Today in History for January 19th

Associated Press

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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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Rep. Steve King Advocates White Nationalism and Needs a Black History Lesson

Congressman Steve King’s racist, white nationalist philosophy and false assertion that other ethnic groups or as he refers to it, “subgroups,”  have not contributed more to civilization is ridiculous.

Congressman King, did you know:

  • It was a black man by the name of Benjamin Banneker who mapped out the streets of our nation’s capital, Washington, D.C. actually where your office is located.
  • Crispus Attucks, an African American man was the first man killed in the Boston Massacre, becoming the first casualty of the American Revolution.
  • Charles Richard Drew was an African American physician who developed the blood banks that saved many lives during World War II and even today. People of all races who get blood transfusions every day can thank a black man named Dr. Charles Drew.
  • A black man named Lewis Latimer invented the filament to the light bulb which gave the world long-lasting electric lighting methods that made it possible for the lights in your office to stay on for more than the 15 minutes that Thomas Edison reached.

By the way Congressman Steve King, we are not a “subgroup.” There is only one race, and that is the human race. Therefore, all racism is a total disgrace. Let’s not forget that Jesus Christ was a dark skin Jew, who was oppressed and crucified by the Roman government.

 


Steve KingThe ideas and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author’s and not necessarily the opinion of Black Enterprise.

 

The post Rep. Steve King Advocates White Nationalism and Needs a Black History Lesson appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Today in History for January 13th

Associated Press

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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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Longest government shutdown in history hits 22-day mark

ABC News

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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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Caught By The Fuzz: A Brief History Of Fleece

Not long ago, synthetic fleece represented what men did not want in their clothing. It was as comfy, middle-aged, and suburban as a minivan. Not even a cool minivan; fleece was the Dodge Caravan of fabric. And no one wants to be seen in a Dodge Caravan. At a time when men were rediscovering the clothing of their grandfathers’ generation, natural fabrics and heritage cuts were the rule menswear, from tailoring to everyday casual wear, the thought being “What was so bad about cotton and wool? They’re comfortable, warm, and served us for hundreds of years before we went all space age.”

We’re fans of that sort of thinking–I often refer back to Archival Clothing’s resolutions, one of which is to wear wool and linen year-round. Part of the enjoyment of getting into men’s clothing (or any clothing) is discovering, taking inspiration from, and wearing clothing traditions that pre-date you. Maybe because the original fleece boom now significantly pre-dates people born in the mid 90s (and even the mid 80s), fleece has crept back into the conversation, and in the last year, it seems to be everywhere — from the usual outdoorsy sources like Patagonia and LL Bean to Antonio Ciongoli’s post-Eidos 18east collection to Engineered Garments’ weird cousin, Needles.  So what is fleece, and is it for you?

Imagine Wearing a Fuzzy Toilet Seat Cover

Patagonia gets most of the credit for the modern fleece jacket. In the 1970s, Yvon Chouinard’s company was looking to innovate in insulation for rock climbers and backpackers. Traditionally, these beardies wore wool sweaters, which worked well and looked great. But for obvious reasons, lighter, less absorbent fabrics would perform better. In his book, Chouinard cites as inspiration “a staple of North Atlantic fishermen, the synthetic pile sweater”–I can not for the life of me figure out what he’s talking about. If you know a North Atlantic fisherman from the 1970s or earlier, let me know.

In any case, Patagonia designers found synthetic pile at a fabric outlet (“pile” refers to fabric with loops, strands, or tufts of yarn standing up; some old military jackets are lined, for example, with woolen pile). Allegedly, their initial sweaters were made with stiff-backed polyester fabric intended for toilet seat covers. They worked with Malden Mills (which specialized in fabric for infant clothing known as “bunting”) to develop a friendlier version, and the Patagonia fleece was born. Malden Mills become Polartec, and thick, synthetic pile sweater soon became the outdoor standard for midlayer insulation.

Fleece collection from one of my favorite Instagrams, The Daily Obsessions.

Patagonia refined their fleece in the 1980s, adding bright colors and eventually patterns in the line to help them stand out from the competition, changing the texture of the fleece from hairier deep pile to finer fleece they called Synchilla, and making the sweater easier to put on with their snap-T design in 1985.

Fleecing America in the 1990s and 2000s

If you, like me, grew up in the 1990s, you associate fleece less with backpacking and more with the general performancification of casual clothing. The same general drive that put our moms in crinkly teal track suits and dads in bright ski jackets also encouraged everyone to wear fleece jackets as an outer layer, which, especially when they were cheaply made, seemed to have little real practicality. Fleece is light and not at all wind or waterproof. (The “right” way to wear it in cold / wet conditions is over a base layer and under a wind/water resistant outer layer–the fleece is insulation.)

In the 1990s, it seemed every mainstream/mall brand was making a synthetic fleece sweatshirt or jacket. GAP, Tommy Hilfiger, Old Navy. I had a sweet America by Perry Ellis fleece, which went great with a steel ball necklace and baggy jeans.

After reaching saturation, fleece became a punchline. Inexpensive and shapeless, it was an ideal garment for corporate personalization, in basic colors embroidered with your accounting firm’s name. It cemented its status as a fabric not for performance, but for total laziness, with the advent of the Snuggie, the microwavable-dinner-for-one of personal insulation.

In 2014, a Portlandia sketch depicted gear-obsessed couple Kath and Dave overwhelmed with wonder after discovering a fleece outlet. To me, that marks the low point in fleece’s relationship with culture. The cool kids, it seemed, were so over fleece, it was primed for a comeback.

The Golden Era? Fleece Returns

Given that nostalgia/retro fashion moves in semi-predictable cycles, maybe it was obvious. Adam Gopnik’s theory of nostalgia is that it runs in 40-year cycles. 40 years ago would be the late 1970s; prime time for performance fleece. Always a vintage outdoor gear enthusiast, Mordechai Rubenstein was posting on Mister Mort about fleece as far back as 2008.

Magazines like Japan’s GO OUT, which is like Outside magazine for people who are afraid of getting wet, glorified the sort of retro outdoor gear from the 70s that a vintage fleece jacket from REI or Patagonia exemplified. Stylewise, they slot in nicely next to other gear that trickled into the mainstream–60/40 jackets, down jackets, Cordura backpacks, etc.

And Patagonia, for which fleece jackets have always been a big seller, reissued retro versions of its fleece jackets, including deep pile, teddy-bear style fleeces. Arguably, they still do it best, although they now have separate categories for “casual fleece” and “technical fleece.”  I admit it’s a little bro-y, but I still love their retro-x jacket.

But fashion has recently taken it beyond post-heavy-duty-Ivy style, and people seem ready. 18East’s ivory fleece and block-printed fabric sold out immediately. Uniqlo and Christophe Lemaire made a nice jacket with an oversized collar. Haberdashers like H. Stockton and Sid Mashburn are selling it. It’s the backbone of designer Sandy Liang’s collection.  Streetwear brands like Cav Empt and Supreme have done versions (Supreme’s logo flip Patagonia fleeces are among the brands most sought after collector’s items). Kapital has done different versions; even a vest, the bro-iest fleece silhouette.

Some of these designs have made arguable improvements–some of these designs have real shape, and they certainly hang better than clingy 90s polar fleece. Some are made with blend fabrics rather than 100% polyester.

18East’s version is made in India and uses traditionally printed fabric to offset the fuzz.

The Uniqlo x Lemaire version.


Recent Supreme and Cav Empt fleeces.

A jacket and vest from Kapital.

A collaborative effort from Manastash and Mordechai Rubenstein.

The fleece comeback makes sense in a few ways, in addition to the cyclical factor: first, it fits in with the trend of “ugly” fashion over the last few years — see also Birkenstocks, chunky sneakers, etc. These jackets are associated not with elegance and refinement, but with goofiness, bagginess, and comfort. Choosing to wear one, when you could wear a more flattering jacket, is a statement of purpose. Second, there’s the appeal of the fuzzy. Like casentino wool or heavily napped flannel, there’s a coziness to a (quality) fleece fabric that just–feels nice. Like being wrapped in a teddy bear’s arms. Or a Snuggie.

The post Caught By The Fuzz: A Brief History Of Fleece appeared first on Put This On.

