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Heroes

These old photos reveal why we needed (and still need) the EPA.

It’s hard for people who weren’t around in 1960s and '70s to remember what the world was like before the EPA.

There was a reason President Richard Nixon’s proposal to establish a federal agency to protect the environment enjoyed bipartisan support.

A mountain of oil drums near an Exxon refinery in Louisiana. All photos via Defiant, via the EPA and National Archives and Records Administration.


Before the Environmental Protection Agency, many industries used U.S. waterways as toxic waste dumps. It was so bad that the Great Lakes and the surrounding rivers frequently caught fire.

The Clean Water Act of 1972 forced industry to control the pollution it dumped into America’s water. But President Donald Trump's budget proposal — which would cut one-fifth of the agency's staff, eliminate entire programs, and trim $2 billion from its budget — could curtail this act.

In 1971, one of the first things the EPA did was hire a team of photojournalists to document the ongoing environmental devastation in America.

The project took six years, involved 100 photojournalists, and produced more than 80,000 images.

The Cuyahoga River Fire of 1952.

They called it "Documerica," and in the past few years the National Archives has digitized some 15,000 images from the project. You can see them at its website or on Flickr. Some are simple pictures of life in the ’70s, but others depict a harrowing world.

A factory burning discarded batteries and belching poison into the air outside Houston.

Along the New Jersey Turnpike.

A landfill outside New York City.

It's a world where industry has carte blanche to poison the environment and the people in the name of profit. A world where our rivers and lakes catch fire. A world of garbage, toxic waste, and ash.

The George Washington Bridge, barely visible through the smog.

A poisoned lake near Ogden, Utah.

When Trump says he wants to make America great again and refers to a fanciful time when the United States was somehow better, this is what he’s talking about. This is what America looks like without the EPA.

This is why we fight.

This story was first published at Defiant is reprinted here with permission.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

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Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

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The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Doom Patrol” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

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Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

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This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

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Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

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