Inside the Auction of Zsa Zsa Gabors Life, Pill Bottles and All

The famed Hollywood actress Zsa Zsa Gabor is entertaining guests once more, despite her death at 99 two years ago.

Her ninth and final husband, Frdric Prinz von Anhalt, who was left everything upon her death, is having an auction. Von Anhalt, who famously purchased his title and once claimed he was robbed by a roving gang of lesbians, has amassed a group of items that will tantalize old Hollywood enthusiasts and also those looking for a lurid peek into Gabors final days.

As I pull up to Gabors Bel Air mansion to preview the auction of her estate, which takes place tomorrow (April 14), Im met with a red carpet and a gallery of magazine covers featuring her. Its a sign that whats to come is going to be nothing but glamour and old Hollywood nostalgia.

Upon entering the house, the first thing to greet you is a large carousel-sized horse. This a theme of Gabors home. She and von Anhaltwho married in 1986were equestrians who kept 40 horses on their estate in Simi Valley.

Further inspection of the home finds a portrait of Gabor with a horse, horse figurines, and larger sized statues. Its as if shes seen Sydney Pollacks 1969 film They Shoot Horses, Dont They? and decided she could never do that.

Perhaps the most interesting horse-related item is a leather saddle gifted to her by Ronald Reagan.

Resting in the parlor besides several horse trinkets is a stunning portrait of Gabor in a red gown. She has many portraits of her, but this one particularly striking in a Hitchcockian type of way. Gabor has a signature necklace and a light pink shawl draped across her shoulders. The oil canvas is signed To Zsa Zsa with Love, Peter Sheil.

The artist himself is as mysterious as the portrait hes rendered, but he has also done portraits of society columnist Aileen Mehle and actresses Tallulah Bankhead and Kay Kendall.

Dramatic portraits are the theme of Gabors estate sale, which also includes a 1954 pencil on paper portrait of her 1950s lover Porfirio Rubirosa. Rubirosa was a legendary playboy who has been romantically linked to not just Gabor, but Eartha Kitt, Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford, Veronica Lake, and Eva Pern.

Gabor never married Rubirosa, but she did keep this portrait of him for decades. Another portrait of Gabor, seductively holding a rose while wearing a white mink draped over a blue gown, is by the artist Margaret Keane dated 1927. Keane is the artist whose husband Walter took credit for her big eyes paintings that was later the subject of the 2014 Tim Burton film, Big Eyes.

Perhaps you would like Gabors driver license issued in 1989. It lists her 1001 Bel Air Rd address and its issue date, Aug. 14, was the third anniversary of her marriage to von Anhalt. She is wearing a red gown, blonde hair, a necklace, and diamond earrings.

You can buy her Louis Vuitton luggage, gowns by Valentino and James Galanos, jewelry, a gold and diamond cigarette case. Its exactly the kind of Gabor extravagance you might expect, then add a few more hundred carats.

Then there are the pill bottles. Yes, Gabors prescription pill bottles are up for sale. What husband wouldnt want to auction off his late wifes prescription bottles? (Gabors health travails were many: As The Daily Beast reported after her death in December 2016, she had suffered a stroke in 2005, and had been hospitalized repeatedly since 2010 after breaking her hip in a fall.)

Available for purchase are bottles of Clopidogrel, used to prevent heart attacks and strokes in persons with heart disease; Tekturna, a common blood pressure drug; and Metfromin, which is used to control high blood sugar. There are a few other bottles that have prescriptions to prevent cardiovascular disease.

Amidst the gorgeous gowns for sale and the Moet and Chandon glass set that frankly would be on display at any dinner party I threw if I could afford them, are tchotchkes like these. A drivers license sure, but pill bottles seem rather gauche. It feeds into the invasive nature that led celebrities of Gabors stature to retreat from the public eye and to become veritable circus acts.

The humor of Gabors auction faded slightly after realizing there were such lurid items that are being sold off. I felt somewhat sorry for her memory until I stumbled across the Venetian Moor statues that populate the home. You know, statues that are moors in blackface.

Othello was a moor, a member of a northwestern African Muslim people of mixed Berber and Arab descent. In earlier productions of Shakespeares work, men would wear blackface to portray the moor. Youre reminded of these as you find comical figures adorning Gabors home with blackface, bright red lips, and expressive eyes.

