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Alfred Borrow 2021-05-18
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The search giant unveils a flurry of privacy features at its annual developers conference.
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0
Alfred Borrow 2021-03-12
img
COVID-19, one year later: Ars staff looks back on... truly something else.
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0
Alfred Borrow 2021-01-22
img
There's a lot going on in addition to some of Biden's high-profile moves.
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0
Alfred Borrow 2020-10-07
img
If the Apple Watch doesn’t satisfy your fitness tracking needs, then maybe you need the new Polar Vantage V2, one of the most hardcore wearables available.
collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2021-05-14
img
Emotionally powerful narratives will keep people riveted by your business book. Fiction can show you how to write them.
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0
Alfred Borrow 2021-03-04
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If you were bullied or excluded as a child or adolescent, it might not surprise you to learn that studies have shown how peer victimisation can have long-term effects. That’s certainly been the case for me.

For decades, I’ve struggled with low-grade depression, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy and underachievement that have persisted despite years of therapy. I won’t argue that my mental health issues stem only from the bullying I encountered in school, but those experiences ― and my lifelong shyness, hypersensitivity and self-consciousness, which made me a perfect target for bullying and exclusion ― have had a lasting effect on me.

One day in 2019 while I was procrastinating at work, I started thinking about a girl who had rejected me in 7th grade. The rejection still stung whenever I thought about it. I wondered if she remembered how she ended our friendship and if she had any regrets. 

Suddenly, I had an idea. Why not interview my former classmates from middle and high school — not only the people who bullied me, but all of my female peers, including the bullies, the bullied and those who seemed to be neither — about their experiences with the social scene when we were growing up in our Westchester, New York town? It seemed like such a good idea that I brushed aside the discomfort I felt about contacting people who, in some cases, I hadn’t spoken to in 40 years!

Thanks to social media, it was easy to find many of my former classmates. I began sending messages to them describing my project and I asked them if they would be willing to participate. Many of the women I contacted responded immediately. While some claimed they didn’t remember much about those years, others were enthusiastic and told me they had a lot to share.

So far, I have interviewed nearly 30 people, and I’m hoping to interview many more.  

Sometimes individuals bully others because someone is bullying them. That was certainly the case with one former classmate I contacted who had relentlessly tormented me during middle school. At first, she was reluctant to talk to me. She ignored my initial Facebook message but when I followed up, she wrote back, “Simone, hope all is well with you. It’s a little hard for me to participate in this. I was not always nice to you. I am so sorry for that.”

I responded and reassured her that I was interviewing all of the women in our class and not singling her out. A few minutes later, I was stunned to find my telephone ringing. It was my former bully.

“I’m so sorry,” she said repeatedly during our call. “I swear I’m not a bad person. I think about what I did to you all the time. I don’t know why I chose you. I had a miserable home life.” She revealed some of the trauma she’d been through and, though I might have guessed that my classmate came from a troubled background, hearing it from her own lips made all the difference. I was finally able to forgive her, and (I hope) to help her to forgive herself.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she said repeatedly during our call. ‘I swear I’m not a bad person. I think about what I did to you all the time. I don’t know why I chose you. I had a miserable home life.’

I was surprised to learn that many of the “popular” girls paid a steep price for maintaining their social standing. As one former cheerleader told me, the girls in her clique were so mean to each other that she grew up distrusting other women. “I didn’t have a real female friend until I was 43,” she told me.

Another woman — whom I had also considered popular, smart and beautiful — learned early on that “loneliness was bad and I’d have to sacrifice to have friends.” She shared a story about being part of a group that excluded a classmate in 7th grade. “I was culpable and I think I immediately and forever thought that was my personal weakness. It was cruel ... I still feel guilty all these years later.” Subsequently, that woman called the excluded group member to apologise for hurting her. She later told me that the interaction brought great relief to both of them.

I spoke with about five women who were extremely athletic during their middle and high school years. All of them said that their athleticism served as a protective factor when it came to managing the social pressures of childhood and adolescence. Being good at sports made them feel confident and broke down barriers between the cliques that existed at school since they played on teams with members of various friend groups.

