Magic and mystery on the Isle of Lewis

Its ancient standing stones are a big draw at midsummer but Lewis is rich in treasures of many other kinds – historic, religious … and gloriously outrageous

First light at Callanish. The stone circle on the Hebridean island of Lewis may be 5,000 years old, but it would not do to keep it waiting. Besides, coming here at daybreak is, from certain perspectives, positively tardy. Emma Rennie, a local photographer, considers 2am the best time to visit. “It’s beyond mindblowing,” she told me, ahead of my journey. “There’s silence, which the world is so short of nowadays, and millions of stars. I feel small and insignificant, and I love it.”

Callanish – or Calanais in Gaelic – comprises 49 standing stones laid out in a shape that, seen from above, suggests a Celtic cross. Despite this resemblance, the site long predates Christianity and, indeed, Stonehenge. The drama is heightened by its location on a ridge above a loch. You can gaze across the water to other prehistoric sites nearby – Calanais II and Calanais III. Like Led Zeppelin albums, the stone circles around here are numbered, and they are heavy. The central monolith at Callanish is almost five metres tall and weighs around 4½ tonnes. It has a pelt of lichen in pistachio green.

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Travel | The Guardian


‘Instant calm to the soul’: the magic of Cape Clear, Ireland

Whether in search of peace, or adventure, this tiny County Cork island is a haven for escapists

Cape Clear, Ireland’s most southerly island, has been my getaway for almost 30 years. It is the place where I forget which day of the week it is. It’s where I go to imagine a world without Brexit and Trump. The island has a spirit that brings instant calm to the soul. I once had the good fortune to live there for four months. It was then that I first began to write, finding the serenity to hone the craft that would eventually lead to my first novel.

Related: Hot tubs, saunas and seaweed soaks on Ireland’s west coast

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Travel | The Guardian


Magic Johnson’s Resignation From Lakers Prompted By Emails Criticizing His Performance

News details have emerged surrounding Magic Johnson’s resignation from the Lakers as president of basketball operations earlier this month.

According to a Bleacher Report (via Sporting News), the NBA star quit after he was copied on emails between team co-owner Jeanie Buss and general manager Rob Pelinka criticizing his performance with the Lakers.

Fox Sports 1 analyst Ric Bucher shared details about the emails during his appearance on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on Wednesday.

“My understanding is that there were some emails that were exchanged between Rob and Jeanie about Magic and about what Magic was and wasn’t doing,” Bucher told Cowherd. “They were critical emails. And somehow, some way, Jeanie from what I understand was CC’ing or BCC’ing Magic on everything. That was sort of protocol, standard issue. Somehow the exchange between Rob and Jeanie ended up on that string of the blind CC’s that were going to Magic,” he explained.

“So Magic now is seeing emails from Rob to Jeanie that were critical of what he was doing. And maybe most important in all of this, there’s no indication that Jeanie was backing Rob up, in terms of either going to Magic and letting him know that this was going on, or going back at Rob and defending Magic. That was not happening. And so when he talked about the backstabbing, to me my understanding is that’s what started it.”

Johnson appeared to co-sign Bucher’s comments with a tweet on Thursday, saying: “The truth will always come to light,” he wrote (see the post below).

Magic didn’t tell Buss or Pelinka about his decision to quit before shocking fans and NBA colleagues with the announcement at the Lakers’ final game of the season.

“What I didn’t like was the backstabbing and the whispering,” Johnson told reporters. “I didn’t like that. I didn’t like a lot of things that went on that didn’t have to go on.”

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Entertainment – Black America Web


Why You Can’t Blame the Lakers’ Magic Johnson for Calling it Quits

Magic Johnson quit his gig as president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday evening, in unforgettable fashion. Before LA’s last game of its dismal regular season (the team finished 37-45), Johnson told the world of his decision before telling the woman who hired him in the first place: Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. He was afraid Buss was going to talk him out of it.

Next time, just try a text?

Give Johnson some credit, however, for not mincing words as to why he was leaving. “I got a great life. Damn, I got a great life outside of this,” he told the assembled reporters at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “What the F … what am I doing? I got a beautiful life. I’m going back to that beautiful life. I’m looking forward to it.”

