|SCIENTOLOGY BUYS HOLLYWOOD STUDIO|
Whether or not you want to see more movies based on L. Ron Hubbard's writings—and most critics who saw Battlefield: Earth would sooner go blind—Scientologists now have the facilities to make them. The controversial organization has bought a landmark movie studio in Hollywood from a struggling public television station, reports the Telegraph. The 5-acre site on Sunset Boulevard has been owned by Monogram Pictures and Allied Artists, and has produced blockbusters like El Cid, starring Charlton Heston, and John Ford's The Hurricane. The site adds to Scientology's already large capacity to create films and television. The organization says it plans to use the studio as a media hub connecting its thousands of centers worldwide.
|HOMELESS MOM FACES JAIL FOR SENDING SON TO SCHOOL|
A homeless mother who sent her child to the wrong Connecticut public school could be jailed for up to 20 years for stealing $15,686—the cost of a year's education in Norwalk. Tanya McDowell was charged with grand larceny after authorities discovered that she sent her 6-year-old son to a school in Norwalk using a fake address, reports the New York Daily News. Authorities say she should have sent him to a school in Bridgeport, where she sometimes slept at a friend's apartment. The Connecticut Parents Union is backing McDowell in her battle with authorities. "I'm very disappointed in the mayor's leadership," said a spokeswoman. "He's responsible not only for adult taxpayers but future taxpayers. To be so callous on this issue and victimize the mom. Nobody is focusing on this child." The mayor, who stresses that McDowell has a criminal record and is not a "poor, picked-upon homeless person," says penalties must be enforced for stealing the city's services.
|SAN FRANCISCO MAY VOTE TO END CIRCUMCISION|
Is San Francisco about to cut out circumcision? A group of "intactivists" hope so; they’ve submitted 12,265 signatures to the city’s Department of Elections in a bid to get a ban on the practice placed on the ballot this November, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. If even 7,168 of the signatures check out, voters will be able to weigh in on the ban, which would apply to everyone under age 18. Proponents gathered outside city hall yesterday to hand in the signatures, wearing pins reading, “May the foreskin be with you.” Some said they’d been circumcised as infants, and weren’t happy about it. “I discovered my sexuality and body had been impacted by this—for no reason and without my consent,” said one man who’d collected 300 signatures. “To cut any body part off somebody who can’t consent, to me is just madness.”
|SETI GIVES UP SEARCH FOR ALIENS|
Budget cuts have forced the SETI Institute in California to shut down its famous search for extraterrestrial life, reports the San Jose Mercury News. The institute can no longer afford to operate its Allen Telescope Array, which has been scanning outer space for sign of communication since 2007. As a result, it's been in what the institute calls "hibernation" since April 15. "There is a huge irony that a time when we discover so many planets to look at, we don't have the operating funds to listen," said SETI's director, referring to the dozens of new planets spotted by the Kepler telescope. Billionaire Paul Allen provided much of the money to build the system in the first place, but the costs of day-to-day operations are proving too much now that the National Science Foundation and the state of California have slashed contributions, notes Live Science.
|MLB TAKES CONTROL OF DODGERS|
Boston real estate developer Frank McCourt once tried to buy his hometown Red Sox, and Boston fans should rejoice today that the deal fell through. McCourt instead bought the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he's made such a mess of things that Major League Baseball today took over the finances of the reeling club, reports the Los Angeles Times. What's more, MLB chief Bud Selig may force the sale of the team by using the "best interests of baseball" clause, adds the New York Times. How bad is it? The club is more than $400 million in debt, and season tickets have fallen from 27,000 in 2007 to about 17,000 this year, says the LAT. McCourt needed a $30 million personal loan from the club's previous owner, Fox Entertainment, to make the first payroll of the seaon this year. And his ultra-nasty public divorce (still unresolved) hasn't helped things. "This has been like watching a soap opera unfold," says the president of LA's chamber of commerce.
|OSCAR-NOMINATED DIRECTOR KILLED IN LIBYA|
Acclaimed war photographer and Oscar-nominated director Tim Hetherington was killed today during shelling in Misrata, reports the New York Times. Hetherington is probably best known as co-director of the Aghan war documentary Restrepo. Two other photojournalists were seriously wounded: Getty's Chris Hondros and British citizen Guy Martin. Hetherington also produced pieces for ABC's Nightline about his Restrepo subject, the Korengal Valley. An executive producer for the show recounts a story: "During shooting for the Nightline specials, he very seriously broke his leg on a night march out of a very isolated forward operating base that was under attack. He had the strength and character to walk for four hours through the night on his shattered ankle without complaint and under fire, enabling that whole team to reach safety."
|IPHONE 5 COMING IN SEPTEMBER|
The next generation of the iPhone is coming, but not until September, sources tell Reuters. News recently surfaced that Apple probably won't announce its newest phone in June as it normally does; now it looks like production of the new iPhone will begin in July or August and the device will start shipping in September. It is expected to look similar to the iPhone 4, but include a faster processor. Mashable notes that other rumored upgrades to the iPhone 5—if in fact that's what Apple is calling it—include a better camera and bigger screen. Now that Verizon is selling the iPhone, AT&T's new contract-based subscribers have dropped off dramatically. New subscribers on contract-based plans bring in the most revenue each month, and there were only 62,000 in the first quarter—a record low, the AP notes. One year prior, the same period saw 512,000 new subscribers; several previous quarters saw more than a million. However, AT&T says the percentage of iPhone subscribers who canceled service was the same as last year, so Verizon hasn't been siphoning off current AT&T customers. And current customers are still buying iPhones: AT&T activated 3.6 million iPhones in that quarter, an increase from last year's figure of 2.7 million. The carrier also activated 322,000 tablet subscriptions, making the iPad a possible siphon.
|TYLER PERRY TO SPIKE LEE: 'GO TO HELL!'|
The long feud between directors Tyler Perry and Spike Lee is still raging. Perry recently fired back at Lee telling him to “go to hell” after Lee said Perry’s movies “harken to the Amos 'n Andy” days. While Perry’s website message was vague and resilient, defending his work as both spiritually uplifting and fun, his words for Lee were blunt and harsh in the press conference. “I’m so sick of hearing about damn Spike Lee,” Perry said during the press conference (via Box Office Magazine). “Spike can go straight to hell! You can print that. I am sick of him talking about me, I am sick of him saying, ‘this is a coon, this is a buffoon.’ I am sick of him talking about black people going to see movies. This is what he said: ‘you vote by what you see,’ as if black people don’t know what they want to see.”
|LADY GAGA AND WEIRD AL HAVE A WILD DAY|
Everywhere from The New York Times to TMZ, reports have surfaced that Lady Gaga had refused permission for "Weird Al" Yankovic to release a parody of "Born This Way" called "Perform This Way." Yankovic himself blogged about the apparent rejection — and posted the offending song on his YouTube account — writing that Gaga's people had given him the runaround, asking for the lyrics, then asking for the finished song, then flatly rejecting the final product after he'd gone to the expense of canceling a vacation, booking a studio, paying musicians and recording it. Thankfully for all involved it turns out that Gaga's people have reversed course and approved the parody after all. Her manager said: "Gaga didn't refuse permission of the record. In fact, she's never heard it and is a big Weird Al fan." Gaga has now heard the song and approved of its release. And, as Yankovic was promising all along, all proceeds from the song and its video will be donated to the Human Rights Campaign. As Yankovic himself writes, "I'm thrilled on many levels to hear this, because 1) I truly respect and admire Gaga as an artist and it pained me to think of her as having less than a great sense of humor, and 2) it means I GET TO PUT OUT MY ALBUM!"
|16 & PREGNANT STAR PUNCHES BABY-DADDY|
One of the newest 16 and Pregnant teen moms has been accused of punching her baby daddy in the face during an argument. This is the same couple who had another altercation late last year when Josh Smith was arrested for domestic violence against his girlfriend Jennifer Del Rio. Then again, earlier this month, he allegedly threatened to have her raped. This time around, Josh claims Jennifer attacked him when he tried to break things off with her, claiming she became "irate" and "punched him in the face and pulled on his shirt." Jennifer wasn't arrested, but a police report was taken.
|ITALIAN MAYOR WARNS JERSEY SHORE CAST TO BEHAVE|
In case you haven't heard, the Jersey Shore cast is going to Italy—but the mayor of Florence somehow expects the reality show not to "promote Florence as a drinking town." That's just one of the rules he's given to the cast. The New York Post, citing an Italian newspaper, notes that others include "The cast will not be filmed in bars and clubs that serve alcohol" and "The cast will not be filmed drinking in public." Which makes you wonder ... what exactly will they be doing there? Click for the rest of the rules.
|CHARLIE SHEEN STILL CAN'T GET CUSTODY|
Charlie Sheen lost his custody battle for 2-year-old twin sons Max and Bob. A Los Angeles judge granted Sheen's estranged wife Brooke Mueller continued primary legal and physical custody of the twins. Mueller, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse, reentered rehab Monday; in what some termed "a well-publicized relapse in her crack cocaine addiction." Sources say Mueller appeared wobbly and "glassy-eyed" during the hearing and gave no comment when asked if she was pleased with the court's ruling. Mueller's mother, Moira Fiore, will watch the boys while Mueller undergoes treatment at rehab. After court, Charlie boarded a private jet and hurried to Washington D.C. where he made it just in time for his stage show. Unfortunately, the performance was another bomb that had people leaving the theater almost as soon as the show started.
|GLEE EXTRA FIRED FOR PROM SPOILER|
Glee extra Nicole Crowther used her Twitter account Sunday night to hold a Q&A session with fans and gave away some major details of the upcoming prom episode. The spoiler in question and the rest of Crowther's Twitter account have since been deleted, but the damage has been done and she was fired. Writer, director and producer of the hit Fox TV show Brad Falchuk immediately blasted the budding starlet on Twitter basically telling her to take a hike and find a new job. "Hope you're qualified to do something besides work in entertainment," Falchuk wrote.
