Showing posts with label News Related. Show all posts
Showing posts with label News Related. Show all posts

13 May 2021

Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It

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Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian American community has experienced a 145% increase in hate crimes; with incidents ranging from verbal harassment to deadly assaults. Despite widespread condemnation of these acts, Nielsen's newly published Asian American Diverse Intelligence Series report, Hope And Action, found that anti-Asian hate speech online actually increased in the beginning of this year. And while many major U.S. brands have taken action to combat racism targeting Asian Americans, some of these same companies are also unintentionally funding online hate speech through their advertising. 

  • From January - March 2021, $153 million was spent on digital ads on U.S.-based URLs that have published content with anti-Asian rhetoric. The top ad categories monetizing this hate speech included TV stations and networks ($29.7 million ad spend), department stores ($6 million), apparel ($4.1 million), miscellaneous retail ($3.9 million), travel ($629K), and arms and ammunition ($122K).
The Nielsen study, which incorporated the use of artificial intelligence, found more than 250 ad campaigns appearing on 1,280 website URLs that featured the use of racist terminology and conspiracies related to coronavirus origins, Asians and China. Once the offensive content was isolated, over 5,000 ad occurrences were identified. 

  • Ad campaigns from a dozen Fortune 500 companies and at least 66 brands were found adjacent to content that included anti-Asian hate speech.

Ad-supported anti-Asian hate speech in digital content:

From news reporting to op-eds, incendiary terms (e.g., "China virus," "Wuhan plague") and subjective language connecting blame for the pandemic to Chinese and Asian people has been pervasive across digital content. 

Nielsen also found that certain key words and phrases have actually increased this year as the U.S. approached the one year anniversary of national lockdown orders in March. News sites that published articles flagged as including anti-Asian hate speech were visited by 38.1 million people during Q1 2021.

  • Nearly one-third of the hate speech in March 2021 came from one site. This one domain collected in excess of $100,000 in digital ad revenue from three top advertising categories: department stores, miscellaneous organization and apparel, footwear and accessory stores.

What brands can do right now:

Nielsen's findings highlight an opportunity for brands to take action against funding hate speech online. Companies and their advertising partners are urged to be in constant review as language emerges that is harmful to the Asian American community — and to their brand. 

  • Additionally, ad servers must consider how changes in rhetoric can be reflected in their algorithms.
"As consumers are demanding more from brands and businesses, corporate social responsibility is now about brand safety," said Jay Dennis, Nielsen EVP, Advertisers and Industries. "Nielsen is excited to bring new products and metrics to marketers so that brands can make better decisions to support content that is inclusive and representative, and to avoid placing content adjacent to hate speech."
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It
Anti-Asian Online Hate Speech On The Rise - And Major U.S. Brands Are Inadvertently Funding It (image via nielsen.com)

About the Asian American community:

With a population of 18.9 million, Asian Americans are the fastest-growing racial or ethnic group in the United States. Since 2000, the Asian American population has increased in all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the percentage of anti-Asian hate crimes has surged 145% nationally (2020 vs. 2019), according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism

  • These incidents have also risen to alarming rates in such cities as: New York (833%), Philadelphia (200%), Cleveland (200%), San Jose (150%), Boston (133%) and Los Angeles (114%).
"In this evolving digital media landscape and as consumers demand more accountability, brands need to be increasingly diligent about the kinds of platforms their ads appear on and the types of content they support; whether it's directly or inadvertently," stated Patricia Ratulangi, Nielsen VP, Global Communications, Diversity Equity & Inclusion. "Companies need to ensure their advertising dollars aren't fueling anti-Asian sentiment online, which puts Asian American communities at risk."
"Corporate accountability is more essential than ever to Asian Americans," said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles. "While it's certainly not easy, brands will need to take a more conscientious approach towards their digital advertising spending if they want to truly stand with this community. The connection between online hate speech and hate crimes in real life is undeniable."
SOURCE: Nielsen

12 May 2021

John H. Mudgett Wins Silver Medal in eLit Book Awards for Psychological Horror 'Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer'

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John H. Mudgett Wins Silver Medal in eLit Book Awards for Psychological Horror 'Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer'
'Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer' - Front Cover
Pseudonymous author John H. Mudgett announced that his novella, "Crazy Is as Crazy Does" was recently awarded an eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in the Horror Category
The 12th annual awards program honors the very best of digital publishing and is open to all English publishers across North America and those abroad publishing for an American market.
"Crazy Is as Crazy Does" is a tensely clever, first-person psychological thriller that deep-dives into the world of an experienced serial killer. 

