Oscar’s Hollywood-sized mistake


Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, the presenters for the final award of the biggest night in Hollywood, were incorrectly given the Best Actress Award envelope. Beatty got confused after he saw Emma Stone’s name and the name of her film, “La La Land.” He handed the envelope to Dunaway who then announced the musical as the Best Picture winner.

The cast of “La La Land” took the stage and even began giving their speeches, however, the group stopped midway through when those on stage began to realize there had been a mistake.

Jordan Horowitz, producer of “La La Land,” shocked the audience of the Dolby Theatre when he announced “There’s a mistake. ‘Moonlight,’ you guys won Best Picture. This is not a joke, come up here.” The producer added, “Moonlight has won Best Picture.”

Beatty went to the microphone to explain what happened. He said “I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said Emma Stone, ‘La La Land.’ That’s why I took such a long look at Faye and at you. I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

“Moonlight” beat out “La La Land,” “Hidden Figures,” “Manchester by the Sea,” “Arrival,” “Hacksaw Ridge,” “Hell or High Water,” “Lion,” and “Fences.”

This incident was easily the highlight of the night. The video went viral on Twitter and Facebook. Every news station headlined the Oscar’s using the big mistake as their attention grabber and the story led most news coverage throughout Monday.

Perry performs eye-opening awards act


The 2017 Brit awards took place last Wednesday in London and are Britain’s annual pop industry music awards, in other words, the British version of the Grammy’s. This year’s ceremony took an unexpected turn, as when it was time for the American singer Katy Perry to perform, the viewers were presented with a politically charged performance.

Katy Perry, a popular figure in the international world of pop music, performed her new single “Chained to The Rhythm” live at the Brit awards alongside Skip Marley, Bob Marley’s grandson.

The performance raised awareness on the importance of encouraging unity and stopping the hate. It had a lot to visually intake as it involved a lot of subtextual symbolism.

It is important for me to point out that even though the visual aspect of the performance already sent a powerful message, the lyrics really helped highlight and intensify the idea.

The performance started with rows of lit-up miniature houses held by backup dancers, seemingly portraying a pop-up neighborhood. Katy Perry wore a pinstripe pantsuit, she started walking among the houses singing, as the backup dancers dressed like homes moved around her.

As the performance continued, a dancing Skelton figure dressed in a black suit with a red tie entered on one side of the stage, simultaneously another dancing skeleton figure dressed in a red blazer and skirt entered on another side of the stage.

These two figures were quickly noticed to be representations of Donald Trump and Theresa May, the prime minister of the United Kingdom and leader of the conservative party. The two skeletons danced around the houses on stage and met in the front center of the platform. Skip Marley then came out to rap his verse.

The verse rapped by Marley in “Chained to the Rhythm” clearly refers to the lies and chaos brought by the political situation in the United States and invites the listeners to take a stand, referring to the people as lions. Donald Trump has attacked a variation of minorities and groups, threatening to build walls and making unacceptable generalizations leading to hate speech and intangible segregation of the people.

Skip Marley rapped:

It is my desire, Break down the walls to connect, inspire”
Ay, up in your high place, liars
Time is ticking for the empire
The truth they feed is feeble
As so many times before
They greed over the people
They stumbling and fumbling and we’re about to riot
They woke up, they woke up the lions

Towards the end of the performance the skeletons held hands, the act ended with the two singers holding hands together and pumping a fist in the air symbolizing taking a stand together and fighting back with nonviolence and unity.

I do believe that the lyrics do make the overall message incorporated in the performance stronger. Katy Perry clearly shared her concern to the people on how this situation cannot be ignored, but people are distracted by other things and if something isn’t done there will be consequences. This was the first verse:

Are we crazy?
Living our lives through a lens
Trapped in our white-picket fence
Like ornaments
So comfortable, we live in a bubble, a bubble
So comfortable, we cannot see the trouble, the trouble

Lately Katy Perry has been saying that she intends to make her pop music “purposeful.” Perry had never really made any political statements before the 2017 Grammy Awards, she has always been a strong supporter of Hillary Clinton and actively campaigned for her when she was running for office.

