Lady Gaga And Blackpink Are A Little Sweet, Very Spicy On 'Sour Candy'

It’s officially Chromatica week, and the bops are raining down! On Thursday (May 28), a day ahead of the release of Lady Gaga’s sixth album, the singer revealed the sweet-and-spicy, bilingual dance-hall cut “Sour Candy,” the third track off the forthcoming LP and her hotly anticipated collaboration with mega-popular K-pop girl-group Blackpink.

“I’m sour candy, so sweet then I get a little angry,” Blackpink members Jennie and Lisa rap in English on the opening verse. “I’m super psycho, make you crazy when I turn the lights low.”

Gaga comes in on the refrain, hammering home the song’s core message — don’t judge a book by its cover — by comparing herself to Werther’s caramel. “I’m hard on the outside,” she croons. “But if you give me time / Then I could make time for your love.” Gaga assures her partner that, even if they can’t crack her hard shell, at least she’s keeping it real with them. (“You want a real taste, at least I’m not a fake.”)

Rumors about the collaboration first swirled after Target leaked the Chromatica tracklist on its site, and Gaga later confirmed the lineup on April 21. The pop star told Japenese outlet TV Groove that she looked forward to working with Blackpink’s Jennie, Lisa, Rosé, and Jisoo because “they love powerful women like us, and they also wanted to celebrate me, and we had a great time together with this song.” She added, “I was excited to hear them interpret the song in Korean, and told them that the part was so creative and fun.”

“Sour Candy” follows the release of Chromatica‘s lead single, “Stupid Love,” and “Rain on Me,” Lady Gaga’s wet-and-wild collaboration with Ariana Grande that dropped a week prior, on May 22. As the first new track from Blackpink in over a year, it may be a sign of more music to come from the cool-girl band, who are slated to release a new album later this year.

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We remember memories 'due to the oscillation of brainwaves'

The science of the penny dropping: Scientists discover memory recall and formation happens at specific times ‘due to the oscillation of brainwaves’

  • Memory formation and recall is linked to specific brainwaves called theta waves 
  • These fire three times a second and only when a person learns successfully 
  • They originate from the hippocampus region, deep inside a person’s brain 
  • They are again produced when a person remembers one of their memories 
  • Recall is linked to these waves and the metaphorical penny drops when one of the theta waves extracts the correct memory  

The formation and retrieval of memories in the brain is a phenomenon which is scarcely understood, principally due to the complexity of the human mind. 

However, scientists now think they know how humans learn and store these moments in their memory bank. 

According to a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham, it is due to a specific form of brainwave, known as a theta wave.

These are produced by the hippocampus — which is involved in the regulation of motivation, emotion and memory — and pulsate at three times a second. 

Scientists found that oscillation of these low-frequency brainwaves is directly correlated with when people remember something, or when the penny drops.  

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According to a team of researchers from the University of Birmingham, memory recall and formation occurs due to the a specific brainwave, called theta waves. They are produced by the hippocampus (pictured) — which is involved in the regulation of motivation, emotion and memory — and pulsate at three times a second

A new study involved epilepsy patients who have electrodes implanted in their brain as part of their ongoing treatment. 

Scientists from the University of Birmingham asked them to take part in some experiments, and gathered data via the electrodes.  

Patients were shown a series of pictures and words, all of which were unrelated. The participants were told that one word was linked to a specific image. 

They were asked to learn these links and, later, were asked to recall them. 

What the researchers saw was that theta waves were produced during the initial learning phase only when a person later gave the correct answer upon testing. 

This, they say, shows that theta waves are only produced when a person is learning efficiently and the fact theta waves were only found in instances of successful learning indicates they are necessary for forging memories.    

Next, the researchers performed a similar task with people who did not have electrodes implanted in their brain. They were tasked with learning similar associations between unrelated words and images. 

Then, they were given a button to press and one of the images popped up on the screen. When they remembered the word, they pressed the button. 

By analysing the data from hundreds of individual tests, the researchers found that for the correct answers there was a pattern as to when people clicked the button. 

