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Anetha Sivananthan

Michael Jackson Ten Years Later

On the tenth anniversary of the death of “King of Pop” Michael Jackson’s death, we examine the inevitable question of whether we should continue celebrating the singer’s legacy in light of the documentary, Leaving Neverland’s. Prior to the release of the four-hour documentary, the Jackson Estate filled a lawsuit of more than $100 million against HBO, the producers of Leaving Neverland.

The estate alleged HBO had ignored a previous non-disparagement clause, that was part of a contract made over two decades in 1992. The contract prevented HBO from airing a film produced at a Bucharest concert for Jackson’s Dangerous tour and having stuck by the contract and not aired the film, HBO have dismissed any claims of making disparaging comments against Jackson.

Leaving Neverland portrays an account of sexual abuse, centering around two alleged victims, Wade Robson and Jimmy Safechuck, narrating their experience, putting to bed erroneous accusations against them and Michael Jackson. Leaving Neverland additionally speaks to the victims’ family members to locate concrete answers as to how the abuse all began.The shrouded claims of sexual abuse that have persisted throughout Michael Jackson’s career, were originally brought to public attention by Jordan Chandler, a thirteen-year-old boy. Gavin Arvizowas another earlier victim, who spent his teenage years accusing Jackson of molesting him, though Jackson was acquitted of all charges in a 2005 trial, involving Jordan Chandler as well.

Michael Jackson’s “grooming process”

Regardless of the acquitted status of earlier allegations, Leaving Neverland compels viewers to revisit the original allegations with its detailed depiction of the “grooming process” involving Robson and Safechuck. The details provided by the duo align with the first two allegations: endless gifts, the form of sex used in the abuse and a swift dismissal once hitting puberty. In the documentary, Jimmy Safechuck informs the camera that Jackson had staged a pretend wedding ceremony when he was aged ten and holds up a diamond and gold ring as evidence. The ring was supposed to represent a declaration of their lifelong commitment to each other. Robson added these gifts of love were common and Michael played into their childhood vulnerability by telling them, these were bonds outsiders would not be able to understand and would send them to prison for, if they knew.

Who is to blame?

Similarly, the families of the boys were presented with gifts—from holidays and expensive jewellery to new homes and cars. The gifts prevented suspicion from being aroused, and the families even hoped the boys’ careers in the future would benefit from Michael’s attention. The public adoration of Jackson from chart-topping successes such as Thriller and Bad convoluted the perception of blame. The documentary shares a remark from TMZ, where a commentator declares Robson should instead of suing the Jackson’s estate, sue his mother for allowing him to sleep in Jackson’s bed. In addition to the parents of Robson and Safechuck being blamed, both boys were accused of lying and mirroring the stories of earlier allegations for their own gain.

Wade Robson’s father, Dennis Robson, informed Vanity Fair in 1993 that he feared losing his son if he spoke out against Jackson and admitted to being molested during his childhood, himself. Plagued by the guilt following his son’s molestation, Dennis Robson committed suicide in 2002 and four months after Jackson’s death, the father of Jordan Chandler, Evan Chandler shot himself in 2009. Presented at the acquitted 2005 trial, Jordan Chandler also held the most incriminating evidence for allegations of abuse with his drawings of Jackson’s penis marking exactly areas of vitiligo or skin discolouration.

The tenth anniversary of Michael Jackson’s death makes the subject of blame more relevant, as fans of Jackson refute any blame on Michael’s part. For the first time, TV tributes for Jackson have not been aired in light of the documentary’s release this year. It cannot be denied that elements of Jackson’s music and choreographies were held as cultural icons and still hold influence; however, we cannot reject or shift blame to put ourselves at ease. Post-Leaving Neverland, listening to Michael’s music or dancing to his videos are all choices to be made by the individual.

Alongside blame, the other question Leaving Neverland forces us to consider is, if art can be separated from the artist.

