It’s true that the once-thriving niche of lesbian bars has dwindled to a small smattering. Most of those that remain are clandestine tourist destinations littered around the heartland. Indeed, these bastions of lesbian community are now few and far between.
But recent developments may be changing that. As easing restrictions allow bars to open back up, grassroots campaigns are poised to save lesbian bars from the brink.
Let’s back up a little.
The origin of lesbian bars
If you’re a fan of Moulin Rouge (or French history, I guess), you might know a bit about the inception of the modern lesbian bar. Artist Toulouse Lautrec often chronicled the lesbian nightlife in turn-of-the-century France. Bars like Le Rat Mort were owned and frequented by lesbians.
This phenomenon spread to other areas of high society in the early 20th century. In Weimar Germany, lesbian entrepreneur Elsa Conrad owned multiple such bars. Bars for women were a rarity in the US at the time, but the upper-crust Cafe des Beaux Arts, which operated in New York from 1911-1921, is cited as an early example.
Prohibition and its aftermath
When we talk about the modern history of lesbian bars, the clock usually starts after Prohibition’s repeal in 1933. Bars like Roselle Inn in Chicago and Mona’s in San Francisco opened shortly thereafter.
It’s worth noting, however, that lesbian bars truly started to pop up during Prohibition. Where women had previously been legally discouraged from drinking, the total prohibition of alcohol was ironically an expanding force. Women could drink freely in speakeasies, and even own them.
The lesbian bars that sprung up after Prohibition were the offspring of the lesbian speakeasies that came before, such as Eve’s Hangout, which was shut down after a 1926 police raid.
The golden age of lesbian bars
Lesbian bars and communities continued to grow, aided by the growth of cities and economic prosperity that followed WWII. Bars of this era still faced plenty of threats. Gay activity was still criminalized, organized crime was eager to capitalize, and internal debates split the community in twain.
In the ‘50s, de facto segregation and economic inequality kept many Black lesbians out of major lesbian bars. So did rigid attitudes about lesbian coupling built around butch/femme (or stud/femme) binaries.
The first lesbian political organization, the Daughters of Bilitis, was formed in 1955. This was an early motion in the broader LGBTQ+ rights movement, which shone a national spotlight on lesbian and gay communities.
As the movement grew throughout the ‘60s, so did identification with/interest in lesbianism. As lesbian feminism developed in the ‘70s, lesbian bars became activist spaces in addition to social ones. By the ‘80s, there were over 200 lesbian bars nationwide.
There’s just one problem, and it’s a problem that emerges any time social spaces become political ones: politics create conflict. Divisions bubbled over who should and shouldn’t be included in lesbian spaces, from trans women to straight “political lesbians.” This fed into the damaging notion that “lesbian” itself was an exclusionary term.
The slow, painful fall
These divisions persisted, but lesbian bars remained fairly prevalent throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. New movements led to new expansions. The Combahee River Collective helped open doors for lesbians of color. The community was ravaged by the AIDS crisis, but activism on that front helped bring the broader LGBT community together. By the mid-’90s, the Lesbian Avengers were bringing lesbian issues to the forefront of the community.
So, what did kill the lesbian bar? 9/11? The recession? Is it somehow Ellen’s fault?
The truth is, there was no one incident that sent lesbian bars into freefall. The more society as a whole accepted lesbians, the more patronage for these tight-knit neighborhood bars dwindled.
Meanwhile, over the course of the ‘00s, people kind of stopped meeting each other in person. The social role that lesbian bars once played could now be fulfilled much more accessibly by online forums, and later social media.
Statistics show that interest in the “lesbian” label itself may have declined in the ‘00s and ‘10s as well. Post-lesbian discourse has tended to frame the label as too exclusive. While the broader LGBTQ+ community grew substantially in the 21st century, the lesbian community didn’t experience the bulk of those gains.
The ravages of COVID-19
Articles about the dramatic decline in lesbian bars started to pop up in the late ‘10s. In 2019, it was estimated that only 15 such bars remained (in fact, there were 21). A string of closings occurred throughout the ‘10s as business dwindled and rents went up.
When COVID hit, activists like Erica Rose and Elina Street sounded the alarm. Rose and Street started the Lesbian Bar Project, a campaign aimed at fundraising to keep the remaining bars open.
Lincoln, NE’s Panic Bar closed in November 2020. In Philly, Toasted Walnut shuttered in February 2021. Even as Lesbian Bar Project and other campaigns shined a national light on the issue, it seemed like the institution was quickly becoming a thing of the past.
