wetlands

How Mitigation Banking Has Helped To Protect Crucial Wetlands While Promoting Environmental Sustainability | Donna Collier

Throughout the country, wetlands have seen their productivity and acreage heavily reduced, despite the benefits and beauty they offer to all lifeforms. Taking a stand against this neglect, Donna Collier and other developers have worked to help build up the mitigation banking system, which offers a bright present and future in environmental preservation.

Green The Rooted Bridge

How A Social Worker Has Helped To Bring Awareness And Accessibility To Maternal Mental Health | Amy Green

Pregnancy and postpartum can be wonderful experiences, but they can also have a significant impact on the birthing person. Depression and anxiety could strain the new parent, leaving them lost and afraid. That potential outcome is why NCCC founder Amy Green has strived to provide birthing parents support and education to help them overcome mental health struggles.

Internet Explorer

Microsoft Officially Retires Internet Explorer Web Browser 

This past week Microsoft confirmed that its well-known web browser, Internet Explorer, would be retired after years of declining user engagement. Initially launched in 1995, Internet Explorer was the standard for web browsing on all Windows computers. 

More often than not, Windows users opted not to upgrade from the traditional IE browsing format, but security researchers are emphasizing that IE and its many security vulnerabilities, that also contributed to its shut down, were still existent. 

Microsoft will begin disabling the IE application on all Windows 10 devices, prompting users to instead download its next-generation Edge web browser, which was initially released back in 2015. The original IE icon will remain on user devices, and Edge will be incorporating a service called “IE Mode” so users can preserve access to old websites that were specifically made for Internet Explorer. 

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Microsoft says it will support “IE mode through at least 2029. Additionally, IE will still work for now on all supported versions of Windows 8.1, Windows 7 with Microsoft’s Extended Security Updates, and Windows Server.”

Industry analysis shows that more than half a percent of total global browser market shares are held by Internet Explorer. 

“I do think we’ve made progress, and we probably won’t see as many exploits against IE in the future, but we will still have remnants of Internet Explorer for a long time that scammers can take advantage of,” says Ronnie Tokazowski, an independent malware researcher and principal threat advisor at the cybersecurity firm Cofense.

“Internet Explorer as the browser will be gone, but there are still pieces that exist.”

“We haven’t forgotten that some parts of the web still rely on Internet Explorer’s specific behaviors and features,” Sean Lyndersay, the general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise, wrote.

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“There was a real need to start over with Edge rather than trying to salvage IE. The web has evolved and so have browsers. Incremental improvements to Internet Explorer couldn’t match the general improvements to the web at large, so we started fresh,” he stated. 

Maddie Stone, a researcher for Google’s Project Zero vulnerability hunting team, wrote that hackers are still able to exploit vulnerabilities within the IE application, which is a problem, referring to previously unknown vulnerabilities as “zero-days.” 

“Since we began tracking in-the-wild 0-days, Internet Explorer has had a pretty consistent number of 0-days each year. 2021 actually tied 2016 for the most in-the-wild Internet Explorer 0-days we’ve ever tracked, even though Internet Explorer’s market share of web browser users continues to decrease. Internet Explorer is still a ripe attack surface for initial entry into Windows machines, even if the user doesn’t use Internet Explorer as their internet browser,” she wrote.

IE will begin to be phased out of Windows devices in the coming months, but its legacy will live on for the standard it set for optimal web browsing.

Music

Lizzo Sparks Ableism Debate Over Her New Song ‘Grrrls’

Singer songwriter Lizzo created waves this week over her new song, “Grrrls,” set to appear in her new album, “Special.” Only, it wasn’t the kind of response she was hoping for. Instead, intense backlash came her way due to the song containing what many have claimed is an ableist slur.

In the original lyrics, the word in question comes in the opening line of the song: “Hold my bag, b***h (girls). Hold my bag. Do you see this s**t? I’ma spaz.” Short for “spastic,” spaz’s usage in Lizzo’s song was meant to signify losing physical or emotional control. In that context, the word seems harmless.

