Trump Names Anti-Abortion Leader Charmaine Yoest to High Post at HHS:

Trump Names Anti-Abortion Leader Charmaine Yoest to High Post at HHS:

NEW YORK — The White House says President Donald Trump is appointing the former president of a leading anti-abortion organization to a senior position at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Charmaine Yoest, who actively supported Trump in his campaign, will serve as assistant secretary of public affairs at HHS. From 2008 until February 2016, she was president of Americans United for Life, which campaigned at the federal and state level for tough restrictions on abortion.

Dr. Charmaine Yoest testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Among the many state bills backed by the group under Yoest’s leadership were measures that would ban most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, require women seeking abortions to undergo a sonogram and impose tough regulations on abortion clinics that could lead to their closure.

The appointment was assailed by abortion-rights groups.

“Charmaine Yoest has spent her whole professional life opposing access to birth control and a woman’s right to a safe, legal abortion,” said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood. “While President Trump claims to empower women, he is appointing government officials who believe just the opposite.”

Anti-abortion leader Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, praised Yoest as “one of the pro-life movement’s most articulate and powerful communicators.”

Dannenfelser also noted that Yoest — in a sign of the ideological shift taking place in Washington — will be replacing Kevin Griffis, who joined Planned Parenthood earlier this month as vice president of communications.

Many anti-abortion leaders, including Yoest, were initially cautious about Trump’s bid for the presidency, but became staunch supporters after he pledged to support several of their key goals. These included a federal 20-week abortion ban, a halt to federal funding for Planned Parenthood, and appointment of Supreme Court justices who would be open to overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established a constitutional right to abortion.

Yoest began her career serving under Ronald Reagan in the Office of Presidential Personnel and was an adviser to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee’s 2008 presidential campaign. Most recently she has served as a senior fellow at American Values, a conservative group in Washington.


Critics blast US shipment of fighter jets to Israel:

Critics blast US shipment of fighter jets to Israel:

Israel is the first country outside the US to get access to the F-35 warplane, the most expensive ever developed.

Israel has bought 50 F-35s from the US manufacturer Lockheed Martin [File: Reuters]

Israel received three F-35 stealth fighter jets from the United States at the weekend – a new generation of “near-invisible” planes that critics fear will free the country’s hand to launch air strikes and spying operations against neighbouring states undetected.

In total, Israel has bought 50 F-35s from manufacturer Lockheed Martin, and claims it will have the first squadron combat-ready before the end of the year.

Israel is the first country outside the US to be allowed access to the warplane, said to be the most expensive ever developed.

The F-35’s main selling point is its advanced stealth capabilities, reportedly allowing it to evade even the most sophisticated anti-aircraft missile systems. Lockheed describes the plane as “virtually invisible”.

According to Israeli officials, the jet will be able to outsmart Russian S-300 missiles, which are stationed in both Syria and Iran. Israel has launched repeated air strikes in Syria over the past five years, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has suggested he wants to attack Iran.

Analysts have noted that, although the jet comes with a huge price tag – each plane costs around $110m – US taxpayers will be footing the bill.

Israel’s fleet of F-35s are to be financed out of US military aid. The annual $3bn Israel receives from Washington will rise next year to $3.8bn, under a 10-year deal agreed by Barack Obama shortly before he stepped down as US president.

“Israel would never have been able to build its military might without the US – and now it will have even greater freedom to wreak suffering across the region,” Mustafa Barghouti, head of the Palestinian National Initiative party, told Al Jazeera. “The US has turned a blind eye as Israel has used its advanced weapons against Lebanon, Gaza, Syria and elsewhere.”

Ash Carter, Obama’s defence secretary, hailed Israel’s purchase of the F-35 as allowing the two countries’ air forces to work more closely together. The US military has ordered more than 2,400 of the jets. “Together, we will dominate the skies,” he said in December.

Israel’s older squadrons of F-15s and F-16s, which have been in use since the 1970s, are due to be gradually phased out in favour of the stealth fighter.

At Israel’s insistence, no Arab countries have so far been allowed to buy the F-35. In the original negotiations, the Pentagon agreed that the jet would ensure that Israel maintained its “qualitative military edge” over its neighbours.

Israeli military officials pressed for the F-35 partly because Arab states such as Saudi Arabia began acquiring large numbers of F-15s.

“This is about ensuring Israel’s regional military superiority for a long time,” Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University, told Al Jazeera. “Israel wants to be able to project power over long distances, and this plane promises to do that.”