But wait, there’s more?
A confluence of factors led to increasingly dire conditions for the country’s remaining lesbian bars. Pandemic-era restrictions were the final straw for many. But then, something shifted.
See, the pandemic may have kept us apart from each other, but it also reminded us how much we miss sharing a space. As restrictions were lifted, grassroots movements started to form dedicated to providing new, in-person social spaces for lesbians.
The lesbian bar revival
As the tireless work of the Lesbian Bar Project kept the remaining bars afloat, social groups and pop-ups started to form across the country. Lesbian Social Detroit. SHELiFE in Miami. Sip City Mixer here in Philly.
These groups coordinate regular events that go beyond the narrow scope of a bar: picnics, beach parties, sporting events. At the same time, they reflect a growing, vibrant, and (contrary to the popular stereotype) inclusive lesbian community nationwide.
As You Are in DC began as a pop-up series, but has now set up a permanent home. The Sports Bra, the first women’s sports bar, is now open in Portland, where another lesbian bar (Doc Marie’s) is opening just this week.
You can thank Lesbian Bar Project for their tireless work keeping remaining lesbian bars alive. You can also thank the internet which, once thought a detriment to the lesbian label, has now invited a new generation of lesbians to flourish.
Thanks to a renewed focus on community organizing and mutual aid, things are finally looking up for the humble lesbian bar.
The Best Robot Vacuum of 2023
Are you looking to maintain spotless floors effortlessly? With robot vacuums becoming increasingly capable and budget-friendly, these top-tested models can ease your household maintenance task. However, finding the right robot vacuum is easier said than done. We’ve curated a list to help you choose the best robot vacuum of 2023.
1. Roborock S8
The Roborock S8 is our number one best robot vacuum of 2023. It is the top tier of Roborock’s extensive collection of robot vacuums. This model is an upgraded version of the existing Roboroc S7 MaxV. Roborock has a dual-sensor mapping, hazard recognition system, and a more powerful suction motor. Likewise, its new cleaning head with twin rubber rollers is more resistant to hair wraps. The build quality is also excellent and easy to maintain, allowing a smart, effortless cleaning experience.
- Excellent performance on bare floors
- Relatively easy to maintain
- A wide array of cleaning configuration options
- Impressively effective mopping system
2. Dreametech DreameBot D10 Plus
Here comes a mid-priced robot vacuum and mop with an auto-empty station. The Dreametech Dreame Bot D10 Plus two-in-one robot vacuum is an efficient workhorse of a robot vacuum that also has a mopping module for hard floors. It has an auto-empty station that will empty its onboard dustbin into a giant bag that can be emptied in 30 days.
For anyone wanting hands-free sweeping and mopping, the Dreame Bot D10 is a must-have. It will sweep your floor to the schedule you wish to daily or even multiple times per day. Just set the schedule and forget that it is there. If you have hard flooring, fill the 145ml water tank with clean water, which will mop your hard floors.
- Real-time smart tracking
- Voice notifications
- Strong suction
- Large charging dock
- App download required
- Water-only mopping
3. Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
Our next featured item is one of today’s most advanced robot vacuum cleaners. It can mop and vacuum floors simultaneously while requiring minimal human intervention. In addition, its built-in camera allows the robot to identify obstacles precisely. As one of the original models on the market with a self-cleaning dock, the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra has two water tanks and can wash the robot’s mop.
- Great cleaning performance
- Efficient self-cleaning
- Good navigation
- Clever mop mechanism
- Bulky dock
- Cable and small obstacle detection isn’t great
- No consumables included in the box
4. Bob Sweep PetHair SLAM
The Bob Sweep Pet Hair Slam robot vacuum is designed to tackle the challenge of pet hair and general debris on your floors. SLAM stands for Simultaneous Localization and Mapping. With laser vision and state-of-the-art mapping and localizing technology, Bob creates a map of his surroundings and plans the best cleaning path, providing full cleaning coverage of the entire house. Its advanced features make it stand out in the market of automated cleaning solutions.
- Pet Hair Expertise
- Powerful Suction
- Advanced Navigation
- App Control
- HEPA Filtration
- It is relatively pricier compared to some other robot vacuum options on the market
- Learning Curve
5. Shark AI Ultra™ 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop
This model from Shark is similar to other vacuum-and-mop combos, effectively cleaning floors. It has an easy-to-use app for cleaning a room or a specific area. The app is used for turning on the robot vacuum to clean even when you’re not home.
