Aaron Schoenfeld: the striker who quit MLS and found success in Israel

The lanky striker found life tough in Columbus. But then he moved to the Israeli Premier League, started scoring goals, and has been linked with an Israel call-up

To Aaron Schoenfeld, this right here looks and feels like a rest: Tel Aviv, Israel, to eastern Tennessee. Columbus, Ohio, to Georgia. Parents. Friends. Colleagues. Grandparents. Short stops in familiar locales after a whirlwind first half of the year. A hello here, a goodbye there, as he attempts to cram in as many close ones before the itinerary takes him back to the Middle East. The 26-year-old Knoxville native has barely had a rest since December 2014, and this is it: flitting between states before pre-season training starts back in Tel Aviv on 5 July.

Its been an intriguing 18 months for a striker who was until recently a seldom-seen figure. Indeed, given his job description, his goals even less so. A bit-part player at Columbus Crew, there was little tangible evidence, on paper at least, for what was to come. In 2015, he made just one start and a number of substitute appearances, contributing a single goal for the Black and Gold. Previous campaigns, too, portrayed a similar level of return.

Then there was January. And, of all soccer outposts, Israel. The scene was set. Schoenfeld, fresh from a Florida vacation with teammates and the offer of a contract renewal from Columbus on the table, rolls up in the Holy Land at lowly Maccabi Netanya. The Israeli footballing public is bemused. The goalscoring stats, it seems, dont lie four MLS seasons, 51 appearances, 14 starts, five goals. Who is this impostor? Just 18 minutes into his career in Israel, after emerging off the bench for his first appearance, the eyes of several of Netanyas rivals start to turn in his direction. But for what? Still there are no goals. Netanya lost. Yet barely given time to blink, before he has even acclimated to a new league and new country, he is purchased by Hapoel Tel Aviv, one of the most successful clubs in the Israeli Premier League. They see something. On the outside, the befuddlement persists. Before heading for Hapoel there were another 90 minutes for Netanya, and still no sign of Schoenfeld on the scoresheet. So goes the superficial eye.

He wasnt to go without a goal for long. The first came in a baptism of fire, his debut, the Tel Aviv derby. From there to the end of the season in May, Schoenfeld went on a minor goalscoring blitz. He managed eight goals in 12 games by the close.

Crazy, remarks Schoenfeld. After 18 minutes. Unheard of. His quick transfer from Netanya, he explains, owed to a need for cash at the club in the face of financial difficulties. But there had been a few suitors. In addition to Hapoel, bitter city rivals Maccabi Tel Aviv were also among those interested in getting him to put pen to paper. Eventual league champions Hapoel Beer Sheva inquired. In the end, he went with Hapoel Tel Aviv under the belief hed have a greater chance of starting every week.

From one vantage point, all bizarre perhaps. Schoenfeld, a lanky striker at 6ft 4in, understands the initial wariness among local fans and media. His record did not look great. But, sprightly and direct, he offers an alternative angle with which to view his sudden rise to prominence.

I found form, he tells the Guardian. As a striker, once you have confidence and you feel comfortable somewhere, its no pressure. And I think the goal I scored in the derby changed everything. Because obviously there was a lot of questions of me coming in there. I knew the fans didnt really understand: How could a player who only scored one goal last year come in, why would we buy him? But I think if you knew the situation at Columbus with me, it was because Im playing behind the best forward in the league [Kei Kamara], whos a freak of nature.

I think I was ready to play. I feel like I developed a lot last year. I just needed the minutes. If you look at my records, I didnt really start much. Probably less than 10 starts in the league. Even last year, I had one start for 90 minutes. I had a total of 220 minutes total. That was it. And one of those games was for 90. So if you take that out its 130 minutes over 17 games, about five minutes of a game left. You run around for five minutes, so I think it was tough. I understand why there would be concerns but I feel like once I get in training and people can see what I offer, it changes things.

The goal in the derby against Maccabi Tel Aviv a club Schoenfeld knocked back and for which there is no love lost among the Hapoel faithful was a watershed moment. The media took notice. In a press conference after the Tel Aviv derby he was asked if hed paid much heed to the more negative press coverage that came before, to which he tersely responded with a stoic visage: Well I cant read Hebrew so it helps me keep away from that stuff. In the same post-game press conference, he was then asked if his joining Hapoel might effectively rob Maccabi of the title. Schoenfeld was cute, telling the reporter he was focused on Hapoels struggle near the Israeli Premier League basement. The record shall state Maccabi missed out on the title and Hapoel survived.

