Donald Trump is OK with arming teachers. These teachers know there’s a better way.

As survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School push to prevent gun violence, elected officials are supporting an entirely different tactic: arming teachers.

President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet on Feb. 22 that teachers with military training or experience with firearms be allowed to carry concealed weapons in the classroom. By his estimate, around 20% of American educators would pass his standards (that’s about 720,000 kindergarten to 12th-grade teachers).

It’d be a lot of guns around a lot of children, but Trump thinks that armed teachers would a strong deterrent (or better yet, a “GREAT DETERRENT”).

But as quickly as Trump and his ilk could advocate for this idea, teachers on the front lines advocated for something else — common sense.

Educators Olivia Bertels and Brittany Wheaton, who met online through their respective teacher Instagram accounts, launched the hashtag #ArmMeWith to share what they need in their classrooms and schools more than weapons.

“Brittany approached me immediately … with the idea to partner up and use our respective audiences on Instagram to start a campaign to bring awareness about how actual teachers in actual classrooms feel about arming themselves and the alternative solutions that we KNOW are better options for us, but more importantly, our students,” Bertels writes in an interview over e-mail. “… My desk drawers are for candy and stickers, not a gun.”

Their campaign quickly went viral, with more than 7,000 posts and submissions on Instagram in a matter of days.

We cannot afford to ignore the truth about what is happening in our country. What is truly frightening is the number of people who refuse to make decisions based upon facts. It is a fact that families sent their loved ones to school and now they are planning funerals. It is a fact that futures were ended when they were just beginning. It is a fact that too many students have lost their lives in a space where they are supposed to be educated and protected. It is a fact that too many people in power are not using that power to bring about the necessary changes that could prevent things like this from happening. Far too many bullets claim our students in the streets for them to claim our students in school, too. We don’t need rhetoric when reality is working overtime. #ArmMeWith the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. • • • • • #education #teacher #teachers #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #iteachtoo #teacherspayteachers #tpt #englishteacher #highschool #blackteachersrock #blackboyjoy #thedapperteacher #blackhistorymonth #blackhistory #armmewith

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“Having a weapon in the school, or even the classroom, would instill unnecessary fear and anxiety,” says Jonathan Avery, a secondary English teacher also known as The Dapper Teacher. “Such a drastic, constant state of preparation would more than likely make students and teachers alike feel the constant presence of the possibility of danger, and that’s no way to live.”

It’s no way to learn either.

Before guns and weapons, here’s what teachers would like to see more of in their schools, classrooms, and communities.

1. School supplies. Because we don’t ask firefighters to pay for the hoses.

2. Legislators who “get it” and are ready to listen.

3. And yes, that means politicians who aren’t in the pocket of the NRA.

Because you can’t have it both ways.

4. Resources to help teachers care for every student.

5. A secretary of education who is — and maybe this sounds too out there — an educator.

6. New strategies for connecting with parents so work in the classroom can continue at home and vice versa.

7. Time to teach, support, and celebrate the importance of diversity and inclusion.

#armmewith

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8. Training and resources to incorporate restorative justice methods, which are great alternatives to detentions and suspensions.

And yes, this teacher in Australia joined in to support educators over here in the States. Australia has mostly put an end to gun violence.

9. Training to better support students going through a difficult time.

10. More counselors, school psychologists, and social workers.

These licensed and trained professionals are the caring adults we need to support our students.

We already ask a lot of teachers. Now more than ever, it’s time to listen.

We ask them to be educators, counselors, coaches, custodians, drivers, and more. They’re hard-working, underpaid professionals in an often thankless job. And yet, we’ve seen at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, Sandy Hook, and Columbine, these brave educators will lay down their lives to protect students without hesitation. That’s because they love their field and the families they serve.

Before we ask one more thing of the educators in our community, let’s stop, listen, and hear how we can help.

“Thoughts and prayers are wonderful, but there are so many practical steps we can take. Talk to your political leaders. Voice your opinions. Keep the conversation going,” Avery says. ” Vote for change. And most of all, don’t get caught up in the rhetoric of either side. Common sense and human decency will lead you to what is right.”

Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images.

Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/donald-trump-is-ok-with-arming-teachers-these-teachers-know-there-s-a-better-way

Apples New Spaceship Campus Has One Flaw and It Hurts

The centerpiece of Apple Inc.’s new headquarters is a massive, ring-shaped office overflowing with panes of glass, a testament to the company’s famed design-obsessed aesthetic. 

There’s been one hiccup since it opened last year: Apple employees keep smacking into the glass.

Surrounding the building, located in Cupertino, California, are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed “pods,” also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize. That’s resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents. 

Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building’s design, the people said. They asked not to be identified discussing anything related to Apple. Another person familiar with the situation said there are other markings to identify the glass. 

