|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.