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Today in History for January 6th

Associated Press

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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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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Little Known Black History Fact: Grace Bumbry

In the opera world, Grace Bumbry is considered a master of her craft as one of the leading mezzo-soprano vocalists in the world. Today is the St. Louis, Mo. native’s birthday.

Bumbry was born in 1937. Her parents exposed her to the likes of Marian Anderson, who would be an early inspiration. At 16, Bumbry won a contest to enter a local music conservatory, but was denied entry due to her race. The contest promoters, looking to avert controversy, made arrangements for Bumbry to attend Boston University but it was after transferring to Northwestern University, she blossomed. While in Illinois, she studied with opera star and soloist Lotte Lehmann.

In 1961 at the age of 24, Bumbry became in an international sensation after appearing as the first Black opera singer to perform in Bayreuth, Germany with the grandson of composer, Richard Wagner. Although the conservative opera audience and press balked at her inclusion in the production, her performance was so mind-blowing that she was dubbed “The Black Venus.”

The following year, Bumbry was invited to sing at the White House, becoming the first Black opera singer to perform there. This lead to more performances throughout the ’60’s and ’70’s. Bumbry’s controversial switch to soprano in the latter decade divided some critics and observers who questioned if she truly commanded the range to sing at that level.

However, Bumbry brushed aside the talk and continued to perform into the ’90’s, with her last performance taking place in 1997.

From there, Bumbry taught voice and served as a judge in various competitions, and amassed a number of honors, including inclusion into the Kennedy Center Honors in 2009.

PHOTO: Public Domain


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Penn Badgley’s cringeworthy sex scene may be the shortest in TV history

Is this the shortest sex scene in TV history? “You,” Lifetime’s sexy stalker series starring Penn Badgley — now bingeable on Netflix — gave viewers a shocking eight-second romp that ended abruptly with premature ejaculation. Watch the hilarious and awkward play-by-play with “Steamy and Streamy” co-hosts Lea Palmieri and Brian Faas. And for more steaminess,…
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Best places to travel for history buffs

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The world is an ancient place, and humans have been around for a fraction of that time. Humans have been around for thousands of years, and during that time there have been great civilizations. Many of those places are still standing for modern history buffs to explore. If you want to get in touch with history check these places out.

Athens, Greece

The city of Athens in Greece is often called the birthplace of civilization, as it was one of the first places where culture truly took shape. The ancient city is thousands of years old and there are still some remnants from those days, including the Acropolis of Athens. Historians estimate the city has been occupied for over 7,000 years and there is plenty of history to be found in every corner.

Beijing, China

This Chinese city is over 3,000 years old and was once the stronghold for a hugely powerful empire. Much of the ancient city is still preserved, places such as the Great Wall of China, the Ming Tombs, and the Forbidden City are all there to explore. Not only was Beijing the center of power for the Qing and Ming Dynasties, but it was also where Chairman Mao ruled during the Chinese Communist Revolution. You can walk the Great Wall, and explore many of the ancient Chinese temples.

Petra, Jordan

Visiting the ancient city of Petra, Jordan, can feel like stepping onto the set of an Indiana Jones movie. The city has been carved into the rocks of a canyon and is described as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. Silk and spice routes were established here many years ago, and the UNESCO World Heritage site is perfect for stepping back in time.

Angkor, Cambodia

The temples found at Angkor date back to the 12th century, and you can still explore many of them. There are many temples covered in ancient artwork and sculptures that were once lost to the jungle. The ancient city was rediscovered by explorers in the 1860s, and since then it has become a favorite spot for history buffs. Angkor Wat is the centerpiece as it is an almost perfectly preserved temple with a head carved from stone that stands over 12 feet tall. There is a winding maze to explore, and the fortified city of Angkor Thom is worth strolling through and getting lost in.

Boston, USA

History is everywhere, and to those who say the United States doesn’t have any history of its own, we would point them in the direction of Boston. Boston is one of the United States’ oldest cities, and it is where the country’s first college was established, Harvard University. The city was the backdrop of the American Revolution, and the layout remains largely the same now as it was back then.

If you love your history, you don’t have to get it all from books and the internet. There are plenty of places around the world that can transport you back in time and teach you about our ancient past.

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The post Best places to travel for history buffs appeared first on Worldation.

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Dow surges over 1,000 points, biggest single-day gain in history

Santa Claus came a little late this year — but Wall Street is smiling anyway. The Dow Jones industrial average surged 1,086.25 points on Wednesday — its biggest single-day point gain ever — as solid retail data and a rise in oil prices helped ease recession fears. The historic pop more than offset the 653-point…
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Anatomy Of A Showtune: Inside the Horrible, Horrendous Holiday History of ‘You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch’

He really is a heel. He’s as cuddly as a cactus and as charming as an eel. He’s a bad banana with a greasy black peel. He’s a monster. His heart’s an empty hole. His brain is full of spiders. He’s got garlic in his soul…
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Today in History for December 22nd

Associated Press

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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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A-maize-ing genetic sleuthing rewrites history of corn

The history of corn, one of humankind’s indispensable staple crops, is far more complicated that previously known, according to scientists who conducted a comprehensive genetic and archeological analysis of its domestication.


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Today in History for December 17th

Associated Press

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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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Today in History for December 9th

Associated Press

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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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Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

2019 Golden Globe Award Nominations: ‘Vice’ and ‘The Favourite’ Lead All as ‘Black Panther’ Makes History

2019 Golden Globe Award Nominations: 'Vice' and 'The Favourite' Lead All as 'Black Panther' Makes History

The nominees for the 76th Golden Globe Awards were announced this morning in Hollywood, bringing the best in movies and television from 2018 to the forefront of awards sea-son. We already learned this week that Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg will host the awards ceremony when it's televised on NBC on January 6, 2019. Oh will be the first Asian woman to host a major awards show.

Among the happy surprises are multiple nominations for Black Panther, including a nod for Best Picture – Drama….

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Today in History for December 2nd

Associated Press

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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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The New Vanguard: Makaya McCraven Sees the Future of Jazz Through Layers of History

The Chicago-based drummer keeps expanding his communal improvisational process. He released the album “Universal Beings” in October to wide acclaim.
NYT > Arts

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Nintendo Switch Became the Best-Selling Nintendo Console in U.S. History During a Thanksgiving Weekend

Nintendo has high expectations for the Switch this holiday season, predicting sales totals that some viewed as overly ambitious. The company wants the system to hit 20 million units sold this fiscal year, and it helped get closer to that number with a huge Thanksgiving weekend.

Over the five-day period from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday this year, the Nintendo Switch set a record for best-selling Nintendo console in history over that period, and it had its best week ever in the United States.

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Little Known Black History Month: Dr. Olivia J. Hooker

Dr. Olivia J. Hooker turned 103 years of age this past February and in that same month in 1945, she made military history. Dr. Hooker, who passed away last week, became the first African-American woman to join the United States Coast Guard after being rejected by the United States Navy.

Hooker was born February 12, 1915 in Muskogee, Oklahoma. At the age of six, Hooker witnessed the Ku Klux Klan ransack her home during the violent Tulsa Massacre of Black Wall Street and was one of the few, if not the only, survivors of that moment in history.

The family relocated to Columbus, Ohio, and Hooker graduated from Ohio State University in 1937. The Delta woman attempted to enter the Navy and was denied due to her race.

She was eventually was allowed to join the Navy after contesting the denial, but Hooker elected to join the Coast Guard instead in February of 1945. Hooker was part of the SPAR (Semper Paratus Always Ready) division, a section of the U.S. Coast Guard Women’s Reserve.

This unit was eventually disbanded in 1946. The following year, Hooker obtained her master’s degree in psychology from Columbia University and worked with women in an upstate New York prison.

In 1961, Hooker earned her Ph.D from the University of Rochester and in 1963, she joined the faculty of Fordham University, teaching until 1985. She retired two years later, and at the age of 95, she joined the Coast Guard Auxiliary, the civilian reserve of the branch.

Hooker passed of natural causes on November 21 at her White Plains, New York home.


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Today in History for November 25th

Associated Press

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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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The Heartbreaking History of Speedrunning in ‘Ocarina of Time’



Fate would make Ocarina of Time not only one of the most celebrated games to play, but also one of the most interesting to watch.

