Edible Six-Pack Rings Feed Animals Instead Of Killing Them

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

Plastic six-pack rings, harmless tools for humans, pose a serious threat to marine life. Seabirds, turtles, and other species end up entangled in the plastic when they are discarded and land on our beaches and in our oceans.


Saltwater Brewery, a small craft beer brand, decided to create a product that would solve this problem as well as make a statement for the whole beer industry to follow. Together with We Believers, an advertising agency, the team designed, prototyped and manufactured edible six-pack rings. This revolutionary six-pack packaging design feeds animals instead of killing them.

The edible rings are made from barley and wheat and other beer by-products during the brewing process. Not only are they completely safe for humans and fish to eat, they are 100 percent biodegradable and compostable.


The edible rings are more expensive to make than plastic rings, but the creators hope other breweries will follow suit, causing production costs to come down, making edible rings competitive with plastic ones.

“We hope to influence the big guys,” Chris Goves, Saltwater Brewery’s president, said. “And hopefully inspire them to get on board.”

See more on the edible six-pack rings below:

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5 Ways Staring At Screens Is Damaging Your Brain

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

Most of us are staring at screens all day in one form or another. Whether it’s your computer, iPad or phone make sure you’re knowledgeable about the consequences to your health.


See below to see how your phone is impacting your brain and body:

1. You’re damaging your brain. More than 7 hours in front of a screen results in loss of tissue.


2. You’re straining your eyes. Invest in computer glasses to combat this.

3. You’re hurting your back. Be aware of your posture to avoid hunching.


4. You’re losing sleep. The light from your phone convinces you it’s time to wake up.

5. You’re “nomophobic.” You’re too dependent on your phone.



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Tiny Food Pantries Are Popping Up Across America

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

If you want to make a difference in your community but don’t have time to stop by a food pantry, you may be in luck soon. A small-scale charity movement is appearing across the United States: lawn food pantry stands.

NPR reports that they’re similar to “little free libraries” but instead of books, they’re stocked with free food and necessities. Some have small personal care items like toothbrushes or bigger items like diapers.

Kansas resident Maggie Ballard calls hers a “blessings box.”



“I felt like this is something that I could do — something small that you know, would benefit so many people so long as the word got out about it,” she told NPR.

These boxes are popping up in front of churches, business, and even homes. They have been spotted in states from Oklahoma to Florida.

Ballard has only seen a handful of people use her blessings box because most come at night. Arkansas resident Jessica McClard has put up what she calls a “little free pantry” in front of her home as well.


She said that the turnover is pretty fast — under an hour — and it shows that these items are essential for the community. She told NPR, “the frequency of the turnover and the fact that other sites in town are also turning over that frequently, it suggests to me that the need is tremendous.”

These little pantries are a cute, but effective, way to help others.



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Urine Therapy Is The Latest Beauty Trend

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

There are always odd health and beauty trends out there, and this is one of the weirdest yet. “Urine therapy” is apparently the next big thing in skincare.

Urine therapy is the act of collecting your own urine and proceeding to wash your face and body with it. According to dermatologist Rachel Nazarian, this can actually benefit your skin. She told Marie Claire that due to urine’s anti-fungal and antibacterial traits, urine can act as an effective cleanser and toner.


“We already use urea, a component of urine, in a lot of skincare products,” Nazarian said. “Urine is essentially mostly water—but a small percentage is urea.”

It’s said that urine has the ability to not only clean the skin but clear breakouts, reduce the appearance of scars and help treat Keratosis pilaris or the “chicken skin” that appears on the back of arms and thighs.

Not only that, but it can also moisturize and exfoliate. According to Nazarian, “Urea acts as an ‘exfoliant’ of sorts by breaking down the rough skin and exposing a smoother, softer skin.”

Apparently, this trend is not new, either: French women would take urine baths as far back as the eighteenth century. Whether it will catch on again, however, has yet to be determined.


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What Your Old Barbies Are Worth Now

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

We all know Barbie’s style and shape have evolved over the years, but one thing has certainly stayed the same: She’s still one of the hottest toys on the market.


Households all over the world have held onto their own Barbies through the decades, and we have some good news for you: The value of many older versions has increased massively over time.

We searched eBay for how much the vintage models are selling for these days — and you won’t be disappointed. The iconic dolls are still a hot commodity in 2016, with some versions currently selling for up to $5,000. From the original 1959 Barbie to the spunky 1992 Rollerblading Barbie, we’ve got the classics covered.

