Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: May 2016

(CNN)The death of Harambe, the 17-year-old silverback gorilla who was shot at the Cincinnati Zoo after a boy slipped into his enclosure, has made headlines around the world. I hope that with those headlines comes some reflection among members of the public, starting with the message of his name. I truly believe in the message contained in that name — because I was the one who chose it.

When I entered the baby gorilla naming contest in 1999, I somehow knew the name Harambe would be the one that was chosen. It came to me one day while I was on my treadmill listening to some music. A song by Rita Marley, “Harambe,” came on. It was a live performance recording from a Bob Marley Tribute concert in Central Park. Halfway through the song, Marley explained what Harambe means. It’s a Swahaili name meaning working together, pulling together, helping each other, caring, and sharing. I remember thinking what a cool word it was and that I should share it with my students.


    Over the years, our two sons and four nephews grew up as Harambe did. We were all regular visitors to the zoo, where we spent a lot of time observing and watching him get bigger. In fact, the family was so fond of Harambe that he was affectionately referred to as my adopted son.
    All my students have learned about the baby gorilla I named, and we took countless school field trips to the zoo to see Harambe. I incorporated Harambe and the meaning of his name into my lessons, where I would discuss concepts like compassion, cooperation and tolerance. I worked at Gonzalez Elementary for 11 years, and pretty much every student who came through the school knew Harambe and what his name meant.
    A few years ago, at a Zoofari fundraiser at the Gladys Porter Zoo, my brother-in-law was the winning bidder at an auction of a painting done by Harambe. Shortly after that, I got word that Harambe had been moved to the Cincinnati Zoo. I was disappointed as I knew that going to the zoo just wasn’t going to be the same. Upon learning of his death this week, my wife, sons, nephews, students and family members were deeply saddened. But despite this sadness, I am also hopeful.
    Harambe’s name — and even his death — can serve as a lesson for all of us. The truth is, human beings have become distant from nature, and increasingly from each other. But Harambe’s name can be a reminder for all of us to work together, pull together, help each other, share, and care not just for each other, but for all of God’s creations.
    From a personal perspective, I hope Harambe’s remains can be returned to his homeland in Africa. But I am optimistic that even this won’t be the end of Harambe’s story. Instead, I hope that the headlines and discussion of what happened will help increase awareness of — and perhaps fundraising efforts for — the endangered African lowland gorillas still in their native habitat.
    If Harambe’s message can reach even more people over the coming weeks and months, then perhaps more can be done to ensure that one day, we won’t have to resort to raising these great creatures in captivity to help ensure the species’ survival.

    Read more:

    Sharon Osbourne recently made tabloid headlines for coming out as bisexual after she opened up about her sexuality on “The Talk.” The only problem? She never actually said she was bisexual

    The incident highlighted just how much confusion there can be around sexual identity and also served as a reminder of how little many people know about what it really means to be and identify as bisexual.

    When they aren’t being forgotten about, erased or misunderstood, bisexuals are often characterized as greedy, hypersexual or indecisive in mainstream culture, the media and in the queer community.

    But bisexuality absolutely is a valid sexual orientation, and one just as worthy of celebration and visibility as any other identity.

    One way to foster more discussion and understanding of the identity is to highlight the lives and experiences of bisexual people, especially highly visible ones. Below, check out 28 celebrities who have spoken out about being bisexual.

    For more info and resources about bisexuality, head here.

    • 1 Megan Fox

      In a 2011 Esquireinterview, Megan Fox confirmed her bisexuality, stating, “I think people are born bisexual and then make subconscious choices based on the pressures of society. I have no question in my mind about being bisexual. But I’m also a hypocrite: I would never date a girl who was bisexual, because that means they also sleep with men, and men are so dirty that I’d never want to sleep with a girl who had slept with a man.”
    • 2 Billie Joe Armstrong

      The Green Day front manopened up about his sexuality in a 1995 interview with The Advocate: “I think I’ve always been bisexual. I mean, it’s something that I’ve always been interested in. I think everybody kind of fantasizes about the same sex. I think people are born bisexual, and it’s just that our parents and society kind of veer us off into this feeling of ‘Oh, I can’t.’ They say it’s taboo. It’s ingrained in our heads that it’s bad, when it’s not bad at all. It’s a very beautiful thing.”
    • 3 Margaret Cho

