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Cats: The Spirit Animal of the Internet

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There’s a mascot for everything.  All the best characters in the Harry Potter series have patronuses (which everyone knows are basically spirit animals + magic).  My own personal spirit animal happens to be a raccoon with a leather jacket and a switch blade.  We all have one.  So why wouldn’t the internet?

No contender for this sought after role is more blatant than the feline.  Cats: the spirit animal of the internet.  What better symbol to represent the collective consciousness of humanity?  Who better to hold the flag for the largest repository of all human knowledge than the cat?

The interconnectedness of all things stands on the shoulders of feline giants such as The Great Nyan Cat, Grumpy Cat, Lil Bubs, Maru, Business Cat and Facebook pages like Cats on Cocaine.

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The internet can be a scary place.  Amongst the dark net, hackers, and trolls, cats stand as a rather adorable symbol.  But why the cat?  How is it that this kawaii creature dominates not only reddit but also our hearts?

The truth is, despite all the bad stuff that can go on on the internet, the popularity of cats is living proof of what our priorities are as internet users.  There are many heavy topics and circulating on the net, each one so dense that they settle in depressing layers across our news feeds.  But the one thing that always floats to the top, the one thing that is the least dense on our souls, is our sense of humor.  And the internet’s most common vehicle for humor?  Yup, you guessed it.  Cats.

So maybe Harambe’s gone, Brexit happened, and Trump is President Elect, but only one sovereignty will never stop trending.  There is only one that we will never tire to see in our feeds.  And that is The Cat, spirit animal of the internet.

 

What's up!? I'm Katrina. I'm wandering, collecting, witnessing and learning. I'm drawn to all things found at the intersection of art and technology. If I could go back in time, I think I'd be best friends with Mark Twain, Nikola Tesla and Cleopatra. When I'm not obsessing about the human endeavor or the nature of time, I'm probably cooking or dancing.

Influencers

20 Fast Growing Instagram Influencers to Watch

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If you like dolling up, it doesn’t hurt to gain inspiration from the best Instagram beauty bloggers. This way, you can be sure to diversify your look. From attending a wedding to your usual weekend nightlife, these 20 Instagram influencers will make you a head-turner in any event. 

1. Renae Olivia

In an industry that emphasizes a lot on youth, Renae Olivia is redefining what beauty means for older women. Nearing her 50th birthday, Renae is a proud mother of two wonderful boys. And her thriving Instagram account, @renae.olivia, is already about to hit 50k followers. She regularly partners with local makeup and skincare brands.

2. Naima Zahin

This beauty and makeup guru hails from London, if that wasn’t already obvious with her Instagram handle, @thesassylondonista. As a beauty guru, makeup artist, and personal stylist, Naima surely is a triple threat. She partners with local beauty brands such as Crystal Clear Skincare and international brands like Charlotte Tilbury Beauty.

3. Melissa Oosterwolde

Melissa is not one to shy away from being different. In fact, her whole brand is about standing out. From her makeup choices to her clothing style, Melissa strives to stay unique. Her Instagram account, @iammelissaoosterwolde, is close to reaching 25k followers and growing fast.

4. Netta

Going through Netta’s Instagram feed, @naturallynetta_, you immediately sense her strong sense of style. And although she heavily features her outfits, Netta describes herself as being a beauty lover. Her makeup is absolutely flawless and a breath of fresh air in an industry dominated by mostly white beauty influencers.

5. Megan Coates

With a witty Instagram handle like @raincotesbeauty, it’s hard to ignore Megan. She’s a makeup artist turned multiple sclerosis advocate. Her condition allowed her to explore what it means to approach health and beauty in a holistic way. Not to mention, her brand is about promoting wellness and it’s evident in her beauty style.

6. Valeriya

Valeriya is a proud model, coach, beauty queen, and mom. Her rise to fame is rooted in her charm and wit as much as her natural beauty. Her Instagram followers love her for her many adventures, health and beauty tips, and her impeccable style.

7. Asa

Based in Seattle and with an Instagram following steadily growing, Asa’s advocacy is all about body positivity in the beauty community. Her natural approach to makeup is complemented by her relaxed style. Known under the handle @laceandpearlsblog, Asa espouses health, makeup tips, and a great love for her cats.

8. Hayley Hall

Another proud UK-based beauty influencer, Hayley’s style is all about embracing her natural curves encased in warm and earthy toned style. Her makeup look can be described as natural and subdued, complemented by her fashion sense revolving around floral prints.

9. Ashlee

Chicago-based Ashlee has recently crossed the 10k follower mark on her Instagram account, @intheglamroom. From makeup to nails, she certainly does it all. Her feed is dominated by beauty products she regularly uses as well as a few sponsored ones.

10. Geena Samantha

Based in Dortmund, Germany, Geena Samantha of @pastelmints is known for her gorgeous eye makeup. Her liberal use of colorful eyeshadow palettes is very reminiscent of a makeup style by big beauty gurus. With over 33k followers, Geena has been experiencing a steady rise in fame.