|DEATH THREATS AGAINST REBECCA BLACK|
Police are investigating two death threats made to 13 year-old internet sensation Rebecca Black. Police in Anaheim, California are investigating two death threats that were made sometime during March, after the singer's debut track 'Friday' became a massive hit on YouTube. An Anaheim Police spokesman said: "In essence the threats were related to getting the music off the internet or they were going to kill her. We can't validate how serious they are, but we do take it seriously." He added: "We're going to investigate and determine the source of the comments and then based on the investigation determine what intent was and where we go from here. If we believe they were actually intended as threats we will work toward prosecution." Martinez added that one of the threats was made by phone, the other via email. ''Friday' has now been viewed more than 200 million times on YouTube.
|HOOVER PULLS ADS FROM ABC OVER SOAP CANCELLATIONS|
|ARNOLD AS PRESIDENT OF THE EU?|
Arnold Schwarzenegger, who made a seamless transition from Hollywood film stardom to California governor, could have his sights set on a new job as next head of the European Union, US media reported. The Austrian-born former body builder, 63, at loose ends as he tries to figure out what his next act should be, reportedly is being advised by aides to return to his native Europe to run for the EU presidency, Newsweek reported. "In the next few years, the EU will be looking for a much more high-profile president -- somebody who can unify Europe," Schwarzenegger's chief of staff Terry Tamminen told the magazine. "The French won't want a German, and the Germans won't want an Italian. How about a European-born person who went off to America and -- could return to be the Washington or Jefferson of a new unified Europe?" said Tamminen, all but nominating his former boss for the job. Schwarzenegger, who in January ended two terms as California's governor, occupies a unique place as an American celebrity who is as much a politician as he is a movie star.
|BLACK EYED PEAS OPENING MUSIC SCHOOL IN NEW YORK|
The Black Eyed Peas are opening a school where local teenagers will learn video and music production using professional-quality equipment. Their Peapod Foundation together with the Adobe Foundation will open a Peapod Adobe Youth Voices music and multimedia academy in lower Manhattan. The two foundations already run three Youth Voices academies in California — in Los Angeles, Oakland and Redwood City. The New York academy will offer classes to students ages 13 to 19 starting this July. Students will be accepted into the academy based on recommendations from teachers and demonstrated interests in subject areas such as camera work, editing and graphic design.
|MOTHER'S DIET AFFECTS CHILD'S OBESITY|
What a woman eats when she is pregnant can affect her child's risk of obesity, regardless of how fat or thin she is, and what her baby weighs at birth, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes recently. The British Heart Foundation said the study provides strong evidence of the need to help women of child-bearing age follow a healthy lifestyle and diet. the international team of researchers found that a process called epigenetic change alters the function of an unborn baby's DNA in response to changes in the mother's diet. These changes can be detected by sampling the umbilical cord at birth for "epigenetic markers" of obesity risk. Using these epigenetic markers, the researchers were surprised to find they could predict 25% of the variation of fatness in the 300 children when they reached the age of 6 or 9 years.
|STD'S SOAR AMONG SENIOR CITIZENS|
Maybe it’s longer lives; maybe it’s Viagra. Either way, STDs are soaring among seniors—and climbing faster among older adults than within the population as a whole. Reportings of syphilis and chlamydia among those 55 and older jumped 43% between 2005 and 2009, the Orlando Sentinel finds in a study of CDC data. Syphilis climbed faster than the national average among those 55 to 64: Older adults saw a 70% rise in reported cases, 10 percentage points higher than the average for all age groups. Meanwhile, chlamydia rose some 54% among seniors, twice the all-ages average. Why the spike? It may be because senior generations didn’t have the safe-sex training younger generations received, resulting in less condom use. It could also be that more seniors are living in retirement communities—potential social hotspots. The data has prompted Medicare to mull covering seniors’ STD screenings, as well as perhaps providing behavioral counseling for sexually-active seniors.
|TOP TEN MAN CODES FROM ASKMEN.COM|
A man helps his friend move
It could be your buddy moving from his apartment to a house or out of his mom's basement. Whatever the move, observe the man code that dictates you to help friends move. If you have a hatchback, clean out the trunk and start packing. If you have a truck, it's not even a question.
Penalty for breaking this man code: Think you'll be able to ask for help moving when it's your turn? Yeah right. Better get those furniture sliders and a good belt because your rule-breaking ass is on its own.
A man doesn't say what happened at the bachelor party
Consider it a code of silence or an oath of nondisclosure. Whether it be strippers, midget tossing or stringing a donkey out on ecstasy, a man keeps these things to himself and especially away from the bride-to-be. Whatever happened at the party stays at the party.
Penalty for breaking this man code: That hyper-sexed donkey that's tweaking in the bathroom is now in your bedroom waiting.
A man repays his debts
"Neither a borrower nor a lender be." Sure, that sounded good when someone said it centuries ago, but in today's economy, you may have to swallow your pride and ask for some financial help. Or, maybe you were short on cash or forgot your wallet (yeah right, you cheap ass). If your friend loans you cash or buys the first round, you pay him back. Work to get him his money, pick up lunch next time or get that next round of suds.
Penalty for breaking this man code: Working your debt off as your buddy's man servant and house boy. And there's that bachelor party donkey again.
A man buys his friend beers after he gets dumped/fired
The king's horses and his men knew this code when Humpty Dumpty fell apart -- and you should know it too. When your friend loses his job or his girl, you're there to ease his pains with alcohol. You get the rounds and you pick up the tab until he feels better or at least thinks he feels better.
Penalty for breaking this man code: Karma's a bitch. Get ready to find your own sad ass in the unemployment line or spending your Friday night with Rosy Palm.
A man becomes a wingman when required
At the end of Top Gun, even Val "Iceman" Kilmer realized that Tom "Maverick" Cruise was the best wingman ever. Now it's your turn. When you're at the club or at a party and your friend needs you to take the ugly one so he has a shot at the hottie, you do it. Without question, you fall on the sword and are the wingman. Wingman duties can also extend to driving to the party, handling the valet and running interference from the girl's man-hating friends.
Penalty for breaking this man code: You get grounded, shot down and denied takeoff. Everywhere you go, for an undetermined time, your male friends make sure you don't get anywhere near getting laid.
A man doesn't screw his friend on the job
In the workplace, man law is the real CEO and sees no glass ceilings. So while it may be tempting to end-run around your friend for a project or a scoop of insight in the office, you don't do it if it's at his expense. Job-blocking is just as bad as keeping your homey from scoring with a hottie. Be a friend on the job as much as you're a friend outside.
Penalty for breaking this man code: All your sexual failures and frustrations end up on the office intranet and in memos to the hot new hires.
A man doesn't cock block his friend
A foul deed and a rule that goes without saying, a man does not get in the way of his friend getting a piece. Inexcusable and downright evil, cock blocking is the quickest way to end a friendship and to get labeled Supreme Dick (and not in a good way). Don't tell embarrassing stories, mention ex-girlfriends, start laying your own game, or do anything that will jeopardize a girl from seeing your boy in the best light possible (so he can see her in the dark).
Penalty for breaking this man code: A scarlet letter of your own, a giant red C for "Cockblocker." And possibly an ass-whooping.
A man gets the next round
Much like paying back your debt, a man gets the next round. If a group of guys is out and each is picking up the drinks, dig into your pockets and join in. Hiding in the bathroom when it's your turn is not only lame, it's pathetic. If the earlier rounds were foo-foo expensive drinks, just go with a round of domestic, healthy beer, you can't go wrong.
Penalty for breaking this man code: You get called out at the bar because you secretly crave appletini's over a good light beer. Every girl there will literally hear you grow a vagina.
A man has his friends' back
Fighting, tough times, sniping aliens on the Xbox, whatever it is, the second most important man code is to get your friend's back. No matter what it is (unless he says: "Hey, hide this from the cops"), you will be there for your buddy. If it's a couple of fools who need correcting in the bar or if it's listening to him sob about that skank you knew would leave him, you're there for your bro.
Penalty for breaking this man code: You get labeled as "that guy" and your friends all avoid you, quickly realizing you're a lame-ass bro.
A man doesn't sleep with his friend's ex
This is the rule of all rules. No matter how hot she is or how much you always wanted to tap that, you, as a real man and keeper of the code, will not sleep with your friend's ex-girlfriend, ex-wife or ex-anything. There's no time frame until she's available, this isn't hunting season. Banging the ex of a buddy is like sticking a knife (or your penis) in his back. Be a man and fight the urge to hook up.
Penalty for breaking this man code: Your friend whose ex you're doing? He's now doing a woman close to you also. You call her mom.
|13 THINGS THAT COST MORE THAN THEY USED TO|
Airlines have been raising ticket prices steadily to pass on the expense of higher fuel costs. Domestic round-trip fares were boosted a half dozen times this year by $4 to $10 each. Over the six months that ended in February, fares jumped 22%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' index.
Hershey's raised its wholesale prices nearly 10% in late March. Consumers may not feel the pinch until after the big Easter season, because many retailers will be able to make purchases at the old prices for about eight weeks.
Coffee prices jumped 27% between December and March as companies passed along their record cost of unroasted beans. Starbucks boosted the prices it charges retailers for packaged coffee up to 12% — its first increase in three years. J.M. Smucker, which sells Folgers and Dunkin' Donuts brands, has raised prices several times during the past year. Sara Lee, Kraft Foods and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters also have hiked prices.
Paying more for burgers? You will soon if you aren't already. McDonald's, like many of its peers, is dealing with higher ingredient costs and expects to raise U.S. prices this year. Rival Wendy's/Arby's is expected to raise prices later this year because of what it says will be 15% higher beef costs.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Even adjusting for seasonal factors, the cost of fruits and vegetables has risen 23% in three months, including bananas up 10% and potatoes up 39%.
Furniture manufacturers such as Ethan Allen and La-Z-Boy are increasing prices up to 7% due to higher costs of cotton, yarn, leather and steel.
