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An NBA Star Came Out As Gay, And President Obama Called Him. Others Experience Kind Of The Opposite.

When I think of events at the United Nations, I think of long-winded academic conferences.This is a different kind of UN event. Here, athletes and advocates share heartbreaking and inspiring personal stories of the LGBTQQIA experience and let us all know why equality means so much to them.

Pop Culture

Two brothers Irish stepdancing to Beyoncé's country hit 'Texas Hold 'Em' is pure delight

The Gardiner Brothers and Queen Bey proving that music can unite us all.

Gardiner Brothers/TikTok (with permission)

The Gardiner Brothers stepping in time to Beyoncé's "Texas Hold 'Em."

In early February 2024, Beyoncé rocked the music world by releasing a surprise new album of country tunes. The album, Renaissance: Act II, includes a song called "Texas Hold 'Em," which shot up the country charts—with a few bumps along the way—and landed Queen Bey at the No.1 spot.

As the first Black female artist to have a song hit No. 1 on Billboard's country music charts, Beyoncé once again proved her popularity, versatility and ability to break barriers without missing a beat. In one fell swoop, she got people who had zero interest in country music to give it a second look, forced country music fans to broaden their own ideas about what country music looks like and prompted conversations about bending and blending musical genres and styles.

And she inspired the Gardiner Brothers to add yet another element to the mix—Irish stepdance.

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Remember Brendan Fraser? 10 years ago, he was one of Hollywood's biggest stars. Then, he suddenly disappeared.

If you were a kid in the late '90s and early '00s, chances are you saw a Brendan Fraser movie. The comedy and action star catapulted to fame behind blockbusters like "The Mummy" franchise, "George of the Jungle," "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," and the Oscar-winning film "Crash."

But after 2008, he largely disappeared from major starring roles. His absence wasn't due to drugs, a sex-scandal, or illness — despite memes and even reported articles speculating about his career arc, with many blaming it on poor career choices.

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We all know that Americans pay more for healthcare than every other country in the world. But how much more?

According an American expatriate who shared the story of his ER visit in a Taiwanese hospital, Americans are being taken to the cleaners when we go to the doctor. We live in a country that claims to be the greatest in the world, but where an emergency trip to the hospital can easily bankrupt someone.

Kevin Bozeat had that fact in mind when he fell ill while living in Taiwan and needed to go to the hospital. He didn't have insurance and he had no idea how much it was going to cost him. He shared the experience in a now-viral Facebook post he called "The Horrors of Socialized Medicine: A first hand experience."

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"Freddie Mercury" by kentarotakizawa is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Fans are thrilled to hear Freddie Mercury's iconic voice once again.

Freddie Mercury had a voice and a stage presence unlike any other in rock music history. His unique talents helped propel the band Queen to the top of music charts and created a loyal fan base around the world.

Sadly, the world lost that voice when Mercury died of AIDS at age 45. For decades, most of us have assumed we'd heard all the music we were going to hear from him.

However, according to Yahoo! Entertainment, remaining Queen members Roger Taylor and Brian May announced this summer that they had found a never-released song they'd recorded with Mercury in 1988 as they were working on the album "The Miracle."

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Education

The 'world's most livable city' has a proven, 100-year-old approach to affordable housing

More than 60% of this city of 1.9 million people lives in government-subsidized housing.

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Vienna, Austria, is the "world's most livable city."

My family recently spent a week exploring Vienna, Austria, getting a first-hand look at why it's been named "the world's most livable city" for 8 out of the past 10 years. As we enjoyed the efficient public transportation system and meandered the picturesque streets filled with gorgeous architecture, we did find ourselves thinking, "Yeah, we could live here."

Part of that feeling was prompted by the beauty of the place, but as we spent hours walking through the historic heart of the city, something else struck me. Unlike every other big city I've visited in recent years, I didn't see anyone sleeping on the sidewalk. No tents as makeshift homes set up anywhere. It was so striking, I kept wondering, "Where were all the homeless people?"

Vienna is home to 1.9 million people—more than twice the population of Seattle or Boston, where you can't walk for 5 minutes through downtown without seeing multiple people experiencing homelessness. I began to wonder if perhaps Vienna was a case of homelessness being shoved out of view into slums or something. But after digging a bit, I learned that Vienna does have some homeless population. It just doesn't have the numbers or the homelessnessproblem that most modern large cities do, thanks to its 100-year-old approach to affordable housing.

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Pop Culture

One moment in history shot Tracy Chapman to music stardom. Watch it now.

She captivated millions with nothing but her guitar and an iconic voice.

Imagine being in the crowd and hearing "Fast Car" for the first time

While a catchy hook might make a song go viral, very few songs create such a unifying impact that they achieve timeless resonance. Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” is one of those songs.

So much courage and raw honesty is packed into the lyrics, only to be elevated by Chapman’s signature androgynous and soulful voice. Imagine being in the crowd and seeing her as a relatively unknown talent and hearing that song for the first time. Would you instantly recognize that you were witnessing a pivotal moment in musical history?

For concert goers at Wembley Stadium in the late 80s, this was the scenario.

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