TIME Education

GoldieBlox Will Have a Float in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Get ready to see "The Girl-Power Spinning Machine" in action

GoldieBlox, the engineering toy company for girls whose promotional video went viral last year, will have its own balloon in this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “The Girl-Power Spinning Machine,” which is designed to showcase engineering principles, will float down the streets of New York City alongside beloved floats like Snoopy, Garfield and Spider-Man.

Debbie Sterling, CEO of the company, has long had a mission to close the gender gap in the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math). Even though these are the fastest-growing careers in the country, studies show that girls lose interest in STEM as early as age eight. “When I spent time with families to observe how boys and girls played, I found that with construction toys, girls were asking, ‘Why are we building it?’ or ‘Why should we care?’” Sterling told TIME last year. “So my aha moment for how to appeal to girls was to kind of toss out the instruction manual and instead write stories about this girl engineer. She builds things to solve problems and help her friends.”

So she created the character of Goldie, a smart young woman who makes mistakes and learns from them. Storybooks that come with the construction toys tells the story of why Goldie needed to build the machine — to help herself, her pets and her friends. Since launching a Kickstarter campaign last year, GoldieBlox has exploded onto the toy market: they’re now available at Toys ‘R’ Us, Amazon and more than 1,000 local retailers. And now they have a float with a positive message to boot.

“I hope that every girl that watches GoldieBlox in the parade this year gets that excitement about not just wanting to be the princess on the float, but really engineering her own and that she can build anything,” Sterling says in the video announcing the project.

Here’s a sketch of the float:

MacysFloat_Announcement_Sept2014_v1
GoldieBlox

 

 

TIME advice

Frozen Songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez on Her ‘Aha’ Moment

Songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez speaks at the TIME and Real Simple's Women & Success event at the Park Hyatt on Oct. 1, 2014 in New York City.
Songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez speaks at the TIME and Real Simple's Women & Success event at the Park Hyatt on Oct. 1, 2014 in New York City. Larry Busacca—Getty Images for Time Inc.

The Oscar-Winning songwriter opens up at the Real Simple/TIME Women & Success Panel in New York City

Frozen songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Today Show host Tamron Hall and former CEO of WWE Linda McMahon spoke with Real Simple editor Kristen van Ogtrop about her path to success and the advice she’d give to young women. Here’s what she said:

On the wrong approach to success:

When I look back in my 20s, I was so obsessed with success. I used to call it ‘my ticket out of hell,’ I used to think ‘if I got this thing, that one thing, then I would be successful.’ And it would be something like the tour of the Fiddler on the Roof… And if it was my ‘ticket out of hell’ I wouldn’t get it, because I approached it with so much anxiety.

On the ‘aha’ moment where her attitude changed:

But I had this Oprah ‘aha!’ moment… I realized that for me, success was being in the moment… It’s being in the moment because I’m in the flow of the song, when I stop worrying about what time it is, or whether I’m hungry.

Look at what you’re doing with your free time. Look at what draws you when you aren’t working. Look at what you’re doing. Whatever you’re doing that draws you, listen to that voice and follow that voice.

On when she realized she wanted to be a songwriter instead of an actor:

I did ‘The Artist’s Way’ by Julia Cameron, and it forced me to write every morning. It was the first time I ever thought I wanted to be a songwriter, I wrote it in the form of “I want to be the third Indigo girl.”

On failure:

There were 7 ½ songs cut from Frozen. Even “Do You Want to Make a Snowman” was out, then it was in, then it was out, then it was in, we had to deal with the failure of “ooh that wasn’t executed just right”… [you have to] think of failure as process, not as a label.

TIME advice

Tamron Hall on How Not Getting Jobs Helped Her Succeed

Correspondent Tamron Hall speaks at the TIME and Real Simple's Women & Success event at the Park Hyatt on Oct. 1, 2014 in New York City.
Correspondent Tamron Hall speaks at the TIME and Real Simple's Women & Success event at the Park Hyatt on Oct. 1, 2014 in New York City. Larry Busacca—Getty Images for Time Inc.

