Matthew Perry Spent the Past 3 Months in a Hospital

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Nonfiction: The American Past: A History of Contradictions

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Bryce Harper’s blasts from the past

In winning the Home Run Derby, Harper wore the sort of smile his 11- and 15-year-old selves would’ve appreciated. Now will he regain his old mojo with the Nationals?

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Ranking the best Stanley Cup losers of the past 20 years

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Giannis propels Bucks past Celtics to force decisive Game 7

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Why Hayley Orrantia Has to Let Go of Past Love

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How 2018 QBs grade vs. first-rounders from past decade

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How Facebook’s Past Data Policies Led to Its Current Crisis

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The dominant 20 athletes of the past two decades

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Cruising Through Cuba’s Past and Present

This post originally appeared on ViewFind. 

If the U.S. and Cuba had to choose from a drop-down menu to describe their relationship, it’s no question which one it would be. That’s right: “It’s complicated.” And while the strained ties are gradually beginning to ease — with the last couple years even seeing the reopening of commercial flights and embassies between the two countries — the stigma of traveling from America to the “forbidden” island still lingers.

Not letting this deter her, budding documentary journalist Morgan Lieberman traveled to Cuba to photograph the island and form her own opinions instead. Through her images, she offers a fresh look at the vibrant and textured charm of the Caribbean country both proud of its past and confident in its future.

Holding a little more than a grudge, the relationship between Cuba and the US began to strain after Fidel Castro came into power in 1959. What ensued afterwards was decades of heated disagreements between the two countries, political grandstanding, and of course, the occasional international crisis.

 With Switzerland holding the role as mediator throughout the years, the two countries surprised the world in 2014 when they announced their governments would be restoring full diplomatic ties. Since then, the two countries have moved forward with thawing relations, but the long period of tension has left an impression.

“Everything I knew about Cuba was either very negative or very misconstrued to really old history books,” says Lieberman, describing what she remembers learning about the country in the American school system. “I think the overall consensus was that it’s a place stuck in the past, unable to escape the reigns of a Communist dictatorship,” she adds.

Traversing beyond the pages of her SparkNotes, Lieberman intentionally didn’t plan ahead for her trip: the last spring break hoorah of her college career. “I knew that having a camera would keep me focused on what I was seeing,” she says, “but I also knew that I didn’t want to go there with any expectations.”

With this openness, Lieberman felt very much at home in Cuba. Easing into the streets lined with colorful, eclectic cars — a look stemming from the results of the US trade embargo — she defines its aesthetics as “vintage but not outdated.”

Finding familiarity in the bold paint chipping off the outside of boxing gyms, she attributes her affection for the country to her own ingrained love of old things.

“One of my uncles has an antique shop in New York and my grandpa was an artist, so maybe it’s genetic,” she laughs while adding, “somehow everything in the past morphs into the present and you don’t realize it, but it affects you. Cuba felt that way for me.”

From securing taxi rides to lending out bicycles, Lieberman felt comfortable in a place where people genuinely seemed to want to help out. “Everything was arranged by word of mouth. It was all like, ‘Oh, let me call up my friend for that,’” she says. “There’s just a kindness that exists there that I really love and admire a lot.”

This warmness could be felt during the week as Lieberman covered the areas of Varadero, Viñales and Havana. “Each city and town offered very distinct characteristics from one another,” she says, “making the country so thrilling with infinite visual opportunities and experiences.”

Varadero, the ultimate getaway for many Cubans as well as millions of international tourists each year, boasted pristine waters and white sandy beaches. And Viñales provided a haven for both cigar and outdoor enthusiasts with its plethora of tobacco farms and stunning mountains and valleys.

For Havana, salty breezes and cigar smoke permeated the air. Friendly taxi drivers honked every time in passing, and freshly squeezed mojitoes flowed at the famous Hotel Nacional: the legendary establishment known for hosting iconic celebrities ranging from Nat King Cole to Frank Sinatra and John Wayne.

Despite these varying characteristics across the country, Lieberman noticed one consistent element intertwined into the fabric of Cuba as a whole: the way the light hit the streets, trees and buildings during golden hour. Even with hearing about it and looking at pictures before her trip, it felt like something she had recognized on her own.

“I’m still trying to figure it out, but it felt a bit like a painting,” she says. “All of the country felt like this, and I wish I would have read more Hemingway, because I know he loved Cuba, and I’d love to hear what he has to say.” But while the American novelist may have offered some insights, she needn’t look any further than the country’s very own Pedro Juan Gutiérrez who wrote, “Cuba may be the only place in the world where you can be yourself and more than yourself at the same time.”

While wrapping up her last spring break as a college student, Lieberman headed back to Columbia, Missouri, to finalize her degree in documentary journalism. As she takes on the future, she hopes to continue to channel the energy she felt in Cuba of being able to confidently ebb and flow with whatever life brings. “What I came across in that week of spontaneous adventures is that the Cuban people were not actively trying to be something else,” she says, “but rather embracing their sense of tradition and also, taking great pride in changes along the way.”

See more images on ViewFind.com

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What have the Roseanne cast been up to for the past 20 years?

One ran for president, one hosts a talk show, one is in The Big Bang Theory and one is a Broadway star.
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MLB team values soar in value over past year (Yahoo Sports)

Baseball is not dying: Average MLB team values up 19 percent

Baseball is dying? Hardly, judging by the increase in franchise values according to Forbes.



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‘Worried about the right now,’ Jimmy Butler carries Bulls past Hawks

‘Worried about the right now,’ Jimmy Butler carries Bulls past Hawks
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Precocious rookie Malcolm Brogdon leads Bucks past Celtics

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The Past Lives of Shirley MacLaine

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German Art Collectors Face a Painful Past: Do I Own Nazi Loot?

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Books of The Times: Past, Present and Future Collide in Joan Didion’s ‘South and West’

Containing two excerpts from her notebooks dating to the 1970s, this book uncannily sheds light on some of the divisions splintering America today.
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Books of The Times: Review: A Biographer Whose Past Was as Dramatic as Her Subjects’

In “The Men in My Life,” Patricia Bosworth recounts her troubled childhood and a youth that includes a cast of literary and theatrical luminaries.
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Jasper’s Shady Past Is Almost Exposed in Sneak Peek From The Royals

The Royals 306Someone’s been digging up the dirt.
In this sneak peek from tonight’s brand-new episode of The Royals, Jasper (Tom Austen) meets a shady reporter with a suspicious…

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Worldwide Cancer Rates Up More Than One-Third in Past Decade: Report

Researchers cite population aging and growth
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Books of The Times: Review: ‘Bolshoi Confidential’ Peers Down the Centuries and Past the Pirouettes

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Donald Trump, Please Remember Your Past Interest In The Environment

In 1992, current U.S. President-elect Donald Trump appeared in a television mini-series based off the 1990 Jackie Collins romance novel “Lady Boss.”

Trump, who won the U.S. presidential election early Wednesday morning, only makes a brief cameo in the series, but in a short scene, he expresses an enthusiasm for discussing the environment.

In it, Joan Rivers warmly greeting Trump as he comes over to her table at a restaurant. The Rivers character tells Trump ― who plays himself ― that her and her friend are “talking about the environment.” To which Trump responds, “That sounds pretty interesting to me.”

This was most likely a scripted moment for Trump, but the dialogue is still startling compared to the tone Trump has repeatedly expressed regarding the environment. Over the course of his now successful campaign, Trump repeatedly talked with disdain about those who believe in climate change and even claimed the Chinese invented the idea of global warming.

Although it’s wholly unrelated to the environmental conversation, watching the cameo from 1992 is a particularly jarring experience given a statement the Rivers character makes right before Trump arrives. The character tells her movie producer friend to give a part to Mel Gibson, then adds, “Cute little butt. I just love looking at naked movie stars.”

Sometimes you wake up and the world isn’t the same place you thought it was the day before. Is it just me, or is it getting really hot in here? 

