Happy Quintilis!

Quintilis, a Latin word meaning “fifth,” is the month following Junius (June) on the Roman calendar.

Julius Caesar (100 – 44 BC) was born in the fifth month of the Roman calendar year. He proposed the 12-month calendar, which became known as the Julian calendar, or Julian year. Quintilis became the seventh month but kept its name until after Caesar’s  death, when Quintilis was renamed in his honor: Julius (July).

We have 31 days to make the most of this July. Will you use them to elevate those around you? Spread a little cheer, share a smile, promote contagious laughter?

My hope is that all of us would fill the days ahead with goodness, beauty and time well spent with each other.

For better or for worse, Julius Caesar left a legacy that remains. Today we have the opportunity to do the same. How will you spend it?

—Adam Mock, COO

‘The Magicians’ Continues the Magic for Harry Potter Generation

The Magicians

Syfy’s ‘The Magicians,’ based on the book by Lev Grossman, shows viewers they’re never too old for magic. July 15, 2011, was a warm summer night and at around 2 a.m. we found ourselves running down a street under the glow of bright yellow streetlights. We sped from one patch of light to the next, showing no concern for the headlights and taillights passing beside us. Let the world see us run. We didn’t care. We were burning with excitement, and in that moment nothing seemed better than racing home. What could inspire this flight? That was the night we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2. We had spent the evening in line at our local movie theater, gaping at the elaborate costumes of fellow moviegoers, mystified by the experience in a way we hadn’t been since we were small. Suddenly the garish carpet of the theater        …read more

Transilient Expands the Narrative about Transgender People

Follow Transilient on a photo-documentation journey that’s moving the conversation about transgender people beyond gender identity. I was living in New Orleans when I heard about the passing of HB2, or the controversial North Carolina bathroom bill. I was floored by the news and couldn’t leave my house or stop crying that day, because I’m from the Carolinas. I’m also a transgender man. I spent my childhood in South Carolina and my twenties in North Carolina. I was an LGBTQ+ activist in Asheville and ran an LGBTQ+ advocacy group called Just Us for All. The idea that HB2 had passed wasn’t a setback for only transgender people in North Carolina, but for justice in our country as a whole. When I was growing up, the lack of representation of transgender people messed me up so much that I had no idea how to analyze my feelings about gender, my body, my sexuality or how I could live        …read more

A Space for More Than Shhh! The Community Library of the Future

Is your community library adapting to a modern learning model? Here are 4 libraries leading the evolution. Back in 1600, when book lending libraries were starting to be established, there was no vision of the 2017 community library. There was no hint that technology might put the lives of physical, bound books at risk. No one in the 1600s could know people would one day sit in front of glowing screens in order to read poetry, get table-building instructions and learn new languages. But that is exactly what happened and because of it, many modern public libraries have chosen adaptation over obsolescence. Their adaptation comes in the form of makerspaces. To clarify, a makerspace is an informal space where members of a community can gather to create with machines and materials that may be difficult for the average individual to obtain. At your modern community library, there may be classes and equipment        …read more

Russian Artist Draws Life under Putin

Russian artist

Victoria Lomasko’s new book tells the stories of Russia’s voiceless. After facing censorship issues in Russia, the latest work by Russian artist and graphic journalist Victoria Lomasko was published in March of this year by New York–based literary magazine n+1. Other Russias is the first of Lomasko’s work to be published in English and the catalyst to her first American tour. The book is a collection of graphic reportage depicting the life of Russia’s voiceless under Putin. According to the Russian artist, she jumped at the idea of having her work published in the United States and translated into English because of the political tensions between the two nations. “It will be good if Americans hear the voices of ordinary Russians rather than just Putin,” said Lomasko. The 320-page book chronicles Lomasko’s reporting from 2009 to 2016. It follows children from isolated communities, sex workers, elderly women, enslaved Kazakh migrant workers, members of        …read more

Zealandia: What You Need to Know about the ‘New Continent’