As one woman who transferred to our school in 9th grade told me, “I think because I was a swimmer, I had a certain amount of confidence. I had a recognition of my abilities and it gave me credibility and people didn’t pick on me.”

Another athlete shared a touching story about being a team captain in gym class. She recalled how, when picking teams, one girl in our grade was always chosen last. “One day, I don’t know why — I decided to pick [that girl] first. When I look back I can still see the smile on her face. It changed me that day. It made me realise that winning wasn’t the most important.”

My conversations with some of my classmates confirmed that many of the girls who appeared to have their lives together ― and even be thriving ― struggled just like the rest of us.

“I always felt like an outcast, like a little brown mouse,” said one woman who I thought was one of the prettiest, most athletic and well-liked in our class. “I’ll never forget the 7th grade dance. I was really excited about my outfit,” she told me. “I remember walking in and seeing this group of girls looking me up and down and giggling. It seemed like the whole dance stopped and I realised how mismatched I was. I thought, I am really out of touch; I am really uncool. I went to the bathroom and cried. Then I called my mother and she came and picked me up. To this day, I still feel like I can’t put clothes together.”

It was challenging to locate some of the women who were the victims of the most severe bullying. I assumed many didn’t want to be found and had chosen to leave their childhoods and adolescences far behind and never look back. However, I did manage to track down a few.

One woman told me, “I hated my school experience and experienced intense bullying ... It wasn’t until I reached high school that I located a community of people, and it was my perception that we were considered the ‘hippies’ and we carried a sort of stigma related to that.”

Another woman recalled being bullied at various times throughout elementary and middle school. “My mother told me to ‘turn the other cheek,’ but that didn’t work,” she said. “I had no way to stand up for myself, and at that age, kids don’t stand up for each other.” In 9th grade, she dropped out of school and ran away, eventually ending up in a private school where the bullying was even worse. In a third school, she said, the “kids had issues. I became a bully and I would kick them with my clogs. I got suspended and I remember thinking, Now I’m the strong one.

I was also forced to admit that I wasn’t always kind to others. While I do not believe that I ever overtly bullied anyone, I certainly gossiped about others and shunned classmates who I worried might threaten my own tenuous social status.

As I continued my project and began to process what I was learning, I unexpectedly found myself reflecting on my own behaviour during those years. I realised there were times when I chose to feel like a victim. I know there were classmates who admired my musical talent, who thought I was pretty and kind, but in some instances, I was too preoccupied with my own victimhood to recognise their affection.

I was also forced to admit that I wasn’t always kind to others. While I do not believe that I ever overtly bullied anyone, I certainly gossiped about others and shunned classmates who I worried might threaten my own tenuous social status. This was crystallised for me when a couple of women I interviewed mentioned that they felt “invisible” in school. “I wasn’t bullied, I just felt pushed aside like I didn’t belong here or there,” one woman told me. “It was just a feeling of being unwanted.” Hearing this made me regret not reaching out to her and others when I had the chance. 

I was gratified by almost every conversation I had with my former peers. While some of my impressions were validated (everyone I talked to seemed to recognise the same peer hierarchy), I found that others were completely off base. Being able to zoom out and get some perspective after all of these years underscored that we can never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives. And, though I may have been hurt by some of these people, learning about what they were experiencing has pushed me to be less judgmental about others.

This project has finally given me the opportunity to forgive the women who rejected and tormented me. After decades of hurt and resentment, I now see them as they were — young girls experiencing their own trials and tribulations, some common to many of us, others more painful than I can imagine. 

Perhaps most importantly, the experience of reconnecting with these women has helped to diminish years of insecurity and shame. I no longer see myself as inferior to the “popular” girls. In fact, my project has been greeted with admiration and excitement from many of the women I sought to impress so long ago. These changes have increased my self-confidence, and I have a new belief in my power, courage and worthiness. What’s more, my improved self-image has had positive implications for my work, relationships, and general sense of well-being. 

I won’t say that this type of project is right for everyone and I can’t claim that others will get the same results if they decide to reach out to individuals from their past. For some people, leaving the past behind might be the right way forward. Not everyone changes. Not everyone will be open to discussing what happened, much less to expressing contrition.

