They called him the flower of the warehouse, back when he worked at a Baltimore factory. Decades later, Afaa Michael Weaver is an award-winning poet—and as of this week, $100,000 richer. That’s after Weaver won the prestigious Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award on Wednesday. MoreA Sext from Ernest Hemingway (Sort Of)Keith Richards Is Writing A Children’s BookHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostSee Inside Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC Brownstone! People
“I was wondering if it was a practical joke,” Weaver says of getting the good news, which he heard over the weekend. “It’s sinking in rapidly now.”
Many headlines about the award have focused on what seems like an unusual life journey for a poet, one that involved years spent on a factory floor. But that’s just one verse of Weaver’s saga.
Born in 1951 in Baltimore, Weaver grew up in a neighborhood that he describes as now having the dubious honor of being one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country. The area was segregated—”Baltimore was a very Southern place in that way,” he says—and working-class. He did well in school, skipping the eighth grade and starting college at the University of Maryland in 1968, at the age of 16. But he was young, the country was in a state of cultural turbulence and he just didn’t fit in, so he returned home after two years, got married and worked in a steel mill during 1970 and 1971. “Working in the factories was the work my father did and several of my uncles,” he says. “It’s the world that I knew.”
That time at college made an impression. Though he was meant to be studying engineering there, he began to write. A composition teacher during his first semester—Mr. Wood or Mr. Woods, he can’t remember—told him that he was meant to be some kind of writer. It was the first time anyone had singled out Weaver’s way with words. At the same time, he had fallen in love with the young woman who would be his first wife. He began writing romantic poetry, and didn’t stop when he left school. After the steel mill, he joined the military reserves and went to work at Procter & Gamble’s Baltimore manufacturing plant, where he spent more than a decade doing jobs like stacking product for eight hours a day by hand, cutting the thin sheets of paper that went around Ivory soap and loading trucks (he also began to practice tai chi, the martial art that earned him the “flower” nickname). At the tail end of his time there, he was a janitor—which was the best job, because he had time to read and write.
“I would work the night shifts and take my poetry with me. The discipline of writing against adversity was my foundation,” he says. “When I write poetry I have a chance to put a lens on my life and the lives of people around me.”
In 1985, when—after years of trying—he was awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and ended up at Brown University, he left the factory life behind. He eventually became a playwright, Fulbright Scholar in Taiwan, Pushcart Prize winner, university professor and, of course, published poet. The book for which he was awarded the Tufts prize, The Government of Nature, is his 12th; it’s the second part of a trilogy, and he says the prize will be a nice boost for its finale.
And even though the factory was a long time ago, even though the phrase “former factory worker” is unnecessary before “poet” to accurately describe his career, Weaver says he doesn’t mind that it makes the headlines when he’s written about. At 62, he says he’s at the age where he’s begun to think about how the different parts of his life fit together into one whole. He’s not ashamed to have worked in a factory—he’s proud of it, in fact—and he says that some of the nicest things that are said to him come from students of his from working-class background, who say that he’s their proof that such a background doesn’t mean you can’t be a poet.
Not that that means he was ever just a factory worker. “I remember telling the guys I worked with in the warehouse that I was going to apply for Brown University,” he recalls. “They laughed at me. They said, ‘You’re going to stay in here and die with the rest of us.’ I said, ‘No, I’m not.’”
According to PandoDaily, Google will snag some of Green Throttle Games’ employees, including co-founders Matt Crowley and Karl Townsend. Green Throttle’s other co-founder, Charles Huang, will retain the rights to the existing business, which is more or less defunct. Other terms of the detail were undisclosed. MoreGoogle Will Pay You $15 for Each Business User You Get Hooked on GoogleA Smartwatch Version of Android Is Reportedly Coming SoonHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostSee Inside Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC Brownstone! People
Green Throttle sold a Bluetooth game controller that works with Android devices and Amazon’s Kindle Fire HD tablets. The company also offered an app, called Arena, that helped users find and play controller-supported games. The idea was that you’d plug your tablet into a television via HDMI, effectively turning it into a low-end game console.
But in November, Green Throttle gave up on that idea and removed the Arena app from Amazon’s and Google’s stores. The controller is, strangely, still available, but at this point it’s no different than any other Bluetooth Android controller on the market.
There are a few different theories for why Google wanted to acquire Green Throttle’s remnants.
Pando posits that Google could use gaming as an anchor for its own rumored set-top box–an idea we’ve certainly heard before. The acquisition, according to this theory, “revolved around helping enhance its potential controller’s Bluetooth powers.” I’m skeptical of that claim; while I haven’t used Green Throttle’s controller, I’m not aware of anything special about its Bluetooth capabilities.
The Verge, meanwhile, wonders if the acquisition has more to do with talent:
Karl Townsend joins Google having worked on the original Palm Pilot, and Matt Crowley has previously worked at both Nokia and Palm. Combined with Google’s recent purchase of Nest and Boston Dynamics, it’s clear the company is looking at bringing in hardware talent in areas outside of smartphones and web services.
That makes a little more sense, though I’d point out that Nest and Boston Dynamics are both cutting-edge companies that were poised for success even without Google. Nokia, Palm and Green Throttle were all flailing before being pursued by Microsoft, HP and Google, respectively.
So here’s my (completely speculative) theory: With Green Throttle’s “parts and labor,” as Pando put it, Google could finally get serious about controller-based gaming, not just on its own TV set-top box, but on a wide range of devices.
I’ve said before that controller-based Android gaming is sort of a Wild West, with multiple protocols, designs and companies competing to establish themselves as the de facto standard. Google hasn’t contributed much to these efforts, and at the moment doesn’t offer an easy way to find controller-supported games through the Google Play Store. Helping developers add controller support, and helping players find those games, is exactly what Green Throttle did.
Meanwhile, a lot of companies that started selling Android-based microconsoles last year–including Ouya, GameStick and GamePop–are shifting away from hardware-centric business models. Instead of selling a single product, they’re trying to offer a platform for other companies’ televisions and set-top boxes. Perhaps that’s the wiser strategy, but it’s one that Google might have better luck at, due to its considerable resources and existing app store.
Sure, Google already tried and failed once at that strategy with Google TV, but it’s having more success with Chromecast, and plans to eventually bring Chromecast capabilities to more televisions and set-top boxes. It’s not hard to imagine a gaming element down the road (and some Android developers are already toying with the idea). On some level, connecting phones, tablets and televisions is what Green Throttle was trying to do–only Google has managed to remove the wires.
The Chinese government released satellite images Wednesday that it said might show the location where Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 crashed, according to state media, a potential but unconfirmed clue of happened to the jet five days after it vanished without a trace.
The official Xinhua News Agency said the images released by China’s State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense show “a suspected plane crash at sea,” CNN reports. The agency announced it discovered “three suspected floating objects and their sizes” on Sunday but waited until Wednesday to release the information, the Associated Press reports. The location —near the Gulf of Thailand and the South China Sea—coincides with the presumed flight path the Boeing 777 was taking from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing before it disappeared from radar on Saturday with 239 people on board.
The days-long search effort has yielded little in the way of clues so far, and it was impossible to immediately verify if the Chinese images are of the actual crash site. Though the site is near the presumed flight path, the Malaysian military said Tuesday that the jet had veered wildly off course. The objects discovered at sea are 13 meters by 18 meters, 14 meters by 19 meters, and 24, meters by 22 meters, according to state media.