Still, that easy ability to deflect is not unusual in modern sports players schooled in the art of public relations. But theres a breeziness in Schoenfeld that might speak to the chains in Columbus from which he was freed. He referred to the man who stood in his way at Crew, Kamara, as the best striker in MLS. Few would disagree he had a job on his hands wrestling a starting spot from the prolific Sierra Leonean. At Hapoel, he himself quickly became something of a similar focal point in attack. He credits his athleticism as an asset in a more technically adept local scene to the one he was used to in the US.

Such was his form, his name has been mentioned in connection with an Israeli national team call-up. American-born, Schoenfeld comes from a Reform Jewish family. He went to Israel through the states right of return law for those of Jewish ancestry. He continues to pass through the citizenship process, currently possessing a temporary passport. To play for Israel, there may be Fifa hurdles to surmount, too, because he didnt obtain his citizenship through a blood relation. He is in no hurry but welcomes the prospect of turning out for the country. Which raises the question: with the kind of form he showed last season, and were it to continue, what if the US national team set-up came calling?

Its tough, Schoenfeld answers. Obviously if you ask me on the street, what is your nationality? Id tell you Im an American. I identify myself as an American. But if it happens and it comes down to it, its a very tough decision. Both offer completely different things.

He has a similar posture toward his club level future, perhaps mindful of the vicissitudes of soccer. He is happy at Hapoel. Theres the Columbus experience. He has also absorbed a different side of life. Israeli culture. Tel Aviv city life. On another plain, religious devotion in Jerusalem, an awakening moment for him. On another again, on a road trip for an away game, Israeli border life near Lebanon. Not to mention, Schoenfeld is tired.

His agent knows the script. Ive left it at last time we spoke about everything. I was, Look, I want to take time to vacation. I want to clear my head, its been a long run. Because I havent had a break since December of 2014. Because in MLS you had these mini-camps before the season. So by the end of the year, I was mentally fried, my body was fried. When I come back from vacation, well see whats going on, well start evaluating next season. I plan on staying. Well see what happens.

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/21/aaron-schoenfeld-the-striker-who-quit-mls-and-found-success-in-israel/

The rumours are true: Vegemite can make beer but it tastes terrible

Vegemite. Good on toast, only so-so as a beer.
Image: Getty Images

Vegemite may be a delicious yeast spread, but it makes for a rather poor beer ingredient.

In mid-2015, it was reported that Australia’s Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion was concerned about the use of Vegemite in homebrews within remote, mostly Indigenous Australian communities.

While using Vegemite to make alcohol has been a recurring rumour locally, some community groups cast doubt on the prevalence of the practice when the issue erupted in the press last year.

Nevertheless, two University of Queensland researchers decided to get to the bottom of whether the feat was even possible.

Benjamin Schulz, a lecturer in the School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, along with an Honours student, Edward Kerr, found that Vegemite cannot start the necessary fermentation process on its own.

It may be a “yeast” spread, but any active properties are rendered largely lifeless by the time it reaches your toast, thanks to the factory production process. “Vegemite is basically the leftover yeast from beer brewing, but the yeast is killed and dehydrated,” Schulz told Mashable Australia. “We tested it and and found it was sterile.”

Undeterred, they decided to see how Vegemite, or its lesser British cousin, Marmite, could still be useful to the brewing process. Vegemite and yeast together did nothing. Sugar and yeast together did nothing. But the three combined? Alcohol, sort of.

“We knew for yeast to grow it needed sugar, protein and some other nutrients,” he explained. “If we put all three together, then the yeast grew really well.” It turns out, Vegemite supplies a protein source for the yeast to grow, along with other nutrients.

That’s not a particularly special quality. Many fruits and some vegetables can create alcohol if yeast is added. Grain for whisky, or potatoes for vodka, for example.

After all that science, the pair ended up with a safe but rather underwhelming beer.Schulz called the result “a strange soft drink, with a Vegemite aftertaste.” You’d have to be a true Vegemite fan to think that’s a good thing.

“Conceivably, you could add hops, maybe play around with other sorts of additives,” he added. “It would never be a proper beer unless you added back in grains.”