It’s a game about time that manages to be timeless. Not only has Ocarina aged well, its legacy lives on as the roots for modern, 3D game design. And in the case of the most devoted and skilled Ocarina fans – the speedrunners – it’s remained a source of drama and excitement to this day.

Throughout the different “eras” of speedrunning Ocarina of Time, methods have been built, broken, improved, and abandoned. Years of work have been rendered obsolete by a new route or glitch discovery. New skills would have to be learned as the muscle memory of the last few months were suddenly redundant.

It’s a game where going fast means going backwards — figuratively and literally.

Even dedicated fans might watch a brief speedrun and marvel at the dexterity while knowing about half of what’s going on. It’s about skill, but it’s also about the cleverness of an entire community working together, propping up those few on the top of the leaderboard as the pinnacle of an entire village’s achievement. Below we’ll go through the methods, and the drama, of breaking the world’s greatest game.

Beating Ocarina in Five Hours



In the early days of speedrunning Ocarina of Time, the first major goal was to bring existing seven-hour runs down to the five-hour mark. From 2003-2005, these runs were largely devoid of glitches, and players hadn’t yet discovered that by quickly switching weapons and walking backwards, they could skip those painfully long owl dialogues.

You might consider these more “pure” runs. And you’re not alone — glitches were the subject of much controversy before different categories were made to accommodate everyone. What’s allowed and what isn’t is always evolving. Take the Amiibo items you can conjure in today’s Nintendo games — should those who pay more be given an advantage?

Many important glitches were known in these early days, such as the widely used bottle duplication glitch which was written about in 1999, or skipping the trials of Ganon’s Castle by exploding yourself through the tower wall. The world records authority at the time, Twin Galaxies, banned these glitches from use — making the early speedrunning route a fast version of the normal game:



As speedrun historians now know, Ocarina was destined to be more broken than a clay pot in Link’s path. But in this era, glitches were akin to cheating. Later the world of Any% speedruns would adopt an “anything goes” mentality. Except, that is, for actual cheating.

A pioneer in the space was TSA, the legend of this era who edged closer and closer to the five-hour mark

Though later on TSA was exposed for “splicing” footage of his runs to fake lower times. Pieces of the run had actually been done at different times and edited together. To this day, video editing software makes this unfortunately easy, and vigilant moderators use tools to check every entry. TSA’s fall from grace would soon become a matter of history though, as the first major sequence breaks were just around the corner.

The Japanese Method (Five Bosses)



Over in Japan, the burgeoning community of Ocarina otakus were working on their own improvements: the “Five Bosses run.” After years of shaving off mere minutes to achieve sub five-hour runs, a user named Seven Blanks cut over an hour from the world record time to bring it under three and a half hours.

Various contributors had been experimenting with jump tricks to get Child Link into Hyrule’s late-game, adults-only areas for some time. Interestingly, Ocarina only checks for the Shadow and Spirit medallions before giving you the Light Arrow and creating the rainbow bridge into Ganon’s Castle. The other medallions are “assumed,” as long as you could beat those two temples with limited gear.

“Five Bosses” refers to the three boss fights of the child dungeons, and the Spirit and Shadow Temple bosses. With glitches becoming more acceptable, it was then possible to get into the castle and skip the trials, resulting in a run that looks like this:



To add some flair, the Japanese community required zero deaths — although later on, speedruns would become so optimised that unplanned deaths would mark the end of an attempt altogether.

Running from 2006 to the end of 2008, the Five Bosses run eventually brought the fastest time below under three hours. It marked two years of Japanese dominance in Ocarina speedrunning, before another method came along and opened a bottle of whoopass…

Bottle Adventure



Before we explain one of the biggest skips in Ocarina’s history, we have to explain something called Bottle Adventure. It involves confusing Ocarina of Time into putting a bottle on your B button, which is usually reserved for your sword.

Even for normal Ocarina players, the mighty bottle is one of the more valuable items in the game. But what makes it pure gold for speedrunners is that using the bottle makes Ocarina rewrite the contents of the bottle to the inventory. You may have, after all, sipped your milk or captured a new bug.

Put simply, the B button wasn’t meant to be used in this way. When Ocarina applies its inventory formula to update a bottle, but uses the unfamiliar starting point of B, it materialises something utterly unexpected. But it was still governed by rules — and if one could understand the underlying math, the B button would be a Hyrulian Mary Poppins bag of tricks. A glitching springboard for Deku Sticks, Din’s Fire, or why not just skip straight to the last essential item needed to defeat Ganon: the Light Arrow.

Suddenly the Any% category was getting very interesting, and eventually the regulators followed community interest. A bottle had rendered Ocarina‘s inventory algorithm more fragile than glass, and when a version of Bottle Adventure was discovered that worked across all versions, this opened the door to a world of inventory manipulation.

Bottle Adventure of course required a bottle, and if you ever wanted to see the optimal way to collect all the cuccos in Kakariko Village for the easiest bottle, this was one of many feats of optimisation from this era.

Getting important items onto the B button was a big step, but it was just a peek into how exploitable the Ocarina inventory would become. The path glitch hunters were on now would end up being one of the biggest skips in Ocarina history — one that could cut a speedrunner’s time in half.

Reverse Bottle Adventure



2007 was a period of frantic theorycrafting as the community tripped over itself to test every edge case. But no one understood the full power of the bottle until the 26th of April, when Acryte figured out how to turn a bottle and a broken sword into a Sage Medallion.

With the bottle usually relegated to the C buttons, Ocarina updates the inventory after each swipe by moving three slots to the right to reach the inventory. But with a bottle on B, moving three slots to the right reaches the C Right button.

To its credit, Ocarina doesn’t crash here, even as its inventory system is split wider than its timeline. Instead, it uses whatever item is on C Right to point to a new spot in the inventory, and writes the binary code of the bottle you just updated.

What we all see as a full bottle of Lon Lon Milk, the game sees as 10010011 — eight digits of binary code. Shove that code where it wasn’t intended, and you can end up with full ammo for rare items like Bombchus, or new bomb bags, wallets, and gauntlets.

Most interesting (and broken) are the inventory slots that only accept one digit. In the case of one-off items like songs, you either have them or you don’t — so Ocarina interprets that first “1” as a “yes.” But what happens to the seven remaining digits? Those extra ones and zeroes overflow into the rest of the inventory, writing “no,” “no,” “yes,” and so on.

Glitch-happy game-breakers began furiously swiping bottles, testing new items on C Right. Acryte’s discovery was that with the Broken Goron’s Sword on C Right, Ocarina points to the section for Sage Medallions. It was possible to write a “1” onto the slots for Spirit and Shadow medallions – the only two Ocarina checks for – thereby skipping all temples.

This use of Reverse Bottle Adventure effectively skips half the game, but obtaining the Broken Goron’s Sword involves a lengthy trading quest that ping pongs players between NPCs. For those who spent years grinding Five Bosses, it was heartbreaking. But there was a new route now, and the race was on. Players would do their best impression of a Hyrulian Fed Ex as NPCs made them sweat for a sword that would never be repaired.

This changed the route to look like the following:


Ocarina of Time speedrun reverse bottle adventure route rba

Not many videos exist of the early days of Reverse Bottle Adventure records, but early records with the new route in late 2008 brought times down to one hour and twenty minutes — roughly half of what it was.

Child Link’s adventures were still relatively intact though, and while speedrunners had built up ten years’ worth of tricks for the early dungeons – such as getting into Jabu Jabu’s Belly without a fish – a method was found in 2008 to skip them altogether.

The Door of Time



While the entire second half of the game had been rendered skippable by a bottle and a broken sword, there was still a lengthy first half that involved collecting three Spiritual Stones.

Figuring out how to “clip” through walls and doors is an important part of the speedrunner’s toolkit, and often involves propelling oneself at different angles into walls and corners to find kinks in the game’s geometry. While the Temple of Time‘s huge door separating you from the Master Sword had proved tricky, a user named Mitijitsu eventually discovered how to clip through it while staying alive:

A few side hops and a jump attack was all it took to give it the ol’ clip & skip. By the time the Master Sword cutscene finishes, those Spiritual Stones are on their altar, right where you never put them. Eliminating all three Child Link dungeons had a huge effect on time and altered the route to look like the following:


Ocarina of Time speedrun rba temple of time clip skip

Around the same time, players started switching over to the Japanese version of the game. Able to present more info with less dialogue boxes, the Japanese text was quicker to skip through, and would instantly shave minutes off of a speedrunner’s time:

After four years of improvements to the route, it was Zaccio with the fastest time in the RBA/Door of Time skip era, with this 54:02 run in early 2012 — finally below one hour.