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Teen Actress Thalia Tran On Preparing For “Little”

 

Here’s How a Photo Can Really Say a Thousand Words

Today, selfies are used to document our own histories with an endless stream of photos and hours dedicated to achieving the perfect candid photo. It therefore makes its incredibly easy to forget the wider documentation process of “selfies” throughout history from capturing famines and major sporting moments to portraying the aftermath of warfare and natural disasters – all in the hope of preventing them from happening again. We uncover history’s most iconic photos – the antithesis of today’s modern selfie culture.

Kevin Carter’s “The Vulture and the Little Girl”

Kevin Carter’s “The Vulture and the Little Girl”, Sudan, 1993. Image Courtesy of Rare Historical Photos.

Initially mistaken for a girl, this photo captured by Kevin Carter depicts a Sudanese boy struggling to make his way to the food center set up by the United Nations. After Carter sold the photo to the New York Times, he faced immense criticism for not helping the boy and even allowed the vulture to approach the boy further for a more dramatic shot. It was only twenty minutes later, that Carter chased the vulture away; according to sources,the pictured boy survived, yet died years later at aged fourteen from malarial fever.

Although Carter was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for capturing the image, he took his life the subsequent year in 1994, “haunted” by his memories of the civil war and the famine in Sudan.

“4 Children for Sale. Inquire within”, Chicago, 1948

“4 Children for Sale. Inquire within”, Chicago, 1948. Image courtesy of Rare Historical Photos.

The appearance of the photo in The Vidette-Messenger of Valaparaisoon the fifth of August, was at first believed to be fabricated, with many believing the mother had been paid to pose. Mrs. Lucie Chalifoux is the face behind the pregnant mother, shielding her face from the scrutinising gaze of the camera. She and her husband had felt forced to sell their four children, due to impending eviction from their home. Her four children were Lana, aged six and Rae, aged five, who feature on the top step of the photo, alongside Milton, four and Sue Ellen, aged two both on the bottom step.

The four children suffered extreme physical abuse at the hands of the families they were sold to and were never officially adopted by them; the Chalifoux’s daughter, RaeAnn Mills was also kidnapped and raped in her adolescent years, which resulted in a pregnancy. Things took a better turn for David – the child Lucie Chalifoux was pregnant with at the time of the sale. David was legally adopted by Harry and Luella McDaniel, who offered him a strict yet supportive and loving childhood.

The V-J Day kiss in Times Square, 1945

Alfred Eisenstaedt’s V-J Day kiss in Times Square, 1945. Originally titled: “In New York’s Times Square a white-clad girl clutches her purse and skirt as an uninhibited sailor plants his lips squarely on hers”. Image courtesy of Rare Historical Photos.

The above picture taken in New York City’s Times Square on the 14thof August 1945, shows a U.S Navy sailor kissing a random woman on Victory over Japan Day, commonly referred to as V-J Day. Victory over Japan Day refers to the day, Imperial Japan surrendered and thereby, effectively bringing World War Two to an end.

Photographer, Alfred Eisenstaedt recalled the moment in his book, Eisenstaedt on Eisenstaedt (1985): “In Times Square on V.J. Day I saw a sailor running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight. Whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make a difference. I was running ahead of him with my Leica looking back over my shoulder but none of the pictures that were possible pleased me. Then suddenly, in a flash, I saw something white being grabbed. I turned around and clicked the moment the sailor kissed the nurse. If she had been dressed in a dark dress, I would never have taken the picture. If the sailor had worn a white uniform, the same. I took exactly four pictures. It was done within a few seconds.”

Frank Fournier’s photo of Omayra Sanchez

Frank Fournier’s photo of Omayra Sanchez in Colombia, 1985. Originally titled: “The Agony of Omayra Sánchez” and image courtesy of Rare Historical Photos.

