Welcome to the third installment of our Unruly Women series! This week, we’re jumping back to the late ‘90s with Sex and the City’s own Samantha Jones. Last week, Sophia from Orange is the New Black showed us one trans woman’s struggles with gender and sexuality. As many of you probably know, these are not problem areas for Samantha. In fact, this is where she thrives. Continue reading
With the second half of the final season of Mad Men already in full swing, it’s about time we reflect back on our most-loved and most-hated characters of the show. There’s no doubt that much has changed since Season 1. Our beloved Bert Cooper has tragically passed away, along with partner Lane Price who offed himself in his Sterling Cooper & Partners office of all places. Roger and Don, our two remaining partners, have replaced the other half of the SC&P partnership with Pete and (more importantly) Joan! Continue reading
Do you ever feel like you’re constantly buying for yourself and not giving back enough? The companies on this list could be the solution to your problem! Every one of these companies gives back, either in America or abroad. For every purchase made they donate their products and services to people in need all around the world. Check out these awesome companies and see how you can help! Continue reading
When the news about Joan Rivers passing away broke only a month after the world lost Robin Williams, I found myself fixed in front of my television simultaneously crying and laughing as clip after clip of the legendary comedian flashed across the screen, much in the same way I had over Mr. Williams. Now Hollywood has lost another legend, Leonard Nimoy. My very to the point grandmother (who has a tongue that could give Joan a run for her money- perhaps this is why I felt the attachment to the late comedian that I do) has always used an expression that goes something along the lines of “you can’t be sad for everyone because you yourself will have enough sadness in your own life.” While a rather cold sentiment, I couldn’t help but dwell on it during the days that followed the news of each star’s death. I didn’t even know these people, but I was overcome with too real a sense of loss. Was I being overly dramatic? After reading through dozens upon dozens of comments on articles celebrating the their lives, I found I wasn’t alone or being silly. Hordes of people were in the same, sad boat and were constantly reiterating “I know I didn’t actually know them…” Yes, we don’t know celebrities on a personal level, but feeling a sense of loss or sadness in their passing is nothing to feel silly about. Continue reading
The International Rescue Committee made it’s second appearance at New York Fashion Week this February at the Empire Hotel. The IRC’s first showcase at NYFW came last year and with a great turn out, a strong return was inevitable. And strong it was with a collaboration between supermodel and voice of the IRC, Nykhor Paul, Celebrity Chef Marco Canora and partnerships with Whole Foods and Threads for Thought. All parties involved shared a passion for sustainability, charity, health and a love of culture.
We caught up with IRC representatives Sandy Borgman, Director of Entertainment Relations for the IRC, and Melissa Meredith, Director of Strategic Events for the IRC, to tell us a little bit more about the event and what the IRC is doing everyday.
For those who are not familiar with the IRC, it stands for the International Rescue Committee and was started by Albert Einstein 81 years ago by helping academics and artists flee Nazi occupied Europe. “And since then,” Borgman added, “we’ve taken that banner and we help with relief and develop our work in 40 countries; refugees who are forced to flee their homes in cases of conflict or disaster [we can] help them gain back their futures. We also help resettle refugees here in the U.S.”
“This is our IRCxNYFW pop up event. It’s our second one and we always try to combine a little of our celebrity IRC voices along with our supported celebrity chefs. This year we have Celebrity Chef Marco Canora and we have his very hot bone broth that’s featured here. We also have Nykhor Paul, who is an IRC voice, who is from South Sudan. [She] fled with her parents to a camp in Ethiopia that the IRC runs and was resettled in the U.S. at the age of 10 and was just reunited with her family after 16 years.”
The IRCxNYFW pop up booth really shows that NYFW isn’t just about designer fashion lines and runway models. Borgman explains that there’s more to it than that.
“It is fashion week and I think a lot of people think something about the fashion world. What we think about the fashion world is that there are a lot of very sensitive, compelling, globally interested people involved in all aspects of fashion week and of the fashion world- we found that last year when we did our first pop up, that everyone from models to stylists to designers to celebrities all came in, they all learned a little bit about it and when we let them know we were going to be doing this again, we’ve already gotten a stellar response from it.”
The event space was filled with the breathtaking photos of Nykhor Paul’s recent trip to Africa, where not only did she photograph emotional stories of the South Sudanese refugees, but she reunited with her own family after 16 years. “It’s helping the refugees help themselves, that’s what its all about.” Paul said about her experience working with the IRC to bring relief to the South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia.