Synopsis: 

The fictional protagonist, John Goodman, is an amalgam of human predation and darkness, carefully stitched from the ragged shreds of multiple serial killers' lives – shadowy predators that have stalked the American landscape for centuries. But though he is fictional, the circumstances of Goodman's dark life are firmly rooted in historical characters and events. "Crazy Is as Crazy Does" begins in 1955 and follows John as he evolves from a timid and disorganized criminal into a powerful mastermind of deception and intimidation. The story takes readers on a journey through the 75-year-old killer's life, ending shortly after the capture of the Golden State Killer in 2018. But like all unreliable narrators, readers are forced to grapple with an important question: Can they accurately separate fact from Goodman's twisted fiction? Readers quickly discover that the real horror unfolding is twofold: the murderous activities described by Goodman himself, and the twisted transformations of those around him – culminating in a shocking, high stakes ending.
Crazy Is as Crazy Does: The Life of a Serial Killer' - Back Cover
"The book is an exploration of evil – but not some evil that is distant and unknown," said decorated Navy veteran and author David Brown (John H. Mudgett). "Readers have to ask themselves: What leads someone to kill another just for self-gratification? How does a killer manage to elude detection for his entire life, even if he's prolific? Who was the 'Zodiac Killer,' and why did he abruptly stop antagonizing the police with his encrypted letters? And who helped Officer Roseland escape from jail? I explore these questions, along with other real killers from history, with names like the Co-ed Killer, the Texas Tower Sniper, the Damsel of Death, The Killer Clown, and The Lizard King."

 

  • The e-book is available for purchase via Amazon, and is free for Kindle Unlimited readers.

From "Crazy Is as Crazy Does": 

"I opened the trunk of my broke down car to make sure my little package was wrapped tight. She was okay with her hands and feet loosely hogtied. She was lying sideways, stomach-up, her back putting pressure on her limbs against the spare tire container located at the bottom of the trunk. When I opened the trunk lid, I saw her head move slightly, her eyes wide open and her mouth filled with a tennis ball which was duct-taped around her entire head. I could hear her struggling to breathe but knew she would not die until I decided. I was overpowered by that feeling of total intoxication. Soon I would get to hear her scream when I ripped the duct tape from her head tearing off clumps of her hair with it. I imagined the look she would be giving me."

 

  • Learn more about "Crazy Is as Crazy Does" by following David Brown (John H. Mudgett) on Facebook.
SOURCE: John H. Mudgett

10 May 2021

deCODE Genetics - Rounding Off The Human Genome [Video Included]

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deCODE Genetics - Rounding Off The Human Genome [Video Included]
deCODE Genetics - Rounding Off The Human Genome (Screengrab)
Scientists at deCODE Genetics demonstrate for the first time how long-read DNA sequencing can be applied at population scale to unravel large structural variants that associate with human disease and other traits.
In a paper published in Nature genetics, scientists at deCODE genetics have shown that long-read DNA sequencing can be applied at population scale to unravel large structural variants that associate with human disease and other traits. Up until now DNA sequence analysis has been performed using short-read sequencing, where the sequence examined is broken up into fragments that are no more than 151 base pairs. Using short-read sequencing scientists have been able to discern most small variations in the genome and population studies have allowed them to determine how they associate with diseases and other traits. However of 133,886 reliably genotyped structural variants detected with long-read sequencing only 60% can be detected with short-reads.

Using PromethION sequencers from Oxford Nanopore Technologies, researchers at deCODE genetics whole genome sequenced 3,622 Icelanders. DNA base pairs in the genome were sequenced on average at least 10 times, allowing for accurate characterization of all genomic variation within the individual. These variants were then imputed into a larger set of participants in various disease studies at deCODE genetics and associated with phenotypes. 

  • This has led to the discovery of several hitherto unknown associations of structural variants with diseases and other traits.
deCODE Genetics - Rounding Off The Human Genome [Video Included]
Bjarni Halldorsson and Kari Stefansson
"This technology and algorithms we developed enable us to characterize almost all structural variants reliably and consistently on a population scale," says Bjarni V. Halldórsson, head of Sequence analysis, deCODE genetics.
The problem with short-read sequencing is that larger structural variants are difficult to discern directly. This is a major stumbling block in the attempt to fully understand the relationship between variation in the sequence of the human genome and human diversity. Due to their size, these large structural variants usually have greater impact than the smaller variants most commonly considered. Large structural variants frequently delete or insert whole genes or large parts of genes, making them particularly harmful.
"We are confident that the long-read sequencing applied at population level is going to help us to find much of the missing sequence diversity that we must have to fully understand how diversity in the sequence of the genome accounts for human diversity," says Kari Stefansson CEO and founder of deCODE genetics.