But Zaccio’s perfected route was about to be turned on its head, as Ocarina of Time was broken once again — this time by Link trying to play his sword like an ocarina.

Wrong Warping: The Ganonless Era



If you thought the state of Ocarina‘s fastest route was bizarrely fascinating already, strap in. It’s about to get weird.

On the 19th of February, 2012, a seemingly minor glitch was discovered that went on to start a new era of speedrunning. Username ChristianF23 posted a video of how to skip cutscenes at the end of temples.

By doing a backflip into the warp provided, then using the bottle and another item at the same time, one could retain control of Link during the warp animation. Humorously, Link would try to play his sword as if it were an ocarina:


Ocarina of Time Ocarina Items glitch

Not very useful though, unless Link needed a close shave. The trick was the next part: if the player could die or use a door before the warp animation finishes, they’d skip a lengthy trip to the Sacred Realm.

But when this was performed in the Fire Temple, it portalled you to the beginning of the Forest Temple instead. What gives?

It turns out there’s a numbered list of every area in Ocarina of Time, and each zone has a few slots on the list reserved for which “scene” you arrive in. This could be day, night, Child Link, Adult Link, or a special cutscene. Performing the above trick adds to the number of your targetted scene, sending you somewhere else entirely.

This was dubbed Wrong Warping, and of course the above is a gross oversimplification, but you can find a meatier explanation here.

Interestingly, this list of zones is not at all in sequential order. Just like Reverse Bottle Adventure, there were underlying rules — the technique was ripe for theorycrafting new routes, but complex moves and even more complex calculations were required to correctly target a scene of your choosing. Wrong Warping was the perfect combination of strategy and dexterous skill.

Players found new ways to trigger it, too. Using Bottle Adventure, one could cast Farore’s Wind on the B button to create a portal anywhere — not just from dungeons.

With the ability to warp to a host of unsanctioned scenes, there was only one logical conclusion: why not warp directly to the end credits? It took a Rube Goldberg level of complexity, but almost right away one player managed to do exactly that:

It took only a few days for the records to start coming in. ZFG used and then modified this technique to grab more than a few world records. After much optimisation he produced this 46:52 run, in which he Wrong Warps from the Fire Temple into the credits scene in which you say goodbye to Navi.

This was known as the Ganonless era. But as optimal as it seems to skip straight to the credits, it was short-lived. The heartbreaking nature of speedrunning Ocarina would rear its head again — literally while ZFG was setting his world record, a new skip was being discovered that would render all of his work obsolete.

Let’s Do the Wrong Warp Again



In a happy little twist of fate, Wrong Warping works from the Child Link dungeons as well. When looking through the numerical list of areas, it was noticed that right after the Deku Tree is the Tower Collapse scene from Ganon’s Castle:


Ocarina of Time speedrun Wrong Warp table

Theoretically, one could warp from the starting dungeon all the way past Ganondorf, to fight Ganon and beat the game. This completely cut out the adult quest to get the Broken Goron’s Sword — or being an adult at all, for that matter.

Each cutscene after that point would have the camera aimed a little higher than it should, as Child Link took the role of Adult Link in saving Hyrule:


Child Link Princess Zelda Navi Ganon Ocarina of Time speedrun

One of the interesting things about this skip is that while you need the Master Sword to defeat Ganon, there’s a cutscene in which he knocks it out of Link’s hand. Afterwards you can freely pull from the ground the only item that can banish Ganon’s evil — even though you never collected it.

Without needing to collect the Master Sword, but still needing something to catch in a bottle to manipulate the inventory, the new route looked like this:



Known as the Ganondoor route, the first world record using this technique was set by ZFG and cut almost 12 minutes off of the record. That was a 34:59 run in April of 2012, but the door was open for many new entrants on the world record table.

From this point, smaller skips and optimisations would become all-important. But as competitive as it was, there would be more entries onto the world record table than ever before.

The Ganondoor Era



Names such as ZFG, sva, Chocopoptart, Cosmo, Pydoyks, and Makaron would grace this period with constant improvements. The Ganondoor route is still the optimal route today, but a handful of major improvements have been discovered since 2012 that are not only genius, but extremely hard to execute.

We can all bathe Bloobiebla in praise not just for an amazing username, but for discovering how to skip Mido. The obnoxious elf who blocks you from the Deku Tree if you don’t have a sword and shield is annoying at the best of times. You don’t have to be racing against time to hate that freckled clock-blocker.

It turns out there’s a way to clip through the ground and get past him — but getting the angle right takes no small amount of skill:

This was combined with an odd physics glitch in the Tower Collapse scene, in which rolling into a falling rock would propel you backwards very fast — fast enough to clip through a door and fall almost all the way to the Ganon fight.

It was estimated that there was an 8% chance to hit this correctly, and this was a discouraging prospect for many speedrunners. Even if they did everything right, the end of the run might be decided by luck. But an important user named Skater82297 found a concrete way to make sure Link was at the right angle, by targetting and untargetting Zelda on exactly the right frames. It was a difficult technique even for the best speedrunners, but it was reliable.

A user formerly known as Cosmo (now Narcissa) achieved dominance in this period through a combination of skill, optimisation, and an obscure but official Nintendo console from China called the iQue, the text of which was even faster than Japanese. Cosmo scored a time of 18:10 in mid 2014 – a full 50 seconds ahead of any rival – and looked unbeatable:

Schrödinger’s Bottle



By this point, glitch hunters had discovered a way to collect an item without really collecting it.

Let us explain.

Link always was one to celebrate a bit too much when he collects an item, raising his arms to the sky for a fanfare after every new stick and seed. But if players could collect an item while the camera was locked – such as when you come out of a tunnel – they could let an enemy interrupt that indulgent new item animation. This puts the item in a “delayed” state, similar to when you collect an item underwater. Ocarina will wait for you to surface before awarding it to you.

Here’s the tricky part. Ocarina stores a number so it knows which item to give you when you come up for air — and this number can be manipulated before the item is given. By running next to a chest, the stored number of the item you’re “owed” is changed to the negative value of what’s in that chest. Opening the chest would change that back to its normal, positive value.

There’s an easily accessible chest in the Deku Tree with the dungeon map — item value 65. What item corresponds to negative 65? Full points if you guessed it: a bottle. A glorious, game-skipping, Wrong Warping bottle.

Yet there was still the observer effect and Schrodinger’s Bottle wrapped into one conundrum. The very act of opening the chest changes what’s inside it. But what if one could loot it without opening it? All a speedrunner would have to do is trigger the item delay, run next to the chest, then go for a swim and come up for air. Called Get Item Manipulation, it’s the quickest path to a bottle anyone has found so far.

This cut out the entire cucco quest. There was no need to clip out of the Lost Woods, and no need to visit Kakariko Village. It was bound to shave off some time.

Newcomer Jodenstone had been chipping away at Cosmo’s record for months by this point. There’s a moment when a speedrunner realises they’re on track for the world record, and they start to freak out, concentrating on nailing the last few difficult techniques. Jodenstone’s nervous, authentic joy was always a pleasure to watch and after barely pipping the record from Cosmo, he used Get Item Manipulation to further his lead.

Having been involved in the glitch’s discovery, Skater was soon back at the top as well, alongside new challenger Torje. Skater improved the method further by skipping the crawl tunnel, instead clipping through a wall in the Deku Tree to make the game think he was diving when he wasn’t. Not only was this quicker, it got rid of some of the randomness in previous runs, which only had a 12% chance of dropping the necessary Deku Nut.

After some highly competitive trading of the world record, Torje edged out Skater in September of 2018 with a 17:04 run. He includes a heartrate monitor on his stream, which peaks at 174 as he gets past the most difficult sections. The run looks damn near perfect, but we all know better than to say it’s unbeatable.

The following is the current world record run:

From Seven Hours to 17 Minutes



While any Ocarina fan can appreciate the trick jumps and rapid boss kills displayed by modern speedrunners, Any% looks almost indistinguishable from the game we grew up with. Without the above knowledge, it seems downright ludicrous.

