Spring is my all-time favorite season. The other day, I walked outside without my coat on and I could actually feel the sun on my skin. I'm so ready for the weather to get warmer and the flowers to bloom. So, of course, the best season of the year needs to have the best playlist of the year. This season is all about positivity and sunshine, so add these songs to your spring playlist to help the good vibes come your way.
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Summer is coming!
I live by New York City and I am so excited for all of the summer adventures.
An Open Bus Tour
These tours are so much fun on a nice, warm summer night!
Find A Restaurant With A Skyline View
Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Perfect opportunity to mingle with friends!
Picnic In Bryant Park
Krisztina Papp on Unsplash
This park is beautiful in the summer time.
Walk The High Line
Simon Bak on Unsplash
The High Line is always bustling.
See A Show and Walk Times Square
Sudan Ouyang on Unsplash
Times Square is always full of energy.
Summer in the city is almost just as amazing as the holidays in the city.
The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.
The history of photography is the recount of inventions, scientific discoveries and technical improvements that allowed human beings to capture an image on a photosensitive surface for the first time, using light and certain chemical elements that react with it.
The news of 1839 announcing the existence of a procedure to fix the images by chemical means caused a sensation: the daguerreotype was perceived as a prodigy. Other procedures soon appeared. The invention of the visiting card format and the standardization of practices opened the way to important photography studios specializing in portraiture.
The photography was used for documentary purposes: inventory missions, topographic surveys, identification cliches, scientific investigations and reports. Spread by books and the first illustrated magazines with photographic evidence, it accompanied industrial progress in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Quentin Bajac invites us to explore the limits and advances of photography's first fifty years and shows how some of the photographers of the time wanted it to be recognized as an art.
First photographic experiments
Around 1800, in England, Thomas Wedgwood managed to produce a negative black and white photograph in a darkroom on white paper or leather treated with silver nitrate, a white chemical that was known to darken when exposed to light. .
However, the image was not permanent, as it ended up completely darkening after a few minutes.
The first photograph
Photography, as we know it, was born in France in 1826 when Joseph Nicephore Niepce achieved the first photograph, "Point of view from the window at Le Gras". This image was made on a pewter sheet covered with bitumen diluted in lavender oil and recorded after 8 hours of exposure.
Daguerreotypes, emulsion plates, and wet plates occurred almost simultaneously in the mid-19th century after Niepce's discovery. These next three techniques were the ones that gave rise to the origin of modern photography.
The first color photograph
During the nineteenth century many chemists began to experiment to move from black and white photography to color photography. The first color photograph in history was baptized as "Tartan Ribbon" or "The Tartan Ribbon". This was taken in 1861 by photographer Thomas Sutton following the guidelines of British physicist James Clerk Maxwell.
The first color photograph was made with three negatives, which were obtained with blue, red and green filters. During development, these negatives were superimposed on a projection to create a single image.
This is how the first permanent color photograph was born in Great Britain, taken using a new 3-color additive system known as trichromacy.
However, this method did not fix the colors to the photo and, therefore, the first color photographic plate was patented in 1903 by the Lumiere brothers, which was brought to commercial markets in 1907 under the name Autochrome.
Years later, in 1935, the photographic plate was replaced by the first color photographic film invented by the Eastman Kodak Company and marketed as Kodachrome. But, in 1936 Agfa's version, called Agfa color, was here to stay.
Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers
Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.
As CNN writers, David G. Allan and Kristen Rogers highlight, "The researchers found children who felt connected to nature-feeling pleasure when seeing wildflowers and animals, hearing sounds of nature-engaged in altruism, or actions that helped other people."
Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers. When I was in elementary school, I remember how thrilled I would be whenever we had class field trips! Those field trips were always exhilarating and a whole new learning experience because we would learn how to work as a team and then begin to realize how teamwork will eventually lead to our success in the task performed.
Taking the time to carefully and analytically observe the sublime beauty of nature opens up brand new ways to take care of our planet in the efforts to further maintain the vitality of the biotic factors which govern our lives in a way. We get to become more eco-friendly and kids are exposed to that relationship early on making it easier for them to always strive to make our world a better place!
In fact, nature has been known to be the "natural healer" of many neurological diseases in both adults and children. For instance, medical journals have shed light on the fact that nature is a great cure for children suffering from autism, epilepsy, and stress-related disorders. Hence, kids should definitely be exposed to nature during the early stages of their life as they will become more inclined to appreciate the vitality and importance of it.
Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.
If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.
1. Realize that being burnt out doesn't mean that you're not good at what you do.
This is an affirmation that has become a little more real for me as I get busier. So often, I want to do my best in everything that I do, and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. The trouble starts when we overwork ourselves and work so hard that we forget why we do the things we're doing. It's the point in the semester where students start to feel burnt out, and I've started to feel it, too. I've realized that some days, I need a little bit more rest or a few more breaks than usual. That's OK. Taking a break or being exhausted doesn't mean that you're not good at what you do. Instead, I like to think about it as a simple nudge to re-direct. Yes, I hope you do big things. I hope you put your all into everything that you do, but I also hope you know that it's OK to step away. I also hope you know that it's normal to feel burnt out or discouraged or exhausted at times. However, I hope you have the discernment to realize when being burnt out becomes a regular routine and commit to change. I hope you have the courage to realize that the people who care the most often feel like they aren't caring enough. I hope you realize that you are good even when your performance isn't. Most of all, I hope you prioritize your mental health, and yes, that might mean taking a break or walking away. You can love what you do and realize that it's time to move on in a new direction, or perhaps, you can circle back to why you started. When you do that, I hope it all makes sense, but until then, take care of yourself. Be gentle with yourself, even when you aren't quite sure of your next steps.
2. Understand that no one is asking you to be perfect.
This is a huge thing for me, and it's something that I have to remind myself of more than I would like to admit. I am a raging perfectionist in everything that I do. I am easily my worst critic, and I realize that some of the expectations I hold for myself are unrealistic. Yes, by all means, I hope you set goals for yourself. I hope you strive for excellence, but I hope you realize that no one is asking for you to be perfect. We're all messy humans with strengths and weaknesses, but more importantly, we're all humans with a story. Embrace yours, even when it isn't perfect. I've found that the things we consider our greatest weaknesses are often the things that make us the most relatable. Understand that people are learning from you in ways that you may never know. Other people need you to be human to the fullest. More importantly, you need yourself to be human to the fullest. When you make mistakes, take responsibility and learn from them. When you make mistakes, remember that this isn't the first or the last mistake that you've made. Give in to grace. Each mistake is a step in your life, and without them, we wouldn't have growth. There are a whole lot better things to be than perfect. I hope you choose to be kind. I hope you choose to be empathetic. I hope you choose to be good. It's much better than being perfect, anyway.
3. Recognize that there's a lot more to this life than having it all together.
Our world puts a huge emphasis on making it seem like we have our lives together. The reality is, if we're being human to the fullest, we probably won't have it all together all the time. That's completely OK. You are allowed to feel and experience emotions and cry it out. You are allowed to ask for help and admit that you don't know what to do next. You are allowed to admit that you don't have all the answers, and I hope that you do. Humans are meant to live in community. We aren't meant to do this thing called life alone. Reach out to others for help, and be there for them when they need you, too. Don't be afraid to share your story. Every day won't be the best day, but every day will have a lesson. I'd challenge you to find that lesson, even when it's hard. You won't find that lesson if you're busy trying to cover it up. Looking back, some of the worst days have given me the best stories and lessons. I hope you'll find that the same is true for you, too.
4. Write it on your heart that whatever you do today is enough. Let it be enough for you.
It's so easy to tie up our worth or our success with our productivity. I'll be the first to admit that I get upset with myself if I accomplish twenty things one day and only five the next. I've realized the danger in the word "only" because it emphasizes what we've yet to do instead of what we've already done. Yes, there is always room for growth and improvement, but there is also room to celebrate the little victories. Maybe you made your bed or made it to work on time. Those things might not seem big, but they're still victories. I'd challenge to realize that even on your worst day, you are still loved. Someone once told me that although it might be a huge issue for me, other people probably won't notice or care. That isn't meant to be discouraging. It's meant to say that much of our struggle is internal. Most of the struggle is against our own expectations of success or unworthiness, not other people. I'd challenge you to realize that you are loved all the same, whether you get a 20 page research paper done or get a promotion or stay in bed all day. You are loved all the same even if you don't think you deserve to be loved. You are loved all the same whether you get everything done or nothing at all done. Whatever you do today is enough because you are enough. Let that sustain you today.