Stress lives in the hippocampus region of the human brain 

Scientists have identified where stress resides in the human brain for the first time.

Brain-scanning was used to track the source of psychological stress induced by a series of evocative images shown to 30 volunteers. 

It found the origin of stress came from a region called the hippocampus, which is heavily involved in the regulation of motivation, emotion and memory.

Participants were forced to look at troubling images, such as a snarling dog, mutilated faces or filthy toilets, to illicit an innate reaction. 

These images were interspersed with calming photos, such as natural scenes. For each image, the participant graded the level of stress triggered by the photo.  

Functional MRI (fMRI) scanning saw, in real time, how this psychological strain was processed in the brain. 

It revealed that neural connections started in the hippocampus, deep in the brain, and emanated throughout the organ. 

There are three points every second where most people recalled the information. 

These clusters were not seen when a person said the wrong answer. 

Dr Maria Wimber told New Scientist: ‘You can see an oscillation. Memories were more likely to pop into mind at regular intervals after the reminder, and not in between.’

The reliable rhythm observed is believed to be from the theta waves, reverberating around the hippocampus and extracting the correct memory implanted there earlier when other theta waves helped a person learn the link between a word and a picture. 

For example, previous unrelated research has found retention of information of a film is improved when the sound and screen pulsate in harmony several times a second. 

It is hoped that the knowledge of this regular pulsing used by the brain to form and recall memories could help people suffering from cognitive diseases that cause memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s. 

This may be down to synchronising with the theta waves and therefore improving the formation of memories.

Researchers hope that the same method could be used to help Alzheimer’s patients learn the name of a new carer.   

Some preliminary success has been seen in a lab setting, but it remains uncertain how well this will translate to the real world.   

The research was presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society meeting held online this month.   

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Sky Sports ‘set to end freeze of subscriptions from 19 June’ in huge hint Premier League will return that week – The Sun

SKY SPORTS have given football fans hope that the Premier League will return next month after announcing they could end the freezing period on June 19.

Customers were given the option of pausing their subscription when the coronavirus pandemic brought the Premier League campaign to a halt.

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Initial plans were to restart England's top-flight campaign on June 12 following the successful return of the Bundesliga.

But with that date rapidly appearing on the horizon, talks are set to be held about whether to push that back.

Players will need more time to get up to match fitness to avoid injuries and all club members will need to continue to be tested for coronavirus.

And it appears June 19 could be a realistic option following the revelation from broadcasting giants Sky.

A Sky employee responded to a query on the website that read: "We're in the process of un-pausing Sky Sports as we see more live sport return during June.

"Some of you will have noticed that we'll be restarting subscriptions from the 19th of June and we'll be making more information available shortly."

Premier League chiefs will continue talks today to further iron out details on how the season will be completed.

No decision will be made at this meeting, with a concrete date set to be revealed next week.

Either way, the schedule is likely to be hectic with plans of a mini-festival of football that could see every game shown on TV.

That could mean five back-to-back games on both Saturday and Sunday.

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French racing tips: Templegate's best bets for Thursday's meeting at Lyon Parilly live on Sky Sports Racing

LYON PARILLY

2.50

PERNILLA gets the tentative vote in a maiden where there’s not much form to go on. She’s nicely bred so keep an eye out for a market move.

3.20

BIG ONE was thrown into the deep end of a Listed race at Auteuil last time out. This is clearly a good deal easier and, with little form to go on, that at least shows how highly he’s regarded by connections.

El Taktiko comes from a yard that’s capable at this level and further market support would be telling.

Hop De La Sivola comes from a family that has produced plenty of hurdles winners and should know her job on debut.

Pointe Rouge hasn’t shown a lot on the level but has moved trainers and could find this a bit easier than she’s used to.

3.50

MOKO has been running well and this longer distance could be the key to getting her across the line. She went well at Salon De Provence latest.

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4.20

Top trainer Francois Nicolle has two leading chances with ROXO HAS just having the edge thanks to his solid debut when well backed at Angers 14 days ago. He should come on plenty for that.