On the 13thof November in 1985, Columbia’s volcano, the Nevado del Ruiz erupted. Volcanic mudflows thereafter descended downwards, cloaking the town of Arnero and killing an estimated 23, 000 people. The haunting, entirely black eyes of thirteen-year-old, Omayra Sanchez, became a momentous signifier of the catastrophic consequence of Colombia’s volcanic eruption.  Omayra Sanchez was left trapped in the debris of the eruption, and while rescue workers were able to free her form the waist up and place a tyre over her to stop her from drowning, her legs remained trapped under the rubble.  The medical supplies required to perform an amputation could not be acquired and ultimately, rescue workers decided the more humane solution would be to allow her to die.  Her ordeal lasted three days and during that time, aid workers and local farmers sang to her, fed her and tried to comfort her.  She died on the 16thof November with the likely cause being hypothermia.

Although, the modern day approach to photos in today’s selfie culture is incredibly introspective, it can be a useful tool to understanding yourself better and seeing how others see you. Concurrently, it is important to equally remember the traditional use of photos to empower, inspire and inform.

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Whoopi Goldberg’s Response to Bella Thorne’s Leaked Nudes Sparks New Debate

 

 

Whoopi Goldberg’s Response to Bella Thorne’s Leaked Nudes Sparks New Debate

Actress and singer Bella Thorne was forced to leak her own nudes, after being threatened by a hacker on Sunday, hours after promoting her book, The Life of a Wannabe Mogul. In an open letter that she shared on Twitter, she declared to her hacker, “I can sleep tonight better knowing that I took my power back. U can’t control my life, you never will.”

Although, initial responses congratulated Bella for not giving into the hacker and applauded her strength in sharing the photos online, Whoopi Goldberg suggested Bella was partly to blame.  On Monday’s episode of The View, where Whoopi is a host, she stated: “If you’re famous, I don’t care how old you are. You don’t take nude photos of yourself.” Whoopi added, “If you don’t know this in 2019, that this is an issue, I’m sorry… You cannot be surprised if someone’s hacked you, especially if you have stuff on your phone.”

Many have taken Whoopi Goldberg’s statements as pure “victim blaming”; however, others have highlighted that Whoopi merely stated the cold, hard truth in her brutally honest fashion.

Thorne promptly responded to the comments in a series of Instagram videos and posts. In a letter penned to Whoopi, that she shared onto her Instagram story, Bella wrote, “ Dear Whoopi, I have loved you for so long but honestly I’m so displeased and saddened by your response to my le[a]k. Blaming girls for taking the photo in the first place? Is sick and honestly disgusting…I’m offended for anyone out there who has ever taken a sexy photo.”

KISS FM’s morning show host, Angie Taylor, also told Goldberg to “stand down” and came to the singer’s defence.

Nonetheless, this does open the issue of whether people, particularly celebrities, should be more careful about sharing and storing extremely personal photos of themselves on apps and storage databases. The incident invites another question of whether any lessons were learnt following the countless iCloud hacks in 2014, where celebrity nudes were shared onto an event title, Fappening. The scandal’s famous victims included Jennifer Lawrence, Ariana Grande and Brie Larson. In the public sphere, nudes have also been the subject of “revenge porn”, following relationships taking a sour turn.

In an interview with Vanity Fair, Jennifer Lawrence labelled the iCloud hacks a “sex crime.” The man behind the iCloud hacks was Ryan Collins from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who was sentenced to 18 months in prison.  Lawrence highlighted in the interview the need for new legislation to be enforced to ensure hackers think twice, before publicly posting photos.

Ultimately, should more young people be willing to take responsibility for posting nudes online or is it only natural with growing digitalisation, that we create new legislation to protect personal photos from being stolen by hackers?

See also: Teen Actress Thalia Tran on Preparing for “Little” 
Kylie Jenner Throws “Handmaid’s Tale” Themed Party, Incenses Everybody

Are the Increases in STIs Signs of a New Sexual Health Epidemic?

