Everyone can train and diet to make them more visible, but at the end of the day, they are not a measurement of fitness and health

Photo: PeopleImages/Getty Images

This week, comedian and actor Kumail Nanjiani posted a shirtless photo on Instagram, revealing a new, ripped physique with visible, countable abdominal muscles. Nanjiani, in his post, explained that he decided to get jacked for his role in the Marvel movie The Eternals and credits his new look to a full year spent with the “best trainers and nutritionists paid for by the biggest studio in the world.” The photo is one part flex, one part admission that celebrities have access to resources that normies do not.

Can anyone achieve ripped abs if they have the right diet and trainer…


The long history of hair transplants, and why they’re suddenly so popular

Illustration: Sammy Stein

Kirk Peffer, 39, started noticeably losing his hair in his late twenties.

“It was just like a slow, gradual decline to a point where you’re like, ‘Man, I really wish I could do something about this,’” says the on-air jockey for 94.5 Bay FM in San Jose, CA. “For the longest time I kind of defined myself by my hair, and so losing it was a blow to me as a person, or at least, my confidence.”

Male-pattern baldness impacts an estimated 50 million men in the United States, and more and more men like Peffer are turning to surgical…


High costs and lack of coverage are pushing people to online PT

Various fitness equipment such as yoga mats, exercise balls, free weights, and rubber bands projecting out of a phone screen.
Various fitness equipment such as yoga mats, exercise balls, free weights, and rubber bands projecting out of a phone screen.
Illustration: Jaedoo Lee

Trusting the internet for medical advice has always been a crapshoot. A runny nose paired with a vivid imagination can quickly metastasize to a terminal prognosis from a number of sources, and often you don’t know the qualifications and motivations of social media advice-givers. But 27.5 million Americans don’t have health insurance, and even those with health care can find the out-of-pocket costs of physical therapy to be an insurmountable barrier. Sometimes it feels there’s nowhere else to go, really, but online.

When I was a marketing manager at a small San Francisco startup, I used my employer-provided insurance to…


The company promises EMTs a “flexible schedule” and “a path to entrepreneurship.”

Illustration: Ana Kova

Cory, a 26-year-old emergency medical services professional, had been working in southern California for several years when he started seeing teal ambulances, emblazoned with the words “Ambulnz,” zipping around Los Angeles. Founded in 2015, Ambulnz transplanted the push-button ride hailing model to non-emergency medical transport, offering on-demand patient transport services for hospitals and other care providers. The majority of Ambulnz business involves moving patients from hospitals to their homes, or transferring patients between medical facilities. This type of service is called interfacility transfer, or IFT.

Cory, who requested anonymity for this piece, was enrolled in paramedic school at the time…


American customers are paying big bucks to import tiny tubes of toothpaste

Illustration by Thoka Maer

On the r/LegalAdvice subreddit, readers can “ask simple legal questions” like how to handle a $60,000 inheritance, or what to do when your car is repossessed, or whether an individual has legal recourse if an ex deletes a college thesis. On January 7, 2016, a poster sought advice on the shipment of unsanctioned contraband. “…the company refuses to sell it here,” wrote Reddit user orochiman. “Just wondering if the feds will come shoot my dog if I order it from Europe.” The substance in question? Toothpaste.

Sensodyne Repair & Protect with NovaMin has established a cult following among those seeking…


The popular team-building activity that literally broke me

An iFly Indoor Skydiving Facility in Rosemont, IL. Photo: Scott Olsen/Getty

I was never particularly curious to experience the sensation of falling out of an airplane. But in the summer of 2015, out of a sense of obligation, I stood in front a vertical wind tunnel in Tukwila, Washington.

At the time, I was working at Amazon as a marketing specialist, and our team had signed up for a corporate group activity at iFLY, an indoor skydiving facility. For roughly 60 seconds, iFLY simulates the sensation of free fall via a system of fans circulating air through a plexiglass tube, known as a vertical wind tunnel. …


An Indian-American writer reacts to a recent advice column on “foreign” names

Credit: stephfournet/iStock/Getty

I’m not mad, exactly. And betrayed isn’t the right word, either — I don’t really seek out advice columns, and I’m not a regular Dear Abby reader, so her recent highly publicized, casually racist edition doesn’t make me feel like anyone has let me down. But as someone whose life is closely tied to the question discussed in said column, I do feel some very specific things.

Last month, an advice-seeker nicknamed “Making Life Easy” wrote to ask Dear Abby about starting a family. The wife, born and raised in India, wants to give their future children Indian names. Making…


The #dogavi trend is just the beginning. Why are there so many racist pets out there?

It’s a simple phenomenon, but once you see it, it’s impossible to ignore. A large social media account posts something vaguely race-related, like, say, a CNN report on Colin Kaepernick. Scroll down through the replies and you’ll find thinly veiled or just blatantly racist statements. Note the profile photo (the avatar) on that trash opinion. What is it?

A dog.


Your favorite children’s folk singer was woke before woke was a thing

Raffi Cavoukian warned us. He warned us about the dangers of capitalism, the robot apocalypse, climate change, and most of all, the rise of fascism in the Trump era. Have you been paying attention, or are you still just humming “Down by the Bay” like a fool?

We’re in an era where our childhood heroes are being exposed as deeply evil, morally absent monsters and abusers by the day. Hungry for something pure in this god-forsaken world, I wondered what the 70-year-old folk singer behind “Bananaphone” and “Baby Beluga” was up to. In short, we never should’ve stopped listening…


The latest iPhone might be made of surgical-grade steel and have beyond-DSLR photo specs, but if one rings in a room full of iPhones, can you tell the difference? Since practically everyone — or better put, practically everyone with an iPhone — uses the default “Marimba” ringtone, it’s unlikely.

“Marimba” on a marimba

Before 2014, however, most ringtones were songs — not to mention, a highly considered arm of music sales, generating an estimated $714 million in sales. They even inspired a new genre of music — “Ringtone rap,” an insult really, used to denote dumbed-down tracks optimized for ringtone…

Ashwin Rodrigues

freelance writer. based in NY.

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