- Excellent vacuuming and mopping power
- The app is easy to use
- It can be set to clean when you’re not home
- Battery life and charging speed are not comparable with other robot vacuums
- Starter cleaning solution may not last a long time
6. iRobot Roomba 694
The iRobot Roomba 694 is the most affordable product on our list. Even without advanced navigation technology, it captured dust and pet hair. It offers slightly better battery life than its excellent predecessor, the Roomba 675.
- Rarely gets stuck
- Seamless app setup
- Supports Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant voice control
- Allows for scheduled cleanings
- Detects and focuses on heavily soiled areas
- Missed some debris on carpets in testing
- Lacks smart navigation and mapping abilities
- No carrying handle
7. Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI
This feature-rich hybrid vacuum and mop uses artificial intelligence to detect and avoid many obstacles other robot vacuums wouldn’t get.
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI combines powerful cleaning capabilities with artificial intelligence and visual interpretation (AIVI) technology. This enables the robot to vacuum and mop different floor surfaces effectively and identify and avoid obstacles like shoes, cables, and pet waste.
- Automatically recognizes and avoids obstacles
- Exceptional battery life
- Allows for remote home monitoring with a built-in camera
- Supports virtual boundaries
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice support
- Mops with water, not cleaning solution
- Moderate learning curve
8. Eufy RoboVac G30
Measuring 12.8 inches in diameter, the Eufy RoboVac G30 is one of the smallest robot vacuums we’ve tested. It can clean where many other robot vacuums won’t fit, like under couches. The RoboVac G30 smartly navigates your home, cleaning in orderly lines instead of randomly bouncing from wall to wall like some other affordable models.
- Compact, low-profile design
- Strong suction power for its size
- Well-designed app
- Easy to set up and use
- Works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Features smart navigation for systematic cleaning
- It doesn’t support strips or virtual boundaries
- Battery life is on the short side
Do you agree with our line-up and pick your own choice of the best robot vacuum of 2023? As mentioned earlier, these smart vacuums can clean different types of floors and even adapt to our schedules. They have cool features like maps of our homes and can be controlled with our phones. But remember, these advanced robots might be expensive, and setting them up could take some time. Still, they’re a big step towards having homes that stay clean with less effort.
Explore Owner’s Mag for more product and service reviews.
Sweet Dreams Await: The Best Mattresses of 2023
Welcome to a comprehensive guide that will transform your nights into a haven of unparalleled comfort and rejuvenation.
These days, finding the perfect mattress has become an art that combines science, sleep technology, and the pursuit of the ultimate slumber experience. Over the years, a myriad of mattresses have emerged, each promising to be the key to unlocking the realm of sweet dreams.
In this article, we’ll explore the best mattresses in the market in terms of design, material advancements, and personalized sleep solutions, helping you make an informed choice for a restful and revitalizing night’s rest.
1. Saatva Classic Mattress
Do you wake up with a sweaty back? Then the Saatva Classic Mattress may be your new bed buddy.
That’s because it’s made up of springs and foam; it’s perfect if you want the body-hugging effect. Plus, it’s best for different sleepers because of its various firm levels, namely plush, luxury, and firm. The price can be from $995 to $2710, depending on the firmness.
2. Helix Dusk Luxe
Another best mattress of 2023 is the Helix Dusk Luxe. This mattress is not too firm, and its medium support level is excellent for combination sleepers. The model is a hybrid one, with layers of foam over carefully placed coils to provide soft yet firm cushioning.
Oh, and if you love luxury items, you’ll love their features, like a moisture-wicking cover, ergonomic zones, and a built-in pillowtop for support. Finally, the cost of the Helix Dusk Luxe ranges from $1,099 to $2,349.
3. Tempur-Pedic Tempur-Cloud
Many hail Tempur’s classic memory foam mattress as the best luxury mattress. The Tempur-Cloud is a more affordable model that offers pressure relief for a low-cost price. The bed comprises three layers of proprietary foam that are great for taking the pressure off your spine, lower back, and hips.
The more you use the mattress, the more comfortable it gets. That’s because the foam adapts to your body shape for a snug fit! Plus, it’s currently on discount for $1,399.
4. Bear Elite Hybrid
Looking for the best mattress for back pain? That’s Bear Elite Hybrid. Aside from relieving your sore muscles, it has an adaptive cushion that promotes muscle recovery. This makes the Bear Elite Hybrid the best choice for people with active lifestyles.
