Dead lizard found in bag of Trader Joe’s kale

If you’ve ever groaned at the prospect of eating kale, now you have the perfect excuse to back away from your health-conscious friend’s green smoothie. 

Grace Goldstein opened her fresh bag of Trader Joe’s kale on Tuesday, only to discover a dead lizard nestled among the leafy greens. Her friend shared the mildly gross image on Twitter to the joy of all those who reject the superfood. 

Goldstein told People magazine that after she made the shocking discovery, there was a lot of “asking [her] boyfriend to see the bag of kale and identify the lizard and shrieking and pushing it away and refusing to go near it…and then asking to see it again.” 

An understandable reaction to this grotesque find.

If you wanted a closer look at the unexpected salad guest, Goldstein also shared the photo on Instagram.

Goldstein told People that she reached out to Trader Joe’s corporate. The chain is investigating, but there have been no further updates. 

Trader Joe’s responded to Mashable’s inquiry about the incident:

“We are committed to providing customers with great products of the highest quality and are currently working with our vendor to look into and address the matter.”

Hopefully, this is an isolated incident that does not speak for all Trader Joe’s stores, bags of kale, or corporate-minded lizards.

UPDATE: April 5, 2018, 3:05 p.m. EDT This story was updated with comments from Trader Joe’s.

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Ashton Kutcher landed in hospital after following Steve Jobs’s fruitarian diet

Ben Child: Actor speaks of 'terrifying' health ordeal at the Sundance premiere of the Apple founder's biopic

Christian Bale is rumoured to have lived on coffee and one apple a day to achieve his emaciated physique in The Machinist. But not everyone is suited to unorthodox diets, as Ashton Kutcher discovered after adopting the late Steve Jobs’s fruitarian regimen in preparation for a new biopic of the technology magnate.

Speaking at the premiere of Jobs at the Sundance film festival on Friday night, Kutcher revealed that he went to hospital with pancreas problems after following a strict diet of fruit, nuts and seeds. Jobs, who was often reported to be a fruitarian, died of pancreatic cancer in October last year.

“First of all, the fruitarian diet can lead to, like, severe issues,” Kutcher told USA Today. “I went to the hospital like two days before we started shooting the movie. I was like doubled over in pain. My pancreas levels were completely out of whack. It was really terrifying considering everything.”

Kutcher also revealed that he spent hundreds of hours studying tapes of Jobs in an effort to accurately replicate his hunched walk and mannerisms. The actor said that he felt close to the Apple founder as they shared a fascination for “tech space”. He also revealed an admiration for his subject’s ability to bounce back after periods of struggle.

“He’s a guy that failed and got back on the horse,” said Kutcher. “I think we can all sort of relate to that in some place in our life where we are moving forward with something and we fall down. You have to have the guts to get back up and go again. I think I share that as well.”

Jobs, which covers the period from Apple’s founding in a garage in Palo Alto, California to the launch of the iPod in 2001, has so far received a lukewarm response from critics. Variety’s Justin Chang said Joshua Michael Stern’s film “more or less embodies the sort of bland, go-with-the-flow creative thinking Jobs himself would have scorned”, while CNET’s Casey Newton was unimpressed by a movie in which “the viewer spends two hours watching cardboard cutouts lose arguments to Ashton Kutcher”. Indiewire’s Eric Kohn, however, praised “Kutcher’s committed performance, certainly his most impressive turn in years, which conveys the character’s focused, manipulative intentions in each calculated look”.

Aaron Sorkin, the Oscar-winning writer of The Social Network, is planning a separate biopic based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling official biography of Jobs. Sorkin’s version will reportedly comprise just three extended scenes, each capturing a point just before a vital product launch in order to portray Jobs and his biggest successes.

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Museum of Banned Objects imagines a dystopian future without contraception

A new exhibition in New York collaborated with Planned Parenthood to display contraceptives as artifacts, creating a reality to avoid another possible reality

In the Gallery at the Ace Hotel in New York sits eight items, ranging from Plan B to a contraceptive sponge, in glass vitrines. Beside them are placards referring to these items in the past tense, as though they are artifacts from a bygone era. Levonorgestrel was a hormonal medication used to prevent pregnancy, reads the placard next to a box of Plan B, referred to by its medical name. A few years prior to its ban, landmark legislation had passed to allow people of any age to buy Levonorgestrel without a prescription.

As part of a month-long exhibition called the Museum of Banned Objects, these items are meant to suggest a dystopian future in which contraceptive and reproductive health products are prohibited, forcing viewers to reckon with the possibility of an expansive rollback of reproductive rights.

Conceived of by Ellie Sachs and Matt Starr, a pair of New York-based artists, in tandem with Planned Parenthood, the exhibition takes objects like Truvada and oral contraceptives and presents them in isolation, amplifying a sense of stigma and scarcity. A box of spermicide, for instance, the vaginal contraceptive film first used in ancient Egypt, appears worn and tattered, the words on the label slightly obscured by rust. Next to a latex condom, the description reads: Right before their ban, about four to six million condoms a years were sold in the United States.

A latex condom on display at the Museum of Banned Objects. Photograph: Zack Roif

The two were inspired by the ways dystopian worlds as presented in television and film, like those of The Handmaids Tale, were beginning to resemble reality, as well as initiatives that encourage abstinence training rather than safe-sex education and cuts to government programs like Medicaid.

News items played a part in motivating the exhibition, too, like a Washington Post report from late 2017 detailing a list of words including vulnerable, diversity, transgender and science-based supposedly banned by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While it was later clarified that career CDC officials discouraged employees from using those words in budget requests to stave off cuts to funding by a Trump administration averse to Obama-era programs and public health initiatives, Sachs and Starr nevertheless found the story pretty telling.

We wanted to create a reality to avoid another possible reality, Starr explains. Art helps us take abstract ideas that were constantly reading and talking about and visualize them into something that can help us understand the real severity of things now.

Sachs adds: Were interested in providing a glimpse into a dystopian reality as a forewarning. Sometimes you have to completely reframe an idea for it to stick or take hold.

When the artists conceived of the idea for the exhibition, they contacted Caren Spruch, director of arts and entertainment engagement at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. By collaborating with a nonprofit that provides reproductive healthcare to over 2.5 million patients per year, and whose federal funding has been under threat as recently as last years Obamacare repeal bill, the project conveys a greater sense of urgency. Instead of it just being an imagined future, Sachs explains, it reminds the viewer that this is actually already happening in some capacity, albeit on a smaller scale.