Vegemite could provide a cheap additive for the brewing process, but then again, there’s that aforementioned Vegemite-y aftertaste.

So there you have it: Vegemite beer. It’s a thing, but largely meh.

The findings were published in the academic journal, PeerJ.

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/21/the-rumours-are-true-vegemite-can-make-beer-but-it-tastes-terrible/

Venomous snake with its head stuck in a beer can needs a little help here

Go home, snek. You’re drunk.

Snakes have it tough. They don’t have legs and sometimes their body is just the right size to get stuck in weird places.

Reptile handlers Tania Dowsett and Craig Bergman were called to an incident in rural Victoria, Australia, to help a snake whose head got trapped inside a beer can.

A member of the public called the professionals in upon finding the insanely-venomous red belly black snake.

Even when cloaked in a beer can, these snakes have a decidedly fatal bite.

Heavy rain across the southern state of Victoria has seen an increase in slithery reptile sightings.

Snake handler Craig Bergman, who was called in to help this boozey fella, told The Riverina Herald, “The threat is pretty big this year as the rain has chased a lot of them out.”

The snake was rescued from its beer prison and released back into the wild to party responsibly another day.

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/21/venomous-snake-with-its-head-stuck-in-a-beer-can-needs-a-little-help-here/

The 6 Best Places Across Canada To Sit And Sip With A View

Civic Holiday is the best bit of summer, amiright? You have your sticky-weather wardrobe down, so your look is peak. And there is still a long stretch of summer like, at least 30 solid days of possibility, of potential hookups, of time with bae, of hours with fresh Tinder bait ahead.

Long story short: It’s time to up your drink game. Here’s how to crush it, from west to east.

1. Vancouver

Mountains, harbor, city and beach: Canada’s jewel on the Pacific offers the best nature has to offer. And day or night, there is no need to throw shade on the Van City patio scene.

You’ll want to be where the action is at in Gastown: for people-watching, for mountain vistas, for sea breezes, for the European city square. Two great bets here are Chill Winston and The Flying Pig (there are other locations of this local fave around town).

Gastown is hot because of its identity as a hub for new media companies, and comes complete with all the trimmings, like vintage shops, galleries, clubs, gastropubs and of course patios.

Best served with: Fish tacos with slaw and mango salsa.

2. Calgary

Young and eligible, Calgary is thirsty. Of course, the city’s many cowboy and beer bars (not to mention mechanical broncos) are world-renowned. But sometimes you really want a proper drink, some tunes that slay and (TBH) some potential hookups to scope out. Or at the very least, hot people.

Hit Proof Cocktails and Curiosities on 1st Street for awesome drinks, tiny plates and no reservations or lineups ever. The secret sauce here is space to relax. Allowing only the correct ratio of buns to chairs, if things are crushed, staff will take your number and leave you free to explore, then summon you back when your cozy table is ready.

National is a Calgary institution that remains evergreen in its hip factor. There are four locations around town, each with its own vibe and fun gimmicks rock’n’bowl, DIY DJ vinyl nights, best all-day happy hour but it is the patio at the 8th Street location that really has us hooked.

Best served with: a Tiki umbrella on Industry Sundays on 8th.

3. Toronto

Canada’s biggest city sees cocktail culture trends come and go and then come back again. And while there are great classic patios around town the Black Bull on Queen for bikers and sunburn; Bar Raval on College for artsy rubbernecking; the Pilot, a total classic on the rooftop at Yonge and Bloor the more exciting news is the little patios attached to bars in more next-wave hoods like Junction, Roncy, Leslieville and Chinatown.

An exciting new destination downtown is the Nueva Vista Social Club, a Cuban-inspired lounge in the sleek and chic DEQ Terrace at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s got everything: throbbing Latin beats, eats and classic rum cocktails, especially the mojito and Cuba Libre. Also worth a trip is the hidden gem Cold Tea in Kensington Market, with its concrete bunker of an interior courtyard.

Best served with: a muddler, for grinding up organic herbs. Of all kinds.

4. Montreal

There is nowhere more full of FOMO in Canada than Montreal on a hot summer day. The path to amaze streets St. Laurent and St. Denis is well worn and timeless. But in the stifling summer, you will want to be in the cool, cobbled streets of the Vieux Ville.

For four levels of fun in the sun, check out Terrasses Bonsecours, a Miami-style outdoor tapas restaurant that turns into a nightclub when the sun goes down. Sangrias and punches are the big thing this summer.