The flight never sent out a distress signal before it went missing. Apart from the possible evidence in the Chinese satellite images, a massive and still-growing international search effort has thus far found no concrete trace of the airliner. Families of the passengers have been stuck in a painful limbo since the disappearance.
Detective Olivia Benson on the Case: Mariska Hargitay’s Emotional Plea to Get Backlogged Rape Kits Tested
When it comes to pursuing justice for rape victims, sometimes life imitates art. That’s what happened Tuesday when Law & Order SVU star Mariska Hargitay co-hosted a press conference with Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to help push for continued testing of rape kit backlogs, on the same day that one of 100 serial rapists identified by backlogged kits was sentenced to 40-50 years in jail.
Worthy has made it her mission to test every single one of the 11,000 untested rape kits found in a warehouse in 2009, and Hargitay says helping clear the rape kit backlog is the number one priority of her organization, the Joyful Heart Foundation, the Detroit Free Press reports.
“To me, this is the clearest and most shocking demonstration of how we regard these crimes in our countries,” said the star, who plays sex crimes Detective Olivia Benson on the hit NBC drama. “One would assume that if someone endures a 4-6 hour invasive exam, that evidence would be handled with care and immediately tested.”
“Bottom line: rape kits can bring justice, and justice for so many survivors can bring healing,” she said. “Testing rape kits is vital to keeping rapists off the streets, and yet hundreds of thousands of these kits don’t even make it to the crime lab.”
Hargitay also said that testing rape kits was crucial to respecting the dignity of the survivors. “Testing rape kits sends a fundamental and crucial message to victims of sexual violence, and that message is: you matter. Not testing them sends the opposite message.”
The actress began to get teary when she announced a documentary project about the rape kit backlog, to be called Shelved.
Hargitay also said that a $35 million federal grant for rape kit testing was a direct result of Worthy’s tireless efforts to make sure rape victims get justice. Worthy’s team has already tested $1,600 of the backlogged kits, and brought almost 100 serial rapists to justice. Michigan recently approved $4 million in funding to test the remaining kits, which Worthy hopes will be done by the end of the year.
On Monday morning, about 150 Cossack officers got together in Crimea, the breakaway region of Ukraine, and lined up in formation on the central square of the regional capital of Simferopol. Bundled up against the winds that blew in that day from the Black Sea, they made for a sorry sight, disheveled and grumpy, like a reunion of elderly veterans kitted out in old, mismatching camouflage gear. But their commander, Vladimir Cherkashin, stood before them in a leather jacket and military cap to say that their fortunes were about to change. MoreObama Says Crimea Crisis Can’t Be Resolved ‘With a Gun Pointed’ at UkraineDon’t Worry, Ukraine Won’t Go NuclearHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostSee Inside Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC Brownstone! People
Next week, a referendum on Crimea’s independence from Ukraine will open the door for Russia to annex the entire Crimean Peninsula, and for the local Cossack paramilitary groups, that marks the opportunity of a lifetime. It would mean a chance to be integrated into the Russian security forces – just like their Cossack brothers to the east have been under Russian President Vladimir Putin. “That means state recognition, it means training for our cadets,” Cherkashin explained to his Cossack commanders, who are known as atamans. “It’s status. You understand? It’s all about finances!” At this, the group of men looked around at each other and grumbled in approval. Then, at Cherkashin’s command, they shouted the celebratory Cossack salute – “Lyubo!” Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
For the past two weeks, the Cossacks – a caste of warriors who have guarded the borders of the Russian empire for centuries – have played a key role in the Russian occupation of Crimea. They have manned checkpoints on its highways, guarded the headquarters of its separatist government, patrolled the streets with their ceremonial whips in hand and are now helping build and defend fortifications on the de facto Crimean border with Ukraine. Through it all, they have had ample help from Russia’s professional and state-sponsored Cossack forces, who have come by the thousands to defend what they see as historically Russian lands.
“Cossacks have no borders,” says Nikolai Pervakov, the first deputy commander of Russia’s Kuban Cossack legion, who is leading their mission to Crimea from his usual base of operations in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar. Appearing on the square alongside Cherkashin on Monday, he told TIME that a few thousand of his men have come to Crimea from Russia, all with the express approval of the Kremlin. After inspecting the bedraggled ranks of his Crimean comrades, Pervakov gave a short speech on their fraternal ties. “We are a united people, people of the same faith, traditions, customs. Our lives are linked,” he told them. “So we need to be like a clenched and monolithic fist. Only then will we have victory.”
The links that bind Cossacks around the world can be mystifying for outsiders and hard to pin down. They are largely Slavic but come from many other ethnic groups as well, and they speak various languages. Some are born Cossacks while others are initiated into their martial traditions. Their zealous devotion to the Orthodox Christian religion tends to unite them, although different Cossack groups follow different denominations of that faith. Through history, they have rebelled against the Russian empire and marched alongside its armies to fight common enemies, including the Turks, the British and the Khans of Central Asia. Conflicts and upheavals have scattered them for centuries around the world, and there are vibrant communities of Cossacks as far afield as New Jersey, where their ancestors wound up after the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 tried to purge them from the Soviet Union. But what unites the Cossacks in Crimea with their allies in Russia today is a common belief that Moscow should command the Slavic world, most crucially including eastern and southern Ukraine.
For the Cossacks of Crimea, that victory could mark a total transformation. Ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s succession of leaders, regardless of whether they leaned toward Russia or the West, have treated the local Crimean Cossacks with great suspicion. Their commanders in Crimea have spread militant notions of Slavic unity among their young cadets. All of that has attracted scrutiny from Ukraine’s security services in recent years. Under the rule of President Viktor Yanukovych, a Russia-leaning leader who was deposed in a revolution last month, Crimea’s leading Cossacks were investigated for training paramilitary groups and speaking out in support of separatism, both of which are illegal in Ukraine. Some of them have had their Cossack training camps raided by police in search of weapons. Others have been deported to Russia on charges of inciting ethnic hatred.
All of that stands in stark contrast to the lives of their fellow Cossacks in Russia. In 2005, Putin signed a law called “On the state service of the Russian Cossacks,” which gave them the status of a state-backed militia, complete with government paychecks. Under that law, Putin, in his role as commander-in-chief, is the only one who can assign someone the rank of Cossack General. Other officer ranks in the Cossack hierarchy, which is distinct from the rest of the Russian military’s pecking order, must be approved by the Kremlin Council on Cossack Affairs. That law also granted more than 600,000 officially registered Cossacks in Russia the rights to fulfill various functions usually controlled by the state. This includes the right to defend border regions, guard national forests, organize military training for young cadets, fight terrorism, protect local government buildings and administrative sites and provide the vague service of “defending social order.”
It seemed to be in the latter capacity that they patrolled the streets of Sochi during last month’s Winter Olympic Games, even greeting arrivals in the airport terminal dressed in their signature lambskin hats and knee-high leather boots. Vladimir Davydov, a local Cossack officer and a member of the Sochi city council, saw the Games as a historic chance to demonstrate the usefulness of Cossacks to the Kremlin. “Our entire history we have served the sovereign, the motherland,” he told TIME a few weeks before the Games began. “Now that role is restored.” If the Kremlin calls on them, he said, the Cossacks can field a force of 50,000 armed irregulars in the region surrounding Sochi. “The Olympics will be our chance to prove our worth.”