Boxes of Plan B, an oral contraceptive and Truvada on display at the Museum of Banned Objects. Photograph: Zack Roif

Art can drive social change and help shape a world that is fairer and more just by powering awareness, defiance, resistance and change, says Spruch. We appreciate Sachs and Starrs work to use their passion and creativity to resist and bring attention to protecting access to birth control for everyone.

The exhibition is of a piece with the themes present in Starr and Sachs work: the two host a monthly curated dinner series at Whole Foods, where guests discuss contemporary politics. At one dinner in late 2017, the topic du jourwas nuclear tensions between the US and North Korea. Last year the pair also remade the classic film Annie Hall, this time entirely with a cast of senior citizens. Sachs, who directs and acts in theatre productions at maximum-security prisons, recently spearheaded a production of On the Waterfront at the Sing Sing correctional facility in Ossining, New York.

When asked about the power of social justice art and the choice to look at reproductive rights through the lens of a dystopian future, Sachs invokes the famous Gore Vidal quote: We are the United States of Amnesia, we learn nothing because we remember nothing.

America has a strange relationship with past, present and future, she adds. Things repeat themselves but manifest with slightly different calibrations. By placing these objects in cases they suddenly become more precious and important.

  • The Museum of Banned Objects will be on exhibition at the Gallery at Ace Hotel New York through the month of April.

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Yoga with Adriene’s founder won YouTube with her message of self-love — and self-deprecating humor

Adriene Mishler isn't the only star of Yoga with Adriene. Her fans love her sidekick, Benji the blue heeler, almost as much as they love downward dog.
Image: yoga with adriene/Mashable composite

Adriene Mishler exudes plenty of mushy-gushy spiritual thinking, but the yoga evangelist embraces something else, too: self-deprecating humor.

That’s part of what has made her so accessible to her 3.2 million YouTube subscribers. When she mentions self-love or chakras, she bookends it with “Okayyyy, Adriene,” or when she directs you to sit in a cross-armed-cross-legged pretzel of a pose as you lift your head, she mumbles, “This is like Ariel on the rock, speaking to my generation, a little mermaid joke.” 

It’s why her fans call her goofy and authentic, an overused cliche in the YouTube world, but they really mean it. They insist! There’s just something about Adriene. 

If you’re already rolling your eyes, take a deep, cleansing breath. It’s worth trying to wrap your head around why this particular woman has the top six videos when you search “yoga” on YouTube and dominates Google search.

Adriene has been hosting free yoga videos on Yoga with Adriene since 2012.

Image: Yoga with Adriene

At the moment, Adriene is taking mental notes about Peru. When the 33-year-old tells me she rearranged her schedule to take adult Spanish classes so she can teach yoga when she visits Spanish-speaking countries, I mention one of her fans in Peru already translates her videos into Spanish. A Peace Corps volunteer there leads about 25 students, ages 5 to 84, in an hour-long flow, Monday through Friday.

“Wow, I just got the chills,” Adriene says.

You see, one of Adriene’s other fans from the Netherlands, who followed her yoga classes on a European tour like a Deadhead, recently quit her job as a vice principal and moved to Peru, where she founded a nonprofit teaching yoga to underserved children, with Yoga with Adriene’s motto, “Find What Feels Good,” at the core. It’s called Con Pazion, and Adriene’s sponsor, Adidas, donated $10,000 to the budding organization on her behalf. Yoga with Adriene fans have also donated, with some now sitting on Con Pazion’s board.

“It’s all starting to fall into place somehow,” Adriene says. 

Leonie van Iersel, the Yoga with Adriene fan who founded Con Pazion (center), and her students.

Image: COn Pazion

Although her mother is Mexican-American, Adriene never learned Spanish as a child. She jokes that she probably knows more Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language used in yoga practice, than Spanish. When she was in high school, she took American Sign Language instead because she had deaf friends. 

While she’s excited to learn, it means she has to give up something she’s done for a decade, even after her meteoric YouTube rise: teach yoga, IRL, on Saturday mornings. 

For yoga instructors, a Saturday morning studio slot means you’ve made it. And moving on fills her with bittersweet nostalgia. 

“I used to joke that the only people who would come to my classes are my friends and my mom, and of course I would never let any of them pay.”

“Yoga with Adriene” was the most googled workout in 2015. She won a 2016 Streamy Award in the Health and Wellness category, and in January of this year Google searches for “Yoga with Adriene” reached an all-time high — spiking by 40 percent since November 2017. 

But she didn’t start out intending to be an internet sensation. When she was 19, she’d sub, teach kids’ classes, and lug around a jam box and burnt CDs all over her hometown of Austin — anything to teach yoga.

“I used to joke that the only people who would come to my classes are my friends and my mom, and of course I would never let any of them pay, and then I’d end up paying rent at the studio where I was teaching and not making any money,” she said. 

She wouldn’t disclose her YouTube revenue, but according to analytics firm SocialBlade, Yoga with Adriene pulls in anywhere from $3,000 to $45,000 a month. (It’s a big range, but YouTube estimates are often like that due to complicated ad schemes.) That doesn’t include intake from her subscription video service, Adidas sponsorship, events, or merchandise. She’s currently writing a book about her relationship with yoga and planning her own yoga teacher training program.

Yoga with Adriene encourages viewers to “find what feels good.”

Image: Yoga with Adriene

Back when Adriene was losing money on her yoga classes, she taught children drama and acted on the side. It was on an indie movie set where she met Chris Sharpe, the film’s director, who’d later become her business partner and the Greg to her Dharma.  The movie was about a girl band in a post-apocalyptic world. At first Adriene passed on it — she had auditioned for Juilliard, she had trained in New York, she wanted to do theater — but was convinced when she heard her friend was part of the cast. That friend later married Sharpe and now has her own YouTube cooking channel. 

“It never got finished and I do thank god for that because we had quite the get-ups,” Adriene says, giggling.

After the movie fell apart, Chris emailed Adriene in 2010, pitching a yoga YouTube channel. But the idea just sat there, gestating for two years until the duo made Yoga with Adriene’s first video. The actor in Adriene wanted to nail every moment, but Chris encouraged her to relax and act like Mr. Rogers inviting people into her home. After that, it clicked. 

All Adriene wanted to do was provide free at-home yoga for the masses when most classes cost between $15 and $20. It took her awhile to warm up to the social media circus and SEO-focused video titles. Her library of under 30-minute videos is diverse, to say the least: There’s yoga for mornings, bedtime, teachers, depression, golfers, disasters, a broken heart. You name it, she’s probably got it. And her blue heeler, Benji, is often seen lounging around, sometimes snuggling up on the mat as she maneuvers around him.

“I was nervous to take yoga out of its sacred space and slapdash it into this digital space,” says Adriene. “That’s why it took forever for me to title any video ‘Yoga for weight loss’ or ‘Yoga for flow.’”

