This powerful, history-making photo is pure fire, and people can't get enough of it.

The 2019 Congress is being sworn in, with some history-making women leading the way.

American politics has always been dominated by white males. And by dominated, I mean dominated. For the majority of U.S. history, our lawmakers have been almost exclusively white males, with only an occasional woman or person of color filling the highest decision-making roles in the land.

Even as recently as 2015, Congress was 80% white and 80% male. I have nothing against white males (I'm married to one and am raising one), but one specific demographic having that much historical power is an issue. People rail against "identity politics" as if the concept is something women and minorities invented, but no one in America has played the race and gender cards harder and longer than white male politicians; they just always had the power to do so without explicitly admitting it.


However, we are finally seeing significant waves of change to that status quo, and it is so freaking refreshing.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shared a photo of the beautifully fierce new face of politics.

Ocasio-Cortez shared a photo taken by Martin Schoeller for Vanity Fair on her Instagram and Twitter accounts, and people can't get enough of it. Six new Congresswomen, each making history in her own way, standing in the Capitol building, ready to take on those hallowed halls with their heads held high.

Ocasio-Cortez takes her place not only as a Latina, but as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Ayanna Pressley is the first Black woman to be elected to Congress from Massachusetts, while Ilhan Omar of Minnesota will be the first Somali-American and first Muslim woman to wear a hijab on the House floor. Sharice Davids and Deb Haaland are the first Native American women elected to Congress, with Davids (far right) also being the first openly LGBTQ+ woman serving from Kansas. Veronica Escobar (fifth from the left) enters as the first Latina Congresswoman from Texas.

These women are making history, and so many of us are 100% here for it.

There's a reason people can't stop staring at and sharing this photo—it's pure fire.

There's something about fire that mesmerizes us—its heat, its power, its beauty, its immense potential. Even though we've seen it a million times, when we're face to face with it, it pulls us in. This photo is fire. It's been liked and shared hundreds of thousands of times for a reason. Can't. Stop. Staring.

This photo says, "Behold, the new face of power." It says, "We have arrived and are not here for your bullshit." It says, "Our foremothers sacrificed everything to make this happen, and we aren't here to play—we're here to stay." It says, "This is what the promise of America is supposed to mean."

This is the poster our daughters need on their walls. This is the image I want my girls to burn in their brains when they think of who is in charge and who is sitting at the decision-making table.  

Welcome to Congress, you fierce and fabulous women. Can't wait to see what outdated norms you burn down to make room for the future.

It's one thing to see a little kid skateboarding. It's another to see a stereotype-defying little girl skateboarding. And it's entirely another to see Paige Tobin.

Paige is a 6-year-old skateboarding wonder from Australia. A recent video of her dropping into a 12-foot bowl on her has gone viral, both for the feat itself and for the style with which she does it. Decked out in a pink party dress, a leopard-print helmet, and rainbow socks, she looks nothing like you'd expect a skater dropping into a 12-foot bowl to look. And yet, here she is, blowing people's minds all over the place.

For those who may not fully appreciate the impressiveness of this feat, here's some perspective. My adrenaline junkie brother, who has been skateboarding since childhood and who races down rugged mountain faces on a bike for fun, shared this video and commented, "If I dropped in to a bowl twice as deep as my age it would be my first and last time doing so...this fearless kid has a bright future!"

It's scarier than it looks, and it looks pretty darn scary.

Paige doesn't always dress like a princess when she skates, not that it matters. Her talent and skill with the board are what gets people's attention. (The rainbow socks are kind of her signature, however.)

Her Instagram feed is filled with photos and videos of her skateboarding and surfing, and the body coordination she's gained at such a young age is truly something.

Here she was at three years old:

And here she is at age four:


So, if she dropped into a 6-foot bowl at age three and a 12-foot bowl at age six—is there such a thing as an 18-foot bowl for her to tackle when she's nine?

Paige clearly enjoys skating and has high ambitions in the skating world. "I want to go to the Olympics, and I want to be a pro skater," she told Power of Positivity when she was five. She already seems to be well on her way toward that goal.

How did she get so good? Well, Paige's mom gave her a skateboard when she wasn't even preschool age yet, and she loved it. Her mom got her lessons, and she's spent the past three years skating almost daily. She practices at local skate parks and competes in local competitions.

She also naturally has her fair share of spills, some of which you can see on her Instagram channel. Falling is part of the sport—you can't learn if you don't fall. Conquering the fear of falling is the key, and the thing that's hardest for most people to get over.

Perhaps Paige started too young to let fear override her desire to skate. Perhaps she's been taught to manage her fears, or maybe she's just naturally less afraid than other people. Or maybe there's something magical about the rainbow socks. Whatever it is, it's clear that this girl doesn't let fear get in the way of her doing what she wants to do. An admirable quality in anyone, but particularly striking to see in someone so young.

Way to go, Paige. Your perseverance and courage are inspiring, as is your unique fashion sense. Can't wait to see what you do next.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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