Tag Archives: great

Ranchers are reeling after wildfires swept through the Great Plains.

According to the cover article in today’s issue of the journal Nature, the iconic reef off the coast of Australia suffered unprecedented coral die-off after last year’s record-breaking bleaching event. Now, as the Southern Hemisphere hits late summer temperatures, central and southern sections of the reef — areas which avoided the worst of last year’s bleaching — are in trouble.

“We didn’t expect to see this level of destruction to the Great Barrier Reef for another 30 years,” coral researcher Terry Hughes told the New York Times. Hughes led the team that conducted aerial surveys to document the bleaching last year, as well as subsequent surveys to assess just how much of that bleaching turned into dying.

Bleached corals don’t always turn into dead corals — some are able to recover when temperatures drop. Er, if temperatures drop. If water temperatures stay high and corals stay bleached, they will eventually starve to death. Without coral building reefs, whole ecosystems may disappear, along with the food, tourism, and jobs they support.

Hughes and his coauthors found that even corals in pristine, protected water were likely to be suffering from heat stress, meaning the only thing left to do to protect corals is, you know, address climate change.

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Ranchers are reeling after wildfires swept through the Great Plains.

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Why Does a White Guy Always Have to Be the Hero?

Mother Jones

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Chinese director Zhang Yimou, of Hero and House of Flying Daggers fame, made his English-language debut with The Great Wall, which opened Friday. But in a story set in ancient China, Matt Damon’s character sticks out like a sore thumb. The presence of his pale mug in movie posters and trailers drew backlash even before the film’s release. “We have to stop perpetuating the racist myth that only a white man can save the world,” Fresh Off the Boat actress Constance Wu wrote in a Twitter tirade. “We don’t need salvation.” Damon and Yimou felt compelled to publicly defend the film, with Damon calling it “historical fantasy.”

The lack of people of color in starring roles is a longstanding Hollywood problem, and things are especially bad for Asians. A 2016 study (PDF) by the Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism at the University of Southern California found that more than half of films and TV shows had no speaking roles for Asian characters—and it’s exceedingly rare to see Asians in lead roles. Producers often claim there just aren’t enough roles for Asian actors, which is true—or vice versa, which is not. Often, when the opportunity arises to cast Asian characters, Hollywood decision-makers hire white actors to portray them. Sometimes they simply rewrite nonwhite characters as white ones. These things are called whitewashing.

The Great Wall exemplifies a related Hollywood trend wherein white characters play a dominant role in a foreign situation, while nonwhite locals are reduced to sidekicks or people “to be killed or rescued—or to have sex with,” as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen put it recently. Vogue recently added to the outrage over cultural tone-deafness by presenting Karlie Kloss, an American model of German and Danish descent, as a geisha—for the magazine’s diversity issue, no less. Vogue later removed the photographs from its website and Kloss apologized for her participation, but it was yet another episode in America’s long history of whitewashing Asians. We’ll leave you with this brief history of the same. Dig around and you’re sure to find plenty more.

1926

The first Charlie Chan film is released, starring Japanese actor George Kuwa, but the films fail to win large audiences until Warner Oland, a Swedish actor, takes on the role. The Chan films become extremely popular, with more than 40 made, but are later criticized for racist stereotypes.

Wikimedia Commons

1935

Merle Oberon, whose partial Indian ancestry she keeps a secret for most of her life, is nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. She is later credited as the first (and only) Asian-American ever nominated in that category.

1944

In Dragon Seed, Katharine Hepburn, plays Jade, a Chinese woman who stands up to Japanese invaders. Turhan Bey, who is of Turkish and Czech descent, co-stars as her husband.

Katharine Hepburn and Turhan Bey in Dragon Seed. Wikimedia Commons

1945

Rex Harrison portrays a Thai king in Anna and the King of Siam, the film adaptation of a semi-autobiographical novel of the same name. A 1951 remake continues to use non-Asian actors in the role—Russian-born Yul Brynner is the new king.

1956

Marlon Brando plays Sakini, a Japanese translator on the island of Okinawa after World War II, requiring hours of daily makeup work. “It was a horrible picture,” he later writes, “and I was miscast.”