If she was still holding onto her racist statues well until her death, then sell her pill bottles all you want. Also, Ill take that 104 piece vintage Moet and Chandon drink set!

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Lorde apologises for ‘extremely poorly chosen’ Instagram caption

Lorde has apologised to fans after Instagramming a photo of a bathtub captioned with a Whitney Houston lyric.

Lorde posted a photo of a bathtub on her Instagram alongside the words “and iiiii will always love you”—a lyric from “I Will Always Love You.” Whitney Houston’s version of the song—penned by Dolly Parton in 1973—became a huge hit after it featured on the soundtrack of The Bodyguard in 1992. 

But, the coupling of the image and its caption prompted fans to criticise Lorde for being “insensitive.” Whitney Houston was found dead in a bathtub in 2012. The autopsy report revealed her death was caused by drowning and “effects ofatherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.”

Lorde’s post has since been deleted, but not before Whitney fans tweeted screenshots of the post, calling the choice of caption “disgusting.” 

Others rushed to Lorde’s defence, stating that the caption was a “very bad coincidence.” 

Lorde posted a prompt apology on her Instagram Story. “Extremely extremely poorly chosen quote,” wrote Lorde. “I’m so sorry for offending anyone—I hadn’t even put this together, I was just excited to take a bath.”

Image: instagram /@lordemusic

“I’m an idiot. Love Whitney forever and ever. Sorry again,” she added. 

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Taxing Soda and Booze Can Spark Healthy Spiral, Research Says

Taxing Soda and Booze Can Spark Healthy Spiral, Research Says

  • Tool to reduce ‘death and suffering’ can help the poor
  • Experts call for effort to stem obesity, disease costs

Nobody likes taxes, but new research shows they can be good for your health.

Taxing products such as soda, alcohol and tobacco can steer consumers toward healthier choices and avert a ruinous tumble in which obesity fuels disease and medical costs push people further into poverty, data from countries ranging from Chile to India show. The analysis was published Wednesday in The Lancet medical journal.

A tax on unhealthy goods “is probably the single-most important measure that can be taken to reduce death and suffering,” Larry Summers, the U.S. economist and former Treasury Secretary, said in an interview. “That’s why I think it’s important.”

Summers’s commentary accompanied the Lancet report, which focused on ways to curb illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer that can be blamed for 38 million deaths each year. A research group pulled together five studies and found that taxes on unhealthy products can work without disproportionately harming the poor.

New MilkyBar

When it comes to sweet drinks, more countries are willing to test taxes to tackle obesity along with budget deficits, potentially hurting companies such as Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc., according to Bloomberg Intelligence. The U.K.’s own sugar tax experiment is scheduled to take effect Friday.

Wealthier households usually shoulder more of the tax burden because they spend more on alcohol, sodas and snacks, the researchers said in the Lancet. Poorer families also tend to reduce consumption more in response to higher prices. Such taxes work best if some of the revenue is used to fund programs for the poor, they found.

Companies are responding by working to cut sugar and calories. Nestle SA has started selling slimmed-down Milkybar chocolates in Britain and Ireland in the first implementation of a new technology that promises the same sweetness with 30 percent less sugar.

In Mexico, the introduction of a soft-drinks tax resulted in a 17 percent decrease in purchases among lower-income groups, and almost no change in higher-income groups, the Lancet report said.

Obesity, once seen as a problem plaguing only wealthier nations, is now on the rise in lower-income regions too. Countries must tackle it in the same way as malnutrition, said Summers, who chairs a task force on fiscal policy for health with Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.

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Holy hazelnut mocha! California has gone off the deep end

(CNN)Holy hazelnut mocha! California may now be placing a warning label on coffee.

(I’ll pause while you do a “spit take” involving your caramel frappuccino.)
Before I proceed, a disclosure is in order: I’m not neutral when it comes to coffee. In fact, I’m writing this article from my second coffee shop location of the day. That said, I’m quite certain this decision will backfire more loudly than an antique espresso machine with two broken pumps.
    “How did this even happen?” you’re probably asking yourself.
    It started with Proposition 65, “which requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products that they purchase,” according to the San Diego Union Tribune. It turns out that one of those “Prop 65” chemicals, acrylamide, can be found in coffee.
    According to the National Cancer Institute, “studies in rodent models have found that acrylamide exposure increases the risk for several types of cancer.” And one of the major food sources of acrylamide is coffee.

