U.S. Open

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MoonAlchemy’s Samhain Giveaway! 

Hello, friends! I hope everyone’s year is going slower than mine! Can you believe we have already made it halfway through 2017? 

To show just how grateful I am, I have decided to organize a giveaway of some of my favorite Samhain inspired goodies! 

Included:

  1. Selenite
  2. Quartz point
  3. Tigers Eye bead chips
  4. Vials of Rosemary, Salt, Black Sand, and black glitter.
  5. A heavenly smelling vanilla tealight
  6. Three ritual chime candles (black orange and white.)
  7. One black Turkey quill feather
  8. One maple leaf pin.
  9. All packed into an adorable faux World Atlas book box.

The rules are simple! 

  • You MUST be following me.
  • Think of something you are grateful for in your life. (feel free to send it to me in a message!)
  • Only reblogs count. 
  • DO NOT tag as a giveaway. 
  • Extra entry: Favorite my Etsy shop, or an item if you already do! (message me your username on here!)
  • No giveaway accounts, and please don’t spam your followers! 
  • Only open to U.S. residents, sorry!

WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13, 2017 by being drawn out of a hat. 

Good luck! 

Rap Monster of Breakout K-Pop Band BTS on Fans, Fame and Viral Popularity

BTS may be the biggest musical act you’ve never heard of — unless you’re already one of the Korean pop group’s millions-strong fanbase. The seven-member boy band, Bangtan Sonyeondan (or BTS for short), is know for their catchy pop-rap, sharp music video choreography and candid social media presence. They’ve recently leveraged their popularity into blockbuster stadium tours and Billboard’s prize for Top Social Artists of the year, as well as nabbing a spot on TIME’s list of 25 Most Influential People on the Internet.

It’s not hard to see why: a live video of two members applying face masks roped in half a million concurrent viewers. Their backstage selfies regularly rack up half a million likes. A red carpet appearance can kick off a global Twitter trend. But how did they get here?

“We’re just a normal group of boys from humble backgrounds who had a lot of passion and a dream to be famous,” says singer and songwriter Kim Nam-joon, who goes by the moniker Rap Monster and, as the only English-speaking member of the group, often represents BTS in interviews. Currently on tour in Japan, Rap Monster took the time to explain BTS’ rise and how the group feeds its hungry fanbase.

How did the BTS group come together?

Rap Monster: Back in 2010, I was introduced to Mr. Bang [Bang Si Hyuk], our executive producer [and CEO of BigHit Entertainment]. I was an underground rapper and only 16 years old, a freshman at high school. Bang thought I had potential as a rapper and lyricist, and we went from there. Then SUGA joined us. [Third group member] J-hope was really popular as a dancer in his hometown. We were the first three! We debuted as a collaboration between the seven of us in June 2013. We came together with a common dream to write, dance and produce music that reflects our musical backgrounds as well as our life values of acceptance, vulnerability and being successful. The seven of us have pushed each other to be the best we can be for the last four years. It has made us as close as brothers. BTS as a group sort of took off with the success of our 2015 album that had our hit single “I NEED U.”

When did you first realize you were developing a global fandom?

We didn’t realize we were becoming famous until we were invited to KCONs [K-pop music festivals] in the U.S. and Europe in 2014 or 2015. Thousands of fans were calling our name at the venue, and almost everyone memorized the Korean lyrics of our songs, which was amazing and overwhelming. Who would have thought that people from across the ocean, Europe, the U.S., South America, even Tahiti, would love our songs and performances, just by watching them on YouTube? We were just grateful… and we still are.

BTS has millions of followers on every social media platform. How do you interact with your fans online? What kind of connections are you making?

We mostly interact with our Twitter messages by uploading selfies, [sharing] music recommendations and street fashion photos, etc. It’s about our daily life as a band on tour — and also as a group of silly friends who make fun of one another backstage. We don’t really get to reply to fans on a regular basis because there are just so many of them. But we do try to read all the reactions and replies. It’s also always interesting and inspiring for us to see what they create for us.

Why do you think you’ve been able to build such a massive online fanbase? How did it happen?

Everyone asks us that question. It’s a team effort taken from what happens to us in our everyday life. It’s not easy to run a social media account over a long period of time, but we love communicating with our fans every day and night. For example, I use the hashtag #RMusic to introduce or recommend a song I like, and I’ve been doing that for a long time. I love music and I truly enjoy sharing with our fans. Music transcends language. BTS communicates with our fans by staying true to ourselves and believing in music every day.

How does having this huge fandom impact your approach to music and to what you sing about?

BTS fans — the “ARMY” — tell us about their feelings, failures, passions and struggles all the time. We are often inspired by [them], because we try to write about how real young people — like the seven of us — face real-life issues. Most of our music is about how we perceive the world and how we try to persist as normal, average human beings. So our fans inspire us and give us a direction to go as musicians. And of course, their love and support keeps us going.

How is BTS different from other big K-pop groups? Is it your music, your engagement with supporters, or something else?

I can’t speak for other artists; every group has a different approach. For us, it will always be important to keep working hard, dancing better, writing better songs, touring and setting an example. A lot of people say this, but it’s really true for us: we are living a dream, all seven of us, being able to pursue what we love. We strive to [put] everything into our music. Our lyrics deal with real issues that face all humans: choices in life, depression, self-esteem. And the fans know that we are there for them, and they are there for us.

What’s next? What are you most excited for?

Well, we definitely continue to have big dreams. We tour all over the world, but the shows in the U.S. really opened our eyes to so many new things in the States. And when we won the Billboard Music Award, we were so honored and got to meet so many artists that we love and admire that we can’t wait to return to the States.

© Raisa Bruner @ TIME

President Trump will loom over the U.S. Women’s Open golf championship this weekend in Bedminster, N.J., whether he’s there or not.

The tournament tees off Thursday at the Trump National Golf Club — despite the protests of women’s rights activists, who urged the organizers to move the event somewhere else.

Now the best female golfers in the world may share the stage with the president. Although Trump’s schedule has not yet been confirmed, tournament organizers have built a special glass-enclosed skybox overlooking the 16th tee so the president could watch the competition on what’s said to be one of his favorite courses.

Some Women’s Golf Fans Are Teed Off To See Major Tourney At Trump Course

Photo: Joel Rose/NPR
Caption: Golfers work on the 16th green during a practice round Wednesday at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. The U.S. Women’s Open Golf Championship starts there today.

National Archives Begins Online Release of JFK Assassination Records

Today at 8 a.m., the National Archives released a group of documents (the first of several expected releases), along with 17 audio files, previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992. The materials released today are available online only.  Access to the original paper records will occur at a future date.

Download the files online: https://www.archives.gov/research/jfk/2017-release

Highlights of this release include 17 audio files of interviews of Yuri Nosenko, a KGB officer who defected to the United States in January 1964. Nosenko claimed to have been the officer in charge of the KGB file on Lee Harvey Oswald during Oswald’s time in the Soviet Union. The interviews were conducted in January, February, and July of 1964.

Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.

Image source: Inauguration of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, January 20, 1961
Record Group 111, Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. National Archives and Records Administration 111-SC-578830.