Donald Trump and LaVar Ball Really Do Deserve Each Other

At the start of this year, if you would have told me I’d be interviewing a China scholar about a deal in which President of the United States asks his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, for help to free three UCLA basketball players who’ve been held in a Chinese hotel for allegedly stealing sunglasses, I would have scoffed. If you said that one of those UCLA players was LiAngelo Ball, son of LaVar Ball — proprietor of $ 495 shoes, controversial and outspoken father of Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball — I would have laughed even harder.

Bet the under on that one, since I had to call up UCLA’s Shirley Wang Endowed Chair in US-China Relations & Communications, Min Zhou, to talk about LaVar Ball.

In hindsight, however, that LaVar Ball and Donald Trump would cross paths in the frenetic, utterly unpredictable 2017 news cycle was all but inevitable. Before returning home from a 12-day trip through Asia, President Trump on Tuesday confirmed that he asked President Xi, during Trump’s state visit to Beijing, to intervene on behalf of UCLA freshman basketball players Ball, Jalen Hill, and Cody Riley, who were arrested on shoplifting charges while in Hangzhou for UCLA’s opening game against Georgia Tech on Nov. 10. “They’re working on it right now,” Trump said. The players boarded a flight back to Los Angeles today.

“What they did was unfortunate,” Trump told reporters before leaving Manila and returning to Washington. Shoplifting penalties can vary greatly in China, but the players could have conceivably faced multiple years in jail.

Yes, Trump’s rescue of the Ball family is shrouded in symbolism. The President and LaVar Ball are classic carnival barkers who relish the media limelight. (Among LaVar Ball’s most outrageous statements: that Lonzo, the Lakers rookie, is the best player on the planet. He’s averaging 9.5 points per game, on an unseemly 31.3% shooting, for the 6-8 Lakers) They both appeared in WWE matches. They’re creations of our reality show world — while Trump had The Apprentice, Ball offers Ball In The Family on Facebook. They provoke strong reactions, positive and negative. Many people on social media have imagined Trump and Ball holding a joint press conference in the wake of the shoplifting charges. That would be quite a show.

This story, however, is more than an amusing sidelight. It does raise questions about selective justice. While the UCLA players go free, what about the human rights activists still imprisoned in China? “It’s easier for China to release American students than political dissidents,” says Zhou, the expert in China-U.S. relations, in a phone interview. “That’s a much more sensitive issue.”

The high-profile status of the UCLA players likely helped expedite their release. The Wall Street Journal noted that Detroit-native Wendell Brown, who was coaching a local American football team in China, is still in a Chinese jail after a September 2016 bar fight (he was charged with intentional assault).

China’s release of the basketball players carries diplomatic consequences as the world’s two largest economies haggle over trade and the North Korea nuclear threat. “It’s very important,” Zhou, a member of UCLA’s sociology department. “It’s a positive sign that the countries can work together.” The timing of the arrests helped the freshmen. Trump was also in China, on a state visit, when goodwill between countries generally ratchets up a level. Zhou’s happy China didn’t overtly use the detained students bargaining chips with the U.S. But don’t be surprised, she says, if China expects something in return down the road. “There’s still some sort of bargaining involved,” she says. “I’m doing you favor.”

Zhou’s thrilled that the students are returning home. “Kids make mistakes, and they should be given second chances,” she says.

Where does everyone go from here? UCLA coach Steve Alford will likely hand down some sort of suspension for his players. But at this rate, go ahead and expect LiAngelo Ball to hit the shot that sends UCLA to the Final Four, while his dad waves his Big Baller Brand kicks in the crowd. It’s November 2017. Anything goes.

 


Sports – TIME

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Twitter replaced its character counter with a circle and everyone’s really confused

TwitterFacebook

Twitter may have just upped its character limit to 280, but you wouldn’t know it just by looking at its tweet composer.

As part of the update, which doubled the amount of characters you can cram into a single tweet, the company replaced its character counter with a weird circle icon that changes colors as you type.

And while opinions of the new character count may be mixed, Twitter users seem to be united in their hatred for the circle, which seems unnecessarily confusing as you can longer see how many characters you’ve actually typed.

Instead, all you see is a circle and a small blue highlight, which expands as you type more (it does switch back to a character count once you get to 20 characters remaining, though). Read more…

More about Tech, Twitter, Apps And Software, Social Media Companies, and Tech


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The One Thing You Need To Do To Really Make Your Business Grow

My nephew Kendall is 7 years old and very bright. He loves playing sports, but he had issues with schoolwork and his behavior during first grade. Kendall doesn’t have any identifiable learning disabilities, so it was baffling that he wasn’t thriving in a public school classroom environment. To help him, he was placed in a private school offering him a classroom size of just six students, blackboards (yes, the old-school chalk blackboards) and old-school wooden desks—the type you might see on a rerun of the show Facts of Life. His new learning environment is very basic.

After one month, Kendall logged all “A” grades and is engaging in all activities. It turns out, my nephew is just a different type of learner and getting back to education basics was all he needed. No smart boards, laptops, or tablets to muddy the learning waters.

Simplicity and taking a step back is helping my nephew thrive in school. When I look at some established businesses, I’ve noticed that getting back to basics and taking a step back from the “bells and whistles” of running a business in the digital age can be reinvigorating and can make your business grow.

Losing Sight of What Matters

 

Today’s business owners are so caught up (and likely overwhelmed) with leveraging social media and online marketing platforms that they have lost sight of what REALLY matters. Remember, it’s not just about getting likes on your Facebook page—it’s about getting people to BUY whatever it is you are selling. People make a purchase not because a business has 20K likes or followers, it’s because they trust what a business sells. Most importantly, there is no social media platform that serves as a substitute for maintaining a stellar competitive advantage.

(Image: iStock/Woman watering houseplant)

 

Recently, I advised Chef Christy Jones*, the owner of a restaurant located in a suburban town in New Jersey for over 15 years. As a classically trained chef, she opened her 70-seat farm-to-table restaurant to much fanfare and anticipation, having worked at noted restaurants in her region. Her local fame afforded her a steady flow of patrons eager to consume her culinary creations. She opened with only one other restaurant nearby—today there are 14. She was the first in her market to boast a farm-to-table menu, now her competitors promote similar offerings. Chef Christy has now lost her market share and is not seeing many new customers.

Chef Christy shared with me how she tries to use social to win new business by posting information about her menu specials—with limited results. After getting a few more details, I learned that many of her competitors in town were not owned and operated by chefs. In fact, many of the eateries were started by food industry novices.

As I walked around her restaurant, I recognized some underutilized competitive advantages such as desirable outdoor eating space, on-site parking, and walk-by traffic. The large glass windows out front were also not being used effectively. Nowhere on property or menus does it say the restaurant is owned and operated by a chef. As I continued chatting and walking around, I figured out where Chef Christy’s challenges stem from—it’s her. She has lost sight of why she opened her restaurant. But most of all, she has become complacent and now takes her experience and reputation for granted.

Complacency will kill any business. Chef Christy’s original competitive advantage was and still is that she is a noted, trained chef—yet she is doing nothing to maximize it. Like many business owners, Chef Christy needs to get back to business basics to regain her competitive advantage.

Getting Back to Basics – The One Thing You Must Do

 

Your business is a moving target, but being focused helps you hit your target. Getting back to basics means focusing on what made you a success in the first place and using it to reignite your business. Here are some growth strategies any business can implement to get back to basics:

  1. Talk to Your Customers – Before there was Yelp! and Google Reviews,  entrepreneurs would actually speak with their customers to find out what they liked and didn’t like. What a concept! Your regular customers and clients may never post a review, but they know your business the best. Speak with them to find out what they want, like, and dislike and then tailor your offerings to them.
  1. Leverage Your Competitive Advantage – It’s been a while since you opened, but what made your business shine then is likely still the same or better. If you have a unique offering or reputation, use it to remind old customers and gain new ones. For example, I advised Chef Christy to add elegant lettering in her window stating “Owned and Operated by Executive Chef Christy Jones” to assist passersby in discerning between the restaurants operated by non-chefs.
  1. Upsell, Upsell, Upsell – The easiest way to increase sales is to upsell to your existing clientele. Research conducted with established businesses by marketing analytics firm SumAll found that repeat customers are the foundation upon which profitable businesses are built. The data also revealed when businesses have 40% repeat customers they generated 47% more revenue than similar businesses with only 10% repeat customers.
  1. Adapt and Change – Perhaps some of your longstanding approaches are stale. Be willing to change with the times. Getting back to basics should include innovation. Revisit how you made magic in your business when you first started to reinvent some of your services and projects.

If you feel like you’ve been running on a hamster wheel for a while, it is probably time to get back to basics. Rediscover what made you a success early on and most importantly stop chasing what you don’t have and nurture your existing customer base to reach your revenue goals.

* The name of the chef has been changed to protect her identity.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Zayn Malik ‘Thanks God’ Girlfriend Gigi Hadid Handles Their Schedule: ‘She’s Really Organized … I’m Really Not’

Even though Zayn Malik and his supermodel girlfriend Gigi Hadid both have busy schedules, the power couple makes seeing each other a priority.

“It’s actually not that hard for us ,” the singer-songwriter tells Billboard in the magazine’s new cover story — before revealing the reason it’s so easy is because Hadid is in charge of the calendar. “It helps that she’s really organized. Thank God! Because I’m really not, so she helps organize my schedule around seeing her!”

Of course it probably also helps that Malik and Hadid “pretty much live together,” splitting time between his homes in Los Angeles and London and Hadid’s apartment in New York City.

The heartthrob, who made headlines for leaving the successful boy band One Direction in 2015, also revealed that his 22-year-old girlfriend is one of the few people who gets to hear his music while it’s still being written.

“She’s in the studio quite a lot,” Malik, 24, said, adding that “She likes to cook for me and stuff — when I’m here late, she’ll come down and bring me food. She’s cool.”

Malik also opened up about how he decides what to do with his own career, now that he’s the one in control.

“I don’t do things that I wouldn’t buy into. I try to explain that to people and hope that they understand,” he said, adding that “it doesn’t come from a place of being arrogant or above anything.”

Speaking about his former bandmates, Malik revealed that even though he’s not in touch with any of them, he doesn’t attribute that to bad blood — just growing up. “Our relationships have definitely changed since we were in a band together, but I think that’s just life. Everybody grows up; two of the guys have got kids now. But no, I don’t talk to any of them, really.”

In 2016, Zayn had previously told NME that he had tried to contact his former bandmates, “but nobody’s reached out,” besides Liam Payne. “I’m still probably the closest to Liam,” he added. “We talk on the phone. He congratulated me on my single , which was nice. I congratulated him on his Brit Award. It was a good chat.”

RELATED VIDEO: WATCH: An Alien Told Zayn to Leave One Direction!?

Zayn also discussed his collaboration with Taylor Swift — who happens to be a close friend of Hadid — saying he personally recruited Swift for the Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack standout “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”

“I felt like she was the right artist for the song. And of course, she’s also a massive artist, so that brings its benefits,” he said. “I get to let her fans know that I’m doing this kind of music, and she lets her fans know she likes my kind of music — there’s no opposition, for real.”


PEOPLE.com

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Wendy Williams Opens Up on Her Fainting Spell: ‘It Was Really Scary’ [Video]

Wendy Williams had no choice but to address her fainting spell when she returned to ‘The Wendy Williams Show’ on Wednesday.

via Page Six:

“First of all. I was trending all day. Fabulous!” Williams, 53, said to thunderous applause. “A lot of people thought it was a joke. Me fainting on my set. You know I don’t want to fall. I’m a tall woman and it’s a long way down. I’m also a woman of a particular age and I’m not trying to break anything. I don’t stunts and jokes for you.”

As Williams detailed, the snafu happened 48 minutes into the show. She was wearing a Statue of Liberty costume and was being prepped by producers for the last segment of “The Wendy Williams Show.”

“I felt it as she was talking to me,” she added. “And all I could hear is ‘blah, blah, blah.’ And all I’m thinking is, ‘Wendy oh my gosh… I’m like alright Wendy. At least you’re wearing flats. I’m holding on to this [podium] and there’s only 12 more minutes of the show. You can do it girl!’”

She described being overtaken by a “hot” and “dizzy” feeling, adding, “The costume got hot. Right before passing out I felt like I was in the middle of a campfire.”

She continued, with tears in her eyes, “It was scary. Scary! It was really scary. All of I could think of though in the middle of scare, ‘Don’t pull the podium over on you because that’ll make for worse.’”

Williams also addressed online commenters who suggested she suffered a stroke or heart attack. “No, I had neither,” she said.

EMTs soon arrived backstage where she was evaluated. “The paramedics are in my office and they hooked me up to every EKG situation,” she said. “I was low on hydrogen — you know the water. Not just any water, electrolytes.” Her blood pressure and heart rate checked out fine, nor does she suffer any bumps, bruises or aches from her fall.

After being hydrated, Williams left for Jersey, but not before stopping off to greet more than 200 fans and paparazzi waiting to catch a glimpse.

“This is never going to happen again,” she vowed.

We hope not. Watch Wendy speak on it below.

The post Wendy Williams Opens Up on Her Fainting Spell: ‘It Was Really Scary’ [Video] appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

B. Scott | lovebscott.com

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Women in China Are Really Offended by This Ikea Ad

Ikea has apologized for a television commercial in China and pulled it from the air after some viewers called it sexist.

The 30-second spot features a couple and their grown daughter sitting down for a meal. The mother scolds the daughter: “If you don’t bring home a boyfriend next time, then don’t call me Mom!”

Moments later, a young man, holding a bouquet, appears at the door. In a snap, the parents lay out their Ikea place settings and a lavish meal for their daughter’s new boyfriend.

The Swedish furniture company is known for relying on deep research to translate its Scandinavian products to other cultures. (For instance, one company study found that in Shenzhen, China, people sat on the floor and used Ikea sofas as a backrest.) That kind of analysis has helped fuel Ikea’s global expansion.

But critics in China say the TV ad lacked that kind of cultural awareness, blasting it as sexist and insensitive to the country’s single women.

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According to the BBC, one Weibo user said the commercial “discriminates against singles and single women.”

“No boyfriend, so your own family members look down on you, what kind of values does this transmit?”

Said another: “Even if this sort of situation does happen in a lot of families, it’s not suitable to make advertisements about it, because it’s wrong.”

Ikea has issued an apology on Weibo, China’s Twitter-like messaging platform, saying it’s sorry for “giving the wrong perception.”

“This TV ad tried to show how Ikea can help customers easily and affordably convert a typical living room into a place for celebration. The purpose was to encourage customers to celebrate moments in everyday life,” the statement said.

Why did the commercial strike such a nerve?

It aired as women in China try to push back against the intense societal pressure to get married by a certain age. Chinese women who are not wed by age 27 are branded as “leftover women”–a term coined by the Chinese Women’s Federation in 2007–and are considered to have longer odds of finding a spouse. The pressure to marry is due, in part, to the severe gender imbalance caused by China’s recently-abandoned one-child policy that prompted families to favor sons over daughters. There’s such a disparity–an estimated 117 boys to every 100 girls–that one well-known economist suggested that multiple men be allowed to share one wife.

Women, meanwhile, have sought to shed the demeaning “leftover” designation. In April, a four-minute documentary-style ad by beauty company SK-IL went viral for standing up for “leftover” women and highlighting how they’re denigrated.

The Ikea ad, meanwhile, seemed to reinforce the “leftover” stereotype.


Fortune

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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How much do you know about money? Take this quiz to find out how much you really know!

Test your money IQ!

The concept of personal finance can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never learned much about it (which is the case for most people). And very often, when you try to learn, the internet is full of so much clutter these days, it can be difficult to know whom to trust.

But here’s the good news: if you know nothing about money (or even if you know a lot), there are really just a few basic things you need to understand in order to start taking control of your financial life. Once you grasp these concepts and apply them to your own life, you will begin to see a much brighter financial future.

Take the quiz below to find how much you know!

More resources:

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Back To School Sale – Get up to 40% OFF stylish footwear at Payless.com

Here’s what my kid’s lunch really looks like and I’m not ashamed

by

Melissa Willets

posted in Parenting

Upon seeing a few too many perfect-looking school lunches shared online, and reading way too many stories about school lunch shaming, I wanted to share what my kids’ lunches look like, in reality.

Their midday meals are far from picture-ready. They’re also not always 100 percent healthy or well planned, and they consist of a lot of snack food instead of artfully prepared sandwiches or Thermos creations meant to stay hot for hours. But I’m still not ashamed.

After all, I have to make three lunches every night. That is no joke, people. I’m pretty proud of myself for buying these bento boxes, because they look cool.

I'm proud of my kids' school lunch

But other than these bentos, there’s nothing too impressive about what I fix my kids for lunch. Like most moms, I have like five minutes to throw whatever we have in our kitchen into their lunch boxes. When I see photos of sandwiches pressed into shapes with seasonal cookie cutters, or fruits skewers, I can’t help but wonder where do these people find the time?!?

I’m barely holding it together each night as I race against the clock to get the kids to and from their activities, make dinner, help with homework, do baths, and read bedtime stories, let alone make their lunches for the next day.

In reality, this is my best take on preparing a themed lunch. Happy Halloween, kids!

School lunch reality

I try to add fresh fruit when I can, to ease my mom guilt, but sometimes all you’ve got is green bananas.

The reality of school lunch

So fruit snacks will have to count as their fruit. Sorry not sorry. At least I bought the Annie’s brand that’s organic. Mother of the year award, here I come!

Okay, so this is what a typical school lunch looks like in our house.

Real school lunch

My kids won’t eat sandwiches, so it’s yogurt every day. Then I toss in what they call “a crunchy snack,” usually Pirate’s Booty. There’s fruit snacks, a treat, and a fruit if I have something fresh in the fridge. On this particular day, at the last minute I found grapes, so I went with that. And I added a cheese stick, too, and felt oh-so-good about myself. Protein!

In the end, as my editor Betsy Shaw put it, this is lunch, not art. And it’s every, single day that we moms need to make it work.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that it’s far better to pack things I know my kids will actually eat. When I send them with foods I want them to eat, it all comes back to me smushed and uneaten. What a waste.

I hope that sharing what I pack for my kids will help even one mom to feel better about her kid’s lunch. Because remember, it’s not a competition! It’s food to keep our kids going throughout their school day. And I’ll be damned if I let the fact that my kids talked me into packing them Oreos make me feel like a sucky mom. They’re happy, and that’s it. Bigger fish to fry. Onward, moms!

