Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Unsubscribe

March 31, 2014

reading, tabloid, newspaper, gossip

This week, outraged magazine readers fought back and opted to unsubscribe from their favorite monthlies over a disagreement with the editor in chief’s choices.

First it was Vogue. People love to hate Kim Kardashian, and when Anna Wintour put her and fiancé Kanye West on the cover of this month’s issue, the backlash was strong and swift. Many readers began campaigns to cancel their subscriptions, citing that Ms. Kardashian had no right to earn the highly coveted spot. She is not a model, reached fame through a homemade porn video,and has displayed questionable fashion sense in the past. She is not only one of the most “disliked” people in the business, she is also one of the most talked about.
It is always mind boggling to me, that every time a website posts a story about Kim Kardashian, a plethora of people take the time to log in, and post a derogatory comment. First of all, websites measure click throughs and comments to gauge the popularity of a post. Each of those people clicked through, presumably read the article, and then logged in, often to tell the site that they don’t care about her and that they should stop featuring her. Those click throughs and comments all add up, and send the editor and cyber bean counters a very different message.

While we are here, let me ask you another question? When was the last time a model graced the cover of your favorite fashion bible?
Uh-huh. Not recently. Celebrities, i.e. actresses and musicians sell more magazines at the newsstand than models. Models all want to be actresses anyways (and then they get their cover stories!) actresses all want to be fashion designers, and who knows what designers want to be anymore. Kim Kardashian and Vogue just experienced a huge PR boon, thanks to all the articles, interviews and Facebook posts that came about from people expressing dismay over her cover story.

A few days later, Self magazine came under fire. They featured a photo of 2 women running a marathon in tutus, and ridiculed the look. When readers discovered that one of those women was a cancer victim and made the tutus to raise money to fight the disease, they were outraged. Self’s editor in chief, Lucy Danziger issued a quick apology, which riled up her readership even more. She subsequently spoke to the women personally, and wrote a very positive article about her. Tutu sales jumped to the point that they cannot accept anymore orders. Readers responded with threats to cancel their subscriptions.

Had this women not been a cancer patient, and her choice of running attire not been philanthropic, would the outcry have been so strong? This is a magazine about women embracing their bodies and pursuing good health through diet and fitness. Is making fun of women running in tutus keeping true to the message the magazine hopes to convey? Anyone who trains for and completes a marathon is a role model. If doing so in a tutu provides motivation, we say “go for it!” Ms. Danziger not only apologized for the faux pas, but offered to work closely with the women to support her cause. She also brought great awareness to tutu project, which in turn brought them more orders. We all make mistakes, and this was a big one. It was also resolved to the best of the magazine’s ability. Isn’t that enough?

We are living in a world where we are so spoiled, that if a magazine features something that doesn’t suit us, we retaliate. How different is this to packing up our dolls and dishes and going home when we were 5 years old and our friend didn’t want to play the way we did?

We have a right to our opinions and a thanks to the internet, a forum to express them whether anyone wants to hear them or not.

Only time will tell if the magazines in question had any significant decline to subscriptions, or if the additional press served to sell more ad pages.

Now that that is cleared up, feel free to go back to postulateing  about Gwyneth Paltrow’s “conscious uncoupling,” until someone else does something you can complian about.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Sneezing On The Truth

March 20, 2014

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It’s here. A runny nose, sneezing, and a dry throat. It’s clearly a cold, and it’s not fun. As I sit, blowing my nose and sneezing in duplicate, I am wondering what really happens when you sneeze. I mean, it’s a really weird feeling, and the anticipation of an oncoming sneeze is even more annoying than the sneeze itself. Some say a sneeze is the closest thing to death, and that the heart actually stops beating. Others claim a sneeze travels at the speed of 100 miles per hour. Inquiring minds want to know, so I set out to seek the truth about sneezes.

Apparently the Myth Busters were intrigued by this concept too. They clocked their sneezes using an ultra high speed camera, and found that they traveled close to 35 mph, a far cry from the 100 mph. we hear about. As for the distance that the snot traveled, neither one of them flung the phlegm farther (say that fast 5 times!) than 17 feet.

Regardless of how fast and furious our body fluids travel during a sneeze, it’s important to cover your mouth, ideally with your arm. If you use your hand to cover your mouth, please wash it immediately, because that’s how the germs get spread. (Duh.)

Scientists attribute the sneeze as the nose’s way of “rebooting. ” The pressure caused by the sneeze resets the environment in the nasal passages, allowing the bad particles we breathe in,to be trapped.

The heart does not stop during a sneeze, but it does slow down. While this could cause you to miss a beat, it is generally unnoticeable.

A sneeze starts in your nerves, which explains why you never sneeze in your sleep. Those sneeze triggering nerves go to sleep too. And just like the involuntary kick induced by tapping on the knee with a tiny mallet, our eyes close when we sneeze.

It’s common to sneeze in multiples. It often takes a few tries to get those bad particles out, making us ah-choo in twos.

Sneezes are a nuisance, but they have their place. Trying to stop them is unhealthy, and can lead to ruptured blood vessels and ear drums. If you wish to quiet a sneeze, try pressing on the area just above the upper lip, taking a deep breath, or rubbing your nose.

By the way, Gesundheit, a German phrase often uttered after someone sneezes means “good health.”

photo: Glasshouse Images

Hot Tips Tuesday: Winter Feet

March 4, 2014

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News flash: Spring is coming! It may take awhile, and we may sustain more polar vortex incidents along the way, but it will, in fact come. Don’t be caught by surprise when sandal season arrives and your feet are simply not ready.

The cold temperatures and dry air wreck havoc on our skin, and although they remain covered, it takes a toll on our feet. Running doesn’t help, causing blisters and callouses on top of dry, cracked soles.
Alas, there is an inexpensive and easy way to solve the problem.
Slather Vaseline or Aquaphor in a thick layer on the soles of your feet, massage a little into the tops and toes, and put on a pair of heavy socks. Depending on your preference, either go to the gym and work out, or go to sleep. The petroleum jelly will soften all the callouses, prevent chafing ( if you run: no worries about that if you just sleep!) and leave your feet baby soft after just a couple of treatments. A simple soak in the bathtub and a pumice stone will slough off the old skin and leave you with soft, presentable soles.
You’re welcome.

photo: Glasshouse Images

You Are All Invited!

February 23, 2014

I am hosting a fundraiser for Cycle for Survival this Wednesday night and you are all invited! We have an amazing line up of musicians, comediennes, complimentary snacks, cocktails and a few special raffle prizes! (perhaps a designer handbag or two?) It’s at Bongo, a great mid-century modern lounge in the West Village that you all should know about. They have an amazing view of the Hudson River, and the best lobster rolls in town!

We have added more artists since the invite was created, so look out for Polly A., (formerly performing as Meleni Smith), and the musical comedienne, Ben Lerman. You can check them both out on Spotify. They will be joined by the incredible Iman Europe and her beautiful, soulful vocals, and Cecilia Gault, whose talent far exceeds her years. We are thrilled to have Eric Schwortz of Nature Cruise doing a solo set, as well as local faves Laura DeLucia and Aaron Giata, guitarist Peter Knoll,  and Mike Hubbard. And if your stomach hurts from laughing at Maribeth Mooney, don’t say you weren’t warned. Stay tuned, because you never know what else is up our sleeves!

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We are also grateful to Glasshouse Images for their support of this special event.

If you are in New York, please come by and enjoy the festivities, while contributing to a very worthy cause.

If you can’t join us, but would like to donate to Cycle for Survival, to help the amazing folks at Memorial Sloane Kettering Hospital fight rare cancers, please click here. All proceeds from the event will go directly into research, and no gift is too big or too small.

I hope to see you on Wednesday night. Be sure to come by and introduce yourself, AND SPREAD THE WORD!!

You can have a great time, while fighting cancer…sounds like a win/ win situation to me!

The Elephant in the Room

February 13, 2014

Tonight, I experienced something so intriguing, I had to share it.

Girl on Subway

While riding home on a crowded subway, I observed an empty seat across from me with a $5 bill on it. Some people looked at the money, and quickly looked away. Others pretended not to notice it at all. Although many people were standing, the seat with the money on it remained empty. After a few minutes, I started to look around, amazed that nobody had said anything, or pocketed it on their way out. Was this being filmed with a hidden camera for one of those “What would you do?” television shows? Were people so afraid of being negatively judged that they didn’t want to have anyone see them take the money? Were we all secretly hoping that a homeless person would come along and we could self-rightously hand it to them, and experience a feel good moment?

At one point a man boarded the train, saw the empty seat and the $5 bill, and perched uncomfortably on the edge of the bench, so as not to touch or acknowledge the money’s presence.  He seemed relieved as he exited the train, $5 bill still intact on the seat. Again, people boarded the train and discreetly ignored the money, leaving it, and it’s coveted rush hour seat alone.

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Like the proverbial elephant in the room, the money was the obvious issue that nobody wanted to be the one to acknowledge. In an anonymous city where people rush from place to place, and  a $5 bill is as important to some as a dirty penny laying in a gutter, and to others, their only chance for some food, it’s existence played a big role in this evening’s turn of events.
What do you think was going on? Did someone discreetly pocket it, when the crowd thinned out, or is it still riding comfortably on a seat in the #1 Broadway local? What would you have done?
Let us know in the comments below.

photos: Glasshouse Images

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What We’re Buzzing About This Week

February 6, 2014

Boots in Snow

It’s been a full week,and people across America are buzzing about the turn of events.

First up,the newly crowned winner of this season’s Biggest Loser dropped 155 pounds in just 14 weeks, triggering an outcry that she may have gone too far. At 5′ 4″, Rachel Frederickson weighs 105 pounds, just shy of a healthy BMI. While most professionals consider 1 to 2 pounds per week healthy and sustainable weight loss, Frederickson shed 1.5 pounds per day! Did she go too far?

Discussing the weather has moved from banal small talk to a hot topic. We have been bombarded by snow, extremely low temperatures and tornadoes, with no sign of it letting up. Is Mother Nature mad at us, or is all the buzz about global climate change really not just a political issue? Discuss.

Facebook is celebrating it’s 10th birthday by offering it’s loyal followers a personalized memory video. The cheesy retrospective, set to muzak, is based on your photos, most liked posts and profile pictures generated during your time on the social network.  It could move you to tears, make you cringe and at the very least lead you to re-evaluate what you share with the world.

Sports journalists are arriving in Sochi, Russia, in anticipation of the upcoming Olympics. What they are finding is accommodations that are well below sub-standard. Broken toilets, group toilets, and brown water are among the highlights of the hotel rooms they are staying in. One reporter found a large insect preserved for eternity in the packet of honey he opened at breakfast. Between the squalor and the terror threats, this is going to be an interesting Olympics. Let the games begin!

New York Fashion Week gets underway today, so again,  let the games begin!

Photo: Glasshouse Images

Golden Girls

January 27, 2014

The ladies of the music world positively glowed in gold as they made their way across the red carpet:

Chrissy Teigen channeled old Hollywood glamour in her gorgeous gold gown by Johanna Johnson.

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Taylor Swift went platinum in  shimmer by Gucci.

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Amber Rose rocked golden stripes by Naeem Kahn.

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Chiara brought maternity glam to the red carpet in her Emilio Pucci devoré gown.

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Rita Ora wore a simple Lanvin frock in gold with a patina effect.

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Unrecipe of the Week: Hot Chocolate Mix

December 18, 2013

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Homemade gifts embody the true spirit of the season. They come from the heart, are made with love and tend to be sweet.
This recipe for homemade hot chocolate mix is perfect for gift giving. It’s easy to make, and is can be customized to suit the recipient.

Package it in a mason jar tied with a beautiful ribbon, or in a bag tucked inside a lovely mug. Add a special spoon, or a bag of homemade marshmallows. Perhaps a small bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Peppermint Schnapps with some candy canes on the side might take the edge off of a cold winter’s night. The possibilities are myriad, and the results well worth the effort. Why use preservative laden mixes when making your own is so simple, and so much more flavorful?

Hot Chocolate Mix: 

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup Dutch processed high quality cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups powdered milk ( many hot chocolate aficionados swear by Nestle’s  “Nida” whole milk powder )

1 scant teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cornstarch

* add a pinch of cayenne pepper for a spicy twist if desired

Mix all of the ingredients thoroughly with a whisk to prevent clumps, and store in an airtight container.

To serve:
Fill a mug 1/2 way with the dry mixture and pour in hot water. Stir until mixed, add the garnish of your choice and enjoy!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Smartphone-itus

October 31, 2013

Children using smartphones, standing in a row

Several years ago, when my office gave me a Blackberry, I quickly became addicted. So addicted, that my family and friends referred to it as my “Crackberry.” Now, everyone it seems, has some kind of smartphone, and the unnatural attachment to them is causing more than just annoyance.

This week, New York magazine did a feature story on the medical and physiological issues associated with gadget over use. Here are a few of the phone woes to watch for:

Nomophobia:
An acronym for “no mobile phone phobia,” this ailment affects about 66% of the population. Similar to other types of separation anxiety, the user suffers when away from their phone for even a few minutes. Symptoms include sweating, nausea and trembling.

Laptop Thigh and Scrotal Hyperthermia:

After prolonged use, the laptops lower casing can reach up to 125 degrees. Use of said hot laptop on bare legs can result in burns and discolored skin.

This intense heat can increase the temperature of the scrotum more than 6 degrees in one hour, resulting in lowering, or even halting sperm production.

Texting Thumb:

Tendentious of the thumbs is becoming more common, due the extra work they are doing while sending texts.

iPosture:

An astounding 84% of all 18-24 year olds report some kind of neck or back discomfort. The hunched position that we all assume when fiddling with our iphones is contributing to aches, pains and overall bad posture.

To avoid some of these problems, take precautions throughout the day.

Place a towel on your lap to prevent the heat from the laptop from penetrating through to your skin, and your “lap.”

Take a few minutes throughout the day to stretch, doing neck rolls and shoulder stretches to alleviate the stiffness. Move your thumbs across the palm of your hands to stretch them out, and squeeze a small ball to build up grip strength.

Or, better yet, just simply step away from the gadgets. Just try it. We KNOW you can do it!

photo: Glasshouse Images

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Light Sleep

October 25, 2013

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Experts have advised against using electronic devices before bed, citing that the light emitted from them can disrupt sleep. New research has emerged that suggests this theory may be a bit extreme.

Dr. Lois Krahn, a psychiatry professor at the Mayo Clinic suggests that either dimming the screen’s brightness, or holding the device at least 14″ away from the eyes keeps the light at a level below that which is believed to effect the production of melotonin, a hormone that promotes sleep.

Good news for those of us who are tethered to our electronics until they are ready to go to bed.

photo: Glasshouse Images

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