Male

A brief history of the diss track – from the Roxanne Wars to Megan Thee Stallion

Retrieved on: 
Friday, February 16, 2024

Fans and critics have suggested the track takes aim at multiple artists including Tory Lanez, Nicki Minaj and Drake.

Key Points: 
  • Fans and critics have suggested the track takes aim at multiple artists including Tory Lanez, Nicki Minaj and Drake.
  • The relationship between diss records and rap battles was crucial to the expansion of diss records during the 1980s.
  • The Roxanne Wars is the most famous exchange of diss records, with over 50 releases by 35 different artists.

The Roxanne Wars

  • The Roxanne saga was triggered by an “answer-back” record (a song which responds directly to the content in another artist’s song) by rapper Roxanne Shanté, directed at hip hop group U.T.F.O.’s 1984 hit Roxanne, Roxanne.
  • released their own orchestrated answer-back, titled The Real Roxanne.
  • This musical altercation spawned diss records by other artists too, who took on personas such as Roxanne’s Doctor, Rocksann, The Parents Of Roxanne and Little Roxanne.
  • The Roxanne Wars fostered a new paradigm of diss records.

Female pioneers

  • Looking back at the history of the diss track, it is the strength of female emcees that stands out.
  • However, she lost due to judge Kurtis Blow’s alleged bias of not voting for a female rapper.
  • Throughout the 1980s, female rappers were often dismissed due to the patriarchal structure of rap.
  • But the tenacious next wave of female rappers – including MC Lyte, Monie Love, Queen Latifah and Queen Mother Rage – constructed diss songs with deeper metaphorical complexity.


Looking for something good? Cut through the noise with a carefully curated selection of the latest releases, live events and exhibitions, straight to your inbox every fortnight, on Fridays. Sign up here.
Adam de Paor-Evans does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

First In-Depth Assessment of the Post-9/11 GI Bill® Provides Insight on Veterans' Post-Secondary Enrollment, Degree Completion, and Earnings

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

That increases to 62% when counting veterans who transferred their GI Bill to their spouse or dependent and benefit use outside of higher education.

Key Points: 
  • That increases to 62% when counting veterans who transferred their GI Bill to their spouse or dependent and benefit use outside of higher education.
  • Additionally, more veterans may use the GI Bill at a later date, given the 2017 ‘ Forever GI Bill ’ that removed the 15-year window for veterans to use the benefit.
  • Of those who used the benefits after leaving the military, about 47% completed an associate, bachelor’s, or graduate degree within six years.
  • Black veterans’ earnings were significantly lower than other veterans, and American Indian/Alaska Native earnings were also lower.

Trauma-informed approaches to discipline matter for equitable and safe schooling

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Yet the disproportionate application of school discipline for Black and Indigenous students remains a significant concern.

Key Points: 
  • Yet the disproportionate application of school discipline for Black and Indigenous students remains a significant concern.
  • We found there is very little research on the relationship between childhood adversities and school discipline.
  • Additional research — particularly from Canada — would provide schools with the knowledge necessary for evidence-based, trauma-informed and culturally attuned approaches to school discipline.

Lack of attention to adversity, trauma

  • Trauma is the negative impact that can happen when exposed to adversity, while adversity is a potentially traumatizing event or the absence of healthy stimulus.
  • While trauma and adversity are related, adversity does not always lead to trauma.

Disproportion in school discipline

  • Research shows that school discipline is disproportionately applied to students who are Black, Indigenous, male, have identified special education needs or live in lower-resourced areas.
  • Considerable research about the disproportionate use of discipline affecting Black communities exists from the United States, with less attention to Indigenous communities.
  • Researchers in other regions have documented how racism against Indigenous and Black students affects students’ school engagement or attendance.

Discipline affects opportunities

  • Time away from school through out-of-school discipline is a barrier to academic success.
  • This affects opportunities for post-secondary education and ultimately who has access to power, money and resources.

Research on adversity or trauma and discipline

  • In our article “Exposure to Adversity and Trauma Among Students Who Experience School Discipline: A Scoping Review” we detail how we searched for and analyzed articles about school discipline and trauma or adversity.
  • This research showed experiences of adversity or trauma play a significant and potentially contributing role in school discipline, including suspension and expulsion.

Canadian research matters

  • Context matters when studying school discipline.
  • This followed the province’s 2006 legislation that students remain in school to age 18.
  • In Ontario, the rate of suspension decreased from 4.32 per cent of students in 2007/08 to 2.23 per cent in 2022.

‘Safe and Caring Schools’

  • Zero-Tolerance policies are still active across many U.S. school districts.
  • Ontario students on long-term suspension or expulsion are now offered programs run through “Safe and Caring Schools” in every school board.
  • These supports enable connection with students and a different approach with students who appear to be coping with trauma.

Expulsions still disproportionate

  • To understand this disproportion and to develop effective policy and practice it is critical for educators in Canada to have more contextual knowledge.
  • Educators who have not experienced or been educated about adversity may not account for or recognize students who are coping with adversity.