Zealandia

Scientists have uncovered a submerged landmass two-thirds the size of Australia, which has implications for climate science, biology and how Zealandia could be designated a continent. If you could drain the Pacific Ocean, you’d be staring at the lost continent of Zealandia, which is 18 times larger than New Zealand. Although 94 percent submerged, Zealandia, a large region in the southwest Pacific Ocean underlain by continental crust, is gaining momentum to be dubbed a continent, thanks to new research published in GSA Today. Zealandia offers a wealth of insight due to its age: it began separating from the combined Australia-Antarctica portion of Gondwana in the late Cretaceous period around 80 million years ago, according to Jerry Dickens, a professor of Earth sciences at Rice University and co-chief scientist of an upcoming drilling expedition to learn more about Zealandia. What Makes a Continent? “We want to learn how the continental crust        …read more

Top 7 ‘Holy Shit!’ Moments of ‘Game of Thrones’

Season 7 of the HBO fantasy series arrives July 16, so let’s relive the 7 most jaw-dropping scenes from ‘Game of Thrones’ so far. MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 1-6 AHEAD! [caption id="attachment_13315" align="alignnone" width="865"] The Red Wedding is one the most surprising moments in 'Game of Thrones.' HBO[/caption] What’s made Game of Thrones an enduringly popular TV series — and the most pirated, in fact — is the many twists it plants in almost every episode. Don’t get too attached to the main characters. They might be facing the executioner’s blade or wildfire flames soon after you profess your love for this Game of Thrones scene stealer. To get you excited for season seven, look back at the most shocking moments from Game of Thrones so far. Ned Stark’s Beheading [caption id="attachment_13307" align="alignnone" width="865"] Off with his head! Ned Stark was the first major GoT character to R.I.P. HBO[/caption] It        …read more

Wardrobe Goals: 5 Gorgeous Vegan Leather Textiles

vegan leather

Vegan leather textile designers are ready to drape you in sustainable, beautiful pieces from head to toe. Since the dawn of humanity, animals have been used for food, clothing and even shelter (you saw The Revenant, right?). Times are changing, as more and more people — not just vegans — are shying away from purchasing animal-derived products, especially leather. Manufacturers and the fashion industry have taken notice. Vegan leather textiles are being produced and innumerable products made that will keep your closet filled with animal-free essentials. And if looking great weren’t enough, these products are also eco-friendly, made from all-natural or recycled materials, sustainable and in some cases helping impoverished communities create a new viable industry. When you’re in need of leather that never mooed, turn to these five options to get your vegan leather fix. 1. Piñatex: It All Starts with a Pineapple Pineapple is a fruit that evokes memories        …read more

Hiding Near You: Geeky Hooker’s Pop Culture Crochet Critters

crochet

Get your hands on Geeky Hooker’s crochet characters from comics, movies, TV, classic art and literature and more. Critters are hiding, waiting to be found at Comic-Con. They’re not the kind you’d hire a pest control company to get rid of. They’re crochet creations — characters from your favorite comics, TV shows, movies and more — seeking adoption. The mastermind behind these critters, as she’s so lovingly dubbed them, is Cindy Wang, aka Geeky Hooker. Wang has been hiding critters at Comic-Con since 2011, which just happens to be the same year she learned to crochet, a hobby that started out of boredom. Six years later, this Geeky Hooker has made a name for herself as the talent behind the creative and oh-so-fun crochet critters of Comic-Con. Starting from Scratch The collection of critters Wang has produced is lengthy. To name just some, there are characters from Star Wars, Game of Thrones,        …read more

8 Artists’ and Writers’ Retreats to Inspire Your Creative Soul

writer's retreat, writers' retreat

Need to get away to create? Keep this list of artists’ and writers’ retreats on hand. Sometimes artists and writers need to escape to a magical world where they can bask in quiet inspiration. And, yes, these places do exist. You can choose from artists’ and writers’ retreats in the hills of Ireland, the forests of California or perched in a village in Southern France. Some offer studios, nourishment and living space at no charge. They simply want artists to have the space and time to create. Check out these eight artists’ and writers’ retreats where you can replenish your creative soul. 1. Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat [caption id="attachment_13726" align="alignnone" width="865"] Artists have been coming to Soaring Gardens Artists’ Retreat since the early 1900s for a free, quiet place to work.[/caption] Location: Diary country, an hour west of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Founded: 2000 Ideal for: Visual artists, writers, composers and musicians who        …read more

