Archive Monthly Archives: February 2019

Serena Williams on her ‘Black Panther’ catsuit: ‘It’s my way of being a superhero’

Champion wears garment for medical reasons at French Open and wins first grand slam match since having a baby

Serena Williams considers the black bodysuit she wore at the French Open much more than a fashion statement.

The full-length, skintight outfit is designed to protect against blood clots. But it isn’t only practical.

The suit also contains a message that Williams wanted to send about self-worth as she returns to grand slam action with a first-round victory at Roland Garros on Tuesday, about nine months after giving birth to a daughter.

“It feels like this suit represents all the women that have been through a lot mentally, physically, with their body to come back and have confidence and to believe in themselves,” Williams said, after beating Kristyna Pliskova 7-6 (4), 6-4 at Court Philippe Chatrier.

“I definitely feel like it is an opportunity for me to inspire a whole different group of amazing women and kids.”

The outfit called to mind Williams’s black “catsuit” that she wore at the 2002 US Open. It also was reminiscent of the white bodysuit that the American player Anne White wore at Wimbledon in 1985.

Williams referred to what she wore Tuesday as the “catsuit — the new version, 2.0”.

“I call it, like, my Wakanda-inspired catsuit,” referring to the fictional nation in the film Black Panther.

“We designed it way before the movie,” she said, “but still, it kind of reminds me of that.”

Williams said she feels “like a warrior princess, kind of” when she wears the outfit.

“I’m always living in a fantasy world,” she added. “I always wanted to be a superhero and it’s kind of my way of being a superhero.”

Tuesday’s match was the first at a major tournament for the 23-time Grand Slam champion in 16 months.

She gave birth to her daughter Alexis Olympia on 1 September, then dealt with serious complications related to a pulmonary embolism. After her recovery Williams revealed that she almost died giving birth.

“I had a lot of problems with my blood clots, and, God, I don’t know how many I have had in the past 12 months. So it is definitely a little functionality to it,” Williams said.

“I have been wearing pants in general a lot when I play, so I can keep the blood circulation going. It’s a fun suit but it’s also functional, so I can be able to play without any problems.”

The suit garnered a lot of fans on social media, including Williams’s partner Alexis Ohanian Snr.

Alexis Ohanian Sr.

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Tailor Brands raises $15.5M for AI-driven logo creation and more

Tailor Brands, a startup that automates parts of the branding and marketing process for small businesses, announced this morning that it has raised $15.5 million in Series B funding.

CEO Yali Saar has said the company sits at the intersection of design and machine learning. The idea is to create technology that understands the best practices of logo design, copywriting and social media strategy.

It’s the automated design that’s most immediately eye-catching, and that’s the big feature highlighted on the Tailor Brands website. You’ll need to pay to get access to high-quality image files, but before that, you can actually try creating a logo for free, just by entering some basic information about your company and identifying the designs you prefer.

Related: What do you guys think of the new TechCrunch logo?

Tailor Brands, which launched at TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield in 2014, said the technology has already been used to create 45 million logos. The company says it had 3.86 million customers last year, and is adding half a million new businesses to the platform each month.

The new funding was led by Pitango Venture Capital Growth Fund and British Armat Group, with participation from Disruptive Technologies and Mangrove Capital Partners. The company has now raised a total of $20.6 million and says it will use the money to expand globally, add more languages and introduce more tools to its full branding suite.

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John Edwards, buried alive, speaks from beyond grave – BBC News

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption John Edwards posed in his coffin before he was buried alive

For many people, the thought of being buried alive is the stuff of nightmares but one Irishman is going three feet under for three days – and nights.

Dubliner John Edwards volunteered to lie in a coffin which was then sealed and buried in the grounds of an east Belfast church.

But he’s not alone down there – the coffin has been specially adapted so he can broadcast live on social media.

His aim is to reach out to those in despair.

Mr Edwards, 61, is former drug addict and alcoholic who has been sober for more than two decades.

Image copyright Walkingfree.org
Image caption John Edwards broadcasting live from his coffin

After experiencing what he described as an “incredible encounter with God 27 years ago”, he set up a number of Christian rehabilitation centre and homeless shelters.

Having lost more than 20 of his friends to addiction and suicide, Mr Edwards now counsels and prays with people in distress or despair.

For the next three days, his message of “hope” is coming from beyond the grave in the grounds of Willowfield church in east Belfast.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Air, food and water supplies are maintained through pipes connected to the underground coffin

‘Freaky’

He has been taking calls, texts and emails from members of the public who are seeking help.

“My plan is to speak to them from the grave before they get there and show them hope,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

Mr Edwards said he is not claustrophobic but was still a little apprehensive about being buried alive.

“When the lid is closed and you’re underground, and you hear the soil getting thrown on top of the coffin… it is freaky,” he admitted.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption The coffin has been specially adapted so he can broadcast live on social media from underground

The wooden structure is more spacious than the average coffin, being 8ft long, 3.5ft high and 4ft wide (2.4m x 1m x 1.3m).

It is equipped with a caravan toilet and access to air, food and water supplies are maintained through pipes.

Image copyright AFP

It is not the first time Mr Edwards has been early for his own funeral.

‘Gimmick’

He spent three days buried underground in his adopted town of Halifax in England last year.

The Dubliner has also been physically close to death on several occasions.

Having experienced sexual abuse, mental illness and homelessness, the former drug addict said he overdosed a number of times.

He also underwent a liver transplant after developing Hepititis C from a dirty needle, and has survived cancer twice.

He admitted his habit of being buried alive is a “bit of a gimmick” but said it was one with a serious message.

“I’m desperate to reach as many people as possible.”

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