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Nicki Minaj Shows Her Strength In New MTV Doc

"No one can prepare you for this business," Nicki Minaj says in the trailer for her new MTV documentary, My Time Again. "Unless you are in it, you really can't wrap your brain around it." Minaj will attempt to make sense of this world for her fans come Sunday, January 18. Like 2010's MTV documentary My Time Now, Minaj is bringing audiences behind the scenes and into her familial and personal life. Based on the trailer, she's not holding back either. (For one thing, there's a shot of her backup dancer's bloody arm after a snake bit it before the VMAs.) My Time Again follows the release of The Pinkprint — Minaj's most personal album to date. It also is a continuation of her championship for authenticity in the hip-hop/rap scene. "Women MUST aspire for more," she tweeted back in July, clarifying her acceptance speech at the BET Awards. "My desire [is] to motivate women to write. Our voices have to be heard. I hope I inspire up & coming females to do that." My Time Again premieres Sunday, January 18 at 10 p.m. EST on MTV. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Drake, Jack White, & AC/DC To Headline Coachella 2015 Idina Menzel Defends Shaky New Year's Eve Performance Sia Responds To Accusations Of Pedophilia In "Elastic Heart" Video

refinery29 4 years ago

Your Fat Could Be Fighting Off Infections

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar. However you feel about your body fat, you now have a new reason to appreciate it: Research suggests that molecules produced by fat cells can help fight off infections. The study, published earlier this month in Science, examined how fat cells located just under the skin function in mice when their skin is exposed to bacteria. Researchers found in their first experiment that mice produced more fat cells in an area that had been exposed to Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Those fat cells, in turn, produced a peptide called cathelicidin. In a second experiment, scientists looked at S. aureus infections in mice whose cells couldn't adequately produce cathelicidin. Infections in these mice were much worse, suggesting the peptide may have a protective effect against infection. While previous research has demonstrated cathelicidin's antimicrobial properties, this is the first experiment to show that fat cells can produce the compound. This study is also notable for showing evidence of infection fighting before white blood cells reach an affected area. Though the study was conducted with mice, it likely has relevance for humans, too, as we also produce cathelicidin. And, S. aureus bacteria can trigger infections in us as well: It's the most common cause of staph infections. It's important to note, though, that this doesn't mean that having more body fat will offer better protection against infections. The stuff you've got is probably doing the job just fine. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? 30 Photos Of Unretouched Butts, In Case You Forgot What They Really Look Like To Change A Girl's Life, Start With A Menstrual Cup Here's What Drinking Tonight Could Do To You

refinery29 4 years ago

Willow Smith's New Song Has "Heart"

Willow Smith's uploaded a little ditty named "Heart" to her Soundcloud account last night, and it's a nice, trippy way to kick off your Friday. "I thought I'd post a little something celebrating the end of the chaotic time whilst I wasn't able to log in this account," she wrote, and then signed off with a Na'vi phrase from James Cameron's Avatar, "Eywa Ngahu." It's a little early and everyone's a little too sober to get into the whole Avatar spiritual/ecological constructed reality, but Eywa is a sort of planetary deity. "Eywa Ngahu" just means "Eywa be with you," a sort of hippie goddess thing to say. Thanks, Willow — Eywa be with you too! Anyway, that gives you a good idea of the Age of Aquarius vibe that the song's lyrics have. It has a very light, trip-hoppy vibe that would be right at home with the sweeter songs by '90s favorites like Massive Attack, Portishead, and Lamb. Smith released the EP 3 in November, but it's high time that this cosmic babe drops a full-length album already. Check out "Heart" below. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Idina Menzel Defends Shaky New Year's Eve Performance Sia Responds To Accusations Of Pedophilia In "Elastic Heart" Video This Spotify App Connects Elvis With One Direction

refinery29 4 years ago

7 LEGIT Sales To Shop This Weekend

Loeffler Randall Use the promo code bestinshow to take $275 off the Matilde Flat Boot until January 11 at 12 a.m.What we're buying:

refinery29 4 years ago

The 15 Drunkest Golden Globe Moments

America’s Sweetheart Sweet Talks The Carpet Year: 2010 How Many Sheets To The Wind Was She? 3 Julia Roberts left the sweet girl at home and brought her stream of conscious to the carpet. She trashed NBC and wished Michelle Obama a happy birthday in less than a minute.