The Today Show host opens up at the Real Simple/TIME Women & Success Panel in New York City

Television host Tamron Hall spoke with Frozen songwriter Kristen Anderson-Lopez and former CEO of WWE Linda McMahon spoke with Real Simple editor Kristen van Ogtrop about her path to success and the advice she’d give to young women. Here’s what she said:

On whether she ever doubted herself:

I’ve never not felt successful… My grandfather had a second grade education, he was a sharecropper, I don’t even know if my grandmother had a birth certificate. We didn’t have paved streets till the 1980s… I was always told by my grandfather, who took me home from the hospital, that I was special.

On how she measures “success:”

When I walked into this room, when you connect eyes and there’s this glimmer… That’s how I measure success: when you can walk in and see yourself in people, and you can actually help. A five-second conversation or a quick email, being able to have this voice or opportunity or space to help people.

Overall I measure my life by how I can help people. It’s my total journey. I’m not trying to be Oprah or Gandhi, it’s just how I was raised. I can’t measure it by my bank account, because I have a shopping addiction, I can’t measure it by sleep, because I don’t get any.

On failure:

Every single job I thought I wanted and didn’t get, there was something better for me…So far, every job that I’ve applied for that I didn’t get, every idea that I thought was great that crumbled in front of me, there was something else out there.

On telling kids they’re special:

Life, in itself, keeps you from feeling entitled, unless you’re just a jackass. I think it’s okay that your parents tell you you’re special, because there are enough people who will tell you you’re not… Life will, as we all know, will tear you down. Thank God someone told me I was special, because you should see what people say to me on Twitter.

 

 

 

 

TIME Infectious Disease

Second Patient Monitored for Ebola in Texas

Ebola
Transmission electron micrograph of an Ebola virus virion Getty Images

Health officials assure the public that only friends and family of the first patient are at serious risk

Health officials in Texas are monitoring a second patient for Ebola, as they investigate over a dozen individuals who were in contact with the first person diagnosed with the disease in the United States.

“Let me be real frank to the Dallas County residents: The fact that we have one confirmed case, there may be another case that is a close associate with this particular patient,” Zachary Thompson, director of Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), said in a morning interview with WFAA-TV. “So this is real. There should be a concern, but it’s contained to the specific family members and close friends at this moment.”

The Dallas County bureau later underscored that there had been no confirmation of a second case, as some media outlets had reported:

Officials have said the man came into contact with 12 to 18 people after returning from Liberia, all of whom are being investigated.

The first case of Ebola was confirmed at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas on Tuesday. The patient had flown from Liberia to Texas on Sept. 19 and sought treatment for symptoms on Sept. 26. Health officials say they have contained the virus to the area and are working closely with the Dallas County school district.

[WFAA-TV]

TIME movies

The Third Interstellar Trailer Looks Pretty Epic

There are massive blizzards and explosions and giant waves in outer space!

Information about Christopher Nolan’s much-anticipated next film Interstellar has trickled out slowly over the last several months. But the third trailer gives us a first look at the other worlds Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway’s characters will be exploring, like a planet with waves as large as mountains.

If that doesn’t get your heart pounding, maybe the fact that McConaughey will apparently have to choose between seeing his children again and the fate of the human race will.

The movie hits theaters nationwide Nov. 7, but Paramount will release the film in IMAX two days before that.

TIME movies

Zombieland Is Getting a Sequel

MCDZOMB EC007
From left: Zombieland cast Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, and Woody Harrelson Glen Wilson—Columbia Pictures

No word yet on whether Emma Stone, Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg will return

Zombieland has returned from the dead: The 2009 action-comedy is getting a sequel, Deadline reports. Sony Pictures has hired Dave Callahan (The Expendables) to pen the script, and Ruben Fleischer will return as director.

No word yet on whether the actors from the original cult hit will return, but their paychecks will almost certainly increase if they do: Since 2009, Jesse Eisenberg has starred as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, Emma Stone has taken off in the Amazing Spider-Man films, Abigail Breslin has played opposite Meryl Streep in August: Osage County and Woody Harrelson has earned critical acclaim for his role in HBO’s True Detective. But it would be a coup if Sony could coax back the entire cast plus Bill Murray, who graced the original movie with a cameo.

One reason the now all-star cast might return is that in the five years since Zombieland hit theaters, zombies have only gotten more popular: The Walking Dead is the most-watched show in cable history, World War Z grossed over $540 million worldwide, and even indie films like Warm Bodies and Life After Beth are playing with the trope.

[Deadline]

TIME celebrity

You’ll Never Guess Who the ‘Most Dangerous Celebrity’ Is

ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" - Season 12
ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live Randy Holmes—ABC via Getty Images

Be careful if you're about to Google this celeb

Jimmy Kimmel has been named the world’s most dangerous celebrity… to search for online.

Computer security company McAfee says that the late night host is the most dangerous famous person people can search online this year: Google “Jimmy Kimmel” and you have a 19% chance of winding up on a website that has tested positive for viruses, spyware or malware.

Other dangerous celeb searches include Ciara, Flo Rida, Bruce Springsteen and Britney Spears, said the company. “Cybercriminals love to take advantage of our interest in celebrities for malicious means,” it said.

Kimmel responded to the honor on Tuesday night on Jimmy Kimmel Live! He said he could not believe a kid who played the clarinet and carried a briefcase in junior high school grew up to become the most dangerous celebrity of 2014:

TIME Culture

Watch Mindy Kaling and Elmo Dance Together

It's a cuteness explosion

Mindy Kaling stopped by Sesame Street Tuesday to help Elmo teach kids about a new vocabulary word: enthusiastic. It turns out that both Kaling and Elmo are enthusiastic about dancing. Watch the Mindy Project star break it down with your favorite fuzzy monster.

TIME Opinion

Lena Dunham’s Story of Rape Is a Must-Read

Lena Dunham, author of 'Not That Kind of Girl'
Lena Dunham, author of 'Not That Kind of Girl' Autumn de Wilde

In Not That Kind of Girl Dunham tells us why denial is simpler, at least in the beginning

The most remarkable part of Lena Dunham’s new memoir Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” begins with a seemingly unremarkable story. Dunham writes a darkly humorous essay about a time she realized in the middle of sex that a condom she thought her partner had put on was hanging from a nearby plant.

“I think…? the condom’s…? In the tree?” I muttered feverishly.

“Oh,” he said, like he was as shocked as I was. He reached for it as if he was going to put it back on, but I was already up, stumbling towards my couch, which was the closest thing to a garment I could find. I told him he should probably go, chucking his hoodie and boots out the door with him. The next morning, I sat in a shallow bath for half an hour like someone in one of those coming-of-age movies.”

It’s an experience similar to a scene you might see on her HBO show Girls: a little disturbing and a little funny with a lot of nudity.

But then Dunham does something interesting: after finishing out the chapter, entitled “Girls & Jerks,” she forces the reader to double back. “I am an unreliable narrator,” she writes. And with those words, we dive back into the story of Barry, the guy who flung the condom into the tree. “[I]n another essay in this book I describe a sexual encounter with a mustachioed campus Republican as the upsetting but educational choice of a girl who was new to sex when, in fact, it didn’t feel like a choice at all.”

Lena Dunham says she was raped, though she didn’t immediately know that it was rape.

Like many college girls, a mix of alcohol, drugs, unspoken expectations and shame may have kept her from using the “r” word to refer to the act until years later. She says that she rewrote history in her head, coming up with many versions (including the one above). The real tale — or what she remembers of it — is much more painful. It begins at a party where Dunham is alone, drunk and high on Xanax and cocaine. It’s in that state that she runs into Barry, who she describes as “creepy,” and who sets off an alarm of “uh-oh” in her head as soon as she sees him.

Barry leads me to the parking lot. I tell him to look away. I pull down my tights to pee, and he jams a few of his fingers inside me, like he’s trying to plug me up. I’m not sure whether I can’t stop it or I don’t want to.

Leaving the parking lot, I see my friend Fred. He spies Barry leading me by the arm toward my apartment (apparently I’ve told him where I live), and he calls out my name. I ignore him. When that doesn’t work, he grabs me. Barry disappears for a minute, so its just Fred and me.

“Don’t do this,” he says.

“You don’t want to walk me home, so just leave me alone,” I slur, expressing some deep hurt I didn’t even know I had. “Just leave me alone.”

He shakes his head. What can he do?

After the two return to her apartment, Dunham does everything she can to convince herself that what’s happening is a choice. “I don’t know how we got here, but I refuse to believe it’s an accident,” she writes. She goes on to describe the event in graphic detail. Once he has forced himself on her, she talks dirty to him, again, to convince herself that she’s making a choice. But she knows she hasn’t given her consent. When she sees the condom in the tree — she definitely did not consent to not using a condom — she struggles away and throws him out.

Dunham — drunk and high — was in no condition to consent according to the new rules being implemented at many campuses across the country. And in Dunham’s second story, the thrown away condom and Barry’s aggressiveness make it clear that he did not care about what Dunham wanted.

It’s her roommate that first tells her the encounter was a rape, though Dunham doesn’t believe her: “Audrey’s pale little face goes blank. She clutches my hand and, in a voice reserved for moms in Lifetime movies, whispers, ‘You were raped.’ I burst out laughing.”

Though for decades we’ve thought of the rapist as a man who lurks in alleyways, the data shows he’s more likely an acquaintance, friend or even a boyfriend. Approximately two-thirds of rape victims know their attacker, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. That makes it all too easy for skeptics to accuse women of making false claims of rape: “Despite hysterical propaganda about our ‘rape culture,’ the majority of campus incidents being carelessly described as sexual assault are not felonious rape (involving force or drugs) but oafish hookup melodramas, arising from mixed signals and imprudence on both sides,” writes Camille Paglia for Time.

Such statements suggest that anyone can be a rapist if they’ve had enough to drink. But one study found that nine out of 10 men who described committing acts of sexual assault on college campuses to researchers said they had done so more than once: on average, a perpetrator will assault six people. “Part of the problem is a pure lack of understanding of the true nature of campus sexual assault. These are not dates gone bad, or a good guy who had too much to drink. This is a crime largely perpetrated by repeat offenders,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand wrote for Time.

And given how difficult it is to report a rape — it can involve an invasive rape kit exam, an investigation and trial that can last for years and accusations that you are a liar — there seems to be little motivation to fake such an event. Filing a complaint with the university or police forces victims to deal with the fact that someone had control over them, over their bodies. Denial is simpler, at least in the beginning.

Perhaps that explains Dunham’s laugh. It certainly explains why, according to the Rape and Incest National Network (RAINN), 60% of rapes go unreported.

It’s not until she pitches the first, tamer version of the story in the writer’s room of Girls that Dunham comes to the realization that she was raped. Here’s how she describes the reaction to her suggested plot line:

Murray shakes his head. “I just don’t see rape being funny in any situation.”

“Yeah,” Bruce agrees. “It’s a tough one.”

“But that’s the thing,” I say. “No one knows if it’s a rape. It’s, like, a confusing situation that…” I trailed off.

“But I’m sorry that happened to you,” Jenni says. “I hate that.”

Dunham has since become a fierce advocate of campus reform when it comes to matters of sexual assault. Dunham’s sister wrote “IX” on the top of her graduation cap during the #YesAllWomen Twitter campaign this year in honor of Title IX, the federal statute that mandates schools protect victims of sexual assault (among other things).

But sharing her own story is perhaps her bravest work of activism yet. We are still in a culture where women are told that they are to blame for anything that might happen if they drink and bring a man home. “I feel like there are fifty ways it’s my fault…But I also know that at no moment did I consent to being handled that way,” Dunham writes in the book. Dunham has come under fire for being too self-indulgent, revealing too much. But in this case, her candor may become a lifeline for women who’ve been through something similar and are feeling confused and alone.

Read Roxane Gay’s review of Not That Kind of Girl, which hits bookstores on September 30th, here.

TIME feminism

Watch Taylor Swift Praise Emma Watson for Her UN Feminism Speech

The singer applauds the actress for serving as a positive role model for young women

Taylor Swift, who recently explained how Girls creator and star Lena Dunham helped her realize she was a feminist, is now praising another famous actress for her message of female empowerment.

In an interview with French-Canadian talk show Tout Le Monde En Parle, Swift said that actress Emma Watson’s recent speech at the United Nations’ He for She event will help inspire young girls and help them understand feminism. When asked the intense reaction to Watson’s speech, Swift said spoke about the overwhelmingly positive response she saw from her young, female fan base. She also said that if she had had a strong feminist role model at a young age, she would have declared herself as one earlier:

The only thing that I saw was incredible acclaim and praise, and that’s just me going off of what I’m tuned into which is my fan base of real girls out in the world living their lives. And when they saw their favorite actress get up in front of the UN and say what she said, I wish when I was younger, I wish when I was 12-years-old I had been able to watch a video of my favorite actress explaining in such an intellectual, beautiful, poignant way the definition of feminism. Because I would have understood it. And then earlier on in my life I would have proudly claimed I was a feminist because I would have understood what the word means.

Swift argues that many young girls, including her younger self, associate feminism with negativity when it simply means equality among the genders.

So many girls out there say, “I’m not a feminist” because they think it means something angry or disgruntled or complaining or they picture, like, rioting and picketing. It is not that it all. It just simply means that you believe that women and men should have equal right and opportunities, and to say that you’re not a feminist means you think men should have more rights and opportunities than women. I just think a lot of girls don’t know the definition, and the fact that Emma got up and explained it I think is an incredible thing, and I’m happy to live in a world where that happened.

The definition of feminism has become a hot-button topic among female celebrities this year. Many stars have declared themselves not to be feminists because they “love men.” But others, like Swift, have asserted a simpler definition of feminism that does not involve hating men: for example, in her song “Flawless,” Beyoncé samples a speech from Nigerian-born writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who defines a feminist as “a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes.”

In other parts of the interview, Swift offered her views on being a woman in the media:

I think when it comes to females in the media, you’ll see something that kind of upsets me which is that females are pinned up against each other more so than men. For example, you never see online, vote for who has the better butt: this actor or this actor? It’s always, like, this female singer and this female singer, and you get to vote. It’s daily that I see these things and these polls, like, let us know who’s sexier? Who’s the hotter mama? I just don’t see: who’s the hotter dad? One thing that I do believe as a feminist is that in order for us to have gender equality, we have to stop making it a girl fight. We have to stop being so interested in seeing girls trying to tear each other down. It has to be about cheering each other on as women. And that’s just kind of how I feel about it.

And when the interviewer asked her about Miley Cyrus’s scandalous outfits (perhaps doing the exact thing Swift hates by trying to pit her against another female singer her age), Swift responded that she supports women singers expressing their sexuality:

I think that no other female artist should be able to tell me to wear less clothes and I’m not going to tell any other female artist to wear more clothes. As long as it’s their idea, and they’re expressing their sexuality or they’re expressing their strength or it makes them feel like a woman to perform a certain way or dress a certain way… as long as it’s coming from them and they’re living their life on their own terms, I cheer them on.

Watch the entire interview here.

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