Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers

When users seek facilities for the procedure, Google Maps often presents crisis pregnancy centers that discourage abortions

Google search results for abortion services promote anti-abortion centers

When users seek facilities for the procedure, Google Maps often presents crisis pregnancy centers that discourage abortions

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Cheating Men Get a Second Life in Politics, Cheating Women Get a Scarlet Letter

As Trump surrounds himself with a circle of philanderers, one female politician is just starting to rebuild her life after a sex scandal derailed it.”>

On December 15, 2011, four male Minnesota state senators called a press conference. Its purpose was to issue a moral rebuke to a woman who wasnt there, over an extramarital affair shed had with a colleague. In the ensuing weeks, the four men would force the woman, the states first ever female majority leader, to move to an office far from theirs, on a different floor. Nobody would move into her vacant office before the end of the term, after which the woman would pack her things and leave the home she had shared with her husband of 18 years to move back in with her parents. Weeks later, the womans 64-year-old mother would die of breast cancer, only four months after her diagnosis.

Amy Koch still feels the echoes of the day of that press conference in her life. People called it The Scarlet Letter award ceremony, she tells The Daily Beast. I didnt watch it. Ill never watch it.

That was the day that news of Kochs affair with a male senate staffer went public, that her colleagues turned on her, that Koch resigned from her leadership position among state senate Republicans and announced she wouldnt seek reelection. The damage to her life and career felt complete, the shame all-consuming.

As a person, Amy Koch is strikingly likeable, sharp, warm, and thoughtful, even after what she now refers to as the ordeal. But for liberals in Minnesota circa 2011, Koch represented something much less endearing. For them, her scandal was a cocktail of poetic justice and schadenfreude. The marriage equality fight raged red-hot that Minnesota midwinter, and, Koch, an outspoken and brash conservative woman with an easy one-of-the-dudes laugh, had been instrumental in pushing for a state constitutional amendment barring legal same-sex unions. After the news of her own marital catastrophe upended the Minnesota statehouse, one gay activist wrote a cheeky letter to Koch, apologizing on behalf of gay people everywhere for ruining her marriage. The letter went viral. Liberal cable news had a lot of fun with the affair. Opinion pages of the Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press were littered with morally superior missives against Koch. Any statement she made to the media was met with sneering, with moral judgement, with condemnation.

Amy Koch did a lot of reading as the scandal broke. She read the letters to the editor. She also read the comments. Never read the comments, she says.

She also read stories of other political sex scandals, searching for a blueprint of what her life would look like moving forward. I wanted to know who survives this who doesnt survive this. How do they approach things? Why does one person come back and another person doesnt? And one thing I noticed, I didnt really find any stories about women politicians. theres women on the other end of these scandals but theres not one where its a woman politician. None that I found.

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While Trump, Petraeus, and Giuliani are inches from the most powerful position in the free world, Amy Koch is just now re-occupying normal. Shes sold the bowling alley in Maple Lake and this year started working full time as a political consultant with a small firm. She appears frequently on the charming Wrong About Everything podcast, a show about Minnesota politics featuring two Democrats and two Republicans who good-naturedly rib each other over beers. Shes been approached about running for office again, and has considered it. Shes not sure yet if thats what she wants to do.

Koch still gets nasty comments about her scandal a couple of times per year, but no longer takes them to heart. She no longer believes that anybody has the perfect life or the perfect marriage. Shes made amends with three of the four men who held the scarlet letter press conference five years ago. One still refuses to speak with her.

The experience also taught the one-time gay marriage foe to evolve in her views.

What the ordeal did for me is it forced me to be crystal clear about why I am a Republican and why I am not, Koch says. I am firmer in my beliefs about the limited role of government and find it easier to reject bad ideas that distract us as a party from that. Regarding the marriage amendment, my experience taught me a simple truth: no one deserves to have their private selves be a part of public debate. That was an immediate lesson. What I have learned since being out of office, and after many conversations with gay friends, is that is exactly what the amendment felt like to them. I understand more fully the contours of their pain, that even though in the end they defeated the amendment, the very fact of their rights being debated was deeply hurtful.

Men like Rudy Giuliani and David Petraeus have the chutzpah to pick themselves up from embarrassing scandal almost immediately and carry on after a perfunctory apology. Women like Amy Koch face a much harsher public response, one that takes years to lead back to the edges of the political arena, much less the West Wing.

Despite their dichotomous ideologies, its hard not to see parallels between Amy Koch and Hillary Clinton. Both women rose to unprecedented levels of achievement in their respective parties. Both were poised to continue their onward/upward trajectories. Both were thwarted by things that David Petraeus also did. Except now David Petraeus is being considered for Secretary of State, while Hillary Clinton hikes endlessly through the woods of Chappaqua, New York and Amy Koch is finally getting back to politics.