If you didn’t watch the 2017 Grammy Awards, Katy Perry performed the same song with Skip Marley, also sending a message through symbolism and collaborating with the online No Hate Speech movement. The No Hate Speech movement is youth campaign for human rights online to reduce the acceptance levels of hate speech and to raise awareness on the impacts that hate speech has on society.

At the Grammy’s, she was striding around a home surrounded by picket fences on stage, wearing an armband with the word “Persist.” Ending the set with an image of the U.S. constitution projected on the screen and shouting “no hate.” Perry’s shouting of “no hate” is associated with the online No Hate Speech movement.

There were individuals who responded to these performances with aggravation, as they were a little irritated that politics was involved in this sort of scene at the Brit Awards. But personally, I think that people are not going deep enough in understanding the message behind the performance.

Some assumed Katy Perry was just trying to make Donald Trump and Teresa May scary or just intentionally mocking them.

The irritation of certain individuals to this politically charged performance highlights what Katy Perry and Skip Marley were trying to communicate, that we cannot live in a bubble and ignore what is happening around us.

The articles covering this performance were more focused on covering the act as a parody. At some point in the performances one of the backup dancers dressed as a house fell off stage. The news media refer to this dancer as Perry’s “New Left Shark,” because during her Super Bowl performance last year, one of her dancers wearing a shark costume forgot the moves and since then the dancer has become known as the “Left Shark.”

There were many articles that focused on how funny the backup dancer that fell off stage was and not enough coverage on Katy Perry’s association with the No Hate Speech movement.

Numerous news article titles referred to Katy Perry’s performance as funny and entertaining. Journalists focused on covering how Perry made fun of Donald Trump by making his skeleton figure dance on stage. I think that this type of media coverage is distracting from the actual message of the performance and that more attention should be given to its purpose.

I admire Katy Perry for taking a risk in performing her single “Chained to The Rhythm,” her intentions are good and eye opening. Although a big part of the news media portrayed the act as a parody and focused on its political orientation, it is beautiful to see how the performance went beyond politics and entertainment, encouraging unity and respect.

Will blockbuster NBA trade pan out?


It is almost a forgone conclusion that the Cavaliers and Warriors are going to meet in the NBA Finals come June. However, other teams are still trying to upend the previous two NBA champions.

Most notably, all-star center DeMarcus Cousins was traded to the Pelicans to pair up with Anthony Davis, giving New Orleans the best front court in all of basketball. However, the Pelicans sent an overhaul of average players including Buddy Hield, Langston Galloway, Tyreke Evans, a top-three protected 2017 first-round pick and a 2017 second-round pick.

While many analysts and news media members expect the now powerhouse of Cousins and Davis to lead the Pelicans to the playoffs, the trade could be a waste. New Orleans sits three and a half games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, but even if it lands that last spot, that sets them up with a date with the Golden State Warriors in the first round. Good luck playing a team that had the best regular season in history one year ago.

What’s even worst of all, will a team with a selfish Cousins jell together?

In night one, clearly not. The Pelicans got annihilated by the Rockets, 129-99, and the first appearance of Cousins in a Pelicans’ uniform was spoiled.

But look at history. Most blockbuster trades take some time for adjustment.

When the Knicks paired superstars Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire, most news media members felt that New York was going to have a championship caliber team. Wrong.

The Knicks struggled because the two all-stars butted heads and couldn’t figure out how to be the No. 2 scoring option on a team. Additionally, there was no supporting cast. The Knicks lacked talent because they gave it all up for Anthony, similarly to the Cousins’ trade, and soon found out that basketball is a five-person game, not just two.

Expect the Pelicans to struggle. Yes, New Orleans now has the best two front court players in the NBA, but they don’t have any other above average role players. There’s 10 others seats that can fill the bench next to Coach Alvin Gentry and that is something that is going to show.

So while the news media think that Cousins and Davis could be a team that might contend, think again given the top dogs like the Warriors, Spurs and Clippers.

Time to sit back and relax until Golden State and Cleveland meet in the NBA Finals.

News media say ‘protect trans kids’


Earlier this week, President Donald Trump’s administration took back a policy that allowed transgender children in public schools to use the bathroom that corresponds with the gender they identify with. This policy originated in then-President Obama’s administration to protect trans kids on a federal level.

