Convicted murderer serving life in prison running for Senate seat

MINNEAPOLIS — A prison inmate serving a life term for two murders is running for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota. And it’s legal. Minnesota law bars inmates from running for state-level offices, but they can run for federal office. Leonard Richards is keenly aware of the loophole, and he’s unsuccessfully sought federal office several…
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Samira just opened up about villa life and why she chose to leave Love Island

‘Dani and Jack are going to get married, have kids and all of that’

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Love Island 2018 is getting dramatic, with the past week pushing the show to breaking point.

Tonight’s episode reached climax when Samira Mighty, one of the show’s originals, chose to leave the villa, just days after her ‘Prince Charming’ Frankie was voted off the show.

‘I finally got what I wanted and now I feel like I’m back at square one’ she told Dani, breaking the news to her fellow islanders the next morning.

‘This decision is so, so hard,’ she explained. ‘I’m devastated by it but I think that it is the right thing to do – just follow my heart because I’ve never done that before. I’ve always taken the back seat and now I need to go for it head on and leave and just go for Frankie. I’ve got to go with my gut feeling.’

So the 22-year-old left the villa, but how is she feeling now that she’s on the outside?

REX

How do you feel about leaving the villa?

‘I feel very confident and very proud of myself. I feel like it was the right time for me to leave. I’m obviously devastated to be leaving my best friends but this is the perfect time. I’ve found what I wanted to find and it was Frankie so I’m going to go and get him. I do see a future with Frankie, I’ve
never met anyone like him before. He is gorgeous and we did have a genuine connection. I wouldn’t change anything about my time in the villa, I have no regrets.’

Are you looking forward to seeing Frankie?

‘I am really excited and also really nervous. All we know is our villa relationship so I’m really excited to see how it’ll work on the outside world and if we are compatible and do like each other as much as we said. I’m a bit nervous but mostly excited. Just before he left he said “see you in three weeks, see you soon” and he said to a few of the boys that he was going to wait for me so it feels positive at the moment and good.’

Who did you click with the most in the villa?

‘I clicked with everyone. Everyone was my best friend! But I’d say Dani, she is the best, most amazing girl. She always kept me positive. I love Megan so much, we got really close and what she has with Wes is very genuine. I also got on really well with Wes too. Georgia is super confident and bubbly and that’s exactly what she’s always like. I love her, we got really close and I did feel for her with everything she went through with Josh but she is happy with Sam now. I love that girl.’

REX

What are your hopes for Dr Alex?

‘Alex is so unique. He is his own self, he has never changed and he needs a girl to come in for him and not have eyes for anyone else. I just hope that Alex finds love because he has waited long enough. I really like Alexandra, she does seem really nice. And she was genuine about her feelings for Alex when she came in. He really makes her laugh and crack up. There are other single guys in there and they want to take her out… It’s all up to Alexandra, she has the power.’

What is your take on villa life?

‘Villa life is a roller coaster. It is absolutely amazing, I walked around pinching myself that I was there. You go through ups and downs but mostly ups because you’re there with amazing people. You are meeting boys and girls and making friends. It is very intense but your emotions and feelings in there are all real. You completely forget about the cameras. You are so immersed in everyone else.’

REX

What was your standout Love Island memory?

‘I loved the Ministry of Sound party night. I also really enjoyed the stripping dance off challenge. I loved my outfit, my silver thigh high boots! It was nerve-wracking but so fun. The challenges were also amazing and finally meeting Frankie, that was a big milestone for me in the villa.’

Who do you think could be engaged by this time next year?

‘Definitely Dani and Jack. 100 per cent. They are going to get married, have kids and all of that. They are amazing together. And maybe Josh and Kaz, they are very close.’

Who do you think is going to win?

‘Dani and Jack because they have had such a journey from the start. They were coupled up on day one, then she had a little dip where she wasn’t sure how she felt about him. Then Hayley said she fancied Jack and then Jack tried to get a reaction out of Dani by speaking to Hayley. That was ages ago now, I’m even having to jog my memory! They are like magnets to each other now. I love them and I know they really love each other.’

We’re going to miss Samira!

The post Samira just opened up about villa life and why she chose to leave Love Island appeared first on Marie Claire.

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‘Mary Page Marlowe’ review: Tracy Letts traces life of one woman played by six actresses

“Mary Page Marlowe,” a frustratingly non-impact and not particularly well-acted drama at Second Stage through Aug. 12, recalls the notion of seeing something six ways from Sunday – as in, from every angle.

As such, the title character is played by a half-dozen actresses of various ages, as Mary…

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Flip Or Flop’s Christina El Moussa On Her Love Life, The Show’s New Season & More (FULL) | PeopleTV

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Art At Your Fingertips: Marc Quinn’s latest prints are unique portraits of modern life

The contemporary British artist’s ‘Prismatic Labyrinth’ series offers a thought-provoking social commentary on identity in the 21st century, in a highly unexpected way.

Prismatic Labyrinth (354 U) by Marc Quinn

Making a statement has never really been an issue for Marc Quinn. The artist first made waves in the art world back in the Nineties with his self-portrait, ‘Self’, which was crafted from 10 pints of his own blood in a frozen silicone mould. Because of the nature of Quinn’s chosen material, the sculpture is reliant on electricity to maintain its form, thus making a statement about contemporary society’s need to always be plugged in, switched on and connected. Not bad for an opening gambit, right?

Since then Quinn’s continued to make work that acts as a social commentary, covering everything from man’s dependency on, and troubled relationship with, technology (see ‘Garden’) to beauty and the widely-held desire for transformation (check out his sculptures ‘Alison Lapper Pregnant’ and ‘Siren’). Clearly, if you want to enter into a discourse about what it means to be human in today’s world, Marc Quinn may well be the artist to speak to.

Prismatic Labyrinth (299 U) By Marc Quinn

His latest work isn’t shy about saying something about current issues in society either. Through ‘Prismatic Labyrinth’, a trio of limited-edition prints, Quinn considers the tensions between the biological and the man-made – specifically, how one of our unique human markers has become a tool of surveillance culture.

Drawing on the paintings and bronze casts that make up Quinn’s ‘Labyrinth’ series, the prints alter the way that we see our fingerprints. In his hands, the labyrinthine pathways that make up the tips of our fingers – and which are almost certainly unique to each of us – become a form of portraiture; the vitality and marbled colours within each line, or pathway, hint at the stories and experiences of the person who the prints belong to. But, because of their abstract nature, we can only guess at their meaning.

The longer you think about these prints and what they represent, the easier it is to get drawn into (and lost in) a maze of questions: how much can we really know from a set of fingerprints? Are we talking about the labyrinths that mark out our fingertips, or the complex networks of society? Maps of our identity, or mapping out where we’ve been and what we’ve done? All of these seem quite relevant if you consider the contactless nature of contemporary society. As Quinn himself says ‘we (have) become encoded into a unique abstraction which is also profoundly figurative.’ Basically, we’re teetering on the edge of a rabbit hole of questions, many of which you may want to ponder when you see the prints in person, and some of which you may not want to tackle at all! So let’s step back to the artworks themselves.

Prismatic Labyrinth (102 U) By Marc Quinn

These thought-provoking talking points, are also interesting in terms of the process used to create them; the trio of giclee prints play with the tactile nature of their subject matter. Each of the edition of 60 is finished with a spot glaze, which is screen printed over the digital image to create a subtle ridge, similar to those found on our own fingertips. It all sounds very simple but, as we’ve seen, there is so much more to these prints than meets the eye.

To experience Quinn’s prints in person, call into our Brighton gallery, where our Art Advisors will be happy to help. Tel. 01273 724829 or email brighton@artrepublic.com.

For more news stories and events visit our Brighton Gallery page

The post Art At Your Fingertips: Marc Quinn’s latest prints are unique portraits of modern life appeared first on artrepublic blog.
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Kids in immigration court: A maze with life and death consequences


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Royal life is ruining Meghan Markle’s sexy style

Ever since she said “I do” to Prince Harry on May 19, Meghan Markle has been under pressure to adhere to royal protocol — and look good doing it. But for the past six weeks, the new Duchess of Sussex’s fashion selections have come under fire: from her choice of sheer pantyhose to the tailoring…
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Saloni Lodha, Eugenie Niarchos Bring Obsessions to Life With New RTW Collaboration

TEAMWORK: Designer Saloni Lodha and fine jeweler Eugenie Niarchos have brought their mutual obsessions — traveling, bright colors, embellishments — to life via a new ready-to-wear capsule collection that will drop in September.
After continuously sharing ideas and meeting in different places across the globe, the longtime friends finally decided to create something together. “We would travel to Bombay and to Hong Kong, pick up references from each place and talk about all the different dresses we wanted to design and where each style would work,” said Lodha, whose label, Saloni is best known for its vibrant, printed dresses.
“I think I can get into Eugenie’s head and we love all the same things,” the designer added during the launch lunch at Dartmouth House in London’s Mayfair.
The capsule channels the same fantasy-filled aesthetic that Niarchos’ jewelry is known for: There are tiger prints that pay homage to her spirit animal, sequin dresses and midi skirts reflecting her love of mermaids and intricately embroidered pieces that reflect on both designers’ fascination with India.

The Saloni x Venyx collection 
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“My brand’s aesthetic is very ethereal. It’s inspired by space, underwater life and mermaids, while Saloni was thinking about these islands off of India and diving, so

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10 Ways to Sneak in Meditation into Your Everyday Life

Life moves pretty fast and, at times, can be totally overwhelming. But meditation is the perfect way to slow down and find balance. Here, experts share some easy tips and tricks on how even beginners can get their meditation on.

The post 10 Ways to Sneak in Meditation into Your Everyday Life appeared first on Reader's Digest.

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‘Space kingdom’ seeks citizens for life beyond Earth very soon

VIENNA (Reuters) – Feel like the world is going to the dogs? Want to get away from it all? Here’s a solution: become a citizen of the nation of Asgardia and hope it makes good on its promise to colonize the moon.


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The four word prayer that could change everything in your life

On the days when I get really fearful, I say a tiny prayer.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Why You Need Life Insurance for Your Child

Far too many people around the world today are talking and thinking about the nightmare of young people and children dying too soon. The passing of the late Whitney Houston’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina, is but one example and it weighs on the hearts and minds of millions.

As a parent, I can tell you it’s almost impossible to let your mind ‘go there’ and even think about the possibility of losing a child. It’s unthinkable, unnatural, and unbelievable.  Needless to say, it is very difficult to talk to people about getting life insurance for their children  I’m going to have to challenge you, however, to sit with those feelings and quiet your mind so that you can really listen to the reasons why you need life insurance for your child:

  1. The money you build up in the policy can be used for education costs
  2. Your child will have life insurance in the event he/she ever becomes ill and uninsurable
  3. You’re helping your child protect his family and have money for life events like buying a home

Black Enterprise  had a conversation with Christopher Gatty, a financial adviser for Reby Advisors, about this. Gatty explained why it’s important to keep an open mind about insuring your children as part of your effort to create financial stability for your family, for generations to come.

The concept of life insurance for a child is such a difficult topic to bring up when it comes to financial planning. What are some of the things parents should consider?

Gatty: There’s no question the concept of insuring children is morbid, but death is not really the primary purpose for this. Yes, you would get a death benefit to help cover things like funeral costs in the event of your child’s death, but there is so much more that can be done in terms of financial planning for things like education costs. It can allow you to fund future expenses that can otherwise be a shock to your or your child’s overall financial plan.

 Can you elaborate on how a life insurance policy can be used for education costs?

A good option here is a variable universal life policy (VUL). With a VUL, you’re building a cash value.That cash can be invested in different accounts and deliver the returns possible from investing in the financial markets.  If you can, you should invest the maximum allowed by the IRS. As this money grows, it is not taxed as income. Saving for college this way can also allow you much more flexibility than, say, a 529 college savings plan. That money can only be used for qualified education expenses – like tuition, books, and room and board. You also pay taxes when you withdraw money from a 529 plan. The funds you build in your VUL are not taxed.  Another important consideration when you save for college is that, in most cases, the value of the VUL is not considered an asset and does not have an impact on financial aid eligibility.

