All Hail Martha Stewart For Not Knowing Who TF Jonathan Cheban Is

Ex-con Martha Stewart posed an incredibly important question to all of her adoring fans yesterday:

It’s Jonathan Cheban, Martha. None other than Kim Kardashian’s best friend, and (fun fact) the only person who’s more obsessed with Kim Kardashian than Kim Kardashian.

The best thing about this tweetbesides the cold bloodedness of itis thinking about how Martha Stewart came across this photo of Cheban. Did she crop this photo herself? Will she scrapbook it? Who told her that he was well known? Did she read it in an interview? Did she just assume by his smug smile that he would say “Yes. I am well known”?

I don’t pretend to know the inner workings of Martha Stewart’s brain, but boy, would I probably not like to.

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6 Everyday Things You Won’t Believe Famous People Invented

Do you know who invented the couch? Neither do we. Sorry, Baron Kristoff DeKouch, you are doomed to die in obscurity. Most of the things we use every day were just invented by “some guy,” and we’ll never know otherwise. But, then again, some things were not only invented by somebody you would know, but also done so by the absolute last person you would expect …

#6. Roald Dahl Invented An Important Medical Tool

From Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, the story of a whimsical candy manufacturer who is clearly a murderous sociopath, to Matilda, the story of a telekinetic girl who gains her powers from horrific domestic abuse, Roald Dahl was responsible for much of your implacable childhood trauma.

Along with your irrational fear of GMOs.

Dahl was also the dual inventor of the Wade-Dahl-Till shunt, or the WDT, a medical device used to relieve pressure inside the skull after traumatic brain injury. Dahl wasn’t exactly a doctor, but his interest in helping people with brain problems came about in 1960, when his son, Theo, was hit by a cab and suffered a fractured skull and swelling of the brain. The treatment is to insert a shunt into the victim’s head to relieve the pressure, but, back then, the technology they used frequently got clogged up by brain stuff, which is exactly as pleasant an experience as it sounds. Dahl figured that he could come up with a better way, so he contacted a neurosurgeon named Kenneth Till and a toymaker named Stanley Wade to figure it out. Toss in a surly computer genius, and you’ve got yourself a crime-fighting team.

Or a crack team of bandits planning a heist on the human brain.

After working together for three years, Dahl, Till, and Wade came up with their patented device that not only resisted clogging better than the current technology, but was also cheaper and easier to make. Dahl’s son recovered before the device was completed, so he didn’t personally benefit from it, but the invention went on to revolutionize the field. Dahl never saw a cent from it — not because he was screwed out of the patent, as is so often the case with these articles — but because he offered it to the world for free. And so shines a good deed in a weary world.

#5. Mark Twain Invented The Modern Scrapbook

Mark Twain surely taught your great-great-grandmother all her favorite racial epithets. But, you know what else he taught her? How to fuck. Probably. We assume. We know for sure that he taught her favorite non-bootylicious hobby, too: scrapbooking.

“Scrapbooking” was also one of the sex acts he taught her.

Twain was into scrapbooking in a tremendous way. He carried scrapbooks with him wherever he went so that he could fill them with photos of his travels, news articles about his work, and the pressed bloomers of all his sexual conquests. He was so invested in his hobby that the clunky process of applying glue to paper was really just slowing him down, so he thought up a better way.

A Like button for baby pics?

In 1872, he patented a scrapbook that already had glue applied to the pages. Each page was like a giant postage stamp, so instead of fumbling with Krazy Glue, you just had to lick the page up and down (something Twain had a lot of practice with, again, on your great-grandmother).

#4. McDonald’s Gave Us Redbox

Redbox is the last defiant holdout of the physical video industry. You would probably assume that it was Blockbuster’s idea — a frantic effort to tread water as the Internet tsunami washed away their profit margins — but, no, Redbox was originally an idea by McDonald’s.

It was the second nonfood item on the Dollar Menu, after the McNugget.

When profits started to decline in 2002, the fast-food company started exploring other things that they could make “fast.” The first experiment was something called the “Tik Tok Easy Shop,” a giant vending machine that sold everything from milk and eggs to diapers. The Tik Tok Easy Shop failed catastrophically, probably because people buying their diapers from McDonald’s is the kind of dystopian parody world you would expect to read about in a George Orwell novel.

Their breakfast burritos, for comparison, were dreamed up by H.P. Lovecraft.

However, another experiment, a vending machine for DVD rentals, took off massively. Redbox was a huge success at its first location — a McDonald’s restaurant in Denver — and they soon expanded to more. Eventually, McDonald’s sold about half the company to Coinstar, and Redbox moved into supermarkets, pharmacies, and the hearts of people too old to understand the Internet.

#3. The Beastie Boys Named The “Mullet” Hairstyle

History has forgotten the first person to sport the mullet, though we have a pretty good guess about the quality of their personal hygiene. Luckily, we at least know who named the hairstyle — hip-hop band the Beastie Boys.

“You’ve got to fight … for your right … to paaaaarty (in the back, business in the front)!”

In 1994 the Beastie Boys were more of a punk band, and they became weirdly obsessed with the hairstyle. They even recorded a song about it, Mullet Head, and following is the chorus:

Mullet head, don’t touch the back
Cut the sides, don’t touch the back
Cut the sides, don’t touch the back
Cut the sides and don’t touch the back

And then in Grand Royal, the Boys’ official magazine, they dedicated an entire issue to it, featuring such articles as “Mulling Over the Mullet,” and “Ancient History of the Mullet.” The band’s frontman Mike D takes credit for coining the term, and the Oxford English Dictionary officially recognizes Grand Royal as the first appearance of the word in print. Before then, it was just the name of a type of fish — a party fish.

#2. Rock Legend Todd Rundgren Invented The Graphics Tablet

Todd Rundgren is a legend in the rock world. If you don’t know the name, you’ve still heard his work: He produced albums by Meat Loaf, Hall & Oates, Grand Funk Railroad, and the imaginatively named The Band. But, Rundgren was also a scientist, so when the Apple Company started making personal computers in the ’70s, Rundgren was one of the people they contacted to help out.

“Can’t we steal it from some other company?”
“Nah, no one’s invented it yet.”

Rundgren did a lot of the pioneering graphics work on early Apple computers, and it was during this time that he met Alvy Ray Smith (later the founder of a little company called Pixar), and, together, they began work on a device that would mimic a pen and paper to draw directly onto a computer screen with a stylus. In 1979, Apple released the first graphic tablet based on Rundgren’s design, and used all of their creative manpower to call it Apple Graphic Tablet. It’s no The Band, but it’s a pretty catchy name.