Amy Kochs slow comeback, in its own way, makes a tiny crack in a different shade of glass ceiling than the one Hillary Clintons fans so loved to fantasize about shattering. Hillarys, the legend was supposed to go, represented women being allowed to achieve. Amy Kochs represents women being allowed to fail. In order to achieve true equality, women need to be free to be celebrated when theyre just as good as men, and forgiven when theyre just as bad.

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Shannen Doherty Opens Up About Her Cancer Battle: It Tears You Down and Builds You

The star of the TV series Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed spoke with Chelsea Handler for her first late-night sitdown since being diagnosed with breast cancer.”>

Shannen Doherty has been chronicling her battle with cancer on social media for some time now, with multiple postings on Instagram of key moments, including the administration of chemotherapy at a Los Angeles clinic. She has rightly been praised for her brave and positive approach to the devastating disease.

Now, Doherty has given a powerful interview to Chelsea Handler, and the intimate chat aired on the latest episode of Handlers new Netflix series, Chelsea.

At one moment in the interview Handler, who is a friend of Dohertys, breaks down in tears.

Dont cry, Doherty, who is also in tears, tells her.

Chelsea throws her head back and says, I mean all right, hold on a second, fuck.

Doherty, perhaps still best known for her roles on the television series Beverly Hills 90210 and Charmed, as well as the cult films Heathers and Mallrats, is undergoing chemotherapy to try to stop the spread of breast cancer. She was diagnosed in March 2015, but by early 2016 discovered that the cancer had spread to her lymph nodes. She had a mastectomy in May of this year, and will undergo radiotherapy following the completion of her chemo treatments.

She says: I think whats beautiful and hard and interesting about cancer is that it tears you down and builds you, and tears you down and builds you. It remakes you so many different times.

The person I thought I was supposed to be or was going to be or who I thought I was six months ago is now somebody completely different.

And I realize, Wow, I really thought that I was so brave and so gracious this entire time and really I was just hiding.

Doherty has posted extensively on the subject of her cancer on Instagram, inspiring millions of people with her grace and openness in confronting the disease.

One recent posting read, Life has handed us an interesting card with cancer and although we would both prefer to not be faced with such a terrible disease, we must also search for the good. Cancer gives a clarity that is unique.

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Glitch: Netflixs Addictive Supernatural Drama Could Be the Next Stranger Things

At only six episodes long, this stellar Australian supernatural mystery leaves you dazzled and wanting more, much like Netflixs summer hit.


This may be the age of Peak TV, but theres been a negative consequence to the proliferation of binge-watchable shows: Its convinced many showrunners that individual episodes need not be tightly crafted and consistently exciting, because audiences are apt to consume entire seasons in one giant gulp. Thus, its refreshing to report that Netflixs latest original serial, the six-episode Glitch, never suffers from that afflictionand, in fact, is a rare series that leaves so many questions unanswered and threads hanging, it would have been better served by a longer initial run.

Glitch is new only to American audiences, as it originally premiered on Australian television in July 2015although as was recently announced, Netflix has already signed on to not only be its exclusive global home, but to co-produce its (greenlit) second season. Those future installments will be eagerly anticipated by Netflix subscribers who commit to the shows first six episodes, which debuted on the streaming platform on Friday, and which manage the not-inconsiderable feat of expertly teasing supernatural mysteries while maintaining a strict focus on its charactersboth those who are naturally alive, and those who, for unknown reasons, have risen from the dead.

In the small Australian town of Yoorana, six deceased localshailing from various time periodsall decide to crawl out of their cemetery graves one night, much to the astonishment of police sergeant James Hayes (Patrick Brammall), whos even more shocked to see that one of those zombies is his late wife Kate (Emma Booth), who succumbed to breast cancer a couple of years earlier. This turn of events severely freaks James out, and hes further flummoxed by his discovery that none of these revitalized individuals (subsequently dubbed the Risen) can actually leave Yoorana; trying to cross town lines results in bleeding from their eyes, followed by literal disintegration.

In an attempt to come to grips with this phenomenon, and also to keep it secret lest theyre immediately snatched up and taken away for slicing-and-dicing medical experimentation, James teams up with local doctor Elishia McKellar (Genevieve OReilly). Even with her help, however, he finds it increasingly difficult to manage these reanimated people, who despite their blank memories and confusionas well as filthy nakednessdont look like rotting corpses but, instead, like the people they were before they were ravaged by disease and/or death.