Its other features include a cover that keeps you cool at night and a foil-over-coil design to provide cushioned support. Finally, it retails from anywhere between $1,721 to $3,565.
5. Leesa Studio Mattress
Wondering what the best affordable mattress is? It’s the Leesa Studio Mattress. With this low-cost option, you’re not sacrificing anything–not even the air quality in your home. Why? The Leesa Studio is Greenguard Gold-certified, meaning it has low emissions and likely won’t release a gassy smell.
This mattress comes with a knit cover to help prevent moisture. The model is firm but can sink when you first lie down, making it a great choice for stomach sleepers. The mattress is currently on discount for $749.
6. Casper Original Mattress
One of the best mattresses for side sleepers comes in a box. The Casper Original Mattress is a must-have for people who want a quick bedroom set-up.
Don’t let the packaging fool you. This memory foam mattress isn’t just an easy DIY set-up; like other luxury mattresses, it has zone layers designed for spine alignment. Plus, the mattress is currently $1,036 at Amazon.
7. Tuft and Needly T&N Original Mattress
Need a luxury-like mattress for the bedroom? The Tuft and Needly T&N Original Mattress is the one you’re looking for.
In fact, the mattress has an adaptive foam that contours your body. In addition, it’s got a graphic and ceramic gel in the foams to help regulate your body heat. So overall, this is the best mattress of 2023 that won’t break the bank. The mattress is currently on sale for $780 at Amazon.
8. The WinkBed
Want a mattress that reduces spine soreness? Check out The WinkBed. This is the best mattress of 2023 to soothe that pressure point. The mattress is made of polyfoam and pocketed coils, divided into zones based on gauge and strength.
The coils even wrap around the mattress to prevent sinking, so you can enjoy stable support. Finally, the spaces between the coils allow air circulation, so it’s a great option for sweaty sleepers. Because of the premium features, the mattress retails for $1,499.
9. Nolah Evolution 15
Thick mattresses are always either a hit or miss. Most people might like their plushness, but they often feel too soft. But the Nolah Evolution 15 isn’t like that. In fact, it’s got strong and stable support, making it the best mattress for side sleepers.
Oh, and because of the balance of cushioning, they even provide spinal alignment and prevent sores in your shoulders and hips. The mattress is currently on discount at $1,699.
10. Avocado Green Mattress
Last but not least, here’s a latex mattress option that’s both eco-friendly and suitable for people with allergies. For context, latex is an excellent alternative to memory foam mattresses because it’s naturally hypoallergenic.
For latex mattress lovers, this Avocado Green Mattress is the best mattress of 2023 for back sleepers prone to allergies. It has over a thousand coils arranged in specific zones for targeted support and firmness that’s great for back sleepers. The Green Mattress is available for $1,999 at Amazon.
BONUS: Eight Sleep Pod 3
Promoted as the ultimate solution for enhancing sleep quality, Pod 3 is Eight Sleep’s latest iteration of the Pod series. This new product integrates innovative, dynamic cooling technology into the sleep environment, offering an unparalleled sleep experience.
Serving as a remarkably advanced mattress cover, the Pod 3 boasts an array of sophisticated technologies specifically designed to regulate temperature with exceptional efficiency. The Pod 3 employs Temperature Autopilot, a feature that automatically configures the ideal temperature for an individual’s entire night of rest, thus promoting optimal sleep conditions.
Selecting the ideal mattress is a deeply individual journey that hinges on your unique preferences, sleep habits, and physical needs.
For one, Your preferred sleep position is pivotal in determining the level of support and comfort you require. In addition, materials can also make a world of difference – from memory foam and latex to innerspring and hybrid designs. Each material offers distinct advantages: pressure relief, motion isolation, or cooling properties.
Whether you find solace in the embrace of memory foam, the bounce of innerspring, or the natural resilience of latex, the mattress you choose will play an integral role in shaping your nights and, ultimately, your days.
AI in Healthcare: Advantages and Limitations
Artificial intelligence (AI) is prevalent across various industries. It’s also integrated into the healthcare industry, helping providers and patients. But with the emergence of AI, is it doing more harm than good? We explore AI in healthcare below. Plus, we list AI-powered apps to help you with your health.