Best served with: a hotel room in the Old Town to sleep it all off.

5. Halifax

Canada’s East Coast is famous for its warm welcome and its embrace of the few months of sunshine and cheer, which peaks on the August long weekend.

The downtown bar scene is best seen from a patio somewhere like Argyle Bar & Grill, which is known for its awesome mojitos. Or if your crew is vegan or veg, you can’t beat The Foggy Goggle (also downtown on Argyle Street.) for great comfort-food options to soak up your celebration.

For an elegant setting right on the waterfront, head to The Bicycle Thief, where you’ll be treated to soul fulfillment, Italian style. There you’ll find the finest cocktails, cheese and charcuterie or a meal by the sparkling Atlantic.

Best served with: lobster, obvs.

6. Try this at-home bro!

Because you’ve mastered red rum punch, slayed the Cuba Libre and bent your blender on pina coladas. It is time to master the muddler.

Mint is at its peak across Canada, so get snipping from your container garden and crush some ice. Pro tip: A good home mixologist knows how to grab a bar towel and crush those cubes down to size with a hammer no ice crusher necessary. It’ll impress your guests, and it’s mess-free.

LIMN MOJITO

2 parts BACARD Limn

4 lime wedges

12 fresh mint leaves

4 lemon wedges

2 tbsp. simple syrup (or 4 tsp. sugar)

Club soda

Sprig of fresh mint and wedge of lime to garnish

Muddle mint leaves and lime in a tall glass. Cover with simple syrup and fill glass with ice. Add BACARD Limn and club soda; stir well. Garnish glass with a lime wedge and sprig of mint.

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/20/the-6-best-places-across-canada-to-sit-and-sip-with-a-view/

4 Things You’d Never Guess About The Opposite Sex’s Crotch

The world is a crazy mishmash of diversity. We have different faiths, different politics, and above all, different crotches. In general, we have two kinds of crotches, but those two kinds are mystifying and perplexing to the ones not wielding them. And you may not think so now. You may be thinking “Man, I have been up in so many crotches in my day, I’m like a crotch Da Vinci” but let me assure you, that crotch still holds many a mystery that you never even imagined.

4

Missing Balls

Ladies, are you familiar with balls or, as they’re known in science circles, deez nutz? They’re a pair of oversensitive little snowflakes that men carry around in their pastrami coin purses and, beyond a biological function, they’re mostly just decorative. Fun for teabagging, ridiculously capable of collecting sweat, and oddly musky after a day of playing sports or just sitting in a room with no AC. You’re likely aware of most of this from all the ball porn you ladies watch. But what you may not be aware of, and what you really have no reason to be aware of, is the fact that your average nut has a serious case of wanderlust. Sometimes, just sometimes, a ball will just up and vanish.

PIRO4D/Pixabay
This shit is just a Bermuda Triangle of balls.

What do I mean vanish? I mean take the fuck off. Pack up their bindle stick and head out for a life on the road. And it’s only ever one at a time, as though your nuts had a heated argument and one forced the other to go spend the night at its parents’ house. So your sack will still be slouching there against your thigh like a drunk trying to stay on the dance floor, and one ball will be holed up in there like the Unabomber in his shack. The other one will be three fingers deep in your torso, exploring the nooks and crannies of whatever the fuck is equidistant between your dick and your butthole.

To the best of my knowledge, your balls will occasionally rise up like the disgruntled citizens of an unjust regime, but it’s generally for warmth. This isn’t that. This is like a lava lamp situation, with blorpy stuff just oozing about because it can, no real rhyme or reason behind it. The little vagrant will always return home in short order, no worse for the wear and tight lipped about what sights he may have seen. But know that sometimes, when you least expect it, there’s a nut that’s just gone walkabout like a little semen-producing Crocodile Dundee.

Walkerssk/Pixabay
“I have a journey to go on, my friends. You won’t understand it, but you will be in my ball heart.” – Your nut sack

In technical terms, they call this a retractile testicle, which is a great name. Your cremaster muscle gets a little overactive, like how if you work out too hard and you’re super pumped, your biceps and triceps will just totally rage in a spastic fashion. Only this time, it’s in your bag, and your nut will just zip up like a monkey on a vine. It can happen due to anxiety or just some stimulation in that area. So nothing crazy or darkly magical, just some crazy ball roaming.