Celebrity Chef Marco Canora was also present serving up his celebrated “bone broth” which has become a popular health craze in New York City. “I launched this on November 3rd. It’s really new but the response has been extraordinary.” Chef Canora explained. “It all has a halo of health around it; the whole idea is convincing people that healthy and delicious can live side by side and I feel like this simple cup of broth exemplifies that point.”
Chef Canora’s bone broth is served at Brodo, a window outside of his restaurant Hearth in the East Village. New Yorkers are loving the health benefits of adding just a cup of bone broth a day to their diets.
“If you’re going to get any nutrient density or any nutritional benefit out of it, you have to start with healthy, happy animals. We’re using 100% grassfed beef bones and organic chicken bones. Everything is humanely raised. We really care about that,” Chef Canora explained. “It contains tons of collagen and gelatin, which really speaks to our vanity- hair, nails, skin, wrinkles, it really helps all of those things. It also has a lot of amino acids which helps the gut lining; there has been so much talk about gut health and how it’s tied in to regular health, inflammation, your ability to digest, etc. The gut is also where a lot of serotonin is created, your feel good hormone.”
When asked what made Chef Canora decide to partner with the IRC for this pop up event, he said, “I wanted to be here and partake and have some fun. I love what the IRC does. It’s just an amazing organization that’s doing great, great work. It’s important to me personally and to Brodo the brand that we do more than just take and that there’s some giving involved.”
The IRC is currently providing relief efforts in South Sudan, Nigeria, Ukraine and Syria to name a few. They also play a big part in the Ebola relief efforts of West Africa where they partnered with the GE foundation to create a special Ebola suit that will better protect physicians.
If getting involved in giving back is something that you feel passionate about, Borgman explains how you can start. “Learning, I think, is half the battle. So definitely by going on rescue.org and learning. We have offices in 22 cities around the U.S. so there are always volunteer opportunities” she said. “And support the IRC’s work,” added Meredith
Visit the International Rescue Committee Official Site to find out more about the organization and how you can get involved.
Much like the refinery in the premiere for Marvel’s Agent Carter, Tumblr exploded with enthusiasm for the show. I’m usually more reserved when it comes to television – it comes with the territory of TV criticism – so my major question when I started watching Agent Carter, was “is it worth all the hype?” And I’m pleased to say that the answer to that “yes.” It’s worth all the hype and then some. Continue reading
Everyone knows someone who has an ugly Christmas sweater. If you don’t know someone, chances are you own one yourself. If you’re still shaking your head and thinking, “No, I don’t really know anyone, and I don’t own one” then let me tell you one good reason you should be buying an ugly Christmas sweater this holiday season: you can help supply hoodies to children’s organizations. Continue reading
Anxiety is a tough emotion to describe. Without really experiencing that paralyzing fear that creates a handful of other uncomfortable side effects, it’s not an emotion that everyone can easily identify with. Worse yet, the people who aren’t sure how to sympathize or empathize with anxiety and phobia sufferers can come off as if they don’t take the symptoms seriously. Continue reading
The romantic comedy. The chick flick. The cinematic genre that is just full of ridiculous relationship tropes that aren’t anything like real life. Lots of people love rom-coms, but viewer discretion is advised: don’t look to these movies for realistic expectations about what love is like. Here are just a few myths that rom-coms perpetuate. Continue reading
The more explicit, the better. At least, that’s what seems to be the widely accepted rule when it comes to fiction today. Television shows are getting less censored, movies are pushing their ratings to R and, my favorite of the trifecta, novels, are going more and more in depth in describing life’s most intimate moments. Continue reading
Once October arrives, there are probably three things you notice: everything is now pumpkin flavored, those pop-up Halloween stores are just about everywhere and the NFL and college football teams go pink for a game or two. That’s because October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and it’s the most funded cancer, allowing for $602.7 million in spending in 2012. Continue reading
Every day, the world we live in is increasingly diverse. The people that surround and interact with us now come in countless shapes and colors. You would think our definition of what’s beautiful would naturally evolve and diversify accordingly, but, on the contrary, we are still bound by uncompromising expectations of what beauty ought to look like. We can’t seem to shake this pressure to alter our natural skin color, among other things, to be “more beautiful.” Continue reading
For some women, being tall can have a negative impact on your self-esteem. In the female universe, there seems to be a stigma about tall women or actually being a tall woman and how unsettling it sometimes can be. Some of the many rumors that inflate the stigma include: men are intimidated by taller women, being a tall woman is a sign of brawniness or overbearingness, and the classic “I can’t wear heels. I’m too tall!” Continue reading
The ALS ice bucket challenge has taken over Facebook newsfeeds, but is it doing anything productive?