Now that this policy has been taken away, it is up to state government to manage the safety of transgender individuals.

The U.S. Supreme Court in March will be hearing a case that’s result will affect the future of the transgender community. The case involves a 17-year-old who is fighting to use the boy’s restroom at his public school in Virginia.

Without Obama’s reasoning, Title IX, all previous cases involving transgender people and bathrooms are being brought into legal questioning.

Many news media outlets, such as the Huffington Post and the Guardian covered this major event by Trump’s administration. Both articles stressed that it’s up to the public to educate itself and to stand up for minority groups whose voices cannot be heard.

Celebrities and other social media influencers responded to this event on Instagram and Twitter by posting a picture of the words “protect trans kids.” This small act done by many people quickly spread the word.

I think there is an under representation on the issue at hand in the news media.

Comments spark WNBA controversy


“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman, was huge,” Wiggins said in the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they [the other players] could apply.”

This statement was made by a former WNBA star, Candice Wiggins. News sources said that she said the lesbian culture broke her spirit. Wiggins told the Union-Tribune that the WNBA had a “very, very harmful” culture and that she was bullied throughout her WNBA career from 2008 to 2015. Wiggins allegedly was mistreated because she was straight.

This controversial stand made by Wiggins about the LGBT community was covered by Bleacher Report, ESPN, Pioneer Press, Sports Illustrated and the New York Post. Immediately after her comments were released to the news media, other reliable outlets shared the news as well.

Wiggins branded the WNBA culture as “toxic.” Many people, not only players and coaches were stunned, but fans as well. Maintaining a certain image for the WNBA is vital and from a media standpoint, Wiggins degraded it.

Even the WNBA president wanted her voice to be heard. In response to Wiggins’ remark, Lisa Borders released a statement about her experience in the league.

“When I first read the comments from retired WNBA player Candice Wiggins, I was stunned and disappointed,” Borders said. “In my time with the league and my capacity as a fan before that, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a group of highly competitive women who are driven to succeed at the highest level on the court and constantly striving to help create opportunity for all members of their communities.”

Wiggins received so much attention and publicity from the media that she was asked to do a follow-up story. In the Union-Tribune, Wiggins said she used the figure of 98 percent to be “illustrative.” “It was my way to illustrate the isolation that I felt personally,” Wiggins said. “I felt like the 2 percent versus the 98 percent. It felt that way to me. And it’s not just the players. It was the coaches. It was the leaders.”

Protecting Kenya’s orphaned elephants


Elephants are very fragile creatures but they are also very strong creatures, especially baby elephants.

These baby elephants are one of the slowest animals to grow up. Not only are they born nearly blind, but it also takes 12 to 13 years for them to mature. Until this point, the calf needs its mother.

In Kenya, poaching is a problem, so the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, one of the centers that rescues orphaned elephants in Kenya, works to protect these animals.

They now have saved hundreds of baby elephants and offer veterinary accommodations and educate local communities about elephants and taking care of them.

The ultimate goal is to create a new family and a new home for these elephants who have lost their own.

I thought that it was very interesting that CNN produced a story on this. I for one, absolutely love elephants. I’m obsessed with them so writing about it feels right.

With everything that is going on in the world that is newsworthy, CNN decided to prepare this story, and to be honest, I’m glad that they did but I’m not really sure why.

I looked to see if other news organizations were writing about the same things like they usually are, and there was nothing about protecting young elephants that came up.

I searched Google, looked at other news websites and found nothing. I found this to be a little odd.

Another thing that I would like to point out is that we are in the middle of a HUGE elephant marketing trend. At any store, you will find elephant apparel. Ivory Ella, a website that sells apparel but donates a portion of it to help save the elephants, is also another trend within itself.

Could it be that CNN may have covered this story to pull in new readers knowing this? If so, why are other news stations not doing the same?

Either way, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is the most successful orphan elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world. Things like this should get news attention and media coverage because it matters.

They deserve it.

Six legends sign to retire as Dolphins


The Miami Dolphins signed some hall of fame talent to their roster this week, but only for one day.