New findings published by the World Health Organisation (WHO) found more than one million sexually transmitted infections  or STIs are contracted per day, with the most commonly contracted infections being gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and syphilis. Dr. Melanie Taylor,who led the report and medical epidemiologist at the WHO department of Reproductive Health and Research stated, “These infections indicate people are taking risks with their health, with their sexuality and with their reproductive health.”

The demographic at greater risk of contracting STIs are young people. According to the American Sexual Health Association, nearly 65 percent of high school students will have participated in sexual intercourse by the time they’ve reached the twelfth grade. The risk of obtaining an STI is increased when under the influence of alcohol or drugs, owing to the likelihood of having unprotected sex and carelessness with choosing partners.

 Antibiotic-resistant gonorrhoea

The surplus in the number of sexually transmitted infections comes in the wake of an increasing number of STIs showings signs of resistance to antibiotics. Gonorrhoea has now shown complete resistance to the traditional and most effective treatment method, fluoroquinolone.Transmitted by the bacteria, neisseria gonorrhoeae during unprotected sex, the symptoms of gonorrhoea include unusual discharge from the penis or vagina, painful urination, abdominal pain and in women, vaginal bleeding.

These resistant strains of gonorrhoea have been tied to an outbreak with infection failing to be treated by alternative methods, such as doses of ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Antibiotic resistant strains therefore represent a major public health threat; the guidelines that have been imposed for individuals diagnosed with gonorrhoea involves the use of dual therapy with ceftriaxone by deep intramuscular injection and oral azithromycin. Nonetheless, cases of reported resistance to cephalosporin could make the application of ceftriaxone ineffective.

Better diagnostics and sexual health care

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner,Professor of Medicine and Public Health at David Geffen School of Medicine and Fielding School of Public Health in LA, emphasised the need to address resistant strains of gonorrhoea by asserting, “There is an urgent need for better diagnostics to address the problem of drug-resistant gonorrhoea in the United States.”

The need for better diagnostic methods has propelled the establishment of the ResistancePlus GC (SpeeDx),a test which will be used to effectively detect if the neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria in a patient is susceptible or resistant to treatment via ciprofloxacin. The antibiotic-resistance test will subsequently be able detect more quickly, whether ciprofloxacin can or cannot be used on a patient and will save the time of patients.

If left untreated, gonorrhoea can lead to major health implications in men and women. The long-term consequences of untreated gonorrhoea include pelvic inflammatory disease, which can inflict serious damage to the fallopian tubes and maximize the likelihood of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. In both men and women, another complication is a disseminated gonococcal infection (DGI) typified in the body by join pain and dermatitis.

It is therefore imperative more sexual health services are put into place across all states and are easily accessible to all to prevent new cases of STIs and slow the rate of infections until more effective treatment methods for antibiotic-resistant strains are found.

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Let’s Talk About Sex Baby, Let’s Talk About STDs

STDs: When to have the talk

Gulf of Mexico Could Experience Record-Breaking “Dead Zone”

The Gulf of Mexico could experience one of its largest “dead zones” this summer. Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association  forecast the dead zone ,  an area of low to zero oxygen, in the Gulf of Mexico to be the equivalent of nearly the size of Massachusetts or roughly 7,829 miles.

Dead zones can disrupt the marine ecosystem, as the low oxygen levels, otherwise known as hypoxia, harm existing marine life. The primary cause of dead zones is nutrient pollution from human activities; the nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) used in fertilizers and found in sewage are washed into the ocean by spring rains and eventually accumulate on the top of the ocean.

As these chemicals collect on the ocean’s surface, oxygen is prevented from reaching the water column and can lead to an overgrowth of algae, which consumes more oxygen as it decomposes, leading to the further depletion of the essential element. This accumulation of nutrients that leads to dangerously low oxygen is also referred to as eutrophication.