According to Israeli military analysts, one of the first uses of the F-35 could be in Syria, where Israel has been especially active since the outbreak of civil war there six years ago. It has regularly launched strikes against Syrian army positions, claiming to be preventing the transfer of weapons to the Lebanese group Hezbollah.

The risks of escalation have heightened for Israel as other states – notably Iran, Russiaand Turkey – have been drawn into Syria too.

This week, Israel made a rare public admission that it carried out an air strike in Syria last month. Unusually, the Syrian military responded to the attack by launching anti-aircraft missiles at the Israeli planes, though none are believed to have hit their targets.

Inbar said the biggest prize for Israel was the F-35’s potential use against Iran. Its stealth capabilities mean it could be used either to carry out attacks or for reconnaissance missions. It would also be able to pass over intermediary countries unseen.

Netanyahu has repeatedly suggested that Israel might attack Tehran, either alone or with US help, over claims that it harbours ambitions to develop a nuclear weapon.

According to Israeli analyst Amos Harel, one offensive use of the new fighter would be to launch an undetected, first-wave attack against another country’s radar and anti-aircraft missile systems. That would then open the way for a second wave of planes, including F-15s, F-16s and drones, to bomb sites without fear of retaliation.

Last week, US defence secretary James Mattis made a brief visit to Israel – the first senior official from Donald Trump’s new administration to do so. His meetings focused on alleged threats from Iran and Syria, Israeli media reported.

Israeli officials have suggested that the F-35 will not be used against Palestinians, as they have no radar or anti-aircraft batteries. “We are not buying the F-35 to attack Gaza,” one told Haaretz.

But Barghouti said he doubted that. “This plane will be used everywhere – and given that Gaza is defenceless against such attacks, it could be the place where Israel tests it first.”

Israel serves as the test-bed for the development of these kinds of new weapons. The F-35 will be tested in the field, in real time by Israel. The likelihood is that the first time the plane is used in combat will be with Israeli pilots flying it.

Jeff Halper, author of War Against the People

As well as being the first military to receive the fighter outside the US, Israel is the only country that has been allowed to modify the plane’s software and integrate its own components and weapons systems.

Jeff Halper, whose recent book War Against the People examined the close military ties between Israel and the US, said the payoff for the US was that Israel would refine the F-35’s combat role and carry out trouble-shooting for Lockheed and the US military.

“Israel serves as the test-bed for the development of these kinds of new weapons,” he told Al Jazeera. “The F-35 will be tested in the field, in real time by Israel. The likelihood is that the first time the plane is used in combat will be with Israeli pilots flying it.”

Production of the F-35 also illustrates the increasingly tight ties between Israeli and US arms manufacturers, noted Halper. Israeli companies won contracts worth more than $250m last year with Lockheed, which makes the F-35.

They included Elbit Systems, which helps develop helmets and radio systems, and Israel Aerospace Industries, which works on Lockheed’s wing sets.

Avi Dadon, a senior official in the Israeli defence ministry, told Defense News in February that with the arrival of the F-35s, Israel expected to “further deepen” cooperation, boosting the Israeli economy.

Halper said: “Israel exploits this involvement in research and development and finds commercial spin-offs, both in military and non-military applications. This is part of the reason why Israel has a reputation for being the ‘start-up nation’.”

Barghouti said Israel was allowed to act as an unofficial intermediary with other countries, such as India, selling them military equipment cheaper than the US or without the restrictions imposed by the Pentagon.

He added that Israel received more than $20bn a year in help from the US, including aid, cooperation with military industries, preferential trade status, and donations from a network of philanthropic organisations.

Some Israeli analysts are critical of the extent to which Israel is now dependent on the US military. Emmanuel Sakal, a former general and expert on battlefield strategies at the Begin-Sadat Centre, told Al Jazeera: “Israel needs to be less reliant on the US, not more. Israel needs to be able to act on its own in times of crisis.”

He said the F-35 was “no magic bullet”, and the money could have been better spent on developing other aspects of the Israeli military, including its ground forces.

The F-35 programme has courted much controversy over its costs, as well as over-runs and problems in the plane’s three-decade development.

A Pentagon report last year suggested that the F-35 had major design flaws, especially with its software. It is also reported to have lost in a mock dogfight with the much older F-16.

Trump has threatened to reassess the US military’s purchase of large numbers of F-35s. With costs over the jet’s lifetime expected to reach $1.5 trillion, Trump accused the programme of being “out of control”.