Dolphins legends quarterback Bob Griese, quarterback Dan Marino, defensive back Sam Madison, offensive lineman Larry Little, defensive lineman/linebacker Kim Bokamper and wide receiver Nat Moore each signed one-day contracts to officially retire in the aqua and orange.

But the event quickly seemed questionable to some.

The team announced the event just several hours before the 3 p.m., social media streams (hosted by the Dolphins) went live.

News media attended the event, but the light questions asked at the ceremony was mostly answered with stories of the glory days and jokes.

The Dolphins inevitably must face the pressure of their pending free agents WR Kenny Stills, DL Alan Branch and Tight End Dion Sims ready to hit the market.

Some in the news media, including Sun Sentinel’s Chris Perkins and Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, immediately recognized the connection with the ceremonial event and the public relations stunt. The Dolphins pulled the move to boost the feeling that their organization cares about their players and is a place to stay for the long haul.

Perkins brought up an interesting point about the event. All of the players, except for Little, are all currently on the team’s payroll for their varied positions in the organization.

With the exception of Madison, all of the players that were signed wore aqua and orange during their last time in pads.

Was the ceremony necessary? Sort of. Back when the players retired, there were no farewell such as the Derek Jeter or Kobe Bryant tours, they just went on their way to playing golf. It was a nice gesture by the team to honor some of their best, but if it could help boost the morale of the organization before free agency, it is a win/win for them.

Trump rescinding transgender policy


If you haven’t heard, President Trump’s administration announced on Wednesday that it would be rescinding a portion of Title IX, which was issued by the Obama Administration last May, to protect transgender students against discrimination.

According to the Trump Administration, the reason for the rescission was because the Obama-era protection did provide “extensive legal consent” with its positioning in Title IX.

A statement made by the White House said that “As President Trump has clearly stated, he believes policy regarding transgender bathrooms should be decided at the state level, the joint decision made today by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education returning power to the states paves the way for an open and inclusive process to take place at the local level with input from parents, students, teachers and administrators.”

However the Department of Education’s Secretary, Betsy DeVos, did not agree with the decision. DeVos was reportedly “pushed” by both of the departments to signing off on rescinding the policy because they had already decided to move forward.

However, she made a statement agreeing that protecting all students, no matter what gender they identify with or sexuality is a key priority for every school in America, but best solved at the state and local levels.

This is a very easy subject to have mixed views on, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but at the same time everyone is entitled to equal respect and a country that is going fight to keep them safe no matter how they choose to live their lives.

As we plunge further into “Trump’s America,” we need to remember that it is important that we continue to fight the good fight in the most peaceful way possible. What has happened in the past few weeks has set the tone for what will be going on for the next four years, but it is no reason to get discouraged about all the progress we have already made. It’s just time for us to become stronger and stick together like never before to protect those who are not being protected by the system as they should be protected.

Miami-Dade continues to be costly


Miami remains one of the top 10 most expensive cities in which to live.

Miami-Dade County ranked ninth in the country for the most expensive rents with an average of $1,800 for a one bedroom and $2,500 for a two bedroom, according to the latest Zumper National Rent Report for February, which is  a monthly analysis that looks at more than 1 million currently  active listings across the county’s top 100 markets.

It is about twice as expensive to rent an apartment in a place like San Antonio or in cities in South Carolina.

It is three times more expensive than staying in Oklahoma in a one bedroom apartment In Oklahoma City or Cleveland.

According to The Miami Herald, “Rents in the county range from as high as $5,100 on average in millionaire-thick Fisher Island to $700 in Brownsville, which is still higher than a third of the average rents in the country’s top 100 markets. ”

Rent will continue to be an upward trend. So think wisely on where to love. The amazing beaches, clubs, and food might just be worth it to live at such a high price.

Make NBA basketball fun again


Imagine Magic Johnson flying across the country to Boston and teaming up with Larry Bird to create a tandem that no one would be able to stop.

Imagine Michael Jordan, the one that they say is the greatest player of all time, leaving in free agency to join the team he could not beat in the playoffs in the Detroit Pistons.