Nutrient pollution in the Gulf of Mexico

In a TED conference, ocean expert, Nancy Rabalais reported, “The nitrogen that is put in fertilizers and the phosphorous goes on the land and drains off into the Mississippi river and ends up in the Gulf of Mexico. There’s three times more nitrogen in the water in the Mississippi now than there was in the 1950s”

She emphasized resolving these agriculture issues by promoting the use of less fertilizers, precision fertilizing and trying sustainable agricultural alternatives, for example perennial wheatgrass. In contrast to corn plants, perennial wheatgrass has far longer roots and can therefore trap the nitrogen in the soil and keep the soil from running off.

Rabalais challenged her audience to make “less consumptive decisions” and highlighted the everyday, subtle choices that can be introduced to minimise our reliance on nitrogen. The changes to reduce our “nitrogen footprint” and its devastating damage on marine life can be as simple as cutting down on our consumption of corn oil, consuming less meat and using a car dependent on non-ethanol gas.

The world’s largest dead zone

The Gulf of Mexico is not the only body of water at risk. The world’s largest dead zone is in fact the Baltic Sea, which has experienced a 10-fold hypoxic increase. Climate change is a large factor in the sea’s large dead zone; however, the predominant cause for the growth is nutrient pollution.

Formed 10,000 to 15,000 years ago after the latest ice age, the Baltic Sea is the world’s youngest sea and is surrounded by nine coastal states: Finland, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Poland, Latvia and Lithuania. The distinguishing feature of the Baltic Sea is its brackish water, a combination of salty seawater and fresh water. The salty sea water constitutes the Baltic Sea’s deeper water layer, while the water layer on the sea’s surface is diluted by rainwater and more than 250 rivers and streams with the major rivers draining into Baltic Sea being the Neva, Vistula, Neman and Kemijoki.

In response to this environmental disaster, certain chemicals are now banned, such as DDT, a pesticide used to additionally control the spread diseases during World War Two and PCBs, man-made chemicals implemented in electrical equipment, have been replaced by accumulating nutrient pollution.

Subsequently, the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan has been established as part of an initiative to restore the Baltic Sea’s ecosystem to its previous condition by 2021. The ambitious plan aims to incorporate up to date scientific knowledge and different management approaches to create assertive environmental policies around the Baltic Sea. The main objectives of the programme are to create a Baltic Sea that is unaffected by eutrophication, undisturbed by hazardous components, encourage biodiversity and sustainable, eco-friendly maritime activities.

Ultimately, the main challenge to dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico and the Baltic Sea will be eutrophication, the spread of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorous) from the land into sea and the cause of oxygen deprivation in the water body. Nonetheless, programme initiatives such as the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan and encouraging subtle, small steps to cut down on our nitrogen footprint can help restores dead zones to their original, thriving ecosystems.

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Kanye West Opens Up About Being Bipolar and His Mental Health

A recently released sneak peak of David Letterman’s Netflix show, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction reveals Kanye West opening up about his mental health struggles. In the interview, the rapper candidly narrates his personal experiences being bipolar and coping with the stigma surrounding mental illness.

Speaking about how bipolar has affected him, he tells Letterman, “You have this moment [where] you feel everyone wants to kill you. You pretty much don’t trust anyone…When you’re in this state, you’re hyper-paranoid about everything, everyone.

“This is my experience, other people have different experiences. Everyone now is an actor. Everything’s a conspiracy. You feel the government is putting chips in your head. You feel you’re being recorded. You feel all these things.”

Kanye West’s mental health journey

Concerns regarding Kanye West’s mental health first came to light in 2016, after the rapper was hospitalized at Ronald Regan UCLA Medical Center following, what was classified at the time, a psychiatric emergency. The hospitalisation was believed to the result of chronic sleep deprivation and subsequent mental exhaustion and occurred just hours after Kanye cancelled his remaining performances on his Saint Pablo Tour.

Two years after his November hospitalisation, Kanye discussed his bi-polar diagnosis through his album, Ye,which was released in June 2018. Debuting at number one on the US Billboard 200, the album featured artists such as Ty Dolla Sign, Caroline Shaw, Benny Blanco, Irv Gotti and Che Pop.

