Call Her Christine: The Original American Trans Celebrity

transgender pioneer microphones

At the press conference after arrival. Bill Meurer/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images Source: Mashable

Caitlyn Jenner has captured the world’s attention–and apparently Twitter’s, too–with her debut appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair. Over the past several months, we have learned much about her transformation, and ourselves. As much as Jenner is doing to raise awareness for the trans community, she is aided substantially by the steps of Christine Jorgensen, the first person to become widely known in the United States for having sex reassignment surgery.

One day before Valentine’s Day, 1953, Christine Jorgensen returned to New York after what was quite literally a transformative trip abroad. Prior to her travels, Christine went by George. But when her plane landed in the United States, not only was Christine no longer George–she was no longer “average”, either. Almost overnight the American media catapulted Christine, who had begun the process of gender reassignment, to national fame. While not the first person to undergo gender reassignment surgery, Jorgensen was the first American to become somewhat of a celebrity as a result of it.

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Salt Caves Might Not Be A Fountain Of Youth, But They’re Still Stunning

salt caves zara spring

Zara Spring, Jordan. Source: Mashable

For years, doctors have told us to avoid excess sodium because it’s bad for our health. But apparently that’s only the case if you eat it. These days, people around the world are flocking to salt mines to bask in their supposedly health-enhancing atmosphere. From its allegedly anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties to its natural ability to filter out air pollution, the salt rejuvenation craze is growing.

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This Is What Delhi, The World’s Most Polluted City Looks Like

Most Polluted City

Smog frequently blankets Delhi. Source: News East West

Beijing can rest easier for the moment, as it is no longer the most polluted city in the world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), that dubious honor goes to Delhi, India. It’s estimated that the city’s air pollution kills 10,500 people in the city every year.

The study analyzed the peak levels of fine particulate matter in the ambient (outside) air. It determined that the highest level of airborne particulate matter of PM2.5 (smaller than 2.5 microns) clocked in at 153 micrograms, which is significantly higher than any other city in the world. For example, Beijing, once considered one of the world’s most polluted cities, has a PM2.5 concentration of only 56 micrograms. Delhi’s level is six times the WHO’s recommended maximum and twelve times U.S. standards.

Here’s a glimpse at what that lethal atmosphere looks like:

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Most Polluted City Smog

View of Delhi through a nearly permanent haze. Source: New East West

Commuters Walking

Commuters travel to work in the thick smog of the morning. Source: Quartz

Trash Mountain

Delhi produces 9,000 tons of trash every day and has very few places to put it. However, 50% of the city’s waste is fit for composting, which could solve some of the storage issues. Source: Sebastian Chatelier

Most Polluted City Yamuna River Pollution

These aren’t soap bubbles; they’re industrial and residential waste particles. Source: Business Insider

Most Polluted City Yamuna River

Pollutants cause the Yamuna River to foam. Source: Daily Mail

Most Polluted City Yamuna River Offerings

The Yamuna is important to observant Hindus who make offerings in the river. The government has encouraged them to use biodegradable and natural materials that won’t harm the water. Source: Daily Mail

Most Polluted City Worker Churns Sludge

This man churns sewage for a living, and does so without proper protective equipment. Building an efficient sewage system can help improve the environment in the city and the livelihoods of its citizens. Source: University Of Texas

Public Water Supply Bathing

Many citizens share public water supplies. Source: Japan Times

Kathputli Slum

Source: ABC

Slum Dogs

Garbage heaps are a common sight in the Indian capital. Source: Vet Help Direct

Presidential Palace

The presidential palace is obscured by air pollution. The skies are cleaned up during the rainy season, but the dry winters keep the smog in place. Source: News East West

Most Polluted City Work In Progress

Construction leaves behind dusty fields that add more particulate matter to the air when they aren’t replanted. Source: Flickr

Most Polluted City Commuter Train

Commuters pack on top of a train outside of Delhi. India’s rising population makes it difficult to provide efficient transport, sanitary housing and clean water to all people, as it grows faster than the current infrastructure. Source: Quartz

Most Polluted City Traffic


Face Masks Students

Citizens wear masks in a futile attempt to protect themselves from air pollution. Source: Indian Express

Oorja Alternative

Alternative stoves are being introduced in an attempt to provide cleaner burning fuel and improve health. Source: The Better India

Indoor Biomass Stove

Biomass stoves contribute to greenhouse gas emissions because they produce carbon monoxide and methane. Source: Lowe Tech Magazine

Clean India Mission

Prime Minister Modi shows his constituents how to use a broom to help clean the streets as part of the Clean India Mission. Source: India Mission

Most Polluted City Yamuna River

A Hindu devotee says prayers in the polluted Yamuna River. Source: Quartz

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXIV

Realistic Masks Homer Simpson

A participant of the traditional dirty pig festival wearing a Homer Simpson mask wallows in a slough near Hergisdorf, Germany, on May 25, 2015. Source: The Atlantic

Arresting Masks From Around The World

Scary Mask Devil Krampus

A man dressed as a devil performs during a Krampus show in the southern Bohemian town of Kaplice on December 13, 2014. Each year people in traditional costumes and masks parade through the streets to perform an old ritual to disperse the ghosts of winter. Source: The Atlantic

Come Halloween, masks are products of commerce and pop culture, used for both horror and humor. But apart from Halloween–and especially in many countries beyond our borders–masks remain rooted in tradition and folkways, used for both celebration and protest. In Burundi, a mask made from a giant leaf protests presidential term limits. In Spain, bull horns and a burlap sack epitomize the revelry of Carnival. In America, Batman leads the charge for wage increases. See the masks–sad, scary, surprising and strange–of China, Bohemia, Slovenia and more at The Atlantic.

Tony Abbott Mask G20

A protester, wearing a mask depicting Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and dressed as a surf lifesaver calls for global equality among nations among other protesters outside the venue site of the annual G20 leaders summit in Brisbane, on November 14, 2014. Source: The Atlantic

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