The Video:

Based in Reykjavik, Iceland, deCODE is a global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome. Using its unique expertise and population resources, deCODE has discovered genetic risk factors for dozens of common diseases. The purpose of understanding the genetics of disease is to use that information to create new means of diagnosing, treating and preventing disease. deCODE is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amgen.
SOURCE: deCODE genetics

8 May 2021

Carmen Electra and JeffBezos4skin Drop First NFT Collection With 'Cleavage For Sale'

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A unique real estate opportunity! (CNW Group/Foreskin inc.)
Carmen Electra recently rocked the NFT community by announcing her first NFT collection in collaboration with decorated NFT collector: @Jeffbezos4skin on TMZ. She will be dropping a series of digital art pieces, including a 1 of 1, exclusive opportunity to own a piece of her body (cleavage area) and use it as a canvas for art, promotional purposes or any other customizable message including logos or company names. 
  • To reiterate, this NFT will offer digital real estate on Carmen Electra's cleavage that the highest bidder can customize however they please. This project merges body art with digital art and introduces a new venue for advertising in the NFT space. Also, some of the proceeds from this drop will be donated to The Breast Cancer Research foundation at the Stand Up To Cancer organization.
Carmen and her agent Darren Prince, CEO of Prince Marketing Group / Prince Digital Group and her manager Thaer Mustafa , loved the idea of an interactive digital art project that provides a personalized value to both collectors and creators that can truly last forever. Further, they pledge to use their expansive networks to market the 1/1 customizable NFT together to ensure a lucrative experience for the auction winner.

Carmen, a woman well-versed in the entertainment industry as a singer/dancer discovered by Prince who then moved on to be an actress on Baywatch and model for Playboy, is very optimistic about NFTs. Unlike most celebrities who enter the space for a quick personal cash-grab, Carmen's attitude towards NFTs is best described as hopeful and committed. 
On the matter, she stated "My NFTs are not only here to arouse you, but here to make you money, which by the way you will enjoy for much longer than my marriage to Dennis Rodman."
Together, Prince, 4skin and Electra intend to release more revolutionary NFT opportunities similar to what they have called this "Cleavage Real-Estate" project. With the impressive roster of iconic athletes and celebrities represented by Prince Marketing Group, the collection and know-how of JeffBezos4skin and Electra's many assets, anyone with an eye out for NFTs should be paying attention. 
The drop will be announced on carmennft.com .

  • Follow @carmensnft and @jeffbezos4skin on all social media for more information.
SOURCE: Foreskin inc.

7 May 2021

Even Species at Risk are Cramped at Home

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Short–eared Owl © Gordon Court (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
For over a year now, Canadians have been urged to stay home. Sometimes, though, home can not only feel too small, it can be too small. At their most recent virtual meeting, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) assessed the status of 26 wildlife species, some of which have particularly small spaces to call home. While not all are actually declining, a single stroke of bad luck could eliminate their entire Canadian population. And climate change may bring that bad luck.
Two rare lichens were assessed. Both live in specialised environments, one on the Pacific coast and one on the Atlantic. 

  • The tiny Seaside Centipede Lichen occurs on a narrow strip of western Vancouver Island and nearby islands. It occurs only on small Sitka Spruce twigs that are within a few metres of the forest floor. This lichen also needs a nitrogen supply, and so is usually found on trees near Bald Eagle perches and sea lion haul-outs where poop supplies that key nutrient. 
  • In Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, Vole Ears Lichen occurs in a few forests near the coast where necessary fog is common. We know more about this rare lichen because of the increased interest of naturalists -- the Canadian population is the only one remaining in North America and may number fewer than 2000 individuals.
Increasingly severe storms can damage the lichens and their host trees on both coasts, layered upon local threats. Seaside Centipede Lichen was assessed by COSEWIC as Threatened and Vole Ears Lichen as Endangered.

Black Hills Mountainsnail © Robert Forsyth (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
Black Hills Mountainsnail has been isolated in the Cypress Hills on the Alberta-Saskatchewan border since glaciers covered much of the continent. The Canadian population is one of only four in the world that survived on rare hills or "sky islands" above the ice (the others are in Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota). Climate change-fueled megafires could affect all these Canadian snails in one fell swoop. COSEWIC assessed this snail as Endangered.
"Large wildfires can damage and even wipe out snail populations -- they really can't just run away!" noted Dwayne Lepitzki, Co-chair of the Molluscs Subcommittee. "The Cypress Hills had major fires in the 1880s and we know that wildfires are getting bigger and more common in western Canada. Hopefully, fire management can help protect this snail."
Edwards' Beach Moth © Nicole Kroeker (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
The attractive Edwards' Beach Moth is restricted to a few windswept beaches and small dunes around southern Vancouver Island, isolated from populations known in California. Thanks to work by dedicated volunteers, invasive vegetation is being kept at bay. However, climate change is a threat because warming brings rising sea levels and more numerous and intense storms that threaten to destroy the upper beaches and dunes where the moth lives. It was assessed as Endangered.

