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6 Tyrannical Bosses Far Worse Than Yours

We've all had those days (weeks"¦ months"¦) at work. Nothing seems to go right. Anything that can possibly go wrong does go wrong. Stuff you didn't even know could go wrong goes wrong. But before you throw in the towel, check out these tyrannical bosses and think to yourself, "At least I haven't been beheaded"¦ yet"¦"

1. Faye & Ray Copeland

When I retire, I look forward to traveling, spending a lot of time volunteering at a no-kill animal shelter, writing"¦ the usual stuff. Faye and Ray Copeland, however, decided that when they retired they would become serial killers. From 1986 to 1989, the elderly couple hired workers to help them around their farm in Missouri. After being tipped off by a former neighbor, police searched the farm and found five bodies buried. Faye insisted she was innocent, but evidence against her included a list in her handwriting of farmhands hired "“ 12 of them had X's scrawled next to their names. Of those 12, five of them were found dead. Police also found a cozy quilt inside the house made of the clothing of the men the Copelands had killed. Ray and Faye were the oldest couple ever sentenced to death in the United States at the ages of 75 and 69 respectively.

2. Elizabeth Báthory

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No matter how good the pay was at Elizabeth Báthory's castles, it wasn't worth it: the Hungarian countess killed hundreds of girls and women, many who were employed as maids and servants on her property. She didn't just kill her victims, oh no. She tortured them first. During her trials, it was discovered that the methods she used to kill included starving, freezing, beating, burning and biting. Oddly, though, she was never sentenced to death. Her accomplices were, but Elizabeth was merely bricked up inside of a room at her house for the rest of her life. A small slit was left open so she could receive food. She was put under house arrest at the end of 1610; she died in August of 1614.

3. Rolandas Milinavicius

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After reading this you might think twice about asking for a raise this year. In July 2007, a Georgia business owner shot and killed his only two employees when they asked for a little more compensation on their paychecks. Rolandas Milinavicius told police that he was stressed out because the business was accruing a lot of debt and the talk about raises just pushed him over the edge. I would assume that legal fees and not having an income at all due to being in prison would probably hamper his finances more than anything else he could have done. I could be wrong though; I've never owned a business.

4. Henry Clay Frick

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Back in 1892, Henry Clay Frick was not a boss you wanted to cross. Frick and his business partner Andrew Carnegie ended their working relationship when Frick reacted a little"¦ rashly"¦ to the Homestead Steel Strike. In 1892, a labor strike impacted the Homestead Works of the Carnegie Steel Company. Frick was staunchly anti-union and thought he would thwart picketing workers by having Pinkerton agents access the grounds via the river. When the agents got close enough, they fired into the crowd which was enough to start a full-blown riot. By the time the chaos was broken up by the state militia, several men were killed and many were wounded. Thanks, boss.

5. Henry VIII

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It's common knowledge that Henry VIII had no qualms with having people close to him killed "“ wives, employees, friends, contemporaries, whatever. He had Sir Thomas More beheaded when More dared to disagree with King Henry's religious ideas. Prior to his death, More had served as Henry's Lord Chancellor. Another employee was the king's minister, Thomas Cromwell. He supported Henry when he was tired of Anne Boleyn and wanted to marry Jane Seymour. Jane died soon after childbirth and Cromwell quickly urged Henry to marry Anne of Cleves. The marriage was a disaster. Cromwell divorced them, but being of no further used to Henry, he was sentenced to death for treason. The young executioner hacked at Cromwell's head three times before he finally succeeded in beheading him. After that, Cromwell's head was boiled and place on a spike on London Bridge.

6. Leona Helmsley

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Obviously real estate mogul Leona Helmsley would have been pretty horrifying to work for "“ she wasn't called the Queen of Mean for nothing. Stories of her ruthlessness abound. Lawyer Alan Dershowitz said he once had breakfast with Leona at one of the Helmsley hotels and the waiter brought him a cup of tea with a tiny bit of water spilled on the saucer. Alan says Leona grabbed the cup from him and smashed it on the floor, then demanded that the waiter get down on his hands and knees and beg for his job. Some stories claimed she would fire maids on the spot if she found so much as a crooked lampshade in a hotel room. One maid, when working through lunch, snagged an apple from the kitchen to quell her hunger. Of course, Leona fired her.

See, your job really isn't that bad. Or is it? What are your bad boss horror stories?

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10 Things We Know About The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2
Hulu
Hulu

Though Hulu has been producing original content for more than five years now, 2017 turned out to be a banner year for the streaming network with the debut of The Handmaid’s Tale on April 26, 2017. The dystopian drama, based on Margaret Atwood’s 1985 book, imagines a future in which a theocratic regime known as Gilead has taken over the United States and enslaved fertile women so that the group’s most powerful couples can procreate.

If it all sounds rather bleak, that’s because it is—but it’s also one of the most impressive new series to arrive in years (as evidenced by the slew of awards it has won, including eight Emmy and two Golden Globe Awards). Fortunately, fans left wanting more don’t have that much longer to wait, as season two will premiere on Hulu in April. In the meantime, here’s everything we know about The Handmaid’s Tale’s second season.

1. IT WILL PREMIERE WITH TWO EPISODES.

When The Handmaid’s Tale returns on April 25, 2018, Hulu will release the first two of its 13 new episodes on premiere night, then drop another new episode every Wednesday.

2. MARGARET ATWOOD WILL CONTINUE TO HELP SHAPE THE NARRATIVE.

Fans of Atwood’s novel who didn’t like that season one went beyond the original source material are in for some more disappointment in season two, as the narrative will again go beyond the scope of what Atwood covered. But creator/showrunner Bruce Miller doesn’t necessarily agree with the criticism they received in season one.

