+
More

3 facts that show how historic Obama's trip to Hiroshima really will be.

This is a major first.

President Obama is visiting Japan at the end of May for the G-7 summit. But his trip's itinerary is already making news around the world.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe and President Obama. Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.


The president plans to visit Hiroshima, a city devastated by an atom bomb dropped by the U.S. in 1945.

Photo by Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images.

He hopes his visit on May 27, 2016, will help promote the idea that "a world without nuclear weapons" can be achievable in the decades following his presidency.

Japan honored those lost on Aug. 6, 2015 — the 70th anniversary of the bombings. Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.

His visit is big news, especially when you consider the immeasurable impact America's use of nuclear weapons had — not only on Japan, but on the entire world.

Here are three reasons why Obama's trip to Hiroshima is a big deal:

1. Obama will be the very first sitting president to visit Hiroshima.

Naturally, visiting any war memorial as the president of the country that caused the deaths honored at the memorial is a step guaranteed to bring about a few raised eyebrows. So it makes sense that no other sitting U.S. president has done what Obama plans to do.

Last month, Secretary of State John Kerry visited the memorial, becoming the highest-ranking U.S. official to do so. Many saw the move as setting the stage for Obama's visit later this month.

Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

Obama's visit is to honor the lives lost and "not [to] revisit the decision to use the atomic bomb at the end of World War II" — a decision still up for heated debate over 70 years later.

2. The atomic bombs dropped by the U.S. in Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the only use of nuclear warfare in history.

It's difficult to overstate how much the atomic attacks in Japan shaped global politics in the years following the second world war. The bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki — which were dropped to put an end to a costly conflict in the Pacific, then-president Harry Truman had argued — killed over 200,000 people.

The immediate blast caused thousands of casualties, but the radiation it dispersed resulted in even more deaths and illnessesin the years that followed.

Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images.

There's no "question that the bombs opened an era in which the very survival of the human race became hostage to geopolitical disputes," Serge Schmemann wrote for The New York Times. The destruction also manifested in popular TV, film, and music, shaping a generation of artistic anxiety seen throughout the world.

Although President Truman remained confident his decision was the correct one, it's worth noting J. Robert Oppenheimer — a physicist who helped develop the A-bomb — once quoted Hindu scripture in regards to his work: "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

3. Obama's symbolic visit highlights a key principle of America's foreign policy under his presidency — a perspective that could shift drastically depending on who the next president is.

Nuclear non-proliferation has been a central theme in Obama's messaging and policymaking throughout the past eight years, and his trip to Hiroshima serves as a "forward-looking vision" to keep that outlook a priority. The next president, however, may have different ideas in mind.

A memorial service is held between both American and Japanese service members on the anniversary of one of World War II's bloodiest battles in March 2015. Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump called the Obama administration's Iran Deal — a pact to ensure Iran doesn't acquire nuclear weapons — "one of the worst deals [he's] ever seen negotiated."Trump also suggested countries like Japan and South Korea should obtain their own nuclear weapons — an idea that not only shocked officials in East Asia, shows Trump "doesn't know much about foreign policy," Obama said.

The president's visit to Hiroshima speaks volumes about his thoughts on nuclear weapons only months before a very different world stage could be set by the next American leader.

At its core, Obama's historic trip to Hiroshima serves as an important reminder that innocent lives are lost when we resort to bombs over diplomacy.

"In making this visit, the president will shine a spotlight on the tremendous and devastating human toll of war," Rhodes wrote.

And although Obama is "eternally proud" of the sacrifices of men and women in uniform during World War II, he'll make this visit "knowing that the open recognition of history is essential to understanding our shared past, the forces that shape the world we live in today, and the future that we seek for our children and grandchildren."

Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images.


All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

Two couples move in together with their kids to create one big, loving 'polyfamory'

They are using their unique family arrangement to help people better understand polyamory.

The Hartless and Rodgers families post together


Polyamory, a lifestyle where people have multiple romantic or sexual partners, is more prevalent in America than most people think. According to a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, one in nine Americans have been in a polyamorous relationship, and one in six say they would like to try one.

However popular the idea is, polyamory is misunderstood by a large swath of the public and is often seen as deviant. However, those who practice it view polyamory as a healthy lifestyle with several benefits.

Taya Hartless, 28, and Alysia Rogers, 34, along with their husbands Sean, 46, and Tyler, 35, are in a polyamorous relationship and have no problem sharing their lifestyle with the public on social media. Even though they risk stigmatization for being open about their non-traditional relationships, they are sharing it with the world to make it a safer place for “poly” folks like themselves.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less