Fully 15 of the 26 wildlife species assessed by COSEWIC are threatened by climate change. Not all of them have restricted ranges. Short-eared Owl is still widely distributed, but Christmas Bird Count and Breeding Bird Survey volunteers have documented a worrying decline in their numbers.
"Citizen science observers across the continent are fundamentally important in determining population trends for this and many other species," commented Birds Subcommittee Co-chair Richard Elliot. "We couldn't do it without them."
Climate warming in the North is resulting in shrubification of tundra habitat, making it less favourable for the owl, and adding to human impacts it faces further south. Short-eared Owl was assessed as Threatened.

  • Altogether, COSEWIC assessed 5 birds, 5 plants, 3 insects, 3 reptiles, 3 molluscs, 2 sharks, 2 lichens, 1 amphibian, 1 freshwater fish, and 1 mammal wildlife species. Further details on all the wildlife species assessed at this meeting can be found on the COSEWIC website.

Definition of COSEWIC terms and status categories:

  • Wildlife Species: A species, subspecies, variety, or geographically or genetically distinct population of animal, plant or other organism, other than a bacterium or virus, that is wild by nature and is either native to Canada or has extended its range into Canada without human intervention and has been present in Canada for at least 50 years.
  • Extinct (X): A wildlife species that no longer exists.
  • Extirpated (XT): A wildlife species that no longer exists in the wild in Canada, but exists elsewhere.
  • Endangered (E): A wildlife species facing imminent extirpation or extinction.
  • Threatened (T): A wildlife species that is likely to become Endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to its extirpation or extinction.
  • Special Concern (SC): A wildlife species that may become Threatened or Endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
  • Not at Risk (NAR): A wildlife species that has been evaluated and found to be not at risk of extinction given the current circumstances.
  • Data Deficient (DD): A category that applies when the available information is insufficient (a) to resolve a wildlife species' eligibility for assessment or (b) to permit an assessment of the wildlife species' risk of extinction.
  • Species at Risk: A wildlife species that has been assessed as Extirpated, Endangered, Threatened or Special Concern.
Even Species at Risk are Cramped at Home
The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) Logo (CNW Group/Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)

About COSEWIC:

COSEWIC assesses the status of wild species, subspecies, varieties, or other important units of biological diversity, considered to be at risk in Canada. To do so, COSEWIC uses scientific, Aboriginal traditional and community knowledge provided by experts from governments, academia and other organizations. Summaries of assessments are currently available to the public on the COSEWIC website and will be submitted to the Federal Minister of the Environment and Climate Change in fall 2021 for listing consideration under the Species at Risk Act (SARA). At that time, the status reports and status appraisal summaries will be publicly available on the Species at Risk Public Registry 

At its most recent meeting, COSEWIC assessed 26 wildlife species in various COSEWIC risk categories, including 7 Endangered, 9 Threatened, and 10 Special Concern.

COSEWIC comprises members from each provincial and territorial government wildlife agency, four federal entities (Canadian Wildlife Service, Parks Canada Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Canadian Museum of Nature), three Non-government Science Members, and the Co-chairs of the Species Specialist and the Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge Subcommittees.

SOURCE: Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada

5 May 2021

#BlackTransPrayerBook - Black Trans Artists Say This Film Will End Anti-Trans Violence

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#BlackTransPrayerBook - Black Trans Artists Say This Film Will End Anti-Trans Violence
Dane Figueroa Edidi (L) J Mase III (R) photo by Michael J. Eckert
Transphobia is rooted in white supremacy. This is what J Mase III & Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, executive producers of the forthcoming documentary, the Black Trans Prayer Book, continuously remind their audiences. 
At a recent workshop for Syracuse University, the two went through a timeline of ways that Trans & Non-Binary individuals have been targeted in North America since the 1500's. Dane spent some time sharing with the audience a poem for one of her biggest inspirations, Mary Jones, a Black Trans ancestor from the 1800's that lived in New York City; Mase did a call and response piece that moved the virtual room through a legacy of Black & Brown Trans experiences via the lens of a platypus. 

As performers and educators, the two have been skillful at combining a robust stage presence with insightful historical analysis and humor. Having co-edited a book published last year, the Black Trans Prayer Book, they have set their sights on producing their first feature length documentary using this text as a framework.

#BlackTransPrayerBook - Black Trans Artists Say This Film Will End Anti-Trans Violence
'The Black Trans Prayer Book' - The Book (image via theblacktransprayerbook.org)

About 'The Black Trans Prayer Book' - The Book:

The Black Trans Prayer Book is an interfaith, multi-dimensional, artistic and theological work that collects the stories, poems, prayers, meditation, spells, and incantations of Black Trans & Non-Binary people. Often pushed out of Faith spaces and yet still deeply connected to a historical legacy of spiritual essentiality, Black Trans People face unprecedented amounts of spiritual, physical, and psychological violence. The Black Trans Prayer Book is a tool of healing, and affirmation centered on uplifting Black Trans & Non-Binary people and celebrating our place within faith.

