Sally Field Was ‘Flattered’ Burt Reynolds Called Her the ‘Love of My Life’: He Was ‘Complicated’

Sally Field is opening up about her turbulent relationship with film icon Burt Reynolds leading up to the release of her memoir.

A part of Field’s sit-down interview with Diane Sawyer aired on Monday’s Good Morning America in which the actress revealed what her time with Reynolds — who died earlier this month at the age of 82 — was like.

“We had known each other about three days, four days at that point . It was instantaneous, and four days felt like four years,” Field said.

“You can see it in our faces. We were sort of, you know, deeply entangled,” she told Sawyer. “That nature of it wasn’t just, ‘Oh, this is a love affair.’ There was some ingredient between us having to do with my caretaking and him needing to be taken care of.”

RELATED: Burt Reynolds Was ‘Wounded’ Over Sally Field Breakup, Says Friend Angie Dickinson

Reynolds and Field were together from 1977 until their breakup nearly five years later.

The actor told Vanity Fair in November 2015 that he never got over Field, calling her the “love of my life.”

“I was always flattered when he said that,” Field told Sawyer. “But he was a complicated man.”

Field is promoting her new memoir In Pieces in which she touches on the relationship she had with Reynolds.

The actress told The New York Times in an interview published last week that she was “glad” Reynolds wouldn’t be able to read her book.

This would hurt him,” Field said. “I felt glad that he wasn’t going to read it, he wasn’t going to be asked about it, and he wasn’t going to have to defend himself or lash out, which he probably would have.”

RELATED VIDEO: Remembering Burt Reynolds: The Life and Career of the Hollywood Icon

“I did not want to hurt him any further,” she added.

On writing the book, which includes memories of their time together, the actress said she was “flooded with feelings and nostalgia” about him.

When asked about her relationship with Reynolds, Field described it to the NYT as “confusing and complicated, and not without loving and caring, but really complicated and hurtful to me.”

In Pieces is out on Sept. 18.


PEOPLE.com

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Why Anna Kendrick Once Called President Barack Obama an “A–hole” Right to His Face

Anna KendrickAca-scuse me, Anna Kendrick said what?
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Why Anna Kendrick Once Called President Barack Obama an “A–hole” Right to His Face

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Coconut Oil Called ‘Pure Poison’ by Harvard Professor Who Warns Against Its Supposed Benefits

Coconut oil is under fire again.

The controversial food started gaining popularity in 2011 for its supposed promise of supporting the immune system and helping people lose weight, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Coconut oil has, however, fallen from grace in recent years as some health experts have spoken out against it. Sales of the ingredient reportedly fell in 2017.

In one particularly harsh criticism, Dr. Karin Michels, an adjunct professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, repeatedly called coconut oil “poison” in a German talk she gave titled “Coconut Oil and Other Nutritional Errors,” USA Today reported.

A video of her speech was posted in July and has been viewed more than 900,000 views on YouTube.

RELATED: 12 Ways Stars Use Coconut Oil in Their Beauty Routines

“I can only warn you urgently about coconut oil,” Michels said. “This is one of the worst foods you can eat.”

According to Business Insider, Michels said that coconut oil is more harmful than lard because of its saturated fatty acids, which can clog coronary arteries.

Dr. Frank Sacks, a nutrition professor at the Harvard Chan School, explained the ramifications of consuming saturated fatty acids to The Boston Globe: “Coconut oil is very high in saturated fat, and that raises your LDL cholesterol — bad cholesterol,” he said. “It’s unhealthy to be eating it.”

Several experts agree with Michels’ and Sacks’ assessments.

In The New York TimesDr. Alice H. Lichtenstein, a Tufts professor of nutrition science and policy, noted that “there’s virtually no data to support the hype” of coconut oil as a healthy ingredient.

RELATED: Celebs Swear By Coconut Oil — Here Are Six Beauty Items You Need Right Now

Lichtenstein said that “there appears to be no independent benefit of consuming it,” although research about coconut oil’s impact on the body is limited.

CNN reports that a 2016 study found that 72% of Americans — but only 37% of nutritionists — believe that coconut oil is healthy.

Dr. Tom Brenna, a Cornell professor of human nutrition, told The New York Times, “If you’re going to use coconut oil, make sure you get virgin oil … And, of course, everything in moderation.”

 


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Pa. Woman Called 911 on Ex-Boyfriend Moments Before She Was Stabbed to Death

A Pennsylvania woman called 911 to report her ex-boyfriend was attacking her before she was found dead with stab wounds, PEOPLE confirms.

Bensalem Police Public Safety Director Fred Harran tells PEOPLE that shortly before 7 a.m. on Monday, Teresa Priestley called 911 when William Table began attacking her after she got into her car outside her home.

About a minute later, police received a second 911 call reporting a car crash less than a quarter-mile away from the knife attack, says Harran. Officers arrived to find Priestley dead on arrival after she drove away from the site of the attack with mortal stab wounds.

The stabbing set off a 12-hour manhunt for Table, who was arrested by Philadelphia police that evening after he allegedly stabbed a homeless man, says Harran.

According to Harran, Priestley had recently broken up with Table.

“It appears they were living together prior to this, but just recently he was thrown out of the apartment and she just had her locks changed yesterday,” Harran told reporters at a Monday press conference.