1988 Happy Holidays Barbie, $199.00
Via eBay
1986 Feelin’ Groovy Barbie Doll, $203.18
Via eBay
1971 Walk Lively Steffie Barbie, $795.00
Via eBay
Vintage American Girl Barbie, $1,100.00
Via eBay
1998 Vivienne Westwood Life Ball Barbie, $2,999.50
Via eBay
2003 City Smart Silkstone Barbie, $2,995.00
Via eBay
1959 Mattel Barbie Ponytail Brunette, $2,650.99
Via eBay


So if you have an 80’s, 90’s or special edition Barbie tucked away in your attic somewhere, you may want to consider putting her up for auction after you see the fortune she’s worth now!



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There’s a Totally Bizarre Conspiracy Theory About Ted Cruz… And a Surprising Number of People Believe It

This article originally appeared and was published on AOL.com

Could Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz be an unidentified serial killer? Most likely not, but that has not stopped people from speculating about it.


A wild conspiracy theory that Ted Cruz could be the Zodiac Killer, a serial killer who murdered victims in the 1960s and ’70s, appears to have first surfaced on Twitter in 2013.

Now that Cruz has been catapulted into the national spotlight as a serious contender for the Republican nomination in the 2016 election, the wild theory has picked up steam and is even trending on Twitter again.

Unfortunately for those who love a good conspiracy theory, a quick look at the facts proves that this is pretty much impossible. Although never caught, the Zodiac Killer committed his murders in California in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Ted Cruz was born in Canada in 1970.

The bizarre theory reached a new level of attention this week when Public Policy Polling, a left-leaning national political polling company, decided to include a question about it in their latest poll of Florida voters.

The findings of the poll reveal that many Floridians can’t rule out the idea that Cruz could be a serial killer in disguise. PPP found that 38 percent of Florida voters polled think it’s possible that Cruz is the Zodiac Killer — with 28 percent saying they are not sure about the question and 10 percent saying that he definitely is. That leaves 62 percent who confidently believe Cruz is not the killer.


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Do these images creep you out? Then you may have Trypophobia.

People with Trypophobia claim that holes give them a creepy crawly feeling. They may get sweaty, itchy or nauseous and some even say the sight of holes gives them a panic attack.


Common triggers include lotus seeds, air bubbles, water droplets, honeycomb, fruit, sponges and even swiss cheese could set it off.

The fear isn’t recognized by the American Psychiatric Association and it has no official medical diagnosis. The first description of Trypophobia actually showed up on the internet in 2005. Many people believe that it’s just an invention of internet chatrooms where people would self-diagnose and chat with others claiming to be afflicted by the same symptoms but a lot of people claim to have it. 


So what’s so scary about holes anyway? Scientists think the fear is based on a biological revulsion, in other words, our brains associate the shape of holes with danger. Some people with the fear said they felt like “something might be living inside those holes.” Others say these images are just hard to look at and can’t be processed efficiently by the brain. One study proposes that the fear occurs because the images require excessive brain oxygenation but at the end of the day, no one knows for sure. 

The good news is, if you made it to the end of this article you probably don’t have it.

Crows Are Being Trained to Pick up Cigarette Butts and Clean Cities

A Dutch start-up called Crowded Cities wants to solve the pollution problem by training crows to pick up cigarette filters. They created a machine called a “crowbar” which will dispense food whenever a crow puts a cigarette butt in it, which will effectively train the crows to clean up litter. The crow brings a cigarette filter and drops it into the crowbar.

Once the camera recognizes the item as a cigarette filter, it dispenses food. Crows have been proven to be smarter than the average bird. They’ve been shown to remember and recognize faces. Recent scientific research has inferred that crows understand cause-effect relationships which is a concept children under 5 often struggle with. Crowded Cities is currently trying to fund their next round of testing.



WTF Is LARPing Anyway?

LARP stands for Live Action Role-Playing but what is it and how did it start? Larp is a form of role-playing where participants act out their characters’ actions and portray characters in a fictional setting and improvise their speech and movement. 

Typically player actions in the real world represent character actions in an imaginary setting, however, no one LARP follows the same rules and regulations as another. Instead, arrangers called gamemasters determine the rules and setting.


A LARP could be a one-off game, or a series in the same setting. The length of a LARP may last from hours to days and the number of players could range from a few to thousands.

LARP is rooted in tabletop role-playing games and the desire to physically experience them. The first recorded LARP group is “dagorhir” and was founded in 1977. Now LARPs take place all over the world.