What does your kid’s school lunch typically look like?

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The Internet just noticed something really weird about the “Monster Mash”

The Internet just noticed something really weird about the “Monster Mash”


The Internet just noticed something really weird about the “Monster Mash”

Have you ever stopped to listen to the popular Halloween song “Monster Mash”? Like, really listen to the words? If so, you might have realized something a little weird. Recently, the internet has been awash with a lot of theories about the song. From when it actually takes place to what it is about, everyone is talking.

And it makes sense. It is Halloween time. You can go out there with your grown-up candy corn floats and see celebrities dressing up as witches to get you in the spirit. Or, you can listen to your favorite Halloween songs and think about a bunch of monsters dancing around.

And, if you’re like the internet, you can realize that what you think the song is about isn’t what the song is actually about.

Because the Internet has discovered that you’ve never actually heard the “Monster Mash.”

Sure, you’ve heard the Bobby Pickett song, “Monster Mash” — but that’s just about a guy watching monsters dance and listen to the real “Monster Mash.” Think about it like this. The man singing is just describing to you what happened. Not as it is happening, but as he saw it.

That’s right, we’re just hearing a story about it, not living in the song. Seems a little weird, right? It always felt like we were listening to the “Monster Mash” itself, but instead, we were just listening to a man sing about it.

Still not getting it? Think of it like Tenacious D’s song “Tribute.”

A lot of people couldn’t handle the revelation.

While others just had jokes.

This is the second theory to come out in a while. The first being that the Monster Mash doesn’t necessarily take place on Halloween. It is just in the lab late one night. He could have been out on a Wednesday in June for all we know.

All this means is that it is that time of year again. We’re all getting in the Halloween spirit and jamming out to the Bobby Pickett classic. It also means that we, as adults, are ready to break down any theory about this song we can. Because, after all, it is a graveyard smash.



HelloGiggles

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Before the Las Vegas massacre, the ‘day was really amazing’: Part 1

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Fitness Fridays: TrapYogaBae On How Trap Yoga Is Really A F–kin’ Empowerment Session For Black Women

Trap Yoga is a class you can’t miss, and TrapYogaBae has a story you can’t miss out on either.

The post Fitness Fridays: TrapYogaBae On How Trap Yoga Is Really A F–kin’ Empowerment Session For Black Women appeared first on MadameNoire.

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Are You Really Listening? 7 Simple Ways to Find out What Your Customers Really Think

customers

From helping you to avoid a crisis and retain customers to predicting your clients’ future needs, listening to your audience is a critical part of growing a successful business brand. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a gazillion dollars on survey tools and consultants to figure out what your customers think about your products or services.

 

customers (Image: iStock/PeopleImages)

 

Here are few methods to gather feedback from your customers:

  1. Ask your subscribers to take a survey via email (Google Forms has a series of free surveys). Here are a few sample questions:
    1. What social media networks do you regularly use?
    2. Who are your favorite people to follow online?
    3. What websites do you visit for information on ____(for example, career, travel, fashion, or first-time mom)?
    4. When it comes to _____ what’s your biggest challenge.
    5. If you could solve one thing about _______, what would it be?
    6. Which product name or album title is better?
  2. Ask your customers to complete a quick 2-minute survey at the end of call or purchase. As an incentive, you can also enter their name into a contest.
  3. Create a Twitter Poll – A super easy and quick way to gather feedback from people as they scroll down their timeline.
  4. Create an image question and post to Instagram.
  5. Conduct a Q&A via Facebook Live.
  6. Ask an open-ended question on LinkedIn.
  7. Assess your website analytics –  Beyond providing a snapshot of your audience demographics ( e.g., geographic location, gender, age, etc.) you can identify which social media platforms, search engines and guest blogs are driving the most traffic to your website. You can also find out which pages of your site your audience is spending the most time on.

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Bob Corker just told the world what he really thinks of Trump

Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker suggested Wednesday that Gens. John Kelly and James Mattis as well Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are the “people that help separate our country from chaos,” a stinging criticism of President Donald Trump from a man once considered an ally in Washington.


CNN.com – RSS Channel – Politics

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Hurricane disruptions could really slam Friday’s government jobs data, says Barclays economist

"The Fed has already signaled the data is going to be noisy and they expect some weakness," Michael Gapen says.
Economy

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Yes, Somebody Really Asked Susie Essman to Do a Curb Your Enthusiasm Tirade at Her Mother-in-Law’s Wake

Curb Your EnthusiasmSusie Essman is known for the expletive-laden Curb Your Enthusiasm tirades she dolls out weekly as Susie Green. So known in fact people often approach her and ask her to cure them out in some very…

E! Online (US) – TV News

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House Speaker Paul Ryan on tax reform: ‘We really can get this done this year’

The process behind crafting tax reform was quite different than the failed efforts to repeal Obamacare, Ryan tells CNBC.
Economy

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What You Can Really Afford: Actual WorkwearFollowing up on…

What You Can Really Afford: Actual Workwear

Following up on Derek’s post yesterday about getting creative with a casual wardrobe based on workwear archetypes, I wanted to write a little about what remain some of my favorite brands, the ones that continue to make durable, inexpensive clothing for workers. Lines like Dickies and Carhartt, while they occasionally make gestures in the direction of fashion (usually to try to catch up to the cool kids wearing their gear in unintended settings), focus on making practical clothes that the wearer really won’t think about much. Unless you’re like me and spend as many hours searching eBay for classic Carhartt as doing manual labor most weeks.

There’s a reason many of us look for, say, Dickies collaboration pieces rather than real Dickies. Or “takes” on workwear from brands like Engineered Garments or Orslow. We’re used to seeking out clothing cut to flatter and made from comfortable, interesting fabrics. Those are not qualities you generally find on a rack of Ben Davis Gorilla Cut pants, for example. And I admit that the durability of real workwear is overstated. Brands tend to brag about toughness but a lot of this stuff is more disposable than anything. When workwear makes trade-offs among well-made, good-looking, and cheap, it usually values cheap.

Still, as with vintage, there’s a particular satisfaction in taking something designed with little aesthetic concern and fitting it into your wardrobe. It’s also fun to track down the sources for the modern versions of workwear we like, and to consider how others have taken workwear out of its clock-punching context and made it their own. I’ll stop short of saying it feels authentic because any authenticity here is thoroughly borrowed. 

Carhartt

Carhartt’s signature achievement is their use of brown “duck” fabric for pretty much everything–from hats to jackets to overalls. In my opinion brown duck (really more of a tan) is a great neutral and a sollid match with other things we like, especially in fall–blue oxford cloth, shetland sweaters, denim, olive drab ( see lead image on this post). The Carhartt piece I wear the most now is a blanket lined chore jacket–I think it’s the same model Brian from Wooden Sleepers mentions here.  But I’ve been meaning to get a pair of overalls. Carhartt has a decent “fashion” line as well known as Work in Progress (WIP).

As with many other workwear brands, with Carhartt I often size down on shirts and jackets and up on pants. Jackets fit big to accomodate layers and movement; on the other hand, pants are not vanity sized, so rather than squeeze into the waist of my “usual size” I’ll buy a size up. The pants aren’t going to fit trim either way. 

image

Dickies

Dickies have been everyone’s go-to cheap pants forever. Around since 1922, today the brand make a ton of legit workwear for many professions, including hi-visibility stuff for road work and medical scrubs. But most guys know them for the 874 work pants, a cotton blend chino that’s, frankly, as stiff as it is cheap (currently $ 19.99)–recognizable in part because of their wide belt loops and slide, rather than button, closure. You might spend more than $ 20 getting them hemmed at the dry cleaner, maybe one reason it’s sometimes been considered standard to just cut them off at the ankle (every time you cut off a pair of Dickies, Johnny Knoxville gets a $ 0.16 royalty check). Dickies have also long had a presence in hip hop/streetwear scenes, and have a number of well regarded collaborations in fashion, including with J. Crew and Sasquatchfabrix.

I like the khaki color and the Air Force blue–they’re a nice alternative to denim. Although they’re lighter than denim, the fabric blend is not, in my opinion, the most comfortable in hot weather. As with Carhartt, I suggest sizing up a little on the pants, and getting them tailored to fit, like Chris Gibbs, or DIY-ing it. Unless you opt for a stretch model, Dickies don’t have a lot of give.

Ben Davis

Although I’ve lived on the east coast all my life, I’ve always seen Ben Davis as sort of the West Coast-exclusive Dickies. We just didn’t see BD pieces around much growing up (which made them somewhat more desirable). Their pants (especially in the “gorilla cut”) have a rep for being a little baggier than Dickies–somewhat hilariously, they don’t make lower than size 30 waist in pants, and no size small for shirts. BD shorts, worn baggy and clean, often with high socks, are historically a mark of California gang style. Ben Davis are also known for their zip work shirts, a style I find a little hard to wear. Famously, Dr. Dre in 1992′s Let Me Ride video selects from a closet full of black Ben Davis shirts. 

Like many of these brands, Ben Davis benefits a lot from having a damn cool logo. Coincidentally, I learned a lot about many of these brands from writer Gary Warnett, whose site’s logo is a Ben Davis logo flip, and there’s allegedly a connection between the logo and that of X-LARGE, one of the first modern streetwear brands. Like a lot of American brands, BD has an entirely streetwear based presence in Japan. They also recently collaborated with Opening Ceremony.

Le Laboureur

Turns out people outside of the US do work, too. The stuff I’ve handled from French label Le Labourer–best known for work jackets and corduroy pants–is heavier and more refined than most of the American stuff discussed so far–of course it’s still made in France and not QUITE as cheap. Most of the American brands have offshored most or all of their manufacturing. A moleskin LL jacket will run you about $ 100, a wool one nearly double (I have this one myself). These are straightforward, unlined jackets, but they make for great outer layers in the fall and winter. Le Labourer is also known for making jackets for Junya Watanabe’s MAN line, which are a little trimmer and wilder–haven’t seen these widely available for a few years. LL makes some wild high-waisted, buckle back trousers but I’ve yet to track a pair of these down. This stuff has a more country feel than the American brands, and less hunting (like Carhartt) and more wandering fallow fields.

Le Laboureur outerwear is sized numerically. I’ve found that a size 3 fits me best (although not trim), and I’m usually a L in American brands. So, generally, size 1 is a small, 2 a medium, etc.

Expect more budget friendly workwear profiles from us next week.

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Bill Skarsgard on ‘Really, Really Disturbing’ Flashback Scene Cut from ‘It’

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So … what is Jennifer Lawrence’s ‘mother!’ really about?

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Warning: Major spoilers for mother! are ahead.

Well, that was something.

Jennifer Lawrence’s mother! has finally arrived in theaters, and the general reaction can be summed up in three letters: WTF?

It’s clear that writer-director Darren Aronofsky is trying to say something with his new work, and that he wants to get people talking about that something. The problem is that no one quite seems able to agree on what that something is. 

Ask 10 people who’ve just seen this movie what they think it’s “really” about, and you might get half a dozen different explanations. I know, because I did just that after seeing mother! for the first time at TIFF. Read more…

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How gross is your kitchen sponge really?

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Laura Falin

posted in Life

The thing no one warned me about when I became a parent was the amount of wiping. Faces, noses, tables, computer screens, chairs, coffee tables, bottoms, bottoms, bottoms. So. Much. Wiping.

It’s no wonder I have disposable wipes of all kinds around here. Electronic wipes, baby wipes, face wipes, Lysol wipes. I even have some special stainless steel wipes for my fridge. The only thing I haven’t been able to find a suitable wipe for is my dishes. I use a very questionable kitchen sponge for those. Every time I use it, I wonder whether I’m actually cleaning things, or just helping the bacteria in the sponge to get around my kitchen even faster than it would on its own.

This article has my answer. In a nutshell, the average kitchen sponge has a crapload of bacteria on it. This might be my favorite quote:

“We found 362 different species of bacteria, and locally, the density of bacteria reached up to 45 billion per square centimeter,” says Markus Egert, a microbiologist at Furtwangen University in Germany, who led the study.

Well, that’s a party right there.

How gross is your kitchen sponge really?

Do not despair, however. Despite the discoveries at Furtwangen University, you’re probably not at risk of infecting your entire household with awful diseases. There are actually only five species of bacteria that cause more than 90 percent of hospitalizations from foodborne illness…and they’re not usually found on sponges.

Jennifer Quinlan, a food microbiologist at Drexel University, says the best ways to keep your sponges from spewing dangerous bacteria around are to keep them away from raw meat, replace them every couple of weeks, and clean them every few days by putting them in the dishwasher or microwaving them. That should get rid of the dangerous ones…and the rest? Well, there are gazillions of bacteria microbes crawling all over your house anyway, what’s a few billion more in your sponge?

I guess the answer to my question is that my kitchen sponge is pretty gross but since I’m not using it to scrub-a-dub my chicken, we should be okay.

Next thing you know, they’ll be telling us that dirt is good for you, too. 

Do you clean your sponges? Replace them? Use something else entirely? I could use some suggestions!

Images by Laura Falin

The post How gross is your kitchen sponge really? appeared first on BabyCenter Blog.

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How much time do you really need to spend playing with your kids?

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Deidra Romero

posted in Parenting

When my son was 18-months-old I read a parenting book in which the author confessed she didn’t like playing with her kids. I was appalled.

Who doesn’t like playing with their kids? That’s messed up.

My son was so fun and curious and cute and he did the sweetest things when we played together on the floor for hours a day. Then he got older and we played the same blasted things over and over and over again.

Now I get it.

I don’t love playing with my 5-year-old son. There. I said it.

After about 20 minutes of focused playtime, I am like a caged animal. I’m ready to move on and do something productive in the adult world. Let me fold the clothes or pluck my eyebrows or do my taxes. I just need a break!

child hangs on broom while mom tries to sweep

There’s a guilt that creeps in on me particularly about playtime. I spend a lot of time with my kids–going to the park, running errands, doing crafts and taking walks. But actually sitting on the floor playing? I don’t do a lot of that.

I mean, how much time do kids actually need of one-on-one playtime with parents?

We all know it’s crucial for their development.

Not only is it important for skill-development, but it forges the bond that your parenting relationship is built on. I learn a lot about my son through our playtime together. I’m able to gauge his strengths and growth-points. Sometimes when we role play we can work out issues that have occurred earlier in our day.

Kids need to play with other kids too.

As an adult I can’t always give him what he needs. He needs to play with kids on his own level. He needs to problem solve and work his way through sharing issues. Kids need to play with other kids to learn to get along with other kids.

mom working while child watches

Independent playtime is so important.

Before you start feeling like the worst parent ever for not spending all the hours of your days crouched on the floor building blocks, let’s talk about the importance of independent play. I love the quote by Sherry Turkle, an MIT professor: “If you don’t teach your children how to be alone, they only know how to be lonely.”

When kids play by themselves it fosters creativity and independence. These are important skills! If we are constantly entertaining them, they will never go into their rooms and discover an amazing new game with their old toys.

Reframe what you think of as play.

I’ve been trying to answer this question of how much playtime my kids need from me, but in doing so I realized that we play in bits and pieces throughout our day. We play I spy in the car on the way to the store, color together before dinner and take walks to find bugs. All of this is actually play. And it’s play that I truly enjoy

mom with child on her back

So how much time should we really play with our kids?

A 2015 study revealed that parent-child time can actually become harmful to children at one point. When parents were stressed, sleep-deprived, and anxious, their time spent with their children led to behavioral and emotional problems for their kids.

The bottom line?

Parents who enjoy spending time with their kids actually have more of an impact on their children.

Quality over quantity.

So maybe it is just 15 minutes in the car on the way to school or 5 minutes spent discussing the day’s events around the dinner table. Maybe we are asking the wrong question altogether. Maybe instead of asking if we are playing with them enough, we should ask ourselves this: Are we connecting with them enough?

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Do you worry about not playing with your kids enough?

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How Women’s Brains Really Are Superior

How Women’s Brains Really Are Superior

“He never remembers our anniversary,” Felicia says about her husband of 15 years. “It used to really upset me, but now I just drop little hints as the day approaches. It works.” “I just don’t get his obsession with cars,” Renee says about her boyfriend of two years. “I mean, everything is cars. He has posters of them around his apartment and he’s always looking at ads even though he’s got three…

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How Women’s Brains Really Are Superior

“He never remembers our anniversary,” Felicia says about her husband of 15 years. “It used to really upset me, but now I just drop little hints as the day approaches. It works.”

“I just don’t get his obsession with cars,” Renee says about her boyfriend of two years. “I mean, everything is cars. He has posters of them around his apartment and he’s always looking at ads even though he’s got three that he hasn’t fixed up yet.”

We can examine these differences to help us understand why men behave as they do, but scientists are particularly interested because gender differences may help us gain a better understanding of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, which affect women considerably more than men.

“When he’s playing a video game,” says Brittany, “you might as well just give it up. If I try to ask him a question or get him to do something, it’s like talking to a wall. I mean, I don’t get it. It’s just a game!”

Indeed, there are many things we women don’t get about men (and vice versa). Studies show there’s a reason for that: our brains are just different.

In fact, male and female brains differ in a number of ways, including how they process things, the chemistry of neurochemicals pumping through them, how they’re built, and how much blood flows where.

We can examine these differences to help us understand why men behave as they do, but scientists are particularly interested because gender differences may help us gain a better understanding of brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, which affect women considerably more than men.

Indeed, almost two-thirds of American seniors living with Alzheimer’s disease are women, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. At age 65, women have a more than one in six chance of developing the disease, compared with a one in 11 chance for men. Women are also known to decline much more quickly than men once they have the disease.

Researchers used to believe that the main reason for this difference was that women lived longer, but recent research on brain differences are changing that belief.

“Considerably more women develop dementia in the Western world than men,” said Dr. Doug Brown, Director of Research at the Alzheimer’s Society, “and this isn’t just because they live longer.”

So what is driving the difference?

Women and Men Have Different Brains

We already know about a number of key differences between the genders when it comes to the brain. First, there are behavioral differences. Women, on average, excel in verbal ability, reading comprehension, writing ability, fine-motor coordination, and perceptual speed, and they’re also better at remembering things from long ago. 

The behavioral differences extend to the unhealthy side of our mental and emotional health, too. Women are twice as likely to suffer from clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, whereas men are more likely to become alcohol or drug-dependent, and 40 percent more likely to develop schizophrenia.

Men, on average, have superior visuospatial skills, in that they can “see” two- or three-dimensional shapes, correctly determine angles from the horizontal, and track moving objects. (Why you’re likely to give up the wheel to your guy when it comes time to parallel park.)

