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Seasonal allergies could be affecting your pets

The weather in some parts of the country is not helping people with allergies, and your pets could also be feeling the effects of the high pollen (and other allergens) count. 

>> Read more trending news 

Pets are often sniffling grass, other pets and the ground. They are also much closer to where the allergens can sit, so they could be more exposed to more allergens, such as pollen. 

>> On More weather facts and hacks

Just like humans, dogs and cats can sneeze, get watery eyes and runny noses. Allergies can make these symptoms worse. According to the Humane Society, dogs often express pollen allergy symptoms by itching. The pollen gets on their fur, makes its way down to their skin and irritates it. 

>> On Interactive: Common medications used to treat your cough

Here are some ways to help your pet cope with seasonal allergies:

  • Consult your veterinarian to make sure the irritation on the skin is not something worse. Your veterinarian can prescribe allergy medicine if needed. 
  • Try to limit activities outdoors, especially in the morning, when pollen levels are the highest.
  • After a walk, wash or wipe your pet's face and paws a wet towel. Just like in humans, the pollen can be washed out. 
  • When you bathe your pets, use warm water when applying shampoo and cool water to wash it off. Cold water helps with the itching. 

Google’s new AI can look into your eyes and predict heart attack risk

Researchers from Google and sibling company Verily Life Sciences have developed a new algorithm using artificial intelligence to predict the risk of heart attack, stroke and other major cardiovascular events.

How does it work? Through the eyes.

» RELATED: Google launches 10,000-person study to predict how and when people get sick

Scientists studied data from 284,335 patients and found the “deep-learning” AI algorithm could identify risk factors based on age, blood pressure, gender, smoking status and others just by scanning the individuals’ retinas.

“The rear interior wall of the eye (the fundus) is chock-full of blood vessels that reflect the body’s overall health,” the Verge reported. “By studying their appearance with camera and microscope, doctors can infer things like an individual’s blood pressure, age, and whether or not they smoke, which are all important predictors of cardiovascular health.”

» RELATED: Google's AI push comes with plenty of people problems

Google’s AI was able to differentiate patients who suffered a major cardiac event in the following five years and those who didn’t with a 70 percent accuracy

>> Read more trending news 

"While doctors can typically distinguish between the retinal images of patients with severe high blood pressure and normal patients, our algorithm could go further to predict the systolic blood pressure within 11 mmHg on average for patients overall, including those with and without high blood pressure," lead author Lily Peng wrote in a Google blog.

» RELATED: Bullied, abused children and teens at higher risk of heart disease, study says

Medical algorithms are traditionally created to redesign experiments to test hypotheses made from observations. But this algorithm found new ways to analyze existing medical data.

“With enough data, it’s hoped that artificial intelligence can then create entirely new medical insight without human direction,” the Verge reported.

» RELATED: Just one cigarette can up your chance for heart disease and stroke, study says

This technology would make it more efficient for doctors to analyze cardiac risk without a blood test, which typically predicts events with 72 percent accuracy. But more tests are necessary before the AI can be used in a clinical setting.

“We look forward to developing and testing our algorithm on larger and more comprehensive datasets. To make this useful for patients, we will be seeking to understand the effects of interventions such as lifestyle changes or medications on our risk predictions and we will be generating new hypotheses and theories to test,” Peng wrote.

The research was published Monday in the journal “Biomedical Engineering.”

A “Simpsons” animator just revealed that Scratchy could’ve been Smithers’ cat

“The Simpsons” is one of the greatest TV shows ever made. It’s not even up for debate.

Sure, it lost its way sometime in the late ’90s and probably should have ended at the same time as the decade, but seasons 3-9 are pretty much perfect. The writers and animators went on a streak that has yet to be matched in the world of TV comedy writing. They created some of the most hilarious moments ever to conceived and propelled the show into Planet Earth’s pop-culture canon for the rest of time.

That’s why it’s so great when the writers animators from the show’s heyday take to social media to share behind-the-scenes insight from the show’s glory days.

Animator David Silverman recently took to Twitter to share a few drawings and sketches from the from a 1995 writers’ retreat for the show. The images feature some ideas that never made it to air, as well as early designs for episodes that would take a few years to get made.

One of the most interesting sketches is the one which shows the early ideas the writers had for “The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase,” from the show’s eighth season. “Simpsons” fan will know that “Chief Wiggum, P.I.” and the Simpsons’ variety hour eventually made it into the episode, but a spin-off featuring Smithers, Milhouse and Scratchy the cat (from the cartoon-within-a-cartoon, “Itchy and Scratchy,”) did not. Sadly.

