Monthly Archives: January 2016

At the end of the day …. “Closing a Main Chapter …. René & Céline”!!

It Is What It Is

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~~January 26, 2016~~ 

René Angélil’s Funeral

BY JEFF NELSON

Céline Dion’s Former Flower Girl and Ring Bearer Led Processional at René Angélil’s Funeral, Poignantly Evoking Their Wedding

Céline Dion is coping with the loss of her beloved husband René Angélil, followed by the death of her brother just two days later.

While planning his own funeral to ease wife Céline Dion’s burden, René Angélil decided to evoke their grand 1994 wedding in more ways than one.

In addition to holding the funeral at Montreal’s Notre-Dame Basilica – the same place where they said “I Do” 21 years ago – both events began the same way:

with Dion’s niece and nephew leading the way down the aisle.

At the wedding, Jimmy – the son of Dion’s brother Jacques – was the ring bearer, and his cousin Audrey – the daughter of Dion’s sister Ghislaine – was the flower girl. So…

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Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Celebrates both Natural Hair and Black Female Entrepreneurs

GOOD BLACK NEWS

2014 and 2015 Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Contestants 2014 and 2015 Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina Pageant Contestants (photo via madamenoire.com)

Most beauty pageants claim they’re about celebrating brains and beauty. But the beauty (and body) part often gets a majority of the shine while the brains get whittled to one or two questions on stage.

That’s what best friends Maureen A. Ochola and Jessica E. Boyd hope to change. The two created the Miss Naturally Crowned Carolina pageant, a natural hair celebration also focused on business that’s been disrupting the Southern pageant scene since its 2013 debut in their hometown of Columbia, S.C. It has proven to be a success, so much so that they’re putting on their third exhibition on April 16.

“I had a high-level overview of pageants when we started, and they all seemed to be focused on the just physical aspect,” Ochola said. “What I like about what we’re doing is we’re highlighting natural hair…

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Author Interview: Redfern Jon Barrett

insaneowl

Redfern Jon Barrett is a writer and polyamory rights campaigner armed with a doctorate in literature. Author of novels The Giddy Death of the Gays & the Strange Demise of Straights and Forget Yourself (Lethe Press, 2016), his writing has featured in PinkNews, A cappella Zoo (and its tenth anniversary ‘best of’ edition), Strange Horizons, Heiresses of Russ: The Year’s Best Lesbian Speculative Fiction 2014, as well as Shaped by Time (National Museum of Denmark, 2012). He currently works with Guernica magazine and PEN America as a reader, dividing his time between Britain and Berlin, where he lives with his two partners and plays too many board games.

Redfern HeadshotRedfern, who were the authors who influenced your writing? I noticed on your Goodreads profile page the names Margaret Atwood, Will Self & Jeanette Winterson. Do elaborate.

Honestly I have a huge number of influences, more than I could ever hope to count…

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Women of Egypt in Photos

Sweden and the Middle East Views

Women of Egypt Women of Egypt is dedicated to showing the world different sides of Egyptian women, outside the box of the regular ones in Western media.

Please let me take the opportunity to introduce them to you. The captions are the group’s own.

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1956 seven beauty queens across the republic were crowned, competitions in Alexandria, Cairo, Beni Suef and other cities.

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Military training for Egyptian girls in the 60s

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Folk dancers Farida Fahmy and Mahmoud Reda

Photo credits: Women in Egypt

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Smile

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-Evident

Caterpillars, moths, butterflies, and all creatures great and small;

Parts of the nation on the east coast are covered with snow.   I heard that North Carolina is covered with ice.  Here’s sending positive thoughts to the people that they are safe.

Other things are happening.  Some are dealing with personal problems, health problems, financial problems.  The video below is intended to encourage and lift-up.  Even if it hurts now, smile.   Worried? Smile.  Overwhelmed with the cares of this world?  Smile.  Caterpillars do not change to butterflies without transformation.

No matter what path you walk, being positive and not allowing situations and others to take your joy is within your control.

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A River Otter Rescue

Walking with the Alligators

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River otters,  (not the ones in the story):  Lontra Canadensis
Picture credit: Dmitry Azovtsev

This morning there was a sweet story on our local TV news about three tiny river otter babies who were rescued recently and right now are fighting for their lives.

It was disappointing that after spending  most of the day calling and searching, not one picture of a baby otter was available, or a person to approve their picture being used.
But, thankfully, they are in the stories below for you to enjoy.

The wee ones are being tenderly tended to and nursed by kindly volunteers at the Florida Wildlife Hospital/Rehab and Sanctuary in Palm Shores Florida, which is located between Melbourne and Cocoa Beach on the Atlantic Coast.

Please make sure to look at their Wish list to see exactly what they want and need, to allow them to continue doing their good work.

This…

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How Poverty Makes Children’s Brains More Susceptible To Depression

publichealthwatch

child developmentStark and rising socioeconomic inequalities plague many countries, including the United States, and politicians, economists, and—fortunately—scientists, are debating its causes and solutions. But the effects of inequality’s may go beyond simple access to opportunity: a new study finds that socioeconomic disadvantage can actually induce permanent changes in brain connectivity that put poor children at higher risk of mental health problems, particularly depression. The findings could have important policy implications and provide new arguments for expanding anti-poverty interventions, researchers say.

For the study, researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, analyzed brain scans of 105 children ages 7 to 12, finding that two key structures in the brain are connected differently in poor children than in kids raised in more affluent settings. Specifically, the brain’s hippocampus — a structure that plays a critical role in learning, memory and stress regulation — and the amygdala —…

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Renowned author Jamaica Kincaid visits Seton Hall

Repeating Islands

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In celebration of Black History Month, the Africana Studies program andPoetry-in-the-Round host renowned author, Jamaica Kincaid on February 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Atrium in Jubilee Hall, Simone A. James Alexander reports on the institution’s website.

Born in St. John’s, Antigua, Jamaica Kincaid is widely praised for her works of fiction, essays and novels in which she explores the tenuous mother-daughter relationship as well as themes of migration, anti-colonialism, and Caribbean tourism.

Kincaid is the author or editor of 13 books, including five novels. Her most recent novel, See Now Then (2014) was published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Kincaid’s 1983 collection At the Bottom of the River that includes the most-discussed short story, “Girl,” won the Morton Dauwen Zabel Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

Kincaid is the recipient of The Center for Fiction Award, the Prix Femina Etranger Award, and…

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