$5 gas, anyone? Not yet, but it may be coming. Gasoline prices leaped 6% last month and have risen 28% in the past year. Consumers paid an average price of $3.81 a gallon nationwide on Friday, according to the travel group AAA.
Diapers, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, trash bags and many other everyday items all have been targeted for price hikes as companies from Kimberly-Clark to Procter & Gamble to Colgate-Palmolive respond to rising ingredient costs.
State Farm and Allstate, the nation's two biggest home and auto insurers, are pursuing further price hikes. State Farm just pushed through an average rate hike of 18.8% for Florida homeowners and is seeking double-digit rate hikes in select other states. Allstate has been raising its auto insurance rates in numerous states. It's also aiming to impose more homeowners' increases after already raising rates an average of 7% in 10 states in the fourth quarter of 2010 — citing a need to make up for the surge in weather-related losses.
Tropicana, owned by PepsiCo, said last month it's raising prices on some of its juices 4% to 8% to cope with higher costs due to cold weather damage of Florida citrus crops. That means shoppers are paying more for Tropicana and Dole fruit juices. Coca-Cola already had increased prices this year for its Minute Maid and Simply brands in the U.S. 4% to 8% to cope with higher costs for commodities, fuel, packaging and fruit.
Rising prices for corn, wheat and many other ingredients, along with fuel, have led to higher prices for packaged goods. Among those announcing price hikes: B&G Foods, maker of fruit spread, canned goods and sauces; ConAgra Foods, whose brands include Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice and Peter Pan; General Mills, maker of Nature Valley snack bars and Cheerios cereal; H.J. Heinz, world's largest ketchup maker; Kellogg, which makes Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts and other foods; spice maker McCormick; and Sara Lee, the maker of frozen desserts, Hillshire Farms lunchmeat and Senseo coffee. Safeway, Supervalu and other supermarkets are passing the higher costs along to customers.
Big beverage makers are hiking prices because of higher costs for packaging, ingredients and transportation. The price of carbonated drinks was up 14% from December to March.
U.S. tire prices climbed 6% in the six months ended in March. Cooper Tire & Rubber boosted prices 8% to 9% last month — its second increase this year. At the time of the announcement the company said natural rubber prices had increased more than 75% in a matter of months.
|TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL RUN COULD KILL THE APPRENTICE|
If Donald Trump decides to run for president, NBC plans to tell him he’s fired. The network hasn’t renewed The Apprentice yet, or done any serious planning about the next season, because it’s holding its breath to see if Trump will formally jump into the 2012 fray, the New York Times reports. If he does, the network will likely put off a new season of the show because it’s afraid other candidates could request equal airtime. But speaking anonymously, two executives say they highly doubt Trump will actually run. “This is just Donald being Donald,” said one executive involved with the show, adding that “any decision is still weeks away.” But if Trump does run, the network has discussed several contingencies, like taping the season but holding off on airing it, or replacing Trump as the boss, either with his children, who already appear on the show, or with some new billionaire.
|ELTON JOHN RETURNING TO LAS VEGAS|
Elton John is returning to Las Vegas for an all new show called The Million Dollar Piano. So far only 16 shows have been announced but this marks just the beginning of a three year residency. If the demand is anything like his last show, The Red Piano (which went from a 75 show, three year run, to a 241 show, five year run), you can guarantee that there will be many more performances. Elton said: "Caesars Palace is just a perfect, idyllic place to play, and the show will be a gargantuan feast of music and imagery," said Elton. "I'm going to have a fabulous piano that Yamaha has been working on for four years, and that's the reason why the show is called 'The Million Dollar Piano.'" Tickets go on-sale April 25th.
|SIMON COWELL LEAVES BRITISH X-FACTOR|
Simon Cowell will not split his time between the U.K. and the new U.S. versions of The X-Factor. Cowell will lead the judges on the American version, though the rest of the panels for both versions of the show have yet to be announced. The U.S competition is due to start screening in September, while the U.K. show usually begins in August. Cowell will continue to be "an enormous presence backstage" in England.
|CHARLIE SHEEN ANGERS 9/11 QUACKS|
has managed to irk a group of 9/11 truthers, which is now threatening to protest in front of his live shows. Members of the 9/11 Truth Movement, who believe 9/11 was a conspiracy, feel Sheen has betrayed them. Sheen was once very vocal about his belief in the truther movement (he said the World Trade Center collapse looked like a "controlled demolition"), but instead of "asking hard questions about what happened on 9/11 and the resulting wars," a member tells TMZ, Sheen has been "bragging about smoking crack and sleeping with hookers." In other Sheen-related news from TMZ, ex Brooke Mueller is back in rehab after a weeklong binge, having refused a drug test and engaged in some other strange behavior—click here for more.
|KRISTIN STEWART & ROBERT PATTINSON SNAPPED KISSING|
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have kept silent about their relationship for years now, but finally, there's definitive proof. Following the premiere of Pattinson's latest film, 'Water for Elephants,' they were snapped kissing in the back of their chauffeured car. This is one of the first times the pair have been caught by cameras. Despite past rumors that Pattinson was sowing his wild oats, the actor recently revealed that he's not afraid to commit. "Life is not black and white ... [but] there is one thing I never understood: why people cheat," Pattinson told Vanity Fair Italy. "My parents met when my mom was 17 and my father 25, they are still together and seem very happy. I grew up believing that you can be together all of your life."
|PARENTS FAVOR GENE TESTS|
Tests that reveal children’s genetic risks for common diseases may soon become a popular choice among parents, even though the usefulness of the tests remains in question, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics. The increasingly popular tests are often marketed as a means to motivate people to make lifestyle changes to prevent the onset of diseases for which the tests show they are at risk. But there’s no evidence to back such claims. The tests are available over the counter and on the Internet. “This is a new frontier for health care providers and for families,” says study author Kenneth P. Tercyak, PhD, associate professor of oncology and pediatrics at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C. “It’s an open question on how they will be incorporated into a primary care setting.” But as the popularity and proliferation of the tests continue to grow, the study authors predict more pediatricians will be called upon to interpret the results of such tests, informing parents of their child’s risks for diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and different types of cancer.
|HUNGOVER SURGEONS MAKE MORE MISTAKES|
Surgeons who drink to excess the night before they operate are more likely to make errors the next day, even as late as four in the afternoon, according to a novel experiment described in a recent Irish study. The error rate in the operating room due to a hangover seemed to peak around lunchtime, according to the research, published in the April issue of Archives of Surgery. Unlike airline pilots, who have had to follow a "bottle-to-throttle" mandate restricting drinking before flights since 1971, surgeons have no "bottle-to-scalpel" rule. In the medical profession, "doctors are expected to be substance-free all the time on the job, but there's no real rule of [drinking alcohol outside of work hours]," said Dr. Albert Wu, professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. "If their findings are replicated, it would reasonable to [restrict] alcohol consumption 'x' hours before assuming duty."
|SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY REDUCES TEEN SUICIDES|
Gay teens are much less likely to attempt suicide when they live in a supportive social environment — such as having gay and lesbian groups at school — compared with those who do not, a U.S. study suggests. Several international studies have found higher attempted suicide rates among lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth compared with heterosexuals. Overall, suicide is the third leading cause of death among youth aged 15 to 24, researchers say. The study in Monday's issue of the journal Pediatrics found LBG youth living in a social environment more supportive of gays and lesbians were 20 per cent less likely to attempt suicide than LGB youth living in environments that were less supportive. A supportive environment was associated with a nine per cent lower rate of attempted suicide among heterosexual students.
|TEN THINGS THAT TURN WOMEN OFF|
In the right setting, it's OK to get a little out of control -- say, at a buddy's bachelor party or in the privacy of your own home. But if you are hoping to find a woman, stick to a beer or two. There's a reason why women don't run to you at the bar after hearing "chug, chug, chug" or "Hooter shooters!" Stumbling, slurring and falling are not the qualities that women look for in a man, and this is why it makes our list of the top 10 turnoffs for women.
You've probably heard this before, but let me remind you: You are no Patrick Swayze. Grinding up on a girl will get her attention, but probably not the kind you're hoping for. One of the saddest spectacles to see in a bar is the dirty dancer who approaches a girl, gets shot down, and then moves on to the next girl. The process just goes on and on. This tells a woman that you have no real interest in her and that you're just looking for someone to grind up on.
Bluetooth in ear
Want to look like a douchebag? It's simple: Appear to be talking to yourself in public places. If you are constantly plugged into a Bluetooth, it means that you are overestimating your importance in the world or you are work-obsessed. Neither of these personality types is attractive to the average girl and, therefore, makes our list of the top 10 turnoffs for women.
A good-natured joke or innocent teasing can come off as cute and flirtatious. But it's very easy to cross the line. When you first meet a woman, steer clear of playful insults (and legit insults), and just be sweet and charming. Avoid critiquing others as well, even if it is to compliment her (for example: "Did you see that girl's fake boobs? Ew. Yours are nicer because they're real"). Negative comments, even in passing, can show that you are picky, snobby, mean, or just plain stupid.
Bad pickup lines
No matter how many times guys are told not to use cheesy pickup lines, they still do. Pulling a "come here often?" or a "where have you been all my life, baby?" only shows your lack of imagination, creativity and romance. And women know you just used the same line five minutes ago on the blonde at the bar and will use it again in five minutes on the redhead on the dance floor. The best way to approach a woman is to be real and interested, otherwise your bad pickup lines will serve as another turnoff.
Men should smell good. A nice-smelling cologne, after-shave or deodorant can really entice a female, but one spritz too much can have a woman holding her nose. Consider this when getting ready to head out on the town: Use one less spray of cologne than you normally would. Don't pull a body-spray commercial and douse your body in it.
A dirty trucker mouth doesn't make a great first impression. While it's true that most women can also let the expletives fly, it doesn't give you permission to do so. At the beginning of a relationship, being a gentleman is important. A dirty mouth could be a sign of a guy with bad manners -- and that isn't someone to bring home to Mom.