But, for me at least, confronting my childhood demons has been tremendously healing, and that’s something I wish for everyone, no matter who they are or were ― no matter how they hurt or were hurt.

Simone Ellin is a freelance writer and associate editor of Jmore magazine. This article first appeared on HuffPost Personal

Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected]

collect
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Alfred Borrow 2020-12-20
img
Business owner and mom-of-four Jessica Milicevic says working mothers should be able to work from home at least once a week - and we can't stop there.
collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2020-09-24
img
The US response to Chinese fishing reflects the role that fish have played in international power, writes Texas A&M history professor Blake Earle.
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0
Alfred Borrow 2021-03-25
img

With 30 years of hits to their name, even the most cynical of music fans could name at least one or two Take That songs they’ve enjoyed over the years.

Well, apart from long-serving band member Howard Donald, that is.

Asked about his favourite track from the group’s vast back catalogue during a recent interview, Howard joked: “I don’t like any of them, they’re all shit.”

Speaking to the Events That Made Me podcast host Liz Taylor, Howard went on to clarify that he prefers dance and electronic music to the efforts usually put out by Take That.

Howard Donald

At the moment I’ve got 15 boxes of vinyl, all dance music from the late 80s and 90s, I’m sifting through – Beck, Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk, Human League, Gary Numan,” he explained.

“I generally listen to a lot of electronic music - I listen to a lot of dance music.”

But even if he’s not going to be spinning Take That’s greatest hits any time soon, one area Howard can’t fault them is with their elaborate live shows.

Take That performing live in 2018

He said: “We’ve always said we want people to walk out of those arenas and say: ’Wow. It was an amazing show. I got my money’s worth.

“Production wise, you could spend anywhere between £10 million to £15 million producing a show like that. Then obviously you’ve got to do enough shows to get your money back, otherwise you would be doing it for free. And we are a business at the end of the day.”

He added: “We never used to see guys at our show, and bit by bit the girlfriends would be bringing the guys, and the guys would have their arms in the air.

″[Then] you’d have boxes booked out with stag dos, singing along – whether they’re p*ssed or not, it doesn’t really matter. They’ve come along because they know Take That’s going to deliver a performance – whether you like the music or not.”

Take That pictured in the early years of their chart success

Howard was one of Take That’s original five members in the 1990s, and after going their separate ways in 1996, chose to join the hugely successful reunion in 2006.

He has remained with the group ever since, including when former members Robbie Williams rejoined for their Progress album.

Take That has been operating as a three-piece since September 2014, when Jason Orange made the decision to quit the band.

Listen to Howard’s interview on the Events That Made Me Podcast here.

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0
Alfred Borrow 2021-02-17
img
Kelly Ellis, who has frequently spoken publicly about gender and racial discrimination, said she quit after a discussion on pay "went south."
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0
Alfred Borrow 2020-10-26
img

Today, Xiaomi Group Vice President, Lu Weibing, announced that Xiaomi will provide 1 billion ($149 million) subsidies in all channels on the Chinese Double 11 ...

The post Redmi K30S Extreme Commemorative Edition confirmed to use a 144Hz high refresh screen & 5000 mAh battery appeared first on Gizchina.com.

collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2020-09-22
img
Social media groups are rife with peril, but for people coping with the virus—and those trying to treat it—they’re a valuable resource.
collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2021-03-18
img
We went inside the Super Scooper to learn how it fights forest fires from the sky and to see how aerial firefighters pilot the aircraft.
collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2021-02-09
img
Burry criticized apps that turn investing into a game and sell their order flows to Wall Street firms.
collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2020-10-22
img

Websites featuring get super-fast rating despite slower reality

In yet another indication that Google uses its domination of the search engine market to benefit its own services, SEO experts have noticed an unusual in-built benefit involve its YouTube video giant.…

collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2020-07-16
img
Certain fish in the ocean's depths are capable of absorbing more than 99.5% of light that reaches them, new research finds.
collect
0
Alfred Borrow 2021-05-18
img
The search giant unveils a flurry of privacy features at its annual developers conference.
Alfred Borrow 2021-03-25
img

With 30 years of hits to their name, even the most cynical of music fans could name at least one or two Take That songs they’ve enjoyed over the years.

Well, apart from long-serving band member Howard Donald, that is.

Asked about his favourite track from the group’s vast back catalogue during a recent interview, Howard joked: “I don’t like any of them, they’re all shit.”

Speaking to the Events That Made Me podcast host Liz Taylor, Howard went on to clarify that he prefers dance and electronic music to the efforts usually put out by Take That.

Howard Donald

At the moment I’ve got 15 boxes of vinyl, all dance music from the late 80s and 90s, I’m sifting through – Beck, Chemical Brothers, Kraftwerk, Human League, Gary Numan,” he explained.

“I generally listen to a lot of electronic music - I listen to a lot of dance music.”

But even if he’s not going to be spinning Take That’s greatest hits any time soon, one area Howard can’t fault them is with their elaborate live shows.

Take That performing live in 2018

He said: “We’ve always said we want people to walk out of those arenas and say: ’Wow. It was an amazing show. I got my money’s worth.

“Production wise, you could spend anywhere between £10 million to £15 million producing a show like that. Then obviously you’ve got to do enough shows to get your money back, otherwise you would be doing it for free. And we are a business at the end of the day.”

He added: “We never used to see guys at our show, and bit by bit the girlfriends would be bringing the guys, and the guys would have their arms in the air.

″[Then] you’d have boxes booked out with stag dos, singing along – whether they’re p*ssed or not, it doesn’t really matter. They’ve come along because they know Take That’s going to deliver a performance – whether you like the music or not.”

Take That pictured in the early years of their chart success

Howard was one of Take That’s original five members in the 1990s, and after going their separate ways in 1996, chose to join the hugely successful reunion in 2006.

He has remained with the group ever since, including when former members Robbie Williams rejoined for their Progress album.

Take That has been operating as a three-piece since September 2014, when Jason Orange made the decision to quit the band.

Listen to Howard’s interview on the Events That Made Me Podcast here.

Alfred Borrow 2021-03-12
img
COVID-19, one year later: Ars staff looks back on... truly something else.
Alfred Borrow 2021-02-17
img
Kelly Ellis, who has frequently spoken publicly about gender and racial discrimination, said she quit after a discussion on pay "went south."
Alfred Borrow 2021-01-22
img
There's a lot going on in addition to some of Biden's high-profile moves.
Alfred Borrow 2020-10-26
img

Today, Xiaomi Group Vice President, Lu Weibing, announced that Xiaomi will provide 1 billion ($149 million) subsidies in all channels on the Chinese Double 11 ...

The post Redmi K30S Extreme Commemorative Edition confirmed to use a 144Hz high refresh screen & 5000 mAh battery appeared first on Gizchina.com.

Alfred Borrow 2020-10-07
img
If the Apple Watch doesn’t satisfy your fitness tracking needs, then maybe you need the new Polar Vantage V2, one of the most hardcore wearables available.
Alfred Borrow 2020-09-22
img
Social media groups are rife with peril, but for people coping with the virus—and those trying to treat it—they’re a valuable resource.
Alfred Borrow 2021-05-14
img
Emotionally powerful narratives will keep people riveted by your business book. Fiction can show you how to write them.
Alfred Borrow 2021-03-18
img
We went inside the Super Scooper to learn how it fights forest fires from the sky and to see how aerial firefighters pilot the aircraft.
Alfred Borrow 2021-03-04
img

If you were bullied or excluded as a child or adolescent, it might not surprise you to learn that studies have shown how peer victimisation can have long-term effects. That’s certainly been the case for me.

For decades, I’ve struggled with low-grade depression, anxiety and feelings of inadequacy and underachievement that have persisted despite years of therapy. I won’t argue that my mental health issues stem only from the bullying I encountered in school, but those experiences ― and my lifelong shyness, hypersensitivity and self-consciousness, which made me a perfect target for bullying and exclusion ― have had a lasting effect on me.