Harran tells PEOPLE Priestley was about to leave for work in the morning. Police believe Table had staked out her home with the goal of attacking her.

Priestley’s neighbor Mike Angley told TV station WPVI he heard Priestley crying for help during the attack.

“I heard a woman screaming ‘help me,’ ” Angley said. “After that, tires screeched.”

Table is charged by Bensalem police with criminal homicide, kidnapping and possession of an instrument of crime, according to online records.

According to Philadelphia police, there are no current charges against Table in Philadelphia.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Table is being held without bail in the Bucks County Correctional Facility. It was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.

Harran tells PEOPLE that Table “is an evil person. I won’t even call him a human being. To commit such a heinous crime, and to slaughter a woman on the way to work because she no longer wants to date you? I’m not sure that person can be considered a person.”


PEOPLE.com

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Akon to build new city in Africa with currency called AKoin

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Books of The Times: Once Viewed as a Savior of Children, Hans Asperger Is Now Called a Nazi Collaborator

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Melania Trump Called Out For Anti-Bullying Campaign That Ignores Her Husband’s Actions

The first lady’s new initiative seems to be missing something.
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Minn. Officer Who Fatally Shot Bride-to-Be Who Called 911 to Report Possible Assault Charged With Murder

The Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an Australian bride-to-be in 2017 after she called 911 to report a possible assault has turned himself over to authorities after learning a warrant had been issued for his arrest.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman detailed the third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges against Officer Mohamed Noor, a member of the Minneapolis police force for 29 months, in the death of Justine Damond, who was just weeks away from her wedding date.

Damond, a 40-year-old meditation teacher and personal health and life coach, was fatally shot on July 15, 2017, when Officers Matthew Harrity and Noor responded to a 911 call she’d made.

An investigation revealed Damond (who was reportedly wearing her pajamas) approached the driver’s side window of the responding patrol car moments after a loud noise startled Harrity.

• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Noor, who was sitting in the passenger seat, shot Damond through the open driver’s side window, Freeman said, and told investigators he felt his life was in danger at the time of the shooting.

Freeman said the two officers turned their body cameras on after exiting the vehicle after the shooting. They did not start trying to resuscitate her until “one minute and 10 seconds after” exiting the vehicle, he said.

Freeman said that the first conversations captured on the body cams suggest both officers were apparently “spooked” by something.

But Freeman said that “Justine was approaching the car unarmed” and that both officers “couldn’t tell if she was a male or female, an adult or a child.” Therefore Freeman said “Officer Noor did not act reasonably and abused his authority to use deadly force.”

According to Freeman, Damond told the officers “‘I’m dying’ or ‘I’m dead’” as they approached her.

“In the short time between when Ms. Damond … approached the squad car and the time that he fired the fatal shot, there is no evidence that Officer Noor encountered a threat, appreciated a threat, investigated a threat, or confirmed a threat that justified the decision to use deadly force,” Freeman told reporters, noting Noor “recklessly and intentionally fired his gun.”

She was set to marry her fiancé, Don Damond, in Hawaii in early August; she had already publicly taken his last name.

The medical examiner concluded Damond died from a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Noor’s lawyer, Thomas Plunkett, could not be reached for comment Tuesday but previously told PEOPLE in a statement that the officer “extends his condolences to and anyone else who has been touched by this event.”

“He takes these events very seriously because, for him, being a police officer is a calling,” Plunkett said.

• For more compelling true crime coverage, follow our Crime magazine on Flipboard.

Both Harrity, who joined the force in 2016, and Noor, were placed on paid leave immediately after the shooting. Their employment status was unclear Tuesday.

PEOPLE was unable to determine if Noor had entered a plea.

He is being held on $ 500,000 bail.


PEOPLE.com

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Lauren Conrad’s Contractor Throws Shade at Her Kitchen Design: ‘He Called Me Boring’

Lauren Conrad is taking some heat for her interior design taste.

The former Hills star recently completed a remodel of the kitchen she shares with husband William Tell and their son Liam in Los Angeles. Because she’s partial to white-covered cook spaces (see her previous pristine space), it’s no surprise she leaned toward the same soothing vibe in her new home.

“I really like kitchens to be bright and light, so I just did it in all white and brass,” she told Architectural Digest. “Actually, my contractor made fun of me because I had white subway tile, and he called me boring, which is fair.”

RELATED: Whitney Port Shows Off Her New Nursery and Master Bedroom: ‘It Fills Your Heart So Much’

As a compromise, the Little Market cofounder decided to risk it, opting for something a little brighter.

“For the first time, I brought color into my kitchen!” she said. “I brought in a very pale blue-green-gray color as a little hexagon backsplash, so that was a big step for me.”

While her penchant for neutral shades may seem basic, Conrad incorporates personal tchotchkes and memorabilia to give rooms her signature twist.

“I think your home should be comfortable and filled with things that make you happy and really represent your aesthetic,” she explained. “I think it’s fun when you get to learn about a person when you go into their home, or on your shelves you have things you’ve acquired over the years of travel, or gifts handed down from the family.”

RELATED: Inside Brody Jenner’s Fiancee Kaitlynn Carter’s ‘Super Girly’ Los Angeles Apartment

She also suggests taking the design process slowly, collecting things as they come not because you need to fill a space. “You don’t want to open a catalog and find your living room layout on one page,” she said.