      Comedian Margaret Cho has long been open about her sexuality. In August 2013, Cho discussed the semantics surrounding her open marriage to artist Al Ridenour, saying that she’s “technically not able to stay with one person sexually because Im bisexual, and joking that she just cant stop up that hole. She also identifies as queer, and opened up about her sexuality in an interview with HuffPost Gay Voices Editor-At-Large Michelangelo Signorile.
    • 4 Clive Davis

      Twice-married record executive and music mogul Clive Davis came out as bisexual in his 2013 memoir,The Soundtrack Of My Life. Davis opened up about two long-term relationships he had with men after his divorce from his second wife.
    • 5 Anna Paquin

      Anna Paquin is adamantly open about her bisexuality. The actress told “Zooey” magazine in a 2009 interview, “For me, its not really an issue because Im someone who believes being bisexual is actually a thing. Its not made up. Its not a lack of decision.”
    • 6 Megan Mullally

      After telling The Advocate in 2009 that she was bisexual, Mullally clarified her statements in an interview with Queerty, telling the blog: “I said that I thought that everybody is innately bisexual. I think there are different levels of awareness attached to that, so I may believe that everybody is innately bisexual, but somebody who is very homophobic may not see that quality in themselves in any way, shape or form. Thats on a very philosophical or even metaphysical level, you know what I mean? Its not something that I think people are ready for yet. I think if you ask the average guy on the street if he was innately bisexual, hed be like, What the fuck are you talking about? and then hed punch you in the face. So, were not quite there.”
    • 7 Azealia Banks

      The rapper has been openly bisexual since the early days of her career: “I mean, I’m bisexual, so it makes sense. But I don’t want to be that girl who says all gays necessarily hang out together, of course! I have people say to me, ‘Oh wow, my friend is gay, too,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, so?'”
    • 8 Andy Dick

      Many people mistakenly assume that Andy Dick identifies as gay. However, he told The Washington Post in a 2006 interview that, “just because I’ve been with guys, and I’m bi, doesn’t mean I’m gay.”
    • 9 Bai Ling

      Actress Bai Ling is openly bisexual — and the identity category has often provided some humorous mix-ups involving her first name. According to GLAAD, she discussed it in-depth in a 2009 interview with Entertainment Weekly: “[A]t first when I was in the United States I didn’t always have an interpreter in interviews and I didn’t speak English so well. There was some confusion. My name is pronounced ‘bi,’ so when I was asked, ‘Are you bi?’ I said, ‘Yes, I am Bai.’ Do you like men? ‘Of course!’ Do you like women? ‘Why yes!’ And later I found out what that means and I said, ‘Sure, I am bi!’ But I think the interpreters and the reporters thought that I didn’t know what I was saying because I was so open about it. They were uncomfortable about it. Such a thing is not important for me.”
    • 10 Carrie Brownstein

      The “Portlandia” star and former guitarist and vocalist for Sleater-Kinney is often assumed to identify as gay. However, she told “Willamette Week” in 2012 that, “Its weird, because no ones actually ever asked me. People just always assume, like, youre this or that. Its like, OK. Im bisexual.
    • 11 David Bowie

      Though David Bowie has historically played coy surrounding his sexuality, he clarified the subject in a 1976 interview with “Playboy.” “It’s true — I am a bisexual. But I can’t deny that I’ve used that fact very well. I suppose it’s the best thing that ever happened to me.”
    • 12 Snooki

      The always-polarizing Snookisat down with The Huffington Post in February 2012 and sought to clarify her sexual preference. “I would consider myself bi. I’ve done stuff with girls before. But I would never be with a girl because I like… penis. But I’ve experimented.”
    • 13 Amber Heard

      Amber Heard has been openly bisexual for quite some time, and discussed this aspect of her identity in “Elle.” The model and actress told reporters: “[I] didn’t want to look like I was hiding anything.”
    • 14 Angelina Jolie

      Angelina Jolie has been open about her sexuality for quite some time, having had numerous encounters and relationships with women. She reportedly told OK Magazine that, “I have loved women in the past and slept with them. I think if you love and want to pleasure a woman, particularly if you are a woman yourself, then certainly you know how to do things a certain way.”
    • 15 Evan Rachel Wood

      Evan Rachel Wood came out on Twitter in 2012: I myself am bisexual and have always joked about Miley giving me gay vibes. Not a bad thing! Just an observation.
    • 16 Sapphire

      The author of Push, the book that inspired the critically acclaimed film “Precious,” describes herself as bisexual.
    • 17 Drew Barrymore