1961

Mickey Rooney dons yellow-face, prosthetic teeth, and taped eyelids for his role as Audrey Hepburn’s temperamental landlord in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. (His “bucktoothed, myopic Japanese” is “broadly exotic,” the New York Times writes.) Rooney is later taken aback to learn that his portrayal is considered racist. “It breaks my heart,” he tells the Sacramento Bee in 2008, adding, jokingly, “Those that didn’t like it, I forgive them.”

Breakfast at Tiffany’s Wikimedia Commons

1967

Sean Connery, 007, goes undercover Japanese in You Only Live Twice. (His makeup job would fool nobody, let alone a Bond villian.)

1972-75

In the TV series Kung Fu, David Carradine plays Kwai Chang Caine, a Buddhist monk versed in the martial arts. Bruce Lee had originally pitched the series and hoped to star in it, but the producers went with Carradine instead. Kung Fu became one of the most popular shows of its day.

David Carradine in Kung Fu. Wikimedia Commons

1981

Asian actors and artists in California protest Hollywood’s attempt to revive Charlie Chan with Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen. “I don’t think racism is funny any more,” San Franciscan Eliza Chan tells the Washington Post. “We have been called “Charlie” for so many years. We have been made fun of—the way we speak, the way we act—people expect us to be like Charlie Chan, and we can’t stand that any more.”

1982

British actor Ben Kingsley, whose father is Indian, wins a Best Actor Oscar for Ghandi. He is the first—and as of 2017, the only—actor of Asian descent ever nominated in the category, much less win.

Director Richard Attenborough, left, and actor Ben Kingsley pose with their Ghandi Oscars. Reed Saxon/AP

1984

Japanese-American actor Gedde Watanabe portrays the (ostensibly) Chinese exchange student Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles. Mainstream audiences find the caricature hilarious, but many Asian-Americans cringe. “Because there were so few Asian actors onscreen at that time, people were looking for Kurosawa in a comedy,” Watanabe recalls in a 30th anniversary interview. “Sixteen Candles wasn’t that kind of movie.”

Gedde Watanabe as Long Duk Dong in Sixteen Candles.

1990

A British theater production of Miss Saigon, a retelling of Madame Butterfly in the context of the Vietnam War, almost doesn’t make it to Broadway after a union protests the casting of British actor Jonathan Pryce in a Eurasian role. Although Pryce, who wears eye prosthetics and bronzer for the performance, wins a Tony and the play goes on to become one of Broadway’s longest-running hits, Miss Saigon continues to be criticized for its stereotypical portrayals.

2003

Edward Zwick’s The Last Samurai features Tom Cruise as Capt. Nathan Algren, a guilt-wracked former Union Army soldier who gets to be the hero when he helps some rebel samurai fight a corrupt Japanese empire—it’s all about Cruise, of course. Washington Post critic Stephen Hunter savages the film: “Basically what Zwick has done is to take Kevin Costner’s Dances With Wolves and insert it into the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877, with a samurai clan in the role of an Indian tribe.”

Warner Bros.

2006

Ang Lee is the first Asian director to win an Oscar, for Brokeback Mountain.

Director Ang Lee accepts his Oscar from Tom Hanks. Chris Carlson/AP

2010

White actors play the leads in the live-action film adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender, previously an animated series with characters of Asian and Native American descent. Fans pan it and the movie flops.

Avatar: The Last Airbender series. Nickelodeon

The Last Airbender movie. Paramount Pictures

2012

White actor Jim Sturgess dons yellowface and doctored eyes to play a Korean character in Cloud Atlas. Director Andy Wachowski defends the casting: “The intention is to talk about things that are beyond race. The character of this film is humanity.” It’s not Sturgess’ first brush with whitewashing: In 21, a film based on the true story of college card-counters who gamed the casinos, he plays a student who in real life was Chinese-American.

2015

Emma Stone stars as a half-Asian character in Aloha, which flops at the box office. The role, she says later, opened her eyes to Hollywood’s diversity problems and “flaws in the system.” Director Cameron Crowe also apologizes, calling the casting “misguided.”

Feb. 2016

In an otherwise spot-on monologue—”I’m here at the Academy Awards, otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards”—Oscars host Chris Rock rips Hollywood’s lack of diversity, yet manages to stereotype Asian Americans, who are all but invisible in American films

April 2016

The creators of Ghost in the Shell, adapted from a Japanese manga and anime film, face backlash after casting Scarlett Johansson as the Japanese main character. Tilda Swinton also gets hit with criticism for her role as the Ancient One, a Tibetan character, in Dr. Strange.