Can you blame Magic Johnson for wanting to return to being Magic Johnson for a living? Why make tough calls about the future of Luke Walton, LA’s embattled coach, when you can instead enjoy walking into any room in America, and feeling the love? The Magic job involves smiles and charm and stories and laughter. The Lakers job involves salary cap stress. Now Johnson can say: take your luxury tax — and Lavar Ball while you’re at it — and shove it.

Magic joins a list of Hall of Famers who’ve tried grinding jobs, only to realize the real work stinks. Earlier Tuesday, Magic’s teammate on the 1992 USA Basketball Olympic “Dream Team,” Chris Mullin, also resigned suddenly. After leading St. John’s to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, the Hall of Fame St. John’s player-turned-coach quit after his fourth season (and his first winning one) at the helm. Mullin cited a “recent personal loss” as factoring into his decision; his older brother died of cancer in March. Another ’92 Dream Teamer, Clyde Drexler, quit as coach of his alma mater, the University of Houston, in 2000 after two seasons and a 19-37 record. Drexler cited a desire to spend more time with his family, and acknowledged he almost quit immediately upon starting the job.

“Because of the time that it takes in the coaching profession, in the first week I was thinking, ‘Boy, this is going to be a little bit more difficult than I thought,’” Drexler said back then.

Yes, another Dream Teamer, Larry Bird, enjoyed more success as a coach. He led the Indiana Pacers to the NBA finals in 2000, and won NBA Coach of the Year in his first season, in 1998. Bird walked away after Indiana’s Finals appearance, maintaining that NBA coaches had a three-year shelf life. That’s easy to say when you’re Larry Bird, and can ditch a job you don’t need. The Pacers haven’t returned to the Finals since Bird flew the coop.

Meanwhile, Michael Jordan’s commitment to building the Charlotte Hornets, the franchise he’s owned since 2010, into a winner has repeatedly come into question. Since Jordan bought the team, the Hornets (or Bobcats, the franchise nickname through 2014) have reached the playoffs three times, only to lose in the first round in each appearance.

This isn’t to say beware the Dream Team. Legends have flamed out in other sports too. The Great One, Wayne Gretzky, coached the NHL’s Arizona Coyotes for four seasons from 2005-2009; he finished with a not-so-great record of 143-161 before stepping down. Patrick Roy, the legendary goaltender who won four Stanley Cups during his career — two with the Montreal Canadiens, two with the Colorado Avalanche — coached the Avs for three seasons before resigning in 2016. He made the playoffs just once, losing in the first round. Ted Williams, one of baseball’s greatest hitters of all time, was fired after going 54-100 for the 1972 Texas Rangers. He finished his managerial career 273-364.

People like Patrick Ewing, who took over as coach at his alma mater Georgetown in 2017, and Anfernee “Penny” Hardaway, who just finished his first season as coach of alma mater Memphis, may enjoy different results than the other stars. (In three combined seasons so far, Hardaway and Ewing have finished .500 or better each year, but made zero NCAA tournament appearances). And Bill Russell did win back-to-back titles, in 1968 and 1969, as player-coach of the Boston Celtics. Though without Russell the player in the lineup, Russell the coach finished under .500 in four seasons leading the Seattle Sonics in the 1970s, and a dismal 17-41 as coach of the Sacramento Kings for part of the 1987-88 season.

Perhaps these big-name players should take a cue from golf hero Arnold Palmer. People used to say that no one loved being Arnold Palmer more than Arnold Palmer. With his playing days behind him, he didn’t spend his time working as a coach or tour commissioner or anything like that. Instead, he’d order himself to drink at the Masters. In other words, he lived like a legend.

Sports – TIME


Her Magic Moment: Meet the New President of Magic Johnson Enterprises

Christina Francis has made a lifelong habit of being a quiet power. The ability to lay low while doing great work, only to surge ahead at the finish, stunning her peers and competitors, has served her well. Most recently, it landed her in the lead at Magic Johnson Enterprises, where in January, she was named president.