refinery29 4 years ago

Don't Let This Office Injury Ruin Your Life

Illustrated by Elliot Salazar. If you spend your days hunched over a computer, you've no doubt gone home with the occasional tension headache, stiff neck, or bout of dry eyes. But, if all that clicking and typing has you worried you're at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome, you may be surprised to hear that only 2 to 3% of adults are diagnosed with the disorder. It's carpal tunnel's lesser-known but just as debilitating cousin you should be concerned about. Called cubital tunnel syndrome, it affects the ulnar nerve, found near your elbow. (Carpal tunnel, meanwhile, affects the hand and wrist.) It's most often caused by repetitive bending motions or leaning on your elbows, which can irritate or compress the nerve. Virtually everyone with an office job is prone to these motions (especially the, ahem, desk-slouchers), making cubital tunnel syndrome one of the most common office injuries. You may feel the uncomfortable symptoms (pain, tingling, and weakness) all the way from shoulders to fingertips, and as with many nerve injuries, they can morph into chronic pain if left untreated. We asked occupational therapist Bari Turetzky, OTR/L, to give us the rundown on this stealthy office injury and to share advice on how we can all stay pain-free. Illustrated by Elliot Salazar. Causes & Symptoms "The incidence of cubital tunnel syndrome is much higher in individuals who work for long periods with elbows bent or with pressure applied to the elbow region," says Turetzky. Think: typing, custodial work, or scanning items at a checkout. It can also be caused by sleeping with your arm under the pillow, resting your arms on the steering wheel, or leaning on your elbow while talking on the phone. Keep an eye out for these common symptoms:- Finger tingles, particularly in the pinky or ring finger. - Pain or numbness in the elbow or forearm. - Weakness in the hands, particularly when pinching. Illustrated by Elliot Salazar. Treatment First, check in with your doctor — and don't procrastinate making the appointment. "Cubital tunnel syndrome has an overwhelmingly positive prognosis, but it can lead to severe disability if not treated properly and in a timely manner," Turetzky warns. Your physician will conduct tests to look for nerve damage, but the odds are good your case will be easily treatable if you get checked out at the first sign of symptoms. Advanced cases may require surgery; basic treatment for minor cases typically includes: - Anti-inflammatory medication, like ibuprofen (or corticosteroid injections if there's lots of pain or swelling). - Nerve gliding exercises (hand and arm gestures that encourage the injured nerve to move normally with your joints). - Elbow braces for day or night, depending on the cause of your case. - Rest! Find a way to not repeat those repetitive-stress motions. For example, you may try using headphones for phone calls or adjusting your desk setup so as not to lean on your elbows. Illustrated by Elliot Salazar. Prevention Mabel, Mabel, strong and able, keep your elbows off the table. "In general," says Turetzky, "it's best to avoid any activity that requires keeping your elbows bent for long periods of time." And, at the very least, be sure to care for those joints: "Just as runners must stretch before and after runs, anyone who uses their hands and arms for extended periods of time should stretch to avoid injury," Turetzky adds. You might also suggest an ergonomic evaluation to your HR department (after all, workplace injuries hurt the company, too). Here are some more basic ways to avoid cubital tunnel syndrome: - Pull your keyboard closer so your elbows don't sit on the desk while you're typing. - Use ergonomic pads on your desktop. - Each day, do some basic upper-body stretches for your neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, and fingers. - If your sleeping position is the culprit, Turetzky suggests wrapping a towel around your elbow or using a comfortable sleep splint. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Here's Why Being Tickled Makes You Laugh New Study Shows How Your Partner's Attitude Could Affect Your Weight Do Sleep Aids Really Help You Fall Asleep — & Stay Asleep?

refinery29 4 years ago

Venus Williams Gets Help From Canine Ball Boys

The first days of 2015 have been brutal. What you need (what we all need) is a unicorn chaser — something that offers such delight and joy that it clears your mental palate so you can face the day again. Well, we have the perfect unicorn chaser for you. As part of a cheeky social media campaign on behalf of the ASB Classic, a women's tennis tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, three doggy ball boys were brought out to play fetch during a match between Venus Williams and Svetlana Kuznetsova. They are even wearing little sweatbands on their forelegs. These dogs even have their own impressive bios. Super Teddy is an 8-year-old terrier mix who reigns supreme as the winner of 2014 New Zealand Clever Canine Competition; he also has the title of the Best Eyebrows in Tennis. Oscar, the especially slobbery one, is a rescued Bullmastiff who has the occasional TV and film gig. Check out that slow-motion jowl action! Ted, the Border Collie, recently snagged the title of Obedience Champion. Can you feel the weight of the world lifting, even for a second? [Mashable] Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Neighbors From Hell Is The Funniest Instagram Of 2014 Watch Bao Bao The Panda Play In The Snow, Because It's Only Wednesday Serial Inspires New Petition For Adnan Syed

refinery29 4 years ago

How To Zen Out Your Space For The New Year

“When you want to create a calm interior in your home, go with cool blues and greens,” says Maxwell Ryan, CEO and founder of Apartment Therapy. “These low-stimulation, watery colors will ground any room. The blue side of the spectrum, along with cool browns, grays, and off-whites, helps calm our emotions and focus our thoughts,” he adds. “While our hearts may crave warmth, our heads crave coolness to do their best work.”