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However, many have called it offense due to spaz being associated with people who suffer from cerebral palsy and spastic paralysis, which cause muscle stiffness and loss of movement. In the past, spaz has also been used as a derogatory term, meant to label someone uncool or weird. According to Dictionary.com, spaz is defined as “an awkward or clumsy person.”

After the backlash, Lizzo updated her lyrics to “Do you see this s**t? Hold me back.” Additionally, she posted an apology on her social media accounts, explaining that her harm was never intended, and that she can relate to derogatory statements.

“As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally),” she said. “This is the result of me listening and taking action.”

Lizzo ended her apology by saying that “as an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.” The singer’s statement was generally well-received by her audience for being understanding and supporting.

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Some have been quick to call the responses as part of “cancel culture,” the idea of holding people accountable or punishing them in some way for wrongdoings. While some pushes in the vein of cancel culture are noble, others have gotten swept up in the political discourse of the nation, ultimately being ridiculed due to sensitivity.

However, as NBC News entertainment writer Charlotte Colombo explained, the push wasn’t simply meant to “cancel” Lizzo. Instead, those hurt by the slang saw it as an opportunity to show why the word can have such a profound effect on listeners who struggle with disabilities every day.

“Calling out the use of this word in the song is important because if the word is used in a song by a widely popular artist, there’s a chance that it can become normalized again.”

The idea of race has also been discussed in the debate that’s soon sprung up, with some claiming that black singers are more likely to be called out for using derogatory lyrics in their songs more than mixed and white singers are. In 2021, country singer Morgan Waller saw his following and chart placements increase following a video of him saying the n-word surfaced.

One such Twitter user used that idea in an argument, accusing rapper Cardi B of the same actions as Lizzo, but getting away with it. The Grammy Award winner didn’t hold back in her response, stating that if she was Lizzo, she would have told people to “SMD.”

Movies

‘Jurassic World Dominion’ Receives $245 Million At International Box Office 

Universal’s “Jurassic” franchise is once again proving why it’s become one of the most popular series since the 1990’s. “Jurassic World Dominion,” the sixth installment in the long-running series, received $176 million from 72 international markets over the weekend, bringing its international total to $245 million. 

When combined with its domestic earnings of $142 million, the film currently stands with $389 million and is likely to cross the $400 million threshold soon. 

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“Dominion” opened in 57 foreign markets this past weekend, including China, which has been increasingly hostile when it comes to showing Hollywood films. The movie received $52 million in China during its opening weekend. 

China has chosen to import a very select amount of movies since the beginning of the pandemic, so “Dominion” is already set to be the biggest non-local release in 2022. 

“Other top-grossing territories include the U.K. and Ireland with $15.4 million, France with $9.7 million, Australia with $8.5 million and Germany with $7.5 million,” according to Variety.

“Dominion” had a production budget of $185 million, and a promotion budget of $100 million. 

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Another movie that’s continuing the legacy of its original cinematic predecessor is “Top Gun: Maverick,” which earned itself nearly $747 million in international box office sales, passing the original “Top Gun’s” sales of $700 million. 

Within its third weekend of release, the blockbuster starring Tom Cruise earned itself $52.7 million from 64 international markets. According to Variety, “‘Maverick’ has raked up the most tickets in the U.K. ($63 million so far), followed by Japan ($33.9 million), Australia ($32.6 million) and France ($28.7 million).”

Worldwide box office revenue has been on a high as of late. Disney’s “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” earned itself $930 million in global ticket sales after last weekend, making it the highest grossing movie of the year.

This is an especially impressive feat as both China and Russia have decided not to show the newest Marvel movie and they account for a large portion of the international box office numbers.

Social Media

Addicted To Your Smartphone And Social Media? It Could End Up Being Harmful

It’s not hyperbole to say smartphones, social media, and technology in general has become the center of our lives. We communicate, work, play, date, take photos, and do a million other activities, all at the click of a button. It helps to make tasks effortless and quick.