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Verve Short | Past Season Sale

Verve Short | Past Season Sale


On sale – Past season colors. Running and fitness favorite, bamboo Verve Short has all you need for gym, track or studio. Moisture-wicking. Anti-odor.
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Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry: Find True Love-Turn Your Tarnished Dating Past Into a Brilliant Romantic Future

Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry: Find True Love-Turn Your Tarnished Dating Past Into a Brilliant Romantic Future


Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry helps you take a no-nonsense look at your dating history, including the most common types of guys you’re sure to have encountered. No matter how much of a dud he turned out to be, you certainly learned something from dating him, right? This book will show you how to put those mistakes to work for you and create your own, highly personal, and totally effective plan for finding Mr. Right. You’ll analyze your exes and learn why you chose a loser like that for fabulous you; identify-and end-harmful dating patterns; create a foolproof Essentials list that will start you on the path to your dream guy; and much more! The most precious gem of all-a bright future with the man of your dreams-is within your reach! All you’ve got to do is put those tarnished costume jewels of relationships past behind you, and set your sights on something truly brilliant.

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Ware lifts Broncos past Bengals 20-17 in overtime (Yahoo Sports)

Denver Broncos outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware (94) celebrates his fumble recovery for the win after an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Denver. The Broncos won 20-17 in overtime. (AP Photo/Joe Mahoney)

DeMarcus Ware put the clamps on the loose football and punched Denver’s ticket to the playoffs. ”The ball was on the ground and I was feeling like, ‘There’s no way somebody’s going to take this ball from me,”’ Ware said after his fumble recovery in overtime sealed Denver’s 20-17 victory over Cincinnati on Monday night. Russell Bodine’s catchable shotgun snap eluded AJ McCarron, who was making his second start in place of Andy Dalton.



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Conversations With Artists From the Past. Edvard Munch

2015-10-17-1445079904-7733978-Munch_Selfportrait_in_Front_of_the_House_Wall_1926_cropped.jpg

The galleries of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum have recently opened an exhibition by artist Edvard Munch (1863-1944), successfully curated by Paloma Alarcó, that enables us to “listen to the dead with our eyes.” Paintings and writings come together in the museum’s galleries, divided into emotional Archetypes to communicate this artist’s obsessions from throughout his intense life.

People think that you can have a few friends, forgetting that the best, most authentic and above all, most numerous, are the dead. I intend to engage in a series of conversations with the afterlife. As the tormented spirit of the Norwegian artist has circumstantially settled in Madrid, I enthusiastically headed there to learn more.

2015-10-17-1445080022-7485050-deathinthesickroomedvardmunch.jpg

Elena Cué: Let’s start with your childhood.

Edvard Munch: I always felt like I was treated unfairly during my childhood. I inherited two of the worst enemies of mankind: tuberculosis and mental illness. Disease, insanity and death were black angels beside my crib. A mother who died early, planting me with the seed of tuberculosis. A hyper-nervous, pietistic father, religious to the point of being crazy, from an ancient lineage, planting me with the seeds of insanity.

When you think about those years, how did you feel?

The angels of fear, pain and death were beside me right from birth, going out to play with me, following me under the spring sun, in the splendor of summer. They were with me at night when I closed my eyes, threatening me with death, hell and eternal punishment. And I often woke at night and looked around the room with panicked eyes thinking “Am I in hell?”

The fear of death tormented me, and this fear harassed me through all of my youth.

Heaven and hell, how do you envisage eternity?

Flowers will emerge from my rotting body, and I will be part of them. That is eternity.

2015-10-17-1445080126-6740528-EdvardMunch.Madonna.18941.jpg

And where is God?

With fanatic faith in any religion, such as Christianity, came atheism, came fanatic faith in the existence of no God. And with this non-faith in God there was content, becoming a faith itself in the end. It is generally foolish to assert anything about what comes after death.

But what is it that gives strength to the Christian faith. There are many who have difficulty in believing it. Although one cannot believe that God is a man with a big beard, that Christ is the Son of God who became a man, or in the Holy Spirit formed by a dove, there is much truth in this idea. A God as the power that must be at the origin of all, a God that governs everything. We can say that he directs the light waves, the movement of the tides, the center of energy itself. The Son, the part of this energy that is in man, the immense energy that filled Christ. Divine energy, genius energy and the Holy Spirit. The most sublime thoughts sent by the sources of divine energy to the human radio stations. In the very depths of beings. That which is provided to every human being.

2015-10-17-1445080230-122285-friedrichnietzschemunch____.jpg

But what do you think death is?

Dying is as if the eyes have been switched off and cannot see anything else. Perhaps it’s like being locked in a basement. You are abandoned by all, they closed the door and left. You see nothing and only notice the humid smell of putrefaction.

And what about life?

I have been given a unique role to play on this earth that has given me a life of illness and also my profession as an artist. It is a life that does not contain anything resembling happiness, or even the desire for happiness.

Not even love?

Human destinies are like planets. Like a star that appears in the dark and meets another star, glistening in a moment, to then return, fading into obscurity. So as well, a man and a woman meet, they slide towards each other, shining in love, blazing, and then disappear, each one for himself. Only a few end up in a great blaze in which both can fully join.

The ancient were right when they said that love was a flame, as the flame leaves behind only a pile of ashes. Love can turn to hate, compassion to cruelty.

2015-10-17-1445080363-777789-munchashes1894.jpg

Jealously is closely linked with love, how would you describe it?

Jealous people have a mysterious look, many reflections focus in those two sharp eyes, like in a crystal. The look is exploratory, interested, full of love and hate, an essence of what we all have in common.

Jealousy says to its rival: go away, defective; you’re going to heat up in the fire that I have lit; you’ll breathe my breath in your mouth; you’ll soak up my blood and you will be my servant because my spirit will govern you through this woman who has become your heart.

Now let’s talk about art… where does it come from?

Art generally comes from the need of one human being to communicate with another. I do not believe that art has not been inflicted by the need for a person to open his heart. All art, literature as well as music, has to be generated with the deepest feelings. The deepest feelings are art.

What is the purpose of your art?

I have tried to explain life and the meaning of life through my art. I have also tried to help others clarify life. Art is the heart of blood.

We must no longer paint people reading or women knitting. In the future we must paint people who breathe, feel, suffer or love. As Leonardo da Vinci dissected corpses and studied the internal organs of the human body, I try to dissect the soul.

Conclusion.

My art is based on one single thought: why am I not like the others?

How do you think the audience should approach art?

The audience must become aware that the painting is sacred, so that it unfolds before them like in church.

2015-10-17-1445080441-9961211-el_grito_munch_7319_630x.jpg

One of your iconic paintings is The Scream, could you explain the origin of such a radical emotional expression?

I was walking along the road with two friends, the sun was setting. Suddenly the sky turned a bloody red. I stood, leaned on the fence feeling deathly tired. Over the blue-black fjord and city hung blood and tongues of fire. My friends walked on and I remained behind, shivering with anxiety. And I felt the immense infinite Scream in Nature.

Your love of photography is known, what do you think of photography as another mode of artistic expression?

The camera cannot compete with the brush and palette as long as it cannot be used in heaven and hell.

2015-10-17-1445080485-374375-EdvardMunchSelfportrai001.jpg

Where is the beauty in your art?

The emphasis on harmony and beauty in art is a waiver to be honest. It would be false to only look on the bright side of life.

Your writing has a strong aphoristic style. We’ll finish there…

Thought kills emotion and reinforces sensitivity. Wine kills sensitivity and reinforces emotion.

