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Washington Post Features

Washington Post Features
  • Everything is political these days, even commencement speeches

    It's the end of the school year, which means caps and gowns, graduation parties and, lately, commencement speakers who withdraw at the last minute amid controversy.
    International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde became the latest graduation speaker to back out after student protests, telling Smith College Monday that she will not be speaking at its May 18 ceremony.

    May 15, 2014

  • Jobless contend with weight gain as they search for work

    A subject long ignored by policymakers, and one that unemployment counselors are too sheepish to raise with job seekers, the link between bulging waistlines and joblessness is now of intense interest to researchers studying the long-term effects of the country's economic malaise.

    May 13, 2014

  • michael-sam-boyfriend-300x175.jpg How ESPN, Michael Sam and his boyfriend broke new ground

    Like football fans everywhere, ESPN knew that Michael Sam, the first openly gay pro football prospect, was going to be the story of last week's NFL draft. What it didn't know was whether Sam would even be drafted, given the attention generated by the self-disclosure of his sexual orientation in February and his fading stock among draft watchers.

    May 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Is hashtag activism better than doing nothing? Or about the same?

    More than 1 million people — including first lady Michelle Obama — have tweeted the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. But whether they're helping the more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria or hopping on some kind of first-world digital bandwagon depends, frankly, on whom you ask.

    May 12, 2014

  • mothersday.jpg On Mother's Day weekend, things I wish I taught my son

    Because every woman has, or has had, a mother — and knows, if only through stories, her grandmaternal forebears as well — to become a mother is to step into a hall of mirrors. In its most essential state, however, motherhood involves a single, mutual reflection. 

    May 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Parents think babies can learn to read, but experts are dubious

    You've got a precocious baby who seems to love books (chewing them, at least). And you've seen the advertisements for products that say your infant can get a head start on that all-important skill of reading.

    May 6, 2014

  • How to teach kids about people with disabilities

    Many parents struggle with how to talk to their kids about disabilities, according to Michelle Sie Whitten, executive director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
    In 2009, the foundation began holding the "Be Beautiful Be Yourself" fashion show in Colorado to benefit the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome, and to highlight the abilities of people with Down syndrome.

    May 2, 2014

  • VIDEO: Are one in five women in college sexually assaulted?

    Reports of sexual assault on college campuses spurred the White House earlier this year to launch a task force to examine the issue. The group's report was issued on Tuesday, and the first sentence of the report echoes what both the president and vice president have asserted in public: "One in five women is sexually assaulted in college."
    Where does this oft-repeated statistic come from? We dug into the data so you don't have to.

    May 2, 2014

  • Pentagon to review policies on hairstyles

    The Pentagon said Tuesday that the military will review controversial hair-grooming policies that led some African American women to accuse the Army of racial bias.
    Guidelines released in late March, known as Army Regulation 670-1, included rules that described as "unauthorized " some natural hairstyles popular among black women, including twists and certain types of braids.

    May 1, 2014

  • College chess team funding scrutinized

    The arms race in collegiate chess - a cutthroat world once dominated by the University of Maryland Baltimore County - is generating new scrutiny following revelations that a highpowered coach at Texas Tech University requested more than $1 million in funding, including a $250,000 salary.

    April 30, 2014