Super teams in this new NBA are killing the sport. So many fans of the game have refused to watch this season until the inevitable Cavs-Warriors finals happens. Teams like the early 2000s Detroit Pistons or 2008 Boston Celtics were perfectly constructed with the right element of trades, drafting and free agent signings. Never did Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett choose to be traded to Boston nor did they lose to Boston in the playoffs the year before.

For those that argue about Lebron James leaving for the Miami Heat, he never lost to the Heat and took a sizeable pay cut to win.

Now, we look at the team that is the Golden State Warriors. Kevin Durant took a near max deal to join with the already favorite to win the Western Conference to form a super team. And next season, he will take a max along with Steph Curry.

Lebron left Miami to go to a team who already had a young super star and traded for another superstar big man.

Basketball is no longer fun to follow due to these super teams. I cannot watch a sport knowing my team will not even win in the playoffs because The Finals have been set for three straight seasons now.

I challenge Commissioner Adam Silver to make NBA basketball fun again. Spread out the talent so that we the fans who pay our hard earned money can feel the rush and excitement once again.

FBI refuses to discredit news media


In an exclusive story, CNN reported that the White House asked the FBI to deny news media reports regarding communications between Donald Trump’s advisers and Russia.

The stories discussed were reports by The New York Times and CNN that there was “constant communication between high-level advisers to then-candidate Trump, Russian officials and other Russians known to U.S. intelligence” before the election.

According to the White House official who informed the story, the request from White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus came after the FBI told the White House that it did not believe The New York Times’ reporting was accurate. The FBI has not commented publicly on the story and has not backed this position.

These requests were reportedly made despite restrictions that are meant to limit communication between the White House and the FBI regarding pending investigations, according to CNN’s Evan Perez, one of the journalists who investigated the story. Perez explained on “Erin Burnett OutFront” that these restrictions date back to 2007 and 2009, when the Justice Department issued memos limiting such communications.

In what has become a common practice of Trump’s administration, the White House issued a denial of the reports. Priebus called the New York Times story “complete garbage,” going on “Fox News Sunday” to say, “That story is not only inaccurate, but it’s grossly overstated and it was wrong. And there’s nothing to it.”

Despite these efforts to discredit the reporting of The New York Times and CNN, the investigation into the possible communications between Russian officials and the Trump campaign is ongoing.

Chance demands his independence


You may have heard of an unconventional rapper out of Chicago named Chance The Rapper. He did a song with Kanye West on West’s “Life Of Pablo” album in 2016 called “Ultralight Beam” that gained lots of attention in the music industry.

Chance The Rapper’s album cover.

That being said, Chance The Rapper dropped his third mix tape in 2016, “Coloring Book,” and was nominated for seven Grammys in this past awards show, according to the New York Daily News.

Well, Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, aka Chance The Rapper, took home three of those seven Grammy’s without even dropping an album yet.

One of those wins was Best New Artist, which has not been received by a black artist since Lauryn Hill in 1999.

The most insane part about all of this, is that Chance The Rapper is still labeled an independent artist.

Chance The Rapper.

Despite sources saying Chance was turning down $5 million signing deals with major record labels before his Grammy wins, the artist is choosing to hold on to his freedom.

Chance The Rapper addressed the choice in staying an independent artist in one of his acceptance speeches saying “I know that people think independence means you do it by yourself but independence means freedom.”

Essence magazine, one of the pioneers in black magazines, reported that Chance The Rapper is now turning down deals since his three Grammy wins that are twice the amount of the deals before. Labels are offering him $10 million to sign with them.

Lauryn Hill.

However, could his reasoning for staying independent be linked to his pride in his blackness? The 23-year-old rapper is very involved in social justice issues.

“I think #BlackLivesMatter is a huge campaign that is important and integral to our advancement as a people,” he said in an interview with Hot 97.

Being from Chicago, he’s also addressed gun violence, as well as colorism and discrimination against the beauty of black women. In one of his songs he even refers to the mother of his child as his “black queen.”

The music industry, like the rest of the world, is white washed. The award with the most extreme racial divide, Best New Artist, has white artists winning the award 77 percent of the time historically.

From left, Beyonce, Chance and Jay-Z.