But if you do need to decorate in a pinch, this super-smart tip can help: “Just fill your home with flowers,” she said. “We recently threw a birthday party for my mother-in-law, maybe a month after my son was born, so I didn’t have time to put together a ton of stuff. A friend of mine’s a florist, and I just filled the house with flowers — it felt decorated.”

For more of Conrad’s tips — including foolproof gifting ideas — visit Architectural Digest.


PEOPLE.com

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James Cameron Was a Smug Asshole About Wonder Woman, So Director Patty Jenkins Called Him Out

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Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Called Out for ‘Unsubstantiated’ and ‘Deceptive’ Health Claims

Gwyneth Paltrow‘s Goop is under fire from watchdog group Truth in Advertising for “deceptive” health claims on over 50 of their products.

Truth in Advertising (TINA) announced Tuesday that they’ve investigated Goop’s marketing tactics, and found that “the company claims, either expressly or implicitly, that its products (or those it promotes) can treat, cure, prevent, alleviate the symptoms of, or reduce the risk of developing a number of ailments,” according to a press release.

“The problem is that the company does not possess the competent and reliable scientific evidence required by law to make such claims,” the release says.

TINA says that they initially contacted Goop about their “unsubstantiated, and therefore deceptive, health and disease-treatment claims” on Aug. 11, and because the company did not make enough changes to their site in the 11 days since, TINA has filed a complaint letter with the California Food, Drug and Medical Device Task Force.

A spokesperson from Goop tells PEOPLE that they wanted to work with TINA to correct the wording on their site, but the timeframe given was too limited.

“Goop is dedicated to introducing unique products and offerings and encouraging constructive conversation surrounding new ideas. We are receptive to feedback and consistently seek to improve the quality of the products and information referenced on our site. We responded promptly and in good faith to the initial outreach from representatives of TINA and hoped to engage with them to address their concerns. Unfortunately, they provided limited information and made threats under arbitrary deadlines which were not reasonable under the circumstances.”

“Nevertheless, while we believe that TINA’s description of our interactions is misleading and their claims unsubstantiated and unfounded, we will continue to evaluate our products and our content and make those improvements that we believe are reasonable and necessary in the interests of our community of users.”

RELATED VIDEO: Gwyneth Paltrow Says She’s Moving Away from Acting to Focus on Goop: ‘This Really Requires Almost All of My Time’

 

TINA called out several of Goop’s products specifically, including the Goop Wellness supplements, which they say are “not medically recognized,” and the Body Vibes stickers that Goop claimed would reduce physical tension and anxiety.

Goop dealt with criticism over the stickers in June, when they initially said that they were made with the same conductive carbon materials present in NASA space suits. Goop removed that claim after a NASA spokesperson told PEOPLE that “do not line their spacesuits with conductive carbon material,” and a former NASA scientist said that it was “a load of BS.”


PEOPLE.com

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Kim Zolciak-Biermann Says She Won’t Show Dogs on Social Media After a Stranger Called Animal Control Services

Kim Zolciak-Biermann is fighting back after someone reported that she was not taking care of her pets.

The Don’t Be Tardy star, 39, shared a series of videos on Snapchat explaining her story while focusing on a business card of an employee of the Lifeline Animal Project at Fulton County Animal Services.

“Apparently somebody thought it would be really cute to call the animal control center on my dogs today and say that they were not being taken care of,” she said. “I am utterly f—ing disgusted and appalled by the person that did this.”

Zolciak-Biermann continued by saying that her dogs are treated very well, pointing out that she recently spent $ 3,000 to take care of rescue puppies.

Due to the incident, the reality star said she would “no longer be sharing any part of my dogs and their life on my social media any longer.”

Reps for Zolciak-Biermann did not respond to a request for comment. The Lifeline Animal Project employee who visited her home could not be reached.

Earlier in the weekend, Zolciak-Biermann shared a video of her daughters bathing a puppy named Sage and another of her daughter playing with their dog Sinn (short for Sinatra).

 

In April, Zolciak-Biermann’s 4-year-old son Kash had a terrifying incident with a dog that sent him to the hospital and in danger of losing sight in his left eye. Since the encounter, Kim and her husband Kroy, 31, have slowly been reintroducing their six kids, Kash in particular, to more dogs to help them get over any fear of animals they might have developed after the attack.

“Kroy and I felt it was super important to continue to encourage Kash to be around animals,” she wrote in a May 28 Instagram post. “Kash is an absolute animal lover and I didnt/don’t want him to fear animals after all he has been through.”

She even shared a photo of Kash snuggling with a tame and tiny rescue puppy over the weekend, captioning the sweet photo: “How @kashbiermann has been spending the last 2 days!! extremely thankful @cheftraceybloom opened my eyes to rescuing puppies/dogs. Also thankful for the advice @iheartmiko gave me about reintroducing Kash to dogs sooner then later!!”


PEOPLE.com

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Hillary Clinton’s New Book Will Be Called ‘What Happened’

“Writing ‘What Happened’ was hard, so is what we see every day.”
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Hillary Clinton’s New Book Will Be Called ‘What Happened’

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The Celtics called on their ultimate weapon to bring Gordon Hayward to Boston

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James Woods Settles Defamation Lawsuit Two Years After Being Called a “Cocaine Addict”

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Apple Unveils Smart Speaker Called HomePod

Apple revealed a premium voice-activated speaker called HomePod and announced a series of upgrades to its line of Mac computers and iPads as it looks to bolster its product lines amid rising competition from rivals like Amazon and Microsoft.
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Inside the $12 Million Mansion Lady Gaga Called Home During the Coachella Music Festival

Lady Gaga, AirbnbSo this is where Lady Gaga put her paws up when not performing at Coachella.
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Bill O’Reilly On Chopping Block Amid Claim He Called Black Woman ‘Hot Chocolate’

What once seemed unimaginable now seems at least possible.

