Day: November 5, 2020

Kristen Bell, Like a White Lady on Vacation, Wore Cornrows

Illustration for article titled This Is the Bad Place: Kristen Bell, Like a White Lady on Vacation, Wore Cornrows

Image: Terma,SL / BACKGRID (Backgrid)

Kristen Bell—The Good Place and Veronica Mars actor, voice of Princess Anna in the Frozen franchise, and Los Angeles landlord at a time when millions of Americans run the risk of losing their homes (let’s hope she froze rent during this global health pandemic)—wore her hair in cornrows recently, no doubt validating the thousands of white women who travel to the Caribbean and incorrectly beg a local for “boxer braids,” blissfully unaware of their error. I mean… is it 2014? Can we expect trend pieces from, I don’t know, The Los Angeles Times crediting white women for kickstarting a cornrow fad, again? She simply looks ridiculous?

I’m not one to spew hate—it is election week, after all, and you can find that shit anywhere—but it simply seems wack that Bell was photographed in cornrows while wearing a shirt that simply read, “vote,” and while exiting “the $4.3 million English Revival home that she shares with husband Dax Shepard… which is currently being renovated,” according to gossip site Hollywood Life. It is “located in the same gated community as Angelina Jolie’s home… the mansion was built in 1922 and designed by Arthur R. Kelly, who also did the Playboy mansion,” tabloid The Daily Mail reports. America’s sweetheart sure is relatable, huh?

Fans noted that when Bell went on Instagram Live the following day, her hair was unbraided—perhaps someone explained the poor choice to her? If so, that person deserves a damn raise. Or, you know, maybe she’s wearing her hair in this particular fashion for a role that has yet to be announced. If that’s the case, disregard everything here. Or don’t, because it still looks bad.

Here’s a side profile, for the hell of it:

Illustration for article titled This Is the Bad Place: Kristen Bell, Like a White Lady on Vacation, Wore Cornrows

Image: Terma,SL / BACKGRID (Backgrid)

It feels like such a poor, tone deaf choice for the current moment, I can’t help but wonder… is this a troll? Keep your bob, Bell.

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D.C. eases coronavirus travel restrictions ahead of Thanksgiving

As case rates rose nationwide, the quarantine order came to apply to visitors from 42 states, which include about 90 percent of the U.S. population.

Bowser said Thursday that visitors from outside the city won’t need to quarantine if they get a negative coronavirus test before traveling and get tested again in the city within three to five days of arriving. The city will provide free tests to visitors at public testing sites.

The testing requirement generally won’t be enforced — there will be no checks at points of entry — although Bowser said places such as hotels, universities and employers could lawfully require visitors to provide proof of a negative test.

Bowser said she is continuing to urge families not to host Thanksgiving visitors, but she added, “We also know that people are going to come here.”

The city essentially decided to give up on its quarantine mandate out of a belief that it wasn’t being followed, Bowser said.

D.C. residents who visit a high-risk state will be required to quarantine upon their return home until they get a negative test, but the city is abandoning its two-week quarantine requirement.

The rule change is timed to make Thanksgiving travel easier, even though Bowser late last month strongly discouraged visiting family or hosting out-of-town relatives for the holiday.

“Make sure what should be a fun holiday gathering doesn’t turn into a tragedy for your family,” she said.

The seven-day rolling average of new coronavirus infections Thursday in D.C., Maryland and Virginia stood at 2,315 — a record high for the region since the start of the pandemic.

While D.C. and Maryland remain below their peak, Virginia has registered record numbers in recent days, with the largest increase coming in rural Southwest Virginia.

Julian Walker, a spokesman for the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association in Glen Allen, which includes many large hospitals and health-care providers as members, said the state has about 7,000 beds available for covid patients if Virginia sees a surge in cases.

“We had a spike in Virginia’s hospitalizations in late April and early May and then another in late June and early July, but then the numbers trended down,” Walker said. “The numbers are going back up to a high point like we saw in April and May.”

Still, he cautioned that Virginia’s health-care system hasn’t been overwhelmed by a surge in cases as several other states have.

“We’re fortunate in that respect,” Walker said. “There’s significant capacity. We’ve planned to be ready for this.”

The greater Washington region Thursday recorded 2,645 additional cases and 24 deaths. Virginia added 1,366 cases and 11 deaths, Maryland added 1,198 cases and 10 deaths, and D.C. added 81 cases and three deaths.