Francis, who cut her teeth in business with strategic marketing roles at top companies including Walt Disney World, Nissan Motor Corporation, and IBM, wasn’t competing with anyone other than herself for the coveted position.

Ever since Johnson returned to the Lakers organization as president of basketball operations in February 2017, Francis has been effectively leading the company with Johnson still serving as chairman and CEO.

“Earvin had a grand plan and I just kept doing the work,” says Francis. Especially once her boss accepted the Lakers post, “He was very clear in letting me know he was ready for me to step out there, he just was waiting to see that I was ready. He’s been an amazing mentor and, yeah, I’m ready.”

Work Hard, Play Hard, Climb!

Francis first met Johnson in 2003, when she was an account manager at the multicultural advertising agency UniWorld Group, leading national campaigns for Lincoln Mercury. Johnson was impressed, and Francis was soon hired to market and run his 30 Burger King restaurants. Within two years, she was recruited by the Orange Bowl Committee to be chief marketing officer for the South Florida sports brand which, during her tenure there, logged record growth and visibility.

In 2010, Francis was tapped by the NFL Players Association to be vice president of marketing and events. In 2014, Johnson recruited Francis back to what was by then a burgeoning business empire with a growing portfolio of investments in companies focused on serving emerging multicultural communities. As senior vice president of marketing and communications at Magic Johnson Enterprises, the role brought together the broad range of experience Francis had cultivated throughout her career. It also spoke to her desire to serve a larger purpose, a core value in the New Orleans home where she was raised.

The youngest of six children, Francis earned her MBA from the University of New Orleans after majoring in political science and Spanish at HBCU Xavier University. Perhaps it was there that she perfected the art of flying under the radar.

“I was the one who sat in the back of the class, talking,” she says, laughing. “I was Christina on the yard, hanging out. But I took good notes and always had a good ear for mastering the concepts. No one knew I was headed to be valedictorian.”

Not only did Francis graduate as valedictorian in just three years, outside of her family, few were aware that she was a straight A student (save one B, in English Lit) and that her father was Norman Francis, the college’s storied president.

“I worked hard and I played hard,” Christina says of her school days. “I still do that here. When you’re doing something you love and believe in, its hard to identify what’s hard. I think the hardest part for me is, I’m actually kind of shy.”

Valuing Vision Over Visibility

The January announcement of her promotion sparked a heightened level of visibility that Francis is still processing. “It’s been the most humbling experience to have the texts, emails and LinkedIn responses,” says Francis. “I have been behind the scenes for years promoting my boss, promoting the company, the mission, and our progress. People who knew me weren’t surprised. People who didn’t were completely shocked because they had no idea what I did.”

Her transition has been seamless, underpinned by Johnson’s unqualified support. “Christina is a consummate professional and brilliant businesswoman,” the NBA legend said in a press release. “I trust her to continue growing this company to new heights and establishing new partnerships in the coming years.”

The company’s mission to do well while investing in emerging multicultural communities is sure, but Francis is still working through the rest.

“He’s put a lot in my hands” she says of her boss. “Right now I need to own where I am, and take stock of where I want the company to go. Earvin is open to change, he’s open to growth, he’s open to always finding ways to do things better. So I can’t tell you right now where you’ll see my imprint, but I know that’s why he placed me here.

“He trusts my vision,” Francis adds. “I do too.”

The post Her Magic Moment: Meet the New President of Magic Johnson Enterprises appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


MAC is launching an Aladdin collection and it’s about to open up a whole new world of magic

Calling all Disney lovers…

MAC Aladdin

Words by Sophie Saleh

Your wishes are about to come true, as MAC has announced a collaboration with Disney’s live action Aladdin movie, which hits cinemas on the 24th May.

Packed with a mix of precious metals and Jasmine-inspired jewel tones, there’s no doubt you’ll be left feeling like a princess when this drops.

MAC’s senior artist and BBC 3 Glow Up judge Dominic Skinner took to Instagram to confirm the news, writing: ‘Just you wait till you see what the collection has in store for you!! Your wish, our command!