      Drew Barrymore originally came out in an interview in Contact Magazine in 2003, saying, “Do I like women sexually? Yeah, I do. Totally. I have always considered myself bisexual… I love a woman’s body. I think a woman and a woman together are beautiful, just as a man and a woman together are beautiful. Being with a woman is like exploring your own body, but through someone else.”
    • 18 Frenchie Davis

      This former “American Idol” and “The Voice” contestant came out in 2012, telling her fans that she had been in a relationship with a woman for the past yearand had dated men and women.
    • 19 Vanessa Carlton

      Musician Vanessa Carlton came out publicly at 2010’s Nashville Pride, announcing to a crowd of 18,000 that, “I’ve never said this before, but I am a proud bisexual woman!”
    • 20 Fergie

      The Black Eyed Peas front woman confirmed speculation surrounding her sexual identity in 2009 through an interview with The Advocate: “Q: After you discussed past sexual experiences with women in an interview with ‘The Sun’ in May, headlines everywhere read, ‘Fergie Admits Shes Bisexual!’ A: The funny thing is that I was very open and honest about that from the very beginning, and everyone was acting like it was some new trend. Go back four or five years, people, and youll see the same answer.”
    • 21 Pete Townshend

      In his book,Who I Am: A Memoir by Pete Townshend, this musician confirmed that he is “probably bisexual” and cited his attraction to Mick Jagger, calling him “the only man I’ve ever seriously wanted to fuck.”
    • 22 Tila Tequila

      Tila Tequila is not one to shy away from anything. The former Myspace celebrity did several reality shows centered around identifying as bisexual, beginning with “A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila.” She was also the girlfriend of Casey Johnson, the Johnson & Johnson heiress, who passed away in 2010.
    • 23 Amber Rose

      Amber Rosehas long been perceived to be openly bisexual without actually addressing the way she identifies. In an interview with Complex magazine, the model sought to clarify the rumors: “They label me a bisexual freak stripper that fucks Kanye on a daily basis. To answer that: Im extremely open with my sexuality. I can be in love with a woman, I can be in love with a man. Im not into bestiality, but as far as humans go, I definitely find beauty in everybody, whether theyre heavy-set, super-skinny, if theyre white, black, Indian, Asian, Spanish. I can see beauty in anybody. Im not into threesomes or orgies and shit like that. If I see a women and I think shes beautiful and I like her, and she likes me back we can definitely try to be in a relationship together.”
    • 24 Cynthia Nixon

      Currently married to wife Christine Marinoni, Nixon confirmed in a January 2012 interview with The Daily Beast that she is bisexual. The “Sex And The City” star stated, “I dont pull out the ‘bisexual’ word because nobody likes the bisexuals. Everybody likes to dump on the bisexuals… We get no respect.”
    • 25 Jillian Michaels

      The first lady to ever come out in “Lady’s Home Journal” as bisexual, “Biggest Loser” coach and personal trainer Jillian Michaels told the magazine in 2010: Lets just say I believe in healthy love. If I fall in love with a woman, thats awesome. If I fall in love with a man, thats awesome. As long as you fall in love its like organic food. I only eat healthy food, and I only want healthy love!
    • 26 Kim Zolciak

      Former “Real Housewives Of Atlanta” star Kim Zolciak was in public relationships with both the mysterious “Big Poppa” and DJ Tracy Young before marrying Kroy Biermann. In a 2010 interview with Life & Style, interviewers posed the following question for the reality queen: “Q: Do you feel you’re giving a voice to other bisexual parents? A: I’m among the millions of parents who have been in a gay or lesbian relationship. It hasn’t been an easy road lately, but I feel there are no mistakes in my life. Everything happens for a reason. To have the opportunity to speak for myself and to have people understand what I’m going through is really special. I myself was confused and scared at first. Being able to speak from my heart and get this all out, it’s a huge relief for me.”
    • 27 Lady Gaga

      Lady Gaga has been open for quite some time about her bisexuality, initially coming out in a 2010 interview with Barbara Walters.
    • 28 ‘Mama June’ Shannon
      Charles Norfleet via Getty Images

      The star of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” revealed that she’s bisexualin an “Inside Edition” interview in April 2015. Her daughter “Pumpkin” Lauryn Thompson also came out as bi at the same time.

    Read more:

    By Steve Scherer

    ROME (Reuters) – A photograph of a drowned migrant baby in the arms of a German rescuer was distributed on Monday by a humanitarian organization aiming to persuade European authorities to ensure safe passage to migrants, after hundreds are feared to have drowned in the Mediterranean last week.