These differences are seen early on, usually in infants. Little girls respond more readily to faces and start talking earlier, and little boys react earlier to perceptual discrepancies that they can see.

The behavioral differences extend to the unhealthy side of our mental and emotional health, too. Women are twice as likely to suffer from clinical depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, whereas men are more likely to become alcohol or drug-dependent, and 40 percent more likely to develop schizophrenia.

Next, there are the physical differences. Men’s brains, on average, are bigger than women’s, but a woman’s hippocampus, which is involved in learning and memorization, is larger than a man’s. The amygdala, the emotional center of the brain, is bigger in men, too, and works differently than it does in women. After watching an emotionally powerful film, women showed greater activity in the left amygdala (there are two), while men showed more in the right.

There’s more communication between the left and right sides of women’s brains, whereas men have more localized brain activity. In fact, women have verbal centers on both sides, while men tend to have them only in the left. (Which could explain why your guy cringes when you say, “We have to talk.”)

Both genders process the same chemicals, like serotonin, but to different degrees. Ratios of gray and white matter differ, with men having more gray matter—involved in information- and action-processing—and women having more white matter, which is responsible for communication between different areas of the brain. There are differences in blood flow, too.

Of course, there are many things between the genders that are similar as well, and there are a lot of variations between individuals. We know that some women excel spatially and some men are great communicators, and we can find exceptions to every rule.

But when looking at the research as a whole, we find these basic differences that exist. Learning more about them could help women fare better when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders like depression and anxiety.

Gender Differences May be Tied to Disease Risk

As mentioned, women are more at risk for Alzheimer’s disease, as well as depression and anxiety. Men, on the other hand, are more at risk for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), substance abuse, and antisocial disorders.

First, we can take to heart the recommendations to eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and take good care of our hearts, as heart health is closely related to brain health. We can continue to learn new things and challenge our cognitive abilities as we age, and stay connected socially to those that matter to us while continuing to make new friends whenever possible.

New evidence suggests that our brain differences may be at least partially to blame for these risks. In an August 2017 study, for example, researchers reported that significant gender-related brain differences that could impact future Alzheimer’s treatments.

Using brain imaging data from 46,034 men and women, they found that women’s brains were significantly more active (with higher blood flow) in many more areas than men’s brains, especially in the prefrontal cortex, which is involved with focus and impulse control, and the emotional areas involved with mood and anxiety. The visual and coordination centers, on the other hand, were more active in men.

“The quantifiable differences we identified between men and women are important for understanding gender-based risk for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease,” said lead author Daniel G. Amen, M.D. “Using functional imaging tools…are essential to developing precision medicine brain treatments in the future.”

Researchers also theorized that the differences in blood flow could explain why women tend to be stronger in empathy and intuition, as well as self-control, and why they may be more vulnerable to anxiety and depression.

A couple years ago, researchers reported that women’s brains are more vulnerable to the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s than men’s. They typically decline faster after diagnosis, losing their memory and cognitive function twice as quickly.

“Women are disproportionally affected by Alzheimer’s,” said Maria Carrillo, chief scientific officer as the Alzheimer’s Association, “and there is an urgent need to understand if differences in brain structure, disease progression, and biological characteristics contribute to higher prevalence and rates of cognitive decline.”

Other researchers have suggested that women and men have very different experiences with Alzheimer’s, and that understanding these differences should be a high priority for future research.

How Women Can Protect Their Brains

How women’s brains work is only one area of Alzheimer’s research. Scientists are also looking at genetic differences and hormonal differences, and have found some evidence that these factors, too, may affect risk for and progression of the disease.

It is clear, however, from decades of research, that women’s brains differ from men’s. Women can use that knowledge to not only increase understanding in their relationships with men, but to adopt lifestyle habits that will help protect their brains.

First, we can take to heart the recommendations to eat well, exercise regularly, get enough sleep, and take good care of our hearts, as heart health is closely related to brain health. We can continue to learn new things and challenge our cognitive abilities as we age, and stay connected socially to those that matter to us while continuing to make new friends whenever possible.

But we can go beyond these basic (and important) steps to take stock of our own mental health. Women who are suffering from depression or anxiety may want to seek help sooner than later, to avoid a downward spiral that may have long-term consequences. They can track their health after menopause to reduce risk. (While hormone-replacement therapy within five years of menopause reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease, using it later in life increases risk, according to some studies.)

In the end, we may not be able to control whether or not our brains decline with age, but we don’t have to resign ourselves to fate. We can use our highly connected and intuitively powerful brains to raise the odds that we’ll continue to be able to outsmart the men in our lives.

Sources

Sarah Knapton, “Women at greater risk from dementia than men,” Telegraph, July 21, 2015, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/news/11754402/Women-at-greater-risk-from-dementia-than-men.html.

Bruce Goldman, “Two minds: The cognitive differences between men and women,” Standford Medicine, https://stanmed.stanford.edu/2017spring/how-mens-and-womens-brains-are-different.html.

Gregory L. Jantz, “Brain Differences Between Genders,” Psychology Today, February 27, 2014, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hope-relationships/201402/brain-differences-between-genders.

Zeenat Zaidi, “Gender Differences in Human Brain: A Review,” The Open Anatomy Journal, 2010; 2:37-55, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228549134_Gender_Differences_in_Human_Brain_A_Review.

Jesse Singal, “Here’s the Biggest Study Yet on the Differences Between Male and Female Brains,” Neuroscience Magazine, April 6, 2017, http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2017/04/heres-the-biggest-study-yet-on-sex-based-brain-differences.html.

University of California, Irvine, “Intelligence in Men and Women is a Gray and White Matter,” ScienceDaily, January 22, 2005, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/01/050121100142.htm.

“Study Finds Sex Differences in Mental Illnesses,” American Psychological Association (APA), August 18, 2011, http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2011/08/mental-illness.aspx.

Amen, Daniel G., et al., “Gender-Based Cerebral Perfusion Differences in 46,034 Functional Neuroimaging Scans,” Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, August 4, 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28777753.

Bec Crew, “Women’s Brains are more Vulnerable to Alzheimer’s Than Men’s, Studies Suggest,” Science Alert, July 24, 2015, https://www.sciencealert.com/women-s-brains-are-more-vulnerable-to-alzheimer-s-than-men-s-studies-suggest.

Fredrick Kunkle, “Why do more women get Alzheimer’s? Research points to genetics, other factors,” Washington Post, September 3, 2014, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/with-women-perhaps-facing-higher-risk-of-alzheimers-female-scientists-unite/2014/09/03/2aa0506c-28ab-11e4-8593-da634b334390_story.html.

 

The post How Women’s Brains Really Are Superior appeared first on Women's Health.

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Two things happened this week that should really worry Republicans

Amid the wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Irma and President Donald Trump’s stunning debt ceiling deal with Democrats, you almost certainly never heard these two names: Charlie Dent and Dave Reichert.


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Really cheap places to travel in Europe

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Who doesn’t love a good getaway? Better yet, who doesn’t love a good getaway without a massive dent in your bank balance? Whether it be a mini-break, a fully fledged vacation or a place to stop while on your travels, we’ve got some bargains for you:

Czech Republic

This country is well known for its capital city, Prague. Prague is renowned for its beer (a cheap beer at that) as well as its castle. With its origin dating back to the 10th century, Prague Castle is central to Eastern European history with an emperor, kings, and presidents choosing to make it their home throughout it’s standing. The Czech Republic also has a number of historical libraries that are truly beautiful.

Budapest

Budapest was established when three towns – Old Buda, Buda and Pest combined to form the stunning capital. It is known for its festivals and markets as well as value for money. Hop on a river cruise and feast your eyes on the wondrous architecture and renowned thermal springs. It is home to countless art galleries and museums as well as the famous Hungaroring Formula 1 racetrack.

Poland

Poland is home to many tiny towns that are so worth seeing. One of them being Gdansk – a town which birthed the once thriving anti-communist movement but is now an ancient looking city which is ever so modern in its culture. For buzzing polish nightlife – visit Krakow. It is said to have the most pubs per square meter in the world – so you can travel from one medieval cellar bar to the next with not much damage to your finances.

Berlin

To be utterly immersed in the German culture, visit its capital city, Berlin. Known for being modern and multicultural and home to so many quirky galleries, music, and theatre as well as contemporary art, where else would you rather be? Berlin has a whole breadth of history – some upsetting, but has very much shaped the wonderful city it is today – and you can see it all for a small cost.

Albania

In comparison to other countries in Europe, Albania is new to the world of tourism. 1991 saw the end of a brutal strain of communism in the country, which meant that Albania had some catching up to do – and boy, has it caught up. With mountain scenery, forgotten archeological sites and ancient villages – Albania – particularly the coast, is quite astounding.

Macedonia

This country is best known for its waterside town Ohrid and Lake Ohrid that has become a tourist phenomenon over the years. But Macedonia has so much more to offer – Skopje being an example – it has plenty of monuments, museums, and fountains to show for its ancient history. Don’t fear young backpackers; this capital is by all accounts for the young and old, as modernity and history combine. Known for its kind and helpful locals, you could easily venture across the mountains and walking trails that are oh so peaceful and uncrowded.

With each place listed here having a cool culture that satisfies all five senses within your being, and for a considerably low price than what you’d expect – why delay in booking your European getaway? We wouldn’t.

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We really need to talk about Doctor Foster season 2

The show that had us shouting at the TV is just around the corner. Here’s everything we know so far.

Doctor Foster

Remember those few weeks back in 2015 when all anyone could talk about was one BBC television show? That TV show, Doctor Foster, is about to return for a second season. But where can the story of spurned GP Gemma Foster go after season one’s explosive, and seemingly very final, conclusion? If we learned anything from series one, which saw a single blonde hair lead to the total annihilation of one woman’s personal life, then pretty much anywhere.

Remind us what happens in the first season of Doctor Foster?

In the opening episode of season one a successful and happily married GP called Gemma Foster (Suranne Jones) discovers one long, blonde hair on her husband Simon (Bertie Carvel)’s scarf. This single discovery kicks Gemma into a spiral of suspicion that leads to the revelation of Simon’s affair with 23-year-old Kate, the daughter of Gemma’s patient.

Which bits made us shout at the TV?

Most of these involved some slightly ridiculous plot twists that pushed our willing suspension of disbelief to its absolute limits: Gemma discovering Kate and Simon have gone on a cosy French holiday with their best friends (and taken some happy group photos she discovers on his secret affair phone), Gemma bursting into Simon’s office to see him kissing Kate in the garden – presumably in full view of Simon’s others colleagues – Kate telling Gemma she’s pregnant with Simon’s child, and even Gemma’s mother-in-law revealing she’s known about the affair for two years. We also watched Dr Foster’s professional life unravel at the same time as her marriage thanks to an avalanche of negative RateMyGP reviews (doesn’t rain but it pours).

Where will the story go in Doctor Foster season two?

You might remember the final showdown at Kate’s parents’ house at the end of season one, when Gemma engineers an awkward dinner party, then sets fire to the evening by revealing the affair and Kate’s pregnancy. Just before the credits we see Gemma in the town square with her son, having apparently split from Simon.

Fast-forward to season two, where the action is set to begin two years later – in real time given the show’s hiatus – after the divorce between Simon and Gemma has gone through. ‘We’re now going to tell the next chapter in Gemma’s story’, says the show’s writer Mike Bartlett, ‘her life in Parminster may look better on the surface, but as she will discover to her cost, every action has its consequences eventually. No one comes through hell unscathed.’ File that one under: lots of old wounds being opened when Simon comes back into Gemma’s life.

Who is returning to star in it?

The brilliant Suranne Jones – who won a TV BAFTA for season one – will return to play Gemma in season two, as will her estranged husband Simon, played by Bertie Carvel. We also know from the billing of Jodie Comer that Simon’s 23-year-old lover Kate is still in his life.  Our money’s on: a very bitter divorce battle, some regrettable make-up sex with Simon and several very public stand-offs in Parminster town square.

Much of the tension in season one rested on Gemma’s discovery of the affair – the big challenge for season two will be how Bartlett maintains that tension two years after the affair has unfolded. Can they do it? We’ll find out next Tuesday 5th.

The post We really need to talk about Doctor Foster season 2 appeared first on Marie Claire.

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This is probably a coincidence. Yes, yes: coincidence, sure it is, absolutely. There’s nothing there. Certainly. Absolutely. Completely. Right … ? Well, put it this way: As Michael Conforto was writhing at home plate Thursday afternoon, bottom of the fifth inning, Citi Field turned into a full-on morgue (though it hadn’t exactly been a Con…
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A Patek Philippe Watch Will Never Really Be Yours

Why is this high-end watch brand a favorite among cognoscenti? Attention to details, uncompromising quality of the components and a long watchmaking tradition – and the fact that the price of their watches always goes up in auctions doesn’t hurt. Gentleman’s Gazette presents the story of this prestigious brand and of its most famous models.

A FAMILY HEIRLOOM

Some time ago, while thumbing through the pages of a luxury magazine, I came across one of the most intriguing watch ads (which is a lot to say, for I created the first specialized watch magazine in Brazil in 1998). It was a Patek Philippe ad, showing a man and his son enjoying some leisure time. The slogan said, “You never actually own a Patek Philippe. You merely look after it for the next generation”. I thought, “Oh my, what are they saying? You’ll spend a considerable amount of money in a watch and will not own it?”

A family heirloom

A family heirloom

The same theme and slogan were used with different “father-son” duos, implying that this watch is not a frivolity, you are investing in an heirloom, and your kid will benefit from your wise choice. Someone commented that they are selling something that money can’t buy, such as family closeness and legacy.

A fine investment

A fine investment

It is not a new marketing approach at Patek. This lovely 1949 ad already explored the family spirit and reminded, “what could be a finer investment?”

The reference 1518, the most expensive wristwatch ever

The reference 1518, the most expensive wristwatch ever

Patek Philippe prices range from US$ 8,000 to the seven-digit range – and we are not talking about rare pieces such as the stainless steel 1518 (above) sold in November 2016 at a Phillips Bacs & Russo auction in Geneva. The hammer slammed at $ 11,136,642, making it the world’s most expensive wristwatch ever.

Why Patek command such high prices at auctions, making them sometimes even higher than the original retail price?

FIRST IT WAS PATEK, CZAPEK & CIE.

To understand this, we have to go back to 1839. As many watch companies, Patek Philippe started with two partners – in this case, the Polish Army lieutenant Antoni Norbert Patek (1812-1877) and his first partner, also Polish and a watchmaker, Franciszek Czapek (1811-1895).

Antoni Patek

Antoni Patek

Franciszek Czapek 

Franciszek Czapek

Patek and Czapek separated in 1844, the same year in which Patek met a French watchmaker, Jean Adrien Philippe (1815-1894). He was already famous for inventing the keyless winding mechanism in 1842.

Jean Adrien Philippe

Jean Adrien Philippe

PATEK PHILIPPE & CIE.

In 1845, Patek and Philippe joined forces, and the company was renamed to “Patek Philippe & Cie.” in 1851. Patek was responsible for sales and Philippe created new products, which did not take long to show up: in 1868, they made that which is arguably the first wristwatch in history for Countess Koscowicz of Hungary.  (It is interesting to observe that pocket watches were the rule for men until the 1930s; wristwatches were considered feminine objects…)

Countess Koscowicz watch

Countess Koscowicz watch

Patek died in 1877, but his surviving partner kept on managing the company. In 1880, a Patek Philippe watch was awarded the first prize in the precision competition of the Observatoire de Genève.  The death of Adrien Philippe in 1894 changed things a bit and, in 1901, the company became a business corp. In 1932, two brothers, Charles and Jean Stern, acquired the control of Patek Philippe.

Philippe and Thierry Stern, Patek presidents

Philippe and Thierry Stern, Patek presidents

Philippe Stern, Charles’ grandson, became General Manager in 1977 and President in 1993. Thierry, Philippe’s son, became President in 2009, with his father as Honorary President.

Patek Philippe Museum

Patek Philippe Museum

Presently, Patek Philippe is the last family owned and independent manufacture in Geneva. Their main unit is in Plan-les-Ouates, south of Geneva; the cases and bracelets unit is in Perly and the Patek Philippe Museum is in Plainpalais.

PATEK’S MOST EMBLEMATIC MODELS

With a quite extensive history and over seventy patents, Patek Philippe certainly has many interesting watch models. But, what makes these watches be what they are?

The Poinçon de Genève seal

The Poinçon de Genève seal

First, even though most Swiss watch companies are in La Chaux-des-Fonds, Le Locle, and Bienne, the canton of Geneva houses a few of them. In 1886, The Geneva School of Horology created the Geneva Seal – or Poinçon de Genève, as they say in French. To deserve it and present it on their watches, a company must obey 12 technical specifications and be mechanical (self-winding or hand-wound). If a single Seal is a prowess, this says much about the fact that every watch made by Patek Philippe has the Geneva Seal stamped on the movement.

Gianni Agnelli and his Patek Philippe 1415 HU, or Universal Time

Gianni Agnelli and his Patek Philippe 1415 HU, or Universal Time

Second, the company is a manufacture, meaning that they control every stage in the production of their watches. Third, some models are made in very limited numbers: they record every watch ever produced since 1839, including those worn by celebrities such as Albert Einstein, Queen Victoria, and Gianni Agnelli, who we have already seen in a previous Gentleman of Style article at Gentleman’s Gazette.

Which are their most emblematic models?

The Calatrava reference 5120J

The Calatrava reference 5120J

The Calatrava was launched in 1932, after the Stern brothers bought the company. It is a clean watch, with a gold or platinum case. Some of the versions, such as the ref. 5120J shown above, have a hobnail (or Clous de Paris) bezel, a white enamel dial and black roman indexes. It is the zenith of discretion and elegance for an elegant black-tie event, with an average price of US$ 13,000.

Jack Welch and his Calatrava

Jack Welch and his Calatrava

Among famous owners of Calatravas, you’ll find Jack Welch of General Electric. (By the way, check the elegant Order of the Garter buttons on Welch’s blazer.)

The Golden Ellipse

The Golden Ellipse

The Golden Ellipse was launched in 1968 with the rectangular, rounded case inscribed inside the “Golden Ratio”, an irrational mathematical constant indicated by the Greek letter phi as a tribute to the sculptor Phidias, who used it in the Parthenon. Scientists found out that this proportion – 1.618 approximately – is everywhere in nature, such as in the nautilus seashell, beehives and other places: the proportion between the bigger and the smaller side is 1.618.

