Lupita’s speech is something that every little girl/woman needs to hear. Words that sadly, so many can relate to. So many dark skinned girls grow up thinking they are not beautiful because dark skin is  not the standard of beauty they are subjected to every day. In the media, in the “history” that we learn in school, in our very own culture, it is everywhere. No matter how much the people that love us tell us we are beautiful we still don’t accept it. In worse cases, the loved ones are the ones that do the most damage to the  self esteem of a dark skinned girl.

Personally, I am of a “lighter” complexion and I always am trying to get darker, haha. I think dark skin is beautiful and I wish so many more would embrace it. Especially those that have it! Be You. Be Beautfiful. Feel Worthy. Embrace Diversity. Love The Skin You’re In.

Kiev’s Euromaidan protesters began 2014 the same way they ended 2013: by rioting in the streets in an attempt to bring down their government. Key victories have already been won, with Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and his cabinet resigning. The demonstrators also forced the annulment of a new anti-protest law that was, ironically, the cause of much of their protesting.

The protesters haven’t been contented by this, however, and are still out in the streets, demanding the head of President Viktor Yanukovych and the staging of fresh elections. What began as a protest against the Ukrainian government’s close ties with Russian leader Vladimir Putin has become a focus for wider discontent. However, Yanukovych seems in no mood to relinquish his power. As the social unrest spreads across the country, its first post-Soviet President, Leonid Kravchuk, has gone as far as to warn that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. Dozens of people have lost their lives in just the last two days of violence.

At the end of January, VICE flew to Kiev as rioters hurled Molotov cocktails at police and the city turned into a battlefield.

Sign up for the Beta at

Follow VICE News here:

Dear friends,
The CIW’s 10-day, 10-city “Now is the Time” tour around the Southeast is fast-approaching. The call to Publix and Wendy’s to commit to uphold farmworkers’ human rights by joining the Fair Food Program will grow even stronger with your continued support!
Join farmworkers for the culminating witness of the tour: a powerful 24-hour vigil outside of the Southgate Publix in Lakeland, Friday March 14 to Saturday, March 15, followed by a spirited march to the final rally in downtown Lakeland.
Friday, March 14:
2:00 pm – Beginning of 24-hour vigil in front of Southgate Publix (2515 S. Florida Ave.)
7:00 pm – Candlelight Witness
Saturday, March 15:
1:00 – Tour Grand Finale — closing of the vigil and three mile march to downtown Lakeland!
Register today to join farmworkers and allies in this powerful witness.
An action of this magnitude is only made possible through the collective efforts of many. Here are some vital ways you can support the “Now is the Time” tour!: 
- Join the culminating witness side by side with farmworkers on March 14-15 — register here.
- Organize a caravan from your congregation or community and let us know about it.
Donate to Interfaith Action to help cover the costs of the tour — from transportation, food, action materials, and much more.
- Contribute winter jackets, warm socks, and gloves for farmworkers to stay warm while calling on Wendy’s at its headquarters in chilly Ohio. Drop them off at Cornerstone United Methodist Church (8200 Immokalee Rd., Naples) or contact Claire here to coordinate pick up.
- Spread the word in your congregation to encourage others to join. Bulletin insert is available here and bulletin language below.
“Join the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and Fair Food supporters from across the country for the culmination of the CIW’s 10-day, 10-city “Now is the Time” Tour Finale in Lakeland on Friday & Saturday, March 14 & 15 to continue calling on Publix to join the Fair Food Program. A 24-hour vigil begins at 2 pm on Friday, March 14 at the Southgate Publix (2515 S. Florida Ave., Lakeland) and farmworkers invite supporters to join for the grand finale at 1:00 pm on Saturday, March 15, when there will be a three-mile march to downtown Lakeland for the culminating rally. More information at, or email with any questions.”
Check out the “Now is the Time” website more resources and details on each of the stops.
See you on the tour!


To commemorate the 25th anniversary of their debut album (3 Feet High & Rising) this year, De La is re-releasing their “entire” catalog on line for free. Now the reason I keep putting entire in quotes is because, while they’re claiming it’s their “entire” catalog. Nothing that was released past 2001 is included in the downloads, Like 2004′s “The Grind Date” (a personal fav of mine). Or the 2009 Nike and iTunes exclusive “Are You In?” None the less, if you’d like to brush up on the group’s work, you can do so here The downloads will only be available for 25 hours, they started today @ 11AM and will end tomorrow @ noon. If you want to get in on this you need to hurry because at their website they’re saying it may be hours until the downloads are available for you after you enter your email address. Peace.

By Deepak Chopra, M.D., FACP, P. Murali Doraiswamy, MBBS, FRCP, Professor of Psychiatry, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina

Sleep crops up in unexpected places medically, as in the recent finding that for people suffering from bouts of depression, irregular sleep is often the first sign of an attack, and conversely, getting a good night’s sleep can help prevent the onset of depression. But the importance of sleep has become more global in recent years, involving it in obesity, for example, where bad sleep throws off the hormonal balance that tells the body when it’s hungry.

Even as sleep becomes more critical for all manner of bodily functions, this only highlights the mystery that is sleep. Sleep is certainly a physiological necessity, but neuroscience can hardly improve on Shakespeare’s observation after the guilty Macbeth cannot fall asleep.

Macbeth: Innocent sleep. Sleep that soothes away all our worries. Sleep that puts each day to rest. Sleep that relieves the weary laborer and heals hurt minds. Sleep, the main course in life’s feast, and the most nourishing.