New York Magazine’s Gabriel Sherman reported Tuesday that the Murdoch family is “leaning” toward pulling Bill O’Reilly off of Fox News’ airwaves in the middle of growing pressure from advertisers and activist groups.

The report comes amid a separate claim by attorney Lisa Bloom that O’Reilly used to call a black woman who worked as a clerical worker at Fox News “hot chocolate” during her time at the network in 2008. The television host would reportedly make her feel uncomfortable in other ways as well. 

“He would never talk to her, not even hello, except to grunt at her like a wild boar,” Bloom told The Hollywood Reporter. “He would leer at her. He would always do this when no one else was around and she was scared.”

Bloom, who said she verified the woman’s story with three witnesses, claims the woman feared she would lose her job if she complained at the time. She added that the woman wants no money, but has registered a complaint with the Fox News hotline in light of recent news about the host ― a service that apparently many female employees at the network only recently came to learn about. 

O’Reilly, who remains cable news’ most dominant figure, went on vacation last week as advertisers dropped him by the dozens following a New York Times investigation that revealed the Fox News Network and the host had paid at least $ 13 million to settle five claims of sexual harassment.

More claims have continued to surface about the host’s actions ― some of them from the most unlikely of sources.

At least 70 advertisers have decided to no longer advertise on “The O’Reilly Factor,” which remains Fox News’ biggest show by far. But “O’Reilly Factor” viewers remain committed to their host. A recent HuffPost/YouGov poll found that 65 percent of people who watch the show still hold a favorable view of him, and only 9 percent of his Republican viewers think the show should be canceled.

The show’s ratings also dropped 26 percent in the first three days he was gone, further proof of O’Reilly’s influence, both nationally and internally at Fox News. 

Sherman reports that James Murdoch and Lachlan Murdoch have been arguing to their father, Rupert, that the network must rid itself of O’Reilly, but Rupert remains unsure, not wanting to appear to be bowing to outside pressure from outlets like The New York Times. 

But on Tuesday, even Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report couldn’t help but think that O’Reilly’s days might be numbered. 

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Kardashian West called bodyguard in robbery

Kim Kardashian West has revealed she desperately tried to call for her bodyguard when robbers broke into her flat in Paris.
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Kristen Stewart Called Herself ‘So Gay’ On ‘SNL.’ Here’s Why It Matters.

Last night’s episode of “Saturday Night Live” was must-see TV for a number of reasons: The Grim Reaper was tapped to play Steve Bannon, Melissa McCarthy showed up and delivered a blistering, pitch-perfect portrayal of White House press secretary Sean Spicer, and host Kristen Stewart said the F-word on live TV during her monologue.

But there was another equally remarkable, though admittedly quieter, moment in the first five minutes of the show that you might have missed: Stewart, for the first time ever, publicly used the word “gay” in reference to herself (see the above video at the 2:26 mark).

Stewart’s sexual identity has been the subject of rumors for years. It’s difficult to avoid speculation about your private life when you’re not just famous but also one-half of one of the most famous couples in the world, as Stewart was when she dated “Twilight” co-star Robert Pattinson for several years. But even after that relationship ended, Stewart was still dogged by the press thanks to her involvement with a number of queer women in the entertainment industry, including Alicia Cargile, singer Annie Clark, who is better known as St. Vincent, and the woman she’s currently dating, model Stella Maxwell

To her credit, Stewart wasn’t exactly secretive about her relationships. In a 2016 interview with Elle UK, the actress used the word “girlfriend” to refer to Cargile, her partner at the time. She also said that “dating a girl” forced her to be more open about her relationships than she was when she was dating a guy. “To hide this provides the implication that I’m not down with it or I’m ashamed of it, so I had to alter how I approached being in public,” she said, adding, “It opened my life up and I’m so much happier.”

But for all of her candor, Stewart had never used the word “gay” ― or any other label ― to identify herself until last night. And really, that’s fine. In fact, it’s very much on trend with how other young people think about their sexuality. A 2016 survey found that 35 percent of millennials identify as something other than exclusively heterosexual (and a whopping 52 percent of individuals between the ages of 13 and 20 reported the same) but didn’t necessarily use a term like “gay” or “bisexual” or “lesbian” in reference to themselves.

Many people find these labels to be less necessary than they once were. As queer people become more and more integrated into mainstream society, thanks to changing cultural norms triggered by things like marriage equality and higher visibility in the media, many feel less of a need to identify as any one thing ― or to talk about it in any kind of public way, like a splashy tell-all interview. But labels can still be hugely useful, not only for individuals to orient themselves within a community, but also as a way to continue to increase that aforementioned visibility and push the LGBTQ movement forward, especially in times of political and cultural uncertainty, like now.