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Relaxing Sounds From 50 Popular Vacation Spots

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

The holiday season is a time when many people go to see loved ones, discover new places, or enjoy a few days on the beach. But thanks to the pandemic, travel enthusiasts may feel more restless than usual. This year, help the armchair adventurers in your life ease their wanderlust with these gifts that’ll get them dreaming about their future trips.

1. Explore The World Wall Calendar; $26

Since 2020 has not been the year of travel, hopefully 2021 will be. This wall calendar from Rifle Paper Co. features a new city each month, beautifully designed to make viewers want to grab their passports. From month to month, your traveler will get to discover new places to explore, from Kenya to Marrakesh to Kyoto to Oaxaca.

Buy it: Walmart

2. 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: The World as You’ve Never Seen It Before (Deluxe Edition); $40

It seems as though every traveler has read the original 1,000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz. Now, she’s back with a deluxe edition of the book. The updated tome features over a thousand stunning new photographs and 544 new pages of prose for wanderlusting individuals to add to their itinerary.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Mental Floss Holland Shirt; $25

Here at Mental Floss, we know a good joke when we see one. Our new and improved shop features some of the best shirts out there that will almost guarantee a smile from spectators. This particular shirt will help lift anyone’s spirits about not being in the Netherlands with the slogan “Can’t Dutch This.”

Buy it: Mental Floss

4. Moleskine Traveller’s Journal; $26

Every good traveler knows they need to document their trips. Your loved one can pretend they’re Jack Kerouac, Elizabeth Gilbert, or Hunter S. Thompson with a trusty travel journal in their hands as they embark on a new great adventure. This one from Moleskine is the perfect travel companion on any type of trip, since it already does all the organization. The sturdy cover can withstand wherever your giftee takes it.

Buy it: Amazon

5. Ancestry DNA Genetic Ethnicity Test; $99

Heritage tourism has been around for a long time, but with the introduction of accessible ancestral DNA tests, these types of trips have skyrocketed. While your travel enthusiast is waiting for the pandemic to be over, they can pass the time by learning more about where their family came from, and even plan their heritage trip once travel is safe again.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Condé Nast Traveler 1-Year Autorenewal Subscription; $5

Have travel brought to your giftee’s doorstep with a subscription to one of the industry’s leading magazines. Condé Nast Traveler is known for its stunning photography, coverage of hidden locales, and luxury getaways. Since people are stuck at home this holiday season, let the pages of this magazine virtually transport

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How the historic center of Black life in Dallas became a luxury hotel

When I arrived in this city seven years ago, the old Knights of Pythias Temple, the Deep Ellum landmark that was once the epicenter of Black commercial life in Dallas, was a derelict block of a building, lonely and whitewashed. Its languishing state was especially troubling to preservationists, who feared its deterioration and eventual removal in the churn of “progress.”

That progress has come, and the good news is that the temple still stands. Indeed, its red brick exterior has been conscientiously restored, and its interior meticulously adapted, although in a radically new setting. It is now the front half of the luxury Pittman Hotel — a large addition has been linked behind it to give the hotel an expanded footprint — that, in turn, is part of the mixed-use Epic development.

The red brick exterior of the former Knights of Pythias Temple has been conscientiously restored. Deep Ellum has been subjected to such a paroxysm of luxury development that the advocacy group Preservation Dallas put it on this year’s Most Endangered Historic Places list.
The red brick exterior of the former Knights of Pythias Temple has been conscientiously restored. Deep Ellum has been subjected to such a paroxysm of luxury development that the advocacy group Preservation Dallas put it on this year’s Most Endangered Historic Places list.(Leonid Furmansky / Perkins and Will)

Conceived by the Westdale Company and billed as the Gateway to Deep Ellum, this micro-neighborhood includes the 26-story, 310-unit Hamilton luxury residential tower, the 16-story, 251,000-square-foot Epic office tower, and the 164-room Pittman Hotel. Another commercial tower is under construction, nevermind that the chief tenant of the complex, Uber, has already given up much of its space in the project.

Epic is the mot juste for a complex that is emblematic of changes seen throughout Deep Ellum, which has been subjected to such a paroxysm of luxury development that the advocacy group Preservation Dallas put it on this year’s Most Endangered Historic Places list. The so-called Freedom Colony was established in the wake of the Civil War as a place adjacent to downtown where African Americans could own and operate businesses. It quickly emerged as the commercial and entertainment center of Black Dallas. Its clubs birthed such blues legends as Blind Lemon Jefferson, Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter and Bessie Smith.