 In addition to education, you’ve said that a life insurance policy can help children pay for big ‘life’ expenses when they’re older.

Gatty: I’ve done this for my own child. He’s 10-years-old. I’m paying about $ 1,600 a year on a $ 350,000 policy. By the time he is 50, he can cash out the policy and will have enough to buy a house or provide financial security for his own family. It’s important to get over the shock value of thinking of life insurance for a child and think about the benefits it can provide to so many aspects of their lives.

No one likes to think about the possibility that their child will become ill when they’re older, but something could happen that could make them uninsurable. Can you discuss the ways in which taking out a policy when they’re young can protect them if they do become ill.

Gatty: It could be one of the best things you do for your child.  We don’t like to think about the fact that our children could develop disease or illness while they’re young or when they’re adults. The reality is, however, if that happens, they won’t be able to get life insurance for their loved ones and dependents. Think about what that would be like for them and realize how big this insurance can be in their lives.

Gatty adds that when it comes to this kind of financial planning for your children, you’re primarily looking at variable universal life or whole life insurance policies. To understand and maximize the benefits these can offer, it’s important to talk to a financial professional to see how they fit within your overall budget and goals.

-Editor’s Note: This article was originally published July 2015 

The post Why You Need Life Insurance for Your Child appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Big Brother Season 20 Contestants Revealed: A Life Coach, a Vegas Entertainer and an Undercover Cop Walk Into a House…

Winston Hines, Bayleigh Dayton, JC Monduix, Big BrotherBig Brother is back–sans celebrities for season 20–with 16 new contestants ready to move into the house and provide you with hours of entertainment. This season’s crop of players include a…

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Former NFL Star Kellen Winslow Jr. Faces Life In Prison On Rape & Kidnapping Charges

NFL: NOV 22 Saints at Buccaneers

Source: Icon Sports Wire / Getty

Former tight end Kellen Winslow Jr. may face life behind bars after his recent arrest in San Diego on charges of rape and kidnapping, Yahoo Sports reports.

The allegations reportedly include multiple victims. He is charged with two counts of kidnapping with intent to rape, two counts of forcible rape, one count of forcible sodomy, one count of forcible oral copulation, two counts of residential burglary and one count of indecent exposure, according to NBC.

Winslow was arrested last week in the San Diego neighborhood, Encinitas, after a woman called about an alleged burglary. The alleged victim took a photo of the car the suspect was driving and the description matched Winslow’s vehicle. He was held for five hours and then released on bail.

The former baller was set to be arraigned on Thursday for the burglary charges, before he was arrested again on on June 14th for the rape and kidnapping charges.

This isn’t the footballers first brush with trouble–he was arrested back in 2013 after being accused of masturbating in a New Jersey Target parking lot.

SOURCE: YAHOO SPORTS 

 

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Game of Thrones filming locations you can visit in real life

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HBO’s fantasy drama Game of Thrones is a massive hit with fans. It has become one of the most watched TV shows in history, and is the most pirated TV show ever. The drama is intense, and many of the scenes are incredibly violent. That all makes for great TV, but it is all set to some amazing real-life backdrops that help to set the scene and transport the characters and viewers to the fictional world of Westeros and beyond. If you want to get closer to the show check out some of the real-life Game of Thrones locations you can actually visit.

Dubrovnik, Croatia – King’s Landing

King’s Landing is an incredibly important location in Game of Thrones. It is where the ruling monarch will sit on the Iron Throne, and it is the closest thing Westeros has to a sprawling metropolis. Filming for King’s Landing was done in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. King’s Landing is where Cersei had to do her walk of shame, as well as the fighting arena where Prince Oberyn Martell met his demise fighting The Mountain in the most bloody of fights. As well as being the location for King’s Landing, fans of Daenerys Targaryen will be familiar with the city as it is where The House of the Undying was shot.

Northern Ireland – Various

Northern Ireland has been the location for many of the scenes in the seven seasons so far of the show. Ballintoy Harbor is where Theon Greyjoy returned to his birthplace of The Iron Islands. The Dark Hedges is the iconic setting of the Kingsroad where many of the cast are spotted entering or exiting King’s Landing. The home of the Stark family, Winterfell, was shot primarily at Castle Ward and fans can head to the historic site and utter the famous words “Winter is coming” if they really want to feel like a Stark.

Iceland – Beyond The Wall

Many of the scenes shot beyond The Wall were actually filmed in Iceland. Fans of snow (both the weather and Jon) can head to this Nordic country to take in some of the most beautiful scenery found in the world. Famous locations from the show include Jon and Ygritte’s love cave, the wilding camps, as well as the location where Brienne bests the Hound in hand-to-hand combat. Fans should head to Lake Myvatn for scenes beyond the wall. Tours are available from the capital city of Reykjavik that will take you to where Drogon attacks a herd of goats and many of the scenes used as backdrops for the white walkers.

Spain – Dragonstone

In season seven few could hardly believe that the location used for Dragonstone was real. The perfect sand and the crazy rock formations looked almost too unnatural to be real, but they are and can be found beside the small town of Zumaia. That long winding pathway Jon Snow meets Daenerys Targaryen on is also very real and is a short trip to the west of Zumaia at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

Those were some of the most incredible filming locations Game of Thrones used that people can go and visit. While other locations may have used a large amount of green screen and special effects, these places are true to their depiction on the hit fantasy series.

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The post Game of Thrones filming locations you can visit in real life appeared first on Worldation.

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Jay Mohr on Burning SNL Bridges: ‘All I Want Out of Life Is More At-Bats’

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast

In its quarter-century as a minor league ballpark, Hadlock Field, home to the Double-A affiliate Portland Sea Dogs, has seen its share of journeymen take the mound. In 2012, Rich Hill pitched an inning of relief at Hadlock as part of his six-year quest to land back on a major league starting rotation.

Dwight Gooden, once a teenage phenom, threw a few innings here in the final years of his career.

However, few of the stadium’s hurlers can say they’ve hosted a nationally televised comedy competition. Or been nominated for a Teen Choice Award.

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What life is like for Paul Manafort in jail

Just before dusk on Friday, a white van pulled into Northern Neck Regional Jail, a green-roofed, low-slung building about three miles from the bank of the Rappahannock River in Virginia.


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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Cyntoia Brown Case: Life Sentence Headed To Federal Appeals Court

(Lacy Atkins/The Tennessean via AP, Pool)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Federal appeals judges said Thursday they’re considering asking the Tennessee Supreme Court to clarify whether a woman serving a life sentence for killing a man when she was 16 can ever gain parole.

The three-judge 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel heard arguments Thursday in the case of Cyntoia Brown, who has attracted celebrity support.

Attorney Mark Pickrell said Tennessee’s laws “are completely ambiguous” on parole eligibility and that her sentence is unconstitutionally excessive. John Bledsoe of the Tennessee attorney general’s office disagreed, saying she has the possibility for parole after serving 51 years.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled against mandatory life-without-parole sentences for juveniles, but Tennessee has argued successfully in lower courts that Brown will have a chance for parole.

“The law is not unclear,” Bledsoe said.

Brown, now 30, would be 68 after serving 51 years. Pickrell said she could be told decades from now that the state considers her ineligible for parole if the appeals court lets stand now what he says is an unconstitutional sentence.

“That kind of miscarriage of justice should not be on the table,” Pickrell said.

Judge Amul Thapar said the appeals court could certify the question of her eligibility for Tennessee’s high court to answer before ruling. The judges didn’t say how soon they will act. The 6th Circuit hears appeals cases from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee.

There was no discussion during the oral arguments on the other part of Brown’s appeal: Her attorneys contend she lacked the mental state to be culpable in the 2004 slaying, impaired by her mother’s alcohol use while she was in the womb.

Her attorneys say Brown has turned her life around. They have a request for clemency pending before Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam.

Celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and singer Rihanna, are part of a social media campaign to get Brown released.

Advocates say she was a teen sex trafficking victim who received an extremely harsh sentence. Police have said she shot real estate agent Johnny Allen, 43, in the back of the head at close range after bringing a loaded gun to rob him.

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Shonda Rhimes to Produce Netflix Series Based on the Life of Con Artist Anna Delvey

TV producer Shonda Rhimes is bringing the real-life story of a socialite who conned her way into an elite life of luxury to Netflix.

Rhimes, the showrunner behind the hit series Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, left her longtime home at ABC Studios and signed a lucrative deal with Netflix last year. Her first original production at the streaming platform will be based on the life of Anna Sorokin, a 27-year-old woman who posed as a German heiress under the alias Anna Delvey and scammed banks, businesses, and her wealthy friends into financing her lavish lifestyle. A recent article about Sorokin, penned by New York Magazine writer Jessica Pressler, went viral. Since then, dozens of producers have reportedly approached Pressler about adapting the story as a TV series or feature. However, Deadline reports that Netflix managed to buy the rights to the story by stepping up in a major way and leveraging Rhimes’ commitment to do the adaptation.

Sorokin, who managed to swindle her way into becoming an “it” girl on the New York social scene, was busted for six counts of grand larceny and theft of services in October 2017. She is currently being held without bond on Rikers Island. She has pleaded not guilty and won over an online fan base that is both fascinated and obsessed with her artful sham.

The new series will mark the first project that Rhimes has created since Scandal, which launched in 2012 and just ended its fifth and final season in April. If successful, Rhimes could earn $ 300 million from her five-year deal with Netflix.

Last year, Rhimes, the founder, chairwoman, and CEO of ShondaLand, credited her prosperous career in the entertainment business to her relentless work ethic. “What made the difference is that I was willing to stay longer and work harder than anyone else,” she said during a discussion at the American Express OPEN Success Makers panel in New York.

The post Shonda Rhimes to Produce Netflix Series Based on the Life of Con Artist Anna Delvey appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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‘I Wake Up With More Purpose Now.’ Andre Agassi on Building a Life After Tennis

For Andre Agassi, playing tennis was just a warmup.

The former star, who played professionally for 20 years and spent 101 weeks as number one in the world, says his sporting accolades can’t compare with what he’s accomplished since. “At the time tennis felt really important,” he says. “But what you can do off the court is generational.”

Agassi began to envision a future after the roaring crowds and rush of competition mid-way through his tennis career when, at the age of 23, he launched the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education.

That’s why the 48-year-old could be found on a recent June morning playing an exhibition game of mixed doubles under the Eiffel Tower—albeit against two children—at the Longines Future Tennis Aces tournament, which welcomed 40 players under the age of 13 from 20 countries around the world. Between points, Agassi and his wife, the German athlete Steffi Graf, shared a kiss. (Both Agassi and Graf are ambassadors for the Swiss watchmaker, Longines, which supports their respective foundations.)

“It is amazing to watch cultures breed the next generation of player that didn’t exist before and to watch them push each other to different levels,” he says. Watching Asia come into the equation, for instance, has made the game more exciting; at the tournament in Paris, there are players from Korea, Japan, India and China. But ultimately, he says, “tennis is about one on one. That applies across the globe.”

It was here at the French Open in 1999 that Agassi completed his collection of eight Grand Slam singles championships, the same year that Graf won her sixth and final singles title in Paris. Agassi and Graf were also the first tennis players in history to win career “Golden Slams”—winning all four of the sport’s majors and Olympic singles, something only Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams have gone on to accomplish.

For Agassi, it was one of the most extraordinary comebacks in modern tennis: he had slipped from number 1 in the world in 1995 to a ranking of 141 two years later, only to rise back up to number 1 in 1999. To those who knew Agassi as a “punk” with a mullet and acid-washed jeans, his evolution was striking.

But the star who resented everything in the tennis world managed to find a new motivation to keep going—and a way to transition out of tennis. In 2001, he opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a charter school for underprivileged children in his hometown, Las Vegas. Since then, he has partnered with an investment fund and financed the construction of more than 80 charter schools across the U.S.

“I knew at 18 years old that I can’t be inspired just for the sake of winning a tennis match,” he says. “Giving opportunity to children through education became my passion for staying on a court.”

Pierre Verdy—AFP/Getty ImagesU.S. tennis player Andre Agassi hits the ball in his match against Ecuadorian Andres Gomez during the Men’s French Open final on June 10, 1990 at Roland Garros stadium in Paris.

