Posts tagged with "rita azar"

business illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

KILT VS TROUSERS – A LONG BATTLE

Are you confused about what you should wear at the next Scottish event you attend? Well, you are at the right place. Here, you will find everything that you need to know before the event regarding kilts for men and trousers. Many Scottish men point out that real men should put on kilts, but younger generations may be more flexible in their wardrobe choices. For example, Jaden Smith is known to rock a kilt on occasion. Of course, the choice differs from person to person–not all of us like the same food, do we? No! Similarly, some may like the kilt and others prefer trousers. Let’s discuss the pros and cons of each, so that you can decide which is most appropriate to wear for your upcoming event.

Men’s Kilts

A kilt is among the earliest and most popular types of Scottish apparel. Men, and even kings, have worn kilts since hundreds of years ago; and they are still a popular part of Scottish culture today. Many men and women–even those who are not located in Scotland–wear kilts as they are a comfortable and versatile part of their wardrobe. So, let’s see exactly why they love wearing kilts so much.

Trousers/Pants

Everyone prefers wearing pants–until the first time they try wearing a kilt for a day. Pants are everywhere in modern fashion, because according to the modern generation, kilts are considered very girlish. We have simply accepted trousers, but the following discussion is going to make pant-wearers reconsider their thoughts.

Comparing Kilts & Trousers

1- Comfort

No matter if you’re wearing a traditional Scottish kilt or a modern utility kilt, it will make you feel pleasantly surprised by its comfortability. In comparison, trousers make you feel bunched up  and limit your movements. Compared to the limited movements trousers allow, your legs get complete freedom to move in kilts.

2- Keeps You Cool in Summer

Kilts keep you cool when the weather is hot, but you may not realize this until you compare wearing both kilts and trousers in the hot climate. You’ll feel your legs drenched in sweat in trousers, whereas kilts keep you unbelievably cool, if you choose the fabric accordingly. When it comes to choosing the most breathable and summer-friendly kilt fabric, you should avoid heavy wool that’s used for traditional Scottish or Irish kilts. Instead, try a sport utility kilt made from a lightweight cotton blend for the most breathable feel.

3. Time Limitation

You can’t wear the same pair of trousers you run errands in to go to a formal event, can you? No! Unlike trousers, there’s no such limitation with the kilts. You can wear kilts anywhere and anytime, as long as you pair it with the appropriate accessories and shoes.

4. In Terms of Health

According to the Scottish Medical Journal, men who wear kilts regularly show better sperm quality and fertility when they plan to have a child. Although there’s not a lot of research-based scientific evidence on the topic, it can be something to be considered.

5. Makes You Feel Good About Yourself

Surprisingly, men’s kilts can have positive effects on men’s mental health, making them feel an improved sense of masculinity and pride. According to the Scottish Medical Journal, psychological benefits like these can help men feel more confident. Kilts give men the confidence they need to achieve their personal, as well as relationship, goals. Kilts may help men grow as a person. If you’re suffering from a lack of confidence, I’d suggest you try wearing a kilt–you may be surprised by the positive changes.

Benefits of the Kilt

●      Adjustable fit: kilts allow you to adjust their size according to natural body changes and/or preferred comfortability.

●      No bunching & bending: No more bunching and bending in clothing material will allow you to feel relaxed and free.

●      Keeps you cool in summer and warm in winter: Kilts can keep you cool in summer and maintain your body heat in winter, depending on the fabric. Especially in the summers, kilts can help make a hot summer’s day even more fun. Kilts are a perfect choice for any weather.

●      Health: The design of kilts provide the most breathable option for an outfit. The ventilation helps keep your private parts’ temperature regulated, which can lead to higher sperm counts and higher fertility. A kilt also looks attractive­­, which will keep your partners’ attention on you and, in turn, helps maintaining your relationship goals.

Benefits of Wearing Trousers

●      Trousers are appropriate in all situations. We cannot deny the fact that kilts can be inappropriate to wear in some specific places (usually due to religious or cultural differences,) so trousers come to the rescue.

●      Freedom of movement: Just in case you have to stand on your head, there is no risk of indecent exposure with your trousers, unlike kilts.

●      Keep your calves warm: Long pants cover your calves. We can’t deny the fact that trousers beat out kilts when it comes to keeping your calves warm.

●      Health: An advantage of trouser is that long pants can keep your legs safe from harmful UV rays.

Conclusion

No one can tell whether kilts or trousers are better, as it differs from person to person. In my opinion, it shouldn’t matter which you choose, but you should consider trying on both garments. If you haven’t at least tried a kilt before, you should give it a shot. Once you do, it is likely that you may never want to turn back. In the end, whichever makes you feel more comfortable, confident, and happy is what you should wear. 

business illustration by Rita Azar

iHeartMedia × Collab – Your Soul Sucking Job in 90 Seconds

iHeartMedia & Collab Present:

STORYTIME ON CLUBHOUSE–“Your Soul Sucking Job in 90 Seconds”

WHO:

Hosts and moderators include: Collab’s Will McFadden, Leah Lamarr, Nicole Behnam.

Featuring guests: Rembrandt, Eric Artell, Lonnie Marts, JCyrus, The McFarlands and Natalie Friedman.

WHAT: iHeartMedia and Collab Present: Storytime on Clubhouse: Your Soul Sucking Job in 90 Seconds.

WHEN: Listen and join on Thursday, April 15 at 7PM PST

WHERE: Clubhouse-iHeartMedia Club

Host of the STORYTIME podcast and Collab CCO Will McFadden will be joined by Power Mods, Leah Lamarr and Nicole Behnam, as they invite the Clubhouse community on stage to share stories and laughs about their crappiest jobs. The person with the best worst story will win a prize–including the chance to be featured on a future episode of “Storytime with Will McFadden!” This Storytime event will be sure to have audiences reflecting on their own wild experiences and laughing along with the tales told by McFadden, Lemarr, and Behnam. Whether you have a difficult boss or disfunctional work environment, hearing other’s stories will take a load off your shoulders and allows for listeners to laugh at the absurdity of it all. Make sure to tune in so you can tune out of the workplace drama and share a few laughs with these hilarious hosts.

