Mid-term elections 2018: Do celebrities really influence voters?

Taylor Swift’s Senate candidate lost in the mid-terms but her impact on politics may still be felt.
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Facebook pulls Iran accounts trying to influence UK politics

Facebook has removed dozens of accounts linked to Iran for spreading disinformation to more than a million followers in the UK and US.
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Hideo Kojima on Casting ‘Bionic Woman,’ the Influence of Film, Importance of Secrecy

It took an impassioned three-and-a-half-hour presentation, sometimes nearly punctuated by tears, to convince Lindsay Wagner (“The Bionic Woman”) to take a creative leap of faith and appear in a video game in development by Hideo Kojima, the auteur game-maker recently told Variety. Long a fan of Wagner’s work, Kojima said he wanted her for his […]

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Facebook widens Russian Brexit influence probe

Facebook has widened its investigation into possible Russian interference in the EU referendum.
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Influence Peddler: Yang Mi

Yang Mi, the 31-year-old actress and global ambassador for Michael Kors, is an unusual presence on social media. Her Sino Weibo microblogging account, with an astounding 77.5 million followers, is updated sporadically with cat pictures, brand partner posts and selfies in which the actress famously shows only half her face.
Her demeanor is serious and she rarely smiles, which makes Mi an unusual female celebrity presence in China — and also Asia more broadly — where cute and kitschy personas have traditionally been popular with young fan girls. But in giving very little away, Mi has managed to make the masses want ever more.
Mi’s style, and her penchant for mixing high and low, couture and street, is also a major draw for young followers in China who are seeking a fashion path more nuanced than the homogenous top-to-toe looks that were popular with previous generations of Chinese consumers, who focused purely on labels to convey style status. “[Yang Mi] very much puts her own imprint on what she wears, she could wear a boy’s suit and it would still feel feminine and elegant,” said Michael Kors, during a recent trip to Shanghai. “When we work with actresses and celebrities, I like

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John Ashbery, a Singular Poet Whose Influence Was Broad, Dies at 90

Among his many honors, Mr. Ashbery was the first poet to win the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.
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Nonfiction: The Curious Conundrum of Freud’s Persistent Influence

“Freud,” a critical biography by Frederick Crews, asks why the creator of a scientifically delegitimized blueprint of the mind still carries so much sway.
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10 years later: The build, stunning end, and influence of the 2007 Patriots

10 years later: The build, stunning end, and influence of the 2007 Patriots
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Google Pays Professors to Boost Washington Influence

Google operates a little-known program to harness the brain power of university researchers to help sway opinion and public policy, cultivating financial relationships with professors nationwide.
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Trump’s Reversals Reflect Business Influence

President Donald Trump’s reliance on former corporate executives in his White House—and business leaders outside of it—helped shape this week’s reversals on several hard-line positions that defined his campaign, according to officials.
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Bullycide: True Stories Exposing The Influence Bullying has On Youth Suicide Vol. 1

Bullycide: True Stories Exposing The Influence Bullying has On Youth Suicide Vol. 1


Have you or someone you know been a victim of bullying?The Devastating Effects Of BullyingChildhood bullying is on the rise, according to some studies, but can it actually cause death? According to the CDC, suicide accounts for 4,400 deaths per year in young people. This, of course, doesn’t take the number of missed suicide attempts into consideration. A Yale University study found that those who are being bullied are estimated to be between 2-9 times more likely to contemplate suicide than those who aren’t being bullied. ABC News reported that every day 160,000 kids stay home from school due to fear of bullying. Many high-profile bullying cases have garnered attention to the link between bullying and suicide across the globe in recent years. While, in the past, bullying could easily be brushed off as “kids being kids” or just a part of growing up, it can no longer be ignored. From children being bullied for their sexuality to the types of toys they play with, it’s becoming a very real problem that can’t always be brushed off by ignoring the tormentor. The New Age Of BullyingSocial networking sites and texting have been blamed for the recent rise in bullying, especially since these add a level of anonymity not felt or seen in the past. Pictures, messages, and posts can spread like wildfire and what goes on online can infiltrate the classroom and the “real world.”In the following book, we’ll go over some of the most recent child suicide cases instigated by bullying. While most cases are those who were teenagers at the time of their deaths, some have been as young as 11- and 12-years-old. By learning what to look for in a victim and gaining awareness of early warning signs, it might be possible to prevent the tragedy before it happens. And with more awareness and education on the parts of teachers, parents, and other adults involved in the child’s life, bullying could even be curtailed in the future. Time For ChangeAfter reading these stories, hopefully it will shed some

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5 Reasons Lauryn Hill’s Influence On Music Is Incomparable

This post is part of a weekly series celebrating #ThrowbackThursday with reflections of our favorite childhood memories, past pop culture moments and more!