When one of the biggest movie stars of the last 10 years refers to herself as “so gay” on one of the most-watched late-night television shows on the air, it forces people to reconfigure how they think about what it means to be “gay” and who and what that term includes. Suddenly, anyone who only knew Stewart as “that girl from ‘Twilight’” and “Robert Pattinson’s ex girlfriend,” is confronted by her sexuality in a new and startling way, and it upends assumptions about the community, which is exactly why coming out is still so crucial.

It should be noted that Stewart’s “so gay” comment was made in reference to ridiculous tweets President Donald Trump once sent about her relationship with Pattinson: 

And, yes, the phrase was delivered with more than a hint of sarcasm and a certain degree of exasperation, which seemed to be leveled at Trump but also maybe at the world’s obsession with her sexuality. And that’s fair. It can’t be fun having your every move photographed and dissected. But in an era when LGBTQ rights are currently at risk in new and frightening ways, public acts of solidarity with the community, including coming out, are more important than ever.

It should also be noted that Stewart’s “so gay” comment doesn’t necessarily mean that she literally identifies as gay. She did date Pattinson, someone who, as far as we know, identifies as male, which may mean she identifies as bisexual or pansexual or sexually fluid or in some other way than “gay,” which is traditionally thought of as being sexually attracted to someone of the same gender. Perhaps she chose that phrase because it packed the most punch and would be the most instantly recognizable to those watching the show ― and because it’s probably the term most people have used behind her back ever since she started dating women. But she also may have decided at this point in her life that it’s the term that feels the most appropriate. We just don’t know.

Regardless, I had to catch my breath when I heard her say it last night. I’m proud of Stewart for standing up and joining the community in a way she hadn’t before, especially at a time when our community is hurting and scared. Coming out doesn’t happen just once and it’s rarely easy. Because heterosexuality is still the assumed default orientation in our society, every time a queer person meets someone new, there’s the chance they’ll be required to explain who they truly are, and in that moment exists the radical opportunity to challenge and change minds. Last night I believe Stewart probably did both, and I think we’re all a little bit better off because of it.

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This flying robot is called Bat Bot

This flying robot is called Bat BotIt appears to be a bat, but if you look closely, it’s really a robot. Bat Bot was created to be a flying drone that mimics the unique way bats fly and move. The drone, only 3 ounces in prototype form was designed to help in disaster areas and construction sites. The batlike robot can flap its wings for better aerial maneuvers, and it glides to save energy and dives when needed. Researchers hope to have it perch upside down like a real bat. Don’t expect to see Bat Bot in the skies anytime soon — it’s still being developed, and its designers hope to add cameras and improve …



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Why Feminism Still Needs To Be Called Feminism

This post originally appeared on Bustle.

By JR Thorpe

Leaving aside the maniacs of the Men’s Rights Movement for a minute, even people committed to women’s rights have raised the sacrilegious idea in recent years that the f-word is old-fashioned and needs to be retired for something newer, snappier, and more inclusive. Quick, somebody hire a marketing department. Can we sum up an entire equality movement in an emoji? But all joking aside, should the word “feminism” be replaced?

I say no way — and understanding where the word “feminism” came from is a necessary ingredient to understanding why other words just can’t quite compete. Humanism, equalism, and other ideas have been suggested as replacements, by people as prominent as Meryl Streep, but if they really want a word that’s all about fighting for the rights of women in the world, “feminism” is the best we’ve got, and there are good historical reasons as to why.

So here’s why you shouldn’t throw away your “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like” T-shirt or alter it to another word. The history of “feminism” as a word is a slightly twisted one, and it has some unexpected moments — just like the waves of feminism itself. Words are strangely powerful things. Let’s take a look at how the term feminism came to be — and why it needs to stay.

Where The Word Feminism Came From

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In a case of quite peculiar irony, the word “feminism,” used by generations of women to explain their struggle for equal rights and opportunities, was coined by a dude. Charles Fourier was a French socialist philosopher of radical principles in the 19th century, and his term “feminisme” is the basis for today’s term in English. And Fourier’s own peculiarities have led to some people wondering if it’s the right word at all.

Fourier didn’t advocate for complete gender equality because, in his world, the sexes were too seriously biologically different to be treated the same. He was also a utopian thinker, and his conception of “ideal” human life was something like a Grand Budapest Hotel-like commune where workers changed their occupation up to eight times a day to avoid monotony. (Look, if we had to get rid of all the words in English that were coined by strange white dudes, we’d likely not have much to talk about.)

Luckily, his “feminisme” was quickly co-opted by activists, and started to show up in English. Hilariously, its first appearance was in The UK Daily News in the 1890s, “what our Paris Correspondent describes as a ‘Feminist’ group… in the French Chamber of Deputies,” as a warning that the ideology could be extremely dangerous. And it came to the U.S. a decade or so later in an article by the French suffragist Madeline Pelletier (who, by the way, dressed fabulously in men’s suits and bowler hats, and was the first female French psychiatrist).

Another interesting thing about the history of the word “feminism” is that, while huge swaths of women in history worked for feminist goals like women’s voting rights and access to education, self-identification as a “feminist” was relatively rare until midway through the 20th century. People like Elizabeth Cady Stanton didn’t use the word. The real boom for the word “feminist” in English came with feminism’s “second wave,” in the ’60s and ’70s. It’s far newer in the mouths of English-speakers than you might think: only 50 or so years old.