Stablemate Wakisashi One has not done a lot wrong so far and is a winning hurdler who should have no issue taking to the bigger obstacles.

Purple Light warrants respect given he went close to taking a Listed race over timber at Auteuil in March. He wasn’t asked too many questions on his comeback at the Paris track earlier this month.

Korum has improved with every run but may need this after 340 days off.

4.50

The Aga Khan has a fair prospect in ASHTARA who won on debut at Fontainebleau over this trip before going close over shorter. She was a solid second upped to this distance again last time and has more to come.

Qamka was last seen in Listed company so should find this a good deal easier.

Chevalier Cathare was impressive when scoring at Chantilly last time out in September. He shapes as though this extra furlong will help.

5.20

ADELPHIE won as she liked over course and distance in November and looked very much in need of the run on comeback last time. With that under her belt she can strike again.

Gelinka is well bred and shaped well in a good contest at Saint-Cloud earlier this month. Her jockey’s allowance could make the difference.

Woot City is dropping in class after a good third here last time. He’s another who should be fitter for the experience.

Poet’s Black has more to offer but has to give weight away.

5.50

BARCHETTA could have a better draw but she’s been knocking on the door and this looked a good chance to strike. She was beaten a short head over course and distance earlier this month in a similar race to this.

La Fibra and Misva also have double-figure stalls so there should be plenty of pace on that side as they both hold claims too.

Teryag has winning form over trip and track and is holding his form well with a good effort at Chantilly in March.

Lorlisalsa is up the weights for winning here last time but could run into the places at big odds.

6.20

ENJOY THE SILENCE shaped well on comeback when third over course and distance 13 days ago. He has no issues with this trip and this doesn’t look any stronger than that race.

Storm Katy ran her best race for a long time when second in that race. They should both be thereabouts again.

Lawrence hasn’t won for a while but has placed in better races than this and looks a big price for a horse that’s capable of hitting the frame.

Dark Road is consistent and needed his comeback. He is on the shortlist in an open race.

6.50

MONTE CINTO got the better of Diva Du Dancing when they clashed at Longchamp earlier this month. They race off the same weights today so there’s no reason why the placings should be reversed.

Diam Spirit looks the biggest threat given how often she finishes in the frame. She looked in need of the run when fourth at Marseille last time out and will be fitter today.

Lickanbur has not shown his best in handicaps but has a recent claimer win to his name so can’t be ruled out with his rider taking off a valuable 6lb.

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7.20

RIQUET comes here near the bottom of the weights on the back of a good second at Vichy last time out. He should be fit thanks to that comeback and can go close again.

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Tom Ryan says re-opening GAA fields ‘has to be safe’

The GAA has been widely praised for the association’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Croke Park along with several other stadia have been used as testing centres, while there have been countless community projects undertaken by clubs and counties.

However, one restriction which hasn’t proven universally popular has been the decision to keep club grounds closed until July 20. Several high profile players, past and present, have since come out calling for club grounds to be re-opened.

Please reopen our GAA pitches😊
Public parks are open and were packed over the weekend, yet rural club areas within 5km of people's homes cant be accessed for use of safe walkways and to enjoy the grass roots of the community.#club #exercise #physicalhealth #mentalhealth #GAA

It would be great if the GAA brought forward plans to open up our grounds again. Almost everyone is adhering to social distancing guidelines and I can’t see that this will be any different if they were open. Give our people a place of solace to go for a walk or some practice.

Speaking on Tuesday, GAA director general Tom Ryan said that they are following advice from the association’s recently-formed Covid-19 Advisory Group.

“GAA clubs are part of communities around the country,” Ryan said in an interview with GAA.ie. “In almost every case, they’re more than just football and hurling pitches. The committee rooms are used by all manner of organisations… Pitches are used for all manner of things, whether it be going for a walk or a puck-around or whatever.

“It’s important that we get back to using our facilities for those purposes, but it has to be done in a controlled way and it has to be done in a safe way.

“That will be part of the road-map that we map out for the association for clubs over the course of the next few weeks.”