3

Anytime Boners

Ladies, you’ve met a boner before, right? And for you younger and/or chaste readers, you’ve read my terribly offensive articles before, right? So you’re probably at least on handshake terms with boners. You know where they live, their general habits, and their diet. I would even wager you heard in health class or from a guy on the bus that a boner can crop up at the weirdest times? For instance, when a dude’s jorts rub him the wrong way or he sees a canary melon and thinks of a boob. Ha ha, boners are the unpredictable scamps of the coital world. But did you have any idea how unpredictable they are?

Aside from the normal reason and the just-a-few houses down from normal reasons, there is a fun melange of nightmare reasons why boners occur. Obviously medication side effects can lead to erections, but so can spider bites, fear of being a sexual deviant, meal supplements, and comically tragic bicycle injuries. These scenarios all sound radically different, but they all have one factor that connects them: Near them, the boner lurks.

How does pain manage to dance with boners in people who don’t typically get off on pain? That’s one of the mysteries of science, but any number of uncomfortable feelings from anxiety to nervousness to just outright agony can and will give way to Mr. Blinky standing tall and trying to do his thing, even if the rest of your body is a quivering mass of discomfort.

In terms of injuries, it can be a matter as simple as a blood-flow problem — you damage a wang artery, the blood can’t flow the way it should, you end up saluting the flag every time you move. But when that’s not the case, the cause can sometimes be a mystery to medical science — your dick plays its cards close to the balls and doesn’t explain itself all that often.

2

Menstrual Pad Importance

As a man, there’s only so much I can do to help support and understand women. I don’t want to be a douche, and I don’t think most people want to, even if they succeed at it admirably. I want to do the best I can to try to understand everyone’s worldview, and as a white dude who grew up in a white neighborhood where people never really talked about politics, the outside world or anything particularly heavy at all, it’s a process. Part of this process is trying to wrap my head around pads, which is distinctly different from wrapping pads around my head. Is this world changing or deeply philosophical? Does it solve humanity’s problems or rise to the level of anything profound that helps better our species? Maybe not, but I don’t write articles to save the world. Sometimes, we just need to sit back and wonder about the mysteries of shit that are obvious to everyone else.

Most men, at some point, will be tasked with purchasing pads for someone in need. It happens. In the world of sitcoms, it’s a terribly embarrassing endeavor and you must sheepishly enter the aisle and pretend you’re shopping for something else and then look like a deer caught in the headlights when the cashier inevitably calls for a price check. On pads! For vaginas! Oh man, is your face red! THE BEER BACON MANLY MAN IS BUYING THE LADY OBJECTS. PLANT A SCARLET LETTER UPON HIS CHEST.

phouavang82/Pixabay
BETTER EAT MORE BACON, BEER BACON MANLY MAN, OR YOU WILL BEAR THIS WOMANLY SHAME UNTIL YOUR UNMANLY DYING DAY.

In real life, buying pads is like buying something that isn’t a pad. However, and this is key, while you were probably told exactly what kind to buy, if they don’t have what you’re looking for, if you forget, or if nothing was specified for some reason, you have no chance of choosing the right one. Pads are like the Grail at the end of Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade. There’s a ton of choices and if you choose poorly, expect to become a dusty skeleton in no time under the withering glare of the woman you’ve just disappointed.

In my mind, pads operate like deodorant or the Walmart underwear rack. Sure I see a lot of options, but at the end of the day, I can probably make due with anything that’s there. But holy shit, not so with pads. Despite your general knowledge of a woman’s flower and its botanical habit of sloughing off an internal uterine layer, not every pad can accommodate this for every woman. Wings may be necessary to anchor that slippery little shit in place. You also need to factor in absorbency based on flow, the shape of the pad, the fabric of the pad, and the general way it fits because you never want to try to fit a square peg in a round hole, especially if you have the wrong-sized pad wrapped around it.

There’s literally no way you can get the correct pad on a whim as a dude except for blind luck. You have to have instruction or you might as well be trying to figure out what your cat means when it turns its head and stares at you all shifty-like when you’re on the toilet.

It’s not that I or any man is necessarily dumb for not “getting” pads. It’s just that there’s no common ground to meet on. I can only conceive of, in the most basic way, the issues with trying to properly fit something on or near a body part I don’t have. I can’t even decide if “on” or “near” are the right words to use, that’s how unqualified I am to deal with this.

