Miami teens’ invention identifies date rape drugs

Thanks to three enterprising Miami teens, a major step has been made in addressing the problem of date rape.

According to the USA Today, 17-year-old Susana Capello and business partners from her entrepreneurial class at Gulliver Prep School in Miami, Florida, Victoria Roca and Carolina Baigorri teamed up to create Smart Straws, a “straw that helps combat date rape through detected common drugs in both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks by simply turning blue.”

After being the only few girls in their class, Capello said the team was both inspired and (at first) intimidated by their unique position.

“I was first intimidated because the way the boys in our class pitched was incredible,” Cappello said, according to USA Today. “But since they had really good pitches and really good business ideas, it made us motivated and even more excited to really go for this business idea.”

But after a failed initial idea that then led to the creation of Smart Straws, USA Today says the team came up with Smart Straws after noticing that they were all drinking drinking out of their water bottles with straws.

“The Smart Straw is made of plastic and is discreet for both men and women to carry,” reports USA Today. “Once dipped in a drink, the chemical strips at the end of the straw will turn blue, which means the drink tests positive for either GHB or Ketamine.”

Their idea eventually won the Miami Herald’s Business Plan Challenge High School Track, says USA Today, and now the team is in talks to not only begin securing a patent for their invention, but also launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund their project.

 

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BuzzFeed profiles plus-size athletes

Strength is not determined by your physique; it’s instead determined by your skills and your perseverance — that’s what a new feature from BuzzFeed is proving.

In their piece called, “Here’s What It’s Like to Be a Plus-Size Athlete,” BuzzFeed staffers interview seven plus-size athletes about their respective sports and what they gain from participating in sports. From a pole dancer and marathoner to cyclists and lifters, the seven women profiled all had one thing in common: they refuse to be bound by stereotypes that perpetuate one image of athleticism.

Kristina Rodriguez, a “cyclist-yogi-baby powerlifter,” told BuzzFeed that her favorite part about her sport of choice is getting to prove people wrong.

“Women have to face so much bullshit about body image,” she said. “Men do too, don’t get me wrong, but you get extra as a woman in sports. People have doubted my athleticism, but I live for the look on their faces when they see how fast or good I am at whatever sport.”

Although some have had to prove naysayers wrong, long-distance runner Olivia Frempong shared with BuzzFeed that she thinks that more diverse definitions of what it means to be athletic are being increasingly accepted.

“I think the fitness community is finally realizing that you don’t have to be a certain shape or size to accomplish things,” she said. “When I first started to run, I was told that I wouldn’t be able to do it, or that I would get injured — but now, those same people are asking me for tips on how to get started.”

Show ’em who’s boss, ladies.

To read the full feature, click here.

 

Stenberg snags modeling contract

Amandla Stenberg isn’t your average 18 year old. She’s a successful actress, a proponent of intersectional feminism and now, a sought-after model.

According to Fashionista.com, Stenberg recently signed a modeling contract with The Society Management, home to models such Kendall Jenner, Adriana Lima and Lottie Moss.

Fashionista.com also reports that after the news broke on Thursday, Oct. 27 on Instagram, Stenberg’s portfolio was already added to The Society’s website, featuring an image from her Dazed cover. Even making projections about her next moves, Fashionista.com says, “with her already extensive editorial experience, she’s set to make even further moves — from ad campaigns to brand partnerships — within the fashion industry.”

Fingers crossed that Stenberg’s influence will only grow from here.

Swank talks of pay-gap problems

Hilary Swank — best known for her Oscar-winning role in Million Dollar Baby — knows that, while the gender pay gap may be starting to dwindle, it is still a very real thing. That’s because she’s felt the effects of it herself.

According to Indiewire, the actress sat down with Chelsea Handler, Connie Britton and Ava DuVernay on Handler’s Netflix talk show, Chelsea, on Wednesday, Oct. 19 for a “women’s dinner party” to “chat about, amongst other things, what it’s like to be a woman in the entertainment world.”

That’s when Swank spilled the beans about how she’d been affected by the pay disparity throughout her career, mentioning that for her first Oscar-winning role in Indie film Boys Don’t Cry, she only earned $3,000, says Indiewire. But after winning her second Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, Indiewire reports she was “offered the leading female role in a film opposite a popular male actor who hadn’t had much in the way of critical success … but who was still slated to receive a paycheck twenty times fatter than Swank’s.”

The male actor, says Indiewire, would have made $10 million, while Swank would have earned a mere $500,000 had she accepted the role — which prompted Britton to gasp while giving voice to what all viewers must have been thinking in that moment: “What are you talking about?”

To hear Swank tell the story in her own words, click here.

 

Ansari’s Wisdom on Women

The hilariously funny Aziz Ansari recently released his new Netflix series, Master of None, a comedy following the personal and professional life of an indecisive 30-year-old New York actor. But in a Nov. 11 interview with The Daily Beast, Ansari discussed the show, as well as the surprising theme of one of series’ episodes.

According to The Huffington Post, Ansari spoke on the issue of female harassment in light of one of the episodes of Master of None that dealt specifically with the topic. A self-proclaimed feminist, Ansari “pointed out why it’s so important for everyone, but men especially, to recognize and learn about women’s experiences.”

In his interview with The Daily Beast, Ansari said that most female celebrities are subject to death threats on Instagram, but male celebrities don’t face the same treatment. “No one is giving Drake death threats — only female celebrities get that … If you’re not aware that it’s happening overwhelmingly more to women than it is to men, you’re an idiot who’s detached from reality.”

In discussing the recent Master of None episode that addresses harassment, Ansari explained that the idea for the episode was inspired by one of his stand-up comedy shows.

“I’d talk about women getting followed home by creepy dudes, and I’d ask during the bit, ‘Raise your hands if you’re a woman and you’ve been followed home,’ and everyone would raise their hand,” he said. Ansari went on to explain the reactions of the female audience members, saying that all of the women were startled when they’d look around the room to see that they were not the sole recipients of such harassment.

Following this bit, Ansari asked the men in the audience if they knew the breadth of the issue. “They couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I thought it was interesting that this is happening, yet so many people are unaware of it. And the problem is people aren’t talking about it.”

Ansari went on to describe how important it is to listen to women’s experiences with harassment, and even sexism in general — something he said he has learned to do in his own life.

He advised men to “go to your group of female friends and ask them about times they’ve experienced sexism at their job, and you’ll get blown away by the things they tell you. You’ll think, ‘What the f*ck? This is way darker than anything I’d imagined.'”

Thanks, Aziz Ansari, for calling on men to take time to listen to women and their stories.