Apple’s latest campus has been lauded as an architectural marvel. The building, crafted by famed architect Norman Foster, immortalized a vision that Apple co-founder Steve Jobs had years earlier. In 2011, Jobs reportedly described the building “a little like a spaceship landed.” Jobs has been credited for coming up with the glass pods, designed to mix solo office areas with more social spaces. 

Apple campus in Cupertino.
Photographer: Jim Wilson/New York Times via Redux

The building is designed to house some 13,000 employees. Wired magazine, first to pay a visit at its opening last year, described the structure as a “statement of openness, of free movement,” in contrast to Apple’s typically insular culture. “While it is a technical marvel to make glass at this scale, that’s not the achievement,” Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, told the magazine in May. “The achievement is to make a building where so many people can connect and collaborate and walk and talk.”

An Apple spokeswoman declined to comment. It’s not clear how many incidents there have been. A Silicon Valley-based spokeswoman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration referred questions about Apple’s workplace safety record to the government agency’s website. A search on the site based on Apple’s name in California found no reports of injuries at the company’s new campus. 

It’s not the first time Apple’s penchant for glass in buildings has caused problems. In late 2011, 83-year-old Evelyn Paswall walked into the glass wall of an Apple store, breaking her nose. She sued the company, arguing it should have posted a warning on the glass. The suit was settled without any cost to Apple, according to a legal filing in early 2013. 

    Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-16/apple-s-new-spaceship-campus-has-one-flaw-and-it-hurts

    Segregation in baseball was the norm until this relatively unknown player stepped up.

    As the pioneer and historical face of desegregation in sports, Jackie Robinson experienced taunts and death threats at every point of his Major League career as the first black player admitted to the league.

    His bravery and persistence in the name of equal rights have been well-documented and honored not just in baseball history, but in the larger context of the struggle to end the disparate treatment of black citizens endemic to American institutions.

    But Robinson’s success, in no slight to his considerable achievement, came as the result of the road paved by many less-celebrated predecessors, who, through their careers in the Negro Leagues, brought a resolve and speed to the game unmatched by their Major League counterparts.

    In the shadow of Jackie Robinson’s legacy are the efforts of Andrew “Rube” Foster, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, having earned the title of “the father of black baseball.”

    Foster scoring a hit. Photo via digboston/Flickr.

    Known to few modern-day baseball fans, Foster sought to ensure that black players were given the due attention and compensation they had long been denied in “separate but equal” America.

    No individual before Foster or since has been as instrumental in legitimizing black baseball both internally and in the eyes of the fans and media. His achievements, though largely disregarded at the time, were integral in eventually affording all black players the right to play in the Major League.

    For example, Foster quietly broke a baseball color barrier almost four decades prior to Jackie Robinson, playing with a semi-pro mixed-race squad out of Otsego, Michigan. Most notably, Foster served as the star pitcher for the Philadelphia X-Giants, pitching four of the team’s five wins in a contest dubbed the “colored championship of the world” in 1903.

    In his era and in the decades following, Foster’s success on the mound was virtually unmatched. For instance, the current MLB record for most consecutive wins by a pitcher stands at 24 by the New York Giants’ Car Hubbell, whose streak ended on May 31,1937.

    Foster won 44 games in a row three decades prior in 1902.

    But as compelling as Foster’s accomplishments on the diamond were, it was his contributions to the game after his playing days that continue to endure almost a century later.

    Foster’s goal was simple: Turn the largely overlooked black baseball leagues into a legitimate, respectable, and sustainable organization.

    Before his involvement in league management, the black baseball leagues were deemed inferior — if they were considered at all. Yet Foster’s blueprint for a unified organization ushered in a new era that would prove crucial in eroding the Major League’s color barrier.

    In 1911, a great step was taken toward legitimizing black baseball as Foster negotiated a partnership with the Comiskey family of Chicago to use the White Sox ballpark for his new team.  With a premiere venue and the team’s marketable aggressive style of play, the newly-formed Chicago American Giants skyrocketed in popularity, leading his once-marginalized club to draw more fans than the neighboring Cubs and White Sox.

    Following the success of his own team, Foster immediately set his goal higher, aiming to help elevate all black players, not just those on his team.

    Foster with a white player from Joliet, Illinois. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

    In 1919, as his city of Chicago was embroiled in race riots, Foster felt a sense of urgency to unify black baseball players in one league. He wrote regularly in the Chicago Defender of the need for a league that would “create a profession that would equal the earning capacity of any other profession … keep Colored baseball from the control of whites [and] do something concrete for the loyalty of the Race.”

    Gathering the owners of unaffiliated teams, Foster held a meeting at the Kansas City YMCA and shared his vision. The next year, on Feb. 13, 1920, the Negro National League was created, with Foster serving as both president and treasurer.

    As other regions developed, they followed in Foster’s footsteps and established their own leagues for black players, serving as an economic boon not just for the players and front office, but for black communities as well.

    Sadly, Foster’s oversight would prove to be short-lived as health issues forced him to step away from overseeing the burgeoning league he had created. But that didn’t end the progress he started.

