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The Academy expels Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski over sexual assault cases.

For the third time in less than a year, the Academy booted some members.

On May 3, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that they'd voted to expel Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski.

The statement, sent in a press release, reads:

"The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors met on Tuesday night (May 1) and has voted to expel actor Bill Cosby and director Roman Polanski from its membership in accordance with the organization's Standards of Conduct. The Board continues to encourage ethical standards that require members to uphold the Academy’s values of respect for human dignity."

Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski. Photos by Mark Makela/Getty Images, Le Segretain/Getty Images.


"There is no place in the Academy for people who abuse their status, power or influence in a manner that violates recognized standards of decency," read the Academy's Standards of Conduct. "The Academy is categorically opposed to any form of abuse, harassment or discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, disability, age, religion, or nationality."

On April 26, Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault. Specifically, this was for the 2004 assault of Andrea Constand, who was then an employee at Temple University. Cosby has been accused of drugging and assaulting at least 60 women over a span of more than 50 years.

In 1977, director Roman Polanski was arrested in connection with the rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer at actor Jack Nicholson's home. Polanski fled the United States for the United Kingdom and France. For the next 40 years, Polanski would remain a fugitive, fighting extradition requests and living in Europe.

Expulsions from the Academy are extremely rare, but in the cases of Cosby and Polanski, almost certainly warranted.

Prior to Cosby and Polanski, the last member of the Academy to be expelled was producer Harvey Weinstein, who is facing an ever-increasing number of sexual harassment and assault allegations. Prior to that, the last expulsion occurred in 2004 when the Academy revoked actor Carmine Caridi's membership for selling promotional copies of films.

[rebelmouse-image 19529768 dam="1" original_size="750x526" caption="Weinstein (center), celebrates an Oscar win for "Shakespeare in Love," which he produced. Photo by Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images." expand=1]Weinstein (center), celebrates an Oscar win for "Shakespeare in Love," which he produced. Photo by Hector Mata/AFP/Getty Images.

While Cosby was never nominated for an award by the Academy, Polanski won the Oscar for Best Director in 2002 for his film "The Pianist." Though he was unable to attend the ceremony, as he was a fugitive of U.S. law, he received thunderous applause and a standing ovation from many members of the audience at the time.

Less than 10 years ago, Polanski still had quite a bit of Hollywood support.

In 2009, more than 100 big names in Hollywood came to Polanski's defense, petitioning for his release, as he was being held after an arrest in Zurich, Switzerland. "His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from 1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals," the petition reads in part, downplaying the seriousness of his crime. The list of signatories included names both predictable (Woody Allen, for instance) and surprising, such as Asia Argento (who was one of the women allegedly assaulted by Weinstein — she later said that she regretted adding her name to this petition), Natalie Portman (who also later expressed regret over her Polanski support), Martin Scorsese, Adrian Brody, Wes Anderson, Tilda Swinton, Penélope Cruz, Guillermo del Toro, and more.

The decision to remove Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski is certainly a positive move on the Academy's part, but many will continue to ask what took so long and why less than 10 years ago were we all so indifferent to these types of crimes.

A breastfeeding mother's experience at Vienna's Schoenbrunn Zoo is touching people's hearts—but not without a fair amount of controversy.

Gemma Copeland shared her story on Facebook, which was then picked up by the Facebook page Boobie Babies. Photos show the mom breastfeeding her baby next to the window of the zoo's orangutan habitat, with a female orangutan sitting close to the glass, gazing at them.

"Today I got feeding support from the most unlikely of places, the most surreal moment of my life that had me in tears," Copeland wrote.

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Small actions lead to big movements.

Acts of kindness—we know they’re important not only for others, but for ourselves. They can contribute to a more positive community and help us feel more connected, happier even. But in our incessantly busy and hectic lives, performing good deeds can feel like an unattainable goal. Or perhaps we equate generosity with monetary contribution, which can feel like an impossible task depending on a person’s financial situation.

Perhaps surprisingly, the main reason people don’t offer more acts of kindness is the fear of being misunderstood. That is, at least, according to The Kindness Test—an online questionnaire about being nice to others that more than 60,000 people from 144 countries completed. It does make sense—having your good intentions be viewed as an awkward source of discomfort is not exactly fun for either party.

However, the results of The Kindness Test also indicated those fears were perhaps unfounded. The most common words people used were "happy," "grateful," "loved," "relieved" and "pleased" to describe their feelings after receiving kindness. Less than 1% of people said they felt embarrassed, according to the BBC.


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She's enjoying the big benefits of some simple life hacks.

James Clear’s landmark book “Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones” has sold more than 9 million copies worldwide. The book is incredibly popular because it has a simple message that can help everyone. We can develop habits that increase our productivity and success by making small changes to our daily routines.

"It is so easy to overestimate the importance of one defining moment and underestimate the value of making small improvements on a daily basis,” James Clear writes. “It is only when looking back 2 or 5 or 10 years later that the value of good habits and the cost of bad ones becomes strikingly apparent.”

His work proves that we don’t need to move mountains to improve ourselves, just get 1% better every day.

Most of us are reluctant to change because breaking old habits and starting new ones can be hard. However, there are a lot of incredibly easy habits we can develop that can add up to monumental changes.

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