11. Lena

Another German beauty guru, Lena is drawing a lot of attention from many makeup fans and professionals because of her amazing and intricate eye makeup. Lena shows off her makeup skill by creating painting-like quality on her eyelids. A strong and growing fan base of more than 20k followers has allowed Lena to grow a strong and significant influence in the competitive world of beauty and makeup.

12. Lesley Marie

Lesley is an up-and-comer in the beauty and makeup world. Still, she has made a name for herself for the kind of stunning looks she creates. Based in NYC, she has amassed close to 45k followers on her Instagram, @lesleymarie1213.

13. Issy Lockett

Boasting an impressive 19.4k followers, this UK-based micro beauty influencer is known for her artistic eye makeup rendering. With her face and body as her canvas, Issy of @isabelle_makeup_ shows off her skill through her extravagant, often over-the-top, makeup transformations that leave her close to 20k Instagram followers stunned and inspired.

14. Aluve Nguza

Hailing from South Africa, this stunning black beauty is an advocate of natural hair and makeup. With a clean and crisp Instagram aesthetic, it’s easy to see why her 13.5k followers love Aluve’s personal brand. Besides beauty and makeup, Aluve is also a gifted thespian.

15. Daniel

Daniel of @danieljewels follows the footsteps of Bretman Rock, James Charles, and Jeffree Star because of his flair for dramatic makeup and liberal use of colors. He has recreated a number of memorable fictional characters from film and television, gravitating towards characters that we know and love.

16. Hamsoyoung

This list wouldn’t be complete without at least one beauty influencer from Korea. Hamsoyoung, otherwise known as @bebe_282 on Instagram is a beauty and makeup guru famous for her quintessential South Korean looks. Natural and understated, her makeup style is benefiting her subdued fashion sense.

17. An

Scrolling through An’s Instagram feed, you get the sense of her aesthetic. Being a mom, she shares makeup tips that focus on everyday looks. From sharing her skincare routine to her step-by-step guide on how to put on eyeshadow, An serves as a mentor for both pros and newbies.

18. Angie

A proud Chilean by heart, Angie has wowed the beauty community with her make up transformations. Being able to paint a green skull on her face, to applying an everyday makeup look, Angie shows versatility with her makeup skills. Angie is not afraid to push the boundaries of what makeup can do, frequently experimenting with colors and styles.

19. Laura Alksne

The beauty community is populated by makeup artists and makeup enthusiasts. Laura Alksne is both. It’s clear she has fun putting on makeup for herself and others. Hence, it shows how she executes each of her looks. A strong sense of style and a distinct makeup look sets Laura apart from other influencers.

20. Jeanette Emory

The worlds of beauty and skincare often blur their dividing line and Jeanette Emory of @thick_skin enjoys straddling that divide. She is a strong advocate of clean beauty, propagates the importance of wellness, and a certified organic skincare specialist. Being a mom, her caring nature transfers to her more than 15k followers.

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Influencers

12 Facts About Chadwick Boseman

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Fans worldwide are still mourning the passing of Chadwick Boseman after a four-year battle with colon cancer. The 43-year-old actor, known for his performance as King T’Challa in Marvel’s “Black Panther,” died in his Los Angeles home, surrounded by his wife and family on August 28.

A statement released through his Twitter account says the actor was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer back in 2016. It was the same year he first appeared as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War. Besides his role as a Marvel superhero, Boseman also charmed fans with his stellar portrayals of Black icons such as Thurgood Marshall (Marshall), James Brown (Get On Up), and Jackie Robinson (42).

As tributes continue to pour in, here are 12 interesting things to know about the late actor.

1. African background

In an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2018, Boseman said that his African lineage influenced him to provide a more human portrayal of Black Panther. The actor revealed that DNA testing indicated that his ancestors came from the Krio people from Sierra Leone, Yoruba from Nigeria, as well as Limba from Sierra Leone.

2. Soldiering on throughout his battle

Chadwick Boseman never publicized his battle against colon cancer. In fact, fans didn’t know that he was undergoing surgery and chemotherapy while working on several projects over the last few years. 

His cancer treatment coincided with several film projects, including “The Black Panther,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Aside from grueling shooting days, reports say the actor had to learn several martial art techniques for his fight scenes. These include Angolan capoeira, Zulu stick fighting, Dambe boxing, karate, jiu-jitsu, and kung-fu.

3. Constant inspiration

Perhaps Boseman got his work ethic from his father, Leroy. His father worked for an agricultural conglomerate and had a side hustle as an upholsterer. 

In an interview, Boseman expressed how his father’s hard work continued to inspire him through adulthood. 

“I saw him work a lot of third shifts, a lot of night shifts. Whenever I work a particularly hard week, I think of him,” Boseman said.

4. Audition for a different role

Most fans know that Boseman didn’t have to audition for Black Panther, as he was the top pick to portray the role. However, not everyone may be aware that he previously auditioned for another Marvel role – Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Drax the Destroyer. 

The audition obviously didn’t work out, with Dave Bautista bagging the role. But everything fell into place, with Boseman bookmarked for the iconic role he’s now most known for.