The Current Controversy Over The F-Word

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The word “feminism” has encountered a lot of chatter recently about whether it’s “outmoded” or needs to be “upgraded” — or, indeed, phased out. The arguments range from the utterly ridiculous (“sexism has been solved, we’ve got the vote, what’s everybody complaining about”) to the more serious.

Feminism is accused as a term of being old-fashioned, aggressive, insufficiently inclusive, not doing enough to solve sexism, and carrying too much baggage. People have suggested alternatives, like “humanism” or “equalism” — but I think we need to hang onto feminism as a word, problematic as it is. Here’s why.

Why “Humanism” Isn’t A Good Replacement

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“Humanism” has been tossed around as a possible replacement for “feminist,” on the grounds that it sounds the same but seems more inclusive of humanity as a whole. Sarah Jessica Parker has said, for instance, that “I’m not a feminist, I’m a humanist.” So has Meryl Streep. The problem? Being a humanist isn’t just a declaration that you’re in favor of all people everywhere having the same rights. It’s its own philosophical category, and using it willy-nilly without understanding its meaning is problematic.

Humanism is, essentially, the belief that the source of human values isn’t God, but humanity itself — particularly our capacity to be rational. It’s also a celebration of human life and the individual, and it’s existed as a philosophical tradition since the Enlightenment in Europe. According to the New World Encyclopedia,

Humanism refers to any perspective which is committed to the centrality and interests of human beings. It also refers to a belief that reason and autonomy are the basic aspects of human existence, and that the foundation for ethics and society is autonomy and moral equality.

It’s a great perspective — humanist wedding ceremonies are understandably popular — but it doesn’t mean that you’re focusing on the rights of every human. As Jarrah Hodge over at Gender Focus explains, humanism “includes a commitment to the rational and scientific and a rejection of the idea of divine and supernatural powers.” It’s not about rights or equal opportunities, or at least not centrally, and using it in that context seriously misuses the term. Humanists Against Feminism is a genuine thing that exists.

I do get that it’s more a fun turn of phrase than an actual position, but if there’s one thing you know if you’re a committed feminist, it’s that words matter. (It’s not that Sarah Jessica Parker isn’t a philosophical humanist, either. Maybe she is!)

Why “Equalist” Isn’t As Useful Either


The whole essence of feminism is that it focuses on the disadvantages and inequality of one particular group: women. Which is why saying “But I believe in the equality of everybody!” is kind of missing the point.

Just because you believe everybody should have the same rights doesn’t mean they do. This is the key bit: feminism is about tackling the world as it actually is, where one particular gender group is being discriminated against. While the end result, hopefully, is equality for all, what’s happening right now is an environment of wide-ranging discrimination against women, and that needs to be addressed for equality to be created. Saying you’re an “equalist” is like saying you believe in a world of well-built houses when half the materials used to make houses are burnt or rotten. The house can’t be built unless those materials are fixed.

To Be More Inclusive, We Need To Change Feminism Itself, Not The Word Feminism

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Using the word “feminism” shouldn’t prevent people from seeing other aspects of inequality within the movement. The whole concept of “intersectional feminism” was founded to try and broaden our understanding of discrimination against women, and make it clear that sexism is inextricably linked to race, class, and other factors.

The famous idea of “womanism,” as coined by author Alice Walker, is an attempt to answer one bit of this exclusionary issue — how can women of color feel comfortable and heard in a movement hugely dominated, throughout history, by white women? It’s an ongoing conversation, and it’s important for everybody to have a space where they feel their struggle is the focus. But replacing feminism with something that doesn’t acknowledge anybody’s struggle? In my opinion, that is taking it too far.

The Bottom Line


Part of the word feminism’s value is in its history. It’s a word that acknowledges the past struggles of people who’ve fought, sometimes against truly horrendous opposition, for the same values, even if they didn’t use the same term. From proto-feminists through to the suffragettes, the Gloria Steinems and the people protecting Planned Parenthoods, it’s a word that wears its history prominently — and a great deal of that history needs to be celebrated, even if it’s complicated (which it often is). Remembering doesn’t mean that you agree with all of it, just that you know it’s there.

It’s also, frankly, the best word we’ve got. It is, in its purest form, about improving the status of women as a group in the world — and there is no way in which that struggle is even close to over. The UN estimates that increasing women’s participation in the workforce and giving them equal pay worldwide would raise the world economy’s value by $ 17 trillion. Yep. That’s trillions.

It may be seen by some as an “aggressive” term, but when you’re faced with situations like constant everyday misogynist bullying, a rape rate increase of 29 percent in the U.K. in the past year, 15 million girls worldwide being forced into marriage as children every year, and countless other bits of evidence that women are still second-class citizens, it’s necessary to be aggressive.

Feminism needs to acknowledge and give status to people who aren’t just white, middle-class, cis, and able-bodied, but at least we’re beginning to have that conversation openly. And, frankly, there’s no other word in the world that does what it does and encapsulates what it means — at least not yet. Long live the f-word.

Images: CarnivalGoldfish, airspin, SillyTees, MisandryOverMisogyny/Etsy; Charles Chusseau-Flaviens, Schlesinger Library at Harvard/Wikimedia Commons, American Humanist Association

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Desperate Times Called for Tapping Measures on 42nd St.

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All Photos courtesy of Sergerstrom Arts

The Depression was, well, depressing. That’s why so much entertainment of the time, especially the full-blown productions of Busby Berkeley, were over-blown homages to wealth, prosperity, to hope and happiness and all things opposite the depressing times.

