YOU'RE tired, moody, irritable. Not getting enough sleep these days. Seemingly, in a permanent slump. Feeling … depressed. You may have a case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) aka the wintertime blues. “We are in the midst of the full-blown SAD season,” says Angelos Halaris, a psychiatrist at Loyola University Medical Center (Maywood, Ill.). SAD, a depression brought on by a chemical imbalance in the brain, is triggered by lack of light owing to shorter days and overcast skies. Generally, it starts in October and lasts until April. It is commonly believed that SAD affects 3 percent to 5 percent of the population depending on the hemisphere. Rosie O'Donnell, a high-profile person in this hemisphere, has been very open about her depression, including SAD, sometimes even famously joking about it.Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/11/s-unshine-l-ight- e-xercise-m-edication.html
THAT DIRTY, DISGUSTING PICTURE IS SPEAKING VOLUMES ABOUT YOUR POLITICAL PREDILECTIONS
BY ASHLEY WENNERS HERRON
MAGGOT infestations, rotting carcasses, unidentifiable gunk in the kitchen sink. How much your brain responds to disgusting images could predict whether you are liberal or conservative. How timely, with today's Congressional midterm elections and various state races. In a study titled, Nonpolitical Images Evoke Neural Predictors of Political Ideology published in the 30 Oct. online edition of Current Biology, an international team led by scientists from Virginia Tech has found that the strength of a person’s reaction to repulsive images can forecast their political ideology. In what is commonly believed to be a tight Senate race in Kansas among Libertarian Randall Batson, Independent Greg Orman and Republican Pat Roberts, this could mean that if one knows the degree of repulsion that potential voters would have to such images, it would be possible to predict with a fair degree of certainly how they will vote and which candidate will emerge the victor.Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/11/that-dirty-disgusting-picture-is.html
AROUND THE WORLD IN 10 WEEKS: HOW YOU CAN DO IT, TOO. AND SURVIVE / THRIVE. AND GET TONS OF IMAGES – SOME OF THEM REALLY GOOD.
BY JOEL SIMPSON
WHEN I told people that I was going around the world for 10 weeks (with someone I hadn’t yet met), most reactions were some variation on “you lucky dog.” It seemed inconceivable to the majority that I would set out for destinations that were the stuff of fantasy – or cartoons. Of course, a significant number had themselves been to some of the more far-flung places, like India, China and Vietnam. No one, however, had been to either Madagascar or Mongolia. Further, no one had visited so many countries in a single trip. Ten weeks is a long time to be away. If you can spare the time, you can certainly do what I did. But if you only have two to four weeks, it is still very possible to visit countries you might have only dreamed of going to and reap the considerable rewards. What follows are suggestions about how to visit multiple countries over a number of weeks with the least amount of hassle and most amount of enjoyment. It is easier (and certainly less expensive) than you think. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/11/around-world-in-10-weeks-how-you-can-do.html
YOU CAN END THAT ADDICTION TO FRIED AND FATTY. YOU CAN CHANGE YOUR MIND. YES, YOU CAN.
THE power of positive thinking can help individuals overcome any number of difficulties, meet myriad challenges. Very few would dispute this. But now this notion has some science behind it – certainly as it regards more healthful food choices. Indeed, the-little-engine-that-could brand of thinking is not so much pep talk and pop psychology. If your mind can conceive your choosing a turkey burger on eggplant instead of a beef burger on bun. If your heart can believe it. Then, you can achieve it. Not only a healthier, lower-calorie meal, but one that can lead to many quality of life benefits, particularly if you are not overweight or obese. “We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” said lead author Susan B. Roberts. “This conditioning happens over time in response to eating – repeatedly! – what is out there in the toxic food environment.” Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/10/you-can-end-that-addiction-to-fried-and.html
STEVE HARVEY CLEARLY SPELLS OUT HOW TO ACT: (LIKE A SUCCESS, THINK LIKE A SUCCESS ...)
BY TAMIKA CODY
God has already lined up all the people in your path to get you to your dreams and your visions, all you have to do is get rid of the wrong ones.
… failure is such a HUGE part of succeeding.