Throughout the Games, they seemed to do that with flying colors, though not without one appalling show of force. On Feb. 19, a few days before the closing ceremony of the Games, a group of activists from the protest group Pussy Riot tried to film an anti-Putin music video in Sochi. But just as the young women pulled on their colorful balaclavas and started dancing around, a group of uniformed Cossacks ran up to them, sprayed them in the face with pepper spray, hit them with whips, yanked them by the hair and dragged them away kicking and screaming. Under current Ukrainian law, that kind of attack would have gotten the Cossacks arrested for battery. In Russia, even during the Olympics, it was part of their paid service to the state.
The allure of becoming a formally recognized militia force seems to have made Crimea’s Cossacks even more gung-ho about the Russian annexation of their peninsula. “Our priority right now is to make sure the referendum goes as planned,” Cherkashin told me on March 9, just after he held a meeting with the new de facto leader of Crimea, the separatist Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov. Watching Russian state TV in a waiting area outside Aksyonov’s office that afternoon, Cherkashin said Cossack volunteers from across Russia and the former Soviet Union have been offering to come help Crimea break away from Ukraine. “These two Cossacks in Armenia called me on Skype the other day,” he says. “They held two Kalashnikovs in front of the camera and said they’re ready to ride.”
But Cherkashin, who is also a member of the Crimean parliament, has had to decline most of these offers. Flooding the peninsula with various Cossack vigilantes would not be good for “keeping order,” he says, and besides, they have enough support from Pervakov and the Kuban Cossack legion as it is. After the morning line-up on the square in Simferopol, the highest ranking commanders walked over to a nearby church – The Cathedral of Holy Mary Magdalene, Equal to the Apostles – for a private powwow. It began with a blessing from a local priest of the Russian Orthodox Church, Vitali Liskevich, who prayed for the Lord to defend the righteous mission of the Cossacks in Crimea. After that, Pervakov, the Cossack envoy from Russia, walked into the hall with a sheaf of papers, and this reporter was asked to leave the room.
Whatever your opinion of the campaign by Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In foundation to ban the word bossy — which, for the record, I advised on — one thing is indisputable: the power of words is stark. MoreTwilight Sends Girls a Bad Message Says Divergent Star Shailene WoodleyNew Girl’s Feminist LessonHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostSee Inside Sarah Jessica Parker's NYC Brownstone! People
Call a little girl “bossy” and she starts to avoid leadership roles because she’s afraid of being seen as unlikeable. People are already wary of assertive women at work, but call a woman “aggressive” out loud and they will probably like her less. Call a female politician a ballbuster enough times, and people may actually be less likely to vote for her. Words tell us something about the way our culture perceives women in power, and whether we believe they’re supposed to be there. Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
So, in an attempt to save you — writers, speakers, humans, journalists — from falling into the gender bias trap unintentionally, we’ve put together this handy guide:
Don’t Call Girls Bossy. Or Grown Women Aggressive.
Seriously, don’t do it. And while you’re at it, don’t call them pushy, angry, brusque, ballbusters, bitchy, careerist, cold, calculating — you get the point. Also: shrill and strident, both of which imply high-pitched and screechy women a la your mother, finger pointed, scolding you to clean your room. Bossy is the subject of the new Sandberg campaign, but it’s something linguists have written about for decades. The reality is that these words are rooted in stereotype, and they are only applied to women. Think about it: girls are bossy, boys have “leadership qualities.” Women are deemed aggressive, while men are simply decisive (or just, um, bosses). From Ruth Bader Ginsburg (called “a bitch” by her law school classmates) to the “ball-busting” Hillary Clinton, historians will tell you: women in power have long been punished for exhibiting qualities of assertiveness, because it veers from the “feminine” mold. And yet, isn’t it precisely those assertive qualities that will help women get ahead? If you wouldn’t call a dude these words, don’t say ‘em of a lady.
Please Avoid the ‘Crazy Woman’ Trope. And While We’re At It: She’s Not ‘Moody,’ ‘Hysterical,’ or ‘Emotional’ Either.
Female hysteria was once the catch-all diagnosis for a woman with problems, and it didn’t disappear entirely from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders until 1980. But the trope of the crazy, emotional, moody, hysterical, PMS-ing, crazy woman — or worse, the crazy, emotional, hysterical romantic stalker — remains in full force. Crazy is the catch-all putdown for any woman you don’t like/makes you uncomfortable/doesn’t fit the mold. (Or as Tina Fey said in her book Bossypants, “the definition of ‘crazy’ in show business is a woman who keeps talking even after no one wants to f*ck her any more.”) The problem with being a woman is that it’s impossible to avoid this label. So what even is crazy? A woman who expresses opinions? A woman who speaks too loud, or out of turn? Am I crazy if I yell? Am I crazy if I like a guy? Am I crazy if I act like a leader? Whatever it is, it usually doesn’t refer to any kind of real life mental illness. So keep the crazy label in check.
Women! Not Girls! Except in the Case of Girls. Or ladies. Wait, Damn…
Right, it’s a confusing place out there for what to call a grown female person. My girlfriends are “girls,” sometimes I mention having a conversation with a “chick,” there’s a resurgence of “lady,” sometimes I even call girls (oh wait I just did it) “babes.” But if you are a professional writer or journalist or interviewer or anybody else speaking publicly about women and not talking about the HBO series and not ruminating on the use of the word – or, you know, are addressing a woman on the air – please try to call us women. My mom would be super happy, thx.
‘Blond,’ ‘Perky,’ And Other Cutesy Descriptors.
What not to call women in power in print: Petite. Ladylike. Blond. Blue-eyed. Perky. Or perhaps having a “soft, girlie voice,” as was a recent description-of-choice by NPR’s Morning Edition, in a piece about Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s legislation to change the way the military views sexual assault. If these adjectives don’t tell us something a subject beyond identifying her as a woman, it’s safe to assume they are sexist filler. Journalists, this one’s for you: Come up with something better.
Avoid Describing the Sound of My Feminine Voice. Also, the Tone of It.
Women naturally have higher-pitched voices than men. Do we need to point it out? There’s no male equivalent of “shrill” or “screechy.” And I don’t believe there’s one for “nasal-car honk” tone either. And while we’re at it, let’s avoid descriptors like “whiny,” “nagging” or “complaining” to refer to women. Unless of course you’d use them to refer to a man too.
Leave Looks Out Of It.
That means Hillary Clinton’s cleavage, her cankles, her haircuts, pants suits, or the color of her blouse — all irrelevant to whether she’s going to make a good president! I also don’t need to know about Huma Abedin’s “rich, glowing hair,” Elena Kagan’s “drab D.C. clothes” or that Janet Yellin wore the same outfit twice (she’s the motherf–king head of the Fed). Here’s what the Washington Post’s internal stylebook says about references to personal appearance in print: that they “should generally be omitted unless clearly relevant to the story.” In case that wasn’t clear, a few specifics. TV hosts: Probably a bad idea to comment on how hot a woman is on air. Interviewers: Let’s avoid asking badass ladies in various fields about their looks, diets or favorite fashion designers. (And for more on this topic, check out Lindy West’s great piece over at Jezebel on how to write about female politicians.)
A Note On Shoes.
Unless they spark a full-on feminist shoe movement, shoes are not relevant.
Two Women Running Against Each Other, Or Disagreeing, or Remotely in the Same Competitive Industry, Does Not Equal a ‘Catfight.’