But it’s titles like those that likely pushed her to the top of Google and YouTube search.  

“It’s very savvy how she structured it,” said Allon Caidar, a YouTube metadata expert and founder and CEO of TVPage, a video commerce platform. Adriene focuses on keywords and has more than one video about highly-searched topics, he points out. Despite multiple high-profile YouTuber scandals (ahem Pewdiepie, ahem Logan Paul), Caidar predicts that marketing budgets focused on influencers like Adriene, especially in the lifestyle and health sectors, will grow this year.

Adriene jokes that one April Fools’ Day she wants to upload the same video with two titles: one focused on self-love and another on weight loss to test which gets more views. 

“Just to kind of prove a point,” she says. “With the titles, I’m using the platform to bring more people to the mat.”

Yaiza Varona, a 39-year-old in the UK, found Adriene because of her high ranking. She was browsing for a yoga video on YouTube, clicked the first one, and now she’s a Yoga with Adriene disciple. 

“If she said paint yourself blue, I’d do it. At this moment, I trust whatever she says because it feels so right,” the music composer says. “I’m not that much into yoga as a philosophy, but she brings it down to Earth. She focuses so much on enjoying being in your body.”

Megan-Eileen Waldrep, the Peace Corps volunteer in Peru, says it may sound silly, but to her, Adriene feels like a friend. 

“She makes jokes or weird references and then says under her breath, ‘I don’t know why I said that,’ which is hilarious. It’s an unedited flow of her stream of consciousness and yoga,” the 25-year-old from Chicago says.

There are critics who deride Adriene for being “that YouTube yogi,” though. 

“They’re judging a book by its cover, and they don’t understand that I’ve poured my whole little heart and soul into trying to be mindful of how I share this information,” she says. 

Adriene is used to pouring her heart and soul into things. She’s been doing it since she was a kid. Over Christmas, she was laughing with her dad about how she spent hours as a child recording her own theater and dance shows on VHS. Decades later, she’s still filming her own productions, only now she has a core staff of four.

Adriene’s been in some indie movies, she plays a journalist in Rooster Teeth’s Day 5, and has voiced characters like Lois Lane and Supergirl for DC Universe Online. She’ll keep acting even as she expands her yoga business, she says. It’s a dream she can’t shake.

You may see her at an event with hundreds of people doing yoga in a cavernous room — she uses a special mic because she had two vocal cord surgeries due to a benign tumor — but you’ll also still get a free video on YouTube every week. And if you watch those videos, you’ll be in on the joke when the floor creaks beneath your feet, just like Adriene’s does at home.

“I would love for us to look back and go, ‘Remember when yoga was this thing you went to at the gym, and now it’s like brushing your teeth, washing your vegetables, taking a shower, something that you do in your home regularly,'” she says. “We’re not far from that. I’d like to look back and know that I did my part to trailblaze that offering.”

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‘Do you have any ectoplasm? Is it vaginal?’ The return of punk artist Linder

Seance trumpets, one-armed flutes, northern cross-dressers brace yourself for the eerie, dizzying world of Linder and her House of Fame show

The scene: inside Nottingham Contemporary gallery. A dialogue is unfolding between the artist, Linder, and a visitor from Cambridge University Library, who has come bearing an item for the exhibition she is curating. It is a 1920s spirit trumpet, part of a collection amassed by the Society of Psychical Research, and now cared for by the library. It is, in effect, a cardboard cone. Its box proclaims that it cost five shillings and was produced in Manchester by the Two Worlds Publishing Company. The box is ripped at one end, as if in eagerness by its original purchaser. It is also rather stained. Which is good: Linder likes stains.

Elsewhere in the exhibition are two paintings by Ithell Colquhoun, the British surrealist and occultist who wrote an essay in 1952 entitled Children of the Mantic Stain, pondering esoteric uses of the Rorschach ink-blot test. Linder is interested in what else lurks within the SPR collection. Do you have any ectoplasm? she asks. I think so, says Jim Bloxam, the man from Cambridge. Is it vaginal? asks Linder, eagerly. Er, no. Its a piece of cloth, says Bloxam.

Linder seems a little disappointed, and turns her attention back to the spirit trumpet. I wonder how it works, she muses. I dont know, says Bloxam. Im actually a book conservator. He makes a hurried search on his phone to the library webpages, and we discover that, during a seance, the trumpet is designed to rise from the table and float around the room emitting spirit voices and, if occasion demands, exuding ectoplasm.

Lensman from Linders series Pretty Girls. Photograph: Courtesy of Stuart Shave/Modern Art, Dependance, Andrehn Schiptjenko, Blum & Poe

The spirit trumpet is one of a number of arcane and intriguing objects in Linders exhibition, which is titled The House of Fame, in tribute to a Ben Jonson masque and Chaucers dream poem. There are also aside from works by Linder herself 19th-century hat boxes, specially shaped to protect ones ducal plumes, a somewhat stained lace hankie, or pall cloth, for placing over the face of a corpse, and a beautifully decorated Derby-made jug from 1815, which one might easily mistake for a gravy boat (it is, in fact, a bourdaloue, a kind of chamber pot).

Born Linda Mulvey, the artist is best known for her immersion in the punk and post-punk scene in Manchester in the 1970s and early 80s. As a graphic design student at Manchester Polytechnic, she began making feminist photomontages. (She did not study fine art: I was the first in my family not to leave school at 14, and my parents were concerned I should have a trade, she says.) Leafing through magazines, she cut out images of kettles and cookers and gas fires and combined them with soft-porn pictures of girls draped over suburban shagpile. Famously, one of these satires on the domestic objectification of women a naked figure with an iron for a face became the cover of the Buzzcocks single Orgasm Addict.

She co-founded a band, Ludus, and in 1982 performed in a meat dress on stage at the Hacienda, a gesture famously borrowed by Lady Gaga. She has had an eclectic career since those days, devising performance works, studying Indian music (her extraordinary taus, a 20-stringed bowed instrument, will be on show in Nottingham), and lately returning to photomontage. These last months she has been the first artist in residence at Chatsworth, the Derbyshire seat of the dukes of Devonshire.

Seductive and unsettling Pythia. Photograph: Courtesy the artist and Stuart Shave/Modern Art. Devonshire Collection, Chatsworth.