Just 17 years ago, Hill released “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” on Aug. 25, 1998. This was her first and last studio album which was created in the midst of her own personal struggles. She wanted to “make honest music,” Chris Nickson quoted in his written biography on her life  – and she did. 

“[I wanted to] write songs that lyrically move me and have the integrity of reggae and the knock of hip-hop and the instrumentation of classic soul,” she told Rolling Stone in 1999. “[My engineer and I worked on] a sound that’s raw. I like the rawness of you being able to hear the scratch in the vocals. I don’t ever want that taken away.”

Hill went on hiatus after she recorded the live concert album “MTV Unplugged No. 2.0” in 2001 and returned to the music world recently in the past few years. The former Fugees member hasn’t announced plans for a new album, but she has been performing more frequently and recorded new tracks titled “Neurotic Society” and “Black Rage.” 

Still, nothing she has done has been as impactful for hip-hop and R&B as her debut solo album. Take a look at some of the ways “The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” redefined music:

1. She broke barriers for black female artists. 

“Miseducation” lifted boundaries for female artists. Though she wasn’t the first person to play with both genres, Hill’s songs resonated with the masses when she married hip-hop with R&B. Her debut album sold more than 420,000 copies it’s first week, surpassing Madonna’s record, and has sold more than 17 million copies worldwide to date. “What Lauryn is doing is opening doors for female artists who aren’t materialistic and flashing their titties,” Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA told MTV in 1998. “She represents a beauty and a wholesomeness that’s more down-to-earth. She makes music that people can relate to, which is why she’s done so well.”


2. “Miseducation” was the first hip-hop album to win a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Hill didn’t open doors for just women in the industry, but for the entire hip-hop genre. She was nominated for 10 Grammys and won five in 1999, a record for a female artist at that time. Her five wins created a more widespread audience and crossover appeal for hip-hop. 

3. The album was a subtle and honest act of feminism.

Not only did Hill burst through the industry’s glass ceiling, but many may not know that she created this masterpiece while pregnant. The emcee, songstress rejected society’s notion that they must choose between family and a career. The fourth track, “To Zion,” was for her son whom she carried while creating the album. “‘Look at your career,’ they said/’Lauryn baby use your head’/ But instead I chose to use my heart,” she sings, referencing those who told her to consider an abortion so she wouldn’t ruin her career.


4. She helped pioneer conscious lyrics in hip-hop.

Hill was “woke” before many artists like Talib Kwele, Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar came onto the music scene. She put her personal testimonies in her lyrics. Hill helped to create an avenue for honest and socially-conscious dialogue in music, from speaking about sexual objectivity in “Doo Wop (That Thing)” to failed relationships in “Ex-Factor” and other topics considered too taboo at the time. In 1999 she predicted that the music industry was about to shift without knowing that she would pave the way for many of today’s artists. “I think now people feel a little more comfortable playing with the parameters. Writing more intensely,” she told Rolling Stone. 


5. Her sound transcends beyond hip-hop and R&B. 

The soulfulness and realness of “Miseducation” knocked down boundaries in the music industry, especially for black artists. This year, it earned a place in the Library of CongressD’angelo noted that “churches were substituting God in the lyrics [for ‘Nothing Even Matters’]. Whenever they make a gospel version from a secular song, that’s significant.”  

“The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill” is musical genius and has influenced artists like Adele, Beyonce, Talib Kwele, Kanye West, Nas, John Legend (who launched his career playing the piano on the background of Hill’s song “Everything is Everything”) and many more. Legend said to Rolling Stone, “She did it better than anybody still has done it. People are still trying to capture that moment.”

Though no one knows if the world will see another studio album from Hill, the impact of this particular album is undeniable. 