We enter the Deku Tree to conjure a bottle out of thin air, beat Gohma in one second with a Deku Nut, take a bizarre detour to the Lost Woods to capture bugs, flip into Gohma’s portal to play our stick like an Ocarina, then walk through the door to find ourselves in the Tower Collapse scene. We then clip through the wall and create a chorus of metallic clanging as we shove a Deku Stick into Ganon, and deliver the coup de grace with the Master Sword we never picked up.

All, of course, while walking backward the whole way.

From the earliest days of seven-hour speedruns to the unrecognisable 17-minute glitch fests, investing time and energy into Ocarina Any% has been a dangerous proposition with fleeting rewards. But the ever-shifting goalposts give this sport new life, and allow new faces to see their username in the #1 spot.

It’s a tough but captivating category with a fascinating history of theorycrafting and sheer determination. We wouldn’t have anything less for the greatest game ever made.



The post The Heartbreaking History of Speedrunning in ‘Ocarina of Time’ appeared first on FANDOM.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Kristine Guillaume

For the first time in its 145th year in existence, the student newspaper of Harvard University has named its first Black women as president. Kristine Guillaume will oversee The Harvard Crimson, which bills itself as the oldest running daily college newspaper in the country.

 

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Guillaume, a junior at Harvard University studying African-American Studies along with History and Literature, will lead the 146th Guard of the Harvard Crimson. The Queens, New York native is one of three chairpersons that sit on the Crimson’s Diversity and Inclusivity Committee, which made it a point this year to select editors and staff of varying backgrounds.

In a recent statement after being named president of the Crimson, Guillaume noted that Harvard University’s past as an institution of learning primarily made for White men is no longer its legacy, and that her presence at the Crimson and the university itself signals the changes that will continue to come.

“I want people to think about how to navigate, and feel like they can and get through their education, and feel like they do belong here,” Guillaume said.

Past presidents of the Crimson include the likes of Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and CNN president, Jeff Zucker.

HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE 

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The Movie Green Book Is Named for a Real Guide to Travel in a Segregated World. Its Real History Offers a Key Lesson for Today

The object that provides the title for the new movie Green Book is a Jim Crow-era travel guide with extensive listings of hotels, restaurants, gas stations, shops and tourist facilities that welcomed black patronage. The book doesn’t actually get much screen time, but one small moment in the film shines a light on an oft-forgotten truth about the history of segregation in the United States: this was not just a Southern problem.

The film tells a loose version of the true story of an unlikely friendship between Dr. Don Walbridge Shirley (played by Mahershala Ali) — an African-American polyglot, pianist and PhD — and Frank Anthony Vallelonga, known as Tony Lip (played by Viggo Mortensen), a nightclub bouncer. In 1962, Vallelonga was hired by Shirley’s record label, Cadence Records, to serve as the musician’s chauffeur and bodyguard during a tour, which included gigs in the Deep South. Despite the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision, which dismantled de jure segregation in public education, de jure and de facto segregation remained the order of the day in public accommodations throughout the nation. Consequently, while Vallelonga and the white members of the Don Shirley Trio, bassist Ken Fricker and cellist Juri Taht, had access to white mainstream public accommodations, Shirley remained confined by the limits of Jim Crow.

To assist him in navigating this racial landmine, Vallelonga was provided a copy of what was informally known as the Green Book. Vallelonga is primarily concerned with the logistics of travel in the segregated South, and that’s where the movie spends most of its time, but the Green Book was a valuable safety resource for black travelers in every region of the country. In fact, its initial focus was New York City, where Shirley and Vallelonga both resided. As Shirley’s tells his chauffeur, he doesn’t have to leave home in order to experience discrimination.

In 1930, New Yorker and social critic George Schuyler admonished those blacks “who could afford to do so” to “purchase an automobile as soon as possible in order to be free of discomfort, discrimination, segregation and insult,” which was part and parcel of public transportation. For certain, private motorists were shielded from public assault, police encounters notwithstanding — but blacks in cars still had to navigate the public landmines of restrooms, lodgings and eateries.

Hence, Victor H. Green, an African American New York City mail carrier, first published The Negro Motorist Green-Book in 1936 to assist black motorists in finding safe public accommodations during their travels. Green’s publication became the Bible of black travel guides and was published annually until 1966.

In the introduction to the 1949 edition, Green provided a historical overview of the first decade of the publication, noting that his ideas for his own publication had come from researching earlier African America travel guides that were out-of-print, as well as from the Jewish press, which “provided information about places that are restricted,” and from “numerous publications that give the genteel whites all kinds of information.” Green’s intended purpose for his guide was “to give the Negro traveler information that will keep him from running into difficulties [and] embarrassments.” Green admonished the black motorist to “Keep this guide in your car for ready reference.”

In a 2010 NPR interview, civil rights icon Julian Bond recalled the importance of the Green Book during trips with his family while growing up. “It didn’t matter where you went — Jim Crow was everywhere then,” he stated, “and black travelers needed this badly. My family had a ‘Green Book’ when I was young, and used it to travel in the South to find out where we could stop to eat, where we could spend the night in a hotel or somebody’s home.”

It would be easy to assume that the Green Book was just a Southern travel guide. But Green made no assumption that black people would only need his help while traveling in the South. Not only did the book include information about international travel, it also contained listings about areas in the country where segregation was less visible but no less felt. Indeed, the 1936 edition of the book was a 15-page pamphlet that focused on locales in the New York metropolitan area — where a substantial part of the book’s audience would have lived.

Despite its multicultural and liberal reputation, New York City has a sordid racial history, which dates back to the colonial era.

As Brian Purnell and Jeanne Theoharis have described for the Washington Post, racial animus in the Big Apple began with the colonization of Native Americans and importing of enslaved Africans in the 17th century. Despite gradual emancipation, which ended slavery in the state by the 1830s, and a strong abolitionist movement to eradicate slavery in the South, racial equality continued to be withheld from blacks New Yorkers. With the New York economy “wedded to slavery,” the years leading up to the Civil War were dominated by pro-slavery sentiment that lead to racial violence in the city in 1863 when Lincoln called for a mandatory draft.

After the Civil War, New York mirrored the South as “black people . . . suffered from written and unwritten rules against racial mixing in marriage, public accommodations and housing.” New York maintained its policy of segregation during the decades following WWII by constructing “housing, parks, playgrounds, highways and bridges,” Purnell and Theoharis write, which “adhered to ethnic composition rules for urban planning,” leaving segregated neighborhoods and subsequently schools intact. In 1964, the year President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which ended segregation in public accommodations and banned employment discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin, a New York Times poll showed that most white people in New York City believed that “the Civil Rights Movement had gone too far” in granting black demands for racial equality.

Green made clear in the 1949 edition that he was optimistic about the future of the United States, if not the future of his book. “There will be a day sometime in the near future when this guide will not have to be published,” he wrote. “That is when we as a race will have equal opportunities and privileges in the United States. It will be a great day for us to suspend this publication for then we can go wherever we please.”

The Green Book was discontinued shortly after its founder’s 1960 death, following a 1966-1967 Vacation Guide edition. That issue featured a statement assuring its patrons that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was fact and not fiction. The struggle was finally over.

But race still matters in the United States. As the incident at a Starbucks in Philadelphia — not in the South — demonstrated this year, the nation is still full of spaces like parks, swimming pools , golf courses, sidewalks, and parking lots that are not welcoming to black Americans. During that 2010 Julian Bond interview with NPR, a caller stated, “Well, I was thinking that this [The Green Book] might be a useful tool still today . . . because in some parts of the country, there are places where black people … dare not go.”

Indeed, sixty years after The Green Book was discontinued, the search for black safety continues.

Historians explain how the past informs the present

Arica L. Coleman is a scholar of U.S. history and the author of That the Blood Stay Pure: African Americans, Native Americans and the Predicament of Race and Identity in Virginia and a former chair of the Committee on the Status of African American, Latino/a, Asian American, and Native American (ALANA) Historians and ALANA Histories at the Organization of American Historians.


