A Plus3 min readPsychology
With The Help Of A Service Dog, This Army Veteran Is Overcoming His PTSD
"He has helped the rest of the family by helping me." Coming home from serving your country is a powerful, long-awaited moment for most any veteran, but more than half a million suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This can result in panic attacks, flashbacks, avoiding people and places, negative changes in mood, nightmares, and in extreme cases, suicide.When U.S. veteran, McLean Raybon, returned home from serving in Afghanistan, he found it difficult to adjust to civilian life with his wife, Kerrin Raybon, and their two young c... read more
A Plus7 min readPop Culture
With A Single Album, Shania Twain Shattered Expectations For Female Singers And Crossover Artists Alike
Shania Twain’s “Come On Over” turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.With a single album, Shania Twain earned a spot in music history forever. Come On Over — released on November 4, 1997 — is the No. 6 best-selling album in the United States (not to mention the best-selling country music album, the best-selling studi... read more
A Plus5 min read
In The Span Of Two Albums, The Spice Girls Served Up Female Empowerment To Last A Generation
The Spice Girls' "Spice" and "Spiceworld" turn 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.If you were to choose a single year that defined the Spice Girls' success, it would have to be 1997. In January, the group's first single "Wannabe" was released in the United States, where it spent four weeks at the top of the Billboard chart.... read more
A Plus3 min readPop Culture
Missy Elliott's Out-Of-The-Box Style Smashed Stereotypes About Female MCs, Their Looks, And Hip-Hop’s Boundaries
Missy Elliott's "Supa Dupa Fly" turns 20 this year. Before unforgettable songs like "Get Ur Freak On" and an iconic performance at the Super Bowl's halftime show in 2015, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott was an unfamiliar name in 1997.Back then, she was fresh out of Sista, an all-female R&B group she had formed with friends, writing and producing music for a living. Four years before her debut album, Supa Dupa Fly, Elliott made her first foray into the limelight by writing and rapping in Raven-Symone's "That's What Little Girls Are Made Of."... read more
A Plus3 min readPop Culture
No Matter What Mood You're Experiencing, Savage Garden's Emotion-Filled Debut Is Music To Your Ears
Savage Garden's debut album turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.Savage Garden — the Australian duo made up of vocalist Darren Hayes and instrumentalist Daniel Jones — entered into 1997 just as rock band U2 was beginning to experiment with their Pop album, and Hanson was blurring the lines between rock and p... read more
A Plus4 min readPop Culture
Joe’s Sultry Sounds Served As The Soundtrack Of Love At All Stages Of The Relationship Game
Joe’s “All That I Am” turns 20 this year. Joe's sophomore album All That I Am sounds dated by today's standards. Not necessarily sonically, mind you, but because many consider R&B to be a dying art due to the amount of it they hear on the radio. But the genre thrived in 1997 thanks to torchbearers such as Erykah Badu with her neo-soul, Usher with his hip-hop-flavored jams, and Janet Jackson and Mariah Carey with their pop-styled offerings, among others. Joe filled the niche of bedroom balladeer, serving up much of the middle gr... read more
A Plus4 min read
This Family Opened A Coffee Shop To Hire People With Intellectual Disabilities After Hearing 70 Percent Are Unemployed
"We like to say it’s more than a cup of coffee — it’s a human rights movement." Each month, our Family Run series profiles amazing families who work together in some capacity. From starting businesses, inventing products, collaborating artistically, and beyond, these family members are making positive contributions to the world together and strengthening their family bonds in the process.A cup of coffee can make any caffeine lover happy, but order one from Bitty & Beau's and you'll get much more than a pick-me-up. The coffee shop in Wilmington, North Carolina... read more
A Plus6 min read
With ‘Homogenic,’ Björk Crafted An Equally Experimental And Complex Love Letter To Iceland That Was Far Ahead Of Its Time
Björk’s “Homogenic” turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.One of the most intriguing, innovative, and out-there performers in music history, Björk — whose full name is Björk Guðmundsdóttir — has been constantly evolving in the music business ever since releasing a self-titled juvenilia album at the ag... read more
A Plus5 min readPolitics