Spanish version: Conversaciones con artistas del pasado. Edvard Munch

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Celebrites’ Best Halloween Costumes From the Past 10 Years

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Original Penguin Mines Past, Eyes Future on 60th Anniversary

Just call him Pete — no last name needed.
That’s the moniker given to the waddling bird mascot of the Original Penguin brand, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The label, which has been owned by Perry Ellis International Inc. since 1996, will commemorate the milestone on Thursday with an event at its NoHo flagship in New York that will feature a performance by the indie rock band Life in Film.
Outside of the party, the brand is launching a special anniversary capsule for fall featuring pieces that have been core to the label since its inception, including polos, T-shirts, wovens, swim trunks and outerwear. And it has also developed an elevated assortment under the Blue Label name, a line that is being sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.
“Original Penguin was the first acquisition we made,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer of PEI, in an interview at the company’s New York City offices. “We originally bought it for its strong golf business. But it’s been the fastest-growing brand for our company.”
Ironically, today the brand offers no golf apparel, opting instead to focus on sportswear for men and children. Original Penguin is carried in more than 1,250 stores across the U.S.,

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Florsheim

Original Penguin Mines Past, Eyes Future on 60th Anniversary

Just call him Pete — no last name needed.
That’s the moniker given to the waddling bird mascot of the Original Penguin brand, which is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. The label, which has been owned by Perry Ellis International Inc. since 1996, will commemorate the milestone on Thursday with an event at its NoHo flagship in New York that will feature a performance by the indie rock band Life in Film.
Outside of the party, the brand is launching a special anniversary capsule for fall featuring pieces that have been core to the label since its inception, including polos, T-shirts, wovens, swim trunks and outerwear. And it has also developed an elevated assortment under the Blue Label name, a line that is being sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdale’s.
“Original Penguin was the first acquisition we made,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer of PEI, in an interview at the company’s New York City offices. “We originally bought it for its strong golf business. But it’s been the fastest-growing brand for our company.”
Ironically, today the brand offers no golf apparel, opting instead to focus on sportswear for men and children. Original Penguin is carried in more than 1,250 stores across the U.S.,

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Florsheim

The Creepy Reason “Secret” Celebrity Weddings Might Soon Be a Thing of the Past

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Jessica Simpson Reflects on Past Decade

WWD: What were your thoughts when you started your line?
Jessica Simpson: When we first started, I decided to do shoes. I am a woman who feels better with some height. I have a passion for shoes, and everything [I wear] complements my shoes.
WWD: Since the brand is a reflection of Jessica Simpson, tell us about her.
J.S.: I’m always a Southern girl at heart. My friends and family are my everything. They influence all that I do. I feel like I’m a relatable person. I’m completely open and honest with everyone. Whether that’s too much openness or honesty, it makes me nonjudgmental. I’m one of those girls you would hopefully want to hang out with. When you have a lot of judgment in the world of design, it keeps you from being as creative as you can be….I’m a risk-taker.
WWD: What have you learned from the past 10 years running this business?
J.S.: I feel it’s very important to be inclusive. I have a whole team that I love and trust. People buy my clothes because I’m good at listening to what they want and need. I want to make clothes that flatter all silhouettes. The Jessica Simpson Collection is not geared

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Letting Go of the Past

Letting go of the past is one of the most powerful things you can do. But just because it’s powerful doesn’t mean it’s easy. That’s why I want to share what I learned and what I did to let go of things in my past that were hurtful, holding me back from enjoying more happiness and keeping me from moving on with my life.

When I was studying Buddhism and searching for a more meaningful life, my teacher said: Imagine you are at a fork in the road, and you have two paths to choose from. You can stay on the path you’re on or try a new one.

Tired of the hamster wheel, I was clear that I wanted to approach my problems from a different perspective. I told him I was ready to try something new and venture down the unfamiliar path.

His advice? The first step is taking 50 percent responsibility for everything that happens in your life.

Wait a minute, what? What did that mean? My parents were to blame, and that kid who humiliated me in school was at fault, and my first marriage didn’t work out because of the circumstances, and…and…and…

If you’re anything like I was, you might have some resistance. That’s because often it feels better to blame someone or something than to take responsibility for what’s happening in your own life.

I nearly caved in to the pressure of creating something new. Transitioning out of my comfortable bubble of blame and leaving my baggage behind was hard, and at times felt impossible. But I came to realize a few things:

1. The more you talk about all the wrongs someone else did to you or all the negative experiences that made you the person you are today, the more you stay stuck in that place.

I’m not suggesting that you avoid a good psychologist or counselor. Working with one can be an excellent way to understand your issues and the role that you played in creating your situation. But stop telling your problems to any person who will listen. Recounting them over and over will only keep you stuck.

2. The more you stunt your own growth, the more you hold back your innate talents and contributions. Doesn’t our world deserve the best you have to offer?

3. Remember that when one door closes, another door opens. No, you don’t know which doors will open to you, but if you’ve decided to try something different, do it with a leap of faith. What have you got to lose?

4. When you open that door, it opens you to the present moment, which is the only moment you can have any effect on. Most of us live in the past or the future, and although it’s been said many times before, the beauty and the magic is there in the present moment.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from Kung Fu Panda, which I hope you will remember the next time you wish your past had been different. Master Oogway says:

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift.
That is why it is called the present.

Here’s to developing your full potential and living in the present moment.

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The Biggest Summer Blockbusters From the Past 25 Years

Summer is prime season for beach days, barbecues, and box office blockbusters—especially those heavy on the action and special effects (ahem, Jurassic World). But that hasn't always been the case: Here's a look back at…


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New Nina Simone Documentary Recalls Past Struggles While Echoing Present

While watching “What Happened, Miss Simone?” — a new documentary about the legendary singer-songwriter Nina Simone — it’s almost impossible not to think about two attacks on black churches that happened 52 years apart.

The first attack, in Birmingham, Alabama, inspired Simone to join the burgeoning civil rights movement of the 1960s. The latter, in Charleston, South Carolina, happened just last week.

In the wake of the latest attack, the Netflix documentary may help shed light on how art like Simone’s can channel anger, fear and frustration about social ills like racism and oppression.

Houses of worship were crucial to Simone’s development as an artist and an activist. As a child in Tryon, North Carolina, Simone played the piano at her local church. During one of her performances, her parents were told to move to the back of the church hall; she said she wouldn’t play until her parents were allowed to move back to the front. But decades later, Simone would say she had “stopped believing in prayer” after racist acts kept being committed against those fighting for civil rights.

Simone’s transformation as an artist came in the wake of the bombing in Birmingham that killed four black girls. “That did it,” Simone says in the film, much of which is narrated in her own voice. While she had made a name for herself with renditions of tunes like “I Loves You, Porgy,” her career changed profoundly after she started to sing about what was happening around her.

“How can you be an artist and not reflect the times?” Simone asked.

Following the Birmingham bombing and the assassination of black civil rights activist Medgar Evers in Mississippi, Simone wrote the song “Mississippi Goddam.” In a recording of a concert she gave at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Simone calls the song a “show tune, but the show hasn’t been written for it yet.” What was subversive about her performance was that she lulled the the majority-white audience at the concert hall into thinking the song would be jaunty and non-political. But her audience went silent as she told them: “You’re all gonna die and die like flies.” She meant every word of it, she told them.

“Lord have mercy on this land of mine / We all gonna get it in due time / I don’t belong here / I don’t belong there / I’ve even stopped believing in prayer,” she sang. “You keep on saying, ‘Go slow!’ / But that’s just the trouble / ‘Do it slow’ / Desegregation / ‘Do it slow’ / Mass participation / ‘Do it slow’ / Reunification / ‘Do it slow’ / Do things gradually / ‘Do it slow’ / But bring more tragedy / ‘Do it slow.'”

Fifty years ago, Simone performed “Mississippi Goddam” for the thousands of civil rights marchers who walked from Selma, Alabama, to the state capitol in Montgomery. That march was marked by violent state troopers blocking the participants’ progress at the Edmund Pettus bridge, illustrating one of Simone’s arguments in her song: Gradually trying to bring about equality only concedes to the demands of the oppressors.

And yet, as the film shows, there was a danger for Simone in being perceived as too controversial. She attributed a stall in her career to “Mississippi Goddam,” which was boycotted by a number of Southern states.

Despite the backlash to her more confrontational music, Simone still “thought we should get our rights by any means possible,” as she explains in the film. She was in favor of direct action and became affiliated with the black power movement, defiantly telling Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when she met him at the Selma march that she wasn’t non-violent.