6. Coping with grief

Boseman played basketball in high-school. After one of his teammates was shot and killed, he switched gears and transitioned to being a storyteller. He turned to pen and paper to commemorate his friend’s death and wrote and staged a play called Crossroads. The production sparked his passion for a career in arts. 

7. Fired

Boseman revealed that he was fired from ABC soap opera “All My Children” in 2003 because he questioned his role’s racial stereotypes. The actor talked about the incident during his commencement speech at Howard University in 2018.

 “Once I saw the role I was playing, I found myself conflicted… this role seemed to be wrapped up in assumptions about us as black folk,” Boseman said during his speech. “I was let go from that job the next day. The questions I asked caught the producers off guard. It perhaps paved the way for a less stereotypical portrayal for the black actor that stepped into the role after me.”  

8. Denzel Washington scholar

Phylicia Rashad was one of Boseman’s mentors at Howard University back when he was a student. Boseman and some other students got into the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer program during that time. However, they decided not to push through due to lack of funds. Rashad asked help from a friend who agreed to pay the tuition. That friend was Denzel Washington.

9. Diagnosis hint?

Some speculate that Chadwick Boseman may have previously hinted at the illness he’s battling with. In a 2017 interview, Huffington Post’s Matthew Jacobs asked him about bulking up and slimming down only to bulk up again. It was because he did “Marshall” between two Black Panther movies. 

“Oh, you don’t even know [laughs]. You have no idea. One day I’ll live to tell the story,” Boseman said then. 

10. Inspired cancer patients

The actor visited cancer patients in  St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Tennessee in 2018 while privately battling the big C himself.

During a SiriusXM interview, Boseman got emotional when he talked about two terminally ill boys. They were in constant contact while filming Black Panther. The boys held on because they wanted to see “Black Panther.” The interview holds a whole new different meaning after the announcement of his illness and passing.

11. Posthumous Film

Fans will get to watch Boseman in a post-humous drama film titled, “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” where he starred with Viola Davis. Based on the play of the same name by August Wilson. George C. Wolfe directed the film. The movie, filmed last year, is set for release in November.

12. Jackie Robinson Day

Chadwick Boseman died on the same day Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day. The annual commemoration fell on August 28 after months of postponement due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Boseman played the role of Robinson in a 2013 film, “42.”

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Otakon Welcomes Writers Roland Kelts And Frederik L. Schodt

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Frederik L Schodt Roland Kelts

Roland Kelts, author of Japanamerica: How Japanese pop culture has invaded us, and writer, translator, and conference interpreter, Frederik L. Schodt have both joined as guests for Otakon 2017. Fans of the writers were thrilled for their appearance at the convention, as they share their most popular and influential works. Frederik writes exclusively on pop culture, technology, and history, while Roland is currently a 2017 Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University, where he is currently working on a new book. Both Frederik and Roland are devoted writers, with similarities in expressing Japanese culture in their writings.

While living in Tokyo and New York City, Roland writes for a variety of well-known publications that includes, “The New Yorker, Time,” “The New York Times,” “Harper’s Magazine,” “The Christian Science Monitor,” “Newsweek Japan,” “The Los Angeles Times,” “The Yomiuri” and “The Japan Times,” and is an authority on modern Japanese culture and media. His writings are spread throughout, though his recognition is from Japanese fans especially. Likewise, he is a frequent commentator on CNN, NPR, NHK, and the BBC. With additional lectures for TED Talks in Tokyo and The World Economic Forum in Tianjin, Roland is looking for various opportunities to share his work, in order to spread awareness to the Japanese culture.

Otakon is an annual celebration of Japanese and East Asian popular culture, with the title of holding in one of the largest gatherings of fans in the United States. In the celebration of anime, manga, video games, and especially music from the Far East, Otakon attracts like-minded fans. Created from devoted fans for fans, the staff is directed by an all-volunteer, unpaid staff. The conventions are solely for the purpose of celebrating and sharing Japanese and East Asian cultures.

Frederik is best known for his many works on manga that includes, “Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics” (1983), “Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga” (1996), and “The Astro Boy Essays: Osamu Tezuka, Mighty Atom, and the Manga/Anime Revolution” (2007). He has won numerous awards for his talent in the past as a result. In 2009 especially, the emperor of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his success in introducing Japanese popular culture to North America. His most influential work gave recognition to both him and to what Japan has to offer.

As of recently in 2013, his book, “Professor Risley and the Imperial Japanese Troupe: How an American Acrobat Introduced Circus to Japan—And Japan to the West,” won the Circus Historical Society’s Stuart Thayer Prize. Doing so, for the last three years, he has served on the executive committee of the Japan International Manga Award. Additionally, he is an active translator and has worked on much well-known manga series, as well as novels including Yoshiyuki Tomino’s “Mobile Suit Gundam” trilogy.

Frederik has been involved in spreading Japanese culture and will continue as he attends Otakon 2017. The convention holds determined fans who wish to express their culture with other similar people. In Otakon 2017, writers Roland Kelts and Frederik L. Schodt are invited to continue the tradition. All while cementing their writings and work to Japanese culture, the awareness can now be shared in North America.

Otakon will be continuing their gatherings next year on August 10-12 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington D.C. 

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