We had an awesome joke about a hypothetical “iPencil,” but then this bullshit happened.

#1. Salvador Dali Designed The Chupa Chups Logo

“Chupa Chups” was also the name of another Mark Twain sex act.

Dali also suggested that they put the logo on the top of the lollipop wrapper instead of the side, to which the manufacturers agreed. It’s a solid, simple, tasteful piece of design work — and it came from the artist voted most likely to paint an octopus with a woman’s face vomiting clocks onto an anvil made out of baby hands.

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7 Dumb Back To The Future Products You Won’t Believe Existed

A good 80 percent of Cracked’s content is devoted to peeling back the kaleidoscopic layers of WTF-ness contained within Back To The Future, but this article isn’t about that. Nope, this is about an even more ridiculous topic: the many confounding ways people tried to squeeze big bucks out of the Back To The Future flicks.

This ordinary tale of a time-travelling eccentric and his pet teenager has spawned such baffling shit as …

#7. The Back To The Future Cartoon Was A Fucking Crazy Parade

As we’ve mentioned before on the site, Doc Brown’s character-concluding decision to father children with a historically dead woman and blast through time in a screeching lightning train was reckless at best. And so it’s only natural that the 1991 Back To The Future TV show would follow the horrific mishaps of this family, sandwiched with live-action science demonstrations by Christopher Lloyd and an oddly mute Bill Nye.

They’re like the Penn and Teller of mad science.

But despite its audience of the young and curious, an average episode of Back To The Future: The Animated Series played out like Rick And Morty episodes Adult Swim rejected for being too bleak. Don’t believe us? The pilot for the series starts with Doc’s younger son Verne stealing the time machine and traveling to the Civil War … followed by Doc finding a photo revealing that little Verne died for the Confederate Army.

“But hey, it says here that the Alabama chapter of the KKK is named in his honor.”

Doc eventually prevents this by creating a truce between Verne’s Confederate pals and the Union, and the gang happily flies home like they didn’t just irrevocably alter the outcome of a Civil War battle. That’s basically the story of the series, as Doc, Marty, and Doc’s kids manhandle historical moments while Doc’s wife Clara waits back home with sandwiches.

In the third goddamn episode, Doc brings his kids to the very moment the dinosaurs are wiped out by a meteor, saving the group by hastily stopping the comet and changing the future into a lizard-ruled wasteland. (One of said lizards looks like Biff, implying that a Tannen once fucked a dinosaur.)

This means that Doc is forced to go back and kill the dinosaurs himself, re-altering his actions so that the meteor gets back on a collision course with Earth … but not before one of his kids befriends a scared pterodactyl. So how does Doc handle this unfortunate attachment? Obviously, the rest of the series would involve the group goofing around with their adopted dino friend. I mean, otherwise, he’d have to …

… tear his son from the sobbing grasp of a doomed animal …

… stuff him into the time machine and fly away …

This also serves as the official series finale for The Flintstones.

… and watch as the comet tears through the atmosphere and vaporizes the boy’s dinosaur pal. That’s seriously what happens in the special “watch all the dinosaurs die” episode of this nightmare series. Happy Saturday morning, assholes!

#6. A Japanese Video Game Made BTTF 2 Into Crazy-Ass Anime

Anyone who played the early Back To The Future Nintendo games knows that whoever made them clearly didn’t bother to see the movies. Either that, or Back To The Future Part III cut a scene in which Marty ingests a crazy amount of peyote and starts seeing mutant cow men everywhere.

Presumably named “Beef Tannen.”

The Japan-only Back To The Future Part II Super Famicom game, on the other hand, tried to follow the plot of movie … and somehow ended up being even weirder. You control Marty, who spends the entire time on his hoverboard — because, realistically speaking, if you owned a hoverboard, why the fuck would you ever not be flying around on it?

The game starts on a grimly prescient note, with trigger-happy 2015 cops shooting at Marty for no apparent reason.

When we reach the alternate 1985, Marty goes around fighting disoriented crackheads, mistaking their agonized gasps for taunting chicken noises. Marty then discovers his murdered father’s tombstone, and he … seems pretty copacetic with this development, all things considered.

Doc, on the other hand, turns into an angry pink Gollum.

If you’ve ever wanted to see these iconic moments reimagined as demented Sailor Moon episodes, you’re in luck. When Marty discovers the 1950s girlie mag instead of the sports almanac, the mere sight of boobs gives him a stroke.

Which is weird, because this is after meeting his mother’s gargantuan dystopian breasts. Marty’s perma-smirk in that scene is somehow even creepier than when he was standing at his dead dad’s grave.

Also, why are they in the Technodrome?

By the time Biff seemingly vampire-bites the almanac away from Marty and gets covered in a sea of 16-bit horseshit, you’ll probably never see Back To The Future the same way ever again.

“I won’t close my mouth. I deserve this.”

And speaking of which …

#5. A Hot Wheels Biff Car … Complete With Manure

There aren’t a ton of Back To The Future toys, but the ones that do exist are mostly DeLorean-based. There’s a DeLorean Lego set, a remote-control DeLorean, and even a Power-Wheels-esque DeLorean for ’80s kids whose parents wanted them to explore their confused Oedipal feelings outside the house.

Sadly, this kid was easily taken out by Libyan terrorists.

So it’s only natural that the DeLorean be adopted by stalwart toy car company Hot Wheels. Recently, the company decided to expand their Back To The Future line to include not only Doc’s DeLorean …

Oh, sorry. Doc’s “Time Machine of Indeterminate Brand.”

And Marty’s sweet 4×4 …

“Complete with two coats of wax and Fat Biff’s tears!”

And even Biff Tannen’s Ford Super Deluxe Converti– oh, shit.

You can get a non-poopy version for an extra $300.

Yes, they produced a beautiful classic automobile overflowing with rancid manure, as seen in that scene and that other scene and that variation of the scene. It looks like an amusing Internet Photoshop job, but it’s a real toy which you could go buy right now … or, you know, make at home yourself with a toy car and some laxatives.

Couldn’t Hot Wheels have mass-produced Doc’s hover-train? Or one of those kickass police cars from 2015? Nope. Instead, we get the shit-encrusted rapemobile. Think of all the ways kids could play with this. “Oh no, Biff’s car got covered in manure … again …” Assuming your kid even knows what Back To The Future is, how are they supposed to integrate Biff’s car with their other Hot Wheels products?

“Yes! The race is delayed due to track turds!”

#4. ZZ Top Turns All The Characters Into Ogling Creeps

Along with “The Power of Love,” Huey Lewis and the News wrote “Back In Time,” the surprisingly engaged recounting of the events of Back To The Future from Marty’s perspective. Sadly, we were less lucky with ZZ Top’s “Doubleback,” a jabbering spray of temporally-themed rhymes in no way related to the third film.

The one band you’d think you could trust to hitch their beer-drinking, hell-raising wagon to Wake-Up Juice, but noooooo.

Now, “Doubleback” is a fucking abomination, an artistic charley horse clearly farted out 12 minutes from the studio call time. But then there’s the music video, which superimposes the band into random clips from the movie in such a disjointed, cookie cutter way that it comes alive like a serial killer’s scrapbook.

GOOF: ZZ Top were only teenagers in 1885, so they shouldn’t have beards yet.

It’s everyone’s third-favorite time travel movie, perpetually interrupted with the looming presence of three guys who look like the personification of bathroom assault. By the end, they’re literally sticking their faces over the action so that we don’t forget to be bummed out by their existence.

We’re all for them supplanting Marty’s mom in this scene to make it less creepy, though.

But the weird stuff begins when this monochromatic onslaught changes the movie’s finale to include a pimped-out ride randomly rolling into Marty’s standoff with Mad Dog Tannen …

… and releasing three jean-short bombshells of various ’90s fabric patterns and foxy accessories, to which the movie’s characters react with stock disbelief appropriated from the original scene.

OK, we have to admit that these guys clean up nicely when they shave.

That’s right — Doc reacting to Marty’s fakeout death is the same expression as his boner face. Or maybe he’s wondering how a Cadillac Sedanette went back in time without a bunch of nonsense sticking out of its hood. Either way: boner.

#3. Pizza Hut’s Back To The Future Ads Are Rather Sad In Retrospect

Having the ability to engorge on a puck of meat and cheese has been every child’s dream since Marty’s mom hydrated a Pizza Hut pizza in Back To The Future II.

The most fantastic concept here is a 2015 pizza without a gimmicky crust.

So delicious. At least, if you ignore the fact that eating a waterlogged dough slice sounds like a fucking nightmare, and that the Pizza Hut of this future solely makes the equivalent of microwave meals. In fairness, the brand’s own advertising campaign had a slightly different take on their role in the future:

Their kinder, gentler take on Robocop was probably their lamest (and most inaccurate) prediction of all.

According to one 1989 commercial, the Pizza Huts of 2015 are built like techno mosques. It makes sense in the context of the ad, which begins with two unknown ruffians taking the DeLorean out for a spin, presumably after swiping the keys from Doc Brown’s ransacked corpse.

To save you 15 minutes on IMDb: It’s Mikey from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose.

The ne’er-do-wells zoom to 2015, where, to the sad grumbles of their stomachs, they find the streets barren of any pizza eateries, as Domino’s has long been converted into a hardware chain. Luckily, there’s still one place in business, and it’s the all-hail Pizza Hut temple.

The Noid was executed after a show trial in ’94.

It’s unclear why a restaurant that makes cookie-sized products needs multiple neon spires, but it probably has to do with the announcer’s assertion that, even in the future, Pizza Hut is the “only one place to get a great pizza.” The fact that Pizza Hut was envisioning an all-exclusive Demolition Man scenario with their brand is made that much more heartbreaking by the company’s actual 2015 situation:

Also depressing: the current state of journalism, since no one realized this graphic should be a pie chart.

Turns out that all the movie projector pizza boxes and eye-tracking tablet menus in the world can’t get us to that Utopian Italian palace where dressing like it’s the ’80s is still hip and (according to another tie-in ad) absolutely everyone wears futuristic solar shades.

The nuclear fallout has melted all of our eyes by now.

#2. Doc Brown Teamed Up With Doogie Howser For Earth Day

Back in 1990, people were really committed to saving the environment … as long as the extent of that commitment was appearing in some kind of extravagant TV special instead of cutting back on fossil fuels. Regardless, this newly-discovered sense of eco-awareness led to one of the craziest moments in pop culture: The Earth Day Special.

The special starred a slew of wacky creatures, like the Muppets and Danny DeVito and E.T., who looks to have been living in a filthy alley since the events of his film.

He’ll touch you with his “magic finger” for $5 and some Reese’s Pieces.

Since this was the year that Back To The Future Part III came out, Doc Brown naturally joined the cross-promotional fray. Who better to promote environmental activism than a guy who hoards large quantities of plutonium in a garage in a residential neighborhood?

The loose plot of the special is about the personification of Mother Earth dying. Doc Brown shows up in his DeLorean and offers his assistance to the doctor in charge of healing Mrs. Earth — who, because this was 1990, is Doogie Fucking Howser.

“Not even Edward James Olmos’ mustache could revive her.”
“We’re doomed.”

Doc whips out his suitcase TV and shows them footage of how screwed over the Earth is, which is kind of a dick move, considering how she’s right over there. It doesn’t help that the clips are seemingly stock footage pretentiously edited together by first-year film students.

“What are those ladies doing with that cup …?”
“Whoops, wrong year.”

As always, Doc ends up finding the solution: science! Not any specific science but, like, the act of reading and shit. Look, it was 6 a.m. and someone wanted to finish that goddamn children’s TV show script already.

#1. The Back To The Future Novelization Gets Dark

Movie novelizations are generally terrible, but the one for Back To The Future takes it to a whole new level. It’s the Back To The Future of bad literary cash-ins.

“What do you mean it’s not about a kid with a camera who farts fireworks?” — the author, probably

The book opens with a vivid description of a dead family getting bent out of shape by the detonation of a nuclear bomb, which turns out to be a scene from a film Marty is watching. This never comes up again in the book — because the author is too busy thinking up even crazier, tangentially BTTF-related shit. For instance, we get a scene featuring the Libyan terrorists casually hanging out in a shitty motel, which answers the question you always had: Yes, one of them is a psychotic former fashion model.

You can only be told to look “sexy like tiger” so many times before something inside snaps.

And she doesn’t mind offing Doc Brown because he … “looks Jewish.”

Doc goes commando in his jumpsuits in this version.

Even when it’s a scene we recognize from the movie, the author’s prose manages to make everything seem a tiny bit seedier:

Not that “Let’s hire your attempted rapist as our live-in manservant” is any less creepy.

The novel also features the most disturbing context for the phrase “giggled naughtily” in all of fiction:

A parent’s naughty giggling is typically reason #1 Protective Services gives when taking away their child.

The whole book is so bizarre and creepy that it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that it was imported from the shitty alternate 1985. And we’re only scratching the surface here. A whole other book could be written just pointing out all the fucked up moments, page by page. Did we say “could”? We meant “someone on the Internet did exactly that.”

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There was a ‘panda kindergarten’ event in China. It didn’t disappoint.

It was back-to-school for the fuzziest, cuddliest, most adorable creatures on earth this past weekend.

On Oct. 24, 2015, baby giant pandas were presented to the public as part of Chengdu Research Base’s opening ceremonies for “panda kindergarten” this year in China.

And yes, it was as cute as it sounds.

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

Unfortunately, there weren’t any scrapbook-worthy pics of the cubs putting on backpacks and hopping on school buses (can you imagine, though?). That’s because the research base uses the term “kindergarten” a little loosely it’s not so much a school as it is the area where the smallest fur-balls are cared for, play with their peers, and just generally act too-cute to handle.

This year’s ceremony was particularly awesome because 2015 has been downright phenomenal for giant pandas.

In front of excited onlookers, 13 of the 15 giant panda cubs born at the center this year strutted their stuff for the camera (or, you know, just rolled around on the table being delightful). That number may not seem significant, but it marks a very successful breeding year for the species.

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

Because females only ovulate for a very short time once a year, reproduction rates can be painfully stagnant for giant pandas. As the Smithsonian’s National Zoo points out, “the giant pandas’ naturally slow breeding rate prevents a population from recovering quickly from illegal hunting, habitat loss, and other human-related causes of mortality.”

So all things considered, 15 makes for a pretty stellar year.

Remarkably, there were six six! sets of twins in the mix this year, too. And two of them were named image ambassadors by the United Nations Development Program, which helped organize the event to bring awareness to the species’ fragility around the world.

Overall, things are looking up for these fuzz-balls.

Giant pandas are endangered, with only about 1,864 alive in the wild in 2014, according to the World Wildlife Fund. That figure, however, is fairly encouraging it’s up from around 1,000 in the 1970s. In the past decade alone, wild giant panda numbers have ticked up 17%.

Here’s some recent photographic evidence of a bump in the captive population too (and not at all an excuse to look at more baby pandas being baby pandas…):

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images.

Make no mistake, though we can’t get complacent when it comes to protecting these creatures.

Like I mentioned, giant pandas are endangered, which means they’re still facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild. It’s important that their populations continue to grow (and not just because they’re cute) pandas play a vital role in keeping China’s bamboo forests alive and thriving, which, in turn, affects many other species.

Here’s to hoping each year brings an even bigger incoming class of panda kindergarteners (and always making sure our cameras are out and ready for the first day of school).

Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images.

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When You Find Out He Has A Girlfriend Now

It’s always shocking just how much the Universe seems to enjoy proving us wrong.

Even with the most mundane things, something can come along that seems completely benign and it shakes your confidence so badly, you’re suddenly looking around and questioning what color the sky is. We shout wrong statements like they’re fact, walk around thinking something totally inaccurate, claim we know better. It happens constantly. We’re all so sure of what we think.

And then, out of nowhere, you aren’t so sure. In fact, you’re completely wrong. You’re wrong about yourself, or more specifically, how you feel.

Just days before, you would have sworn how fine you were. He wasn’t weighing on your eyelids at night anymore. You couldn’t taste his tongue in every drink you sipped. You were moving forward. This was the part after the healing. This was the “I’m finally over it.”

Don’t get me wrong, you weren’t okay for a while. And you didn’t even pretend to be. You did the mopey-cry-into-buckets-of-ice-cream stage. You sat awake just hoping you’d hear that ding that was him taking back everything he said. You weren’t ashamed to admit how long you hoped things would fix themselves. Your heart broke a little whenever you saw tape or glue. Like maybe with the right tools, you could mend this.

And when you couldn’t keep staring at the phone, you did the #SingleLadies shit and let your grief morph into a showy display of just how you were. You put your Freakum Dress on and remembered how many beautiful men exist in this world. You kissed someone else. You pretended it felt the same. You thought it could feel the same.

And the process kept repeating. You cried. You laughed. You cried so hard, you started laughing at the absurdity of missing someone so much. You slipped and reached out, asking for answers you knew you weren’t going to get. You felt dirty and irrational, cringing at what heartache can do to a person.

But you did all of that. And you made it through. Sure, no one threw you a party with Congratulations! You Did It! balloons bopping around the room, but you did it. You found the stage where you finally weren’t faking it. You were okay. You were at peace.

And then, everything you thought was called into question. He’s with someone. And she isn’t you. Things don’t seem as clear anymore. Your heart doesn’t feel like it’s beating at the same rhythm it was moments before.

Maybe it was something as ridiculous as a tagged photo on Facebook, his arm around a pretty face you’ve never seen before. Or maybe someone just casually mentioned it, like it wouldn’t tragically shatter your spine right down the middle. It shouldn’t anyways, right? You’ve been fine. You’ve been .

I don’t believe that means you’re forever incomplete. That would be foolish and ridiculous. Some of us love so many times! And some of us only love once or twice. But regardless, when we care about someone enough to cast that big L word their way, losing them does something. It’s a scar. It might begin to fade with time, but look hard enough, it’s still there.

And there it is: your scar. He’s there with someone else. You knew this would happen, eventually. In the back of your mind, you even feared it. People move forward and it’s a natural progression, right? Of course, he’s going to meet someone who gives him the butterflies you used to give, right?

So why do you feel like everything is crumbling when two seconds ago, life seemed plausible? You could make it through. You could be happy again.

You’ll click through her social media, hating yourself a little as you do. You’ll do those unfair comparisons — the never good “why her? why not me?” question that will have your insides crawling back up your esophagus. Everything about this moment will have you questioning your own worth, your sanity, your everything.

It’s the sentence you hate to say out loud. It’s the thing you want to hide from, pull blankets over your head and act like nothing ever happened.

The truth is you have nothing to do with this new romantic development. And while you might compare yourself to the new flame, it’s not a reflection on you. She’s not the better you. The new and improved version. That’s bullshit. And thinking that way is going to hurt you over something so absolutely false.

Sometimes, things fall apart. Even when we love someone so deeply, we aren’t always meant to be with them forever. Right now, she’s that person. And you have your entire life to figure out who you are, what you want, where you can go. This moment is just a blip in the radar. A painful, heartbreaking blip.

But you’ve got to keep going. You’ve got to see what the world has in store for you. These moments, as hard as they seem now, will be scrapbook memories in a few years. I promise, there’s so much out there. It’s up to you to find out. Even if it hurts right now.

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13 Reasons I Will Never Stop Taking Selfies, And You Can STFU About It

“Zara, I don’t know how to tell you this,” exclaimed my dear friend Amelia, her slim fingers wrapped around a mega cup of scalding hot coffee. She softly exhaled into the static air of our local cafe and nervously tapped the circular wooden table top with her pointed acrylic nail.

“You can tell me anything,” I assured her, taking a dutiful sip of my skinny vanilla latte in solidarity.

We went out last night, so I was sure she had gone home with a random the night before and was in a frenzy, desperate for some company whilst picking up Plan B at the local drugstore on the corner of Lexington and E 90th Street.

After all, we had gone pretty hard. Even I was suffering from acute dry mouth and a bout of epic fatigue.

I delicately touched her arm, hoping it would release her fear of me judging her.

I don’t judge peoplefor having one-night stands after too many vodka sodas, so long as they use protection. And even if they don’t wrap it up, I will happily hold their hand during the inevitable at-home pregnancy test. That’s just the kind of friend I am.

She looked me dead in the eye. “Zara, you’re taking to many f*cking selfies.

What. The. F*ck?

People are starting to talk. This is a selfie intervention, she said.

“What do you mean?! I shouted, visibly disrupting the middle-aged man hovered over his laptop to my left. I thought you were about to tell me you went home with that guy you were sucking face with last night!”

She rested her head between her arms before peering up at me. Her massive eyes looked animalistic, like a rabies-fueled owl.

“I just thought I would let you know,” she retorted. She smoothed her hair primly and stood up. “And on that note, I’m going to be late to Pilates.”

Pilates? Who the f*ck goes to Pilates on a hangover?

I sat back in my chair, my brain spinning a million miles per minute. Was I really one of those girls? One of those girls who takes too many duck-lipped, pouting selfies, so many that I’m actually known for it? Is that really my legacy?

I scrolled through my Instagram with the determination of an undercover investigator. Okay, so maybe there was a slew of selfies. Maybe I did have a lot of pictures of my fabulous outfits shamelessly snapped through my gold-gilded bathroom mirror.

I took a deep breath. As I exhaled, I came to a confident, sudden conclusion: Is taking too many selfies really so f*cking terrible?

I found myself growing irrationally angry. If Amelia thought I was going to stop taking selfies just because a few nameless, catty brats were jealous, she had another thing coming.

Because you know what? I will never, ever, ever stop taking selfies. And you, haters, can all shut the f*ck up about it (OR STOP FOLLOWING ME. I DON’T GAF).

1. Because selfies are empowering.

In a timewhen women are expected to be self-conscious and hate the way they look, taking a selfie is wildly empowering.

It’s madly unapologetic. It’s saying this is my FACE bitches, and I’m proud as F*CK of it.

2. Because we are all looking for validation, so we might as well be honest about it.

Weve heard it all a million times: Selfies are narcissistic. People who take selfies are so clearly, so obviously, so desperately seeking validation.

Yeah, well, so f*cking what? Aren’t we all hungry for validation? Isn’t that part of the goddamn human condition?

Who on social media isn’t looking for some form of affirmation? Isn’t that the f*cking point? (Also, while we are at it, don’t tell me you only use it for “work,” either. We all know you’re bullsh*tting, so STFU kindly please).

At least a selfie is honest about its purpose. And I find the honest, attention-seeking nature of a selfie way more refreshing (and way less annoying) than the girl who hides behind a screenshotted “motivational quote” that she didn’t even f*cking write.

3. Because a selfie puts you in control.

In an age wheneverything is Photoshopped and almost every picture of a woman in a magazine has been taken by a creepy male photographer, a selfie is the only time in which THE GIRL is in total control of how shes shot.

You can shoot yourself from the angles YOU like, not some gross “male gaze” perspective of beauty.

4. Because I like to own my face.

This is my face, assh*les, like it or not. A selfie is all about owning your face and owning the way you look. There are no rock-solid abs or fabulous shoes to distract from the face in the selfie.

5. Because people are more interesting than simple scenery.

What is the point of looking at pretty scenery without a person? I’m far more interested in looking at your gorgeous face, your unique bone structure and your exquisite eyes than I am inlooking at a monument I can Google search a better pic of anyway.

6. Because I don’t want to waste my amazing outfit.

I don’t want to waste this awesome outfit I have creatively and expertly put together on this fine day. What good is this stellar outfit if no one f*cking sees it?

Lets get real: I didn’t spend $150 on this amazing dress for no compliments/validation. Keep em coming.

7. Because I don’t need another person to make a memory.

Most selfies are solo, which I find fabulously liberating. By posting a picture of yourself alone, you’re declaring to the entire world at large that you don’t require an additional entity to secure a fond memory.

8. Because it’s the modern day scrapbook.

By documenting my pictures daily, I’m bringing back the art of scrapbooking (in the most modern of ways, using my smartphone).

9. Because I don’t think a little narcissism is a bad thing.

What’s so terrible about a little hint of narcissism anyway? We are incessantly told that we should LOVE the way we look and feel BEAUTIFUL as little girls only to be shamed for our vanity as grown-ups. F*CK THAT.

10. Because it’s a visual diary.

Selfies are the modern girl’s diary. I can scroll through my phone and recall the colorful spectrum of moods I was in, what lipstick I wore and how I felt by the daily selfies holding court in my files.

11. Because I like to see where my money goes.

I love lipstick. I’ve been collecting lipstick since I was a little kid. I’m a different person every day depending on what lipstick I wear — red, I’m a vixen; beige, I’m working girl; purple, I’m a gothic goddess.

Selfies show me why my bank account is perpetually drained: my dynamic lippie collection. If I’m going to spend all of my money on my vanity, I like to have photographic evidence of where it went (and how fierce it looked).

12. Because not all selfies have to be pretty.

You know what, haters? Not all selfies are to display how “pretty” we looked that day.

A lot of times I take a selfie because I’m acutely astounded at how horrific I look or how funny that zit on my forehead looks or to make a sad friend laugh at my puffy face after a night of drinking.

A selfie is so much more than a display of beauty. Any good selfie taker knows that there are many types of selfie: the distorted selfie, the crying selfie, the ugly selfie, the glam selfie, the post-breakup selfie, the tired selfie, the drunken selfie.

It’s an oversimplification to think we’re just trying to show off our beauty with our selfies.

13. Because they are memories for my older self.

That’s right. I’m unabashedly in LOVE with my life, and I want photo f*cking documentation.

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6 Sentimental DIY Gifts To Give The Bride And Groom On Their Wedding Day

Deciding what gift to bring to a wedding can be tough. It seems like everyone is going to be bringing the same blenders and mixing bowls, or going simple and giving the happy couple some cash.

What do you do when you want to give a unique gift that will stand out to the bride and groom? You can’t go wrong with something you made with your own two hands.

Theseare 6 ideas for homemade gifts that aresure to warm the newlyweds’ hearts.

1. Personalizedcutting board

Even if the couplereceives other cutting boards, your gift of a handmade, personalized cutting board will definitely stand out. You can transfer any image onto a regular wooden cutting board in just a few simple steps. Some ideas include their favorite recipe, their wedding date or even a picture of the two of them.

This craft is super simple. All you need is waxed paper, a printer and a wooden cutting board. You’ll also need to know how to reverse an image on your computer, but if you don’t, we’ve got you covered.

Once completed, this personal and unique cutting board will definitely earn a spot on their kitchen counter and earn you a spot in their hearts forever.

2. Picture coasters

A stack of beautiful, handmade coasters is the perfect gift for a wedding. These will be the perfect addition to the bride and groom’s new home. And when the bride says, Use a coaster! her husband will actually have something to reach for.

Using inexpensive ceramic tiles and mod podge, you can easily create meaningfulcoasters with pictures of the happy couple, their families, their dog or even you with the bride. Plus, you’ll get to have a lot of fun looking through the pictures to choose which ones you use.

When you’re all done, you can stack the coasters and tie them together with a pretty ribbon to finish off the most wonderful present.

3. Hope chest

Traditionally, hope chests were used to storemeaningful giftsfor younger girls, such as photo albums, quilts and home goods. The reason for this wasso the girlscoulduse these items in their home once they weremarried.

These days, hope chests aren’t quite used in that way, since a lot of them are now filled with more modernized items or used as a general storage area, but they can still be a really meaningful gift for the newlyweds. You can fill hope chestswith pictures of you and the bride or groom, little odds and ends that symbolize your friendship or some other DIY gifts you have made for them.

You can create your own hope chest by building one from scratch or by re-purposing old furniture. Paint the bride and groom’s name on the outside of the box for an even more unique touch.

4. Wedding date wall hanging

With this gift idea, you can get really creative. Anything that showcases the wedding date hung on the wall will be a meaningful gift.

You could use scrapbook paper and house numbers inside of a frame to help the coupleremember their wedding date for years to come. Or, you could paint their last name onto a plaque and add Est. 2016 (or the year they are getting married) for a cute touch.

Another idea is taking the wedding invitation and mounting it in a frame for them to keep forever. You can add buttons, artwork, scrabble pieces or any other craftsupplies to the frame to make it special as well. Whatever you end up doing, making their wedding date a permanent part of their home will be very special.

5. Homemade candles

Other people might buy the couplecandles, but will anybody take the time to make the candles themselves? Probably not. Creating your very own candles to give as a wedding gift is really thoughtful and will add a special touch when they are setting the mood for a romantic dinner.

There are many different types of candles you can make with different scents and colors. Some candles can evenbe used as lotion. Candles are actually really fun to make, so you might even end up making some for yourself.

6. Picture lamps

Here’s another way to incorporate meaningful photos in a useful household item. Transferring pictures onto a lampshade creates a glowing photo album that will blow away the bride and groom. This is a project that looks like it took hours of work, but is actually pretty simple. Plus, it’s so personal and special. It will for sure make the bride feel loved.

These projects will make your wedding gift the star of the show (besides the bride, of course)! Have fun with these DIY projects and get ready to be the bride’s favorite person.

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6 Attempts To Sit Through The Worst Trilogy In History

Recently, Adam Brown put his psychological health on the line to watch a series of films produced by the Wayans Brothers. It seemed daunting, but he managed it, and actually seemed to enjoy some of the films. And I’ll be the first to say: As much as I dislike White Chicks, the scene in which Terry Crews sings that Vanessa Carlton song really puts me in a good humor. The man is just charming as hell, isn’t he?

I figured I could do the same thing, only on a much more terrifying and grand scale than Wayans Brothers movies. I’d watch the Human Centipede trilogy. Has anyone ever done that? I suspect not, because after seeing Part One, you have no reason to want to see Part Two. And after seeing Part Two, there’s got to be something considerably not right with you to want to watch Part Three. And after watching Part Three, I can assure you there will be no sequel. Part Three leads to full Human Centipede lobotomy, and the ensuing inability to even recognize the existence of a sequel, should one ever be made. But anyway, on with the show.

Try #1

I actually willingly saw the first Human Centipede back when it was released, because the stupid idea of it appealed to me. The idea. The dumb idea I thought it was. Like that movie Teeth, about a vagina with teeth in it, or Rubber, about a homicidal tire. I thought this would be like that — a kind of silly-ass pseudo-horror film. I didn’t know it was actually played in a serious manner, thus destroying any charm the story could or should have had. Plus, I think the lead actor, Dieter Laser, may be legitimately insane. Or highly medicated. Either way, I don’t want to meet him.

He got the part after reading the script and immediately sporting a gigantic boner.

Having to watch the movie a second time was less enlightening than the first run, through. Guy wants to make a human centipede because of an inability for even the screenwriter — a man who makes Uwe Boll look like a Voltron of Orson Welles, Quentin Tarantino, and Akira Kuroswawa — to come up with a rational reason. Or even an irrational one. He just wants to sew people together ass-to-mouth to make a new thing. A thing which is three people sewn together, ass-to-mouth. Do you know what I want to make? A fuckin’ pizza with chicken wings on it that somehow dispenses beer. No asses involved.

Knowing what I was getting into, and the fact that this is actually the best of the three movies — a sentence which should make your own asshole twitch — I was able to finish it off completely on that very first try. Even the part when he has the centipede out on the yard, yelling at the man in the lead to poop into the mouth of the next segment with nothing but sincere desire in his voice. God, this movie sucks.

The poop through three people accurately represents the journey the plot takes through three films.

The sequel to Human Centipede goes full arthouse — by which I mean it’s black-and-white. This is how director and cinematic boil Tom Six tries to show depth. I’ve never met Tom Six, and can’t say for certain if he’s a terrible man. I simply have his work by which to judge him. Much like how I have the work of the Boston Strangler by which to judge him. In the end, I’d like to have tea with neither.

Part Two goes meta on us and introduces a character obsessed with the first film. And to the actor’s credit, he’s one of the most repulsive humans I’ve ever seen, so he was well-cast. A point for Tom Six. The only one he’ll ever get.

If Dr. Frankenstein had given life to a pile of 200 overloaded diapers.

I’m reminded right at the beginning that this is an IFC film. For shame. Also, as the movie begins with one character crying into another’s ass, I can’t help but think that one would simply die right then, as their nose would get clogged and they’d have no way to breathe. Because this is a dumb idea, you see. Anyway, let’s keep going.

Does it make sense to say that if this was any other movie, it might be good? That’s kind of obtuse, but it’s 100 percent true. The frogman in this movie is really good at being awful. It’s almost impressive. That the rest of the movie is awful is not impressive, however. I’ll give props for the sense of creepy dread you get when you see the frogman holding a baby and you’re not sure what’s going to happen, except that it’ll probably be nothing good. But then later you have to endure his mother finding his Human Centipede scrapbook, which is precisely what it sounds like: a scrapbook dedicated to the first movie. She literally picks through it and reads out all the stupid buzz lines that they used to market the first movie. “100 percent medically accurate??!?” she sputters. It’s like the director can’t get through a single scene without giving himself a handjob over his own work. “Mouth to anus?!?” she says. And we all nod, because yes, this is the second goddamn movie and we all know this dumb shit already. So please stop reading quotes from the DVD box.

And start reading quotes from the film’s Rotten Tomatoes page. Then be ashamed.

We’re also treated to several scenes of the main actor in his underpants. Imagine if a 4’10” toad ate John Goodman at the height of his Roseanne career, then put on ill-fitting briefs. That’s what’s going on here, and it’s going on a lot. I had to break here to maintain sanity, get a snack, and then go out and enjoy life for a while.

Try #2

Back to the grind. Did I mention that the toad man has a doctor who looks like Rasputin and is apparently sexually attracted to him? To the bug-eyed, mentally-challenged, homicidal, nonspeaking, sweaty man who is supposed to be his patient. Oh, and was also sexually abused by his father, because clearly, you can’t make a movie like this unless everyone in it is abusing someone or being abused.

Or abusing the audience.

Forty-five minutes in, I have to quit again. In the span of I believe to be 30 seconds, the main character shits himself and a random fat man with a handful of glistening fingers explains — in no uncertain terms for the audience to understand — why his fingers are glistening. Am I offended by this? Tom Six wishes he could plumb the depths of madness it would take to legitimately offend me with inappropriateness or vulgarity. No, what offends me is the laziness. I am offended by the schoolyard laziness of it all. This is like that book Butters wrote on South Park about the poop that took a pee. It doesn’t mean anything; it’s just childish fart jokes. I trade in scholarly fart jokes, thank you.

Try #3

An actress from the first movie actually appears in this movie playing herself, thinking she’s auditioning for a Tarantino movie. Naturally, that means a toad man has to pick her up at the airport and drive her there. Incidentally, that’s fake rain during the outdoor scenes. They added fake rain to nearly every outdoor scene. It looks like heavy rainfall, but you can see no rain is actually falling on the street or anything else. Why is this happening?

“No rain? This film’s accurate after all!” -California

The actress explains to Toady that she was drawn to the script for the Human Centipede because of the medical aspect of it. Because in real life, if you were a surgeon, you could literally do what happened in the movie. Because the director can’t film a new scene without jerking himself off.

I start pondering what to clean in my kitchen this weekend, as the scene in which the centipede is created drags on and on and on. It’s just so long and completely uninteresting. He knocks out teeth, he severs tendons, and apparently he staples lips to ass cheeks? Won’t the bottom half of their mouths be wide open and attached to nothing?

The director was simply recreating how he convinced some studio head to finance this pile of garbage.

Before I can get a satisfactory answer, there’s literally a sequence in which he forces poop from the top of the centipede on down the line by rubbing their bellies, which is accompanied by an extended chain of fart noises and the use of laxatives. This is seriously happening.

And then shit literally hits the screen. Fuck off.

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You Can Actually Help Taylor Swift Write Her New Book

Swifties, its your time to shine.

Yesterday, publishing company Simon & Schuster announced it has inked a deal with Taylor Swift to publish her forthcoming book a book that one lucky fan will get to help the superstar write.

According to the publisher, interested fans should send in a three-minute video explaining why they should be selected to help Swift write her book. The winner will receive $10,000, funded via a Crowdfunding campaign, and the opportunity to work with Swift to create the scrapbook-esque volume, a collection of magazine profiles and other original writings.

If prose isnt your thing, never fear: Simon & Schuster will also be holding a design contest, in which one fans design will be used on the books cover.

Everything is still in the works as of now neither contest has officially begun so stay tuned for more details.

Subscribe to Elite Dailys official newsletter, The Edge, for more stories you don’t want to miss.

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D-Days Forgotten African-American Heroes

One million black soldiers served America during World War II. Not one of them received the Medal of Honor.”>

The sky was thick with smoke and haze on the morning of June 6, 1944, when an explosion rocked a boat packed tight with American troops within sight of Omaha Beach.

Wedged among the five dozen men was a 21-year-old pre-med student from West Philadelphia named Waverly Bernard Woodson, Jr. He was one of five medics assigned to the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion, the only African-American combat to participate in the Normandy landings. The U.S. Army was segregated during World War II, meaning the 320th was all black except for the top officers, who were white.

Moments before a shell hit Woodsons landing craft, a mine had knocked out the engine. The second blast felled troops like matchsticks. Shrapnel killed the man beside Woodson, whose own extremities burned. He reached down and brought up a hand covered in blood. I am dying, he thought. A fellow medic slapped dressings on his buttocks and thigh as the helpless craft drifted to a stop.

For the next 30 hours, Woodson worked through his pain to save lives. An Army news release credits him with treating 200 men. Other accounts put that figure higher. He pulled the drowning to safety. He patched wounds, pulled out bullets and dispensed blood plasma. He amputated a right foot. When he thought he could do no more, he resuscitated four drowning men. Then he collapsed.

Woodson was nominated for the Medal of Honor, the nations ultimate symbol of heroism. He never got it. Instead, the medic was given the Bronze Star, the fourth-highest award for bravery. It would be another half century until an African American received the Medal of Honor for his service during World War II.

There was another soldier whose heroics on D-Day were strikingly similar to Woodsons. Private Carlton William Barrett landed on Omaha Beach with the First Infantry Division under intense fire. He plunged into the surf and repeatedly dragged drowning men to safety. For his service, Barrett was awarded the Medal of Honor in October 1944. He arose as a leader in the stress of the occasion, his citation reads.

To rate the top honor, a soldier must distinguish himself conspicuously in actual conflict with the enemy. Private Barrett was not a medic. He was assigned to an intelligence and reconnaissance platoon. It was not his job to save the dying. Perhaps the Army commanders who considered Woodson for the Medal of Honor decided that the medic, though wounded, was merely doing his job on June 6, 1944.

Or maybe there was another reason.

An independent panel of researchers commissioned by the Army in 1993 to investigate why none of the more than 1 million African Americans who served in World War II received the Medal of Honor found no records to indicate that any had been nominated for the high award. They concluded that failure to acknowledge soldiers of color most definitely lay in the racial climate and practice within the Army.

Their findings prompted President Bill Clinton in January 1997 to present the Medal of Honor to seven black men who served in World War II. Only one of them was still living to shake the Presidents hand. History has been made whole today, President Clinton said.

Not exactly. The researchers said they couldnt recommend other soldiers of color whose service records were missing. Among them was Waverly Woodson. Comparatively few Army records from World War II still existas government archivists like to tell frustrated researchersand the majority of records housed at the Armys Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, were destroyed in a 1973 fire.

Yet during the five years I researched the stories of Waverly Woodson and other men from his battalion, I found an intriguing document revealing that the young man from Philly was nominated for the Medal of Honor.

An unsigned note addressed to Jonathan says that Woodsons commanding officer had recommended him for the Distinguished Service Cross, the second-highest decoration. But the writer adds that the office of U.S. Gen John C.H. Lee in Britain believed Woodson deserved betterthe Medal of Honorand the recommendation was changed to reflect the higher award. The next part of the note betrays the toxic racial climate that existed for African Americans serving in the U.S. Army.

Here is a Negro from Philadelphia who has been recommended for a suitable award. This is a big enough award that the President can give it personally, as he has in the case of some white boys.

The note was almost certainly written by Philleo Nash, an official in the Office of War Information, who maintained a prolific correspondence with Jonathan Daniels, an aide to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. A bulging file of their missives can be found at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri, which is where I saw it.

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Indeed, the bar was higher on Omaha Beach compared with other wartime battles. Only four Medals of Honor and 214 Distinguished Service Crosses were awarded for valor on D-Day.

In the Navy, one African American received a high award, though not the highest. Doris Dorie Miller was the first hero of World War IIeven before the United States officially went to war. The messman was collecting dirty laundry aboard the USS West Virginia in Pearl Harbor when the Japanese surprised the Americans on Dec. 7, 1941. After his ship was hit, Mr. Miller helped drag the mortally wounded captain off the bridge, then jumped behind an antiaircraft gun that he had never been trained to use and fired at enemy planes until he ran out of ammo.

Navy regulations forbade artillery training for African Americans, yet Mr. Miller, the son of a Texas sharecropper, was blazing away as though he had fired one all his life, an officer said later. The black press campaigned for a Medal of Honor for Mr. Miller, whose rank was cook third class. He eventually received the Navy Cross, which was at that time the third-highest award (today it is the second-highest).

In the case of Waverly Woodson, the record of the young medics heroics extended beyond Army documents. In fact, in the summer of 1944, the shy pre-med student became a star. Woodsons story trails into June 7, 1944, when he performed one last act of bravery, saving four floundering soldiers whose guide rope broke as they were coming ashore. Then he collapsed. Woodson was taken to a hospital ship where he was treated for his injuries. Three days later, he asked to go back to the beach.

News of the medics heroics spread far beyond the beach. Newspaper reporters interviewed him. Back home, a black newspaper hailed him as No. 1 invasion hero. Stars and Stripes wrote that Woodson and the medics covered themselves with glory on D-Day.

Under pressure to acknowledge the good deeds of black soldiers, the Army issued a news release, dated August 28, 1944, that singled out a story of a modest Negro Americans heroism. The release said Woodson was cited by his commanding officer for extraordinary bravery on D-Day.

After Woodson returned home in late 1944, he was invited to recount his adventures in a nationwide radio broadcast. His proud father compiled all of the plaudits in a fat scrapbook that Waverly Woodsons wife of 53 years, Joann, keeps close at hand in Clarksburg, Md.

Waverly Woodson, who left the Army as a staff sergeant, died on August 12, 2005. His grave is at Arlington National Cemetery, where American buries its heroes. His family has started a petition drive to obtain for him the Medal of Honor. U.S. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-MD, has appealed to the Army to recommend Waverly Woodson for the Medal of Honor.

In June 2015, President Barack Obama awarded the Medal of Honor to an African-American soldier who fought ferociously in the trenches of France during World War I. Sgt. Henry Johnson, a member of the legendary 369th Infantry Regimentthe Harlem Hellfighterswas the Waverly Woodson of his day.

Johnson was lauded by reporters who covered in gripping detail his heroics on a lonely night in May 1918 when he single-handedly fought off a party of German raiders, left with only a bolo knife after his other weaponry was spent. Though he earned the nickname Black Death and praise from awestruck white reporters, Johnson won the French Croix de Guerre but never an American Purple Heart, which would have entitled him to disability benefits. He never healed from his battlefield injuries, and died 11 years later in poverty.

At a ceremony at the White House, President Obama paid tribute to a fallen, long-forgotten hero. It is never too late, he said, to say thank you.

Linda Hervieux is the author of Forgotten: The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes, At Home and At War (Harper). For more on Woodsons story, go to

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