But as the rule with all good things, there comes a problem. Social media and smartphones can have very addicting tendencies that are becoming increasingly obvious. According to a 2021 Pew Research Center study, 49% of U.S. adults on Facebook — seven-in-ten users — say they visit the site several times a day, with 22% visiting at least once.

For Snapchat, 45% visit several times a day, while Instagram has 38% of users logging on frequently. The increased activity is especially prevalent throughout younger age groups, which apps like Snapchat are catered too.

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Of course, just visiting a platform doesn’t mean you’re necessarily addicted, especially if it’s only for a few seconds each. But, as Wall Street Journal family and tech columnist Julie Jargon explained, there a number of ways to tell if you’re obsessed with your phone and social media.

Jargon explained that if you find it hard to put your phone down, it could mean you’re using it compulsively, indicting addiction. Some examples of this might be a person refusing to do an action — such as going to the bathroom or walking down the street — without checking their phone.

This can certainly end poorly in a number of ways, from not looking while crossing the street or when driving, leaving both yourself and others in potential danger. According to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, texting while driving can reduce a driver’s attention by 37%.

Like with all habits, these compulsions can be hard to break. However, you have a weapon at your disposal: your phone’s settings, which can allow you to slowly chip away your need to be looking at the screen, even it’s its forced.

“Try logging how often you check your feeds in a day, including those brief glances during spare moments,” Jargon said, emphasizing turning off app notifications, turning on Do Not Disturb, and configuring settings that don’t allow the receiving of texts while driving. Finding other activities to put in place of the moments you use for your phone time can also help to fill the void.

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Among other signs to look out for include using social media to satisfy yourself, suffering withdrawal symptoms when not using a device, convincing yourself you have an audience you need to serve, or that social media use is getting in the way of your life and preventing you from time with family and friends.

All of those possible signs can have a draining impact on your self-esteem and relationships, while an addiction can also lead to other potential problems that can threaten mental states. Studies have found potential links between excessive phone usage and cognitive functions, emotional reactions, and medical problems that include a lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, and physical loss.

So, what else can be done to help? Jargon suggested developing a schedule for social media and phone use, helping you to give yourself much-needed no-screen time while not cutting yourself off completely. Therapy can also be helpful for those that have developed serious conditions.

Toya Vickers Author

Thanks To Her Skill and Selflessness, A Writer Has Shown Women How to Achieve Resilience and Empowerment | Toya Raylonn Vickers

Oftentimes, we may find that our hobbies and professions can serve much more than simple pastimes and careers. They can be tools of comfort, learning, and most importantly, resilience. Faced with a mountain of challenges, author and writer Toya Raylonn Vickers has used her writing skills not only to empower herself, but women going through the same struggles she once did.

Commanders

Commanders Owner Dan Snyder Declines To Appear Before Congress

In a four-page letter obtained by Axios, Washington Commanders owner Dan Snyder has informed the House Oversight and Reform Committee that he will not be attending the June 22 hearing on workplace misconduct in the NFL due to him being out of the country.

Inflation

Retail Sales Drop 0.3% In May As Federal Reserve Prepares To Hike Interest Rates Further

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, retail sales fell 0.3% in May, wiping out any progress made by a 0.7% rise in April. It comes as a 8.6% inflation jump has forced millions to focus their money on food and gas, the latter of which now sits above $5 per gallon nationally.

Bonnye Matthews Author

Alaskan Author of Multiple Genres Firmly Believes Superiority is an Undesirable, Unattainable Human Construct | Bonnye Matthews

For author Bonnye Matthews, the prehistoric times of the Arctic provide plenty of intrigue. How did dinosaurs survive the freezing cold temperatures, snow, and blistering winds? She answers these questions in her book, “Arctic Dinosaurs of Alaska,” which will provide a thrilling and educational tale for young readers.