Inbar said: “The plane has a lot of problems, and we will have to see if it can be made combat-ready as quickly as the Israeli air force believes.”


Jonathan Cook

Congress Passes Spending Bill To Avoid Shutdown, Again Punts On Health Care:

Congress Passes Spending Bill To Avoid Shutdown, Again Punts On Health Care:

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., arrives for a news conference about President Trump's 100 Days at the U.S. Capitol on Friday. The Senate passed a short-term spending bill on Friday to avert a government shutdown that would have coincided with the marker.

Updated at 5:05 p.m. ET.

With the clock ticking, Congress on Friday managed to fulfill its basic function — keeping the federal government running.

The House and Senate approved a short-term measure that funds the government for another week. Lawmakers voted hours ahead of a midnight deadline to avoid a partial shutdown of federal agencies.

Friday’s extension gives members of Congress more time — until midnight on May 5 — to try to reach a deal on a spending bill that will last through the rest of fiscal year 2017, which ends Sept. 30.

“We’re willing to extend things for a little bit more time in hopes that the same sort of progress can be made,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Democrats out of power, but flexing political muscle

The vote caps a dramatic week of deal-making on Capitol Hill, particularly in the House.

Although Republicans control all the levers of power in Washington, Democrats had significant leverage in the spending talks and used it to win concessions from the White House.

Monday night, President Trump dropped his demand that the spending bill include a down-payment for his long-promised wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats said they would not support any bill that included wall funding.

The White House later retreated from its threat to stop paying federal subsidies to health insurers that help cover low-income Americans under the Affordable Care Act.

The calendar also proved to be a motivating factor.

If Congress hadn’t approved the spending bill, the government shutdown would have taken effect on Saturday — President Trump’s 100th day in office.

“I think the president is learning that the all-powerful position of the presidency is not the end-all,” said Rep. Joe Crowley, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “There is an equal co-branch of government called the legislature, and when it’s properly exercised, it gives an [opportunity] for the minority from time to time to play a role.”

Health care victory eludes Trump in his first 100 days

Members of Congress left Washington on Friday without voting on the GOP’s revised health care bill.

The updated legislation would allow states to opt out of some of the Affordable Care Act’s mandates — including the benefits health insurers must cover in their policies and the ban on allowing insurance companies to charge more based on a person’s age and health status.

“It gives states more flexibility and tools to decrease premiums and increases choices,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told reporters during his weekly briefing. “And it does this while maintaining and preserving protections for people with preexisting conditions.”

House GOP leaders faced pressure from the Trump administration to schedule a vote on the bill this week. The White House was eager to claim it as a legislative victory within Trump’s 100th-day marker.

But the GOP’s vote-counting team struggled to find the support needed to pass the measure, especially among centrist Republicans. The House Freedom Caucus’ endorsement of the bill made the divide all the more pronounced. That bloc of roughly three-dozen hard-line conservative Republicans helped sideline the party’s previous attempt.

House Democrats had threatened to block the spending bill this week if Republicans attempted to vote on the health care legislation.

The “hot potato” has moved to moderate Republicans

Still, support from the Freedom Caucus injected the GOP effort with a shot of momentum and put political pressure on moderate House Republicans to fall in line. The dynamic fueled tension within the party.

“There’s frustration that we are here where we are because of the Freedom Caucus stand three weeks ago,” said Rep. Chris Collins, R-N.Y. “And now the hot potato has moved to those of us that are typically the ones that cast the tough votes all the time — whether it’s [voting to raise] the debt ceiling or it’s keeping the government open.”

House Speaker Ryan says he’ll bring the new health care bill up for a vote only when it has enough support to pass. It’s not clear when or if that will happen with the legislation in its current form.

The renewed rift over health care will likely color next week’s negotiations over the longer spending bill, as lawmakers face yet another precarious bout of brinkmanship.

Unhealthy Air, Unhealthy Heart:

Unhealthy Air, Unhealthy Heart:

Photo: Smoggy air over highway and city skyline

The air we breathe can have a big effect on heart and brain health. Polog or wildfire smoke, can lead to heart disease and trigger heart attacks and strokes especially in people already at risk. Learn how air quality is tied to cardiovascular disease and how you can stay healthy indoors and out doors.