1

Fart Smuggling

I didn’t want to make this article dark. I didn’t want to “go there,” as the hip kids say. But dammit, I’m going there. And you’re coming with me. Bring a lawn chair.

Surely we can all be adults when we discuss flatulence, or “floating air biscuits,” if you will. Who amongst us hasn’t gorged themselves on a hearty baked bean and cauliflower casserole laced with vegan ham and awoken the next morning feeling like a gremlin was trying to breakdance its way from our asshole? Farts are natural and beautiful in the way that any kind of fetid gas from one’s shit shooter is beautiful.

There is a thing I learned, though. A thing told to me by a woman who, upon learning the topic of this article, took a moment to stare off into space as she pondered the idea. After a brief period of silence, her expression became inspired and she eagerly said to me, “What about farts in your vagina?”

First, I hope that was the first time that sentence was ever uttered aloud. I get a kick out of feeling like I’ve heard or said something literally no one in mankind’s history has ever seen or heard. But second, I was briefly confused.

“Queefs?” I asked, as if it was the most natural follow up in a normal conversation. She shook her head.

“Gross, no. OK, sometimes, as a woman, when you fart it maybe goes forward instead of back? And it can sneak into your vagina.”

I stared as though I were Paul Atreides having just consumed the Water of Life and my mind was expanding beyond space and time. I imagined a stealthy fart creeping forth under the cover of night, holding up at the border of the ass cheeks until the Vaginal Guards had a shift change, then sneaking like a ninja across the Taint Barrier and backflipping into the safety of the vagina.

“What does it do once it gets in there?” I asked, enraptured. Her expression changed to one I’m all too familiar with. One that says “Please stop speaking.”

“What do you think it does? It’s not a DJ, it’s not having a party. It just gets stuck. You have to kind of shift and shimmy a bit to force it back out.”

I nodded. This was reasonable. Not reasonable, but understandable. A woman, biologically, has a terrible system of fart management set up down there. As a man, when one of my farts takes a wrong turn out of the gate, it just bubbles up under my ballsack and sits there like a frightened mouse until I peel the sack away from the thigh and release it back into the wild. But a woman has an entire mouse house. I had never imagined.

Briefly, I wondered if I’d ever been visiting the enchanted grotto when there was an unwanted guest in the pantry, but then shrugged it off. Best not to know, probably.

The proliferation of beer pong and craft beer may have you think that we’re living in one of the peak times to get drunk, but humans have been getting famously hammered for millennia. Like a frat house’s lawn after a kegger, history is littered with world changing events that were secretly powered by booze. The inaugural games of the Roman Coliseum, the drafting of the US Constitution and the Russian Revolution were all capped off by major parties that most attendees probably regretted in the morning.

Join Jack O’Brien and Cracked staffers Carmen Angelica, Alex Schmidt, Michael Swaim, plus comedian Blake Wexler for a retelling of history’s biggest moments you didn’t realize everyone was drunk for.

Get your tickets here:

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/19/4-things-youd-never-guess-about-the-opposite-sexs-crotch/

Southeast storms: Fifth person reported dead as severe weather moves east

A powerful storm system tearing through the Southeast killed a fifth person Monday after it flipped a mobile home in South Carolina, emergency officials announced.

The storm could still unleash tornadoes and powerful wind gusts Monday from parts of Georgia to the Carolinas, forecasters have warned.

In Whitmire, S.C., an hour’s drive northwest of Columbia, the storms flipped the mobile home multiple times, killing a man inside, Union County Sheriff David Taylor told Fox Carolina.

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Johnny Thomas, the mayor of Glendora, Miss., which is about 140 miles north of Jackson, told Fox News heavy winds caused a massive tree to fall onto his home and, suddenly, his house went dark. Though he crawled out alive with minor injuries, his wife did not survive.

“Sitting here looking at TV my wife and I hear a loud wind and looked like it was instant just a loud wind, Thomas said. A few seconds later, he said, his wife was trapped under the fallen roof.

Bill Parker, the meteorologist-in-charge at the National Weather Service of Jackson said the weather began improving but flooding was still a concern.

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When you have an extraordinary meteorological event like we had last night that produces a lot of rainfall it leads to a hydrological event, Parker said on Monday, so now were looking at how our rivers are going to rise, how our lakes are going to rise based on that heavy amount of rainfall we received last night.