What does it mean to have a faith practice that simultaneously challenges white supremacy and transphobia? Where is there a theological framework that centers the most marginalized and creates pathways towards an active spirituality moving alongside social justice? How might a spiritual practice not in tune with these questions cause harm? The #BlackTransPrayerBook, is holding these very questions.
  • Having launched a GoFundMe to call attention to this daring project as well as raise funds for its completion, these two have begun production all while keeping COVID safe. 
When asked what they imagine this film will do, Dane shared she believes it will, "Help build a world free from oppression." While Mase views it as, "the first film of its kind to connect white supremacy to transantagonism, by centering the experiences of Black Trans people."
SOURCE The Black Trans Prayer Book

P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]

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P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]
P&G and Lazada Empowers Women To Feel More Confident Together in their #RealDeal campaign
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) has launched a new #RealDeal campaign with Lazada, Southeast Asia's leading e-commerce platform to raise awareness around Imposter syndrome.
Imposter syndrome
is the feeling of inadequacy despite's one capabilities. According to a study by the US National Library of Medicine, up to 82% of the general population experiences imposter syndrome in different periods of their lives. 

Statistics from the 2019 Imposter Syndrome Study (Josa, 2019. Ditching Imposter Syndrome. Beyond Alchemy Publishing, United Kingdom), also shared that 1 out of 2 women experience imposter syndrome on a daily or regular basis, attesting to the fact that women often doubt their own abilities through feelings of fraud and belittlement of their own experiences and expertise.

P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada [Video Included]
P&G Encourages Women To Talk About Imposter Syndrome in #RealDeal campaign with Lazada (Screengrab)
Dr Lim Boon Leng, Psychiatrist from Dr BL Lim Centre for Psychological Wellness shared that, "Imposter Syndrome should be taken seriously. Women who experience imposter syndrome need to come to the realization that people value their expertise, and they can focus on growing through the process. Additionally, they can speak to someone they trust to help them realise that their fears are unfounded."
  • Although imposter syndrome is prevalent in our society, it is less talked about in Asia. This campaign aims to shed light on this through a short film  telling the real life story of Singaporean entrepreneur, Ms Yeo Wan Qing, founder of social enterprise Hatch, who overcame imposter syndrome by being open to those around her about the struggles she was facing.
Alexandra Vogler, P&G e-commerce Senior Director, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, said, "P&G is deeply committed to equality and inclusion. Through this campaign, we want to bring to light the inner struggles that go unnoticed among women experiencing Imposter Syndrome. Through this short film, we hope to inspire people to start conversations about Imposter Syndrome, and support one another in overcoming it."
  • Beyond the film, the campaign will also come to life on Lazada across five Southeast Asian markets including Thailand, Philippines, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam in May and June, with a wide range of exclusive offers on P&G products such as Olay, Pantene and Oral-B celebrating female shoppers

2 May 2021

2021: The Year of the Clog

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2021: The Year of the Clog
2021: The Year of the Clog (Photo by Helena Jankovičová Kováčová)

The coronavirus pandemic had a dramatic effect on nearly every aspect of our lives, and fashion is no exception. While clogs were once considered a “mom” shoe, they’ve become one of the most fashionable styles over the last year or two.


If you’ve been following the latest trends, you know clogs are getting even hotter in 2021. You can check this collection of women's supportive sneakers if you’re interested in a new pair of shoes.

When Did Clogs Become Popular?

One well-known example of the rising popularity of clogs was a 2020 collaboration between Ugg and Eckhaus Latta. This elevated the clog to new heights and gave it a spin that most of us hadn’t even imagined.


By October, Lyst Insights had already taken notice of the increasing interest surrounding clogs of all kinds. They found that searches for clogs went up by an incredible 27 percent from one month to the next, illustrating the rapid increase in popularity over the second half of 2020.

What About Crocs?

You might not have expected Crocs to benefit from greater interest in clogs, but they’ve now been seen from leading brands including Balenciaga, Barneys, and Christopher Kane. Even more people started taking notice when celebrities like Justin Bieber and Post Malone started showing off their Crocs.


Unsurprisingly, Croc sales were way up in 2020, and we expect that trend to continue in 2021 and possibly even beyond. They offer a unique combination of comfort and style that instantly sets them apart from any other variety of shoe.

Sustainable Clogs

A new footwear brand named HILOS pre-launched sustainable clogs in the fall, taking the unique approach of 3D printing their shoes from brand-new materials. Since they can be created for each individual order, there’s no need to produce any more shoes than there is demand.


With the rising popularity of clogs among typical Americans as well as high-fashion types, there will only be more interesting shoes developed over the next several years. They will generate even more demand as consumers continue to look for sustainable options.

Clogs were the perfect shoe for the 2020 lockdowns, but it doesn’t look like they’re going away anytime soon. It will be intriguing to see which shoes are released in 2021 and beyond. Feel free to look at this catalog of mens comfortable sneakers for unique takes on some of the latest styles.


