July 2, 2015
Tourists Cheer Fat, Naked Bodies
In Support Of Body Positivity
New York (AP) Body positivity was on full display last Friday on the steps of the New York Public Library as three women had their naked bodies painted in front of lunch-time crowds.
The event was organized by Kimberly Massengill‚ who goes by the name of Substantia Jones‚ to mark the eighth anniversary of the Adipositivity Project, which celebrates fat bodies and works to combat sizeism.
She photographs naked, fat people, mostly women, and posts the pictures on her blog to empower and teach people about different sizes.
Massengill collaborated with local artist, Andy Golub, and three models of varying sizes and shapes.
Substantia being interviewed at the Public Library, NYC
“We’re here promoting body love,” she said. “I want people to love their bodies and let other people love their bodies.”
She said in a news release that the word “fat” should be used whenever possible, as “overweight” imposes judgment and an expectation that there is an acceptable weight limit.
Passers-by were impressed by the women’s bravery.
“I think it’s amazing; people shouldn’t be ashamed of their bodies,” said Michal Bezalel, a tourist from Israel.
Golub—who has been painting naked bodies for several years—said society expects people who are fat to be ashamed of it, but when faced with people who are happy to show off their naked bodies to the public, they find themselves in uncharted territory.
“I think there’s something very, very powerful about the fact that we’re doing this with no sense of shame or embarrassment,” he said. “We’re just painting pictures, that’s it.”
Massengill said that aside from one or two people, everyone walking by has had a positive reaction.
Mollena Williams, one of the models, said she was really nervous about being naked publicly, but the positive responses to the Adipositivity Project prompted her to volunteer for the event.
“My favorite part today has been the fact that when people have approached with children, they’ve allowed them to enjoy it,” Williams said. “That kid probably is going to have that much less issue with people’s bodies.”
As the women waved to the crowd, a busload of tourists driving by cheered them on.
Two 115-Year Old Women Talk About Their Lives & Habits
By Antonio Calanni
And Michael Balsamo
(AP) At 115, NYC Woman World’s Oldest
When Susannah Mushatt Jones and Emma Morano were born in 1899, there was not yet world war or penicillin, and electricity was still considered a marvel. The women are believed to be the last two in the world with birthdates in the 1800s.
The world has multiplied and changed drastically in their lifetimes. They have seen war destroy landmarks and cities and have seen them rebuilt. They witnessed the Gilded Age, a term coined by Mark Twain, and the dawn of civil rights, the rise and fall of the fascists and Benito Mussolini, the first polio vaccines and the first black president of the United States.
Jones, who lives in New York, currently tops a list of supercentenarians, or people who have lived past 110, which is maintained by Los Angeles-based Gerontology Research Group. The organization tracks and maintains a database of the world’s longest-living people. Morano, of Verbania, Italy, is just a few months younger than Jones and is Europe’s oldest person, according to the group. The group knows of no others born in the 1800s.
Born: Nov. 29, 1899
Morano has lived on her own ever since she left her husband in 1938 because he beat her. Now 115, she resides in a neat one-room apartment in Verbania, a mountain town overlooking Lake Major in northwest Italy. She is cared for by her village: The mayor gave her a TV set, her niece stops in twice a day and her adoring physician of more than 25 years checks up on her regularly.
Morano attributes her longevity to her unusual diet: Three raw eggs a day (now two raw eggs and 150 grams of raw steak after a bout of anemia) — a diet she’s been on for decades after a sickly childhood.
“My father brought me to the doctor, and when he saw me he said, ‘Such a beautiful girl. If you had come just two days later, I would have not been able to save you.’
Emma Morano eats eggs & chocolate every day
He told me to eat two or three eggs a day, so I eat two eggs a day.”
Her physician today, Dr. Carlo Bava, is convinced there’s a genetic component as well.
“From a strictly medical and scientific point of view, she can be considered a phenomenon,” he said, noting that Morano takes no medication and has been in stable, good health for years.
