Posts tagged with "Facebook post"

Bermuda Triangle in Britain? Thousands of UK racing pigeons disappear in midair

July 8, 2021

They flew the coop—and vanished into thin air. British bird handlers are devastated after a mind-boggling 5,000 homing pigeons seemingly disappeared during a race across the United Kingdom in late June, the New York Post reports.

“We’ve seen one of the very worst ever racing days in our history,” pigeon hobbyist Richard Sayers wrote in a Facebook post chronicling the feathery fiasco, which occurred after 9,000 racing birds took off from Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, on a journey to the northeast. And while the 170-mile round-trip flight should only have taken three hours, over half the avian competitors were unaccounted for at the finish line.

They were reportedly part of 250,000 pigeons released in approximately 50 racing events across the country—

It’s unclear what prompted the squab squadrons to seemingly vanish—however,  many breeders are “blaming the atmospheric conditions, possibly a solar storm above the clouds that created static in the atmosphere,”according to the Post,

Ian Evans, CEO of the Royal Pigeon Racing Association, finds the Bermuda Triangle-esque disappearance especially baffling as “weather conditions across the country were good.” He added that “there was nothing to suggest that any birds would struggle to get home.”

To help re-coop-erate losses, Sayers is imploring “anyone who comes across a racing pigeon to feed, water and let it rest,” whereupon “there’s an 80% chance the birds will get on their way after a few days,” he told The Daily Mail. The North Yorkshire native added that the homing pigeons can be identified by a leg ring denoting their “code and number.”

To prevent such disasters in the future, Royal Pigeon Racing Association boss Evans is holding talks with the UK’s national weather service to obtain reports on any unusual solar activity.

Research contact: @nypost

Faint praise: How ‘flattering’ became fashion’s ultimate F-word

August 14, 2020

Faint praise: How ‘flattering’ became fashion’s ultimate F-word If you asked someone how your outfit looked, and they said, “Fine,” how would you feel? Not so great? But what if he or she looked you up and down and said, “Flattering”?

‘I’ve got loads of dresses that I bought because someone in the changing room told me they were flattering,” Billie Bhatia, the Fashion Features editor at Stylist magazine, recently told The Guardian in an interview. “In that moment, I feel lifted. My insecurities about my body are erased.”

But Bhatia, 30, has been having second thoughts about the word. “Occasionally, it means a great color that makes your skin glow, but most of the time ‘flattering’ is just a byword for ‘slimming’,” she said “If someone delivered the same compliment, but substituted the word ‘slimming’ for ‘flattering’, would you think that was an OK way to talk to a woman? No, right? Everyone likes to hear a compliment. But ‘flattering’ is a dangerous word.”

In 2017, the perfect pair of jeans was “on-trend”. In 2018, it was “fierce”; last year it was “extra”. Right now, it is “dripping”. In fashion, every season comes with a new form of shorthand. But one compliment—“flattering”—has outlived them all, selling more jeans, more party dresses, and more swimsuits than any other word.

“Flattering” is fashion clickbait, an add-to-basket dog whistle. Except when it’s not: For Generation Z—roughly speaking, those born between 1995 and 2010 –“flattering” is becoming a new F-word.

To compliment a woman on her “flattering” dress is passive-aggressive body-policing, sneaked into our consciousness in a Trojan horse of sisterly helpfulness, The Guardian notes.  It is a euphemism for fat-shaming, a sniper attack slyly targeting our hidden vulnerabilities. “Flattering”, in other words, is cancelled.

The British model Charli Howard, 29, has been a force for change in the fashion industry since 2015, when an angry Facebook post she wrote about her then-agency saying she was too big – she was a UK size 10/12 – went viral. “The issue with the word ‘flattering’,” says Howard, now an activist for model diversity and healthy body-image, “is that we instantly associate it with looking thin and therefore looking ‘better’. It suggests your tummy looks flatter or that your waist looks smaller. I find it’s a phrase older generations use. Girls I speak to from generation Z tend not to use it. Those girls see a diversity on social media that older generations didn’t. Celebrating your flaws is considered cool these days.”

“Magazines that I grew up with never went an issue without a ‘how to fix your body issues’ article,” Emma Davidson, 33, the Fashion Features editor at Dazed Digital, told The Guardian. “It was either about how to look slimmer or about ‘adding curves to a boyish body’. The message was that whatever you looked like, it wasn’t good enough.”

