful, it's potentially deadly," Leo said of his unwanted side dish. "What do you do if you find this in your food?!" (My recommendation would be to push those things into the farthest corner, brick up your hotel room with the heaviest available building materials, and resign yourself to a life of somehow preparing and eating your own food without ever touching it with your now-forever-tainted hands.)

Uber Eats got in touch with Leo and gave him a full refund for the order. An Uber spokesperson confirmed to MUNCHIES that the driver had no previous safety reports; she also said that the company had Community Guidelines which “outline behavior expected” on the app.

“What's been reported is very concerning,” Uber told MUNCHIES. “We are reviewing this order and reaching out to all parties involved to help understand what may have occurred. The courier has been removed from the app pending investigation.”

Huh. So maybe that “We only cook burgers on Mondays” thing doesn’t seem so bad, after all.

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

3k9je9Jelisa CastrodaleHilary PollackGrossWTFPooUnderwearFood deliveryuber eats