The world has one more woman leader thanks to a historic election in Tokyo.

On Aug. 1, 2016, Tokyo made history by electing Yuriko Koike, its first female governor.

Koike is a groundbreaking political veteran with cabinet experience who ran for a head of state position in 2008. Sound familiar?


Tokyo is with her. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

Not only was this a big win for her (she defeated her closest opponent by over a million votes), but it's also a huge win for Tokyo, a city that doesn't have the greatest track record on women's rights.

"Hillary used the word 'glass ceiling,'" Koike said in 2008. "But in Japan, it isn't glass, it's an iron plate."

This isn't Koike's first tussle with that iron plate. She served previously as Tokyo's first female defense chief and launched a campaign in 2008 to become Japan's first woman prime minister.

When it comes to politics, the first thing on Koike's to-do list is making Tokyo better for women.

She wants to overcome the massive childcare shortages plaguing the city, and enact policies that ensure "both women and men can shine in Tokyo."

Koike drinking tea with former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images.

She's also made a point of praising other female world leaders, including Hillary Clinton, Margaret Thatcher, and most recently, Tsai Ing-wen, Taiwan's newly-elected female president.

Koike is a vocal critic of North Korea and a green candidate with a focus on the environment. She served as Japan's environment minister from 2003 to 2005, where she took creative approaches to energy conservation, such as a widely adopted program encouraging male businessmen not to wear suit jackets to work (so that office air conditioners could be comfortably turned down.)

She also cosplayed once as Sally the Witch, which is just kind of awesome:

Among her biggest responsibilities as governor will be helping to shape up Tokyo's 2020 Olympic hosting duties, which are currently wrapped in multiple corruption scandals.

Like any politician, she's not without a few controversial opinions.

Most notably, she was endorsed by the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform, an organization that seeks to revise history textbooks by downplaying Japan's involvement in war crimes and human trafficking during WWII.

In an op-ed voicing her support for textbook reform, she claimed that shifting national focus away from the antagonisms of the past would help avoid the wars of the future. It's a nice sentiment, but there's just something about George Santayana's quote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it," that rings just a bit truer.

Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP/Getty Images.

When she takes office, Koike will be one of only three women serving in a gubernatorial position in Japan.

Currently, only about 12% of parliament seats in Japan are held by women. And according to the Global Gender Gap Report, the country is ranked 101 out of 145 in terms of gender equality.

That's why her victory is so important. Change doesn't happen instantly, it happens one step at a time, one election at a time, one vote at a time. When women are in politics and are elected to prominent positions of power, the world sees the benefits.

Koike with Yukari Sato and Kuniko Inoguchi, two other female lawmakers in Tokyo. Photo by Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images.

Science agrees. When women are elected, gender gaps close, productivity increases, and most importantly, the world gets female role models — which leads to more women in politics and positions of power.

Now, millions of women and men in Tokyo, are living in a city that has one more female leader. She may not be perfect, and she may not solve all of Tokyo's problems, but no candidate is or could. What's important is that she's the first, and she won't be the last. Not to mention, the neat thing about barriers is they never become unbroken.

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After years of service as a military nurse in the naval Marine Corps, Los Angeles, California-resident Rhonda Jackson became one of the 37,000 retired veterans in the U.S. who are currently experiencing homelessness — roughly eight percent of the entire homeless population.

"I was living in a one-bedroom apartment with no heat for two years," Jackson said. "The Department of Veterans Affairs was doing everything they could to help but I was not in a good situation."

One day in 2019, Jackson felt a sudden sense of hope for a better living arrangement when she caught wind of the ongoing construction of Veteran's Village in Carson, California — a 51-unit affordable housing development with one, two and three-bedroom apartments and supportive services to residents through a partnership with U.S.VETS.

Her feelings of hope quickly blossomed into a vision for her future when she learned that Veteran's Village was taking applications for residents to move in later that year after construction was complete.

"I was entered into a lottery and I just said to myself, 'Okay, this is going to work out,'" Jackson said. "The next thing I knew, I had won the lottery — in more ways than one."

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Cats are notoriously weird. Everyone who's had cats knows that they each have their own unique quirks, idiosyncrasies, preferences, habits, and flat-out WTFness.

But even those of us who have experience with bizarre cat behavior are blown away by the antics this "cat dad" is able to get away with.

Kareem and Fifi are the cat parents of Chase, Skye, and Millie—literally the most chill kitties ever. They share their family life on TikTok as @dontstopmeowing, and their videos have been viewed millions of times. When you see them, you'll understand why.

Take Chase's spa days, for example. It may seem unreal at first, but watch what happens when Fifi tries to take away his cucumber slices.

When she puts them back on his eyes? WHAT?! What cat would let you put them on once, much less get mad when you take them off?

This cat. Chase is living his best life.

But apparently, it's not just Chase. Skye and Millie have also joined in "spaw day." How on earth does one couple end up with three hilariously malleable cats?