30 April 2021

Nashville-Based Pop-Rock Band The Revelries Release New Single 'Cliché Love'

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Nashville-Based Pop-Rock Band The Revelries Release New Single 'Cliché Love'
Nashville-Based Pop-Rock Band The Revelries Release New Single 'Cliché Love' (Photo by Katie Krauss) 
EDGEOUT Records and Nashville-based pop-rock trio The Revelries are excited to present "Cliché Love," the band's latest single and bold introduction to 2021. 
Produced by GRAMMY Award-winning producer Matt Wallace (The Replacements, Faith No More, Maroon 5), "Cliché Love" is an energized, pop-rock breakup anthem serving as the band's first official offering in two years. 
"I've always loved the idea of 'cliché' sayings because most of them, if not all of them, are true," frontman Beau Bailey said. "This song is about having your heart broken and then saying, 'Forget all this breakup stuff. Gimme that Hollywood, cheesy, over-the-top cliché love'."
The Revelries began late one night in the Fall of 2016, when lead singer Beau Bailey and drummer John Lewis decided to get together to jam in a Louisiana State University dorm room. The two wasted no time getting things moving and rapidly infiltrated the local Baton Rouge music scene. Performing their own version of high-energy, U.K.-style pop-rock, the band quickly went from playing small, local dives to bars, private events, and venues all across the Southeast.

The band released its first two singles, "Blonde Hair. Blue Eyes" and "Abbot Kinney," in 2018. The singles landed them on countless Spotify-curated playlists, and that same year the duo added guitarist Logan Maggio to the lineup, a musician whose musical background and tone contributed a deeper dynamic to the band's developing sound.

Nashville-Based Pop-Rock Band The Revelries Release New Single 'Cliché Love'
The Revelries (Screengrab)
Following the release of their first two singles, the band went back into the studio in Nashville to record their debut EP with GRAMMY-nominated producer/engineer John Rausch (Taylor Swift, P!nk, Moon Taxi). In April of 2019, the band released its debut EP, After 7, a title paying homage to the police-enforced curfew they experienced while practicing back in the days when the band all lived together in Baton Rouge.
"Our neighbors loved us. So much so that they called the cops on us almost every other week," Lewis recalls. "Luckily, we were able to work out a deal with the police that allowed us to practice until 7 p.m. 'After 7' is when all the acoustic writing and demoing would happen."
That summer the band made a trek out to Los Angeles to play a showcase for team members at EDGEOUT Records, UMG and UMe, and in the fall of 2019, the band performed over 25 shows across the Southeast. Most notably, the band opened for Moon Taxi in Oxford, MS, playing to over seven thousand people at Jam for Cam in Athens, GA, and performed a sold-out show in Nashville at The End. In January of 2020, the band signed a development deal with EDGEOUT/UMG/UMe and entered into their program, THE STUDIO, a development program designed to discover, vet and sign young, radio-friendly rock bands and artists.

With catchy hooks from start to finish, the release of "Cliché Love" is the perfect, and new, introduction for a band whose focus remains on the future. 
"We are a band from Louisiana that plays a style of music you wouldn't expect," Bailey said. "Our goal is to create an atmosphere so contagious that everyone wants to be a part of it."

'Cliché Love'


Beau Bailey: age 24, Hometown: Monroe, LA (lead vocals/rhythm guitar)
Logan Maggio: age 23, Hometown: New Roads, LA (lead guitar/vocals)
John Lewis: age 25, Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA (drums/percussion/vocals)

  • Stream "Cliché Love" via American Songwriter here and on all platforms here
Stay tuned for more music from The Revelries and EDGEOUT Records throughout 2021.

Connect With The Revelries:

FacebookInstagram ✔ Twitter  Youtube 

SOURCE: EDGEOUT Records/UMe

29 April 2021

Graphic Novel 'Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness' by Ken Mora Receives Independent Press Award

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Independent Press Award Win, 2021 added to accolades for Caravaggio: A Light Before The Darkness
'Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness' by Ken Mora is recognized as Winner in the category of Graphic Novel by Independent Press Award, 2021.
The Independent Press Award is judged by experts from the book industry, including publishers, writers, editors, book cover designers, and professional copywriters. Winners and distinguished favorites are awarded based on overall excellence from entries worldwide. English Language publications were considered from the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and worldwide.
"We congratulate this year's 2021 winners and distinguished favorites in the annual Independent Press Award. The quality and quantity of excellent independently published books hit a record. Independents recognized are thriving around the globe. We are so proud to announce these key titles representing global independent publishing." - awards sponsor Gabrielle Olczak.
"We are delighted to have signed Ken Mora's 'Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness'. Although we are a small publishing house, we have been around for some 15 years now, so we know quality when we see it. When Ken sent it over, it didn't take me long to recognize how well produced it was, and as such we are proud to be the publisher of such a book. I look forward to getting it out to the masses!" - Harry Markos, publisher Markosia Enterprises
WINNER 2021 Independent Press Award, 2021 in the category of Graphic Novel

'Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness' - The Blurb:

  • His art saved the dying Church. 
  • Ambition exposed his secret lover. 
  • His sword sealed their tragic fate.
The artist known as Caravaggio must flee to Rome to protect his lover from The Inquisition. In Rome, his art spurs the faithful to return to The Church at the time of The Counter-Reformation. Hubris exposes his secret lover and forces him to flee Rome on a journey of penitence fraught with peril, intrigue, and murder.
  • Previous accolades include Winner of the 2020 Screencraft Cinematic Book Award and finalist in the Eric Hoffer, Wishing Shelf, and National Indie Excellence awards.
  • 'Caravaggio: A Light Before the Darkness' is available at major international booksellers including Amazon

SOURCE Bella Fe Media

27 April 2021

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]

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Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port: Port of Newcastle (Screengrab)
Alley Cat Allies has launched a special investigation into a ghastly mass-shooting of feral cats, also called community cats, directed by the Port of Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, that left at least 12 cats dead, maimed or missing. Becky Robinson, the president and founder of Alley Cat Allies, is calling on the Port's leadership to immediately end all killing and instead embrace humane, nonlethal management practices for cats.
"The Newcastle Port Authority called this a 'cull,' but there is no whitewashing the fact that this was a massacre, plain and simple," Robinson said. "Cats are sentient creatures who feel pain, and the cats who were the victims of this late-night hunt by the Port Authority endured horrific injuries and tremendous suffering. Killing cats does not have a rightful place in conservation strategy. The Port Authority must stop shooting and killing cats and needs to make a public commitment that it will never happen again. We demand that they adopt sane, humane, effective methods centered on spay and neuter, also known as desexing."
Alley Cat Allies, in collaboration with supporters in Australia and the Animal Justice Party of Australia, learned that the Newcastle Port Authority hired a contract killer to hunt down and shoot sterilized cats at the Stockton Breakwall, a public beach jetty, in December 2020. The next morning, devastated caregivers for the cats discovered a bloody, disturbing scene.

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port (Screengrab)
  • One cat, Rosie, was shot in the eye. The attack left another cat, Lily, blind and with a hernia. As many as eight cats are missing and presumed killed. Some surviving cats still suffer from their gunshot wounds as caregivers scramble to trap them. The caregivers and local veterinarians have grave concerns that these powerless, wounded cats remain in danger.
The Port Authority's attack came despite the fact that the cats were sterilized, vaccinated and cared for through a Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) program practiced by compassionate caregivers. TNR successfully reduced the number of cats at the Port from 100 to approximately 40 in recent years. These caregivers were neither warned about the hunt nor told that the Port took issue with community cats in the area to begin with.

Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port [Documentary Video Included]
Alley Cat Allies Investigates Brutal Cat Massacre by Australian Port (Screengrab)
  • Killing cats is not an effective means of population control because of a well-documented scientific phenomenon known as the Vacuum Effect. When cats are killed, new cats move in to take their place.
"The Port's actions serve as a reminder that in far too many places around the world, including in Australia and the United States, there persists an archaic mindset that killing cats is viable and necessary," Robinson continued. "Humane, nonlethal sterilization is being utilized all over the globe because it works. Killing does not work. The Newcastle Port Authority needs to wake up to the reality that hunting cats is not acceptable and join the rest of civilized society with a lifesaving policy for its cats."
The Alley Cat Allies investigation has prompted international condemnation of the Newcastle Port Authority's actions. Alley Cat Allies has posted a short documentary film with the findings from its investigation at alleycat.org/StocktonBreakwallCats, where it will continue to post more information from the case as it becomes available.

The Documentary:

About Alley Cat Allies:

Alley Cat Allies is the leader of a global movement to protect cats and kittens. Now in our 31st anniversary year, we are joined by more than 650,000 supporters worldwide.

Alley Cat Allies believes every cat deserves to live out his or her life to the fullest. We exposed an entrenched system in which animal control agencies and shelters have been killing millions of cats for over a century. Today, the programs we introduced in the United States are mainstream.

To achieve our goals, we collaborate with grassroots advocates, animal shelters, municipal managers, and lawmakers to replace deadly laws and policies with ones that protect cats. We defend all cats by offering cutting edge education online, in person, and through one-on-one dialogue. We advance lifesaving innovations such as Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) and Shelter-Neuter-Return (SNR), high-quality, high-volume spay and neuter, microchipping, anti-declawing legislation, and any program that best serves the interests of cats.