Simone says she felt free on stage. But she also said that to her, freedom meant living without fear. (“I think every day’s gonna be my last,” she sang.) What’s devastating about the documentary in light of the Charleston shooting is its reminder that African Americans have yet to realize that freedom from fear, decades after Simone voiced a desire for it.

“We can’t afford any more losses,” Simone says in the film. “They’re killing us one by one.”

At the Sundance film festival in January, the film’s director, Liz Garbus, acknowledged the resonance of the documentary in comments referring to mass protests across the nation over police killings of unarmed African Americans.

“If we had voices like Nina Simone’s today, speaking the pain and the passion of the movement that’s been building, I think, on the streets in the past six months…” Garbus said, “I think we can all see the place of these songs today.”

“What Happened, Miss Simone?” will be available on Netflix Friday. Watch a trailer for the documentary here.

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The Ghost of Festivals Past

I thought I saw a ghost this morning. I was walking down Amsterdam Avenue and I saw a glamorous elderly woman dressed in violet, stopping on the corner to catch her breath. I had to stop and look again, because for a moment I thought it was Lia Van Leer, who passed away this March.
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It was exactly a year ago that this legend came to be honored at JCC Manhattan’s Israel Film Center Festival. She spent a week walking the streets of New York with her iconic walker and seeing old friends who are all icons in the film industry. She knew everyone. Lia symbolized an era of film appreciation that is sadly passing.

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Lia Van Leer established the Jerusalem Cinematheque and the Jerusalem Film Festival, an oasis of progressive culture in a chaotic region. The Cinematheque was a true film center like no other. Even in New York City, it is hard to say that a place like this exists. Lia lived in another time and another place. Her grace stood out (especially in the Israeli context) and touched every element of her work. Her style and class trickled down, from the design of the building to the atmosphere at the events.

I spent many of my formative years in Jerusalem and learned much of my film appreciation from the Cinematheque. In the days before streaming gave you access to lost and found cinematic treasures, the Jerusalem Cinematheque brought all the classics, art-house films and even the quality Hollywood gems to the public. They offered a student rate on memberships that was incomparable. But it paid off for them, as it provided for a generation of youngsters an entry to new and classic films beyond the blockbusters.

The Jerusalem Film Festival was the crown jewel of the Cinematheque’s programing. Ten days of a true international festival under the most glamorous settings, beneath Jerusalem’s Old City walls. Opening night is always a magical outdoor screening held in the ancient valley of Sultan’s Pool, and the week features the finest new films and great parties like at no other festival I have been to. Lia hosted the parties and events like a queen and gave them an international quality.

Crowds would flock from all around the country and the world to see the films of visiting filmmakers. This was the one week when secular audiences came to Jerusalem for culture. For me, it was days of food for my brain, as I would walk home late at night after hours filled with watching film after film, losing track of time space and reality.

When I was drafted into the Israeli Army, I was stuck in a strange loophole with the Cinematheque. I was not a student, and they did not offer a special membership discount for soldiers as they felt there was no demand from that audience. I however, served in the IDF’s film unit which was more like a day job, and was home every night, hungry for film. I argued with the unpleasant woman at the box office that soldiers should get the biggest discount, but she turned me down.

I decided to write a letter to Lia, and a few nights later I received a call at home. Lia called me directly to tell me that she got my letter and approved my request. I felt like it was the President calling offering me a pardon. When I went back to the Cinematheque to retrieve my reward, the same woman at the box office felt it was her personal mission to keep me out of the Cinematheque. She claimed to never have heard of this approval and denied that Lia would ever call me at home. And then, like an act of god, her phone rang. “Oh, hi Lia” she said. “There is a soldier…” before she could get another word out of her mouth, Lia magically made it happen. As I rejoiced, the woman saw this as a personal loss. As she laminated my membership pass, she melted my picture, making my face look a bit like the Elephant Man. I took this as a symbol of my victory and proudly showed my warped image at the Cinematheque doors every night.

But it was not just the access the Cinematheque provided to films, it was the curation and the programs they created that made it special. All-night David Lynch film marathons, retrospectives of French New Wave directors, thematic programing and comparative films shown back to back. This is the area that is needed most in a world of endless access. The role of the curator and the film programmer has never been more crucial to help us sort through this sea of media.

Today, Jerusalem has become more polarized and the need for this oasis is more necessary than ever. In addition, like in other places around the world, film festivals are popping up on every corner in Israel. After Lia’s passing, the Cinematheque is at a crossroads. Over the years, since Lia gave up the reigns, the festival lost some of its charm and support and internal issues held it back from developing. But new blood has come into the organization and there is now an opportunity to bring Jerusalem back to its golden era.

We live at a time were the communal experience of film watching is shifting. Teens feel that going to the movies is the experience for older people and would much rather access most films on their various devices. Hollywood has become more void of content than ever before. We need film festivals and Cinematheques like the on in Jerusalem to keep this experience alive.

I look forward to the new leadership at The Jerusalem Film Festival taking the program to fresh and exciting places, and see this as an opportunity for new directions and growth. It will be strange to be in Jerusalem without Lia. I can’t imagine a festival without Lia showing up late in the day, out of breath from the walk, dressed in white, handing out pouches of lavender to guests. Every year I save her handmade pouches and bring a scent of this magical week home with me. A blessed memory indeed. Her Life’s story was told in a film from a few years ago that premiered at the Berlin Film Festival.

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286 Hubs of Harmony: NYC Street Pianos Past, Present and Future

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Izabel Lam‘s aquatic Sing for Hope Piano prepares for its journey from the studio to its summer home at Castle Clinton at the Southern tip of Manhattan (and yes, that is a giant starfish on top of it).

This evening, a fleet of moving trucks will pull up to NYC’s parks and public spaces, from the Bronx to Brooklyn and beyond, and roll out pianos — enormous grands, sturdy uprights, some decades old, some of fresher vintage, all painted with designs as diverse as our city. By sunrise tomorrow, 50 Sing for Hope Pianos will have been placed throughout the 5 boroughs, bringing to 286 the number of street pianos placed here since the project’s 2010 debut, and making New York City the host of more street pianos to date than any other city in the world.

And it all started 3,000 miles away with one piano that couldn’t make it up the stairs.

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Scene from the Sing for Hope Pianos art studio in midtown: Marc Evan focuses on the final details of his piano inspired by his son Luke, whose gaze will welcome piano players at Brooklyn Bridge Park.

In 2003, in Sheffield, England, a grad student named Doug Pearman found himself unable to get his beloved secondhand piano up the stairs to his new flat on Sharrow Vale Road. Doug’s cousin, Hugh Jones, a Cambridge-educated mathematician working as a cabinetmaker, suggested that they just leave the piano where it was. They tracked down a stool for it, stapled on a tarp for protection from the sudden South Yorkshire showers, and attached a sign inviting passersby to sit down and play, right there in the middle of the sidewalk.

The world’s first street piano was born.

The accidental debut of the Sheffield Street Piano was a hit, and the instrument quickly became a local, then national, celebrity. Like any celeb, it had a period of thrilling ascendance, a splashy website, the occasional tussle with authorities (in the form of the Sheffield Council and its pavement obstruction laws), and a few newsworthy scandals, including being stolen in the dark of night, only to be replaced later by a group of committed volunteers.

The Sheffield Street Piano survived for five years, and when it was finally removed due to weather damage, its model for urban harmony had gone viral. Sixty miles to the south in Birmingham, an enterprising artist launched his version of Street Pianos — 15 instruments emblazoned with “Play Me I’m Yours,” which then traveled to other cities as an “internationally touring artwork.” Off the coast of Southern China on Gulangyu Island, Street Pianos enlivened a biennial piano festival. In the United States, towns from Jacksonville to Orange County have produced their own Street Piano installations, each one bringing its own flavor to the mix: surfing themes in Southern California’s “OC Can You Play,” an adventurer spirit in Denver’s “Keys to the City,” a Sarah Palin/George Bush impersonator duo heralding the Street Piano launch ceremony in central Florida (admittedly, I’m not sure what to make of that one).