refinery29 4 years ago

Here's GabiFresh's New Swim Line, Featuring Fatkinis & So Much More

How does this collection differ from your last one? "I've never had a collection with more than three pieces, and this year I really wanted to ramp it up so it felt fuller. We started early enough for me to really be totally in charge of everything, from thinking of prints to getting the fit right, so I felt like I had much more input than before."

refinery29 4 years ago

Annette Bening & Warren Beatty's Trans* Son Speaks Out About Leelah Alcorn

Photo: Courtesy of Stephen Ira. Stephen Ira, 23, a writer and trans* advocate, is the eldest son of Annette Bening and Warren Beatty. Stephen was assigned the female gender and given the name Kathryn at birth. He started transitioning at the age of 14. In the wake of Leelah Alcorn's tragic suicide, Ira has joined the many people sharing their stories with the #RealLiveTransAdult hashtag. He has also been speaking out against conversion therapists, which Alcorn mentioned being forced to visit in her suicide note. "I survived conversion therapy and transphobic abuse. I'm 22 and I live in New York City and I just put on my androgel. #RealLiveTransAdult," Stephen tweeted in late December. "[I]f your therapist tries hard to convince you not to transition, that's conversion therapy! they don't have to 'be' a conversion therapist," he continued. "[I]f your therapist won't endorse transition until you are on the brink of suicide, that is conversion therapy," he further explained. Stephen also had a message for Alcorn's parents, "If you can't handle having a trans kid, don't have kids." According to People, his own parents have never publicly addressed Stephen's gender. In the past, he has credited his friends for their support. It is Stephen's hope that Leelah will be remembered for the support she offered other members of the trans* community, and her enduring hope that "[O]ne day, transgender people aren't treated the way I was, they're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights." "[G]ive this young woman the peace in death that she deserves and work for what she wanted, work for the things she needed while she lived," Stephen eloquently reminded everyone on Twitter. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Ashton Kutcher & Mila Kunis' Baby Confirmed Adorable In First Photo Bill Cosby Made An Inappropriate Joke About Women Drinking Around Him This Is What Happens When You Sneak A Pic Of Emma Stone & Andrew Garfield

refinery29 4 years ago

Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt Actually Got Married In A Spontaneous California Ceremony

Photo: REX USA/Rex. We've all heard about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's extremely sweet wedding in France. All of their children played integral roles in the occasion and helped design their mom's dress. Well, get ready to have the rug ripped out from under you. That wasn't the couple's real marriage ceremony. Jolie and Pitt were officially tied the knot during a spontaneous ceremony in California. The whole thing was low-key and quite romantic. Jolie basically called Brad and was like, "Let's do this." Pitt was all, "Thundercats are go." Fine, the actual call was a little more eloquent, per Us Weekly. "One day I said to Brad, 'Let's meet up at 4:30 p.m.?' I called a justice of the peace and we signed the documents." The same judge who signed their marriage license also conducted the nondenominational civil ceremony. Have we all been duped? Nah. Anyone who's had to deal with trying to get married in another country knows the legal hassle involved. "As Americans, we couldn't marry legally in France," Jolie explained. Mon dieu. (Us Weekly) Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? Jennifer Aniston Opens Up About Her First Love Sam Smith's Boyfriend Catches Him Singing Beyoncé In The Shower Annette Bening & Warren Beatty's Trans* Son Speaks Out About Leelah Alcorn