Like many Black communities, Deep Ellum was on cheap land adjacent to railroad tracks, which meant it also became a site for industry in the early years of the 20th century. The loft manufacturing buildings of that period define the character of Deep Ellum, and also make it a desirable place for high-end development.

In that context, the Pittman makes for a very comfortable place to have a very uncomfortable conversation about race, erasure, appropriation and urban development.

A view juxtaposing part of the facade of a new building (left) with the historic building (right) at the  Pittman Hotel in Dallas. The original historic building (right) near Elm Street and Good Latimer Expressway in Deep Ellum was designed by architect William Sidney Pittman. The building was originally the Knights of Pythias Temple.
A view juxtaposing part of the facade of a new building (left) with the historic building (right) at the Pittman Hotel in Dallas. The original historic building (right) near Elm Street and Good Latimer Expressway in Deep Ellum was designed by architect William Sidney Pittman. The building was originally the Knights of Pythias Temple.(Leonid Furmansky / Perkins and Will)

The hotel draws its name from its architect, William Sidney Pittman, the first Black architect to win a commission from the

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Use this trick to earn American Airlines elite status through hotel stays

a large passenger jet sitting on top of a runway

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MSN has partnered with The Points Guy for our coverage of credit card products. MSN and The Points Guy may receive a commission from card issuers.

Airline elite status can be very valuable, so it should come as no surprise that many flyers to go great lengths to ensure they requalify. Unlike hotels, there typically aren’t many ways to fast-track your progress toward airline status.

There is, however, an unconventional way of earning American Airlines elite status that doesn’t even require you to take a flight. More specifically, you can shortcut to AAdvantage Gold through hotel stays without needing to complete any status challenges or meeting spending thresholds on a co-branded card.

This opportunity is available to anyone participating in Business Extra, American’s loyalty program for businesses. Even if you don’t currently have an account, you’re still going to want to keep reading since you may be eligible without even realizing it.

For more TPG news, deals and points and miles tips delivered each morning to your inbox, subscribe to our daily newsletter.


As mentioned above, this shortcut to elite status is available to Business Extra members. The program is open to all companies with two or more employee travelers and registering is very straightforward. Companies are usually automatically validated during the enrollment process, but if that isn’t the case, you may need to submit documentation to validate your company’s account credentials and confirm you have two or more employees that travel.

With no cost and minimal requirements to join, there’s no reason why business owners shouldn’t sign up.

Related: Guide to earning and burning with American Airlines’ Business Extra program

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: (Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

© The Points Guy
(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Fast-tracking AAdvantage elite status with Rocketmiles and Business Extra

Companies earn one point per $5 spent on eligible American Airlines and partner flights with the Business Extra program. These points can be redeemed for everything from free flights to upgrades to Admirals Club day passes and more. For 3,200 points, you can even gift AAdvantage Gold status. However, your company does not actually have to spend $16,000 on airfare to earn 3,200 points.

The easiest and quickest way to accumulate a lot of Business Extra points is through Rocketmiles hotel bookings. Rocketmiles is an online travel agency that allows you to earn dozens of different types of points, miles and gift cards, including Business Extra points, through hotel stays.

By booking through the Rocketmiles site, your company can earn between 20 and 500 Business Extra points per night. In other words, at the minimum, a single hotel night booked through Rocketmiles would earn the same amount of points as $100 spent on eligible airfare.

Related: The best credit cards to jumpstart elite status

Gallery: Reasons You’re Still Living Paycheck to Paycheck (GOBankingRates)

There’s no set rate of how many points you’ll earn per dollar spent on hotels, but for the sake of this article, let’s look at a one-night stay in

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No travel plans? Try three new books about the nexus of travel and design.

As the season of sentimental journeys approaches, travel plans are as flat as a ribbon of asphalt slicing through harvested farm fields.

a large balloon in the sky: This photo of a hot air ballooon over Myanmar is featured in “Travel by Design.”

© Tom Stringer
This photo of a hot air ballooon over Myanmar is featured in “Travel by Design.”

Or, maybe, flat as a hardcover.

This hibernation holiday, the safest global itinerary may be a paper trail, traveled via books — as personal fireside reading or as gifts. And when carry-on restrictions are no issue, oversize volumes are just fine.

Three visually rich books offer a design-oriented trip to our currently limited-access world. The trio of tomes invites thwarted travelers to stack volumes on the coffee table, settle into the sofa and turn the pages of our planet.