Bradford Ropes wrote a novel about a young girl from Allentown, PA that heads for the New York and Broadway right smack in the middle of the last ditch effort of the domineering director Julian Marsh’s attempt to launch a hit at the height of the Great Depression.

The novel, “42nd Street,” was made in to a movie in 1933 and was a far cry from the original which was filled with sex, drugs and all sorts of debauchery. Yet, the movie got to be far more risqué than others soon to follow because of the PCA code passed in 1930 but wasn’t enforced vigorously until 1934. The code saw the end of strong women, overt sexuality, even open homosexuality and illegal drug use in films. The code was a Roman Catholic creation but both “42nd St.” the novel, movie and the play managed to escape it.

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The Broadway play came around in 1980 produced by David Merrick, directed by Gower Champion (who was not well at the time) and orchestrated by Philip J. Lang. It won a Tony and would be Champion’s last play and Merrick’s last success. It then had a Tony-winning revival in 2001 under Michael Stewart and Mark Bramble. It is currently touring stopping at the Segerstrom Arts Centerin Costa Mesa, CA until November 22nd and continuing across the country throughout 2016.

The revival’s co-author Mark Bramble has again revised the play and is directing this backstage tale to Randy Skinner’s choreography of a young chorus girl that gets a big break when the star can’t go on. In an odd case of life imitating art, Catherine Zeta Jones went on in the lead role of the play in London and was so good she ended up being cast as the lead way back when. Bramble and Skinner were behind the Tony winning 2001 revival and this production has all the verve and energy of any incarnation.

Boundless energy, in fact, more energy than mortals can possible imagine. I do not know how Caitlin Ehlinger as wide-eyed hopeful Peggy Sawyer or Blake Stadnik’s Billy Lawlor deliver the non-stop no-holds-barred tap number after tap number, but they do and with effortless style and infectious energy that makes the smiles real on both dancers and audience members alike. Matthew J. Taylor’s Julian Marsh is the perfect caricature of a what a desperate but proud Broadway producer would be, and it is he that gets to deliver the iconic plea to Ehilnger to “Come along and listen to the lullaby of Broadway…”

That’s just one of four iconic songs in this production, from the campy “Shuffle Off to Buffalo” to “I Only Have Eyes For You” and of course, the title “42nd Street” the Broadway hits and big production numbers are non stop.

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And while the entire cast, and it’s big, does everything it can to make the audience feel as though they are sitting in the middle of a Busby Berkeley film, some songs like “There’s A Sunny Side to Ev’vry Situation” about the benefits of being poor were ringing very true for the modern day audience in Orange County, CA. As the campy tramps sang “We’re In the Money” (yes, Daniel, the WB frog did sing that in part of his medley….) the spirit of hitting it rich, of rich being a job, a chance, a shot and not just finances did not fall on deaf ears.

The fact is, after seeing “Annie” at the Pantages a few weeks back and now this, both musicals set in or near the Depression, it’s easy to see that The Great Recession of 2008 was actually a Depression for many, and many still are depressed. As politicians fight over $ 10 or $ 15 minimum wage, rents skyrocket and incomes fail to grow with the times, it’s very easy to relate to the sentiments shared in the play; the need for a job, how we all need to pull together to make things work and how we must never lose hope.

So the play fills itself with two hours plus of sheer escapism, no intricate dialogues, no complicated love stories to follow just dreams, jobs, singing and a whole lot of dancing. Huge dance numbers and yes, it did bring me back to the front of our TV that had tubes in it, Black and White even, sitting there watching late night TV with my mom when I was eight or so, in 1970, watching old Busby Berkeley films with hundreds of dancing girls and swimmers and dancing men….”42nd Street” takes the audience on the same escape route so many during the Great Depression used, and it’s a fun one.

The rest of the cast is wonderful, with Britte Steele’s Maggie being the gal everyone loves and Kaitlyn Lawrence just enough diva to pull off Dorothy Brock, the aging star using the play to revive her career who ends up realizing love beats Broadway.

Yes, it’s a time of simple story lines, big dance numbers, lots of feathers, sequins and tap shoes. But it’s “42nd Street,” and that’s exactly what it’s supposed to be. This company delivers all the thrills of the original and provides a night of theatre that is time capsule-esque. For a few hours it’s all about the show, about a hit, about getting the steps right and making sure you and your friends have jobs, it’s about all the dancing feet, yes, on the avenue they’re taking you to, 42nd. Street. It’s about forgetting how bad things can be, or are, and just dancing for the sheer joy of it.

While the musical is dated, it remains timeless and while it’s set in the Depression seems too relevant. But no matter, it’s impossible to leave and not find yourself tapping way in the hall, the car or the sidewalk. And that’s a good thing.

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16 Dresses That Have No Business Being Called Dresses

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Great news for anyone who ever wanted to read anything written by Naya Rivera. The former “Glee” star announced on Monday that she’s releasing a memoir, and it has the most Naya Rivera title ever: Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up.

Rivera is promising “juicy” stories — and she’s not sorry about it.

Sorry Not Sorry: Dreams, Mistakes, and Growing Up is set to hit shelves in spring 2016.