Why are female politicians in a race, or women in an office, or friends, or sisters, are described as catty or bitchy, constantly on the verge of a catfight, while men are seen as worthy rivals? Perhaps Urban Dictionary explains our media obsession with “catfights” best: “the male fantasy of two women ripping each other’s clothes off.” Recent media “catfights” include Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric. Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin. Marissa Mayer and Sheryl Sandberg. None of which were actual catfights, but managed to inject sexual undertones and generally devalue these women’s accomplishments. Research has shown that the “catfight” stereotype actually carries over into the workplace — giving women a bad reputation and leading to long-term implications.
Please Stop Asking If Women Can ‘Have It All.’
When in doubt, read this column, from the public editor of the New York Times, published last month amid outrage over a magazine cover titled, “Can Wendy Davis Have It All?” “Despite its well-intentioned efforts,” the Times ombudsman wrote, “this piece managed to trip over a double standard with its detailed examination of Ms. Davis’s biography, including her role in raising her two daughters.” And while we’re at it, let’s stop asking how women manage to “do it all.” Tina Fey declared this “the rudest question you can ask a woman.” Because the answer is simple. She’s doing it the same way a dude would, except that he doesn’t have to answer questions about it.
Avoid Gratuitous Gender Qualifiers. (And Don’t Put Baby in a Parenthesis.)
Female comedian, female director, female journalist… journalists covering “women’s issues” (why not just “issues”)? These modifiers are the linguistic version of a parenthetical or insignificant aside — which is exactly how late night comedy host Chelsea Handler was referred to in a recent article in the New York Times. In a rebuttal, Huffington Post, Handler declared: “I don’t want to be singled-out and lauded merely because I am successful ‘for a woman … The success of any woman should never be qualified by her gender.” When we can remove the “female” part of these phrases — because it is assumed that a female can, um, be these things — then our work here will be done.
On Husbands and Marital Status or Being a Mom.
We’re talking about pointing out that a woman is “unmarried” or even that she’s a “mother of two.” As Allyson Jule, the author of “A Beginner’s Guide to Language and Gender,” puts it: “These representations of women trivialize their lives and place an extra level of personal judgment on them.”
Finally, When In Doubt, Take the Quiz!
Consider it the Bechdel Test for language.
STEP ONE: Reverse the gender of the subject of the article/paper/sentence.
STEP TWO: See if it sounds funny.
STEP THREE: If it does, see the tips above.
(And to get an idea of the incredibly sexist things some female pioneers have been called, check out ‘Bossy Women:’ 16 Leaders Who’ve Overcome That Label and Much, Much Worse.)
Twitter went down yesterday for around 45 minutes. Once upon a time, that wouldn’t have been news: In the heyday of the Failwhale, Twitter went down a lot. But now it’s a rare enough occurrence that when I heard about the outage, my first paradoxical impulse was…to tweet about it. I’m sure I was far from the only person whose brain malfunctioned that way.
Over at Wired, Mat Honan has a good piece on how Twitter’s essential role in spreading news makes downtime into a major problem in a way that it wasn’t back when the service was theoretically designed to let you tell your friends what you were up to at the moment.
Thought-provoking sound bite:
…when Twitter goes down, there’s really nothing that can take its place. Facebook doesn’t have Twitter’s public nature. Google Plus doesn’t have its reach. Individual weblogs don’t have its ability to automatically republish and spread information. It’s become its own, very unique thing. For now, when it comes to a real-time, public facing, highly-networked, global communications system, Twitter is what we’ve got. It’s not only the most effectively reliable way for any individual to disseminate information to large groups of people in real time, it’s pretty much the only way.
I’m usually O.K. with the fact that services such as Twitter and Facebook are proprietary, rather than open, distributed standards such as e-mail which can’t come crashing down for everybody all at once. But Twitter has indeed become a sort of chatty, social Emergency Broadcasting System. Maybe we do need something similar which can’t be felled by one software glitch — which was the culprit that took the service offline yesterday.
Scientists announced Wednesday the discovery of a rare mineral never before found on earth that hints at the existence of an enormous water reservoir trapped deep in the earth’s mantle.
The findings published in the journal Nature suggest there may be more water than is in all the world’s oceans trapped in the “transition zone” between the upper and lower layers of the earth’s mantle, AFP reports.
The evidence stems from the discovery of the mineral Ringwoodite found by amateur gem-hunters in a Brazilian riverbed in 2008. The mineral, which suggests the existence of water, has been found in meteorites before but never on earth, perhaps because scientists have simply been unable to dig deep enough to find it due to the heat and pressure at play that far beneath the planet’s surface.
Implications of the discovery could be profound. “One of the reasons the Earth is such a dynamic planet is the presence of some water in its interior,” said lead researcher Graham Pearson. “Water changes everything about the way a planet works,”
The finding comes after scientists announced last year they’d found huge reserves of freshwater trapped beneath the ocean floor.
People rarely find themselves looking at a picture of an objectively attractive celebrity and think, Wow, it must be really hard for you to find a date. But lo and behold: It turns out that Tinder, the dating app that has made it significantly easier for the normals to get some, has actually posed problems for famous people.
“We’ve had celebrities reach out to us frequently throughout the last year, sort of calling out various frustrations convincing users that they were actually who they are,” co-founder Sean Rad tells TIME. “One impediment is that sometimes their Facebook accounts, which we pull information from, includes different names than their actual likeness… So [celebrities] were asking for the ability to modify their Tinder name and maybe have a verified badge.”
Thus, like Facebook and Twitter, Tinder is adopting verification badges to help the famous and the plebes intermingle.
Rad had his first concerned celebrity reach out about having difficulty convincing matches of his real identity two months after the app launched in Fall of 2012. “It was awesome [to know celebrities are on Tinder] because it sort of validated our theories that everyone, even people of influence, need help forming relationships,” Rad says. “It’s important to us that our users know we are committed to authenticity on every level.”
On a much smaller scale, Rad and his co-founder Justin Mateen know how difficult it can be to convince Tinder matches of their real identities. For a period of time, the two men listed themselves as the app’s co-founders in their Tinder profile tagline.
“No one believed us, they thought it was lying and say ‘funny joke loser,’” Mateen said in a past interview.
Mateen wants a verification — the honor might not only be bestowed to Hollywood A-listers but also recognizable leaders in other arenas — but, “we haven’t decided if he qualifies yet; his account is in review,” Rad says. “This isn’t something that we are going to loosely hand out.”
Even though Rad won’t disclose which celebrities are having dating app issues due to Tinder/Tindee confidentiality, he assures TIME, “These are A-listers.” Sochi athletes admitted to using Tinder during the Olympics, and other celebrities have opened up about the app to the public. Lindsay Lohan, for example, let her Instagram followers know that she found her brother on Tinder:
So now you’ll know that that Lindsay lookalike is actually Lindsay. Whether you swipe left or right is up to you.
(SAN FRANCISCO) — The FBI said Wednesday agents are hunting in Hawaii for the nation’s most wanted domestic terrorism suspect. MoreBritish Man Says He Brought Shoe Bombs on Planes After 9/11Spain Mourn Victims of Madrid Train Bombings 10 Years LaterHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostLauren Conrad Loves Making Time for 'Date Night' with William Tell People
The FBI office in San Francisco said the agency received “credible intelligence” that Daniel Andreas San Diego might be on the state’s Big Island. Agents are searching for him in the island’s eastern district of Puna and in the small, eclectic town of Pahoa.
