Dia & Co. Trying to Shatter Stereotypes With Campaign, Activewear

WORKING IT OUT: Striving to make fitness more appealing and inclusive to all women, Dia & Co. is launching the #FitToThrive initiative.
The company’s three-tiered approach includes the launch of plus-size activewear. That assortment will include the first retail partnership with Day/Won by Candice Huffine and the exclusive debut of EleVen by Venus Williams in plus sizes. “I’m passionate about fitness, wellness and an active lifestyle, and I’m super focused on making fitness inclusive for all,” Williams said in a statement.
With an estimated 67 percent of the female population wearing a size 14 or larger, the company is trying to “expose the toxic elements of fitness culture and make strides toward a positive, inclusive and representative fitness community,” according to a Dia & Co. statement.
There will also be a digital and social ad campaign that will include newspaper placement in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami, Houston, Baltimore, Seattle, Indianapolis and Omaha, Neb. The ads will play up the individual stories of Team USA athlete Shelbi Vaughan, viral dancing sensation Lizzy Howell, TheCurvyCon cofounder CeCe Olisa and editor-advocate Maddy Jones.
Thirdly, Dia & Co. will introduce interactive digital content led by “Big Fit Girl” author Louise Green and in-person activations will be set up through

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Sarah Stage Is Trying to ‘Stay Patient’ Now That She’s 9 Months Pregnant

Sarah Stage is trying to “enjoy the journey” as she waits for her second child to arrive.

The lingerie model shared a photo of her bikini body at 9 months pregnant.

“Stay patient and enjoy your journey! (one of my fav quotes at the moment) #9monthspregnant,” Stage, 33, wrote on Instagram.

The soon-to-be mom-of-two is focusing on staying in the moment and using each day to the fullest, which she emphasized in a video of her workout that she shared on Tuesday.

“As you know today is among the greatest gifts we have ever been given. Let’s use it wisely and refuse to waste a single one,” Stage posted. “#37weekspregnant and enjoying the last couple weeks of this pregnancy. It’s been quite the journey!”

Stage has kept up her workouts throughout her pregnancy — to the dismay of some critics — but she thinks they’re going to end soon.

“I’ve been asked how much longer I intend to workout and I think next week will be my last week (although I’ve already decreased my exercising to 2x a week & lowered intensity),” she explained.

RELATED VIDEO: Model Sarah Stage Keeps Up Her Workouts as She Hits Her 9th Month of Pregnancy


And now she has just a little over two weeks to wait until baby #2 is due on Oct. 22.


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Chad Johnson Says He Can’t Deal With Karina Smirnoff’s “F–king Rejection” Anymore: She’s “Trying to Piss Me Off!”

Famously Single, Karina Smirnoff, Chad JohnsonIt looks like Chad Johnson is done trying to romance Karina Smirnoff.
In this exclusive sneak peek from Sunday’s new Famously Single, the former Bachelorette hunk confides in Tiffany…

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Blac Chyna on Trying to Keep Up with the Kardashians — & Why She Moved Out: ‘I Wasn’t Going to Be Disrespected’


Though they dated for more than a year and were engaged and welcomed a child together, Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian did not spend much of their relationship living under the same roof.

“We lived together for two months in the beginning, but he stressed me out every day,” Chyna tells PEOPLE of Kardashian, 30, in the current issue of PEOPLE. “And I said, ‘One thing you won’t do is stress me out with this baby in my belly.’ “

Sitting in the living room of her six-bedroom Los Angeles home, the model and Lashed Cosmetics entrepreneur opens up about her relationship with Kardashian and a period during which she moved in with him while he was living with his half-sister Kylie Jenner, who famously dated Tyga, the father of Chyna’s 4-year-old son King Cairo.

For more from Chyna — including a look at baby Dream’s first official photo shoot – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

“About a month after Dream was born, I moved in with Rob at Kylie’s house for about a week. I put my pride aside — and I’m very prideful. I was like, ‘You know what? I actually want to be with this person. So guess what, Chyna, you need to go live in this lady’s house,’ which is his sister,” says Chyna. ” ‘There’s no bad blood or whatever, so be a family and figure it out.’ I moved in and one week later was like, ‘You know what? I don’t deserve this. I’m out. I’m not going to be disrespected.’ ”

Watch People Features: Blac Chyna, available now, on the new People/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the PEN app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.

Chyna and Kardashian remained in each other’s lives after their split in December 2016 but after Kardashian took to Instagram and Twitter on July 5 to post nude photos of her and accuse her of cheating and using drugs, Chyna was granted a restraining order on July 10 and now says she will only be “co-parenting” with him in the future.

“I’m glad I’m relieved of , but damn, why did I have to get relief in this way?” she says. Though through it all, she thinks she’s found a silver lining: “I feel like God does certain things — not to hurt you, but to show you your true strength,” she says. “I feel like, if I can come out of this, I can come out of anything.”


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These Art Dealers Got Busted Trying to Sell $400,000 of Fake Art

Three men have been indicted of attempting to sell forged Damien Hirst prints.

Lifestyle – Esquire


Netflix’s ‘Casting JonBenét’ Doesn’t Have Any Answers, But It’s Not Trying To Crack The Case

Six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was murdered in her home in Boulder, Colorado, sometime late on Dec. 25 or in the early hours of Dec. 26, 1996. 

Now, 20 years and some months later, her unsolved murder has been the subject of numerous articles, books and television specials. The latest addition to the genre is Netflix’s newest documentary, “Casting JonBenét,” which doesn’t concern itself actually trying to solve the murder of the miniature blond beauty queen. In fact, no new evidence is uncovered and no forensic experts were interviewed for the project. Instead, the film explores JonBenét’s tragic death through the audition tapes of mostly amateur Colorado-based actors, who offer their insight, theories, judgments and personal experiences. 

The film’s director, Kitty Green, grew up in Australia, where she was “obsessed” with American television and sitcom fantasy families when Ramsay died.

“I had never seen a beauty pageant or even heard of a beauty pageant before, so it was so foreign,” she told HuffPost in an interview on Friday, when the film began streaming on Netflix. “It was a uniquely American phenomenon and I was captivated by how odd it was, how dark it was and how it kind of punctured this image I had of idyllic American life.”

Those who grew up in the ‘90s will likely relate to Green’s earliest memories of the case. 

“I mean, it was the imagery associated with it, which was all the pageants and crowns and the dress and the feather outfits that she was put in,” she said.”I think those images were really haunting. So it was almost like this image of this pageant queen who almost seemed to have it all, but whose life went horribly wrong, or horrifically had it taken away from her.” 

Green’s fascination with the case ended up being a lasting one. Whenever she would meet someone from Colorado, she couldn’t help but ask who they thought was responsible for JonBenét’s murder. Their varied responses piqued her interest. 

Before making the film, Green said she read every book and watched every TV special on the case. She came to the conclusion that trying to find JonBenét’s killer was futile and decided she didn’t want to make another true crime documentary. 

“I knew there’s no way we can solve this,” she said. “There’s absolutely no way we can find out who killed her. So my motivation became an entirely different thing. If we can’t solve the crime, then how do we deal with the idea that we will never know?”

Green said that she’s more interested in the remaining ambiguity and the mystery that haunts the public as the case remains unsolved, and believes the casting-tape framework employed in the film allows for the actors to “talk about how it affected them emotionally and personally and they can draw parallels with their own lives and look at the way that they kind of digest this tabloid material and true crime films.”

In the course of the film, multiple actors audition for the roles the members of the Ramsay family, as well as local law enforcement and other suspects. It’s through these auditions that these actors reveal their own theories and personal experiences that they believe better inform them to portray the character ― like one actress whose brother had been murdered and spoke of understanding how people might react to the sudden loss of a loved one in different manners.

“I always knew we’d get stories out of people, but I was amazed at the level of honesty and some of the stories were so heartbreaking and it was an incredible experience and a privilege to be in the room with them. I guess I didn’t expect that level of raw emotional humanity that we got,” she said. 

Since “Casting JonBenét” doesn’t offer any answers, it’s easy to see why it might be construed as exploitative ― not just of the 20-year-old cold case, but of the actors and their own stories. But everything is up for the viewer to decide. 

“We’re looking at the way people speculate. The way people jump to conclusions,” Green explained, later adding that the film is about “human experience.”

When asked what she hopes viewers will take away from watching her film, she hesitated, and then recalled a time when someone approached her after a screening. 

“They had read everything about the case for the last 20 years ―every article, watched every special ― but this was the first time they actually felt anything or felt any empathy for this family and the loss of life,” Green said. “And if they can feel the gravity of what happened in that town, if [the film] can humanize this whole case for people in some way, that would be really fabulous.”

“Casting JonBenét” is now streaming on Netflix.

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Arts – The Huffington Post
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Artificial intelligence is now trying to make sense out of the mess that is Congress

Artificial intelligence is now trying to make sense out of the mess that is CongressGoverning is hard. Predicting what the, ahem, disjointed members of Congress are going to do on any given day is even harder.  So why not give your noggin a little rest and let artificial intelligence do it for you? SEE ALSO: Microsoft CEO says artificial intelligence is the 'ultimate breakthrough' Enter PredictGov, a website that uses machine learning to try and determine the future of congressional bills. Will they pass? Won't they? Now you can spend your time only freaking out about, say, the erosion of your privacy thanks to Congress, instead of all the additional garbage that may or may not get signed into law.  Pretty neat, huh? (As an added bonus, all that extra cognitive space will come in handy as you prep for the inevitable eco-apocalypse).  The brainchild of Vanderbilt University law Professor J.B. Ruhl and computer scientist and doctoral candidate John Nay, PredictGov is more than just some rando-pundit dude's attempt to sound smart on cable TV.  There's
data in them thar hills.  "It pulls from decades of congressional data plus hundreds of variables, including the bill’s sponsor, amendments, economic trends and political shifts," reads a press release. "Each bill’s score updates every 24 hours, accounting for amendments that jump on or off." But what, other than the aforementioned aid in disaster prep, is this service good for? Well, potentially a lot.  "Based on our deep learning A.I. system, we provide updated predictions for the bills currently under consideration, assigning each a chance of being enacted," the website explains. "This freely available resource allows you to focus on legislation that is likely to matter and offers a glimpse into the power of our more advanced subscription-based tools." In other words, it could save you from lobbying against the latest congressional monstrosity that has little-to-no chance of passing and allow you to focus on one that does.  As to the accuracy of PredictGov's predictions? It may be too early to say for sure, but either way it lets you outsource one more cognitive task. And that, in these confounding times, is a big ole plus.  WATCH: This inventor built a real-life 'Iron Man' suit and it's awesome

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Stop Trying and Just Be

Have you ever seen someone try to dance ballet who is not a ballet dancer, or heard someone trying to sing opera without any training? It would make you laugh, no?

Have you ever experienced an uncomfortable discussion with someone who is trying very hard to be nice? You can tell that this person is working hard to be polite but you can tell that it is not genuine. It is as if the person has a mask on their face and is hiding their true nature.

It is similarly awkward when a person you are speaking with tries to impress you with how important he is. You feel doubtful and wonder if they are trying to sell you something that may not be true. Are they merely exaggerating, or are they lying to you?

These examples came to my mind as I noticed someone trying to be loving to me. It made me feel tense rather than being loved: Did this person have a hidden agenda? Where did this “love” come from and what for?

What is going on?

“Trying to be” means you are working on doing something that does not come naturally to you. It is not you.

Please do not try. If you are angry, be angry. Do not try to be angry. If you are depressed, let yourself be depressed. Do not try to look depressed to get attention. Just be, whatever it is.

When I find people who are genuine, I cannot be offended by them. They are what they are, and I find it refreshing to be with someone who does not try to be but is.

You know where you stand with this kind of person. What you see is what you get. You do not have to have multiple thoughts in your mind as you interact with a genuine person. One of the most difficult parts of interacting with someone who seems disingenuous is that one part of your mind is listening to what they say while another part of your mind is screening the information because you do not trust what you hear or see. It is exhausting if it is prolonged.

I suspect that what helped Donald Trump win the presidency is that he did not try to be nice. He was genuine — foul language, aggressiveness and all. Those who voted for him, I suggest, trusted him because of his personality, although his facts were often way off the mark. Clinton, on the other hand, had her information well vetted but appeared to be trying very hard to be nice. People did not trust her a bit.

It is not always easy to be genuine. In certain situations, it is easier to cover our faces and souls with a mask and pretend to be what we are not.

To be genuine means to have no fear. To be confident enough in one’s own identity to withstand criticism. Not easy.

Just thinking,
Ichak Kalderon Adizes

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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

3 Things to Consider Before Trying to Start a Conversation with a Woman

Take it from professional sexologist Shan Boody.

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Edward Field Trying to Replicate American Giant Success

American Giant is an American success story: the San Francisco-based direct-to-consumer site has created a frenzy for its key product, a sweatshirt, that has been billed as “the greatest sweatshirt ever” on social media.
Since its founding in 2012, American Giant and its founder Bayard Winthrop, who produces everything in the U.S., has branched out into other products with additional success.
Now his brother Teddy is hoping to replicate that model with his own men’s accessories brand: Edward Field.
Teddy Winthrop worked with his brother on American Giant until deciding last year to create “a Day-Timer for the digital generation.”
He teamed with his friend Michael Menninger, who was looking for an exit strategy from his finance career, and together they created Edward Field.
Winthrop said that like American Giant, they set out to create one high-quality product that could address what they saw as the “phone-wallet conundrum.”
So Winthrop created a wallet that used a micro-suction technology to adhere the phone to the leather, along with several slots to hold credit cards and money. The wallets are manufactured in San Francisco and retail for $ 109 for leather and $ 69 for Cordura. A lizard option was recently added that will sell for $ 209.
“We want to focus on

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The British Government Is Trying to Ban Certain Sex Acts from Porn

These are some odd choices.

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Entrepreneurs Are Trying to Build a Sex-Themed Park in Brazil

Six Flags Over Erotica.

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Mila Kunis Is Done Trying To Be Perfect In ‘Bad Moms’ Trailer

From the writers of “The Hangover” comes “Bad Moms,” a comedy starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn as three women who are done trying to be the mythical “perfect mom.”

Fed up with the stresses of attempting to juggle careers, the PTA, soccer practice and ensuring their children live “amazing and magical lives,” the ladies toast to being “bad moms” and — you guessed it — hilarity ensues.

According the film’s synopsis, the three moms join forces “on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities — going on a wild, un-mom-like binge of long overdue freedom, fun and self-indulgence — putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.”

The store-bought donut holes Kunis’ character provides for the school bake sale seem to be a point of contention with Christina Applegate, who has been cast as the tightly wound villain in the film.

“Bad Moms” hits theaters July 29. 

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Mike Tyson Busted His A** Trying To Ride A Hoverboard

Many people were given hoverboards as gifts this holiday season. As a result, a number of incidents of people falling off of them were caught on video. Well, looks like you can add Mike Tyson to that list.

On Tuesday, Tyson posted an Instagram video of him almost cracking his head open in a pretty hard fall.

A video posted by Mike Tyson (@miketyson) on

He posted a caption with the hashtags #MikeTysonBreaksBack and #imtoooldforthisshit.

At first, Tyson looked like he was having fun and had it all under control.

Then it all went terribly wrong.


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This Gay Man Was ‘Humiliated’ And ‘Degraded’ Trying To Get Married In Texas

When the Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage, Jim Cato and his partner of 27 years were “ecstatic.” But their euphoria was curtailed three days later when they called their county clerk’s office in pursuit of a marriage license, Cato recounted to HuffPost Live on Thursday.

After going to the office, the couple was told that “it was against the religious beliefs of the county clerk” to wed them. They were then “kicked out” with the assistance of six sheriffs.

“It was just like someone had sucked all the air out of you at that time,” Cato recalled of the experience. “We just couldn’t believe it. It was a clear violation of our civil rights. … After waiting 27 years, just to wait one more hour, to me, was unacceptable. We were humiliated. We were degraded.”

Cato secured a marriage license on July 6, 12 hours after filing a case against the Hood County Clerk’s office in federal court, but his lawyers are continuing on with the lawsuit until the country clerk vows to stop turning away other gay couples.

Over a month later, Cato says fighting for the right to marry was entirely “worth it.”

“I would do it again and again if I had to,” he affirmed. “Whatever you have to do to assure your civil rights and the civil rights of others is important.”

Watch more from HuffPost Live’s conversation on states refusing gay marriage in the wake of SCOTUS’ decision here.

Sign up here for Live Today, HuffPost Live’s new morning email that will let you know the newsmakers, celebrities and politicians joining us that day and give you the best clips from the day before!

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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They Were Just Trying To Protect Their Kids, But This Couple Won Marriage Equality

April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are one of the same-sex couples behind the Supreme Court’s historic ruling that all 50 states must allow gay marriage. But the two Michigan nurses barely thought about what they’re going to do for their own wedding.

“I do believe we have a wedding to plan and some kids to adopt,” DeBoer said, after learning of their victory Friday.

She and Rowse were at a live-streamed gathering in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with their lawyers and supporters, celebrating as other couples across the state headed to county clerks’ offices to obtain marriage licenses.

michigan marriage

Jayne Rowse (left) and April DeBoer celebrate the Supreme Court’s ruling on June 26, 2015, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

The two women, who started their legal battle in 2011, ultimately joined plaintiffs from Ohio, Tennessee and Kentucky in the combined case, now known as Obergefell v. Hodges, that the Supreme Court heard. Other couples were fighting to have their home states recognize marriages performed elsewhere. DeBoer and Rowse, however, were originally seeking changes to state adoption laws.

Four years ago, the couple met attorney Dana Nessel while trying to prepare wills that would protect their children. Michigan law doesn’t allow adoption by two same-sex parents, so each of DeBoer and Rowse’s four kids has only one legally recognized parent. Each woman has adopted two of their four children, who are all age 6 or younger.

When they filed their lawsuit, U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman encouraged them to expand the case to challenge the constitutionality of Michigan’s gay marriage ban. They did, and he ruled in their favor in 2014. Friedman, who had been appointed by President Ronald Reagan, reportedly cried as he told the Detroit News on Friday that he had been praying for the Supreme Court’s decision.

“We never could have in a million years anticipated that this case … would become a marriage case at all, let alone the seminal marriage case,” Nessel said.

The Supreme Court’s majority opinion notes that protecting children is a crucial element of the case for same-sex marriage. “April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse now ask whether Michigan may continue to deny them the certainty and stability all mothers desire to protect their children, and for them and their children the childhood years will pass all too soon,” it says.

Though their kids have always been the primary concern, that’s not to say that DeBoer and Rowse aren’t looking forward to the wedding. So are Ryanne, Rylee, Jacob and Nolan, who have been hearing about marriage for years. Ryanne, 5, is eager to dress up like a princess. Rylee, 2, wants to be the flower girl, though DeBoer jokingly worried that she will throw flowers at the guests.

deboer rowse family

April DeBoer (center), Jayne Rowse and their four children. (Photo courtesy of the family)

“To my beautiful children, we did this for you,” DeBoer said.

Polls show that public opinion has shifted in favor of marriage equality since the voters passed Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban in 2004. In a statement Friday, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) urged the state to “focus on the values we share” and “respect the judicial process.”

“Our state government will follow the law and our state agencies will make the necessary changes to ensure that we will fully comply,” Snyder said. “As Michiganders we should move forward positively, embracing our state’s diversity and striving to treat everyone with the respect and dignity they deserve.”

The victory for marriage equality does not end the debate over lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in Michigan, though, where it is still legal to fire someone based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Earlier this month, the governor signed a law that allows publicly funded, faith-based adoption agencies to cite religious beliefs as a reason to deny services to gay couples and others. And last week, a Republican state legislator introduced a bill that would require a member of the clergy to sign off on all marriages — a potential hardship for same-sex couples.

But on Friday, county clerks in Michigan performed gay wedding ceremonies with gusto.

couple marries

Ann Sorrell (left), 78, and Marge Eide, 77, who have been a couple for 43 years, embrace after exchanging vows in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on June 26, 2015. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

DeBoer and Rowse hope their own wedding will take place before the end of the summer.

Nessel described her clients-turned-friends as “ordinary people who are all at once also extraordinary and who could not have represented this case or this cause with any more dignity — or any more humor, really — than anyone else that I know.”

The attorney not only scored a win for her clients, but also will benefit personally from the Supreme Court’s decision. Speaking Friday, she thanked her two sons for often going without her presence as she fought for other kids and she thanked fiancée Alanna Maguire. Nessel proposed in April, standing on a stepstool outside the court on the afternoon that the justices heard arguments in the marriage case.

“Meeting your future same-sex spouse during your fight for same-sex marriage is kind of the most awesome story ever,” Nessel said.

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Jared Leto Is Still Trying To Make Fanny Packs Happen

Damn, that fanny pack looks sexy.

No, we’re serious.

jared leto

Jared Leto was spotted out and about in New York City this week wearing a muscle tee, neon green hair and yes, a fanny pack. Not only does he still look incredibly hot, but he may be single-handedly bringing back this oft-criticized accessory.

This isn’t the actor’s first attempt at making fanny packs happen — he has sported the controversial bag on a number of other occasions, too. Which inevitably makes us wonder: What does he have in there? Moroccan hair oil? A Kangol hat? Extra Manic Panic hair dye? His Tamagotchi? Your guess is as good as ours.

jared leto

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Style – The Huffington Post
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This Music Festival Knows It Can’t Stop People From Doing Drugs, So It’s Trying To Keep Them Safe Instead

The upcoming Lightning in a Bottle Music Festival, which starts Thursday in Bradley, California, is a drug-free event. But rather than pretend this label and any effort to enforce it will create a drug-repellant force field around the festival, organizers say they’re preparing for the inevitable: They know some drugs will find their way through security and into people’s bodies, so they’re offering a host of resources to help minimize the potential negative effects on users.

As part of this effort, Lightning in a Bottle and its coordinators at the Do Lab are partnering with two groups, DanceSafe — a health organization that focuses on harm reduction and education at music festivals and nightlife venues — and the Zendo Project — a program sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies that offers help to anyone going through a difficult experience while on psychedelic drugs.

Part of DanceSafe’s operation involves providing a judgment-free space to proactively address drug dangers before they emerge. The group believes educating people about potential problem signs associated with recreational drug use — often simple things like heat stroke, dehydration and even hyponatremia, a life-threatening condition brought on by drinking too much water — will help users seek treatment earlier rather than later. DanceSafe also offers condoms, earplugs, free water and an open line of communication to anyone who wants to talk about how they can make sure their good time doesn’t become a bad time.

Meanwhile, the Zendo Project offers what Stefanie Jones, nightlife community engagement manager for Drug Policy Alliance, a progressive nonprofit that advocates for drug policy reform, referred to as “mental health services” for people on psychedelic drugs. Anyone who may find themselves confused, upset, uncomfortable or in need of help anywhere else along their psychedelic trip can turn to one of the project’s trained therapists.

DanceSafe has also made a name for itself by offering on-site drug checking, which tells users which substances they actually have and how to use them responsibly. Jones told The Huffington Post that these services will not be available at Lightning in a Bottle due to concerns that organizers could be prosecuted under a federal law that prohibits the “maintaining of a drug-involved premise.”

Music festivals have attracted scrutiny in recent years following a spate of drug overdoses and drug-related deaths. With the growth of cheaper and ever-changing synthetic substances, the music festival drug market — where baggies of different colored powders and pills are often passed between strangers in porta-potties — is only getting harder and more risky to navigate.

Last year, a documentary filmmaker followed a group that offered drug testing services at popular festivals and found that 100 percent of the people who came to them thinking they had MDMA, also called “molly” or “ecstasy,” actually had bath salts, a term that has come to refer to any of a number of popular synthetic drugs. They also found examples of drugs being cut with powerful or dangerous adulterants that would almost certainly change a user’s predicted experience.

While these trends are frightening, they don’t mean fewer people are experimenting with drugs at festivals. This has led to some differing opinions on how to approach the problem.

In New York, the popular electronic music festival Electric Zoo rebooted in 2014, a year after two drug-related deaths made national headlines and forced the event to shut down a day early. Hoping to avoid another death or PR disaster, organizers opted for an enforcement-first approach. Here’s how Billboard described the scene:

In an effort to prevent against casualties, the festival has overcorrected and made widely known its use of high-tech cameras, drug-sniffing dogs and ramped-up security. The substance checkpoints are more thorough, requiring attendees to remove shoes, and cops — both in uniform and undercover — seemed to almost outnumber the fans.

Festival-goers were also required to watch an anti-drug PSA before attending, and organizers dispatched a group of medical students called “Zookeepers” to help with any emerging issues.

In past years, Lightning in a Bottle has also been targeted by intense drug enforcement activity. In 2013, when the event was held in Temecula, California, undercover officers arrested 58 people for drug-related offenses. Many of the suspects claimed they were coerced into selling drugs and accused officers of calling them “hippies” and “brain-dead retards.”

Organizers at Lightning in a Bottle have limited control over how law enforcement chooses to get involved with their event, but they are being more vocal than in years past about their harm-reduction policies.

While DanceSafe has been present at Lightning in a Bottle since 2013 and the Zendo Project joined last year, the festival is making a greater effort this time around to let attendees know that these services are available. They’ve built a “harm reduction” section into the festival’s official code of conduct and, according to DPA, will link to the page in a newsletter they send to attendees. The Zendo Project has also scheduled a basic training on Friday to tell attendees about its services.

After the festival ends, organizers will coordinate with Mutual Aid Response Services, a risk management consulting company, to evaluate the effectiveness of the services and the efforts to promote them, and to determine ways to better integrate these approaches into future events.