About Storytime With Will McFadden

Welcome to the Storytime podcast! The Internet is a dumpster full of stories, and our host Will McFadden is the most fearless and skilled dumpster diver in the game. Storytime showcases the best stories from YouTube, Reddit, weird message boards you’ve never heard of, and everywhere in between. Will hopscotches the globe, visiting storied places like spooky motels, the finest Italian eateries, and even his middle school cafeteria to dive into the spirit of the stories he curates. Storytime features the top YouTube creators, TikTok stars, Reddit masters, and everyday folks who all share a love of great storytelling! “Storytime with Will McFadden” is distributed by the iHeartPodcast Network and is available on iHeartRadio  and all major podcast platforms.

TV2 illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

The Africa Channel Programming Expansion

The Africa Channel is Now Available to Millions More Xfinity TV Customers

Expansion Furthers Ongoing Commitment from Comcast to Increase Access to Best-in-Class Black Programming 

The Africa Channel (TAC), the longest running Independent, minority owned, media company focused on presenting pan-African content to global audiences, announced today that its programming, which includes scripted and unscripted series, films, documentaries, news and information programs, is now available to millions more Xfinity TV customers, in 60 new markets on Channel 1629, and also via the Xfinity Stream app. Xfinity customers with X1 can also say “The Africa Channel” into their Xfinity Voice Remote to access the channel. Sample content from The Africa Channel will also be featured, at no additional cost, on the newly-launched Black Experience on Xfinity Channel.

Launched in 2005, The Africa Channel’s mission is to introduce contemporary stories of Africa and the African diaspora to American audiences while presenting a more inclusive perspective on Black entertainment. The channel is a showcase for outstanding English language television series, feature films, documentaries and news about Africa and the global African Diaspora. It aspires to build bridges between cultures while reinforcing positive narratives of Africa through diverse content and programming.

“We have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Comcast and are delighted to renew and expand our partnership with Comcast by reaching even more key markets across the US,” said Narendra Reddy, Executive Vice President and General Manager of The Africa Channel. “We feel that showcasing diverse content through the prism of contemporary Africa plays a seminal role in building cultural bridges, while connecting Black Americans to their heritage. We are particularly excited to partner with Comcast in their commitment to diversity through their Black Experience on Xfinity initiative.”

Through the programming and partnership with Comcast The Africa Channel aims to educate and connect all Black Americans to their heritage, and to specifically serve a fast-growing Black immigrant population who currently represent over 20% of the Black population in the US. The majority of TAC’s content has never been seen in North America. Now, with the network’s expanded distribution on Xfinity, millions of new viewers will be able to access this vast catalog of culturally relevant content.

“We’re thrilled to bring The Africa Channel’s unique, informative, and high-quality programming about African culture to an even larger audience than ever before,” added Keesha Boyd, Executive Director, Multicultural Video & Entertainment, Xfinity Consumer Services. “Our mission is to continue to amplify Black voices and stories by providing a platform for the next generation of Black storytellers. Comcast currently offers its customers access to more than 100 independent networks targeted to deliver content that centers culturally diverse audiences, and The Africa Channel is an integral part of this content offering.”
More viewers than ever before will be able to catch TAC’s newest slate of programming including:

  • World Wide Nate – This destination adventure series follows larger-than-life Chicago native Nate Fluellen, who fears nothing as he explores Africa’s abundance of death-defying thrills. Nate proves to be an excellent example for other intrepid African Americans seeking adventure and a connection to the continent that created today’s African American population’s robust ancestors. Airs weeknights at 9:00pm Eastern.
  • Amah Knows Best – This show is driven by platinum-selling South African rapper; iFani, who travels to China to learn how to cook from Chinese grandmothers. The adventure is also a cultural learning experience, not just for iFani but also for the Chinese people who unquestioningly embrace their unique visitor. Airs weeknights at 9:30pm Eastern.
  • Lockdown – Viewers experience a different kind of “lockdown” in this new prison drama. Set in a fictional high security female prison, the stories of these inmates reveal the paths which landed them behind bars. The gritty prison drama features an all-female cast with African American actress Tichina Arnold (Everybody Hates Chris) joining the line-up in Season 3. Airs Wednesdays at 10:00pm Eastern.

Xfinity delivers the best entertainment to customers, including thousands of hours of diverse programming from more than 100 networks and streaming services, via its X1platform. X1 delivers delivers the most comprehensive library of entertainment on one voice-controlled platform­–aggregating live TV, On Demand, and popular streaming apps from a growing collection of networks and streaming services. The expansion of The Africa Channel is part of an ongoing commitment from Comcast to increase access to best-in-class Black programming by providing a platform for the next generation of Black storytellers.

Please visit The Africa Channel’s website for more information on how to watch TAC and follow TAC on YouTubeFacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

About The Africa Channel  

The Africa Channel and its production arm, TAC Studios, is a showcase for the African continent’s most outstanding English-language television series, specials, documentaries, feature films, music, biographies and cultural and historical content. The channel’s mission is to open a daily window into modern African life, and in the process, help demystify Africa for viewers globally. The Africa Channel with offices in Los Angeles and Johannesburg, South Africa is available in North America and the Caribbean on cable systems such as Comcast, Charter/Spectrum, Rogers Ignite and Bell Fibe (Canada), and the Caribbean Cable Cooperative.