The Golden Ratio

The Golden Ratio

Patek Philippe used this ratio in the Golden Ellipse, creating another watch of rare beauty. Among its models, I suggest the reference 3738/100J, shown above, an ultra-thin, self-winding model. In the mid-seventies, Patek Philippe launched a Golden Ellipse ad in the French Vogue Hommes, saying something like, “you can’t see the seconds in a Golden Ellipse? It’s fine – you don’t drink Champagne to quench your thirst.” Expect to pay something to the order of US$ 22,000 for it.

Golden Ellipse cufflinks

Golden Ellipse cufflinks

If you browse the web a bit, you may find a pair of Patek cufflinks with the Golden Ellipse motif.

The original Nautilus

The original Nautilus

The Nautilus was released in 1976, with the original model in stainless steel. The designer was none other than Gérald Genta, who also created the Royal Oak for Audemars Piguet and the Ingenieur for IWC, among other creations. The case evokes a ship’s hatch, a hint to its sportive – mainly nautical – vocation. Brad Pitt, a great watch collector, has a Nautilus, given to him by Angelina Jolie. (He also has a very rare 1952 Patek worth US$ 3MM, also a gift from his former beloved.)

The Aquanaut

The Aquanaut

Also with maritime inclination, the Aquanaut is a 1997 release with gold or steel case; the latter is the main version, with a rubber band to match its decisive sportive look, even though it does not follow true diver’s watch rules.

COMPLICATED WATCHES, PATEK’S FORTE

But it is in the horological complications – name given in watchmaking to any function beyond timekeeping – that Patek’s true colors really fly.

World Time

World Time

A recent complicated watch from Patek Philippe, and a popular one, if we may use “popular” and this brand name in the same sentence, is the World Time. (You may see the reference 5130G in white gold above.) The new model is a recreation of a 1930s watch that indicates not only the local time, but also the time in any of the 24 world time zones, thanks to two rotating disks.

A 1940s World Time watch, reference 1415

A 1940s World Time watch, reference 1415

In a 2006 auction at Antiquorum, a 1940s World Time yellow gold Patek Philippe watch such as the one above was sold for over € 150,000. The new model may be purchased for $ 43,000.

The Dalai Lama and his pocket Patek Philippe, reference 658

The Dalai Lama and his pocket Patek Philippe, reference 658

Moving up still further, we find the useful and intriguing calendar watches. The Dalai Lama owns a gold pocket watch by Patek, reference 658, with a political background. In 1943, in His Holiness own words, “the Allies wanted to make a road over Tibet from Assam, in India, to China. So two American military representatives came with a letter from President Roosevelt and a box containing a gold watch. A Patek Philippe.  I was very excited.  It was a very beautiful, very smart model. I still have it and it still works.”

One of the representatives from the Office of Strategic Services was Ilia Tolstoi, a grandson of the novelist (who, incidentally, also wore a Patek Philippe); the other was Brooke Dolan. They carried the Patek and a letter from President Roosevelt to the young Dalai – he was 8 or 9 then – and received a “khata”, a ceremonial silk scarf from him.

It is interesting to know that the Dalai Lama is very fond of watches, and they are one of his few hobbies. Again in his own words, from his book Ethics for the New Millenium, “I have always enjoyed repairing watches. But I can remember a number of occasions as a boy when, completely losing my patience with those tiny, intricate parts, I picked up the mechanism and smashed it down on the table. Of course, later I felt very sorry and ashamed of my behavior–especially when, as on one occasion, I had to return the watch to its owner in a condition worse than it was before!”

The Dalai Lama also owns some Rolexes, always being careful to wear them turned 180 degrees around the wrist in order to be discrete and not ostensive. After all, he is the leader of six million Tibetan Buddhists and one of the most admired spiritual figures of our time, and obviously, he is careful not to project the wrong image.

The reference 658 with black dial

The reference 658 with black dial

A beautiful black dial version of the same model was sold in a Sotheby’s auction in New York on December 2014 for $ 527,000. The auction house declared that it was the first reference 658 to have been produced and the only one of 15 with a black dial. Its features include a perpetual calendar with four subsidiary dials for month and leap year, day, date, constant seconds and moon phases, split-seconds chronograph, a minute repeater with two hammers on two gongs. This model is a Grand Complication, including all three types of complications: visual indicators (such as a chronograph), astronomical indicators (moon phases) and acoustical indicators (as minute repeaters).

The Sky-Moon Tourbillon

The Sky-Moon Tourbillon

Another Grand Complication from Patek Philippe, in this case, a wristwatch, is the Sky-Moon Tourbillon (the ref. 5002J above, in yellow gold, sells for around $ 1,5 million), the most complicated wristwatch they have ever made and the first with dials on both sides.

The list of indications includes, in the front dial, the minute repeater with cathedral chimes, tourbillon escapement (a mechanism that helps to maintain the watch very precise), perpetual calendar (meaning it does not need adjustments on leap years), just to name a few. The back side shows sidereal time, a sky map (thus its name), and the moon’s phase and orbit.

Sure, a Patek Philippe – any model, as you have seen – is expensive. But consider the amount of time needed to produce one watch: it takes nine months to assemble a Golden Ellipse, or several years for a complicated model. As one of their ads say, “every element is microscopically hand-finished to a tolerance which represents a fraction of the thickness of a human hair”. Then comes testing and regulating, with many hours spent on these fine procedures to ensure that even a mechanical Patek (yes, they have some quartz models) is precise to a fault.

Actually, the gold in a Patek never represents more than 25% of its cost; its main cost is the “time, patience, tradition and absolute dedication to flawlessness”. And, as one of their best ads say, “The value of a gold Patek Philippe goes up, even when the price of gold goes down”…

links for Philips Bacs & Russo – https://www.phillips.com/departments/department?DepartmentName=Watches; for Antiquorum – http://www.antiquorum.com/home/; for Sothebys – http://www.sothebys.com/en/departments/watches.html; for Gianni Agnelli as Gentleman of Style in GG – https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/gianni-agnelli-style-gentleman/


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Gmail’s iPhone app just got a really important new feature

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Gmail’s iPhone app just got a lot more secure.

The app is now able to warn you about potential phishing attacks when you click on a shady link, Google announced Friday.

If you click on a link that Google thinks could be suspicious, you’ll see a warning asking if you’re “sure you want to proceed.” 

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Did Adam Conover really ruin breastfeeding?

by

Charlie Brooks

posted in Parenting

The TV show Adam Ruins Everything gives comedian Adam Conover a platform to dispel some myths in our society. Last month, the show tackled parenting, including the breastfeeding versus formula feeding debate. For those who didn’t catch it, you can watch a segment here. Long story short: You aren’t a failure of a mother if you don’t breastfeed.

Throughout every episode of this show, little blurbs in the corner of the screen show citations that back up each claim. It’s hard to fact-check a comedy show while you’re enjoying it, but I thought it might be interesting to check this segment’s sources. Here are the claims in the clip and their associated citations.

Breastfeeding Pros and Cons

“Breastfeeding is normal, natural, and great.” Source: The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2016. That’s a vague citation, but I’m betting it’s referencing the fact that this organization published a Committee Opinion in 2016 that reiterated its recommendation that parents exclusively breastfeed for a baby’s first six months.

“Breastfeeding takes 35 hours a week.” Source: Courtney Jung, Lactivism, 2015. The full title of Jung’s book is Lactivism: How Feminists and Fundamentalists, Hippies and Yuppies, and Physicians and Politicians Made Breastfeeding Big Business and Bad Policy. Jung’s book claims that the push for breastfeeding is more about money than health.

Jung herself appears in the segment as a “professor and lactation expert.” She is a professor, but not of medicine — she’s part of the University of Toronto’s Department of Political Science. I don’t know what makes somebody a lactation expert, but I could find no evidence that she has special training in that area.

As the title might indicate, Jung’s book has drawn its share of controversy. Notably, Melissa Bartick, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Cambridge Health Alliance, tore into Jung’s claims and methods, comparing her tactics to the fearmongering of Donald Trump.

The 35 hours per week figure comes from Jung’s estimation that a new mother spends about five hours per day breastfeeding. There’s room to argue about that number’s accuracy, since every baby has different eating habits. However, most folks won’t argue that breastfeeding does take a significant time investment.

Benefits of Formula

“Babies grew up malnourished or died if their moms couldn’t breastfeed.” Source: Emily E. Stevens, et. al, The Journal of Perinatal Education, Spring 2009. Stevens’ article, “A History of Infant Feeding,” states that the lack of milk storage and sterilization meant that one-third of artificially fed babies in the early 19th century.

(Paraphrase alert) Formula and breast milk are not nutritionally different. Source: Camilia R. Martin et. Al, Nutrients, May 2016. This is misleading. Martin’s “Review of Infant Feeding” states that breast milk is preferable, but that “For healthy newborns whose mothers are unable to provide sufficient breast milk, the current option of choice is infant formula.”

Breastfeeding versus Formula

Oxytocin and Breastfeeding

“The media calls [oxytocin] the love hormone.” Source: Ed Yong, New Scientist, Feb 2012. The article in New Scientist explains that this hormone has a dark side, such as fostering racism. The magazine is not peer reviewed. Yong himself is a science journalist reporting on other professionals’ findings.

“[Oxytocin] is also released when you do things like fire a gun or watch porn. Source: Ed Yong, Slate, 17 Jul 2012. Like New Scientist, Slate is a news source rather than a peer-reviewed journal. The article includes statements from multiple professionals that downplay the supposed miracles of oxytocin as media hype.

“There is no convincing support for a connection between breastfeeding and the quality of the mother-infant relationship.” Source: Jarno Jansen et. al, Developmental Review, Dec 2008. This is a peer-reviewed source, and the show is correct about the study’s conclusion. As of 2008, there wasn’t enough evidence to claim that breastfeeding improved the mother-infant bond.

Moms Who Can’t Breastfeed

“15 percent of moms can’t breastfeed.” Source: Courtney Jung, Lactivism, 2015. This is misleading – the actual quote from Jung is, “Doctors estimate that up to 15 percent of women suffer from either primary or secondary lactation failure.” I guess it doesn’t make good TV to say you’re using the high end of an estimate.

My Take Away

I like Adam Ruins Everything, and I like that it lists its sources so I can look into them myself. In this case, the segment’s use of Jung is a bit iffy due to the mixed reviews of the science behind her book. The show was also directly misleading about one of its cited studies.

As a whole, though, I agree with the segment’s premise – moms who formula feed shouldn’t feel bad about it. The science supporting formula feeding as equivalent to breastfeeding is not as clear-cut as the show suggests, but formula remains a viable option for those who want or need it. Feed your baby and be happy.

Do you think this segment prevented a fair view of breastfeeding and formula feeding?

Images by Carolyne Dubé, Bradley Gordon

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Doctor in Hospital to Give Birth Herself Jumps in to Deliver Fellow Patient’s Baby: ‘She’s a Really Special Person’

A Kentucky doctor who was in her own hospital room preparing to give birth to her second baby heard screaming from the room next door and jumped in to help, delivering that patient’s baby because the on-call doctor was out of the building.

“I just put on another gown to cover up my backside and put on some boots over my shoes, to keep from getting any fluid and all that stuff on me, and went down to her room,” Dr. Amanda Hess told TV station WKYT.

Dr. Hess — an obstetrician/gynecologist hours away from delivering her own child at Frankfort Regional Medical Center in Frankfort, Kentucky — recognized the woman screaming as a patient from her practice who she happened to have seen the week before for a final pre-natal appointment.

Leah Halliday-Johnson, 38, tells PEOPLE that she was only 1-cm. dilated when she checked into the hospital but an hour later her fourth child was arriving faster than expected and with the umbilical cord loosely wrapped around her neck. The nurses asked her to try not to push because the on-call doctor was still on his way back from his break, she says.

“I was not being quiet about the fact that it was difficult for me not to push,” Halliday-Johnson says, adding that with no time for any pain medication, she let out a scream or two.

Dr. Hess, who had checked into the hospital that same night, had already changed into her patient gown and was preparing to be induced when she heard the commotion. “She overheard the nurses preparing for a woman in active labor who needed to deliver immediately because the baby was in distress — that baby was coming and needed help,” fellow physician Dr. Hala Sabry wrote on Facebook.

Halliday-Johnson said didn’t know until later that Dr. Hess wasn’t on duty at the hospital but actually had been in her own hospital room down the hall.

“I said, OK, it’s great to see you. Can I push now?” Halliday-Johnson said. “She was in complete doctor mode. She just heard somebody needed help.”

Dr. Hess realized there was no time to wait and delivered Halliday-Johnson’s healthy 8-lb. girl at about 8:40 p.m. on July 23 after two quick pushes, says the relieved mom. The new baby joins a sister, 14, and brothers aged 5 and 4.

“I had actually taken a call the day before, so I thought really that I was working up to the last minute. But this was literally ’til the last second,” Dr. Hess told TV station WLEX.

“She’s a really special person,” Halliday-Johnson says. “I’m thankful for her.”

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The on-call doctor arrived shortly after and completed the rest of the procedures while Dr. Hess went back to her own room, Halliday-Johnson says.

Dr. Hess later gave birth to her own baby, a girl she named Ellen Joyce, who joins sister Kate, according to Sabry.

“It’s life-affirming that there are these women out there watching out for other women,” Halliday-Johnson says. “She has made me feel good about life.”


PEOPLE.com

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Does Angelina Jolie really believe that anyone is buying this?

Angelina Jolie, master media manipulator, is back. A quick recap: After Jolie suddenly filed for divorce from Brad Pitt last September, leaks hit TMZ nearly every five minutes, and they seemed to come from one side only. Pitt was a heavy drinker. He cheated on Jolie with a co-star and — one of the weirdest…
Opinion | New York Post

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If Carmelo really wants to leave Knicks, there’s a way to ensure it

On the one hand, it is perfectly understandable why Carmelo Anthony feels he should be entitled to drive the agenda now. For months he sat in stony silence while his name and reputation were bloodied by his ex-boss. He was determined to win his cold war with Phil Jackson. And won it. Now, he wants…
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Apparently not just anyone is allowed to drive this car.

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22 Dads Explain What Paternity Leave is Really Like in America

How fathers are cobbling together days, weeks, and, in some cases, months to be with their newborns.

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Did Bob Dylan Really Plagiarize SparkNotes In His Nobel Lecture?

This month, American bard Bob Dylan finally delivered his Nobel lecture, many months after he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. The lecture, traditionally given days before the award ceremony in December, must be delivered by those who accept the award within six months. Dylan slipped in his assignment just under the deadline.

Now, however, another Nobel controversy has arisen for the singer-songwriter: Numerous outlets have reported that he may have plagiarized from SparkNotes during a long passage on Herman Melville’s Moby Dick in his long-awaited lecture. 

The discovery stems from a line in which Dylan appears to directly quote Moby Dick. “A Quaker pacifist priest, who is actually a bloodthirsty businessman, tells Flask, ‘Some men who receive injuries are led to God, others are led to bitterness,’” said Dylan. One problem: that line never appears in the actual novel.

Writer Ben Greenman noted in a blog that the quote appeared to have been fabricated. Then, Andrea Pitzer tracked down a similar quote, not in the book itself but on an entry about Moby Dick on the website SparkNotes ― a website that, like the iconic CliffsNotes, provides summaries, character descriptions and thematic breakdowns of books for students to use during study (or use to skip the reading altogether). In a Slate piece, Pitzer documents over a dozen other instances in which Dylan’s discussion of the classic book closely mirrors language found in SparkNotes.

This may seem to fall in a gray area of plagiarism ― most of the matching snippets Pitzer lists consist of phrases or pacing choices in Dylan’s summary of the book, not full sentences or passages. There’s a good chance that it was at least inadvertent: In preparing his speech, he consulted SparkNotes to brush up on his Melville, then had their framing and word choices floating in his head when he sat down to write. 

Some scholars defended his cribbing from SparkNotes to the Minnesota Star-Tribune, suggesting that it was simply an artistic allusion and even a mocking wink at the Nobel committee. “His lecture is … meant to be a post-modern work of art,” said Alex Lubet, a music professor at the University of Minnesota. 

Maybe it was simple plagiarism. Maybe it was a brilliant, paradigm-shifting artistic web of allusion. Or maybe, and perhaps most disappointingly, Dylan was just being lazy. “He’s on the road all the time. He just turned 76,” pointed out David Yaffe, a Syracuse University professor of humanities, to the Star-Tribune. “You could see him wanting to take a few shortcuts.”

Sure, sure ― except Dylan took an extra six months on his assignment only to turn in one that was hastily cobbled together with the aid of SparkNotes. Would the professors defending the musical icon for taking such “shortcuts” have similar patience for a student who cited SparkNotes instead of the assigned text because they were overwhelmed with classwork? Perhaps ― none of my literature professors were ever impressed by such an excuse.

Stephen Fallon, John J. Cavanaugh Professor of the Humanities at the University of Notre Dame, told HuffPost, “If a student borrowed [from SparkNotes] as Dylan does here, I’d be concerned about plagiarism, but I might give Dylan a pass as he’s not implicitly claiming as his own the ideas of someone else.” Still, “the fact that he clearly turned to SparkNotes raises doubts and also the question of why he didn’t at least skim the novel again before devoting a good chunk of a Nobel lecture to it.” (Editor’s Note: Stephen Fallon is the author of this post’s father.)

Any use of SparkNotes’s interpretations, as opposed to simple plot summary, would be more troubling, he added.

The Nobel Prize in Literature often goes to writers with many decades under their belt and a host of obligations, but this typically does not preclude them from crafting an original, erudite lecture. If Dylan was incapable of doing so ― even while taking advantage of his full six-month window to compose it ― he had the option of turning down the prize. Others, such as Jean-Paul Sartre, have done so in the past. 

Instead, it seems Dylan relied on sloppy shortcuts and the work of others to turn in a musically worded but less than original piece. He’s been accused of outright plagiarism before, but more meaningfully perhaps is that he’s been accused before of creating art that simply echoes or copies others’ work without acknowledging where his originality begins and ends. In 2011, questions were raised about an exhibition of his paintings at Gagosian Gallery, which were presented as “firsthand depictions of people, street scenes, architecture and landscape.” According to The New York Times, some critics pointed out that several of the paintings seemed to be copied from photo, reproducing the work of photographers in paint without altering the framing, perspective or composition.