    Rube Foster plaque. Photo via Penale52/Wikimedia Commons.

    Even though Negro Leagues shuttered due to the Great Depression and lack of leadership, many teams would return under the banner of the Negro American League in 1937. It was this organization that served as the springboard for Jackie Robinson to make his legendary inroads to Major League Baseball.

    While Jackie Robinson remains a civil rights icon, desegregating baseball is an act that no one man can lay claim to. Rube Foster’s legacy may not be as well known as Robinson’s, but his efforts helped ensure equality not just for Jackie Robinson, but every black player who has played Major League baseball since.

    Read more: http://www.upworthy.com/segregation-in-baseball-was-the-norm-until-this-relatively-unknown-player-stepped-up

    Stephen Miller falls asleep during Trump conference on school safety

    Stephen Miller nods off during Trump speech about school safety.
    Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

    Between frothing about “cosmopolitans” or getting escorted out of CNN by security, it’s rare to capture Senior White House policy advisor Stephen Miller in a humanlike moment.

    We take what we can. Like today for example, when Jim Lo Scalzo from EPA photos captured Miller asleep during President Trump’s wildly delusional over-an-hour-long briefing on school shootings.

    I strongly encourage the Pulitzer committee or at least my mom to take a look at this person’s fine work. 

    Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

    I can correctly blame Miller for the downfall of our nation, but I can’t quite penalize him for falling asleep during Trump’s speech, which was particularly divorced from reality today.

    Image: JIM LO SCALZO/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

    Perhaps these quotes triggered the poor snowflake into sleep.

    “We lose a lot with Canada.  People don’t know it.  Canada is very smooth.  They have you believe that it’s wonderful.  And it is — for them.  Not wonderful for us; it’s wonderful for them.  So we have to start showing that we know what we’re doing.”

    “So we have to confront the issue, and we have to discuss mental health, and we have to do something about it. You know, in the old days, we had mental institutions. We had a lot of them, and you could nab somebody like this. Because, you know, they did — they knew he was — something was off.  You had to know that.”

    Here’s what Twitter had to say.

    Of course, Miller can in no way match Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s infamous nap during the State of the Union when she got a little white wine drunk.

    Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/26/stephen-miller-nap-trump-school-safety/

    Trump offers a big thumbs up to school shooting victims instead of gun control

    Trump flashes a thumbs up before boarding Marine One, destined for Florida where he will meet with victims and first responders after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
    Image: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

    On Friday, President Donald Trump visited Parkland, Florida in the wake of a school shooting in a high school that left 17 people dead. But Trump has faced criticism over the way he carried himself during that visit.

    After an awkward meeting with first responders, the president and first lady Melania Trump stood together for a friendly photo op, which in itself seems insensitive. Trump had a huge smile on his face in the photo, and flashed his now signature thumbs up.

    Trump updated his Twitter cover photo with the picture from the meeting Friday evening.

    Image: Twitter/Realdonaldtrump

    Trump also visited Broward Health North hospital in Pompano Beach, where many of the victims received care after the shooting. On his official Instagram, a series of images posted in an album featured Trump wearing a large smile on his face, flashing a thumbs up in a photo with hospital staff.

    The press asked Trump if he met with any victims at the hospital. Instead of speaking about the impact those meetings may have had on him as a president, as a human, Trump decided to fluff up the hospital.

    “Fantastic hospital, and they have done an incredible job,” Trump boasted. “The doctor was amazing, we saw numerous people and incredible recovery. And first responders — everybody — the job they’ve done was in incredible.”

    Trump then congratulated a doctor he was standing next to.

    While yes, first responders and hospital staff should be thanked and praised for their hard work in wake of the shooting, congratulations here are completely tone deaf considering 17 people lost their lives in the attack. 

    In any other presidency, this would be a time for mourning. But Trump is using it to boast and brag. 

    Many were quick to criticize Trump for his demeanor on social media, with some pointing to Barack Obama’s reaction to the Sandy Hook massacre in December of 2012. In 2016, Obama also delivered a powerful and emotional speech on gun violence, in which he broke down crying

    Obama’s official White House photographer, Pete Souza, who has made it his duty to criticize the Trump administration by way of his photography from the Obama era, uploaded a photo of Obama sitting alone in a classroom in Sandy Hook Elementary School. It captures the former president in a quiet moment after he met with families for hours, and before he attended a prayer vigil. 

    While it often seems like President Trump’s actions couldn’t be more shocking, this type of behavior is disgusting, and the heavy criticism is merited. There’s a time for photo ops, and then there is time for mourning. This was not the moment for Trump to show off how great he’s making America.

    America has a real problem, and Trump isn’t even trying to fake it.

    Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/02/17/donald-trump-parkland-smiling-thumbs-up-obama/

    Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Transhumanism Is Dominating Sci-Fi TV

    The future belongs to those who can afford it. This may be virtually true in today’s world, where surviving retirement can feel impossible, but it’s also the literal premise of Altered Carbon, Netflix’s new prestige sci-fi series. Based on Richard K. Morgan’s novel of same name, the neo-noir is set several hundred years in the future, when human consciousness has been digitized into microchip-like “stacks” constantly being swapped into and out of various bodies, or “sleeves.”

    This technology, along with innovations like human cloning and artificial intelligence, has given society a quantum leap, but it’s also sent socioeconomic stratification into overdrive, creating dire new realities for the poor and incarcerated while simultaneously producing an elite upper-class. Called “Mets”—short for “Methuselahs”—the members of Altered Carbon’s 0.001 percent have achieved virtual immortality thanks to vaults of their own cloned sleeves and cloud backups full of their stacks. It’s either dystopia or utopia, depending on one’s bank account.

    Whatever your views on the show’s plot, in which a former rebel supersoldier named Takeshi Kovacs (Joel Kinnaman), on ice in a stack prison, is revived and hired by a Met to solve the murder of his last sleeve, Altered Carbon’s best quality is its worldbuilding. In the 25th century, transhumanism—the belief that human beings are destined to transcend their mortal flesh through technology—has reached its full potential, and some of its end results are not pretty, at all.

    But Altered Carbon is only the latest bit of transhumanism to hit TV recently. From Black Mirror’s cookies and Philip K. Dick’s Electric Dreams’ mind-invading telepaths and alien bodysnatchers to Star Trek: Discovery’s surgical espionage and Travelerstime-jumping consciousness, the classic tropes of body-hopping, body-swapping, and otherwise commandeering has exploded in an era on the brink, one in which longevity technology is accelerating more rapidly than ever, all while most people still trying to survive regular threats to basic corporeal health and safety.

    These tropes have enjoyed a healthy existence in sci-fi and horror for decades, but now more than ever transhumanism is ubiquitous in pop culture, asking us to consider the ethical, personal, political, and economic implications of an ideology with a goal—implementing technology in the human body to prolong and improve life—that is already beginning to take shape.

    The Birth of Transhumanism

    A crucial fact to remember about transhumanism and the philosophies it inspired, including the ones modeled by Altered Carbon’s Mets, is that its conception was heavily rooted in eugenics. Though earlier thinkers had already produced work one could call transhumanist today, the term wasn’t coined until 1951, by Julian Huxley, a noted evolutionary biologist (and brother to Brave New World author Aldous Huxley). Julian Huxley believed strongly in the fundamentally exclusionary theory that society would improve immensely if only its “best” members were allowed to procreate. In the speech in which he first used the word “transhumanism,” he claimed that in order for humans to “transcend the tentative fumblings of our ancestors,” society ought to enact “a concerted policy … to prevent the present flood of population-increase from wrecking all our hopes for a better world.”

    While he didn’t necessarily believe the criteria for what constituted “best” should be drawn along racial or economic lines, the ideology Huxley promoted was inherently elitist. It also allowed for virtually as many interpretations as there are people, and plenty of those people, particularly those in power—especially in Huxley’s time, but also in the fictional future of Altered Carbon—did and do believe “best” means “white, straight, financially successful, and at least nominally Christian.” As a result, the concept he named ended up being primarily conceptualized in its infancy by white men of privilege.

    This, of course, didn’t remain the main interpretation of transhumanism for long. In the years following Huxley’s coinage, humans made profound leaps in technological innovation, first in computers and then in AI, which allowed more people to envision the possibilities of one day being able to transcend their organic limitations. The basic concept was easily repurposed by those whose oppression has always been tied to physical violence—notably people of color, LGBTQ people, and women.

    By the early 1980s, scholars like Natasha Vita-More and Donna Haraway had revamped the concept with manifestos that argued transhumanism ought to be about “diversity” and “multiplicity,” about breaking down constructs like gender, race, and ability in favor of a more fluid, “chimeric” alternative in which each person can be many seemingly contradictory things at once—including human and machine. (As WIRED’s Julie Muncy explains in her review of the first season, Altered Carbon touches upon but never really takes a stance on this dimension of a post-corporeal world.)

    The Future, Revisited

    As Silicon Valley boomed, so did transhumanism. Millionaire investors have poured endless cash into anti-aging research, machine intelligence companies, and virtual reality; meanwhile, the possibility of extended or superhuman life has veered even further into becoming the exclusive purview of the extremely rich (and, more often than not, extremely white and extremely male). In 1993, mathematician and science-fiction writer Vernor Vinge pegged the arrival of the singularity—the moment at which technology, particularly AI, supersedes human intelligence and either eliminates humanity or fuses with it, allowing people to finally become “post-human”—at around 2030; by 2005 futurist Ray Kurzweil was agreeing with Vinge in his now-seminal book The Singularity is Near. (The Verge has a solid timeline of transhumanist thought here.)

