Mashable has a cool story about two Norwegian photographers and their gender bending experiments in the late 19th century. Between the years of 1895 and 1903, Marie Høeg and Bolette Berg operated a small commercial photography studio in Horten, a town in Vestfold county, Norway. During their off hours, they’d dress up in men’s clothing, or put on fake mustaches while wearing dresses, as a way to explore the boundaries of gender. An except:
Høeg was an active and outspoken suffragist, and used the studio as a meeting place for fellow activists and women interested in the suffrage movement. (Women won the right to vote in Norway in 1913.)
More than three decades after Høeg’s death in 1949, a box of the partners’ glass plate negatives marked “private” was discovered on a farm where they once lived.
Høeg’s defiant suffragist spirit shines through the images, her costume choices allowing her to occupy traditionally male roles and personas as she campaigns for women’s right to an equal place in society.
In 2014, researchers in the UK created the darkest material in the world known as ‘Vantablack.’
Now, they’ve created a spray-on version. Vantablack is so dark that it
distorts the shape and form of the objects on which it’s painted.
There’s a powerful connection between characters and the fans who love them.
Anyone who scribbled Harry Potter fanfiction or dissected the latest teen drama with their friends knows. And the line between actor and character is often completely muddled for viewers that live far beyond the realities of Hollywood.
But what if those same fans were stuck on a road trip with the object of their obsessions? That’s the idea behind the most recent book from Glee star and bestselling author Chris Colfer, Stranger than Fanfiction.
Colfer is best known in the literary world for his popular middle grade series The Land of Stories. In his latest novel, Colfer explores the world of television fandom and the trials and tribulations of teenagers on the brink of major life changes.
Stranger than Fanfiction follows four best friends who’ve bonded over nearly a decade of watching their favorite sci-fi show. As the group embarks on an end-of-high-school road trip, they impulsively invite the star of said show. When he actually shows up to join them, all five begin a journey full of misadventures, mayhem, and secrets revealed.
In a special episode of the MashReads Podcast, MashReads spoke to Colfer about his return to YA and the inspirations behind the story, from both sides of passionate fandoms.
Then, as always, we close the show with recommendations. Colfer recommends:
The Demonologist by Gerald Bittle, which explores the career of the famous paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren in a documentary fashion. “The facts are scary enough by themselves,” said Colfer.
Intimacy Idiot by Isaac Oliver, a collections of essays and stories about finding love and intimacy in New York. To Colfer, “It’s the gay man’s manifesto, in a way.”
Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher, the first memoir by the late actress, based on her one-woman show. It’s also one of Colfer’s all-time favorite books. “Parts of that book I felt she wrote just for me”
Sage-ing While Age-ing by Shirley MacLaine, a book that is part memoir and part life advice from the actress. “It’s just fantastic.”
“The theater company has already sold out of both women-only screenings and told Mashable it is planning to bring the idea to other locations. “That providing an experience where women truly reign supreme has incurred the wrath of trolls only serves to deepen our belief that we’re doing something right,” creative manager Morgan Hendrix told the publication.”
The album is technically 12 tracks, but is there a soul alive that will listen to it that way? It’s unlikely that most listeners will even realize that the 16 track version available online is comprised partially of bonus tracks — the blessing and the curse of the digital music era.
“Sex With Me” by Rihanna and “New Romantics” by Taylor Swift are bonus tracks on the singers’ respective albums despite being better than plenty of music that made the cut, and it doesn’t matter much. Swift even gave “New Romantics” a video — an honor not awarded to half of the album’s actual tracks.
Speaking of Swift, Sheeran’s learned from the best. His first brush with international fame came form his association with Tay and a duet on Red, which is a pretty good template for pop stars testing the waters of what they can be. Swift learned she could be a Pop Star beyond her country roots, and the blockbuster success of 1989 came together according to plan. Now she appears to be doing her own market research by zig zagging all over the music scene, ghostwriting for Rihanna, Calvin Harris, Little Big Town and possibly working with Drake without revealing her cards until a hit was a done deal.
Divide, taken as a whole, feels like a resume. Like Swift and Drake, Sheeran’s in a place right now where he’s too big to really fail. It’s everything Sheeran is and could possibly be. And for now, he can have his cake and eat it, too. So why not fill his pockets and jump off the plane knowing there’s a parachute?
A blind man and a double amputee planted 10,000 trees.
“I am his hands. He is my eyes.”
Jia Haixa talks of his symbiotic relationship with his friend Jia Wenqi — a double amputee. The pair work together to plant trees in Yeli village, just outside of Shijiazhuang city, northern China.
The friends approached the local government and leased a 7.5 acre stretch of land along the riverbank. They hope to transform it by planting 1,000 trees every year, and have been doing that for a decade.
Where are the Asian leading men? Well we’re being kicked to the ground, we’re not being supported. We’re not considered sexy or masculine, this or that. When you start hearing something enough, you start to believe it. But our world is changing, and I think we’re starting to see that that’s not the end-all be-all. That’s not the only answer.
I’m happy to be a real character, the “leading male,” in [the CW’s] “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” The show has set a bar and said, “Hey, network television, you can have an Asian male be a love interest.”
I think our show is a beginning. It’s a new beginning and I’m very excited about it. I had those thoughts of what it means to be in my position, but the reason I don’t swim through them every day, is because ultimately, I’m just an actor.
That’s what’s kind of provocative about our show: We’re doing something as simple as “let’s just authentically represent the real world, shall we?” And that’s powerful. That’s progressive.
Josh is allowed to be someone real. He’s not as smart as any Asian stereotype expects him to be. He’s a regular bro. And by being a bro, it’s telling everyone that Asians, too, can be bros. Indians can be bros. Latinos can be bros.