Founder Of All-Girl Afghan Robotics Team Says Trump's Unexpected Change Of Heart Is 'Beyond Words'
“It’s beyond our expectations." In a surprising reversal, U.S. officials have officially granted a group of Afghan girls permission to enter the United States and compete in the FIRST Global robotics competition.The decision came at the urging of President Donald Trump after a spate of criticism for denying the teenaged girls entry. The girls will join teams from close to 160 countries in the competition July 16-18, held in Washington, D.C. Roya Mahboob, who founded The Digital Citizen Fund that the Afghan team is r... read more
A Plus7 min read
With Two Albums, Erykah Badu's Vision Of Love, Life, And The Flaws Of Each Made Us Think, Feel, And Nod Our Heads
Erykah Badu’s "Baduizm" and "Live" turn 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.The world was introduced to a singer through her debut album on February 11, 1997, who would not only change what many thought of a genre at the time, but who would inspire a new generation of youth influenced by her legacy. Baduizm was Er... read more
A Plus4 min read
How The 'Netflix Of Feminist Films' Is Promoting Women's Rights Around The World
"Watching a film offers the opportunity to hold up a mirror to our own lives as women." The desire to experience films from global filmmakers and varied points of view is admirable, but proper knowledge and access to such stories can be hard to come by. One organization is seeking to change that by making sure all you need is an internet connection and an open mind. Women's Voices Now is an online platform with a goal of "advocating women's rights through film." The organization was founded in 2010 by the late Leslie Sacks, who was moved in the post-9/11 world to bring people... read more
A Plus5 min read
How A Surprising Email Exchange Turned A Stay-At-Home Mom Into A Health Care Warrior
"While I was already advocating on a local scale for families in the diabetes community, the support inspired me to be more vocal..." On June 27, 2016, Nicole Nichols sent an email.Addressed to Mississippi House of Representatives Republican Jeffrey S. Guice (District 114), the letter, written by the mother of a daughter with Type 1 diabetes and advocate for The Diabetes Foundation of Mississippi, asked for his help. "We have recently begun having a lot of problems with Medicaid/CHIPS coverage of the essential diabetes coverage of the essential diabetes supplies needed, not only to keep our kids healthy, but t... read more
A Plus4 min read
6 Smartphone Apps That Jumped From The Smallest Screens To TV And Movies, And 1 More That Should
From the smallest screens to the small and big screens. With all of the movies and game shows that come and go, production studios and networks can be forgiven for running short on options for new concepts. But things are looking up thanks to some of our favorite apps. There is a new trend of turning smartphone apps into movies and TV game shows, some of which you might recognize. Here, we explore seven of the most popular game apps — some of which just had their season premieres, so check them out and who knows, maybe we'll see you as a contest... read more
A Plus4 min readPop Culture
Will Smith Set The Standard As A Positive Male Role Model In Hip-Hop That Has Yet To Be Surpassed
Will Smith's "Big Willie Style" turns 20 this year. Will Smith already had a "fresh" start to his acting and music career before releasing his debut solo album Big Willie Style in November of 1997. Our beloved American sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had just ended a six-year run the year before, and Smith stepped away from collaborating with longtime partner Jazzy Jeff to jump right into film projects such as Independence Day in 1996 and Men in Black in 1997. It was also a very busy year for Smith having just gotten married to current wife J... read more
A Plus3 min read
Charlize Theron And 7 Other Actress Who Kick Major Butt On The Big Screen
You won't think of the phrase "fight like a girl" the same way again. There's a video currently blowing up the internet showing Charlize Theron doing her own stunts for the upcoming action flick Atomic Blonde. The behind-the-scenes clip shows the director and the stunt coordinator praising the Oscar-winning actress for being so badass and the accompanying tweet jokes that Theron makes grown men cry by fighting like a girl. Yes, this tweet calls out a super-sexist phrase and perfectly obliterates it in fewer than 140 characters. Theron's co-star James McAvoy a... read more
A Plus4 min read
Hanson Crafted One Of Pop’s Best Songs, But Don’t Limit Them Or Your Exposure To Their Music To 'MMMBop’
