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From 1939 to 1975, Spain lived in fear of a dictator named General Francisco Franco.

During his rule, Franco captured and murdered political prisoners, suppressed freedom of religion, forbade languages, and created a network of police to secretly spy on citizens.

On one hand, calling him "The Hitler of Spain" seems like an advantageous simplification. On the other hand, here's a picture of him:


Uncanny! Photo via AFP/Getty Images.

Franco's regime was toppled decades ago, but the memory of him still haunts and angers modern-day Spain.

When a statue of Franco went up outside a Catalan cultural exhibit in Barcelona, it was decapitated, defaced, and completely toppled within days.

The wounds left by Franco are still relatively fresh, so any image or reminder of him is a sensitive matter. "[We] have a dispute anytime anybody says or shows anything to do with Franco," Bru Rovira, a Catalan journalist told The New York Times.

A defaced statue of Franco in Barcelona. Photo by Pau Barrena/AFP/Getty Images.

Unfortunately, a quick walk through Spain's major cities turns up reminders of Franco everywhere.

In Valencia, Barcelona, and more, streets are named after people who served in Franco's regime. General José Millán Astray, attorney Adolfo Muñoz Alonso, and minister José Enrique Varela were all part of Franco's dictatorship. All three have streets named after them to this day.

Fortunately, that will be changing soon, as Spain announced plans to remove every street name attached to the Franco regime.

The measure to erase Franco's regime was first introduced in 2007 but went widely unenforced. Last year, a political swing to the left put the issue back on the agenda.

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images.

Even better? They're going to rename the streets after influential women.

Women are vastly underrepresented in Spanish street names (except for saints), giving the country a brilliant opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. In February 2017, street names in Spain will start bearing the names of women who were persecuted under Franco's regime,like Soledad Cazorla, the first public prosecutor to specialize in gender violence, as well as several civil rights leaders and activists.

Soledad Cazorla visiting Niger in 2008. Photo via Montserrat Boix/Wikimedia Commons.

Other streets will pay tribute to prominent Spanish artists and innovators — women like novelist Carmen Martín Gaite and Ángela Ruiz Robles who invented the first e-reader in 1949. Many more will bear the names of internationally influential figures like Rosa Parks, Frida Kahlo, and Jane Austen.

This move is a long overdue show of gratitude to women who have helped shape Spanish culture and a perfect way to heal the wounds left by Francisco Franco.

When it comes to street names around the world, women are vastly underrepresented. This will go a long way in closing that gap.

A 2015 study of seven major metropolises found that less than a third of streets were named after women. This might seem like a small problem, but street names are important.

Savile Row in London, Broadway in New York, Grafton Street in Dublin, Bourbon Street in New Orleans — these names are more than just markers on a map. They're cultural epicenters that help define a city's identity. The same goes for streets named after people like Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, Peter Jennings, or Warren, Ohio, town hero Dave Grohl. Not having a proportionate amount of streets named after prominent women hardly makes any sense.

Soon, the names of women will play their part in helping to define Spain's identity and values from the street level on up. Other countries around the world should consider following suit.

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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Democracy

The Onion filed a Supreme Court brief. It's both hilariously serious and seriously hilarious.

Who else could call the judiciary 'total Latin dorks' while making a legitimate point?

The Onion's Supreme Court brief uses parody to defend parody.

Political satire and parody have been around for at least 2,400 years, as ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes satirized the way Athenian leaders conducted the Peloponnesian War and parodied the dramatic styles of his contemporaries, Aeschylus and Euripides.

Satire and parody are used to poke fun and highlight issues, using mimicry and sarcasm to create comedic biting commentary. No modern outlet has been more prolific on this front than The Onion, and the popular satirical news site is defending parody as a vital free speech issue in a legal filing with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The filing is, as one might expect from The Onion, as brilliantly hilarious as it is serious, using the same satirical style it's defending in the crafting of the brief itself.

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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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