Acknowledging adversity

  • This is noteworthy given research identifying the disproportionate application of school discipline among non-white students, and the school-to-prison pipeline.
  • Read more:
    Ontario can close students’ access and opportunity gaps with community-led projects

    When researchers don’t identify expanded forms of adversity like racism and poverty, they are less likely to be recognized.


The authors do not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and have disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Poxel Reports Cash and Revenue for the Full Year 2023 and Provides Corporate Update

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Thomas Kuhn, Chief Executive Officer of Poxel, stated: “We remain focused and continue to concentrate all our efforts at securing financing options, prioritizing non-dilutive solution, and partnerships.

Key Points: 
  • Thomas Kuhn, Chief Executive Officer of Poxel, stated: “We remain focused and continue to concentrate all our efforts at securing financing options, prioritizing non-dilutive solution, and partnerships.
  • We’ve also progressed our advanced discussions – in some cases on an exclusive basis – with several potential partners for each of our three proprietary products.
  • Based on this conservative assumption, Poxel expects to receive 8% royalties on TWYMEEG® net sales.
  • As of December 31, 2023, total cash and cash equivalents were EUR 2.3 million (USD 2.6 million)1, as compared to EUR 13.1 million (USD 14.0 million) as of December 31, 2022.

Acid attacks are a form of violence against women – the law needs to treat them as such

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Sadly, acid attacks like this are not isolated incidents.

Key Points: 
  • Sadly, acid attacks like this are not isolated incidents.
  • Over the last 15 years, they have been on the rise across the world, including in the UK.
  • Those who target a victim’s face in particular aim to maim and disfigure, but not necessarily kill, their target.

Acid attacks as gendered violence

  • But what is often left out of the discussion is that it is a form of gendered violence that mainly targets women.
  • While acid attacks are perpetrated against both men and women, the vast majority of victims – 80% globally – are women, and the majority of perpetrators are male.
  • As a specialist in criminal justice responses to violence against women and girls, I have provided expert evidence in UK courts on the cultural contexts at play in cases of gender-based violence, including acid attacks.
  • Acid attacks remain common in India and the rest of South Asia, despite bans on the sale of acid over the counter.

How the law ignores violence against women

  • Although few acid attacks result in death, the intention to disfigure the victim permanently can still lead to a murder charge.
  • A number of UK women have reported not being taken seriously by police when they report threats of acid attacks.
  • Acid violence against women usually does not happen out of the blue.
  • This starts by acknowledging that these are not just horrific, random attacks – they are very often targeted violence against women.


Aisha K. Gill is affiliated with the End Violence Against Women Coalition

Letters and embroidery allowed medieval women to express their ‘forbidden’ emotions

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Women were not allowed to engage widely in holy intellectual pursuits such as writing and interpreting religious texts, so they could only channel their religious fervour and closeness to God through their bodies.

Key Points: 
  • Women were not allowed to engage widely in holy intellectual pursuits such as writing and interpreting religious texts, so they could only channel their religious fervour and closeness to God through their bodies.
  • In the medieval period, prescriptive literature warned women of the dangers of anger – one of seven deadly sins.
  • But while they were discouraged from expressing their feelings in daily life, letters written by elite women of the medieval period are a rich source of information about their emotions.

Surviving letters

  • Not many of these letters have survived.
  • One that has was sent by Aline le Despenser, Countess of Norfolk, to the chancellor of England in around 1273.
  • In Renaissance Italy, the feeling of being powerless was palpable in many of the letters that women wrote.
  • A Corresponding Renaissance: Letters Written by Italian Women, 1375–1650 (2016), by historian Lisa Kaborycha, includes 55 letters written by women of different social status.
  • In one of her letters, she says: “Don’t be born a woman if you want your own way.” The letters by another Florentine women from the same period, Alessandra Strozzi are considered some of the most important insights into political and social life at the time.
  • In one of her letters she says: “Not seeing any of your children makes me wonder who are they doing all this work for.

Embroidered messages

  • These women used their needles as pens, subverting the traditional notion of female docility by incorporating symbols and messages into their designs.
  • During this period, embroidery was not just undertaken for practical purposes but
    was expected from virtuous upper-class women, part of expressing their “true” nature as dutiful and obedient wives and daughters.
  • Her designs were a symbol of her pride and resistance, especially as her letters were under constant surveillance.
  • While these letters and embroidered messages are a fascinating insight into the emotions of medieval women, most of them are from women of high social standing who had wealth and privilege.
  • And clever enough to find their own tools for claiming power, in a culture determined to silence them.


Looking for something good? Cut through the noise with a carefully curated selection of the latest releases, live events and exhibitions, straight to your inbox every fortnight, on Fridays. Sign up here.
Pragya Agarwal received funding from Society of Authors for this research and writing of Hysterical.

Jelqing: the latest in a long history of attempts to enlarge the male member

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

Posts advise that stretching a semi-erect penis could add up to an inch in length and girth by exploiting the body’s repair mechanisms.

Key Points: 
  • Posts advise that stretching a semi-erect penis could add up to an inch in length and girth by exploiting the body’s repair mechanisms.
  • Jelqing is just the latest in a long line of dubious penis enlargement techniques stretching (sorry) back millennia.
  • The ancient Greek method of lengthening the foreskin with a kynodesme (dog leash) seems positively mild compared with ancient Indian methods.
  • Penis pumps are also used for erectile dysfunction, but unlike some online claims, they don’t lengthen the penis.

Surgical interventions

  • Fillers are increasing in popularity, particularly hyaluronic acid (HA) injections.
  • HA is popular because it is doesn’t generate an immune response.
  • Surgery to cut the suspensory ligament anchoring the penis is the most widely accepted surgical elongation method.
  • A recent review concluded that evidence for supporting surgical procedures for penis enlargement is weak and the complications are under-reported.

Not needed, in most cases

  • A micropenis, usually diagnosed at birth, is where the penis is 2.5 standard deviations less than the average stretched penis length (2.3 to 2.5cm depending on ethnicity).
  • It is typically caused by a deficiency or imbalance of hormones such as testosterone or human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), or genetics.
  • The female vagina is on average 2.5 to 3.8 inches deep, but lengthens during sexual arousal to accommodate a penis longer than this.
  • The female genitalia have multiple erogenous structures that can result in orgasm, so penile length isn’t the key characteristic.

A closer look at jelqing

  • The top two consist of numerous spaces that are surrounded by smooth muscle, which keeps most blood out of the spaces.
  • During an erection, the muscles relax allowing blood to flow in, filling these spaces, and enlarging penile volume.
  • While the theory sounds good, smooth muscle cells in the penis don’t respond in the same way skeletal muscle does.
  • If jelqing, or any other trend, was really that effective, we would have seen evidence of it in medical journals, and the sale of extra-large underwear would be making the headlines.


Adam Taylor does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

The 2024 American Cup: Showcasing America's Finest Chess Talents

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Saint Louis Chess Club is excited to announce the return of the American Cup, one of the nation's premier chess tournaments, to Saint Louis.

Key Points: 
  • The Saint Louis Chess Club is excited to announce the return of the American Cup, one of the nation's premier chess tournaments, to Saint Louis.
  • Now in its third year, the event will run from March 12-21, 2024, at the iconic World Chess Hall of Fame, featuring sixteen of America's top chess talents.
  • The American Cup includes some of the best American players, including world No.
  • “We’re proud to showcase some of the top American chess talent once again in this year’s American Cup,” said Tony Rich, Technical Director of the Saint Louis Chess Club.

Monster Energy Returns To Street League Skateboarding With a New Multi-Year Partnership Agreement

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

LAS VEGAS, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Street League Skateboarding (SLS) and Monster Energy announced a multi-year partnership agreement today. Monster Energy, a foundational partner of the global skateboarding competition series since its inception in 2010, returns to SLS with excitement over the growth of the league, especially the expanded season and new formats.

Key Points: 
  • Street League Skateboarding (SLS) and Monster Energy announced a multi-year partnership agreement today.
  • LAS VEGAS, Feb. 15, 2024 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- Street League Skateboarding (SLS) and Monster Energy announced a multi-year partnership agreement today.
  • Monster Energy is stoked to support the future of SLS and skateboarding with this renewed partnership," said Mitch Covington, SVP of Sports Marketing at Monster Energy.
  • For more Street League Skateboarding news, including updates on the Championship Tour, go to http://www.streetleague.com and follow Street League Skateboarding on Instagram and Facebook.

Spice: the ‘zombie drug’ being found in some vape liquids

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, February 15, 2024

This incident is only the latest in what appears to be a growing problem in the UK with unregulated vape liquids, especially those marketed as containing THC or cannabis.

Key Points: 
  • This incident is only the latest in what appears to be a growing problem in the UK with unregulated vape liquids, especially those marketed as containing THC or cannabis.
  • This is why it’s so important for users to think carefully about what vape products they use.

What is spice?

  • While these lab-made drugs are designed to mimic the effects of cannabis, they tend to be far more unpredictable and harmful.
  • There’s currently no data on how these drugs are manufactured in clandestine laboratories thought to be located in China and India.
  • But we do have some idea of how spice may be synthesised, based on academic experiments that have been published in peer-reviewed journals.

What makes spice harmful?

  • Studies have shown that the compounds contained in spice act on both types of cannabinoid receptors that the body has.
  • Those who use spice repeatedly can develop a tolerance to it, requiring more to achieve the desired effect – ultimately putting them at higher risk of harm.

How does spice affect users?


Synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists were initially explored as experimental drugs to alleviate suffering related to a variety of conditions – including pain, anorexia, muscle spasms and glaucoma.

  • Many people use spice in the hopes of experiencing effects similar to those caused by cannabis.
  • It isn’t possible to predict who will suffer which of these side effects, but all spice users are at risk.

Is spice a growing problem?

  • One investigation even found that nearly half of male prison deaths that happened between 2015-2020 in England and Wales were due to Spice.
  • There is also an increasing number of reports in the press of vape liquids being laced with spice – leading public health authorities to issue warnings.
  • There are now calls to make young people more aware of the dangers of spice and using certain types of vape liquids.


Michael Cole receives funding and "in kind" support from the European Union and a number police forces and forensic science organisations around the world to carry out research.