‘Manifest your magic with the Disney Aladdin Collection by M·A·C. Launching this May, this wish-fulfilling collaboration highlights the self-determination and confidence of Princess Jasmine in the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disneu’s animated classic, Aladdin – in theatres May 24.’

The campaign puts Naomi Scott, who plays our hero Princess Jasmine in the upcoming film, at the forefront adorned in turquoise and gold.

A lot of the details are still yet to be released, but at the moment there are three products that we know about – cleverly mirroring the Genie’s three wishes granted to Aladdin. Until then, you can sign up for Aladdin updates on MAC’s website.

So far we’ve seen an eyeshadow palette, lipstick and bronzer, all encased in beautifully golden packaging, and MAC have shared some of the eyeshadow swatches on Instagram. All we can say is, take our money NOW.

MAC Aladdin

We’re already lusting over the nine-pan eyeshadow palette filled with purple and golden shimmers, and the hot pink lipstick named A Whole New World has really caught our attention. Not to mention the warm-toned bronzer that we hope will give us that Jasmine-esque glow.

The limited edition collection is said to be available on the 1st of May, so be sure to save that date as it’s going to sell out pretty fast. And, if we’re lucky, there may be a few more additions to the colourful range.

Thanks, Genie.

The post MAC is launching an Aladdin collection and it’s about to open up a whole new world of magic appeared first on Marie Claire.

Marie Claire


Style Your Home’s Outdoors with All the Perfect Additions from MacKenzie-Childs! Save on Tables, House Letters & Chairs. Shop Now!

Kamala Harris Addresses Criticism, Black Girl Magic, And More at Women of Power Summit

In a room packed with nearly 1,500 black women, Sen. Kamala Harris took the stage at the 2019 Women of Power Summit, opening up about her multicultural upbringing, run for president, and black girl magic during a fireside chat with media personality Star Jones. The Democratic senator walked out with a wide radiant smile and was greeted by a warm and excited audience as Shanice’s 1991 hit “I Love Your your Smile” befittingly played in the background.

Harris was one of several high profile speakers that headlined the BLACK ENTERPRISE Women of Power Summit, an annual three-day leadership conference designed for professional women of color. Others included Stacey Abrams, Valerie Jarret, Dallas Maverick CEO Cynt Marshall, Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, and Chaka Khan, who was honored at the summit’s legacy awards gala.

During her session, which took place Friday morning at The Mirage in Las Vegas, Harris described herself as a “joyful warrior” and talked about her plan to reform the country should she win the White House next year. The underlying tone of her message was optimistic, yet realistic about the harsh realities the country faces. The two-term senator also kept it real about what it means to be a black woman.

Here are nine sistergirl moments Harris shared at the conference.

Kamala Harris

Sen. Kamala Harris and Star Jones at the Women of Power Summit (Black Enterprise)

An Ode To Howard University

Harris, who launched her presidential campaign on Dr. Martin Luther King Day, credited her success to two things: her family and education at Howard University.

“You’re in an environment that … tells you that you can be great and you will be given the resources and the expectation to achieve that, and the only thing standing in the way of your success will be you,” she said of her alma mater. “It teaches you as a young black woman or man that you don’t have to be limited by other people’s perceptions of who you are, that you come from great people, [and] stand on shoulders of those who came before us.”

The Power of Sisterhood

The California official talked about the support she gets as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and recently seeing so many of her sorors during her visit to Howard University last week. That prompted the sorors in the room to erupt with skee-wees and raise their pinkies high.

“There is great power that comes with the sisterhood,” said Harris. “The word support undervalues the significance of it, but it is the thing that keeps you going. I would not have been able to accomplish what I have in my career and in my life without my actual sister and my chosen sisters. There is no way I’d be where I am today.”

Defying Expectation

Like many black women, Harris has been underrated and her competence has been questioned. “There have been moments where throughout my career people underestimated my ability to get something done,” she said.

Harris, who became the first black woman to serve as Attorney General in California and the second black woman to be elected as a U.S. Senator, added that people have also doubted her ability to win an elected office. “I’ve had the setback of attempting to run for office that nobody thought that we could win and all that comes with that.”