      Coffee may lower risk of depression

    I’m sorry, it’s apparently true.
    And a Los Angeles superior court judge has decided this is serious enough to warrant a warning label.
    Here are just a few problems with this decision, my comrades-in-cold-brewing.
    First, the benefits that coffee provides far outweigh any small chance that you’ll develop a disease from a trace chemical in your favorite coffee drink. For one thing, according, again, to the National Cancer Institute, while “in the body, acrylamide is converted to a compound called glycidamide, which causes mutations in and damage to DNA … a large number of epidemiologic studies (both case-control and cohort studies) in humans have found no consistent evidence that dietary acrylamide exposure is associated with the risk of any type of cancer.”
    And as an article on the website of Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health notes (citing Edward Giovannucci, a researcher there), “Two decades of research suggests that coffee may help reduce the risk of illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease to Alzheimer’s.”

      Tom Hanks gifts White House reporters caffeine

    Wait: Coffee is capable of both preventing cancer and causing cancer? Apparently so. And that’s why the California judge was far too hasty in making the preliminary decision to slap a Prop 65 label on the fuel that keeps America functioning.
    Second, the unintended consequences could be enormous. We already have a crisis of confidence in our governments, institutions, and scientists. Maybe this is my second soy latte talking, but why risk incurring the wrath of the nation to prove a nanoscale point? Why cast the country into even more confusion by overreacting about a beverage consumed by Americans on the order of 2.1 cups per day per person?
    We need to be restoring the public’s trust, building confidence, taking measured steps to real science-based threats, not causing hysteria over an extreme unlikelihood.
    Think about our current political environment: Anti-vaxxers are putting the entire population at risk by refusing to allow their children to receive inoculations that keep them (and, by extension, others) from contracting life-threatening diseases. And consider: Only 27% of US adults agree with the statement “Almost all climate scientists agree that human behavior is mostly responsible for climate change.” (The number of scientists who agree that human behavior is the culprit is 97%, according to NASA.)
    Under these conditions, slapping a warning label on coffee will effectively be a license to partake of any kind of food or beverage — or any type of activity — that the “experts” say we should avoid.

      Turning coffee waste into clean energy

    Why? Because “the experts also tell us not to drink coffee.” Ridiculous, right?
    Oh, and here are some other major sources of acrylamide, according to the cancer institute: French fries, potato chips, crackers, bread, cookies, and breakfast cereals.
    Quick, non-Californians! Before we lose any additional people to the anti-science camp, coffee sellers in other states should respond to California’s action by placing labels on their product announcing the health benefits associated with coffee, such as improved cognitive function and decreased risk of depression.
    Or add a label pointing to the 2017 study connecting coffee consumption to a longer lifespan: “People who consumed a cup of coffee a day were 12% less likely to die during the study period compared to those who didn’t drink coffee. This association was even stronger for those who drank two to three cups a day — 18% reduced chance of death.”
    That study, by the way, was conducted in part by the Keck School of Medicine. At the University of Southern California.

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    Give up coffee? Fuhgeddaboudit, say New Yorkers after California ruling

    A California judge has ruled that coffee companies must put cancer warnings on their product but on the east coast, caffeine-crazed drinkers arent buying the latest health scare

    Asking a New Yorker whether theyll give up their morning coffee during their commute is likely to elicit only one response laughter.

    News broke on Thursday that a California judge had ruled coffee companies should carry cancer warnings on their products after an eight-year legal battle with big coffee. Coffee companies, led by Starbucks, had argued that the levels of acrylamide, a known carcinogen, present in their coffee were insignificant and outweighed by health benefits.

    But the defendants failed to satisfy their burden of proving by a preponderance of evidence that consumption of coffee confers a benefit to human health, Elihu Berle, a superior court judge, ruled. While plaintiff offered evidence that consumption of coffee increases the risk of harm to the fetus, to infants, to children and to adults, defendants medical and epidemiology experts testified that they had no opinion on causation.