Oh, and if you think they must have been sedated or something, look at how wide awake they are during bath time. That's right, bath time. Most cats hate water, but apparently, these three couldn't care less. How?

They'll literally do anything. The Don't Stop Meowing channel is filled with videos like this. Cats wearing glasses. Cats wearing hats. Cats driving cars. It's unbelievable yet highly watchable entertainment.

If you're worried that Kareem gets all the love and Fifi constantly gets the shaft, that seems to be a bit for show. Look at Chase and Fifi's conversation about her leaving town for a business trip:

The whole channel is worth checking out. Ever seen a cat being carried in a baby carrier at the grocery store? A cat buckled into a car seat? Three cats sitting through storytime? It's all there. (Just a heads up: A few of the videos have explicit language, so parents might want to do a preview before watching with little ones.) You can follow the couple and their cats on all their social media channels, including Instagram and YouTube if TikTok isn't your thing, here.

If you weren't a cat person before, these videos might change your mind. Fair warning, however: Getting a cat because you want them to do things like this would be a mistake. Cats do what they want to do, and no one can predict what weird traits they will have. Even if you raise them from kittenhood, they're still unpredictable and weird.

And honestly, we wouldn't have them any other way.

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We're redefining what normal means in these uncertain times, and although this is different for all of us, love continues to transform us for the better.

Love is what united Marie-Claire and David Archbold, who met while taking a photography class. "We went into the darkroom to see what developed," they joke—and after a decade of marriage, they know firsthand the deep commitment and connection romantic love requires.

All photos courtesy of Marie-Claire and David Archbold

However, their relationship became even sweeter when they adopted James: a little boy with a huge heart.

In the United States alone, there are roughly 122,000 children awaiting adoption according to the latest report from the U.S Department of Health and Human Services. While the goal is always for a child to be parented by and stay with their biological family, that is not always a possibility. This is where adoption offers hope—not only does it create new families, it gives birth parents an avenue through which to see their child flourish when they are not able to parent. For the right families, it's a beautiful thing.

The Archbolds knew early on that adoption was an option for them. David has three daughters from a previous marriage, but knowing their family was not yet complete, the couple embarked on a two-year journey to find their match. When the adoption agency called and told them about James, they were elated. From the moment they met him, the Archbolds knew he was meant to be part of their family. David locked eyes with the brown-eyed baby and they stared at each other in quiet wonder for such a long time that the whole room fell silent. "He still looks at me like that," said David.

The connection was mutual and instantaneous—love at first sight. The Archbolds knew that James was meant to be a part of their family. However, they faced significant challenges requiring an even deeper level of commitment due to James' medical condition.

James was born with congenital hyperinsulinism, a rare condition that causes his body to overproduce insulin, and within 2 months of his birth, he had to have surgery to remove 90% of his pancreas. There was a steep learning curve for the Archbolds, but they were already in love, and knew they were committed to the ongoing care that'd be required of bringing James into their lives. After lots of research and encouragement from James' medical team, they finally brought their son home.

Today, three-year-old James is thriving, filled with infectious joy that bubbles over and touches every person who comes in contact with him. "Part of love is when people recognize that they need to be with each other," said his adoptive grandfather. And because the Archbolds opted for an open adoption, there are even more people to love and support James as he grows.

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You know that feeling you get when you walk into a classroom and see someone else's stuff on your desk?

OK, sure, there are no assigned seats, but you've been sitting at the same desk since the first day and everyone knows it.

So why does the guy who sits next to you put his phone, his book, his charger, his lunch, and his laptop in the space that's rightfully yours? It's annoying!

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There have been many iconic dance routines throughout film history, but how many have the honor being called "the greatest" by Fred Astaire himself?

Fayard and Harold Nicholas, known collectively as the Nicholas Brothers, were arguably the best at what they did during their heyday. Their coordinated tap routines are legendary, not only because they were great dancers, but because of their incredible ability to jump into the air and land in the splits. Repeatedly. From impressive heights.

Their most famous routine comes from the movie "Stormy Weather." As Cab Calloway sings "Jumpin' Jive," the Nicholas Brothers make the entire set their dance floor, hopping and tapping from podium to podium amongst the musicians, dancing up and down stairs and across the top of a piano.

But what makes this scene extra impressive is that they performed it without rehearsing it first and it was filmed in one take—no fancy editing room tricks to bring it all together. This fact was confirmed in a conversation with the brothers in a Chicago Tribune article in 1997, when they were both in their 70s:

"Would you believe that was one of the easiest things we ever did?" Harold told the paper.

"Did you know that we never even rehearsed that number?" added Fayard.

"When it came time to do that part, (choreographer) Nick Castle said: 'Just do it. Don`t rehearse it, just do it.' And so we did it—in one little take. And then he said: 'That's it—we can't do it any better than that.'"

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