Italy is known for its centenarians — many of whom live in Sardinia — and gerontologists at the University of Milan are studying Morano, along with a handful of Italians over age 105, to try to figure out why they live so long.
“Emma seems to go against everything that could be considered the guidelines for correct nutrition: She has always eaten what she wants, with a diet that is absolutely repetitive,” Bava said. “For years, she has eaten the same thing every day, not much vegetables or fruit. But she’s gotten this far.”
Morano’s sister, whom Bava cared for as well, died at 97. On a recent visit, Morano was in feisty spirits, displaying the sharp wit and fine voice that used to stop men in their tracks.
“I sang in my house, and people on the road stopped to hear me singing. And then they had to run because they were late and should go to work,” she recalled, before breaking into a round of the 1930s Italian love song “Parlami d’amore Mariu.”
“Ahh, I don’t have my voice anymore,” she lamented at the end.
Bava also credits Morano’s longevity to her outlook: She is positive — “She never says, ‘I’ve had enough,’” he said — but stubborn. He recalled that when she needed blood transfusions a few years ago, she refused to go to the hospital. When he warned her that she would die without them, “Her response was ‘That means my time has come. If you want, care for me at home; otherwise, I’ll die.’”
And even though her movements now are limited — she gets out of bed and into her armchair and back again, her eyesight is bad and hearing weak — she does seem to sneak around at night.
“Her niece and I leave some biscuits and chocolates out at night in the kitchen. And in the morning they’re gone, which means someone has gotten up during the night and eaten them,” he said.
Susannah Mushatt Jones
Born: July 6, 1899
Now 115 years old, Jones spends her days in her one-bedroom apartment in a public housing facility for seniors in Brooklyn, where she has lived for more than three decades.
She sticks to a strict daily routine: Every morning she wakes up around 9 a.m., takes a bath and then eats several slices of bacon, scrambled eggs and grits. On a recent day, Jones said little, but family members said she spends her days reflecting on her life and embracing what’s left of it — one day at a time. Her living room walls are adorned with family photos and birthday cards made by children in the community.
“Hey, Tee,” Jones’ niece, Lois Judge, said to her aunt using a family nickname, “How old are you?”
“I don’t know,” the frail Jones responded.
Susannah Mushatt Jones started a scholarship fund
Jones, who wears a yellow turban on her head and a nightgown most days, watches the world from a small recliner. Posters from past birthday parties, letters from local elected officials and a note from President Barack Obama fill the surfaces.
A sign in the kitchen reads: “Bacon makes everything better.”
She was born in a small farm town near Montgomery, Alabama. She was one of 11 siblings and attended a special school for young black girls. When she graduated from high school in 1922, Jones worked full time helping family members pick crops. She left after a year to begin working as a nanny, heading north to New Jersey and eventually making her way to New York.
“She adored kids,” Judge said of her aunt, though Jones never had any children of her own and was married for only a few years. Family members say there is no medical reason for her long life, crediting it to her love of family and generosity to others. Judge said she also believes her aunt’s longevity is thanks to growing up on a rural farm where she ate fresh fruits and vegetables that she picked herself.
After she moved to New York, Jones worked with a group of her fellow high school graduates to start a scholarship fund for young African-American women to go to college. She was also active in her public housing building’s tenant patrol until she was 106.
Despite her age, she only sees a doctor once every four months and takes medication for high blood pressure and a multivitamin every day. Aside from that, she has had a clean bill of health for years, Judge said. Jones is blind after glaucoma claimed her eyesight 15 years ago and is also hard of hearing.
She will turn 116 next week. Family members plan to throw her a party.
— Balsamo reported from New York, Calanni from Verbania.
Sunk In 1776, The Royal Savage Will Go Home For July 4th
By Dave Gram
Montpelier, VT (AP) — The remains of a Revolutionary War battleship that burned and sank as the Americans and British struggled for control of Lake Champlain will be in the hands of the U.S. Navy in time for the Fourth of July.
What’s left of the schooner Royal Savage, raised from the lake in 1934, has been in possession of the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and was turned over to the Navy during a ceremony Wednesday, July 1, in Harrisburg.
“It’s timbers. It’s not a ship,” said Michael Crawford, senior historian with the U.S. Navy History and Heritage Command. But “The significance of the timbers themselves is that they are the physical remains of an important sea battle.”
Gen. Benedict Arnold, then still loyal to the American cause, led the rebels as they sparred with the British over control of the lake. The Battle of Valcour Island, on Oct. 11, 1776, caused the British to turn back for Canada and abandon efforts at a southward invasion until the following spring, giving the Americans more time to build their defenses.
It also marked the end of the Royal Savage. The ship, taken from the British in a previous battle, was accidentally run aground by the Americans at Valcour Island, captured back by the British and burned, according to one account.
1934 photo of the remains (c) US Navy
The ship “made a fine fire that lasted all night,” wrote one Hessian officer fighting for the British.
Lake Champlain was a key strategic waterway in 1775 and 1776, used both for American incursions into British-held Canada and as an invasion route south for the British, said Art Cohn, director of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
The British had hoped their troops coming from the north would meet at Albany with their forces coming from the south, up the Hudson River, and cut off New England from the rest of the colonies.
But American resistance in the region delayed the advance of British forces southward long enough to allow two rebel achievements: the capture of cannons at Fort Ticonderoga in New York, which were later used to force the British evacuation from Boston; and a victory for the Americans in the Battle of Saratoga, New York.
In 1996, Harrisburg bought a collection that included the Royal Savage’s remains and planned to display them in a museum. Instead, the ship’s timbers and other artifacts have remained in storage since then, said Joyce Davis, the city’s communications director.
Cohn said the Navy is expected to make a traveling exhibit out of the remains, with stops likely around Lake Champlain, in Harrisburg and in Washington, D.C.
With Wednesday’s handoff, Crawford said, “The Navy and the U.S. government is exercising its proper role in being the guardian of our heritage.”
Pending Study, Feds Stop Release Of Red Wolves In NC
By JONATHAN DREW
Raleigh, NC (AP) Federal officials said Tuesday that they won’t release any more endangered red wolves in eastern North Carolina while they study the viability of the only wild population of the species.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said in a news release that no more captive-bred wolves will be used to bolster the wild population of between 75 and 100 of the carnivores present in several counties in the eastern part of the state. It said it will continue to manage the wild population.
The service said the reintroductions will be halted at least until it completes a further review of the program begun in 1987 to restore the wolves to the wild. It expects to finish its review by the end of the year.
``There will likely be some who will suggest we are walking away from recovery efforts for the red wolf and simultaneously there will be others who might say we’re holding on too tight,’’ said Cindy Dohner, the Southeast regional director for the wildlife service.
A female red wolf Photo: B. Bartel/USFWS.
The announcement comes months after a government-commissioned report criticized how the program is run. The evaluation issued in late 2014 found flaws in the program, ranging from inadequate understanding of population trends to poor coordination with local managers.
Once common around the Southeast, the red wolf had been considered extinct in the wild as of 1980 because of factors including hunting and habitat loss. In 1987, wildlife officials released red wolves bred in captivity into the wild in North Carolina.
Earlier this year, state wildlife officials asked the federal government to end the program and declare the wolves extinct in the wild, citing the negative evaluation. They say the wolves pose problems when they roam onto private land.
Conservationists argue that the program has been successful and that politics _ not natural factors _ have been the biggest threat to the wolves. The species’ existence has been debated in courtrooms, at high levels of the federal government and in 48,000 public comments.
Elsewhere, other species of wolf have been the subject of conservation efforts and court battles. The gray wolf has rebounded to a population of several thousand in the Midwest and Northern Rockies after it was nearly wiped out from the lower 48 states by the 1970s. In the Southwest, efforts to restore the Mexican gray wolf in southwestern states have been hampered by politics, illegal killings and other factors. About 100 of those wolves are in the wild in several states.