    The baby, who appears to be no more than a year old, was pulled from the sea on Friday after the capsizing of a wooden boat. Forty-five bodies arrived in the southern Italian port of Reggio Calabria on Sunday aboard an Italian navy ship, which picked up 135 survivors from the same incident.

    German humanitarian organization Sea-Watch, operating a rescue boat in the sea between Libya and Italy, distributed the picture taken by a media production company on board and which showed a rescuer cradling the child like a sleeping baby.

    In an email, the rescuer, who gave his name as Martin but did not want his family name published, said he had spotted the baby in the water “like a doll, arms outstretched”.

    “I took hold of the forearm of the baby and pulled the light body protectively into my arms at once, as if it were still alive … It held out its arms with tiny fingers into the air, the sun shone into its bright, friendly but motionless eyes.”

    The rescuer, a father of three and by profession a music therapist, added: “I began to sing to comfort myself and to give some kind of expression to this incomprehensible, heart-rending moment. Just six hours ago this child was alive.”

    Like the photograph of the three-year-old Syrian boy Aylan lying lifeless on a Turkish beach last year, the image puts a human face on the more than 8,000 people who have died in the Mediterranean since the start of 2014.

    Little is known about the child, who according to Sea-Watch was immediately handed over to the Italian navy. Rescuers could not confirm whether the partially clothed infant was a boy or a girl and it is not known whether the child’s mother or father are among the survivors.

    Sea-Watch collected about 25 other bodies, including another child, according to testimony from the crew seen by Reuters. The Sea-Watch team said it unanimously decided to publish the photo.

    “In the wake of the disastrous events it becomes obvious to the organizations on the ground that the calls by EU politicians to avoid further death at sea sum up to nothing more than lip service,” Sea-Watch said in a statement in English distributed along with the photograph.

    “If we do not want to see such pictures we have to stop producing them,” Sea-Watch said, calling for Europe to allow migrants safe and legal passage as a way of shutting down people smuggling and further tragedies.

    At least 700 migrants may have died at sea this past week in the busiest week of migrant crossings from Libya towards Italy this year, the UN Refugee agency said on Sunday.

    The boat carrying the baby left the shores of Libya near Sabratha late on Thursday, and then began to take on water, according to accounts by survivors collected by Save the Children on Sunday. Hundreds were on board when it capsized, the survivors said.

    (Editing and additional reporting by Mark John in London)

    Read more:

    (CNN)The Libertarian Party convention caught the attention of a lot of people this weekend, and not just because the party was choosing its presidential ticket.

    James Weeks, who was running to be the party chairman, took to the stage in Orlando and performed a striptease.
      Yes, a striptease.
      “We could use a little bit of fun,” Weeks told the crowd as well as viewers tuned into C-SPAN, which broadcast the convention.
      Weeks played music on his phone as he took off his badges and encouraged the crowd to clap. Scattered cheers were the best he got –and that was before it was clear what he was up to.
      Things went south pretty quickly when he removed his suspenders and tie. By the time he ripped his shirt off, the crowd erupted into loud boos.
      “Sorry, that was a dare,” Weeks said. “I’m gonna go ahead and drop out.”
      The convention mostly made headlines for selecting former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson to head the party’s presidential ticket with ex-Massachusetts Gov. William Weld as his running mate, but some observers noted that Weeks’ stunt could have a negative effect on the party.
      “They’ve got to do things like have some of their nominees stop stripping in front of the cameras,” CNN political commentator Errol Louis said Monday on “New Day.”
      Weeks hails from Michigan, where “he has dedicated his life to achieving a free society,” his website says.

      Read more:

      (CNN)Johnny Depp’s daughter is defending him on social media.

      Lily-Rose Depp, the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star’s 17-year-old daughter with singer Vanessa Paradis, posted a photo on Instagram over the weekend of herself as a baby with her father.


      “My dad is the sweetest most loving person I know, he’s been nothing but a wonderful father to my little brother and I, and everyone who knows him would say the same,” the caption read.

        My dad is the sweetest most loving person I know, he's been nothing but a wonderful father to my little brother and I, and everyone who knows him would say the same

        A photo posted by Lily-Rose Depp (@lilyrose_depp) on

        The actor has been accused of domestic violence by his estranged wife Amber Heard, who recently filed for divorce after 15 months of marriage.
        In her complaint filed with the court, Heard alleges, “During the entirety of our relationship, Johnny has been verbally and physically abusive to me.
        “Johnny has had a long-held and widely-acknowledged public and private history of drug and alcohol abuse,” she continues. “He has a short fuse.”
        But Depp filed a memorandum with the court in which he rejected Heard’s claims of domestic violence, saying, “Amber is attempting to secure a premature financial resolution by alleging abuse.”
        Depp told Rolling Stone three years ago he has used alcohol as “self-medication over the years just to calm the circus.” He said then that he is not an alcoholic.