5. Your story isn't finished just yet.
Finally, a huge part of giving yourself grace is realizing that your story isn't over yet. If you messed up today, you can try again tomorrow. If you succeeded today, you can try again tomorrow. I would challenge you to look beyond your immediate situation and into the long-term. Yes, by all means, you are valid to worry or have feelings about something that you know is small. Just because it's small in the long-term doesn't mean it's small to you, and I completely understand that. I'm completely the same way. I hope you take your time to feel what you need to feel, but I hope you also realize when it's time to move on into the rest of your story. One of my favorite quotes is "You have to keep moving on, darling, or you'll miss the train to bigger things than this." Looking back, I wonder how many times I've missed the train to bigger things because I was too worried about a train that I missed in the past. I hope you don't live your life in regret. I hope you realize that it is never too late and you are never too far gone to choose what is good. Start wherever you are. Start in your doubt and in your fear and in your anticipation. Start in your worry or your excitement or your joy. Start wherever you are and keep going. Start with grace.
Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series
Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.
I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.
If you haven't watched it yet, gather your friends, pop the popcorn and unwrap the chocolates. It is Valentine's weekend and that means it's time for cheesy Netflix movies.
Here are a few takeaways and thoughts my friends and I had last night while watching this at one in the morning in our sorority's basement.
"Are you okay?"
Cue the "aww" cute puppy dog face emoji about Peter's response to Lara Jean's Stanford rejection letter. He handled it well, especially when he asked if she was okay. Then he convinced her to possibly transfer to Stanford after her freshman year, but the next day she began to fall in love with New York...
When Peter took off his face mask and acted like his skin was just ripped off his face...?
It's okay Kavinsky, it's just a simple sheet mask that moisturizes your skin and unclogs pores. No need to be dramatic
What the heck is a “meet-cute?”
Is it just my friend group or has anyone else never heard this term? Is the movie trying to make this a trend? What's the problem with just saying "we met at _____" ???
Kitty constantly speaks her mind and she is NOT afraid to hold back
PERIOD. Everyone needs a little sister to keep them in check, and Lara Jean got just that
Why do all movies focus on some of the biggest and most competitive schools?
Why couldn't have the characters gone to the University of Virginia and William & Mary like in the "To All The Boys" books?
Also, side note, did anyone else notice the "High School Musical" parallel going on? Troy went to Berkeley and Gabriella went to Stanford, just sayin'...
The yearbook "contract"
That scene just melted all of our hearts. Yes, it was predictable and cheesy, but what else would you really expect? It was cute, the wedding decorations were beautiful, and everything was beautifully executed.
As much as it is cheesy and unrealistic, parts of it are also very realistic no matter your age
I am happy and proud that Lara Jean followed her heart to NYU. If she and Kavinsky are meant to be together, they'll make it work. If she had gone to Berkeley an hour away from him, she would've been thinking about the "what ifs" of New York the entire time. It's important to go outside of your comfort zone and do what is best for you, not what is best for the boy. Life doesn't always go as planned, and this movie is the perfect example of that.
Now they're all off to college, exploring new places, meeting new people, and trying new things. Here's to unpredictable futures and crazy life plans.
I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.
Every single one of us has a story.
I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.
The past few days, I've been following Taylor Swift's album re-recordings, and it's encouraged me to think about the nature of stories. I first listened to "Fearless" in elementary school, and I understood her story then—or at least, a part of it. As I revisit her work over a decade later, I still understand her story, but I understand it differently. I've grown. Some of the lyrics have become a little more real for me. Some have completely changed meaning. Others have remained the same.
I've realized that my experience with someone else's story is a lot like my own, and it might be a lot like yours. There are some parts of our stories that are just starting to make sense. There are some parts of our stories that have always made sense. There are some parts of our stories that still don't make sense. There are some parts of our stories that may never make sense. That's OK. There is purpose, even when we don't understand. There is meaning, even if we can't find it just yet.
And so, here are four ways to own your story. Your story is worth celebrating, and more importantly, you are worth celebrating. Even when it doesn't make sense. Especially when it doesn't make sense.