The album’s name originates from the word “ye” in the Bible and touches upon the last two letters of Kanye’s name that also appear in his Twitter handle.

Bipolar is my ‘superpower’

In a video interview with Big Boy TV, Kanye gave during his picturesque listening party for the album in Wyoming, he discussed the origins of the album’s name in greater detail, “Ye” means “you”… It went from Kanye, which means “the only one,” to just Ye —just being a reflection of our good, our bad, our confused, everything. The album is more of a reflection of who we are.”

The lyrics forming the album’s lead single, “Yikes,” directly confront his symptoms of bipolar disorder and expresses to the audience the importance of prioritizing getting help. Kanye wraps up the single’s chorus, “Yikes, shit can get menacin’, frightenin’, find help” and “Sometimes I scare myself, myself,” by titling his bipolar his ‘superpower’. “Yikes” seeks to absolve the stigma placed onto individuals with bipolar and mental illnesses, and Kanye emphasizes this by asserting that his bipolar disorder has turned him into a superhero.

Fighting the stigma around mental illness

The stigma of crazy attached to mental illness is a subject Kanye describes to David Lettermanas another way of society being able to “write you off.”

He tells Letterman, “They love to cut your sentences off halfway. What you say doesn’t mean as much. Sometimes, for me, I think it’s a form of protection for me, because if I’m peeping something that people don’t want me to think about or know as a celebrity, ‘Oh, he’s just crazy,’ and then I go home. If they didn’t think I was crazy, it may be a problem.”

The full interview is set to be aired on May 31 on Netflix.

See also: What is Camp, Anyway? Our Fave Met Gala Looks

Dr. Sherry Benton on Mental Health Support at College

Nootropics: Can They Make You Smarter?

Our modern lifestyles require us to retain more new information today than ever before, from rigorous exam preparation to big deadlines at work.

Dominating this fast-paced information-filled world is social media and its effect on cognitive health. Social networking platforms portray an elusive mirror of supposed perfection and happiness; however, excessive usage has cultivated multiple cognitive problems such as loneliness, depression and social anxiety.

In a study published by Psychology Today, findings demonstrated that real, direct social interaction was negatively linked to excess Twitter use in university students, with loneliness being the prime cause.

Nootropics to the rescue?

Nootropics, or “brain boosters,” work by increasing and decreasing the activity of brain chemicals. For example, GABA is a brain chemical responsible for reducing anxiety, whereas the neurotransmitter norepinephrine heightens adrenaline in humans.

Other neurotransmitters include serotonin that regulates anxiety and dopamine. A lack of dopamine can cause insomnia, fatigue, memory loss and abrupt mood swings. Moreover, chemical imbalances can be triggered by either too low or high glutamate levels, with the latter being a symptom of Alzheimer’s and the former creating cognitive problems, like ADHD in children.

Herbal Nootropics

Nootropics can come in herbal or synthetic forms. Herbal nootropics use the herb ashwagandha, which
was used historically in the holistic practice Ayurveda. The herb works to revitalize your mental performance by improving attention levels and reducing fatigue. A secondary benefit of ashwagandha is its potential to restore a mental harmony, therefore ideal for those who suffer from anxiety within social interactions. Native to South East Asia, mitragyna speciosa, which is commonly known as kratom, is another herbal nootropic. Adopted by tribal societies in South Eastern Asia to provide energy, stimulate hunger and treat wounds, Kratorm is now used as a cognitive stimulant to maximize productivity levels.

Synthetic Nootropics

Synthetic nootropics, available globally, are used to improve memory and concentration levels. Modafinil is one such example of a synthetic brain booster, available only through prescription to ensure its is the right and most effective type of treatment to meet the specific needs of a patients. Modafinil is also used to treat narcolepsy, the chronic brain disorder causing individuals to fall asleep at random.

Synthetic nootropics are also widely utilized to treat social and cognitive problems. The compound Phenibut is a derivative of GABA and was once embraced by the Soviet Union as a medicinal drug. Its properties allow
it to have a stress-reducing effect and improve the sleep quality of its users.

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It’s World Bee Day and We’re A-Buzz

World Bee Day came into effect through a proposal to the UN from Slovenia, that May the 20th should be observed as World Bee Day to maximize awareness about the importance of both bees and beekeeping. After three years, the proposal was accepted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2017. May 20 also coincides with the birthday of Slovenian beekeeping pioneer Anton Janša and honors his endless efforts to raise awareness about beekeeping, otherwise known as apiculture.

Why bee friendly?

Hummingbird, wasps, moths, beetles and butterflies are all vital for the process of pollination; however, bees rank as the most important pollinator of them all. The bee experts at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations report a third of the world’s food production to be entirely reliant on bees. Bees are thus essential to ensuring our food security via pollination. Pollinations occurs as bees nestle on the flower of plant to collect pollen and nectar for their colony, and as they do this, pollen becomes attached to their hairs on their body and thereafter, fertilising the next plant they settle on.

According to the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, a multitude of foods depend on bee pollination. These include fruits such as blackberries, blueberries, cantaloupe, gooseberries, grapes, cranberries and watermelon. Vegetables that are pollinated by bees include of beans, beets, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Moreover, even the cotton you’re wearing or the morning coffee you down before class depends on bee pollination, as the plants these materials are sourced from rely on bees to pollinate them.

Correspondingly, the United Nations categorize bees as fundamental to the second of their seventeen sustainable development goals, Zero Hunger. With food inequity causing malnourishment, our increasing world population size, climate change and pollution, bees offer a sustainable means to supporting our growing population, encouraging biodiversity and fructifying our ecosystem. Concurrently, bees are paramount to securing the livelihood of agricultural workers, as they are necessary for generating a strong crop yield.

Establishing the risks to bees

There are various factors placing bees and other pollinators at risk, yet the main variables threatening the extinction of pollinators consist of pollution, increased use of pesticides in agriculture and climate change. Air pollution has a particular, adverse effect on bees by mixing with the scent molecules of plants and consequently, causing the bees to be slower at finding food for their colony and at pollinating.

UN Environment biodiversity specialist, Marieta Sakalian stated, “Governments need to take the lead…Increasing crop and regional farm diversity as well as targeted habitat conservation, management or restoration is one way of combatting climate change and promoting biodiversity.”

World Bee Day drives home an initiative to help save bees not only to government, but also to citizens across the globe. You can play an active role in preserving our bee population by planting more nectar bearing plants, eliminating the use of harmful pesticides in your garden and raising awareness at your college or community center.

See also: 12 Years To Halt Climate Change Catastrophe
What is Zero Waste and Why Does it Have a Gender Problem?

Met Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

What is Camp, Anyway? Our Fave Met Gala Looks

From Versace gowns to Gucci accessories, celebrities flocked into the Met Gala’s exhibition to showcase their take on this year’s theme of camp fashion. The Met Gala is an annual celebration, taking place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. This year’s camp theme elected by Andrew Bolton, the Curator of Costume Institute, encourages celebrities to test their limits and know no boundaries to expressing their individuality.

Susan Sontag defines the camp aesthetic in her 1964 essay, Notes on Camp as a theatricalism or “comic vision,” which claims “style over content” and “aesthetics over morality.” The emphasis on aesthetics over morality in camp fashion boycotts historical taboos and gives freedom to the expression of all identities, both queer and heteronormative.

Nailing camp fashion

But really, what we’re all interested in is which celebrities nailed camp. Here are our top picks.

Jared Leto

Hitting the closest definition to camp, Jared Leto soaked in all the drama and made a fashion statement by strolling into the Met Gala with a clutch in the form of his head. Indisputably, the dismembered, realistic head crafted by the Gucci team stole the show making an entrance in almost every celebrity’s photograph, before being tossed into a game of catch with Shawn Mendes.

https://twitter.com/MNotifiedMedia/status/1125543945428131840

Gemma Chan

Inspired by Elizabeth Taylor, Gemma Chan modelled an intricate, head accessory that was designed by Tom Ford. The headpiece looked surprisingly, far more lightweight and more comfortable than its predecessor’s. 

Lilly Collins

Although undeniably a picturesque moment, the inspiration behind Lilly Collins’ Met Gala outfit has not yet been confirmed. The pin up hair and winged eyeliner appearance, engineered by fashion stylists, Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn does, however contain subtle references to Lana Del Ray’s distinct, quintessential looks.

Zendaya

Zendaya turned up the drama level by turning up in a Cinderella gown at the Met Gala and her very own fairy godfather on hand to light up her day (we mean that literally).

But what about the worst dressed?

Despite the this year theme asking celebrities to go full out in expressing their individuality, there were some outfits we couldn’t quite grasp. Starting off with Katy Perry’s burger for the Met Gala’s after party, we can only wonder if she was hinting that once the night ends, all she really wants is to grab a burger.

Although, who could blame her that burger does look scrumptious.

Alongside, Katy Perry’s burger outfit was another questionable choice, yet this time to do with the choosing of accessories rather than the outfit. Gigi Hadid’s eyelashes pieced together by Erin Parson looked like they were ready to spear the wearer and any poor photographer angling his camera for close-up shots.

Nonetheless, in responses to all the queries about how dangerous and precarious the lashes looked, Erin Parson detailed the process in an Instagram post to demonstrate how safe the eyelashes were. Put together by individually applied and cut feathers to produce the spiked effect, the accessory was both as light and as harmless as a feather.

 

See also: Highlights From The 2019 Oscars

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The Biggest Highlights from the 2019 Grammy Awards

Celebrating Workers’ Rights: May Day Across the Globe

In spite of being a celebrated holiday across 66 different countries and being birthed in the United States, May Day, otherwise known as Labor Day globally, is not a nationally recognized holiday in the USA.

The origins of May Day stem from the tumultuous working conditions occurring in the latter part of the 19th century, where the working class remained embroiled and locked in unsanitary and dangerous work environments, alongside long hours of up to 16 hours a day. The presence of these working conditions inspired the beginnings of socialism, which later blossomed entirely into various socialist organisations calling for the end of corporate hierarchies and the insurgence of worker-controlled establishments.

Founded by Samuel Gompers in 1886, The Federation of Organized Trades and Labor Unions, referred to today as the American Federation of Labor declared, “eight hours shall constitute a legal day’s labor from and after May 1, 1886.” The proclamation was succeeded by protests and strikes.

In addition to its history of worker’s rights, May Day celebrates the start of spring with its classic dancing around the maypoles and across certain pagan traditions, May Day commemorates fertility, rebirth and posterity.

May Day Across The Globe

In South Carolina, teachers in their hundreds of thousands walked out of academic institutions to call for the complete funding of public schools.

Outside of the USA, in Jakarta, Indonesia, journalists wore masks as they protested closeby to a national monument. Over 500, 000 workers were mobilized in the peaceful rally; 50, 000 of whom came from the capital of Indonesia, Jakarta alone.

The leader of the Confederation of Indonesian Workers Unions (KSPI) asserted the May Day rally evocated the call for the eradication of cheap labour by corporate organisations and the confirmation of employee healthcare and pension. The other two demands also issued in a written statement called for cuts to essential foods and electricity tariffs.

Alternatively, May Day in Sri Lanka focused on celebrating the achievements of members of the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka, who repudiated a government security clampdown to hold a public rally in the capital, Colombo in remembrance of International Workers’ Day.

Similarly, in Britain communities rejoiced partaking in the celebration of Spring and maypole dancing.

See also: Seven Ways To Give Back This Holiday Season