About Comcast Corporation

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA) is a global media and technology company that connects people to moments that matter. We are principally focused on broadband, aggregation, and streaming with over 56 million customer relationships across the United States and Europe. We deliver broadband, wireless, and video through our Xfinity, Comcast Business, and Sky brands; create, distribute, and stream leading entertainment, sports, and news through Universal Filmed Entertainment Group, Universal Studio Group, Sky Studios, the NBC and Telemundo broadcast networks, multiple cable networks, Peacock, NBCUniversal News Group, NBC Sports, Sky News, and Sky Sports; and provide memorable experiences at Universal Parks and Resorts in the United States and Asia. Visit Comcast’s website for more information.

Cannabis illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Hemp Gummies vs. CBD Gummies

What Are the Big Differences?

The sheer number of CBD gummies available in the market today would have been unimaginable even a few years ago. However, this increase in availability has also created a fair amount of confusion when figuring out what to buy.

One of the biggest confusions regarding gummies is the difference between CBD gummies and hemp gummies. They sound similar, but they can be significantly different.

So, what are the differences between them?

Hemp and CBD: Where Do They Come From?

It is sometimes tricky to identify hemp gummies. Australia is a country that, among others, doesn’t always these products easily identifiable.

This is because both CBD and hemp products come from the hemp plant. CBD itself is a cannabinoid found within hemp plants’ flowering buds, stalks, and stems, and it is present in varying quantities depending on the strain.

Hemp, however, is a less specific term, as it refers to the entire plant. Typically when a hemp product is advertised without mention of CBD, it’s made using hemp seed­–an entirely different by-product. Some hemp products do contain CBD, but can’t simply advertise it as just a CBD product. This creates a lot of confusion surrounding hemp products.

What You Need to Keep a Watch out for When Buying Anything Called “Hemp”

As the CBD products’ market continues to grow, some companies have taken advantage of the lack of understanding around hemp-based products.

This is why it’s essential to be aware of exactly what you’re purchasing when buying CBD products, especially when they are labeled as “hemp.”

Manufacturers and retailers looking for easy money might be tempted to market various, cheaper hemp products and imply that they are made from CBD. This could include hemp seed oil, a food oil extracted from the seeds of hemp plants.

Through careful marketing and manipulation of search terms, retailers might suggest that their cheaper product contains some CBD oil, even though it doesn’t whatsoever.

The vital thing to do when looking for new CBD products is to ensure that careful attention is paid to both the ingredients list and any lab reports the company provides. Though not every retailer provides them, lab reports are vital in ensuring that the product’s ingredients are precisely what they say they are.

However, this doesn’t eliminate all of the confusion–why are some gummies named both? Why are there both hemp gummies and CBD gummies available at reputable sites like Premium Jane?

Why Hemp Gummies & CBD Gummies Both Exist

While it is generally true that some retailers will trick customers into believing that their hemp products contain CBD, sometimes these retailers are telling the truth.

This is primarily due to specific laws and requirements across different nations. Many countries, Australia being one example, have a strict requirement for advertising products related to cannabis. In these places, it is sometimes beneficial to only refer to their products as being “hemp gummies” rather than specifically mentioning the CBD concentration that they contain.

Partly to avoid legality issues, but also because of search terms, it is not unheard of to have all sorts of cannabis products be erroneously referred to as merely “hemp.”

Final Thoughts on Hemp Gummies vs. CBD Gummies: What Are the Big Differences?

It is pretty confusing when trying to shop for some CBD gummies to find that they have all sorts of different names with no clear explanation.

To make the whole experience easier, always do your due diligence and make sure you know what you are buying. Through trustworthy lab reports, independent website reviews, or just word of mouth, try to only shop at dependable, established brands.

While there are plenty of cheaper products available on unheard-of, mysterious websites, the best thing to do is to shop with the biggest, most trustworthy CBD retailers.

 

new candy illustration by Rita Azar by 360 Magazine

Timing Your CBD Gummy Ingestion

How Long Until CBD Gummies Kick In? And How Long Do They Last?

It’s no secret that CBD gummies are everywhere these days. Still, many people are hesitant to use gummies in place of a standard CBD oil tincture. One of the most significant factors that stop people from feeling comfortable with things like CBD gummies, is the lack of certainty about how long they take to kick in.

So, how long should it take before CBD gummies kick in, and how long can you expect them to last? Let’s take a look.

What Are CBD Gummies?

CBD gummies are a particularly interesting form of CBD because they are one of the few types that users directly ingest. While other forms of CBD involve direct absorption (i.e. sublingually or topically), CBD gummies are exposed to the digestive metabolic process. This can make it tough when it comes to figuring out how long gummies take to kick in.

How Long Until The CBD Gummies Kick In?

A whole host of different factors, from biological and genetic to environmental and dietary, impact the expected time it can take for CBD gummies to start working. A big factor is the fact that CBD gummies are imbibed orally by ingesting them. This means that their expected time to take effect can vary pretty drastically depending on when the user last ate.

More food sitting in their stomach waiting to digest means a longer wait before the effects are noticed. Furthermore, everyone has an individual rate of metabolism, which will control the rate that the CBD is absorbed.

Weight is another issue – CBD is fat-soluble, which means that it will tend to stick to fat molecules. Those that carry around a bit of extra weight might find that their CBD gummies take longer to take effect.

Finally, the actual CBD composition of the gummy plays a considerable role. Stronger CBD gummies will last longer, but their effects might take awhile to peak due to their prolific intensity.

How Long Will The CBD Gummy Last?

The rate that CBD lasts in the human body is dependent on its half-life, which is how long the body takes to work through half of the concentration of CBD. Unfortunately, the exact half-life of CBD has not yet been accurately pinpointed. Some studies shows that it can vary considerably based on the method of consumption.

On average, the half-life of CBD seems to be between 10 hours and 24 hours, though this is again entirely based on the method of consumption.