1. Realize that your story is yours.
Yes, this may seem obvious, but we so often forget. While we may say that our story is completely ours, we so easily let others take over our stories without even realizing it. Don't get me wrong. We need community. We need support. Both of these things are necessary. Both of those things are good. The problem is that we so easily allow others to take the pen out of our hands and start writing the story for us. I've had several people question why I'm pursuing the degree that I am. I've even had a few offer career paths or majors. Last year, I had acquaintances come up to me and ask me where I was going to college, only to give me five other options. It seems like everyone had an opinion, to the point where I forgot that mine mattered, too. I had to step away and realize a few things. No matter how good their intentions were, they didn't truly know my story. They didn't know my 'why' in life. I do. That's not to say that their intentions were wrong or rude. I say this to say that whether intentional or not, others will always have an opinion. Yes, opinions can be helpful. The problem is that we often internalize other's ideas to the point that we forget that our opinion is valid, too. It's not our job to make sure others around us understand in the moment. Maybe they will. Maybe they won't. Either is more than OK. Don't change a story that's meant to be yours to please other people.
2. Know that your story might look different than those around you. That's OK.
I'll be the first to admit that this is so hard for me. I've always been a perfectionist, and I've always been a people-pleaser. At times, I've placed so much of an emphasis on what I wanted my story to be instead of letting it be. I'm terrible at letting go, but I'm learning that it's so necessary. For me, letting go looks like letting go of my own expectations. Here's your reminder that social media and most things in life are but a highlight reel. We all have our successes, but we all have our struggles. A lot of the time, we don't get the opportunity to choose what story we're dealt in life. What we do get is the ability to choose what we do with that story. I'm a big believer that every day, we have a choice. We can allow ourselves to be so consumed with others' stories and compare them to our own, or we can allow ourselves to celebrate stories. All stories. All parts of stories. Yes, that includes the parts of our stories that are hard to talk about. Yes, that includes the parts of our stories that don't make sense. Yes, that includes the parts of our stories that aren't like the stories of others. You can't disregard the parts of your story that have helped build you. You can't throw away the parts that are uncomfortably or messy. Instead, I hope you embrace them. I hope you don't run away. Future you will be thankful that you didn't. I promise.
3. Realize that little victories are worth celebrating, too.
I've always been drawn to writing because it's a craft that celebrates the little victories. I get so much joy when someone messages me telling me that my work helped them. I've realized that meaning isn't always tied to numbers. The same is true in life. I hope that you don't invalidate your growth or success because you think it's too small or not important enough. I hope that you don't hide your story because you don't think anyone can learn from it. I'm here to tell you that someone will learn from your story, even if the first person who learns from it is you. I'm here to tell you that your story is enough because you are enough. The little victories are what keep us going. I hope you celebrate your huge successes. I really, truly do. However, I hope you realize that there's a lot more to life than huge successes. I hope you realize that people see your growth. More importantly, I hope you see your growth. I hope you see that your story doesn't stop just because one guy couldn't choose you or one employer decided to go a different direction. I hope you see that your story doesn't stop at one setback or discouragement. Every day, I challenge myself to pick at least one little victory of the day. It's what keeps me looking forward instead of backwards. It's what makes me hold on to hope. It makes every day a celebration, no matter how small.
4. Know that your story has power, but only if you let it have power.
I want to end with some encouragement. I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story. I hope that you don't let one person or one situation or even one bad day stop you from looking up and moving on to greater things. Your life has a purpose, and your story has power. Embrace it, even and especially when it's hard. It will be worth it, but you have to keep moving forward. Chase after the good, and allow yourself to reflect when it gets tough. Give in to community, and know that you are capable. Most of all, keep the pen in your hand. Get to it, friend, and keep writing your story. You'll be glad that you did.
Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)
Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.
Perhaps this surreal a-ha moment happened to you when you danced in your bedroom at night. Performing for imaginary cameras, you hum and sway. However, you become embarrassed as you trip - and feel unforgivably un-hot - for your audience of zero. The sensation is absurd. It's in those moments that Margaret Atwood's poetry appears true.
"Male fantasies, male fantasies, is everything run by male fantasies? Up on a pedestal or down on your knees, it's all a male fantasy: that you're strong enough to take what they dish out, or else too weak to do anything about it. Even pretending you aren't catering to male fantasies is a male fantasy: pretending you're unseen, pretending you have a life of your own, that you can wash your feet and comb your hair unconscious of the ever-present watcher peering through the keyhole, peering through the keyhole in your own head, if nowhere else. You are a woman with a man inside watching a woman. You are your own voyeur."