    Harm to fetuses, infants, children, adults? Sounds scary. But not to New Yorkers. Three thousand miles away from the California court the reaction ranged from meh to fuhgeddaboudit.

    Quick guide

    How dangerous is acrylamide?

    Acrylamide is hard to avoid. While it is practically non-existent in raw produce, it is found in all sorts of foods that are grilled, fried, baked or roasted. Thats because the chemical forms in the cooking process when sugars and amino acids react at high temperatures. The higher the temperature and the longer the cooking time, the more acrylamide is produced. Some of the most common products to contain acrylamide are potatoes, biscuits, bread and coffee.

    In April,European regulations come into forcethat aim to keep acrylamide levels in food as low as possible. Last year, the Food Standards Agency took action itself, and launched apublic health campaignurging people to cut down on acrylamide-containing foods, including crisps, well-browned potatoes and well-done toast toreduce their risk of cancer.But the FSA made clear that the risk was not large. Professor David Spiegelhalter, a prominent statistician at Cambridge University, even questioned whether the campaign made sense, stating there was no good evidence of harm from humans consuming acrylamide.

    The most recent comprehensive study on coffee and cancer came in 2016 from the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a group of cancer specialists convened by the World Health Organisation. They found that while very hot drinks those hotter than 65C probably raised the risk of oesophageal cancer, there wasno strong evidence that coffee increased cancer risk. As a Cancer Research UK spokesperson said at the time: If you already drink coffee regularly youre probably not increasing your risk of cancer.

    California! said Jarrett Boor, an architect winging his way to work on 8th Avenue in Manhattan. They put warning labels on everything. He said it was good in some cases and that the public should know when products are dangerous. But everything causes cancer: cellphones, GMO foods. Im not giving up my coffee, he snorted.

    New Yorkers do, apparently, drink a ridiculous amount of coffee. A survey by health data website Massive Health calculated the city was running on 6.7 times as much coffee per person as other cities (San Franciscans, by contrast, eat 4.4 times as many brussels sprouts). Given the amount of joe coursing through a New Yorkers system its little wonder that the citys hopped-up workers dont seem too worried by Californias warnings.

    According to a Harvard study, roughly 62% of Americans drink coffee every day, an all-time high. And, despite the fly California has dropped in the nations latte, two decades of research suggests that coffee is good for us, helping to reduce the risk of illnesses ranging from cancer to heart disease to Alzheimers.

    One common complaint among caffeine-loving New Yorkers on Friday was that they were sick of the ever-changing buffet of health-related coffee news.

    The last public health statement I saw was coffee was good for you. It reduces hypertension, said Marge Wetzler, wearily waiting for a medium iced latte in Gregorys Coffee in midtown Manhattan. Now its bad for you? I just dont buy that. She would, however, continue to buy her morning coffee.

    Dude, Im enjoying my coffee. Photograph: Devon Knight for the Guardian

    Whatever, said James Warren, a bike courier picking up a Starbucks between stops. Its bad for you, its good for you, its bad for you, its good for you. Its kinda irritating, he said before dashing out into traffic.

    New Yorkers attitudes were echoed 3,000 miles away in Los Angeles.

    I just dont think it would stop me, Jen Bitterman, a digital marketing technologist, told the Associated Press. I love the taste, I love the ritual, I love the high, the energy, and I think Im addicted to it.

    Lawyer Darlington Ibekwe agreed. Its like cigarettes. Like, damn, now Ive got to see this? he said. Dude, Im enjoying my coffee.

    Berles ruling could spell bad news for coffee companies. The third phase of the California trial, brought by non-profit organization the Council for Education and Research on Toxics, will determine any civil penalties that coffee companies must pay.

    The potential penalties are massive, if unlikely, with a fine of up to $2,500 per person exposed each day over eight years. California has 40 million residents.

    While its extremely doubtful that coffee will face the same kinds of penalties slapped on the tobacco companies, the case does open up the possibility of a world without coffee.

    There would have to be an alternative, said Ali Philippides, a product manager at the Daily Beast. Commuting into work with her ridiculously cute corgi, Fig, Philippides was gripping a Starbucks cappuccino and looked a little shaken by the cancer news.

    I used to drink a lot of Diet Coke and swapped for seltzer, she said thoughtfully. But could she give up coffee? As she paused to think for a moment you could almost see the post-apocalyptic dystopia of a coffee-free New York reflected in her eyes. Riots on the L train, Union Square on fire a city mad with withdrawal. Fig looked up at her with concern.

    Could I give up coffee? she repeated. No.

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    NBA stars join fight against stigma surrounding mental illness

    (CNN)Heading from Washington to Los Angeles for the NBA All-Star Game, Dikembe Mutombo watched news reports about the Parkland shooting.

    The harrowing accounts of the high school massacre filled his entire six-hour journey and hit especially close to home, the NBA Hall of Famer revealed. Mutombo is a father of seven and the son of a lifelong educator. It was “very painful,” he said.
    As more details about the 19-year-old gunman emerged, so did police incident reports from before the February 14 shooting that described him as suffering from mental illness and being “emotionally handicapped.” In the tragedy’s aftermath, President Donald Trump said he wanted to focus more resources on mental health issues in an effort to stop future gun violence.
      But experts caution that having a diagnosis of mental illness does not mean a person will become violent and advocates insist that Americans need to work toward breaking the stigma around mental health issues.
      On Thursday, athletes and public figures gathered at the Total Health Forum event in Atlanta, organized by the NBA and Kaiser Permanente, where they addressed mental health and how best to reduce that stigma.
      Mutombo was joined by five-time All-Star Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors. Both offered suggestions about the need for improved communication with young people who may be feeling alienated or depressed.

      Future ‘is built around youth’

      Kids dealing with mental health issues such as anxiety and depression “should not be afraid to show their emotions,” Curry said, and he hopes “they understand they have people they can talk to. The future of our society is built around our youth,” he said.
      Mutombo said that society must find better ways to reach out to young people
      “Talk to them; open up the door for them. That will allow them to come to us as a teacher, as a mentor, as coaches, principals, parents, to tell us what issues they are facing.
      “There is a lot of pressure being put on our youth to succeed in their life,” leading to undue stress, he said.
      The NBA offers mental health service for its players and guidance on issues such as work-life balance, image and self-esteem, coping mechanisms, stress and anger management.

      Athletes have chance to make real difference

      Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum said athletes have the opportunity to make a real difference in fighting stigma surrounding mental illness.
      Kaiser Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson added that it’s important to see high-profile people like Curry speak out about such issues.
      “They are role models. They are exemplary individuals, so in addition to being very gifted and talented and great in their professions, people assume that everything is just fine, and what I believe they provide is a realistic perspective.”
      NBA Cares, the league’s global social responsibility program that builds on the NBA’s mission of addressing important social issues, aims to encourage and support young people to be mindful and committed to their emotional and mental wellness through its Jr. NBA and NBA FIT programs.

      See the latest news and share your comments with CNN Health on Facebook and Twitter.

      “Where we can have a major impact is at the youth level,” Tatum said.
      Kaiser Permanente, the nation’s largest integrated health system, says it’s focusing on mental health and rethinking how it provides related services, encouraging Americans to talk about mental health issues openly, like we talk about other health issues such as heart disease or cancer.
      A major theme of the forum event was resilience, giving individuals the tools to cope with everyday stresses and anxieties.
      This could be done in a number of ways, said Curry.
      “Just having that confidence in yourself that no matter what happens in life, you have an opportunity to right the ship, to continue to exceed to higher levels no matter what you are doing,” he said.
      “I think we all will experience failure at one point or another. We all will have letdowns, and that should not define you. You should be able to learn from those experiences, to make yourself better, and come back stronger. … Having that resilient attitude is something everyone should adopt.”

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      KardiaBand is the Apple Watch band that can run EKGs and detect irregular heartbeats

      Kardia Band is the wearable EKG monitor that can detect dangerous heart patterns.
      Image: alivecor

      Heads up: All products featured here are selected by Mashable’s commerce team and meet our rigorous standards for awesomeness. If you buy something, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

      Listen up, Apple Watch users: A new FDA-approved band is on the market and it can help you monitor your heart in a whole new way.

      Yes, you can feel when your heart is beating fast after a run or a nerve-racking situation — but most of us aren’t doctors and can’t tell whether this is normal or an actual problem. Detecting when a heart has a truly irregular rhythm by yourself is a toss up, and the only way to confirm an atrial fibrillation (AFib) is to get an electrocardiogram (EKG) from a cardiologist. 

      AliveCor is a company known for their mobile heart monitors that can be stuck on the back of a smartphone and run an EKG. After two years of testing, AliveCor was given the green light by the FDA to market the KardiaBand as a heart-monitoring wristband for the Apple Watch.

      According to a study conducted by heart doctors at the Cleveland Clinic, researchers found that the band’s algorithm correctly distinguished AFib hearts from normal functioning hearts over 90 percent of the time. Basically, this means that the KardiaBand can give people an instant and pretty accurate idea of whether they have something to worry about — an analysis that could only previously be done during a trip to the doctor. 

      Here’s how the KardiaBand runs a 30-second EKG:

      What’s the big deal about irregular heart beats, you ask? If the abnormality is serious and not caught early, irregular rhythms can cause stroke, blood clots, or heart disease — so heart rhythm really isn’t something to be ignored.

      This isn’t to say that AFib is always a life or death situation — not every too-fast or too-slow heart is an emergency, so don’t freak out. However, many people are deterred from going to the doctor because they don’t want to admit something is wrong, and overlooking possible AFib risks can lead to serious consequences. But thanks to KardiaBand, EKGs can now be done in the comfort of your own home. (Note: A doctor’s analysis should still be sought out if the band tells you something’s up.)

      Mashable’s Mark Kaufman writes:

      As more health and fitness devices are designed to work with popular consumer tech, like Apple iPhones and smartwatches, it’s helpful that doctors are scrutinizing some of these devices to ensure they work as advertised — even after they pass the FDA’s rigorous protocols. 

      For $199, you can get a 38mm or 42mm KardiaBand here — and if you want the KardiaBand but don’t have an Apple Watch yet, you can snag the Apple Watch 3 here. If you don’t have an Apple Watch and don’t want an Apple Watch, AliveCor’s mobile EKG monitors for smartphones are also up for grabs for $99.

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      Ellen DeGeneres Has Children’s Hospital Room Dedicated To Jimmy Kimmel’s Son

      Ellen DeGeneres has honored Jimmy Kimmel and his son Billy by dedicating a room on the Heart Institute floor at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to the child, the daytime talk show host announced Monday. 

      Kimmel has been vocal about Billy’s battle with congenital heart disease since he was born last May. Billy had emergency open-heart surgery when he was 3 days old, and had a second operation late last year

      Kimmel has been critical of Republican efforts to reform the health care system, and brought Billy onto the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” stage with him in December to advocate for the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

      DeGeneres praised Kimmel for his honesty about his family’s struggles and his willingness to show emotion when talking about health care reform, mentioning a few times when the late-night host has teared up. 

      “It’s embarrassing to me. I try not to cry,” Kimmel said before DeGeneres introduced her surprise. 

      “You’re such a great guy, and that was so emotional to see you go through that,” DeGeneres said. “We called our friends at Children’s Hospital LA, including Billy’s surgeon. We have named one of the rooms of the Heart Institute floor in honor of Billy.” 

      Then DeGeneres and an emotional Kimmel watched a video of doctors and nurses at the hospital standing outside the room dedicated to Billy. 

      You can watch the entire moment above. 

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      Apple now stores some iCloud files on Google Cloud Platform

      Image: jaap arriens/Nur Photo via Getty Images

      After some speculation, Apple has finally confirmed that it uses Google Cloud Services for iCloud storage. The admission was made in the company’s most recent update to its iOS Security Guide, spotted by CNBC. 

      The Security Guide has previously indicated that iCloud services relied on Google competitors Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. But the most recent version, released in January, states that iCloud files are stored using “third-party storage services, such as S3 [a product of Amazon Web Services] and Google Cloud Platform.” 

      According to the guide, all items stored on iCloud, including contacts, calendars, photos, and documents are stored with such third-party services. Each file is broken into chunks and encrypted. The encrypted chunks are then stored on Google Cloud Platform without any user-identifying information. 