A Wes Anderson world

Travel is cinematic, a movie set in which we act out scenes populated by strangers. But the coronavirus has called “cut” on our personal productions, which makes “Accidentally Wes Anderson,” (Little Brown, 368 pp., $35), by Wally Koval, all the more appealing.

The playful book, an extension of a popular Instagram account of the same name, depicts 200 locations in 50 countries, with images from 180 contributing photographers, that echo the signature style of film director Wes Anderson. The pages of the book will have a familiar appeal for fans of Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and other pleasantly quirky movies.

“Accidentally” provides the theatrical whimsy we need now, when travel (not to mention moviegoing) is mostly a dream.

When life seems upended, the pleasing symmetry of the Anderson-style images offers a comforting sense of control. But this is much more than a picture book. Each photo is accompanied by detailed and sometimes esoteric context, such as maintaining the clocks and breaking in the queen’s shoes at Buckingham Palace, the inspiration for George Gershwin’s “Summertime” lyrics and a Fred “Mister” Rogers connection to the Pittsburgh Athletic Association.

[Great reads for the armchair traveler]

The writing is often as lighthearted and lore-filled as the photos of vintage swimming pools, sherbet-colored bungalows and a faded coral-pink lighthouse on an uninhabited island. Koval says visitors to Schloss Moritzburg in Saxony, Germany, will come away with a lifetime’s fill of colossal antlers. And he compares the tiles of a church roof in Budapest to the pattern of a lanyard from summer camp. Given the book’s silver-screen inspiration, it’s fitting that James Bond and R2-D2 earn mentions.

a sign on the side of a mountain

© Provided by The Washington Post

a car parked in front of a house

© Provided by The Washington Post

Images of grand buildings are intermingled with sites of humble appeal, including a little blue boatshed that’s the most photographed spot in Perth, Australia; a sand-covered town in Namibia and a polished railway station that welcomes no trains.

The world, particularly places off the beaten path, provides a script-worthy narrative. There’s the tale of a river of burning whiskey in Dublin being extinguished by horse manure, and a ghost village above the Arctic Circle, accessible only by sea or snowmobile, where the world’s northernmost basketball court stands empty of play.

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Need to Escape? This Hotel in St. Bart’s Will Send a Private Plane to Pick You Up

There’s getting away from it all and then there’s truly escaping in style. Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa’s new getaway is firmly in the latter.

a group of people swimming in a pool of water: Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

© Provided by Travel + Leisure
Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

The chic hotel in St. Bart’s is pulling out all the stops when it comes to ensuring its guests can get away for a luxury vacation while social distancing from everyone else. Its new package, called Ultimate Escapism, includes a private jet, private yacht, and a luxury suite with its own private pool so travelers can soak up the sun in complete solitude. 

a group of lawn chairs sitting on top of a beach: Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

© Provided by Travel + Leisure
Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

To make the package come to life, Le Barthelemy is teaming up with the private jet service Tradewind Aviation to offer “door to door” service from the guest’s home right to the hotel. Then, guests will check into their luxury suite where they can take a dip in their personal oceanfront plunge pool before heading out in the evening to hit the high seas on their own personal sunset cruise aboard a private yacht. Don’t worry, there will be plenty of Champagne on board the vessel — and it’s all included within the package.

a person in a pool of water: You'll also get a private plunge pool and some time on a private yacht.

© Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa
You’ll also get a private plunge pool and some time on a private yacht.

But, the luxury doesn’t have to stop there. Those interested in an even more indulgent package can upgrade their stay with private access to the hotel’s holistic oasis known as Le Spa. The spa, in partnership with La Mer, has created a true sanctuary that includes a hammam, sauna, hydrotherapy pools, and a tea salon. Guests upgrading the package will also get exclusive access to the gym facilities, which happens to be home to St. Bart’s most elite trainers, who are all ready and willing to train you. Private spa treatments are also available right in guests’ suites, too. 

a helicopter flying over a body of water: Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

© Provided by Travel + Leisure
Le Barthelemy Hotel & Spa

The Ultimate Escapism package begins at $2,647 and is based on double occupancy and round-trip jet-sharing flights for two. Book now on the hotel’s website. 

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Renting a house is safer than a hotel, experts believe

The coronavirus pandemic has upended travel across the globe and with a second wave already here, lockdowns are starting to go back in place. However, if a person does travel, it’s best to stay with people from their household, experts say.