Hanson's "Middle of Nowhere" turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join APlus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.Nothing screams '90s pop culture like iconic hairstyles and pop music. But one group with iconic hair and whose members were more into garage band-style rock became unlikely pop stars due to their ages and because people couldn't quite take thei... read more
A Plus4 min read
At A Crossroads In Her Soaring Career, Mariah Carey Didn't Let The Industry Keep Her Under Glass
Mariah Carey's "Butterfly" turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.In 1997, Mariah Carey was seated comfortably at the top of the music game. With five studio albums under her belt (including two certified Diamond), as well as several chart-topping singles and two Grammys, Carey was already an icon of pop music.For... read more
A Plus1 min read
Meet The Women Making History, One Tackle At A Time
#BeFierceTakeControl Both on and off the football field, the New York Sharks are beacons of female empowerment and physical strength. These fierce women prioritize their health so they can stay at the top of their game. Because football players are dependent on their body's performance during game time, they need to listen to what it's telling them all the time. Too often, women push through seemingly minor health problems, but ignoring signs that your body isn't tip-top can lead to bigger issues later. Fatigu... read more
A Plus3 min read
'Zombies' Are Invading The Streets Of Hamburg To Call For Political And Social Responsibility
"With our performance we wanted to send a symbol of solidarity and political participation out to the world." German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting leaders of the G20 leading economies in Hamburg for a two-day summit ending July 8. Attendees include President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, and demonstrators are out in full force. One particularly creative group of about 1,000 actors dressed up as "zombies" on July 5, and slowly made their way through Hamburg's streets in silence, covered in gray clay. The performance piece, which featured... read more
A Plus4 min read
What It's Like To Be A Man Struggling With An Eating Disorder
"People think that men who get eating disorders are different — that they are not 'real men' or are particularly effeminate." Eating disorders are gender neutral, but as they more commonly affect women, they are unfortunately discussed as solely "female issues." This conversation, however, largely leaves out the 10 million American men who suffer from a clinically significant eating disorder, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating disorder. "I think it is a belief among the general public that eating disorders are only a problem of women and that eating disorders are about restriction and dri... read more
A Plus5 min read
Before Taylor Swift, LeAnn Rimes Proved A Young Country Artist Could Crossover And That Talent Knows No Genre Boundaries
LeAnn Rimes’ “You Light Up My Life: Inspirational Songs” turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.LeAnn Rimes was just bursting onto the scene in 1997, still riding high on the release of her debut album Blue, which — along with the album's title track, a Bill Mack original — was released the year prior. That's when she did something nobody... read more
A Plus3 min read
While Winning Our Hearts, The Backstreet Boys Changed Radio And Who Had Permission To Like Boy Bands
The Backstreet Boys' self-titled debut album turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.By 1997, the entertainment industry was no stranger to boy bands, but we'll take a leap and say no one was prepared for the talent that was about to step onto the scene. Nick Carter, Brian Littrell, A.J. Mclean, Howie Dorough, and Kevin Richard... read more
A Plus2 min read
Why We Should Go To Mars, According To Buzz Aldrin
The famous astronaut isn't just talking the talk, he's walking the walk. If you ask Buzz Aldrin about space exploration, there is nothing more important than taking humans to Mars.Aldrin, who was the second person to ever walk on the moon, has not lost his love for space travel over the years. Now, he's got high hopes for what the next generation of astronauts can do. Aldrin says humans need to explore, to push the boundaries, and that Mars is the next logical destination after the moon. "People ask me all the time why we should go to Mars. Because it's there!"... read more
A Plus4 min read
Notorious B.I.G.'s 'Life After Death' Taught Us About The Struggles Of Fame, And We're Still Learning From It Today