The exhibition is a capacious web of associations and coincidences, a scrabble through Linders mind and memory. Lace is one of many delicate leitmotifs running through the exhibition, partly a tribute to Nottinghams history as a centre of lacemaking, partly because its reticular, woven nature might make a metaphor for the show itself. There are lace masks that Linder made for Howard Devoto; that pall cloth; a photograph of lace made in the 19th century by Isabel Cowper, a little-known figure who photographed items in the Victoria and Albert Museums collection; and lace curtains in photographs, by Shirley Baker, of children staring out of windows in Salford in the 1960s.

Masks are another recurring image not only Linders photomontages, in which womens heads are replaced with household objects, but the masks you might wear in a masque, like those in Inigo Joness designs for courtly 17th-century entertainments. Or one might think of a death mask: and here is that of Sandford Arthur Strong, who died in 1904. He taught Persian to the archaeologist Gertrude Bell, says Linder. He was also Chatsworths librarian. Or masks might make you think of dressing up and disguises: here are some of Madame Yevondes 1935 photographs of society beauties costumed as classical goddesses; here are photographs by Linder taken at a Manchester cross-dressers bar in the early 1980s. A lot of them were wearing their mothers or sisters clothes. The whole thing was very celebratory. It was the one night of the week when they could turn up and be themselves.

Or maybe collage is what glues everything together. Aside from Linders own photomontages, the show includes objects such as a decoupage screen, lent by Chatsworth, that must have been made in the 1840s: it is covered with fashion plates, scenes of Highland landscapes, and little moustachioed horsemen galloping away into the distance. Linder has some fellow-feeling for the anonymous person who made it. In weak moments I do feel like a sickly Victorian lady, she says, as she describes her hours with scissors and paste. The spiritualist objects in the exhibition cast back to the idea of collage, too, since early photographers might use layering techniques, such as double exposure, to create the ghostly effects in their spirit images.

Tomorrows world Linder pictured with House of the Future, by Alison and Peter Smithson, which features in her show. Photograph: Fabio De Paola for the Guardian

Earlier in the year I meet Linder, with the director of Nottingham Contemporary, Sam Thorne, at Chatsworth. The 18th-century house is closed for the winter, and we enter through the old servants quarters, now a warren of offices and storerooms and staff lockers and mannequins from recently removed Christmas displays (a prone Charles Dickens; slightly sinister giant Nutcrackers). It is just like being backstage at a theatre. We walk up to the public areas and find Linder in the ice-cold sculpture gallery with a group of classicists from Nottingham University, who have been advising her on ancient perfumes. Id love to put a strobe and some dry ice in here, she says wistfully.

Nearby, in the magnificent Painted Hall, whose walls were covered in the 17th century with scenes from the life of Julius Caesar, they have been wafting frankincense and other smells to see how they might create an imaginary olfactory landscape, she explains. (In the wall paintings incense smokes, and the goddess Fame presides in the end, everything Linder does connects with everything else, if only you follow the chain of association.) The house has been like a vast properties cupboard for her, a mad attic from which no one has ever thrown anything away. Its rather a long way from the Hacienda in 1982. I usually make work with ephemera, with things that have been discarded, with things that are literally lightweight. This is the complete opposite.

She has marvelled at everything from 1950s packets of soap powder to jet mourning buckles worn after the death of Queen Victoria (the latter are in the Nottingham show). The curators have magicked up all manner of strange things that shes asked for You voice the invitation and it somehow appears, she says. Someone opens a cupboard and there it is. One of the more remarkable objects she has borrowed to show in Nottingham is a one-handed flute, made for a musician who lost an arm and a leg in the Napoleonic wars.

Nothing seems to escape Linders voracious eye: she points out to me in the near dark, high on a bedroom wall, an 18th-century painted frieze of little men with frogs heads (as opposed to women with irons for heads they are illustrating a story from Ovids Metamorphoses). She beckons me over to look at a 19th-century perambulator, its fittings designed to resemble coiling snakes, the creatures that appear on the Duke of Devonshires family crest. She has made a new photomontage inspired by her immersion in this place of fantasy and performance. It is based on a painting, by Maria Conway, of Georgiana, the fifth Duchess of Devonshire, flying through a nocturnal cloudscape in the guise of the goddess Diana.

Linder has given Georgiana a coiled snake for a face, and an owl as familiar (a gentle homage to one of Madame Yevondes costume-ball portraits, which showed a society beauty, accessorised with a stuffed barn owl, as Minerva). She has called the work Pythia the name of the prophetic priestess at ancient Delphi, itself derived from the Greek word pytho, or snake, which had supposedly been slain there by Apollo. Seductive and unsettling, it is an utterly characteristic image by Linder this modern mythologiser, occultist and weaver of tales.

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Actual things you can do to address the orgasm gap in your own bedroom

Image: vicky leta / mashable

Your sexual partner just jubilantly crossed the finish line, but you’re still running a race with no end in sight. It’s frustrating. And, for an alarming number of heterosexual women, it’s the infuriating reality of sex. Metaphors aside, we’re talking about the gender orgasm gap—the disparity between men and women’s sexual satisfaction, and a struggle that many of us know all too well. 

64 percent of men have an orgasm during sex, but only 34 percent of women can say the same, according to the Durex Global Sex Survey which surveyed nearly 30K adults worldwide. Women who identify as heterosexual are the demographic that have the fewest orgasms, according to a study by Indiana University. That same research also revealed something that many women are already fully aware of: penetrative sex alone simply doesn’t cut it for most women. And, that women need oral sex and clitoral stimulation if they’re going to stand any chance of coming. 

“If you faked, you gave them wrong information, and then they think things get you off that might not.”

The reasons for the orgasm gap are multi-faceted, and some of them will take a long time to remedy. Sex education that fails to teach sexual pleasure has been cited as one reason for the gap. A study from University of Wisconsin-Madison found a third of university-age women can’t identify their clitoris in an anatomy test. Communication, or a lack thereof, is one of the biggest obstacles in bridging the orgasm gap, according to the Durex Global Sex Survey. Over a third of people feel they can’t tell their sexual partner what they like. And, others say the reason behind the gender orgasm gap is the cultural prioritisation of the male orgasm.

We might not be able to change these things overnight, but there are a few things we can do. Mashable asked gynaecologists, sex therapists, sex educators, and orgasm equality activists what heterosexual sex partners can do to bridge the orgasm gap in their own bedroom. Here are the pearls of wisdom they imparted that will hopefully bring us all a little closer to that oh-so-coveted finish line.

Don’t fake it 

Heather Corinna—founder of Scarleteen, a sex and relationships education site for young people—warns against faking your orgasm, which can cause a miscommunication between you and your sexual partner. “Orgasm tells a partner whatever you did together can gets you off. So, they’re often going to try and repeat those things to get that result again,” says Corinna. “If you faked, you gave them wrong information, and then they think things get you off that might not, or even most definitely DO not.”