Ghost in the Shell, 1995. Production IG

Ghost in the Shell, 2017. Paramount Pictures

May 2016

Comedian Margaret Cho, Nerds of Color blogger Keith Chow, author Ellen Oh and other Asian Americans start a monthlong #WhiteWashedOut campaign that calls on Hollywood to stop whitewashing Asians and urging white actors to reject Asian roles.

Nov. 2016

Hong Kong actor and director Jackie Chan accepts an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in an emotional speech: “After 56 years in the film industry, making more than 200 films, breaking so many bones, finally this is mine.” He is one of four filmmakers to receive the lifetime achievement award.

Jackie Chan at the Governors Awards. Chris Pizzello/AP

Feb. 2017

Matt Damon plays a European mercenary who saves China from monsters in The Great Wall. Actress Constance Wu takes issue: “We like our color and our culture and our strengths and our own stories,” she writes. “Hollywood is supposed to be about making great stories. So make them.”

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Why Does a White Guy Always Have to Be the Hero?

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20 Unexpected Ways to Use Dish Soap

I am one of those gals who geeks out pretty quickly when I discover multiple uses for any given household product.

These days I’ve been a big fan of multi-use products like Castile soap, distilled white vinegar and baking soda; dish soap is a fabulous new addition to the list. Who knew?

Chances are, you already have a big bottle of this tucked underneath your kitchen sink. So, break out the dish soap and get ready to have your mind blown!

25 Unexpected Ways to Use Dish Soap

1) Remove greasy build-up in your hair.

Hair oil and daily grime can build up in your hair over time. Try mixing a little squirt of dishwashing liquid into your shampoo, then moisturize well for a renewed shine.

2)Deep clean your blender.

Rather than disassembling the entire unit to deep clean, fill your blenderpartway with warm water and a few drops of dishwashing detergent. Run for a few seconds, empty, rinse and air dry.

3) Wash away ants.

Ants can be an extremely invasive species; you don’t want them in your home! Get rid of ants with a 50/50 solution of water and white distilled vinegar, with a few drops of dish soap. Spray, wait a few minutes and wipe up the mess.

4) Kill weeds kindly.

Make a natural weed-killer that is free of harmful herbicides by mixing one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with a cup of salt and one gallon of distilled white vinegar. Spray the solution on weeds that are taking root in the cracks of your sidewalks.

5) Freshen up your makeup brushes.

Make a light solution of warm water and a couple drops of dish soap then shake to combine. Gently swirl your brushes in the solution, then rub on your hand or a soft cloth to removeproduct from the bristles. Air dry.

6) Make bubbles.

This is an excellent activity to do with kids! Many people use this recipe in schools and at children’s museums: mix together 1/2 cup of dishwashing soap, 1/2 gallon of warm water and 1 tablespoon glycerin (available at any drug store). Stir gently, skim the foam off the top and dip in your bubble wand for endless fun.


7) Get grease out of your pet’s hair.

There’s a reason why Dawn is the International Bird Rescue Research Center’s cleaner of choice after an oil spill. Dishwashing soap like dawn removes greasewithout harming the animal’s skin. It’s also biodegradable and phosphate-free!

8) Shineyour windows.

Mix a few drops of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, then fill a spray bottle of your choice. Spray and wipe as you would with any conventional window cleaner.

9) De-ice the sidewalk.

Tis the season for icy weather. To de-ice your steps and sidewalk, mix 1 teaspoon of dishwashing liquid with 1 tablespoon of rubbing alcohol, and half a gallon of hot water. Pour over your walkways. They won’t refreeze!

10) Soften your cuticles pre-home manicure.

Soak your fingers in a shallow dish of dish soap. It will make your cuticles soft and malleable, while removing oils from your fingernails.

11) Scrub your linoleum floors.

Just a few drops of dish soap in 8-ounces of water makes for a great floor cleaning solution. Spray on the floor, or use with a mop, to remove dirt and debris.

12) Repel pests from your houseplants.

Don’t buy a chemical spray. Instead, remove pests on your houseplants (including aphids) by spraying with a mild solution of a drop or two of dish soap with warm water.

13) Clear foggy eyeglass lenses.