        Read more:

        Image copyright English Heritage/Getty Images
        Image caption There are thousands of heritage plaques installed by hundreds of different organisations across the country

        England’s first blue plaque scheme started with a tribute to a controversial poet in 1867 and now, almost 150 years later, it has celebrated by unveiling a plaque to a food writer. So who qualifies for a plaque?

        The country’s first blue plaque no longer exists – the disc marking 24 Holles Street as the birthplace of Romantic poet Lord Byron was removed when the building was replaced with a department store.

        But the scheme started by the Society of Arts is still going strong, and has been replicated in hundreds of towns and cities around the country.

        Even within the capital there is a plethora of plaques by other organisations, but the original programme, now managed by English Heritage, has seen more than 900 installed, the latest of which was to food writer Elizabeth David.

        And they are very strict about who gets a plaque.

        London's blue plaques

        • Byron The poet was the first subject of a plaque. The 1867 plaque now no longer exists with the building replaced by a department store

        • 9 to 12 Number of plaques installed a year in the English Heritage scheme

        • Napoleon III Longest surviving plaque. It was installed in 1867 on King Street

        • 906 Official blue plaques

        • 965 Average cost per plaque

        English Heritage

        Recipients must have been dead for at least 20 years and must have lived at the location they are being connected with for either a long time or during an important period, such as when writing their seminal work or creating their key invention.

        “The 20-year rule is quite important to us,” said Alexandra Carson, national PR executive for English Heritage.

        “It gives us the benefit of hindsight and allows us to better judge their long-term legacy.

        “Also, the building has to be the same as it was when they lived there because a big part of it is bringing history to life.

        “It’s a really nice way of detailing the history of London and linking people and places.”

        Image copyright English Heritage
        Image caption Elizabeth David’s plaque has been celebrated by those who recognise the food writer’s influence

        There are thousands of blue plaques around England noting significant people and the places they were born, lived, worked, visited or died.

        But, as there is no national body governing such commemoration, the criteria used to determine who and where gets a plaque vary widely from place to place.

        It is left to local councils, charities and history organisations to police the plaques issued in their areas.

        Outside of the original scheme, the majority of plaques can be loosely grouped into four categories: birthplace, residence, visited by and place of death.

        For example, a house on Prince’s Street in Bishop Auckland is marked as a childhood home of Stan Laurel; Guy Fawkes’ birthplace in York and the home of his parents are both labelled and the house in Southwark where Boris Karloff was born has a plaque – it is now a fish and chip shop.

        Perfecting the plaque

        Image copyright English Heritage
        Image caption Sue and Frank Ashworth have made more than 300 plaques since 1984

        Cornwall-based ceramicists Frank and Sue Ashworth have been making the plaques since 1984.

        It is a painstaking process of precision and patience, Mrs Ashworth says.

        “You owe it to the person named on the plaque to get it right, and people will notice if anything looks wrong, the finished plaque has a beauty and symmetry about it.”

        The font was designed by Harry Hooper and each plaque, made from a secret mixture of clays, takes about three and a half weeks – assuming there are no mishaps.

        “Things do go wrong occasionally, for example a crack might appear,” Mrs Ashworth said.

        “On one occasion I forgot to put the English Heritage logo on, another time we were given the wrong dates. They could be salvaged though without having to remake them.”

        Each letter is made by hand and the plaque goes through two three-day long firings in kilns reaching 1,200C (2,192F).

        The couple, who have since been joined in the business by son Justin, have made more than 300 plaques for both schemes and private individuals.

        “You have to be very patient but it is enjoyable. Some people might think it is repetitive but as soon as you see it that way you are done.”

        Dimensions of a plaque

        • 19.5 Inches (49.5cm) in diameter

        • 16 Kilograms (35lb) in weight

        • 2 Inches (5cm) deep

        • 15 Optimum number of words

        • 300 The Ashworth's have made more than 300 plaques since 1984

        Getty Images

        For some places, fleeting visits are as worthy of note as long-time residence.