Final Thoughts: How Long Until CBD Gummies Kick In, And How Long They Last

Lots of new people are starting to try CBD gummies, especially in the UK, as the market has really blossomed in the last decade. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to pin down the specific amount of time that CBD gummies take for their effect to take hold. A combination of weight, metabolism, the CBD’s strength, and even just individual genetics govern pretty much every aspect.

Ballet illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

SF Ballet Performs GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS 

GEORGE BALANCHINE’S JEWELS SPARKLES ON SCREEN AT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET, APRIL 1–21 

The 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream is dedicated
to the memory of Elyse Borne

Newly filmed Emeralds, captured at the War Memorial Opera House in San Francisco in January 2021, tops Balanchine’s dazzling, abstract triptych

San Francisco Ballet (SF Ballet) streams George Balanchine’s Jewels on Program 04, April 1–21 of the 2021 Digital Season, featuring a newly-captured Emeralds to accompany archival recordings of Rubies and Diamonds. Filmed on stage at the War Memorial Opera House in January of 2021, Emeralds was captured under strict safety protocols in compliance with the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines which protect artists, production crews, and the greater public. Tickets to the digital stream of Jewels begin at $29. Casting is available at this link.

SF Ballet Artistic Director and Principal Choreographer Helgi Tomasson dedicates the 2021 Digital Season’s Jewels stream to the memory of Elyse Borne, a leading Balanchine répétiteur who staged dozens of ballets for the Company, beginning in 1996 with Balanchine’s Concerto Barocco. Borne passed away in December of 2019, shortly after rehearsing Jewels with SF Ballet to prepare for live performance in the 2020 Season. “While recording Emeralds on stage this year we all thought fondly of Elyse,” says Tomasson. “She and I met while dancing for New York City Ballet in the 1970s and 80s. We were both aware of how fortunate we were to be a part of that last generation of dancers who worked directly with Balanchine. She joined us as ballet master in 1997 after working with companies all over the world, and over the following six years, she guided and supported the dancers here with expertise, grace, and humor. She will always be a long-remembered colleague and dear friend.” Alongside Borne and the George Balanchine Trust, Tomasson has remained committed to documenting and preserving the choreographer’s work for future generations, programming at least one Balanchine ballet each year of his leadership of SF Ballet.

Called “a perfect introduction to ballet” (The New York Times) and inspired by the designs of jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels, Jewels was last seen in full at SF Ballet in 2009. Jewels premiered in full in 1967 at New York City Ballet and consists of three one-act ballets that span the musical and balletic traditions of France (Emeralds), the United States (Rubies), and Russia (Diamonds), with costumes designed by Barbara Karinska to fit each act. Emeralds alludes to the 19th-century dances of French romantics and is set to excerpts from Gabriel Faure’s Pelléas et Mélisande (1898) and Shylock (1889). Rubies is a feat of athleticism, set to the irregular, modernist, jazz-inspired Capriccio for Piano and Orchestra by Igor Stravinsky. Diamonds invokes memories of Imperial Russia in a grand and formal display of classical ballet and is set to Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 3 in D major. SF Ballet Orchestra performs in each ballet, with newly recorded music for Emeralds captured using approved safety protocols at Skywalker Studios and the SF Conservatory of Music, produced and engineered by Leslie Ann Jones.

Tickets to Jewels are available now as single stream tickets for $29, or within the Premium Plus Digital Package, which offers unlimited viewing of the remaining programs in the 2021 Digital Season, in addition to exclusive bonus content, for $289. Tickets and packages may be purchased online. For more information, call Ticket Services at 415-865-2000, Monday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm. Click here to view digital viewing tips.

Celebrating Jewels

SF Ballet hosts Celebrating Jewels on April 20 from 1 to 2:30 p.m., online via Zoom. The event unites former New York City Ballet principal dancers Kay Mazzo, Mimi Paul, and Edward Villella, alongside Helgi Tomasson, to discuss their memories and insight into Balanchine’s iconic ballet. General admission tickets to Celebrating Jewels are $20, donors and subscribers receive access to the program for a reduced rate or for free.

San Francisco Ballet Pop-Up Shop

San Francisco Ballet hosts a pop-up shop open to the public on April 2 and 3 from 10 to 3 p.m., observing COVID-19 regulations as suggested by the City of San Francisco. In celebration of Jewels, the pop-up is offering a 25% discount on all jewelry. The pop-up shop is held at 2400 Cesar Chavez, San Francisco, 94124. Parking is free. Donors and subscribers can access the sale early on Thursday, April 1 from 10 to 3 p.m. Contact their website with questions.

PRODUCTION CREDITS

Jewels
A Ballet in Three Parts  

Composers: Gabriel Fauré, Igor Stravinsky, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne, Judith Fugate, Sandra Jennings
Additional Coaching by: Helgi Tomasson

World Premiere: April 13, 1967—New York City Ballet, New York State Theater; New York, New York

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: March 12, 2002—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

© The George Balanchine Trust

Emeralds
Captured on January 28, 2021 

Composer: Gabriel Fauré
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne and Sandra Jennings
Additional Décor for Emeralds: Susan Touhy
Costume Design: Karinska, Recreated by Haydee Morales
Rehearsal Assistants: Ricardo Bustamante, Tina LeBlanc

Rubies
Captured on February 2, 2016  

Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Elyse Borne
Costume Design: Karinska
Original “Rubies” Lighting Design: Ronald Bates
Rehearsal Assistant: Tina LeBlanc

San Francisco Ballet Premiere: January 30, 1987—War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California

Diamonds
Captured on March 12, 2017  

Composer: Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: George Balanchine
Staged by: Judith Fugate
Costume Design: Karinska
Rehearsal Assistants: Felipe Diaz, Betsy Erickson

ABOUT SAN FRANCISCO BALLET
San Francisco Ballet, long recognized for pushing boundaries in dance, has enjoyed a long and rich tradition of artistic “firsts” since its founding in 1933, including performing the first American productions of Swan Lake and Nutcracker, as well as the first 20th-century American Coppélia. SF Ballet is one of the three largest ballet companies in the United States and currently presents more than 100 performances annually, both locally and internationally. The mission of SF Ballet is to share its joy of dance with the widest possible audience—in its community and worldwide—and to provide the highest caliber of dance training in its School. Under the direction of Helgi Tomasson, the Company has achieved an international reputation as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world.

