Rebecca Stokes

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I'm a writer all over the web! I've contributed news, rants, funny lists and entertaining academic fakery at XOJane, The Hairpin, The Barnes and Noble Book Blog, and The Toast, to name but a few. When not writing for the internet, I spend my time writing plays and taunting my cat with bits of pretzel that I will ultimately not let him have. 


Sipping on:

There's good, there's great, and then there's coffee.

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    Celebrities are always beautiful. It's part of what draws us to them. They don't always have to be stereotypically gorgeous, but they are all lovely or handsome in their own jaw-dropping way. People's annual Most Beautiful edition celebrates the hotties who dwell not-quite-among us. I'm sure you've gotten in more than a few debates with your friends over who makes their infamous list.

    This year they're trying something different. And by different, I mean ... slightly weird but in the best possible way. They took a page from Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray and brought it to life. To celebrate all 20 of their 'most beautiful' cover models, they photoshopped them as they look today posed beside younger versions of themselves. What's craziest to me about this gallery is that almost across the board, the stars look better now than they did when they were younger. 

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    Let's talk yoga. No, not like magazine cover yoga, real person yoga.

    I'm a chubby girl. I'm not a born yogi by nature, one of those slender ballerina types who is so graceful it's kind of disgusting. That said, I love the rush I get from exercise...allll exercise. Yes, 'exercise' here includes doing the nasty. Mind your chakras, y'all -- it's about to get sexy up in here!

    Yoga leads to better sex. It makes sense! Yoga is all about existing in the moment. It's about being limber and present in your body. In other words, doing yoga = daaaayyyyum girl, check that swirl! I want that! And if I've got to log a few extra sessions being wobbling and sweaty and insecure alongside some Natalie Portman-type clone in exchange for the best sex of my life, I am totally okay with that.

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    You don't have to be a foodie to cook from scratch. I'm living proof. Look at me -- I'm a slob with zero culinary training who has nearly taken off her entire hand while slicing a bagel, and even I can do it. Like so many things, I started ditching the mixes and cooking from scratch out of laziness. It was the happiest of accidents, as most things combining good food and sloth are.

    I'd really wanted to make cookies. Peanut butter cookies. Now I recognize that making cookies from scratch isn't a big deal, and if I'd wanted to make fancy, delicious, home-baked cookies, I could have. But that wasn't the taste or experience I craved. I wanted a hot, junk-food-tasting peanut butter cookie, the kind that comes in a tube, and I wanted it NOW.

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    Vanessa Knowles is a law student with big ambitions. She's also a professional stripper with countless fans supporting her endeavors on the web. A woman paying her way through college as a stripper is nothing new. In fact, you could argue it's a cliche. But Vanessa Knowles is different.

    Of course her use of the online medium makes this a fresh take on an old story, true. But more than that, it's Knowles' attitude. She has zero shame about her past (which includes a stint as an in-the-flesh lap dancer) and has been nothing but open about what she does for a living. In light of Duke student and porn actress Belle Knox taking ownership over her identity when a fellow student tried to "out" her, Knowles could be one of a new wave of sex workers who are out, proud, and unapologetic.

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    A chicken processing plant shut down in January for its totally disgusting conditions is back in the news again today. Meat that has been traced back to this California plant has been making a lot of people very, very sick. The CDC has a list of more than 500 people made incredibly ill with a strain of salmonella that is resistant to antibiotics. Awesome. Just what we need -- super-salmonella. Because there wasn't enough stuff on planet Earth already scaring our pants off.

    Wait until you hear the next part. The company hasn't recalled any of its products -- and the government isn't making them! The standard guideline regarding salmonella is that chicken cooked above a certain temperature is safe to ingest. While no one has died, over 500 folks sent to hospital to receive treatment seem to disprove this theory, at least where this particular strain of salmonella is concerned. 

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