Dylan typically gets out of these dust-ups easily enough, as scholars and fans are willing to assume that his every move was a conscious artistic choice ― a work of collage or allusion, rather than simply a borrowed piece of work passed off as original. Reading SparkNotes for a work rather than referencing the book itself points to something else, though. Dylan may be a great songwriter, a brilliant artist, and a cultural icon, but his Nobel lecture shows signs of an intellectual laziness that wouldn’t be accepted from a freshman English literature student. What a shame.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Andy Cohen Reveals Which Actor Was ‘Really Scared’ to Go on Watch What Happens Live

Andy Cohen knows he can be a bit intimidating while hosting Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen.

“I’m not afraid to ask questions, and people know that I’m going to be pushing them,” the TV personality says in the current issue of PEOPLE. “By the time people get to me, they know what they’re getting into.”

But Cohen, 49, says one star in particular was nervous to sit across from him in the WWHL “Clubhouse.”

“I know Ryan Reynolds was really scared that I was going to get really personal, and he was nervous, ” he says. “But it turned out well.”

RELATED VIDEO: Andy Cohen Plays a Revealing Game of ‘This or That’

And there have been other stars that have been pleasantly surprising.

Mariah Carey has been on a few times and is always game for whatever we want to do,” he says.

For more from Cohen, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now

Now Cohen is interviewing people in a completely different environment: Fox’s reboot of the classic dating game show Love Connection.

“I love setting people up and asking people awkward questions on television, so it seemed like a perfect fit,” he says. “Everyone loves hearing about first dates. When you see the show you think, ‘Why did it ever go off the air?’ ”

Love Connection airs Thursdays (at 9 p.m. ET) on Fox, and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen airs Sunday through Thursday (11 p.m. ET) on Bravo.


PEOPLE.com

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10 Mother’s Day Cards For A Mother-In-Law You Really, Truly Like

Not every mother-in-law is a monster-in-law.

In fact, there are some kick-ass MILs out there who deserve major love this Mother’s Day. Below, 10 cheeky cards to remind her just how awesome she really is. 

— 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.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Am I Really 40?

Trudging through the graveyard with the Ghost of Hipster Future.

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Do You Really Need to Wash Your Hairbrush?

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Why This Year’s Met Gala Is a Really Big Deal

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Do First Born Children Really Have Better Careers Than Their Siblings?

Here’s the bad news.

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9 Things Twins Are Really Sick Of Hearing

If you have a twin, you know that people tend to have a lot of pressing questions about the whole experience. (At this point, when someone asks “can you feel each other’s pain?” you have a canned response ready to go.) 

In the BBC Three video above, three sets of twins share some of the most common remarks they get from people, like “Which one are you?”

“Even our dad still gets us mixed up, it’s like come on,” one twin says, before explaining how some people distinguish them. “You’re the bigger one and you’re the… more thin one.” 

Rude. Watch the video above for more. 

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Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Having a Dark Sense of Humor Might Just Mean You’re Really Smart

Joke’s on everyone else.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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These Honest ‘Parenting Support’ Cards Say What Parents Really Need To Hear

There are greeting cards that congratulate new parents and parents-to-be on their growing families. So it makes sense that there should also be cards that acknowledge breast pumping, sleep deprivation and the other trials of raising children.

This week, greeting card designer Emily McDowell launched a new line of “Parenting Support” cards. The line features cards with messages like “You’re not a monster. Parenting is really hard” and “Hang in there, you’re doing great.”

”Parenting is really hard, and yet it’s frowned upon to publicly admit anything about it that could be perceived as negative, because of the fear that we’ll be judged as not loving our children enough, or pegged as a ‘bad mom,’” McDowell told The Huffington Post

“There’s a well-worn set of cultural expectations about how parents are supposed to feel about the experience of parenting, and women in particular get hammered with it, both from other people and within ourselves,” she added. “When reality doesn’t live up to those expectations, we end up with tremendous guilt and shame, and secretly concluding that ‘there must be something wrong with me’ ― which of course isn’t true.”

McDowell is a stepparent to an 11-year-old boy and also has two very young godsons. She told HuffPost her godsons’ mother has been her best friend for 25 years and served as “unofficial consultant” for her “Parenting Support” cards. 

The designer said she wants her cards to have an impact on people in the throes of parenting.  

“I hope parents who receive these cards (or even see them!) can feel a sense of relief and reassurance that they’re not failing, they’re not alone, and it’s totally normal and OK to both love your kid and have complicated feelings about being a mom or dad,” McDowell explained.

”Someone commented on my Instagram last week that she’d bought herself a whole set of our Empathy Cards (for serious illness and loss), not to send out, but to keep and look at when she wanted to feel understood,” she added. “I hope these can serve a similar purpose for parents.”

McDowell has three “Parenting Support” cards available on her website and is currently in the process of creating more. The next batch will focus on the way your relationship with your partner changes after having kids, issues of identity struggles and finding humor in parenting situations, from caring for infants to raising teenagers.

Said McDowell, “This is a hugely broad topic, and I’m really looking forward to finding different ways to look at it.”

— 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.

Style – The Huffington Post
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This Lady Gaga Parody Gives A ‘Million Reasons’ Why 2016 Really Sucked

The Cubs won the World Series. Harriet Tubman will take Andrew Jackson’s place on the $ 20 bill … Ken Bone? 

For sketch group Half Day Today, there are millions of reasons to walk away from 2016, and very few that would make us stay.

— 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.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Can H&M Really Make Fast Fashion Sustainable?

A look at the company’s ambitious new project.

Style – Esquire

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12 Thoughtful Gifts From Significant Others Who Really Listen

It really is the thought that counts.

And, tired as that saying may be, it still rings true. The gifts we treasure most are not the most lavish ones, but rather the ones that came straight from the hearts of the very people who know us best. Below, HuffPost readers share the most meaningful present they’ve ever received from their partners. 

1. The 100th date puppy

“I have always been a bit of a crazy dog lady. When me and my partner Mike first met, we had this silly running joke that after 100 dates I would come home one day to a puppy. I had never really thought much of it but a couple of years later, I came home to a tiny dog collar in a gift bag and was told our cocker spaniel puppy would be on his way to us in a few weeks. I initially wanted to kill Mike for buying a dog without us discussing it, but then he reminded me that he always keeps his promises and it was our 100th date that night. So now not only do we have our gorgeous dog Rupert, but I couldn’t believe Mike had remembered our silly ‘100th date’ promise after all that time.” ― Katy D. 

2. The nostalgic Christmas book

“Our first Christmas together my now-husband got me one of those books where you can record someone reading it. He got my dad to record ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas which he always read to me and my sister as kids. It was the sweetest gift I ever got. The fact that he went through all the secrets with my family, whom he had only met a few times, to get the recording for me made it the best gift I ever got.” ― Darcy T. 

3. The coveted Happy Meal toy 

“Last year, my boyfriend of nine years and I were talking about feel-good moments from our childhood, I was reminiscing about ‘The Little Mermaid’ toys that came in Happy Meals in the early 90s. My brothers and I only had Happy Meals as a special treat, so that made the toys all the more coveted. Flounder was the most fought over toy between my brothers and me ― he was so cool because he spit water out of his mouth. I just remember always having so much fun playing with these toys. So I was telling my boyfriend this, we laughed about it and that was that. A month or so later, a package came in the mail. He opens it and says, ‘I forgot I ordered these!’ Out comes a complete, still-in-the-individual-plastic-wrappers set of the original ‘Little Mermaid’ Happy Meal toys! And TWO Flounders! He had gone on eBay and ordered them after our conversation. For no reason but to make me smile, he went out of his way to hunt them down.”― Bre G. 

4. The sentimental butter dish

”My husband does not go shopping ― ever. He got me diamond stud earrings for Christmas 1981. They were perfect, so he called it done, which I was okay with. The year my mom died, he accidentally broke her butter dish. I accepted it and let it go. We have a couple blocks of antique stores on the old side of town. He went through all of them and bought the one closest to the one that broke. That was the sweetest thing.” ― Nancy S.

5. The handwritten recipes straight from Grandma herself 

“My fiancé coordinated with my grandmother to have her write two of my favorite recipes of hers down on nice paper and framed them for me. They now hang in our kitchen. I’m not usually an emotional person but I just about cried opening them on Christmas morning!” ― Darryl Ann G.

6. The cross-country move

“My then-boyfriend moved to California from Chicago four years ago in December 2012. We spent our first Christmas together after meeting in June while on vacation in Miami. His physical presence that Christmas was one of the best gifts he has ever given me. We’re both very family-oriented and the thought that he left his family behind on that particular holiday month still hurts my heart. However, our loved prevailed and we’re now set to spend the rest of our lives together. Our families are so excited.” ― Alma R.

7. The motherhood gift that was four years in the making

“I received the most meaningful gift from my husband moments before we met our son first the first time via adoption. We had made the long drive from Iowa to Florida and had finally arrived in the hospital parking lot. I was rustling through paperwork, bags and tissues in a hurry so we could quickly make it inside and not miss our son’s delivery. My husband calmly grabbed my hands and handed me a gift. He said, ‘I’ve been waiting 4 years to give you a gift to celebrate the day you became a mother’ after many years of infertility. I opened the box, and inside was a beautiful necklace with our son’s initials and his birth stone. My heart overflowed knowing it meant so very much for him to give it to me.” ― Amy L.  

8. The heart-shaped bench 

“My now-husband built this bench out of wood from his childhood playhouse. We sat on it at our wedding and now it sits in our dining room. It is hands down the most beautiful gift he has ever given me.” ― Kate E.

9. The sweet scrapbook

“He made a scrapbook and on each page was a different saying. One page said, ‘Because you are beautiful,’ and there was a gift card to Sephora. Another page said, ‘Because you are smart’ with a card to Barnes and Noble. And so on.” ― Donna S.

10. The enchanted rose

“I love ‘Beauty and the Beast’ so he made me a replica enchanted rose. He bought all the items separately and then used string to tie the rose in. I almost cried when he gave it to me!” ― Bethany W.

11. The romantic wall art

“My then-boyfriend and I had just said our ‘I love yous’ when HuffPost Weddings ran this adorable article about Philippa Rice’s “Soppy” illustration series. I instantly fell in love with it. He must have remembered because I was given a book of her drawings for Valentine’s Day. When he was the best man in a wedding, he found a wonderful poem he shared with me by Sherley Anne Williams while researching for his toast. For my birthday at the end of May, my lovely now-fiancé presented me with this amazing gift ― a combination of these two pieces of art.” ― Brianne J.

12. The picture blanket 

“My husband got this blanket for me for Christmas one year. It’s a collage of us and our fur babies. I love it so much.” ― Ashleigh P.

**Some responses have been edited and condensed for clarity. 

— 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.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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13 Cognitive Biases That Really Screw Things Up For You

2016-12-01-1480620871-9215537-CognitiveBiasesThatReallyScrewThingsUpForYouHP

The human brain is a natural wonder. It produces more than 50,000 thoughts each day and 100,000 chemical reactions each second. With this amount of processing power, you would think our judgment would be highly accurate, but that’s far from the case.

Our judgments are often inaccurate because the brain relies on cognitive biases over hard evidence. Cognitive bias is the tendency to make irrational judgments in consistent patterns.

Researchers have found that cognitive bias wreaks havoc by forcing people to make poor, irrational judgments:

  • A Queensland University study found that blonde women earned, on average, 7% higher salaries than redheads and brunettes.
  • A Duke study found that people with “mature” faces experienced more career success than those with “baby” faces. “Baby” faces were defined as those with small chins, wider cheeks, and bigger eyes. “Mature” faces were those with bigger chins, narrower facial features, and smaller eyes.
  • A Yale study found that female scientists were not only more likely to hire male scientists but they also paid them4,000 more than female scientists.

It’s highly unlikely that the people in these studies actually wanted to pay blondes more money, enable people with mature faces to succeed at the expense of those with baby faces, or hire male scientists disproportionally and pay them more money. Our unconscious biases are often so strong that they lead us to act in ways that are inconsistent with reason as well as our values and beliefs.

Let’s explore some of the most common types of cognitive biases that entrench themselves in our lives. Awareness is the best way to beat these biases, so pay careful attention to how they influence you.

1. The decoy effect. This occurs when someone believes they have two options, but you present a third option to make the second one feel more palatable. For example, you visit a car lot to consider two cars, one listed for $ 30,000 and the other for $ 40,000. At first, the $ 40,000 car seems expensive, so the salesman shows you a $ 65,000 car. Suddenly, the $ 40,000 car seems reasonable by comparison. This salesman is preying on your decoy bias–the decoy being the $ 65,000 car that he knows you won’t buy.

2. Affect heuristic. Affect heuristic is the human tendency to base our decisions on our emotions. For example, take a study conducted at Shukutoku University, Japan. Participants judged a disease that killed 1,286 people out of every 10,000 as being more dangerous than one that was 24.14% fatal (despite this representing twice as many deaths). People reacted emotionally to the image of 1,286 people dying, whereas the percentage didn’t arouse the same mental imagery and emotions.

3. Fundamental attribution error. This is the tendency to attribute situational behavior to a person’s fixed personality. For example, people often attribute poor work performance to laziness when there are so many other possible explanations. It could be the individual in question is receiving projects they aren’t passionate about, their rocky home life is carrying over to their work life, or they’re burnt out.

4. The ideometer effect.
This refers to the fact that our thoughts can make us feel real emotions. This is why actors envision terrible scenarios, such as the death of a loved one, in order to make themselves cry on cue and activities such as cataloging what you’re grateful for can have such a profound, positive impact on your wellbeing.

5. Confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is the tendency to seek out information that supports our pre-existing beliefs. In other words, we form an opinion first and then seek out evidence to back it up, rather than basing our opinions on facts.

6. Conservatism bias. This bias leads people to believe that pre-existing information takes precedence over new information. Don’t be quick to reject something just because it’s radical or different. Great ideas usually are.

7. The ostrich effect.
The ostrich effect is aptly named after the fact that ostriches, when scared, literally bury their heads in the ground. This effect describes our tendency to hide from impending problems. We may not physically bury our heads in the ground, but we might as well. For example, if your company is experiencing layoffs, you’re having relationship issues, or you receive negative feedback, it’s common to attempt to push all these problems away, rather than to face them head on. This doesn’t work and simply delays the inevitable.

8. Reactance. Reactance is our tendency to react to rules and regulations by exercising our freedom. A prevalent example of this is children with overbearing parents. Tell a teenager to do what you say because you told them so, and they’re very likely to start breaking your rules. Similarly, employees who feel mistreated or “Big Brothered” by their employers are more likely to take longer breaks, extra sick days, or even steal from their company.

9. The halo effect. The halo effect occurs when someone creates a strong first impression and that impression sticks. This is extremely noticeable in grading. For example, often teachers grade a student’s first paper, and if it’s good, are prone to continue giving them high marks on future papers even if their performance doesn’t warrant it. The same thing happens at work and in personal relationships.

10. The horn effect.
This effect is the exact opposite of the halo effect. When you perform poorly at first, you can easily get pegged as a low-performer even if you work hard enough to disprove that notion.

11. Planning fallacy. Planning fallacy is the tendency to think that we can do things more quickly than we actually can. For procrastinators, this leads to incomplete work, and this makes type-As overpromise and underdeliver.

12. The bandwagon effect. The bandwagon effect is the tendency to do what everyone else is doing. This creates a kind of groupthink, where people run with the first idea that’s put onto the table instead of exploring a variety of options. The bandwagon effect illustrates how we like to make decisions based on what feels good (doing what everyone else is doing), even if they’re poor alternatives.

13. Bias blind spot.
If you begin to feel that you’ve mastered your biases, keep in mind that you’re most likely experiencing the bias blind spot. This is the tendency to see biases in other people but not in yourself.

Bringing It All Together

Recognizing and understanding bias is invaluable because it enables you to think more objectively and to interact more effectively with other people.

Which of these biases have you experienced? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below, as I learn just as much from you as you do from me.

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Here’s a Really Good Reason to Go Au Naturale Down There

We did not see this one coming.

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Are Sex Addiction and Porn Addiction Really a Hoax?

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Did Sexual Violence Really Add Value to Westworld?

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Tom Hanks Says He Won’t Run for President: ‘Really? Is This Where We Are?’

Tom Hanks is not running for president, but he is trying to make America feel better about its next Commander in Chief.

The Inferno star delivered a heartfelt speech Tuesday night at the Museum of Modern Art’s ninth annual film benefit in New York City. Hanks, the night’s honoree and longtime Democratic supporter, assured the star-studded audience that “we are going to be all right” after Donald Trump’s election. Steven Spielberg, Rupert Murdoch, Stephen Colbert, Emma Watson, Steve Martin and Hanks’ wife Rita Wilson were just some of the famous faces in the crowd.

The speech also addressed filmmaker Michael Moore’s recent suggestion that Hanks run for president. The Bowling for Columbine director argued on CNN that Democrats would be better off with a well-liked celebrity on their ticket — as Republicans have done with Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger and now Donald Trump.

“I don’t know what to make of that,” Hanks said of Moore’s idea ahead of the benefit. “Really? Is this where we are? I don’t think so. I wouldn’t make a good CPA much less anything else,” he added with a laugh.

Moore had also proposed that Oprah Winfrey run for president, and during the benefit’s Hank tribute, the talk show mogul appeared via a prerecorded video and compelled one audience member to shout, “Run for president!”

Hanks never mentioned the President-Elect by name during the 10-minute speech. Read the transcript in full at EW.

While he might not be running for office, Hanks is set to receive the nation’s highest civilian honor later this month. The two-time Oscar winner is one of 21 big names in the 2016 class of Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients, the White House announced in a press release on Wednesday.


PEOPLE.com

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What Every Mother Really Wants

Hello, America. Are you thinking about Mother’s Day? Feeling a tad guilty because the woman that merely gave you life has not yet merited a trip to the card store yet? Oh I know, you’re SO BUSY. Take it from this mom of three, keep your cards/flowers/chocolates. Momma wants a pharmaceutical, and I’m not suggesting showing up to Sunday brunch with a “J” in tow. (Noted exception; if you’re living in CO).

As for the rest of you, don’t be obtuse, I’m talking about taking a step into the time machine. Sigh. Work with me, please.

Before she was Your Mom, she was a smoking hot babe. And then YOU came along. With all the glories of weight gain, stretch marks and breastfeeding. The colic. The teething. The picky eater. And all before you could walk. So thanks for that hazing ritual, it sure kept things real. Real shitty.