Masturbate together

Angela Skurtu— sex therapist and cohost of the About Sex podcast—says couples should masturbate together so they can see see “how each person touches themselves.” “Women masturbate very differently than men do and we can teach each other,” says Skurtu. “You can also make this a competition—whoever finishes first wins something.”

Build arousal slowly 

“Slow down,” says Sophie Holloway, founder of Ladies Come First, a campaign promoting pleasure based sex education. “No touching the vagina until you are really really really turned on,” says Holloway. “Your labia should be plump and erect just like the penis when you are aroused.” She recommends staying in foreplay for as long as possible to build arousal slowly and to achieve what she calls a “lady boner.” When it comes to pressure, Holloway says partners should start out “touching the clitoris with the same pressure as you would your eyelid” before applying more pressure. 

‘Stay in’ 

Claire Kim, program manager at sex education site OMGYES, says in hetero penetrative sex, “in and out friction” is what’s pleasurable for the man, but this action isn’t conductive to the level of clitoral stimulation women need. “What’s often much more pleasurable for the woman is his penis staying inside,” says Kim. “So that the clitoris stays in contact with the area above the penis, and the top of the penis stays in contact with the inside roots of the clitoral cluster, which go around the urethra and up the vaginal canal.”

Think about what gets you off alone

We know what makes us come when we’re going solo. The obstacle usually arises when we bring another person into the equation. Corinna recommends examining “what floats your boat solo” and then “bringing it to your crew.” “Whatever that is, bring as much of it into sex with partners as you can,” she says. “Whether that’s bringing the fantasies in your head, showing them how to do what you like with your own hands meshed with theirs, or doing it yourself during sex (or both!), using porn you like together.” Gynaecologist and sex counsellor Dr. Terri Vanderlinde recommends that women practice “alone, comfortably” with fingers or vibrators to learn “her body and how it works.”

Image: Getty Images/PhotoAlto

Treat this as a learning curve

PSA men: this is gonna take some time. Holloway says men need to know that “until they have the map to their partner’s pleasure” it’s going to be a “voyage of discovery.” “This takes time, and patience, and love, and respect, and placing their partners pleasure and orgasm as their primary goal is a big part of it,” she says.  Partners should listen and learn their partner’s pleasure signals, and be receptive when your partner tells you when something’s not working for them. 

Get on top

When it comes to positions for penetrative sex, all experts interviewed by Mashable were in agreement: getting on top will help get you off. Dr. Vandelinde says being on top provides open access for clitoral stimulation, which most women need in order to orgasm. It also gives the woman “the freedom to have more control of the movements” so you can get into a rhythm that feels good, according to Holloway. Online sex therapist and host of Foreplay Radio podcast Laurie Watson says “woman on top at a 45 degree angle gives the penis the most contact with the G-spot, and is a good position that she can reach her clitoris.”

Experiment with positions

Getting on top isn’t the be all and end all, though. Vanderlinde says doggy style can be a good position for clitoral stimulation. “Anything that can give direct stimulation to the clitoris works,” says Vanderlinde. Watson recommends lying on your back, hooking your legs around your partner’s elbows with your pelvis rocked up. “To climax during intercourse I suggest a position where their partner or themselves can simultaneously touch their clitoris,” says Watson. 

As Corinna points out, women have “incredibly diverse bodies, and even more diverse sexualities.” She says orgasm can occur with “any kind of sexual activity” and each person over time will find what works for their own bodies. “There are going to be certain positions, angles or other specifics that work best for them. But what those are is so varied, that’s something we all have to find out by experimenting,” she says. 

Talk about sex outside the bedroom

Corinna says it’s actually really hard to talk about what you like and don’t like during sex. “It’s just such a high-stakes situation, and people, especially women, are often so worried about how what they say will be perceived,” says Corinna. She suggests building communication about sex when you’re not having sex. “Start by doing more talking about sex when you’re not actually engaging in sex. That can help build trust and comfort and practice that makes doing it during easier,” says Corinna. 

Tell your partner when something feels good

We know that faking your orgasm will give your partner the wrong message about what’s working for you. If you feel comfortable doing so, Corinna says you should “voice it when things do feel good” and “show them what you like when you can.” “Don’t be afraid to ask a partner to keep doing what they are doing when you’re into it, or to adjust when something isn’t doing it for you,” she says. “Be explicit and clear and open.”

Add toys to the equation 

If you use a vibrator on your own, then it’s worth considering using it when you’re having sex with your partner. “If someone enjoy sex toys alone, why wouldn’t they bring them into sex together at least sometimes? The idea that toys are just for people alone is silly,” says Corinna. 

If you want to add toys to the equation during penetrative sex, Vanderlinde recommends using a “cock ring with a vibrator” which will afford “hands free stimulation” as well as vibrators that can fit between your and your partner’s bodies. “Or simply wait ’til he finishes and then he can stimulate her to multiple orgasms,” says Vanderlinde. 

Plan to give oral 

Sex therapist Deborah Fox says that the “majority” of women won’t come from intercourse alone and that’s simply down to biology. The clitoris is full of nerve endings, while only the outer third of the vagina tends to have responsive nerves,” says Fox. 

If the man comes during intercourse, his next move should be to find a way to make his partner come. Skurtu says if the man comes during intercourse, he should plan to perform oral sex afterwards. “If a person finishes first, the next person can perform oral on the first or use a vibrator and/or fingers,” she says.

Don’t fret

Try not to get stressed if you don’t come. Vanderlinde says there are sometimes other things at play that could be standing in the way of reaching orgasm. “There can be interfering medical diagnoses, medications, pain, low desire, hormones, partner issues, prior abuse, trust issues, stresses, worries, depression, that have a major effect on a woman’s ability to have an orgasm,” she says. In these situations, consider seeking advice from a medical professional or trained sex counsellor. 

Go forth, explore. And most importantly, have fun. 

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A ‘Queer Eye’ guide to glowing up your life

You can learn a lot if you watch 'Queer Eye' closely enough.
Image: Netflix

As anybody who watches Netflix’s new Queer Eyewill tell you, the Fab 5 are miracle workers.

Antoni (food and wine), Bobby (home), Jonathan (hair and grooming), Karamo (culture), and Tan (clothes) take people from all walks of life and glow 👏 up 👏 their 👏 whole 👏 damn 👏 existence. 👏

The question is: How do you re-create that experience for yourself?