        Malcolm X’s visit to Marshall Street in Smethwick in the West Midlands nine days before his assassination in 1965 is commemorated, while in Norwich there is a plaque marking the day in 1971 when Muhammad Ali visited a supermarket as part of a promotional tour by Ovaltine.

        Malvern is home to a number of plaques marking famous visitors.

        Image copyright Getty Images
        Image caption There are plaque’s in Smethwick and Norwich commemorating visits by Malcolm X and Muhammad Ali respectively

        There is the inn where Chronicles of Narnia creator CS Lewis “frequently met literary and hill-walking friends”, the favoured hotel of exiled Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie between 1936 and 1941 and the rooms used by a seven-year-old Franklin D Roosevelt when he convalesced in the town in 1889.

        “Our plaques are for people and places that had an impact on the history of Malvern,” said Brian Iles from the Malvern Civic Society.

        “But they are not just for people who everybody knows, we also want to introduce important people who everybody should know about.

        “We want to celebrate our history and make sure people don’t forget it.”

        Florence Nightingale and Charles Darwin are also commemorated for having visited Malvern for hydrotherapy in the town’s famously low-mineral water.

        When it comes to being remembered for visits, Dickens is one of the most prolific subjects with at least 44 plaques around the country, including at the Portsmouth house where he was born, the Barnard Castle rooms where he spent two nights in 1838 while researching Nicholas Nickleby and the Assembly Rooms in Scarborough where he gave readings in 1858.

        There are even plaques for his characters such as in Market Square in Dover where David Copperfield apparently “rested on the doorstep and ate a loaf” while searching for his aunt Betsey Trotwood.

        Image copyright English Heritage
        Image caption Some of the more interesting plaques are to people many have not heard of, such as Luke Howard, namer of clouds

        There are two chief types of people being commemorated – famous figures, such as actors, writers and politicians, and relative unknowns who invented, created or achieved something remarkable.

        “The majority fall into the second category,” said Ms Carson.

        “Being famous is secondary, it is more about what they contributed to society and whether that is worthy of being commemorated.

        “And that’s what really makes the plaques so interesting, it’s people you haven’t heard of but who have made some giant contribution to our lives.”

        One such example is on the former home of meteorologist Luke Howard in Tottenham who invented the names given to clouds.

        His inscription simply reads: “Namer of clouds”.

        Life in a plaque house

        Image copyright Getty Images/Google
        Image caption William Willett’s former home in Chislehurst sports a blue plaque to him

        Since 2007 Walle Ogunyemi and his family have lived in Chislehurst at the former home of William Willett, renowned house-builder and the initiator of British Summer Time.

        A plaque to Willett was installed in the 1970s and Mr Ogunyemi said several people a week stop to look at it.

        “It’s an honour to live there with the history associated with the property,” he said.

        “You get used to people standing and staring at your home, we allow two or three people in a year from the local history society or relatives of William Willett.

        “But people standing outside have never really bothered us, they are always very polite and there is never any malice.”

        In Birmingham there are plaques to the inventor of plastic and the discoverer of oxygen, while Norwich has commemorations for Britain’s first black circus owner and the woman who devised one of the most famous methods of teaching music.

        In very rare cases a property becomes a “double-plaquer”, having hosted two notable people.

        A house on Paulton’s Square in Chelsea was the home first of playwright Samuel Beckett in 1934 and then, from 1953 to 1974, physicist Patrick Blackett.

        Image copyright English Heritage
        Image caption A house in Paulton’s Square in Chelsea became the 19th property in London to become a double-plaquer

        Places from moments in history are also often commemorated with plaques.

        For example, Frome station has a plaque celebrating the fact that Leonard Woolf took the 10.29 train from there to London, on 11 January 1912, to propose to writer Adeline Virginia Stephen, later known as Virginia Woolf.

        In Saltburn there is a plaque commemorating the world speed record attempts made by members of Leeds and Middlesbrough Motor Clubs on the beach in the early 20th Century and in Wolverhampton the country’s first set of traffic lights are celebrated.

        Although the plaques are awarded by organisations, they are more often than not suggested by the public.

        “We look at every application,” Ms Carson said.

        “We are always looking for new and interesting people worthy of being remembered.”

        Read more:

        There are few stars who use their celebrity for good quite as genuinely and passionately as Laverne Cox. The work that she has done on screen is paralleled only by the work she has done to increase visibility and awareness around the transgender community.

        Beyond that, Cox, who happens to be amongst our picks for one of the best-dressed celebrities in Hollywood, wows us regularly with her relatable attitude. A glance at her Instagram feed might fool someone into thinking they’re looking at just another one of their friends. 