One day in 2019 while I was procrastinating at work, I started thinking about a girl who had rejected me in 7th grade. The rejection still stung whenever I thought about it. I wondered if she remembered how she ended our friendship and if she had any regrets. 

Suddenly, I had an idea. Why not interview my former classmates from middle and high school — not only the people who bullied me, but all of my female peers, including the bullies, the bullied and those who seemed to be neither — about their experiences with the social scene when we were growing up in our Westchester, New York town? It seemed like such a good idea that I brushed aside the discomfort I felt about contacting people who, in some cases, I hadn’t spoken to in 40 years!

Thanks to social media, it was easy to find many of my former classmates. I began sending messages to them describing my project and I asked them if they would be willing to participate. Many of the women I contacted responded immediately. While some claimed they didn’t remember much about those years, others were enthusiastic and told me they had a lot to share.

So far, I have interviewed nearly 30 people, and I’m hoping to interview many more.  

Sometimes individuals bully others because someone is bullying them. That was certainly the case with one former classmate I contacted who had relentlessly tormented me during middle school. At first, she was reluctant to talk to me. She ignored my initial Facebook message but when I followed up, she wrote back, “Simone, hope all is well with you. It’s a little hard for me to participate in this. I was not always nice to you. I am so sorry for that.”

I responded and reassured her that I was interviewing all of the women in our class and not singling her out. A few minutes later, I was stunned to find my telephone ringing. It was my former bully.

“I’m so sorry,” she said repeatedly during our call. “I swear I’m not a bad person. I think about what I did to you all the time. I don’t know why I chose you. I had a miserable home life.” She revealed some of the trauma she’d been through and, though I might have guessed that my classmate came from a troubled background, hearing it from her own lips made all the difference. I was finally able to forgive her, and (I hope) to help her to forgive herself.

‘I’m so sorry,’ she said repeatedly during our call. ‘I swear I’m not a bad person. I think about what I did to you all the time. I don’t know why I chose you. I had a miserable home life.’

I was surprised to learn that many of the “popular” girls paid a steep price for maintaining their social standing. As one former cheerleader told me, the girls in her clique were so mean to each other that she grew up distrusting other women. “I didn’t have a real female friend until I was 43,” she told me.

Another woman — whom I had also considered popular, smart and beautiful — learned early on that “loneliness was bad and I’d have to sacrifice to have friends.” She shared a story about being part of a group that excluded a classmate in 7th grade. “I was culpable and I think I immediately and forever thought that was my personal weakness. It was cruel ... I still feel guilty all these years later.” Subsequently, that woman called the excluded group member to apologise for hurting her. She later told me that the interaction brought great relief to both of them.

I spoke with about five women who were extremely athletic during their middle and high school years. All of them said that their athleticism served as a protective factor when it came to managing the social pressures of childhood and adolescence. Being good at sports made them feel confident and broke down barriers between the cliques that existed at school since they played on teams with members of various friend groups.

As one woman who transferred to our school in 9th grade told me, “I think because I was a swimmer, I had a certain amount of confidence. I had a recognition of my abilities and it gave me credibility and people didn’t pick on me.”

Another athlete shared a touching story about being a team captain in gym class. She recalled how, when picking teams, one girl in our grade was always chosen last. “One day, I don’t know why — I decided to pick [that girl] first. When I look back I can still see the smile on her face. It changed me that day. It made me realise that winning wasn’t the most important.”

My conversations with some of my classmates confirmed that many of the girls who appeared to have their lives together ― and even be thriving ― struggled just like the rest of us.

“I always felt like an outcast, like a little brown mouse,” said one woman who I thought was one of the prettiest, most athletic and well-liked in our class. “I’ll never forget the 7th grade dance. I was really excited about my outfit,” she told me. “I remember walking in and seeing this group of girls looking me up and down and giggling. It seemed like the whole dance stopped and I realised how mismatched I was. I thought, I am really out of touch; I am really uncool. I went to the bathroom and cried. Then I called my mother and she came and picked me up. To this day, I still feel like I can’t put clothes together.”

It was challenging to locate some of the women who were the victims of the most severe bullying. I assumed many didn’t want to be found and had chosen to leave their childhoods and adolescences far behind and never look back. However, I did manage to track down a few.