    Today, working organs are being 3D-printed. Nanites, while a few years off, are definitely on the horizon. And the technologies that fuel nightmare fodder like Black Mirror are becoming realities almost daily, which gives the overwhelming impression to laypeople that the Singularity, while perhaps still technically far off, is imminent.

    Add privatized healthcare, police brutality, immigration, sexual assault, and plenty more extremely real threats to people’s physical bodies—not to mention the exponential growth of the TV industry itself—and you’ve got the perfect cocktail for a flood of transhumanist sci-fi shows that give form to anxieties viewers have about both wanting to escape the physical confines of their blood-bag existences and being absolutely, justifiably terrified of what could go wrong when they actually do.

    But however uncomfortable it may be, that dilemma is not accidental. It has become necessary to understanding and surviving our current techno-political moment. Whether enjoying the ecstasy of possibility in Altered Carbon’s disembodied immortality or writhing in the agony of imagining eternity as a digital copy of one’s own consciousness, the roller coaster of emotions these shows elicit ought to be a major signal to audiences that now is the time to be thinking about the cost of pursuing technological immortality. If stacks and sleeves are indeed our inevitable future, the moral quandary won’t lie in the body-swapping itself—it’ll be reckoning with who gets to do it and why.

    Read more: https://www.wired.com/story/altered-carbon-transhumanism-tv/

    The 2018 PEN Literary Awards finalists are 40 books you want on your to-be-read list

    Make room on your to-be-read list. On Thursday, PEN America announced its lists of finalists for the 2018 PEN Literary Awards. 

    Each year, the PEN Literary Awards honors great new literature in fiction and a wide array of non-fiction, including sports writing, science writing, essays, and more. Past winners have included Matthew Desmond’s deep dive into eviction practices in the U.S. Evicted and Helen Oyeyemi’s fable-inspired short story collection What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours (which was also a MashReads favorite).

    This year’s finalists are just as rich and compelling. Finalists for the 2018 PEN Literary Awards include the late Ursula Le Guin‘s essay collection No Time To Spare, Carmen Maria Machado’s acclaimed short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, which was also a finalist in the 2017 National Book Awards, as well as Ta-Nehisi Coates’ essay collection We Were Eight Years In Power. If Coates wins, it will mark his second PEN Literary Award, after he won the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay for his book Between The World And Me in 2015.

    These breakout books aren’t the only titles that make the 2018 PEN Literary Awards exceptional. This year’s finalist list also shines a spotlight on exceptional, diverse authors. In addition to the PEN’s annual Open Book Award, which honors books written by authors of color, two other categories are composed entirely of minority authors: for the first time ever the finalist list for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction is composed of all women and the finalist list for the PEN/Jean Stein Book Award is composed entirely of authors of color.

    “It is fitting that our Literary Awards this year spotlight five new women’s voices in fiction as well as a dazzling diversity of writers for our flagship Stein prize and in other categories,” said PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel in a press release. “PEN America’s Literary Awards celebrate some of the greatest fruits of free expression—stories that inspire, spark empathy, and change minds. At a time when the fabric of our discourse is being torn by polarization, technological change, and political upheaval, literature has the power to help us see past impasse and imagine a different future.”

    Check out the finalist list below, and stay tuned for the winners to be revealed on Feb. 20.

    PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction

    Sonora

    Black Jesus and Other Superheroes: Stories

    Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

    History of Wolves

    Sour Heart

    PEN Open Book Award

    A Moonless, Starless Sky: Ordinary Women and Men Fighting Extremism in Africa

    My Soul Looks Back: A Memoir

    Augustown

    Ordinary Beast: Poems

    Lessons on Expulsion: Poems

    PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award

    The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine

    American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World

    Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life

    No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America

    Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst

    PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography

    Richard Nixon: The Life

    Grant

    Lenin: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror

    Chester B. Himes: A Biography

    You Say to Brick: The Life of Louis Kahn

    PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing

    The Arena: Inside the Tailgating, Ticket-Scalping, Mascot-Racing, Dubiously Funded, and Possibly Haunted Monuments of American Sport

    Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966–1971

    City of Dreams: Dodger Stadium and the Birth of Modern Los Angeles

    Bones: Brothers, Horses, Cartels, and the Borderland Dream

    Ali: A Life

    PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay

    You Play the Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks & Other Mixed Messages

    Flâneuse: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London

    Alpine Apprentice: A Memoir

    No Time To Spare

    Because It Is So Beautiful: Unraveling the Mystique of the American West

    PEN Translation Prize

    PEN Translation Prize

    A Horse Walks into a Bar

    Out in the Open

    The Impossible Fairy Tale

    Katalin Street

    PEN/ Jean Stein Book Award

    White Tears

    We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy

    Whereas

    Bunk: The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists

    The Changeling

    Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/01/25/pen-literary-awards-finalist-list-2018/

    Tributes paid to South African musician and activist Hugh Masekela

    Father of South African jazz, who had career spanning more than five decades, dies aged 78

    Tributes paid to South African musician and activist Hugh Masekela

    Father of South African jazz, who had career spanning more than five decades, dies aged 78

    South Africans have paid tribute to Hugh Masekela, the legendary jazz musician and activist, who died on Tuesday aged 78.