Changing Courts

In his acclaimed 2009 memoir, Open, Agassi confesses that after winning a slam, he knew something very few people did: “A win doesn’t feel as good as a loss feels bad.” That sentiment would no doubt resonate with some of the under-13 players, who have spent days training and competing against each other in Paris, to reach the finals—only to lose a match. Brushing away tears to smile for selfies, their disappointment is palpable.

“Growing up playing any sport with dreams of achieving, you need to keep it in context,” Agassi says. Seeing some of the children in Paris being so hard on themselves when they fail brings back memories of his own adolescence, out on the court with no one else to rely on. “To really achieve the highest level, you spend a third of your life not preparing for two-thirds of your life. You have to have a realistic understanding of what your expectations are, and then focus on getting better, not on winning or losing.”

Now that Agassi has left the court, he can channel his competitive nature into the foundation—where rewards are shared, and so are disappointments. But it wasn’t always easy, playing what he calls “the loneliest of sports.” In Open, the tennis star recounted his battle with depression, revealed how he used crystal meth and lied to the Association of Tennis Professionals tour after failing a drug test in 1997, and detailed his short-lived marriage to American actress Brooke Shields. Most striking of all, however, was Agassi’s intense hatred of the game he had mastered.

“I play tennis for a living even though I hate tennis, hate it with a dark and secret passion and always have,” he wrote. He describes in harrowing detail the prison created for him by the adults in his life, beginning with his father, who built a backyard court behind their house in the desert outskirts of Las Vegas. An Armenian Christian who grew up poor in Iran, Mike Agassi was a former boxer determined to raise a champion. Later, Andre attended a Florida tennis academy run by coach Nick Bollettieri, where “the constant pressure, the cutthroat competition, the total lack of adult supervision […] slowly turns us into animals.”

Speaking to TIME at the Georges V hotel in Paris, the ghosts of Agassi’s childhood come to life as he describes the experiences that sparked his journey into philanthropy. “As a child, I never had a choice,” he says. Though he loved learning, six hours a day of tennis made it almost inevitable that he would end up a great tennis player instead of a successful pupil.

“I’m an eighth-grade dropout,” Agassi says twice during our 30-minute conversation, acutely conscious of what he missed out on in life. And so his goal from very early on was “to use education as a vehicle to create choice for those kids that reminded me of myself.” During his career, Agassi earned $ 31 million in prize money; he has gone on to raise a further $ 185 million for the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, hoping to tackle the “brokenness” of the U.S. education system. He reaches 65,000 lives on an annual basis, he says—but feels it’s far from enough.

His biggest frustration is that there’s no real advocate for children—no representative union for kids to air their concerns. “Everybody comes to the table with their agenda except what’s best for the child,” he says. “There’s a long waiting list of underserved kids that are just not getting the chance to fight for their futures.”

On a more personal level, thinking about what’s best for his own children—Graf and Agassi have a son, Jaden Gil, 16, and a daughter, Jaz Elle, 14—means constantly balancing a high standard of expectation with the love and acceptance of who they are. Both Graf and Agassi had domineering fathers and while their son has developed a passion for baseball, Agassi says it’s crucial his children know “they have a safe place to come to, that I’m going to nurture and guide them in their dreams and objectives.” At the same time, he says, if they want to succeed, they do need to be better than anybody else.

Agassi’s hatred of the game doesn’t burn so fiercely as it did when he wrote Open. In fact, he says today he loves the game for the platform it offered him. “My greatest connection on a tennis court was impacting people for a few hours—giving them a break from their lives, giving them an experience, hopefully a memory for a lifetime,” he says. Off the court, though, there’s the possibility of something much greater: creating change that will affect present and future generations of Americans. “There’s no comparison to me. I wake up with much more purpose today than I did when I played tennis.” It seems Agassi’s mastery of comebacks wasn’t just for the tennis world after all.

Sports – TIME

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Nurse Alice: Suicide in Real Life and On TV

Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both loved and widely admired, were both lost to suicide in the same week. They now join the millions of Americans lost to suicide. Every year, 9 million people think about it, 1 million attempt it, and in 2016 alone 45,000 Americans committed suicide.

Suicide is one of the top 10 causes of death in the US. Men have 3 -5 times higher rates of committing suicide than women. And the highest rate of suicide occurs in adults ages 45-65.

Why do people contemplate suicide?

Many people believe that having a mental condition is the cause of suicide. However, there is no one cause for suicide and just because you have a mental condition doesn’t mean you will commit suicide. Fifty-four percent (54%) of those who commit suicide don’t have a diagnosed mental condition. Most people who died by suicide had experienced one or more risk factors that may have contributed, including a relationship problem (e.g., the unwanted end of a relationship), a recent crisis (e.g., death of a loved one) or substance misuse (e.g., increased alcohol intake), job, financial or legal stress. For many, that sounds like “adulting.” And because of that, there’s no better time than the present to check in with our loved ones, friends, co-workers, neighbors and family.

But not only are we seeing this in real life but its happening more in our entertainment as well. After a long day of work this week I decided I would do a solo night of Netflix and chill. When I logged into my account I noticed that my kids had been watching a show called 13 Reasons Why. I was unfamiliar with the show so I began to watch. And my jaw dropped!

I know TV and movies are exploring more sensitive life issues in attempts to depict real-life stories, however, this is not a show that children should be watching alone. In fact, there are probably many shows they shouldn’t be watching but I just so happen to catch this one and became overly concerned. If you’re a parent with kids this is a show you should be aware of. Its already in season 2 and kids (mine and others—probably yours too) are watching it. I polled my nieces, nephews, the neighbor’s kids, kids at church, and several middle and high school kids—many familiar with the show. With what can be mistaken as a glorification of celebrity suicide, and all of the bullying, sexual misconduct, school shootings, and social injustices happening today, kids are experiencing more depression, mood, and behavior disorders that are going under the radar. The last thing you want is for your child who may be remotely experiencing any of these feelings is to watch this show unguided and without support to discuss what they’re watching or feeling.

What is 13 Reasons Why about?

The show starts and ends each episode with actors sharing resources for where one can go for help, however, that’s not enough. Someone who is experiencing suicidal thoughts or ideations may not be in a state or too ashamed to ask for help.

Season 1 of the show opened with the aftermath of high school student Hannah Baker’s suicide. Clay Jensen, Hannah’s classmate and co-worker, then received 13 cassette tapes detailing the reasons Hannah killed herself. Hannah was bullied, assaulted, and ignored while she was alive, but her death and the tapes she left behind changed that. She gained power through suicide, and that’s a dangerous message to send to impressionable minds. Season 1 also includes a failed suicide attempt by another character named Alex who felt guilty about Hannah’s death. And let’s just say, the storyline suggests/shows rape, drinking, bullying, shaming, and other inappropriate behavior and by high school students.

But let’s fast forward to Season 2. The show attempts to address other mental health conditions and their rehabilitation. A character named Skye tries to explain to her boyfriend Clay that she has overwhelming feelings that make her cut herself. She is hospitalized and then sent to a psychiatric facility after a serious self-harm attempt. She’s later diagnosed with bipolar disorder and started on medications. 

What the expert says

I consulted with Dr. Nicole Bernard Washington, a board-certified psychiatrist and chief medical officer and founder of Elocin Psychiatric Services for her professional opinion on the impact a show like this can have on impressionable kids and what parents should do or say if their children are watching this show. 

According to Dr. Nicole, “multiple studies indicate that roughly 40% of children and adolescents with depressive disorders are not treated. Many parents are not able to recognize depression in their kiddos, possibly due to denial and others simply from lack of education.” She also went on to say that parents should be on the lookout for low mood or tearfulness. It is also not uncommon for kids to present as irritable with depression. If a kid starts to isolate from friends or withdraw from activities they love, depression should be considered. Changes in performance in school should be investigated since impaired concentration can be a symptom of depression. Other symptoms include changes in sleep pattern, changes in appetite or weight, energy changes. Lastly, if parents suspect depression in their kids they need to inquire about hopeless feelings or thoughts of suicide.

So why am I writing about this? Because the sad truth is suicide among our youth ages 10–24 is the third leading cause of death according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We as adults need to do everything we can to create healthy environments for our children. That includes being more engaged and attentive to them, getting them the help they need, involving them in dialogue, and understanding that sometimes what is viewed as entertainment may actually encourage or provoke the behavior being observed as entertainment. 

The post Nurse Alice: Suicide in Real Life and On TV appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Fast-tracked to Amsterdam’s high life and new hotels

Now only a non-stop train ride from London, the Dutch capital offers calm beauty and eco innovation amid the beery hedonism

I stood for a long time staring at the sign in the lobby of the Conscious Hotel, in Amsterdam’s Westerpark. A very long time. “Eco Sexy!” the sign read, like the Tinder bio of a freshly divorced vegan, or the aftermath of a tragic word bomb, with two fatalities and one jaunty exclamation mark. Eco Sexy also appears on the website, and in various emails. They are very pleased with this phrase, to the degree that I asked a Dutch speaker if perhaps there is some glitch in the translation. There is not. But – and don’t worry, I hate myself for saying this, no need for you to as well – in using this phrase, these words stapled together, they have a point.

Related: 10 of the best insider’s tips to Amsterdam

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Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble paints a melodic portrait of an artistic life, and it will absolutely blow you away

Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble paints a melodic portrait of an artistic life, and it will absolutely blow you away


Aja Gabel’s <em>The Ensemble</em> paints a melodic portrait of an artistic life, and it will absolutely blow you away

I don’t give many 5-star ratings on Goodreads. To be 5-star-worthy, a book has to really knock the wind out of me, burrow deep into my heart, and tell a story unlike anything I’ve ever read, all at once. Reader, I gave Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble five stars. I would give it six if I could.

The moment you lay eyes on The Ensemble, you know you’ve stumbled upon a special book. And once you crack the spine and start reading, you realize its insides match its gorgeous outside. Aja Gabel tells a lyrical story of partnership that spans over a decade. The Ensemble follows the four members of the Van Ness String Quartet from the time they’re students in conservatory until they’re adults playing chamber music professionally. At times, they’re hardly friends; during others, they’re closer than family. But they’re quartet mates always. Through success, failure, love, loss, cross-country moves, injury, marriage, divorce, children, new beginnings, and life in general, they choose the group every time.

I haven’t cared about a book or about characters this much in a while, and I can’t recommend The Ensemble enough. HelloGiggles readers are loving it too — in fact, you chose it as our HG Book Club pick for June. (Follow @hellogiggles on Instagram for weekly discussion questions and share a picture of where you’re reading with #HGBookClub!)

I spoke with Aja Gabel about The Ensemble, writing a novel that dares to tell the story of an entire life, and the unique bonds that connect members of the music community.

Galleys are in, cover is 🔥 .coming atcha May 15, 2018!

A post shared by Aja Gabel (@ajagabel) on

HelloGiggles: It’s clear that your understanding of and love for music runs deep. Can you tell me a little bit about your background with it?

Aja Gabel: I played violin when I was five, and then I switched to the cello when I was 10. I studied and played the cello until I was 30. So I stopped pretty recently, about when I was writing this book. I studied very intensely and I competed. Then, there came a time when I had to choose if I was going to go to college or conservatory, and it became clear that I loved the music slightly more than I was good at it; choosing a life of conservatory and that path would have been really painful and difficult I think. So I went to regular college and I continued to play and study, and mostly played chamber music.

HG: What inspired you to make music such a big part of The Ensemble?

AG: The reason I wanted to write about a string quartet is because that’s how I grew up making friendships and making connections and bonds — through music. Everybody I was with when I was younger were musicians. Even though I went to regular high school, I still only had music friends, because that’s what I did. I think there’s something really special about learning to be close to someone while you’re playing with them. I think that it’s a very unusual way to get close to someone, but it reveals a lot about how we make connections. That they’re often non-verbal; that they have to do with some implicit understanding about each other or what we’re making or doing here that isn’t often expressed directly in words; that there’s a physical closeness you have with some people that isn’t romantic. I thought it illuminated a lot of that, but in this sideways way.

HG: A word I see used to describe The Ensemble a lot is “lyrical,” and it’s absolutely spot-on. The writing is so melodic and impresses upon the reader just how big a part of the characters’ lives music is. It really informs the writing and not the other way around.