Sometimes air pollution is obvious, but often the air is full of things we cannot see, including tiny particles. Particles can be solid or liquid and can form naturally or as a result of car exhaust, industry, or wildfires. Some particles are so small (much thinner than a human hair1) that they can get into your lungs and bloodstream, putting you at risk of heart attack and stroke.1

Worldwide, more than 9 in 10 people are exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution, mostly from road traffic, industrial emissions, and burning of fuels for heat or cooking.The World Health Organization estimates that air pollution causes more than 3 million deaths each year.Air pollution may cause up to 200,000 early deaths each year in the United States.3

As the weather warms and people spend more time outside, everyone should learn how to Be Air Aware during Air Quality Awareness Week (May 1–5, 2017) and beyond.

How Does Air Pollution Harm Your Heart and Brain?

People who breathe polluted air over a long time have a higher risk of heart and brain problems than people who aren’t exposed to air pollution. But even short-term exposure can raise the risk of heart attack, stroke, and irregular heartbeat in people who are already at risk for those conditions. Breathing in the tiny particles that float in polluted air, called “particulates,” can raise your risk of heart attack and stroke by:4

  • Raising your risk of blood clots, which can cause stroke.
  • Raising your blood pressure.5
  • Causing inflammation (swelling) in your blood vessels.
  • Hardening your arteries (atherosclerosis).
  • Causing an irregular heartbeat.

These health effects can keep oxygen and other nutrients in your blood from reaching your heart and brain.

Who Is at Risk?

Although air quality in the United States is better than it was decades ago, certain groups are at a higher risk of breathing polluted air because of where they live or work. People at risk include:6

  • Those living or working near railyards, major roadways, and industrial areas.
  • Those exposed to wildfire smoke, which can drift hundreds of miles.

Although breathing polluted air is not good for anyone, certain groups are more at risk of heart attack and stroke after even short-term exposure. These groups include6,7

  • People with chronic health problems, including asthma, untreated high blood pressure, and heart disease.
  • Older adults.
  • People with type 2 diabetes, especially women.8
  • Smokers.
  • Children.

How Can You Protect Yourself and Your Family?

You can take several steps to protect yourself and your family from air pollution and its harmful effects.

Have a healthy heart now. Being heart healthy makes you less vulnerable to the effects of air pollution. Strengthen your heart by making smart food choices, getting plenty of physical activity each week, and not smoking. Manage any health conditions, such as high blood pressure, by taking the medicines you’ve been prescribed.

Be air aware. If you’re headed outside to work or play, check your local air quality index. A green rating means it’s safe for everyone to spend time outdoors. But yellow and orange ratings mean people with health conditions should reduce how much time they spend outside and how heavily they exercise.

Change how and where you exercise. If the air quality is yellow or worse, avoid exercise that will make you breathe hard. For example, consider going for a walk instead of a jog. You can also switch to indoor exercises, such as riding a stationary bike, doing yoga, or swimming. Avoid exercising near or downwind of busy roadways, power plants, or industrial areas.

Get an air purifier. Consider an air purifier for your house and office. Some air purifiers can reduce the amount of particulates in the air by half, which can lower blood pressure and inflammation.9


  1. US Environmental Protection Agency. Particulate Matter (PM) Basics website. Accessed March 30, 2017.
  2. World Health Organization. Inheriting a Sustainable World? Atlas on Children’s Health and the Environment. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization; 2017.
  3. Caiazzo F, Ashok A, Waitz IA, Yim SHL, Barrett SRH. Air pollution and early deaths in the United States. Part I: quantifying the impact of major sectors in 2005Atmos Environ. 2013;79:198–208. doi: 10.1016/j.atmosenv.2013.05.081.
  4. AirNow. Particle Pollution (PM) website.
  5. Cai Y, Zhang B, Ke W, et al. Associations of short-term and long-term exposure to ambient air pollutants with hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysisHypertension. 2016;68(1):62–70. doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07218.
  6. Brook RD, Newby DE, Rajagopalan S. The global threat of outdoor ambient air pollution to cardiovascular health: time for interventionJAMA Cardiol. 2017 [published online ahead of print February 22, 2017]. doi: 10.1001/jamacardio.2017.0032 .
  7. US Environmental Protection Agency. Healthy Heart Toolkit: Resources for Health Professionals website. What is the link between Air Pollution and Cardiovascular Effects?
  8. Hart JE, Puett RC, Rexrode KM, Albert CM, Laden F. Effect modification of long-term air pollution exposures and the risk of incident cardiovascular disease in US womenJ Am Heart Assoc. 2015;4(12):e002301. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.115.002301.
  9. US Environmental Protection Agency. Particle Pollution and Your Health website.
Elephant bird:

Elephant bird:

Elephant birds
                                                     Aepyornis maximus.jpg
Aepyornis maximus skeleton and egg
Extinct  (17th century or earlier)
Scientific classificatione
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Clade: Novaeratitae
Order: Aepyornithiformes
Newton, 1884[1]
Family: Aepyornithidae
Bonaparte, 1853[1]
Type species
Aepyornis maximus
Hilaire, 1851
2 genera, 7 species

Elephant birds are members of the extinct family Aepyornithidae. Elephant birds were large to enormous flightless birds that once lived on the island of Madagascar. They became extinct, by the 17th or 18th century if not earlier, for reasons that are unclear, although human activity is the suspected cause. Elephant birds comprised the generaMullerornis and AepyornisAepyornis was among the heaviest of birds (the extinct Dromornis stirtoni of Australia reached a similar weight). While they were in close geographical proximity to the ostrich, elephant birds’ closest living relatives are kiwis, suggesting that ratites did not diversify by vicariance during the breakup of Gondwana but instead evolved from ancestors that dispersed more recently by flying.

Size of Aepyornis maximus (centre, in purple) compared to a human, an ostrich (second from right, in maroon), and some non-avian theropod dinosaurs. Grid spacings are 1.0 m.

The elephant birds, which were giant ratites native to Madagascar, have been extinct since at least the 17th century. Étienne de Flacourt, a French governor of Madagascar in the 1640s and 1650s, mentions an ostrich-like bird said to inhabit unpopulated regions. In 1659, Flacourt wrote: “vouropatra – a large bird which haunts the Ampatres and lays eggs like the ostriches; so that the people of these places may not take it, it seeks the most lonely places.” Marco Polo also mentioned hearing stories of very large birds during his journey to the East during the late 13th century. These accounts are today believed to describe elephant birds. Aepyornis, believed to have been more than 3 m (9.8 ft) tall and weighing perhaps in the range of 350 to 500 kg (770 to 1,100 lb),[6][7][8][9] was at the time the world’s largest bird. Only the much older species Dromornis stirtoni from Australia is known to rival it in size among the fossil record and is reported to have shared the same estimated upper weight, 500 kg (1,100 lb). Remains of Aepyornis adults and eggs have been found; in some cases the eggs have a length up to 34 cm (13 in), the largest type of bird egg ever found. The egg weighed about 10 kg (22 lb). The egg volume is about 160 times greater than that of a chicken egg

Grover Cleveland dedicates Statue of Liberty:

Grover Cleveland dedicates Statue of Liberty:

On this day in 1886, President Grover Cleveland dedicates the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

The statue’s full name was Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World. It had been a gift from French citizens to their American friends in recognition of the two countries’ commitment to liberty and democracy and their alliance during the American Revolutionary War, which had begun 110 years earlier. The 151-foot copper statue was built in France and shipped to New York in 350 separate parts. It arrived in the city on June 17, 1886, and over the next several months was reassembled while electricians worked to wire the torch to light up at night.

As President Cleveland accepted the statue on behalf of American citizens, he declared “we will not forget that liberty here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” The statue quickly became a symbol of America’s humanitarianism and willingness to take in the world’s “tired, poor and huddled masses”—in the words of the poem by Emma Lazarus inscribed on the monument’s pedestal—who yearned for freedom and a better life.

“Lady Liberty” was originally intended to work as a functional lighthouse and, from 1886 to 1901, the statue was operated by the United States Lighthouse Board. In 1901, the War Department took over its operation and maintenance. The statue and the island on which it stands, now known as Liberty Island, were together proclaimed a national monument by President Calvin Coolidge on October 15, 1924, and, in 1933, the National Park Service assumed oversight of the monument. In 1982, President Ronald Reagan established a commission tasked with restoring the deteriorating Lady Liberty in time for a centennial celebration in 1986. A joint French-American preservation and rehabilitation group cleaned the statue and replaced the glass and metal torch with gold leaf. The original torch is on display in the statue’s lobby.

Today, the Statue of Liberty is a major tourist attraction, hosting as many as 5 million people every year. Although access to the statue’s crown was restricted following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, tourists can still visit Liberty Island, and the statue’s pedestal observation deck and museum.

How to Tell If You Smell: (Besides The Visible Stank Lines)

How to Tell If You Smell: (Besides The Visible Stank Lines)

The human nose can detect more than one trillion distinct scents, but it’s not so great at picking up your own odors. There’s always a chance you reek something foul and just don’t realize it. If that’s a fear of yours, here’s how you can find out for sure.