Service Animals: A ‘Chosen’ Career Path or a Life of Servitude?

service animals

Many people see the relationship between service dog and handler as a beautiful, symbiotic bond, but some animal rights activists view it as harmful. Are service animals ‘happy’ working? We asked the experts. Amanda Bagwell-Chase, a self-proclaimed animal rights activist, proudly wears a T-shirt displaying a lion’s paw print next to a human handprint, referring to Cecil the Lion and symbolizing unity between animals and humans. But on several occasions Bagwell-Chase has been the target of public ridicule while wearing this shirt. The reason? She wears it while holding the harness of her service dog, Patsy. “Strangers at malls have called out, ‘How can you wear that shirt when your guide dog is stuck in a harness, forced to take you places all day?’” But Bagwell-Chase, who just became president of the Student Animal Defense Fund at Valparaiso School of Law, where she is a student, doesn’t see it that        …read more

The History of the Myers-Briggs Test (and Which Celebs Got What)

Myers-Briggs test

Find out how the Myers-Briggs test originated and see 8 famous people’s results. For some of us, it was for a job interview. For others, it was at the request of a curious date-candidate trying to haze us. The odds are, we’ve all had to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) at some point or another. If you’re like me, you find yourself on one of the (free) copycat websites at regular intervals, double-checking you’ve not suddenly swapped an E for an I, or a T for an F. Or maybe you have no idea what I’m talking about. Well, if you’ve ever wondered what the Myers-Briggs test is, or where this whole thing came from, read on to find out… The MBTI questionnaire, otherwise known as the Myers-Briggs test, was the brainchild of Katharine Cook Briggs and her daughter, Isabel Briggs Myers. After witnessing the difference between her prospective        …read more

Escape into 5 Popular YouTube Comedy Channels

YouTube comedy

In need of a laugh? Look no further than these YouTube comedy channels. YouTube is a bottomless wealth of content. Whether you need a tutorial on how to repair your dishwasher, achieve the perfect eyebrow arch, defeat a difficult boss in a video game, or de-slime okra, someone on YouTube, without a doubt, has you covered. You’ll also find many talented YouTube comedy creators on the platform. Join us as we check out some side-splitting channels on YouTube. 1. REACT The setup for a standard episode of one of the most popular YouTube comedy channels couldn’t be more genius in its simplicity. You plunk someone down in a seat — the Fine Brothers’ regulars span generations from grade school kids to senior citizens — and you have them react to something. Whether it’s the new viral trend, a strange food, a video game, a Try Not to Laugh challenge or select        …read more

5 Outdoor Games the Whole Neighborhood Used to Play

outdoor games

Get your family unplugged this summer with these favorite old-school outdoor games. Summer evenings growing up in the Midwest were as magical and fleeting as the fireflies we chased. Late bedtime. Chirping cicadas. Bright, deep-blue moonlit skies. Scents of fresh-cut grass and bug repellant. Sweaty, sticky fingers sandwiching sweet, smoky marshmallows and Hershey squares between honey grahams. All in the backdrop of the joyful screams signaling the main event: outdoor games. We played a hundred different outdoor games on a hundred different nights, but there were always those favorites, the ones we were sure to include each day. I tell my own kids about these outdoor games, and we try to copy them in our neighborhood but can usually find only a handful of kids outside in comparison to the hordes I remember as a child. While you can still walk around many neighborhoods in the U.S. on summer evenings        …read more

Mad Science for Singles: Welsh Rarebit Recipe

rarebit

Feeling hangry? Welsh rarebit (melted cheese on toast) is the cure. Welcome to the Mad Science lab, where I’m whipping up an easy indulgent recipe: Welsh rarebit. Sometimes called Welsh rabbit (don’t worry — there’s no rabbit involved), this delicious melted cheese served on toast makes a fantastic snack, or it can be cut into pieces for a popular appetizer. This cheesy goodness on toast is classic pub fare and pairs perfectly with a beer. With a little Mad Science experimentation with vegetables and proteins, you can easily make it a satisfying meal. Heat up the stove, and let’s get started. Welsh Rarebit Recipe Satisfy your hunger! 2 tablespoons butter 2 tablespoons flour 1/2 cup beer or stout 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream 1 cup grated sharp cheddar 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard Salt and pepper to taste Melt butter on low heat. Add flour and cook, stirring, for        …read more