If this premise sounds eerily similar to that of ABCs short-lived Resurrection or A&Es equally brief The Returned (itself a remake of the French series Les Revenants), thats because it is, although Glitchwhich is also co-produced by ABCshares its strongest links with two other recent, divisive paranormal programs: Lost and The Leftovers. Like the former, it features a diverse cast of strangers whove been brought together by apparently otherworldly circumstances, and whose backstories are revealedto audiences, and themselvesin stand-alone episodes. And like the latter, its storys foundation is an inexplicable, potentially biblical incident that serves as the backdrop for a more intimate, character-based drama about loss, loyalty, revenge, forgiveness, and redemption.

Those issues come to the fore through the unique circumstances of Glitchs Risen, which include Yooranas first mayor (and wealthy 19th-century wild man) Paddy Fitzgerald (Ned Dennehy), 80s teenage sexpot Kristie Darrow (Hannah Monson), young WWI hero Charlie Thompson (Sean Keenan), violent and angry cipher John Doe (Rodger Corser), and wife and mother Maria Massola (Daniela Farinacci). All of them are consumed with remembering who they were, and how they died, as a means of unearthing some explanation for why theyve returned from the great beyond, and that question looms large over the first few episodes, especially given that James and Elishia are incapable of providing anything close to a convincing theory.

To its detriment, Glitchs recurring, oblique references to nearby Noreguard Pharmaceuticalswith which Elishia has some sort of hidden professional tiessomewhat undercut the shows central what-could-have-caused-this guessing game. Creators Tony Ayres and Louise Fox, though, shrewdly steer clear of giant bombshells, instead opting to layer their material with additional head-scratching elements. The biggest of those concerns Jamess colleague Vic Eastley (Andrew McFarlane), who after finally learning about Yooranas reborn, gets into a car accident and, upon pulling himself out of the wreckage, suddenly sets about on a malevolent mission to find Kate, Charlie, and the rest of their undead cohorts.

More gripping than Vics unnerving enterprise is the predicament of James and Kate, whose ostensibly happy reunion is complicated by the fact that, during the past two years, James got remarried to Kates good friend Sarah (Emily Barclay). Oh, and shes also on the verge of delivering their first child (this, after Kate was incapable of having a kid during her own life). That uniquely screwy love-triangle dynamic is the focus of the fifth (and best) episode, which deftly balances the competing positions of its three charactersall of whom are stuck in an untenable positionas well as provides sturdy opportunities for its capable and compelling lead actors (none of whom are known stateside) to root the crazy action in relatable, thorny emotional terrain.

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Directed by Emma Freeman with confidence if little aesthetic flair, the show conveys its off-the-beaten-path milieus sleepy atmosphere, and its dialogue is peppered with a number of Australian phrases (on the piss, for example) that clearly mark it as an import. So too does a running subplot involving Paddys lineage, though thats also Glitchs weakest element, primarily because it feels driven less by credible character behavior than by a 21st-century desire to make retroactive amends for past historical injustices. Even Dennehys colorful turn as the giant knife-wielding Paddy (and his rapport with Aaron McGraths young kid) cant quite mitigate the sense that his character (who claims to be after redress and restitution) is more of a mouthpiece for modern ideas than a coherently drawn character.

Nonetheless, Glitch refuses to trap itself in any inextricable corners, and its finale arrives so soonreplete with a raft of stakes-raising cliffhangersthat its almost cruel in its refusal to definitively address (much less resolve) its myriad concerns. In this era of drawn-out-to-the-point-of-emaciation streaming efforts like Bloodline and Luke Cage, however, its hard to complain about a tantalizing series that leaves one wanting more.

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One Mississippi: How Tig Notaro Turned Tragedy into TVs Realest New Comedy

The stand-up comedians new Amazon series, based on her real-life story, provides a heartrendingand achingly funnylook at coping with tragedy. “>

Midway through her now-legendary stand-up set at Largo in 2012, Tig Notaro stopped to reflect.

Its weird because with humor, the equation is tragedy plus time equals comedy. I am just at tragedy right now, she deadpanned.

Within four months, she had been diagnosed with pneumonia and clostridium difficile, a potentially fatal infection that ate away at her intestines and put her in a hospital for weeks.

She lived to see her 41st birthdayonly to endure the death of her mother, who tripped over a lamp, hit her head, and fell into an irreversible coma. Not long after the funeral, Notaros girlfriend broke up with her. And then she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy.

It was, to put it lightly, a difficult year.

But on that day at Largo and in the years to come, Notaro found fame in mining humor from grief and the mundane indignities of cancer and death.

Shes been generously open while processing the most hellish year of her life: through fearless stand-up sets showing off her mastectomy scars, a Showtime special, a memoir, and a Netflix documentary, which found the comedian unexpectedly falling in love with, marrying, and trying to conceivethrough in vitro fertilization, despite her still-fragile healthwith writer and actress Stephanie Allynne.