What is the male gaze? From what context did the male gaze emerge?
While this familiar feeling is psychosocial, the term "male gaze" was originally coined by Laura Mulvey in 1973 to talk about the ways in which women in art are placed as objects of heterosexual male desire. Obviously, heterosexual male desire is the ever-present subject. A woman's complex feelings, interesting thoughts, and own sexual ambitions are less important than her male framing. Examples of the male gaze abound in tropes like the "Manic Pixie Dream Girl" or female superheroes who always must be sensual.
But this idea permeates beyond the screen. As art imitates actuality, and/or vice-versa, the male gaze has become a frustrating perspective with pervasive psychological consequences.
As an ideological cornerstone of patriarchy, socio-political disparities are realized within an antiquated value system, by which male-created institutions (e.g the entertainment industry, advertising, fashion, etc.) unilaterally circumscribe what is standard in society. You can just think of the internalized male gaze as a facet and an outcome of the patriarchy.
Over generations, as women have been socially coerced into placing more importance on their looks, women might internalize this observer view of their appearances as the central way to think about themselves. This concept is problematic, of course, because women may end up placing greater value on how they look than how they feel.
An important aside for a later article: the neoliberal/choice "feminism" of Barstool, Goop, and MLMs - which emphasizes being a "girl-boss," doing "self-care" so that you can be productive at a job that does not pay you well enough, and using (white) empowerment as a marketing technique - does not help women level the male gaze. In neoliberal/choice feminism, objectification and pornography, (which are inherently rooted in the male gaze), have simply been rebranded as sexual emancipation. In fact, this misguided step towards sexual equality has colonized and exploited feminism. We should look somewhere else besides mainstream corporations for such intimate solutions in gender equity. We are better off practicing critical reasoning, introspection, and grace.
So, now what?
When I realize I'm performing for the patriarchy, I try to avoid feeling guilty about my internalized male gaze. Due to the immersive nature of the U.S. American social systems, women are victims of and participants in this sort of sexism. Instead of feeling shame, I vow to unlearn what I've been spoon-fed.
I ask myself who my performative actions are benefitting. If the actions are only benefiting men, my little show must be reassessed. But, if the actions benefit me - or other women - the spectatorship is decidedly less harmful. It is in this way that women can function with the most benefit. If a woman's existence hinges upon the masculine gaze, she then has the ability to manipulate the system in which she is seen, becoming the one who commands this visual economy.
Big picture: deconstructing the thought of the male gaze indicates that all participants in society must deliberately subvert the masculine perspective's chokehold by blurring gender boundaries. And, obviously, people who identify as women should be in the literal director's seat and metaphorical driver's seat more often.
For the individual: along with a salubrious dose of patience with yourself, the only actionable conclusion that I can draw is that femininity is not fixed and should be not enclosed like feminine stereotypes are usually categorized.
A woman may not own the notion of the gaze, but she can control and shift it to her benefit. That indisputable fact is what you have in your control.
Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?
Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.
More recently, I have had to open myself up to different possibilities and probabilities in hopes of expanding my own horizons and learning more about myself as a person.
Many people, including myself, will say that they know themselves as a person very well and that they do not need to broaden their horizons like that. I have found myself thinking this in the past; however, this is simply not true. We can always expand our knowledge, our arena of thought, with more information and experiences. Putting yourself into the easy positions in life may be secure, but it is much harder to grow as a person this way.
I was more recently reminded by my open-minded, well-traveled, free-spirited friend that most people never venture to find the place they love the most. Instead, they just settle.
I thought to myself, am I one of these people? Instead, I'd like to find myself at an in-between level. I would like to be someone who tries new things and is open to new experiences, just by simply reminding myself to be more open-minded.
I don't necessarily believe we all have to be world travelers or even travelers at all! If we seek out our own adventures in life, it will help us grow stronger and firmer as people. With our different values and beliefs, I hope and pray that one day we can bring our differences to the table for the betterment of society. For this wave of "betterment" to begin, we must start with open-mindedness.
1. Brittany Morgan, National Writer's Society
2. Radhi, SUNY Stony Brook
3. Kristen Haddox, Penn State University
4. Jennifer Kustanovich, SUNY Stony Brook
5. Clare Regelbrugge, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign