James Shaw Jr. is being hailed as a hero after saving multiple lives at a Waffle House location in Antioch, Tennessee, on Sunday, April 22.

The 29-year-old Tennessee State University graduate was at the Waffle House when the reported shooter, 29-year-old Travis Reinking, began firing into the restaurant from the parking lot. When Reinking stopped to reload, Shaw approached him, wrestled him to the ground, took his gun, and threw it behind the counter. 

“He shot through that door,” Shaw recalled. “I’m pretty sure he grazed my arm. At that time I made up my mind — that he was going to have to work to kill me. When the gun jammed or whatever happened, I hit him with the swivel door.”

After Shaw grabbed the gun, Reinking fled the premises, leaving behind two magazines of AR-15 ammunition in a green jacket.

Four people were killed in the incident and two were injured, but if Shaw had not intervened, many more could have been shot.

“So I don’t know who this guy is,” shooting survivor Chuck Cordero told reporters. “I talked to him afterwards and told him, ‘You are a hero, man,’ because had that guy reloaded there was...

It’s difficult not to be dazzled by the accomplishments of Connie Chung. The 40-year-old is a published author with a bachelor’s degree from UC, Berkeley, and three graduate degrees from Harvard: two master’s degrees and a doctorate of education. Given her academic prowess, one might be surprised to find that Chung spent six years of her youth homeless and alone on the streets of Los Angeles.

At the time, Chung was in the throes of adolescence, and she recalls that school was one of the few places she could rely on for stability. And it’s a good thing she did find somewhere to turn; childhood illiteracy is correlated to lifelong illiteracy. “A poor family doesn’t have books at home or maternal education, even if Mom is intelligent. If you’re despondent about life, and survival is a challenge, literacy won’t be a priority. These kids are told they’re stupid and that college is not an option. Early illiteracy is hard to crawl out of,” Chung says.

Research backs up what she says about literacy for poor families. Approximately 15 million children are currently living in poverty in the United States, and 60% of low-income families have no children’s books at home. Since pediatric researchers report that reading at home in childhood has a considerable positive effect on literacy and reading skills, 60% of children from low-income families are at a disadvantage.

Chung worked hard to make up for that...

When the newly inaugurated President Donald Trump directed the enforcement of immigration bans from his post in Washington, D.C., photographer Sam Comen and writer Michael Estrin watched more than 20,000 immigrants become citizens in naturalization ceremonies held in downtown Los Angeles.

Over the course of two days in February and March 2017, Estrin and Comen interviewed and photographed 60 people hailing from dozens of different countries and distilled their work into a new art exhibit titled “The Newest Americans.” The exhibition debuted at the California Museum in Sacramento in April 2018 and will tour the country for the next five years. This series includes 28 portraits and accompanying personal interviews that aim to capture the many manifestations of the American Dream as well as map the dramatically different paths people take to becoming U.S. citizens.

“I wish this project was irrelevant and unnecessary,” says Comen via email. “But after the 2016 campaign and the whirlwind of the Trump administration that’s trashed what I see as core national values of tolerance and respect for all people, I want to broadcast these participants’ stories as a way to uphold the dignity that I see in these people and show them the respect they clearly deserve.” 

Comen and Estrin are longtime friends and came up with...

Clubs across Major League Baseball celebrated Jackie Robinson Day on April 15 with all of the players and on-field personnel in the league wearing the late baseball Hall of Famer and activist Jackie Robinson’s iconic number, 42.

Throughout the league, practice attire and various uniform elements featured a 42 logo, and on-field pregame ceremonies took place — some of which included Jackie Robinson Day Foundation Scholars — as well as activities in some of the clubs’ respective communities.

Robinson’s wife, Rachel Robinson, and their daughter and son, Sharon and David, attended Jackie Robinson Day ceremonies at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, sharing Jackie’s story of breaking the color barrier in baseball more than 70 years ago — and how his courage changed sports and civil rights in America.

But Robinson knew his legacy wasn’t just about influencing the treatment of athletes that came after him. He urged the league to consider broader steps toward equality in management and ownership of baseball teams, recognizing that sustainable change would come only from leadership that embraced his ideals.

50 years later, the “Breaking Barriers: In Sports, In Life” essay contest and educational program developed in 1997 by the MLB, Scholastic, and Sharon Robinson, utilizes baseball as a metaphor for life to help support and develop future leaders to carry...