        It’s that down-to-earth nature and commitment to spreading awareness that make Cox shine. In honor of the star’s 32nd birthday on May 29, behold, 15 times her beauty — both inside and out — blew us away.

        1. When she was just as much as a Beyonce fan-girl as all of us: 

        2. When she was basically every friend you have during karaoke: 

        This is how we do it. @oitnb #Season3 #WrapParty #karaoke #RockNRoll

        A video posted by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

        3. When she was feeling herself enough to get a friend to take photos of her on the beach:

        4. When she was a woman who supports other women (always):

        5. And preached about the importance of self-acceptance:

        Damon Dahlen/Huffington Post/Getty Images

        6. When she lit up the New York City sky to create awareness for National Bullying Prevention Month:

        Brad Barket via Getty Images
        October is National Bullying Prevention Month

        7. When she wore this stunner on the 2014 Emmys red carpet:

        Jason LaVeris via Getty Images

         8. And this show-stopper on the 2016 SAG Awards red carpet:

        Gregg DeGuire via Getty Images

         9. And this glorious gown on the 2016 Billboard Awards red carpet:

        Steve Granitz via Getty Images

         10. When she stripped down for a powerful photoshoot in Allure:

        11. When she slayed the braid game:

        12. And wore THIS out to the club:

        12. Not to mention, every single time she educates her friends and followers about other badass transgender icons:

        14. When she was a sucker for a bargain:

        I just love my swimsuits for under $15.00. Girlfriend loves a bargain. #TransIsBeautiful

        A photo posted by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

        15. And when she somehow even made even a cap and gown look downright fierce: 

        graduation day #NewSchoolGrad

        A photo posted by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

         Pour it up, girl! 

        I needed a drink after the the events of the night. Wow ##SAGAwards #TransIsBeautiful

        A photo posted by laverne cox (@lavernecox) on

        Read more:

        (CNN)“Classical music,” in its now-traditional sense, has seen better days. The Metropolitan Opera is only one of the many arts organizations that is having a harder and harder time filling its seats.


          JUST WATCHED

          10-year-old pianist with the future at his fingertips

        MUST WATCH

        Breaking down such “classical” rules will kill “classical” music — and thus save it. It will make the artform more accessible, more entertaining, and more disinhibiting, allowing for all of us to share more emotion and passion through the music. It will welcome those of us who are interested yet apprehensive about making the leap to buy a ticket to a concert.
        It will encourage more young people to have fun with the performing arts instead of viewing them as a necessary evil that requires a boring practice each day after school.
        And it is this death of “classical” music that will bring true classical music more life than ever.

        Read more:

        During a season where Broadway is grossing a record high of $1.37 billion, lead producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey of Front Row Productions are making history of their own with “Eclipsed.”

        Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Pascale Armand, Akosua Busia, Zainab Jah and Saycon Sengblo, “Eclipsed” — which is the first play written by, directed by, produced by and starring black women — tells the intense story of five women who are brought together by turmoil in their homeland of Liberia.

        In addition to receiving six Tony Award nominations, the pair are very passionate about bringing new voices to Broadway, including introducing director Liesl Tommy.

        “I think, for us, it’s always exciting to break ground,”Jones-Harvey told HuffPost. “Every production that we’ve done has broken ground on Broadway in some form or fashion. And for this production to have shattered this glass ceiling is exciting for us. We’ve debut two of the three black female directors on Broadway. We debuted Debbie Allen in her directorial debut in “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” and now Liesl Tommy, who was primed to be on Broadway as she’s a prolific director and not to be overlooked in a season that has really demonstrated her ability to bring out these characters and their voices.”

        Michael Loccisano via Getty Images
        Producers Stephen Byrd and Alia Jones-Harvey of Front Row Productions.

        Though the pair also has produced such successful shows as “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Romeo and Juliet,” and “The Trip To Bountiful,” Byrd and Jones-Harvey’s sixth production marks a milestone for them as they join a small club of black Tony nominated producers Ken Harper (“The Wiz”), and Camille Cosby (“Having Our Say”). 

        “Eclipsed” comes along at a time when Broadway is seeing several shows with diverse casts experience success and get some shine, including “Hamilton,” “The Color Purple,” “On Your Feet!,” and “Shuffle Along.”While the shows have offered more diversity on the Great White Way than previous seasons, some have argued that Broadway’s racial diversity makeup is comparable to Hollywood’s dismal statistics.