In a recent travel update, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that sharing a rental home with people you live with is safer than friends or family you don’t live with or a hotel where you’re more likely to see people from outside your circle.

The riskiest option is a hostel or other dorm-like lodging with shared sleeping areas.


That has helped companies such as Airbnb, which has bounced back faster than the hotel industry. In September, FOX Business reported the home rental platform saw a huge demand for its bookings amid the pandemic, seeing an average 32% week-over-week growth from April 27 to the beginning of June.

The surge continued into July and August, despite hotel companies such as Hilton Worldwide and Marriott not seeing the same bounce back.

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“Airbnb spending in July was up 22% over the previous July, and spending the week of August 17 was 75% higher than the equivalent week in 2019,” FOX Business reported, citing data from Edison Trends.


Airbnb is poised to go public later this year, with expectations that it will raise approximately $3 billion in an initial public offering.


Its recent performance is not only outperforming other vacation options, like hotels or other home rental apps, but it is also up year-over-year, hitting new highs.

“Airbnb spending in July was up 22% over the previous July, and spending the week of August 17 was 75% higher than the equivalent week in 2019,” the report shared.

Renters should also be cautious about when they go, seeking to have at least a 72-hour buffer between guests, Dr. Natascha Tuznik, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, Davis, said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Currently, Airbnb is requiring hosts to have enhanced cleaning by Nov. 20, including scrubbing floors, washing linens on high heat and disinfecting high-touch items and areas such as doorknobs.


Tuznik also noted that rentals may have more fresh air than hotel rooms, while adding there have been very few reported coronavirus outbreaks linked to hotels.

If a traveler does stay at a hotel, they can check with the hotel to see what cleaning practices and social distancing procedures they are taking to keep their guests safe, Tuznik added.


Fox News’ Alexandra Deabler and the Associated Press contributed to

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Diwali vacation for schools in Maharashtra from Nov 12-16

MUMBAI: Much to the displeasure of teachers, the education department on Thursday announced that schools would break for Diwali only for five days as opposed to the usual 21 days. The education department has declared November 12 to 16 as Diwali vacation when schools will have to suspend online learning as well.

Teachers groups from across the state had demanded that the school education department announce dates for Diwali vacation. Teachers had complained that they hadn’t got a break ever since online classes began in March as a the Covid-19 resultant lockdown began. School education minister, Varsha Gaikwad had assured teachers that a Diwali vacation would be announced and schools would also be instructed to not conduct examination during the festival period.

In a government resolution issued on Thursday, the education department said, “As per the rules of the Secondary School Code, the total number of holidays each academic year cannot exceed 76 days. For classes I to V, the number of working days should be at least 200 while that for class VI to VIII must be at least 220. With a view of completing the school curriculum in this academic year, the Diwali vacation for this year will be from November 12 to 16.” While many private and non-state board schools follow their own schedules for Diwali break, these days will be applicable to government and aided schools in the state.

Teachers are however very upset with the government’s decision. “This year, there were online classes even during summer vacation and also through Ganeshostav. Hence students and teachers have been constantly glued to their mobile phones or laptops. When the schools can have up to 76 days off, why can’t the government allow the traditional 21 days break for Diwali,” said Shivnath Darade of Maharashtra Shikshak Parishad.

Similarly, Rajesh Pandya from the Teachers Democratic Front said, “Irrespective of the pandemic, the academic year started around the right time (June 15) at most schools. Hence, reducing the Diwali vacation is unfair.”

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Victim identified in deadly Bricktown hotel shooting

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Authorities have identified a man who was killed in a shooting at a Bricktown hotel.

Shortly before 4 a.m. on Wednesday, emergency crews were called to a reported shooting at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bricktown.

“We were in our room and the police were banging on the door,” said one guest who wanted to remain anonymous. “And we’ve got to be here for more days and so the continuing safety is a concern.” 

Investigators say that when they arrived at the hotel, there was a deceased victim in the hallway on the eighth floor.

Officials say the victim appeared to have been shot to death in what is believed to be a domestic altercation.

“At this time, it appears that it was a domestic related killing so that’s something that investigators are looking into, looking into the past between these two,” said MSgt. Knight. 

Authorities arrested 21-year-old Tyesha Long on a complaint of first-degree murder.

On Thursday, officials identified the victim as 55-year-old Ray Brown.

If you have any information, call the Homicide Tip Line at (405) 297-1200.


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