San Diego, 36, is suspected to be an animal rights extremist. He is charged with exploding pipe bombs in front of two San Francisco Bay Area companies with ties to a lab that conducted animal experiments.
San Diego is atop the FBI’s list of most-wanted domestic terrorists, and the agency is offering a $250,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.
Kai Sorte, who manages an organic deli in Pahoa, said FBI agents had visited the small, counter-cultural town about 18 months ago in search of San Diego. Sorte said he was interviewed again Monday and said FBI agents believe San Diego is looking for “some sort of cause or movement” to join.
“This town is a melting pot of a lot of different cultures,” Sorte said.
Sorte said the agents didn’t say why they returned to Pahoa.
FBI spokesman Peter Lee declined to comment on the nature of the “credible intelligence” that compelled agents from San Francisco to travel to Hawaii in search of San Diego.
This is the second and most specific alert the FBI has issued for him since he disappeared in October 2003 in San Francisco while being tailed by FBI agents. In 2011 the FBI said it had “substantive and credible” information that San Diego might have been in western Massachusetts after it received a tip prompted by an airing of the case on the television show “America’s Most Wanted.”
San Diego’s image appeared on electronic billboards from California to New York, including above Times Square, for about a week earlier this month.
Late last year, the FBI called on the public’s help in locating San Diego, who was raised in an upper-middle class suburb of Marin County north of San Francisco.
His father, Edmund San Diego, was the city manager of Belvedere, a wealthy Marin County enclave. Edmund San Diego didn’t return a phone call Wednesday. He has declined to talk about his son in the past.
San Diego, who was under 24-hour surveillance, gave the FBI the slip on the afternoon of Oct. 6, 2003, in downtown San Francisco.
He is charged with setting off three bombs at the two companies in the wee hours. No one was injured, and minor damage was done to the buildings, including shattered windows.
Two pipe bomb explosions struck an hour apart at biotechnology company Chiron Corp. on Aug. 28, 2003, and investigators said the second bomb was set to injure first responders. A bomb strapped with nails exploded at cosmetic maker Shaklee Corp. on Sept. 26, 2003.
The search for San Diego has spanned the globe. FBI officials have said they’ve talked with authorities in Germany, the United Kingdom, Costa Rica, France, Spain, Denmark, Austria, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico, Argentina, the Philippines and Chile.
San Diego has ties to animal rights extremist groups and is a vegan who doesn’t eat food containing animal products, according to the FBI.
He also has unusual tattoos, the FBI says, including a round image of burning hillsides on his chest with the words “It only takes a spark” written below. The sides of his abdomen and back have images of burning and collapsing buildings.
San Diego has worked as a computer network specialist and with the Linux operating system and is skilled at sailing.
Watch a cat named Milo sabotage a purrfectly peaceful yoga routine in a video posted by a user named “jahzyoga”, a “yoga teacher” and “jazz vocalist.” Dare we suggest, maybe he was trying to hit the “paws” button?
(SAN FRANCISCO) — Californians have flooded several sheriff offices with applications and inquiries for permits to carry concealed guns.
Sheriffs in some politically conservative or rural counties reported spikes in applications while other counties in the state experienced smaller increases.
Demand is being driven by a 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals ruling last month that made it easier for residents to obtain the hard-to-get permits.
The ruling eliminated the requirement of applicants to show “good cause” for a permit. The court said a desire for self-defense was enough to qualify for a permit.
The ruling has been put on hold pending the state attorney general’s appeal of the decision. At least three counties have loosened their policies anyway and are processing applications under the new rules adopted because of the ruling.
Well, that didn’t take long. MoreColts Re-sign Kicker Adam VinatieriDetroit Lions Say Ford’s Wife to Take Over TeamHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostDad-to-Be Kenan Thompson Is 'Terrified' to Become a Father People
Pass rusher DeMarcus Ware got a $30 million, three-year contract from the Denver Broncos on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after being released by the Dallas Cowboys. Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
Not quite keeping pace with the nonstop nature of Day 1 of free agency, Day 2 did include the Buccaneers releasing cornerback Darrelle Revis after failing to trade him; receiver Golden Tate leaving the Super Bowl champion Seahawks to play alongside All-Pro Calvin Johnson with the Lions; and the Browns cutting two quarterbacks, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell.
The Revis move saved the Bucs a $1.5 million bonus that would have been due if he remained on the roster with his $16 million salary. It also freed up room under the cap for a continuing roster overhaul under new coach Lovie Smith and general manager Jason Licht.
With Broncos executive John Elway showing the same ability to close a deal that he did during his Hall of Fame career as a quarterback — and used two years ago to lure Peyton Manning to Denver — Ware’s first team visit resulted in a deal that includes $20 million in guaranteed money.
“It’s a perfect fit for me,” Ware said at a news conference.
He’ll pair with linebacker Von Miller to give AFC champion Denver a pair of quarterback chasers. Elway has been busy upgrading the defense during the first two days of the NFL’s free-agency period, adding cornerback Aqib Talib from the Patriots and safety T.J. Ward on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old Ware had 117 sacks and went to seven Pro Bowls in nine seasons with the Cowboys. He had a career-low six sacks last season, when he missed time with a thigh injury, then had offseason elbow surgery.
The Cowboys made another move to clear cap space Wednesday, jettisoning receiver Miles Austin, as expected, saving about $5.5 million. Austin’s release is effective June 1.
Revis, meanwhile, spent only one season with the Bucs, who got him from the Jets for a 2013 first-round draft pick and a 2014 fourth-round choice.
If Revis had still been on Tampa Bay’s roster by 4 p.m. ET on Wednesday, the Bucs would have needed to upgrade that 2014 draft pick to a third-rounder. The Bucs already signed a topflight cornerback, former Titans player Alterraun Verner, on Tuesday, when they also brought aboard defensive end Michael Johnson, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald and tight end Brandon Myers.
Tampa Bay added a quarterback Wednesday by agreeing to a two-year contract with Josh McCown, a backup who got a chance to start five games last season for the Bears in place of an injured Jay Cutler.
A player expecting to be on the move soon was Carolina receiver Steve Smith, whose agent, Derrick Fox, told The Associated Press the five-time Pro Bowl pick “is not going to play for the Panthers next year.” Fox said he expected Smith to get cut, although Carolina was trying to trade him.
In other news Wednesday:
—Yet another pass rusher became available when defensive end Chris Clemons was released by the Seahawks. Clemons was due to make $7.5 million in base salary next season. He is the fourth member of Seattle’s defense to be released or sign with another club as a free agent. Tate departs from the offense, getting a five-year deal worth $31 million with $13.25 million guaranteed, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deal had not been announced.
—Returner-receiver Jacoby Jones agreed to a four-year contract to stay with the Ravens.
—Linebacker Jon Beason agreed to terms to stay with the Giants, who also re-signed kicker Josh Brown and safety Stevie Brown and waived linebacker Marcus Dowtin.
—Running back Pierre Thomas agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Saints.
—Defensive tackle Randy Starks signed a $12 million, two-year contract to stay with Miami.
—Tight end David Johnson signed a two-year contract with the Chargers, leaving Pittsburgh.
—The Steelers re-signed safety Will Allen, long snapper Greg Warren and offensive lineman Cody Wallace.
—The Eagles agreed to deals with two players expected to help on special teams, former Seahawks safety Chris Maragos and former Texans linebacker Bryan Braman.