The group had their latest meeting on Monday night, as they continue to consider the situation.

“They’ll be the people who guide the association as we look towards getting back up and running, how we can get back up and running,” explained Ryan. “It’s very important for us to have people of that expertise available to us, because our key undertaking is running football and hurling.

“There are some very important decisions ahead for us.

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Who is more likely to smoke marijuana?

What is driving the legalization of pot?

KushCo Holdings CEO Nick Kovacevich on the expanding cannabis economy.

Marijuana is the most commonly used illicit drug in the United States, with approximately tens of millions of people using each month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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According to a July 2019 poll from Gallup, which surveyed 1,525 adults across the nation who were at least 18 years old, the likelihood of someone smoking marijuana "varies significantly" by gender, age, region and political ideology.

Overall, the survey indicated that adults between 18 to 29 years old are the age group most likely to smoke marijuana.

According to the findings, 22 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds revealed they smoked, which makes them twice as likely to smoke compared to adults from 30-49 years old and seven times as likely as adults older than 65 years old.

Eleven percent of adults from 30-49 years admitted to smoking  and 12 percent of people ages 50 to 64 do. Meanwhile, only three percent of people over the age of 65 admitted to smoking.

(The Associated Press)

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act has yet to make it to the House floor and to date, pot remains illegal under federal law. Many states, however, have permitted its use for recreational and medicinal purposes within their own borders.

Marijuana is currently legal for medical use within 33 states and the District of Columbia. However, at the beginning of the year, Illinois, which already allowed medical marijuana, joined 10 other states in legalizing cannabis for recreational purposes.

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In addition to Illinois, Alaska, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia have also legalized the substance for recreational use. In 2020, scores of other states are expected to follow suit.

"Changes in marijuana policies across states legalizing marijuana for medical and/or recreational use suggest that marijuana is gaining greater acceptance in our society," said Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Aside from age, the results also revealed that men are twice as likely to smoke marijuana than women. Additionally, liberals are six times more likely to smoke than conservatives and twice as likely as moderates, according to the findings.

When it comes to a specific region, the survey revealed that 13 percent of adults smoke in the midwest, 15 percent smoke within the East and upwards of 16 percent smoke in the West — a far cry from the 7 percent of adults in the south.

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25 Quarantine Engagement Instagram Captions To Celebrate The Milestone

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think few people would say getting engaged during a global pandemic is their ideal situation. Unfortunately, with so much uncertainty about when daily life will return to "normal," deciding when to pop the question is tricky. IMO, an engagement doesn’t have to involve a beach, a photoshoot, and a message written in the sky to be considered a success. An at-home proposal is just as romantic as a public one (and has the benefit of being much more intimate). If you’re in need of ideas for quarantine engagement Instagram captions, then I’ve got some suggestions that will make your socially-distanced celebration even sweeter.

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many couples to change their plans. Weddings have been postponed, engagement parties have been canceled, special occasions have been celebrated at home, and for some, proposals have been delayed. However, if you and your SO feel certain about your future together (and haven’t yet driven each other up a wall in quarantine), then why wait? After all, most people would welcome a reason to celebrate right now. There’s no wrong way to get engaged, and these clever IG captions for quarantine engagements totally deserve a double-tap.

Sweet Captions

  • "Just when I thought nothing could surprise me anymore, you proved me wrong."
  • "We’re officially quarantine buddies for life."
  • "We figured you could use some positivity on your timeline."
  • "I found a new hobby: planning my wedding."
  • "I don’t know what the future holds, but I’m ready to make a future with you."
  • "Couples who quarantine together stay together."

Funny Captions

  • "Washing my hands 10 times a day won’t be so bad now that I have this ring to admire."
  • "You make me feel like I’m living a quarantine dream."
  • "Don’t worry — I made them sanitize the ring before I accepted it."
  • "Stuck with my boyfriend/girlfriend < Stuck with my fiancé/fiancée."
  • "Not even mad I couldn’t visit a nail salon before this moment."
  • "Sorry, mask. I have a new favorite accessory."
  • "Congratulations, 2020. You just redeemed yourself."