In Louisiana, a mother and her 3-year-old daughter were killed Sunday morning when a tornado flipped their mobile home off its foundation. The following morning, a Fisher-Price tricycle with yellow handles and purple wheels sat outside the wreckage. It was a visual reminder of just how quickly tornados can strike.

Francine Gotch, 38, and her daughter, Neville Alexander, were inside the trailer when the storm hit the rural community of Breaux Bridge, about 50 miles west of Baton Rouge, St. Martin Parish Sheriff’s Office Maj. Ginny Higgins said.

“It hit the trailer, flipped it and tore its side off,” Higgins said.

Alexander’s dad had gone to the grocery store just before the storm occurred and arrived back home to find Gotch and his daughter dead, witnesses told KLFY-TV.

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards put the entire state on high alert and urged residents to stay off the roads. He told people that their cellphones should be charged and close by so they can receive urgent weather alerts through Monday.

“It is an extremely dangerous weather event,” he said.

In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant confirmed the deaths of two people in the state.

Jacqueline Williams, 52, was in the process of running a newspaper delivery route when her car slid off a road into a creek in her hometown of Florence before dawn Monday, authorities said. She dialed 911 from the car as it went down, said Rankin County Coroner David Ruth.

Ruth said Williams was trying to relay her location to a dispatcher as the car settled into the swirling waters. “She was trying to tell the dispatcher where she was, and she could actually hear the sirens.”

The two lost contact, and Ruth said a swift-water recovery team later found Williams’ body in the creek outside the car.

In Jackson, Miss., about 60 people were evacuated to a nearby hotel because of rising flood waters. Local authorities used boats to transport people to dry land.  

Another hard-hit area was Alexandria, La., where winds blew off the roof of a gas station and knocked out power to thousands, KALB-TV reported. Customers and storm employees sought shelter in a beer cooler.

Authorities are asking for residents to have a plan in place pick a room without windows or many doors, keep your cell phone charged and if you live in a mobile home try to find another place to stay during large storm systems.

Fire officials in the Texas village of Point Venture said several people witnessed an apparent funnel cloud there Sunday morning. Travis County Emergency Services District 1 Fire Chief Donnie Norman said there were several structures with severe damage.

“There was one home with pretty heavy damage. The roof was completely removed. There was one resident there at the time, but she received no major injuries,” Norman said.

A Texas state trooper reported seeing a suspected tornado touch down early Sunday morning near Center Point, Texas, about 55 miles northwest of San Antonio, Texas. National Weather Service meteorologist Yvette Benavides said there were no reports of major or structural damage.

Fox News’ Will Carr, Matt Finn, Willie James Inman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/18/southeast-storms-fifth-person-reported-dead-as-severe-weather-moves-east/

A Letter To The Four Most Unique (And Overlooked) Characters From The Harry Potter Fandom

Harry Potter Wikia

1. Ron,

You know how there’s that one friend we know will sleep through a troll invasion? For us, that’d always been you. The survivor.

You’ve survived growing up with Fred and George. You’ve lived through heartbreaks and failures and humiliation and still managed to laugh. You’ve puked slugs and battled arachnophobia yet never shied away from a fight for your friends. You’ve worn your heart on the frayed sleeves of your uncle’s hand-me-down robe even when you had the emotional range of a teaspoon.

When we first met you on that train 20 years ago, grease stain on your nose and chocolate frogs in your overstuffed mouth, we knew you weren’t the chosen or the brightest one.

At best you were the bumbling awkward teenager. At worst a doppelganger of that cheesy English singer some Muggles claim to worship. Ed Sheeran or something. But then you taught us, it isn’t what’s inside you that matters, it’s what you choose to believe in.

You taught us that even when our books are second hand and our wands are tapped, we can open our homes and hearts to our friends. You taught us that bravery is a virtue all of us posses, that facing our fear is sometimes the only way through it, be it giant spiders or the occasional basilisks. You taught us we can unlearn our prejudices, accept as allies those we once hated, be it house elves or werewolves.

I’m sure you still let Hermione teach you how to swish and flick, with a proud grin on your face. I’m sure you visit your parents every weekend, sometimes Charlie drops by and gives you a meaningful wink. I’m sure you’re doing just fine.

And I’m sure; the clock with your face on one hand has since been at home. Safe, drunk on butter beer and a little in love.