In addition, Solange Knowles, addressed the white washing of the Grammy’s in a tweet saying “There have only been two black winners in the last 20 years for album of the year there have been over 200 black artist who have performed.”

Chance The Rapper is very close to the Knowles and the Carters, even calling Beyoncé his auntie, and Jay-Z unc.

By staying independent, Chance can attribute his success only to the people that he chooses to surround himself by, and not an organization that is so blatantly white washed and bias, two things he speaks up against frequently.

London Fashion Week gets outrageous


For decades, London has been notorious for their avant-garde fashion and London Fashion Week was no exception.

From Feb. 16-21, London’s streets were filled with eccentric ensembles that included colorful furry shoes, LED light-up jackets and massive amounts of make up.

The inspired clothing did not stop on the streets, inside the venues runway shows for British designers, like Burberry, Versus Versace and House of Holland, showcased collections that shocked and excited every fashion week attendee.

Accessories were a big deal for Brits this season. Designers took inspiration from classic pop-culture references like Nickelodeon’s TV show, Spongebob Squarepants to create a “Spongebob Squarepants Gold Collection” that included trendy chokers and rings.

Shoes had their moment when renowned footwear brands like Sophia Webster and Charlotte Olympia used outrageous themes like “Frozen” and “Film Noir” as a backdrop to their shoes that were decorated with feathers, mesh and even icicles.

As for the clothes, there seemed to have been no limit to what the designers could create.

At Burberry, designer Christopher Bailey introduced a new kind of trench coat, one completely open on the front, introducing a new bare-chest trench. The impractical yet stylish theme was seen throughout the collection with one-sleeve sweaters, off-the shoulder tops and jagged-cut coats.

Versus Versace’s newest collection channeled London’s traditional punk-rock vibe, as models walked down the runway in leather jackets, black mini skirts and studded knee-high leather boots.

House of Holland showcased a more colorful collection that included every type of material imaginable.

From mesh tights to fringe pants to furry-sleeve jackets, the label’s newest collection is sure to be a favorite among London residents.

Oscars try to shake things up


In 2016, a trending hashtag was #OscarsSoWhite.

Well, you might have noticed you haven’t seen it any more. This is not because the hashtag just went out of style. This is because the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’s voting board made some major changes. Along with the voting board being shaken up, this year’s nominees are showing a lot more diversity.

In 2015, all the acting nominees were white. “Selma” a drama about civil rights received nothing for its cast or for its director, Ava Du Vernay. Activist April Reign responded by tweeting “#OscarsSoWhite they asked to touch my hair.” This tweet catapulted a hashtag movement bringing a light to Hollywood’s diversity problems that the Academy could not turn a blind eye to.

For best actor Denzel Washington accepted his seventh for “Fences.” This nomination extends his record as the most-nominated black actor.

Oscar nominees Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Viola Davis at the Oscar nominees luncheon in Beverly Hills on Feb. 6, 2017 (Photo by Aaron Poole, courtesy of AMPAS).

His co-star Viola Davis was nominated for best supporting actress. With three nominations, she is now the most-nominated black actress.

Other black actresses getting their acknowledgements are Octavia Spencer for “Hidden Figures” and Naomie Harris for “Moonlight.” Mahershala Ali landed a nomination for supporting actor as well for “Moonlight.”

Also recognized in supporting actor was Dev Patel, a British actor of Indian descent, for “Lion.”

In the lead actress category, Ruth Negga was nominated for her work in “Loving.”

Acting wasn’t the only category where colored people got acknowledged. “Manchester by the Sea” was nominated for best picture. Kimberly Steward is only the second black female to be nominated for producing. The first was Oprah Winfrey for “Selma.”

The Oscars will take place on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center. It will be aired live on ABC.

Grindr used in HIV self-testing


A dating app for gay men known as Grindr was found to be an effective way to give out HIV self-tests.

A recent study included mostly black and Hispanic men in Los Angeles. The area in Los Angeles is known as a high-risk population for HIV.

Most gay-related and HIV-related stigma do not have access to good health care. This is return keeps men from getting tested.

According to Dr. A. Lina Rosengren, author of the study and an infectious diseases fellow at the University of North Carolina, the study shows that “not only are the home test kits convenient, they can help bypass some of those stigmas by providing anonymity.”