AG: It’s nice to hear you say that it was lyrical and it be a compliment. For a lot of MFA programs and in workshops, “lyrical” can be a kind of dirty word, like the music of the language is standing in for some kind of substance. But I’ve always been drawn to that, because the music of the language is what I respond to first when I read something. It’s really nice to hear people recognize that and understand that it reflects something about what this story is about.

I think that comes from having studied it for decades. When you research something, you have to digest it and internalize it and then forget it in order to write creatively about it. With music, because I had studied it for so long, it was inside me in this way that I didn’t feel like I had to add it in later.

HG: Your four main characters, Jana, Brit, Henry, and Daniel, are such dimensional, complicated people. How did they come to you? Did you know their full arcs when you started writing, or did they reveal themselves in time?

AG: They definitely revealed themselves over time. I think that I had ideas of who they would be, and then they completely flipped the script on me at various moments. That sounds cheesy to say, but it’s really true. When you start writing somebody, certain things feel false or certain things feel really authentic. It has little to do with what you’re creating and more to do with who these people are that you made. The way I started writing them was to focus on certain archetypical qualities.

For example, the first violinist, Jana, is very bossy and headstrong and ambitious. That kind of thing informed how I made her character. So then I thought, What if that bossiness and ambition left her sort of cold and empty at the end of the day? What if she also needed other people to succeed? She wants to succeed so badly, but her success depends on other people, and she doesn’t really like other people; she can’t connect to them very well. So that gave me immediate conflict and problems to work with.

I tried to do that with every character. The second violinist, Brit, is very passive. But she’s also very romantic. She wants very much to have a voice, but doesn’t quite know how to make decisions and have agency in her life. I definitely started with archetypical type information, but at the end of the day, these people are humans and I wanted this novel to be character-driven, so I had to look at what tragedies and desire make up their character.

HG: Without giving anything away, the ending was very satisfying, especially because it wasn’t necessarily perfect for anybody.

AG: The novels that I love tell the story of an entire life. Whether or not it’s from birth to death, the novels that I love have breath to them. I wanted to write something that felt like it contained gestures of an entire lived life. And that isn’t neat and tidy; it’s often very messy. But the satisfaction comes from having lived and recognized, so that’s what I wanted to create without writing an 800-page novel. [laughs] To try to show that depth and complexity across a long time.

HG: So many stories have a clear defining moment where everything changed. Do you think the quartet had one big moment or was it different for each of them?

AG: I think for me, because the novel is in four sections and each sections revolves around a concert that they have to give, I think that those are all the moments for me. Those are structural moments they can move toward. I was trying not to write a novel when I wrote this; I was trying to write little short stories, because the idea of a novel was a little bit terrifying. I arranged it so that it could be around these concerts. For me, that’s what gives it the sense of a whole life — there isn’t really one moment that we change forever. It’s a bunch of different moments and it’s different seasons of our lives. That’s what I hope is reflected here.

HG: It is! You reveal what we need to know, but you don’t force it. We figure it out as we read.

AG: I didn’t want to write that. I don’t think anyone wants to read that stuff either. I didn’t want to get a character from A to B; I just wanted to have them at B and then be able to tell you whatever you needed to know. That’s a scary thing for a writer to do, but it turns out that readers don’t want to read the middle stuff anyway. They don’t really care.

HG: Each section of the book opens by listing the songs the quartet will play at an upcoming concert. How did you choose the music for each stage of their journey?

AG: I tried to be very purposeful with those pieces. In the beginning, they play the Dvořák “American,” which is a piece that both students and professionals play. They’re trying to make the leap from student to professional at that point. And they play it again at the end, and they’re fully professional. I tried to choose pieces that would illuminate an emotional moment for these characters, because I was writing about the concerts. When there’s a bunch of strife, they play Shostakovich. No one’s better at strife than Shostakovich. That was very purposeful. That said, these are all pieces that I love very much as well, and know; I have played almost all of them. I would watch YouTube videos sort of obsessively of string quartets playing them so I could see how they move. [laughs]

HG: Do you think the members of the quartet all want the same version of what they’re working toward?

AG: I think they all have different reasons for doing what they do. Some of them want a family, some of them want money, some of them want fame, some of them don’t have any other choice. Those conflicting motivations are true to what we all do, sitting in a room working on anything together, whether that’s at a workplace or in a theater. We’re all bringing different motivations to this. But I think that makes what is created more special, because what you’re creating with those four people is something that doesn’t exist in the room otherwise. Having those different motivations and different desires at the center of it is integral to creating an interesting piece. The agreement happens in the music, but the desires are incredibly personal.

Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble is available wherever books are sold. Pick up a copy and read along with the #HGBookClub in June.

The post Aja Gabel’s <em>The Ensemble</em> paints a melodic portrait of an artistic life, and it will absolutely blow you away appeared first on HelloGiggles.

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South African fossils rewrite early history of life on land

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fossils of two amphibians that lived within the Antarctic circle 360 million years ago are forcing scientists to rethink the origins of land vertebrates, including where these pioneers first appeared and the climatic conditions that spawned them.


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Claire Foy is ditching palace life as Lisbeth in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel

Liz, is that you?

claire foy lisbeth salander
Mandatory Credit: Photo by James Gourley/BAFTA/REX/Shutterstock (9670135bx)
Claire Foy
British Academy Television Awards, Arrivals, Royal Festival Hall, London, UK – 13 May 2018

If you’ve ever wanted to see Queen Elizabeth tatted up, glittering with facial piercings and rocking black leather, well – you’re still not in luck. That said though, you’ll be able to imagine what a young goth Liz would have looked like when Claire Foy steps into the role of Lisbeth Salander this year: a.k.a. the badass protagonist of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series.

Given that Claire Foy has closed the door on her role as Queen Elizabeth on Netflix’s The Crown, it was only a matter of time before she moved onto something else. She could have done the safe thing and banked on the role that made her famous by doing a good old British period drama, but we’re absolutely ecstatic that she went for the polar opposite in Lisbeth Salander.

The new film is called The Girl Caught In The Spider’s Web and is based on the fourth novel of the bestselling Millenium series revolving around Lisbeth, written by Stieg Larsson. Claire will be the third person to take up the mantle and motorbike helmet as the unsettling crusader, as Noomi Rapace and more recently Rooney Mara played the role.

claire foy lisbeth salander

Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock

We got a first glimpse of Claire looking unlike we’ve ever seen her before in a new trailer, where she’s all decked out in white face paint and rocking a short pixie cut. It seems like the new film directed by Fede Alvarez will set her up as a feminist champion who saves women from abusers and is literally referred to as ‘the righter of wrongs’ in the trailer.

While some Twitter users quibbled with Claire’s Svenglish accent, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty cool action hero flick. Unfortunately, Daniel Craig won’t be reprising his role as journalist Mikael Blomkvist (something that devastates me greatly) and instead Swedish actor Sverrir Gudnason will be stepping into his shoes.

Stephen Merchant is also set to star in the gritty film, however his role hasn’t been formally announced. Your guess is as good as ours as to why the funnyman is there to begin with.

The film will be released later this year on 9 November, so you won’t have to wait too long. That’s just enough time to reread the entire Millennium series, if you need a little refresher.

The post Claire Foy is ditching palace life as Lisbeth in the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo sequel appeared first on Marie Claire.

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NASA rover data shows Mars had the ingredients needed for life

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A NASA rover has detected a bonanza of organic compounds on the surface of Mars and seasonal fluctuations of atmospheric methane in findings released on Thursday that mark some of the strongest evidence ever that Earth’s neighbor may have harbored life.


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Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing Talks Diversity and the Upcoming Documentary About His Life Story

ON CAMERA: With a film on the life of veteran couturier Pierre Cardin under way, a documentary on the story of one of Paris’ glitziest fashion prodigies — Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing — is also nearing completion.
The designer told WWD that the film, which is being produced by the team behind the 2009 documentary “Valentino: Last Emperor,” will wrap this summer and is due for release in early 2019, with the distribution channels yet to be confirmed.
The film mixes the personal and the professional, from his roots and growing up with his adoptive parents in Bordeaux, France, to his designer success story, including “some of the struggles encountered in getting to where I am, the work that has gone into it and the critiques,” he said.
“It’s going to be a beautiful message, it’s going to be a big thing,” added Rousteing, acknowledging that the project is an unusual move considering his young age. “A documentary about my life when I’m only in my 30s, it’s a bit like when I had to do the collaboration with H&M based on Balmain’s DNA when I’d only been at the house for like four and a half years. I’ve been at Balmain for eight years now,

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Designer Kate Spade Takes Her Own Life At 55

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK (AP) — Kate Spade, a fashion designer known for her sleek handbags, was found hanged in her Park Avenue apartment Tuesday in an apparent suicide, law enforcement officials said.

The 55-year-old left a note at the scene and was found by housekeeping at about 10:20 a.m. It’s not clear how long she had been dead. The medical examiner will perform an autopsy.

The officials said she was found with a red scarf around her neck attached to a doorknob. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

 

The company she founded, Kate Spade New York, now has over 140 retail shops and outlet stores across the U.S. and more than 175 shops internationally.

A company representative did not immediately respond to phone and e-mail requests.

Spade, who was an accessories editor at Mademoiselle magazine, launched her company with husband Andy in their apartment in 1993. She started the company based on six shapes of bags that she thought every working woman needed. It created a smash.

“I grew up in the Midwest, where you have to have it (a fashion item) because you like it, not because you’re supposed to have it,” the Kansas City, Mo., native told The Associated Press in 2004. “For our customers, fashion is in the right place in their life. It’s an adornment, not an obsession.”

From the original boxy handbags, she expanded into shoes, luggage and other accessories, as well as a home line, stationery, and three books. Spade won multiple awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America and was named a “giant of design” by House Beautiful magazine.

“As an accessory, a great bag that takes the outfit somewhere else is interesting,” she told the AP in a 2000 interview.

She walked away from the company in 2007, a year after it was acquired from the Neiman Marcus Group for $ 125 million by the company then known as Liz Claiborne Inc.

Coach, now known as Tapestry, bought the Kate Spade brand last year for $ 2.4 billion, seeking to broaden its appeal.

Meanwhile, Spade and her husband started a new handbag company a few years ago, Frances Valentine. And she changed her name to Katherine Noel Frances Valentine Brosnahan Spade, she said in an NPR interview this year.

In addition to her husband, Spade is survived by a daughter, born in 2005.

 

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New Museum Exhibit Explores Oprah Winfrey’s Life, Work, and Influence

Oprah Winfrey has been a mainstay in the American media for over two decades. Her impact on storytelling, literature, and in film and television has been significant, so much so that the National Museum of African American History and Culture is celebrating the media mogul with the launch of an exhibition that explores her upbringing, her influence on American culture, and her life’s work.

The exhibition, titled “Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture,” opened Friday, according to the Washington Post, and will run through June 2019. The exhibition features video clips, interview segments, movie costumes, and personal photographs, as well as journals, to explore “what has influenced Winfrey and how her work has shaped America.”

“What’s interesting is the same way America thought about Walter Cronkite—you could trust Walter Cronkite and his opinion—they trust Oprah,” museum director Lonnie G. Bunch III told the Post. “An African American woman becomes the person America turns to.”

Winfrey, whose net worth is north of $ 2.9 billion, according to Forbes, isn’t just a mere media personality, she is also an African American activist whose contribution to American culture “rank alongside those of Sojourner Truth and Ida B. Wells, according to the new exhibition at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Although Winfrey is the museum’s largest individual donor with her $ 21 million gift to the $ 540 million museum, Bunch said her role as a benefactor did not influence the exhibition.

“We made sure there was a bright line, that this was done by the museum and museum scholars,” he said. “The fundraising was not through Oprah’s people.”

The curators in charge of the exhibit—Rhea L. Combs and Kathleen Kendrick—worked with Winfrey and her staff on fact-checking, background information and arranging loans for the exhibition.

“In terms of content and narrative and the way the story is told, it’s the museum’s product. The way we approached it was the way we approach all of our exhibitions,” Kendrick said. “We’re providing a context for understanding not only who she is, but how she became a global figure, and how she is connected to broader stories and themes.”