Alarm bells tend to go off if a guy is surrounded by drunken buddies who are wearing Bluetooths and drenched in cologne (even if he is not). A turnoff for women? You bet. If this is the company he decides to keep, then what does that say about him? He could be in "pickup" mode, playing the role of a white knight, when, really, he'll be drinking from a beer bong and hitting on the bartender when you walk away. Birds of a feather flock together. Just saying.
If the dirty dancing didn't scare her off and the pickup line worked, it could be the luckiest night of your life. But you can make it all disappear with bad breath. Oral hygiene is very important. Furry teeth, chapped lips and a bad case of halitosis will send her packing. If your mouth isn't clean, she'll be wondering what else is dirty. Carry gum, mints or breath spray with you at all times.
Using your child to get attention from women often backfires. This isn't true of everyone, but a single dad can mean a world of trouble: commitment issues, baggage, immaturity, or an angry ex. Plus, not all women are the motherly type. Break the daddy news to her after a few dates, because surprising her with a kid is a huge turnoff.
|NICOLAS CAGE ARRESTED|
Nicholas Cage was arrested in New Orleans after a loud and drunken argument with his wife—and then police, over the weekend. Cage and his wife began arguing on the sidewalk in front of a home in the French Quarter. He insisted it was the home they were renting, and she disagreed. Things got loud, and Cage began hitting cars. He also reportedly grabbed his wife's arm and tried to get into a taxi. Police arrived, and Cage, ever so wisely, began yelling at them. "Why don't you just arrest me?" he shouted, according to TMZ sources who described him as "very drunk." So arrest him they did. He is charged with domestic abuse battery, disturbing the peace, and public drunkenness. It looks like he also spent the night in jail before being released on $11,000 bond.Reality star Duane 'Dog' Chapman posted the bond. "I am a truly dedicated fan of Mr. Cage and will not be granting any interviews about my client as I wish to respect his privacy," Chapman said in a statement. "I performed my duties as a bail bondsman and not in connection with our show. This is what I do for a living. There are two sides of my job: I release my clients after they have been arrested; and pick them up if they don't show up in court. I do not believe the latter will be the case for Mr. Cage." Cage is scheduled to appear in court May 31.
|RIO BEATS SCREAM 4 AT BOX OFFICE|
Tropical-bird cartoon Rio beat Scream 4 and soared to a $40 million opening weekend, according to studio estimates. That gives Rio the best opening weekend so far this year, beating Rango's $38.1 million debut. Hop, which had topped the box office the last two weeks, dropped to third place with $11.2 million — a 48 percent decline. In fourth was the surfing biopic Soul Surfer, which slipped only 30 percent for $7.4 million. And the teenage-assassin thriller Hanna dropped 41 percent for $7.3 million.
|HALLE BERRY DROPS OUT OF BROADWAY PLAY|
Halle Berry was scheduled to make her Broadway debut in September, but has just dropped out of a highly anticipated play. In a statement, the producers of The Mountaintop attribute the cast change to their former star's "custody issues." Samuel L. Jackson is still on board to portray Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The drama (award-winning playwright Katori Hall's imagined account of the night before Dr. King's assassination) would have seen Berry portray a maid at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, where King and his colleagues were preparing for a demonstration before King was shot on the balcony outside his room.
|DR. MURRAY HELPS STRANGER...AGAIN|
Dr. Conrad Murray provided medical attention to a fellow passenger on a Delta Airlines flight Sunday morning. He was on a flight from San Francisco to Minneapolis when the captain announced that a passenger needed medical attention, and asked if a doctor or nurse was on board. Dr. Murray quickly jumped into action, an eyewitness on the plane says: "Dr. Murray assisted a man who appeared to be in his 40's, who was dizzy, clammy, and a little disoriented. Dr. Murray and another physician who was on board both helped to stabilize the man who was traveling with his family. The captain of the plane decided against making an emergency landing, and the flight landed as scheduled in Minneapolis. The man was met by paramedics, and he was checked out. It was decided he didn't require further medical attention." The passenger didn't recognize Dr. Murray, the eyewitness reports. "But he was recognized by other people on the plane who were staring at him," This is the second time that Dr. Murray has helped assisted with a passenger seeking medical attention on a plane. Last May, Dr. Murray was on a US Airways flight when he treated a woman that had fainted.
|CONDOLEEZZA RICE TO GUEST ON 30 ROCK|
Condoleezza Rice, former secretary of state under the Bush administration and ex-lover of Alec Baldwin's character, will guest star on an upcoming episode of 30 Rock. Tina Fey dropped the casting news at a book signing, according to the Washington Post. The fictional relationship between Rice and fictional boss Jack Donaghy began in the Season 1 episode titled 'The Break Up.' During the episode, Jack keeps his relationship a secret from the other characters, but becomes upset when he sees Rice with Vladimir Putin. They eventually break up.
|TEEN MOM 2 STAR FILES FOR DIVORCE|
Teen Mom 2 star Leah Messer has filed for divorce from Corey Simms. The 18-year-old MTV star filed papers in Kanawha County, W.V. earlier this month after six months of marriage. Messer and Simms, 20, had been dating for a month when they found out they were expecting. They split shortly after the birth of their twin daughters, Ali and Aleeah, in 2009. The couple reunited six months later and Simms proposed soon after.
|INABILITY TO DETECT SARCASM COULD BE SIGN OF DEMENTIA|
It might be a low-tech way to diagnose the early stages of certain types of dementia: Look for people no longer able to detect sarcasm or lies. University of California researchers found that people with frontotemporal dementia fared poorly in tests measuring gullability, reports UCSF. Anecdotal evidence of seniors getting bilked in online or telemarketing scams have been around for years, and the study used MRI scans to show the correlation with patients who have specific types of brain detorioration. "If somebody has strange behavior and they stop understanding things like sarcasm and lies, they should see a specialist who can make sure this is not the start of one of these diseases," says the senior author, neuropsychologist Katherine Rankin.
|MIND-CONTROLLED GAMES HIT THE IPHONE|
Ever wanted to control a video game with your mind? It sounds like science fiction, but it’s real and it’s in the Apple App Store. Iceland company MindGames has released a pair of games controlled by your thoughts, using a headset that reads your brain waves like an EEG, the LA Times reports. In W.I.L.D., released last month, players fly over dreamlike landscapes, concentrating and relaxing their minds to put out fires, bend spoons, and so forth. In “Tug of Mind,” released in December, players try to stay calm while being screamed at by an “opponent,” created from an actual headshot of someone they know. Both apps cost $4.99, though of course, you’ll need to buy a mind-reading helmet for around $100 first. Click for another story about mind-controlled technology.
|TOP TEN COOKING MYTHS FROM ASKMEN.COM|
You can't deep-fry in olive oil
Try telling the population of Italy, Spain or Greece that they should not be frying in olive oil. It does have a lower smoking point than some other oils, such as peanut or vegetable oil, which means it can become bitter or make the ingredients take on an unpleasant taste. However, if you are cautious and heat the oil to the correct temperature, it is a great vehicle for frying delicious dishes like potato chips.
Salt increases blood pressure
Salt has become one of medicine's great villains, yet many people seem totally unaware of how necessary the inclusion of it is to their diet. The myth dates back to tests carried out by a British doctor in the 1950s, which have been superseded by subsequent tests. As with all things health related, moderation is always best, but salt's reputation as the great bogeyman seems to be undeserved.
Fresh fruit is healthier than dried fruit
Adding any fruit to your diet is a good thing, but the myth persists that fresh is always better than dried. While there might be some marginal differences in mineral and vitamin content, the reality is that both contain similar amounts of sugar and fiber. Given that water is such a huge constituent of fresh fruit, a similar amount of dried fruit may well have more benefit than their fresh equivalents.
Cooking food in a microwave destroys its nutrition
Cooking your food in a microwave certainly does have an impact on the nutrients retained, but the truth is, microwaves are just another heat source and no more damaging than other methods of cooking, such as boiling or frying. In some cases it can actually help preserve nutrients, like vitamin C in vegetables. The key to good preparation is not to overcook your food, no matter the method you choose.
Putting oil in water stops pasta from sticking together
Putting oil in the water you cook your pasta in has no impact on if it sticks together or not. The oil will simply rise to the top. It will, however, stop your water from boiling over. Occasionally stirring your pot of pasta as it cooks will provide better results.
Salting beans makes them tough
Salting has little or no impact on the toughness of cooked beans. Any beans that remain hard after cooking are probably old. In fact, some research shows that salting beans can make them cook more quickly.
You should not wash mushrooms
According to Larousse Gastronimique, "In order to retain the full flavor of mushrooms, it is best not to peel or wash them, but simply to wipe them with a damp cloth and then dry them." But food maven Harold McGee has carried out tests that show most types of mushrooms actually absorb very little water if washed for a short time.
Alcohol burns off when cooked
While cooking the booze you add to your sauces, soups and stews at a high heat will certainly reduce its potency, the reality is you would need to cook your dish for nearly three hours to get rid of all traces of alcohol.
Lobsters scream when boiled
Given that lobsters don't have vocal chords of any sort, the notion of them screaming -- even when faced with a hot demise -- is unlikely. The noise is most likely caused by the expelling of air through the shell as the crustacean is dropped into boiling water. If you are squeamish, try placing the live lobster in cold water and slowly bringing it to boil.