Words to live by and some of my takeaways (and others interspersed throughout this article) from Steve Harvey's latest book, “Act Like a Success, Think Like a Success: Discovering Your Gift and the Way to Life's Riches.” To illustrate his points, SH pulls examples from his personal life experiences as well as those of others. For example, he references Jordan Belfort, the author of “The Wolf of Wall Street." The book spawned a film of the same name.“The only thing standing between you and your goal is the bullshit story you keep telling yourself as to why you can’t achieve it,” JB is quoted as saying. Entertainer and Emmy-winning media mogul SH takes that quote to the next level, declaring that “Excuses are the lies you convince yourself are true to avoid proving you are worthy of the gift you were given … NO MORE EXCUSES.” Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/10/steve-harvey-clearly-spells-out-how-to.html
SHAKING YOUR GROOVE THING AND OTHER POWERFUL WEAPONS IN THE WAR ON BREAST CANCER
This time of year, this month, more than any other time of the year, women (and men) are admonished and reminded to do regular checks and to undertake other preventative measures. It is October and it is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Consequently, a spotlight is on breast cancer, this decreasingly major killer, on the strides that have been made in eradicating it. A time of year when survivors celebrate, when fundraising and information initiatives are in overdrive. Contributing to the general awareness are two of the country's top cancer-fighting institutions – the Siteman Cancer Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and Washington University School of Medicine. They suggest eight ways to significantly reduce the likelihood of contracting breast cancer. These are common-sense approaches, some or all, of which many have likely been encouraged to undertake at one time or another. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/10/shaking-your-groove-thing-and-other.html
POSITIVE EVIDENCE THAT A SIMPLE 'THANK YOU' CAN WIN FRIENDS AND (POSSIBLY) INFLUENCE PEOPLE
THANK you. Two simple words that have serve humankind well throughout the age. Though increasingly missing from interpersonal communications in the United States, research shows that expressing them shows good manners, of course. Significantly, however, in a first, research shows that saying thank you – expressing and showing gratitude – can foster new relationships, leading to a multitude of good. “Our study was the first to show evidence that yes, indeed, an expression of gratitude could help to initiate a new relationship,” Monica Y. Bartlett, one of the two researchers and social psychologists, is quoted as saying on the Newswise wire service. MYB, of Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington), conducted the study with Lisa A. Williams of the University of New South Wales (Australia). The study, Warm Thanks: Gratitude Expression Facilitates Social Affiliation in New Relationships via Perceived Warmth, will be appearing in an upcoming issue of the journal, “Emotion.” Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/10/positive-evidence-that-simple-thank-you.html
ENCOURAGING THE NFL TO NOT FUMBLE THE BALL ON DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
BY PATRICIA DAVIDSON
VERY public cases of alleged violence against women have once again put the spotlight on an endemic problem not just in football, but in society at large. Yet, so much of the discussion has focused on the degree of punishment, who received what information when, and which lives will be shattered. Rather than naming and blaming, the NFL (National Football Association), government, commentators and community organizations should focus more on solutions. Faced with similar cases of violence in its sport, Australia's National Rugby League worked to promote the Federal Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women campaign. The slogan is: “The only line you should be crossing is the try line [goal line] – say no to domestic violence.” A number of players became spokespersons on the issue and the campaign continues as a catalyst to further the discussion on a national level and change behaviors. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/09/encouraging-nfl-to-not-fumble-ball-on.html
DESPITE WHAT GOD SAYS, WE STILL WANT PAYBACK BEFORE WE CAN BEGIN TO FORGIVE
ALLAH/God/Jehovah, aka The Great I Am, famously makes it clear to Moses in the bible book of Deuteronomy that “vengeance” is mine. “I will repay.” That is, that the Israelites then and all so-called believers for all time should leave the exacting of revenge to him, not to undertake it ourselves.Yet throughout the age, so many so-called believers have not been content to leave vengeance to God. Whether through war, whether it is an individual exacting revenge or knowing that those who have wronged him/her are getting some sort of comeuppance, we are not able to let bygones be bygones. Of course, anecdotally, we know this. We know that humankind is not so forgiving. But science seems to have more evidence that humans are more apt to forgive if there is involved some sort of retribution and/or restitution. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/09/despite-what-god-says-we-still-want.html
HITTING THAT JOINT IS BETTER THAN HITTING YOUR SPOUSE, ISN'T IT?
TAKE a drag off of this: There is less domestic violence among couples who smoke dope. No, I'm not high, I have not been smoking anything. A group of researchers at University at Buffalo School of Public Health and the Health Professions and Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) discovered as much. They published an article about it in the August online edition of Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. Can't you just hear the cheers from Camp pro-marijuana camp and the jeers from Camp anti-marijuana. Of course, this study is totally set apart from the medical marijuana debate. Incidentally, marijuana use is legal and regulated in 23 states and D.C. Just this year Maryland, Minnesota and New York legalized marijuana. But – this study – talk about stirring the pot! Led by Dr. Kenneth Leonard, director of the UB Research Institute on Addictions, researchers studied 634 couples in hopes of clarifying inconsistent findings of previous studies looking at domestic violence among couples that smoke pot. Researchers followed couples over the first nine years of marriage. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/09/hitting-that-joint-is-better-than.html
YOU'RE SO VAIN, YOU PROBABLY THINK THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT YOU
POOR Echo … If only she'd asked Narcissus a simple question before she went traipsing after him in the woods. Indeed, had the lovestruck nymph inquired whether he of great pulchritude was egotistical, self-focused and vain, he may have answered in the affirmative, sending her scurrying along her merry way, preventing the tragedy that would befall the both of them. Echo became but an echo of her former self, of course, and is remembered to this day. Later, in an unrelated incident, Narcissus would commit suicide. Literature and popular culture, particularly film, are chockful of narcissists. Carly Simon's "You're So Vain" (see video below) represents the most referenced occurrence in music. Look no further than reality TV to see manifestations of narcissism played out in real time. Echo is no more, but in time to save countless others a lot of botheration, a team of scientists has hit upon a methodology that can identify narcissists. If you have suspicions just ask a single question along the lines of, “Are you a narcissist,” with Echo's meaning in mind. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/08/youre-so-vain-you-probably-think-this.html
LIFE WON'T BE AS SHORT IF YOU GO FOR A LITTLE RUN
YOU know how to run don't, you? Sure, you do, so run, Baby, run! Because in doing so, according to a new Iowa State University study, you will prolong your life. In findings in an article titled Leisure-Time Running Reduces All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality Risk, published in the “Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers found that daily moderate running can reduce the risk of death from cardiovascular disease. “Most people they say don't have time to exercise or to increase their physial activity,” asserts lead researcher DC (Duck-chul) Lee, an assistant professor of Kinesiology at ISU. “But I think almost everyone can find five or 10 minutes per day to run for health benefits, so I believe more people will be motivated by this study and hope that they can start running and continue to run.” Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/08/life-wont-be-so-short-if-you-go-for.html
IN STRANGERS WE OFTEN TRUST BECAUSE WE THINK WE SHOULD AND WE CARE WHAT THEY THINK
THE very reason mom admonished you not to talk to strangers is because you never know what people might do. Though last week, it was revealed that in some cases it is OK to talk to strangers, there is still a feeling that strangers can cause you upset or harm. In other words, strangers should not be trusted. Then why do we sometimes trust people we don't know? Is it because they seem trustworthy? The answer to the latter question is no, according to a group of researchers that has another theory, based on a few compelling experiments. "Trust is crucial not just for established relationships, it's also especially vital between strangers within social groups who have no responsibility toward each other outside of a single, transitory interaction. eBay or farmers' markets couldn't exist without trust among strangers," said lead researcher David Dunning of Cornell University. "We wanted to examine why people, even those with low expectations of others, tend to trust total strangers more often than not. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/07/in-strangers-we-often-trust-because-we.html
IS IT OK TO TALK TO STRANGERS DESPITE WHAT MOTHER SAID?
SOUND advice from childhood that most take into old age:
1. Say your grace;
2. Wash behind your ears;
3. Eat your vegetables;
4. Look both ways before crossing the street – even if it is a one way;
5. Don't talk to strangers. Advice to live by, except that a recent study seems to question the wisdom of not talking to strangers. According to an article that appears in the most recent issue of “The Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,” commuters on the rails and roads (city buses) to Chicago came away enhanced from the experience of talking to strangers on their commute. “Connecting with strangers on a train may not bring the same long-term benefits as connecting with friends,” according to University of Chicago Booth School of Business Professor Nicholas Epley. “But commuters on a train into downtown Chicago reported a significantly more positive commute when they connected with a stranger than when they sat in solitude.” Interestingly, before the interaction the commuters believed such a leap would have the opposite effect. In “Mistakenly Seeking Solitude,” NE and co-author Juliana Schroder assert that humans underestimate or don't understand the importance of this type of social interaction. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/07/is-it-ok-to-talk-to-strangers despite.html
THAT POTATO CHIP THAT FELL OUT OF THE BAG HAS GERMS WHETHER GOD BLESSES THEM OR NOT
REMEMBER when you were a kid, skipping along the sidewalk, enjoying your favorite lollipop, then you drop it. Remember? First, surprise, then consternation. Then what? Right, you picked it up. You uttered your, “God bless the germs,” gave that lollipop a licking and kept on kicking, right? Of course. As adults we call it the five-second rule. That is, if we pick up what hit the floor or whatever surface within in five seconds, no harm, no foul. Well … a germ doctor begs to differ. “A dropped item is immediately contaminated and can’t really be sanitized,” asserts Jorge Parada, medical director of the Infection Prevention and Control Program at Chicago's Loyola University Health System. “When it comes to folklore, the ‘five-second rule’ should be replaced with ‘When in doubt, throw it out.’ ” Obviously, this is shocking information for those who have subscribed to this myth their entire lives, but JP is sticking to his story. He won't budge one centimeter. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/07/that-potato-chip-you-whisked-off-floor.html
HEY SMILEY, HAVE A (GOOD) CARE WITH YOUR TOOTHBRUSH
IT presents a romantic image: The bathroom the morning after. Partners, bleary-eyed from lack of sleep and invigorated with memories of last night's hot, passionate lovemaking. Laughing, flirting, hurrying, scurrying to get to work. Oops, only one toothbrush. No problem, they share, then celebrate with a deep, wet kiss. And why not, they've shared a whole lot else. Romantic, yes. Hygienic, no. One of the no-nos of toothbrush care is no sharing. Advice to heed always, but especially now with National Toothbrush Day (26 June) so recently observed. “This seems like a no-brainer, but a large proportion of spouses admit to sharing toothbrushes,” says Maria L. Geisinger, assistant professor of periodontology in the School of Dentistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). “That means bacteria on those toothbrushes are being shared, including the ones that cause dental decay and periodontal disease — the two major dental diseases in adults.” Toothbrushes can harbor freeloaders with names like coliform, pseudomonad, staphylococci, yeast. Not to mention intestinal bacteria and fecal germs. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/07/hey-smiley-have-good-care-with-your.html
HE SAID TO HER, 'NOT TONIGHT, HONEY, SEX GIVES ME A HEADACHE'
THE second oldest line in the book is probably, “Not now, Honey, I have a headache.” But a headache during the act? Right! Yes, right! There are people who actually come down with headaches during sex – even during orgasms. Apparently this is not new; even Hippocrates has asserted as much. “One should be able to recognize those who have headaches from gymnastic exercises or running or walking or hunting or any other reasonable labor or from immoderate venery.” Venery is an old (really old) school way of saying sexual indulgence. In a word, sex.“Many people who experience headaches during sexual activity are too embarrassed to tell their physicians, and doctors often don’t ask,” says Jose Biller, chairman of the Department of Neurology at Loyola University in Chicago. He says that about 1 percent of adults report the headaches, but the actual percentage is surely higher for the reasons stated. According to JB, there are three major categories of headaches associated with sexual activity (HSAs). Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/07/he-said-to-her-not-tonight-honey-sex.html
ATTEMPTED 'PURSE-PINCHER' ELI WALLACH GETS STAR TREATMENT FROM TURNER CLASSIC MOVIES
IT was nearly four years ago at the New York Hilton, the night of the 38th International Emmy Awards. Yours Truly is attempting to get herself sorted to attend a VIP reception before the awards ceremony. I am fielding questions from a young woman at the check-in desk when I feel something tugging at my purse. Initially, I ignore it – until it continues. I pause mid-sentence and glance down at the table where my purse is resting. Beside me an elderly gentleman is pulling at its chain handle. I gape, then look closer, gaping again. “Eli Wallach, you're trying to steal my purse,” I exclaim with a mixture of surprise and glee. He does not deny it. Eli Herschel Wallach (7 Dec. 1915 – 24 June 2014), Brooklyn born and bred, went on to have one of the most successful acting careers of the 20th century. Successful in quality, quantity and longevity. TCM (Turner Classic Movies) pays tribute to the actor on Monday (30 June) with a festival of EW films, "TCM Remembers Eli Wallach." Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/06/attempted-purse-pincher-eli-wallach.html
ON THE (2014 WORLD CUP) BALL: BY MOST ACCOUNTS, BRAZUCA IS PITCH PERFECT
At the 2014 FIFA Word Cup, there has been plenty of grousing about the high temps and the high ticket prices. But one aspect of the competition that has not caused a hue and cry is Brazuca – not yet anyway. For the uninitiated, Brazuca is the official game ball. What a difference a few years make! At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, a body had to get in line to pillory Jabulani. “Dreadful,” “terrible,” and “supernatural” were some of the epithets flung at the ball. It was even blamed for the result of the final. Perculiar, since Jabulani means "to celebrate" in one of the languages of South Africa. It was almost universally agreed that Jabulani, once in flight, was extremely and inexplicably erratic at best. Fast forward a few years after the scientists returned to the drawing board. The result is a ball that is, to put it simply, more grounded in midair. Adidas, which created Jabulani and at the time gushingly called it the most “innovative” World Cup ball to date, is also behind Brazuca. The sportsgear company is calling the latter the most “tested.” That is no exaggeration. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/06/on-2014-world-cup-ball-by-most-accounts.html
BELIEVE IT OR NOT, CYNICISM CAN DRIVE YOU MAD
“WHY do we call all our generous ideas illusions, and the mean ones truths,” Lawrence Selden asks of social climber Lily Bart in a scene from “The House of Mirth.”Edith Wharton's upright young man may not be a cynic, and that is to his credit if there is any merit to a recent study that suggests cynical distrust can bring on dementia. No less a source than a team with a surfeit of medical degrees, including PhD's is asserting as much in a paper titled “Late-life cynical distrust, risk of incident dementia, and mortality in a population-based cohort.” It is published in an online issue of Neurology. Cynics, such as Diogenes, have disparaged convention for millennia, but not until now has a connection to this tendency and mental degeneration been made. For the purposes of the study, cynical distrust is defined as the belief that others are mainly motivated by selfish concerns. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/06/believe-it-or-not-cynicism-can-drive.html
RUBY DEE ASSUMED MANY ROLES – ACTOR, PLAYWRIGHT, PIONEER, ACTIVIST ...
BY TAMARA BECK
HER acting career started at the American Negro Theater (ANT), founded in 1940 as the Negro unit of the Federal Theater Project. Her first role was as Cobina in "On Strivers Row" in 1940. She appeared in productions there from 1941 to 1943. Ruby Ann Wallace Dee, who died at the age of 91 on 11 June in New Rochelle, NY, leaves behind an impressive legacy of acting, activism and other pursuits. Over the seven decades she spent on stage, RD appeared in productions by Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams, William Inge, Athol Fugard and Moliere, among others. The Cleveland, Ohio native was a pioneer and activist throughout her career. Colorblind casting was uncommon when she played Cordelia in "King Lear" and Kate in "The Taming of the Shrew." In 1965, RD was the first black woman to appear in major roles at Stratford, Connecticut's American Shakespeare Festival. In 1968, she was the first black actress with a regular role on a primetime TV soap, "Peyton Place." Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2014/06/ruby-dee-played-many-roles-actor.html
'HOPE AND A FUTURE': RETURNING HAITI TO GOOD LIFE
EMELINE Michel and BelO are building forward together and invite others to do so, too. This building is serious business – the very serious and multi-pronged business of returning Haiti to its long-ago glory days after fed-up (and underfed) slaves repelled the French. Indeed, shedding its current image as an economic basket case, poorest country in the Western Hemisphere and de facto charge of the United States. Serious business, to be sure. But building is fun, too. The New York-based Haitian performers are two of the acts that organizers are counting on to draw crowds Friday evening (10 May) to Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center for “Hope and A Future – A Celebration of Haïti.” The jollification, the theme of which is Building Forward Together, also ushers in May as Haitian Heritage Month and introduces Ayiti Marché or open market. And what a marketplace it purports to be! Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2013/05/hope-and-future-returning-haiti-to-good.html
EMPIRE STATE BUILDING BATHED IN PRETTY INCREDIBLE LIGHT
RED, navy, pink, yellow, chartreuse, silver, turquoise ... They all eventually appeared in the flip of the switch. That was the scene last night when Alicia Keys moved the light switch from off to on and the tower of New York’s iconic Empire State Building (ESB) was lit up like a Christmas tree with state-of-the-art LED lights for the ESB's first-ever light show. The colors are among an inventory of more than 16 million. Yes, 16 million, up from a paltry 10, not 10 million. That means lemon-yellow and orange-orange; it means pastels, earthtones, muted and blindingly bright. After all, there are 16 million of them. Only a relative few, however, were displayed last night, but they had great backup to the tune of AK’s mini concert (broadcast on Clear Channel Media and Entertainment), featuring the Grammy winner’s “Empire State of Mind” and “Girl on Fire.” Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/empire-state-building-bathed-in-pretty.html
'ONE WORLD. ONE R 1200 GS.' FIVE RIDERS AND FOUR JUDGES.
ONE more milestone achieved for the BMW Motorrad "Ride of Your Life": The celebrity judges have been named. Charley Boorman, Adrien Brody, Jutta Kleinschmidt and Rick Yune are the fab four who will determine, along with Team Motorad, which five lucky motorbike riders will be permitted to take a roadtrip to far corners of the world on BMW Motorrad’s new and improved BMW R 1200 GS. The redefined R 1200 GS, an apt little machine for such a first-of-its-kind enduro event as the “Ride of Your Life,” is billed as a perfect blend of sport, adventure, action and style. The riders, too, will embody these attributes, as do the judges. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/one-world-one-r-1200-gs-five-riders-and.html
STRIKE A POSE WITH 'A TABLE FULL OF TURKEYS!'
WHO to spend Thanksgiving Day with – Darth Vader or The Terminator or family? Why not all of the above? Perhaps, you’ve already dined and have had your fill of football. You’re not going out shopping this evening as you did not this morning. So, what to do? Even if you don’t need to put distance between you and any particular loved one, you can still have a little escapist fun while you while away the hours. GoldRun, an IOS/ Android virtual photobooth, believes it has a fun idea. The idea is its new and free photo app, “A Table Full of Turkeys!” Basically, “A Table Full of Turkeys!” allows you and you and you and you to place yourselves in photographs with the aforementioned, Angelina Jolie and at least seven other folk far more famous than yourselves. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/strike-pose-with-table-full-of-turkeys.html
A THANKSGIVING CHALLENGE FROM NO KID HUNGRY
REGARDLESS how one feels about Thanksgiving, an often polarizing celebration on the calendar in the fine, but flawed United States of America, no one believes that children should go hungry. As America prepares to celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow by shopping, overeating, arguing with family and watching football – in that order – the good, fine folks at Share Our Strength make a strong appeal. They are asking those (you know who you are) with the means to part with at least $46 (but any amount will help) to their No Kid Hungry campaign. The campaign’s national spokesperson Jeff Bridges is canvassing, too. While most are aware that there are many children around the world facing hunger and going hungry, precious few, incredibly, associate this problem with the United States. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/a-thanksgiving-challenge-from-no-kid.htmlr
BMW I BORN ELECTRIC TOUR AND THE WAY FORWARD
12 Nov. 2012/NEW YORK – BMW brought the future to New York City and invited guests, the most notable of which was Uma Thurman, to see it. Aside from UT, the main attraction at the automaker’s opening night of the North American BMW i Born Electric Tour were the all-electric BMW i3 Concept and the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 Concept Roadster. The first i3s and i8s should be available in Germany in November 2013 before rolling out around the world. For now, though, it is a get-acquainted campaign for the two products from BMW i, a sub-brand of BMW dedicated to developing sustainable mobility solutions. Unlike UT, visitors had a chance to look at, but not touch, the compact-on-the-outside, roomy-on-the-inside i3. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/12-nov.html
FIRE ORANGE & FEDORA BEST IN ‘FASCINATORS AND FEDORAS’
3 Nov. 2012/LOS ANGELES – HERS was a fire orange Mangan fascinator; his a fedora with undertones of a cowboy hat. Among 750, it was this duo that caught the judges’ eyes. The choice was clear. And so it was settled. Gemma Hassett and Mike Tippett walked away the winners of the second “Fascinators and Fedoras” fashion extravaganza at the the 29th Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Along with bragging rights, congratulations and photo ops, GH and MT received a $5,000 gift card from contest co-sponsor Westfield Mall. Not at all a bad deal for simply signing up, then showing up for the two-day competition, because the happy pair could not have won had they not played the game. “I knew the competition was on as I was looking at the Breeders Cup website and I said to myself, ‘What the heck? If I’m not in, I can’t win!’,” GH said afterward. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/fire-orange-fedora-best-in-fascinators.html
NO EXCUSES. JUST DO IT – VOTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WELL, folks, the day has arrived. It is Election Day in the United States of America. Not only will Americans be voting for president, but also for representatives to the U. S. Senate, House of Representatives and state legislatures, as well as on referenda on various state ballots. Regardless of your political persuasion, outlook or leaning, do exercise if you are eligible. That is, exercise your right to vote. At the moment, the vote is the most powerful tool at the disposal of those without sufficient financial resources to bring about change for the better. Not surprisingly, the most talked about race is the one for president. Most are aware that incumbent President Barack Obama is the Democratic Party nominee and that businessman and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is the Republican Party nominee. There are, however, numerous candidates on other tickets. It is up to voters to determine how serious or viable there bids are. Unlike the two major-party candidates, most are not on the ballot in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the various U.S. territories that vote for president. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/no-excuses-just-do-it-vote.html
CROWN JEWELS AND OTHER BAUBLES IN 'THE ART OF CARTIER'
IT is a collage of calibrated sapphires, rubies and emeralds and was born of a collaboration between Wallis, Duchess of Windsor and Jeanne Toussiant, director of Fine Jewelry at Cartier. The item in question is the Flamingo Brooch. It is among hundreds of pieces of jewelry, timepieces and other precious objects in the new “The Art of Cartier” (El Arte de Cartier) exhibit at Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum. The exhibit is on view through 17 Feb. 2013. The brooch and the 400-plus other objects in The Art of Cartier” are on loan from the famed Cartier Collection. It also has the further distinction of being seen for the first time in a Cartier Collection anywhere. The collection is a traveling show of items begged, borrowed, bought (but not stolen, we’re sure) from the jeweler’s most wealthy, prominent and aristocratic clients and/or their estates and at auction. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/11/crown-jewels-and-other-baubles-art-of.html
BATS, BALLS & BIG EASY@23RD ANNUAL CELEB SPORTS AUCTION
FOR the right price, someone can walk away with two tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open (tennis). Same deal on a Napa Valley California wine tour and a Charlotte Ronson wool military jacket in olive green. Of course, no actual celebrities – sports or otherwise – will be up for auction But expect a framed and autographed photo of Muhammad Ali nee Casius Clay at his first Golden Gloves Tournament and Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit Commemorative Louisville Slugger Black Bat. Also in the mix are four tickets the 29 Dec. game at the Barclay Center between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers with ball kid opps. New York Jets fans have an opportunity to bid on the Jets Suite package. It includes 24 tickets and VIP parking permits for the 2 Dec. game against the Arizona Cardinals. Like the Napa Valley wine tour (minimum bid $5,000), the suite is a live auction item and has a required minimum bid, $2,500. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/10/bats-balls-big-easy23rd-annual.html
ESENTIA MALL WELCOMES LUXURY BRANDS INTO ITS BOSOM
19 OCT. 2012/ALMATY, Kazakhstan – SUPERMODEL Eva Herzigova was a star attraction at a 1,000-person VIP party to celebrate the opening last night of the ultra-upscale Esentia Mall in the central Asian country of Kazakhstan. Among brands taking up space in the mall is Saks Fifth Avenue, which is opening its first store in all of Asia. New to the Kazakh market are Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Loro Piana, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren and Stella McCartney. Coming soon are Fendi and Tommy Hilfiger. The night featured fireworks, an aerial display and a fashion show. Located in the city of Almaty – considered the financial, commercial and cultural capital of Kazakhstan – the six-story Esentai Mall has 160 stores, a food court and move theater. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/10/esentia-mall-welcomes-luxury-brands.html
'RECONSTITUTION 2012': DECODING PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES
YOU know the saying, “There are liars, damn liars, and there are politicians.” Well, not exactly, but so apt, no? To help voters and potential voters break through the doubletalk, exaggerations, misleading statements and outright untruths of the major party candidates for the president, is “ReConstitution 2012. From the brains of the art and technology studio, Sosolimited, ReConstitution 2012 is a free, live web app linked to the U.S. presidential debates. (See video above.) It can be used during and after the debates, the latest of which is scheduled for 9 tonight EDT. The focus will be on foreign policy. Alas, alas, (alas, alas, alas!!!), ReConstitution 2012 does not extend to the debates of the nonDemocratic and nonRepublican candidates for president. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/10/zlatan-ibrahimovic-walks-away-with-2012.html
FASHION GROUP INTERNATIONAL'S NIGHT OF DREAM CATCHERS
25 OCT. 2012/NEW YORK – IN accepting the “Humanitarian" award, Wynton Marsalis told the assembled at Cipriani Wall Street that his reference for fashion is the southern Louisiana ladies. These belles dressed regular doing the week but on Sunday donned their best, including some baaaaad hats for going to church. WM was one of several honorees at the 29th Annual Fashion Group International Night Of Stars hosted by Simon Doonan. The theme this year is “Dream Catchers.” The awards honor architects, retailers, designers and sundry others. The “Superstar” award went to Carolina Herrera. Among the “Star” winners were Derek Lam and Gareth Pugh. The “Architect” award went to Annabelle Selldorf. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/10/fashion-group-internationals-night-of.html
DARING TO UNITE AROUND A VISION ON DREAMDAY 2012
BY DARALYN JAY
When yogi Claudine leads her class in Australia the downward dogs will make history. So will Versanette’s open mic in Chicago and the barbecue Shyvonne is hosting in Bermuda. These are among numerous events that will be going on around the world to mark DreamDay 2012. Simply put, it is an international day to celebrate the creation and activation of dreams. “This is the first time in history that people will collectively carve out time to co-create future possibilities across live and digital channels,” says Ozioma Egwuonwu, founder of DreamDay 2012 and BurnBright Lifeworks, Inc. (http://www.bit.ly/SiyFH3) “Every year, many countries around the world honor their ability to labor with labor holidays,” OE states in the DreamDay 2012 manifesto. “This year, we want to honor the dreamer, the visionary, the innovator and the simple truth that before one labors, one must dream.” Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/08/daring-to-unite-around-vision-on.html
IN BBC AMERICA SERIES, 'COPPER,' IT IS THE WILD, WILD EAST
IT is 1864 New York City. Tensions are still raw from the deadly and divisive Draft Riots of 1863. The scene is the notorious crime, disease- and vice-ridden Lower East City enclave, Five Points. The worst neighborhood in New York of today ain't got nothin' on Five Points. These are the means streets that Irish immigrant, Det. Kevin Corcoran (Tom Weston-Jones), works in “Copper," the first original series from BBC America. In the premiere episode, Det. Corcoran is investigating the murder of a neighborhood girl. He is aided in his investigations during the course of the 10-part series by two seemingly unlikely allies: Dr. Matthew Freeman (Ato Essandoh and Mr. Robert Morehouse (Kyle Schmid). Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/08/in-bbc-america-series-copper-it-is-wild.html
'RACE FOR OUR COMMUNITY': A RUN/WALK FOR GOOD
RUN; walk solo, or dog-walk. That is all Community Access is asking of those who sign up for "Race for Our Community," an event the agency is billing as New York City's very first 5K-run/One-mile walk/Dog walk. It's all good fun for a good cause. Funds (via pledges and registration fees; dogs walk free) from all of the exertion will help Community Access continue its mission of helping those suffering from mental illness stay off the streets, out of shelters and on the road to recovery. It should be noted that those who take the challenge to run/walk or for those who feel a bit faint at the notion, are not without resources. On the Community Access Web site are links to any number of tips to get one through Saturday or any other day. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/10/race-for-our-community-runwalk-for-good.html
QUINCY JONES FINALLY GETS MONTBLANC PATRONAGE AWARD
ONE apt question is why he didn’t receive this award when it was established in 1992, for he more than qualified. Well, better late than never. At last, Quincy Jones is a U.S. recipient of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award It is awarded annually to 12 individuals around the world who have demonstrated a massive contribution to the arts in the form of time, energy and financial resources. In addition to the award, QJ received a Montblanc ‘Patron of Art’ Limited Edition Writing Instrument and $20KUSD for the charity of his choice. QJ chose New York City’s Jazz Foundation of America. Each honoree receives his due reward at a swanky ceremony in his or her home country. For QJ, it was Los Angeles’ Chateau Marmont. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/10/quincy-jones-finally-gets-montblanc.html
BALLROOM IS PREPPED FOR 'DANCING WITH THE STARS ALL-STARS'
WARREN Sapp (Season 7 finalist) will be missed. For a big man, he is incredibly light on his feet. His financial woes may have contributed to his absence. But there, too, is the fact that the producers probably didn’t want to have two former NFL players on the show or too many athletes, considering that Emmit Smith (Season 3 winner), Hélio Castroneves (Season 5 winner), Shawn Johnson (Season 8 winner) and Apolo Anton Ohno (Season 4 winner) are competing. If it is not clear by now, this prognosticating is about Dancing With The Stars. In a twist, favorites from seasons past return to compete for the Mirrorball trophy. Another new feature for season 15 of “DWTS” is that the 13th contestant was chosen by voters online. Sabrina Bryan (Season 5) beat out Carson Kressley (Season 13) and Kyle Massey (Season 11) for that coveted spot on this “All-Star” edition. Also competing is Kelly Monaco, the show’s very first winner. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/09/ballroom-is-prepped-for-dancing-with.html
OWS ONE YEAR LATER: IT'S HERE AND IT AIN'T GOING AWAY!
TODAY marks the one-year anniversary of the leaderless movement now known all over the world as Occupy Wall Street. Contrary to what one might read or see in the corporate media controlled by the heavily vested 1%, OWS is not dead. OWS has been getting things done and has been setting the groundwork to get things done. Slow, but sure. Anyone wanting to know what's going on can simply visit the Web site. Another good source is "Occupy Wall Street Radio," a program that is broadcast at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on WBAI-FM (99.5 FM). OWS is a movement; it's a revolution. It aims to empower the people – the masses – to push back against the forces that enable obscene corporate power, greed and corruption. As such, it is often misunderstood and intentionally misconstrued – sometimes by the very constituency it seeks to help. OWS can be unwieldy and contentious from within. Yet it is functional. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/09/ows-one-year-later-its-here-and-it-aint.html
NEW LANCIA FLAVIA OWNS RED CARPET AT VENICE FILM FEST
Logging lots of hours on the red carpet at the 69th Venice Film Festival and other places aren't stars like Kate Hudson and Spike Lee. It is a new version of Flavia, brought to the world by Italian automaker, Lancia. The comely convertible is not only on the red carpet but the catwalk and in the Lancia Café area. It is almost omnipresent! These are some of the benefits of sponsorship, and Lancia has committed seven years to the VFF and doesn’t appear to be experiencing an itch. One of the vehicle’s attributes that Lancia is talking up the most is its red Pelle Frau® Pieno Fiore leather seats and armrests created by master craft brand Poltrona Frau. Italians know their leather, and the Lancia Flavia is easy on the eyes for it. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2012/09/new-lancia-flavia-owns-red-carpet-at.html
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, YOUR MAJESTY, AND MANY MORE !!!
WITH reports of her death, an incurable disease and a surgery that she says “resolved” health problems that led her a few months ago to cancel a series of concerts until May – with all of these travails behind her, The Queen of Soul is back in form. Over the weekend, she visited the Big Apple to take in some theater – specifically “Driving, Miss Daisy” starring Morgan Freeman and Vanessa Redgrave. After the play Friday night, she and 100 or so close friends repaired to the Helmsley Hotel to celebrate her 69th birthday. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2011/03/think-you-can-dance-to-tune-of-paul.html
MAGGIE THE CAT: A (SUPER) STAR IS DEAD
Elizabeth Rosemond Taylor (27 Feb. 1932 - 23 March 2011) had been ill for some time and has had more than one close encounter with the grim reaper. Still, the news of her death hit like a punch in the chest. Elizabeth, what an apt name for a little girl born (to American parents) in London. She hated being called "Liz." Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2011/03/maggie-cat-star-is-dead.html
EARTH TALK AT 2ND GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY FORUM
Attendees at the 2nd Global Sustainability Forum, (Fórum Mundial De Sustentabilidade). will no doubt listen with some interest as Richard Branson holds forth on "Entrepreneurial Strategies for De-carbonizing the Economy." During the Q&A following his talk will it be any surprise if the Virgin Group founder and CEO is asked whether he took a commercial or private jet to the meeting? In fact, that is a simple question to be put to all 600 of the entrepreneurial, political and environmental leaders expected to attend, including a former U.S. president. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2011/03/earth-talk-at-2nd-global-sustainability.html
WOMEN IN THE WORLD STORIES AND SOLUTIONS
The Hudson Theatre at Millennium Broadway will be the vortex of some of the greatest concentration of woman power in the world Thursday through Saturday (10-12 March) for the Women in the World Stories and Solutions summit. Last year’s summit was such a hit that host Tina Brown, editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and – most recently – Newsweek, has decided to re-up. Her co-hosts include Diane von Furstenberg and Meryl Streep. Read more: http://www.vevlynspen.com/2011/03/women-in-world-stories-and-solutions.html
OUT OF SHAPE FISCALLY? JOIN BOOTCAMP.
IT is understandable that it would take a full month to recover from the Yuletide Season hangover, thus forgetting that a new month is dawning and few have made a start on those 2011 resolutions.Those with aspirations to improve in the area of money management can check themselves into one of four bootcamps … Read more: http://vevlynspen.blogspot.com/2011/01/out-of-shape-fiscally-join-bootcamp.html
ONE YEAR LATER, TRULY REMEMBERING HAITI
“THIRTY-FIVE seconds for 300,000 lives lost and more than 1.3 million people: mothers, fathers, children, grandparents, who are still struggling to find hope in a sea of despair," reads the "Bells for Haiti!" flier (above) created by Konbit-MN/Haiti. The Minnesota group’s “Bells” is but one of myriad events around the world and country – prayer/candlelight vigils, silence, concerts, panel discussions, etc. – commemorating the Haiti earthquake. Read more: http://vevlynspen.blogspot.com/2011/01/one-year-later-truly-remembering-haiti.html
FOR THREE DAYS RUNNING IS OPRAH’S OWN
AT the moment the ball dropped in Times Square, then millions kissed and toasted the New Year, another monumental – but more low-key – event was taking place on cable. Midnight/1 Jan. 2011 East Coast time also welcomed in the dawn of OWN – three years in gestation and delivered a little later than expected. Read more: http://vevlynspen.blogspot.com/2011/01/for-three-days-running-is-oprahs-own.html
'BRAIN: THE INSIDE STORY’ OF AN INCREDIBLE ORGAN
The world has the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) to thank for “Brain: The Inside Story,” on view until 14 Aug. 2011. Very few who pass through New York will have an excuse to miss this expansive showcase because it will be up for nearly nine months. Online visitors will not get the full experience but will surely sense the extraordinariness of it. “I want people to change when they go through the exhibit,” said curator Rob DeSalle. “I want people to think better after they go through the exhibit.” Read more: http://vevlynspen.blogspot.com/2010/11/brain-inside-story-of-incredible-organ.html
Just Sayin’ … ‘38th International Emmy Awards’
‘New York Entrepreneur Week’ Means Business
Tristan Couvares Isn’t Going to Disney World
Coming Soon … To Your TV Screen