TIME Mental Health/Psychology

How Fireworks Can Trigger PTSD

Fireworks will be going off with a bang all weekend, but for some, they cause more anxiety than celebration

You may see the signs popping up around your neighborhood this July 4—red, white and blue notices that indicate the home of a vet with the request to “Please be courteous with fireworks.”

The signs are the work of a Facebook-launched nonprofit, Military With PTSD, begun by Shawn Gourley, whose husband, Justin, served in the Navy for four years and returned with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sudden and loud noises can trigger episodes of PTSD, bringing veterans back to traumatic experiences they have lived through during their service. According to the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, up to 20% of military personnel who served in Iraq or Afghanistan experience PTSD each year.

The signs are posted on the lawns of veterans’ homes to alert people to be more considerate when setting off fireworks in the area. According to Gourley, who spoke to CNN, the group has mailed 2,500 signs, some of which were paid for by donations and others by the vets themselves, while 3,000 people remain on a waiting list.

The signs are not meant to quash any Fourth of July celebrations, but to raise awareness that the explosive sounds, flashes of light and smell of powder may trigger unwelcome memories for some. “If you are a veteran, on the one hand July 4th should be one of the most patriotic holidays that you feel a part of,” says Dr. John Markowitz, professor of psychiatry at Columbia University. “On the other hand, the rockets’ red glare and the bombs bursting in air are likely to evoke traumatic memories, and you might want to hide. It’s a tricky one.”

Having advanced knowledge of a fireworks display can help some people with PTSD to better prepare and cope with any symptoms they may experience. “A big component of the startle response and PTSD is the unexpected,” says Rachel Tester, program director of the Law Enforcement, Active Duty, Emergency Responder (LEADER) Program at Harvard Medical School’s McLean Hospital. “When people are able to anticipate, they are able to put into place mechanisms they have to cope ahead of time.”

That might include things such as relaxation techniques or being able to see the fireworks show and therefore know that they’re coming, as well as having headphones, music or other distractions at the ready.

Such strategies may not work for every PTSD patient, but being more aware that the explosive celebrations of the holiday might affect those with PTSD is an important step toward ensuring that everyone can enjoy the holiday without fear, anxiety or pain.

TIME celebrity

America Ferrera Thanks Donald Trump for Mobilizing Latino Voters

"Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you"

Donald Trump’s insensitive comments about Mexican immigrants haven’t come without punishment from his now former business partners like Univision and NBC. But actress America Ferrera, herself of Honduran descent, wants to thank Trump for his recent statements.

In an open letter published by The Huffington Post on Thursday, Ferrera wrote to Trump in appreciation for the fact that his words will push more Latinos to the polls. “Remarks like yours will serve brilliantly to energize Latino voters and increase turnout on election day against you and any other candidate who runs on a platform of hateful rhetoric,” she wrote.

While the Ugly Betty actress wrote that Trump will never win the 2016 election without the Latino vote, and that he’s “living in an outdated fantasy of a bigoted America,” she thanked the billionaire for “reminding us that there remains an antiquated and endangered species of bigots in this country that we must continue to combat.”

Ferrera also provided some stats about recent Latino population growth in the U.S. and promised Latinos will fight back during elections season.

“We will do more than tweet about our indignation and beat piñatas of your likeness,” Ferrara wrote. “We will silence you at the polls. We will vote and use our growing position in U.S. politics. Our fellow Americans who understand and value our contributions will join us. We know there is nothing that scares you more.”

To read Ferrera’s complete letter, head to the The Huffington Post.

This article originally appeared on EW.com

TIME Greece

Everything to Know About Greece’s Debt Vote

It could have serious consequences for Europe's future

Q. Why and when are the Greeks voting on this referendum?

A. The Greek government called the referendum because it failed to get acceptable terms for debt relief and further assistance in four months of negotiations with the creditors. It felt it couldn’t agree to the last set of proposals received before the expiry of its bailout, because they couldn’t square it with their election promise to end austerity.

The referendum will be on Sunday, 5th July.

Q. So what are the Greeks actually being asked to vote on?

A. They’re being asked to vote on a set of proposals drafted by IMF, ECB and European Commission officials that were never formally completed or published.

This is the actual ballot. As you can see, the “No” (OXI) option, recommended by the government, is above the “Yes” (NAI) option.

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 16.14.12

For the non-Greek readers, (or for those who only know ancient Greek), here’s a translation:

Screen Shot 2015-07-02 at 16.18.50

The two documents referred to can be found here and here (debt sustainability analysis).

Q. What are the key points?

A. The most contentious demand is that Greece squeeze another 1% of GDP in savings out of its battered pension system, specifically by eliminating top-ups that have been desperately needed by poorer pensioners to keep themselves above the breadline in recent years. The other big point is the elimination of VAT exemptions for Greece’s islands. The government argues this threatens the existence of the tourism industry on the islands.

The DSA, meanwhile, almost–but not quite–brings itself to admit that the debt load is unsustainable. If Greece adopts and implements the conditions immediately, it says, then the debt-to-GDP ratio could fall to 124% by 2022 from over 175% right now. That’s the best case scenario, and not one that sits comfortably with the last five years’ experience. It’s also not many people’s idea of sustainability.

Q. What happens if Greece votes ‘Yes’?

A. A ‘Yes’ vote would be the first step towards a third bailout agreement for Greece (the IMF suggested today that Greece will need €50 billion, or $56 billion, in financing to get it through to the end of 2018, as well as a 20-year grace period). The last one expired Tuesday.

Q. Could the Greek government collapse?

A. Probably. It has campaigned for a ‘No’ vote, so the blow to its credibility would be huge. Its electoral mandate–to end austerity while keeping the euro–would be obsolete. Individual ministers have already said they’ll resign in that event. However, the radical left-wing Syriza party is by far the largest in parliament, a large part of its lawmakers won’t sign any new bailout deal, and there is no stable pro-bailout majority without it. That points to new elections. Quite how negotiations could resume, and quite how the banks could reopen, in those circumstances isn’t clear.

Q. If Greece votes ‘No’, what happens?

A. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras claims that a ‘No’ vote will strengthen the Greeks’ negotiating position by showing the strength of resistance to further austerity. However, the creditors have shown no sign that it would change their position. More likely is that the continued uncertainty will make it impossible for the banks, which have been closed since Monday, to reopen. They would be immediately faced with demands for cash that they can’t possibly meet. In practical terms, the banks couldn’t open again until the bulk of their liabilities–i.e. customer deposits–had been re-denominated in a new Greek currency. This would lead to a large part of the country’s savings being wiped out.

Q. Could this vote result in Greece leaving the Eurozone?

A. Absolutely, because it would be clear that the political will to share a currency with Germany and others was no longer there. How we get from A. to B. is unclear, because there are no precedents and no provisions for it in the E.U.’s treaty. There is a provision for leaving the E.U., but not even Tsipras wants to do that.

Q. Is the bailout deal they’re voting on even still on the table?

A. Not officially, but the creditors will look stupid, merciless and irresponsible if they don’t react to a ‘Yes’ vote with something to relieve the immediate pressure on Greece’s banks and the economy at large, and a large part of the political dynamic in this process is about dodging blame for the whole mess. It’s tempting to think that, once Syriza is out of government, some form of debt restructuring will become politically possible. The creditors would rather eat dirt than reward a party, and individual ministers, that they regard as dangerous charlatans.

Q. What does this mean for the global economy?

A. A ‘Yes’ vote would remove one of the big geopolitical risks that are currently holding back investment in the Eurozone, which would be a clear bonus to global growth (the Eurozone is over two-thirds of the E.U. economy, which about 20% of world GDP).