Punny Captions

  • "Please raise your quaran-tinis and join us in toasting our engagement."
  • "We can’t contain(ment) our excitement — we’re engaged!"
  • "We figured it was quaran-time to tie the knot."
  • "We’re taking our isolationship to the next level."
  • "I can’t mask my excitement — I said yes!"
  • "It’s official: We’re going the (social) distance."

Song Lyric Captions

  • "And there’s nothing I’d rather do. I’m stuck with you, stuck with you, stuck with you." — Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, "Stuck with U"
  • "Can we always be this close forever and ever? And (don’t) take me out, and (let’s stay) home. You’re my, my, my, my lover." — Taylor Swift, "Lover"
  • "When I am with you, there’s no place I’d rather be." — Clean Bandit, "Rather Be"
  • "I was gonna cancel then I looked into the sky, knew the badness won’t prevent the sun to shine." — Kylie Minogue, "I Was Gonna Cancel"
  • "Lovin’ you whether times are good or bad, happy or sad. Let’s stay together." — Al Green, "Let’s Stay Together"
  • "Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, ain’t no virus wide(spread) enough, baby." — Martin Gaye, "Ain’t No Mountain High Enough"

Getting proposed to under the Eiffel Tower rather than on your living room couch doesn’t make it any less legit. Just remember: you don’t need to have the perfect setting to have a perfect engagement (but having a really great IG caption def helps).

More like this

Nick, Joe, & Kevin Jonas’ Quotes About Quarantining With Their Wives Are So Mushy

Khloé Kardashian & Tristan Thompson’s Quarantine Sounds Pretty Romantic

Quarantine Is Forcing New Relationships To Move At Warp Speed

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The reality of LJ Figueroa’s separation from St. John’s

From the moment news broke that LJ Figueroa had entered the transfer portal, there were two immediate reactions dripping with hot takes.

1. St. John’s is doomed.

2. It won’t miss him.

Neither is accurate.

St. John’s will clearly miss Figueroa, the 6-foot-6 wing who led them in scoring a year ago and is unlikely to return. But his absence won’t cripple the program, either. I actually think losing him isn’t as impactful as if Greg Williams Jr., Marcellus Earlington and Julian Champagnie were transferring. They are the program’s core, young players with at least two years remaining and are the key to the Johnnies returning to the NCAA Tournament.

Figueroa struggled offensively under new coach Mike Anderson, shooting just 37.9 percent from the field and 36.5 percent from 3-point range. Too often he was hunting shots, settling for long and contested jumpers. The transition from being a role player to The Guy was not easy.

It, however, should not be minimized that he was the player teams would game-plan for, the guy who drew the opposition’s top perimeter defender, the one counted on to produce in big spots. Williams, Earlington and Champagnie may not finish nearly as strong as they did without Figueroa around.

Losing talent and experience is never a positive. That’s what transpired on Tuesday. But it’s a loss that can be mitigated as well, especially with the player development the coaching staff showed it is capable of in its first season.

Below are some other thoughts on what transpired:

— Everyone seems focused on Figueroa’s loss from an offensive standpoint, since he was the most established threat on the roster. But I think his defense will be missed more. He led the Big East in steals at 1.9 per game. His length and nose for the ball were key assets in coach Mike Anderson’s pressing style. St. John’s will now be losing arguably its two best perimeter defenders in Figueroa and Nick Rutherford, who graduated. Together, they averaged 3.7 steals per game, a major factor in the Johnnies forcing 16.8 turnovers per game, 13th-most in the country.

— It would be unfair to think junior college All-American Vince Cole can just fill the void left by Figueroa. I expect the 6-foot-5 Cole will start at the three. He’s a better shooter than Figueroa – Cole shot 44 percent from 3-point range and averaged 18.7 points last year — but not as big or athletic. It’s also not fair to expect Cole to step in and produce immediately. It usually takes junior college transfers time to adjust to Division I. Look for St. John’s to replace Figueroa’s scoring by getting a little more from a variety of options, and not to rely on Cole to score big out of the gate. Balance will have to be a strength.

