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maybelle blair, a league of their own, coming out
Jeff Neira/Prime Video

Maybelle Blair at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Thirty years ago, one of the greatest sports movies of all time (IMO), "A League of Their Own," was released. It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since many of us first learned about the All-American Girls Baseball League. What people may not realize is that the story isn't over. A new series, created by Abbi Jacobson, is coming to Amazon Prime Video in August. The promo tour has already begun and it looks like the creators of the show are featuring women who were actually a part of the AAGPBL.

One of those women is Maybelle "All the way Mae" Blair, who played for the Peoria Redwings. During a recent panel at the Tribeca Film Festival, Blair, 95, decided that was as good a time as any to come out.

“I hid for 75, 85 years and this is actually basically the first time I’ve ever come out," Blair said to rousing chorus of cheers.


The show's official Instagram account shared the video of Blair with the caption: "For the majority of her life, sports legend 95-year old AAGPBL player, Maybelle Blair felt like she had to hide her authentic self. Today she came out publicly for the first time. We couldn't be happier for her, and continue to push for love, acceptance, and education on and off the field."

“I think it’s a great opportunity for these young girl ball players to come [to] realize that they’re not alone, and you don’t have to hide,” Blair said, speaking about younger generations of female athletes.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there was a time where being "out" was actually dangerous, especially for women. In the 1940s, women were already discriminated against. If you were out as a lesbian, your options for work and survival were incredibly limited. While there is sometimes an assumption that women in sports are queer, back when Blair was playing baseball, she couldn't be open about it. According to a league history from the AAGPBL website, "femininity was a high priority." Yes, femme lesbians existed, but it wasn't something they could be open about. The women couldn't even go out without a chaperone!

Queerness is baked into the fabric of the reboot, which Blair was hired as a consultant for. Just because it wasn't talked about in the past doesn't mean those women didn't exist, as Blair obviously shows.

“I thought I was the only one in the world,” Blair said during the panel, as reported by IndieWire. She added that the community of the AAGPBL allowed her a safe place.

IndieWire also reported that Jamie Babbit, director of the show's pilot episode, spent time at the AAGPBL convention in Cooperstown, where the National Baseball Hall of Fame is, after being hired. “There was a queerness in the air and just really joyful, amazing women who I just wanted to hang out with. I really wanted to bring that joy to the show,” she said.

In addition to coming out and being a consultant for the show, Blair has another mission: getting the International Women’s Baseball Center museum built. The Los Angeles Times reported that there is land available in Rockford, Illinois, across from where the Rockford Peaches used to play baseball. But they need funds. Blair, a tireless advocate for baseball and softball for women, is determined to help make it happen.

“I hope to God that I can get the shovel going into the ground before I’m on the other side of the grass because I’ve got to live long enough to see this happen," she said.

Maybelle Blair is truly an inspiration, and I'm so glad we get to share her story.

via FIRST

FIRST students compete in a robotics challenge.

True

Societies all over the world face an ever-growing list of complex issues that require informed solutions. Whether it’s addressing infectious diseases, the effects of climate change, supply chain issues or resource scarcity, the world has an immediate need for problem-solvers with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills.

Here in the United States, we’re experiencing a shortage of much-needed STEM workers, and forward-thinking organizations are stepping up to tap into America’s youth to fill the void. As the leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education, FIRST is an important player in this arena, and its mission is to inspire young people aged 4 to 18 to become technology leaders and innovators capable of addressing the world’s pressing needs.

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Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Marlon Brando on "The Dick Cavett Show" in 1973.

Marlon Brando made one of the biggest Hollywood comebacks in 1972 after playing the iconic role of Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather.” The venerable actor's career had been on a decline for years after a series of flops and increasingly unruly behavior on set.

Brando was a shoo-in for Best Actor at the 1973 Academy Awards, so the actor decided to use the opportunity to make an important point about Native American representation in Hollywood.

Instead of attending the ceremony, he sent Sacheen Littlefeather, a Yaqui and Apache actress and activist, dressed in traditional clothing, to talk about the injustices faced by Native Americans.

She explained that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this generous award, the reasons for this being … the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

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Co-sleeping isn't for everyone.

The marital bed is a symbol of the intimacy shared between people who’ve decided to be together 'til death they do part. When couples sleep together it’s an expression of their closeness and how they care for one another when they are most vulnerable.

However, for some couples, the marital bed can be a warzone. Throughout the night couples can endure snoring, sleep apnea, the ongoing battle for sheets or circadian rhythms that never seem to sync. If one person likes to fall asleep with the TV on while the other reads a book, it can be impossible to come to an agreement on a good-night routine.

Last week on TODAY, host Carson Daly reminded viewers that he and his wife Siri, a TODAY Food contributor, had a sleep divorce while she was pregnant with their fourth child.

“I was served my sleep-divorce papers a few years ago,” he explained on TODAY. “It’s the best thing that ever happened to us. We both, admittedly, slept better apart.”

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