That's Meth Up

I know this is going to come across completely ignorant, because while I know crystal meth is bad for you (a little fact I picked up by watching Six Feet Under and Geraldo), I had no idea that it mucked up your teeth this much! The pic to the left is of The Pogues' singer Shane MacGowan's distinctive smile, which is often attributed to his use of the drug. So, what causes meth mouth? It's supposedly due to the corrosive acids used to produce the substance, and whether meth is smoked, snorted, eaten, or injected, its effect on smiles is pretty apparent (it's characterized by brown or black cracked teeth and severe gum disease). And because the teeth are literally rotting in the mouth, the odor of meth user's breath is said to resemble "decaying carcasses." Delish.

Of course, Wikipedia doesn't give all the credit for MacGowan's smile to meth. Here are some of the other reasons it claims his kisser looks that way:

  • Lack of brushing
  • Drunken fights in which he has been on the losing side
  • Alleged police brutality in the late 1970s
  • LSD-- MacGowan's former girlfriend Victoria Clarke, once claimed that he had further damaged his teeth by eating a copy of the Beach Boys Greatest Hits vol. 3 LP whilst under the influence...

Click here for more on MacGowan. Thanks Adam and John!

10 Rad Gifts for Hikers

Greg Rosenke/Unsplash
Greg Rosenke/Unsplash

The popularity of bird-watching, camping, and hiking has skyrocketed this year. Whether your gift recipients are weekend warriors or seasoned dirtbags, they'll appreciate these tools and gear for getting most out of their hiking experience.

1. Stanley Nesting Two-Cup Cookset; $14

Amazon

Stanley’s compact and lightweight cookset includes a 20-ounce stainless steel pot with a locking handle, a vented lid, and two insulated 10-ounce tumblers. It’s the perfect size for brewing hot coffee, rehydrating soup, or boiling water while out on the trail with a buddy. And as some hardcore backpackers note in their Amazon reviews, your favorite hiker can take the tumblers out and stuff the pot with a camp stove, matches, and other necessities to make good use of space in their pack.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Osprey Sirrus and Stratos 24-Liter Hiking Packs; $140

Amazon

Osprey’s packs are designed with trail-tested details to maximize comfort and ease of use. The Sirrus pack (pictured) is sized for women, while the Stratos fits men’s proportions. Both include an internal sleeve for a hydration reservoir, exterior mesh and hipbelt pockets, an attachment for carrying trekking poles, and a built-in rain cover.

Buy them: Amazon, Amazon

3. Yeti Rambler 18-Ounce Bottle; $48

Amazon

Nothing beats ice-cold water after a summer hike or a sip of hot tea during a winter walk. The Yeti Rambler can serve up both: Beverages can stay hot or cold for hours thanks to its insulated construction, and its steel body (in a variety of colors) is basically indestructible. It will add weight to your hiker's pack, though—for a lighter-weight, non-insulated option, the tried-and-true Camelbak Chute water bottle is incredibly sturdy and leakproof.

Buy it: Amazon

4. Mappinners Greatest 100 Hikes of the National Parks Scratch-Off Poster; $30

Amazon

The perfect gift for park baggers in your life (or yourself), this 16-inch-by-20-inch poster features epic hikes like Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park and Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. Once the hike is complete, you can scratch off the gold foil to reveal an illustration of the park.

Buy it: Amazon

5. National Geographic Adventure Edition Road Atlas; $19

Amazon

Hikers can use this brand-new, updated road atlas to plan their next adventure. In addition to comprehensive maps of all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico, they'll get National Geographic’s top 100 outdoor destinations, useful details about the most popular national parks, and points on the maps noting off-the-beaten-path places to explore.  

Buy it: Amazon

6. Adventure Medical Kits Hiker First-Aid Kit; $25

Amazon

This handy 67-piece kit is stuffed with all the things you hope your hiker will never need in the wilderness. Not only does it contain supplies for pain, cuts and scrapes, burns, and blisters (every hiker’s nemesis!), the items are organized clearly in the bag to make it easy to find tweezers or an alcohol wipe in an emergency.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Hiker Hunger Ultralight Trekking Poles; $70

Amazon

Trekking poles will help increase your hiker's balance and stability and reduce strain on their lower body by distributing it to their arms and shoulders. This pair is made of carbon fiber, a super-strong and lightweight material. From the sweat-absorbing cork handles to the selection of pole tips for different terrain, these poles answer every need on the trail. 

Buy it: Amazon

8. Leatherman Signal Camping Multitool; $120

Amazon

What can’t this multitool do? This gadget contains 19 hiking-friendly tools in a 4.5-inch package, including pliers, screwdrivers, bottle opener, saw, knife, hammer, wire cutter, and even an emergency whistle.

Buy it: Amazon

9. RAVPower Power Bank; $24

Amazon

Don’t let your hiker get caught off the grid with a dead phone. They can charge RAVPower’s compact power bank before they head out on the trail, and then use it to quickly juice up a phone or tablet when the batteries get low. Its 3-inch-by-5-inch profile won’t take up much room in a pack or purse.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Pack of Four Indestructible Field Books; $14

Amazon

Neither rain, nor snow, nor hail will be a match for these waterproof, tearproof 3.5-inch-by-5.5-inch notebooks. Your hiker can stick one in their pocket along with a regular pen or pencil to record details of their hike or brainstorm their next viral Tweet.

Buy it: Amazon

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Common Misconceptions About Depression

Justin Dodd, ready to debunk mental illness myths.
Justin Dodd, ready to debunk mental illness myths.
Mental Floss, YouTube

Contrary to what so many stock photos seem to indicate, depression doesn’t always cause you to stare gloomily out a rainy window or sit in an empty corner with your head in your hands. It’s also not “all in your head” in a way that you can simply snap out of, though it does technically exist in your brain.

In short, there are a lot of misconceptions about depression—and on this episode of Misconceptions, Mental Floss’s Justin Dodd is debunking some of the most prevalent ones. Speaking of prevalence: The condition itself is quite a bit more common than you may think. According to the World Health Organization, more than 264 million people suffer from depression. And while antidepressants aren’t exactly a cure, they can definitely alleviate its symptoms (without altering your personality or curbing your creativity).

Stigmas surrounding mental illness are heavily based on a lack of understanding, so we’re hoping this video can help break down inaccuracies and encourage acceptance. Press play below to learn more.

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