Happily, the couple is now raising newborn twins. And Notaro is now the subject of her most poignant and profound effort yet: Amazons new half-hour comedy One Mississippi.

Prickly, dry, and melancholy-sweet, the six-episode first season loosely re-creates Notaros return to her Mississippi hometown after the death of her mother. There we meet her brother Remy (made into a hapless if cuddly symbol of stalled adulthood by Noah Harpster) and her stepfather Bill (John Rothman, who brilliantly turns his terse, emotionally stilted character into a heartbreaking portrait of suppressed grief).

Notaro plays herself, albeit as a radio host ill-equipped for the burden of taking her mother off life support, battling her own sickness, and reckoning with the startling baggage her flawed and free-spirited parent left behindand the ever-widening gap between who she really was and the beloved images and memories her family clung to for a lifetime.

The result is a sharply written comedy thats moving, hilarious, compassionate, dark, and, while grounded in reality, prone to surreal flights of dreaminessa bit like co-executive producer Louis C.K.s Louie. (In its sometimes-wackiness, it also betrays influence from another executive producer, Diablo Cody, who co-wrote the pilot, then left showrunning duties to Notaro and writer Kate Robin.)

For Notaro, fictionalizing true, traumatic events through a comedic lens is an extension of that processing shes done since 2012. It sneaks up on me all the time, when and how I process, she says, sitting across from me in a New York hotel suite, on her first day away from the twins. Doing this show, I thought because we were fictionalizing so much of it that there wouldnt be too much. But the woman, Rya [Kihlstedt], who plays my mother is my mother.

Her eyes go wide and she shakes her head at the memory. Its not even, like, somebody doing a great job, she says. When she walks on set, I feel like Im interacting with my mother all over again. Even things that I didnt live through, that I just went through on setthats the part that surprised me. That it would be so emotional when it wasnt even re-enacting something. It was just a fabricated moment and I felt like I was with my mother. I had a very emotional experience working with her.

Kihlstedt plays Caroline in dream sequences and flashbacks with a loopy Southern sweetness that fits naturally with what we hear about her: She lived loudly, lovingly, and adventurously, and favored colorful, quasi-psychedelic shirts. All of which makes the sight of her on her deathbed, gasping raggedly for breath hours after doctors turn off the respirator, all the more jarring.

That moment in the pilot perhaps best expresses the shows canniness at finding humor in the mundanity of grief. Tig sits awkwardly at her mothers bedside through one false-alarm last breath after another. The sheer unbearableness drives her to hide in the bathroom, where she calls a nurse and complains that her mother cant breathe (Thats kind of the point, hun).

Dazed, she voices what some viewers might already be thinking: She thought people taken off life support just kind of went to sleep.

There are flashes of absurd imagery: Tig cheerfully wheeling her dead mothers body out to the sound of warm cheers from the entire hospital. Tig and the nurse cracking up in raucous laughter after Caroline flatlines and Tig asks, What now? Do I just leave?

Its gruesome and, yes, heartbreakingbut its also deeply funny on a basic, relatable level.

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I really dont know if I would have known how to make a show any other way, Notaro says. I like the real and the dramatic element of it. That really speaks to me. But I also love silliness, and I like that there is silliness in the breaks from reality. I can go to both places and I feel like its the most real and authentic tone for me.

What I love about the show is people can feel like they know my story and they know where its gonna go, she continues. And thats been the fun part because its not a memoir, its not a documentary. Characters are based on people or not based on people. So its been nice to present storylines and characters and ideas and then have the writers room just run with it.

Perhaps the seasons most powerful image comes when Tig, whom weve watched painstakingly avoid looking down whenever changing out of her clothes, stand in front of a mirror. After a beat of hesitation, she lifts her shirt and stares unflinchingly at the scars on her chest. Notaro has done the same, albeit more triumphantly, in stand-up sets before. But doing it here, she says, was a window to a much more vulnerable time.

The TV show [moment] is more representative of the real-life moment, because it really took me a long time to look at my body and be OK with myself, she says. When I took my shirt off in stand-up, even though that was part of the process and healing, I had way more confidence and security in myself and my body.

Whereas in the private moment in life, I was still very scared to look at my body. And I think I just wanted to show that, yeah, people see me on TV and in stand-up and interviews, but in the private, quiet momentthere was way more to getting to where I am now.

One Mississippi coincides with a wave of new shows, including Ava DuVernays Queen Sugar and Donald Glovers Atlanta, that capture the American South with nuance and specificity. For Notarowho married Allynne in an idyllic hometown ceremony filled with friends, family and neighborsthe show was an opportunity to bring her Mississippi, one far removed from regressive bathroom laws and other anti-LGBT discrimination, to television.

