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Mel B dedicates her new royal MBE title to domestic violence victims

She's using her voice to uplift those without one

scary spice

Mel B in the backstage of Times Square New Year's Eve 2017, in New York.

You may not recognize the name Mel B, but you almost certainly remember her moniker Scary Spice. In the late '90s, the singer was one-fifth of the Spice Girls, one of the most successful female pop groups of all time. The Spice Girls were notable for their strong "girl power" message, which became a rallying cry for a group of young girls and women who didn't even know what feminism was.

Mel B has never shied away from using her public persona to champion the rights of others. In recent years, she has turned her attention to a different kind of advocacy: the plight of women affected by domestic violence. A victim herself, she now works tirelessly to give voice to the many who suffer in silence.



Mel B (short for Melanie Brown) was in a 10-year relationship with American producer Stephen Belafonte and, at the time of their divorce, she admitted that during the course of their relationship she had suffered abuse to the point that she contemplated suicide. In 2018, she wrote a book, "Brutally Honest," that detailed the abusive relationship.

"I wanted to be the Boudica for women who had been in abusive relationships. I wanted to use my platform because all these women, including myself, suffer in silence feeling shame for something that is really nothing for them to be ashamed of. I wanted to speak for other women, because I was big enough and loud enough for others who couldn’t do it," Brown told Metro in an exclusive interview.

The release of her book led to her partnering with the U.K. organization Women's Aid, a charity that specializes in working to end domestic abuse. What began as something that was supposed to be a one-off led to Brown becoming a patron for the organization.

"Mel has really gone above and beyond as a patron," Teresa Parker, head of communications for Women's Aid, told the news outlet. "I’ve worked at Women’s Aid for 20 years and I’ve never known somebody with her level of profile give so much of her time so freely and generously."

Parker revealed that during the Spice Girls' 2019 tour, Brown gave her approximately 90 VIP tickets so that domestic abuse survivors could attend the shows and get to see that if a successful star like herself could overcome her abuse and thrive, so could they. The tickets were given out quietly, with no press, simply out of the goodness of her heart. Being a survivor, she intimately knows what these women have gone through, and it's amazing that she is using her celebrity to truly get in there and help.

Mel B was recently awarded the official title of MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, for her work as a patron and ambassador for Women's Aid.

"When I got a letter that said Boris Johnson had gone to the Queen and that I would be receiving an MBE, I was shocked! I didn’t even realise people like that even knew what I was doing," she said.

"This award is for all those women out there, and men, who have been in an abusive relationship. It’s for survivors everywhere. I’m just going to keep talking. That’s all I can do. I will always use my platform for other women. This is about women supporting women, speaking out, stopping the shame, stopping this awful epidemic of domestic abuse in its tracks."

Joy

Gen X has hit 'that stage' of life and is not handling it very well

We are NOT prepared for Salt-n-Pepa to replace Michael McDonald in the waiting room at the doctor's office, thankyouverymuch.

Gen X is eating dinner earlier and earlier. It's happening.

The thing about Gen X being in our 40s and 50s now is that we were never supposed to get "old." Like, we're the cool, aloof grunge generation of young tech geniuses. Most of the giants that everyone uses every day—Google, Amazon, YouTube—came from Gen X. Our generation is both "Friends" and "The Office." We are, like, relevant, dammit.

And also, our backs hurt, we need reading glasses, our kids are in college and how in the name of Jennifer Aniston's skincare regimen did we get here?

It's weird to reach the stage when there's no doubt that you aren't young anymore. Not that Gen X is old—50 is the new 30, you know—but we're definitely not young. And it seems like every day there's something new that comes along to shove that fact right in our faces. When did hair start growing out of that spot? Why do I suddenly hate driving at night? Why is this restaurant so loud? Does that skin on my arm look…crepey?

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Dad's sweet moment with daughter turned into a roasting session

Have kids, they said. It'll be great, they said. Well, one dad may have a bone to pick with those mysterious "they," in that colloquial saying. A man running the Instagram account Havea_676, posted a video that has parents on the internet not only laughing at his tender moment turned embarrassing, but sharing their own savage kid moments.

The dad was having a sweet moment with his daughter asking her about her day and what she was excited about for the next day before tucking her into bed. Things appeared to be going well and his daughter who is off camera can be heard answering all of the questions. But at some point during the father daughter moment, the little girl was over the many questions the man was asking.

"Daddy, can you please stop with your questions, I'm trying to sleep and also your breath stinks," the litter girl reveals.

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Genesis Systems' WaterCube.

A seriously impressive piece of technology grabbed a lot of attention at this year's CES trade show convention in Las Vegas, Genesis Systems’ WaterCube. It’s a home and office appliance that’s about the size of an A/C unit and can produce up to 100 gallons of water daily from thin air. That’s the amount of water used by a typical family of 4.

The amount of water it can produce depends on the humidity levels, but Genesis Systems says it can even create water in dry environments.

Much like solar panels provide energy independence, this does the same for water.

"Our first mission is to sustainably solve global water scarcity," said David Stuckenberg, who founded Genesis with his wife, Shannon, told Techxplore. "Once you have this plugged into your house...you can turn yourself off (from) the city water."

"One of the challenges that we're facing, in terms of making humanity sustainable, is the stuff we need for life," he said, according to Techxplore. "Next to air, water is the most important thing."

The WC-100 WaterCube stands more than 3 feet tall, weighs close to 600 pounds and will cost around $20,000 to pre-order. So, even though you may not have a water bill anymore, you will have a pretty expensive monthly payment plan on a WaterCube for a few years.

But once it’s paid off, your water is free as long as you own the appliance.

Genesis Systems believes that the WaterCube creates “an infinite water source” that is “democratizing the water supply.”

Wikipedia/Alison Martinof SimonCowellOnline.com/Wikipedia

"Somewhere Over The Rainbow" is just one of those perfect songs

Some songs remain profoundly moving no matter how they are reimagined. “Somewhere Over The Rainbow,” though of course nobody sings it quite like Judy Garland, arguably could be considered one of those songs.

Several artists have indeed put their own wonderful spin on the tune over the years—Israel Kamakawiwo'ole, Aretha Franklin, Ariana Grande, to name a few.

And now, we can add singer Loren Allred to that impressive list.

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Joy

Werner Herzog motivational posters are the best thing on the internet

The director with a cult following gets a tribute fit for guidance counselor office walls.

Werner Herzog inspirational art, FRIENDSHIP.

Looking for a little inspiration this afternoon, but don't actually want to be uplifted?

Well, then get a boost from the solemn Teutonic prose of legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog via the genius Tumblr project Herzog Inspirationals.

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Family

A 9-year-old goes in on standardized tests and ends with the best mic drop of all time.

When 9-year-old Sydney Smoot stood up at her local school board meeting, I doubt they expected this kind of talking to.



If you need proof standardized testing is setting students up for failure, just ask the students.

Sydney Smoot has a bone to pick with the Hernando County School Board. The issue? The Florida Standards Assessment Test, or FSA for short. On March 17, 2015, Sydney bravely stood up at her local school board meeting to share how she felt about the test and why she believes it's failing students and teachers.

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