SOURCE: Alley Cat Allies

Gen Z Girl Pop Rock Band 'Hello Sister' Releases New Single 'Paralyzed' [Music Video Included]

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Gen Z Girl Pop Rock Band 'Hello Sister' Releases New Single 'Paralyzed' [Music Video Included]
Teen Pop Rock Band Hello Sister Releases New Single "Paralyzed" available on all major digital platforms. (photo credit: Margot Mason)
Teen pop rock band Hello Sister has just released their new single, "Paralyzed," which dropped on Friday, April 23rd. The band, made up of singer/songwriters and siblings Grace, Gabriella and Scarlett Mason, say the new tune is all about love and how it makes people feel. 
The girls penned the song to describe the emotional power of love, "We immediately fell in love with the catchy melodies and relatable lyrics," said Scarlett Mason. "The guitar riff is one my favorites to play," added Gabriella Mason and sister Grace chimed in, "I feel that this new song shows a different side of us. We hope people will enjoy listening to the different emotions this song evokes."

'Paralyzed' - The Music Video:

  • Hello Sister is on the roster at Create Music Group, a Los Angeles-based independent music distribution and publishing company. Create oversees Hello Sister's digital royalty collection and distributes to more than 100 DSP's including Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and more.
Gen Z Girl Pop Rock Band 'Hello Sister' Releases New Single 'Paralyzed' [Music Video Included]
Multi-Talented Pop Rock n' Roll Band Hello Sister. L to R: Grace, Scarlett and Gabriella Mason (photo credit: Margot Mason)

About Hello Sister:

Multi-talented pop rock n' roll band Hello Sister is a dynamic trio from Orlando, Florida. Driven by three teen siblings' spirited chemistry and authentic homegrown musicianship, Grace, Gabriella and Scarlett Mason's collective love of music are inspired by their father Tim, a Pop R&B songwriter who charted songs on Billboard in Canada and Europe. All girls are musicians and songwriters poised for long-term career success.

Hello Sister has successfully garnered worldwide attention by way of their charismatic social media streamed shows from their rapidly growing base of fans and followers.

With a large catalog of original high energy songs already released, these teen girl rockers have drawn musical inspiration from a diverse group of legendary music artists like Johnny Cash, Taylor Swift, Prince, Keith Urban, Avril Lavigne, Luke Combs, Shawn Mendes, Norah Jones, Selena Gomez among many others! 

  • Hello Sister recently released their first ever NFT, with a limited-edition remix of their hit song "Wave of LOVE" on Rarible.com making them the youngest music artists known to release an NFT.

Gen Z Girl Pop Rock Band 'Hello Sister' Releases New Single 'Paralyzed' [Music Video Included]
Hello Sister - Logo (image via hellosistermusic.com)

Connect with Hello Sister:

Instagram ✔ Facebook ✔ Twitter ✔ TikTok ✔ YouTube ✔ Website ✔

SOURCE: Hello Sister

24 April 2021

Guest Post by Patrick Bishop, Co-Author of 'A Class Divided: A Book About Racism' [FREE Digital Copy of The Book Available!]

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Guest Post by Patrick Bishop, Co-Author of 'A Class Divided: A Book About Racism' [FREE Digital Copy of The Book Available!]
A Class Divided: A Book About Racism
The world has changed a lot the last four years but that is not any more obvious anywhere than the United States. It seems like there are multiple attacks against people that are not white. Attacks against Blacks, Asians, Jews, and other people who are different. These attacks are coming from all income levels and job categories. It seems like doctors, engineers, teachers, nurses, the unemployed, laborers, police officers are participating in these attacks. Some of these attacks are verbal, some are physical but the one thing they all have in common is that someone gets hurt. Many end up dead, many in the hospital, many in counseling.

It could just be a coincidence that people from different walks of life are doing these attacks, but I think it is more sinister than that. How could so many people who were seemingly caring, compassionate, loving, and non-discriminatory people suddenly be so filled with hatred toward anybody who was different than them? Many people are not following the love and compassion of Jesus. That is the only logical explanation.

We reached a point of feeling like something needed to be done to change this hatred and discrimination. It is exceedingly difficult to change the world, but each individual can change the heart of one person. We decided to teach the most vulnerable of us, kids. Discrimination can be taught, and it can also be learned to not be discriminatory.

A Class Divided: A Book About Racism” is the book that can not only teach kids empathy toward others but it puts them in a position of feeling what it is like to be the one that is discriminated against. It doesn’t just talk about discrimination as most books do but it gives them an understanding of discrimination first hand. It helps them to know how terrible being discriminated against is so they won’t want to discriminate against anybody else.

A Class Divided: A Book About Racism” is the first book in the Kids Empathy Series that we hope to be the first of many. Making money is not our main objective with this book. We want kids to truly understand what discrimination is and for that reason, any readers of this blog will get a free copy for a limited time. All you have to do is go to littlesami.com and at checkout enter the promo code free100 and you can download it for free.

Happy Reading!

Pat Bishop

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