Transgender illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Anti-Trans Bill Passages

First Anti-Trans Bill of 2021 Heads to Mississippi Governor’s Desk

Bill is the first specifically anti-transgender piece of legislation to pass a legislature this session, and the second anti-LGBTQ piece of legislation to do so

Mississippi passed SB 2536, an anti-transgender sports bill. This bill marks the first piece of specifically anti-transgender legislation this year to be sent to a governor’s desk and comes on the same day the first piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation, SB 124 — a broad sweeping religious refusal bill — passed the second chamber in South Dakota. The legislative fight to pass discriminatory anti-transgender legislation has been fast and furious, led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. There are so far 131 anti-LGBTQ bills under consideration in state legislatures across the country. Of those, 71 directly target transgender people and about half of those would, like SB 2536, ban transgender girls and women from participating in sports consistent with their gender identity. Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David issued the following statement in response to the passage of SB 2536 in Mississippi:

“As thousands die each day of COVID-19 and millions of Americans are out of work, some state legislatures have chosen to attack, demean and dehumanize their constituents rather than focus on delivering relief and assistance. These dangerous bills are designed to make the lives of transgender kids more difficult while they try to navigate their adolescence. Anti-transgender legislation being heard and voted on across the country are legislating against problems that simply do not exist – as even their proponents admit. This is just the latest iteration of their losing fight against equality and a shameful attempt to throw a wrench in the progress we’re making with a pro-equality President and Congress.

“Today, in sending SB 2536 to Governor Reeves, Mississippi became the first state to take the plunge by passing legislation specifically attacking transgender children. Mississippi is so determined to be on the wrong side of history that it is defying the evidence in favor of discrimination.  There is simply no justification for banning transgender girls and women from participating in athletics other than discrimination. Like all girls, transgender girls just want to play and be part of a team with their friends. History will not look kindly on this moment in Mississippi.”

These bills are not addressing any real problem, and they’re not being requested by constituents.  Rather, this effort is being driven by national far-right organizations attempting to score political points by sowing fear and hate. What they don’t understand is opposing equality is highly unpopular — even among Trump voters — and states that pass legislation that attacks our community will face severe economic, legal, and reputational harm. In many cases, these legislative pushes are being prioritized above COVID-19 response and relief. This push comes as equality measures gain not only popular support but legislative momentum on the federal level, with the Biden Administration championing equality in early Executive Actions and Congress considering the Equality Act within the first 100 days of the new Administration. 

A fight driven by national anti-LGBTQ groups, not local legislators or public concern

These bills come from the same forces that drove previous anti-equality fights by pushing copycat bills across state houses — hateful anti-LGBTQ organizations like the Heritage Foundation, Alliance Defending Freedom (designated by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group), and Eagle Forum among others.

  • For example, Montana’s HB 112, the first anti-transgender sports bill to be passed through a legislative chamber in any state, was worked on by the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Trans equality is popular: Anti-transgender legislation is a low priority, even among Trump voters

In a 10-swing-state poll conducted by the Human Rights Campaign & Hart Research Group last fall:

  • At least 60% of Trump voters across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should be able to live freely and openly.
  • At least 87% of respondents across each of the 10 swing states say transgender people should have equal access to medical care, with many states breaking 90% support
  • When respondents were asked about how they prioritized the importance of banning transgender people from participating in sports as compared to other policy issues, the issue came in dead last, with between 1% and 3% prioritizing the issue.

States that pass anti-transgender legislation suffer economic, legal, reputational harm

Analyses conducted in the aftermath of previous divisive anti-transgender bills across the country, like the bathroom bills introduced in Texas and North Carolina and an anti-transgender sports ban in Idaho, show that there would be or has been devastating fallout.

  • Idaho is the only state to have passed an anti-trans sports ban to date, and that law was swiftly suspended by a federal district court. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) came out against the Idaho bill and others like it and subsequently moved planned tournament games out of Idaho.
  • The Associated Press projected that the North Carolina bathroom bill could have cost the state $3.76 billion over 10 years.
  • During a fight over an anti-transgender bathroom bill in 2017, the Texas Association of Business estimated $8.5 billion in economic losses, risking 185,000 jobs in the process due to National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and professional sporting event cancellations, a ban on taxpayer funded travel to those states, cancellation of movie productions, and businesses moving projects out of state.

TOMORROW: HRC To Hold Emergency Press Conference To Discuss Passage Of First Anti-Transgender & Anti-LGBTQ Bills of 2021

Thursday, March 4th, the Human Rights Campaign will be hosting an emergency virtual press conference to discuss the passage of SB 2536, an anti-transgender sports ban bill in Mississippi, marking the first time in 2021 that a specifically anti-transgender bill will be sent to a governor’s desk, and SB 124, a religious refusal bill in South Dakota that marked the first anti-LGBTQ bill sent to a governor’s desk. Today’s press call will include reaction from Human Rights Campaign President Alphonso David, expert analysis from State Legislative Director and Senior Counsel, affected voices from the states and perspective from in-state advocates who will detail the bills and offer context for other anti-transgender bills making its way through state legislatures across the country.