Much has been said about how Netflix’s Queer Eye is not your typical makeover show. Writing for The Ringer, Alison Herman points out “This Fab Five wants to take on its projects’ inner lives as well as their outer presentation; in fact, Queer Eye now sees improvements to the latter as a means to improve the former, rather than as a goal in and of itself.” And as an Out interview with the new Fab 5 explained, “The goal isn’t to give subjects a makeover, but rather, as the gurus call it, a ‘make-better.’ It’s about tapping into the subjects’ insecurities, playing to their strengths, and establishing a genuine, enduring connection with them.”

All that is to say, Queer Eye sidesteps being a simple “user’s manual” and dives into a much deeper experience. And, if you watch closely enough, Netflix’s reboot is chock-full of practical advice that you, the viewer, can use to glow up your  own life.

Here’s every single tip, trick, and life hack offered on Netflix’s Queer Eye.*

Clothes and Style

  • “Wearing a blazer over [a shirt] will tone down the print. So you’re just getting a pop.” —Tan, on how to add a print to your wardrobe in a subtle way (Ep. 2)

  • “A lot of people think they can’t wear slim [jeans] because they’re not slim. That’s not what that means. Skinny jeans are designed in a way to give you a same look for the size that you are, but a narrow version of it. They’re giving you the room you need [at the waist] and they’re giving you the narrow leg you need down [at the bottom.]” —Tan, breaking the myth of what skinny jeans are (Ep. 3)

  • “When you come to a [suit store], really work with the tailor. Don’t just try it on. They’re there for you.” —Tan, on how to shop for a suit (Ep. 3)

  • “You don’t ever need to button the bottom button of your coat. Keep the top button closed, and when you’re about to sit, undo it, and you can sit comfortably.” —Tan, on how to wear a formal coat to an event (Ep. 3)

  • “I like this because it’s a print, you can wear it with a blue jean, a black jean, a khaki pant. It’s really easy to dress up.” —Tan, holding a white shirt with a light blue print, explaining the versatility of prints in a wardrobe (Ep. 6)

  • “Boots are a good bridge between a super casual shoe and a super formal shoe.” —Tan, on how to mix boots into your wardrobe (Ep. 6)

  • “Every man should have a pair of dark blue jeans, black jeans, and light wash jeans.” —Tan, explaining what should be in a man’s wardrobe (Ep. 7)

  • “Style is not fashion. Fashion is not trendy after a season. Honestly, I could give a shit about fashion. Style is dressing the way that [makes] you feel confident, and what’s appropriate for you, your age, you’re body type.” —Tan, dressing Joe (Ep. 7)

  • “The thing that’s going to be difficult for you is that you don’t hold any weight around your shoulders, but you do around your midriff. So you’re going to have to get a slightly bigger size, and roll up your sleeves, and it’s going to make it like the whole shirt fits you properly. And what you’ll find is, because it’s the right size, it’s now slimming you.” —Tan, explaining how to find a proper fit for a shirt (Ep. 7)

  • QE Hip Tip: “If you’ve got too much jelly in the belly, layer up, make that eye dance, and it’ll distract from your weak spot.” —Tan, explaining how layering your top can slim an outfit (Ep. 7)


  • “We have to protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, because sun can cause inflammation and flare-ups in people’s lupus.” —Jonathan, on one way to treat lupus inflammation (Ep. 1)

  • “The thing with beards is that you want it nice and neat, but you don’t want to overdo it. You want it to mimic your face shape.” —Jonathan, on how to find the ideal shape for your beard (Ep. 1)

  • “Cold stuff removes puffiness, it invigorates the skin, and it takes inflammation down.” —Jonathan, explaining why you should wear a cold press face mask (Ep. 1)

  • “Put a little [green stick] on your nose. It tones the redness down. The rule with it is if you can see it, you did too much.” —Jonathan, on how to apply green stick to tone down redness in your skin (Ep. 1)

  • “Spray, Delay, Walk Away.” —Jonathan, channelling Kyan from the original Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, telling Neal how to put on cologne (Ep. 2)

  • “Gorgeous exfoliants are expensive, and you can easily make them. You just need a bit of coconut oil and sugar.” —Jonathan, on how to make a simple face scrub (Ep. 3)

  • QE Hip Tip: “Start off with half a cup of coconut, two tablespoons of brown sugar, a touch of honey, and any essential oil that tickles your fancy.” —Jonathan, on how to make a DIY Lip Scrub (Ep. 3)

  • “When it comes to edge work, for guys who are a little bit uncomfortable and haven’t really done it themselves, the most important thing to remember is… come in and work your way up to the [hairline]. And once you get close to it, let it go. [meaning, pull the clippers up from your head.] —Jonathan, teaching AJ how to shape up his hairline (Ep. 4)

  • “For the base of your beard, put your thumb on your Adam’s apple, and that’s where your beard line should start.” —Jonathan, teaching AJ how to trim his beard (Ep. 4)

  • “There is such a thing as a lash perm.” —Jonathan, explaining to Karamo that yes, your lashes can get a little boost (Ep. 4)

  • “When you’re buying shampoos, one thing you want to avoid is sulfates. It’s just very aggressive for our hair.” —Jonathan, on what to look for when buying hair products (Ep. 5)

  • “Dark colors make things look smaller.” —Jonathan, cutting Remy’s hair (Ep. 6 )

  • “When you have a stressful job, you have to create little pockets of join in your life to take care of yourself.” —Jonathan, explaining the benefit of a spa day (Ep. 8)

  • “Do you know the calming properties of essential oils? Tea tree is antimicrobial, antibacterial, so it promotes healthy skin, which is GORGEOUS. A couple drops will do ya.” —Jonathan, on the benefits of tea tree oil (Ep. 8)

  • “Peppermint oil is energizing. Rub it in your palm, bring your palms up to your face. Then take a really deep breath in through your nose, hold it, and exhale through your mouth.” —Jonathan, on how to use peppermint oil (Ep. 8)

  • “Face masks can be expensive, but you can make one on your own at home. The one we’re making today is egg white and peach. Blend into a gorgeous pudding consistency in the peach. The enzymes in the peach clarify the skin and also encourage your skin to detoxify.” —Jonathan, on how to make a face mask (Ep. 8)

  • “The rule when you put grooming cream on your hair is you always start in the back, and then work your way forward. Rub [the cream] in your hands so it’s evenly dispersed, start on the back, and work your way up.” —Jonathan, on how to apply grooming cream (Ep. 3)


  • “Leeks have a lot of sand in them so you have to really wash the hell out of them.” —Antoni, on how to prepare leaks (Ep. 2)

  • “If you’re cooking something that’s going to get really stinky, like fresh garlic, coconut oil gets rid of the smell.” —Antoni, on how to manage odors while cooking (Ep. 3)