SECTION BREAKDOWN

The Special Exhibitions gallery, which houses the first section of the show, explores Winfrey’s childhood and early career and how the cultural shifts of the 1950s and ’60s informed her worldview, per the Post.

“Civil rights, the women’s movement, the media and television landscape, she’s at this distinct intersection of all of these dynamic moments,” Combs said. “She becomes someone at the forefront of dealing with ideas, of discussing hot-button topics like racism and sexual orientation.”

The middle section explores the highest-rated talk show in television history, using artifacts from Winfrey’s Harpo Studios in Chicago, where the “Oprah Winfrey Show” was filmed. The section focuses on “its evolution, its variety of subject matter and guests, and its reach into social issues such as racism and equality.”

“She used television as a social medium, convening conversations and creating these interactive experiences with people,” Kendrick said. “She’s offering lessons for living, social guidance in a way.”

The third section looks at Winfrey as a “cultural influencer and tastemaker” in the movies she has featured and produced, the books she promoted in her book club as well as her philanthropic work.

“There are so many issues, about women, power, media, body image,” Bunch said. “This should be a popular show because of the impact of this person, but it is also a show that allows us to think about what it means that a woman who doesn’t fit the TV look could build a media empire and become an entrepreneur.”

The post New Museum Exhibit Explores Oprah Winfrey’s Life, Work, and Influence appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Dating columnist reveals how ‘Sex and the City’ ruined her life

“Sex and the City” premiered on HBO 20 years ago this week, imprinting on a generation of women a love of fantastic fashion and dreams of their own Mr. Big. Among them was Julia Allison, who moved to New York in the early 2000s to live the Carrie Bradshaw lifestyle. She became a dating columnist,…
Media | New York Post

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Review: Ye Is an Uneasy Look at Kanye West’s Life as a Walking Contradiction

Kanye West’s projects since he teamed up with his now-wife Kim Kardashian West in 2012—the abrasive Yeezus, the sprawling The Life of Pablo, the series of personal appearances punctuated by top-of-the-head singles—have had varying stylistic contours. The one thing they’ve consistently focused on is contrast: Light and dark, ugly and beautiful, self-aggrandizing and self-loathing.

West is perhaps uniquely qualified to grapple with this. In the public mind of 2018 he is “Kanye,” shorthand for an outspoken black man who says a lot of outré things in a world still struggling mightily with its racial politics, who Barack Obama has called a “jackass,” and who’s married to a similarly polarizing figure. (Among other things.) He’s also Kanye West, rapper and producer born in Chicago, happy when he’s eating ice cream. The back-and-forth between “Kanye” and the public can be excruciating to watch unfold in real time, particularly when it deals with topics like mental illness and opioid edition, and even moreso when it touches even more volatile third rails like President Donald Trump. It’s perhaps most disheartening when it crosses onto platforms that take the wink-and-nod approach to any subject they tackle—your TMZs, your 24-hour news networks, your drive-by Tweeters looking for an excuse to blow off steam—and erase the humanity at the star’s nucleus.

But West didn’t reach his exalted position because he went on a reality show with no interest in making friends. He was an innovative producer who minted hits, both for himself—the Ray Charles callback “Gold Digger,” the dreamy “P.Y.T.” flip “Good Life”—and for others, like former confidante Jay-Z and pop megastars Rihanna and Paul McCartney. This year, in addition to his gossip-blog-poking appearances, he returned to music, “chopping samples from the sunken place” (as he said on Twitter—he apparently meant Jackson Hole, Wyoming) on albums for himself, as well as other artists in his G.O.O.D. Music stable.

Ye, West’s eighth solo album and the second in this pre-summer flurry, was launched at a splashy listening party in Jackson Hole on Thursday. West collected boldfaced names and influencers in order to hear the record around a campfire. It opens in the dark; the first track is unnervingly called “I Thought About Killing You,” and it opens with West in monologue, his voice stretching and shifting as he talks about murder and suicide over watercolor synths. “I think this is the part where I’m supposed to say something good to compensate it, so it doesn’t come off… bad,” he says, then chuckles mirthlessly before his voice is pitched to an even lower point, so as to emphasize the “really, really, really bad things” knocking around his brain. (Think American Psycho where the exalted business cards are flaunted on Instagram.) Those impulses recede, but linger over the rest of the record.

Sonically, Ye resembles Pablo but, perhaps appropriately given its terse title, more stripped-down, with the occasional pitch-shifted voice dropped in to add uneasiness. Ye doesn’t deviate too much from the lyrical concepts of Pablo—it blends the trivial and the life-or-death like on the darkened-club “Yikes,” where he declares his bipolar syndrome (which he calls out on the scrawled-on-iPhone-pic cover) to be his “superpower” and compares the U.S.-North Korea tensions to his long-simmering beef with Wiz Khalifa. “Wouldn’t Leave” is a love song that doubles as an apology to his wife; closing track “Violent Crimes,” which features a shoutout to and cameo by fellow stratosphere-dweller Nicki Minaj, draws from the “I respect women more now that I have daughters” well that’s simultaneously frustrating and a relief. But it wouldn’t be a Kanye album without fundamental contradictions to the very end.


Entertainment – TIME

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Jamie Foxx and Vince Vaughn Talk Life Lessons on New Digital Series

Actor, comedian, and musician Jamie Foxx is at it again but this time he’s getting personal. Foxx sits down with some of his longtime celeb friends to candidly discuss life’s lessons in his new digital series Off Script, created by Grey Goose. In the forthcoming episode released today, Foxx chats with actor Vince Vaughn about what it was like breaking into Hollywood.

“But didn’t you feel that way? Every time you did something didn’t you think, this is it?” asked Vaughn. “I actually auditioned for a television show and got it. Somehow there was some situation with my manager and the lead dude, it was a little kerfuffle… I told everybody I was gonna be in a pilot in my hometown and then I got cut out the pilot,” explained Foxx.

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx and Vince Vaughn (Image: Off Script)

 

The duo continues to share exchanges surrounding their lives engaging in some of the wild stories that they’ve had in the past. Vaughn talks about settling down and knowing when it’s right and even more interestingly, why he chooses not to be on social media. “I don’t do social media, because I don’t like it. Like, what am I going to say, ‘oh, look what I’m having for lunch.‘ #Iwishyouwerehere. Like who gives a damn, right? I think it’s crazy.” Foxx adds, “some people are great at it and I don’t take anything from it,” but he doesn’t fancy it much either.

There’s a different dynamic from the new age artist to the older school of thought which is completely interesting. In Foxx and Vaughn’s era, social media was irrelevant to their career success whereas today, it’s how many artists get on. There is something to be said about being able to keep your private life private and still garner extreme success in a world that thrives off of celebs personal affairs.

Episode 4 of Off Script with Vince Vaughn was led by previous episodes that featured Gabrielle Union, Melissa McCarthy, and Chadwick Boseman. Upcoming episodes will include Sarah Silverman, Jeremy Renner, Benicio Del Toro, Denzel Washington, and Dwayne Johnson.

Click here to watch the episodes in full.

The post Jamie Foxx and Vince Vaughn Talk Life Lessons on New Digital Series appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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The age of dinosaurs was like a real life ‘Game of Thrones’

When you think of dinosaurs, your mind immediately goes to the impressive might of the tyrannosaurus rex or maybe the huge size of the brontosaurus.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Life with a newborn is rough, even just to watch

by

Sara McGinnis

posted in Parenting

“We are going to adjust to the new normal, even though it’s totally crazy,” an exhausted mom says while looking directly into the camera.

In the same two minute clip the scene flits back and forth between different families struggling through the sleep-deprived struggles that can accompany bringing home a newborn baby. Between hearing the infants cry and looking at the tired faces of the parents, the whole video is a bit hard to watch, especially if you have those been-there, done-that memories.

Take a look:

In one particularly hilarious scene (it’s funny, at least, as an outsider looking in) an underwear-clad dad struggles and fails to hang a shade that will help keep the glaring sun out of his partner’s eyes. I feel bad for laughing…almost.

When my first son was born we lived in a tiny apartment in a terrible part of our city. We had a digital camera, but home security cameras (such as Canary, which captured these parents’ early weeks) weren’t yet a regular thing people were using. There’s a part of me that would get a great kick out of going back now and watching my husband and I fumble around deliriously, but I’m also not entirely sure if I could have done it. My sweating, bleeding, boobs-leaking, unsure mess of a self craved privacy.

postpartum baby mom

That being said, I adore that other people don’t feel the same way. How lovely for someone who is on their way to being a new parent, but doesn’t yet have a babe in arms, to get a look at what’s coming down the pipeline. As a mom-to-be who was obsessed with TLC’s A Baby Story I would have watched hours of personal footage anyone was willing to share.

For all the negatives modern technology can seem to sometimes have, I’m always able to find a positive counterbalance.  Kudos to you out there who are willing and able to share your ups and downs, and I hear you others who hold your cards close. Luckily there’s no one right way to go about capturing your parenthood experience.

How would you feel about being recorded as a new parent?

Images via UnSplash

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Ellie Kemper Said Making This The Office Video With Mindy Kaling Was One of the Best Days of Her Life

Mindy Kaling, Ellie KemperIf you have Ellie Kemper and Mindy Kaling on your talk show on the same day then you better get them together for the audience. Thankfully, NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers adhered to that…

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‘My Life Is at Risk of Being Undermined.’ Morgan Freeman Pushes Back Against Misconduct Allegations

Actor Morgan Freeman is maintaining that his behavior should not be classified as sexual assault, in the wake of harassment and misconduct allegations leveled against him earlier this week.

“I am devastated that 80 years of my life is at risk of being undermined, in the blink of an eye, by Thursday’s media reports,” Freeman said in a statement provided to TIME late Friday night. “All victims of assault and harassment deserve to be heard. And we need to listen to them. But it is not right to equate horrific incidents of sexual assault with misplaced compliments or humor.”

A CNN report published Thursday included accounts from eight people who accused Freeman of inappropriate behavior or harassment. Many of these alleged instances included what were perceived as inappropriate comments from Freeman. One woman claimed he once repeatedly tried to lift her skirt and asked if she was wearing underwear; another said the actor made so many comments about her appearance that she and her assistants stopped wearing fitted clothing around him. CNN reporter Chloe Melas also said the actor called her “ripe” when she interviewed him while six months pregnant.

Freeman, who issued an apology shortly after CNN’s story broke Thursday, said in the second statement that he uses jokes and humor to make people “feel appreciated and at ease around me,” though he added that, “Clearly I was not always coming across the way I intended.”

Still, Freeman maintains in the statement that his behavior never crossed certain lines.

“I did not create unsafe work environments. I did not assault women. I did not offer employment or advancement in exchange for sex,” Freeman said in the statement. “Any suggestion that I did so is completely false.”


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Toddler fighting for her life after being hit by alleged street racer: Police

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Early life trauma in men associated with reduced levels of sperm microRNAs

Exposure to early life trauma can elevate risk for poor physical and mental health in individuals and their children. A new epigenetics study in both men and mice posits that some of the vulnerability in children may derive from stress-associated reductions in microRNAs in their father’s sperm.
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Reality Check: The Cromarties Talk About Life With Blended Family Of 14 Kids

Just having one or two kids is fun, but having 3, 4, 5 and 6 is fun too!,” says Terricka Cromartie about the blended family life she shares with husband Antonio Cromartie.

The power-couple star on USA’s The Cromarties, which centers on their marital life, their five kids (Antonio has 14 kids in total), and Antonio’s transition into full-time dad after 11 years in the NFL.

During the first half of the season, Terricka loved having Antonio home to help raise their kids, but his OCD, intense competitiveness, and method of parenting the same way he would coach a football team sometimes proved to be too much.

In the back half of the season, which kicked off May 8, the Cromarties are back and offering viewers a glimpse into Antonio’s life after the NFL, which he describes as, “Being at home with the wife full-time and enjoying family life.”

Check out our Q&A with The Cromarties below.

Tell us how you manage the everyday challenges of being a mom while starring on a reality tv show?