PLEASE RSVP BY EMAILING WYATT.RONAN@HRC.ORG

WHAT:

Press call discussing the passage of SB 2536, the first anti-transgender bill of 2021

WHO:

Alphonso David, President, Human Rights Campaign

Cathryn Oakley, State Legislative Director & Senior Counsel, Human Rights Campaign

Janna Farley, ACLU of South Dakota

Jarvis Dorth, ACLU of Mississippi

Katy Binstead, parent of a transgender young person in Mississippi

WHERE:

Zoom Virtual Press Link here. (passcode: 880430) (Please RSVP to wyatt.ronan@hrc.org)

WHEN:

Thursday, March 4th, 2021 – 9:45 am ET

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organizations working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

Legislative Update: Anti-LGBTQ Bills Moving In 6 States

HRC Tracking 147 Anti-LGBTQ Bills, 73 Explicitly Anti-Transgender Bills

The legislative fight to pass discriminatory anti-transgender legislation has been fast and furious, led by national groups aiming to stymie LGBTQ progress made on the national level and in many states. The Human Rights Campaign is currently tracking 147 anti-LGBTQ bills across the country, including 73 explicitly anti-transgender bills. Three of these bills have already been passed and could soon be signed into law, and more are coming. We are tracking 37 bills aimed at banning transgender kids from playing sports, 25 bills aimed at limiting medical care for transgender people, and 22 bills to allow discrimination under the guise of religious freedom.

In Mississippi and South Dakota, state legislators have already passed bills targeting LGBTQ people, sending three pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation to the governor for signature or veto. Both states passed bills to ban transgender girls from playing sports. South Dakota legislators also passed a religious refusal bill granting a license to discriminate against LGBTQ people.

Yesterday, an anti-transgender sports bill in Arkansas, SB 354, was also considered by a Senate committee and recommended for passage. Today, three more anti-LGBTQ bills will be heard in committees in state legislatures across the country.

Arkansas’ HB 1570, an anti-transgender medical bill, is expected to have a hearing in House Public Health, Welfare and Labor Committee.

New Hampshire’s HB 198, an anti-transgender sports bill, will be heard in the House Education Committee.

Tennessee’s HB 1233 is scheduled for a hearing in the K-12 Subcommittee. It is known locally as the “student bathroom bill 2.0” because it would deny transgender Tennesseans access to the bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.

Tomorrow, seven anti-equality bills will be heard, five of which explicitly target the transgender community.

Alabama’s HB 1/SB 10, which would make it a felony to provide gender-affirming care to transgender kids, will be heard in the state’s House Health Committee.

In Arkansas, a hearing is expected in the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday for the anti-transgender sports bill SB 450.

In Missouri, a hearing is expected on HB 33, which would ban gender affirming care for transgender kids.

In Montana, a hearing is expected at 3 PM MST on SB 99, which would require school districts to obtain written consent from a parent in order to teach their child sex ed and ban organizations like Planned Parenthood from offering any instructional materials.

In New Hampshire, HB 440 would allow discrimination against LGBTQ people under the guise of religious liberty. A hearing is scheduled for 9 AM on Wednesday in the House Judiciary Committee’s executive session.

In Tennessee, two more anti-LGBTQ bills are slated for hearings on Wednesday. HB 578 is an anti-transgender healthcare bill, and SB 1224 is an anti-transgender bathroom bill.

 

analysis illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

Sphere We Go! STEM Exhibit

WonderWorks Orlando Unveils New STEM Exhibit Explaining Earth’s Spheres: Sphere We Go!

WonderWorks Orlando announces the opening of a new exhibit focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The new exhibit topic will focus on the layers of the Earth’s spheres and is scheduled to open March 11, 2021.

“Earth is a topic that most people love to learn about, so we are excited about this new exhibit,” says Brian Wayne, general manager of WonderWorks Orlando. “This will give families a fun way to learn about this STEM topic, whether it’s just for fun or if they are looking for a way to expand upon their child’s formal education.”

The new exhibit will help teach people about the four different layers in Earth’s spheres, including the lithosphere (or geosphere), hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. In addition to learning about each layer, the exhibit also explains how the four layers interact with each other. The new exhibit will include images and content to read. There is also a 3D hologram high-definition video–no special glasses required–that provides a visual explanation of the layers and how they interact, to enhance the viewing experience.

STEM education, according to the National Inventors Hall of Fame, focuses on teaching children real-world applications that help develop a variety of skill sets. Some of the skills children gain through STEM education include technology literacy, problem solving, creativity, curiosity, critical thinking and being innovative. Finding ways to introduce them to STEM topics in a fun way can help to get them more interested.

“We look forward to helping families learn more about the spheres that make up Earth,” added Wayne. “We continue in our mission of making learning fun!”

To choose the name for the new poll, WonderWorks held a poll asking people to choose from three names. Employees and social media users weighed in, with the following being the outcome of the exhibit name poll: Sphere We Go! is the official new name of the exhibit.

  1. Sphere We Go! – 51% of the vote
  2. Get Outta Sphere! – 38%
  3. Sphere Not These Earthly Layers! – 11%

Additional onsite and community programs include the WonderWorks WonderKids event, virtual learning labs, FLO-Art Florida Youth Art Gallery, science fair partnerships, online science information and worksheets and a homeschool program. WonderWorks Orlando also offers various STEM activities, including virtual learning labs, onsite exhibits, activities and more.

To learn more about the programs offered at WonderWorks Orlando, visit the site.

Due to a county-wide mask restriction in Orlando, guests will need to bring one with them. WonderWorks does also have some for sale onsite. WonderWorks has implemented COVID-19 safety protocols, including reduced capacity and hours, enhanced cleaning efforts, social distancing measures, hand sanitizer stations, employee health screenings and employee personal protective equipment (PPE). Guests are encouraged to review all safety rules before their visit on the webpage devoted to COVID-19.