— There was a sense that St. John’s had egg on its face for not taking Monmouth graduate transfer Ray Salnave because it didn’t have any room, only for Figueroa to enter the transfer portal two weeks after Salnave committed to DePaul. St. John’s had positioned itself well with Salnave before it got encouraging news about Figueroa, and then backed off the Queens guard, who was ready to commit to Anderson’s program. But the staff wasn’t sold Salnave would be a difference maker, believing he was too similar to guards it already has on the roster like Rasheem Dunn and Williams, and didn’t fit the up-tempo style. Where the Figueroa delay actually hurts is that it held St. John’s back from all-out pursuing transfer wings like Jose Perez of Gardner-Webb and Dimencio Vaughn of Rider. The staff gambled that Figueroa would return, and it got burned.

— It remains to be seen what direction Figueroa goes in here. Going pro still seems very possible, as his name is still in the draft pool and he’s already 22 years old. So does a transfer, obviously, though he would need to get a waiver to avoid sitting out a full year as a non-graduate. In his mind, a return to St. John’s isn’t out of the question, either, although it remains to be seen if he would be welcomed back. The staff will not be pursuing him, according to sources, and is ready to move on after he entered the transfer portal last spring upon Anderson’s hiring, only to return. Ultimately, if he asked to come back, I don’t think he would be told no. But that appears like a long shot.

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MLB Owners Want To Use The Coronavirus Pandemic To Bust Baseball’s Players Union

The 2020 Major League Baseball season, already on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, is now at risk of not happening at all, thanks to team owners’ demands that players accept draconian salary cuts in order for the season to begin, whenever that might happen.

The league and its owners insist that the proposal they unveiled Tuesday, which would require some players to forgo more than half of their salary, is a serious pitch meant to stave off further hardships. But the plan’s details make it clear what owners are really after: They want to use the pandemic to finally break the MLB Players’ Association, long regarded as the most powerful union in American professional sports.

That has been the owners’ goal since the day the union was recognized in 1966, and they have continued to wage covert war against players throughout the period of relative labor peace that followed the fall-less 1994 season, when players staged a 232-day strike ― and even canceled the World Series ― over owners’ demands that they agree to a hard cap on salaries. 

Now, the owners are essentially making a big bet against a union that has withered over the past quarter-century into a body that rarely exerts itself beyond a tersely worded press release. The owners are gambling the 2020 season, and the game’s future, on the idea that the MLBPA won’t fight back the way it did 26 years ago ― and that fans will take the billionaires’ side if players do. 

The MLBPA ought to call their bluff, even if it means there’s no baseball this summer, and even if it means 2020 becomes as ugly a memory in baseball history as the strike-shortened season of 1994 is often portrayed.

The owners’ demands are patently ridiculous, and have been for weeks. They initially asked players to agree to a temporary (so they said) revenue model that would act as a de facto salary cap. After players rejected that idea, the league came back Tuesday with a proposal to cut salaries on a sliding scale, with the top-paid athletes taking a bigger hit than their lesser-paid teammates.

The proposal would require Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, the game’s best current player, to take a roughly 70% pay cut while still assuming the health risk of playing baseball in a pandemic, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan. Other players would face smaller cuts under a plan that’s obviously meant to split the union’s rank-and-file from its superstars.

But the details don’t matter as much as the overarching truth: Players overall would transfer significant amounts of the money they are contractually owed to the billionaires who own baseball teams.

There is no reason to believe the owners’ cries of poverty. The MLB has refused to open its books to support its assertions of imminent financial devastation, and the league’s owners have a deep history of hiding the books and producing blue ribbon reports to support their specious money claims. (Baseball still exists all these years later, despite owners‘ alarmism throughout the 1990s about what would happen if they had to actually pay players what they’re worth.) 

There is no reason to take the owners’ side. Despite common misconceptions, lower salaries for players will not mean cheaper tickets, beers, hot dogs or souvenirs for fans. They’ll just mean fatter pockets for owners.