Terricka: It’s kinda been a blessed experience for us. Our day-to-day continues normally as it did prior to the show. We struggle with time management with the kids and filming and making sure they have a normal lifestyle, ‘cause they still go to school full-time and participate in their activities while filming. So we try to keep the balance so they can experience the joys of being on this show while at the same time still being a kid. So that’s the biggest struggle but our team here has made it great because they understand the importance it is for us that our kids maintain a normal lifestyle.

Speaking of that, there’s so much talk about income inequality these days. Do you ever worry about how your family will come off to others who also have more than a couple of kids but whose lifestyles are not as privileged as yours?

Antonio: We (aren’t) really concerned about it because we grew up in the same way. I grew up in a single-parent home. Terricka grew up in a single parent home, so we understand that aspect of life. I don’t think we live a lavish life. We just live within our means of what we want and we can provide for our kids. Can we live a lavish lifestyle? That would be something that’s different but we chose not to. Our biggest thing is just to make sure that we give our kids something that we didn’t have. The important thing is a family with both parents in the household. Our biggest thing is to give our kids what we didn’t have growing up.

Terricka: We raise our children to be respectful and to be good students in school and we reward them for those things. We keep it balanced. We don’t buy just for the sake of buying. There are moments where we do spoil our kids when it’s deserving.

Have there been moments when you’ve asked producers that a segment be cut because it was too embarrassing?

Terricka: No, we haven’t experienced that. We have a really good team They work really well with the kids and they take time for us and the kids. We thank God that we haven’t had to experience anything that was too embarrassing. We do have a lot of fun and we laugh a lot on set. It’s just been a really enjoyable experience. They make it really easy for us.

Talk about the evolution of Antonio from NBA player to full-time father of 14 on a reality show?

Antonio: The transition from playing in the NFL for 11 years to now coming home is not having to get up. My body is always up at a certain time, so I could wake up at 6 o’clock in the morning and start cleaning the house because I don’t really have nothing else to do.

It’s my body getting used to the transition for 11 years — just finding a niche and something else to do. My biggest thing is just always trying to do something I love, from coaching to broadcasting. That’s something I’m leaning towards too but the family time is most important. I’m able to go on field trips and be a chaperone or pick my kids up on the first day of school. Those are some of the things I missed while playing for 11 years and now that I have that, it’s something that’s priceless to me.

What are three of your favorite or core parenting values that you live by?

Terricka: I don’t know that there’s any one thing but I think the biggest thing that I always tell anybody who asks me is to just really be patient with your kids and understand that a lot of things are age sensitive. You’re going to have days where your kids are gonna run you crazy but just enjoy those moments because pretty soon they’re not going to be that age anymore and you’re going to miss it. My biggest thing is just to enjoy it, whether it’s a crazy day or a good day, just enjoy it for what it is and sit back and learn how to laugh at the little things.

When you watch the show, does it reveal your strengths and weakness as a parent and how your parenting styles differ?

Antonio: The show has revealed that I’m too strict. I need to be laid back a little more and be able to talk to the kids and not always give them a “No.” I think the strength part of it is me having patience with the kids and try to understand them more. But I think my biggest weakness is not letting them be kids but treating them more so as adults, and that’s something that needs change within me. That’s what the show has revealed.

Terricka: My strengths that I didn’t even realize I had maybe came through other people’s comments in regards to me as a parent. Just how I teach my kids and how I allow them to develop. I encourage my kids to go over and above what somebody else would expect of a one-year-old. My expectations of them are a lot larger than what most people would expect. So I realize that I have the strength in that, as far as communicating with my kids and their daily development. I think my weakness is I’m very worrisome about my kids. I don’t know if that’s expressed on the show. I know I’ve experienced it with working on the set. I’m the worrisome mom. I’m always worried about the safety of my kids.

And parents want to know if you share some of the fears that they have for their children

Antonio: Everything going on in society is surrounded on racial and social injustice, so us being on the show, that’s part of the fear that comes into it because of what’s going on in Black America right now, and the injustices that’sgoing on throughout America. And it’s also just parenting, having the fear of not doing something the right away for your kids, or not teaching them certain things or how to do things. You don’t want to fail as a parent by not explaining to them or teaching them something as they go through life.

How do you work in romance, sexy time and reconnecting as a couple?

Terricka: We just sneak away… occasionally. We definitely plan date night and make time for us. Sometimes we do it during the day while the kids are at school.

What do you find most rewarding about starring on a reality TV series with your family?

Terricka: Just to be able to share our story. A lot of people had speculations about us and our household and how large it was and us having kids outside (the marriage) but they never really understood us as a whole.

I think people get a true glimpse inside our household and they can see that we’re extremely relatable. We’re not the parents that know everything but we’re young and we’re making good decisions with our kids and we have a blended family. We don’t really showcase blended families but other families who are blended, know that you can have a blended family, you can be different and it can work and you guys can be very successful with it. I’m glad we’ve been able to showcase that.

Tune in to “The Cromarties” Tuesdays at 10:30/9:30c on USA.

PHOTOS: USA Network

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‘Home Away from Home’: Taysir Batniji captures his family’s life after immigrating to the U.S.

Photographer Taysir Batniji is no stranger to what he calls “the state of betweenness.” It’s the driving force behind his book “Home Away from Home,” but even more so, it’s an issue he has been living with since moving from Palestine to France in 1995. Both culturally and geographically he’s experience the “betweenness” as he’s explored the different ideas of what home is.
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Europa’s plumes make Jupiter moon a prime candidate for life

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A new look at old data is giving scientists a fresh reason to view Europa, a moon of Jupiter, as a leading candidate in the search for life beyond Earth, with evidence of water plumes shooting into space.


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Life and Death Choices: Black Women and Childbirth

If the reason that black women and babies are dying at much higher rates is largely attributed to institutional racism and the stress that our bodies endure because of it, then how do we educate and inspire confidence in the women who are our country’s most vulnerable pregnant population? We can start by knowing we have options when it comes to black women and childbirth.

Within the past few months, the death of activist Erica Garner and the birth story of Serena Williams have sounded an alarm. They put a face to what decades of research have shown: black women aren’t being seen or heard in the same way that white women are in pregnancy. We can do better. Doulas and childbirth educators fit so well into this equation. We’re here and can help save lives.

Today I’m a doula, childbirth educator, and the co-founder of For Your Birth, a childbirth consultancy and doula agency based in Harlem. I’m also a black woman.

Before having kids, I began my professional career as a Teach for America corps member. I taught middle and high school in under-served communities for 10 years. The transition to birth-work, serving women during pregnancy—a grossly under-served population—felt like a natural progression.

A decade ago, I was pregnant with my first child and new to New York. I didn’t research OB-GYNs; I thought that the doctor who I saw for an annual exam was good enough. That all changed when, at 20 weeks pregnant, I asked him what he thought of the hospital’s birthing center. It sounded like a sensible option for me. I was having a low-risk and healthy pregnancy. He quickly responded, “Would you ask a stewardess to fly an airplane”?

The conversation ended there, and I knew that I would never see that doctor again. I was enraged. I felt unheard and unseen. So, I got curious about what happened in birthing centers and why this doctor would feel threatened by them and presumably the womenmany of them doctors and midwives, who deliver there.

My mother, who had given birth to me in a Brooklyn hospital 32 years prior, told me to watch the documentary The Business of Being Born. I did and was immediately intrigued and confused. Why hadn’t I been told, until that moment, that midwifery care was an option?

Within weeks, I changed my care to homebirth midwives. My midwives provided the most comprehensive, personalized, and affirming medical care I’d ever receive. All prenatal visits were done in my home, and I only went to clinics and labs for bloodwork and sonograms.

At 30 weeks pregnant, I heard the word doula for the first time while in a yoga class. Again, here was another amazing option for pregnant women and their partners that I didn’t know existed. Like the midwives, the doula came to my home for an interview and prenatal visit. She would be on-call to support and comfort me in labor for several weeks prior to and a couple weeks after my due date. I later learned that Dr. John Kennell, the late pediatrician and doula advocate, was known to have said, “If a doula were a drug, it would be unethical not to use it.”

On Dec. 19, 2008, I gave birth safely with two midwives, my husband, and our doula in attendance. Two and a half years later, I gave birth to my second son, also at home with midwives and doula support.

What I didn’t know then was that my life had been changed by a doctor’s insult, a documentary, midwives, and a doula.


Taking Black Mothers By The Hand from NYCityLens on Vimeo.

 

 

The post Life and Death Choices: Black Women and Childbirth appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Black-ish’s Real Life ‘Bow’ Tells Her Story, Her Way

Fans of ABC’s Black-ish had a group meltdown on Twitter the other night during an episode titled, “Blue Valentime,” in which the show’s endearing main characters, Dre (Anthony Anderson) and Bow (Tracee Ellis Ross), confronted a marital split.

“Nope….nope….as a child of divorce, I am not about to have Dre and Bow break up our family a week after Cosby is convicted and the same day Kanye is saying slavery was a choice,” tweeted Brittani Jaccaro, aka Binge Watch Bestie.

Perhaps fans take the show so personally because they know that Dre and Bow and their brood of five children sprung less from the imagination of show creator Kenya Barris than they did from his actual life.

Award-winning writer Barris has six children with his wife of almost 20 years. Like the character Ellis Ross plays, she is a physician who works hard, laughs easily, and doesn’t ever take herself too seriously. She also happens to be smart, loving, opinionated, bi-racial, and is nicknamed Bow, for Rainbow—just like her counterpart on TV.

(Rainbow Barris)

She met Kenya in high school, although they didn’t start dating right away. And while the couple is living large now (not merely because of the size of their brood, ages 18 to 1), they each worked long and hard for their success.

In fact, Dr. Barris, the middle of five children in a blended family, was the first in her family to attend college. Although she was gifted in science and math, she had few professional role models and no thought of being a physician until a professor suggested it at the end of her sophomore year.

“I didn’t have a vision,” she says, looking back on her and Kenya’s early years of struggle. “I had a lot of nights of tears, and times when I wanted to give up. People think things happen overnight and you’re so driven. I just knew I had to keep going because there was nothing to fall back on.”

While her husband spent the last four seasons presenting his celebrated fictional version of their family life on TV, Dr. Barris quietly decided to pen her own version of the real thing. Drawn from notes she began recording on their family life several years before the show was even a thought, her new book, “Keeping Up With the Johnsons: Bow’s Guide to Black-ish Parenting,” is being released on May 8.

(Rainbow Barris)

In an interview hours before last night’s unsettling episode aired, she made it clear that her and Kenya’s real-life marriage is on solid ground, and she’s pleased to finally be having her own say.

 

What’s the difference between your telling of your family’s story and Kenya’s?

Mine is the truth and it’s right! [she laughs] Black-ish tells so much of our life, but it’s told from a male perspective. The situations are the same, but the narrator really does control how that situation is received. In my telling of the story, I probably focus more on the kids and things around me, not as much on myself—which is what we do, as women.

 

The book opens with a story that is hilarious but shocking. It’s hard not to give too much away, but it involves a fitting room, a nursing baby, a screaming toddler and a serious bathroom emergency—yours.

I had conversations about that with the publisher. What were we going to do with this story about my pooping in my baby’s diaper? I said, let’s open with it. I led with the most humiliating story because I wanted it to be clear that I’m sharing things I’m not comfortable with. If I’m only sharing things I’m comfortable with, I’m not really being authentic. It was hard, but I wanted to be vulnerable. That I kept it in there—I’m proud of that.

 

Your book is not full of tips or advice or resources, it’s really a book of your experiences. Why call it a guide?

I was very deliberate in calling it a guide, but it’s meant almost as a play on words. Most guides are written by experts who give us a plan, and we always want a plan. As an anesthesiologist, women come in and present their birthing plans to me all the time, and then nothing goes the way they expected. That’s how parenting is. Life is about the lessons you learn when nothing goes according to plan. My experiences have been my guide.

 

Who is your parenting hero?

It would have to be my mom. She trained me to look up to her, to respect her, and she also prepared me for therapy [more laughter]. We were raised with a lot of chaos and a lot of love. I’m doing the same thing with my kids. It is my job to try to help them be the best human beings they can be but I’m ready for all of my kids to blame me for therapy.

 

What’s the most important thing you try to impart as a mother?

