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5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

Here are five reasons to watch the Golden Globes 2016.

5 ways the Golden Globes nailed it big with its nominees this year.

The Golden Globes are Jan. 10, 2016. Get excited!

Why? Well, first of all, that means award show season is officially upon us. Secondly, alcoholic beverages are served during the ceremony (a rarity for televised award shows), which guarantees no shortage of interesting watercooler conversations the following day.

And thirdly, just look at this year's nominees! You'll see the Golden Globes really has its pulse on today's issues more than ever before, as reflected by who's getting recognized for what (although based on who wins, I may have to eat my words here). Here are five ways that's evident this year.


1. People of color are actually well-represented in TV categories.

Thanks to series like "Empire," "How to Get Away With Murder," and "Orange Is the New Black," performances by people of color are getting noticed — something that's not always (read: almost never) been the case. Actors Aziz Ansari, Taraji P. Henson, Gina Rodriguez, Viola Davis, Idris Elba, and Uzo Aduba are among the many people of color being honored for their praise-worthy performances in 2015.

Gina Rodriguez is nominated for her role in "Jane the Virgin." Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for iHeartMedia.

Nominees in the film categories, however, paint a slightly different (monochromatic) picture — one that, in many ways, mirrors the overwhelmingly white Oscar nods of 2015. And there's certainly a need for improvement when it comes to diversity among this year's presenters as well.

2. Thanks in part to "Concussion," chatter around football's traumatic brain injury problem is going mainstream.

"Concussion," starring Will Smith (who is up for best actor in a drama for the role), tells the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist whose research suggested a link in brain injuries to playing football. His efforts to shed light on the issue were ... let's just say ... not welcomed by the NFL.

Will Smith is nominated for his role in "Concussion." Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

The film, released on Christmas, got some important facts wrong about the real story (and then possibly took it easy on the NFL out of fear of ruffling feathers), so it faced its fair share of criticism. But it came on the heels of more recent research from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University that found a whopping 87 out of 91 deceased former NFL players examined by analysts tested positive for chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative disease of the brain, The Atlantic reported. So it seems like Omalu was onto something important (and I'm glad Will Smith is helping move the discussion forward).

3. Feminist storylines are dominating this year's categories.

Feminism: Yes, it may have been one the clickiest, trendiest buzzwords of 2015, but that doesn't mean it didn't push gender equality forward offline as well.

Melissa McCarthy is nominated for her role in "Spy." Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

There are plenty of nominees to choose from in both TV and film categories that feature feminist characters and themes. "Mad Max: Fury Road," "Inside Out," "Spy," "Trainwreck," "Orange Is the New Black," "Transparent," and so many others — all empowering, thought-provoking, complex, depictions of women that, in ways both big and small, throw outdated gender norms out the window.

Also, can we take a moment and appreciate the amount of feminism squeezed into the Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy category this year? Lily Tomlin? Amy Schumer? Jennifer Lawrence? Yes, please.

4. And speaking of women killin' it, take a look at the nods for best film.

One quick scan over the Golden Globes' top film nods proves 2015 was a stellar year for leading ladies and the films they starred in.

Jennifer Lawrence is nominated for her role in "Joy." Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images.

Three of the five films up for Best Comedy or Musical feature women in lead roles (shout out to "Joy," "Spy," and "Trainwreck") — an impressive feat considering that — yes, even in 2016 — we're still arguing whether woman are as funny as men. And films featuring female leads aren't just snagging nominations, by the way — they're cleaning up at the box office, too.

What's more, in the Best Drama category, female-led "Carol" and "Room" are nominated, along with "Mad Max: Fury Road," which featured a helluva badass (and feminist) performance from Charlize Theron.

5. For the second year in a row, LGBTQ characters and their stories are sharing the spotlight in powerful ways.

This year's awards will continue 2015's groundbreaking year of content giving a voice to LGBTQ characters and their stories.

Jeffrey Tambor is nominated for his role in "Transparent." Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images.

Movies like "Carol" (which tells the story of a lesbian love affair) and "The Danish Girl" (a biopic about Lili Elbe, one of the first-known recipients of gender confirmation surgery) are up for big nods. And in the TV realm, trailblazing series like "Transparent" and "Orange Is the New Black" continue being recognized for their thoughtful, eye-opening storytelling and characters.

Although some have criticized "Transparent" and "The Danish Girl" for casting cisgender actors in roles that should be reserved for trans folks (who face enough casting discrimination as is), it's difficult to argue projects like these haven't expanded visibility and promoted inclusion in big ways.

So there you go. If you didn't have a reason to watch the Golden Globes 2016, now you have five.

From opening doors for marginalized communities to shining a light on public health concerns, the Golden Globes are proving themselves relevant in 2016. Bravo! (And, if for no other reason, you can always tune in to see if anyone goes overboard at the open bar.)

When "bobcat" trended on Twitter this week, no one anticipated the unreal series of events they were about to witness. The bizarre bobcat encounter was captured on a security cam video and...well...you just have to see it. (Read the following description if you want to be prepared, or skip down to the video if you want to be surprised. I promise, it's a wild ride either way.)

In a North Carolina neighborhood that looks like a present-day Pleasantville, a man carries a cup of coffee and a plate of brownies out to his car. "Good mornin!" he calls cheerfully to a neighbor jogging by. As he sets his coffee cup on the hood of the car, he says, "I need to wash my car." Well, shucks. His wife enters the camera frame on the other side of the car.

So far, it's just about the most classic modern Americana scene imaginable. And then...

A horrifying "rrrrawwwww!" Blood-curdling screaming. Running. Panic. The man abandons the brownies, races to his wife's side of the car, then emerges with an animal in his hands. He holds the creature up like Rafiki holding up Simba, then yells in its face, "Oh my god! It's a bobcat! Oh my god!"

Then he hucks the bobcat across the yard with all his might.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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