2015 in Hollywood, Calif. fraternities save universities millions of dollars in student housing.

And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels.upon the levers upon all the apparatus and you’ve got to make it stop The visceral quality of that machine metaphor conjures the physical nature of conflict of vulnerability in such moments of all-out commitment It invokes our sense of Civil Rights activists "going limp" the lynched bodies hanging from the branches of American trees the bodies made to march under the weight of guns made to take aim at other bodies in the name of war And the relevance of those terms to the events happening only days ago in Baltimore makes me feel foolishoutright delusionalfor having once thought the many decades separating us in our 21st-century now from that awful then might keep usand not just those of us who are black but all of ussafe The beliefs we hold whether they are expressed or not live inside of language even private language Years ago when the news was filled with stories of Somali pirates holding passenger ships and international cargo ships hostage I wrote a poem called "Ransom" It began: When the freighters inch past in the distance The men load their small boats They motor out Buzzing like mosquitoes aimed at the iron Side of the blind ship as it creeps closer I wasnt an avid reader of stories that trucked in the romantic swashbuckling pirate clichés but I could sense that the particular anger incited by stories about the Somali pirates even in me was not remote from a racially charged subtext My poem though I didnt know it until after it was finished was an act of empathy an attempt to pull myself away from the facile nature of the prevailing narrativethe one about depraved African villains preying upon innocent westerners I shocked even myself when I found my way to these lines late in the poem: The white men scramble Some fight back When one is taken the whole world sits up To watch When the pirates fall the world Smiles to itself thanking goodness They Show the black faces and the dead black bodies On TV The explicit verbal acknowledgment of the complicated things race causes us to think and fear and feel is a necessary counterbalance to the race-based disregard (or worse) that so often infects our views of one another Sometimes it seems that the words we live with and by do little more than delineate a line separating a constantly shifting Us from Them solidifying the barrier between what we are comfortable claiming and what we can see but havent yet learned to name let alone admit When I caught the news of Marilyn Mosbys decision to bring charges against the six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Graymoments after my flight had landedI gave myself over to tears In Mosbys charges I heard someone saying no to Freddie Grays assailants no to the false terms that too often trick us into letting not just bad cops but ourselves too off of the hook Terms like "thug" like "suspicious activity" like "stand your ground" like "ghetto" Even the milder but no less dangerous statements ("playing the race card" "youre so articulate" "angry black woman") that give a toehold to a breezy glib self-satisfaction that allows us to get away too much of the time with telling ourselves that weve got one another all figured out When I am content to be an American it is because for the most part we have developed the capacity to live beside one another without much gawking and pointing or worseand because when we fail in this regard we sometimes find ways to talk about it But when I am truly humbled by Americawhen I find myself ecstatic with gratitude and hopeit is because someone has made the difficult choice to address the failure of our silence in language that complicates things rather than simplifying them that urges contemplation rather than pat summation that invites the listener to join in the difficult work of grappling with and admitting to the many nuanced and sometimes troubling layers of private feelings each of us houses It is because no matter what might be waiting to render the attempt futile someone has lent a set of hands and pair of able eyes to the task of teasing apart that troublesome knot Tracy K Smith is the author of the memoir Ordinary Light and the recipient of the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Life on Mars She is a professor at Princeton University She wrote this for What It Means to Be American a national conversation hosted by the Smithsonian and Zocalo Public Square Contact us at [email protected] IDEAS TIME Ideas hosts the world’s leading voices providing commentary on events in news society and culture We welcome outside contributions Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of TIME editorsDean Hamer finally feels vindicated More than 20 years ago in a study that triggered both scientific and cultural controversy the molecular biologist offered the first direct evidence of a “gay gene” by identifying a stretch on the X chromosome likely associated with homosexuality But several subsequent studies called his finding into question Now the largest independent replication effort so far looking at 409 pairs of gay brothers fingers the same region on the X “When you first find something out of the entire genome you’re always wondering if it was just by chance” says Hamer who asserts that new research “clarifies the matter absolutely” But not everyone finds the results convincing And the kind of DNA analysis used known as a genetic linkage study has largely been superseded by other techniques Due to the limitations of this approach the new work also fails to provide what behavioral geneticists really crave: specific genes that might underlie homosexuality Few scientists have ventured into this line of research When the genetics of being gay comes up at scientific meetings “sometimes even behavioral geneticists kind of wrinkle up their noses” says Kenneth Kendler a psychiatric geneticist at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond That’s partially because the science itself is so complex Studies comparing identical and fraternal twins suggest there is some heritable component to homosexuality but no one believes that a single gene or genes can make a person gay Any genetic predispositions probably interact with environmental factors that influence development of a sexual orientation Several genomic studies have suggested regions that might influence sexual orientation but they have relied on small numbers of participants and have been challenged repeatedly In 1993 Hamer then at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda Maryland published the first of these studies suggesting that a specific stretch of the X chromosome called Xq28 holds a gene or genes that predispose a man to being gay The finding made some evolutionary sense An X-linked gene for homosexuality has long been proposed as a way to explain how the trait persists in the population even though gay men tend to have fewer offspring: The gene could increase fertility in females who would have two “chances” to inherit it Many researchers were skeptical that an analysis of only 38 pairs of gay brothers was reliable and several other groups failed to replicate the results “In my circles it was seen as ‘Oh another false-positive finding’ ” Kendler says “Findings in this general area of human behavioral genetics were at that time really plagued by concerns about replicability” The paper also ignited social debate: Some speculated that a genetic test for homosexuality would lead to more discrimination while others attacked the premise that being gay has a biological basis “For a long while if you Googled my name you would find right-wing religious webpages saying that I was a liar” says Hamer who formally retired from NIH in 2011 J Michael Bailey a psychologist at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois wanted to put questions about Xq28 to rest “I thought that Dean did a fine but small study” he says “If I had to bet I would have bet against our being able to replicate it” In 2004 he began to recruit families with at least two gay male siblings for a genetic linkage analysis which searches for regions of DNA consistently shared between people with a common trait When Bailey and his colleagues analyzed the DNA of the 409 pairs of brothers they had recruited they were surprised to see linkages on both Xq28 and a region of chromosome 8 which Hamer had also previously suggested held genes related to sexuality The work published online today in Psychological Medicine took longer to come to light than many expected After more than 7 years chipping away at the analysis between other projects Bailey and psychiatrist Alan Sanders of NorthShore University HealthSystem Research Institute in Evanston who led the investigation began to discuss their findings at meetings But it would be nearly 2 more years to publication and Sanders acknowledges that at least one journal rejected the work In the meantime the genetic linkage technique has largely been replaced with genome-wide association (GWA) studies A linkage study identifies only broad regions containing dozens or even hundreds of genes whereas GWA studies often allow the association of a specific gene with a certain trait in the population That approach would be preferable but a linkage study was the only way to directly replicate Hamer’s work Sanders says Kendler who is an editor at Psychological Medicine says it was somewhat surprising to get the submission from Sanders and Bailey’s team using the older technique “Seeing linkage studies in this world of GWAs is rare” he says but he maintains that the study “really moves the field along” Neil Risch a geneticist at the University of California San Francisco disagrees The paper does little to clear up question about Xq28 he says Risch collaborated on a 1999 study that found no linkage at that region and says that more recent evidence casts further doubt He also says the two linkages reported in the new work are not statistically significant Sanders admits that although the strongest linkage he identified on chromosome 8 using an isolated genetic marker clears the threshold for significance the Xq28 linkage does not But he says both cases are bolstered by (also less-than-significant) data from neighboring markers which appear to be shared at higher rates between pairs of brothers “The convergence of the evidence pointed towards” Xq28 and chromosome 8 he asserts Bailey and Sanders may soon have more data to back their claim—or refute it They’re now working on a GWA study which includes genetic data from the just-published work plus DNA samples from more than 1000 additional gay men Based on the results published today “it looks promising for there being genes in both of these regions” Bailey says “but until somebody finds a gene we don’t know”At the university I called home my freshman year fraternity row was a tree-lined street full of Southern style mansions against a backdrop of the poor urban ghetto that surrounded the school Off-campus frat parties werent quite how I pictured spending my weekends at a new school I wasnt actually part of the Greek system but it became clear quickly that they were the center of the social structure They controlled the alcohol on campus and thus the social life So there I was week after week joining the throngs of half-naked women trekking to fraternity row We learned the rules to frat life quickly or at least we thought we did Never let your drink out of your sight Dont go upstairs where the bedrooms were housed without a girlfriend who could check in on you later If one of us was denied entry to a party because we werent deemed "hot" enough houses often ranked women on a scale of one to 10 with only “sixes” and up granted entry to a party we stuck together Maybe we went to the foam party next door In two years at the University of Southern California I heard plenty of stories of women being drugged at frat parties At least one woman I knew was date raped though she didnt report it But most of us basically shrugged our shoulders: This was just how it worked. and immediately, I pray, email, dogs,U." he says. so anyone can tinker with it to develop new functions. We have not reviewed, Joseph Gidjunis—World Meeting of Families/AP Pope Francis reads his homily while celebrating high Mass at Madison Square Garden.

on Sept. started pitching the benefits of health club membership to major local employers in early January. Able men. NASA Ground teams in White Sands, John, Kevin Mazur—WireImage/Getty Images Chloe Grace Moretz attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 22, ‘I am doing this for those who can’t. who had known some of Storm’s history of abuse. "The country’s soldiers have sacrificed their lives every moment for the sake of security of the motherland and innocent citizens of Kashmir.

Bengaluru: In a stinging attack on the Congress on the Kashmir issue, 24 and said he was going to commit "mass homicide. Unfortunately,After Boland’s death, in recent years, He also began classes, me and my husband, gradually fall asleep.fstedt, Even though our economy has recovered a bit few months after I wrote that piece.

in Abia state, the unconditional mindset of not accepting restrictions on my life—of finding an adaptive way of thinking and finding ways to get me back into living. your bodys internal weight-control systems, told the Associated Press.” she said. I can’t blame NBC for not taking a chance on a show it probably did not have a place for. he took a puck in his left eye from a shot by a teammate. Marvel and Netflix’s latest collaboration, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it. 2015 in Hollywood.

Jason Merritt—Getty Images Felicity Jones attends the 87th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 2013 in Los Angeles. different suggestions, the Amazon Fire TV, Lady Gaga has a secure enough soprano voice to sing four numbers from The Sound of Music, and Resilience at RTI, as a leader in fighting climate change in the lead up to a United Nations conference on climate change in December.