Your family is your family. You have ups and downs and disagreements but no matter how upset you get, you always have to come back to each other.

 

You have children ages 1 to 18. What do you know now that you wish you’d known 18 years ago?

And this too shall pass. If it’s a good day, it passes. If it’s a bad day, it passes.

 

What do you hope readers take from this book?

I know how important it is to let even one other person in the world know that someone else has gone through what they’re going through and understands. I want that person to know, you’re not in this alone.

The post Black-ish’s Real Life ‘Bow’ Tells Her Story, Her Way appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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76-year old man sends thank-you letter to Tim Cook after the Apple Watch helped save his life

Apple Watch

Apple may have initially positioned the Apple Watch as something of a fashion accessory, but it’s become apparent in the years since its release that most users are drawn to the device for its fitness and health tracking capabilities. In turn, one of the more interesting aspects of the Apple Watch is that there are a growing number of stories involving Apple’s wearable actually saving lives.

Last October, for example, an Apple Watch wearer named James Green received a notification that his heart rate was abnormal. Upon going to the hospital to get things checked out, doctors discovered a pulmonary embolism, a condition that could have proven to be fatal if James didn’t seek immediate medical attention.

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76-year old man sends thank-you letter to Tim Cook after the Apple Watch helped save his life originally appeared on BGR.com on Sun, 13 May 2018 at 15:25:18 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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104-year-old scientist David Goodall takes own life at Swiss clinic

A 104-year-old Australian scientist who had campaigned for the legalization of assisted dying in his home country has ended his life at a Swiss clinic, a representative from the pro-euthanasia organization Exit International said.


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‘Bad Boys for Life’ Nabs Release Date; Here’s What We Know

'Bad Boys for Life' Nabs Release Date; Here's What We Know

The long-awaited third installment in an action-crime series, Bad Boys for Life has been set for release by Sony Pictures in 2020, according to The Wrap. The project has been long in development, so let's catch up with everything we know.

Who will star?

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence will reprise their roles as Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett, respectively, who are police detectives in Miami.

Who will direct?

Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah. They began in the Belgian film…

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How Google aims to simplify your life with AI

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) — Google put the spotlight on its artificial intelligence smarts at its annual developers conference Tuesday, announcing new consumer features aimed at simplifying your life.
Technology Headlines

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Ruth Chapman Talks Life After Fashion, Hot Labels That Are Bucking the System

LONDON — Ruth Chapman may be easing her way out of the day-to-day fashion business — and moving on to more cerebral pursuits — but that hasn’t tempered her passion for seeking the industry’s next great talents and rethinking brick-and-mortar retail.
It’s been a buzzy 12 months for Chapman, who sold Matchesfashion.com, the retailer she founded with her husband Tom Chapman in 1987, to Apax Partners in September in a deal valuing the company at $ 1 billion.
The sale was the surprise of the summer: For years the Chapmans had expected to pursue an initial public offering for their business, but in a matter of just a few weeks, they had multiple suitors knocking on their door, with Apax emerging as the winner.
“We got to a position where we were doing extremely well, the business was growing extremely fast and a lot of people came knocking. So we thought: ‘OK, we’ll continue to grow the business for IPO, but we’ll listen to what they have to say’ — and conversations began to develop,” said Chapman.
“We felt like we had done this for a really long time, and if we could step back that would be an exciting thing to do. Apax are a

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20 Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers On Living The Good Life

What does it mean to live a “good life”? Whether it’s traveling to an exotic destination, living debt-free, waking up at 5 a.m. to meditate, or simply having the freedom to plan your day—living the good life is all about your perspective. Here are 20 of the best motivational and inspirational quotes by black influencers, including some of our favorite writers, performers, entrepreneurs, and more.

20 of the Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes by Black Influencers

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Myfabfinance.com)

“Focus on solutions. Focus on gratitude and everything that you have working in your advantage. Understand that as a creative you are not limited to artistic expressions of creativity. Get creative with ways to generate more money. You can wallow in sorrow or get to creating solutions, both take energy and it’s up to you to decide which one you want to put your energy into.” Tonya Rapley, Millennial money expert and founder of My Fab Finance.

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Facebook)

 

“Release and detach from every person, every circumstance, every condition, and every situation that no longer serves a divine purpose in your life. All things have a season, and all seasons must come to an end. Choose a new season, filled with purposeful thoughts and activities.” ―Iyanla Vanzant, Life Coach and Inspirational Speaker

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Fenty Beauty)

 

“I mean, I know when I’m having a fat day and when I’ve lost weight. I accept all of the bodies. I’m not built like a Victoria’s Secret girl, and I still feel very beautiful and confident in my lingerie.” ―Rihanna, Singer and Philanthropist, on her new lingerie line

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Ain’t that just like D. Wade)

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned is to not really worry what people will say or think about what you wear. You have to wear what feels good on you, what you feel comfortable in. And I’ve just learned to not really care.” ―Dwyane Wade, NBA Champion

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(motivatingthemasses.com)

 

“All the people in your life are truly doing the best they can with what they have. People can only love you to the capacity that they are able to love themselves. They can only forgive and embrace you to the capacity that they are able to forgive and embrace themselves. They can only give you what they have the capacity to give. You may think that you deserve more, and you may be correct. But that means nothing if a person simply doesn’t have the ability to give it to you.” ―Lisa Nichols, Author of “No Matter What!: 9 Steps to Living the Life You Love”

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Facebook)

“Of course I am not worried about intimidating men. The type of man who will be intimidated by me is exactly the type of man I have no interest in.” ―Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author of “We Should All Be Feminists”

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Facebook)

Strength isn’t always shown by what you can hold on to, but sometimes it’s shown in what you can let go of.” ―Trent Shelton, Motivational Speaker

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Facebook)

“I realized that I don’t have to be perfect. All I have to do is show up and enjoy the messy, imperfect, and beautiful journey of my life.” Kerry Washington, Actress
 

 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Instagram)

 

“Until we forgive ourselves, we will always see ourselves through the shattered pieces of the dreams we can no longer have. Nothing can be seen clearly through broken pieces: no future, no hope, no faith, no love is capable of being seen properly until we admit that we are driving on a flat tire. We have to stop believing that just because we are damaged we are irreparably broken.” ―Sarah Jakes, Author of “Lost and Found: Finding Hope in the Detours of Life”

 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(etinspires.com)

“Avoid being your own enemy.”  Eric Thomas, Motivational Speaker and Author

 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Image: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for MAKERS, used with permission)

“I am not asking everyone to be activists. I am not asking everyone to march on the front lines. I am not asking every writer, public figure, or celebrity to lead social movements. I am not asking them to make speeches on how they have a dream. I am, however, challenging people not to stay silent as the world crumbles. You do not have to yell. Even a whisper of truth matters in an echo chamber of lies.” ―Luvvie Ajayi, Author of “I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual”

 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Instagram)

“Your definition of a good life does not have to look like everyone else thinks it should. Whatever feels right for you, whatever aligns your inside with your outside, that’s what you should spend your time doing.” —G.G. Renee Hill, Coach, Author, and Blogger of “All the Many Layers”  

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Image: Joey Levine)

“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint—and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” —Oprah Winfrey, Media Mogul

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(necolekane.com)

“Ordinary can’t possibly be extraordinary without taking risk. You have to learn to be uncomfortable with being comfortable to truly reach your highest potential.” Necole Kane, Founder of xoNecole 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Instagram)

“People always ask me how I did (do) it….you know what’s the strategy? My answer is pretty simple: I just do what feels good. Key word: DO. That’s just past ‘thinking about it’ and way past ‘asking others’ what I should do.” Myleik Teele, Founder of CurlBOX

 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Instagram)

“There is no happiness without action. There is no love without passion. There is no success without vision.” —Rob Hill Sr., Entrepreneur, Motivational Speaker, and Philanthropist

 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(IBM Corp.)

“Leadership reputations are made or lost in times of crisis.” —Former American Express CEO Ken Chenault 

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

“I believe you can speak things into existence.” —Jay-Z, Entertainment Music Mogul

 

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Wikimedia/Creative Commons)

 

“Success isn’t about how much money you make, it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” —Former First Lady Michelle Obama

 

Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers

(Facebook)

 

“I’ve never chased money. It’s always been about what I can do to motivate and inspire people.” —Tyler Perry, Actor, Director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Producer, and Author

 

Janice Bryant Howroyd

(Twitter)

 

“Never compromise who you are personally to become who you wish to be professionally.” —Janice Bryant Howroyd, Founder and CEO of The ACT-1 Group

 

 

The post 20 Best Motivational and Inspirational Quotes From Black Influencers On Living The Good Life appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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Trees of life: forest bathing blossoms in Britain

The Japanese art of forest bathing has arrived in Britain’s woodlands. Now we can all dip a toe in, writes Joanne O’Connor, who tries it out in Norfolk

One pine tree looks very much like another. This is my first thought as I wander into the forest looking for a tree to “connect with”. When I find this special tree, I’ve been instructed to greet it like an old friend, to share what’s on my mind, maybe even give it a hug. I’m hoping to find a gnarly old oak, a mournful willow perhaps, but this is a plantation forest, the arboreal equivalent of “Pines R Us”. Oh well. This one will do. Self-consciously, I wrap my arms around a spindly sapling. We both know it’s not right, but the clock is ticking. And then I spot it, glowing in the bosky gloom – a ghostly silver birch. I make my excuses – “Sorry, I’ve just seen a better tree over there” – and make my way over to the birch. As I get closer I notice that its papery bark is covered in some kind of green fungus. I look around. I’ve lost sight of the rest of the group and my allocated 10 minutes are up. It occurs to me that this is some kind of clunky metaphor for my life: I’ve spent so long looking for the perfect tree that I’ve run out of time.

When I eventually rejoin the rest of the group, our guide invites us to share any insights gained from our tree encounter while passing around a pine cone. One of the women describes feeling a profound sense of peace. I decide not to share that none of the trees were good enough for me.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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Even brief maternal deprivation early in life alters adult brain function and cognition: Rat study

When a baby is taken from its mother for even a brief period early in life, this traumatic event significantly alters the future, adult function of the brain, according to a new animal model study. These changes in the brain are similar to disturbances in brain structure and function that are found in people at risk for neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia.
Child Development News — ScienceDaily

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Apple Watch saves the life of Florida teen with a life-threatening disease

Apple Watch Saves Life

The more people buy Apple Watches, the more stories we’ll hear about how the wearable device did something that saved someone’s life.

The latest such account comes from Florida, where an Apple Watch alerted an 18-year-old that her resting heart rate was at 190 beats per minute and that she should seek immediate help.

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Apple Watch saves the life of Florida teen with a life-threatening disease originally appeared on BGR.com on Tue, 1 May 2018 at 21:01:13 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Work-Life Boundaries: Rituals and Other Ways to Separate Your Work and Personal Life

work-life boundariesI just heard a speaker talking about the importance of boundary rituals for doctors — little habits and rituals that set work-life boundaries to keep your work and personal life separated. I knew exactly what she was talking about, and thought it was such an interesting way of phrasing it — and I thought it might make a nice discussion here. So, ladies, what are your boundary rituals? Have you always done them or did you adopt them over time? What are your biggest challenges with work bleeding into your personal life?

Psst: we’ve talked in the past about answering work emails at home, homing from work, and after-work routines.

Work-life boundary rituals and habits to try after work:

  • walking or driving home through a picturesque route (or one that goes through a picturesque spot)
  • listening to music or a non-work related podcast (psst: Slow Burn is excellent if you’re curious about what it was like to live through Watergate!)
  • changing into workout clothes or jeans when you get home from the office
  • cooking dinner (or having a glass of wine while cooking dinner)
  • “docking” your iPhone at a specific spot in your kitchen or living room so you can check it occasionally (or even [gasp!] changing your settings so it only checks for new mail every 15-30 minutes)
  • going through a ritual with family or your roommates where you share a rose and a thorn from your day with each other — something that was a win for the day as well as something that was hard.
  • going through some quick breathing exercises or a meditation app like Headspace (we’ve talked before about the benefits of meditation for business women)

Boundary Rituals for the Office

Sometimes you need the separation more the other way — so here are some possible boundary rituals to practice at the office to keep your personal life at home…

  • turning your personal phone to silent/mute (if not turning it off entirely)
  • slipping on your heels or other “shoe that lives at the office”
  • discouraging friends and family from calling you or texting you at work unless it’s really an emergency
  • engaging in a specific productivity practice like having set times to answer most of your work emails, writing down three tasks to accomplish that day, or even finalizing your billable hours from yesterday and/or planning your time today

How about you, readers — do you find that you need work-life boundaries to keep your personal life separate from your work life?work-life boundaries - how to set boundaries between your work and personal life What do you do, both at home as well as at the office?