The challenge asks participants to either dump a bucket of icy water on their heads or donate $100 to an ALS foundation within 24 hours of being nominated and then nominate a few people to do the same.
According to Elle, it’s “actually a big deal” because the challenge is raising awareness and increasing donations to ALS research.
“As of Friday, August 15, 2014, The ALS Association has received $9.5 million in donations compared to $1.6 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 15). These donations have come from existing donors and 184,812 new donors to The Association,” the ALS Association reported in a release Friday.
Donations are good, but what about the people who stand under a bucket and don’t make a donation? The idea is that they, and those who see the videos in their newsfeeds, will look ALS up and learn more about it. They will see that, yes, the cause does need donations and hope their video and nominations encourages others to give money.
The online magazine Slate alleges that the ice bucket challenge didn’t really start with Pete Frates, who has ALS, but rather as a silly ploy for social media attention. The Slate story also points out that people may be buying bagged ice to complete the challenge, which should make one wonder why that $3 is not being given directly to ALS research.
I have to agree with Slate editor Will Oremus that “it’s hard to shake the feeling that, for most of the people posting ice bucket videos of themselves on Facebook, Vine, and Instagram, the charity part remains a postscript.”
One person claims that the ice bucket challenge is a symptom of a societal problem in which people “opt out” of sacrifice instead of facing up to the challenge of helping those in need.
“It hurts me to see a generation opting out of charitable donation,” James Weir said on an IndieGoGo page he created to raise money for ALS without any ice dumping.
Nevertheless, the challenge has increased donations dramatically. Presumably, the challenge has also raised awareness by increasing traffic to relevant websites. If the end result is good, does that make the means to get there irrelevant or unimportant? As long as the ALS fund is growing, does it matter whether people are using the challenge as a way to get likes on their Facebook videos?
Some might say that the videos are raising awareness, but are people really learning more about ALS? Is reading the first few paragraphs on Wikipedia or ALS Association Website good enough?
I decided to put together a list of ten facts about the disease to raise awareness in a way that I know how — through a article — to help us all learn a little more about ALS.
- ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the disease commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease in memory of baseball player Lou Gehrig, who was diagnosed in 1939.
- ALS is a progressive disease that causes neurons to degenerate, which prevents muscle control and eventually causes paralysis and death. Even though it generally limits only voluntary muscles, ALS can cause breathing problems as well.
- The cause of ALS is unknown. The disease is very rarely passed genetically.
- In the United States, about 15 new cases of ALS are reported every day.
- The life expectancy for individuals diagnosed with ALS is short: about 50 percent live three years or more; 20 percent live five years or more; and up to 10 percent live more than ten years. The average is two to five years.
- There are three types of ALS:
- sporadic: the most common in the US; accounts for 90 to 95 percent of all cases
- familial: rare; occurs when ALS is in a family’s genes; believed to account for five to 10 percent of cases
- Guamanian: describes cases found in Guam and the Trust territories in the Pacific in the 1950s; there was an unusually high number of cases there at that time
- While muscle weakness and paralysis are defining characteristics of ALS, early symptoms vary and can include dropping things, tripping, unusual arm and leg fatigue, slurred speech, muscle cramps and uncontrollable laughing or crying. Hands and feet are often the first problem areas.
- Riluzole is the only drug that has been shown to prolong the lives of ALS patients by slowing the disease’s progress, and it was approved by the FDA in 1995. Other drugs are being tested through clinical trials.
- There is no way to definitively test for ALS, so diagnosis depends on ruling out other causes of a patient’s symptoms. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “To be diagnosed with ALS, people must have signs and symptoms of both upper and lower motor neuron damage that cannot be attributed to other causes.”
- According to its website, “The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS,” and the organization has given more than $67 million to research for ALS cures and treatments.
All information has come from the ALS Association except where otherwise noted with links.