features

Why Caitlyn Jenner represents a new type of American hero

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For some people, there is nothing more American or heroic than defeating one’s opponents in a display of athletic might.

That is exactly what Caitlyn Jenner did in 1976 when she won the Olympic gold medal in the decathlon at the height of the Cold War.

Jenner became an instant icon, one the public used to tell a simple story about the American man: He always prevails

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This July 30, 1976 file photo shows athlete Caitlyn Jenner reacting after securing gold in the Olympic Decathlon in Montreal, Canada

Image: File photo/Associated Press

Now, Jenner is putting that history in a new light and setting a modern example of what it means to be a hero Read more…

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Finally, clothes that celebrate authentic Native American culture

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Bethany Yellowtail, a Native American (Northern Cheyenne and Apsáalooke) fashion designer, has created a collection for her brand, B. Yellowtail, to “authentically represent” her culture. More than the line’s native prints and vibrant colors, the 26-year old wants consumers to distinguish between “native designed” and “native inspired.”

Yellowtail grew up in a community where creativity was encouraged. However, the idea of becoming a fashion designer wasn’t. Yellowtail explains to Mashable, “We don’t have fashion designers that are well known in the mainstream; we don’t breathe fashion design in my community. It was a foreign concept back then.” Read more…

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Horrifying old gun killed 90 birds at once

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July 1923

The punt gun’s barrel was so long and heavy that some required help.

Image: Library of Congress

Designed to be fired from a punt (a small skiff boat), punt guns were intended to kill large numbers of waterfowl as efficiently as possible. Records exist of more than 90 birds being killed at once when the guns were used in the 19th and early 20th centuries.  

The diameter of the gun’s bore, the interior of the barrel, typically exceeded two inches, and each firing would dispense more than a pound of shot across the water.

Punt guns were primarily used for sport, to harvest large numbers of birds on hunting estates.  The gun was fixed to the punt, and the hunter would silently direct the boat and the gun across the water, into the aim position. The gun had a very strong recoil; firing it would cause the punt to travel across the surface of the pool or lake. Read more…

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Brooke Shields turned 50, but she was a dorky little teen like the rest of us

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Image: Robert R McElroy/Getty Images

A phenomenon of the universe
Terri Shields describing her daughter

Image: Robert R McElroy/Getty Images

Actress and model Brooke Shields turned 50 years old on May 31. She’s recognizable to many generations, having grown up in the spotlight from a young age.

When these photographs of Brooke Shields and her mother Teri were taken in New York City, Brooke Shields was 13 and already a successful child model, having started her career aged 11 months in an advert for Ivory Soap. 

Teri had split from her husband Francis Shields a few months after Brooke was born. The pregnancy had been unplanned and Francis’ family had given Teri money to have a termination. But Teri went ahead with the pregnancy and Brooke was born in 1965. Teri and Brooke were very close for many years, and Teri acted as Brooke’s manager until 1994. Read more…

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Caitlyn Jenner is poised to become a fashion icon in her own right

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There she sits, in front of Annie Lebovitz nonetheless, hair tousled to perfection, eyes sparkling, lips smirking with a light pout. Her dainty arms are placed behind her back as she wears nothing but a beige corset with her breasts visible, her legs daintily crossed together, elegantly so

It’s an intimate photo of a woman who has nothing left to hide. Meet Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known as Bruce Jenner.

On the June cover of Vanity Fair, Caitlyn Jenner appears as a woman for the first time. The former athlete and TV personality introduced herself on Monday Read more…

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We crowned the most stylish NBA player, and he wholeheartedly agreed

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It’s down to the wire in the NBA finals: The Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are heading for 2015’s championship title. While we’re still unsure which team will take the trophy, we definitely know who sweeps the style competition

After four weeks of brutal competition starting out with 16 of the league’s best dressed players, with critiques from our brusque and cantankerous judges, we have finally named the NBA’s Best Dressed of 2015 — by unanimous decision

Chime in and give your two cents, while exploring our infographic. Just click on your favorite player’s picture to view his three best looks and see if our winner deserves the crown Read more…

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Virtual reality sex is coming — and the toys are already here

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Note: The following post contains sexually graphic images and descriptions.

You’re lying back on a bed. You look around. A porn star walks in. She mounts you. And as she does, you can feel the thrill of her tight contractions.

Except, you don’t know any porn stars. You’re a hypochondriac virgin. The closest thing you have to a girlfriend is your prized second-generation Oculus Rift developer kit headset.

Today’s VR early adopter with a hankering for pornography that involves elaborate prep work, multiple cords and a bulky headset just got a whole lot luckier, thanks to a new partnership between teledildonics company Lovense and the self-explanatorily named VirtualRealPorn.

On May 19, these two companies announced they would work together to integrate Lovense’s two signature Bluetooth-enabled sex toys with VirtualRealPorn’s limited (but growing) category of porn, featuring not CGI or “uncanny valley” models but actual porn actresses and actors.

“The basic idea is to allow the brain to be tricked into thinking the experience is real,” says Eddy Olivares, marketing manager of Lovense, a company founded to allow two-way interactive synchronized sex toy pairing across continents. Read more…

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Rowing down the street: When the swollen Seine river put Paris underwater

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Two men travel down the street in an improvised boat.

Image: ND/Roger Viollet/Getty Images

Paris and its environs has regularly experienced flooding previous to 1910. But that year, after months of rainfall, the city experienced one of the most severe episodes of flooding in its history.

On Jan. 21, the Seine began to rise more rapidly than usual. Parisians evacuated at-risk locations. Then, on the outskirts, the river burst its banks. In the centre of the city, workmen hurriedly built embankments to stop the Seine flooding the city’s quays — the water only rose up through tunnels, drains and sewers. Read more…

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Don’t make any assumptions about the next headscarf you see

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DEARBORN, Michigan — Khloe Kardashian set off an Internet firestorm Tuesday, when she posted an Instagram photo of herself wearing a niqab, or veil that covers the face.

Fierce accusations of “gross” and “cultural appropriation” ensued. 

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A photo posted by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

In some places, such a headscarf is banned entirely. France prohibits women from wearing the niqab in public, arguing people’s faces should not be obscured. Towns across the EU have followed suit

Critics say such bans inhibit freedom of religion and expression, not to mention further misconceptions and distrust around the wearers. Read more…

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5 ways to celebrate Menstrual Hygiene Day around the world

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Health, education, women’s rights, economics, sustainability — some of the most pressing issues facing the world today are linked to menstrual hygiene and women’s lack of access to basic sanitation.

That’s why May 28 marks the second-annual Menstrual Hygiene Day, spearheaded by Berlin-based nonprofit WASH United to break the silence surrounding menstruation, which often leads to debilitating social stigma that negatively affects women and girls across the globe.

Here are just a few facts that show the state of menstrual hygiene management today: Read more…

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