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Month: May 2016

Jane Fonda Celebrates 79th Birthday By Standing In Solidarity With Standing Rock

Jane Fonda Celebrates 79th Birthday By Standing In Solidarity With Standing Rock

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Jane Fonda celebrated her 79th birthday like a true activist. 

On Wednesday, the actress hosted the #BankExit rally in Los Angeles in support of the people of Standing Rock. Fonda’s famous friends Lily Tomlin, Frances Fisher and Catherine Keener were also in attendance, as was labor leader Dolores Huerta. 

As People reports, the #BankExit movement aims to encourage individuals to transfer their money out of big banks like Wells Fargo and Chase, which support the Dakota Access Pipeline, and into local credit unions. 

Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin attend the #BankExit Rally on Dec. 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

During the Rally, Fonda was surprised with a cake and the “Happy Birthday” song. 

Gabriel Olsen via Getty Images

Jane Fonda, Grey Wolf, Lily Tomlin, Frances Fisher and Catherine Keener at the rally against Wells Fargo and Chase Bank in solidarity with the people of Standing Rock at the #BankExit Rally.

Loreen Sarkis via Getty Images

Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda and Frances Fisher attend #BankExit Rally.

Fonda has long been vocal about her support for the people of Standing Rock, often sharing tweets and videos to spread awareness. On Thanksgiving weekend, the Hollywood icon, along with fellow actress Shailene Woodley, went to North Dakota to serve 500 Thanksgiving meals to the people who were protesting the DAPL.  

Members of the Sioux Tribe, and their supporters, protested the pipeline’s construction for months, raising concerns about the negative effects the project would have on their water and sacred Native American land. 

Earlier this month, construction on the controversial pipeline project was halted after the Department of the Army denied the final easement required for the project to cross beneath Lake Oahe in North Dakota. The decision was a historic victory for the people of Standing Rock. 

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Janelle Monae’s Elaborate Golden Globes Look Is Out Of This World

Janelle Monae’s Elaborate Golden Globes Look Is Out Of This World

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The Golden Globes red carpet is no doubt star-studded, but no one shone quite so brightly Sunday night as resident cool girl Janelle Monae.

Monae’s performance as a NASA mathematician in the nominated film “Hidden Figures” made her out-of-this-world look even more appropriate. Clad in a super sparkly, high-low Armani Privé gown, the 31-year-old definitely took home our award for the most fun look on the carpet.

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

But as if her gown wasn’t breathtaking enough, check out the flawless hair and makeup that went along with it. Yes, those are pearls in her hair, people. 

Steve Granitz via Getty Images

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Billie Lourd’s ‘Scream Queens’ Co-Stars Rally Around Her After Mom Carrie Fisher’s Death

Billie Lourd’s ‘Scream Queens’ Co-Stars Rally Around Her After Mom Carrie Fisher’s Death

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Fisher’s only child, 24-year-old actress Billie Lourd, also received a flood of support from her “Scream Queens” co-stars. Jamie Lee Curtis, Ariana Grande, John Stamos, Lea Michele and more took to social media to remember Lourd’s mother and send well wishes to their friend.

“My mother’s heart goes out to this exquisitely talented young woman,” Curtis wrote in an Instagram post. “Her mother’s spirit and talent lives on in her and I’m sure all of Carrie’s fans and friends will give her space and privacy.” 

Stamos shared a goofy picture of himself with Lourd and told the star “love you” in his post. 

“Oh how you loved telling stories about your mom – and I loved hearing them.  I loved watching your face light up. You were so proud of her and she of you. She will live through you forever and we’re all lucky for that,” he wrote. 

 Read more of the sweet tributes below: 

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Why Do I Feel So Alone? Correction, Disconnection

Why Do I Feel So Alone? Correction, Disconnection

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To correct or not to correct, that is the question. The answer is it depends. So, when the urge strikes you to correct someone else’s behavior, Stop, Look and Listen. First off, notice your intention. Are you sincerely attempting to be supportive or are you being superior, right and proper? Next, assess the situation. Is the primary objective of the interaction served by correcting the other person in this area? And last, but not least, pay attention to your tone.

Correcting someone can be a very supportive act that brings you a deeper connection, or it can be a surefire way to disconnect in a matter of a split second. Choose wisely.

My dad, whom, I loved very much, used to correct my grammar relentlessly. His intention was noble, but he was not always aware of the bigger picture of the circumstance. He did not ask himself whether the primary objective of a particular interaction was best served by ensuring perfect grammar, or if something else different and more important might be going on. I remember calling him in tears from college about something that had happened at school, and mid story he interrupted me to correct my grammar – boom – shut down – disconnection. And to this day that’s the only part of the conversation I remember.

Yesterday, mid-conversation, a friend corrected my mispronunciation of a foreign country. It wasn’t especially helpful in furthering our interaction in this particular situation – I noticed my reaction and the brief disconnection that occurred and kept going. But, if my spouse was about to give a presentation at the U.N. by all means I’d correct him, and he’d be very grateful that I did.

Today, at the gym with my workout buddy, I corrected her technique. I Stopped, Looked, and Listened when the urge to correct grabbed me. First off, we had a prior agreement to support one another’s progress by making helpful corrections. Second, I was conscious of my tone. Third, I noticed her reaction prior to proceeding any further. And, I complimented her on the part of her technique I noticed she was doing really well. Successful correction connection, we emerged more powerful and more deeply connected than before.

Find more on Ellienewman.com & Facebook

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6-Year-Old Buys Dollhouse, 4 Pounds Of Cookies With Amazon Echo

6-Year-Old Buys Dollhouse, 4 Pounds Of Cookies With Amazon Echo

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After their daughter chatted with her family’s Amazon Echo device, a mom and dad in Dallas wound up with a dollhouse and four pounds of cookies on their doorstep.

According to CBS 11 Dallas, Megan Neitzel’s 6-year-old daughter, Brooke, accidentally ordered more than $160 of goodies through the device. Neitzel discovered what happened after receiving an email from Amazon that her order had shipped, though she herself hadn’t placed an order. The mom then looked at the transcript between her family and the Echo’s artificial intelligence assistant known as Alexa and later learned her daughter had talked to Alexa about a dollhouse and cookies.

In a statement to ABC News, Amazon clarified that users must confirm a purchase with Alexa “with a ‘yes’ response” and that they can avoid confirming it by saying “no.” The company also said users can change their settings to turn off purchases by voice or set up a code that’s required before making orders through Alexa. 

Neitzel has since set up the security code for her family’s device. They also decided what to do with the dollhouse Brooke ordered. In an interview on “Good Morning America,” she told Robin Roberts they gave it to Medical City Children’s Hospital so its patients could have a new toy.

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What this Rat Study can Teach Us About Stress Eating

What this Rat Study can Teach Us About Stress Eating

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What would your life look like if you didn’t obsess about food, eating, dieting, or weight?

Today we’re talking rat studies and how they can help you make a difference in the way you view your current eating and exercise regimines.

There are several very interesting scientific studies like this one that link habitual overeating and binge eating and other disordered eating patterns to dieting and restriction.

In this particular study, there were a cage of rats whose food intake was restricted (aka- on a diet) and then there was a separate cage of rats whose food intake was not restricted- these rats were free to eat as much as they liked.

Both cages of rats were given a mild shock that put them into a stress response. All the rats were given unlimited access to food again after being shocked.

And guess who ate more? YUP. The rats who were restricted and stressed ate 40% more than they originally did before their food intake was restricted- AKA- before they were put on a diet.

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The stressed rats who were not put on a restrictive eating regimen ate the exact same amount despite being put into a stress response.

Now, just so we’re clear-

I’m not telling you this because I’m a sicko who likes to read about innocent creatures being shocked.

I’m telling you this because it’s a biological fact that when we restrict our food intake- (be it in the form of carb, calories, fat or points),

the minute we are exposed to a stressful event (aka- our kid coming home with a crappy report card, an off-color remark from a friend, or a public scolding from our boss at the meeting)

the combination of stress & restriction will come back to bite us in the butt!

Since the rats who were fed a normal diet ate the exact same when they were put into a stress response,

This tells us that there was ONE factor that drove those little creatures into a rat-binge:

And, since stress is an inevitable part of our human exsistance, dieting is ironically the thing that leads us to Emotional Eating!

