Had enough of meteorological mayhem? Sorry, thanks to El Niño, things are likely to get even worse

From preternatural Christmas warmth enveloping the eastern U.S., to deadly tornados raking the nation's midsection, to historic flooding that followed close behind, and most recently to a monstrous storm that unfroze the Arctic, the past several weeks truly have brought a pronounced bout of meteorological mayhem. SEE ALSO: One of the most powerful N. Atlantic storms on record builds 55-ft waves and brings winter melting to North Pole And that list doesn't include the impacts that many

The Email Hillary Clinton Received First Thing on Her Birthday Morning Is Bleak

“ENJOY THE DAY AND CELEBRATE YOUR BIRTHDAY! TBD” reads a message directed to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, as she geared up for the next 24 hours of unscheduled, unsanctioned birthday fun.

The birthday greeting was sent by Claire Coleman, Clinton’s office manager at the time, on Clinton’s birthday in 2010. The email, revealed in the dump of 5,500 pages of private emails released by the State Department on Thursday, includes a soul-crushing timeline of her day, which includes traveling until 11:30 a.m., and then, presumably, enjoying the rest of her birthday...?

Speaking of birthdays, let it be known that Clinton does not reply to her own birthday salutations. She delegates them out, with the friendly directive “Pls respond.”

Other emails include hair jokes ...

... And a re-cap of what President Obama discussed with Paul Krugman, as told by formeraide Sid Blumenthal:

Another email dump, another bleak look into the personal life of an internationally recognized politician.

Contact the author at melissa.cronin@gawker.com.

‘My Bad’: Jeb Bush Explains Forgetting Where Tamir Rice Was Shot

'My Bad': Jeb Bush Explains Forgetting Where Tamir Rice Was Shot

“My bad” is as good an excuse as any, right?

Jeb Bush, a man as casual as he is funny, used this cool and young phrase to explain away a flub about the shooting of Tamir Rice, the 12-year-old boy shot by a police officer in in November 2014.

At an event at Hudson’s Smokehouse BBQ in Lexington, SC., Bush told shared his sage wisdom on the shooting:

“I think that Chicago has a lot of work to do to rebuild trust. The level of violence is abhorrent.”

The reporter quickly pointed out that Rice was shot in Cleveland, not Chicago. “My bad,” says the man who wants to lead a country of 300 million.

“Oh I’m sorry. My bad. In every community where you have these cases the elected officials and the police chief need to engage with the community to rebuild trust, but the process worked. If there’s a grand jury that looks at all the facts and doesn’t indict maybe there’s reasons for that.”

While this may have been simply a classic Jeb brain fart, it came right after a grand jury declined to indict the officer who killed him, just last Tuesday.

See Jeb’s “bad” below:

[Image via Getty]

Contact the author at melissa.cronin@gawker.com.

A Disgruntled Owl Is Silently Stalking Oregon’s Government Officials

A Disgruntled Owl Is Silently Stalking Oregon's Government Officials

The residents of Oregon have had it with their government leadership, and are taking a non-traditional approach to public discourse: stealthy stalking, followed by a violent lashing with their inch-long talons.

One resident in particular is leading the charge: a barred owl, thought to be the same bird that was terrorizing joggers in a Salem, Oregon, park last February, has three people outside the state Capitol building in just one month. The officials are wary of the animal, though no serious injuries have been reported. City parks department spokeswoman Tibby Larson gave Reuters this spectacular gem of a quote:

“It’s silent. You’re just walking along, minding your own business, and an owl comes silently at you from behind.”

Police are monitoring reports of attacks, but probably won’t do anything to stop the owl. Truly, this should serve as a rallying cry to the rest of the nation: if you’re unhappy with your elected officials, take action! The days of passive resistance are gone, and we will be led into the new year by a wild-eyed, talon-wielding owl of freedom.

[Image via Flickr/Larry Smith]

Contact the author at melissa.cronin@gawker.com.

This Is the Best of Lifehacker 2015

At the end of every year, we take a look back at our most popular posts to reminisce (and to help you catch any stuff you might have missed). Here’s one last look at our best posts in 2015.


Man Reportedly Planning ISIS Attack on New Year’s Eve: ‘I Will Take a Life’

Man Reportedly Planning ISIS Attack on New Year's Eve: 'I Will Take a Life'

A who had pledged allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State was arrested this week for reportedly planning to attack diners at a restaurant or bar with a machete on New Year’s Eve.

The man, 25-year-0ld Emanuel Lutchman, was arrested by officials in Rochester, New York, according to NBC. Lutchman is a Muslim convert who attempted to provide information to ISIS after pledging obedience to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the group’s leader. Court documents released by federal prosecutor show that Lutchman had revealed his plans to government informants, saying that he wanted to use a pressure cooker bombs, knives or a machete.

“[T]hat’s what my plan, that’s on my mind, that’s all I been thinking about ... Cause I’m getting amped up, to accept the fact that’s what I gotta do ... I will take a life. I don’t have a problem with that.”

Lutchman reportedly has a history of mental illness and previously served time for robbery charges.

According to the documents, an overseas ISIS affiliate had ordered Lutchman to carry out the attack this week, saying he should “do operations and kill some kuffar.”

[Image via Twitter]

Contact the author at melissa.cronin@gawker.com.

Saber a Champagne Bottle With a Spoon

Sabrage, the process of opening a bottle of champagne with a saber, is a fun ceremonial tradition that’s great for impressing party guests. You don’t necessarily need a saber or knife for this party trick, however.


Ben Carson’s New Year’s Rockin’ Campaign Shake-up

Ben Carson's New Year's Rockin' Campaign Shake-up

The campaign manager and communications director for the Ben Carson campaign have resigned, after Carson sort of promised to fire them, and then didn’t, earlier this month.


For a brief period last autumn, Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon who is running for president as a crank, was doing quite well in polls of Republican voters nationally and, especially, in Iowa. Since the end of October, he’s been steadily falling in those polls. Now everyone likes Sen. Ted Cruz instead. But Carson’s campaign is actually more of a telemarketing and direct-mail scam than a “traditional” presidential campaign, and no matter what happens next, Carson, along with “business manager” Armstrong Williams, will exit this campaign with a large and lucrative list of suckers:

The holiday shake-up also overwhelmed what might have been a good day of news for Carson. Watts’s final act was to announce that Carson had raised more than $23 million for the fourth fundraising quarter of the year, ending 2015 with more than 600,000 unique donors and at least one million individual contributions.

Carson is “more at peace than you can imagine,” Williams told the Washington Post.

Top image: An actor pretending to be Ben Carson pretends to stab a friend.

Resist Becoming a People Pleaser by Creating a “No Script”

Saying “no” is an important time-saving skill to learn, especially for those of us who worry too much about being liked by others. Having a “no script” planned out ahead of time can make saying “no” in a nice manner much easier.


10 Animals That Support Your New Year’s Resolutions

Think you'll need help following through on your New Year's resolutions? Take some inspiration from these news-making animals of 2015. Soon you'll be your best self...or possibly a sea monster. Either way, 2016 is sure to be great. Get rid of unnecessary clutter This year, students in Denmark discovered that starfish have a startling ability no one had noticed before. When the students injected microchips—or other foreign objects—into starfish, the animals expelled the items out the en

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