The post Work-Life Boundaries: Rituals and Other Ways to Separate Your Work and Personal Life appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Series captures Serena Williams through life, marriage and health scare

Shortly after Serena Williams gave birth to daughter Olympia in September, she sat in her hospital bed doing her makeup so she could take pictures with her beautiful newborn. But something was wrong. As she stood up, Williams — who has a history of blood clots — couldn’t breathe and asked the nurse for an…
Entertainment | New York Post

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Rita Ora says Avicii changed her life

OHMYGOSSIP — Rita Ora has claimed Avicii “changed her life.”
The 27-year-old singer broke down in tears as she paid tribute to the DJ – who sadly passed away last week at the age of just 28 – before performing their track ‘Lonely Together’ at the celebrations for King’s Day in the Netherlands on Friday (27.04.18).
She said: “It’s gonna be hard for me to sing this next song and I’ll tell you why. I had the honour of collaborating with someone who changed my life and he was a really good friend of mine. I heard some DJs playing some of his music earlier, and I haven’t sang his song that we did together ever since he passed away, until today. It’s going to be very hard for me to sing this next song.
“I’m obviously talking about the incredible Avicii. We collaborated on the last song that he released together, and so it’s going to be very tough for me to sing this next one. One of my dearest friends and I would really appreciate that.”
The ‘Your Song’ hitmaker was also among the celebrities who took to social media after the news of Avicii’s death was announced in a statement by his family.
She said: “I remember how amazing it was to make Lonely Together and it felt like just yesterday we were talking.
“Condolences to Avicii’s family, friends, and the fans who supported him. May he rest in peace. Gone too soon. I’m devastated. Heartbroken. (sic)”
The Swedish-born DJ – whose real name is Tim Bergling – was found dead in Muscat, Oman, on April 20, and whilst a cause of death has not yet been confirmed, a statement from his family which includes the words “he could not go on any longer”, seemed to hint at suicide.

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Ex-NFL great and GM is now in the fight of his life

Former Detroit Lions general manager and NFL linebacker Matt Millen reportedly has a rare disease that forces him to undergo weekly chemotherapy and may require a heart transplant. The Morning Call in Pennsylvania reports that Millen, 60, was diagnosed last summer with amyloidosis, a rare disease that often goes undiagnosed because of symptoms resembling many…
Sports | New York Post

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From luxury to life behind bars: What Bill Cosby faces in prison

(Reuters) – Bill Cosby, used to the high life as one of America’s biggest stars, will likely see his entourage of aides replaced by an inmate paid pennies to help the legally blind comedian navigate life behind bars after he is sentenced for sexual assault.


Reuters: Entertainment News

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Is Your Life On Hold at All?

how to stop putting your life on holdSomehow this came up with a friend recently — we were discussing times our lives had been “on hold” for one reason or another. I thought it might make an interesting conversation here — particularly about how to STOP putting your life on hold. Some questions, to kick off discussion: Have you ever wanted to do something, either personal or career-related, because you were waiting for something else first? “I’ll buy a house/good plates after I get married…” “I’ll get a new job after I’m in a solid relationship,” etc. How did you work through the holding pattern? Did the thing you were waiting for happen, or did you just go forward and take the plunge anyway?

For my $ .02, I’ve definitely been guilty of this. I stayed way too long in my firm job in part because it was a known quantity — the personalities, the demands, the hours — but I found a rhythm where I could date in it. I was at a time in my life where I didn’t want to take two years to put the dating search on pause while I spent hours on a job hunt, wrapping up my old job, then settling into a new job. Similarly, I’ve definitely held myself back from pursuing blog-related opportunities (speaking is the big one, or a book requiring a book tour), mostly because I’m waiting until the kids get older.

On the flip side, some of the best things that have come out of my life came when I said, “Screw it, I’m not waiting,” and soldiered on — launching this blog, for example. I was working full time as a litigator, I was looking for a new job, and I had only just started dating my husband, so it wasn’t a great time. But I felt strongly that if I didn’t do it, someone else would . . . so I did. (On a much, much lesser degree, I had waited through a lot of my 20s to “set up house” because I figured I’d get married at some point, but we still use the nice dishes and silverware I bought for myself when I finally decided to take the plunge!)

So let’s hear it, ladies: What are YOU waiting for? For those of you who just said “screw it” and threw that hesitation out the window, how did it play out for you? What are your best tips for how to stop putting your life on hold? 

Picture via Stencil.

 Have you ever felt like your life was on hold -- waiting until you got married to buy nice dishes, or until you got a new job to start dating, or something like that? We've all been there -- so today we're sharing tips on how to STOP putting your life on hold...

The post Is Your Life On Hold at All? appeared first on Corporette.com.

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Meghan Markle’s Departure From ‘Suits’ Was Art Imitating Life. But Not in the Way You Might Think.

Ms. Markle, who is retiring from acting to become a full-time royal, was a subtly influential force on a pulpy legal drama that quietly had one of the most diverse casts on television.
NYT > Arts

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Girl fighting for her life after drinking pool water

A Florida girl is fighting for her life days after she swallowed pool water in an incident her mother has described as a “freak accident.” Elianna Grace, a 4-year-old from Sarasota, is now receiving oxygen therapy at Sarasota Memorial Hospital after ingesting pool water on April 14, according to a Facebook post by her mother,…
Living | New York Post

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How Much Trash Do You Toss? This Woman’s Goal Is a Zero-Waste Life


Imagine fitting all your trash for the month inside a Mason jar.

For many, that seems like an impossible feat. But for Graciela Vidal of Tampa, Florida, it’s a refreshing reality.

Vidal, 36, decided to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle about two years ago in an effort to benefit the environment.

She had thought she was being eco-conscious in the past by recycling and bringing her own bags to the grocery store instead of getting plastic ones. But Vidal says watching environmental documentaries like “Plastic Paradise” on Netflix really opened her eyes.

“I didn’t realize that even though something’s recyclable, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually going to be recycled. It might actually end up in our water, harming the environment and the wildlife.”

She vowed to consume less and reuse more, instead of just recycling.

Transitioning to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle

A mason jar containing non-recyclable trash.
Now that she has adopted a zero-waste lifestyle, Vidal can fit one month of nonrecyclable trash into a Mason jar. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Though armed with the determination to live zero waste, Vidal found it wasn’t easy to change everything overnight.

“Actually, it was a slow process, only because a lot of the things that are reusable are a little costly,” she says. “I wasn’t able to just go out and buy everything I needed to do the switch all at once.”

One of the first changes Vidal tackled was no longer using plastic straws. She never used to buy them for home, but she started making the request for no straws whenever she went out to restaurants.

Vidal purchased a couple of reusable stainless steel straws for her son, who’s now 7, to use when they went out to eat, because it was sometimes difficult for him to drink out of a glass. She says the reusable straws cost about $ 1.50 to $ 2 each.

Vidal also swapped out using plastic resealable snack bags for a reusable version made of fabric. She bought a bunch from a woman in Clearwater, Florida, who operates the Etsy shop Bag It Conscious and also sells eco-friendly items at the Saturday Morning Market in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“That was actually one of my bigger purchases,” Vidal says, noting the reusable snack bags cost about $ 5 to $ 7 each.

In addition to the reusable bags, Vidal says, sometimes she’ll just use old, cleaned-out containers for snacks.

“Really, any container will do just fine,” she says. “And sometimes you put them in the containers, and they don’t smush your snacks, so it’s actually better.”

Another change Vidal made was to stop drinking from throwaway coffee cups. Instead, she’ll request a mug at the cafes she frequents. Or, if she can’t stay, she’ll bring her reusable to-go cup — which cost about $ 25 — and ask the barista to fill it up.

Vidal says she even started bringing her own Mason jars to smoothie shops to use instead of plastic cups.

“You just have to ask,” she says. “It’s a little unnerving sometimes because people look at you weird, but if you just say, ‘Hey, I care about the environment, [and] I don’t believe in using single-use plastics or disposable items,’ then they’ll understand where you’re coming from and they’ll be more than happy to put it in your own container for you.”

Shopping Zero Waste

A woman goes grocery store shopping in the produce section.
Vidal places her lemons in a reusable bag while grocery store shopping at Sprouts Farmers Market in Tampa, Florida. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

To decrease the amount of waste she produces, Vidal grocery shops at bulk stores.

“One of the easiest things about shopping is here in Tampa we’re fortunate that we have a Whole Foods and we have Sprouts and Rollin’ Oats,” she says. These grocery stores allow shoppers to buy items in bulk that are usually available only prepackaged at other stores.

“And they’re very accommodating,” she says. “You can use your own bags and your own containers to fill up on your bulk items at those stores.”

For those who don’t live near stores that have bulk sections, Vidal recommends cutting back on packaging waste by buying the largest quantity of the product available. For example, if you took home a 20-pound bag of rice, you’d end up with less plastic to dispose of than if you bought 20 one-pound bags of rice over time.

Buying food in larger quantities is often less expensive on a cost-per-unit basis.

Vidal admits she isn’t perfect in her pursuit of a zero-waste lifestyle. She also switched to a vegan diet two years ago and has found instances where being vegan has clashed with living zero waste.  

“Most of the cheese alternatives and meat alternatives, they’re all wrapped in plastic,” Vidal says.

A pantry full of food.
Vidal’s pantry is filled with glass jars, reusable containers and cardboard boxes. She tries to adhere closely to a zero-waste lifestyle. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

That packaging usually results in the largest share of her plastic waste, but she tries to limit those purchases. Vidal also occasionally gives in to prepackaged goodies for her son, like a bag of chips to take to the beach.

“He knows that’s like a treat that happens like once a month,” she says.

Vidal has learned to ignore the lure of convenience items. She does her best to feed her family whole foods, which saves money. Vidal makes her own lemonade and orange juice. Food waste goes into a compost pile.

Vidal’s zero-waste life extends beyond food and drink. Instead of buying cleaning supplies at the store, she makes her own out of vinegar and citrus peels. Coconut oil and baking soda form the base of the deodorant and toothpaste she concocts.

For hand-washing, Vidal buys bar soap that’s not wrapped in plastic. The laundry detergent she uses also comes in a bar form from an Etsy seller, Tangie, based in Eustis, Florida.

“You just dilute it in water and you put it in your own container,” Vidal says. “You can even use your old laundry detergent container.”

She hasn’t quite found a zero-waste solution to buying dish-washing soap, though.

“So I just buy the largest concentrated biodegradable soap I can find,” Vidal says. “It lasts me at least six months.”

Making a Bigger Impact

A woman poses for a portrait with a waste jar.
Vidal founded Zero Waste Tampa Bay to spread the word about the advantages of reusing and recycling. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder

Vidal could have limited her eco-conscious ways to herself and her household, but she felt compelled to spread the message to others.

About a year ago, she founded Zero Waste Tampa Bay, a group that spreads awareness of living a zero-waste lifestyle. She’s working on making it a nonprofit.

As president of Zero Waste Tampa Bay, Vidal has organized Meetups to unite other like-minded people in her community. She also visits local restaurants and shops to initiate conversations about what business owners and managers can do to reduce their environmental impact.

“I just try to spread my message and try to enlighten people because I was the same way a couple years ago,” Vidal says. “I didn’t know the effects on the environment for every choice I was making in my daily life.”

She says people shouldn’t feel intimidated about the zero-waste lifestyle or feel like they must be 100% waste-free.

“You can’t cut everything out of your life,” Vidal says. “It’s impossible.”

It’s all about making small changes over time, she says.

Vidal knows if she can get one person to make a small change and that influences another person, the ripple effect can make a significant positive difference.

Nicole Dow is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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