How many people do you know who never go on diets, have a disordered relationship with food?

*Do you ever see or hear about them binge eating?

No- why would they need to when there’s no restriction on the horizon?

*When they’re sad do they polish off a pint of ice cream?

Nope. They don’t use food to soothe their emotions because (as the rat study above indicates) restriction fuels Emotional Eating.

No Restriction=No Emotional Eating.

*Do you ever hear them lamenting about having dessert last night?

Again, no- they allow themselves to eat foods they like to satisfaction and don’t ever think about it again after they’re done eating.

*Do they eat twelve dozen cookies from the tray in the lounge when they think nobody’s looking?

Nope again- that would make them physically uncomfortable and normal eaters avoid that feeling when they can. Plus- they know they can have cookies whenever they want, so there’s no need to over eat them.

*Do they ever make the comment “I can’t believe I ate that!” or “Diet starts tomorrow!”

Dieting sucks- why would they want to put themselves through torture?

They don’t do these things not because they don’t care about their health or body-

but because they just don’t think about food and eating that much.

They think about it as they start to feel hungry and then those thoughts stop once they reach a healthy level of satisfaction.

Then the thoughts about food go away until they get hungry again.

That’s it. There’s no secret formula.

Like everybody else- they still encounter stress, they still like to eat their favorite foods just as much as you, they just don’t worry about dieting after eating them.

Most of these people are naturally thin and have never dieted because they’ve never had need to.

But I’d like to point out that 95% people who DO diet, lose some weight and then cheat on their diet (because of a stressful life event coupled with a food-abundant environment), gain it all back (and more) within a year.

What a waste of time, worry, and grey matter!

This is the cycle that many of us are trapped in and the only way to get out of it is to stop dieting all together.

Once you learn how to eat a meal without worrying running to a diet to save you from the throws of binge eating,

Once restriction and deprivation stops, once you start to trust and answer your body’s signals for amounts and kinds of food-

Your body will trust you again, it’ll stop holding on to fat and will return to the natural size it was meant to be.

Our bodies are pretty neat that way.

Give it a try this Holiday Season. Listen to your hunger and fullness signals, see what foods make you foggy, notice what’s going on when you get that urge to eat when you’re not hungry.

Become mindful and then sit back and enjoy the benefits and report back to let me how it goes for you! Leave a comment below- I’m anxiously awaiting your response!

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Carrie Fisher And Debbie Reynolds’ Love For Each Other Shines Bright In Trailer For HBO Doc

Carrie Fisher And Debbie Reynolds’ Love For Each Other Shines Bright In Trailer For HBO Doc

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Get ready to cry all over again because the first trailer for the HBO documentary about Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, is here. 

“We started out making a film about Hollywood royalty,” directors Alexis Bloom and Fisher Stevens told People. “And we ended up making a film about love.” 

“Bright Lights” was originally intended to premiere in March, but HBO moved up the film’s release date after the tragic losses of Fisher and Reynolds. 

“Bright Lights: Starring Debbie Reynolds & Carrie Fisher” premieres Jan. 7 at 8 p.m. on HBO. 

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A Man Felt Threatened By My Book Written In Arabic

A Man Felt Threatened By My Book Written In Arabic

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Today as a young Arab/Muslim, I got the advice of my life when a middle-aged British man told me “You left books written in Arabic on the table — this would make people feel concerned.”

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I was sitting in a coffee shop in the UK, reading a book written in Arabic. Then, after some time, I felt a bit stiff. So I put on my coat and went out in front of the coffee shop to get some fresh air. A few minutes later, a man came up to me, who turned out to be a customer that was sitting at the table next to me and said “You left your books on the table.”

My immediate response was to thank him as he might have thought I left and forgot my books behind. But then he said “But the books are in Arabic! You should not leave them on the table like that. You know what this means?!”

Only then, did it hit me that the man was not trying to remind me of my books. He was implying that I shouldn’t have left them on the table, because they are written in Arabic and are thus a security threat!

So I asked him if the problem was not that I left books on the table, but that they are written in Arabic, and he answered, “Yes! Books written in Arabic left on a table, you know what that means! You know this would make people feel concerned!”