About WonderWorks

WonderWorks, the upside-down adventure, is a science-focused indoor amusement park for the mind that holds something unique and exciting for visitors of all ages. Guests enter through an upside-down lobby with the ceiling at their feet, the ground above their head and must pass through an inversion tunnel to turn right side up. There are three floors of nonstop “edu-tainment,” with over 100 hands-on and interactive exhibits that serve a STEM educational purpose to challenge the mind and spark the imagination. WonderWorks Orlando is also home to The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show. WonderWorks is located in Orlando, Pigeon Forge, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Syracuse and Branson. For more information, visit the site.

Copyright article illustration by Rita Azar for 360 Magazine

The Basics to Avoiding Copyright Strikes On Your Social Media Accounts

Creating content that fuel your social media needs has never been easier and the production of any output can be completed with a minimum of fuss. So whenever you are putting together a great video post or sending out a new podcast, you may not take adequate notice of what perils may lay in store.

Given that we are pretty much glued to our devices 24/7, we can sometimes get caught up in the moment. You may be looking to become a key influencer and feel that you need to jazz up your content with a great musical soundtrack or you may just post something with extreme haste because you want to be ahead of the curve, but beware.

Posting content that includes copyright protected material, be that music of video, could well lead to a great deal of pain and suffering. The financial penalties for doing so are pretty huge and in some cases you could be risking imprisonment. 

However there is the additional, more likely, scenario which would involve you receiving a copyright strike on your account.

What is a Copyright Strike?

A copyright strike is one that is issued by an organization, in this case a social media channel such as YouTube, Facebook or TikTok, and you’ll receive this if they either believe you have committed a copyright offence or they’ve been informed that you have done so.

A strike in this instance is most likely to come in the form of a DMCA notice, the DMCA in this instance stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. When receiving this strike you will be asked to prove you have the license needed to use the copyright protected media, such as music or video you may have used in your social media post.

On receiving these strikes, and some networks allow more than one before they act, you will be given a warning. However it’s likely that repeated violations will lead to your account being suspended and then deleted.

You Will Not Get Away With It

You may think that you can go ‘under the radar’ with your illegal use of copyright material but technology used by the likes of Facebook can single out these uses within a matter of seconds and the violations are dealt with on the spot.

Even if you feel you have been unfairly treated, perhaps believing that the music you are using was clear for use, the chances of you entering into a dialogue with any social media company are slim.

Most social networks make the prospect of reversing such copyright strikes next to impossible, they do so for two reasons. Firstly they know that entering into a conversation about potential violations would be hugely resource heavy for their site and secondly they don’t benefit from the resolution either way.

In other words the social media networks are more keen on avoiding any repercussions from mainstream music publishers of film production companies than assisting you in a case that is likely to fail.

How to Avoid a Copyright Strike?

The most common reason a social media user will use copyright protected music is that they feel that the use of a strong piece of music, or a sound effect, will increase the chance of their product being spread and virality achieved. 

However there are many great royalty-free music options where you can secure great songs and effects for a fraction of the cost of securing a license from recognized artists. 

Another additional benefit of subscribing to such a service is the vast libraries of great musical content that you have available, all to suit whatever need you wish to serve.

Royalty-free music providers essentially give you access, for a very small fee, to content that is free to be used as you wish and without any fear of a penalty or removal from the sites you use them on.

A big key to avoiding a copyright strike on the whole is the use of caution. Always be aware that whatever you post on your social media channels will be monitored and therefore behave with as much care as you possibly can.

A copyright strike isn’t something you can ignore and it’s something you should do your utmost to avoid. If you receive a strike it’s almost certainly justified and with any luck you may be fortunate to get away with a stern warning but more and more often this will result in a ban and possible additional censure and punishment.

If you are an individual who is seeking to become an influencer, or have a large audience who already follows your output, you simply can’t afford to be taken off the channels that you operate on, it’s simply not worth the risk or hassle.

Also, if you simply use social media for personal use, you still will greatly miss these channels if you are banned from using them. Always err on the side of vigilance when using any accompanying material for your posts, otherwise you may get a nasty surprise the next time you try to sign in to your accounts…

Rita Azar illustration for entrepreneur article for 360 MAGAZINE

Art and design incubator at FIU develops entrepreneurial leaders in the creative sector

By: Tatianna Basanta

Quincy Chery is an artist, professional barber and a self-proclaimed “jack of all trades.” Growing up, he had a knack for creating one-of-a-kind products you could not find anywhere else. He has mass-produced a myriad of things ranging from phone cases and basketballs to his own original clothing line. 

While earning his undergraduate degree in art, Chery found a place that allowed him to not only structure and lay out his designs more clearly, but also to develop his own brick-and-mortar-store where he could sell his work. That place was the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator (RA+DI) at Florida International University

FIU’s Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator is an innovative arts entrepreneurship space for teaching art and design students how to turn their ideas into profitable businesses.

Chery is now the proud owner of the Cutting Gallery, a barbershop and art gallery storefront in Miramar, Florida, where he cuts hair professionally, and sells his original creations and the work of other local artists around South Florida.

“Being involved in the incubator allowed me to meet and connect with some truly talented artists,” Quincy says. “And now with my store, I get to showcase and expose their work to the community. As an artist, one of the things that hinder us the most is, you can be talented, but no one sees your work. I have been able to take what I learned in school, and the connections I made, and combine them to benefit the art community.”

And he is just one of many success stories to come out of the incubator. 

The Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator launched in 2017, in collaboration with FIU’s College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts and The Philip E. and Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation, with an initial cohort of eight fellows. 

Each year, the incubator selects a new cohort of fellows for a one or two-year residency to work with two faculty designers who operate their own on-site studios while also overseeing the fellows’ development of startup businesses or patents. Each fellow also receives a full scholarship during their residency.

The incubator is now on its fourth cohort.