One woman told me, “I hated my school experience and experienced intense bullying ... It wasn’t until I reached high school that I located a community of people, and it was my perception that we were considered the ‘hippies’ and we carried a sort of stigma related to that.”

Another woman recalled being bullied at various times throughout elementary and middle school. “My mother told me to ‘turn the other cheek,’ but that didn’t work,” she said. “I had no way to stand up for myself, and at that age, kids don’t stand up for each other.” In 9th grade, she dropped out of school and ran away, eventually ending up in a private school where the bullying was even worse. In a third school, she said, the “kids had issues. I became a bully and I would kick them with my clogs. I got suspended and I remember thinking, Now I’m the strong one.

I was also forced to admit that I wasn’t always kind to others. While I do not believe that I ever overtly bullied anyone, I certainly gossiped about others and shunned classmates who I worried might threaten my own tenuous social status.

As I continued my project and began to process what I was learning, I unexpectedly found myself reflecting on my own behaviour during those years. I realised there were times when I chose to feel like a victim. I know there were classmates who admired my musical talent, who thought I was pretty and kind, but in some instances, I was too preoccupied with my own victimhood to recognise their affection.

I was also forced to admit that I wasn’t always kind to others. While I do not believe that I ever overtly bullied anyone, I certainly gossiped about others and shunned classmates who I worried might threaten my own tenuous social status. This was crystallised for me when a couple of women I interviewed mentioned that they felt “invisible” in school. “I wasn’t bullied, I just felt pushed aside like I didn’t belong here or there,” one woman told me. “It was just a feeling of being unwanted.” Hearing this made me regret not reaching out to her and others when I had the chance. 

I was gratified by almost every conversation I had with my former peers. While some of my impressions were validated (everyone I talked to seemed to recognise the same peer hierarchy), I found that others were completely off base. Being able to zoom out and get some perspective after all of these years underscored that we can never really know what’s going on in other people’s lives. And, though I may have been hurt by some of these people, learning about what they were experiencing has pushed me to be less judgmental about others.

This project has finally given me the opportunity to forgive the women who rejected and tormented me. After decades of hurt and resentment, I now see them as they were — young girls experiencing their own trials and tribulations, some common to many of us, others more painful than I can imagine. 

Perhaps most importantly, the experience of reconnecting with these women has helped to diminish years of insecurity and shame. I no longer see myself as inferior to the “popular” girls. In fact, my project has been greeted with admiration and excitement from many of the women I sought to impress so long ago. These changes have increased my self-confidence, and I have a new belief in my power, courage and worthiness. What’s more, my improved self-image has had positive implications for my work, relationships, and general sense of well-being. 

I won’t say that this type of project is right for everyone and I can’t claim that others will get the same results if they decide to reach out to individuals from their past. For some people, leaving the past behind might be the right way forward. Not everyone changes. Not everyone will be open to discussing what happened, much less to expressing contrition.

But, for me at least, confronting my childhood demons has been tremendously healing, and that’s something I wish for everyone, no matter who they are or were ― no matter how they hurt or were hurt.

Simone Ellin is a freelance writer and associate editor of Jmore magazine. This article first appeared on HuffPost Personal

Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on [email protected]

Alfred Borrow 2021-02-09
img
Burry criticized apps that turn investing into a game and sell their order flows to Wall Street firms.
Alfred Borrow 2020-12-20
img
Business owner and mom-of-four Jessica Milicevic says working mothers should be able to work from home at least once a week - and we can't stop there.
Alfred Borrow 2020-10-22
img

Websites featuring get super-fast rating despite slower reality

In yet another indication that Google uses its domination of the search engine market to benefit its own services, SEO experts have noticed an unusual in-built benefit involve its YouTube video giant.…

Alfred Borrow 2020-09-24
img
The US response to Chinese fishing reflects the role that fish have played in international power, writes Texas A&M history professor Blake Earle.
Alfred Borrow 2020-07-16
img
Certain fish in the ocean's depths are capable of absorbing more than 99.5% of light that reaches them, new research finds.