Then he just got in his car and left.

Today I was lucky to meet this humble man who just wanted to give me an advice, so I wanted to pass it to anyone who may have any Arabic books. We should all be aware of the high possibility that any Arabic content could explode. So please be very careful when you use any Arabic content in public, because you don’t want to risk peoples’ lives when you are reading a book written in Arabic, do you?!

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It’s Pointless To Try To Reason With The Alt-Right

It’s Pointless To Try To Reason With The Alt-Right

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Donald Trump’s election proves America’s left and right hold polar opposite views on most issues. Many believe “Make America Great Again” means a billionaire and his fat-cats friends will fight for blue-collar workers while others, myself included, think the slogan is a rallying cry for a more sexist, racist and xenophobic country. The interpretations are so different that debates between liberals and conservatives have become more like verbal games of whack-a-mole than actual conversations.

Empathy is better at changing minds than rage. And there have been some admirable examples of non-defensive discourse. Take The Daily Show host Trevor Noah’s recent calm and respectful interview with conservative commentator Tomi Lahren. “What do you wish people would understand about you on the other side?” he asked, and he prefaced a question with “I’m not saying this in a challenging way…”

When we agree on facts (poverty is a problem) but have conflicting opinions (poor people need to work harder vs. poor people need more government assistance), productive dialogue is possible. But Trump’s presidency has emboldened the alt-right, an ideology based more on conspiracy than objective truth. It’s impossible to engage this group in rational debate, because many of its opinions are based on falsehoods.

The alt-right, in case you haven’t heard, is code for racism. It is mostly made up of young white men who take their anger out on minorities and women online. Many are white nationalists who believe America should be made up entirely of Caucasians, and some subscribe to the fabricated KKK-esque notion that whites are the superior race. Trump brought the movement’s talking points into the mainstream and appointed one of its most high-profile members, Stephen Bannon, as his chief strategist.

Trump’s presidency has emboldened the alt-right, an ideology based more on conspiracy than objective truth. It’s impossible to engage this group in rational debate because many of its opinions are based on falsehoods.

There’s no doubt this group inhabits a delusional universe. Its members often refer to themselves as “red pillers,” a reference to the scene in The Matrix in which Keanu Reeve’s character has the choice between taking a blue pill that will keep him in a fantasy world or a red pill that will thrust him into reality. Yes, alt-righters think our actual world is an elaborate ruse and often do not accept basic historical facts.

In the group’s alternative universe, a white genocide is imminent, because other ethnicities have inched their way toward equality. Alt-righters believe immigrants threaten white dominance, Jews control the world through the global financial system and Black Lives Matter protesters are terrorists

You can’t talk about racism with a group that actually believes the white race is under threat and that the fatal police shootings of black men are part of a “sinister plot” to oppress cops. There is no reasoning with those who deny the ongoing effects of colonialism and slavery.  

The alt-right’s stance on gender equality is also based on a rejection of historical fact. The movement is full of men’s rights activists (MRAs) who believe men have always been the more oppressed gender. That’s right. They think women ― who couldn’t vote, own property or credit cards, get a divorce or work outside the home ― were privileged compared to men, who had to earn money and fight in wars.

It’s impossible to discuss women’s rights, misogyny or sexual violence with a group that denies how the economic and political systems created by men treat women as second-class citizens. There’s no reasoning with anyone who thinks the goal of feminism is to persecute the male species.  

There is no reasoning with those who deny the ongoing effects of colonialism and slavery.

It’s more important than ever for those with opposing political views to try to understand one another. Yet it’s unfeasible to have a rational conversation with a group that rejects reality. You can’t talk about how the U.S. should best fight ISIL with people who believe President Barack Obama founded the terrorist group.

The alt-right desperately needs to be challenged, but it’s hard to believe such debate will lead anywhere. The movement has insulated itself from reasonable dialogue and, given its dangerous ideology, we should all be terrified.

This piece was previously published in the Ottawa Citizen.

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What Sex Therapists Tell People Whose Partners Don’t Want Sex

What Sex Therapists Tell People Whose Partners Don’t Want Sex

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Being in a relationship with someone who’s disinterested in sex can feel incredibly lonely. A discrepancy in desire is more common than most people realize, though. 