refinery29 4 years ago

5 Surprising Uses For Yogurt

Photo: Courtesy of Tasting Table.By Jolene Bouchon Yogurt has graduated from the confines of breakfast and evolved into a vital and beloved ingredient for dishes both sweet and savory. But, wait: In the immortal words of Ron Popeil, there's more! Here are five other ways to put yogurt to good use.Tenderize Meat Make tough cuts of meat like lamb shoulder more forgiving with a yogurt marinade. Whereas many acids in the classic oil + acid + seasoning = marinade formula can actually backfire, making the meat tougher because they denature (or "cook") the proteins, yogurt works in gentler ways. The acid in yogurt is milder than that of, say, lemon juice or vinegar, and the calcium activates enzymes in the meat, which helps break down muscle fibers. Buttermilk, yogurt's tangy cousin, also works well for this purpose. Use full- or low-fat Greek or regular yogurt in marinades — fat-free versions are too thin to cling well, and they're often made with added sugars and stabilizers meant to replace the flavor and thickness of lost fat.Soothe A Cooking Burn You learned the hard way that your oven mitt has a hole in it. Reach for yogurt, which helps draw out the heat and reduce inflammation. Simply spread the probiotic-rich dairy onto the scorched area (the thick Greek kind works best), let sit until tepid (about 10 minutes), and then rinse. It's a pretty flavorful way to treat tongue burns, too.Related: How To Pair Wine And Cheese Like A ProFerment Veggies The "lacto" in lacto-fermentation doesn't refer to dairy but to lactobacillus, the bacteria that produces lactic acid. It occurs naturally in yogurt — and on the surface of raw vegetables. You can preserve nearly any vegetable by placing it in a very clean, airtight jar and covering it with (non-iodized) salted, distilled water. Add a little whey (the lactobacillus-filled watery substance you see at the top of your yogurt container; use full- or low-fat yogurt) to the water to kick-start the fermentation. See a detailed explanation of the process here.Make Cheese Give bread the spread it deserves. Turn yogurt into labneh, a thick, tangy spreadable cheese popular in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, simply by straining out its additional moisture. Put regular plain full-fat yogurt (or Greek, if you're a boss) in a fine mesh strainer lined with a thin, loose-weave towel (like flour sack) or several layers of cheesecloth. Place over a bowl in the refrigerator and let the yogurt drain overnight or until it's as thick and tangy as you like it. So long, cream cheese.Soften Hands To help slough, soften, and hydrate skin, many upscale beauty products contain lactic acid. Guess what else does? It's no Crème de la Mer, but yogurt does a fine job of softening those dishpan hands, especially during prep, when you don't want to season your food with the taste of lotion. Simply rub a bit of plain yogurt over your hands, and then rinse. Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? The Cult History Of Starbucks' New Drink 14 NYC Spots For The PERFECT Winter Date This Is The Most Iconic Restaurant In Your State

refinery29 4 years ago

9 Go-To Trends, Upgraded For 2015

Then: Divergent Eyeliner We spotted this early on last year and immediately fell in love. The style helps elongate your eyes, which makes them appear larger. What's more, it's insanely easy to do.

refinery29 4 years ago

Obama Proposes Free Community College For Everyone

Photo: Rex USA. Something seems to have gotten into Obama recently. In just the last couple weeks, he's made a string of big, bold new announcements — and the hits keep on coming. The latest came last night, via video: He’s planning to make the first two years of community college free. You know, for everybody. There are some caveats: Students have to be in school at least half-time, keep up a 2.5 GPA (a C+ or so), and progress “toward completing their program.” The burden would be a little higher on the community colleges, some of which have been criticized in the aftermath of the recession for preying on vulnerable students by charging unaffordable tuition for useless degrees or certificates. Schools would need to offer transferable credits that can be applied to a four-year degree, or educate students in occupational-training programs “with high graduation rates” in high-demand fields. The schools would also have to adopt certain educational reforms that haven’t been spelled out by the administration just yet. President Obama made the announcement last night aboard Air Force One (above), and he'll talk more about it in a speech Friday afternoon as one of several previews of the State of the Union address later this month. Obama says the program could save about 9 million students $3,800 in tuition a year. Will it happen? Well, given how Obama proposes to fund it, maybe not. He’s said 75% of the program’s cost would be borne by the federal government, with the states picking up the remainder of the tab. Getting that kind of proposal through a Republican-majority Congress could be a long shot. But, it could also really help. Forty million Americans have an outstanding student loan, according to Experian, while educational costs have kept rising. Meanwhile, for those who do make it to school, wages for the average American aren’t exactly covering all that student-loan debt. Whether or not it can make it through Congress, the proposal is a pretty bold idea. Despite the fact that Obama’s riding out the last two years of his presidency with a Republican majority in Congress — or maybe because of it — he’s been acting pretty darn presidential lately, what with that whole executive order on immigration and the announcement of normalized relations with Cuba. Looks like all those years of gridlock finally got to him and, as he’s put it several times recently, the bear is loose. Are you starting to feel hopeful again? Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?

refinery29 4 years ago