        According to an August 2015 article published by the Guardian, less than 25 percent of plays produced in America during the 2014-2015 season were by women, while during the last three years, only 12 percent were written by people of color.

        In my humble opinion, no white producer wouldve brought Eclipsed to Broadway unless Lupita went to them and said Please, lets go with it. Stephen Byrd

        For Byrd, the conversation hasn’t really improved much since the launch of Front Row Productions in 2006.

        “I don’t know if it’s really changed a lot at the level that we are,” he said. “You get your normal directors and you get your musicals, and you get a breakthrough like we’re coming through. But if you look at the producers of ‘The Color Purple’ or ‘Shuffle Along’ — or a number of the plays that are out there that are produced by African-Americans — it’s only gotten better since we’ve [Front Row] been here because we’ll bring those subjects to the stage that others will not touch. And Broadway is the final landing pad where you wanna be. There’s a lot happening off-off Broadway and off-Broadway, notwithstanding the Dick Gregory play [‘Turn Me Loose’], but landing on Broadway is not easy. And so I haven’t seen it changed at the level of producers. And we’ve been the ones who introduced the women of color and the writers of color to Broadway.”

        In Spring 2008, the production team’s revival of Tennessee Williams’ “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” became the highest grossing play on Broadway, which later transferred to London’s West End during the 2009-2010 season, where the duo attracted record audiences and received the 2010 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival of a Play.

        Byrd encourages producers of color to take more risks in order to make changes on Broadway.

        “No one else is going to take a chance. In my humble opinion, no white producer would’ve brought ‘Eclipsed’ to Broadway unless Lupita went to them and said ‘Please, let’s go with it,’” he said. “We were fortunate enough that Lupita’s people brought it to us and we, in turn, took it to the Public Theater, who embraced it and gave us a home to nurture it and incubate it.”

        Desiree Navarro via Getty Images
        The cast of ‘Eclipsed’ producer Stephen C. Byrd, Pascale Armand, Zainab Jah, Lupita Lyong’o, Saycon Sengbloh, Akuosa Busia, and producer Alia Jones-Harvey attend the 82nd Annual Drama League Awards Ceremony.

        To further extend their outreach to the community, Byrd and Jones-Harvey have also launched the “10,000 Girls Campaign” to bring 10,000 girls to see “Eclipsed,” along with a dedication campaign — spearheaded by playwright Danai Gurira — to call attention to the still-missing 219 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram. To date, U2’s Bono and singer-actress Jill Scott have shared personal dedications during the show’s curtain call.

        Byrd and Jones-Harvey say the initiatives will carry over into their future productions, including 2017’s “The Wiz” and “Black Orpheus” the musical.

        “We have a social agenda in what we do that surrounds whatever kind of production we do,” Byrd adds. “Beyond the traditional donating to whatever funds after the show, we take it to another lever and sort of redirect it to something that focuses on something meaningful to us personally.”

        “Eclipsed” is now playing at the Golden Theatre on Broadway through June 19.

        Read more:

        Justin Bieber and Skrillex are kicking off their holiday weekend with a brand new lawsuit.

        Recording artist White Hinterland, whose real name is Casey Dienel, filed a suit against the pair this week, claiming that Bieber’s song “Sorry” (which Skrillex produced) samples her song “Ring the Bell” without giving her credit. Considering Bieber’s album broke Billboard records and the “Sorry” video has over 1.4 billionYouTube views to date, that’s a considerable amount of royalties on which she’s allegedly missing out.

        In a post to her Facebook page Thursday, Dienel explained:

        Like most artists that sample music, Bieber could have licensed my song for use in Sorry. But he chose not to contact me. After the release of Sorry, my lawyers sent Bieber a letter regarding the infringement, but Biebers team again chose to ignore me. I offered Biebers team an opportunity to have a private dialogue about the infringement, but they refused to even acknowledge my claim, despite the obviousness of the sample. Justin Bieber is the worlds biggest artist, and Im sure that he and his team will launch a full attack against me. But, in the end, I was left with no other option. I believe I have an obligation to stand up for my music and art.

        While it’s ultimately up to a court to decide if the infringement is indeed “obvious,” you can judge for yourself in the meantime.

        Here’s White Hinterland’s “Ring the Bell”:

        They certainly are… similar.

        Update 8:15pm CT:Both Skrillex and Bieber have responded to White Hinterland on Twitter, and both say they didn’t steal anything. Skrillex even offers his proof.

        Read more: