How Tonya Pinkins Turned a Rap Battle Against Herself Into Performance Art

first_imgTonya Pinkins No tribulation of Tonya Pinkins is safe from her own jabs, from her dramatic departure from Classic Stage Company’s Mother Courage and Her Children to the floundering sales of her most recent Broadway stint, Holler If Ya Hear Me. She puts her personal life back on trial as well, alluding to her string of contentious divorces and referring to herself a “deadbeat excuse for a mom,” reclaiming a term The New York Post used to denounce her in a 2003 piece over her failure to uphold court-ordered child support payments.Enlisting peers to revisit those hardships with her was a challenge. The video features myriad fellow performers, including Christine Ebersole, Donna Murphy and the cast of Falsettos nodding along, reacting (under direction Pinkins supplied them) and occasionally joining in on certain lyrics. “My friends were very protective and didn’t want to say the lines,” she says. “So I got them twerking. And I told them, ‘I lived it; you only had to hear about it.’”Pinkins’ custody hearings with her estranged second husband Ron Brawer began in 1993, around the start of what she now deems “a particularly painful period of my life.” It was then, she recalls, that she said a prayer: “I said, ‘God, if I can survive this and still find a way to laugh about it, I will know the divine is working in my life.’”The divine is indeed working: “I laughed so much over the four months of making this. It was just awesome for me.” View Comments “I love to laugh at myself; I think it’s the best healer,” Pinkins, currently traveling in Indonesia, told “Richard Pryor is my favorite comedian. He made you laugh about his crack addiction and blowing himself up.” She hopes to keep the therapeutic project going; in a follow-up video, she challenged celebrity friends—including Hamilton wordsmith Lin-Manuel Miranda and Tony-winning Twitter comedian Laura Benanti—to follow suit.The idea came to Pinkins after attending a YouTube panel at the Toronto International Film Festival in September. The event, hosted by the Blackhouse Foundation, inspired a YouTube binge and her discovery of the “Roast Yourself Challenge.” Determined to make her own entry, she recruited writer and director Isaac Klein to pen the lyrics, supplying him with “heaps of links of nasty stuff from the web” about her that she had compiled.“It always stings when people say hurtful things,” the actress says of the material she was able to draw. “When it’s in writing, it’s like it’s said again and again and again. I believe that facing that pain and moving into it is exactly the kind of strength those of us who believe in equality are going to need in the Trump Era. We cannot back down, deflect or defend.” You shouldn’t dish it out if you can’t take it, and make no mistake: Tonya Pinkins can take it. The Tony winner recently released a music video in which she engages in a verbal brawl with herself. But while the video is wacky (the backing track samples her Caroline, or Change 11 o’clock number “Lot’s Wife”; Pinkins plays a Rastafarian referee; there are multiple shots of her inexplicably boxing), the intention behind it is unflinchingly astute.last_img read more

Interview with Colonel Hedwig Gilaard, Suriname’s Chief of Defense

first_imgBy Dialogo December 26, 2012 During the 2013 edition of the Caribbean Nations Security Conference (CANSEC), which took place at the United States Southern Command from 12 – 13 December, 2012, Colonel Hedwig Gilaard, Suriname’s Chief of Defense, talked to Diálogo about the main security issues faced by Suriname, and the importance of participating in the State Partnership Program, a U.S. Department of Defense sponsored program that fosters security cooperation among partner nations. Diálogo: What are the main security concerns and priorities for your country at this time? Colonel Hedwig Gilaard: Now we are dealing with transnational organized crime; I think the whole South America, Latin America and the Caribbean are dealing with it. We are in the mainland of South America, so we have that kind of problems. I don’t know if other CARICOM countries have the same problem, but we are dealing with illegal immigration, piracy, and we know that all of us are dealing also with illicit trafficking, related to illegal drugs, money laundering, and human trafficking, among others. Diálogo: What are the benefits of working with the United States and other nations in confronting these security challenges? Col. Gilaard: There are a lot of benefits, because we are a small nation. It is always good to work with others, like the United States, for example, because we know that they have a lot of experience and we can always learn from it to address these crime organizations. Diálogo: How has Suriname benefitted from working with the South Dakota National Guard, as part of the State Partnership Program? Col. Gilaard: Oh, that’s wonderful. It is one of a kind. We have a lot of friends over there now, and I will give you at least two names: Major General Tim Reisch [South Dakota National Guard adjutant general], and Colonel John Weber [South Dakota-Suriname State Partnership Program director]. They were in Suriname recently, and we talked about the things we are going to do together. I think this is the best partner relationship that we have, with South Dakota. We always want to see Colonel Weber and General Reisch again. We know that we are in good hands. Diálogo: What’s the importance of participating in the annual Golden Coyote exercise, organized by the South Dakota National Guard? Col. Gilaard: Let me say that it’s a great honor for us to participate in Golden Coyote, because we are learning from the best. So, when our guys are back, they all talk about the way they were treated and what they learned. They learn a lot there. Diálogo: How are you preparing for your debut in Fuerzas Comando 2013? Col. Gilaard: We are very excited for the opportunity to participate in this year’s Fuerzas Comando exercise. We were, unfortunately, unable to participate last year, so this will be the first year we will send representatives of our special forces to compete there. Diálogo: The theme of this year’s CANSEC is maintenance and force sustainment. How do you plan for the maintenance and sustainment of your resources? Col. Gilaard: In my opinion, education is one of the most important elements of maintenance. If you are well educated, things flow smoothly. If you see our fleet now, and I am talking about the Navy, our fleet is nearly grounded because of political problems in the past. We have the same problem with the Air Force. The airplanes are grounded due to small things. We have to invest in defense. If you don’t do that, then you will have this problem. But, normally, security costs a lot, it is expensive, so the politicians have to be aware that if you want to have continuity, you have to invest. We are still doing well, because we use small fisher boats to do our tasks, but we can’t go too far. We have a problem with small boats that come from Brazil through our rivers. If you don’t have big ships to go and see, you need to have small ones to control the rivers. We were very disappointed when we heard that we weren’t going to receive small boats from the United States [SAFE boats donated to some Caribbean countries as part of the Secure Seas initiative], so we have to look for other means to do that. But there are things that the governments have to provide, like boats and aircrafts. The main reason why we wanted to have those boats is to control vessels, boats that are coming to our waters after 8:00 p.m. They wait until it is dark. So we wanted to use those boats from the USA to do this task. Diálogo: As a member of CARICOM, what are Suriname’s similarities and differences with other member-nations in your approach to regional security? Col. Gilaard: We have the same problems but, on the other hand, we are not an island. We also have piracy and traffic in persons, and besides that, we have gold. That’s one of our biggest problems. Because we have gold, we have illegal garimpeiros [gold prospectors] who are coming to our country by land to do illegal gold mining, so this is one of our main issues. The CARICOM countries have their problems, but the mainland nations have other problems, not only drugs. It’s like I mentioned, piracy and human trafficking. Diálogo: How do you see your relationship with the defense forces of Brazil, Guyana, and French Guyana, your neighboring countries? Col. Gilaard: Let me start with Guyana. I think that we can do better. We are exchanging information, but in my opinion it could be better. With French Guyana we are doing a lot together, we do exercises together, we train together. And with Brazil, that’s a long story. Years ago we started to train our men in Brazil and we continue to do so. So, the relationship with Brazil is excellent. Diálogo: Is there something else that you would like to add? Col. Gilaard: Yes, about our partnership with CARICOM countries. I’m sure it can be better. The English-speaking countries are doing very well with the CARICOM partnership. We, the Dutch-speakers, have to go for it, to become better partners, to become more involved in CARICOM. The opinion of the colonel is very interesting, he is very wise and intelligent to provide a briefing on his area; It would be good if he got some assistance since these are sensitive areas and can lead to transnational delinquency – drug trafficking.last_img read more

Best (brand) day of my life

first_img 14SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Mark Arnold Mark Arnold is an acclaimed speaker, brand expert and strategic planner helping businesses such as credit unions and banks achieve their goals with strategic marketing insights and energized training. Mark … Web: Details In 2012, the rock band American Authors released the hit song Best Day of My Life. A catchy tune with fun lyrics, the song popped up in television commercials, movie trailers, video games and even as a Maltese election anthem (yes, Malta does more than falcons and cute dogs!).  The song starts off with the following:I had a dream so big and loudI jumped so high I touched the clouds… and goes on to point out this is gonna be the best day of my life.How great would it be if we approached taking care of our credit union brand with this kind of positivity? That every day, regardless of challenges you might be facing, you’re going to contribute to the best brand day of your life?If you haven’t already read the book Fish: A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results, grab a copy. While not a terribly long read, the book does present a series of compelling inspirational messages when it comes to our work lives. Set against the backdrop of Seattle’s world-famous Pike Place Fish Market, the book details the learning relationship between an area bank executive and her friend, a fishmonger at the market. The bank executive is downtrodden, crushed by a combination of personal setbacks and a depressing, dreary and altogether unpleasant work environment.Lonnie, the fish market character, shares the following message: “We can bring a moody attitude and have a depressing day [to work]. We can bring a grouchy attitude and irritate our coworkers and customers. Or we can bring a sunny, playful, cheerful attitude and have a great day. We can choose the kind of we will have. … In fact, we get so excited about our choices that we also chose to be world-famous.”How cool is that? Even if your job is slinging smelly, slimy fish all day in front of tourists, if you do it with the right attitude, you can create a place (and build a brand culture) which consumers will come to call “world-famous,” all on their own.The lyrics in the song and the message from the book plug directly into your credit union brand. The brand enables your credit union to grow and establish its own unique identity in the crowded financial services marketplace (plugging this into the example above, the Pike Place market is just one of scores of fish markets in the greater Seattle area — but it’s the one people think about and talk about more than any other). For it to work, however, every employee must be fully devoted to not just living but loving the brand. This takes energy, training and, above all, commitment.Think about it in terms of time. Odds are, you spend eight to ten hours a day (and perhaps more) working. It just makes sense that you work in and contribute to an environment in which you are happy. Compellingly, a recent study indicates people that report being happy at work are more satisfied with their jobs, perform better than their peers and are physically healthier. Embracing your credit union brand like every day is the best brand day of your life can make this happen for you.I’m not going to mislead you and say this is going to be easy. We all have bad days, challenging situations and difficult seasons in life. However, by approaching every day like it’s going to be the best brand day of your life and working with a positive brand attitude that makes your credit union look, sound and feel world-famous, you can better bridge those dark waters. I’m a frequent Chick-fil-A customer and love their food and brand culture. I’m willing to bet not every employee was having a great day when he or she said “my pleasure” in response to something from me. But they say it. Every day, every time. That’s building a positive and memorable brand around which employees can unite and consumers can relate. Again, the same formula for branding success in this example also applies to your credit union. Living and loving the brand means we live up to what it calls upon us to do, every day, regardless of the situation. Not always easy, but definitely worth the time and effort, both personally and professionally.Dare to have a brand day that “is so big and loud you jump so high and touch the clouds.” No matter what your position at the credit union, live your brand every day like it’s world-famous. Dig deep to rally your coworkers and members around your brand elements. And most importantly, bring love to what you do. You’ll be surprised how positively your fellow employees and members respond to this kind of awesome and catchy positivity. Go ahead — have the best brand day of your life (and if you need a little help, cue Best Day of My Life when you’re headed to work). last_img read more

IQ tests are useful, but people wrongly obsess over them

first_imgThis isn’t the first time that the president has spoken — and tweeted — about his apparently sky-high IQ.It’s hard to deny the grim entertainment value of the latest Trump spat.But the idea that an IQ score is just a bragging aid for egotistical politicians threatens to trivialize a genuine field of research.It doesn’t help, of course, that IQ tests hardly have a good reputation to begin with.Steeped in controversy, by far the most common reaction whenever the topic arises is the oh-so-droll refrain: “IQ tests only tell you how good you are at doing IQ tests!”In fact, IQ tests tell us much more than that, as a mountain of evidence from the fields of psychology, sociology, neuroscience, genetics and epidemiology attests.For instance, we know that people who do better at IQ tests tend to do better at school, in work and in terms of their physical and mental health. Second, nobody would argue that IQ is strictly biologically determined: The environment still has a crucial influence.Indeed, scientists don’t all share the fatalistic view of many IQ critics; rather, a great deal of IQ research is focused on how we might boost people’s abilities.For example, we know that factors like iodine deficiency are linked to lower IQ scores (a brilliant charity, the Iodine Global Network, is dedicated to doing something about this) and growing evidence appears to show positive effects of education on IQ.Research continues on whether improved physical fitness, among other influences, might help older adults stave off the decline of their mental abilities as they age.Another reason psychologists wince at self-satisfied crowing about IQ is that the tests can — in the right hands, and despite the immoral ways they have often been used in the past — serve a useful social purpose.After all, they were first invented to identify children in need of extra educational attention, and they can still serve that purpose.A terrific study from last year also illustrated how IQ tests can level the social playing field, finding that the use of objective cognitive tests — as opposed to referrals from parents and teachers, who aren’t always reliable at spotting talent in certain groups — improves representation of poor and minority children in gifted education programs.(The study is “Universal screening increases the representation of low-income and minority students in gifted education,” by David Carda and Laura Giuliano.) Categories: Editorial, OpinionMost scientists feel a certain nervousness when the topic they research appears in the news.Overstatement is par for the course, misunderstanding a near-inevitability. But what could be more cringe-worthy than the president of the United States engaging in a macho contest with his secretary of state over the area you research? I am, of course, talking about IQ testing.After Rex Tillerson allegedly called him a “moron,” Donald Trump this week suggested that he and Tillerson “compare IQ tests.”Naturally, Trump could “tell you who is going to win.” On average, they even live longer — and this doesn’t seem purely due to education or social class.Studies continually appear in top neuroscience journals linking MRI measures (such as the overall volume of the brain) to IQ scores, and some of the first IQ-related genetic variants are now being uncovered.Yet controversy around IQ tests and scoring remains.Some of it is due to the fear of immutability, or the worry that a low IQ score is set in stone, dooming a person to a life of failure and embarrassment.But this is misplaced.First, IQ is only one of a whole constellation of reasons, including hard work and sheer chance, why people get to where they end up in life.And as the writer Scott Alexander has recently noted, the findings discussed above are all averages and tendencies and trends at the group level: they absolutely don’t apply to every individual person who gets a particular score on the test.center_img Treating IQ as a frivolous, point-scoring game makes it easier to write off perfectly serious research and ignore the useful information we can get from cognitive tests.It contributes to the mistaken notion that, with IQ tests, psychologists are trying to sum up the worth of a person, rather than develop useful tools to understand the mind and identify different levels of ability.Most importantly, it fails to recognize what many scientists in this field already do: that the mere possession of a high IQ score isn’t what matters. We don’t admire history’s great scientists, mathematicians, composers and artists because they were intelligent per se; we do so because they used their intelligence to produce something worthwhile in the world.Those who would bandy around their high IQ as if it in itself entitled them to respect should take note.Stuart Ritchie is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

37% NAV rise for Grainger

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

INDOT to work on Brookville slide site

first_imgBROOKVILLE, Ind. — The Indiana Department of Transportation will begin work this week to secure the embankments along US 52 in Brookville where the rock-slide prompted a road closure.Crews will begin operations Thursday (1/5) at that site.Officials anticipate operations will continue through next week.Crews will secure the embankments by embedding more than 160 soil nails into the slopes.Steel plates will attach to the ends of the 20 foot long nails.Finally reinforced shotcrete will be used to overcoat the steel plates.last_img read more

New Motor Carrier Inspector assigned to West Harrison

first_img(L to R) Gerald L. Farmer, Richard A. Wieczorek, Michael Buckley, Indiana State Police Superintendent Douglas G. Carter, Donald F. Aldrich, Chad Mysiewicz, Gerald StumpINDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division recently graduated 6 new Motor Carrier Inspectors from its 2016-2017 Motor Carrier Inspector Recruit Academy.An Indiana State Police Motor Carrier Inspector is a uniformed civilian employee with limited enforcement authority tasked with enforcing the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and certain Indiana state laws governing trucks and buses.Michael Buckley is assigned to the Versailles District’s West Harrison Scale facility.last_img read more

Iheanacho closing in on Giroud’s Premier League record

first_img Loading… Nigeria international, Kelechi Iheanacho, is closing in on a Premier League record currently held by Chelsea’s Olivier Giroud. With question marks over his future at King Power Stadium, the ex-Manchester City man scored a goal for the Foxes in their 2-1 defeat to Everton in Wednesday’s English topflight encounter. Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson handed Carlo Ancelotti’s men a two-goal lead at the Goodison Park to head into the half-time break with an immense advantage. Nevertheless, Iheanacho pulled one back for Brendan Rodgers’ side in the 51st minute – five minutes after replacing Englishman Harvey Barnes. Everton’s Mason Holgate tried clearing the ball but it hits the Nigerian in the face and springs into the net. The goal was his first league goal in 2020, and that brought him only next to France international Giroud who is the competition’s most productive substitute with 16 goals since the 23-year-old’s EPL debut against Watford on August 30, 2015. For Iheanacho, it was his eighth goal as a replacement and he needs eight more strikes to equal the World Cup winner’s mark.Advertisementcenter_img Despite the loss, Leicester sit in third position in the log as they continue their chase for a place in next season’s Champions League, albeit they face a stiff competition from Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers. Following his inability to tie down a regular place in Pep Guardiola’s Citizens, Iheanacho was sold to the King Power Stadium outfit for a reported fee of £25 million fee on a five-year deal in 2017. Five months after joining Rodgers’ team, he became the first player in English football to be awarded a goal by VAR after the referee had been incorrectly ruled offside for his second goal against Fleetwood Town. read also:Fractured hand rules Iheanacho out of Serbia friendly Reports have it that the forward who boasts of four goals in 15 league games so far could be shipped out of the club at the end of the season owing to low productivity. Even at this, he would be hoping to keep up with his newly found form when Leicester City welcome Wilfred Zaha and Jordan Ayew’s Crystal Palace before travelling to the Emirates Stadium for a date with Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal on Tuesday. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

Sanmoogan finishes sixth in Olympics heat

first_img… will learn from experience, says coach Sean BakshTHE second of Guyana’s two-man swim contingent, Jamila Kezia Sanmoogan, finished sixth in her 50m freestyle heat in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Sanmoogan finished with a time of 28.88, finishing 0.62 seconds off her previous personal best of 28.26 going into the games. The swimmer, who is also in the Guyana Olympic squad based on FINA’s universality place rules, was supposed to reduce her personal best, just as swim teammate Hannibal Gaskin had done.According to senior National coach Sean Baksh, the 19-year-old had a good start but a shaky finish.“She had a good start, her underwater was good, but coming to the end of the race, she loosened up, and that contributed seconds to her time,” Baksh stated.Baksh was also of the opinion that Jamila could swim at 27 seconds, going a second faster than her personal best.“Jamila has the potential to swim 27 seconds, she can definitely do it, she will learn from this experience,” finished Baksh.The Guyana Amateur Swimming Association (GASA) extended their support, saying “We wish Jamila well, we don’t know what happened but we are waiting on a report,” GASA also went on to say, “Nevertheless we are proud of Jamila and everything she has accomplished.”Jamila’s campaign may have ended with her not cutting down any time or advancing but the swimmer returns to Colombia after Rio. She is on scholarship at the University of Sport in Cali where she is swimming as well as studying physio therapy.last_img read more

Offensive, defensive lapses bring overtime against Redbirds

first_imgIn their final home game before Big Ten play begins, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team found itself struggling to defeat Illinois State.The No. 15 Badgers (5-1-0) came out victorious in Sunday night’s game, but inconsistencies on both the offensive and defensive side for UW brought the game to overtime.Scoring goals has not been an issue for Wisconsin this season. In its first six games, the Badgers have put 17 balls in the back of the net, seven more than they were able to finish in the first games of last season.But panic showed on the field as players rushed to complete passes and take shots as they approached the Redbirds’ defense. Even with three goals in the game, head coach Paula Wilkins believes her team can do more to push the front of the field.“I felt we got rushed in the final third. We have been more patient in previous games,” Wilkins said after the game. “It is important to me that [players] worry less about the results and more about the performance and I think that we got a little unsteady.”During the first half, UW looked strong on the attack, outshooting Illinois State 8-6, and headed into halftime with a 1-0 lead.However, the second half was a different story as Wisconsin managed just six shots. UW drove balls in from outside the 18-yard box, and when the Badgers could have controlled the ball to set themselves up for a shot the ball was instead quickly kicked into the keeper’s hands.“It was in spans. We would play good for a few minutes and then fall into ball watching,” sophomore forward Cara Walls said. “But we got it together in the end.”Despite the poor finishing in the latter part of the game, there was no shortage of opportunities for offensive production by Wisconsin. The team distributed the ball well to the outsides, a strength Wisconsin has maintained from past seasons even with two freshman starting on the outside. Freshman midfielder Kinley McNicoll sent several quality crosses into the box and took four shots throughout the game. Walls also took four shots in the game, three of which were on net. And with both Walls and her wingman up top, redshirt junior Paige Adams, both scoring goals, Wilkins is pleased with the potential she is seeing.“There were three goals, I would like to finish more chances if we can but it is great to get both Paige and Cara up on the board,” Wilkins said.But possession on the attack is where the Badgers fell short, making weak passes at times and losing the 50-50 battles in the middle of the field.“At this point in the season I would really like us to be cleaner in some of our passes, keeping possession, and moving off the ball,” Wilkins said. “I thought we lost some of our transition and things we had done well before in the past.” On defense, in the first three games of the season, UW’s defense had solid performances, shutting out Notre Dame, South Dakota State and Loyola Chicago. However, the past three games have all resulted in two goals against the Badgers.Wisconsin held the Redbirds to just six shots on goal throughout the game Sunday. The Badger defensive line looked strong, but a lack of experience with two freshmen in the back showed.Small mistakes while in possession of the ball inside Wisconsin’s defensive half handed Illinois State opportunities to score.Star Illinois State forward Rachel Tejada took advantage of a mistake by the Badger defense that resulted in a Redbird goal to tie the game up in the second half and send the game to overtime.Wilkins said that while she was happy with the outcome, better transitioning in future games will eliminate such mistakes from happening.“I think it has to do with us keeping the ball. We are giving away balls in bad areas and giving up fouls; it is really about being better in the transition,” Wilkins explained. “I think that is the part we are going to focus on for Milwaukee.”Redshirt senior goaltender Lauren Gunderson was an exception to the inconsistent Badger display. Both goals against Wisconsin were shots even the pros would probably have a difficult time saving. Gunderson made four saves in the game and remained a positive reinforcement for her defensive unit.With a game against UW-Milwaukee Wednesday, Wisconsin will have just two days to make the adjustments needed to be victorious over its neighboring foe.But having lost just one game thus far this season, UW has showed it is a force to be reckoned with and possesses the potential to deliver a solid performance and finish near the top of the conference standings.last_img read more