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The Interviewer Asks Him About Despair. His Smile Says Even More Than His Words.

Wow, these are good words to hear at the end of a rough year in the world.

This is James Baldwin.

To introduce him as a writer — or even a great writer — might be selling him a bit short.


He was born in the 1920s and grew up in Harlem. Because he was black and gay, he found living in the U.S. pretty damn hard. He lived much of his adult life in France.

You may know or have read some of his books, which include such wildly famous titles as"Go Tell It on the Mountain" and "Notes of a Native Son."

He wrote about the big issues.

And he was involved in the civil rights movement.

I'm guessing all this dealing with the challenges and struggles of America from the 1930s through the 1960s was pretty tough work, and a lot of people would be overwhelmed or numbed by the sheer difficulty of all that was facing black Americans, gay Americans, and all Americans.

But not Baldwin.


That message is incredible. Especially at a time when it feels like the movement for true civil rights and equality is so far from over.

That smile tells me that his answer has a flavor of bitter irony to it. But he is sincere, too. He puts it plain and simple.

This montage is less a minute long. Watch, and learn from a master.

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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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Tia Savva has an invested father.

Sadly, a lot of men go out of their way to avoid learning anything about a woman's period.

(That could be why throughout most of the United States — where the majority of lawmakers are men — feminine hygiene products are subject to sales tax.)

So we should give some love to the guys who make an effort to learn a bit about the menstrual cycle so they can help their family members when they're in desperate need of feminine hygiene products.

Personally, as a guy, the feminine hygiene aisle can be a little intimidating. There are multiple brands, styles of products, scents, absorbency levels, and they are all color-coded.

What do the colors mean?

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Photo: courtesy BioCarbon Engineering/WikiCommons

Technology is the single greatest contributor to climate change but it may also soon be used to offset the damage we've done to our planet since the Industrial Age began.

In September 2018, a project in Myanmar used drones to fire "seed missiles" into remote areas of the country where trees were not growing. Less than a year later, thousands of those seed missiles have sprouted into 20-inch mangrove saplings that could literally be a case study in how technology can be used to innovate our way out of the climate change crisis.

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Family

A letter to my mother-in-law who spoiled my sons

"It's pointless to dwell on regrets, but I often think about how I had it all wrong. I was so wrong in how I perceived your generosity."

Tina Platamura


You always stole my thunder. You gave them everything they wanted. You never said no when they asked for anything.

Tina Platamura

A second helping of dessert. Candy before dinner. A few more minutes in the bath. Money for the ice cream truck.

I struggled to show you respect and appreciation while trying to make sure you didn't spoil my children. I thought you would turn them into “selfish brats" by giving them everything they wanted. I thought they might never learn to wait, to take turns, to share, because you granted their wishes as soon as they opened their mouths and pointed.

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Identity

A woman with a disability gets real about dating and sex. She's funny and honest.

Her candor is delightful, her message is important, and her jokes are great

Photo courtesy of Danielle Sheypuk.

Models can be different and still amazing.


"So just recently I went out on a Match.com date, and it was fantastic," begins Dr. Danielle Sheypuk in her TEDx Talk.

If you've ever been on a bunch of Match.com dates, that opening line might make you do a double take. How does one get so lucky?!

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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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