I have so many fond memories of Mississippi and my family and my experiences, she says. The openness and love and all that is what I think of when I think of Mississippi, and its so beautiful.

A lot of times people do think its just a bunch of barefoot, backwards people, she continues, and of course thats there, but its also in upstate New York, its everywhere. I wanted to show the world I come from, where my sexuality, my everything is a non-issue. Im not saying we wont show other sides, but my Mississippi is not what people have come to know.

She and Allynne still visit several times a year, she says. Motherhood has kept them busyand exhaustedbut she laughs when I ask how its going, her tone a pre-emptive apology for all the clich things shes about to say.

Its all the amazing things. Its the best time, its the best experience, its the most important thing, she says. Its exhausting. Last night was the first time I slept through the night in two months. Of course Im happy to be here doing this, but it was the first time I had to leave them

She trails off, heaving a sigh and lifting her hands helplessly. Theyre just these big blobs and it was beyond weird, it was painful to leave. I felt bad leaving Stephanie But yeah, I went to sleep at 9:30 last night and got up at 8:30. She grins, guiltily. It felt good.

Its so weird because every day I wake up and Im like, I am alive, she says. I am healthy, as far as I know, I am happy. I dont have any want in the world and that wasnt the case [four years ago]. I thought I was gonna be dead. I had pneumonia, C. diff, and cancer at the same time.

A friend of mine and I were talking about this recently. If this were 50 years ago, I would have been dead. You can die from all three of those things. Its definitely weird.

She stops again to reflect. I think about it every day.

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The NBA Picked Trans People Over Money

By canceling the 2017 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, the league may have just made the gutsiest move by a pro sports outfit in decades. “>

The NBA spent the last several months making direct threats to North Carolina legislators insisting it would move the 2017 All-Star Gameand the $100 million in local business that would come with itif the state didnt change HB2, a bill that would allow transgender North Carolinians to use the bathroom.

In April, the league gave the state 30 days to change the bill. It never did, assuming the league would never call its bluff and eat a large sum of cash.

Well, on Thursday, Commissioner Adam Silver did just that. He called its bluff. There will be no All-Star Game in Charlotte because the state legislature decided not allowing transgender North Carolinians to use the bathroom was more important than $100 million, and because Adam Silver has guts and a conscience.

Theres no other explanation. The NBA just lost a bunch of money. North Carolina lost a ton more of it, and its tourism board now has the task of convincing visitors that the state isnt run by bigots who dont want their cash.

Other American sports leagues will stand firmly behind whichever politically advantageous cause will make them the most money.

If thats what the NBA is trying to pull right now, its not doing a very good job at it. Its just doing a good job of standing up for a tiny portion of its audiencetransgender people who might need to go to the bathroom at one of their games, but cant because of a discriminatory law.

Moving the All-Star Game cost the league real money. Estimates from the city of Charlotte itself say the lease of Time Warner Cable Arena for the weekend cost $1.6 million alone, plus another million for the use of the Charlotte Convention Center over the weekend. The city paid out $750,000 to the NBA for a hosting fee, which it will now presumably get back.

The NBA elevated the league and its standing in a future American society over a few million dollars on Thursday. Would any other major professional sports league do that?

The NFL, for one, feigns support for rote, unobjectionable political causes that have no chance at negatively impacting its bottom line, but scoffs at anything that could cost it cash.

You might remember those pink NFL armbands that support breast cancer awareness. In 2013, ESPNs Darren Rovell revealed that only $11.25 of every $100 spent on the corresponding pink NFL merchandise sold in stores went to a cancer charity.

Those field-length American flag shows and Sam the Eagle-style military tributes before Thanksgiving Day games? Those were initially paid for by the militaryabout three-quarters of a million dollars worthuntil the league got caught accepting money from the Pentagon and gave it all back.

Last year, when Cam Hayward wanted to pay tribute to his father, who had died the week before, by writing his dads nickname on his eyeblack, the league fined him $11,576 for a uniform violation.

And the same week Roger Goodell successfully won powers to levy fines and suspensions like that unilaterally in a federal case over underinflated footballs, Adam Silver was the first commissioner of a major American sports league to march in New York Citys Gay Pride Parade.

Now Silver has some carnage to clean up. The Charlotte Hornets have struggled with attendance since their inception. After years of sagging attendance, a Charlotte NBA franchise already bolted in 2002 to New Orleans, where the 2017 All-Star Game is fittingly likely headed. This wont help any of that, and it might even throw the league and team into an adversarial relationship with the city.

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Well, good.

Threats by other leagues to take their multimillion-dollar balls and go to a state where prejudice isnt written into the lawthose previously went unheeded. Charlotte is now $100 million poorer because its state government didnt want some basketball fans to use a public bathroom.