    The South African president, Jacob Zuma, said the nation would mourn a man who kept the torch of freedom alive. The arts and culture minister, Nathi Mthethwa, described Masekela as one of the great architects of Afro-Jazz. A baobab tree has fallen, Mthethwa wrote on Twitter.

    A statement from the trumpeters family said Masekela passed peacefully in Johannesburg, where he lived and worked for much of his life, on Tuesday morning.

    A loving father, brother, grandfather and friend, our hearts beat with a profound loss. Hughs global and activist contribution to and participation in the areas of music, theatre and the arts in general is contained in the minds and memories of millions across six continents, the statement read.

    Relatives described Masekelas ebullient and joyous life.

    Masekela had been suffering from prostate cancer for almost a decade. He last performed in 2010 in Johannesburg when he gave two concerts that were seen as an epitaph to his long career.

    South African social media was flooded with tributes to brother Hugh, whose career and work was closely intertwined with the troubled politics of his homeland.

    The singer Johnny Clegg described Masekela as immensely bright and articulate an outstanding musical pioneer and a robust debater, always holding to his South African roots.

    Masekela was born in Witbank, a mining town in eastern South Africa, and was given his first trumpet by the anti-apartheid activist archbishop Trevor Huddleston, who formed a pioneering jazz band in Soweto in the 1950s that became a launchpad for many of South Africas most famous jazz musicians.

    Masekela went on to study in the UK and the US, where he had significant success.

    Hugh
    Hugh Masekela with ex-wife Miriam Makeba and Paul Simon in 1987. Photograph: Phil Dent/Redferns

    As well as forming close friendships with jazz legends such as Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charles Mingus, Masekela performed alongside Janis Joplin, Otis Redding and Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s.

    He returned to Africa where he played with icons such as Nigerias Fela Kuti, and in 1974 he helped organise a three-day festival before the Rumble in the Jungle boxing clash in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman.

    In 1976, the man who became known as the father of South African jazz composed Soweto Blues in response to the uprising in the vast township. He toured with Paul Simon in the 1980s while continuing his political engagement, writing Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela) in 1987. The song became an anthem of the anti-apartheid struggle.

    Timeline

    Hugh Masekela timeline

    Hugh Masekela is born in KwaGuqa Township, South Africa

    Masekela is born near Johannesburg to a health inspector father and social worker mother. He sings and plays the piano as a child. At 14, he sees the Kirk Douglas film Young Man With A Horn and is inspired to take up the trumpet.

    King Kong

    At school, Masekela played in South Africas first youth orchestra,Huddleston Jazz Band. In 1959, he recorded the first album by a South African jazz band alongside Abdullah Ibrahim and Jonas Gwangwa. In the same year, he played in the orchestra of hit musical King Kong.

    Masekela leaves South Africa

    The ANC are banned, and after supporting the organisation for many years, Masekela leaves South Africa for London. He then moves to New York, where he meets Louis Armstrong and Dizzy Gillespie.

    Grazing in the Grass

    By the late 60s, Masekela was living in California. In 1967, he played at Monterey festival alongside Janis Joplin and Otis Redding. In 1968, his single Grazing in the Grass reached no 1 in the US.

    Zaire 74

    Masekela returns to Africa in the early 70s, spending time with musicians including Fela Kuti. He organises the Zaire 74 concerts with US record producer Stewart Levine to coincide with the Muhammad Ali/George Foreman Rumble in the Jungle boxing title fight. In 1980, he moves to Botswana.

    Graceland tour

    Masekela joins Paul Simon for hisGracelandtour. Simons album was partly recorded in South Africa, and the tour incites protests in London due to the cultural boycott against the country.

    Return to South Africa

    Masekela returns to South Africa following the end of apartheid and the release from jail ofNelson Mandela. In 1996, he plays for the Queen and Mandela by then elected the countrys first black president during the latters state visit to Britain.

    World Cup

    Masekela performs at the opening concert of the world cup in South Africa. In 2012, he rejoins Paul Simon for a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of Graceland.

    James Hall, a writer and broadcaster who spent time with Masekela in the 1990s, said he could have prickly personality at times due to the tension and frustration of being away from his own country for so long.

    Masekela was briefly married to Miriam Makeba in the 1960s and remained on good terms with the South African singer after their divorce. They had a wonderful friendship and were very, very close, said Hall, who co-wrote Makebas autobiography.

    Masekela refused to take citizenship anywhere outside South Africa despite the open arms of many countries, said his son, Selema Mabena Masekela, on Tuesday.

    My fathers life was the definition of activism and resistance. His belief [was] that the pure evil of a systematic racist oppression could and would be crushed. Instead he would continue to fight.

