fourth in the nation

July 3rd, 11:59 P.M.: This country is a festering cesspool of corruption, ignorance, and violence. Every achievement is built on the backs of millions of dead. The Founding Fathers-

July 4th, 12:00 A.M.:

July 5th, 12:00 A.M.: -would shake their heads in shame if they could see the state of this nation.

“What to the slave is the Fourth of July?” posed Frederick Douglass to a gathering of 500-600 abolitionists in Rochester, N.Y., in 1852. Admission to the speech was 12 cents, and the crowd at the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society was enthusiastic, voting unanimously to endorse the speech at its end. This speech would be remembered as one of the most poignant addresses by Douglass, a former slave turned statesman. Douglass gave it on July 5, refusing to celebrate the Fourth of July until all slaves were emancipated.

On July 3, 165 years later, the same question was posed on a stage in the basement of the National Archives, in Washington, D.C. This time by an actor, dressed like Frederick Douglass and wearing a wig, speaking to a 100 or so people, plus the livestream audience, in the William G. McGowan Theater. The event was put on with the help of the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, which hosts an annual reading of the speech, entitled The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro.

‘What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?’ Frederick Douglass, Revisited

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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Today is the American “Independence Day” holiday so I’m going to be featuring a number of clips from US National Parks.

Cadillac Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park, a nice big chunk of granite, sees the first sunrise of anywhere in the United States, and a crowd often gathers to catch it. This panorama swings from the granites of the mountain out over the Harbor to the explosion of color from the sun.

At the beach for the Fourth of July? Make sure to pack out your trash! 

Plastic debris has a long, long lifespan and can float a long way from where it starts, endangering marine life. Here, a Hawaiian monk seal pup investigates a large piece of plastic on Lisianski Island in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The islands within the monument are uninhabited, but tons of trash washes up on their beaches each year, posing a threat to the animals that live there. Help them out and make sure to properly dispose of your trash! 

(Photo: James Watt/NOAA)

Why Won’t the Handmaid’s Tale Cast Call It Feminist?

But when the cast sat down for a panel discussion and were asked whether they consider the series a “feminist” work, and whether they wanted that to be a part of the discussion when they signed on, their answers were much less in tune with the audience than the episode itself had been.

[…]

“Well, they’re both human beings. They’re the same height,” she quipped, adding later, “For me, [The Handmaid’s Tale is] not a feminist story. It’s a human story because women’s rights are human rights. So, for me it’s, I never intended to play Peggy as a feminist. I never intended to play Offred as a feminist. They’re women, and they’re humans. Offred’s a wife, a mother, a best friend. You know, she has a job. And she is a person who’s not supposed to be a hero, and she falls into it. And she kind of does what she has to do to survive, to find her daughter. It’s about love, honestly, so much of this story. So for me, you know, I never approach anything with any sort of, like, political agenda. I approach it from a very human place, I hope.”

The irony is that Moss’s declaration that “women’s rights are human rights” has been a feminist talking point for decades. It is most strongly associated with Hillary Clinton, who uttered the words during her 1995 speech to at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing. It’s impossible to fully know and understand the casts’ beliefs based on quick answers during a film festival panel. But it is striking and somewhat baffling that the cast behind a series that delivered such a strong—and yes, feminist—message was apparently reluctant to associate with the movement itself.

- Laura Bradley

It's You (Peter Parker Imagine)

Disclaimer: this is my very first Peter Parker imagine so please be kind 😬

Request: reader is in the decathalons and has a crush on Peter. She doesn’t think he feels the same way so she says yes when someone else asks her to Homecoming. But little does she know, he actually does like her. (Includes jealous Peter!)


I look up at the clock and sigh as the minute hand reads 15 minutes. This is the fourth time that Peter has been late to our decathalons meeting. Nationals are just around the corner and he keeps doing this. My hope of him asking me to Homecoming fades away each time he pulls the same stunt.

A repetitive tapping of a pen brings me back. It stops. “Okay, we’re going to start this meeting without Peter”, Liz says, annoyed. We go over a few things to further prep us then we begin practicing.