2. Hagrid,

It’s weird how we remember people at times. In bits and pieces. As if remembering them in entirety would mean accepting it’s been two decades since we’ve last seen each other. Some days I wonder how elated you’d be to visit this new world.

We have hair conditioners which smell like strawberries and beer now, and weaving flowers into your beard is considered a fashion trend. Often, I imagine you making a cross country trip on your motorbike, breeze ruffling your hair and those goggles making your eyes look humongous. You’d stop at every village on the way, let little girls weave your beard into bouquets while you told stories about that time you won a giant octopus with commitment issues from a stranger at a heavy metal concert.

We have it all, and yet we crave someone like you in our lives. Someone who can keep our secrets safe even if they have to go to prison for that, who can give people pigtails when they’re mean to his friends. Someone we can always approach for answers or giant hugs. Someone who remembers birthdays without Facebook reminders and always, always brings the cake with extra icing and atrociously spelled names scribbled on it.

While you were gone, we’ve somehow become stoic souls afraid to shed tears or go that extra mile to make someone we love, smile. Maybe we need to unlearn our burdens. Become people who can cry with abandon and care for their family even if others find nothing but flaws in them and want nothing more from life than a cabbage patch and lazy afternoons with their drooling dogs.

Maybe what we really want, is someone with the worst knock knock joke and the biggest of hearts.

3. Dear Luna,

You seem to have taken a lot with you when you left. For example, I don’t see any Blibbering Humdinger or the Crumple-Horned Snorkack around any more.

Coincidence? I think not.

You’ve apparently taken away our ability to be inspired by the mundane as well. Look at us now, crowding art exhibitions and breaking our backs attending every poetry event but still complaining about our lack of imagination in the end. We don’t lose our shoes anymore or read magazines upside down. In fact, we barely read.

And most importantly, we don’t believe. Not in magic or mistletoes infested with nargles that might just take a bite off our noses or that even after someone dies, they still exist in memories of their loved ones and behind the veil at the ministry of magic.

You’ve taken away our ability to stand out from the crowd, whether it was because of the quirkiest fashion sense topped with a butter beer cork necklace or the belief that everyone deserves kindness and sympathy. Even if it was a common but free house elf who died saving his friend, you made sure your eulogy guided his soul to the afterlife for free elves.

Whether it’s your quidditch commentary or your aura of pure serenity, we miss you in every aspect of our lives. And we keep hoping, someday we’ll run into you again, only you’ll be the woman with dreamy eyes selling aluminium foil hats at the crossing beyond eighth avenue (guaranteed to give you better dreams, you’d say between giggles).

And we’ll be the ones desperately wishing we could believe in the impossible again, and borrow the Quibbler from you every weekend.

4. Draco,

I’ll let you in on a secret. All these Slytherin pickup lines that have become the rage nowadays, they were written for you.

I mean, sure, it must be really hard being a sulking and often sassy teenager, especially with the fairer sex swooning every time you even opened your mouth. We get your conundrum mate, we do.

But trust me, we’ve all been jealous of you at some point. Some of us still are. You’ve outshone the boy who lived on so many occasions even when he was clearly the protagonist of the story. And you’ve done so with your undeniable charm and confidence, although those locks of platinum blonde hair never hurt your appeal, just saying.

Of course, for the longest time people just saw the rough and unlikable side of you (not unlovable though, if you know what I mean). They were quick to stereotype you as the bad guy, what with the drawl and everything. Plus you were totally Harry’s second biggest enemy in Hogwarts, the biggest being his constant whining and complaining. But you outgrew that mould pretty fast, and boy did you take us all by surprise when you did.

When you bared your tortured soul to us, showed us having parents who are stuck on the wrong side of the deal with Voldemort is way worse than it sounds, we just wanted to put our arms around you and whisper words of comfort till you stopped trembling. In that moment when you were tasked with killing Dumbledore yet couldn’t bring yourself to it, we knew even the darkest hearts bear some goodness within them.

We might be guilty of cheering Hermione when she punched you across your face, but come on, you deserved it for being such a douche to her. That doesn’t mean we’re gonna stop with the swooning or writing steamy fanfics about you, anytime soon.

Just for the record, mate.

Source: http://allofbeer.com/2017/08/18/a-letter-to-the-four-most-unique-and-overlooked-characters-from-the-harry-potter-fandom/