—Linebacker Dekoda Watson went to the Jaguars from the Bucs.
—Former Rams guard Chris Williams signed a four-year contract with the Bills — then joked he was prepared to go anywhere to get a chance to play.
“I’d go to Antarctica,” Williams said. “But Buffalo’s a lot better than Antarctica, so I’m just excited to be here.”
Tim Booth, Tom Canavan, Fred Goodall, Pat Graham, Larry Lage, Janie McCauley, Steve Reed, John Wawrow, Steven Wine and Tom Withers contributed to this report.
In case you didn’t know already, Tuesday’s speech made it clear that Senator Dianne Feinstein is a lean, mean spybusting machine. The longtime California Senator and Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee publicly turned on the CIA Tuesday when she accused the spy agency of illegally hacking into Senate computers used to investigate Bush-era intelligence practices. MoreOne Direction Urges Fanbase To Get Political With Promise of Free TicketsREVIEW: The First Cringe-Humor PresidentHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostDad-to-Be Kenan Thompson Is 'Terrified' to Become a Father People
But this isn’t the first time Feinstein has spoken truth to power. Here are a few of her greatest hits: Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
1) You wouldn’t know it from her speech Tuesday, but Feinstein had a late night Monday night. That’s because the octogenarian was part of an all-night congressional session to raise awareness about climate change. “If we do nothing, the Sierra Nevada spring snowpack could drop by as much as 60 to 80 percent by the end of the century, eliminating the water source for nearly 16 million people,” the Senator said.
2) It was Feinstein who tried to push an assault weapons ban through Congress after the Newtown shootings, but her ban failed in a 40-60 vote. In her final appeal to her colleagues to vote to ban assault weapons, she demanded that the rest of the Senate “show some guts.” “The most important duty a government has is to protect its citizens’ safety,” she said. “When 20 beautiful first-graders are slaughtered, our government has failed that duty.” She spoke next to an image of the front page of the New York Daily News that read “Shame on U.S.”
3) In her continued fight for an assault weapons ban, Feinstein delivered an epic takedown of colleague Ted Cruz when he tried to mansplain the Constitution to her (via Daily Beast)
“One, I’m not a sixth grader,” Feinstein said. “Senator, I’ve been on this Committee for 20 years. I was a mayor for nine years. I walked in and I saw people shot with these weapons.
“I’m not a lawyer,” she added, “but after 20 years, I’ve been up close and personal with the Constitution. I have great respect for it. … So I, you know, it’s fine you want to lecture me on the Constitution. I appreciate it. Just know I’ve been here for a long time.”
“I thank you for the lecture. Incidentally, this does not prohibit — you used the word ‘prohibit’ – it exempts 2,271 weapons. Isn’t that enough for the people of the United States? Do they need a bazooka? Do they need other high-powered weapons that other people use in close combat? I don’t think so.”
BOOM! Who needs a bazooka when you have Dianne Feinstein?
4) She worked closely with gay rights leader Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, and she was there the day they were assassinated by ex-supervisor Dan White in 1978. White murdered Milk and Moscone because he wanted his government seat back, and when Feinstein learned that Moscone was planning to give it to someone else, she tried to track down White to explain the situation. She described that day to the San Francisco Chronicle:
“I saw him come in. I said, ‘Dan, can I talk to you?’ And he went by, and I heard the door close, and I heard the shots and smelled the cordite, and I came out of my office. Dan went right by me. Nobody was around, every door was closed.
“I went down the hall. I opened the wrong door. I opened (Milk’s) door. I found Harvey on his stomach. I tried to get a pulse and put my finger through a bullet hole. He was clearly dead.”
Feinstein later went on to replace Moscone as Mayor of San Francisco.
5) She’s also a peacemaker: Feinstein hosted the first meeting between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama after Obama nabbed the 2008 nomination. She set up two chairs and put out some water, and then left the candidates alone to talk it out:
“You know, this is a deeply personal time too. You are sorting out your feelings. Hillary’s is going to be giving a big speech tomorrow. Barack is trying to put things together for a major presidential campaign. So, there are a lot of decompression, nerve-endings, all these things that need to kind of come together and I think the opportunity to sit down, just the two of them, have an hour together was positive.”
Keep doing what you’re doing, Dianne!
1. Resistance is Futile MoreIntroducing Twitch and Other Fascinating News on the WebThe Mystery of Flight MH370 and Other Fascinating News on the WebHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostN.J. Teen Who Sued Parents Moves Back Home After Court Drama People
“At a certain point in the process we’re looking at each other going, ‘I can’t believe they’re letting us do this,’ so pretty much the whole thing — we definitely couldn’t believe it. We kept expecting resistance, but there wasn’t any.” That’s the director of Between Two Ferns talking about the day the president was on the set. Maybe he shouldn’t have expected all that much resistance. The Internet has blurred the lines between real and hoax, between funny and serious, between international news and personality quizzes. We are interested in all of it, and none of it is ever more than a browser-tab away. The NYT can try to be funny, The New Yorker can hire Andy Borowitz, and Buzzfeed can try to publish serious journalism. We were entertained by the appearance of a sitting president on an Internet show like Between Two Ferns, but we weren’t necessarily shocked by it. It’s just too bad Obama is a dog person. Otherwise, he could have also shared some really viral cat photos. 2. What if There’s Not An App For That? Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
NYT Magazine’s Yiren Lu on Silicon Valley’s Youth Problem: “In start-up land, the young barely talk to the old (and vice versa). That makes for a lot of cool apps. But great technology? Not so much.” (We already know there is a lot of tension between tech workers and others. Is there also a rift between tech workers and tech workers?) 3. The Missing Plane
“All right, good night.” Those were the last recorded words of the pilot of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight. It’s been nearly a week since its disappearance, and no one seems to have a solid idea of what happened next.
+ Slate: Why hasn’t radar found Flight 370?
+ Thanks to an earth imagery company and crowd-sourcing, you can help with the search.
+ The $100,000 device that could have solved the mystery. 4. Got the Other Milk?
About a quarter of all Americans suffer from some symptoms related to lactose intolerance. Is there something wrong with us? Or are we just drinking the wrong blend? From MoJo’s Josh Harkinson: You’re drinking the wrong kind of milk.
+ The European Union is seeking to ban the use of European nameslike Parmesan on cheese made in the U.S. The issue is that products like Kraft Parmesan “cut into sales and identity of the European cheeses.” 5. Fires
“It’s a tragedy of the worst kind because there was no indication in time to save people.” That’s NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio on a gas explosionthat led to a massive blaze in East Harlem. At least two people are dead, with many other injured or missing.
+ A large fire consumed a building under construction in the Mission Bay section of San Francisco. This time lapse video of the Mission Bay fire shows the amazing work of firefighters who kept the fire from spreading to several other structures. 6. They’re Here
“The invasion’s already in progress: the only question is when, not if, humanoid robots will work, play and war beside us.” Aeon’s Michael Belfiore: The Robots are Coming.
“I had no idea what a modern retail job demanded. I didn’t realize the stamina that would be necessary, the extra, unpaid duties that would be tacked on, or the required disregard for one’s own self-esteem.” (Sounds a little like using Twitter.) In The Atlantic, Joseph Williams reflects on his life as a retail worker: Nasty, brutish, and poor.
+ Have we reached Peak Mall?