    After more than 30 years in exile, Masekela returned to South Africa in the early 90s after the release of Nelson Mandela from prison and the end of apartheid.

    In 2010 he performed at the opening ceremony of the football World Cup in Johannesburg.

    Masekela had many fans overseas. Hugh Masekela was a titan of jazz and of the anti-apartheid struggle. His courage, words and music inspired me and strengthened the resolve of those fighting for justice in South Africa, said Jeremy Corbyn on Twitter.

    Hugh
    Hugh Masekela photographed for the Guardian in 2011. Photograph: Sarah Lee for the Guardian

    Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2018/jan/23/hugh-masekela-south-african-jazz-trumpeter-dies-aged-78

    I Made These Comics To Compare Chinese Culture With Western Culture Through Everyday Life

    My name is Siyu. I was born and raised in Beijing, and I’ve spent last 10 years traveling, studying and working abroad in the US, UK, and France. Many people that I met were curious about China, but their impressions of China would end up with words like ‘communist,’ ‘pollution’ and ‘no Facebook.’ While many facts are true, the contemporary, living and multifaceted Chinese life is rarely heard of.

    I started “tiny eyes” comics a year ago in the hope of sharing Chinese culture through everyday life, To me, learning about other cultures has always been a fun experience, and I want to pass this feeling to people who are curious about China. In lots of my comics, I compare Chinese culture to western culture. Through comparison, we realise how differently we act in front of the same situation and how we tend to think in a certain way instead of another. In the end, every culture is “weird” in its way, but it’s also the weirdness that makes it interesting.

    I post regularly every week, and I share slices of my personal life and experience through Instagram. I hope you enjoy!

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    I’ve experienced student dormitories in three countries: In the U.K. I have my own private room with shared public space; In the U.S. I shared my dorm with one roommate; In China, I used to live with 5 girls in the same room. This lack of privacy must be shocking for some of you, but in a country with 1.3 billion population, space is always a problem. While there are…

    I’ve experienced student dormitories in three countries: In the U.K. I have my own private room with shared public space; In the U.S. I shared my dorm with one roommate; In China, I used to live with 5 girls in the same room. This lack of privacy must be shocking for some of you, but in a country with 1.3 billion population, space is always a problem. While there are many inconvenience not having enough private space, on the bright side, sharing a room with someone also makes you learn quite a deal about communication, responsibilities and tolerance.

    Maybe you have heard that Chinese eat cats. A few horrible people in some obscure places maybe, but the majority, NO!!

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    In China, people don’t say anything after someone sneezes.

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    It’s hard for Chinese to directly express their love to their families and friends. Instead of saying love, we show care to the health of people we love, ask them if everything goes well, and buy nice things to make their life more comfortable. In history, Confucius enforced social orders by putting people in different relations/obligations, but the expression of personal feelings was never encouraged. Emotions need to be under…

    It’s hard for Chinese to directly express their love to their families and friends. Instead of saying love, we show care to the health of people we love, ask them if everything goes well, and buy nice things to make their life more comfortable. In history, Confucius enforced social orders by putting people in different relations/obligations, but the expression of personal feelings was never encouraged. Emotions need to be under control. How do you show people that you care about them?

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    It takes me sometime to get used to making constant eye contact when talking to people. Traditionally, Chinese people tend to avoid direct eye contact when talking to each other, which is a way to show respect and obedience, but in lots of western cultures, especially in English-speaking countries, avoiding eye contact signifies hesitation and dishonesty. (Correct me if I’m wrong.)

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    Beauty = Thin. “Gaining weight†brings absolute horror for many Chinese girls, even though most of them are already considered thin in other cultures. I’ve seen girls who eat only one apple a day and who drink special tea (which makes you go to toilet 20 times a day) in order to lose weight in a very short time. Movie stars and super models are pushing this aesthetic to its…

    Beauty = Thin. “Gaining weight†brings absolute horror for many Chinese girls, even though most of them are already considered thin in other cultures. I’ve seen girls who eat only one apple a day and who drink special tea (which makes you go to toilet 20 times a day) in order to lose weight in a very short time. Movie stars and super models are pushing this aesthetic to its extreme through mass media. When will we be able to simple enjoy being who we are?

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    We also have spoons, people!

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    Can you name a classic Chinese design or a brand? Probably difficult. But have you bought anything “Made in China� Very likely yes. Chinese products are often associated with the word “cheap†and not high quality, sadly. Many aspiring local designers have been trying to create original and valuable products, but problem such as the lack of copyright protection has complicated the process. Still a long way to go.