Searing meat seals in the juices
This is perhaps the granddaddy of all cooking myths, and there are those who still claim that searing meat before cooking helps to retain moisture. It doesn't; in fact, the heat may drive moisture out of the meat. What cooking your meat over a high heat does achieve is the caramelizing of the natural sugars on the surface in what is known as the Maillard reaction. This can add flavor, but it will not impact the moisture retained in the final dish.
|CHARLIE SHEEN NEVER GOING BACK TO 'MEN'|
Lawyers for the studio behind Two & A Half Men are rejecting Charlie Sheen's claim that he's in talks to return to the show. A letter from attorneys for Warner Bros. Television to Sheen's lawyer dismisses as "false" Sheen's comments that discussions are under way to reinstate him. Sheen told a Boston radio station Tuesday that there was an "85 percent" chance of his returning to his former hit show He was fired last month after outbursts directed at the show's producer. The letter says there are no discussions regarding Sheen rejoining the show and there will be none.
|DOCTOR'S LOVE LIFE BLAMED IN JACKSON DEATH|
Michael Jackson's doctor was so distracted by his own complicated love life that he failed to pay proper attention to Jackson's treatment in the hours before the pop star died, according to court documents filed Thursday. Prosecutors said they can show Dr. Conrad Murray was talking on his cellphone and sending text messages to three different women during that time. One conversation with a cocktail waitress he met at a Houston restaurant lasted 11 minutes and apparently ended when Murray realized Jackson wasn't breathing, prosecutors said. Murray also was accused of receiving calls and texting with two other women he had met at Las Vegas strip clubs. Prosecutors are trying to persuade a judge to allow the testimony during Murray's upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial.
|ABC CANCELLING TWO SOAP OPERAS|
ABC pulling the plug on All My Children, it's replacing it with something called The Chew. The network also is canceling One Life to Live, though General Hospital survives for now. Exact dates aren't set, but AMC—which first aired in 1970—will go off the air in September and One Life to Live (1968) in January, reports ABC. In their places, ABC will air The Chew, a food program that will have rotating hosts such as Mario Batali, and a health and lifestyles show called The Revolution. As for the soaps: The network will "conclude each series in a manner that respects their legacies and the longstanding hopes of many of their viewers," says an ABC exec.
|ZSA ZSA GABOR TO HAVE A BABY?|
According to a report from CNN, ailing 94-year-old Zsa Zsa Gabor could become a mother again if her husband Prince Frederic von Anhalt has his way. Gabor would have a child via an egg donor, artificial insemination and a surrogate mother, von Anhalt explained. "I've gone through the initial steps of donor matching and blood work and next week the donation process will begin. In life you need something to live for. If my wife passes away before me, I have nothing to live for." Gabor has been in and out of the hospital numerous times in the past year, enduring a hip replacement and eventually a leg amputation. "I'm a retired guy," von Anhalt says of a new child. "I can take care of it." He says Gabor spoke about having a child with him when they wed 25 years ago and revisited the topic with her husband recently.
|CARDINAL WANTS RICKY MARTIN TO STOP PROMOTING HOMOSEXUALITY|
Cardinal Luis Aponte Martinez of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is a fan of Ricky Martin's "artistic gifts," but he sure wishes the singer would stop promoting homosexuality. In an interview with Primera Hora published last week and picked up yesterday by On Top magazine and Perez Hilton, Martinez added, "Please, for the love of his children, for whom I imagine he wants the best, try to set an example to our youth of the great values we all share, besides sex.” Further: " The Roman Catholic church does not reject the homosexual [but] their immoral actions and behaviors, and trying to promote homosexuality or sexual promiscuity among our youth, indeed, is immoral regardless of where it comes from.”
|BUSINESS MAJORS SUCCEED WITHOUT REALLY TRYING|
Business is the most popular field of study in the US, with more than 20% of all bachelor's degrees awarded annually falling under the business umbrella, but business majors spend fewer than 11 hours a week studying outside of class—less time than students in any other broad field. They also, ironically enough, score lower on the GMAT—the entry exam for MBA programs—than students in other majors. Some of the blame lies with students, many of whom choose to study business out of a desire to get a job rather than a desire to actually learn about business. But professors also contribute to the problem by assigning too many group projects and often not having a clear idea of what the students in their classes should learn. (Sample course goal: "Students will be able to understand the complexities of decision making.") Click for the full piece.
|ONLY 67% OF MEN WORKED IN 2010|
A mere 45.4% of Americans were working in 2010, the lowest rate since women started flooding into the workforce in the 1980s, according to a new analysis from USA Today. The figure, down from a peak of 49.3% in 2000, indicates that a combination of a bad economy and an aging population are driving more and more Americans out of the workforce. While the percentage of women with jobs remained relatively constant, men continued to drop out of the workforce, with only 66.8% holding jobs—the lowest level on record. Another big shift: In 2000, there were roughly as many non-working children as non-working adults. But since then the nation has added 27 million more non-working adults, and only 3 million children under 18.
|10 DATES THAT LEAD TO THE BEDROOM|
Whether you like blackjack or roulette, a night at the casino can be exciting and stimulating. The thrill of gambling can get your blood moving for other activities later. Just make sure to go in with a predetermined amount of money to spend because gambling away your rent money won't make either of you feel sexy.
Donning a costume with your girlfriend and attending a party full of similarly attired guests can get her feeling naughty. A little bit of role-playing in character and she'll be up for wider experimentation at home. Encourage her to choose an outfit that shows off her sex appeal and her creativity.
Find a small vineyard in your area and ask if they do tours and wine tasting. It's a great way to spend an afternoon and the wine will ensure that her inhibitions will be gone by the time you get home. Don't forget to buy a bottle to drink together later.
Burlesque is enjoying a revival lately with new groups and classes popping up everywhere. Tell your girlfriend that, unlike the strip club, burlesque is about empowering women to embrace their sexuality in a fun and entertaining way. The atmosphere at a burlesque show is playful and sexual. She might even want to do her own striptease for you when you get home.
Fancy dress event
Having an excuse to get dressed up is something nearly all women enjoy. Putting a little extra effort into her look will make her feel more confident and, consequently, more likely to want sex. Throw in some delicious cocktails and, perhaps, a decadent dessert (one fork only!) and she will leave the event in an amorous state of mind.
The drive-in movie was made for making out. Pretend you're teenagers and enjoy the feeling of nostalgia. Getting busy in a car is a novelty that doesn't seem to wear off. Pick a movie neither of you has much interest in seeing because you will miss most of it.
Nearly every woman enjoys a night on the dance floor, and if she can drag her man out there, even better. Dancing can be a very sensual activity. There is no need for extreme bumping and grinding, however -- nobody wants to see you humping on the dance floor! Instead, keep a little distance between you; the moves will be enough to put her in the mood for more.
Spending the day on the beach gives you plenty of time to ogle each other in sexy bathing suits while the sun, sand and surf put you in a playful, carefree mood. Following a trip to the beach with wild sex just makes sense. Despite the potential for sand in uncomfortable places, the idea of making out on a beach is still a classic, romantic ideal.
Anything involving chocolate -- an aphrodisiac and a girl's best friend -- will get her in the mood, especially when you're sharing it. Fondue can be very sexy and is easy enough to prepare at home. Remember, whenever you drop what you're dipping into the pot, the rule is you have to kiss your fondue partner. Continue the tasting odyssey in the bedroom with a pack of Durex® Tropical flavored condoms.
Upscale hotel room
Spring for a nice hotel room for the night. The unfamiliarity of the surroundings will have her feeling adventurous. Add a Jacuzzi tub and volunteer to give her a full body massage, and you'll be guaranteed a night to remember. Bring along Durex® Play Massage, a 2-in-1 massage gel and lubricant that'll do everything you need it to.
|BARRY BONDS CONVICTED|
Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice yesterday, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three other counts that the home run king lied to a grand jury when he denied knowingly using steroids and human growth hormone. Following a 12-day trial and almost four full days of deliberation, the jury of eight women and four men could reach a unanimous verdict only on one of the four counts against Bonds. US District Judge Susan Illston declared a mistrial on the others, a messy end to a case that put the slugger under a cloud of suspicion for more than three years. Bonds sat stone-faced through the verdict, displaying no emotion. His legal team immediately asked that the guilty verdict be thrown out and Illston did not rule on the request. She set May 20 for a hearing in the case. Federal prosecutors and the Justice Department will have to decide whether to retry Bonds on the unresolved counts. Bonds has acknowledged that he did take steroids but said his trainer misled him into believing they were flaxseed oil and arthritis cream.
|CATHERINE ZETA-JONES TREATED FOR BI-POLAR DISORDER|
Catherine Zeta-Jones sought treatment for bipolar disorder after dealing with the stress of husband Michael Douglas's battle with advanced throat cancer, her representative said on Wednesday. "After dealing with the stress of the past year, Catherine made the decision to check in to a mental health facility for a brief stay to treat her Bipolar II Disorder," the actress's publicist said in a statement. "She's feeling great and looking forward to starting work this week on her two upcoming films," the statement said. It was not immediately when or where Catherine sought the treatment or when she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
|AMERICAN IDIOT: THE MOVIE|
Universal Pictures is negotiating to turn the Green Day's Broadway musical version of American Idiot into a feature film. Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of Milk, is in talks to write the script, and Michael Mayer will direct. Mayer helmed the stage run of the musical, which is closing on Broadway April 24th and launching a tour in the fall. It's expected that Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong will be courted to play the role of the drug dealer St. Jimmy. Each time he did a stint in the role on Broadway, the grosses rose considerably. The band was actively involved in the formation of the musical.
|KOBE BRYANT APOLOGIZES FOR GAY SLUR|
Kobe Bryant not only unleashed a gay slur against an NBA ref Tuesday night, he did so in view of TNT's cameras. After outrage mounted yesterday, the league fined him $100,000 and called his actions "offensive and inexcusable." Bryant got ticked off at referee Bennie Adams when he got a technical foul. After yelling "Bennie!" from the bench, Bryant shook his head and mouthed the words "f**cking f**got," reports TMZ. Gay rights groups issued statements of condemnation today, notes the Los Angeles Times, and Bryant himself responded with an apology: "What I said last night should not be taken literally. My actions were out of frustration during the heat of the game, period. The words expressed do NOT reflect my feelings towards the gay and lesbian communities and were NOT meant to offend anyone."
|VALET SUES LEBRON'S MOM|
A lawsuit has been filed against NBA superstar LeBron James' mother by the valet who says she hit him. Rockfeller Sorel filed a lawsuit against Gloria James in Miami for battery on April 12th, claiming that she had no right to strike him last week after an altercation at the posh Fontainbleau Miami Beach hotel. Gloria James was arrested after she allegedly slapped Sorel when she became impatient about how long it was taking to get her SUV from the valet. LeBron spoke to reporters about the incident last week: ""It's very sensitive, because it's your mother, of course... you guys want to ask me anything else about basketball, I'm happy to answer it."
|SEAN WILLIAM SCOTT OUT OF REHAB|
After completing a 30-day stint in a treatment facility, Seann William Scott attended a Knicks basketball game Tuesday night in New York City. Seann voluntarily sought treatment for "health and personal issues" back in March and yesterday a source connected with the actor said, "He completed the 30 days successfully. He's doing great." Reps for Seann confirm he will begin shooting American Pie 4 next month.
|HUGH LAURIE LANDS FILM ROLE|
Hugh Laurie has been cast in the film adaptation of Lloyd Jones' book, Mr. Pip. Laurie will play the title character, the only white man on a foreign island who volunteers to teach school as the natives defend their land from invaders. He reads the students Charles Dickens' classic novel, Great Expectations, connecting especially with a 13-year old girl, Matilda. Andrew Adamson (Shrek, Chronicles of Narnia) will direct.
|JUDGE BACKS 'BOOBIES' BRACELETS|
It's OK for middle school students to wear bracelets proclaiming "I (heart) boobies!"—at least in the context of breast cancer awareness, a federal judge has decided. The popular fundraising bracelets "can reasonably be viewed as speech designed to raise awareness of breast cancer and to reduce stigma associated with openly discussing breast health," the judge wrote, siding with two Pennsylvania students suspended for defying a bracelet ban on their school's Breast Cancer Awareness Day. An injunction was issued preventing the school from banning the bracelets until the girls' case—supported by the ACLU—goes to trial. The district lawyer said he was disappointed by the ruling. "It is inconceivable that the court did not recognize that the bracelets were meant to titillate," he told the Philadelphia Inquirer, adding: "There's no group more distractable than 12- to 14-year-old middle school boys."
|10 'GREEN' CHOICES THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR LIFE|
Get A Cool Travel Mug
It's estimated that more than 50 billion paper cups are thrown away every year. Starbucks alone burns through a few bil', and every coffee drinker on the move knows that neither the flat lid nor the dome lid is actually spill-proof or functional. Plus, nobody needs to know where you get your java fix. It's time to upgrade to a stainless steel travel mug. They're leak-proof, durable and retain heat better than paper -- all for about $20.
Your mailbox gets filled with junk you've been complaining about for years. Part of you actually wants the credit card offers and coupons to arrive every day, on schedule, to show that someone out there cares, but all that crap is a burden on the environment and totally unnecessary in the digital age. Cancel the catalogs (except for the Victoria's Secret one), pay your bills online, and opt out of unsolicited credit card offers (you can do this online too). After that, you'll be left with the good stuff: postcards from old friends, wedding invitations and pictorials of beautiful women wearing little else than sexy lingerie and a smile meant only for you.
Switch To Compact Fluorescent Lamps (Instead Of Incandescent)
There used to be a good reason to not use compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) -- they flickered and were expensive. But these days, if you're still using incandescent bulbs, you're cooking over an open fire in a windstorm, brother. CFLs have come way down in price, and their performance is on par with or better than incandescent ones in terms of light quality. The biggest advantage is that they use about 70% less energy, which means you'll save good scratch in the long run.
Buy Organic Wine
Maybe more than any other postindustrial movement, organic foods are becoming increasingly mainstream, but do you really need to shell out extra for what some might consider a glorified carton of juice? There's nothing wrong with bringing a bottle of Yellow Tail to the occasional housewarming, but grapes are just like any other crop, requiring pesticides and chemicals to mass produce -- nothing you want to sip by candlelight. Sulfites are a slightly different story. They play an important role in aging, so if the winemaker is farming organically, it's probably nothing to get worked up about.
You hear the word "eco-friendly" enough times, it starts to sound like a fetish you'd find in Craigslist's casual encounters section. There's a catch, in other words, but there is sense in ecotourism -- an alternative to what vacations sometimes turn into: a trip somewhere else to do little more than consume food that costs more than a house in local currency. The idea here is that you should instead go somewhere awesome and volunteer a bit of time to help keep it that way. This could mean using World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) to work and stay for free on an organic farm in Europe, or planting a few trees with the Oracabessa Foundation while staying at the Goldeneye (Ian Fleming's old house) in Jamaica. You'll feel a little better about riding jet skis and catching fish later that afternoon.
Eat Local, Seasonal Food
You ever go into the ski lodge after a day on the slopes, only to plop down by the fireplace and down a huge slab of watermelon with a cool glass of lemonade? It doesn't make any sense, in the same way that wearing two sweaters in 100-degree weather doesn't. Eating local, seasonal foods means your body will be in tune with the environment, you'll often save money buying directly from farmers (especially things like eggs and produce), and you'll be supporting the little guy. Plus, farmers' markets are notorious hangouts for cute single girls.
Adam looked up at the tree and saw nuts growing next to leaves. Free-associating, he picked a leaf, and the original skivs were born. If you think about it, the idea of wrapping your package in cheaply made men's underwear from a factory located who-knows-where is a little disconcerting. Underwear is a good place to start when it comes to eco-friendly fashions, without having to shell out some more serious bones for hemp jeans.
Eat A Meatless Dinner Once A Week
Saying you should give up meat is like saying America is an empire in decline: it may very well happen, but not in your lifetime. Industrial meat production having untoward side effects -- it's inefficient, causes pollution and uses lots of fossil fuels -- is common sense, however. Swap out meat once a week for vegetables or eggs, and you'll help chip away at all the environmental degradation and save yourself the few hours it takes to digest a porterhouse.
Eat Organic Meat
First off, if you're buying prepackaged or frozen ground beef, stop it. Evidence, including a recent New York Times front-page expose, suggests it comes from factories all over the world and is needlessly filthy. The good news is, organic meat is available virtually everywhere. It costs a bit more, and the actual health benefits aren't crystal clear, but you're supporting more sustainable agricultural practices and steering clear of the antibiotics and hormones pumped into mass-produced animals, which can only be a good thing.
Walk Anywhere Under 30 Minutes Away
The benefits of exercise are indisputable. It keeps you looking and feeling younger, prevents disease and, most important, improves your stamina in the sack. No need to be an obsessive gym rat, though. Walking anywhere you can get to in less than a half-hour will make up for the occasional missed workout. It'll also save you money, open your world up to new places and give you time to reflect on life. All great men reflect on life.
|PARENTS: QUIT TRYING SO HARD|
Economics professor Bryan Caplan has advice for all those stressed-out parents in the world: Lighten up, you don't matter that much. As the father of twins, Caplan has immersed himself in twin research, which imparts this lesson: "With a few exceptions, the effect of parenting on adult outcomes ranges from small to zero," he writes in the Wall Street Journal. Studies have found that even identical twins raised apart can end up as similar as they would be had they grown up in the same home ... with the same parents. Parents obviously change kids—"the catch is that the changes fade out as kids grow up." Caplan sees too many parents turning parenting into a joyless chore—endless activities for the kids, no-TV rules, etc. These parents are noble but misguided, he contends. "High-strung parenting isn’t dangerous, but it does make being a parent a lot more work and less fun than it has to be," writes Caplan. The flipside of his philosophy of "Serenity Parenting": People who aren't tired and stressed as parents can have more kids.
|DEBATE OVER CHOCOLATE MILK IN SCHOOLS|
Should kids be allowed to drink chocolate milk, which often has more calories per ounce than Coke? Fairfax County and Washington, DC, schools banned it outright last year, and, shockingly, not everyone was happy. Parents, nutritionists, and, of course, special interest groups lobbied for its return. One popular argument for the sugary beverage? In addition to fat, sweeteners, and calories, it includes calcium and vitamin D—and it's the only way to get some kids to drink milk and, thus, get its essential nutrients, reports the Washington Post. More than 70% of the milk sold in school cafeterias is flavored, and the milk processors' group claims that if flavored milk is removed, students drink 37% less milk overall. Thanks in part to all the pressure, Fairfax County—which serves 62,000 gallons of chocolate milk a year—will reintroduce it in school cafeterias, but with some changes: less fat, and sucrose instead of high-fructose corn syrup. Those tweaks have appeased some critics, but others argue that a different sweetener doesn't rescue a drink whose calorie content hasn't changed. Says one healthy school lunches advocate: "Trying to get students to consume calcium by drinking chocolate milk is like getting them to eat apples by serving them apple pie."
|10 HIDDEN BENEFITS OF HAVING CHILDREN|
Children lower your blood pressure
A recent study conducted at Brigham Young University found that parenthood may actually help lower your blood pressure. Researchers at the school hooked up 200 married men and women to blood pressure monitors for 24 hours and found that couples with children had significantly lower blood-pressure readings than those without offspring. "While caring for children may include daily hassles, deriving a sense of meaning and purpose from life's stress has been shown to be associated with better health outcomes," says Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the lead researcher. "This doesn't mean the more kids you have, the better your blood pressure. The findings are simply tied to parenthood, no matter the number of children or employment status."
Children entitle you to major tax savings
It used to be the only way you could make money off of your children was by sending them into the coal mines. But now, thanks to the IRS, your children allow you to qualify for some very valuable tax savings -- a notable hidden benefit of having children. According to one recently published study, the average family can save $3,500 per year simply by claiming child tax credits, education credits, and child- and dependent-care credits. "These tax credits shouldn't spur you to have a child," says U.S. tax attorney Roni Deutch, "but since the projected cost of raising a child to the age of 18 is just shy of $200,000, parents need all the help they can get."
Children get you better parking
Shopping with children is seldom easy, but there is one enormous perk to taking your rug rat to the mall: better parking. Many shopping centers, grocery stores and factory outlets now have parking spaces reserved especially for families and pregnant women. Not only are these spots conveniently located, but they're also usually vacant. As an added bonus, you can also drive in the HOV lane on your way to the store since even the smallest newborn legally counts as a full-fledged passenger.
Children keep you sane
Contrary to popular belief, children don't always drive their parents crazy. In fact, researchers at Taiwan's Mental Health Foundation claim they may even keep their parents sane well beyond their years. The organization recently interviewed 1,084 randomly selected senior citizens and found that seniors with no children scored 6.4 points lower on a mental health questionnaire than elderly subjects with children. "The results shows that people who have children are happier and have greater satisfaction and emotional well-being than those without children," says Tom Yang, the study's lead researcher.
Children renew your thirst for knowledge
Anyone who has children can attest that their child's favorite word is "why." Kids constantly want to know the answer to a variety of head-scratching questions like, "Why do a cat's eyes shine in the dark?", "Why does it smell so fresh after it rains?" and "Why do Mommy and Daddy always lock their bedroom door on Tuesday nights?" You may not have the answer to all of these queries (well, two-thirds of them anyhow), but they're sure to get your wheels turning as you attempt to formulate a plausible-sounding response. As your children get older, you'll also get to brush up on your education by relearning your multiplication tables, the names of every state bird and the capital of Liechtenstein (it's Vaduz, in case you were wondering).
Children make you sexier
Think puppies are the ultimate chick magnet? Think again. Any father will tell you there's no better way of attracting attention from the fairer sex than by strolling through a park with an adorable baby. Heck, even an ugly baby will do the trick, since most women are responding more to the father's sense of dedication and maturity than they are to the fruit of his loins. Who knew that a $200 stroller could elicit more oohs and aahs than a $200,000 sports car?
Children give you an alibi
Single men often complain that their friends with children never have time to hang out. And while there is some validity to that observation, they fail to realize many parents use their children as a convenient excuse to get out of unwanted social events. So, if your buddy tells you he can't attend your Jersey Shore marathon because his son has Tibetan whooping cough, there's a very good chance he didn't want to go in the first place.
Children increase your self-esteem
Anyone who has children knows firsthand the satisfaction you get from being told you're "the best daddy in the whole world." Those kinds of positive pronouncements can have a profound effect on your self-esteem, allowing you to accomplish tasks you previously thought were impossible.
Children remind you to stop and smell the roses
When was the last time you gazed at the stars or lay on your back watching the passing clouds? Kids engage in these kinds of wholesome activities all the time, and in doing so, they invite you to join them as well. You'll be amazed at how your cynicism and natural defenses will magically melt away after you begin seeing the world through a child's eyes.
Children make you happier
Parents have long suspected that their offspring make them happier, and now there's finally proof to support their claims. A new study conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research has found a direct correlation between children and happiness for parents over the age of 40. Researchers surveyed 200,000 parents in 86 countries between 1981 and 2005 and found that from age 40 on, parents with one to three children were considerably more content than childless couples. After age 50, mothers and fathers were happier than childless couples, regardless of the size of their brood. The reasons for the findings aren't entirely surprising, since most children become easier to care for as they grow older. "Children may be a long-term investment in happiness," says Mikko Myrskyla, the author of the study. "Seeing the age trend of happiness independent of sex, income, partnership status, and even fertility rates shows that one has to explain it from the perspective of the stage of parents' life." These findings seem to be consistent with a recent Newsweek poll in which 50% of Americans said adding new children to their family tended to make them happier. Conversely, only 16% said that adding new children had a negative impact on their lives.
|CAR THIEF ASKS COPS FOR GAS VOUCHER|
An Indiana man was arrested after he allegedly showed up at a North Dakota police station in a stolen car looking for help to buy gas. The 19-year-old man from Charlestown, Indiana showed up at the station Monday morning asking for a gas voucher. Police work with a local charity to provide such vouchers to people in emergencies. The man told police he was trying to get to Wisconsin to attend a funeral. When the car he was driving turned out to be registered to a convenience store, authorities checked and discovered the vehicle had been stolen. That put an end to the gas voucher discussion. Officers took the man to jail.
|ANOTHER TEACHER IN TROUBLE FOR MOCK SLAVE AUCTION|
Perhaps it would be a good idea to skip the mock slave auctions while covering the Civil War. Parents are in an uproar after yet another elementary school engaged in such a lesson, this time in Norfolk, Virginia, on April 1. Jessica Boyle told all the black and mixed-race students in her fourth grade class to step to one side of the room, while the white students took turns "buying" them. The class is about 40% black and 40% white, the Washington Post reports. After the complaints started coming in, the principal wrote to parents and acknowledged that, “The lesson could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation." A spokesperson adds that Boyle, who had been teaching in Norfolk for six years, had never conducted such an auction before, and that "appropriate personnel action is being taken." Click for the tale of a similar mock auction out of Ohio.
|25% OF US HAVE MORE SYMPATHY FOR CONFEDERACY|
In a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released yesterday, roughly 25% of Americans said they sympathized with the Confederacy more than the Union in the Civil War. Among white Southerners, that figure soars to nearly 40%. Among all respondents, a full 42% said slavery was not the main reason the South seceded. The results “show that there are still racial, political, and geographic divisions over the Civil War,” said CNN’s polling director. Broken down by party, most Democrats said the South seceded to keep slavery legal, while most Republicans said that was not the main reason. Roughly 80% of Republicans also said they admired Confederate leaders, though a nearly identical 79% said they admired Union leaders as well.
|DOC ASSAULTS PATIENTS, SAYS IT BURNS CALORIES|
When weight loss Dr. Arie Oren sexually assaulted one of his patients, he had a reason: "If you have an orgasm, that would burn 200 calories," he reportedly told her. Oren, 64, was arrested for multiple counts of sex assault; he allegedly grabbed one victim's breasts and told another patient, "You’re getting an extra special treat for losing all the weight," before using a massager on her genitals. Says the DA, "A number of [the victims] used the word ‘creepy’ to describe his conduct," NBC Philadelphia reports.
|PIA TOSCANA COZYING UP TO MARK BALLAS|
Pia Toscano's relationship with Dancing With The Stars pro Mark Ballas has everyone speculating. "Mark is a really sweet guy," Toscano said Monday. "We went out with a group of friends. He's just a really good friend, I guess." Toscano, who was thought to be a frontrunner on Idol before her surprising departure, said Ballas can relate to her whirlwind experience on the show. "Me and Mark vibe well together because he knows what I'm going through," she said. "He gets judged every week and he's kind of on a similar show, only I'm singing and he's dancing, so he's a really nice person to have support from. Ballas, a two-time Dancing winner who also knows what it's like to go home early in the competition, was able to put things in perspective for Toscano. "He's just really sweet and extremely supportive and he just said, 'You know, better things are to come.' It's nice to have him in my corner," she said.
|ARMENIAN GROUP SLAMS COSMO|
The largest Armenian group in America is lashing out at Cosmo for featuring Kim Kardashian on the cover of their Turkish edition, calling the move "disrespectful" to Kim and "all Armenians." Aram Hamparian (executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America) said: "It's disrespectful to Kim Kardashian and to all Armenians for the publishers of Cosmopolitan to use her image, without her permission, on the month we mark Turkey's genocide against the Armenian people." Hamparian continues, "Instead of trying to turn a profit in Turkey by callously featuring a cover photo of a descendant of Armenian Genocide survivors in its April issue, Cosmopolitan should find creative ways to educate its readers about the Turkish government's shameful effort to cover up this atrocity." Sources say Cosmo was supposed to let Kim's people know which international outlets of the magazine would use her picture and that Kim would never have approved the use of her picture in the Turkish version.
|ZUCKERBERG BEATS THE WINKLEVOSS TWINS|
A federal appeals court ruled yesterday that former Harvard University schoolmates of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg can't undo their settlement over creation of the social networking site. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals said that Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss were savvy enough to understand what they were agreeing to when they signed the agreement in 2008. The deal called for a $20 million cash payment and a partial ownership of Facebook—now worth $160 million because of Facebook's increased value. "At some point, litigation must come to an end," chief justice Alex Kozinksi wrote for the unanimous three-judge panel "That point has now been reached." The twins alleged they were misled into believing the company was worth $35.90 a share because of an investment by Microsoft Corp. But they argued that the company later valued the company at $8.88 for tax purposes. The twins argue they would have demanded more stock in the company based on the lower valuation. Malarkey, says Kozinsky: "They brought half-a-dozen lawyers to the mediation." Facebook said it was pleased by the ruling. Lawyers for the Winklevoss twins said they are reviewing the decision and have not decided on their next step. The twins could ask the Supreme Court to consider the case.
|OSBOURNES OWE $2 MILLION IN BACK TAXES|
Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne are being accused of skipping out on tax bills of $718,948.25 and $1.03 million in 2008 and 2009, leaving them a debt of nearly $1.7 million. Sharon and Ozzy aren't the only ones in hot water with Uncle Sam: Daughter Kelly reportedly owes the IRS a cool $34,000. After learning of the mistake, Sharon wrote on her Twitter that she believed someone in her employ was taking charge of her financial affairs. "You can't rely on anyone but yourself," Osbourne tweeted. "You have to be on top of your own business affairs. My fault........lesson learned."
|LINDSAY & MICHAEL LOHAN STILL FIGHTING?|
Lindsay Lohan his in her closet on Sunday afternoon while her dad, Michael, attempted to break into her Venice, California apartment, according to TMZ. He reportedly banged on Lindsay's front door for a while before sneaking around back to peak into her windows. She was inside her apartment, trying to lie low, while her father attempted to break-in. Lindsay did not call the police. The next day, Michael was reportedly allowed in Lindsay's apartment where he was seen enjoying morning bagel with his daughter. No word yet on what they may have been fighting about or how it was solved. In other Lohan news, Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Danette Meyers is warning her witnesses to expect "grueling cross examination by defense attorney Shawn Holley," as she preps for the first step in the criminal trial against Lindsay.
|REESE WITHERSPOON MOURNS PRIVACY|
Reese Witherspoon never regrets becoming an actress, but she does miss one thing: her privacy. "I parted with my privacy a long time ago," she tells Vogue in a new profile. "We went different ways. And sometimes I mourn it. Sometimes I will sit in the car and cry. Because I can’t get out." Click for the full piece, or check out a picture from Reese's wedding or gossip about her honeymoon.
|THE NEXT BUBBLE: HIGHER EDUCATION?|
We’re in the midst of another bubble, and it's not an Internet one, according to PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. It's a higher education bubble, and "like the housing bubble, the education bubble is about security and insurance against the future,” writes Sarah Lacy, who sat down to interview Thiel for TechCrunch. Students pay universities big bucks not to teach them, but to guarantee their security, argues Thiel. Questioning the value of education has long been "the absolute taboo," he says—but now more and more kids are graduating ... then moving home, leading many to ask, "Is it worth it?" But Thiel takes it further. He believes it’s "wrong for a society to pin people’s best hope for a better life on something that is by definition exclusionary." After all, if Harvard’s so great, why not open 100 affiliates? Because Harvard's value is based on “scarcity” and “status,” Thiel argues. And so Thiel, who predicted the dot-com bust and the housing bubble, is trying to “poke a small but solid hole in this Ivy League bubble.” He has created a program that will pay 20 talented kids $100,000 to drop out of college and start businesses. Many of the finalists are Ivy Leaguers, and that's OK, says Thiel. "Maybe people at Harvard need to be doing something else. We have to reset what the bar is at the top.”
IS GETTING A FOUR-YEAR DEGREE EVERYTHING IT'S CRACKED UP TO BE?
|LIVE LONGER, LEARN TO BOUNCE BACK|
Dr. Mark Lachs is an expert on geriatrics, and his oldest patient is 109. Not only is she 109, but she still lives at home—"with all her marbles," he writes—and enjoys chocolate truffles and Budweiser. What's her secret? "Adaptive competence," which Lachs defines as "the ability to bounce back from stress." Not just biological stress but, in his opinion and the opinion of other geriatrics experts, psychological stress as well. His 109-year-old patient, for example, has had to deal with everything from the loss of loved ones to gender discrimination to medical issues. And after each, she dusts herself off and moves on," he writes on NPR. When she suffered a stroke, she threw herself into rehab and speech therapy. Studies support his theory, with one in particular showing that people who had negative feelings about getting older died an average of 7.5 years earlier than their more positive counterparts. "So," Lachs concludes, "if you're a boomer and you don't think your outlook on aging has any impact on the rest of your life, you might want to brighten your attitude a bit." (Click for another way to live longer.)
|7 PROS & CONS OF COFFEE|
1. Coffee Reduces Your Risk of Diabetes
In a 2005 review of nine studies, researchers found that for those that drank four to six cups of coffee per day, versus only two or fewer, their risk for Type 2 diabetes decreased by almost 30 percent. The number decreased by 35 percent when people drank more than six cups per day. And if you're picturing yourself running around the office with your eyes bugging out of your head, no worries because caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees provided much the same results.
2. Coffee Fights Free Radicals
We often forget that coffee is actually a plant and like all plant foods, the coffee bean contains more than 1,000 naturally occurring substances called phytochemicals, which may help prevent disease. Many of these phytochemicals are antioxidants which protect the cells from damage from free radicals.
3. Coffee Improves Memory and Cognition
Researchers reported that volunteers who drank caffeinated coffee in the morning performed better than nondrinkers on tests that involved learning new information. Coffee can also improve cognitive function as we age. One study found that combining coffee with a sweet treat had an even bigger impact. According to study researcher Josep M. Serra Grabulosa, from the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychobiology at Universidad de Barcelona: "Our main finding is that the combination of the two substances improves cognitive performance in terms of sustained attention and working memory by increasing the efficiency of the areas of the brain responsible for these two functions. This supports the idea of a synergistic effect between two substances, in which each one boosts the effect of the other."
4. Coffee Can Increase Osteoporosis
It's true that coffee can cause the body to excrete calcium in urine. We don't want the body to rid itself of calcium because this can lead to osteoporosis. According to The Diet Channel, about five milligrams of calcium is lost per every six ounces of coffee consumed. But these calcium losses can be counter balanced with two tablespoons of milk or yogurt per cup of coffee.
5. Coffee Causes Wrinkles
Even though coffee has antioxidants, if you drink too much of it, it can cause wrinkling of the skin. This is a result of dehydration which is the worst thing for your skin. So when you're drinking that morning cup or two, make sure that you're pairing it with water. Even better, add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds to your water and let them sit for 30 minutes. The chia seeds keep you even more hydrated than regular water.
6. Coffee Can Actually Cause Weight Gain
The blood sugar fluctuations that a caffeine high produces can contribute enormously to cravings, according to iVillage. Coffee is also socially connected to food. For example, we pair coffee with dessert or that morning powdered doughnut. Additionally, when we crash from our caffeine high that's when we reach for all sorts of fatty snacks to keep us going.
7. Conventional Coffee Is Laden With Pesticides
The coffee plant is one of the most heavily sprayed crops. It's coated with chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides, nothing you'd want to be ingesting. If you do drink coffee, make sure that it's the organic variety, free from assorted chemicals that leech into our ground water and can make us sick down the road. If you switch to decaffeinated coffee, make sure the caffeine is removed in a natural way without the use of chemicals to do it. Often times, conventional decaffeinated coffee has more chemicals that regular.
|10 WAYS TO IMPRESS HER MOM|
Brag a little
Moms think about marriage almost as much as their daughters do. Early on, her mom will likely try to determine whether or not you're marriage material. When you first meet her, she's probably going to ask you about where you went to school and what you do for a living. Though on a date you might be concerned about seeming conceited, when meeting her mom, you can feel free to sell yourself a little more. When she asks you to tell her about yourself, give her the mini-resume. Tell her you graduated with honors in economics, that you just recently got promoted at work and that you volunteer on weekends. Moms don't want their daughters dating losers, so show her you're not one.
Show affection for kids
Take note: when in the presence of her mother, you love kids and can't wait to have them. Her mom has a biological clock too, and it sounds for grandkids. So, whether it's through spending time with your girlfriend's nephews, telling stories about your sister's kids or just talking about wanting a family of your own, you want to make it clear that you have dad potential. This is undoubtedly one of the top 10 ways to impress her mom.
Lend her a book
Establishing common ground between you and your girlfriend's mother is key to forging a relationship with her. If you can't find any common ground immediately, try creating some. For instance, if her mom is a reader, try lending her a book you think she'll like. It will give the two of you something to talk about later. It also shows your girlfriend's mom that you think about her and that you're interested in her point of view -- major bonus points. As an alternative, of course, you can also read a book that she recommends to you -- anything to establish common ground and promote meaningful conversation.
Offer to do the dishes
Nothing warms a mother's heart more than a man who does housework. Offering to lend a hand shows her mom that you're hardworking and generous. Offering to do the dishes after dinner is probably the easiest and most effective way to show off your more helpful side. After that big family dinner, make your way into the kitchen and offer to help. Initially, she'll tell you to sit back down. Don't give up. Insist on helping. Don't make a big deal about it, just get in there and start washing. Then watch as all your partner's female relations swoon.
Ask her advice
Moms love to feel needed, so you should make a point of asking her opinion on things, even if don't really care what she thinks. Asking her mom for advice will activate her maternal instincts, which is a feeling she probably misses having. It's definitely one of the top 10 ways to impress her mom. Ask her mom what color you should paint your apartment, or where she thinks you should take you girlfriend on vacation. She'll love being consulted. Just don't ask her for relationship advice, unless you want your girlfriend to hate you for the rest of your life.
Chat with her on the phone
Most guys lack the gift of gab, that capacity for easy conversation that most women seem to possess naturally. We're not chatty by nature, and when the phone rings we're usually hoping it's not for us. But it wouldn't kill you to spend a few minutes exchanging pleasantries with her mom when she calls; in fact, it will do wonders for your relationship -- with both mother and daughter. Just ask her how her day was, nothing complicated. That's all it takes to get in her good graces.
Remember that moms aren't always the most fashion-forward individuals. Their fashion sense is usually pretty conservative. So, dress accordingly when you're in their presence. Leave your ratty jeans and Ed Hardy T-shirts at home, and throw on something a little more sophisticated. Think khakis and a nice button-down, or a trim polo shirt. Basically, just don't wear anything that suggests you ride a skateboard, drive a motorcycle or own a bong, and you've nailed another one of the top 10 ways to impress her mom.
Bring her a present
Gift giving, if done correctly, is another simple and easy way of winning over her mom. Just put some thought into it and don't spend a ton of money. You're not looking for anything extravagant here; spending a lot of money will probably just make everyone feel awkward. You want a small token of appreciation or affection. Check with your girlfriend beforehand to see if there's something her mother really likes, a certain kind of chocolate or wine, for instance. However, you will score extra points if you're able to figure this out on your own, thus surprising both your partner and her mom when you show up at the door with the perfect present.
Compliment her cooking
Most of the time when you see your girlfriend's mother, she'll be cooking something. Holidays or big family dinners are the most common reason for you and her mother to be in the same room with each other. These are the kinds of gatherings that moms live for, and they provide another perfect opportunity for you to impress your girlfriend's mother. Just as the key to any man's heart is his stomach, the key to any mom's heart is her cooking. Rave about how good her food is (even if it's awful) and she'll love you forever.
Send her flowers
Simple and classy, sending her mother flowers is a sophisticated and gentlemanly way to get in her good graces. Just about any occasion will do, but obviously sending flowers on Mother's Day will score you major points. Her birthday is another obvious opportunity for flowers, but you might even consider sending a bouquet her way after she's had you over for dinner. Flowers are essentially foolproof and that's why they close out our list of the top 10 ways to impress her mom.