Now that you’re sailing through adulthood, how do you intend to right your wrongs? Listen closely, let me whisper the magical salve that she craves; Botox.

Make an appointment for her with the dermatologist. Posthaste.

Accompany Mom to the doctor’s office full of bravado, engage in small talk with a medical assistant that undoubtedly attended a sub-par technician school (she’s nice enough), and have her succumb to needles. Willingly elect to have many needles full of Botulism injected into your MOTHER’S FACE. She will emerge looking rested, well — once the swelling subsides. This will undoubtedly make up for the teenage years. Maybe even the macabre tattoos on your forearm. Who knows? You could very well end up the favorite after all.

The kicker — you’ll pay for this privilege. A lot. My advice, don’t look for “a deal” when shopping around for injectables. Yes I know, I hate to pay retail too. Wholesale is actually a derivative word from Hebrew, meaning “don’t be a schmuck.” Sidenote: I am so grateful my parents sacrificed so much to send me to a Jewish day school. My math skills are remedial and my geography is strictly limited to former French colonies. I cannot locate Ohio. Alors.

I digress.

Despite my children trying to push me over the literal edge daily (we no longer hike), I refuse to succumb. REFUSE. And there is no reason why you should look like a hag either, the world needs more pretty. I could swear that’s a Beyonce song. It’s practically unpatriotic not to subscribe. What would Mom want? An Ameri-can or an Ameri-can’t? Thought so. Consumerism is very USA.

So a shout-out of appreciation from this Momma to Botox and big pharma for getting this anti-perspiration drug approved off-script by the FDA to prevent wrinkles. Sure, we’ve got Alzheimer’s, Heart Disease and Cancer. But, priorities people! Contrary to what you’ve read, these enterprises need to be celebrated for their foresight and vision. Your mother will thank me. Well, not “me” per se, but derivatively, there will be gratitude felt.

— 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.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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3 Women Share What It’s Really Like to Have a Threesome

“Everything was exciting.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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3 Women Share What It’s Really Like to Have a Threesome

“Everything was exciting.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

SHOPPING DEALS UPDATE:


3 Women Share What It’s Really Like to Have a Threesome

“Everything was exciting.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

SHOPPING DEALS UPDATE:


What Sex After Childbirth Is Really Like, According to 30 Women

Pro tip: Take your time and use lots of lube.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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What It’s Really Like to Be a Cosmetic Chemist

Before your favorite beauty product gives you smooth skin or shiny hair, it’s dreamed up and then whipped up by a cosmetic chemist, like Ni’Kita Wilson. We asked her what it’s like having the coolest job in the world:
The latest from allure.com
As we trade crop tops, bronzers, and coral lip balms for shearling, cream blushes, and deep-berry lipsticks, skin can turn itchy and bone-dry. Bypass the scratchy, scaly misery with Allure editors’ smart, easy (and derm-approved) skin-care switch-ups.
The latest from allure.com
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MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

What It’s Really Like to Use a Strap-On Dildo During Sex

“It’s tiring as hell… I don’t know how men who are on top do it.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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18 Moms Describe What Giving Birth Really Feels Like

It’s basically the after-effects of Taco Bell.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Is a Walk-In Laser Facial Really a Good Idea?

Is everyone getting Skin Laundry’s facial laser treatment without me? Apparently everyone with Internet access is gushing about the dewy glow, shrunken pores, and smoother skin the treatment promises. But no review so far has answered three important questions: What exactly are these $ 65 laser treatments? Who’s doing them? And do their claims actually hold up? I took it upon myself to find out.
The latest from allure.com
I love buying beauty products. Maybe too much. So when I read that women were saving time (and money!) by adopting their husband’s or boyfriend’s beauty routines, I decided to give it a go for a week. It was my own personal experiment to see what I really did—and didn’t—need after all.
The latest from allure.com
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MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

Love Sick, Really

We hear a lot about falling in and out of love through our business, Never Liked It Anyway.

There are many clichés about falling in love, or having a crush on someone such as “takes my breath away,” “makes my heart skip a beat,” “gives me butterflies,” etc, etc, etc. But realistically, aren’t those ‘butterflies’ the same as overwhelming nausea?

Who would want to be plagued with excessive sweating? And if high school health class taught us anything (aside from “no glove no love”), I’m pretty sure any loss of breath isn’t a good thing. The symptoms of falling for someone are like wearing a wet turtleneck sweater in august: uncomfortable and confusing, or like having a terminal illness and not knowing where you stand on the donor list. I’m no doctor, but these afflictive feelings sound an awful lot like the following medical conditions according to WebMD:

What you’re feeling: nervous sweaty palms, or excited goosebumps from a slight brush of the skin
Actual symptom: excessive sweating and anxiety are common signs of oncoming panic attacks or an Anxiety Disorder. The intense fear that can’t be controlled is on par with the overwhelming feelings to burst like firework whenever you see your crush. Just try not to cross the line between “oh it’s a little hot in here”(I’m just a little nervous), and “why do I have sweat stains down to my hip?” because that much sweating isn’t cute (or normal).

What you’re feeling: a kaleidoscope of butterflies painting your body head to toe
Actual symptom: nausea as a result of possible food poisoning from eating the leftovers from that take-out you ordered two nights ago, or the pint of ice cream you downed within the first half of a rom-com movie. This feeling isn’t ideal after a couple of drinks, so why is it welcomed when “crushing” on someone?

What you’re feeling: straining in your face and stomach from excessive smiling and laughing (sincere or fake)
Actual symptom: pain and discomfort, which are tied to nearly any illness, including constipation. WebMD states one, “may have hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.” Like these stools, some crushes hit harder than others.

What you’re feeling: light headed around your new target’s intoxicating charm, especially when they whip out a guitar, and “take your breath away.”
Actual symptom: girl, you might just have asthma. I can assure you carrying around an emergency inhaler is a pain, and having to use it when your breathing becomes rough is even more of a pain. “Others may have severe symptoms that interfere with daily life,” like when you stalk their social media 10x a day (side note: don’t do that, but if you do, checking twice a day should suffice). Also, Michelle Branch’s song, “Everywhere” seems to endlessly play in the back of your mind. Difficulty sleeping is also common, and similar to when its 3 am and you’re laying in bed, staring into the darkness contemplating the imaginary wedding details, your future children’s names, you two’s inside jokes that don’t exist….

Like the lifelong journey of endless crushes, many of these are “lifelong conditions that can be managed but not cured.” So for all you single, unattached ladies out there, kudos to you for not having to deal with a dictionary worth of symptoms caused by “falling for someone.”

— 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.

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Pit Bull Rescued From High-Kill Shelter Really Loves Snuggling, Especially With His Adoptive Dad

Beware the pit bull: he might sit on your lap and refuse to get up.

Show up at one Wisconsin home, and there is a good chance that Kawi the doggie will make himself comfortable somewhere on your person.

“If you stop to sit, he is going to stop and sit on you,” says Meaghan Graves, Kawi’s adoptive mom. “He will snuggle with anyone who is willing to let him on their lap.”

The lap in question, more often than not, belongs to Graves’ husband, Joel, who obviously doesn’t mind Kawi’s rather relentless affection.

dog
Photo: Meaghan Graves

Kawi came into the couple’s lives about a year ago, after losing a beloved dog to an autoimmune disease.

Desperately lonely without a canine companion, the pair began their search for a furry someone to help fill that void.

They were especially interested in adopting a pit, since “we knew we could change some peoples’ opinions by being responsible pet owners, and having a vicious pit bull that was only capable of licking and snuggling you to death,” says Graves.

dog

Photo: Meaghan Graves

Kawi was perfect for that role.

As a puppy, he’d been taken in by a rescue group, out of a high-kill shelter in the south. Kawi was still itty bitty when his then-foster mom brought him by the Graves’ for a meet-and-greet, to see if he’d be a good match.

On that visit, Kawi sniffed every room, and executed some test nibbles on a few toys.

Then he “made himself comfortable on Joel’s lap,” says Graves. “I think Kawi knew he was the one for us before we even knew it.”

dog
Photo: Meaghan Graves

Graves herself also enjoys some dog-on-lap time. As do Kawi’s human grandparents, along with all the friendly folks Kawi encounters out in the world.

“He will cuddle with pretty much anyone who will cuddle with him,” says Graves.”For anyone who may run into us and Kawi, feel free to come say ‘hi.’ He loves the attention, and we love to educate on how great of a dog he is.”

dog
Photo: Meaghan Graves

Joel, who is already convinced that Kawi is a good boy, continues to be the dog’s usual perch — except that sometimes the two take to spooning instead, or finagling into an even more pretzel-like position.

“They’re always snuggling,” Graves says, adding that she wouldn’t have minded if Kawi was less demonstrative. But he is, and — you’ll find this obvious, from the photos — she is completely thrilled about how things have turned out.

“Watching his sweet little eyes fade to sleep, and giving him unlimited kisses as Joel or I drift into dreamland, is the most satisfying feeling ever, knowing that this little pup is loved,” she says. “Kawi doesn’t have a miraculous rescue story like you hear on the news. But for us, he still had a journey, and he is now ours, and that is all that matters.”

dog
Photo: Meaghan Graves

Know an especially cuddly pit bull? Have another animal story to share? Get in touch at arin.greenwood@huffingtonpost.com!

— 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.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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10 Ways You Really Can Change the World

I believe that we all have the power to change the world. I do, and you do too.

Before I tell you how you can change the world and make a real difference, I want to point out where you may be right now.

Perhaps you’re sitting on the couch watching TV, seeing all the countries at war, watching atrocities such as beheadings and firing squads. You switch channels and you’re seeing volcanoes erupting, smothering whole towns with lava or earthquakes turning cities into rubble. You change again and watch the forlorn faces of beautiful polar bears trapped on tiny patches of ice as large glaciers melt around them.

Things seem pretty dismal, and you feel helpless, a victim who can’t help, can’t bring about change, but you’re wrong, you absolutely can and if you follow these 10 steps, I promise that you will.

1. Make a U-Turn.

Instead of feeling hopeless and victimized, believing you are just one person and can’t do anything, recognize that you need to start telling yourself that you’re going to be in control, in charge of the one thing you really can be in charge of — yourself.

2. Talk to Yourself, Out Loud, Every Day.

Stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and make affirmative statements to yourself.

“I am strong. I am smart. I can accomplish whatever I set my mind to.”

Say these over and over to yourself until you start to feel the power of your words inside your body.

3. Make Behavioral Changes to Go With Your New Mindset.

Set short-term goals to put these changes into practice.

a) I will say hello with a smile to five strangers everyday.
b) I will lift my head high and walk with my shoulders back an hour the first day, and an additional hour each day after that.
c) I will turn off my cell (phone and text) one hour a day and interact with a live human being.

These first three behavioral activities may take you a while to implement. Before you start, sit down, read them through carefully and decide how long is a reasonable time for you to accomplish these changes. Remember you have to actually feel different, not just act different. Pick a time frame for yourself, perhaps three to five weeks, then dive in. Don’t procrastinate, no matter how many good reasons you have.

When your three to five weeks is up, and you are handling these tasks well everyday, you are probably starting to wonder what this has to do with changing the world.

Well I have a surprise for you. You already have changed your world by changing the most important thing in your immediate universe — yourself.

You may already be getting comments from friends and family, telling you things like “You seem different but I’m not sure how” or “You seem much more confident when we talk.” You may notice people having a different and positive response to you when you walk past standing tall, smiling and saying hello. They may smile back and say something nice.

These are all very good changes and you can feel proud of yourself even if you do nothing more, but you are going to do much more, because you want to change the world.

4. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen.

My experience with several thousand clients has shown that the visceral process of putting pen to paper and seeing your thoughts go from your mind and heart to your paper aids in forging a stronger commitment. Make a list of the 10 problems in the world that concern you most, the ones you believe most urgently need changing. Look your list over and decide which one is most important to you, then prioritize them, most important to least important. This is backup for later.

5. Take a different piece of paper and write down what specifically needs to be done to bring about this change.

For example, Reverse Climate Change. On the second paper you might put:

1 – Eliminate fossil fuels
2 – create new legislative standards for car emissions
3 – implement changes in beef production to cut down methane emissions

Just continue your list like this. You may have 10, 20, 30 items when you’re done. There’s no right or wrong amount. This is your list, you’re in charge.

6. Now you can go to the computer and type these two lists up so you have a permanent saved copy. Then take a couple days to get away from this, preferably outside, and think about what you’ve accomplished so far. You have recognized and identified a problem of great importance to you. You have categorized changes that need to happen to correct this problem. Now it’s time to insert yourself in a very real way into this change process.

7. It’s time for some honest and objective soul searching.

Up to now, you have brought your passion into play, but it’s time to step back and take a realistic look at your skill set. Think about what you know how to do, and what you do well. List at least five things, and maybe you can find 10 things. Then re-arrange them in order of what you like to do most down to what is your least favorite.

Number 8 and 9 go together.

8. List skills required for each of these changes and match to your skills. Go through and pair the two lists up.

9. Research organizations working on this problem. Find out who to contact and let them know you want to help and what you’d like to do.

10. You will be part of the solution – you will be changing the world!


Visit my website for more information about me, and don’t forget to follow on Twitter and Facebook!

— 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.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

What Your Kid’s Favorite Color Really Means

Roses are red, violets are blue, what a favorite color says about a kid is really, really true. It’s common knowledge that girls like pink and boys like blue and that there’s no changing that.

Or is there?

Well, I did some digging into what a child’s favorite color actually says about their identity, and the results are astounding.

Red

2015-04-22-1429732078-5735718-Red.png

Boy: Their favorite color is red.

Girl: Their favorite color is red.

Yellow

2015-04-22-1429732141-108365-Yellow.png

Boy: Their favorite color is yellow.

Girl: Their favorite color is yellow.

Green

2015-04-22-1429732172-1090867-Green.png

Boy: Their favorite color is green.

Girl: Their favorite color is green.

Blue

2015-04-22-1429732198-3667794-Blue.png

Boy: Their favorite color is blue.

Girl: Their favorite color is blue.

Purple

2015-04-22-1429732222-3997961-Purple.png

Boy: Their favorite color is purple.

Girl: Their favorite color is purple.

Pink

2015-04-22-1429732244-5122894-Pink.png

Boy: Their favorite color is pink.

Girl: Their favorite color is pink.

Black

2015-04-22-1429732269-8666179-Black.png

Boy: Their favorite color is black.

Girl: Their favorite color is black.

White

2015-04-22-1429732293-6289319-White.png

Boy: Their favorite color is white.

Girl: Their favorite color is white.

Burgundy

2015-04-22-1429732318-271048-Burgundy.png

Boy: Their favorite color is burgundy.

Girl: Their favorite color is burgundy.

Chartreuse

2015-04-22-1429732351-8912051-Chartreuse.png

Boy: Their favorite color is chartreuse. And they have an advanced knowledge of the color palette.

Girl: Their favorite color is chartreuse. And they have an advanced knowledge of the color palette.

— 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.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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5 Times You Really Should Take Your Engagement Ring Off

by Elizabeth Mitchell, BRIDES

2015-03-05-1425572367-5482630-TimestoTakeOffEngagementRing.jpg

Photo: Getty Images

He liked it so he put a ring on it, and now you don’t want to take said ring off? We completely understand. However, if you want your bling to continue shining bright like a diamond for a really long time (and we know you do!), it’s important to not wear it while you’re busy doing these five things.

1. Working Out
Before you break a sweat, it’s a good idea to take that pretty little ring off. “The materials used in diamond jewelry, platinum and gold, are to a certain degree, soft,” explains Mr. David Watling, De Beers Head of Diamond Centre. So if you rock your ring while participating in certain activities that put pressure on these metals, you risk changing their shape. “And if the shape of a ring is bent enough, you then risk bending the claws that hold the diamond and your diamond falling out.” Same goes for sports; if you play soccer, basketball, tennis or participate in any other physical activity, do yourself a solid and keep your ring in a safe place, preferably at home, so you won’t accidently damage it during competition.

2. Moisturizing
Lotions and moisturizers may be great for your skin, not so much for your ring though, as excess build up can diminish the brilliance and dull your stone over time. To protect your rock and ensure a cloudy layer of film doesn’t form on it, wait until your hands have completely dried before slipping your bling back on.

3. Primping
Did you know that cosmetics, hair sprays, perfumes and other substances and chemicals commonly used by women could cause build-up of grime, weakening the natural sheen of your ring? According to Nadine Tacorian Arzerounian, president of operations and design for Tacori, it’s true! “I take off my rings the moment I walk into my house so I can seamlessly move through my nightly routine, whether that be cleaning, cooking or showering, without concern of taking my rings on and off,” she says. Want to get rid of the grease on your diamonds? Watling recommends gently rinsing them with hot water and dishwashing liquid. “When doing this, don’t forget to first secure the sink or use a bowl,” he warns. “Then dry your jewelry with a cotton or linen towel before using a polishing cloth for a sparkling finish.”

4. Swimming
Never, ever, ever wear your expensive jewelry in the ocean or in the pool! For one, cold water “shrinks” your fingers, making it that much easier for an already loose engagement ring to disappear during a swim. Chlorine, on the other hand, can damage and discolor the mounting of your ring and your platinum, gold or white gold wedding band.

5. Cleaning
Not only can you easily bang up your engagement ring on tough surfaces (think bathroom counters, kitchen floors, etc.) cleaning the house, but you can also do serious damage to the stone and setting. You can even potentially alter the color, thanks to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia found in many common household cleaners.

More From Brides.com:
20 Ways to Throw the Best Wedding Ever
The Biggest Trends in Wedding Dresses For Fall 2015
15 Elements of An Unforgettable Wedding
27 Perfect Plus-Size Wedding Dresses
41 Incredible Wedding Dress Backs
How To Find The Perfect Wedding Dress For Your Body Type

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Lindsay Lohan Steps Out Looking Chic (Yes, Really)

LiLo, is that you? We’ve sort of lost track of Lindsay Lohan over the years, which is which was why we were more than surprised when we happened upon this street-chic style shot and discovered it was Lohan. Snapped out and about in London, the actress was impossibly chic in a long elegant cream coat that she styled […]
InStyle
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MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

Four and a Half Things That Men Really Want

Welcome back, devoted readers. Last time I told you what women really want in their heart of hearts. This time I will tell you what men really want. For free! Isn’t the Internet wonderful? Oh, before I start, you may notice that there are way fewer things on this list than the 10-point list I wrote about what women want. Do you know why? Well, without being too un-PC, it’s because men complain less than women. There, I said it. There are all sorts of reasons for this, but the evolutionary one is this: Women need a man to stick around and be emotionally invested in them, because for nine months of gestation and many years afterwards, she is vulnerable, pregnant and likely feels awful. Then, she gives birth and has a small human who depends on her. So, women need a man to prove he loves her and keep proving it so that she feels secure enough to mate with him and thus make herself physically vulnerable, which she would only do if she knows he will be protecting her and bringing her food and stuff.

