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‘The Woman Who Smashed Codes’: An Interview with Author Jason Fagone

in Nonfiction by

Journalist Jason Fagone has tapped into a little-known piece of history with his latest book, The Woman Who Smashed Codes.” Fagone’s book tells the story of Elizebeth Friedman, whose ability to crack codes in language and writings for the National Security Agency (NSA) during World War II made her an invaluable asset to the nation. Her husband, William had long been recognized by NSA as the “founder of the science of modern American cryptology,” but Elizebeth’s reputation as a master codebreaker is what bought them both the most notoriety. Taking place at a time in history where women’s contributions to STEM fields and other areas where the most intricate knowledge and skills must be applied, Elizebeth was often left out…

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Melissa McCarthy’s “Spy” is a boon for women in comedy

in Fiction by

Shouldn’t the hardest part of comedy be having to keep a straight face? Not fighting to climb the sexist career ladder. There’s nothing funny about gender inequality. Despite many strides made for, y’know, basic human rights, women are still treated like second-class citizens. This gender gap (more like a gender Grand Canyon) has always been enormous in professional comedy to the point that people asked if women even have a sense of humor. Is it any wonder that the early pioneers—Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers—weren’t allowed to attractive or confident? Luckily, along came intellectual comedians like Elaine May and Lilly Tomlin in the early 60s, followed by the badasses of Saturday Night Live, and finally today’s Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler,…

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6 Summer blockbusters where women rule

in Potpourri by

Hollywood is notoriously stingy with good roles for women, but that may finally change this summer. As you read this, the Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and the Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) are helping Avengers: Age of Ultron crush it at the early summer box office, and a parade of female protagonists are set to follow in their wake. Here are a few upcoming summer releases in which the women take charge: Pitch Perfect 2 (Opening May 15) The Bellas are back, ready to sing once again, and this time they’re taking on an impossible task: winning an international singing competition that no American team has ever won. Led by an all-star cast including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and Academy Award…

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