A ‘No’ vote, could have quite mild consequences if Greece can be kept inside the Eurozone and the ECB douses the flames of market fear with a flood of liquidity. That wouldn’t be as good for the economy, but it would at least contain the damage to financial markets. But a ‘No’ vote that leads to “Grexit” is another matter. Again, one would expect the ECB to throw money at the markets to keep volatility down, but the sight of European integration going into reverse would nix a basic geopolitical assumption of the last 60 years. The resulting political uncertainty could be highly damaging for investment not only in Europe, but also further afield.

 

TIME Education

Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs to Grads: Happiness Is a Goal of Life

Cheryl Boone Isaacs gave this commencement speech at University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Growing up in Springfield, Massachusetts I was first exposed to movies in the 1960s, which was one of the most creative and exhilarating periods in the history of film.

The young filmmakers and artists of that period were daring and brash and influenced by the social forces that were transforming society in such films as To Kill A Mockingbird, In The Heat of the Night, The Graduate, and A Hard Day’s Night.

One of my favorite films from that era was 1961’s West Side Story. At the time, my brother Ashley was an executive at United Artists, which released the film. I remember my family getting all dressed up to drive to New York to attend the premiere. And when the film won an Academy Award for Best Picture, and when cast members Rita Moreno and George Chakiris won Oscars, I was ecstatic.

When I graduated from high school, I thought I was going to work for the government. I went to college with the vision of working for the United States Information Agency and a career in public diplomacy.

After graduation from college, I decided to take time off from school, and took a number of different jobs including being a stewardess for Pan American World Airways.

But at age 25, I sat down and had an honest conversation with myself. I wanted to do something I love in a world that I loved, which was the film industry.

Little did I dream then that someday I would be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, much less its President.

The Academy is made up of more than 7,000 men and women working in film around the world, and led by a Board of Governors representing 17 different branches of the industry that include Directors, Actors, Editors, Cinematographers and public relations, which is the branch for which I’ve served as a Governor for 22 years.

The Academy’s mission today is largely the same as it was when I became a member in 1987, and when it was founded 87 years ago: to recognize and uphold excellence in the motion picture arts and sciences, inspire imagination, and connect the world through the medium of motion pictures.

As an Academy, we celebrate creative artists who are pushing the boundaries of cinema — men and women whose accomplishments touch people’s hearts and capture the world we live in.

Every year at the Oscars we honor the courage of filmmakers who cross borders and test boundaries, who give voice to challenging ideas and alternative points of view, and who encourage us to see the world and those around us in new ways.

As you embark on the next phase of your careers in the arts, I hope you will carry that torch, tell the truth about the world as you perceive it and change the narrative.

As the world becomes smaller and more globally connected, you as artists also have a responsibility to protect freedom of expression and ensure that no one’s voice is silenced by threats, violence or prejudice, and that different opinions can be shared without fear of personal or professional attack.

I want you all to follow your passion. There may be detours, but just keep moving forward. Stay focused on your goals and dreams.

Happiness is a goal of life.

In my years in the film industry, as a marketing and public relations executive both at major studios and independent companies, I have had to learn to maneuver both sides of the show business equation — the show side and the business side.

As creative artists nowadays, it’s incumbent on you to understand the business of the arts and the different funding channels available to you. A career in the arts does not guarantee financial stability, but if you’re smart about finding ways to monetize the work you love, the rewards will be immense.

I also urge you to give back to the community through the nonprofit sector.

In my career, I’ve also been lucky to serve as an artist in residence and university professor, to support programs for public schools in Los Angeles, to bring arts education to the under-served community and at-risk youth.

There are so many youngsters who haven’t had the opportunity to explore the arts. And as people have helped you, in your journey, I hope that you will support arts education for under-served youth.

In our ever-changing world there are countless opportunities available to your generation, more so than ever before.

With all of technology’s advancements one thing that has not changed is the human love of storytelling — whether it is music, painting, literature, dance or film.