Entertainment – TIME

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How the Girl Scouts Helped Make Feminist History Happen in the Midterms

Come January, there will be an unprecedented force of female representation taking hold in Washington. At least 110 women will serve in the U.S. House and Senate next year, accounting for 20 percent of all seats in Congress. And at least 60 percent of them are former Girl Scouts.

Linzy is a freshman in college who volunteers for political campaigns in her free time. She encourages other girls to…

Posted by Girl Scouts on Sunday, October 14, 2018

Girl Scouts of the USA has fostered young female empowerment and leadership since 1912. In a male-dominated world where women are likely to be surrounded by men in every other activity, Girl Scouts offers a comfortable space for girls that empowers them, cultivates their leadership potential and helps build their confidence.

“Most of a girl’s life is co-ed, so it’s important to offer girls-only spaces,” Alice Hockenbury, Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy for GSUSA told Ms. “Girl Scouts is a formative experience for a girl to have while growing up, and it’s not a coincidence that the majority of elected Congresswomen are Girl Scout alums.”

Cassandra Levesque, who was recently elected to represent the town of Barrington in the New Hampshire state legislature, is a proud Girl Scout alumna, and credits those spaces to her success. “They helped show me growing up that I can be strong, I can be loud,” she told Ms. “I felt that I could be myself there.”

Levesque, 19, is set to be one of the top five youngest state legislators in U.S. history—all because of a girl scout project. As a senior in high school, she began to push for child marriage legislation that would raise the legal age for marriage to 18, from 13 for girls and 14 for boys. When the initial bill failed in the House, she reintroduced the bill the next year and, with the help of Representative Jackie Cilley, passed legislation raising the age to 16.

During her campaign, Levesque leveraged her youth and Girl Scout experience as assets to her potential seat in the New Hampshire House. “Girl Scouts taught me how to be an advocate and how to get my voice heard,” she told Ms. “I am very proud to say that I’m a Girl Scout.”

In the current U.S. Congress, 51 percent of female Representatives and 73 percent of female Senators are Girl Scout alumnae. Today, four of six female governors were Girl Scouts. And Madeleine Albright, Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton—the only three female Secretaries of State in history—were all Girl Scouts. 

According to a recent study done by the Girl Scout Research Institute, Scouts “are more likely than non-Girl Scouts to act ethically and responsibly, seek challenges and learn from setbacks, identify and solve problems in their communities and take an active role in decision making.” These are all qualities to be valued in elected officials—and will hopefully make a difference in Congress as more Girl Scout alumnae seek office.

“At Girl Scouts, we believe every girl’s voice should be heard,” Hockenbury told Ms., “and likewise, it’s important to have women in decision-making roles in every sector of society.” 

The 116th Congress will have even more alumnae of the program in its ranks. In the House, at least 57 percent of the women in the House will be Girl Scout alumnae, and at least 74 percent of the women in the Senate. All told, at least 60 percent of the women in Congress will be former Girl Scouts in 2019.

While not every female candidate promoted their Girl Scout backgrounds during the campaign like Cassandra Levesque, many of the most notable freshmen of the 116th Congress are alumnae. Jacky Rosen, the junior Senator from Nevada who won a race against an incumbent Republican in a tight race, is among this group. Veronica Escobar, Jahana Hayes, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley—a crew of boundary-breakers heading to the House—are Girl Scout alumnae who are making history as the first Latina to represent Texas, the first Black women to represent states in New England and the youngest Representative ever elected. Michelle Lujan Grisham, who will make history as the first Latina governor in New Mexico, was a Girl Scout.

It seems that as more women are elected to public office, the correlation between national leadership and Girl Scouts grows stronger—and with good reason. With every inauguration to come, it becomes more clear that Girl Scouts of the USA has upheld their mission to build girls of courage, confidence and character who make the world a better place.

Victoria Sheber is an editorial intern at Ms., a debate instructor at Windward School and a member of the JusticeCorps at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Victoria is currently a senior at UCLA studying American Literature & Culture and History; she is also the President of the American Association of University Women chapter on campus and Assistant Section Editor for Fem Newsmagazine. She loves to read and write about feminist literature. 

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The post How the Girl Scouts Helped Make Feminist History Happen in the Midterms appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Is Already Making Book History

For more than a decade now, we’ve watched Michelle Obama grow, stretch, and transform, becoming who she is today.

Black women, in particular, have observed her with great interest and great love. We have prayed for, cried for, and consistently rooted for her as she evolved from a deeply reluctant public figure into a global icon whose much-anticipated memoir, Becoming, is getting rock-star treatment.

We have revered and emulated her, seeing in her prominent service to our nation new possibilities for making a powerful impact of our own.

Women of color candidates increased by nearly 75% since 2012, according to a report from the Reflective Democracy Campaign. More than 400 black women ran in the midterm elections, including 19 black women in Harris County, Texas, who all won their races to become judges, and Stacey Abrams, who is still fighting to ensure that every vote is counted in her historic race to become the first black woman governor in the U.S.

Can it be mere coincidence that as Michelle Obama recounts her journey to marriage, motherhood, and the White House, becoming a richer, bolder, fuller version of her herself in the process, that generations of women who most identify with her are finding their own voices and becoming a greater force with which to reckon as well?

Just in Time for Christmas: Oprah’s New Favorite Thing

BecomingLaunched halfway between Election Day and Thanksgiving, no sooner did Becoming’s Chicago tour begin than Oprah announced it as her next book club pick—as if it needed the boost. Amazon and Barnes and Noble were reporting record sales weeks before the official launch date and tickets for seats on the former first lady’s 10-city stadium tour (at as high as $ 2,750 apiece) were selling out fast.

Her current megastar incarnation represents quite a shift for a woman who once not only resisted the spotlight—she appeared to recoil from and even resent it. After all, pre-marriage, Michelle Robinson had always worked toward a very carefully crafted vision for her life, and while it included some ambitious and unconventional goals, becoming the first lady or a political spouse of any kind wasn’t among them.

The confident woman who leans a bare shoulder and bright-eyed smile directly into the camera on the cover of Becoming has come a long way from the guarded working mom in sensible heels who routinely declined requests for interviews and speaking opportunities during Barack’s early political life. Back then, she also refused to upend her career or her young daughters’ routines to accommodate her husband’s DC-based job demands or his larger ambitions, which she had reason to resist.

For starters, Michelle Obama had her own career aspirations, a distaste for politics, and a strong attachment to her Chicago hometown. Add to that the brazen fear that you could almost read in her watchful eyes: `What if something happens to Barack? What if my children lose their dad? What if this country doesn’t allow this historic moment to fully play out after all?’

Redefining the Role of a Lifetime

Once the Obama’s made history, there was no time for fear and no turning back. Instantly thrust onto the world stage and into a hailstorm of dizzying expectations and change, she packed up her Chicago dream house (along with her mom and her own dreams of remaining there) and took on the role of a lifetime, one she neither sought nor wanted.

Initially, there was a slight tightness to her composure and an awkwardness to her style. But soon she was an absolute natural, wowing interviewers, world leaders, and her own swelling base of fans.

Smart, self-effacing and impeccably prepared, it was her authenticity that most resonated with people—especially black women. Although she went to Princeton undergrad and Harvard Law School and had worked in well-paying jobs in white-shoe settings, she still bore the recognizable hallmarks of an unapologetic black girl deep-dipped in the instincts, values, adaptability, and resilience of Chicago’s hardworking South Side. Forget trying to hide it, she wore it like the Hope Diamond—with fist-bumping pride.

As Benilde Little wrote in The Meaning of Michelle, a 2017 anthology of essays edited by Veronica Chambers, “It’s hard being oneself under a microscope and the miracle of Michelle is that she seems to have always held on to her authentic self—with lots of her middle name, LaVaughn—holding center.”

While her popularity soared, reaching a feverish pitch toward the end of the Obama’s time in the White House, she was never without her detractors. While she honed her famous “When they go low, we go high” approach to dealing with them, in her earliest days in the spotlight, you could almost see her bracing herself for the ignorance, the disrespect, the inevitable attacks every black woman knows too well.

With trademark restraint, she addresses the issue head-on in her book’s preface this way:

Since stepping reluctantly into public life, I’ve been held up as the most powerful woman in the world and taken down as an ‘angry black woman.’ I’ve wanted to ask my detractors which part of that phrase matters to them most – is it ‘angry’ or ‘black’ or ‘woman?’