On April 18, the San Antonio Spurs organization announced the death of Erin Popovich, the wife of coach Gregg Popovich, following a protracted illness. 

Personalities throughout the NBA and the sports world sent messages of sympathy and condolences to the famously grumpy NBA icon. Though Popovich was notoriously terse in press conferences and interviews, he is widely considered — beyond his gruff exterior — a warm man who stands up for what he believes, especially in the realms of politics and social progress. 

Steve Kerr, the coach of the Golden State Warriors, whom the Spurs are currently facing in the playoffs, spoke glowingly of his memory of Gregg and Erin. 

A transcript of his remarks (via FTW): 

“Pop might be the most admired man in the NBA, for many reasons, and there’s an outpouring of support and grief from everybody around the league. Especially for those of us who were a part of the Spurs family, who have been so impacted by Pop and Erin over the years.

[I] knew her well. She was close with my wife when I played here. Erin was sort of the balance that Pop needed. I still remember when he traded me to Portland, 2001, he called me up to tell me the news. He said ‘I don’t think I can go home because Erin’s going to be so mad at me for trading you.'”

The roster of those sending their thoughts to Popovich reads as a veritable “who’s who” in...

When Jessica Pate first saw the huge black shapes swimming close to shore in Palm Beach County, Florida, she didn’t know what they were. The shadowy forms were manta rays. Even though Pate was studying sea turtles at the time, and that meant she was constantly on the beach, she didn’t even realize that there were manta rays in Florida. She also soon learned no one else was studying them. Eager to find out more, she convinced a friend to take her out on the water to search for the rays.

On that first expedition, Pate and her friend closed-in on an immense black shape in the teal water. The closer they got, the more the ray came into focus: broad, pointed wings, and cephalic fins that protrude from the head like antennae.

Pate joined the manta ray in the water, and the ray turned upside-down and swam beneath her, observing her as she did it. Manta rays have some of the largest brains of all fish, and this one’s curiosity was apparent.

This is amazing, Pate thought. Even after the ray swam away, and she got out of the water, she couldn’t stop smiling. “I was hooked after that,” said Pate.

Pate knew she wanted to study the rays, but it took a while for the project to take hold. By 2016, the Florida Manta Ray Project finally gained traction. Though many people help out, many days it is just Pate, photographer Bethany Augliere, and their intern on the boat. Most of...

American views on marijuana legalization have changed drastically over the past two decades. In 2000, 31% of Americans favored legalization, and in 2018, that number has nearly doubled to 61%. But there is still a stark contrast between Republicans and Democrats on the issue. 

According to Pew Research, nearly 7 in 10 Democrats say marijuana use should be legal as do 65% of independents. By contrast, just 43% of Republicans favor marijuana legalization while 55% are opposed.

Like most Americans, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has evolved on the issue over the years. So much, in fact, that he plans to propose new legislation that would decriminalize marijuana on a federal level. 

“The time has come to decriminalize marijuana,” the New York Democrat said in a statement on Friday, April 20. “My thinking — as well as the general population’s views — on the issue has evolved, and so I believe there’s no better time than the present to get this done. It’s simply the right thing to do,” he said.

Schumer’s decision to make this statement on 4/20, a day celebrated by pot smokers, wasn’t lost...

If there’s anything more captivating than seeing African wildlife for the first time, it’s viewing the majestic creatures from the air as they traverse the land. This was my introduction to Kenya: peering awestruck through the window of a 10-passenger plane while ruddy dunes morphed into lush farmland, and a tower of giraffes floated across the landscape, undisturbed by the shadow of our aircraft.

“Zebras at two o’clock,” narrated our pilot, Murtaza Walijee, as a dazzle of the striped horses frolicked across the Great Rift Valley. He pointed out Menengai Crater, a dormant volcano boasting one of the world’s largest calderas, before dipping to an altitude of 80 feet and soaring over emerald green Lake Elmentaita as thousands of bright pink flamingos took flight.

This is a side of safaris few get to witness. Most visitors to East Africa head to Kenya’s Masai Mara National Reserve or Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park in search of The Big Five (elephant, lion, leopard, buffalo, and rhino). But Scenic Air Safari, Kenya’s only full-service flying safari company, was founded with a desire to connect visitors to Africa’s more remote wonders. And this particular tour has an even greater mission: to focus on the wild African animals whose existence is endangered, according to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: the lion and cheetah in the Masai Mara, African elephant in Samburu, and wild dog, Grévy’s zebra, and black rhino in the Laikipia.

“We aim to offer experiences other than your...

On Thursday, Donald Trump’s attorney Jay Sekulow stated that former mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani will be one of a trio of lawyers joining the president’s personal legal team. Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor and longtime colleague of investigator Robert Mueller, will join Jane Serene Raskin and Martin R. Raskin, former federal prosecutors, who have been added to Trump’s legal crew. 

According to The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman, Rudy Giuliani isn’t thought to be an asset in the team’s day-to-day operations, but rather as a public and private liaison to improve the optics of Trump’s role to the American people and to work with Robert Mueller during his inquiries.

Sekulow offered in his statement: “The president said, ‘Rudy is great. He has been my friend for a long time and wants to get this matter quickly resolved for the good of the country.” 

According to The New York Times, the Trump team has realized that an interview with Mueller would, at some point, be necessary to resolve the issues facing the president. However, following the FBI’s raid of the office and hotel room belonging to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, the relationship between the Trump’s team and Mueller seems to have once again become hostile.  

Whatever implications may still surround Giuliani from his pre-election comments, his new involvement in Trump’s defense serves as yet another instance of muddied waters and potential conflicts of interest as Trump’s pool of trusted...

Curious toddlers and swimming pools are known to be a dangerous combination. A series of security videos from a home in Brazil reveal just how close a little boy came to drowning in the family’s swimming pool. 

Fortunately, the heroics of his 7-year-old cousin, Pedro, saved the helpless boy from a tragic end. As the toddler approaches the pool to touch the water, he falls forward and doesn’t surface. 

In a matter of seconds, he runs outdoors and dives into the pool to rescue his cousin. 

The boy’s mother and aunt, who posted the video, were inside the home at the time, but were unaware of the incident until they heard the younger boy’s crying as he was being rescued from the pool. 

The description on YouTube says: "My 7-year-old nephew was drawing and heard the noise in the pool. He had the most incredible reaction for a child of 7 years. Neither I, nor my sister, heard the noise, just the desperate cries of my nephew."

Adult film actress Stormy Daniels has become a household name after her alleged 2006 affair with President Donald Trump became public. While she’s reached mainstream notoriety, she isn’t forgetting her past.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, will appear on the cover of the May/June issue of Penthouse magazine which also features an in-depth interview and photo shoot with the former Penthouse Pet.

In the interview, Daniels reveals that if she wins her current lawsuit against Trump and his lawyer, Michael Cohen, she will donate $130,000 to Planned Parenthood in their names. 

Daniels’ lawsuit against Trump and Cohen is a motion to have the “hush money” deal declared invalid so she can speak publicly about the affair. Cohen is also believed to be under investigation by the FBI for potential violations surrounding the payment. 

The donation would be an affront to Trump, whose administration has threatened to defund Planned Parenthood. Although his administration didn’t cut any funding for the women’s health oragnization in its 2018 budget, it has taken steps to hurt the organization.

Trump signed legislation in 2017 that nullified an Obama-era rule that effectively barred state and...

China and India have too many men.

According to The Washington Post, there are 34 million more men than women among China’s 1.4 billion residents. In India, the discrepancy is more than 37 million.

And in both countries, there are 50 million excess males are under age 20.

At face value alone, the gender imbalance seems to leave many heterosexual men without women for partnering and procreation, but the cause and effects of the inequity is more complex.

In China, the gender inequity is the result of the country’s deeply-rooted cultural preferences for male children and the social engineering from the Communist regime of the mid-20th century. China’s one-child policy was enacted in 1979 in response to overpopulation and famine that killed 15 to 30 million people between 1959 to 1961. Yet the state-enforced family planning campaign lead to an unexpected consequence: Some families committed infanticide if they produced a female child rather than a male. While the one-child policy was retired in 2016, its effects continue to reverberate throughout the country today.

India shares China’s cultural preference for male children and heirs, but The Post cites another cause: “The advent of sex-selective technology in the last 30 years, which is now banned but still in widespread practice.”

Both countries are now home to a staggering gender imbalance among their populations. The effects are likely to worsen as the citizens most affected by the discrepancy reaches child-bearing ages themselves.

The issue has been discussed for years, as this video profiles a town of lonely,...

While the remarkable (and unlikely) winners of the Boston Marathon are celebrated, most of the remaining runners finish in relative anonymity.

However, Mary Shertenlieb has garnered attention for her amazing effort to complete the race both for the circumstances under which she persevered and the money she raised when she became the last runner to finish the course, 13 hours after she began. A three-time cancer survivor, the 42-year-old competitor raised more than $43,000 in pledges for her effort, all benefitting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, where she had received treatment as a leukemia patient. 

To complete the challenging 26.2-mile course, Shertenlieb took frequent breaks to eat and warm up amid the harsh conditions. She received her medical staff’s blessing to run the race but was warned by doctors to stop if she felt overwhelmed or exhausted. 

At mile 15, amid concerns of hypothermia, her husband suggested they take a break, return home, shower, eat, and then reevaluate her strategy. After a brief rest, Shertenlieb felt compelled to finish the remaining 11 miles, so with her husband by her side, she returned to where she left off on the course and they ran the race to completion. She finished at 12:18 a.m. as the last runner to cross the line, holding hands with her husband. 

Speaking to, Shertenlieb shared the moment of exhilaration as she finished the grueling course:

“I just burst into tears, I just couldn’t believe it. And I asked somebody, ‘Am I...

While American sports hasn’t really ever been immune to politics, they are a kind of cultural touchstone that brings people together regardless of political affiliations. But in 2018, the sports world has become highly politicized — whether it’s NFL players protesting social injustice or Olympic skater Lindsey Vonn saying she’d refuse a trip to the White House.

The NBA may be the most political of the major sports leagues. The 2017 champion Golden State Warriors were disinvited to the White House by President Donald Trump after Steph Curry questioned whether he’d make the customary visit. The league’s brightest star, LeBron James, has been an outspoken critic of the president, calling him a “bum.”

While some attribute the NFL’s decline in TV ratings to its player protests, the politicization of the NBA hasn’t affected its popularity. The NBA is currently enjoying some of its best ratings in years.

A recent story in The Washington Post revealed that not all NBA fans are happy with the league’s politicization. Some San Antonio Spurs fans have had it with coach Gregg Popovich’s rants against Trump. “I am completely turned off. After all those years supporting the team, and now I just have no interest,” long-time Spurs fan Cassandra Casanova told the Post. “Popovich really messed up.”

“I often curse [Popovich] for doing what he did,” Bob Mulherin, a Spurs fan for more than 25 years, also told the Post. “He...

Creative people often perform an ongoing balance of internal strength and external openness. 

Few creatives know this delicate balance more than rapper Kanye West, the multifaceted artist who faces both critical acclaim and public scorn on a daily basis.   

After an 11-month absence from Twitter, West recently returned to the platform with a long list of advice and rules for creatives who may be struggling with inspiration fatigue.  

While West’s impromptu rule book – let’s call it the “Tao of Kanye” – emerged on social media as a new kind of philosophical study, his aphorisms address universal questions that appeal to everyone who has struggled to express their own creative ideas.  

After all, creatives must have the mental toughness and self-discipline to hone their craft. They...

If you could walk a mile in an NFL player’s shoes, what could you learn? According to the Los Angeles Rams: humility, character, persistence.

That’s the idea behind their Cleats for Character initiative, in which the Rams donate football cleats and athletic shoes worn by players on the 2017 roster to L.A. high school football programs.

Having relocated from St. Louis in 2016, the team has been eager to grow its roots in the community and is particularly interested in inspiring hope among local youth through increased access to the game. Through its youth football camps, clinics, and other related academic initiatives, the Rams are looking to reach out and recognize some of the region’s best high school athletes who are achieving excellence in the classroom and serving as community stewards.

In the second year of the Cleats for Character program, the Rams donated a total of 600 cleats and athletic shoes to athletes on junior varsity and varsity football teams at seven local schools, including Inglewood High School, Morningside High School, Hamilton High School, Compton High School, Camarillo High School, Hueneme High School, and Carson High School.

“We meet with the football teams or sometimes with the entire school,” says Rams executive Johnathan Franklin, who leads each school in a discussion about goal-setting and the...

Jess Lee is a partner with the legendary investment firm Sequoia Capital. But prior to that, she not only helped grow Polyvore, an online community that coupled e-commerce with users’ creativity but also orchestrated a successful acquisition by Yahoo to the tune of $200 million

However, before she was a familiar name to Silicon Valley dealmakers, she was another entrepreneur with a startup, seeking money to achieve her vision and — more importantly — keep the lights on at her company. 

Speaking to Business Insider, Lee recalled that in investment pitch meetings, she was met with disinterested venture capitalists who couldn’t even bother to pay attention. Recognizing that taking a risk to make an impression was the only way to stand out amid the countless companies jockeying for funding, Lee developed a tactic that all but forced her audience to engage and pay attention. 

Upon walking into the room, Lee would loudly drop a stack of Vogue magazines on the conference table, jarring her audience. She then said, “There is $100 million worth of advertising in these magazines.” 

She would pause for a beat and then continue, “Now, imagine that on the internet.” 

Laurel Touby, the managing partner at Supernode Ventures, affirmed the need to make a splash by asserting yourself, regardless of your gender or the gender(s) of your audience. However, she claimed that, in her experience, women tend to be less assertive while making pitches, failing to impart upon investors the urgency and opportunity of their...

The pit are of a NASCAR race can be a dangerous place to work. Cars are speeding in and out, and crew members’ biggest concern is speed, which, as one might imagine, can lead to some pretty ugly incidents. 

While every role in the pit has its own set of responsibilities and dangers, few seem more taxing or terrifying than the gasman, the member who holds a 95-pound, shoulder-mounted tank of gas to refuel the car as quickly as possible. They wear fireproof suits and aprons, but 95 pounds of race-grade fuel could make short work of those safety measures under the wrong circumstances. 

Fortunately, when fire struck in driver Cole Custer’s pit at the Fitzgerald Glider 300, the gasman didn’t panic. In fact, he hardly seemed to concern himself at all with the matter. 

He took a goose step away from the fire to separate his leg from the danger, then waitsed a beat until an official with a fire extinguisher stepped up to put out the flames on his suit. You can see at the end the gasman gestures to the official to convey “You missed a spot” on his left foot. After that shot, he was in the clear and went back to business as usual — no worse for the wear. 

The gasman may have remained preternaturally calm during the ordeal, but don’t let that belie the danger of a fire in the pit. It quickly became a non-event in this race, but others...

The world’s most prominent athletes are, sometimes unknowingly, the subject of countless photos while they compete. Those photos become shared social media images, headlines, and even memes. Athletes are focused on winning during their contests, so the overwhelming majority have zero interest in adding degrees of difficulty to their performance by maintaining a photogenic demeanor mid-event. 

But, sadly, that doesn’t stop internet trolls from attacking the way athletes — and more often than not female athletes — look during their moments of peak performance. It’s unfair, it’s stupid, and it’s something that prominent athletes must contend with. 

Sandi Morris, a 2016 Olympic silver medalist and the holder of the U.S. women’s outdoor pole vault record, has no intention of apologizing or conforming to the unreasonable expectations many have expressed. 

She let the world know as much on Twitter. 

She was quick to receive the Twitter equivalent of a chorus of “amens” from women athletes who realize that pushing your body as hard as you can doesn’t exactly result in a glamour shot but still serves as a testament to the subject’s drive and intensity. 

The gallery of photos that followed Morris’ proclamation was nothing short of inspiring, with Morris herself commenting positively on many of the photos shared. 

The entire thread is worth a once-over, and it can be viewed, complete with Morris’ comments on...

For the better part of a decade, Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt has been the biggest name in Houston sports. In his time as a pro athlete, he’s worn that mantle well, reaching out selflessly for many charitable efforts, most notably a Hurricane Harvey relief fundraiser that raised a staggering $37 million for Houston-area residents affected by the storm. 

And as a notable presence among Houstonians, it’s no surprise that he rubbed elbows often with another prominent personality in the city, former first lady Barbara Bush, who died April 17, 2018, at age 92. However, their relationship was more than a passing familiarity. The unlikely duo teamed up in 2014 to “tackle illiteracy,” with Bush going so far as to outfit herself in shoulder pads and eye black for the occasion. 

To commemorate the mark she left on the city of Houston, as well as the world at large, Watt offered some very kind words about his time with Bush following news of her passing. In doing so, he also expressed gratitude for their years of friendship together. 

The pro football star’s foundation offered a formal recollection of her outlook and philanthropy, complete with a selection of photos of the two prominent Houstonians together.