Place a small drop of dish soap on your finger and rub on your glasses lenses to remove streaks. Rinse with water and air dry or wipe with a dry cloth.

14) Clean the toilet bowl.

Keep a solution of a few drops of dish soap and water in a glass jar in your bathroom or cleaning closet. Pour into your toilet bowl and scrub as normal for a nice clean.

15) Soothe a poison ivy rash.

Poison ivy spreads via oil within rash blisters. To keep a poison ivy rash from spreading, wash it with dish soap to dry up poison ivy fluid and soothe the itch.

16) Degrease your tools.

Rub a small amount of dish soap over grease spots on your household tools. This will also prevent rust from forming on your items!

17) Pre-treat oil stains on clothing.

Dish soap is an excellent remedy to any oil-based stain. Great examples are butter, motor oil, cooking oil and lipstick. Just apply dish soap directly to the stain, then scrub with a small brush until the oil is removed. Launder normally.

18) Put togethera makeshift ice pack.

Here’s a fun one! Fill a zip-type sandwich bag with dish soap, close and freeze. It stays cold much longer than water and can be re-frozen indefinitely, while remaining malleable.

19) Remove paint from hands.

Paint can be tough to remove from the skin. Scrub with dish soap to dissolve oily paints and then wash as you would normally.

20) Unclog your kitchen sink disposal.

If your dish disposal has taken on more than it can handle, pour approximately 1/4 cup of dish soap down the drain, then follow with boiling water. Let sit. Test the drain.

Which of these tips do you think you’ll start using? Let us know in the comments!

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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20 Unexpected Ways to Use Dish Soap

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Riveting Moments From Donald Trump Inauguration Protests—Updated

Mother Jones

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In the coming days, crowds of Donald Trump supporters will take to the streets to welcome the new president, including at Thursday’s Make America Great Again rally at the Lincoln Memorial and Friday’s inaugural parade outside the White House.

But a whole lot of people are organizing to protest Trump, including more than 1 million people who are expected to participate in women’s marches around the world.

Here are highlights from some of the protests. Come back here for more news as we update this story.

January 20

Mother Jones reporters are on the scene covering the protests ahead of today’s swearing-in ceremony:

January 19

Tensions are high as protesters confront Trump supporters attending the “Deploraball,” an inauguration celebration at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

Protesters rally outside the Trump International Hotel in New York, joined by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, filmmaker Michael Moore, actor Alec Baldwin, and other high-profile speakers.

January 18

Hundreds gather for a “Queer Dance Party” outside of Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s Chevy Chase house. Firas Nasr, founder of WERK for Peace, tells DCist that the event is meant to show that “homophobia and transphobia is wrong and should be resisted.” As Indiana’s governor, Pence had a poor record on LGBT rights, signing a bill to protect businesses that discriminated against gay people.

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Riveting Moments From Donald Trump Inauguration Protests—Updated

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OK, John Kasich did a fine thing for renewables.

This year was chock-full of superlatives — and not the good kind — thanks to a sweltering El Niño on top of decades of climate change:

1. The longest streak of record-breaking months, from May 2015 to August 2016. It was the hottest January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September since we began collecting data 137 years ago, according to NOAA.

2. The largest coral bleaching event ever observed. As much as 93 percent of the Great Barrier Reef experienced record-breaking bleaching over the Southern Hemisphere summer, which also wreaked havoc to reefs across the Pacific in the longest-running global bleaching event ever observed.

3. The Arctic is getting really hot. Alaska saw its hottest year ever, with temperatures an average of 6 degrees F above normal. Arctic sea ice cover took a nosedive to a new low this fall, as temperatures at the North Pole reached an insane seasonal high nearly 50 degrees above average. Reminder: There is no sun in the Arctic in December.

4. The first year we spent entirely above 400 ppm. After the biggest monthly jump in atmospheric CO2 levels from February 2015 to February 2016, those levels stayed high for all of 2016.

5. The hottest year. Pending an extreme plunge in global temperatures in the next few days, 2016 will almost certainly be the warmest year humans have ever spent on the Earth’s surface.

Even if it weren’t the hottest year yet, context matters more than year-to-year comparisons. The last five years have been the hottest five on record. The last 16 years contain 15 of the hottest years on record. We are living in unprecedented times.

See?

NOAA

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OK, John Kasich did a fine thing for renewables.

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