Bridging the gap between talent and entrepreneurship:

The incubator’s focus on art and design sets it apart from other incubators. Fellows learn about the business side of an artistic operation, including marketing, running a company, seeking venture capital, scaling and packaging. They come to understand how their practice as designers and artists translates directly to business as they design, demonstrate, pitch and sell their products, combining experiential learning, fieldwork and professional networking.

“Entrepreneurship education within academic art and design departments has been introduced into our university curricula to prepare graduates to actively participate in the process of building creative economies in our distinct communities,” said Jacek Kolasiński, director of the RA+DI. “These initiatives have focused on a search for new strategies and prospects to empower young artists and designers to create more sustainable economic futures for themselves and foster their creative energies to re-envision our future and prepare them to solve society’s most pressing challenges.”

RA+DI trains students to become employers who will create jobs instead of having to seek employment. Additionally, there is a focus on developing entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who design products for underrepresented communities.

Fellow Latricia Russell joined the incubator in 2018 and launched LR Beauty Co., her namesake beauty brand that offers professional makeup, skin therapy and hair braiding. She discovered the RA+DI while on her way to class one day and asked Kolasiński about renting out space for a beauty event she was hosting. Kolansińki ended up explaining how the fellowship program could actually grow her business and encouraged her to apply.

“I’m a thinker. I like to plan everything before taking action but participating in RA+DI has helped me to not just plan, but also how to act on my plans,” Russell said. “I feel more confident about testing my ideas and now affectionately refer to the incubator as ‘a space for doers.’”

After completing her fellowship and graduating from FIU, Russell had the skills she needed to convert her business from a travel studio experience, where she drove to and serviced clients on-location exclusively, to opening her own beauty studio. 

Art, design and technology all come together:

The Ratcliffe Incubator also uses its platform to help others understand how art, design and technology shape our world. And it is bringing these conversations right to people’s homes with its new podcast series titled “Ratcliffe Technology Conversations.” 

RA+DI director, Kolansińki, leads the series where he, along with guests, fellows, other artists and designers explore how technology merges in our world, our communities and all around us with topics ranging from NASA design and technology, to mangroves and the future of art and design during these unprecedented times.

“’RA+DI Technology Conversations’ is a program for everyone interested in technology and new tools to transform creative practices, business endeavors and personal lives,” Kolansińki says.

Its first episode “Mission to Mars” featured NASA project manager Andrew Johnson, who worked on Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN). TRN enables the Perseverance rover, which is set to land on Mars on February 18, 2021, to send back vital information of life on the planet. 

“Ratcliffe Technology Conversations” can be streamed on Spotify

 Philanthropic ties:

The late Philip and Carole Ratcliffe created the Ratcliffe Foundation in 2003 with a vision to provide access to education and training for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners to grow their ventures, create jobs and expand economic opportunities in local communities.

Based in Annapolis, Maryland, the Ratcliffe Foundation provides funds to institutions to encourage entrepreneurship in non-traditional business fields such as skilled trades, arts & design and aquaculture & environmental sciences. It strives to integrate its programs with local communities through mentorships and business involvement. 

“The FIU Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator aligns closely with our foundation’s vision and we are deeply pleased to support its mission to provide students in creative fields with the tools necessary to succeed as entrepreneurs,” said Carlene Cassidy, chief executive officer of the Philip E. & Carole R. Ratcliffe Foundation.

The Ratcliffe Foundation donated an initial gift of $831,000 in 2017 to open the incubator at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami, followed by a secondary gift of $631,000. The gifts provided funding for the incubator for a three-year period, $450,000 in scholarships, monthly lecture series, state-of-the-art technology, office space, a small business library, market research assistance, legal and accounting support, seed capital programs and training.

Last November, the Ratcliffe Foundation awarded the incubator another $2.5 million gift to aid in the incubator’s mission of developing diverse, entrepreneurial leaders in the creative sector and boost South Florida’s economy. 

The gift also supports micro-credentialing, co-curricular and experiential programming, and competition and entrepreneurship showcases, among other initiatives.

“This new four-year commitment from the Ratcliffe Foundation is a testament to the success of the early stages of this program and to its bright future. We are deeply grateful to the Foundation for its partnership as we continue to elevate and expand the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator,” said Oliver Ionita, CARTA’s senior director of development.

Helping in a time of need:

Early last year, the foundation also provided an additional emergency grant of $10,000 for the purchase of five 3-D printers that allowed the incubator to print more than 1,000 face shields for local healthcare workers in conjunction with FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios and College of Engineering & Computing

It gave the RA+DI fellows a unique opportunity to learn how to produce essential personal protective equipment (PPE) and serve the community.

Some RA+DI fellows also used the opportunity to expand their own fellowship business projects to help the community during the height of the pandemic.

Arina Polyanskaya took her business project, Re-dress — which focuses on repurposing second-hand clothing into custom fabric squares for furniture designs, pet beds and more — and created face masks for the community. With the help and support from the Ratcliffe Incubator, Polyanskaya created more than 50 masks in just four weeks. 

“A family member of mine works in a local hospital and, since the beginning of quarantine, she’s been really concerned with the amount of protective wear available for health care workers, as well as for the general public,” Polyanskaya adds. “Making fabric squares felt inappropriate with this pandemic going on, so I thought there must be a way to utilize my skills and materials in assisting with controlling the spread of the virus. And I found it through sewing face masks.”

Other fellows provided the community with a much-needed escape amidst the pandemic through their art.

Denis Rovinsky opened his own art studio and shared virtual exhibitions for the public to enjoy. His work focuses on kinetic installations that use sound and light as a means of expression. Growing up in Russia, Rovinsky didn’t think a career as an artist was in his future, but he says the incubator helped him learn to think like an entrepreneur and “show him the path to becoming an artist without starving to do it.”

Whether it is current or former fellows, this one-of-a-kind incubator based in South Florida, is giving artists and designers a look into the business world and a space to turn their ideas into reality while creating their own employment opportunities.