Men need women who have sex with them so they can procreate. They want the woman to be loving and kind, so she can nurture the offspring of this union into maturity. See how many fewer sentences that was than my explanation about what women need? Point made.

Since I have explained why I believe that men are less nit-picky than women in terms of what they need from relationships, let’s move on to the few things that they do care about. Let’s say #1 together, everyone….

1. Sex.

This is really important to men. I have discussed it ad nauseum, but here is the best analogy: You like your husband to come in with a smile and ask about your day. You want your husband to act nice to you in private and in public. You want your husband to contribute to the home via working for an income and performing chores and childcare. He wants sex equally as much as you want all of those things. Use your empathy here. It is not “just sex.” A man 100% considers sex as important as you consider coming home and saying hi and eating dinner with you. The way that you would feel like crap if he came in and went directly upstairs and yelled “F off!” if you said hello to him, that is how he feels when you sexually reject him. For him, sex within marriage is the most basic form of loving interaction, the baseline.

2. Appreciation.

Men will do a truly startling amount of stuff for you if they feel appreciated, or even just not unappreciated.* Here are ways to show your husband you appreciate him: (1) Say, “I appreciate that.” (2) Be physically affectionate. (3) Say, “thank you.” (4) Tell him how your life is made easier because he did XYZ.

3. Chillness.

Every time you decide not to harp on an admittedly small detail of life and build it into a Big Thing, your husband loves you 1% more. So, if you change your usual behavior, you may be at 3,400% by the end of today. Here are some examples of things your husband wants you to chill out about: what tone your child just used, what happened to the throw pillow, why do we have two opened boxes of the same kind of cereal, whether you could have saved $ 10 if you remembered the coupon, what tone the school secretary used, how many days it has been since your sister texted you, whether you can or cannot eat the yogurt on its expiration date.

4. Affection.

Yes, sex matters, but so do physical and verbal intimacy in general. Hand holding, nicknames, hair ruffling, joking comments, touching on the arm, etc. This is what generally makes people feel connected and romantically involved rather than just co-CEO’s of a company that produces small children and messes.

4 1/2. For you to be interested in what interests them.

If they are into “the game,” which from what I can tell, indicates some sort of televised sporting event, then men like when you are interested in it too. But you know what? As you can tell from how little I know about “the game” and the fact that I am still married, this one is just gravy for most guys. It’s like for you, if your husband not only planned date night, but also ordered your favorite flowers to be sitting at the restaurant when you arrived. I mean, it’s awesome, but it’s not essential. My point is, you can get pretty far just being affectionate, sexual, appreciative and relaxed without also learning about fantasy football or model airplanes or World or Warcraft or whatever. But if you are interested in what interests them, all the better.

And, that’s all! Just four, and maybe that half for extra credit. Now, some of you are saying, “My husband really appreciates my cooking, or how well I organize and run the household, or that I always buy him new underwear. What’s that stuff, wasted effort?” And here is the nauseating answer: “Yes, yes it is, if you don’t do the stuff I listed above.” All that other stuff is great, but I have never seen a guy in couples counseling who says, “She won’t have sex more than once a month, but it’s okay, because I love her pierogis.” Unless “pierogis” is a code word for “oral sex.” So, if your marriage is under stress, or your husband acts distant, try the first four things I suggested, and then throw in the fifth for good measure, and during all that time, let the housework go, order in dinner every night and don’t buy him any underwear.  If your marriage doesn’t improve, I would be shocked.

Share with your husbands, because you know you want to know what they think. And until we meet again, I remain, The Blogapist Who is Like a Magical Oracle of Truth in the Guise of a Harassed Blogging Mother of Three.

_____

*Note: This is because a lot of stuff just doesn’t bother many guys, and they don’t pre-plan or overthink simple things. Like, if I have to take the garbage to the curb, I’m like, “Okay, so I have to get on my shoes, and then get out the next garbage bag and, wait, is it raining out? Am I done eating for the night or will there be more garbage in the bag later? Why did I buy these odor shield bags? How much were they? Is it cold out?” Meanwhile, a guy will just take it to the curb and be back in the house watching TV before you know it. I think some things are easier the less you care about them, and men have this firmly in the bag. So, basically, household chores for women are physical plus mental effort plus anxiety, whereas for men, they may just be physical effort because they just don’t care. My point in all of this is to say, if men feel like you appreciate them, they will do a lot of crap because honestly, a great deal of it is just not that important or difficult for them, since they don’t obsess about it while they are doing it.

For more, visit Dr. Psych Mom or join me on Facebook or Twitter @DrPsychMom.
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Meet Hatsune Miku, The Sensational Japanese Pop Star Who Doesn’t Really Exist

Hatsune Miku is the world’s most famous virtual pop star. And now she’s even more famous, having made her U.S. television debut this Wednesday on “Late Night With David Letterman.” She didn’t come out of nowhere: this summer, the Japanese sensation toured as an opener for Lady Gaga, materializing regularly on stages around the country in a confounding flash.


Hatsune Miku performing live in 2011.

All Miku concert footage makes for strange watching. Legions of fans pump light sticks at every swish of those blue ponytails, as if a virtual star needs the encouragement. The sight is arguably even odder live, as an in-person Miku doesn’t exactly seem worth the fuss. Media outlets routinely mistake her for a hologram, but in fact, she’s less sophisticated than that. She’s a 2D image, rendered onto the stage using mirrors (the technology, called Pepper’s Ghost, is so far from cutting edge, it’s been used for decades at the Haunted Mansion in Disney World). Critics who trek halfway across the world to see Miku rock out invariably leave underwhelmed. She looks more magnificent — and just plain larger — on YouTube than in life, having been enhanced by video editors.

But the deception shouldn’t matter. “People focus on the live show like it’s so bizarre,” says Ian Condry, a professor of Japanese studies at MIT. He blames this preoccupation on a lack of context, coupled with a scenario that requires some explaining — a crowd “cheering at a cartoon on stage.” Without context, the sight, he admits, “doesn’t make sense.”

In fact, fans aren’t cheering for Miku per se, but for everything she represents. “They know Miku doesn’t exist,” Condry says. “But they know people on the other side do.”

Miku is a mascot for a product: a voice synthesizing software, through which users can write songs. In 2007, a company called Crypton Future Media released the software online, freely available, and built using Yamaha’s Vocaloid technology as well as a database of samples recorded by a voice actress. As with most of Japan’s entities (including the country’s police agencies), this offering came with a cartoon mascot. She was 16, liked pop music, and wore her hair in long pigtails. She was Hatsune Miku, a name that translates to “first sound of the future.”

Crypton’s president Hiroyuki Itō realized that Miku was more powerful the less there was to know about her. The company isn’t interested in creating a franchise — no spinoff anime shows, or prequels that tell her story. In an interview with HuffPost, Itō spoke through a translator about his intention to keep Miku “an empty canvas, a plain piece of paper, because only then, people will project their own feelings and use her as an interface.”

The model is revolutionary. Every song Miku sings in concert is written by a user of the software. Most Miku music videos are also the work of fans. Crypton has developed a licensing agreement that allows MikuP, or Miku producers, to use the software mascot’s likeness without paying royalties. If a creator’s work becomes wildly profitable, the company enters into a more traditional licensing agreement.

Condry compares Miku to a sample in a hip-hop track. “If you’re some underground person, you can sample without paying anything. Even if you’re indie level, you can probably get away with it. Girltalk can release albums, even though he can’t put them on iTunes. But if you’re Kanye, you’re going to pay top dollar.”

Writing for Vocaloid software is a bit like pulling the strings of a puppet. Miku does what a composer wants, albeit a little jerkily. The upshot is a sense of freedom: a MikuP can theoretically try anything and see what sticks. One composer, who goes by the name Kz, dedicated himself to writing lyrics about the community of creators that sprung up around Miku, rather than Miku herself. One of his songs, “Tell Your World,” became such a popular anthem for Mikuheads, Google eventually licensed it for a Chrome ad in Japan.

Another Kz song caught the attention of Pharrell, who remixed it for the soundtrack of the recent Takashi Murakami movie, “Jellyfish Eyes.” The attending music video, also directed by Murakami, features Miku, her clan of tertiary Vocaloid avatars, and an animated Pharrell dancing on a high-octane version of the Starship Enterprise.

Speaking to HuffPost through a translator, Kz likened his writing process for Miku to osmosis. “She has no kind of will or ideas herself, so you have the direct message going directly through.”

Plenty of Miku songs are as vapid as any pop hit, with references to her long hair, short skirts, and princesslike demeanor (there’s also a vibrant Miku-based pornographic culture, not sanctioned by Crypton). But the genre has deepened as it’s grown, with narrative lyrics that wouldn’t typically make a top 40 list, from the story of a cancer patient to a set of songs about a single day that unfolds with the gruesome strangeness of a Haruki Murakami novel, complete with an all-seeing cat. In the latter, Miku’s chirps are actually scary, multiplied at moments of high stress into a wall of noise.

Other songs use Miku’s lack of personhood to comment on our own devolution into so many “data packets,” as Condry puts it. “They play with this idea of whether she exists, and how much we exist in comparison,” he says.

He sees the Letterman appearance as a rare misstep in a campaign that’s mostly foregone the old routes to cultural takeover, like late night debuts. “The pathway to Miku’s success in Japan went through a grassroots community before it had a chance to break into the mainstream. If people aren’t impressed by what they see on Letterman, they may have to wait a bit until their kids and grandkids explain what it’s all about.”
Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Was There Really a Need For ‘Dolphin Tale 2’?

Now we have a sequel to the popular film Dolphin Tale. The question is why? The first movie was pretty complete in its story of a dolphin named Winter who had lost her dorsal fin. Her rescuers created a prosthesis for her and she adapted to it beautifully. And she lived happily ever after – end of story. No, no! Not when that movie made a good bit of money and there was surely more loot in that dolphin. So now we have Dolphin Tale 2, the story of Winter when she got depressed over not having a dolphin friend.

All of the cast from the previous movie are back including Ashley Judd, Harry Connick,Jr., Morgan Freeman and Kris Kristofferson. The question is why. They have very little to do in this film. Their characters are basically just there to give support to the two kids who have leading roles. These are Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff who play Sawyer and Hazel.

Sawyer works at the Clearwater Marine Hospital where Winter lives and is cared for. Hazel is the daughter of Dr. Clay Haskett (Connick) who runs the hospital. They are devoted to Winter and become most upset when Winter shows signs of being depressed because she does not have another dolphin to pal around with. They have a solution but it is not one the adults are willing to use.

The storyline is one children should enjoy, and it will entertain the adults that accompany them. It is not high drama but it is sufficiently interesting. Supposedly this plot is also based on a true occurrence and that fact also interest.

The two young actors are very good in their roles and the dolphins play out the roles they have been given. Even the adult actors are fine, though they are given little to do. Judd is appropriately maternal while Connick is a bit stiff as the head operator of the hospital. Freeman gets to play the amiable man who helped fashion Winter’s prostheses.

The film is rated PG for mild drama with the animals.

There probably wasn’t a real need for a sequel to Dolphin Tale. It had told its story pretty completely.

However, since they were determined to make another one they did make it as appealing as possible. Children will once again delight in a story about dolphins being so human-like they need a friend, and will enjoy the fact that good humans are there to provide them with love, care and attention.

I scored Dolphin Tale 2 a sequeled 6 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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What You Really Need To Know About The Apple Watch

Are you always looking at your wrist and thinking, “Gosh, there are so many pictures I could be looking at or addresses I could be looking up right now”? And you don’t want to have to reach ALL THE WAY DOWN into your pocket to grab your phone, which already has those features. What do you do??

Well, the Apple Watch has graced us with its presence, or at least news of its presence. We know it exists. And now comedian Jack Douglas shows us exactly what the iWatch — sorry, Apple Watch — is.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

This Is What Your Morning Struggle Really Looks Like

Mornings can be tough to navigate. In a perfect world, they’d be filled with chirping birds and traffic-free commutes. But on most days, it feels like we are living Murphy’s Law. We’ve partnered with McDonald’s© to take a look at the morning struggle we can’t seem to avoid. Do you feel our pain?

8:00 AM: You’re woken up by your alarm clock, which triggers an overwhelming urge to break something. Instead, you hit snooze.

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GIF: giphy.com

8:10 AM: A couple of snoozes later, you glance at the clock. There’s a terrifying instant in which you think it’s much later than it actually is. To your delight, you were wrong! You take a second to honor the small victories in life, and then you go back to sleep.

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GIF: giphy.com

8:25 AM: After the fifth buzz, you finally relent. But now it really is late.

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GIF: giphy.com

8:26 AM: A sudden calm comes over you as you jump out of bed with a clear vision of what needs to get done.

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GIF: gurl.com

8:30 AM: After getting dressed in a spastic scramble, you check your work in the mirror.

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GIF: giphy.com

8:31 AM: Breakfast time! Expectation:

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8:35 AM: Reality:

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8:40 AM: You get out the door and head to your favorite coffee place. This is you in line:

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GIF: reactiongifs.us

8:45 AM: This is you once the coffee is in your possession:

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GIF: giphy.com

8:50 AM: You realize that some sort of miracle is going to have to occur for you to get to work on time. You send a silent prayer to the universe for green lights.

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GIF: imgarcade.com

9:00 AM: You hit all of the red lights.

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9:05 AM: Might as well make the most of it. You put on your jam.

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GIF: weheartit.com

9:10 AM: You arrive at work and stroll in 10 minutes late, but no one seems to notice. You decide to accept it and own it.

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GIF: giphy.com

9:15 AM: Finally at your desk, you glance at your email and promise yourself that you’ll do better tomorrow.

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GIF: giphy.com

Mornings may not be the easiest part of the day, but there are ways to make them a little brighter. McDonald’s McCafé© and Egg McMuffin© are pick-me-ups that can help you get from A to B that much faster. Maybe you’ll even be five minutes early.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

What REALLY Happens at Comic Con

San Diego’s Comic Con is the premier event for fans of all things comics and action-packed entertainment. Seeing as how there are quite a few fans of “entertaining” things, the crowds that descend on Comic Con are mammoth, creating interminable lines.

How bad are the Comic Con lines? So bad that the seasoned comic veterans DweebCast found themselves with enough time to record a surprisingly good (and hilarious) music video about “What REALLY Happens at Comic Con.”

Watch the video from DweebCast above.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Pedro Pascal Really Wishes He Were Still On ‘Game Of Thrones,’ Even In Small Part

Pedro Pascal isn’t that different from most “Game of Thrones” viewers — he wishes his character, the charismatic Oberyn Martell, was still on the HBO show.

Pascal was at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, July 24, to launch a new “Game of Thrones” beer from Brewery Ommegang. After a packed audience watched Pascal tap the first keg of the amber-brown Valar Morghulis beer, the actor talked to HuffPost TV about missing his “Game of Thrones” role, and dealing with people who want to squeeze his head.

HuffPost TV: How many of the people who walk up to you and want to say hello also want to squeeze your head?

Pedro Pascal: Like, they want to puncture my eyeballs? A lot of them. I would say more than half of the people who want to get a picture. I always feel a little guilty when I say, “How about I just smile?” Because I don’t want to have to re-create the moment over and over again.

Yeah, that’s a little troubling. You don’t want to have to go to that place again and again.

Yeah, I don’t want to have to re-live the trauma.

Would you rather still be on “Game of Thrones,” or would you rather have the impact that you had, as the character and the way he left?

I think that ultimately, selfishly, I would want to still be on “Game of Thrones,” only because they are the greatest people I’ve ever worked with. Ninety percent of the work is taken care of by the writing — more than that. Ninety-nine percent is taken care of by writing that is that good, and that’s not something that I’m used to. On top of that, it’s the best crew, the best design team and the greatest cast I’ve ever worked with. I had such a good time, and I’ve never been so challenged. Even if my part would shrink to a fraction of what it was, to get to be there and be around everybody and hang out, it’s probably what I would opt for.

I think I’m just going to guilt [executive producers] David [Benioff] and Dan [Weiss]. I’m just going to describe my depression to the point that they’re like, “All right! Ellaria is going to have a dream!” [laughs]

Is it your favorite role?

It’s the best role I’ve ever played on screen, without question.

You said it was challenging — what was the biggest challenge of playing Oberyn Martell?

I would say that the character had a confidence that was really important to portray. Any human being would have trouble feeling that level of confidence — a dangerous sort of confidence, you know? He sort of owns his overconfidence — with major consequences, as you could see. And then physically, it was a very challenging role.

Also, I was very aware of the series, as millions are. I was a big fan of the show, and it was the first time I was ever asked to be part of something I was so hyperaware of as an audience member. So there was a lot to battle internally there. But David and Dan made it so easy.

Even though you were aware of the show, were you prepared for the fandom and events like this and how the fans have been to you?

I think the best thing to do is to play stupid. [laughs] It’s all so exciting and you always want to be careful with your expectations and whether they’re negative or positive. So I just sort of played dumb and had a job to do, which was so easy to do — they loved the character so much, and that was on my side from the beginning. The writers and the directors, they loved on the character so hard. So there was that easy focus, and then it was not up to me in terms of how it would be received.

Pedro gif
Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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How to (Really) Make $1,000,000 Selling E-Books

How to (Really) Make ,000,000 Selling E-Books


How to (Really) Make ,000,000 Selling E-Books As Softcoverbook: http://goo.gl/pxTbCL Real-World Case Studies. Why eBooks, Why Now? How to write good correct ebooks and make real money from home? Sell your Ebook on EBAY, Amazon, Kobobooks and hundreds more! Publish your book as softcover for free with ISBN and get listed on the leading Bookstores FOR FREE! An electronic book (variously: e-book, eBook, e-Book, ebook, digital book, or even e-edition) is a book-length publication in digital form, consisting of text, images, or both, and produced on, published through, and readable on computers or other electronic devices. Online dictionary Automatically generated books E-book E-book reader Smartphone Hyperlink Dynatext Dynabook Comparison of e-book formats Open eBook Portable Document Format Rocket eBook E Ink Corporation Electronic paper Sony Reader Amazon Kindle IBooks Android (operating system) Comparison of e-book readers Samsung SGH-i900 Mobipocket Symbian Kobo eReader Alex eReader Nook Color Kobo Glo Kobo Inc. Kobo Mini Kobo Touch Samsung Papyrus SoftBook Worldreader Comparison of Android e-book reader software Comparison of iOS e-book reader software IPad Subnotebook Microsoft Reader Online Books Page Random House Google Books Library Proje

Price: $
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Know Whether College Really Helps Your Sex Life? Take The Fark Weird News Quiz

A study compared the sex lives of college students with those who didn’t go.