Notorious B.I.G.'s "Life After Death" turns 20 this year. Even 20 years after its release, Notorious B.I.G.'s Life After Death is still an eerie self-fulfilling prophecy.The rapper, whose real name was Christopher Wallace and went by the nickname Biggie Smalls, died in a drive-by shooting just two weeks before the release of his second studio album.Death has always been a surrounding theme of Biggie's music. His first album, Ready To Die, was a retrospective on his environment, and how easily his emotions will lead him to depression and want... read more
A Plus3 min readPop Culture
Daft Punk’s Drums-And-Synthesizer Experiment Didn’t Need Celebrity Guests To Redefine Dance Music
Daft Punk's "Homework" turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.New Daft Punk fans can do their homework to dive deeper into the beat-savvy duo's discography. Rated among the 30 Greatest EDM Albums of All Time by Rolling Stone, Daft Punk's 1997 debut studio album Homework set the stage for members Guy-... read more
A Plus5 min readPop Culture
Janet Jackson Spoke To Our Need To Feel Special By Making Us Uncomfortable, And It’s A Lesson We’re Still Learning Today
Janet Jackson’s “The Velvet Rope” turns 20 this year. 20 Albums 20 Years Later remembers and explores the music that touched us back then and still resonates today. Join A Plus as we take another listen to albums released in 1997 and celebrate their contributions not only to the charts but to our lives.Janet Jackson had little to prove in 1997. Having a year earlier signed an $80 million deal with Virgin Records (the biggest made by a label at the time), redefined her sound and individuality (with 1993's janet.), and dueted with brother Michael Ja... read more
A Plus3 min read
CMT's Cody Alan Talks His First-Ever Pride Month, His Love Of Country Music, And His Advice To His Younger Self
"Music has always been a friend. I love it with the windows down and the volume up." When it comes to the music business, the people behind the scenes are just as important as the singers belting out songs. There are songwriters supplying the words to those tunes, producers putting their magic touches on them, and other musicians making the sound you hear. But, beyond that, there are others. There are those sharing the music and talking to the stars on both TV and radio — with Cody Alan being one of, if not the go-to person, for the country genre.The South Carolina native has b... read more
A Plus2 min read
A New Museum Will Celebrate The Special Place Blacks Hold In American Music History
“This is the museum that will tell the story of the American soundtrack.” A new museum that won't have a physical location for another two years is on an active mission to show others how African Americans have made a significant impact on American music.The National Museum of African American Music in Nashville, Tenn., started off as an idea from the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce in 2002 and quickly became the subject of a task force to assess what the level of interest would be for this kind of museum.Now, 15 years after that initial study, the site has broken... read more
A Plus3 min read
The Film Academy Invites The Largest And Most Diverse Class Ever — But Will It Actually Impact The Oscars?
It's a well-meaning and positive step toward change, but the conversation doesn't stop here. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is continuing to take steps to ensure that things such as the #OscarsSoWhite controversy never happen again. In the aim to diversify their membership, AMPAS has invited 774 people — the largest and most diverse class ever — to join its ranks.Lots of famous faces have been invited to join this year, including lots of superheroes, such as Wonder Woman's Gal Gadot, and three of our favorite people named Chris: Captain America's Chris Evans, Thor's Ch... read more
A Plus4 min readPolitics
Disability Rights Activists Dragged From Sen. McConnell's Office Speak Out
"What they’re doing by capping the costs of Medicaid is going to endanger a lot of people’s lives." On June 22, approximately 60 people gathered in and around Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office at the Capitol to protest the newly released health care bill devised by Senate Republicans. Many of the protesters were in wheelchairs, and were speaking out against the bill because of what it will mean for Medicaid.In its current form, the legislation drafted by Senate Republicans behind closed doors would, among other devastating effects, drastically slash Medicaid funding over the nex... read more
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