In Becoming, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama finally takes back her life and tells her own story, transcending all labels and rendering all outside opinions moot.

The post Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ Is Already Making Book History appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Trade routes that shaped world history

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Trade routes are routes that are used on a widely known basis to transport goods to and from different places. Some trade routes across the world are more significant than others, due to the course that they take or the goods that are transported along them; some of them are important culturally because they were used to experience things you can’t buy, like religion. Here are some of the trade routes that shaped world history.

Amber Road

The Amber Road has been used to transport goods since the year 3,000 B.C. Amber might not seem like it has any significance to us, but it has actually been incredibly useful and valuable over the years. The Romans valued amber very highly for decorative purposes, and it played a big role in the design of their homes, palaces and other buildings, which we have been able to discover today thanks to Amber’s long lasting quality. The ‘Amber Highway’ as it came to be called has also been witness to a lot of deaths, following the rise of demand for Amber in the 12th and 13th centuries, where people would kill merchants who were transporting the precious stone.

Silk Road

The Silk Road is not just one of the most famous trade routes in the world, it’s also one of the oldest, and its use dates back to as far as the first century B.C! It was used by the ancient civilizations of China and by the Roman Empire. At first, the route was used to transport a lot of practical and luxury items, ranging from anything between wool and gold, but over time, more important things were transported down this route; knowledge, trade secrets, art, and religion. Of course, one of the most famous products transported down this trade route was silk, which started during the Han Dynasty. The Chinese were so protective of their trade route that they constructed the Great Wall of China, just to keep it safe!

The Salt Route

Salt might just seem like an everyday household commodity now, but hundreds and thousands of years ago, salt was incredibly precious – so much so that in the Roman age, it actually used to make up a portion of people’s wages. It is used for food and for flavoring, to preserve things, and to heal things with its antiseptic qualities. It is so versatile and used to be so difficult to get hold of that salt routes were crucial. There were several trade routes known as ‘salt roads’ such as Via Saleria in Italy and the Old Salt Route in Germany.

Tea Horse Road

There’s no denying we all like a cup of tea every now and then (daily if you’re British), but do you know how dangerous transporting tea used to be? The Tea Horse Road is one of the most precarious of all the world famous trade routes, with over 6,000 miles of winding roads through mountains and over rivers. Of course, one of the main commodities transported along this route was Chinese tea, but it was also the route for trading Tibetan Warhorses too.

These trade routes have all changed the world around us, in one way or another. Without some of these famous (and often dangerous) trade routes, we wouldn’t have commodities such as tea or salt in our homes today. How strange would that be?

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Today in History for November 12th

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Today in History for November 10th

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Tea and history: an evocative brew in Chengdu, China

This centuries-old teahouse in Sichuan province and its regulars are a world away from China’s modern megacities

Out in the western suburbs of Sichuan’s capital, Chengdu, the town of Pengzhen is home to what’s said to be the oldest teahouse in China. About 300 years old, the Guanyin Pavilion is at the heart of a tiny community of historic streets where, against a tide of rapid modernisation, the local population proudly preserves its heritage and traditional way of life.

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Ranking the 6 Best PlayStation Characters in History

When you’re dealing with a packed roster of great characters like PlayStation’s, picking the best of the bunch is no simple task. You need to limit yourself with some harsh criteria, or else you’ll end up with a top 30 list. The six iconic characters on this list have memorable personalities and great games that have secured their immortality. When you hear the word “PlayStation,” you think of these guys.

6. Jak and Daxter (Jak and Daxter Series)


Jak and Daxter with a gun.
Jak and Daxter are packing heat.

This man and ottsel duo reinvented the platforming genre with a perfect blend of snarky humor and dark drama. The strong silent type and the obnoxious loudmouth may not be the most original pairing, but there’s a childhood bond at the core of Jak and Daxter’s contrasting personalities that sets them apart from most buddy teams.

While the Jak and Daxter franchise boasts great shooting mechanics and epic storylines, the titular pair gave it legs. These guys survived the major tonal shift from their simple, childish debut game to the more serious, GTA-like Jak II, and the decision to upgrade Jak from laid-back mute protagonist to angry loose cannon strengthened his relationship with Daxter. Naughty Dog dropped the ball by letting this series fizzle out, but if they were to put out a reboot, gamers would leap at the opportunity to see these guys back in action.

5. Ratchet and Clank (Ratchet & Clank Series)


Ratchet and Clank looking through a broken wall.
The ultimate repair team.

If Jak and Daxter made the list, it only makes sense that their Insomniac counterparts would pop up at some point. The Ratchet & Clank franchise’s innovative blend of platforming and third-person shooting may be its claim to fame, but it’s the lombax and robot’s well-drawn personalities and witty banter that sell the games.

The two are a great comedic duo thanks to the combination of Ratchet’s headstrong attitude and Clank’s polite intelligence, but it’s their complementary abilities as mechanic and machine, respectively, that makes them a natural pairing. The games have also done a great job of building their relationship. By having Ratchet and Clank meet in the first game, the series has allowed the fan base to grow with their friendship.

4. Nathan Drake (Uncharted Series)


Nathan Drake in cave in Uncharted 4
He may often be out of his element, but he belongs on this list.

The most recent addition to the gaming world to make this list is Nathan Drake — a testament to his strong personality. With the skills of Indiana Jones and the charisma of Firefly‘s Malcolm Reynolds, Nathan has carved out his place in the PlayStation pantheon.

This charming smart-ass may be an incredible treasure hunter who can climb like it’s nobody’s business, but it’s his everyman spirit that makes him so relatable. He feels out of his depth in the dangerous situations he gets into throughout the Uncharted series. Nathan may be famous for his quippy lines and devil-may-care attitude, but it’s his genuine feelings for love interest Elena Fisher and partner in crime Victor “Sully” Sullivan that show off his best side.

3. Crash Bandicoot (Crash Bandicoot Series)


Crash Bandicoot and Aku Aku
The face of PlayStation.

For the longest time, Crash Bandicoot was as popular as Mario and Sonic. In other words, he was the PlayStation mascot. Kids and adults have been crazy about this furry dope since his debut in the first Crash Bandicoot, and despite the declining quality of the later games, his fanbase is just as vocal and energetic as ever.

Even though he barely speaks, Crash’s personality is iconic in the gaming world. He’s more than just a silly face; his goofy demeanor and slapstick fighting moves are inseparable from his image. While it was nice to see him spin back into the limelight with the recent N. Sane Trilogy remake, Crash deserves a brand new game that will make young gamers fall in love with him in the same way everyone else did back in the ’90s.

2. Kratos (God of War Series)


Kratos staring angrily.
Kratos finally grew the grief beard.

By far the most hardcore character in this lineup, Kratos is the embodiment of pure, unadulterated rage. In a series of games about slaughtering the entire pantheon of the Greek gods, the only qualified protagonist for God of War is a violent, unlikable antihero. But despite having an excess of innocent blood on his hands, the vengeful Spartan is one of the most famous faces of PlayStation.

Kratos may be the furthest thing from a good role model, but it’s his relentless thirst for vengeance that allows players to relate to him. Whether it’s Ares manipulating him into killing his own family, or betrayal at the hands of his father Zeus, the demigod always has a motive to plow through any bodies that get in the way of his bloodlust.

1. Snake (Metal Gear Solid Series)


Snake smoking a cigar.
We got a badass here.

Kept you waiting, huh? This pick may spark debate in the gaming community, but you can make a strong case for Snake being the ultimate PlayStation mascot. He’s been around longer than anyone on this list, and the Metal Gear series has maintained a consistent level of quality since his introduction in the ’80s.

Snake may possess the badass skills, gruff voice, and quotable lines of an action movie hero, but it’s his humanity that makes him such a classic character. He’s never found glory in violence, and his willingness to sacrifice himself for his comrades and the greater good speaks volumes about his selfless nature. Whether it’s the original Naked Snake from the Cold War era or his clone Solid Snake, who started it all in the first Metal Gear, the man leaves a lasting impression that eclipses most video game protagonists.