All users have to do is swab their gums with the oral fluid kit and find out their results in about 20 minutes.

If the user find that their results are positive then they should go get blood tested to reassure their results.

Researchers have offered free access to these at home tests through ads and notifications on the Grindr app.

Researchers chose Grindr because it is very popular among gay men especially in Los Angeles.

“The app attracts two million daily active users in 192 countries,” according to its website.

HIV and Aids are serious issues specifically for gay men. It is very important that people get tested as soon as possible.

Because of the lack of health care among gay men, it is hard for these men to get tested or seek proper care.

With this new addition to Grindr men can now test themselves in the comfort of their own home.

NBA logo honors Black History Month


Black History Month, or African-American History Month, is a time for influential people and change makers to be recognized for their impact on the world. Initially labeled, “Negro History Week,” this annual celebration has manifested over time. Evolving into an entire month of historic celebration, black Americans and their achievements are recognized.

This second month of February is responsible for such a prestigious time. Hebru Brantley is responsible for redesigning logos for every basketball team in the NBA in honor of Black History Month.

“Everything the happens historically doesn’t necessarily translate within one small design,” Brantley said. “History is long and long-winded sometimes so it’s hard to pick apart a moment and make it clear from an aesthetics standpoint, but I looked at pivotal moments and certain individuals that can be represented with these teams and logos and become sort of the re-branded version of this team.”

Black history is so empowering and inspirational that more news outlets should have made it more of a priority to make people aware of this creative logo enhancement done by Brantley. Although covered by CNN, the overall awareness of this shift was not awarded with a justifiable amount of credibility.

“Still wanting to capture the feeling of what these teams are about and say as I can from a historical context within this very small design”, as Brantley mentioned, he designed some very intricate logos.

For example, the Atlanta Hawks logo pays tribute to two very important and historic institutions in Atlanta. Formerly referred to as “the richest Negro street in the world,” Sweet Auburn is home for the Hawks. In the logo, the idolized bird is wearing sunglasses similar to those of Ray Charles, the music legend.

Brain scans may predict autism


The two words “Autism Awareness” still get tossed around daily. There isn’t really a whole lot information about autism, including why children are born with it and the time sensitive years where parents may not be aware that their children have autism.

A new study revealed that it now may be possible to detect autism in babies before their first birthdays, a much earlier diagnosis than ever before.

Using magnetic-resonance imaging scans, otherwise known as MRI’s, researchers at the University of North Carolina were able to predict, with 80 percent accuracy, which babies who had an older sibling with autism would be later diagnosed with the disorder.

The brain imaging scans were strategically taken at six months, 12 months and again at two years. The results showed significant growth in brain activity during the first 12 months in babies who would later meet the criteria for autism.

Symptoms such as not making eye contact, not being able to talk when babies normally start talking and other behaviors are included in babies that might have autism.

Autism is a very interesting subject because very little is known about it. Studies are done but there isn’t a lot of funding and money going into it, especially when compared to the magnitude of funding that goes into breast cancer.

This being said, it makes it hard for journalists to report about autism. In general, there aren’t a lot of studies being released or even underway for that matter. This is one of very few articles I have ever seen about autism when it’s not around the “Autism Awareness” date.

Since there aren’t a lot of breakthroughs, journalists don’t really have anything to write about when it comes to autism.

This new breakthrough where autism can now be detected in babies less than a year old is, in my opinion, monumental.

I have a cousin who has autism, so I hope that more awareness can be spread about it by journalists so that more money can go into studies such as why kids are born with it and fine tuning the detection of babies that have autism.

Oakley, Knicks’ owner battle each other


Imagine playing a bulk of your NBA career in the Mecca of basketball.

Fast forward to 2017 and imagine being kicked out of the place you called home for so long.

The Charles Oakley and James Dolan situation has become so messy. First of all, Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks, is already a not so popular figure in New York. But Dolan and team president Phil Jackson continuously put underachieving teams on the court.

The NBA veteran Oakley, retired but a huge fan favorite, gets no love from the Knicks as he describes it. And it is strange because usually organizations treat legends like Oakley with the utmost respect.

