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After a few months, Lucas started to give up. Sierra and Lucas both changed dramatically over the course of these eight months. They finally started dating properly after graduation. Falling in love can be a personal and messy process. There are all the doubts and weird tests that couples put each other through, the personal growth and compromises at the foundation of all great relationships.

The Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, California is a world-famous columbarium—a mausoleum for cremated remains. Photo: Graelyn Brashear. But to really understand the history of the place, you have to go back further. At the time of its construction, cremation was still a relatively new practice in the U. For much of Western history, the idea of burning your loved one after death was abhorrent, sacrilegious—and illegal. Pay a little fee, join the club, and you, too, could enjoy a new way of death.

Glistening glass shelves of book-shaped urns reach from floor to ceiling. Small photos and mementos left by loved ones are occasionally seen on the shelves. A labyrinthine floor plan leads you in and out of rooms and courtyards, some tiny, some massive, all windowless but bathed in sunlight from above. Caged canaries are often heard singing throughout. Public concerts regularly fill the space with music. Art school students visit often to sketch the ornate architecture and many of the general public come through to sit with their love ones or to simply find some solitude. Your guides Lacy, Graelyn and Gabe are a trio of nerds who have trouble walking past historical plaques without stopping, and are here to share discoveries of people, places and things you might not be aware of.

Welcome to Backdrop! Iconic films are immortal, and can inspire audiences for generations. We spend one day in Bodega Bay, a charming fishing village along the coast, 60 miles north of San Francisco.


We talk to local townspeople to discern the impact of the movie on the town in the present day. Michael Famie owns the Bodega Country Store, which has over items of Hitchcock Memorabilia, one of the largest in the world. Famie gives us a walking tour of Bodega and visit St. In our first episode we decided to break down the meet cute—what it is, why we find it romantic and what power it holds in our relationships.

We all know a meet cute when we see one. In romantic comedies, meet cutes bring together two white, heterosexual strangers through a series of slapstick moments and endearing misunderstandings when neither of them is looking for love. And we want to know exactly what kinds of telling details couples leave out. They live in San Francisco and have been together for nine years; when we interviewed them, Isaac had to sneak out occasionally to check on their young daughter, who was fast asleep upstairs.

Through the back window of a city bus, she watched as her mother stood outside their home sobbing. By the time Magana turned eight years old, she knew that she was attracted to boys. That all changed when Magana left Mexico. Several years after she left Mexico, Magana finally found the words to describe who she is today: a transsexual woman who was recently granted asylum in the United States.

Magana, 32, is a six-foot-tall Mary Kay representative who lives in Oakland. Kids made fun of Magana because she walked differently and had a higher voice than other boys. Growing up in Mexico people called Magana rarito —a little strange. And I loved it. Magana eventually ran away from her father and stayed with an uncle. But her new home offered little sense of refuge.

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In the middle of the night, Magana said that her uncle would wake her up and sexually abuse her. Life in Mexico can be extremely dangerous for LGBTQ people, who often become victims of gender-based violence and even hate crimes. At least transgender people have been killed in Mexico, according to a report published by the human rights organization Transgender Europe. Family members in California disowned Magana after she started hormonal treatment to become a woman. A coworker hooked Magana on drugs and she soon wound up homeless and living in a dump near San Jose.

Magana eventually went to rehab for a year in Oakland and has been sober for almost a decade. The organization launched the Affirmative Asylum program over two decades ago, filing 2, asylum cases that have had nearly a hundred percent success rate. Magana is one of the many people that EBSC has helped to received asylum.

She will receive U. When she becomes a resident, Magana plans to return to Mexico to visit her mother and father. Her parents have accepted her for who she is and want to love her as a daughter.

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From her new home in Oakland, Magana sends money home to her parents to support them in their old age. Eddy Merckx summits The Stockeu in The sport of cycling has several huge one-day races that it regards as monuments. They stretch their necks to peer over each other and wait for the racers to approach, and then suddenly, they part like the Red Sea as the riders speed towards them up the climbs.

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The fans scream for their favorite riders, sometimes trying to run alongside them, urging them on. The race is located in Southern Belgium, a region called Wallonia. It took years for the race to catch fire, and only after a few foreign riders won the race, did it get added to the professional cycling calendar. From then on, its reputation grew, and the length of the race was extended to miles. The main reason that the race became so popular is, in part, due to the exploits of Eddy Merckx, the greatest cyclist of all time.

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By the end of his career, Merckx had won the race a record five times, which has not been challenged ever since. According to a poll of top tier professional cyclists, Liege-Bastogne-Liege is their favorite race. Nowhere else do they go so deep, for one day, just to stay in contention. You are too tired to eat, the only thing I could do is lay there. Hours later, our team masseur gave me some chips, and I started to eat slowly, and came back to life. Pretty soon I had eaten two big bags. The Ardennes Forest is not just a place where the best cyclists in the world do battle every year, it is also where the Battle of the Bulge took place.

A stalemate briefly settled, and news reports showed that the Americans were strengthening their supply lines to their troops, to ready for an all-out assault towards Berlin. Hitler used this brief respite to raise an army outfitted with enormous Panzer tanks. His idea was to use the fighting force, largely comprised of the Nazi fanatic soldiers, the SS, to break through the Allied lines and cut off their supply lines by taking the crucial port city of Antwerp. The thinly defended area of his choosing happened to be the Ardennes forest. Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Battle of the Bulge occupy the same territory, and their histories comingle through the people who live in the area and the stories they tell.

Gerard Gregoire is one survivor who lives nearby the race course and listens the coverage on the radio every year.

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He also has memories of Eddy Merckx early exploits. For people like Gerard Gregoire, Liege-Bastogne-Liege is like a perennial thread, woven across his life, linking the bad times and the good. Alongside the course, there are churches, bakeries, pastures, forests, and castles, all containing deep meaning for different people, and their stories unlock the hidden meaning in everything that surrounds the race. For the second episode of The Joke , I caught up with one of my comedy heroes, D.

Benny about his signature joke, Biscuits. I first saw D. The white boy was D. Benny, and the Apollo is the legendary theater in Harlem; a cathedral to the greatest African American artists, with a notoriously ruthless crowd. Within seconds of taking the stage, he has the entire audience in stitches as he performs characters with a range of accents and dialects: Chinese, German and Jamaican. His style was shaped by the black comedy circuit, where he broke in as a performer. Benny grew up in Washington D.

The uptown clubs were invaluable training grounds for Benny as he performed alongside comedy greats like Bernie Mac, Steve Harvey and Tracy Morgan. On a walk with his wife one day, D. Sure, we all have cringe-worthy prom stories, but D. Short version: an intimidating high school drug dealer forced D. For years, the story was just a painful memory for D. I asked D. C specifically about the complexity and sensitivity of playing black and asian characters. I wanted to know if he ever offends people or gets negative reactions from the crowd.

The joke also completely changed D. Tune in to hear a great joke about a prom gone wrong, and the story of a desperate man trying to escape it.

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