Volvo Says Americans Are Shifting Their Luxury Thinking

Are American consumers shifting their thinking of what luxury means?
Volvo Car USA thinks so. Volvo, which is repositioning the brand into the luxury space, partnered with The Harris Poll to get some insight on American attitudes on different themes, such as design, safety, technology and environment. The latest study on luxury indicates that Americans are rethinking their attitudes toward their possessions, looking to streamline and declutter their lives. The poll was conducted from April 26 to May 1, surveying more than 2,014 U.S. adults over the age of 18.
According to the study, 82 percent of Americans agree that people have too much stuff, while a slightly higher percentage at 85 percent said they are actively working to declutter and simplify their spaces. That includes 49 percent looking to declutter their bedrooms, while 34 percent are looking to streamline their wardrobes. Millennials in particular at 60 percent said they have more stuff than they did 10 years ago.
The study also found that respondents are saying they are shifting away from quantity, with 68 percent agreeing that “when it comes to modern luxury, less is more.” The latter has impacted purchase volumes and frequency in connection with how they spend for “modern

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Critic’s Notebook: ‘The Americans’ Finale: The Deepest Cuts Don’t Leave a Mark

The finale, like the series, raised questions of who deserved sympathy and why. As always, the answer was complicated.
NYT > Arts

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The Car of the Year That Few Americans Want

The new Accord received rave reviews when it went on sale in October and won North American Car of the Year at the Detroit auto show in January, but the customers haven’t followed.
WSJ.com: US Business

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CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Lists Designers for the Americans in Paris Event

COMING TO TOWN: The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue have listed the nine designers who will be showing at the Americans in Paris event to be held from March 3 to 5.
They include: Ahlem Manai-Platt of Ahlem, Becca McCharen-Tran of Chromat, Victor Glemaud of Victor Glemaud, Jordan Askill of Jordan Askill, Matthew Harris of  Mateo New York, Eli Azran of RtA, Sandy Liang of Sandy Liang, Telfar Clemens of Telfar, and Patric DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, David Moses and Claire Sully of Vaquera.
Bella Hadid, Renzo Rosso and Nicole Phelps will host the event’s opening cocktail party.
“Cultivating the next generation of American fashion designers and providing them with global opportunities is part of CFDA’s overall mission,” said Steven Kolb, president and chief executive officer of the CFDA, in a statement.
“Diesel has a proud history of supporting young talent,” said Rosso, founder of Diesel, a backer of the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, and president of the Italian fashion group OTB, which includes Maison Margiela, Marni and Viktor & Rolf.
Tomorrow London Holdings Ltd. is also supporting the event, managing sales appointments for the designers.
Underwriters of the fund include Caleres, Instagram, Lane Bryant, Lifewtr, MAC Cosmetics, Saks Fifth Avenue and Vogue.
This is the

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Trump needs to do more to get more Americans online

Trump needs to do more to get more Americans onlineTrump's infrastructure plan leaves out needed improvements to broadband internet throughout the US.



Yahoo Tech

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In A World That’s Stranger Than Fiction, Are Americans Still Reading Books?

Publishers claim Trump is affecting book sales. The reality might more complicated.
Arts
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Americans In Paris Share Top Tips for the City of Light

WHEN IN PARIS: Sunday morning, the designers at the Americans in Paris showroom on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, backed by the Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue, were still buzzing from Saturday night’s cocktail party co-hosted by Karlie Kloss. “It was amazing,” said Joshua Cooper, one half of design duo Rochambeau.
“Karlie Kloss was wearing one of my looks, this white skirt and a shirt dress,” said a proud Adam Selman. The designer added that the showroom had been busier this season, perhaps because March’s session had been hampered by the rain.
Cooper, meanwhile, apologized for the half-empty racks for his brand. “There’s a lot of models running around in our clothing this week, so it’s not all here,” he explained.
Other designers shared their favorite spots in Paris to check out while in town. “I did my favorite thing in Paris, which is to go vintage shopping,” said lingerie designer Morgan Lane.
The Rue de Bretagne in the Marais is her favorite place for hunting for second-hand gems, she added. “I bought an amazing earring with gold strings that drip down, and a beautiful white ruffled dress,” she added. Lane also hoped to get out to the Foire de Chatou, one

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Americans Are Happier at Work, but Expect a Lot Less

For the first time since 2005, more than half of U.S. workers say they’re satisfied with their jobs. But data also suggest Americans have changing views of what makes a job good, after a decade of bruising job cuts, minimal raises and lean staffing.
WSJ.com: US Business

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How Microsoft wants to bring broadband to rural Americans

How Microsoft wants to bring broadband to rural AmericansMicrosoft is helping to bring broadband to underserved rural Americans.



Yahoo Tech

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FX Launches Covert Emmy Promotional Campaign for ‘The Americans’

FX has launched an appropriately covert campaign to push “The Americans” for Emmy Awards consideration. “The Americans” revolves around a married couple in Washington, D.C. who are long-embedded spies for their native Soviet Union. FX has taken digital and print ads in the Sunday editions of the New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles… Read more »

Variety

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Nonfiction: Solving a Reign of Terror Against Native Americans

In “Killers of the Flower Moon,” David Grann uncovers a shattering history of oil greed, racism and serial murder targeting the Osage Indians.
NYT > Books

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Time for the best Americans to care about the men’s World Championship

Time for the best Americans to care about the men’s World Championship
www.espn.com – NHL

Review: ‘The Americans’ History Suddenly Feels Less Retro

In light of today’s headlines, this Cold War drama on FX feels newly relevant — but also almost comfortingly small-scale.
NYT > Arts

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Americans Are Terrified of Going Blind

What would you do if you lost your sight?

Lifestyle – Esquire

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CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Names Designers for ‘Americans in Paris’

LES AMÉRICAINS À PARIS: The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Vogue have named nine designers for the 12th round of the “Americans in Paris” program. Nine designers and CVFF finalists will head to The City of Light to show their fall collections for this season’s showcase, including Laura Vassar Brock and Kristopher Brock of Brock Collection, 2016 CVFF winners; Adam Selman, a 2016 CVFF runner-up; Stirling Barrett of Krewe, a 2016 CVFF runner-up; Beckett Fogg and Piotrek Panszczyk of Area; Chloe Gosselin; Ji Oh; Morgan Curtis of Morgan Lane; Maryam and Marjan Malakpour of NewbarK, and Laurence Chandler and Joshua Cooper of Rochambeau.

The showroom, which aims to expose emerging American designers to retailers and editors during Paris Fashion Week, will be located at 29 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré — inside a townhouse once inhabited by Coco Chanel — from March 4 to 6. The initiative will be celebrated with a cocktail party on March 3 at the 1728 restaurant within the Hotel Mazin La Fayette.

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An American Beach for African Americans

An American Beach for African Americans


In the only complete history of Florida’s American Beach to date, Marsha Dean Phelts draws together personal interviews, photos, newspaper articles, memoirs, maps, and official documents to reconstruct the character and traditions of Amelia Island’s 200-acre African American community. In its heyday, when other beaches grudgingly provided only limited access, black vacationers traveled as many as 1,000 miles down the east coast of the United States and hundreds of miles along the Gulf coast to a beachfront that welcomed their business. Beginning in 1781 with the Samuel Harrison homestead on the southern end of Amelia Island, Phelts traces the birth of the community to General Sherman’s Special Field Order No. 15, in which the Union granted many former Confederate coastal holdings, including Harrison’s property, to former slaves. She then follows the lineage of the first African American families known to have settled in the area to descendants remaining there today, including those of Zephaniah Kingsley and his wife, Anna Jai. Moving through the Jim Crow era, Phelts describes the development of American Beach’s predecessors in the early 1900s. Finally, she provides the fullest account to date of the life and contributions of Abraham Lincoln Lewis, the wealthy African American businessman who in 1935, as president of the Afro-American Life Insurance Company, initiated the purchase and development of the tract of seashore known as American Beach. From Lewis’s arrival on the scene, Phelts follows the community’s sustained development and growth, highlighting landmarks like the Ocean-Vu-Inn and the Blue Palace and concluding with a stirring plea for the preservation of American Beach, which is currently threatened by encroaching development. In a narrative full of firsthand accounts and “old-timer” stories, Phelts, who has vacationed at American Beach since she was four and now lives there, frequently adopts the style of an oral historian to paint what is ultimately a pers

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At Least 17 Percent of Americans Now Oppose Mandatory Vaccination

How did we get here?

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Americans Are More Unhappy Than They’ve Been Since the Recession

The Trump effect?

Lifestyle – Esquire

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‘SNL’ Version Of Vladimir Putin Tries To Reassure Anxious Americans About President Trump

Well, it’s official. Donald John Trump is now the president of the United States. And on this week’s “Saturday Night Live,” a shirtless Vladimir Putin had a clear message for the American people: “Relax. I got this.”

The satirized version of Russia’s president, played by Beck Bennett, returned to NBC to promise Americans he’d take care of the good old U.S. of A. “It’s the most expensive thing we’ve ever bought,” he explained.

A destitute (and clearly coerced) Russian woman, played by Kate McKinnon, was brought out to explain how great things are in her native country under Putin’s leadership: “I sleep in bed, not in carcass of dog. My president is No. 1 hottie for all time.”

Bennett’s Putin personally addressed Trump as well. After highlighting the huge turnout for Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington, the fictionalized Russian leader called out Trump for lying about the size of his inauguration crowd: “If you’re going to lie, don’t make it so obvious. You know, say you are friends with LeBron James, not that you are LeBron James.”

The “SNL” iteration of Putin bade farewell to the American people with a disconcerting sentiment: “It’s going to be a long four years for many of you, but remember, we’re in this together.”

Watch the full sketch above.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Trevor Noah Quizzes Congress: ‘Why Are Americans Mad?’

Trevor Noah has a new idea for a game show he’s sure will be a hit on NBC.

The “Daily Show” host unveiled the concept on Wednesday night’s program: “Why Are Americans Mad?”

“It’s the game where we find out if politicians know why Americans hate them,” Noah said.

Noah presented four Republican congressmen and had them explain why their attempt to gut the Office of Congressional Ethics hafailed.

The prize? “An ounce of decency,” said Noah.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Privacy Concerns Keep Some Young Americans From Sexual Health Services

Survey reveals reluctance of teens, young adults to talk to their doctor because parents might find out
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A New Study Shows Americans Can’t Even Agree on Their Produce

GMOs are controversial, apparently.

Lifestyle – Esquire

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Germans and African Americans

Germans and African Americans


Germans and African Americans, unlike other works on African Americans in Europe, examines the relationship between African Americans and one country, Germany, in great depth. Germans and African Americans encountered one another within the context of their national identities and group experiences. In the nineteenth century, German immigrants to America and to such communities as Charleston and Cincinnati interacted within the boundaries of their old-world experiences and ideas and within surrounding regional notions of a nation fracturing over slavery. In the post-Civil War era in America through the Weimar era, Germany became a place to which African American entertainers, travelers, and intellectuals such as W.E.B. Du Bois could go to escape American racism and find new opportunities. With the rise of the Third Reich, Germany became the personification of racism, and African Americans in the 1930s and 1940s could use Hitler’s evil example to goad America about its own racist practices. Postwar West Germany regained the image as a land more tolerant to African American soldiers than America. African Americans were important to Cold War discourse, especially in the internal ideological struggle between Communist East Germany and democratic West Germany. Unlike many other countries in Europe, Germany has played a variety of different and conflicting roles in the African American narrative and relationship with Europe. It is this diversity of roles that adds to the complexity of African American and German interactions and mutual perceptions over time.

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Poll: Americans Want Bold Action to Keep Health Care Costs Down

Suggestions include price controls on drugs and hospitals and doctors, importing drugs from other countries
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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Younger Native Americans Face High Suicide Rate: Report

Experts say poverty may be the root of the problem, interventions are lacking
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If Mexicans Toasted The 4th Of July The Way Americans Toast Cinco De Mayo

Official beverage of America: Natural Light.

Every year on the 5th of May, Americans consume tacos and tequila in honor of — wait, what is it for? … oh, really? — Mexico’s military victory over France in the Battle of Puebla. If you’re of Mexican descent, you’ve probably grown a little tired of U.S. stereotypes and misinformation about Cinco de Mayo. For the record, Mexico’s Independence Day is actually Sept. 16.

Well, now the poorly researched holiday shoe is on the other foot, so to speak. Check out this Flama original video in which Mexicans celebrate the 4th of July in the same way that Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Americans Want Online Access to Doctors, Health Records: Survey

But many are unaware of existing options, findings suggest
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Spinal Cord Injuries Drop Among Young, But Rise Among Older Americans

Falls are the major cause among the elderly, researchers say

healthfinder.gov Daily News
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Native Americans: Discover the History and Cultures of the First Americans

Native Americans: Discover the History and Cultures of the First Americans


Explore how the first Americans, faced with varying climates in a vast land hundreds and thousands of years ago, developed everything we take for granted today: food supplies, shelter, clothing, religion, games, jewelry, transportation, communication, and more. Native Americans: Discover the History and Cultures of the First Americans uses hands-on activities to illuminate how the Native Americans survived and thrived by creating tools, culture, and a society based on their immediate environment. Entertaining illustrations and fascinating sidebars bring the topic to life, while Words to Know highlighted and defined within the text reinforce new vocabulary. Projects include building an archaic toolkit, creating Algonquin art, experimenting with irrigation systems, inventing hieroglyphics, making a “quinzy,” and playing the Inuit game of nugluktaq. In addition to a glossary and an index, an extensive appendix of sites and museums all over the country offers ideas where families can learn more about the various Native American cultures. Kids ages 9-12 will gain an appreciation for the diversity of people and culture native to America, and learn to problem solve in a way that respects the environment.

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Many Americans Under 50 Living With Cold Sore Virus

American Academy of Dermatology offers advice for treating and preventing spread
healthfinder.gov Daily News
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‘Bravetown’ Director Tells Why Latin Americans Can Relate To Theme Of Losing Family To War

Daniel Duran has made a name for himself directing music videos for some the world’s biggest Latin stars. Now, the 35-year-old Venezuelan-born director has combined his passion for music with a dramatic script for his first feature film, “Bravetown.”

Duran’s directorial debut focuses on 17-year-old New York City teen Josh Harvest (Lucas Till, “X-Men: First Class”), who is a troubled but talented DJ sent to spend time with his estranged father (Josh Duhamel) after an accidental drug overdose. As Josh arrives to deal with his own family problems, he begins to realize that residents of the small Army town in North Dakota are struggling to come to terms with losing many of their loved ones to war.

“Bravetown” also includes performances by Kherington Payne (“Fame”) and Oscar-nominated actress Laura Dern (“Wild”), as a clinically depressed mother unable to cope with the loss of her son.

Duran recently discussed the film with The Huffington Post via email. He opened up about how his relationship with his father connects him to the film, and how many Latin Americans can identify with the movie’s theme of losing loved ones to violence.

daniel duran
Director Daniel Duran (left) and actor Josh Duhamel on the set of “Bravetown.”

You were born and raised in Venezuela. How did you end up doing a film that deals with topics like the trauma of returning war veterans and how a town in middle America is dealing losing loved ones to war?

From the start, the theme was something I felt was very universal because it’s a story about a DJ that has these personal and family problems — problems that affect anyone in the world, from any nationality — and that was my main focus.

I think when you deal with conflicts concerning family, love, heartbreak, father-son relationships, they’re topics that anyone can identify with and that’s where I got hooked in this project. Plus, the movie is charged with music and I come from that world with my music video [background]. It was easy for me to understand Josh’s musical world and how he used music to deal with the whirlwind of emotions he was living. It is a movie that exists in a totally American world, but at the same time it touches upon very universal themes.

How did you feel personally connected to the story?

I feel I connected with the emotions. I also come from a family with separated parents, in which I didn’t have a relationship with my father. The difference is that Josh experienced that as a teenager, and for me it was imagining what that relationship would’ve been like. But unlike Josh, my relationship with my mother has always been spectacular and I never had the type of issues he had [with his mom.]

On the other hand, I felt I identified with Josh’s musical connection as a DJ because music has always been present in my life and in my creations. One of the things I’ve always liked is to talk to young people and I feel that his movie connects with teens, because despite it being a very mature story, it is seen from their point of view.

What kind of obstacles did you face while working on “Bravetown?”

This was my first film and it was a big cast. I think my first obstacle was how to face that challenge and the insecurity I had at one point about being able to succeed. Having English be my second language was also a big obstacle, to think that at some point I wasn’t going to be able to communicate exactly what I wanted. Thank God I had the proper words to be able to express what I wanted to the crew and cast, to be able to steer the wheel of this boat.

Back to the theme of losing loved ones to war and how you deal with that, there are plenty of people in Latin America who can relate to what it’s like to lose someone to violence.

Perhaps in Latin American countries we don’t lose soldiers, but we have a high percentage of deaths caused by crime. That’s a kind of war with which we’ve have to deal. I think that people from other countries will identify with “Bravetown,” because it’s that feeling of losing a loved one to violence that creates wounds that are difficult to heal. And how you face that loss, that is the important point of the movie.

What was it like working with Laura Dern, who recently was nominated for the Oscar for “Wild”?

Laura is a true lady and working with her was incredible — a delight. I learned a lot from her. For me it was an experience to create that character with her because it was written one way and when we sat down to talk, we gave it a different tone. That’s the magic that happens when you work with someone with her talent.

This was your first film, but what can we expect from you in the future?

I want to continue telling great stories and entertaining. Right now I’m focused on closing the chapter with “Bravetown,” but I am starting to read and write ideas. But I don’t know what’s coming yet.

And now that you are closing the chapter, how do you feel about your first film?

I feel very happy, excited and enthusiastic about people seeing my first project. I think it was an incredible project with an excellent cast. … I [also] had the opportunity to work with my director of photography Angel Berroeta — who has been with me since my music videos and with pride I can say he’s from Maracay, Venezuela — Salvadorian writer Oscar Torres, Argentine production designer Tomas Voth, Venezuelan composer Angelo Milli. You could say this was a movie made by Latinos for Americans, and that makes me very proud.

“Bravetown” will be in select theaters beginning on Friday, May 8.

CORRECTION: This article has been edited to correct the reference to Laura Dern, who has been nominated for Oscars twice, but has not won.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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‘The Americans’ Recap: Are They Going to Kill Martha?

NOTE: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 11 & 12 of FX’s The Americans, titled “One Day in the Life of Anton Baklanov and “I Am Abassin Zadran”
2015-04-17-1429290226-9101825-martha.jpeg
All I care about is Paige now, I can’t help it. Well, also Henry. He’s is just the cutest, dumbest little brother that ever lived, and I should know because I have one. But Paige! I love that Elizabeth hates her church so much. Best quote? “Potluck, poster making, sing-a-long” is the best description of church groups I have ever heard.

And then the tension. Granny’s back. Stan is at Marthas. We are heading into a finale and the stakes are higher than ever before. Are we all having mini strokes every Wednesday? Here are some of my favorite freak outs:


I do hope they don’t kill Martha because they think she tattled. Next week is the finale and I don’t know if I’ll breathe during it all. But never fear, they’re already working on next year:

What are your finale predictions? Tweet them at me @karenfratti

The Americans airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Ashley Madison - Have an affair. Married Dating, Affairs, Married Women, Extramarital Affair

Americans’ Gut Bacteria Lack Diversity, Researchers Find

People living in less-developed Papua New Guinea have 50 more types of bacteria
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Number of Americans Taking Statins Keeps Rising: CDC

Even more should be taking them to cut risk of heart attack and stroke, cardiologist says
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Too Few Americans Undergo Dementia Screening

More than half of people with the condition never had a thinking/memory test, study found
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Almost 1 in 5 Americans Plagued by Constant Pain, Survey Suggests

Older people, women more likely to struggle on daily basis, researchers note
healthfinder.gov Daily News
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Injuries, Violence Are Leading Causes of Death for Young Americans

CDC researcher calls for broader preventive measures
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New Blood Pressure Guidelines May Take Millions of Americans Off Meds

Study estimates impact of controversial changes that raised treatment threshold
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Alzheimer’s May Kill Far More Americans Than Thought

Researchers report that the toll from the incurable brain disease exceeds death certificate statistics
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SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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‘The Americans’ Recap: No One is Safe in “Cardinal”

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 2 of FX’s “The Americans,” titled “Cardinal.”

I know this show is supposed to be about families and marriage, but this episode was all about sources and leaks. First, Philip heads to Virginia to meet Emmet’s source: a poor, balding agent who flips when he finds Philip in his house (though given the bad mustache, we can forgive his shock). It turns out that the agent didn’t spill about being a mole to the KGB, so Emmet and Leanne’s murder remains a mystery. Despite being a little pathetic, he does tell Philip that the information he passed that day at the fair is time sensitive. Time to move on, guys.

Then, there’s the American World Bank employee Bruce Dameran who walks into the Rezidentura. Just walks in. What I don’t get is why people just decide to play for the other side. Nina feeds Stan just enough information to get him to figure out who the guy is. I’m not sure what the end game is here, but Stan is stalking him outside of a laundromat.

Elizabeth is still uneasy about their friends’ murder. She’s literally standing guard, as her pretty little suburb starts to sounds like a war zone, with construction workers jack hammering out front all day. She’s super paranoid. Remember last season when she wanted to risk her own life and pack the kids off with Philip? Not anymore. But she’s having trouble balancing her maternal instincts for her kids and her fellow spies. In the middle of family bonding, she gets called out to help a new KGB agent who was in the process of messing up with a congressional aide. She helps her sober up and gives her advice on how to move her case forward. It’s weird seeing how Elizabeth does girl-talk with Sandra and this girl all in the same way. She’s so awkward when it’s not about the Cause.

Elizabeth is so busy reassuring the new illegal that she totally misses how paranoid Paige has become. Paige has no idea what she’s getting into, but she is brave. Just not quick enough to make the calls and figure out who Helen is. Even if she does move in on clues, how will she ever guess that her parents are Russian spies?

Meanwhile, as Elizabeth starts to worry more, Martha is also shaken by the hotel murders on the news and pledges to get a gun. Watch your back, Clark.

Wig Count: 2+1 hat and 1 pornstache.

Nina’s Best Poorly Translated Idiom (Working Title) : This time, there is no mocking Nina. She’s really playing Stan and her silly new colleague, Oleg. Oleg, though? In his own words: “I’m a feminist, I work only for Mother Russia.”

Lessons Learned: Don’t take career advice from your new husband, Martha. Maybe her curlers are on too tight, but she needs to stop being so easily manipulated. Also, should we start taking bets as to when she gets pregnant?

What did you think of the episode? Talk to me in the comments or tweet me @karenfratti.

“The Americans” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.


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‘The Americans,’ ‘COMRADES’ Recap: You’re Home Now

Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 2, Episode 1 of FX’s “The Americans,” titled “Comrades.”

We all better get it together, because it feels like “The Americans” has found its rhythm and a fair share of drama. Directorate S might be exposed, Paige is getting a little nosy, and Beeman is way over his head.

Elizabeth convalesced up in the hills somewhere and along with her healing is a newfound, full on feeling for Philip. It’s physical and emotional — not only are they having good (I’m assuming) sex. They’re also agreeing on everything from business decisions, like refunding Stan his Hawaii vacation, to spy blunders, like using Henry in a pinch for a dead drop. Elizabeth seems more willing to compromise a bit, and Philip, as demonstrated in his lone mission with the Afghans, can be a badass, too.

On their first ‘date night’ mission to infiltrate a Lockheed Martin employee, Roy, they work with two old friends. They have a family and a real American life, just like the Jennings. It’s nice to see them as part of something bigger, until they walk into a hotel room and find their friends, along with their daughter, shot in the head. The Jennings gather up what they can to help complete that mission but this means that someone, somewhere knows they exist. And somewhere, Granny is probably on her way back into town.

Having her family threatened leaves Elizabeth vulnerable, like that deer in the headlights in the opening scene, and it’s even worse now that she’s fostered possibly real feelings for Philip. So, plot one and a half.

Plot two: Sanford has been murdered by the Colonel and although Agent Gaad can’t find the budget to investigate, he’s with Beeman in believing that something just isn’t right. We can only hope that Beeman’s sniffing around isn’t such a slow burn as it was last season. And now he has Nina to deal with. While he might have something real to work with when it comes to the Colonel, Nina has let him on a new arrival at the Rezidentura — Oleg, who rocks Rod Stewart as much as the party line. She and Arkady are primed to start feeding Stan some information.

What about Stan and Sandra? Unfortunately, not so in love as the Jennings. Meryl Streep makes an appearance through a cameo of The French Lieutenant’s Woman. He shows a bootleg version to Nina, wanting her to emote; instead she pouts and works him. He pays full ticket price at the movie theater with his wife for the same flick: she cries and tries to tap into his soul. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much “True Detective” and am projecting, but his Madonna/whore issues are starting to get to me.

Wig Count: 3+1 hat = 4

Nina’s Best Poorly Translated Idiom (Working Title) :

Lessons learned: Don’t open closed doors. Paige, in her newfound curiosity, walks in on her parents having sex. And though she was pleased by their welcome home smooch, this is more disturbing. If only because they turn it into a teaching moment about privacy and trust, just before Philips sneers “do we even know if this is the first time she’s checked on us?” It’s a strange balance between wanting to protect his daughter from ending up shot by strangers and trying to protect himself from his daughter.

“The Americans” airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on FX.
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Cellphones Better Than Sex, Most Americans Say

What’s more important than sex?

Turns out a whole bunch of things, according to an online poll conducted by Harris Interactive.

On a list of 10 things people can’t live without, sex came in near the bottom – behind food, cars, Internet access, cellphones and computers and just ahead of navigation systems, social networks and tablets.

Check out the numbers in this infographic from Statista:

Infographic: Mobile Phones Are More Important Than Sex | Statista

You’ll find more statistics at Statista.

On the other hand, some people refuse to choose one or the other. Multitasking is taking off in the bedroom, with one recent survey showing that 20 percent of young adults check their smartphones during sex. And over in the U.K., 62 percent of women and 48 percent of men admit to checking their phones while doing the deed.

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