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–Miami International Airport (MIA) is now home to two autonomous cleaning vehicles that help polish the floors of busy Concourse D.
–According to a press release announcing the program, the robots are programmable, self-driving machines that are capable of running for more than four hours at a time.
-The robots can polish up to 80,000 square-feet of terminal floor space in four hours, which is roughly equivalent to two football fields.
–C&W Services runs facilities maintenance at MIA and they claim the robots will free up time for their 672 on-site cleaning professionals to focus on other projects.
–“We’re excited to launch these customer-oriented cleaning initiatives at MIA, which is one of C&W Services’ most prominent U.S. partners,” said Milagros Diaz, Operations Director for C&W Services at MIA said in a statement.
–MIA sees over 44 million visitors each year and over 125,000 per day. It is one of the busiest airports in the United States.
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About the AuthorRich Robinson is the CEO and publisher of Rise News. He is also a journalist and a native of Miami. Robinson graduated from the University of Alabama and can be followed on Twitter @RichRobMiami.
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By Sam Yu
“I’m giving it my all, but I’m not the girl you’re taking home, ooh. I keep dancing on my own (I keep dancing on my own)…”
I remember my first time at a gay bar in DC.
Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own” was, unsurprisingly, blaring on the DJ’s speakers.
Other popular go-to gay anthems included “No Scrubs” by TLC and, of course, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” by the late, great Whitney Houston (“How Will I Know” is the superior Whitney song, however. Fight me!).
Hearing these songs play in the background of my first gay bar was not only a great change of pace, but also a breath of fresh air.
My bar/club experience in the DC scene was limited to the predominantly straight spaces where songs foreign to my young, queer heart reigned supreme.
So, when the chance came for me to finally go to a party space made by and for gay people, I was utterly giddy.
I was excited to move how I wanted, talk how I wanted, and wear what I wanted without fear of judgement or harassment from others.
These pieces of media showcased queer, trans, and gay folk who challenged societal and gender norms, wore outlandish, yet awe-inspiring, costumes, vogued the house down, threw shade, lip-synced for their lives, and wore their identities as badges of honor.
Most importantly, these individuals showed me the resilience of the queer and trans community, a community whose people have been and still are vulnerable and oppressed today, especially those of color.
Bearing all of this mind, I was ready to enter my first gay bar itching to (try to) death drop like Shangela (a former contestant on RuPaul’s Drag Race), walk like Pepper LaBeija (the late house mother of the “House of LaBeija”), and serve “Pretty Girl, 1986” realness.
When I finally arrived at my first gay bar, I was disheartened by what I found.
Some people reading this may think that I was being completely naive to expect so much out of these places.
In hindsight, I understand that I was.
But, at the time, I could not help but hope that these bars and clubs would be like the “balls” I had seen in Paris is Burning or the exuberant people I had watched on Drag Race.
For many queer people, representation is so slim that the moment I got to have a first taste, I was excited to take a huge bite out of gay culture after years of imagining, hoping, and wishing.
Upon entering the bar, after the initial songs of excitement had waned, I slowly realized that what I expected paled in comparison to what was actually around me, and I mean literally paled.
Almost everyone at my first gay bar was white with the folks of color added in sparsely like sprinkles put on a vanilla cone by a stingy Baskin-Robbins worker.
Also, practically everyone was wearing the same thing.
It was either a snapback with a muscle-tank, shorts, and high-tops, or an unbuttoned button-up that revealed a chiseled body formed by countless hours at the gym.
I saw little to no displays of gender interrogation, scarce embracements of femininity, and little of the “diversity” that the mainstream LGBT community ostensibly champions.
At straight clubs, I felt like I stuck out, and now at gay ones, I felt invisible.
Nobody looked like me nor at me.
Many argue that a large proportion of gay men do not find Asian men attractive due to racialized “preferences,” and that is true.
But, it would not have made a difference if the people there were interested in me.
At the end of the day, my feminine, gender non-conforming Asian self did not fit in with the white, snapback-wearing, masculine gay people of my first gay bar.
Though we did have similar interests, RuPaul’s Drag Race being one of them, it seemed as if their “feminine” inclinations were okay so long as their bodies were muscular and mannerisms of the macho persuasion.
Although my first taste of the gay scene in DC left my palette wholly unsatisfied, I did not allow myself to settle or conform.
Much like the fierce queens on Drag Race who worked for the crown, or the resilient people in Paris is Burning who reached for the stars, I, too, knew that my search for queer spaces was far from over.
I know that there is more to queer life than the ones readily accessible to me, but until then, I will stay true to Robyn’s words and dance on my own until I find the people I want to dance and feel the heat with.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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By Nate Nkumbu
When people think of fashion in Sub-Saharan Africa, they often think of clothing that is passed down from family members or hand me downs donated by the West.
But one fashion brand from the continent seeks to change those Western notions.
Totally Ethnik is a fashion company based in Accra, Ghana and they are real path breakers.
As a brand, the company mostly makes their clothes from local sources coming from Ghana, Mali and the Ivory Coast.
According to Totally Ethnik’s public relations representative Marie Kipre, the main force behind the clothing line is for their looks to be as real as they can be to the cultural identity of Ghana.
“We keep our clothing as ethnic as possible,” Kipre said in an email to RISE NEWS. “We use wax prints [a] lot however, we fuse it with other fabric depending on the idea we want to portray with each piece.”
Kipre said that the company don’t deal with many problems being a being a fashion brand based in Africa.
However, she did say that the biggest obstacle that they face is getting the product to the global market.
“Our designs are authentic and truly ethnic making our clients satisfied anytime they wear our clothes,” Kipre said. “Our challenge is being able to get our clothing to other countries and be able to secure chain shops that will be interested in stocking our cloths.”
According to the World Bank, Ghana is the 114th most difficult business climate in the world with very high import and export costs and a difficult trade relationship with other countries in the region including Nigeria.
But despite some of these structural difficulties, Totally Ethnik is plugging ahead and making progress into being a widely known fashion brand.
“African fashion has been accepted all over world now and continues to grow and Totally Ethnik as a brand is one that people will love to be associated with,” Kipre said.
To learn more about Totally Ethnik, you can visit their website: http://www.totally-ethnik.com
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