It’s a thrill to stand here alongside you as you embark on this exciting next chapter of your lives. And I offer my very best wishes that you can bring the light of humanity and inspiration that you found here at UNC School of the Arts to the world around you.

This article was originally published by The Academy on Medium

MONEY Food & Drink

Whole Foods Apologizes for Overcharging Customers

The grocery chain's executives say they have a three-part fix to the problem.

TIME Business

New Bubble Wrap Has Bubbles You Can’t Pop

Bad news for people who find it cathartic to pop the stuff

The Wall Street Journal reports that Sealed Air, the original seller of bubble wrap, is rolling out new version of bubble wrap with bubbles that do not pop and that takes up less space in online retailers’ storage centers.

According to the article,Traditional Bubble Wrap ships in giant, pre-inflated rolls, taking up precious room in delivery trucks and on customers’ warehouse floors. One roll of the new iBubble Wrap uses roughly one-fiftieth as much space before it’s inflated.”

Talk about sucking the air out of a room, right?

 

TIME politics

Watch a 93-Year-Old Man Sing a Campaign Song He Wrote for Hillary Clinton

"Don't dilly-dally / Let's all start a rally"

YouTube user Katie Miller has uploaded a video of a 93-year-old man named Jerry Rosenblum, who lives in Santa Monica, California, singing a campaign song he wrote for Hillary Clinton at Silvercrest Senior Citizens Residence, where she is a volunteer.

Sample verse:

So don’t dilly-dally
Let’s all start a rally
Don’t hesitate
She’s the one you should choose
No one else can fill her shoes
Give her your vote, and you won’t sing the blues

The kicker: “And maybe some day when you’re old and gray, you’ll vote for Chelsea.”

As Miller wrote in the YouTube description, “A year ago he composed a campaign song for Hillary, recorded it on a ‘compact disc,’ and mailed it to her campaign team. He sadly never heard from her… Regardless of your political views you have to admit Jerry is the cutest and deserves a chance to meet Hillary.”

(h/t Digg)

MONEY Financial Planning

Two Founding Fathers Who Died Broke and One Who Retired Early

What can the men who adorn our currency teach us about our own finances?

In theory, the founding fathers should be the ultimate financial role models. After all, they’re literally on the money. Warren Buffett might be every investor’s hero, but even he can’t count his earnings without seeing the faces of Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, and Jefferson. Even John Adams, perhaps the most neglected of the founding fathers, has been commemorated on the dollar coin.

What can the men who adorn our currency teach us about our own finances? Quite a lot, actually, but not because they were all as good with money as they were at creating a nation. Jefferson, for example, amassed a great fortune but later squandered it and ended his life all but penniless (despite, of course, the economic advantages of being a slaveholder). But others, including Washington — a shrewd and even ruthless businessman — died very wealthy men.

Read the full text here.

TIME Television

The Wet Hot American Summer Trailer Will Get You Pumped for July 4

Count the celebrities

We have the first real (and slightly NSFW) trailer for Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp, and it’s…a prequel? Yep. Though the actors may have aged 14 years, we’re all just going to pretend they’re still teenagers in the Netflix reboot of the cult classic film.

And boy are there are lot of celebrities in this trailer: Amy Poehler, Jon Hamm, Bradley Cooper, Paul Rudd, Christopher Meloni, Jason Schwartzman, Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Wiig, Lake Bell, Josh Charles, John Slattery, Michael Cera, Jordan Peele…and woah — is that camp director the voice of Archer in Archer?

Happy Independence Day.

TIME States

Why This July 4th Will Be The Biggest One Yet

The numbers don't lie

As Americans prepare to toast the Founding Fathers and the spirit of 1776, the American Pyrotechnics Association has estimated that this year’s sales of sparklers, cones, fountains and other “backyard” fireworks could exceed $725 million, a record for this category of fireworks.

But that’s not the only dazzling number to expect for this July 4th. From purchasing 700 million pounds of chicken to spending $1 billion in beer, Americans will celebrate their independence on a larger scale than ever this year.

 

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com