Another sketch from Winter ‘95 writers retreat (@thatbilloakley & @Joshstrangehill show runners). Ken Keebler suggested what became the Simpsons Spin-off Showcase (5/11/97). Note that “Smithers & Co.” became “The Love-magic Grampa.” — David Silverman (@tubatron) February 19, 2018

Obviously, nothing that happened in that episode was canon. So there’s no way that Scratchy being Smithers’ cat would have been anything more than a fleeting gag. But it would’ve been very interesting none-the-less.

Here’s a few more of Silverman’s images:

Sketchbook drawings from @TheSimpsons writers’ retreat winter 1995. Notice my first drawings of Grimey. — David Silverman (@tubatron) February 16, 2018 Another sketch from that Dec. ‘95 writers retreat. This became LISA THE SIMPSON aired much later 3/8/98. Goes to show how some ideas sit on the shelf. — David Silverman (@tubatron) February 21, 2018

And yeah, that is Homer pretending to be a Muppet:;

Yes, but I cannot recall why. Was it an illustration of a pitched idea, or was my pen wandering? “I don’t know.” — David Silverman (@tubatron) February 21, 2018

RELATED: Man shares fake phone screen full of text messages, and we can relate

The show was so influential that many of its most memorable scenes still exist in cultural lexicon.

One such scene is the infamous “Steamed Hams” scene from the episode “22 Short Films About Springfield,” which originally aired on April 14, 1996 and was the twenty-first episode of the show’s seventh season.

The episode features a series of short skits, each showing a brief slice of life in Springfield after Bart Simpson, in a somewhat meta moment, ponders if anything interesting happens to the other residents of Springfield.

One of these skits revolves around Bart’s longtime target of ridicule, Seymour Skinner, the principal of Springfield Elementary. In the scene, chaos ensues when Skinner welcomes his boss Superintendent Chalmers to his home for dinner.

When Skinner inadvertently burns his roast before his guest arrives, he concocts a plan to disguise fast food from the Krusty Burger across the street as his own cooking.

It’s almost impossible to do the scene justice in writing, so you’ll just have to watch it:

Despite initially airing 22 years ago, the scene recently went viral after being meme’d on Reddit and YouTube.

The greatest minds of the internet have re-imagined the scene in various ways, like in the style of the video game Minecraft, a Guitar Hero cover and evoking the imagery of a David Lynch film, but one artist has really raised the bar.

An artist known as ARTFONPRO has rendered the scene as though it were a segment in the the 1991 “Simpsons” arcade game produced by Konami — and they’ve absolutely nailed it.

Just look at those beautiful pixels (or lack thereof.)

Steamed Hams but it's the arcade game from 1991. #pixelart #SteamedHams #Memes — ARTFONPRO – Comms Open!! (@ArtFon1987) January 21, 2018

Florida beach named nation's best in TripAdvisor Travelers' Choice awards

A Florida beach has been named the nation's best in TripAdvisor's annual Travelers' Choice awards.

>> See the full rankings here

The travel website announced Tuesday that Clearwater Beach was the best in the U.S. in 2018, climbing from No. 4 in 2017. The beach also topped the national list in 2016. 

>> Read more trending news 

Meanwhile, Grace Bay in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, took the award for the best beach worldwide.

>> Click here or scroll down to see which other beaches made the lists

Use a little science lesson to put this eye-popping bar trick on ice

This next Bar Trick may take you back to high school science class — in a good way!

Challenge your friends to lift an ice cube out of a glass of water with a piece of string. They’re not allowed to touch the water itself.

Watch the video

RELATED: Flip over an open can of liquid without spilling a single drop

Do they know what to do? They’ll probably never see the answer coming!

To pull this off, you’ll need a glass of water, an ice cube, a piece of string, and a secret ingredient…

Looking for more bar tricks?  Start here .

Women may be mistaking ovarian cancer symptoms for bloating, study says

According to a new research, women may be suffering from ovarian cancer without even knowing it.

>> On Jury hands down record award in lawsuit linking talcum powder use and ovarian cancer

A study completed by Target Ovarian Cancer (TOC) shared Monday found that instead of visiting a physician after feeling symptoms including bloating and fullness, women are more likely to simply change their diets. By just switching to eating probiotic yogurts or leaving out gluten from their diets, women are putting themselves at risk, because persistent bloating can be a sign of ovarian cancer. According to TOC, ovarian cancer symptoms include a bloated stomach, more frequent urination, continued feelings of fullness and stomach pain.

>> Read more trending news 

The research, which took place in the United Kingdom, found that 50 percent of women opted to change their diets, while only 34 percent would see their doctors over concerns about bloating. Additionally, women over age 55, who have a higher risk of developing ovarian cancer, were more likely to look up their symptoms online instead of seeing a professional.

After TOC published the findings online, one woman responded with a story of her own mother, who had believed her symptoms of ovarian cancer were caused by Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) or urinary tract infections.

>> On Julia Louis-Dreyfus has defiant message for cancer in post-surgery Instagram photo

The newly released report is meant to raise awareness for the disease, which, according to the American Cancer Society, is the fifth-ranking cause of death among women. Women have a 1 in 79 chance of developing ovarian cancer and a 1 in 108 risk of dying as a result, although the rate of women being diagnosed with it has fallen over the past two decades.

Visit the 4 spookiest ghost towns in the United States — if you dare

They’re littered all along America’s highways — towns that were once thriving but, for whatever reason, have been abandoned.

Sometimes, residents move on due to lack of opportunity. But in other instances, they’re driven away by unforeseen forces, leaving spooky stories in their wake.

Watch the video

RELATED: 7 famous haunted houses where you can spend the night

Here are four of the country’s scariest ghost towns. Care to pay a visit?

1. Cahaba, Ala.

Believe it or not, Cahaba (formerly known as Cahawba) used to be Alabama’s capital. In fact, from 1820 to 1826, it was the state’s first capital city. But now, there’s little left to remind us of its prominent history.

Alabama’s capital was later moved to Tuscaloosa. Cahaba suffered a devastating flood in the 1860s, which forced most residents to leave. By 1900, it was essentially abandoned.

Located just 14 miles southwest of Selma, Cahaba is now more of an archaeological site than a town. But there’s plenty to tempt explorers, including a 200-year-old slave cemetery, the ruins of several stately Southern mansions, and even a gorgeous Gothic church, St. Luke’s.

2. Bodie, Calif.

It’s a story that played out time and time again across the Golden State — bustling gold rush towns left to the dust as soon as the prospectors packed up and headed home.

Bodie is one such “boomtown,” a place where nearly $34 million worth of gold was discovered. The last residents moved away more than 50 years ago, and Bodie is now a state park that’s been “preserved in a ‘state of arrested decay.'”

Today, the town, which is northeast of Yosemite National Park and very close to the Nevada border, has roughly 100 structures and welcomes visitors year-round, although its high elevation means it’s only accessible by skis, snowshoes, or snowmobiles during the winter.

3. Boston Mills, Ohio

When your city is nicknamed “Helltown,” it’s bound to have a good ghost story or two.

The northeastern Ohio township of Boston was founded in 1806 and quickly became home to several mills, including a prominent paper mill. But concern over forest destruction caused President Gerald Ford to sign a 1974 legislation allowing the federal government to buy land and turn it into national parks. It also gave the government the power of eminent domain, meaning many Boston Mills residents were forced from their homes when the town and surrounding area became Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

So where does Helltown come into play? Boston Mills has been the site of satanic rituals, boasts a “crybaby bridge” (according to legend, if you stop your car on the bridge at night, you can hear the ghost of an abandoned baby crying), and is even home to a mythical mutant snake, the Peninsula Python.

4. Centralia, Pa.

Boston Mills may be Helltown, but the fires of hell are actually burning under Centralia.

In 1962, a strip mine beneath the town caught fire. All attempts to extinguish the blaze were unsuccessful; it still burns today. The fire leaked poisonous gas into Centralia, driving the population down from 1,000 in 1980 to a mere seven people by 2013. And it’s cracking and destroying the roads in and around town.

But that hasn’t kept tourists away, thanks in part to the fact that the “Silent Hill” video game is based off Centralia.

65 dead in Iran plane crash, airline says

A commercial aircraft carrying 65 people crashed in Iran on Sunday, killing everyone on board, an airline spokesman told state media. 

>> Read more trending news 

Accept no substitutes — this is the best homemade chicken pot pie you’ll ever eat

A buttery homemade crust lovingly wrapped around chicken, vegetables, and a savory sauce — who doesn’t love homemade chicken pot pie?

And this recipe puts all other homemade chicken pot pies to shame.

Watch the video

RELATED: As if bacon mac & cheese weren’t delicious enough, this genius decided to stuff it in a pot pie

The video alone is enough to make your mouth water. The recipe itself can be found at Two Peas and Their Pod. If you want, you can even swap the chicken with turkey, which makes it a great way to get rid of holiday leftovers.

You will need: Crust
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
  • ½ cup buttermilk, cold
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, cold
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • ⅓ cup onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1¾ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups shredded chicken or turkey
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Comfort food doesn’t get more tempting than this!

Let’s Make | Homemade cheesy chicken and spinach-filled ravioli

Are you a pasta fan like we are? If you are (and we know you are), we have one of the best things we’ve made here in our Let’s Make kitchen. It’s our patented cheesy chicken spinach-stuffed ravioli. It’s hearty, filling and has a little something for everyone in it. This would be great for a date night, family fun, or any intimate dinner party.

Ravioli is wonderful because it’s so much easier to make than you think, and you can put whatever you like in it. Try our chicken and then mess around with your own creations. We’d love to hear what you come up with!

Watch the video

RELATED: Let’s Make | Become a breakfast MVP with this wonderful maple pecan French toast bake

Let’s get started!

What you will need:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • ½-¾ cup water

That’s for the dough.

For the filling, you will need:

  • 2 pieces chicken breast
  • ¼ stick butter
  • 2 more eggs
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 cup spinach (we used 1 can of leaf spinach, but you can use creamed or fresh spinach if you prefer)
  • 1 pound mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoons basil
Let’s make it:
  • Step 1: Grab a large bowl. Pour in your flour and salt and stir them together. As you stir the salt in, create a well in the middle of the flour mix. Take two of your eggs and drop them into the well you made.
  • Step 2: Add your water to the large bowl with the eggs, flour and salt, and stir it all up! What’s that forming? It’s dough! If your dough seems a little too sticky, sprinkle more flour on it. Take your newly made dough, place on a lightly floured soft surface, and knead it. After you’re done kneading, put the dough into another bowl, cover it, and let it sit for at least 20 minutes.
  • Step 3: While your dough sits, start on the fillings. Take your chicken breasts and drop them in a pot with boiling water. Let them boil until cooked through. Boiling chicken makes it nice and plump, and it will make the chicken easy to shred later. While waiting for the chicken to boil, get started on some of the other fillings. It should take 20-30 minutes to cook through at a medium to high heat.
  • Step 4: Put some oil in a small pan and put your spinach on a medium heat. Sauté it so it’s nice and cooked down.
  • Step 5: Take your mozzarella and cut it in half. Dice it into small cubes.
  • Step 6: Take your fully cooked chicken breasts and put them into a large bowl. Take two forks and pull apart the chicken until finely shredded. Add in your sautéed spinach, your diced mozzarella, 2 or 3 tablespoons of Pecorino Romano, 2 tablespoons of melted butter, the basil, and the eggs.  Stir it all together. You just made you ravioli filling! Set aside for a few minutes while you prepare the ravioli.
  • Step 7:  Sprinkle a surface lightly with some flour. Uncover your dough and set it on the surface. Cut it in half. Take one half and stretch it out on the surface; a roller will help you flatten the dough out. Roll it out so that it’s about ⅛ of an inch thick. (If you don’t have a roller, no worries! We used a pint glass in our video.) Take your first half and set it on a cooking sheet you can easily move. Take your second half of dough and do the same. Sprinkle more flour on your surface if needed. Try to keep it the same shape as the first.
  • Step 8: Take your rolled out dough on the cooking sheet and start scooping on your filling. Create mounds of filling and space them 1½ inches apart from each other. Once you’ve filled your  dough, take your second rolled out piece of dough and cover the first with the fillings, just like a blanket. Use your fingers to “tuck in” your mound of filling.
  • Step 9: Cut your ravioli into squares, make sure to leave a little room around each mound so that the dough sticks together. Now that you have your raviolis, boil a large pot of water. Once the water has come to a boil, drop in your ravioli. They’ll sink initially. After about 12 to 15 minutes of cooking, they’ll start to rise up. This is a good indicator that your ravioli is almost done cooking. Once all your ravioli is floating, strain the pot.
  • Step 10: Add your sauce! We chose a 3-cheese pasta sauce because we were feeling particularly cheesy, but you can do whatever you like! Even a butter sauce would probably be delicious with this.

It’s ready to serve!

BONUS STEP! If you really want to wow your guests more:

  • Step 11: We took our cooked and sauced ravioli and put them in a 2-quart oven-safe glass pan, shredded the rest our mozzarella and covered the ravioli with them, sprinkled some more Pecorino Romano on them and popped them into the oven at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes. This really brought our ravioli game to a whole new level.


Let us know what you think and what other recipes you’d like to see us make on Facebook. Check out some of our other recipes and videos in our Let’s Make series. We’d love to see how your food turns out; be sure to tag us on Facebook or Instagram and show us!

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