+ Can Costco win over Millennials? (Or to put it another way, can Millennials borrow their parents car and credit card for a few hours?) 8. Designer Showcase
Next week, Starbucks will allow customers to tip via their mobile app. Will that mean more tips? Like many things today, it will all depend on user experience and the design of the app.
+ “The menu is really the single most important representation of the brand in the restaurant, other than the building itself.” From The Atlantic’s Megan Garber: The engineering of the chain restaurant menu. 9. Happiness is Overrated
“The results show that men and women who participated in the body-piercing and fire-walking portion of the ritual (high-ordeal participants) reported happier emotional states and less fatigue than spectators who participated in less stressful portions of the ritual or did not participate at all.” From Pacific Standard: The Perks of Being a Firewalker.
+ Sword Throat. Pharynx Hole. Yes, there are indeed side effects to sword swallowing. (And the Internet’s line of the day: “Sword swallowers without healthcare coverage expose themselves to financial as well as physical risk.”) 10. The Bottom of the News
“It takes a number of years to develop the car. It’s a great project to work on. This particular one, more so than any of them in the past. In the past, they were retrofitting existing vehicles — with this, this is really from the ground up a new vehicle, and we really do it right.” The Secret Service is seeking bids for new presidential limo.
+ “It just catches you because they were fly as hell.” The short documentary on how a controversial jersey design helped lead a team to a national title: Untucked.
+ It’s official. Well, sort of official. The five-second rule is real.
(CINCINNATI) — A southwest Ohio prosecutor announced felony indictments Wednesday of nine Greenpeace activists linked to an eye-catching protest at the Procter & Gamble Co. headquarters in downtown Cincinnati. MoreTurkey Prepares To Bury Teenage Victim of ProtestsVenezuela Expels Panama Ambassador, Top DiplomatsHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostN.J. Teen Who Sued Parents Moves Back Home After Court Drama People
The nine activists were arrested March 4 after protesting the consumer products company’s use of palm oil from a supplier Greenpeace says is tied to tropical forest destruction in Indonesia. The activists slipped past company security and unfurled giant banners from P&G’s two towers as a helicopter filmed them.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said a county grand jury indicted each on felony counts of burglary and vandalism. Deters said the charges carry a possible sentence of more than nine years in prison and $20,000 in fines with convictions.
Greenpeace issued a statement defending the protest.
“Peaceful protest has long been a valuable way to bring important issues to the public attention, and to companies like P&G that have the ability to influence the fate of the forests and the last remaining Sumatran tigers,” said Joao Talocchi, Greenpeace palm oil campaigner.
Authorities were stunned by the security breach at P&G, known for restricting access to protect its personnel and its innovations in such best-selling brands as Pamper diapers and Tide detergent. Cincinnati’s police chief has called for a security meeting with downtown businesses.
P&G called it a well-planned protest, saying one protester claimed to have an appointment and let the others in. Deters said Wednesday the protesters used fake identification and entered P&G dressed in business attire with rolling suitcases.
“The prosecutor’s office determined the charges based on the facts, and those facts will continue to decide the outcome,” P&G spokesman Paul Fox said Wednesday in a statement.
Palm oil is commonly used in shampoo, cosmetics and other products. P&G says it is committed to achieving a 100 percent sustainable supply of palm oil by 2015.
The nine activists spent a night in jail last week and were released the next day on $50,000 bond each, set by a Hamilton County judge who rebuked them for what he called a dangerous and ill-advised stunt. A Greenpeace representative had said the activists were willing to deal with the consequences of their protest and that the environmental organization backs them completely.
Palm oil is commonly used in shampoo, cosmetics and other products. P&G says it is committed to achieving a 100 percent sustainable supply of palm oil by 2015.
Among the items activists used in the protest was a tiger suit one wore to represent endangered Sumatran tigers.
Deters said property damage, including broken window locks, totaled some $17,000. He also said 24 police officers and two companies of firefighters were diverted to the protest, and that they were unable to open windows to get to protesters “hanging from some type of rope or wires between the two P&G buildings” for some 90 minutes.
“While some people may be sympathetic to their message, this is definitely a crime,” Deters said in a statement. “This was a very sophisticated plan that put P&G, fire and police personnel at risk while causing damage to a major corporation. They had numerous other ways to get their message across without committing a crime.”
He said no charges were being planned involving the helicopter used to photo the protest. All nine people indicted live in other states.
We can’t help but check Facebook, even though studies suggest it can trigger feelings of envy, worsen our self-esteem, and make us feel lonely. Beyond the emotional, some studies link spending time on Facebook to eating disorders. MoreHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostN.J. Teen Who Sued Parents Moves Back Home After Court Drama PeopleDeMarcus Ware signs with Denver Broncos Sports Illustrated'Mad Men' photos: Flights of fancy? Entertainment Weekly
But maybe we’re focusing too much on the negative. It turns out that positive emotions have stronger spreading power on Facebook than negative ones, according to new research published in PLOS ONE. James Fowler, a professor of medical genetics and political science at University of California San Diego, has worked on previous social contagion studies, and found that things like obesity, smoking habits, happiness, loneliness, eating disorders, and even generosity spread among groups of friends. But in those cases, the participants had face-to-face contact with each other. “I had an expectation that we might not find [the same effect] online,” he says. Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
MORE: The Happiness Effect
He was wrong. Indeed, emotions spread across Facebook in the same way that we share secrets or dating tips–to a surprising extent, Fowler says. Analyzing data from 100 million Facebook users who posted nearly one billion updates between 2009 and 2012, Fowler and his colleagues showed that every emotion expressed online seeded one to two additional messages in the network expressing similar emotions, meaning the feeling was getting passed along. (Don’t worry, the scientists did not have access to any identifying information, and they didn’t even read the posts. They put the messages through a standard word classification system that coded the written words on a scale that ranged from negative to positive.)
Previous studies have linked rain to more negative feelings and thoughts, so Fowler and his team correlated rainfall to the emotional content of people’s messages. They could then determine whether a sunny day for one friend and a rainy day for another who lived miles away had any effect on their emotions. Indeed, if a friend is experiencing a sunny day and you’re deluged by rain, you’re more likely to feel a little happier – and express that in more positive posts. Contrary to the belief that Facebook makes us feel bad, the study showed that each additional positive post reduced the number of negative ones by friends by nearly two-fold, while each additional negative update lowered positive posts by 1.3 times. Though people may think of the Facebook experience as more negative than positive, overall, says Fowler, the data suggest that being on the social networking site is a positive thing, at least for our emotional state.
“The online world has opened up the possibility that we are spreading emotions in a way they were never spread before,” Fowler says. “We are connected to our friend’s friends, to our friend’s friend’s friends, who are strangers in some cases, and while it’s possible that those interactions are just noise, that’s not what we found.”
But the trend also holds a potential dark side. “As we become more connected online, we are now experiencing emotions more like the emotions that people around the planet experience,” he says. That means that more people are more likely to be feeling the same emotion at the same time, potentially leading to higher highs and lower lows, and that may contribute to more volatility in several different arenas, from the social to the economic and political, since markets and politics are influenced by emotions. If people aren’t as connected, these emotional extremes can balance each other out: if you’re having a bad day, but you come home to family members who have had better days, you tend to feel better. But if more people in the world are feeling the same emotion at the same time, such equilibrium might be harder to achieve.
That, says Fowler, could be the subject of yet another social network experiment. If people become aware of how much their own emotions can have a ripple effect on Facebook, and the rest of the world, for instance, would they change their behavior and take more responsibility for what they express online? No man is an island, it seems, but Fowler argues that every man may be part of an archipelago, and social networks may help us understand how our interactions with others connect link us together to influence and change our behavior.
(KISSIMMEE, Fla.) — The Atlanta Braves agreed Wednesday on a $14.1 million, one-year contract with Ervin Santana, bolstering their injury plagued starting rotation. MoreYankees’ Tanaka Throws in Simulated GameFormer Minor-League Baseball Players File Class Action Suit Against MLBHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThese Disturbing Fast Food Truths Will Make You Reconsider Your Lunch Huffington PostN.J. Teen Who Sued Parents Moves Back Home After Court Drama People
The 33-year-old right-hander went 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA in 32 starts for the Kansas City Royals last season and should make a huge impact with the battered Braves, who are facing the prospect of losing Kris Medlen for the season and opening with Brandon Beachy and Mike Minor on the disabled list. Popular Among Subscribers Obama’s Trauma Team Subscribe The Mindful RevolutionBitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
Medlen, who had been announced as Atlanta’s opening-day starter, left a spring training outing Sunday after grabbing his right elbow. Initial tests showed ligament damage, and he will undergo further examination to determine if he needs surgery for the second time in less than four years. Medlen said he’s already preparing himself to miss the entire season.
Beachy left a start Monday because of continuing problems with his right elbow, and Minor has yet to pitch this spring because of a sore shoulder.
“In light of what has happened over the past few days with our pitching staff, we felt it was incumbent on us to do everything we could to strengthen our starting pitching,” Braves general manager Frank Wren told reporters before a game against Washington.
Santana will be pitching in the NL for the first time in his 10-year career. He spent eight seasons with the Los Angeles Angels before being traded to the Royals in 2013, helping Kansas City post an 86-76 record, their best since 1989.
But Santana, who made $13 million in the final year of his contract, turned down a $14.1 million qualifying offer from the Royals and became a free agent. Given his hefty contract demands, he remained unsigned as spring training began, despite putting up some impressive career numbers.
“This guy makes our rotation a lot better than where we are at now,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, praising Wren. “We lost Medlen and Beachy in a matter of 2½ days and he went out there and got the best pitcher available for us.”
Santana threw a bullpen at the Braves spring training complex on Wednesday, which Gonzalez said went well. Despite his late entrance to camp, Santana could be ready for the start of the season.
“It will be close,” Gonzalez said. “We are kind of keeping our fingers crossed that we can get him enough innings where he can start for us.”
Santana was an AL All-Star in 2008, tossed a no-hitter in 2011, and has reached double-figure wins five times, going a career-best 17-10 in 2010 and twice winning 16 games.
Overall, he is 105-90 with a 4.19 ERA.
Santana’s agent, Jay Alou, said he initially received a text from Wren on Sunday, then got another call Tuesday night while negotiating with other clubs.
It didn’t take long to reach an agreement with Atlanta.
“They moved pretty quickly,” Alou said. “They said, ‘Hey, it’s something our owner thinks we need to do.’”
It’s easy to see why the Braves felt a sense of desperation. Medlen went a team-leading 15-12 with a 3.11 ERA last season, while Minor was 13-9 with a 3.21 ERA. The team also was counting on a full recovery for Beachy, who was one of the NL’s most effective pitchers in 2012 before he underwent season-ending elbow surgery.
Beachy has been limited to a total of 18 starts over the past two seasons, enduring several setbacks in his attempt to come back. After his latest problem, he will miss his next scheduled spring start and faces another trip to the DL.
Minor, who underwent urinary tract surgery on Dec. 31, hopes to pitch within the next week but also seems likely to start the season on the DL while he builds his arm strength.
Given all the health issues, the Braves got to the go-ahead from corporate owner Liberty Media to bump the payroll well above the projected $100 million limit. Wren called it “an incredible decision by the organization.”
With opening day less than three weeks away, the only healthy members of the Braves’ possible rotation are second-year pitchers Julio Teheran (14-8 last season) and Alex Wood, rookie David Hale and non-roster invitee Freddy Garcia. Hale and Garcia have both struggled this spring.
Atlanta also signed veteran Gavin Floyd, but he is coming off Tommy John surgery and won’t be ready to pitch until at least May.
Now, add Santana to the list, though it will likely be mid-April before he is prepared to join the rotation. He has been throwing on the side and could make his spring training debut next week.
“We want to take the right amount of caution to get him ready right, and be ready for the long haul,” Wren said.
By signing Santana, the Braves forfeited their first-round pick in June’s amateur draft, No. 26 overall, and the Royals will receive a compensation-round selection, the 28th overall. Atlanta’s first pick is now 32nd overall, as compensation for losing free agent catcher Brian McCann, who signed with the New York Yankees.
Santana’s signing leaves only two free agents — Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales — available from the 13 players who turned down qualifying offers. If they agree to one-year contracts after opening day, they wouldn’t be subject to qualifying offers this November. If they wait until after the draft to reach agreements, clubs that sign them won’t lose selections.
Among the 22 qualifying offers in the two years of the new labor contract, none have been accepted.
“Frankly, the players haven’t adjusted to the change,” New York Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said. “To blame the system versus the marketplace and blame the system versus a misunderstanding of the marketplace I think is a little one-sided. From a management standpoint, I’d say, ‘Hey, I’m surprised if you guys haven’t taken a qualifying offer.’ Maybe they should have.”
(SALT LAKE CITY) — Federal charges have been filed against a Utah trucker accused of keeping sex slaves in his semitrailer for months at a time.
Authorities have accused 54-year-old Timothy Jay Vafeades of kidnapping a 19-year-old female relative in May, taking her across the country and sexually abusing her hundreds of times.
Vafeades was arrested Nov. 26 in Clay County, Minn., by an officer who realized the teenager had a restraining order against Vafeades.
Authorities say an adult woman has since come forward saying Vafeades also held her against her will for three months after she met him at a Salt Lake City truck stop in 2012.
Vafeades was charged with kidnapping, transportation for illegal sexual activity, and possession of child pornography.
It wasn’t immediately clear if Vafeades has an attorney.
President Barack Obama joined the new leader of Ukraine on Wednesday in emphasizing that the United States stands with the country in its simmering conflict with Russia, and that a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Crimea is the best way forward.
“There’s another path available and we hope President Putin is willing to seize that path,” Obama said during an appearance at the White House with interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. “But if he does not, I’m very confident that the international community will stand firmly behind the Ukrainian government.”
With Russian troops controlling the Crimea region of Ukraine and Crimea preparing to vote on a referendum to split from Ukraine, Obama said the new government in Kiev remains open to negotiations with Moscow “that could lead to a different arrangement for the Crimean region, but that is not something that could be done with a gun pointed at you.”
Obama called on Congress to act swiftly in passing a $1-billion loan guarantee to help support Ukraine’s fragile economy, which has teetered in the aftermath of the uprising that led to the ouster of the former Kremlin-allied president Viktor Yanukovych. A Senate committee voted late Wednesday to approve an aid package that still needs to go before the full body for a vote.
Seated next to Obama, Yatsenyuk called on Russia to work through diplomatic channels to resolve the standoff.
“Mr. President, it’s all about freedom,” he said. “We fight for our freedom, we fight for our independence, we fight for our sovereignty and we will never surrender.”