Those threats wont go unheeded anymore.

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Is it cancer? Diagnosing yourself online is about to get easier

People often search for their symptoms, but the right diagnosis can be hard to find. Google and Microsoft are working on ways to improve things

When Liz Jurcik of Seattle felt a sharp pain in her side and back in January of 2013, she didnt think much about it.

Jurcik, a 31-year-old human resources professional at Boeing, ran regularly and was in good shape. She thought it was probably a strained muscle from a workout. But the pain got worse, and by early February she could barely stand up. I had the absolutely worst pain in my life, she said. I couldnt stand up straight.

Like most people, Jurcik Googled her symptoms. She typed upper left abdominal pain into the search engine. I learned all about gall stones, and ulcers and gas pain, she said.

It became so painful that she called her mother, a nurse, who urged her to go to the emergency room. She was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. My doctor said, the good news is youre going to be OK. The bad news is, youre going to die before you turn 38 if you dont have it taken out.

Jurcik feels lucky she caught her cancer when she did. But she still feels that the online information she looked at did not serve her well. Nowhere in any of the literature did it say a tumor may have caused this.

There is no shortage of health information available online. More than half of Americans look up health information on the internet, and more than a third try to diagnose themselves or others with it, according to the Pew Research Center. Yet studies have found that much of the information online is incorrect or out of date; Harvard researchers analyzed 23 online symptom checkers and found that they produced an accurate diagnosis as the first result just 34% of the time.

Another problem is that it can be difficult for people without a healthcare background to distinguish between multiple conditions with similar symptoms. Because of this, tech companies including Microsoft and Google are looking for ways to improve the power of health search tools.

Symptom search made better

In June, Google announced it was partnering with Harvard Medical School and Mayo Clinic to launch a symptom search feature. Health content on the web can be difficult to navigate, and tends to lead people from mild symptoms to scary and unlikely conditions, which can cause unnecessary anxiety and stress, said Google product manager Veronica Pinchin in a statement. The symptom search feature will give you an overview description along with information on self-treatment options and what might warrant a doctors visit. Google creates its list of symptoms by looking for health conditions mentioned in web results, and then checking them against high-quality medical information weve collected from doctors.

Microsoft researchers have been using search to test predictive algorithms. With millions of patients making many millions of health-related searches with similar terms, huge troves of powerful data are being created. Researchers are using these pools of big data to mine for information in search of new tools to help find ways to screen and identify disease and other health risks earlier.

Its not uncommon for patients to jump to the conclusion that they have a life threatening illness from a common symptom. Eric Horvitz, technical fellow and managing director at Microsoft Research, calls this phenomenon cyberchondria. Humans generally have a poor ability to understand the probability of events, and websites are fairly poor at communicating them. To make things worse, search tends to push the scary rare disease higher and as a result youre much more likely to think you have a rare disease.

Speaking from the International Conference on Machine Learning in New York, Horvitz explained that he wants search engines to realize when someone is using it as a diagnostic tool so that it can then, through probability, hone in on and explain the most moste likely conditions.

Horvitz began his work at Stanford University as a medical student in the 1980s with a deep interest in the foundations of thinking. But his interest in nervous systems gave way to an interest in artificial intelligence. At Microsoft he uses computers to find patterns in data people unwittingly provide through search and other data sources, such aslarge-scaleelectronic health records.

His latest study was inspired by loss. A close friend called him. He told me he had this weird itching all over his body, and that he had some yellow in his eyes, Horvitz said. Having studied medicine, Horvitz knew that thesecould be symptoms of pancreatic cancer, and told his friend to talk to a doctor about them. He was soon diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Horvitz began to think about how people tend to whisper all sorts of concerns into web searches. People dont talk about dark urine, or strange back pains, or losing weight for no reason in public, he said. If you had access to millions of search records can you use machine learning to identify patterns?

He found that you can. In a study published in early June, Horvitz and his colleagues identified queries that provided strong evidence of a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer. They then used machine learning to identify searches by the same group months earlier by combining patterns of symptoms used in searches, and other information seen in the logs over time. They found they could predict significant fractions of those searchers with pancreatic cancer based on their earlier searches.

These results suggest that predictive modeling may be able to help screen for diseases early enough to improve outcomes and not just for pancreatic cancer. Horvitz and his colleagues have also used search and social media data to identify pregnant women at risk of postpartum depression before they give birth, and to predict a likely stage of breast cancer.

Russ Altman, a doctor and director of the Biomedical Informatics Training Program at Stanford, used big data to identify drug interactions among patients taking multiple drugs. One pair of drugs, a common statin and antidepressant, raised glucose levels high enough to cause a diagnosis of diabetes in some patients. Altman then teamed up with Horvitz and his colleagues who used search analysis to show that people were signaling symptoms of hyperglycemia through their web searches. There have since been discussions with the FDA about developing tools to monitor the internet for signs of multiple drug interactions.

Privacy concerns

Horvitz and Altman note that these studies are promising but exploratory, and that the methods need to be validated in clinical trials. And thats no small thing. Googles Flu Trends tool, introduced to wide acclaim in 2008, looked like a promising epidemiological method to predict the spread of seasonal influenza. But it failed to predict the spread of flu in 2013, and was discontinued.

We should be thinking about how to bring this data to patients, says Altman. Horvitzs team is exploring how the technology can be usedto do valuablescreening while protecting users private health information. We could build filters or auto pattern recognizers from this large-scale anonymized data that feeds into apps for your smartphone that would work in complete privacy, Horvitz suggests.

Such tools might eventually work in tandem with electronic medical records behind a secure wall, and incorporate the biological data people collect from their own personal health devices, like a Fitbit, to fine tune and personalize the analytical power. Perhaps by combining the data with that from electronic medical records, or genetic testing, this technology can learn more and more about an individual and provide targeted health information to each of us and our doctors. Or at least those of us who choose to opt in.

There are very real privacy and ethical concerns. Lee Tien, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says that he is worried about personal biomedical data being opened up for this kind of research. Big data about rocks or stars or the moon is just ethically different from big data that comes from, and is thus about, people. The human, biographical aspect of data is effaced by just calling it data. He suggests we think carefully before weakening any privacy protections in search of an uncertain benefit.

Its unethical to not do everything we can with our resources, Horvitz says. Altman agrees, I believe it would be a tragedy if the privacy people who are for putting everything in a lock box win. It would slow down medical discovery.

Some tools are already in development. Prescription drug plans use big data to predict which patients are likely to skip medications and alert them when its time to take a pill. Hospitals are developing ways to predict which patients are most likely to be readmitted, to direct resources to prevent those poor outcomes. Epidemiologists are using social network data to track food born illnesses and other infections.

Jurcik welcomes the pancreatic cancer finding. Now 35 and working in human resources at Providence Health and Services, she has become a volunteer for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to get the word out for early detection. She says because this cancer has many unrelated early symptoms, and strikes so quickly, any tool that helps people connect the dots earlier might be lifesaving.

I dont think theres anything better to do as patients than to come in to the doctor knowing what questions to ask.

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Chelsea Handler: Im More Than Just Funny


Chelsea Handler is tired of being funny.

Well, shes tired of having to be only funny. She wants to be serious and inquisitive. She wants to inspire and educate. She wants to get smarter and look stupid. Sure, she wants to be funny. But she also wants to be more.

Im a stand-up comedian and thats how I became successful, Handler tells The Daily Beast. Im always expected to be funny because of the way I positioned myself in my career. Thats what people want from you. I want to do that, but I also want to have another layer. Everyone has more than one thing to offer.

The tough, snarky exterior that we associated with Handler after her seven years hosting E!s Chelsea Lately started to peel away with her four-part docuseries Chelsea Does, which premiered on Netflix in January. As Handler traveled the world to explore issues of race, marriage, drugs, and technology, she revealed more of herself than ever before.

A lot of people loved Chelsea Handler before Chelsea Does. A lot of people didnt. But at least, after the series premiered, they were starting to get to know the real her.

Just by the way it reaches the world, Chelsea bucks tradition.

Its a show that debuts three new episodes each week at 12:01 PT every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, and, because theyre hosted on a streaming service known for binge-watching, arent necessarily meant to be appointment viewing. Chelsea Lately is now Chelsea Anytime You Want.

I dont know if you binge-watch a talk show! Handler says, when asked how she thinks people will watch her series. I dont know how that works.

Were talking just hours after the third and final episode of her first week on Netflix launched. Like the rest of the entertainment industry attempting to figure out how exactly a late-night talk show on a streaming service works, Handler is in a curious, learn-as-she-goes state of mind about Chelsea.

When I look on Twitter people are watching the show in the morning and Im like, Oh no! I dont want you to watch my show in the morning, she says. And then Im like, Who gives a shit? What do I care? Its streaming so it can be whenever you want to watch.

Her sisters had actually forwarded her a tweet from two teen girls who skipped school to watch the first episodes together. Im like, You dont have to skip school! You can watch it later. What are you doing?

The first three episodes leaned heavily on what Handler learned filming Chelsea Does. The shows were themed around certain issues. The premiere trumpeted the idea that this show would double as the college education Handler never had. And Netflix is giving me a free ride! she joked.

Her first guest was U.S. Secretary of Education John Kingnot your typical first-night booking. Episode 2 featured Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Anderson, curator of TED Talks, discussing startup culture and how they can lead to change. Filmed segments and sketches come and go in between, revealing the rebellious format of this new late-night show: this really isnt one. 

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Oh, its a huge relief, Handler sighs, looking back at her first week and the show finally getting off the ground nearly two years after her deal with Netflix was announced

(Also a relief: a brief respite from being asked what its like to be a woman in late night. People are still asking me that, she says. And Im not answering it anymore.)

Its so annoying to have to try to describe a show to somebody, she continues. Especially a talk show. Its like, how am I supposed to describe it? You have to show it. So its a huge relief to have the first week under our belts so we can just dive into it and have fun with it and get my message out there about what I want to do. Now its happening, so Im happy.

The fast-talking, stream-of-consciousness Handler takes a rare reflective pause: Im so into it. Im into it. Finally, Im into something.

Handler has never been shy about feeling constrained, even bored, by her time dishing about the Kardashians and quipping her way through six-minute celebrity promo interviews on Chelsea Lately. In her farewell episode, she referred to the show as seven years of ridiculous stupidity. 

It was tongue-in-cheek, of course. Well, mostly.

She cleansed her palate with Chelsea Does, which was born as much out of frustration as it was ambition.

I didnt realize how little people knew of me, she says. You just assume when youre on TV every night that people know what kind of person you are. But all I was doing on [Chelsea Lately] was telling people when to talk, when to shut up, making fun of things, and being snarky. Obviously thats not who I am completely. I am many more things.

Chelsea Does showed off her desire to learn, and in doing so revealed all of the intelligence, compassion, love, fear, ambivalence, pain, and pride that many fans didnt know existedall with the same provocative sense of humor that weve grown accustomed to. 

In Chelsea Does Race, Handler traveled to the Deep South to uncover lingering racial tension, patrolled the U.S.-Mexico border, traveled to Israel, and tackled our culture of political correctness by facing a firing squad of propriety police featuring representatives from the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, and other organizations to glean what they find offensive and why.

Chelsea Does Marriage found Handler confronting her own resistance to settling down and getting married and showcased her pride in making it to 40 while resisting the traditional trajectory of having a family. Chelsea Does Drugs found her grappling with lingering feelings over her brothers death and her mothers terminal battle with breast cancer, not to mentioning sampling ayahuasca for the first time.

And all of the personal discoveries were colored by interviews both with top experts in those fields and also everyday people whose lives are affected by the issues she was exploring.

Chelsea continues to delve into what Chelsea Does scratched the surface of. I just want to be a better educator, a better person, and all of these things that go along with growing up, Handler says of her goal for the show. But still be incredibly stupid while doing it. 

The result is a talk show that seems to be a bridge between the late-night format that were familiar with and the cultural anthropology Handler conducted on Chelsea Does. Shes insistent that her show isnt tied to any kind of structure, and will be different each night as the guests and topic dictates.

And while she has celebrity guests onGwyneth Paltrow and Drew Barrymore appeared in the premiere week, and Gwen Stefani will be a guest in week twothey are there to bounce off these lessons that Handler is learning, and not to plug (at least not overtly) their new projects.

I just made a real effort that I dont want to have the nyuk-nyuk laugh-laugh every two seconds, Handler says. It can be weightier.

Before she goes out to film each episode, she reminds herself that she doesnt need to lean on humor. Its my go-to safety net, like saying fuck or something, she says. I dont want to rely on laughs to make the show.

Its an adjustment, and theres a little bit of fear entering that space, she says. But theres also a self-confidence. I have the funny down, she says. I want to do more than that.

Based on the first few episodes of Chelsea and Handlers premiere sermon about using the show as the college education I never got, The Daily Beast called the talk show Handlers war on stupidity

Part of that is because of her lofty desire to not just entertain, but to teach and even inspire with her seriesand to do it not from a point of view satirizing the news, or even getting mad-as-hell about it. Shes doing it from a place from of questioning, and without being afraid of looking stupid while doing it. 

You cant be stupid when youre asking questions, Handler says. Im always trying to learn and figure stuff out and be a better human being: be more compassionate, be more elegant, be nicer to people, dont be biting, dont be mean.

Over the course of her career, shes found that her set of goals have shifted. Shes been given this platform at Netflix, and the spotlight that comes with being the first talk show host on a streaming service. And she wants to use it for good.

Yeah, Im an idiot sometimes, she says. But Im also not an idiot sometimes. Were all a bunch of things. The important thing is to keep asking questions.

When she set a mission statement for her show, she sat her staff down and said that she wants it to be messy, to seem real.

All of TV is about everybody looking perfect, she says. Im not perfect. So lets get messy.

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