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Baby’s Gender May Influence Mom’s Diabetes Risk

Carrying sons linked to gestational diabetes, girls to later type 2 risk, researchers say
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Robert De Niro’s Anxiety of Influence: Remembering the Artist Premieres

Back in the 1970’s when Robert De Niro was breaking out in films–Bang the Drum Slowly, Mean Streets, Taxi Driver–his dad Robert De Niro, Sr. was a painter of note, influenced by the European modernists Manet, Matisse, and Picasso, but never to equal the fame of his actor son. By the time De Niro, Sr. died in 1993 of prostate cancer, he left behind a significant body of work, journals and other writings revealing pride in his actor son, homosexuality, and depression. Now De Niro, the son, encouraged by his Tribeca Films producing partner Jane Rosenthal put together a documentary about his father, Remembering the Artist, directed by Perri Peltz and Gita Gandhbir that will air on HBO on Monday night.

On Thursday night at the DC Moore Gallery in Chelsea, Robert De Niro’s paintings eclipsed all the stars. The actor’s friends, Christopher Walken, Thelma Schoonmaker, Regis Philbin and wife Joy praised the work. Tony Bennett, a painter, had never met De Niro’s dad, admiring the exhibit. In fact, De Niro had a show in Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of the Century gallery, a major early recognition, and continued to exhibit throughout his life. The exhibition catalogue lists his shows with bibliography and also features a 1958 ARTnews essay about the artist with photographs by Rudy Burckhardt.

Albert Kresch, a fellow painter, speaks about the artists’ milieu, the Cedar Tavern, as a mecca for abstract expressionists like Kline, DeKooning, and Pollock, noting that De Niro would have nothing to do with it, feeling himself superior, as art world tastes shifted toward the commercial and pop Warhol, Lichtenstein and Kelly. Little is revealed about Virginia Admiral, De Niro’s mother, a painter too of some early acclaim who met her husband studying with Hans Hofmann in Provincetown. She stopped painting, needing to be more practical, she told her son, a resonant glimpse of the talented, pioneering women of that time, and their thwarted ambitions.

At a Q&A after the MoMA screening, Gita Gandhbir said it was most difficult to make a lively film portrait when the subject is dead. With De Niro’s wistful interview at center, the documentary remembers a significant artist of his time, and stands as an eloquent tribute of son to father.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.
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Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One

Location Is (Still) Everything: The Surprising Influence of the Real World on How We Search, Shop, and Sell in the Virtual One


Conventional wisdom holds that the Internet makes the world flat and reduces friction, erasing the impact of the physical world on our buying habits.But Wharton professor and marketing expert David R. Bell argues that the way we use the Internet is largely shaped by the physical world that we inhabit. Anyone can go online and buy a pair of pants–but the likelihood that we would do so depends to a significant degree on where we live. The presence of stores nearby, trendy and friendly neighbors, and local sales taxes play a large role in the decision-making process when it comes to buying online.” Location Is (Still) Everything” is for anyone who wants to understand the patterns underlying how and why we use the Internet to shop, sell, and search, including entrepreneurs, students, and investors. This book is not only about Internet trends and innovations, but also about fundamental human behavior and the role that the Internet plays in our daily lives.

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Food History Almanac: Over 1,300 Years of World Culinary History, Culture, and Social Influence

Food History Almanac: Over 1,300 Years of World Culinary History, Culture, and Social Influence


The Food History Almanac covers 365 days of the year, with information and anecdotes relating to food history from around the world from medieval times to the present. The daily entries include such topics as celebrations; significant food-related moments in history from the fields of science and technology, exploration and discovery, travel, literature, hotel and restaurant history, and military history; menus from famous and infamous meals across a wide spectrum, from extravagant royal banquets to war rations and prison fare; birthdays of important people in the food field; and publication dates for important cookbooks and food texts and first known recipes. Food historian Janet Clarkson has drawn from her vast compendium of historical cookbooks, food texts, scholarly articles, journals, diaries, ships logs, letters, official reports, and newspaper and magazine articles to bring food history alive. History buffs, foodies, students doing reports, and curious readers will find it a constant delight. An introduction, list of recipes, selected bibliography, and set index, plus a number of period illustrations are added value.

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