Until recently, Davidson said, “there were lots of things I didn’t wear because I thought I was ‘too big’. In the last few years, I’ve begun to accept and celebrate myself. The word ‘flattering’ is part of how fashion tells women that they are taking up too much space in the world. That’s just wrong on so many levels.”

It would be cheering to report that the word “flattering” is, therefore, being retired from active duty; phased out as society casts aside the cult of skinniness and learns to celebrate beauty in diverse shapes and sizes. The truth, sadly, is rather more complicated. With a few laudable exceptions – Eckhaus Latta’s all-sizes casting at New York Fashion Week, Vogue covers for plus-size models Ashley Graham and Paloma Elsesser—fashion’s bodily ideal remains stubbornly narrow. The pantheon of supermodels has yet to admit any woman over a size 8.

Kendall Jenner, Kaia Gerber and Bella Hadid—the most high-profile models of the moment—are as thin as or thinner than any era of cover girls before them. Every designer, every fashion retailer and every changing-room assistant will tell you that women always start with shape when shopping for clothes. “Flattering” is very much alive, and selling clothes.

What’s more, some women are protective of “flattering” as a practical shopping aid, a friendly word rather than a toxic one. “Flattering” can describe clothes that feel like they have been made with the real female body in mind, rather than clothes that have been conceived to promote an abstract concept of design, or a trend.

At the British label Me+Em, Clare Hornby, 51, and her female-led design team are proud to give their customers flattering clothes, The Guardian notes. “We listen to our customers first and then create a functional yet chic offering that speaks to their needs, rather than us telling them what they should be wearing simply because it’s ‘on-trend’,” says Hornby.

“A perfect example is our zip-front necklines: a lot of customers with larger bust sizes commented that they avoided button-up designs, so we came up with an alternative that means you can choose your own neckline – catering to lots of different shapes – but that also adds a contemporary, sports-luxe feel that speaks to our aesthetic. Turn-up cuffs on trousers and jackets, adjustable draw-cord waists, removable belts – all these intelligent design details are important, because there is no one cookie-cutter body shape.”

So, it seems that the disquiet around the word, “flattering,” isn’t about pretending that our body hang-ups have gone away, but about a rising consciousness of where those hang-ups come from. “Insecurities don’t just go away overnight,” says Davidson. “I have had a lot of unlearning to do.”

Research contact: @GuardianUS

As he continues to trail Biden in the polls, Trump demotes campaign manager Brad Parscale

July 17, 2020

President Donald Trump announced a new campaign manager for his 2020 re-election effort on Wednesday, July 15—less than four months before voters head to the polls—in an effort to reset a campaign that has already been through multiple failed reboots, according to NBC News.

The announcement comes as the president lags further behind his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, in most national polls.

It also comes as The Raw Story reports that Twitter users are speculating this week that Trump demoted Brad Parscale because he was caught “canoodling” with Trump “crush” and former White House staffer Hope Hicks.

Indeed, The Raw Story notes, during Trump’s 2016 run for office, then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also was demoted after he was said to have dated Hicks.

Trump said in Facebook post, and later on Twitter after the cyberattack on the platform, that he was removing Parscale—and tapping deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien, a veteran Republican operative, to take over.

Stepien was campaign manager for both of former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s gubernatorial runs and served as his deputy chief of staff, but he was fired in 2014 in the Bridgegate scandal that plagued Christie.

“Both were heavily involved in our historic 2016 win, and I look forward to having a big and very important second win together,” Trump said. “This one should be a lot easier as our poll numbers are rising fast, the economy is getting better, vaccines and therapeutics will soon be on the way, and Americans want safe streets and communities!”

Stepien was named deputy campaign manager in May in an effort to layer Parscale, who had been campaign manager for more than two years but had come under fire in the last few months for lagging poll numbers. He will keep his digital and data strategy duties, the campaign said.

Parscale had boasted that millions of tickets were sold for Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last month, which brought lower-than-expected turnout and left the president fuming. His demotion comes as polls show Biden holding a double-digit lead nationally over Trump, with 70% of voters saying the country is on the wrong track.

In Stepien, NBC News notes,  the campaign gets a much more analytical, traditional political operative. Before going over to the campaign, he served as the White House’s political director through the 2018 election cycle, during which he was responsible for having a granular, county-by-county understanding of the political landscape.

Research contact: @NBCNews