However, she used negative perceptions of herself as a source of motivation. “Good, underestimate me. I can work with that,” she said with defiance.

“Kamala Was POPO”

When asked about the criticism she has received about her record as a prosecutor in California, Harris said, “it’s a matter of mischaracterizing the purpose and the goal and the role.”

The former Attorney General was also candid about the scrutiny she faced from her family when she first decided to become a prosecutor. “My family looked at me like I was crazy,” she admitted. “With some of them, I had to defend the decision like one would a thesis.”

Nevertheless, she says she purposely ran for the position so she could reform the system from the inside. “I said ‘there has to be a role for us in the inside of the room where the decisions are made.’” For example, she pointed to the reentry program she created in 2004 as a District Attorney to help young men arrested for drug sales. Through the initiative, first-time non-violent offenders could have their records cleared if they obtained a GED, steady employment, took parenting classes, and passed drug tests.

Despite her intentions, Harris says she expects people to continue to slam her record. “People are going to say, ‘Kamala was popo,’” she laughed. “Somebody gotta be popo because there are some victims, and we do need to advocate for the victims,” added Jones — a former prosecutor, herself.

Being Misunderstood as a Black Woman

Harris knows firsthand how it feels to be misunderstood. A lot needs to be done so the world can understand “who black women are and understand the breadth and depth of who we are,” she said. She added, “there are so many who are unclear about it because they have not chosen to inform themselves.” However, to overcome the stigmas and stereotypes attached to black womanhood, Harris encouraged black women to not let other people’s expectation define them.

Black Girl Magic

When asked when she first recognized her own ‘Black Girl Magic,’ Harris said she feels it most when it’s reflected in other black women around her.

“When I see you, I feel it,” Harris told Jones. “When we see it in each other, I think that that’s when we see it. It’s not about one as an individual; it’s about us as a collective.”

Jones followed up asking Harris who would she use her ‘Black Girl Magic’ to make disappear. After a long pause, Harris finally answered, saying she would use it to eradicate poverty.

‘Isms’ Are Real

Black women know best the impact that “isms” have on disenfranchised communities. They are a constant and dreadful reminder of the systemic obstacles they face every single day. However, for far too long, society has tried to hide and downplay these institutionalized barriers.

“If Charlottesville didn’t make it clear, if the Tree of Life Synagogue [massacre] didn’t make it clear, racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, [and] transphobia are real,” said Harris. “Let’s speak those truths so we can deal with it.”

Opening The Door

Harris announced that she hired a black woman to be the state director for her campaign in Iowa where the black population is a mere 3.2%. Nonetheless, Harris has confidence in her state director’s ability to organize residents on her behalf. “If you look at her skill set, and her experience, and her talent, and all that she contributes, she is one of the strongest state directors anyone will ever have in Iowa,” said Harris.

Praising Shirley Chisholm

Harris talked about standing on the shoulders of Shirley Chisholm, who became the first black woman to run for president in a major party in 1972: “I am inspired by her every day,” she said.

Watch Sen. Harris’s full fireside chat with Star Jones below.

The post Kamala Harris Addresses Criticism, Black Girl Magic, And More at Women of Power Summit appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


The ‘magic’ lift pass to 30 Swiss ski resorts

Switzerland’s new Magic Pass covers little-known villages in Val d’Anniviers with peaceful pistes and untracked powder

Was this really a ski resort? It was hard to tell when we arrived at the empty car park just outside Evolène, in Switzerland’s Val d’Anniviers. The usual ski resort paraphernalia – pylons, giant flashing piste maps, noisy bars – was absent. I couldn’t even see any lifts at first. Then we spied a path leading to a lone rickety-looking, two-man chairlift that clunked up through a milky fog, with an attendant overjoyed to see customers.

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Travel | The Guardian


Dodgers need to find that old magic and quick

LOS ANGELES — On the 30th anniversary of Kirk Gibson’s miraculous home run, the Dodgers could find no magic and not one single clutch hit. The hard reality is that if not for Justin Turner’s two-run, eighth-inning home run in Game 2 the Dodgers would be looking at the possibility being swept by the Brewers….
Sports | New York Post