What’s the best way to address it with your spouse? Below, sex therapists share the advice they give people with higher sex drives than their partners.

1. Be honest with your spouse about your needs.

Don’t shut your partner out and quietly suffer through your sexual frustration. The first step you should take to improve your sex life is to tell your S.O. that you wish you were intimate more frequently, said Keeley Rankin, a sex therapist in San Francisco, California. 

“See how your spouse responds,” she said. “Listen to what they say, feel and say they want. You never know, they may want more closeness as well.”

2. Discuss the things that make sex possible and the barriers in the way.

Without asking, there’s no way of knowing why your spouse is disinterested in sex. Maybe they’re just exhausted and too stressed out by the day’s end to initiate sex. Or if they’re experiencing sexual dysfunction of some kind (premature ejaculationerectile dysfunction or a lack of vaginal lubrication, for instance), it makes sense that they’re apprehensive about initiating sex. 

“You have to consider the life, emotional and physical barriers that can affect sex and shift libidos,” said Elizabeth McGrath, a sex therapist and educator who works in the Bay Area. “If your spouse has been caring for others all day, for instance, they might not feel ready for sex until they’ve had a moment to themselves to feel nourished and decompress.”

Once you’ve pinpointed some potential causes, figure out a workaround as a team; schedule a doctor’s appointment if there’s a physical barrier to sex, or give your spouse some totally kid-free “me time” if exhaustion is the problem.

3. Try seduction, not criticism or pressure. 

A slight mismatch in libido can easily become a larger one if the lower-desire spouse is badgered about the issue, said Danielle Harel, a sex therapist and the co-author of Making Love Real: The Intelligent Couple’s Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion

The mismatch often creates a cycle where the spouse with the higher sex drive complains, compares or criticizes their partner and the partner ends up having sex out of obligation, she explained. 

Instead of pressuring your spouse, “see if you can find out what turns them on the most and try seduction,” Harel said. “Try saying (and really meaning), ‘It’s fine if we don’t have sex tonight but would you be willing to just open up to see if you start to get turned on?’”

She added: “Just because you start, doesn’t mean you have to go all the way. Make sure you have this agreement with your partner.”

4. Take turns initiating intimacy. 

If you’re locked into a cycle of initiation and rejection, ask your spouse if they’d be willing to initiate some form of intimacy every few days, said Moushumi Ghose, a sex therapist and author of Classic Sex Positions Reinvented. 

“Take turns each day initiating some kind of touch, even if if the goal isn’t orgasm, but just non-goal oriented sexy time,” she said. “The next day, the other person initiates. This can help balance out the playing field.” 

5. See if your spouse is willing to make out. 

Reconnecting sexually is all about taking slow, measured steps. If your partner is willing to have a hot make-out session or just touch, be open to that, said Celeste Hirschman, a sex therapist and the co-author of Making Love Real: The Intelligent Couple’s Guide to Lasting Intimacy and Passion.

“Oftentimes, when people are asking for sex, a lot of what they want is just enthusiastic, loving connection.” Hirschman said. “Just remember: You both have to be enthusiastic about it; it won’t be fulfilling if your partner just gives you sex without being present or enjoying the experience themselves.” 

6. Get outside help. 

Instead of dwelling on what’s missing in the relationship, consider the bond and attraction that still exists and build on that, McGrath said.

“Explore workshops, sex education resources and sex therapy that can expand your sexual horizons,” she said. “Look at what is possible and continue to talk about what else you can do together as a team.”

7. Keep bringing your sexual energy, but in a loving, calm way.

Don’t lose heart if you’re the higher-desire partner, said Ian Kerner, a sex therapist and New York Times-bestselling author of She Comes First: The Thinking Man’s Guide to Pleasuring a Woman.

“Higher-desire partners often get frustrated and feel rejected, creating a sexual disposition that is impatient and brittle and temperamental,” he said. “This often worsens the dynamic around sex and sometimes the higher-desire partner may opt out altogether, which is equally bad.”

The best thing you can do, according to Kerner, is to “stay in it to win it. That means nurturing arousal through positive acts of intimacy.”

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