The players have already agreed to prorate salaries for whatever portion of the season they are able to play, a more generous concession than they had to make. Owners never go back to under-contract players after revenues exceed expectations to offer them more money. Why should players who signed contractual agreements not demand that owners uphold their end of those deals now? The players have every right to tell the owners that they’ll only play if owners honor the prorated salary agreement the two sides reached in March.

Players seem increasingly fed up. Two weeks ago, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell said that restarting the season wasn’t “worth it” if players had to take big pay cuts, and New York Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman tweeted, then quickly deleted, that the Tuesday plan made a 2020 season unlikely. The union, for its part, said it’s “extremely disappointed” in the offer. 

Owners, though, are confident that half-baked pitches like this one will ultimately work because the antagonistic version of the MLBPA is mostly a relic of the past.

Over the last decade, MLB owners have succeeded in steadily eroding the option of free agency and the bigger salaries that come with it. They have weaponized baseball’s statistical revolution to prioritize ruthless efficiency ― which has proven how undervalued many players are while also contributing to management’s obsession with younger, cheaper talent. They’ve manipulated rules governing younger players and league-wide revenue sharing to further control costs, and they’ve diversified revenue streams by pouring cash into digital media ventures and ballpark villages, giving themselves even less incentive to spend money trying to win. 

The union and its collective bargaining agreement have done little to prevent owners from squeezing players at the top, bottom and each side. As a result, the share of league revenues that goes toward player salaries has fallen to modern lows, even without the dreaded salary cap that players once walked off the field to prevent. In 2018, the average MLB salary dropped for only the fourth time in 50 years.

Baseball, in other words, has become something of a microcosm of the American economy, with an ownership class rewriting some rules and bending others in order to hoard as much money as possible at the top. The MLB’s obsession with efficiency came straight from Wall Street and elite business schools whose big data fixation helped create an economy that has benefited the wealthy but “hollowed out” the middle class ― a dynamic that probably sounds familiar to the free agents who’ve had to stomach endless excuses for why they can’t find jobs.

Faced with the sudden financial crunch caused by the pandemic, massive companies that wasted excess cash on stock buybacks and senseless acquisitions, instead of preparing for an inevitable downturn, have forced their workers back on the job with little regard for their health or well-being, sometimes twisting the definition of “essential” beyond all logic to do so. 

MLB owners, whose relentless short-termism created their own sustainability problems, now sense an opportunity to do the same, especially as President Donald Trump pushes the idea that professional sports are “essential.” 

The MLBPA’s reluctance to fight stems largely from the 1994-95 strike, the blame for which wrongly fell on the athletes, who were up against the perception that they were spoiled rich guys playing a kid’s game, not workers in a labor system that left unchecked would have treated them the same way it does workers everywhere else. And the union is right that it will never win a public relations battle with the league office, especially at a time when 40 million Americans are newly unemployed. 

But it also doesn’t have to. Instead of trying to win over the public, the MLBPA ought to take lessons from other workers who are as fed up with their bosses as baseball players should be. 

The last two years have seen a surge in union drives and strikes, a wave of activism that has now intensified during a crisis that further exposes how little big business cares for its most vital employees. 

From McDonald’s to the media, workers have decided they have to fight, and many of them have won. At some point, whether it realizes it yet or not, baseball’s union is going to have to do the same. And if there’s no 2020 season, it won’t be the players’ fault. 

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What Villager From ‘Animal Crossing’ You Are, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

The villagers in Animal Crossing can really make or break your gameplay. Some days, you wake up to cranky villagers moving into your island, and may think to yourself, "Ugh, why me?" Other days, you may be surprised by Beau or Goldie chilling at your door with a plate of cupcakes and kind smiles. It’s hard to know which scenario you may face and you can’t help but wonder what villager from Animal Crossing you are.