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Detail from the Sing for Hope Pianos art studio: a luminous mosaic in progress on the lid of Jessica Browne-White‘s grand piano, which will shine under DUMBO archway in Brooklyn.

This summer, for the fourth time, New York City will play home to a truly Big-Apple-flavored street piano installation. The Sing for Hope Pianos project is the world’s largest annual street piano installation in which:

  • each instrument is an individually credited artwork by a dedicated artist or artists’ group chosen through an open application process
  • all artists involved volunteer their time and talent because of a shared belief in “art for all”
  • the pianos are part of a year-round continuum of arts outreach to communities in need, with each piano donated post-street-residency to a school, hospital, or community organization to serve as a hub for ongoing creative arts programming in under-resourced areas.

As an “artists’ peace corps” powered by professional artists who volunteer their time, Sing for Hope is uniquely positioned to produce a piano project worthy of the city that never sleeps. Year-round, concurrent with our ongoing arts outreach programs, we collect abandoned pianos from donors and wholesalers. Our technicians rehab the instruments in our midtown art studio, and our team makes multiple visits to sites throughout the five boroughs, meeting with city agencies and park managers. We enlist volunteer “piano buddies” to cover the pianos with tarps in case of rain and report on missing keys and other occupational hazards, and we lay the groundwork to donate the pianos to our partner schools, healthcare facilities, and community organizations after their public tour of duty. Our deeply committed Founders’ Circle — The Arnhold Foundation in loving memory of Sissy Arnhold, The Anna-Maria & Stephen Kellen Foundation, and Ann Ziff — amplify the project through their ongoing support, our dedicated Board of Directors steps up with additional gifts, and hundreds of grassroots donors complete the funding picture with gifts ranging from $ 1 to $ 10,000. Our volunteering piano artists work alone, in groups, and in collaboration with our students from New York City public schools. One by one, the instruments are brought to vivid new life.

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Our students from Haven Academy in The Bronx create colorful magic with their piano, reminding us of Picasso’s words: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”

In final weeks before the pianos hit the streets, the Sing For Hope Piano Studio is abuzz with round-the-clock activity, the collective energy and inspiration heightened, like a modern-day atelier. Hodaya Louis makes refinements to intricate patterns on her piano with the help of neighboring artist Paul St. Savage, who introduces her to the tools that are bringing his piano’s cartoons to life. Nick Stavrides incorporates iconic spots of the NYC music scene into his piano, and José Aurelio Baez découpages his piano in flyers sourced from his daily Brooklyn-Manhattan commute. Jessica Browne-White makes adjustments to optimize the sunlight that will shine on her luminous mosaic piano, and Moksha Kumar‘s geometrically precise grid plays counterpoint to the lyrical curves of her grand. Yuki Sakaguchi brings a phoenix to life on her piano, symbolizing the many layers of rebirth in the project, while Drue Kataoka creates a piano that resonates at the nexus of art and neuroscience, referencing her other activist work and beckoning passersby with a beautiful show of hands. The Keith Haring Foundation creates a vibrant “Radiant Baby Baby Grand” with designs made famous by the late Haring, an iconic voice for urban harmony silenced far too soon, and a powerful reminder for the Sing for Hope team of our origins in artists responding to AIDS. And poignantly, two exquisite pianos happen to stand side by side toward the front of the studio, both commemorating beautiful, brief lives: Marc Evan‘s homage to his late son Luke, and The Lulu & Leo Fund‘s communally created instrument, curated by volunteer artist Patricia Espinosa, and symbolizing the resilience, generosity, creativity, and hope at the very heart of the Pianos project.

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Patricia Espinosa soars in the studio with The Lulu & Leo Fund‘s communally created instrument, which will encourage its visitors in Central Park to “make a wish.”

These volunteer artists, and scores of others equally gifted, work alongside groups from Sing for Hope’s year-round programs. Our students from The Bronx’s Haven Academy festoon their instrument with their school colors. Our partners from United Cerebral Palsy create ornate designs in colors reminiscent of fine Wedgewood. Our Sing for Hope Youth Chorus members sing while painting their piano and expressing their excitement that it will be featured in Times Square (as they exclaim, “the center of the world!”).

Embarking on our fourth year of the Pianos project, we are not without our questions. As a grassroots, artist-led movement, will we be able to ensure future of this beloved, impactful program as part of our city’s great annual traditions? Can we find a sustainable solution to our need for artists’ studio space? Will our heroic “early believer” funders inspire new donors to join and help endow the project? The justifying numbers are there: over 2 million New Yorkers have played the SFH Pianos since their 2010 debut (thousands touching a piano for the first time in their lives), and the project has received over one billion media impressions, making it the most widely covered public art project in the country in the last decade. In terms of civic pride, touristic/economic impact, and simple, unquantifiable joy, the Pianos speak for themselves.

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Community members from United Cerebral Palsy, with whom we work year-round in our Healing Arts program, create ornate designs in colors reminiscent of Wedgewood china. Their piano will grace the patio of the Conference House on Staten Island.

The infrastructure required to sustain the program is significant, but the return on investment — in terms of urban harmony, civic engagement, and ignited creativity — cannot be overstated. Admittedly, our dream of sustainability for the project is a big one. But as the piano by the high schoolers in our Sing for Hope Youth Chorus reminds us, in black-on-yellow lettering: “dream big, speak loud.” Communal creativity is a worthwhile investment, and the time to support is now.

When the Sing for Hope Pianos make their debut tomorrow, from Coney Island to Central Park and from the Bronx to Staten Island and the Far Rockaways, they will inspire melodies, conversations, and random acts of musical kindness — including, hopefully, yours. And we hope they will inspire imitators in cities around the world for years to come.

To quote Hugh Jones, who started it all on Sharrow Vale Road over a decade ago, “Perhaps one day, street pianos will be a familiar sight everywhere. Now wouldn’t that just rock your world?”


Learn more about Sing for Hope and find the SFH Piano nearest you at www.singforhope.org.

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A Sing for Hope Piano by Adam Suerte overlooks the Manhattan skyline from its vantage point in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

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The Old Colony, Or, Pilgrim Land: Past And Present

The Old Colony, Or, Pilgrim Land: Past And Present


The Old Colony, Or, Pilgrim Land: Past And Present
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The 8 Most Important Things We’ve Learned About Happiness In The Past 10 Years

We’re living in a golden age of happiness — the scientific study of happiness, at least.

The field of positive psychology has exploded in growth since its inception in 1998, dramatically increasing our understanding of human flourishing. We now know more than ever about what makes us happy, how we can spread happiness socially and geographically, and how happiness affects our physical and mental health.

But it’s just the beginning. In the next decade, we’re likely to see not only a greater understanding of positive emotions, but also the application of this research on a practical level to improve well-being on a global scale.

“Positive psychology has just scratched at the surface of the benefits of topics like meditation, gratitude and forgiveness,” Emma Seppala, Ph.D., a positive psychologist at Stanford and associate director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, told The Huffington Post in an email. “The next decade of research will dive deep into these topics.”

Already, this burgeoning research offers valuable tools for each one of us to bring more joy into our own lives and the lives of others. In honor of HuffPost’s 10th anniversary, here are eight scientific findings about happiness from the past decade — and reasons why we’ll be happier in the future, too.

happiness

1. We get happier as we get older.
Although we tend to focus on the downsides of aging, a robust body of research suggests we’ve got a lot to look forward to as we get older. One survey conducted in 2013 found 23 and 69 to be life’s two happiest ages. Other data suggests that after happiness levels drop around mid-life, they tend to increase steadily into old age. One conducted by Duke University researchers in 2006 found that 70-year-olds tended to rate themselves as being happier than 30-year-olds did.

Why? Greater appreciations for life’s little triumphs and acceptance of life’s trials likely play a role, as well as lower stress levels.

“As we age, we have the opportunity to accept who we are, instead of focusing on who we feel we need to become,” psychoanalyst Ken Eisold wrote in Psychology Today. “We relax into being ourselves.”

“As we age… we relax into being ourselves.”

2. You can rewire your brain for happiness.
One of the most amazing things about the human brain is neuroplasticity — the brain’s capacity to rewire itself in response to new experiences.

We can actually wire our brains for happiness by focusing our attention on positive experiences and emotions, says neuropsychologist Rick Hanson, author of Hardwiring Happiness: The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence. When you linger on a positive experience, it becomes encoded in your neural chemistry. Linger on many of these experiences, and the connections become strengthened over time and easier to retrieve.

“The longer the neurons fire, the more of them that fire, and the more intensely they fire, the more they’re going to wire that inner strength –- that happiness, gratitude, feeling confident, feeling successful, feeling loved and lovable,” Hanson told HuffPost in 2013.

3. Happy mind, healthy body.
More and more science is revealing the depth of our mind-body connection. We know now that cultivating a positive state of mind isn’t just good for your mental health — it can also keep your body healthy and protect you from disease.

Positive emotions have been shown to boost immune system functioning, positively alter gene expression, improve sleep quality and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, among other physical health benefits.

4. Social connection is key.
Human beings are social creatures, and the quality of our relationships is inextricably linked with our physical and mental well-being.

“Over a given period, people who have strong ties to family, friends, or coworkers have a 50 percent greater chance of outliving those with fewer social connections,” CNN medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta wrote last year. “If our relationships can have such an effect on our overall health, why don’t we prioritize spending time with the people around us as much as we do exercising and eating right?”

5. We can thrive in the face of life’s challenges.
The field of post-traumatic growth — which investigates how people not only survive but come to thrive in the wake of adversity — is one of the most exciting in all of psychology right now, says Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania.

“I believe we need to move beyond positive emotions and incorporate trauma and anxiety, and investigate how these ‘negative’ emotions can lead to greater personal growth and well-being,” Kaufman told The Huffington Post in an email.

6. We’re happier when we’re helping others.
Being kind to others is a fast track to happiness. Volunteering makes people happier and boosts their longevity, according to a 2013 review of studies from the University of Exeter.

Helping others may also be an effective way to combat feelings of disconnection in our increasingly online lives.

“Too much use of technology can actually isolate us and make us lonelier,” Kaufman told The Huffington Post. “Also, generations appear to be getting more and more narcissistic and self-focused, and we know that’s not conducive to well-being. I think we will only be happier in the future if we can figure out a way to harness new technologies for the benefit of helping others.”

An added benefit? Kindness is contagious.

7. Lasting happiness is born of purpose.
“Happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue,” Austrian psychiatrist and Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote in his 1946 manifesto Man’s Search for Meaning. “One must have a reason to ‘be happy.'”

In recent years, psychologists have demonstrated what Frankl long held to be true: Happiness doesn’t just come from chasing pleasure or positive experiences. As mounting research has demonstrated, sustainable happiness (and good health) comes from having a deep sense of purpose in life.

“One must have a reason to ‘be happy.'”

Studies have shown that a sense of purpose and meaning increases well-being and life satisfaction, boosts self-esteem and can even ward off depression.

8. Mindfulness is a gateway to happiness.
You don’t have to be a veteran yogi or a meditating monk to make yourself at least “10 percent happier,” as ABC anchor Dan Harris says, through a mindfulness practice. Studies have shown that meditation boosts positive feelings and psychological well-being, in addition to warding off stress, depression and anxiety.

“Research suggests that we are happiest in the present,” Seppala told HuffPost. “We will be happier in the future, if we learn to be present!”

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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

11 Super-Cool Science Photos From The Past Decade

From the most colorful view of the deep cosmos to the first-ever photo of a flying bird’s baby bump, the past decade has brought many awe-inspiring snapshots of science.

Here, your editors at HuffPost Science have curated some of our favorite science photos from the past 10 years, many of which were featured on our page. Just scroll down to see an iconic science-related photo for each year from 2005 to 2015. If we’re missing a science photo that you love, sound off in the comments below.

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The Past, Present & Future Of The Yale University School Of Medicine And Affiliated Clinical Institutions Including The New

The Past, Present & Future Of The Yale University School Of Medicine And Affiliated Clinical Institutions Including The New


This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections

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<title> The Past, Present & Future Of The Yale University School Of Medicine And Affiliated Clinical Institutions Including The New Haven Hospital, The New Haven Dispensary, The Connecticut Training School For Nurses<author> Yale University. School of Medicine<publisher> The Univ., 1922
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The Past, Present & Future Of The Yale University School Of Medicine And Affiliated Clinical Institutions Including The New

The Past, Present & Future Of The Yale University School Of Medicine And Affiliated Clinical Institutions Including The New


The Past, Present & Future Of The Yale University School Of Medicine And Affiliated Clinical Institutions Including The New Haven Hospital, The New Haven Dispensary, The Connecticut Training School For Nurses
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In a 90-minute meeting at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, Alex Rodriguez apologized to New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner and team executives for his suspension for performance-enhancing drug use and the hostile nature of his initial defense.
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Melissa Rauch Spills All About Bernadette’s Beauty Pageant Past on The Big Bang Theory

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Curry scores 51 to rally Warriors past Mavs

Stephen Curry scored a season-high 51 points and made a season-best 10 3-pointers, rallying the Golden State Warriors from an early 22-point deficit to down the Dallas Mavericks 128-114 on Wednesday night.
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How Remembering the Past Can Help You Win in 2015

What was your favorite memory of the holiday season? For me, one stood out. Last week, I attended a party thrown by an old high school friend. The party was fabulous — I spent the night catching up with high school friends I’d lost touch with over the years. One of the best parts was introducing my high school boyfriend to my husband. It was just a scream.

On the way home, though, a strange sensation washed over me. Because I’m a psychologist, and because my second book is about self-awareness, it seemed professionally irresponsible not to try to understand this feeling.

At first, it wasn’t easy to pin down. But I soon figured it out. It was nostalgia. My mind was flooded with sweet, sad high school memories (for context, many people hated high school, Glee-style, but my experience was the exact opposite. I was lucky to go to a school where good grades and theater made you “cool” — otherwise I would have been in big trouble).

The irony of my feelings didn’t escape me. Just a few days before the new year, I felt hopelessly stuck in the past. This is probably bad, I thought, but decided to seek the answer in the science just to be sure. Imagine me coming home from the party and pouring over Google Scholar, and you might grasp my true level of geekiness.

Nostalgia: What’s the Deal?

The term “nostalgia” was first coined in the 1600s by a Swiss doctor to describe immigrants’ homesick feelings (the word is Greek: nostos = return home, algos = pain). And for hundreds of years, nostalgia got a terrible rap: It was called a “neurological disease … of demonic cause” and a “repressive compulsive disorder.”

Thankfully, the way we think about nostalgia has evolved. A more modern definition, courtesy of Google Dictionary, is “a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically … with happy personal associations.”

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Photo credit: LabyrinthX

On average, people experience nostalgia between one and four times per week — I’d wager it’s more frequent around the holidays. Individually, we relive childhood memories, think of people no longer in our lives, or hear songs that instantly transport us back in time. Collectively, we’re inundated with 2014 retrospectives in magazines and on TV. (Fun fact: This “collective nostalgia” actually brings people closer together.)

Now, prepare to be surprised: Scientists have discovered that nostalgia is actually good for us! According to Constantine Sedikides, a psychology professor who’s cornered the market on this research, nostalgia is “absolutely central to the human experience.”

Sedikides and his colleagues have shown that nostalgia can help make us less lonely, less bored, less existentially anxious, and even less money hungry. It also can make us more optimistic about the future. When researchers asked students to recall nostalgic events, they used more optimistic words, and felt more positively, than when remembering ordinary events. How could this be? Reliving positive memories makes us feel more connected to others and better about ourselves.

Every year around this time, I can fall prey to terrifying thoughts — sometimes the blank slate of a new year can feel just as scary as it is invigorating: What if I can’t sustain the success of my business this year? What if I inadvertently let down all my friends and family? What if my next book is horrible?

Enter nostalgia. My wonderful memories of high school immediately reminded me of three things:

(A) I got good grades because I worked hard and never gave up — I’ll use that same drive to keep growing my business in 2015.

(B) I had a group of friends who I would do anything for — I’ll draw on that same feeling to support the people I care about in 2015.

(C) I fell in love with writing early in life and realized I was pretty darn good at it — I’ll remember that joy, and draw on that success, to make my next book my best one yet.

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Photo credit: Howard Lebowitz

Three Ways to Harnass The Power of Nostalgia in 2015

  1. Access your nostalgia bank. The next time you’re afraid, lonely, or bored, try to remember a time when you felt confident, loved, or captivated. We are more likely to experience nostalgia when we’re feeling down, so stay aware of your emotions. And when you make a withdrawal from your nostalgia bank, try not to compare those memories with your present situation (that’s when things can get tricky). Instead, simply enjoy this sweet, comparison-free memory.
  2. Bolster your self-esteem. One of the reasons nostalgia is adaptive is that it can boost our self-esteem. The next time you’re tackling a new project or feeling totally overwhelmed, remember a time in your life when you were wildly successful in the face of a challenge. You’re that same person now — probably a better one — and you can take whatever life throws at you!
  3. Live your life fully. Have you ever realized — in real time — that you’re living a moment you’ll be nostalgic about in the future? There’s actually a term for this: anticipatory nostalgia. Typically, the more surprising and positive an event is, the more likely it is to become a nostalgic memory. So in 2015, use this as an excuse to live your life fully and make each moment great — then deposit that memory into your nostalgia bank for later use.

Ironically, as we look ahead to the new year, drawing from our past can help us achieve our goals and live a happier, more fulfilling life. To paraphrase Dr. Sedikides, nostalgia gives us meaning. It reminds us of our roots. It improves how we see ourselves. And it gives us the courage to move forward.

So move forward, but never forget your past, and you just might win in 2015.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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Bulls use 49-point 4th to glide past Raptors

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Gays of Future Past

For anyone under 30, it may be difficult to imagine a time when the gay-rights movement wasn’t operating at a milestone-a-minute pace. From Michael Sam’s “kiss seen ’round the world” to states like Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin tripping over themselves to let same-sex couples walk down the aisle, change is occurring at such a remarkable pace that it is difficult to contextualize how far we’ve come. Just 45 years ago gays had little choice but to quietly rise above the separate-but-inherently-unequal pre-Stonewall era. And it was only a generation ago that HIV demonstrated just how M.I.A. government and society could be — as long as the plague was knocking on someone else’s door. People who lived during these times were warriors on the front lines of history, but today the pace of change threatens to wash away the past in the eyes of a new generation. Fortunately a wave of artistic and media projects has emerged to remind us of these heroes, to refocus us on the type of activism that helped elevate the LGBT movement and to inspire us to make that final push.

How to Survive a Plague is the best documentary you’ve never seen. David France’s 2013 Oscar-nominated film uses archival video footage to tell the tale of the early days of the HIV struggle, where everyday-Joes-turned-activists Peter Staley, Bob Rafsky and Mark Harrington refused to play victims, taught themselves how to read medical journals and brazenly led the national conversation on treatment and prevention. Plague demonstrates how perseverance and the sheer desire to live can mobilize even the most intractable members of society, save Ed Koch and Ronald Reagan.

Next, Ryan Murphy’s much-ballyhooed adaptation of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart provides a polished and effective complement to Plague‘s grainy documentary. That the story was even green-lit at all (it famously sat on Barbra Streisand’s desk untouched for 20 years) was due to Mr. Murphy’s sense of urgency and the foresight and finances of HBO, a company whose pioneering project development has done as much to expose the nation to the plight of the LGBT community as any non-for-profit or government entity. The Normal Heart, Kramer’s mostly autobiographical but fictionalized account of the early days of AIDS, conjures the ghosts of Fire Island past so that their struggles remain relevant and instructive.

Together these two films do more than share the story of AIDS with those who were either too young to understand or not yet born: They serve as a de facto master class in Activism 101. The AIDS epidemic rallied the gay community, bringing gay people out of the shadows with a vision, a voice and an in-your-face crusade that redefined the struggle for equality.

Of course, AIDS activists would never have had the tools to organize without following the playbook of those who had committed to the struggle before them. It is with this fact in mind that StoryCorps, the nation’s leading oral history project, created OutLoud, an LGBTQ project that aims to capture the stories of those who lived during the pre-Stonewall era. “What we are trying to do,” said Dave Issay, the founder and president of StoryCorps, “is to introduce the entire country to the lives, stories, struggles and victories of the LGBT community.” If exposure elicits change, then OutLoud is poised to become as much a vehicle for progress as it is a collection of stories. “The personal stories are the best way to move hearts and minds, much more so than statistics, and certainly hand-in-hand with the important litigation and advocacy work; it’s the human stories that in part have driven things forward.”

Fortunately StoryCorps will not be standing alone at the Stonewall tea dance. Openly gay German director Roland Emmerich, best known for popcorn blockbusters like Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow, is also set to put his imprimatur on LGBT liberation by tackling 1969’s “little protest that could” in the upcoming film Stonewall. Emmerich was 14 years old at the time of the Stonewall riots, an event that no doubt left an indelible impression on the filmmaker. With the understanding that our window into the Stonewall generation is closing fast, Emmerich is taking a break from blowing up the world to blow up some minds instead. His timing couldn’t be better.

Not every entry in the modern canon of LGBT media is transcendent. For all the hype surrounding Dallas Buyers Club, it was, at its core, the story of a straight bigot who only turns to the gay community out of desperation — and for profit. And if you base your knowledge of the history of marriage equality on Jo Becker’s Forcing the Spring, you might naively draw the conclusion that the movement started itself a few years ago. While victors indeed get to write history, social movements are not won by spiking the football at the 50-yard line.

People can still get fired in 29 states for their sexual orientation (and in 32 states for their gender identity), and same-sex couples cannot get married anywhere south of the Mason-Dixon line and, depending on their zip code, may have great difficulty raising a family. ENDA passed the U.S. Senate last November but — spoiler alert! — has hit a “dead ENDA” in the House of Representatives. Forty percent of all homeless youth in the United States are LGBTQ, and 400,000 children remain in foster care while many states make it difficult for gay couples to adopt. The last time I witnessed a victory this incomplete, President Bush was standing under a “Mission Accomplished” banner.

It is critical for young people today to understand how gay men and women of the 20th century were able to overcome the mightiest of obstacles, and these projects have made these experiences wonderfully accessible. Listen to the OutLoud interviews. Rent How to Survive a Plague. Unpeel the layers of The Normal Heart. The gays of future past have given us the rules of engagement, and now it’s up to us to see the mission through. So skip that next dinner out and volunteer with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, host of the Harvey Milk School. Volunteer for the Trevor Project and slow the tide of suicide in LGBTQ youth. Come to Provincetown for Family Equality Council‘s Family Week and watch how loving and inspirational gay families are. Get involved with Freedom to Marry, because Evan Wolfson is the godfather of marriage equality, and 19 states isn’t the end zone. Support the Treatment Action Group, and donate your old furniture to Housing Works, because there is still no cure for AIDS. Non-engagement is not an option, and President Obama can’t do it all for us.

In an age of ubiquitous techo-activism, some messages are just too important to deliver in 140 characters or less. With a dose of old-school engagement — and perhaps a few more HBO projects — someday soon the pride parade will take a page from St. Patrick and become an exercise in fabulous redundancy, transgender people will walk down the street without causing whiplash, and my children will be able to introduce their two daddies at school without the requisite reading of And Tango Makes Three. Until then, let’s keep the champagne on ice.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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The Final Trailer For ‘X-Men: Days Of Future Past Is A Traveler Of Both Time & Space

On let the sun beat down upon the final “X-Men: Days of Future Past” trailer. Twentieth Century Fox and director Bryan Singer use an instrumental version of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” to score the last tease before the film’s May 23 release. It works, not just because the song’s lyrics (“I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been”) fit in with the film’s plot: In the post-apocalyptic future, Professor X and Magneto (Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen) send Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) back to the past to change the course of history. The time travel puts Jackman in the same scenes as “X-Men: First Class” cast members Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Nicholas Hoult and Michael Fassbender, and allows him to integrate with the new “X-Men” while still keeping old faves (hey, Halle Berry!) involved in the story as well. Watch the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” trailer, and ignore any and all similarities between the Sentinels and the Helicarriers in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”


Arts – The Huffington Post
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Matthew Camp Discusses His Go-Go Past, His Fashion-Design Future and the Power of Smell (NSFW PHOTOS)

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Portrait by Daniel Jack Lyons

It’s easy to prejudge Matthew Camp. He’s a beautiful former go-go dancer with an amazing body and a cherubic face. (Read: I kind of assumed he was going to be the kind of guy who skates by on his looks.) When he walked in the door for his interview, I complimented his overcoat. He blushed, shrugged, and said he made it himself. This interaction pretty much set the tone for my afternoon with Camp. Through our conversation I learned that he’s not at all what I’d assumed. He’s kind, independent, hardworking, and gifted, a smart, fascinating guy who lives and works by his own rules. Here’s a snippet of our conversation. Enjoy!

Phillip M. Miner: Most people know you from your dancing career and are probably surprised to find out about the clothing and fragrance design. How did you get into fashion?

Matthew Camp: I’ve been making clothes for such a long time. I started before I was 20. I would make clothes for my sister’s dolls when I was a kid. I took a few classes in a community college and thought, “Wow, this is really easy.” I took a pattern-making class and a sewing class, and that was all I needed. The really interesting thing about making clothing is you learn a process that you can apply to anything. I feel like I can make anything now because I’ve learned the process of making something from scratch.

Miner: Like cologne, for example?

Camp: Exactly! I take natural and synthetic oils and mix them together using different processes to cure them to create the particular scent I want. Not a lot of people do it; it’s kind of a lost art. When I create a scent, I don’t follow many of the rules that people use. There are lots of books about what you’re supposed to do and the scents you’re supposed to use; I don’t really follow that. For me, smell is connected to memory and emotion. If I smell something and it conjures some sort of memory for emotion, I’ll find another scent that brings up the same memory. After I play around with it, I end up with a fragrance that tells a story. My newest fragrance, “8.5,” is made of smells that reminds me of go-go dancing. I used to wear cocoa butter all the time to grease myself up, so that’s in there. Leather and cigarettes and a bunch of other things that reminded me of those nights also went into “8.5.” To me, it smells like going and being out at a big gay bar. I think that’s why it resonates with gay men.

Miner: I have to ask: Does “8.5” mean what we assume it means?

Camp: It is not referring to my genitalia. I’m a happy 7.5. [Laughs.] Clearly the name is meant to be suggestive, but I chose “8.5” because it suggested a few things. The Fellini film is one of my favorite films; it’s raw and sexual, and it reminds of the scent.

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Portrait by Daniel Jack Lyons

Miner: Tell me a bit about your dancing.

Camp: I danced forever. I started at the club 20 VIP, which is a strip club with lap dances and everything. I learned so much at that job. I learned how to socially manipulate people into giving me money, which was very useful when I started go-go dancing — and the rest of my career too, I guess. [Laughs.] When I go-go danced, I actually danced. I miss performing. I don’t necessarily miss being in my underwear all the time, but I miss being on a stage. It’s not necessarily the attention I miss; it’s the performing. When I was dancing at Boy Box at G Lounge, I would do these striptease numbers. One night I had a diaper on that was filled with chocolate pudding. I danced around like a baby, took the diaper off, then had a friend lick the pudding out of my ass. They asked me not to do that performance again. I said, “Why not?! This shit is amazing!” [Laughs.] People had the best reactions. Stuff like that was really fun to do.

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Portrait by Daniel Jack Lyons

Miner: I can see why you did so well at go-go dancing. Your body is ridiculous. There are a bunch of nasty things said and written about gay guys who go to the gym frequently. Do you have any comment?

Camp: I can’t speak for an entire group of people, but [going to the gym] keeps me sane. I like to work out because it makes me feel good. My body actually hurts if I go more than four days without working out. I need to go and work out. I’m addicted to the chemicals my body produces when I work out. So I guess I don’t fucking care what people think. [Laughs.] But seriously, it keeps me sane. I’m probably a little agoraphobic; I won’t leave my house for much, usually just work or the gym or grocery shopping. So for me, going to the gym gives me the opportunity to leave my house and do something that feels good. It gives me the opportunity to be social without drinking or stuff like that. I’m trying to streamline as much as I can so it works for me.

Miner: Do you bring the same streamlining philosophy to your work?

Camp: Definitely. I’ve had a few people tell me I should start mass-producing my stuff. I’m not against that, but right now that’s not how I measure success. [Mass production] would unnecessarily complicate my work, because I’d end up trying to fulfill too many people’s desires. The way I work now, I have full control. My designs are mine. I look at my leather pieces as one-of-a-kind pieces of art that I make for one person. My typical client is a collector and the type of person who wears a leather jacket all the time; it’s part of their lifestyle. We collaborate, and the end product is totally unique.

Miner: My job is to make sure we talk about gay stuff at some point. Do you think your need to control your leather pieces comes from being gay?

Camp: I don’t know. When I was reading Stitching a Revolution, I realized gay people used to be total outlaws. They were outsiders and forced to create their own community that included really-fucking-cool cultural phenomena like drag queens. You don’t see that as much now. A lot of gay culture is becoming homogenized and acceptable, which isn’t a good or a bad thing. (I don’t believe in the ideas of “good” or “bad.”) I see both sides. We’re losing that outlaw thing, but it does make it easier for people to come out and also maybe makes [winning] equality easier. I guess I’m trying to say: Fuck it! Just be yourself. Who cares if you’re gay or straight? You don’t need someone else’s approval to do what you want. Do what makes you happy and healthy. It’s about self-improvement.

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Portrait by Daniel Jack Lyons


Style – The Huffington Post
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Donald Trump Believes Chris Christie Will Move Past Scandals

SOMERSET, N.J. (AP) — Real estate developer Donald Trump told a group of New Jersey Republicans he expects New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to make it through the scandals that are plaguing his administration.

“He’s doing fine and it’s going to be fine,” Trump told the Somerset County Republican Organization, where he received the group’s “Republican of the Year” award Wednesday night. “We all go through these patches,” said Trump. “I wish him well.”

Trump said he has considered Christie a friend for many years. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns a publishing company that runs a website devoted to New Jersey politics.

The 67-year-old Trump told The Associated Press he’s seen no evidence that Republican donors are shying away from the governor and possible 2016 presidential candidate.

He says Christie’s ability to run for president has not been compromised, if he decides he wants to run.

Trump, who flirted with running for president in 2012, told AP he would decide within a few weeks whether to enter the race for governor of New York.

On Wednesday, he was honored for his investment in New Jersey; Trump National Country Club is located in Somerset County.

Former New Jersey Attorney General and Christie confidante Jeff Chiesa also was honored by the group.

Referencing Christie’s budget address on Tuesday and town hall meeting on Wednesday, Chiesa said Christie is continuing to govern despite twin scandals that have mired the start of his second term and threaten to upend any political ambitions.

“He has been the target of incessant and unsubstantiated innuendo for six weeks now, and guess what,” said Chiesa, “he is continuing to lead the state with incredible integrity.”

Federal authorities and state lawmakers are looking into an apparent political payback operation orchestrated Christie’s aides; federal prosecutors are also investigating accusations that two members of Christie’s cabinet threatened to withhold federal Superstorm Sandy recovery aid from hard-hit Hoboken unless the mayor supported a favored redevelopment project.

The administration has denied the charges.

Chiesa, who was named by Christie to a temporary seat in the U.S. Senate last year, is a partner in Wolff & Samson, the law firm that represented the redeveloper in Hoboken. David Samson, the founding partner of the law firm, is chairman of the agency that runs the George Washington Bridge, where traffic jams were created in an apparent act of political retribution.
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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