      The guide does not specify when or why Apple switched from Microsoft to Google, or whether the company is taking advantage of Google Cloud services for anything other than object storage. 

      Coca Cola, Best Buy, Niantic, Spotify, Motorola, and Airbus rank among the platform’s almost 300 corporations that use the platform. Apple is not listed among Google Cloud Platform’s prominent customers

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      Going TV cold turkey what is it like to give up the box for a month?

      In this golden age of television, the pressure to binge-watch is immense even as evidence mounts about the health risks. So how did one heavy user cope with the big switch-off?

      There are almost no pleasures left in life that someone hasnt suggested we give up to better ourselves. Booze, sugar, smoking, meat, clutter, coffee, even our smartphone. Soon well be told that all this teeth-brushing is getting rid of our bodies important natural tooth bacteria and Joe Wicks will launch his new book: How to Live with Decay … Everyday!

      Yet there is one indulgence that engulfs our life like nothing else. We spend a dizzying amount of time doing it, yet it goes almost completely unchallenged by self-help books and wellbeing advice: watching television. We spend, on average, over four hours a day looking at our TV sets. In the UK, 74% of viewers say they sometimes watch more TV than they intended to, with a third of adults admitting that binge-watching has cost them sleep and left them feeling tired.

      Weve found that self-proclaimed binge-watchers exhibit higher levels of stress, anxiety and depression, says Jessica S Kruger, an assistant professor at the University at Buffalo who has studied the public health impacts of binge-watching. There are also studies out of Harvard showing that among people who spend two hours watching TV the risk of diabetes goes up by 20%, the risk of heart disease by 15% and early death by 13%.

      Given that people in Britain watch twice that amount, you would think the government might have declared a national crisis and appointed a bingeing tsar by now. But the only message we ever hear about TV is that we are living in its golden age and have a responsibility to watch it all: every week there is another must-see show we have to finish, just to engage with our fellow humans.

      Im starting to think I could be spending this time better. A lot of my other life goals making my flat nice, reading more serious books, shedding a roll or two of stomach have been sidelined by TV. After a particularly square-eyed Christmas, I decide its time to try life without television and promise not to watch any for a month.

      It wont be easy. Im what you would call a heavy user. I have a 43in TV in the front room, with Freeview Play, an Amazon Fire TV stick and Apple TV. Ive got Netflix and Amazon Prime.

      More time for jigsaw puzzles … Wolfson discovers one of the great things about switching off the TV. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

      I have always been like this. When I was young, I would go to friends houses where TV was presented as a reward that should be rationed out: You can watch cartoons when youve done your homework. But in our house, TV was part of the family. We would eat dinner in the living room, watch EastEnders and then get into heated family discussions about the precariousness of Steve and Mel Owens relationship. Even as I got older, I would spend an inordinate number of Saturday nights in with the family, voting for Will Young on Pop Idol or doing those weird national IQ tests they used to have on BBC One. I learned as much about the world from Harry from Spooks and Toby from The West Wing as I did from my teachers.

      Now I go out quite often, but when I stay in, TV can sap the life out of my evenings. Ill come home with plans to better myself. Then, almost as if by magic, five-and-a-half hours disappear and Im splayed on the sofa, surrounded by the crumbs of some stale crackers Ive managed to forage from the kitchen, the remote having never left my hand.

      Giving up TV is complicated because the boundaries between what is and isnt TV are foggy in the age of Netflix and Amazon. Kruger tells me that its these on-demand services, available on every device and making it easy to watch an entire series in one go, that make us most susceptible to bingeing. So I opt for a total ban. No TV shows, sport or films on any device. Im still allowed to go the cinema because thats, you know, living life.

      The first week or so feels fantastic. Almost immediately I become a grown-up version of myself. I read the first few chapters of Ta-Nehisi Coates collected essays on the Obama years, while starting Michael Wolffs Fire and Fury on audiobook. I go to a talk about the early Jewish settlers in London, and see the Ai Weiwei documentary about the refugee crisis. My girlfriend, who doesnt watch much telly and is thrilled about this new development, takes me to an exhibition by the painter Roy Colmer at the Lisson Gallery exactly the sort of thing I would normally try to get out of. Unexpectly, I love it: spray-gun patterns that echo TV distortion on canvas, it all feels very fitting for my journey.

      My initial pang of withdrawal comes on the first Friday night I come back from the pub, feeling drunk and very ready to sink into the sofa and put away a couple of old 30 Rock episodes. When I realise I cant, Im suddenly at a loss: Im too drunk to read, too awake to go to sleep. Then, after a few minutes, it just happens: I tidy my room not just shoving things under the bed, but folding, ironing, get-to-the-bottom-of-the-wash-basket tidying. I wake up on Saturday morning in what feels like a hotel room, but one of my own making. I feel like I have a secret butler.

      Lots of reading time, too. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

      While I think Im doing quite well, my friends and family seem almost angry with me. When I tell people what Im doing theres a look of exasperation on their faces, as though I have insulted a relative. People cant understand what point Im trying to prove. What, youre not even going to watch McMafia, says my mum, sounding hurt that we wont be able to discuss it.

      The hardest thing is missing the snooker. Its the Masters, and for me this would normally mean a lovely week of horizontal evenings, gently dozing between frames. But with my new go-getter attitude, I organise a trip to see a match live instead, a thrilling showdown between Ryan Day and Ding Jun-Hui. I feel like Ive cracked the code for life: dont just watch, do.

      Its all going well until week three, when my girlfriend leaves to go on a week-long retreat, and it really hits me. This would be perfect boxset time; instead I am slightly bereft. I try everything to stop myself from watching: laser quest; bowling; bingo, twice. On Saturday night my friend Anna comes for dinner, and we begin a 1,500-piece jigsaw puzzle of a shelf of soft drinks. I bought it at a charity shop years ago and never opened it. At 4am we are still going, in silence, fitting pieces together with mindful clarity.

      Not all the ways I distract myself are so wholesome. Ive always been a light gambler, but now its rampant: betting on football matches and then listening to them on BBC 5 Live, like a wideboy in the 1950s. On a particularly dark night I download the app of the ITV gameshow The Chase, which allows you to play the Bradley Walsh quiz on your phone with a virtual Bradley cracking gags between the questions. It even has the same music. I beat the chaser twice. My cravings are sated.

      But I only properly break my abstinence once during the month. I have to watch a bit of the Trump and Piers Morgan interview on my laptop for work. Its as if, in my absence from television, we have switched over to some state-controlled, despotic network, the interviewer fawning over a politician telling him he is so fabulous he could even manage our football team. Im happy to switch it off.

      By the end of the month I havent, as I had hoped, finished a library of books and become trim and fit. But I am enjoying life in a more rounded way: getting up early, reading the paper, cooking for myself every night.

      Then, finally, I am allowed to watch again. I wait till midnight on the final day and then feel the soft remote in my hand again, endorphins rushing through me before I have even reached the familiar Amazon Fire homepage. I decide to start with the Grammys, having felt like I had missed out on all the bitching about Lorde being snubbed and Gagas new face earlier in the week.

      But something isnt quite right. Its almost like watching through someone elses window. Maybe its because Ive already missed the zeitgeist, or it was just a really bad Grammys, but it isnt giving me the same buzz. I switch off about a third of the way through.

      Three days later, Ive watched a bit of a film, but I just cant quite bring myself to get back into a series.

      Im sure it wont last. One friend has sent an unsolicited list of everything Ive missed, and the weight of unwatched box sets feels heavy on my shoulders once again. But Kruger gives me a few tips on how to fight the urges: we shouldnt fast-forward adverts, which make the bingeing process less enjoyable and less addictive, and I should consider getting an app that locks you out of your Netflix account after a certain amount of time.

      Its advice worth heeding. New studies about the dangers of extended TV watching emerge all the time. One, published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, found that a higher frequency of binge-viewing was related to poorer sleep quality, more fatigue and insomnia. There was also evidence that bingeing drama boxsets, with complex storylines and cliffhangers, had a greater impact on normal sleep patterns than traditional TV watching.

      Im going to start putting in my calendar when I plan to watch something, like a treat, and switching off after that. Im grateful for everything TV has taught me, and Im certain my formative years would have been much worse without it. But after decades of devotion, Im ready to start being my own strict parent: only watching cartoons when Ive done my homework.

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