TBH, what villager you are most like is based on your zodiac sign, which can tell the universe everything it needs to know about your personality, likes and dislikes, and boldest qualities. The constellations your birthday aligns with can help you realize why you feel more compatible with lazy villagers as opposed to the snooty ones, or why you get so annoyed at the sporty villagers for hanging out on your island longer than you’d like them to. The best part? This applies to both versions of Animal CrossingPocket Camp, where you eat fortune cookies and pick up fruit at Lost Lure Creek, and New Horizons, where you find glowing holes around an island and hang at Dodo Airlines.

Without further ado, let’s find out if you’re more like Tia or Eloise, and if you’re truly compatible with the villager you adore the most. It’s written in the stars (and below), so you never have to wonder again.

Aries: Apollo

If you’re an Aries, your friends may call you the "leader" of your group, and look to you when they need advice or want to make some plans. For that reason, you’re the friendly, yet bold, eagle known as Apollo. Like you, he doesn’t care what other people think of him, and will speak his mind especially if it’s in everyone’s best interest.

Taurus: Vesta

Oh, Taurus. You’re the shoulder everyone in your friend group comes to cry on. They know you’ll willingly help them with any problem they’re facing, no matter how long it takes. Vesta the sheep is the same way — patient and loving as ever. When she isn’t helping others, she’s gardening, singing, or hoping to try on new clothes.

Gemini: Julia

Do you often find yourself asking questions out of curiousity? Do you try on a million outfits before deciding on one, just to go to the grocery store? Julia the ostrich knows that struggle well, and always wants to put her best foot forward. She may come across a little snooty, because she wants everything to be perfect. But, that will never stop her from striking up a nice conversation.

Cancer: Lily

Being a Cancer means you’d always rather have a deep convo with a friend as opposed to making small talk with a stranger. In your spare time, you’d rather chill at the beach or daydream in a hammock in your backyard. Lily is basically the same way — friendly, and she loves letting her mind and emotions wander. You should hang out with her on your island more.

Leo: Rosie

There’s no villager as adorable and peppy as Rosie. She loves to be the center of attention, too, which is why she may ask to put on fashion shows for you, or befriend other villagers who have moved in recently. Like you, Leo, she loves living life to its fullest. Treat her to a colorful outfit, OK?

Virgo: Goldie

Everybody loves Goldie, right? This dog is so sweet and down to Earth, it’s hard not to be attracted to her good vibes. You’re always giving off the same aura, and your friends know you’ve found the perfect balance between hard work and fun. Truth be told, they look up to you and your ability to be a naturally welcoming presence in any room.

Libra: Beau

Libra, you just want everyone to get along. You’re not a fan of the drama, simply because it feels below you and your mission to live a peaceful life. Enter, Beau. He’s just as mature and kind-hearted, and always want to chill with good snack in his "happy places."

Scorpio: Filbert

Filbert must be a Scorpio, because he wins over the hearts of every Animal Crossing player. He is passionate with his thoughts and emotions, and isn’t afraid to stand up for what he thinks is right. That’s sometimes hard to come by.

Sagittarius: Ketchup

Ketchup isn’t afriad to have some fun, especially when there are new memories on the line. She’ll jump right into a sweet excursion with her best buds, but also enjoys being the most hilarious, unique, and imaginative villager in a group. Her pep is very similar to yours, Sagittarius, so take some notes if she arrives in your game.

Capricorn: Fang

Fang is considered a "modern" villager, but it’s hard to see that side of him because he’s often secretive about his love for bold and sparkly items. He won’t be one to straight-up ask for new clothes or shiny television sets, but appreciates when you do craft those items for him. Like you, he likes to come across as responsible and down to Earth, but doesn’t mind stepping into the spotlight here and there.

Aquarius: Jay

Jay has the heart of a daredevil, and is known for having his eye constantly on the prize. Some would call him a go-getter who doesn’t mind breaking from the pack to follow his big dreams. The fight and energy is strong in both of you, Aquarius.

Pisces: Cube

If it was up to you, you’d chill all day in bed and listen to your favorite playlists on Spotify. You’d turn off your phone and let yourself explore your artsy and imaginative side. Cube gets it, and is often known to be in his own little word.

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