But this sage continues to play out. It started when Dolan invited many Knicks’ legends to be honored, Oakley not one of them. Since retiring, Oakley said he has had to buy his own seats on StubHub. Seriously? Imagine if the Celtics made Larry Bird buy his own seats.

Oakley was then kicked out of, banned, then reinstated into Madison Square Garden after arguing with Dolan.

The Knicks are a hot mess on the court, but from a PR standpoint, they are not looking too successful either. Charles Oakley vs. James Dolan might be one the better battles in sports right now.

Apple cider vinegar boosts health


If you are currently a college student, or ever were a college student, you understand the struggle of getting sick at the most inconvenient times. Like right before mid-term week. Well, I’m going to give you my simple secret that keeps my immune system in tip-top condition and from getting he “bug” that’s going around your school.

What is the secret you ask? Bragg’s organic, raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar that has the “mother.” You’re probably thinking to yourself “that’s it?” Yes that’s it. Let me explain to you a few reason why this is such a potent health tonic:

1. Maintains Body Alkaline pH Level — It helps your body maintain a healthy alkaline pH level, which will naturally keep your energy levels up and fight off illnesses and diseases by working with the enzymes and chemical reactions in your body to keep everything functioning at the right acidity or alkalinity.

2. Improves Heart Health — Because ACV lowers your blood pressure, it lessens your risk of heart disease and increases your levels of good cholesterol in your system by controlling triglycerides. It is also believed to contain chlorogenic acid which is an antioxidant that has scientifically shown to protect cholesterol particles from becoming oxidized which is very important in protecting yourself from heart disease.

3. Promotes Healthy Detoxification of Liver and Other Organs — This is especially important if you love to party or even just chill and drink with friends frequently. The ACV works with your body to help stimulate circulation in the skin and blood by helping to remove harmful environmental toxins that build up in your body. It helps your body break up mucus, cleanse the lymph nodes, which allows for better lymph circulation. Better lymph circulation means your lymphatic system has a chance to remove toxic cells and improve your immune system response to any intruders.

Now that is only a few things apple cider vinegar does for you, but there are numerous benefits and all you have to do is add one to two tablespoons of it in a glass of water and drink that mixture once a day. Make sure the ACV that you buy is raw, unfiltered and contains the “mother.” The “mother” is a protein enzyme and it’ll make the ACV look murky but it is exactly what you need to change your health for the better.

Baseball’s fundamental roots in danger


The beautiful season of baseball is upon us. With pitchers and catchers reporting for all 30 teams, it’s almost time for days at the ballpark filled with Nathan’s hot dogs and Cracker Jack.

While it is a very exciting time for the history of baseball with the Cubs coming off their first World Series Win in 108 years, the integrity of the game is in jeopardy. Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke about a few rule changes that could be present this year in baseball.

Manfred, who is in his third season as commissioner, pushed a series of potential changes that he hopes will create more action and less dead time.

Of these possible modifications, Manfred has emphasized reducing the time managers are allowed to challenge a call, altering the strike zone to the top of the knee, potentially putting pitchers on a pitch clock and experimenting with starting extra innings with a runner on second base in rookie level baseball.

The only change of the proposed ideas that would help the game of baseball would be limiting times for challenges. It is ludicrous that they’ll be a significant halt in action because a manager will take time (what feels like an hour) to make sure the play is right before they challenge the call.

Other than that one change to a modern rule, baseball needs to remain the same.

The luscious sport that bonds fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, should not be altered. It’s a heavenly sight to see greats like Clayton Kershaw throw a no-hitter or a perfect game. Perfect games are already once in a blue moon considering there have only been 23 in the history of baseball.

To ever put a timer on baseball is absurd. Baseball is unique that it is the only one of the four major sports to not be under a constricted time. Don’t put pitchers on a pitch clock that isn’t baseball. Don’t start extra innings with a runner on second base. That is just ugly. Imagine saying in football we’re going to start overtime with first down on the 5-yard line. Or just playing half court in basketball.

Baseball is a sports where anything can happen and it’s magical and unique for that very reason. Robert Manfred, please leave this beautiful game untouched.