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Rocketing Skyward: Navigating This Thing Called ‘Life’

I’m not sure how you all are feeling, but just gotta say the last few weeks have brought some seriously interesting times. I’m not one to follow astrology, but according to those that do, May 4 and the Scorpio moon has basically brought down the house (or houses as they say). I looked up at the moon that night and it was absolutely stunning — sultry burnt orange-yellow perfection! And the Giants won with Bumgarner at the helm — what more could you want? The Warriors? Ah, yes, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

At that point, astrology follower or not, it was clear something beyond normal comprehension was about to occur. For me, that became fact and a quick step down memory lane — did I ask for that? Mmm, perhaps but definitely didn’t see it coming, if you know what I mean. Sunday apparently brought a new moon in Taurus — my particular sign, and I suppose not being a genius in this area, what I’d call movement similar to a heat sinking missile, or 20 as the case was.

The fact is that things in life do happen in a sequence we strive to understand. We can do so under the auspices of religion, astrology, spirituality and even the absence of anything — although I do not recommend that particular path. For some of us, the last two weeks have brought a reckoning with the past, present and future in a way we’d prefer not to address in such rapid-fire succession. For me personally, I’ve pleaded for time, for space, for air. We cannot be asked to decide proper course when the world reigns down on us in this kind of fashion. To settle, to sit, to find calm in a storm is hard. It can even feel life threatening — the air goes out of the room. I wrote recently that one of the hardest things to do in life is to wait, to be patient, and to sit in absolute faith that forces bigger than us know better and will help to place puzzle pieces we cannot position ourselves. That is the definition of courage.

I was shot out of the barrel a brazenly determined athlete, and this approach to life meant pushing beyond measure, never letting up. I am essentially Tom Cruise (in girl’s clothing) in Top Gun. Sitting and waiting for anything in life seems horridly wrong, just until the point life serves up a challenge I seemingly can’t handle. As you well know, catastrophic events are intentioned for us to learn, and to grow. Nearly losing my life in January was one of many particular challenges life served up to grow, to become better than I otherwise was, and for a particular purpose. Learning not to abandon oneself or one’s wing men (or women) in life is a darn hard lesson to learn — especially for self-sacrificing, selfless ones despite what it seems on the surface — it is a matter of pride. For someone like me to sit and wait and rely on something I cannot comprehend seems unfathomable, but is precisely what was and is required. I’d prefer to shove pieces into place. Do you know this feeling? Somehow, quite certain that you do — control freaks most of us are.

The reality is life is a dance of effort balanced with patience and trust. When I nearly lost my life, I promised myself I’d strive for simple balance. I recently took up surfing in extremely cold waters just to give myself a reality check in this department. Go the distance with yourself and grow in ways you don’t think are possible. If patience is your problem, like me, challenge yourself to find and trust it. If you can’t get up and go, then you know what you must do — just do it. Come on, we’re all in on this thing called life, and in viewing our strengths and weaknesses with blatant honesty we’ll grow and be the ones we were asked to be. Show up and do what you must.

In closing, an in summation for the last two weeks and forevermore,

Mr. McCartney said it best (I edited for a few key phrases):

With a little luck, we can help it out. We can make this whole damn thing work out. With a little love, we can lay it down. There is no end to what we can do together. There can be no misunderstanding. There is no end to what we can do together. There is no end. The willow turns his back on inclement weather. We can do it, just me and you. With a little push, we could set it off. We can send it rocketing skywards. With a little love, we could shake it up. Don’t you feel the comet exploding? With a little luck, a little luck, a little luck.

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A grande Flat White with whole milk comes in at 220 calories, 11 grams of total fat and 17 grams of sugar. The drink is for sale nationwide and pricing may vary depending on city.

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“This is actually my first time talking about it publicly,” Dunham said about the project. “I’m very excited about it. I’m not sure when it’ll happen, but I’m in the process of [working on it].”

Written by Cushman, the 1994 novel — which won the Newbury Prize in 1995 — tells the story of Catherine, a 12-year-old coming of age in 1290 England. “[She] gets her period and her father basically says, ‘Well, it’s time for you to get married,’ and she’s like, ‘Uh, no,'” Dunham told the crowd. “But it’s hyper realistic and really pretty and it’s full of incest and beatings, but it’s a child’s story. I’ve been obsessed with it since I was a kid.” Dunham previously cited “Catherine, Called Birdy” as one of the two best books she’s ever read about young girls in an interview with the New York Times in 2012. (Her other selection was Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita.”)

“It’s a really interesting examination of sort of like coming of age and what’s expected of teenage girls,” Dunham said. “I’m going to adapt it and hopefully direct it, I just need to find someone who wants to fund a PG-13 medieval movie.”

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“Nothing I’ve done so far has required any research of any real kind beyond, like, going to a diner,” Dunham said, acknowledging how “Catherine, Called Birdy” is not necessarily what some fans have come to expect from her as a writer-director. “So this is a whole other world. But the source material makes me so happy and I’m so excited, because I’ve been working on ‘Girls’ [for five years] and I also wrote this book of personal essays. So the idea of engaging with some of these topics that are important to me, which are — surprise — women and feminism, but finding a way to kind of look at them through a historical lens is sort of like where feel myself going.”

Dunham, who is currently promoting her new book, “Not That Kind of Girl,” said she’ll connect with Cushman to discuss “Catherine, Called Birdy” during a visit to Seattle next weekend.
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