19
Jun

Review: Mom, Dad, the Kid and the Dog. What Could Be Scarier?

?It Comes at Night,? the sophomore feature of Trey Edward Shults, is as spookily self-assured and ambitious as ?Krisha.?

16
Jun

Stewart Cink shares lead in St. Jude Classic

Stewart Cink, who hasn’t won on the PGA Tour in nearly eight years, is one of four co-leaders after the first round of the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn., on Thursday.

14
Jun

Reading Harry Potter Actually Makes You A Better Person

The ?Harry Potter? series left a spellbinding mark on pop culture since the first book, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer?s Stone, hit the shelves 20 years ago. But that isn?t the only area where the stories left a legacy: ?Harry Potter? can have an effect on who you are as person.

There?s some scientific literature that suggests that the books about The Boy Who Lived can actually improve your life. Between the act of reading and the ?Harry Potter? story itself, research shows there are some psychological health benefits to diving into the magical world of Hogwarts.

If you?ve been hiding under a rock the last two decades and haven?t read the series (or if you?re just looking for an excuse to read it again), do it for your own personal development. Below are a few ways ?Harry Potter? makes you a better person overall, according to science:

The books help reduce prejudice in the reader.

A 2014 study found that kids who read ?Harry Potter? are more likely to reduce prejudices toward minority groups and display greater levels of empathy. The theory is this is likely due to the fact that Harry often aligns himself with ?stigmatized? groups in the book, from house elves to wizards with non-magical parents who are derogatorily called ?Mudbloods.?

Coincidentally enough, a separate, 2016 study found that reading ?Harry Potter? also lowers Americans? opinions of Donald Trump. The more people in the study read the books, the less likely they were to agree with his political views, like the proposed ban on travel from Muslim-majority countries. Take that for what you will.

?Harry Potter? could offer some insight into your personality type.

Do you think you?re a Hufflepuff or a Gryffindor? The Hogwarts house you identify with may offer some insight into your real personality, according to a 2015 study.

Researchers examined the Hogwarts housing placements of the study volunteers, which were obtained through the ?Harry Potter? fansite Pottermore. (For those who need a refresher, here?s a breakdown of each house?s traits: Gryffindor members are known for their bravery and heroism; Hufflepuffs are considered friendly and fair; Ravenclaw members are revered as witty and intelligent; and those sorted in Slytherin are seen as ambitious and cunning.)

The study volunteers were then given an assessment that measured aspects of their personalities, including traits like agreeableness, a need for cognition and narcissism. For the most part, people?s personality traits matched up with the stereotypes of each Hogwarts house. Those who were sorted into Ravenclaw, for example, had a more positive association with a need for cognition.

So in other words, reading ?Harry Potter? and aligning with a certain house could theoretically say something about who you are as person. Isn?t that a fun way to discover more about your character traits?

Reading in general can sharpen your mind and ease stress.

If all of that wasn?t enough to convince you, there?s always the benefit of reading in general. (And if you?re going to pick up a book, it may as well be a story that has science-backed perks, right?)

Research suggests reading can help reduce stress by serving as a form of escapism. Not only that, it has the ability to sharpen your mind and slow down memory decline later in life. It could even lower your risk of developing Alzheimer?s disease.

All of this sounds like our kind of magic.

From June 1 to 30, HuffPost is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the very first ?Harry Potter? book by reminiscing about all things Hogwarts. Accio childhood memories.

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– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

12
Jun

Leonid Slutsky: Hull City appoint former Russia boss as head coach

Championship club Hull City appoint former Russia boss Leonid Slutsky as their new head coach.

11
Jun

General election 2017: Alex Salmond loses seat as Scottish Tories surge

Former first minister is one of 21 SNP MPs, including party’s deputy leader. who lost their seats.

9
Jun

General election 2017: SNP deputy leader

The SNP’s deputy leader, Angus Robertson, loses his Moray seat to the Scottish Conservatives.

6
Jun

The election results at-a-glance

An at-a-glance guide to the key points of Election 2017 night, as they happen.

5
Jun

United Methodist Church Appoints Transgender Deacon

The United Methodist church commissioned a transgender deacon on Sunday ? the first time an openly non-binary person has assumed the role.   

M Barclay, a transgender person who doesn?t identify as male or female and who uses the pronoun ?they,? was appointed in the church?s Northern Illinois Conference over the weekend.

?For so long, I?ve longed to be a pastoral presence in the world ? and certainly you can do that without a collar ? but we have ordination for a reason, and part of that is that I can publicly identify as a pastor now,? Barclay told United Methodist News Service.

Barclay previously worked as the director of communications for Reconciling Ministries Network, an unofficial United Methodist group that advocates for full inclusion of LGBTQ people the church.

?I know it?s not particularly common in The United Methodist Church, but I intend to wear a collar every single day because for a person like me to navigate society in a collar provides some profound and urgently needed pastoral opportunities, particularly for queer and trans people.?

The United Methodist Church is one of the largest Christian denominations in America and has encountered internal debate over LGBTQ inclusion for years. 

The church does not prohibit the ordination of transgender clergy, but holds that engaging in sexual relationships outside of a heterosexual marriage is a bar to ordination.

The Book of Discipline, the church?s governing document, states that all individuals have inherent worth but that engaging in same-sex relationships ?is incompatible with Christian teaching.?

?To navigate the world as trans, queer, and a pastor means a great deal to me because I know personally how much religion has been and continues to be used for harm against LGBTQ and other marginalized populations,? Barclay told HuffPost.

?It?s important to me to have the opportunity as a pastor to condemn such spiritual abuse and to offer pastoral care, preaching, and theology that encourages wholeness, liberation, justice, and compassion, especially to those who are struggling to recognize themselves as beloved,? Barclay added.

The church holds the official stance that clergy must either be celibate or in heterosexual marriages. Bishops and clergy members have at times gone against these rules, though, by ordaining openly gay and transgender clergy and officiating same-sex marriages.

Last year, more than 100 pastors, deacons, elders and candidates for ministry in the United Methodist Church released a letter publicly coming out as LGBTQ just one day before the church?s top policy-making body convened to consider roughly 1,000 legislative petitions ? including ones addressing human sexuality.

Sunday?s commissioning, Barclay told UMNS, is ?a sign that the church wants to move forward.?

– This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

3
Jun

Federal Grand Jury Indicts Accused NSA Leaker Reality Winner

Winner’s lawyer says his client plans to plead not guilty during a court hearing later today. The 25-year-old National Security Agency contractor allegedly gave classified material to a news outlet.

31
May

Lisa Weil dating ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ co-star Charlie Weber

Lisa Weil’s representative confirmed the “Gilmore Girls” alum is seeing “How to Get Away with Murder” co-star Charlie Weber.