  • “As long as you can press a little bit into [an avocado skin], it’s good to go.” —Antoni, on how to find a ripe avocado (Ep. 3)

  • “Hot dogs are always pre-cooked unless you’re getting a bratwurst or some kind of sausage. So it’s two minutes on each side, and you’re done. It’ couldn’t be easier.” —Antoni, on how to grill a hot dog (Ep. 8)

  • Antoni also teaches you how to supreme a grapefruit in Ep. 8, but that’s a visual explainer


  • “If you have a back problems, sleeping on a soft mattress is murder.” —Bobby, on finding a mattress that’s right for you (Ep. 1)

  • “A way to modernize [an old mirror] is just to frame it.” —Bobby, explaining how to up-cycle an old mirror (Ep. 2)

  • “Most people think that black walls make rooms feel smaller. It’s actually the opposite. (t adds depth to a room.” —Bobby, explaining the perk of a black accent wall (Ep. 2)

  • “Instead of ripping it out, just paint [old] grout black, and it modernizes it instantly.” —Bobby, explaining how he redecorated Neil’s wall (Ep. 2)

  • “The best way to [plant] zucchini and squash is to build a mound because they flower out. So [the mound] supports the plant.” —Bobby, on how to plant zucchini and squash (Ep. 5)

  • “Before painting repurposed furniture, sand it or the paint won’t stick because most furniture has a sheen on it.” —Bobby, on DIY furniture projects (Ep. 6)

  • “When you’re picking out new materials for a room, you always need a contrast to draw your eye around the room.” —Bobby, shopping for kitchen counter materials with Remy (Ep. 6)

  • “I want to do the whole back wall full of bookcases that are tall, that way it draws the eye up and makes the ceilings [look] taller than they are, because they are in a basement, so the ceilings are shorter than normal.” —Bobby, while shopping for a basement apartment (Ep. 7)

  • “I like using dark colors on walls because it controls the light. When you have white walls, the light bounces off everything and nothing looks good.” —Bobby, explaining the perks of dark walls (Ep. 8)

Other Nuggets of Wisdom

  • QE Hip Tip: Make a phone with your hand. Inhale through your right nostril, hold it. Exhale through left. Inhale through the left. Hold it. Exhale through the right. Repeat that same process for about a minute and watch your worries melt away for a gorgeous day.” —Jonathan, on a stress-release trick (Ep. 5)

  • QE Hip Tip: “Stand straight, shoulders back, and don’t forget, eye contact.” —Karamo on how to rock a confident smile (Ep. 6)

*if we missed your favorite tip, please let us know and we’ll add it. (We tried to avoid tips that were incomplete or extremely specific to the individual being made over.)

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The world is watching: How Florida shooting made U.S. gun control a global conversation

AR-15 "Sport" rifles on sale at deep discounts in an Arizona store.
Image: john moore/Getty Images

When you move to America from a country with more effective gun control laws, one of the first things you learn is how hard it is to talk to Americans — even on the sympathetic side of the political divide — about the gun issue. 

It was particularly difficult when I arrived on these shores in 1996, direct from living in Scotland during its (and Britain’s) worst-ever school shooting. In the tiny town of Dunblane, a 43-year old former shopkeeper and scoutmaster brought four handguns to a school gymnasium full of five-year-olds. He shot and killed 16 of them and their teacher, then turned his handgun on himself.

After Dunblane, the British plunged into a state of collective mourning that was at least as widespread as the better-known grieving process for Princess Diana the following year. (Americans don’t always believe that part, to which I usually say: the kids were five, for crying out loud. Five.)

In a country where nobody would dream of pulling public funding for studies into gun violence, the solution was amazingly rational and bipartisan. After a year, and an official inquiry into Dunblane, the Conservative government passed a sweeping piece of legislation restricting handguns. Then after Labour won the 1997 election, it passed another. Britain hasn’t seen a school shooting since. (Same with Australia, which also passed major gun control legislation in 1996). 

But trying to talk about all that in America over the last two decades, I’ve learned from experience, has been like touching the proverbial third rail: only tourists would be dumb enough to try it. Even gun control advocates now think they’re dealing with an intractable, generational problem. Many tell me that we need to tackle mental health services or gun fetishization in Hollywood movies first. The legislation route couldn’t possibly be that easy, they say.

But what if it is that easy? What if the rest of the world also loves Hollywood action movies and has mental health problems, but manages to have fewer shootings simply because it has fewer guns available? What if the rest of the world has been shouting at America for years that gun control is less intractable than you think — you just have to vote in large numbers for the politicians that favor it, and keep doing so at every election? 

If that’s the case, then perhaps some powerful, leveling international marketplace of ideas could help the U.S. see what everyone else has already seen. Something like social media. 

In one sense, Wednesday’s massacre in Parkland, Florida — a school shooting as shocking and senseless as Dunblane —  was evidence that America was further away from a gun control solution than ever. In 1996, buying an AR-15 assault rifle was illegal under federal law. Now, in Florida and many other states, a 19-year old can walk into any gun store and walk out with this military-grade weapon of mass destruction. 

Yet anecdotally, I have noticed one glimmer of hope. Since the last American gun massacre that got everyone talking, there has been a small shift in the online conversation. It has become a little more global. The students of Parkland have been broadcasting to the world via social media, and the world is taking notice. 

I’m not suggesting some kind of slam-dunk situation where every American on Twitter and Facebook and Snapchat has an epiphany about gun control because they’re more frequently interacting with people from other nations with different laws. 

But I am saying it’s noticeably harder for pro-gun accounts to spread lies about the situation in other countries without people from those countries chiming in. 

Meanwhile, there is a mountain of evidence that Russian bots and troll accounts are attempting to hijack the online conversation using the same playbook from the 2016 elections — manufacture conflict to destabilize American discourse. That means taking the most trollishly pro-NRA position they can think of, in a bid to counteract the large majority of Americans who want sensible gun control. 

So the voices from other countries are chiming in just in time. If anything, we need more of them to balance out cynical foreign influence in a pro-gun direction. 

How effective gun control can happen

Twenty years of trying to have this debate in the U.S. have worn me down. As you might expect, I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of Second Amendment-splaining from the pro-gun lobby. (Yep, I’m very familiar with the two centuries of debate over the militia clause, thanks.) I’ve been told I didn’t understand the power of the NRA (which, again, I’m quite familiar with: the organization supported sensible gun restrictions until it was radicalized in 1977).

I’ve heard every argument you could imagine: the notion that British police must now be lording it over the poor defenseless population; the blinkered insistence that there must have been a rise in crime with illegal guns and legal knives now all the good people with guns have been taken out of the equation. (Violent crime is still too high in the UK, but it is a fraction of America’s total — and has declined significantly since 1996.) 