Even in our advanced scientific age sleep rules its own domain, remaining essential without telling us why. Babies spend most of their days sleeping, but why? Why do creative solutions sometimes arrive in our sleep or soon after waking? (“A problem difficult at night is often solved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.” –John Steinbeck) Do plants go through rest cycles that are the equivalent of sleep? (Science’s inability to explain either the mechanisms or the purpose of sleep has been reduced to a geeky punchline: “The only well-established function of sleep is to cure sleeplessness.”)

Such puzzles have been made even more topical by a recent study in mice which showed that one of the roles of sleep may be to clear out the accumulated garbage from the brain. If this was the only explanation, however, then why do we need to spend one-third of our day unconscious – could evolution not have developed a system to clear out trash while we are awake (much like urination or defecation)?

Nor can we assume that being awake and conscious is simply the reverse of being asleep – a switch that’s turned on and off in some tiny alertness center deep in the brain. So-called lucid dreams appear even more real than everyday events, but when we wake up we realize that they are neurological illusions. What if the same is true of the reality we accept when wide awake?

Let’s take a look at some facts that may help us grapple with sleep’s mystery and its insights.

Sleep is a state where the organism’s consciousness is reduced or absent, and it loses the ability to use all nonessential muscles (in deep sleep you are essentially paralyzed and cannot move your limbs). Sleep follows a circadian (24 hour) clock regulated partly by sensors in the body, partly by will, and partly by the environment. Sleep on any given night cycles through different phases/stages such as deep sleep (non-REM) and rapid eye movement sleep (REM) – these are differentiated through EEG tracings.

From birth to old age there are dramatic changes in the amount of time humans spend in various sleep stages as well as overall sleep. Babies sleep for 15 or more hours, which then steadily decreases to 10-11 hours for children and adolescents, 8 hours for adults, and 6 hours for the elderly.

The amount of time spent in REM versus non-REM sleep also decreases through life. Premature babies spend almost all their sleep (some 75%) in REM sleep, whereas full-term babies typically spend about 8 hours nightly in REM, which drops to about 1-2 hours nightly in adults. During REM sleep the brain shows high activity (gamma waves) and high blood flow, sometimes even more than while awake, and scientists believe this is when the brain rehearses and consolidates actions and memories. On the other hand, non-REM sleep is associated with reduced blood flow as well as slow waves called delta waves.

Dreams mainly occur in REM sleep but may also occur in other sleep phases. One can only wonder what a newborn baby, who spends 8 hours in REM sleep, is dreaming about since it has had so little waking experience.

Most animal species studied appear to sleep. Many primates, such as monkeys, sleep as much as we do, about 10 hours. Dolphins and some other marine creatures can sleep with half their brain awake (unihemispherical sleep) to protect them from predators – total sleep of both brains may lead to drowning. There is still debate about whether or not migrating birds may be able to sleep even while flying (with one eye open, much the way humans can take a cat nap while standing up). For whatever reason, at least in captivity, carnivores (such as lions) need more sleep than herbivores (such as elephants and cows) – we don’t know if the same applies also to meat-eating versus vegan humans!

All of this interesting stuff illustrates how sleep is programmed into our genes and behaviors. In the next post we will look into how sleep fits into our evolution as well as the role of dreams.

Source: Gizmodo

“There’s a deceptively still body of water in Tanzania with a deadly secret—it turns any animal it touches to stone. The rare phenomenon is caused by the chemical makeup of the lake, but the petrified creatures it leaves behind are straight out of a horror film.

Photographed by Nick Brandt in his new book, Across the Ravaged Land, petrified creatures pepper the area around the lake due to its constant pH of 9 to 10.5—an extremely basic alkalinity that preserves these creatures for eternity. According to Brandt:

I unexpectedly found the creatures – all manner of birds and bats – washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania. No-one knows for certain exactly how they die, but it appears that the extreme reflective nature of the lake’s surface confuses them, and like birds crashing into plate glass windows, they crash into the lake. The water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds. The soda and salt causes the creatures to calcify, perfectly preserved, as they dry.

I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life’, as it were. Reanimated, alive again in death.

Brigitte Gynther, longtime Immokalee-based organizer, returns to Florida after a year on the front lines of struggle for justice in post-coup Honduras, where she coordinates the Stories of Honduras project on behalf of School of the Americas Watch. Brigitte works closely with leaders of Honduran human rights organizations at a time when small farmers, Indigenous leaders, social activists, journalists, lawyers and members of the LGBTQ community as well as the new LIBRE political party (formed out of recent resistance movements) are facing assassinations, death threats, repression and surveillance. US military aid contributes to the rapidly militarized society, where armed forces deployed nationwide in the name of fighting the Drug War often are used to target those working for justice.

In 2009, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops selected Brigitte for the prestigious Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award for her admirable efforts alongside the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Her talk on the human rights situation in Honduras — widely described as one of the world’s most violent nations — comes in the lead-up to national elections there in November, when it is feared that violence and repression may escalate even further.

Tuesday, October 1st

Naples at 3 PM:
Sanctuary of Cornerstone United Methodist Church
8200 Immokalee Rd, Naples, FL 34119

Fort Myers at 6:30 PM:
Sugden Welcome Center at Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd South, Ft. Myers, FL 33965

Plenty of free parking at both events — Talk is free and open to the public
(Donations welcomed for Honduras justice efforts.)

For more info, write:, or phone: (239) 986 9101


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