Never Walk Alone: Ranking Gaming’s Best Companions

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We Heart: The #VoteYourMainStreet Campaign to Preserve Feminist History in Seneca Falls

The first American women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls. Some of the earliest feminists—among them Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucretia Mott and Frederick Douglass—were in attendance. The two-day convention, which produced the historic Declaration of Sentiments and led to a series of women’s rights conventions throughout the United States, took place in the Seneca Knitting Mill.

170 years later, the National Women’s Hall of Fame wants to set up shop in that knitting mill to best honor the achievements of the activists who bravely sparked the modern women’s rights movement—but they need your help. The organization is calling on feminists nationwide to help them secure a grant through the #VoteYourMainStreet campaign and make the move possible.

Paola Franqui, @monaris_

Partners in Preservation, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express launched the national grassroots campaign, which is offering grants to significant sites in order to preserve American history. Partners in Preservation has raised over $ 22 million for over 200 sites since its creation in 2006; the National Trust for Historic Preservation has over 60 years of experience in advocating for the preservation of historical sites. Now, these groups want to help local communities educate others about their rich and diverse history.

The Seneca Knitting Mill is one of only two out of 20 competing sites in the campaign related strictly to women’s history, and it’s the oldest and most foundational of the batch related to feminism in the U.S. Should the site win the competition, the $ 150,000 grant would allow the National Women’s Hall of Fame to move to this significant location.

Today is the last day feminists can vote in the campaign, but the old political punchline “vote early and vote often” still applies! You can vote five times today—and all at once, in the click of a button.

Victoria Sheber is an editorial intern at Ms., a debate instructor at Windward School and a member of the JusticeCorps at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Victoria is currently a senior at UCLA studying American Literature & Culture and History; she is also the President of the American Association of University Women chapter on campus and Assistant Section Editor for Fem Newsmagazine. She loves to read and write about feminist literature. 

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The post We Heart: The #VoteYourMainStreet Campaign to Preserve Feminist History in Seneca Falls appeared first on Ms. Magazine Blog.

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How the 2018 Latin American Music Awards Made History With More Girl Power Than Ever

2018 Latin American Music Awards HostsGirl power was the name of the game at the 2018 Latin American Music Awards.
In a historic move, the annual award show was hosted by not one, but five of Latin America’s favorite…

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The Weekend Reset: A little history, a bit of a fright and a reason to hoard.

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.

 

BINGE: Guaranteed to make you feel better about your childhood.

Family dysfunction like you’ve never seen. NETFLIX’s “The Haunting Of Hill House” is a slow-burn take on Shirley Jackson’s classic gothic novel which stretches over the course of 10 episodes. There are legitimate chills and some good frights as well. But the way the story flows it what holds it all together. The complete story is unwound bit by bit as the narrative goes from what happened then to what’s happening now in a way that keeps you engaged and guessing.

 

EAT: Another hearty one pan meal for a blustery fall evening.

One Skillet Braised Chicken Thighs with Spinach and White Beans from Domesticate-Me.com

One Skillet Braised Chicken Thighs with Spinach and White Beans. Bust out your cast iron pan and set to work on a delicious and easy fall meal. Most of the ingredients are pantry-favorites. Yes, there is sooooo much to scroll past to get to the recipe but it’s worth it.

 

SHUDDER: Enjoy your brewski while you still can, gentlemen. 

Dappered.com

Looks like your favorite brew might end up in short supply in the (?-too-distant) future. Plan accordingly. This might require some changes to your home environment. Perhaps that second fridge finally makes sense? Or maybe a climate controlled storage facility? Because you are going to need someplace to stock up before it all goes south. Priorities.

 

TOUR: Appreciate the architecture of the NYC Public Library…

…without getting up from your chair. For those of us who never get anywhere near the Big Apple, this is a pretty swell opportunity to discover some features of the library many visitors never notice.

 

LEARN: The story of Ctrl + Alt + Del. 

Yes, this will be one of those oh, so that’s why moments. Now you know (comet rainbow sploosh).

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s currently undergoing a Tim Improvement Project™ (Version 4.0). It’s not pretty.


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The Wild History of Poison Rings

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast

Life is tough; there are tremendous amounts of dastardly and deadly substances out there, with all sorts of malicious properties. The only logical protection against them, of course, is magical jewelry.

While this might sound crazy to 21st-century minds, jewelry was used as the first line of defense against many forms of devilishness for centuries. For instance, a gold or silver rattle with a piece of coral on one end served two purposes: the coral was porous and a relatively soft material, perfect for teething infants, but coral has also long been used to ward off evil spirits and as a protective charm. If the coral helped a screaming child through the pain of sprouting a tooth, then perhaps the magic charm was real enough, after all.

Medicine, magic, and religion all were once intermingled in the ancient psyche, and the most superstitious answer often won out. The mystical solution for any given problem, like a pregnant woman’s baby being swapped out for a changeling, could easily be attributed to the magical powers of a stone or a protective charm.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Today in History for October 14th

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Little Known Black History Facts: Raye Montague

The hit film Hidden Figures, starring Taraji P. Henson, highlighted three African-American women who were instrumental in propelling the U.S. space program forward. Arkansas native Raye Montague, who is the first person to design a U.S. Navy ship using a computer and a “hidden figure” herself, passed this week at the age of 83.

Montague was born January 21, 1935 in Little Rock, Ark. As a girl, her grandfather took her to an exhibit in South Carolina featuring a captured German submarine. After peering at the controls for the vessel, the seven-year-old Montague asked the tour guide how the machines worked. He responded that it was a job for engineers and that she didn’t need to worry about it.

The response fueled Montague from that moment on, event though racial and gender barriers in the ’40’s and 50’s were daunting. Determined to earn an engineering degree, Montague attended what is now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, graduating in 1956. Heading to D.C., the stellar student caught the attention of the Navy and began working for the military branch as a clerk typist.

Her studious nature led her to learn how computers worked, advancing her past male colleagues from larger universities. In an interview, Montague revealed that she also taught herself to drive while working for the Navy. While her colleagues thought her working late hours was a show of dedication to the job, the truth was she was learning how to drive on the go and didn’t want to do so in rush hour traffic.

For 14 years, Montague rose in the ranks and became a computer systems analyst at the Naval Ship Engineering Center. In 1970, though racist bosses in the Navy sneered at her accomplishments, they came to rely on her in a time of need. While at the department, an admiral brought a request from President Richard Nixon who wanted to get the jump on a ship design.

While the admiral said the Navy was given two months to complete the design, he charged her with getting the job done in one month. Montague finished the design in just over 18 hours and 26 minutes, as she said in a 2017 interview.

Montague, who was married three times, retaining her second husband’s surname as he was the father of their son David, won the Navy’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award in 1972.

Six years later, she earned the Manufacturing Engineers Achievement Award. Montague retired in 1990 and entered the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2013. Earlier this year, Montague was enshrined in the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame.

 


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Pregnant women recognize baby expressions differently depending on mental health history

A pilot study has found that pregnant women who have suffered from depression or bipolar disorder (i.e. both mania and depression) recognize babies’ faces and how babies laugh or cry, differently to healthy controls. This happens even if they are not currently experiencing depressive or manic symptoms and may represent an early risk-factor for children of these women, although the authors stress that research would be needed to confirm any long-term effects.
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Today in History for October 6th

Associated Press

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Little Known Black History Fact: C. Delores Tucker

While history might remember C. Delores Tucker as a fiery champion who shouted down the violent and sexist rap lyrics of the ’90’s, the facts reveal she was much more than that. The Philadelphia native is also the first Black woman named secretary of state in Pennsylvania and a notable civil rights activist.

Born Cynthia Delores Nottage, she attended college at Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business ahead of her political career. In the ’60’s, Tucker, who married her husband William in 1951, was deeply entrenched in the civil rights movement and marched alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1965. She also worked closely with the NAACP.

In 1971, Gov. Milton Shapp was appointed as state secretary, and formed the first Commission on the Status of Women. Tucker was fired in 1977 for allegedly giving speeches written by state employees and winning honors for them.

In 1990, Tucker and 15 other Black men and women formed the African-American Women For Reproductive Freedom organization. Throughout the ’90’s, Tucker challenged the lyrics of The 2 Live Crew, N.WA., the late 2Pac and others for their bawdy lyrics. Her stance made her the targets of harsh criticism from the rap industry and from free speech advocates.

C. Delores Tucker passed in 2005.

 


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