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The Buffalo Bills just made history with its new coaching staff hire.

Kathryn Smith is their new special teams quality control coach.

The Buffalo Bills just made history with its new coaching staff hire.

On Jan. 20, 2016, the Buffalo Bills made history by naming Kathryn Smith its special teams quality control coach.

It's the very first time a woman has filled a full-time coaching position in the NFL.


Smith was an administrative assistant to the team's head coach, Rex Ryan, this season and worked by his side the past seven years (six of which were with the New York Jets).


In a statement from the Bills, Ryan said Smith has been "outstanding" and is certainly cut out for the new role.

"She has proven that she's ready for the next step," Ryan explained. "So I'm excited and proud for her with this opportunity."

The news marks another recent (and big!) step forward for women in sports.

Just this past September, Jen Welter set the bar higher when she became the first female coach in NFL history, helping to assist the linebackers for the Arizona Cardinals (it was a temporary intern position — not permanent and full-time, like Smith's).

And in July 2015, Becky Hammon cracked a glass ceiling in the NBA when she coached the San Antonio Spurs during summer league play. That's big!


But don't get too excited. Although this is all welcomed progress, we have a seriously long way to go.

Across all four major pro sports leagues in the U.S., there's still not a single female head coach (and I'd think twice before claiming it's because there aren't enough talented women to take advantage of the opportunity).

Looking at college-level athletics? Well ... the news might be even bleaker: In the NCAA, gender equality in coaching has been going in the wrong direction for years.

Former head coach of the Tennessee Lady Volunteers Pat Summitt is a true legend. In 2006, she became the first woman in NCAA basketball to win 900 career games. Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images.

In 1972, about 90% of all college coaches in women's sports were women. That figure had fallen to just 40% in 2015. And across men's college sports teams, the percentage of coaches who are women — less than 2% — hardly registers a blip on the radar, as USA Today reported in February 2015.

"There are an absolute ton of heartbreaking stories that I hear day in and day out about females that are being forced out [of coaching positions]," Erika True, the head coach of women's soccer at Indiana State University, told the outlet last year. "There is a stigma that females are not as good as or as strong of coaches as their male counterparts."

It's a stigma people like Smith, Hammon, and Welter are helping to discredit each day they head into work.

Still, social progress rarely moves forward in a perfectly straight line. And this week, we have reason to celebrate a significant step in the right direction.

Recent years have seen women gaining ground in business, Congress, and at the box office, too. It's great to know Smith's new job with the Buffalo Bills marks yet another point on the scoreboard for gender equality in sports as well.

Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images.

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In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

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Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Tom Ward / Instagram

Artist Tom Ward has used his incredible illustration techniques to give us some new perspective on modern life through popular Disney characters. "Disney characters are so iconic that I thought transporting them to our modern world could help us see it through new eyes," he told The Metro.

Tom says he wanted to bring to life "the times we live in and communicate topical issues in a relatable way."

In Ward's "Alt Disney" series, Prince Charming and Pinocchio have fallen victim to smart phone addiction. Ariel is living in a polluted ocean, and Simba and Baloo have been abused by humans.

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Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

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It sounds like a ridiculous, sensationalist headline, but it's real. In Cheshire County, New Hampshire, a transsexual, anarchist Satanist has won the GOP nomination for county sheriff. Aria DiMezzo, who refers to herself as a "She-Male" and whose campaign motto was "F*** the Police," ran as a Republican in the primary. Though she ran unopposed on the ballot, according to Fox News, she anticipated that she would lose to a write-in candidate. Instead, 4,211 voters filled in the bubble next to her name, making her the official Republican candidate for county sheriff.

DiMezzo is clear about why she ran—to show how "clueless the average voter is" and to prove that "the system is utterly and hopelessly broken"—stances that her win only serves to reinforce.

In a blog post published on Friday, DiMezzo explained how she had never tried to hide who she was and that anyone could have looked her up to see what she was about, in addition to pointing out that those who are angry with her have no one to blame but themselves:

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Schools often have to walk a fine line when it comes to parental complaints. Diverse backgrounds, beliefs, and preferences for what kids see and hear will always mean that schools can't please everyone all the time, so educators have to discern what's best for the whole, broad spectrum of kids in their care.

Sometimes, what's best is hard to discern. Sometimes it's absolutely not.

Such was the case this week when a parent at a St. Louis elementary school complained in a Facebook group about a book that was read to her 7-year-old. The parent wrote:

"Anyone else check out the read a loud book on Canvas for 2nd grade today? Ron's Big Mission was the book that was read out loud to my 7 year old. I caught this after she watched it bc I was working with my 3rd grader. I have called my daughters school. Parents, we have to preview what we are letting the kids see on there."

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