The Hustle and the Hierarchy of Prison Tattoos

prison tattoos

In a walled, self-contained city, the artist creating prison tattoos is highly respected. The cost of housing an inmate is a matter of debate in our corrections system, but while locked up, the inmate must also pay for their stay with their own ingenuity. With money and/or manpower, every inmate has to hustle to survive prison. Just as in the military, law enforcement and all cultures and subgroups, in prison there is an order and a hierarchy, from a low-level enforcer to a lieutenant or captain. While some members are more expendable than others, an artist creating prison tattoos can find himself needed, protected and prosperous. Due to the increased risk of disease or infection and the creation of banned weapons or items that can be used as weapons, prison tattoos aren’t permitted. But through innovation and the cooperation and protection of fellow inmates, artists of prison tattoos find a        …read more

To Boost Your Mental Focus, Try Switching Off

Desperately seeking inspiration? Technology might be sapping your mental focus. You spend your days hooked to your computer, watching a screen as the hours tick by. When you get home, the weight of the workday might still be on your shoulders, but you take a deep breath and let all your worries go. The night is young. Now is your time, and for a moment you can do exactly what you want. Before you start that inspirational project or prepare to see your friends, though, you tell yourself you’ll take a brief look at your phone, just to catch up on the social news that passed you by during the day. You scroll and scroll, and before you realize it, the vibrant evening has aged into dark night. Now it’s too late to take the time you needed for yourself. Just one more scroll for good luck… We are connected.        …read more

Louisiana’s History of Sports Redemption in Wake of Tragedies

LSU football

Following politically-fueled violence, LSU’s CWS battle brought Louisiana and the nation together, recalling the New Orleans Rebirth after Hurricane Katrina and demonstrating the unifying power of sports. On June 14, house majority whip and Louisiana representative Steve Scalise and his fellow GOP members were targeted in a politically-driven attack, with Scalise suffering internal damage from a life-threatening gunshot wound to the hip. Thankfully, it looks as though Rep. Scalise will recover from his injuries. [caption id="attachment_14822" align="alignnone" width="865"] Photo by Allison Shelley / Getty Images[/caption] It’s unclear if Scalise, who was shot while practicing for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity between Republicans and Democrats, bleeds purple and gold for his alma mater, Louisiana State University (LSU), but it looks as if Tiger blood runs deep. Though Scalise missed out on a tense game between our nation’s rival parties, members of both the Democratic and Republican parties donned LSU hats        …read more

Wonder Woman: The Never-Ending Milestone

Wonder Woman

Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot have delivered an empowered version of Wonder Woman. Take a look at how far she’s come since her comic book beginnings. The reviews are pouring in for Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman film: the latest iteration of Diana, princess of the Amazons. Film lovers have been pacing for months in wait of the first blockbuster level superhero film with a female star. Speaking of blockbusting… Audiences see Diana literally bust through blocks, bricks, bullets, bad guys and just about everything else in her path. The film itself has proven worthy of the hype, grossing over $100 million during its first weekend alone (this fan saw it at 9:15 p.m. on a Tuesday night and was amazed to see the theater still mostly full). It is hard not to gawk at Gal Gadot, who cuts a striking Wonder Woman, but the true marvel of the film is        …read more

Explore Her Majesty’s Empire at the Bristol Renaissance Faire

Bristol Renaissance Faire

Forget the modern world and step back into history at the Bristol Renaissance Faire, one of the very best Ren faires in the world. For 30 years now, the fictional town of Bristol has enticed many a patron with its charm and beauty. Selling the finest corsets, the town’s best ale, and even flowers for your sweet, over 200 Bristol Renaissance Faire merchants accommodate your every need. Kids can also enjoy exciting games and rides and be entertained with one of the finest jousting tournaments in all the land. A great deal of planning goes into creating a period festival, especially one of this spectacular magnitude. Located on 30 acres of land in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the Bristol Renaissance Faire has been the celebrated best fest in the nation for five consecutive years. I had the opportunity to talk with Julie McMillin, social media director for the Bristol Renaissance Faire and get some insight into just what it takes to        …read more

Against Explanations: How to Watch the Return of ‘Twin Peaks’

twin peaks

There’s no wrong way to watch season 3 of ‘Twin Peaks’ but here’s the best way… If surreal times require surreal comic art, then David Lynch is the auteur we need right now. And the third season of Twin Peaks, returning 25 years after its initial run, is nowhere better synchronized with our sociopolitical meltdown as in this mashup tweet from co-creator Mark Frost: At almost halfway through the new season of Twin Peaks, it seems a good time to pause and take stock of this sometimes bewildering, occasionally frustrating, yet deeply affecting fever-dream of televised art. But don’t expect an “explainer,” because as many critics have noted, there is no way to fit much of what happens on-screen into any formal, logical framework. The eyeless woman in the glitchy red room does not signify anything — she is simply what she is. Just as our personal dreams provide us with        …read more

Fidget Spinners and 9 More Toy Fads from the ’50s to Today

toy fads

Fidget spinners, one of the latest toy fads to sweep the globe, bring back memories of toys that quickly captured loads of hearts — and cash. If you don’t have one yourself, chances are you’ve come across the typically three-pronged device in recent months. Fidget spinners are small contraptions that whirl between your fingers on ball bearings. Depending on the quality of the fidget spinner, they can revolve for up to several minutes. The rotation of the spinner, and the feeling that it provides between the fingers, has proved to be aesthetically pleasing to many. So pleasing, in fact, that an estimated 200 million spinners have shipped to retailers since February, winding up to a $500 million industry. The fidget spinner’s origin is unclear. Early reports credited Catherine Hettinger as the inventor, citing a patent from 1993 that lapsed in 2005. But upon further investigation, it seems Hettinger’s design bears        …read more

‘Sense8’ Cancelled, Dealing 8 Blows to Diversity in TV

Sense8 cancelled

‘Sense8’ has been cancelled by Netflix, but fans aren’t letting it go quietly. When Netflix pronounced Sense8 cancelled after two seasons, viewers were stunned. Some questioned if the move was made to legitimize Netflix in its role as a — if not the — major provider of television in the transition from network television to online streaming services. Out with the old and in with the new, now on the internet. What Netflix may not have expected but definitely should have: massive outrage. Sense8, created by Lana and Lilly Wachowski (The Matrix) and J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5), is the unique story of eight people scattered around the globe with a unique mental link allowing them to speak to each other, borrow each other’s skills, and experience each other’s lives. The characters embody empathy to their cores, something fans believe television — and the world — needs more of. [caption id="attachment_14047"        …read more

How to Clean Shoes: 7 Tips from Sneakerheads

Sneaker addicts, here’s how to clean shoes and keep them looking new. Sneaker culture originated in the ’80s when Michael Jordan signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Nike and a hip-hop group named Run DMC dropped a song called “My Adidas.” These two moments undoubtedly linked fashion and hip-hop culture in a galvanizing way that changed music and the power of social engineering forever. Fast-forward to today, and sneaker culture has evolved into its own entity, transcending even hip-hop. It’s more than standing in long lines for the latest releases, flipping shoes for money or trying to stay up with the latest trends. Shoes are now shown in art galleries and museums while numerous books have been written on the cultural impact and political power of kicks. Wearing a clean pair of shoes is a crucial part of sneaker culture and something every sneakerhead takes great pride in. Whether you’re        …read more

Tour the World with 7 Incredible Instagram Photographers

Escape into exotic images captured by Instagram photographers from every continent. Everyone can agree that social media platforms like Instagram have changed everything, expanding what we can see and experience. Culture can meet culture in a variety of ways online through the visual inspiration of an Instagram photographer. Following Instagrammers from around the world can take us out of the familiar, introducing us to beliefs, ideas and lives that are so different (but often so similar, too) hundreds and thousands of miles away. A photo can speak volumes about the shared experiences of humanity, and it’s more important now than ever to be actively engaging global artists who can share our common humanity through their photos, while educating us about the unique differences that exist within other parts of the world. So here are seven popular people to follow on Instagram — one extraordinary photographer for each of the seven continents. Their        …read more