Advantages of AI in Healthcare
Automate Administrative Work
Healthcare providers can be swamped with administrative work in one day. That could take precious minutes off their day to help patients. But with AI’s help, they can reduce hours of administrative work and depend on AI to organize notes and data in a few seconds. Additionally, AI can help providers send reminders or notify patients about bills and insurance.
Access to Basic Mental Health Help
Going to therapy can be expensive. Although experts encourage patients to reach out to mental health providers for diagnosis and treatment, some AI chatbots can help patients with their mental health state. For example, if a patient is feeling sad at the moment and want someone to talk to immediately, an AI can follow a CBT-based framework to help the patient with their present emotions.
Analyze Trends and Data
Another benefit of AI in healthcare is helping healthcare providers with insights and data that take time to evaluate. For example, AI can identify possible diagnoses in a couple of minutes, saving patients’ lives sooner. Additionally, data can improve the patient-doctor relationship through communication and monitoring patient health without the need for an immediate consultation.
Limitations of AI in Healthcare
Since AI can be trained to organize and analyze data, an AI may provide diagnostic information to patients. However, AI can provide inaccurate diagnostic information, making patients anxious or worried about their health.
That’s why AI should be trained extensively in this area. Or doctors should review AI’s suggested diagnoses before it reaches the patient. Some experts have said that AI should provide links to where it obtained data to ensure it doesn’t misdiagnose patients.
One concern about using AI in the healthcare industry is the patients’ private data.
Strict rules are enforced to ensure that patient data is protected by organizations and compliant software applications. Although AI can be a helpful tool in analyzing patient data, it’s possible that AI could still make mistakes, especially if it’s untrained. It can make an error in showing the wrong patient data to another or analyzing data meant for another patient.
Lack of Empathy
AI can play a big role in patient care, especially in mental health. However, considering AI isn’t human, it will not grasp the idea of emotion. Sure, it could be trained with how emotions work. But it cannot empathize with a human when it’s experiencing emotional distress. It’s important to work in conjunction with a mental health professional to help you tackle your mental health concerns.
AI-assisted or AI-powered Health Apps
Note: All AI-powered apps on this list are safe to use and ensure that your data is secure.
Formerly IBM Watson Health, Merative is an all-in-one AI solution for hospitals, clinics, and other health institutions. An advantage of using Merative is making better decisions and enhancing the patient experience. Plus, it helps in imaging (radiology and cardiology) to create efficient and scalable workflows.
Even though Merative is ideal for health and government organizations, businesses can benefit from this too. They provide solutions for making better health decisions, such as insurance and health programs, for employees leading to happier and healthier employees.
If you want a personal AI-powered health app, ADA is one of the best options. What ADA can help you with is understanding and managing your symptoms. The AI suggests conditions based on what the users have submitted. After that, doctors review what the AI suggests. Finally, users learn possible conditions that they can show to their physician.
If you want an alternative to ADA, you should consider subscribing to Babylon Health. Although their AI focuses on helping their doctors give proper care to patients, you can use Babylon Health to check symptoms too. But with Babylon Health, you can connect to a physician directly and set an appointment. Aside from this, Babylon Health can provide you with health insights.
Buoy is another AI symptom health checker. However, Buoy ensures that they’ll be with you every step of the way. They can help you schedule an appointment with a doctor and to monitor your progress. Another thing to note is Buoy is community-based so that you can share your experience with other Buoy users too.
Youper is the first on our list of AI mental health apps. It’s an all-in-one solution for patients, employers, and mental health providers. The app has served over 2,000,000 patients and improved their patients’ well-being. Additionally, the AI runs on an evidence-based framework for helping patients manage their mental health.
Are you not feeling great and just want to talk to someone immediately about what you’re currently feeling? Woebot is another AI mental health chatbot to consider. The Woebot AI will train with you by talking to you and checking in with you. Additionally, the AI provides personalized advice and action-oriented solutions to help you. You can download Woebot on Google Play or App Store.
If your goal is to become healthier in life, Florence is one of the best AI apps for that purpose. Are you forgetful when drinking your meds? Florence can remind you when to take them. You can also keep track of your health, like your mood, weight, and periods. Finally, you can rely on Florence if you need to buy medication and find a doctor.
AI has made significant strides in the healthcare industry. Providers can get more work done and assist more patients with their concerns. Meanwhile, patients can use AI to get suggestions about their concerns or access to basic mental health needs like talk therapy. While AI has impressed patients and providers, it still has a long way to go in providing more accurate data and empathizing with humans to enhance their experience.