If you know the bizarre findings, take the Fark Weird News Quiz.

Even if you don’t, take it anyway, and tweet your score.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

Here’s How Connie Britton Really Feels About That Michelle Obama Cameo

Things are about to get crazy!

“Nashville” is back tonight with a brand new episode and while the series might be winding down the drama is definitely heating up. Last week, the cast recorded a special live performance shot at the Ryman Auditorium, and fans can expect even more action in tonight’s episode.

Connie Britton spoke to HuffPost TV about the season so far, that special Michelle Obama episode and why fans should brace themselves for the Season 2 finale.

On working with Michelle Obama
“It was an amazing episode,” Britton said when asked about the first lady’s lauded cameo. “My character Rayna puts on a concert at an army base. We shot at Fort Campbell which is right outside Nashville and we shot this incredible performance for the troops. It was such an amazing day.”

Britton also gave us a glimpse of the role the first lady has on the show. “Michelle Obama recorded a message for the troops, so its a pretty exciting episode,” Britton said. Fans should also get ready for the show to pick up the pace heading towards the season finale.

“Really everything leading up to the finale is very exciting,” Britton said. “We’re really just going to be moving crazily to the finish line and the season finale is going to be spectacular.”

On how Season 2 might end
The last time we saw Rayna, the country crooner was going on national TV to address her “baby daddy” issues and come clean to Deacon about why she kept Maddie a secret all those years. But Britton says the next few episodes are going to focus less on family drama and more on Rayna’s music career.

“This whole season for Rayna has been about her creating her new label and what we start to see as we get to the season finale is that everything, especially after everything that’s happened with Scarlett, everything is riding on her album release,” Britton said. “We’re going to watch Rayna doing everything that she can to make a great performance. The season finale we get to see her be really victorious with that.”

As to what fans can expect from the season’s final episode? “There’s definitely a twist in the season finale that even when I read it in the script I was very surprised,” Britton said. “I think the audience is going to love it.”

The actress also revealed her plans for after the show ends its sophomore season which include a new film with Tina Fey and Adam Driver and continuing to be an ambassador for the Ponds skincare brand.

Check out our full interview with Connie Britton, above.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Put Down That Smartphone!: Your Eye Contact Establishes Who Is the Most Important Relationship for You at any Given Moment (really, really)

Dear Ms. Huffington:

I believe that my wife can thrive — and reach her maximum potential — by attending the Thrive Third Metric event in NYC; and also reading your book on the subject. In fact, I am convinced that she is in dire need of understanding your Thrive Third Metric model.

My wife has many things in common with you: brilliant, enterprising, accomplished, devoted, kind; and possesses the sort of inner light, depth, and true elegance of special beings. However, she frequently is unable to disconnect. She seems to misplace her “off switch.” Often, she is a slave to technology. Far too often, a ring tone or vibration, from her smartphone elicits her immediate attention. She needs to understand your Third Metric “manifesto.” And she needs to understand that her eyeballs signal very potently, at every moment, who has the true priority of her quite formidable, yet human, attention span.

I bought a ticket for my wife to attend the Thrive Third Metric event on Thursday and Friday of this week. My wife was reluctant to take time from her duties to be in NYC for 48 hours. It wasn’t until you “touched her” that she relented. I am thankful to you. You see, my wife’s well-being is monumentally important to me. So much so, that I took the huge liberty of attempting to reach you “cold,” to ask for your help. My wife is capable of doing great things to benefit the communities she belongs to; if she doesn’t burn out. If she thrives.

All indications are that my wife will be at the New York City Center on this next Thursday and Friday. Thank you for taking the time, and making the effort, to send an email to my wife. And thank you for raising consciousness that the Third Metric is essential to thriving.

Sincerely,

Manuel R.D.J. vW.
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Do You Really Know How Powerful Your Intentions Are?

“Each intention — anger, greed, compassion, understanding — sets energy into motion… What you intend is what you become…Power is energy that is formed by the intentions of the soul. It is Light shaped by the intentions of love and compassion guided by wisdom. It is energy that is focused and directed toward the fulfillment of the tasks of the soul upon the Earth.” ~ Gary Zukav – The Seat of the Soul

If you were to think of the span of your life as a journey, how happy, how fulfilled, how peaceful would you be at this particular point of your life? Is it possible that, as Gary Zukav infers, our intentions shape our experiences which, at the end of the day, comprise the sum of our time spent on the planet? Is it really plausible that what we intend we become? Opening our mind to this question has profound implications because it beckons us to consider how conscious (or not) our intentions for the life we are living have been. Courageously exploring this question enables us to see that we play a crucial part in determining where the journey of our life will take us in the future. In other words, irrespective of the current state of our life, we can meet the new day with immense optimism by embracing the fact that our future is shaped by our deepest, consciously made, intentions.

Too often, in the busyness of our lives, our intentions are semi-unconscious, meaning they slip unnoticed directly through to the reactive habit-mind, circumventing the deeper contemplative self. As a result, we may make choices which spawn consequences that we may not anticipate. There is a direct correlation between the choices we make and our intentions. Every choice we make announces our intention to the Universe about what we desire and puts energy in motion to make it so. The root word for intention is intent, which means, “An aspiration to do something on purpose with an objective goal or target in mind; by design.” Whether we are aware of it or not, we each live by intention. While many of us believe otherwise, our intentions, whether our highest or our basest, conscious or unconscious, are always being served. If we find our lives to be “off course” it is only through the process of becoming consciously “Self aware” that we can begin to challenge and change the compass coordinates set for our journey thus far. Awakening to our spiritual nature gives us access to the wisdom of the soul which, as Zukav points out, brings us into alignment with our soul’s desire. It is comforting to remember that the intentions of the soul are always for our highest good through the actualization and application of love and compassion in our daily lives.

How conscious are the choices you have been making? Are they propelled by the Light, wisdom and energy of love and compassion, or something of a lower, more base vibration where the ego quietly lingers in the shadows? In other words, are your intentions arising from the infinite depths your soul, or the shallows of a reactive mind operating just under the radar of the fully aware self? It’s easy to discern. Just witness your feeling nature as you ask yourself these questions and you’ll know from where your intentions arise:

  • Are my daily choices driven by unconscious habits, fears, doubts, and insecurities, or love and trust?
  • Do my choices incorporate harmony, sharing, cooperation and reverence for Life?
  • Do my choices create authentic power within or do they cause me to look to other people and external things for my power, purpose and direction?
  • Do my choices include intentions that honor my body, my relationships, my world, and most importantly, my own soul?

The essence of these questions comes from Gary Zukav’s book, The Seat of the Soul. If you have not yet read it, I encourage you to do so. That action will, alone, demonstrate a conscious intention to honor your soul’s desire. I have read this book a dozen times over the past quarter century and each time I have garnered another gem or two that enriched my life immensely. I am happy to announce that The Seat of the Soul has just been republished in a special 25th Anniversary Edition which includes a helpful Study Guide written by Gary and his spiritual partner, Linda Francis, as well as prefaces by both Oprah Winfrey and Maya Angelou.

You really are on a journey of a lifetime. The rule of the road is to mindfully pay attention to your intentions. Know that where your life is headed now is not predestined by where it has been. You are at choice. Remember that your authentic power comes from energy that is formed by your soul. Take time to plumb the depths of your innermost being and listen carefully to the wisdom therein for what you intend today is what you shall become tomorrow. May your journey be a sacred one, where the intentions of your deepest Self rise and commingle with your daily doing, serving as the compass that points the way to the life you truly deserve.

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Preorder Dennis’ new book, Your (Re)Defining Moments – Becoming Who You Were Born to Be
GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Jimmy Fallon’s Obama-Putin Call Shows What Really Happened… Maybe

“Tonight Show” host Jimmy Fallon claims to have received footage of the most recent call between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin as the two discussed the crisis in Crimea.

In the clip above, Fallon’s Putin takes a swig of vodka, taunts the U.S. president on Obamacare, cites comic Yakov Smirnoff and mimics Putin’s weird laugh.

The pair even sing.

If calls between world leaders were really this much fun, the crisis would have been over ages ago.
Comedy – The Huffington Post
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS-Visit Mobile Playboy today for the hottest adult entertainment online!

This Couple Really Loves Football — and Their Wedding Proves It

By Jamie Miles for TheKnot.com

This couple really knows how to stick to a theme! I guess it’s easy when you’re both die-hard football fans (she’s a Giants fan; he’s a Red Skins supporter). Everything from the boutonnieres to the cake toppers and even the wedding sign announcing the bride’s walk down the aisle were inspired by this couple’s shared love of the game. But they even went a step further. Rather than exchanging traditional vows, the couple wrote their own:

From preseason through the play-offs and Super Bowl, in good health and injury, despite tackles and fumbles, whether the New York Giants win or lose, I promise to support and always love you in our game of marriage. And take you as my wife.

This couple’s game-day-inspired wedding by Look Wedding Photography is a touchdown. Here’s why:

The Bride wore New York Giants blue shoes.
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Even her flowers fit with the Giants’s team colors.
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The groomsmen wore mini-football boutonnieres.
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And their formalwear matched the Red Skins’ maroon-and-gold team colors.
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More from The Knot: 10 wedding rules you can break

The bride wore a casual one-shoulder sheath dress.
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And proudly sported her fiance’s rival team colors.
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The wedding events were outlined in a “Game Day” schedule.
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And footballs served as aisle markers at the outdoor ceremony.
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Even the bridesmaids wore the Giants’s colors.
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The flower girl was a cheerleader and the ring bearer was a football player.
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When the couple was announced as husband and wife, it was a “touchdown!”
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The bridal party had their game faces on for a candid wedding photo.
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The couple drafted their guests to tables organized by sports teams.
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The reception decor matched the couple’s sports-centric theme.
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Football centerpieces with maroon mums and gold button mums decorated the reception
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The couple had a Giants and Red Skins cake
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And even the cake toppers were custom made to represent the couple’s favorite teams
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More from The Knot:

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay: How to Know If Your Child’s Injury or Illness Is Really an Emergency

If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay: How to Know If Your Child’s Injury or Illness Is Really an Emergency


As an Emergency Room pediatrician, Dr. Lara Zibners has seen it all. She’s cared for a portion of the 25 million children in the U.S. who are taken to the ER each year-and she knows that more than 50% of these visits may be unnecessary. IF YOUR KID EATS THIS BOOK, EVERYTHING WILL STILL BE OKAY shows parents when they may need to take action, and when they might be able to just go back to bed and call their doctor in the morning. With sections such as "In the Diaper" and "His Noggin and the Nervous System," Dr. Zibners covers every part of the body and offers sound advice (for example, did you know that oil is the best remedy for dissolving superglue between body parts?), all while maintaining a lively and often hilarious tone. To the question, "What if she chokes on her vomit?" Zibners answers, "A healthy child will not choke on her own vomit, unless she is drunk or high on Grandma’s sleeping pills." Finally, no more frantic late-night searches through the "why to buy,""how to diaper," or "what to feed him" sections found in other childcare books to find out if little Franny needs to go to the ER. This book focuses on the truly important questions, like how to keep her from electrocuting herself in the first place. Not every child has a pediatrician with specialized emergency room experience living in her home. But this book just might be the next best thing. Lara Zibners, MD, is a former Assistant Professor of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at Mount SinaiHospital in New York City. Currently, she divides her professional time between New York and London.
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The 25 Gifts People REALLY Want From Their Better Halves

The longer you’re married, the harder it can be to come up with a unique gift idea at Christmas. I always hope my husband will offer me some kind of clue by offhandedly making mention of something he would really like throughout the year. But that almost never happens.

We asked our Facebook fans what they’d REALLY love to get from their long-time spouse this year — and we were rewarded with a wide range of answers. One woman, Judith C. Warren, said she only wants time to herself. Another woman, Holli Allen Magill, said she’d just like a gift — any gift. Not surprisingly, people’s preferences run the gamut, from fine jewelry to sexy pajamas. The common theme running through all the responses though is that putting thought into a gift still counts — for a lot.

Here’s what some others had to say. Have anything to add? Let us know in comments.

1) “Three months snowbirding somewhere in warm weather,” said Rachel Cracken Herbig.

2) “A weekend away — just the two of us,” said Diane Franklin Slimbock.

3) “I’d like him to stop snoring,” said Lisa Ernest Bondeson.

4) “A promise to set aside one night a week to go out on a date together… after 38 years of marriage dating has dwindled to a nonentity,” said Dale Michaels Wade.

5) “I’d like a little more romance in our marriage,” said Lisa O’Neill.

mature couple on date

6) “A vacation to a cabin in the woods,” said Sherrill Cochran Hubbard.

7) “A trip to play golf at Pebble Beach,” said Jean Dedeke Gill.

8) “Venice — uncrowded,” said Sandhi Schimmel Gold.

9)“Lovemaking with a romantic setting,” said Maria Miguel Grullon.

10) “He’s already given me my dream gift this year — a brand new kitchen,” said Peggy Bell Nolan.

a new kitchen

11) “I’d really like a nice car, mostly because I’m tired of my monthly payments. He wouldn’t even have to find an enormous ribbon for it,” said Jamie Wieloch Greco.

12) “I don’t have a spouse, but if I did, my wish would be for a trip to Paris,” said Jane Elizabeth Anderson Barlow.

13) “A couple of weeks in Hawaii, just the two of us, to see the beautiful islands,” said Barbara Perry.

14) “A new 4×4. His old one has 200k+ miles,” said Jaye DeVeney Gilleland.

15) “A clothes steamer,” said Anita Skeets Rogers.

clothes steamer

16) “A trip to Europe!” said Pam Duoba.

17) “An apology,” said Cheryl Weisser.

18) “A trip to the [Florida] Keys and I get to bring the dogs or he arranges for a friend to stay and be our petsitter so we can go,” said Barbara Brown.

19) “A trip to Sicily,” said Nina Piraino Bruno.

20) “His [good] health,” said Gracious Palmer.

mature man exercising

21) “A bedroom makeover,” said Kimberly Minton Freeman.

22) “A Kindle Fire would be right up my alley! But if he wants to go big time… Hawaii would be lovely!” said Barbara Perry.

23) “We got a Keurig coffee maker & vinyl siding for our house!” said Melinda Greer Green.

24) “The keys to a house in Anaheim!” said DavidandJeanne Rose.

25) “Some bloody peace and quiet,” said Sanna McIvor.

a mature woman reading a book

Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Is That Faux Fur Really Fake?

From Mother Nature Network’s Laura Moss:

The Humane Society of the United States issued a consumer warning earlier this week, informing consumers that Kohl’s was selling “faux-fur” handbags made with real fur.

HSUS investigators tested several styles of Nicole Lee Fabiola handbags advertised as having “faux-fur trimming” and discovered that the so-called fake fur was actually rabbit fur.

“Consumers should be aware that animal fur is still being sold as ‘faux’ by major retailers,” Pierre Grzybowski, research and enforcement manager for the Fur-Free Campaign of The HSUS, said in a news release.

Selling animal fur as fake fur is a violation of the Federal Trade Commission Act and carries a civil penalty of up to $ 16,000 per violation.

Mislabeling real fur — for example, claiming rabbit fur is mink fur — is nothing new. However, mislabeling real fur as faux is a relatively new development.

It might not seem to make business sense, but the demand for faux fur has increased as more people aim to shop cruelty-free. As manufacturers try to meet this demand, products are often mislabeled.

In 2008, the HSUS discovered several faux fur coats sold at Neiman Marcus were actually made with fur from raccoon dog, a canid native to East Asia (and pictured at right).

The HSUS sued the retailer, and in 2010, Neiman Marcus paid a $ 25,000 penalty.

That same year, Neiman Marcus and other retailers, including Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Saks Incorporated and Lord & Taylor, were also found to be selling mislabeled faux fur. A settlement agreement was reached after the HSUS filed a lawsuit for false advertising.

Later in 2010, President Barack Obama signed The Truth in Fur Labeling Act into law, which closed a loophole that previously had allowed fur-trimmed garments to go unlabeled if the value of the fur was $ 150 or less.

The law also required that all fur garments be labeled not only with the name of the animal, but also the country where the animal was killed.

Despite these stronger regulations, each year the HSUS finds manufacturers and retailers violating the law.

In March, Neiman Marcus, Drjays.com and Revolveclothing.com settled federal claims that they had marketed raccoon, rabbit and mink fur as faux.

Another 2013 HSUS investigation discovered the sale of domestic dog fur in apparel at a New York retailer, which led to action by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

U.S. law prohibits the import or sale of dog and cat fur products, but many designers outsource manufacturing to such countries as China, where fur is cheap and no animal welfare laws are in place.

China is the largest fur exporter in the world and raises several species of animals — including domestic dogs and cats — for the fur industry.

More than 75 million animals, including rabbits, raccoon dogs, mink, bobcats, foxes and domestic dogs and cats, are killed annually worldwide to make fur products, according to the HSUS.

Unsure if that fur is real or faux? Read the HSUS’s guide for how to tell real fur from fake fur.

Earlier this year, the HSUS and New York Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal visited a N.Y. Century 21 store and found many fur garments were mislabeled. Watch the hidden-camera video below.


Style – The Huffington Post
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You Look Fine, Really

You Look Fine, Really


The bestselling author of The Three-Martini Playdate delivers a witty, get real guide to embracing and enjoying the adventure of midlife, complete with grooming shortcuts, tips on being your own personal trainer, perfect party recipes, and advice on how to add a sense of play and celebration to every day. Filled with real style and beauty tips, and more information about lipstick than a woman has a right to know, You Look Fine, Really helps any female over the big 4-0 become her truly fabulous self, without injecting toxins into her forehead. In short, kicky sections like “Foundation: Your Own Personal Vinyl Siding,” “Your Midlife Fashion Crisis: Now What?” and “Survival Skills for the Mature Woman,” Mellor inspires women to reclaim their personal style and uncover their inner fun goddess.
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