If you just lower your nose and take a big whiff of the air surrounding your body, you’re probably not going to pick up on your body odor. You’ll assume everything’s fine and go about your day smelling like something was living in your shirt, had a family, died, was eaten by its young, and then they all died too. Why? It’s nearly impossible to smell yourself, even if you’re smelling funky. The receptors in your nose that would normally respond to your own particular brand of smells practically shut down after being bombarded with the same scents for so long. Basically, your nose goes numb to your own stank so you don’t go mad.

Remove Your Clothes and Smell Them

So, to check yourself for BO, you need to smell your clothes away from your body, and really get your nose in there. Obviously you can’t disrobe in the middle of your workplace, but you can hop into a bathroom stall easily enough and check everything piece by piece. Smell every part of your clothing and look for wet spots where you’ve been sweating. Sweat usually means bacteria, and bacteria is what gives off the stench.

Now go by the golden rule of body odor: If you can smell any odor on yourself at all, others can smell it a lot more. Put on more deodorant, use wet wipes to give yourself a quick cleanup, put on a change of clothes, or if all else fails, rub some hand sanitizer on your pits until you can fix the problem. The same rules goes for deodorants, perfumes, colognes, and body sprays too. If you can still detect your fancy perfume on you after a while, other people can definitely smell it when they’re around you. So go easy on that stuff.

Run Your Fingers Along Your Scalp

Sometimes sweaty armpits aren’t the source of funky odors, though. Your hair can get pretty ripe if you don’t wash it often enough, or if you forget to use some dry shampoo after a super sweaty workout. If you’re worried your hair is crop dusting fustiness on everyone as you walk by, there’s a simple way to check it.

Wash your hands with hot water, but don’t use soap. You don’t want the soapy smell to cover up what you’re about to check for. Run your clean fingers along your scalp, not your hair, several times. Now smell your finger tips and you should get a good idea of what your hair smells like.

Do Some Breath Tests

When it comes to stinky breath, there are a few quick ways you can check for nastiness before you have to interact for people:

  • The hand test: The classic move. Hold your hand or hands up to your face and exhale into them so you can get a good whiff. This works best if you wash your hands beforehand without scented soap, however. Otherwise you’ll just be smelling your hands.
  • The arm test: Lick your arm and wait about 10 seconds, then sniff the spot. If it smells bad, so does your breath. Again, it helps to clean off the spot first.
  • The spoon test: Grab a spoon, metal or plastic, and scrape the back part of your tongue with it. Let it dry a little and give it a sniff. This will probably smell a little bad no matter what—unless you just used a tongue scraper and mouth wash—but you can tell how bad it really is with this method.
  • The taste test: If you have a weird taste lingering in your mouth, your breath probably stinks. Whatever is overloading your saliva and taste buds is likely giving off an odor as well.

It’s also safe to assume that you have garlic breath if you just ate garlic, coffee breath if you just drank coffee, and alcohol breath if you used your lunch break to “unwind.”

Use Coffee to Reset Your Scent Palate

While you’re conducting these smelling tests, it can help to have a scent palate refresher. Something you can sniff to reset your nose before you take a whiff of your clothes, armpits, fingers, or breath. Coffee, fore example, is a strong, single-scent component that gives the receptors in your nose a quick break from what it’s been smelling all day (you). That’s why department stores keep coffee beans handy in the perfume section. You can smell a perfume, reset with some coffee, then smell a different perfume. Coffee is also easy to access for most people. It’s in the break room of almost every type of workplace, and it’s easy to snag a little before stealing away to smell yourself.

However, coffee doesn’t give your nose a total reset. As Pamela Dalton, a psychologist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, explains at Washington Post, our sense of smell doesn’t reset and recover as quickly as our other senses. To fully refresh your scent palate it could take several weeks. That’s why you can sometimes notice the smell of your house after you’ve been on vacation. And since you can’t really get away from your own body, there’s no way to completely regain your nose’s sensitivity to your own odors. Still, a coffee refresh is better than nothing when you really want to make sure you aren’t stinky.

Ask Someone You Trust

Last but not least, you can ask somebody you trust to smell you and tell it to you straight. Without a doubt, this is the most effective method. It’s not ideal to ask your partner, or someone you live with, though, since they’re also fairly used to your smell. Ask a coworker or friend and tell them to be honest. It’s a little awkward, but hey, it’s guaranteed to work.

BY: Patrick Allan