I no longer have the dream that a UK-Australia-style handgun ban would work here. There are as many as 300 million firearms in private hands, according to a 2012 Congressional estimate; even though most of them are concentrated in the hands of a small percentage of owners, it’s simply impractical to talk about removing a significant percentage of them from the equation. 

But if anything, I’m more aware of creative legal solutions: laws that require gun insurance the way we require car insurance, or tax ammunition, or hold manufacturers responsible for gun deaths. I’ve seen my adopted state of California implement some of the toughest gun laws in the nation, laws that just went into effect. The fight to prevent future massacres is just getting started.

And any time you want to talk about how it can happen, the rest of a shrinking world is listening — and ready to talk. 

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This Swedish fitness trend combines running with picking up litter

Image: Getty Images

Forget about Hygge, Lagom, and Ikea’s attempt to start a twin duvet revolution. There’s a new Scandinavian trend in town. 

This trend encourages people to pick up litter while out running. So, it’s not just good for your health, it’s also good for the environment. 

It’s called ‘plogging’—a portmanteau of jogging and the Swedish plocka upp, meaning ‘pick up.’ 

So hot is this new trend that fitness app Lifesum is allowing its users to log and track their plogging activity as a workout. 

Plogging combines going for a run with intermittent squatting or lunging (to collect rubbish), which actually sounds like a pretty satisfying workout. According to Lifesum, a typical user will burn 288 calories in 30 minutes of plogging, which is more or less the same as what’s burned off while jogging.  

As with all fitness trends, there are plenty of #plogging pics on Instagram, offering a glimpse of what this trend looks like IRL. Ploggers take plastic bags along with them so they can store the collected litter they find along their route.

Swedish fitness app Lifesum claims it’s the first health app to allows its 25 million users to log their plogging activity. Those using the health app can log plogging as a fitness activity, in the same way that they would log running or walking, and the app will estimate how many calories have been burned. 

Image: lifesum / rachel thompson

Lifesum has also teamed up with the non-profit Keep America Beautiful to provide an online resource for ploggers who want to log the rubbish they’ve collected. 

Mike Rosen, senior vice president at Keep America Beautiful, thinks plogging is a great way to encourage people to make a difference in their local environment. 

“Plogging is brilliant because it is simple and fun, while empowering everyone to help create cleaner, greener and more beautiful communities,” Rosen said in a statement. “All you need is running gear and a bag for trash or recyclables, and you are not only improving your own health, but your local community too.”

Plog away!

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Segregation in baseball was the norm until this relatively unknown player stepped up.

As the pioneer and historical face of desegregation in sports, Jackie Robinson experienced taunts and death threats at every point of his Major League career as the first black player admitted to the league.

His bravery and persistence in the name of equal rights have been well-documented and honored not just in baseball history, but in the larger context of the struggle to end the disparate treatment of black citizens endemic to American institutions.

But Robinson’s success, in no slight to his considerable achievement, came as the result of the road paved by many less-celebrated predecessors, who, through their careers in the Negro Leagues, brought a resolve and speed to the game unmatched by their Major League counterparts.

In the shadow of Jackie Robinson’s legacy are the efforts of Andrew “Rube” Foster, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1981, having earned the title of “the father of black baseball.”

Foster scoring a hit. Photo via digboston/Flickr.

Known to few modern-day baseball fans, Foster sought to ensure that black players were given the due attention and compensation they had long been denied in “separate but equal” America.

No individual before Foster or since has been as instrumental in legitimizing black baseball both internally and in the eyes of the fans and media. His achievements, though largely disregarded at the time, were integral in eventually affording all black players the right to play in the Major League.

For example, Foster quietly broke a baseball color barrier almost four decades prior to Jackie Robinson, playing with a semi-pro mixed-race squad out of Otsego, Michigan. Most notably, Foster served as the star pitcher for the Philadelphia X-Giants, pitching four of the team’s five wins in a contest dubbed the “colored championship of the world” in 1903.

In his era and in the decades following, Foster’s success on the mound was virtually unmatched. For instance, the current MLB record for most consecutive wins by a pitcher stands at 24 by the New York Giants’ Car Hubbell, whose streak ended on May 31,1937.

Foster won 44 games in a row three decades prior in 1902.

But as compelling as Foster’s accomplishments on the diamond were, it was his contributions to the game after his playing days that continue to endure almost a century later.

Foster’s goal was simple: Turn the largely overlooked black baseball leagues into a legitimate, respectable, and sustainable organization.

Before his involvement in league management, the black baseball leagues were deemed inferior — if they were considered at all. Yet Foster’s blueprint for a unified organization ushered in a new era that would prove crucial in eroding the Major League’s color barrier.

In 1911, a great step was taken toward legitimizing black baseball as Foster negotiated a partnership with the Comiskey family of Chicago to use the White Sox ballpark for his new team.  With a premiere venue and the team’s marketable aggressive style of play, the newly-formed Chicago American Giants skyrocketed in popularity, leading his once-marginalized club to draw more fans than the neighboring Cubs and White Sox.

Following the success of his own team, Foster immediately set his goal higher, aiming to help elevate all black players, not just those on his team.

Foster with a white player from Joliet, Illinois. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

In 1919, as his city of Chicago was embroiled in race riots, Foster felt a sense of urgency to unify black baseball players in one league. He wrote regularly in the Chicago Defender of the need for a league that would “create a profession that would equal the earning capacity of any other profession … keep Colored baseball from the control of whites [and] do something concrete for the loyalty of the Race.”

Gathering the owners of unaffiliated teams, Foster held a meeting at the Kansas City YMCA and shared his vision. The next year, on Feb. 13, 1920, the Negro National League was created, with Foster serving as both president and treasurer.

As other regions developed, they followed in Foster’s footsteps and established their own leagues for black players, serving as an economic boon not just for the players and front office, but for black communities as well.

Sadly, Foster’s oversight would prove to be short-lived as health issues forced him to step away from overseeing the burgeoning league he had created. But that didn’t end the progress he started.

Rube Foster plaque. Photo via Penale52/Wikimedia Commons.

Even though Negro Leagues shuttered due to the Great Depression and lack of leadership, many teams would return under the banner of the Negro American League in 1937. It was this organization that served as the springboard for Jackie Robinson to make his legendary inroads to Major League Baseball.

While Jackie Robinson remains a civil rights icon, desegregating baseball is an act that no one man can lay claim to. Rube Foster’s legacy may not be as well known as Robinson’s, but his efforts helped ensure equality not just for Jackie Robinson, but every black player who has played Major League baseball since.

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