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    Chinese people love their food, they spend lots of time savouring and enjoying their meals. Food is not just “fuel†for the body, but a pleasure, an art, and a way of socialising. If you want to make friends, go eat. If you want to close a business deal, go eat. If you want to pursue a romantic relationship, go eat. Since ancient times, food has been considered priority in…

    Chinese people love their food, they spend lots of time savouring and enjoying their meals. Food is not just “fuel†for the body, but a pleasure, an art, and a way of socialising. If you want to make friends, go eat. If you want to close a business deal, go eat. If you want to pursue a romantic relationship, go eat. Since ancient times, food has been considered priority in Chinese culture. The government’s goal was to make sure that each person is taken care of and “has enough to eatâ€. From another angle, it also suggests the realistic character of Chinese: food goes before ideas, and this life is more important than after life.

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    Chinese have trouble taking compliments from other people, because they are raised to be humble, to be self-reflective, and to not stand out from the crowd. So when someone notices you and makes a compliment, you tend to lose the inner balance and get nervous very quickly.

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    eople have less trouble naming Chinese political figures than naming great Chinese artists and scientists, who have also played a great role in shaping Chinese culture. Why? They don’t learn much about it in school; they don’t see them in the media often; and in China we lack initiatives and channels to communicate to the outside word.

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    There’s a Chinese saying “三æ€è€ŒåŽè¡Œâ€, which means to think twice before taking actions. In history, Chinese value highly reflection and past experience, but acting cautious and staying wise didn’t save the people from the arrival of the early western explorers who sailed into the unknown and took chances at the risk of their lives. China was forced to take actions in its modern history, often times too fast in exchange…

    There’s a Chinese saying “三æ€è€ŒåŽè¡Œâ€, which means to think twice before taking actions. In history, Chinese value highly reflection and past experience, but acting cautious and staying wise didn’t save the people from the arrival of the early western explorers who sailed into the unknown and took chances at the risk of their lives. China was forced to take actions in its modern history, often times too fast in exchange for development. While too much reflection on the past slows down the process of change and innovation, too much action without thinking results in waste of resources and irreversible consequences. It’s time for thinkers and doers to meet and learn from each other in this increasingly connected world. It’s happening.

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    In China, it’s not rare to see young people choosing to live with their parents after getting out of college. For one thing, it’s more economical than renting a house on your own. And for another, Chinese are very family oriented, so getting support from your family it’s expected in the social norm. In the the United States, however, people value independence so much that it’s embarrassing to have things…

    In China, it’s not rare to see young people choosing to live with their parents after getting out of college. For one thing, it’s more economical than renting a house on your own. And for another, Chinese are very family oriented, so getting support from your family it’s expected in the social norm. In the the United States, however, people value independence so much that it’s embarrassing to have things given to you while you have the ability to live on your own.

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    In Chinese schools, smoking is strictly prohibited and any student who smoke is considered “badâ€. It’s not just in the sense of “bad for healthâ€, but also considered a symbol for moral degradation. In France, I notice that there are lots of teenagers who smoke, and it’s actually considered “cool†among their friends. There’s even peer pressure to learn how to smoke. Smoking is also a normal way of socializing…

    In Chinese schools, smoking is strictly prohibited and any student who smoke is considered “badâ€. It’s not just in the sense of “bad for healthâ€, but also considered a symbol for moral degradation. In France, I notice that there are lots of teenagers who smoke, and it’s actually considered “cool†among their friends. There’s even peer pressure to learn how to smoke. Smoking is also a normal way of socializing so there isn’t any negative moral aspect associated with it.

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    Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/comics-chinese-western-culture-comparison-tinyeyescomics/

    Teens aren’t slowing down on the Tide Pod challenge, according to the latest horrifying numbers

    Image: mashable/lili sams

    Brace yourselves: there has been an embarrassing uptick in the number of teens eating Tide Pods.

    With a “HIGH ALERT,” the American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) shared an urgent press release on the current state of Tide Pod consumption in the United States. 

    “Last week, AAPCC reported that during the first two weeks of 2018, the country’s poison control centers handled thirty-nine intentional exposures cases among thirteen to nineteen year olds,” the report read. 

    That number didn’t last long, however.  “That number has increased to eighty-six such intentional cases among the same age demographic during the first three weeks of 2018.”

    TEENS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? 

    “We cannot stress enough how dangerous this is to the health of individuals—it can lead to seizure, pulmonary edema, respiratory arrest, coma, and even death,” Stephen Kaminski, AAPCC’s CEO and Executive Director, wrote. 

    Once again, this is not a joke. Do not eat the Tide pods

    This increase comes on the heels of massive efforts from Proctor & Gamble, the producer of Tide Pods, to slow the roll of this horrible trend. They’ve partnered with YouTube to remove videos of kids eating Tide Pods, and Amazon has removed those commenting online about how delicious the forbidden fruit is. Additionally, P&G released a statement to warn consumers and hired New England Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski to spread the word. 

    If you still feel the urge to eat one, or know someone who is going through an unfortunate Tide Pod phase themselves, take a note from AAPCC’s statement and call Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or text Poison to 797979. 

    Read more: https://mashable.com/2018/01/25/tide-pod-eating-numbers-increase/