As our responses quicken, the remaining member of our team finally shows up. “I’m so sorry I’m late”, he says out of breath.

“Peter”, our teacher calls. He pulls him over to the side, most likely to lecture him. My attention shifts from Liz to Peter. I watch his face instantly fill with guilt.

“If he did want to be a part of this team, he’d show up on time”, Flash mutters. I look away from Peter. “Guys like that will keep on disappointing.”

I try to keep myself from getting worked up by Flash’s words. I would defend Peter but Flash has a point. I let out a sigh. Homecoming with him is most likely out of the question. Heck, it isn’t even a possibility.

“It’s just the Stark internship it’s-”

“Honestly Parker, who are you kidding? Cut the lies”, Flash says angrily.

My eyes go back to Peter and his lips just shut. No words. I wish he could come up with a better excuse, or to be honest about where he is. I look down.

“Hey, Y/N. Homecoming is coming up after nationals and I’ve been thinking..would you like to go with me?” Flash asks. His tone soft now.

It’s not like Peter has a crush on me anyway. I look up and smile. “Yeah, sure.”

“Guys, we have to focus, okay?” Liz reminds me and Flash.

“Yes Liz. I apologize, I’m just really excited about Homecoming!” Flash beams.

“Alright Flash.” Liz shakes her head and continues on with the questions.

We finish and our teacher lets us know that Peter is out. He really does keep on disappointing.

“He already quit band and-” Michelle gets cut off by Peter’s death stare.

The other members make their way out. Flash comes up to me with a huge smile on his face. “Today is the best day of my life! I’m going to Homecoming with you and now I’m taking Peter’s place! Can life get any better than this?” He hugs me and I catch Peter’s expression in this very moment.

He looks heartbroken. Flash makes his way out and Peter’s eyes follow him. His brows furrowed.

“Sorry to hear that you won’t be a part of the decathalons anymore”, I say. His head snaps in my direction, anger no longer present. “It’s a shame, I liked having you on the team.”

He gives me a small smile. “Nice to know at least one person enjoyed having me around. Seems like everyone else hates my guts.” His head hangs low.

“Even Ned?”

He sighs. “Even Ned.”

“I mean, you were given a huge opportunity so it doesn’t hurt to take it on. I get it. You got to do you. I wish you all the best with it.” I grab my bag and head out.

“Y/N, wait!”

“Yeah?”

He takes a few seconds to continue. “Are you actually going to Homecoming with..Flash?” I question the expression he makes as he says Flash’s name.

“I never thought I would, but yeah.”

“Are you sure? I mean, it’s Flash we’re talking about.”

“I’m sure, it’s not like anyone else was going to ask me so…” I instantly regret letting that slip.

Silence comes forth. I look at him and it seems as though he’s choked up.

“Are you okay Peter?”

“Yeah. I just-I got to go”, he says and books it. And just like that, he’s gone.


I try to get Peter off my mind but I’m reminded just before lunch. As I make my way to my locker I see him, still with that expression he had earlier. I unlock my locker to put my books away and grab my lunch but something stops me in my tracks.

I overhear Peter talk – well more like rant to Ned. “I can’t believe Y/N is going to Homecoming with Flash! Of all people! Does he even like her? Ugh, I swear if he hurts her or treats her wrong I will-” I turn my head slightly in their direction and freeze as I see that water has now formed in Peter’s eyes.

“Just take a deep breath. Maybe she’ll change her mind. Or maybe you should’ve asked her when you had the chance, I don’t know.” Ned shrugs.

Peter lets out a long sigh. The tears still on the rims of his sad puppy eyes.

“Look, I know it sucks but just remember I’m here for you”, Ned says as he places a hand on Peter’s shoulder.

Peter closes his eyes, takes a deep breath in then releases it. “Thanks Ned. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”

I turn my head back and stand at my locker in shock. Eyes wide, jaw dropped. Good thing no one can see my face right now. I take a few seconds to grasp whether or not that actually happened. Peter likes me. Peter. Likes. Me.

npr.org
Right-Wing Party Makes Strong Showing in German Elections
Early poll results from Sunday's vote show the AfD had the best showing for a far-right party in decades, taking third place.

Chancellor Angela Merkel is in position to rule for a fourth term, according to early exit polls in Germany’s national election – which also saw voters send the right-wing Alternative for Germany party to Germany’s parliament.

German media characterized the results of Sunday’s vote as a major shift. Der Spiegel reports, AfD is the “first overtly right-wing party to win seats in the country’s federal parliament in over half a century.”

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Are These the Droids You’re Looking For?

More robots, droids, and automatons in the @usnatarchives Catalog 

Samno-Attic Bronze Helmet, Late 5th-Early 4th Century BC

This type of helmet is so-called because of its close association with the Samnite warriors of central and southern Italy, and its derivation from the Greek Attic and Chalcidian type helmets. The form of any helmet was first and foremost functional, and its evolution was entirely dependent on the type of warfare fought and the cultural and artistic traditions of those who utilized it. Greek and Italic helmets of the fifth and fourth centuries BC, such as this example, evolved with new features to adapt to changing tactics in warfare, with the increasing importance of lighter equipment and tactical flexibility. This prompted the development of open-faced helmets, which gave the soldier greater visibility and ventilation with the inclusion of apertures for the ears. The Samno-Attic helmet was essentially a further development of the Chalcidian/Attic type that saw the disappearance of the nasal guard and a more spherical dome.

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Happy Independence Day! 

This humpback whale is Hancock. She gets her name from John Hancock, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. If you look at her upper-right fluke, you can see script-like “writing” reminiscent of Hancock’s signature! 

Recently, Hancock was tagged during the first week of the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary-led whale tagging mission, which will help the sanctuary track its whale population. 

(Photo: NOAA, under NOAA Fisheries Permit #18059)

White Nationalism, Take Four
  • Racist: All your scientific nonsense about genetic markers and objective measurements won't stop our white nation!
  • Antifa: So for the fourth time: how are you deciding who is and who isn't "white?"
  • Racist: Simple - if your ancestors are European, then you're white! Ta-dah! LONG LIVE THE WHITE RACE!
  • Antifa: So when you say "Europe," are you including countries that were part of the Ottoman Empire? You know like Serbia, Romania...
  • Racist: Sure
  • Antifa: ...Turkey...
  • Racist: Uh, ok
  • Antifa: ...Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Lybia, Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia...
  • Racist: Whoa whoa whoa! Now hold on there!
  • Antifa: What's the matter? The Ottoman Empire extended over all these areas at one point or another, so if you're going to include Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and Turkey in your "European ancestry" definition, then you're going to have to include these as well.
  • Racist: OK, we don't mean historical Europe. Just the parts of the Ottoman Empire that were in continental Europe are where white people are from.
  • Antifa: Oh, of course! Continental Europe! So we're still including Turkey, and all the Mediterranean as "white," right?
  • Racist: Yes.
  • German racist: Fuck no!
  • Antifa: Then there's Russia. It's split between Europe and Asia. So what do you want to do with Russians? Are they all "white," all "non-white," or does it depend on what side of the Ural Mountains one's ancestors come from, in which case two-thirds of Russia would be "non-white?"
  • Racist: They're white. No wait, some of them are white and some of them aren't.
  • Antifa: what if a person's Russian ancestors traveled from east to west 100 years ago, or 500 years ago, or 1000 years ago? Does that mean that the person today is "white" or "non-white?"
  • Antifa: And if we're going with "continental Europe" as the origin of all white people, what race have we decided the people of England, Iceland, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales are, given that none of those countries are part of continental Europe? And are people with origins in Kazakhstan "white?"
  • RACIST: COME ON!!! YOU'RE KILLING ME HERE!!!
  • Antifa: And what do you mean by "ancestors?" Geneticists have demonstrated that humans first existed in Africa and then migrated from there - so what specific generation are you using to determine if someone's ancestors are European and what is your objective, scientifically-valid rationale for declaring that all non-European ancestors prior to the European ones don't count?
  • Racist: Oh look, it's getting dark out and my mom told me I had to come home by now for supper so bye-bye!