“People talk about how we're beyond the book, but we're not really," Miller told Newsweek. "The book starts, then jumps 200 years with an academic discussion at the end of it, about what's happened in those intervening 200 years. We're not going beyond the novel. We're just covering territory [Atwood] covered quickly, a bit more slowly.”

Even more importantly, Miller's got Atwood on his side. The author serves as a consulting producer on the show, and the title isn’t an honorary one. For Miller, Atwood’s input is essential to shaping the show, particularly as it veers off into new territories. And they were already thinking about season two while shooting season one. “Margaret and I had started to talk about the shape of season two halfway through the first [season],” he told Entertainment Weekly.

In fact, Miller said that when he first began working on the show, he sketched out a full 10 seasons worth of storylines. “That’s what you have to do when you’re taking on a project like this,” he said.

3. MOTHERHOOD WILL BE A CENTRAL THEME.

As with season one, motherhood is a key theme in the series. And June/Offred’s pregnancy will be one of the main plotlines. “So much of [Season 2] is about motherhood,” Elisabeth Moss said during the Television Critics Association press tour. “Bruce and I always talked about the impending birth of this child that’s growing inside her as a bit of a ticking time bomb, and the complications of that are really wonderful to explore. It’s a wonderful thing to have a baby, but she’s having it potentially in this world that she may not want to bring it into. And then, you know, if she does have the baby, the baby gets taken away from her and she can’t be its mother. So, obviously, it’s very complicated and makes for good drama. But, it’s a very big part of this season, and it gets bigger and bigger as the show goes on.”

4. THE RESISTANCE IS COMING.

Just because June is pregnant, don’t expect her to sit on the sidelines as the resistance to Gilead continues. “There is more than one way to resist," Moss said. “There is resistance within [June], and that is a big part of this season.”

5. WE’LL GET TO SEE THE COLONIES.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

Miller, understandably, isn’t eager to share too many details about the new season. “I’m not being cagey!” he swore to Entertainment Weekly. “I just want the viewers to experience it for themselves!” What he did confirm is that the new season will bring us to the colonies—reportedly in episode two—and show what life is like for those who have been sent there.

It will also delve further into what life is like for the refugees who managed to escape Gilead, like Luke and Moira.

6. MARISA TOMEI WILL APPEAR IN AN EPISODE.

Though she won’t be a regular cast member, Miller recently announced that Oscar winner Marisa Tomei will make a guest appearance in the new season’s second episode. Yes, the one that will show us the Colonies. In fact, that’s where we’ll meet her; Tomei is playing the wife of a Commander.

7. WE’LL LEARN MORE ABOUT THE ORIGINS OF GILEAD.

As a group shrouded in secrecy, we still don’t know much about how and where Gilead began. That will change a bit in season two. When discussing some of the questions viewers will have answered, executive producer Warren Littlefield promised that, "How did Gilead come about? How did this happen?” would be two of them. “We get to follow the historical creation of this world,” he said.

8. THERE WILL BE AT LEAST ONE HANDMAID FUNERAL.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

While Miller wouldn’t talk about who the handmaids are mourning in a teaser shot from season two that shows a handmaid’s funeral, he was excited to talk about creating the look for the scene. “Everything from the design of their costumes to the way they look is so chilling,” Miller told Entertainment Weekly. “These scenes that are so beautiful, while set in such a terrible place, provide the kind of contrast that makes me happy.”

9. ELISABETH MOSS SAYS THE TONE WILL BE DARKER.

Like season one, Miller says that The Handmaid’s Tale's second season will again balance its darker, dystopian themes with glimpses of hopefulness. “I think the first season had very difficult things, and very hopeful things, and I think this season is exactly the same way,” he told the Los Angeles Times. “There come some surprising moments of real hope and victory, and strength, that come from surprising places.”

Moss, however, has a different opinion. “It's a dark season,” she told reporters at TCA. “I would say arguably it's darker than Season 1—if that's possible.”

10. IT WILL ALSO BE BLOODIER.

A scene from 'The Handmaid's Tale'
Hulu

When pressed about how the teaser images for the new season seemed to feature a lot of blood, Miller conceded: “Oh gosh, yeah. There may be a little more blood this season.”

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NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
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Researchers in Singapore Deploy Robot Swans to Test Water Quality
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

There's something peculiar about the new swans floating around reservoirs in Singapore. They drift across the water like normal birds, but upon closer inspection, onlookers will find they're not birds at all: They're cleverly disguised robots designed to test the quality of the city's water.

As Dezeen reports, the high-tech waterfowl, dubbed NUSwan (New Smart Water Assessment Network), are the work of researchers at the National University of Singapore [PDF]. The team invented the devices as a way to tackle the challenges of maintaining an urban water source. "Water bodies are exposed to varying sources of pollutants from urban run-offs and industries," they write in a statement. "Several methods and protocols in monitoring pollutants are already in place. However, the boundaries of extensive assessment for the water bodies are limited by labor intensive and resource exhaustive methods."

By building water assessment technology into a plastic swan, they're able to analyze the quality of the reservoirs cheaply and discreetly. Sensors on the robots' undersides measure factors like dissolved oxygen and chlorophyll levels. The swans wirelessly transmit whatever data they collect to the command center on land, and based on what they send, human pilots can remotely tweak the robots' performance in real time. The hope is that the simple, adaptable technology will allow researchers to take smarter samples and better understand the impact of the reservoir's micro-ecosystem on water quality.

Man placing robotic swan in water.
NUS Environmental Research Institute, Subnero

This isn't the first time humans have used robots disguised as animals as tools for studying nature. Check out this clip from the BBC series Spy in the Wild for an idea of just how realistic these robots can get.

[h/t Dezeen]

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