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Creepy Clown Sightings Are a Nightmare for the World Clown Association

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From Connecticut to California, creepy clowns are a national problem. It all started in August in Greenville, South Carolina where, according to Vocativ, the local police received reports of a group of people dressed up as clowns attempting to lure kids into the woods. (One rogue clown in the same area reportedly waved at a woman from the street; she waved back.)

Since then, creepy clowns have been a trending topic both in the news and on social media, with 23 states now reporting some type of unusual clown activity. While it sounds like a story pulled from your own personal nightmares, the trend is even more frightening to members of the World Clown Association, a worldwide organization for professional clowns, who are disturbed by the fact that these hellraisers are being referred to as “clowns” at all.

WCA president Randy Christensen took to social media to address the growing creepy clown concern with a three-minute video, aimed at his fellow clowns, in which he made it clear that, “Whoever is doing this crazy stuff is not a clown. This is somebody that’s trying to use a good, clean, wholesome art form and then distorting it. This is not clowning, this person is not a clown."

Christensen urged his red rose-wearing brethren to, “Go out and provide a positive image of clowning. Show them what it is really all about. Gain their confidence, make them enjoy it, make them laugh and they will come to realize that all clowns are not a scary-type character.” Try telling that to a coulrophobe.

[h/t: Vocativ]

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Live Smarter
Here's What to Do With Leftover Halloween Candy
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Americans indulged their sweet tooth in a major way this Halloween, spending an estimated $2.7 billion on candy intended for front porch distribution. Rather than confronting a weepy child with an empty bowl because they bought too little, shoppers tend to buy in bulk. Come November, that can mean pounds of sugar-packed temptation still sitting in the house.

The good news: You can remove the risk to your waistline and do some good at the same time. A number of charitable organizations take leftover candy and send it to troops stationed overseas. Operation Gratitude has set up a number of drop-off centers around the country—you can search by zip code—to accept your extra treats. Once collected, they’ll send them to both troops and first responders. Last year, the group collected nearly 534,000 pounds of goodies.

Often, drop-off locations will be located in dental offices as a way of reminding everyone of the perils of tooth decay from excess sugar consumption. Some dentists even offer buy-back programs, paying $1 for each pound returned.

If donating to a national program is proving difficult, you can always deliver the extra candy to local food pantries or homeless shelters.

[h/t weartv.com]  

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Health
The FDA Has a Warning for People Who Love Black Licorice
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Every Halloween, children and adults alike gorge on candy. One estimate puts the number of junk calories consumed at up to 7000 per kid, the equivalent of 13 Big Macs. While all of that sugar is most certainly not healthy, Consumerist reports that there’s actually a more immediate danger to your well-being: black licorice.

Most versions of the candy, which gains some popularity around the spooky season, contains glycyrrhizin, a sweetening compound found in the licorice root. While tasty, glycyrrhizin can affect potassium levels in the body, causing them to fall to dangerously low levels. High blood pressure, swelling, and even heart issues can develop as a result.

It’s not just bingeing that can cause issues. According to the Food and Drug Administration, adults over 40 who eat more than two ounces of black licorice a day for two weeks could suffer heart problems like arrhythmia. If you have a history of heart disease, you’re even more susceptible to complications.

The FDA recommends using a little common sense when consuming black licorice, eating it in moderate amounts and stopping if you notice any adverse symptoms. If you do experience potassium level drops, it’s usually reversible once you put the bag down. Treats that are licorice-flavored are typically artificial and won’t have the same effect as the actual plant root—but for your waistline’s sake, try to avoid gorging on anything.

[h/t Consumerist]

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