Harm reduction is one of many issues being championed by Lightning in a Bottle, which, according to its website, include encouraging people to think hard about whether they should wear a Native American headdress to the festival. To anyone coming from Coachella, the answer is no.

Jones said Lightning in a Bottle is one of the first festivals to get on board with DPA’s push to encourage groups to take more pragmatic approaches to drug use. A guide released by the group lays out the essential considerations and strategies for anyone planning a large-scale event.

And while Jones admitted there is still work to do to break the stigma surrounding drug use — including allowing for on-site drug checking so people can make sure they’re not about to eat rat poison — she praised Lightning in a Bottle for taking such an open and comprehensive stance to harm reduction.

“What they’re doing is a heroic,” Jones said. “They’re making every effort in a tough environment to keep their attendees safe.”

— 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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How Two Women Are Trying To Make Sex Better For All Women

Heaven really does exist — and it comes in the form of a newly created hands-free vibrator.

“Eva” is a “hands-free, strap-free, non-intrusive couples’ vibrator” that gives a woman the clitoral stimulation needed to reach orgasm during sex. The hands-free vibrator is the first venture for Dame Products, a company that creates “intimacy” products, started by Alexandra Fine and Janet Lieberman.

Fine and Lieberman designed the hands-free vibrator to fix what they’ve deemed the “pleasure gap.” The “pleasure gap” comes from that fact that 70 percent of women need clitoral stimulation but often don’t receive it during penetrative sex because, well, it’s a bit awkward.


When it comes to heterosexual intercourse, women often don’t get an equal opportunity to reach orgasm. Research shows that men are twice as likely to orgasm during sex than women. Much of this can be attributed to the general cultural priority of men’s pleasure over women’s and our long history of ignoring female sexuality. So Lieberman and Fine decided to take matters into their own hands.

“If I want better sex toys, I better make them myself,” Lieberman says in the video below.

Eva has two wings that fit under a woman’s labia majora and keeps the vibrator directly over the clitoris, allowing a couple to have sex without the nuisance of holding a large vibrator. The wings are flexible so that Eva can fit a wide range of women’s vaginas.

The hands-free vibrator also has three different speeds which Lieberman describes as ranging from “gentle to almost intimidating.”

Lieberman and Fine have nearly quadrupled their initial Indiegogo goal of $ 50,000, raising $ 179,142 as of Oct. 28, only one week after launching the campaign.

Image via Dame Products

Eva will cost $ 85 and is set to debut in February 2015. Every female beta tester gave the product rave reviews which may have contributed to the early bird special already being sold out of stock.

“We’re just trying to make the world a happier place — one vagina at a time,” Lieberman says in the video. Who can argue with that?

To learn more about Dame Products’ Eva Vibrator head over to Indiegogo or head over to their Facebook and Twitter pages.

H/T Mic
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Trying To Sustain A Charade

Keeping up appearances sometimes requires extraordinary effort. A lot can be overlooked when someone is young, pretty, perky, and in good health. But when tragic events darken one’s days, desperate times require desperate measures.

Whether a person develops elaborate schemes to hide a secret or, stripped of his usual support system, must improvise on the spot, imagination and resilience become key factors in keeping a secret a secret.

* * * * * * * * * *

In a joint project between the California Shakespeare Theater and Intersection for the Arts, an all-female production of Twelfth Night recently toured a wide variety of venues ranging from Intersection’s home base in the San Francisco Chronicle Building to the Alameda County Juvenile Detention Center and the Berkeley Food and Housing Project.

With an ebullient musical score composed by Peter Vitale, this production was directed by Michelle Hensley, who explained that:

“Shakespeare performed this play with a single-sex cast. All the roles were played by men. This must have increased the layers of confusion the characters felt when they fell in love with someone who turned to be the ‘wrong’ person. I wanted to find out what would happen if the cast was only women. I think the confusion is equally delightful, and highlights how each of us has a male dimension and a female dimension, no matter our gender. I love the way Twelfth Night explores how falling in love can be an escape from enormous pain. So many characters in the play find themselves ‘shipwrecked,’ facing enormous losses in their lives, and at a loss about just where to go or what to do next. Suddenly, someone wondrous and magnificent appears, someone whose love, if returned, could make all of your problems and pain vanish! Who wouldn’t jump onto such a life raft?”


Rami Margrom, Cindy Im, and Maria Candelaria appear
in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (Photo by: Kevin Berne)

Working with minimal sets and costumes in a four-sided arena arrangement of chairs that accommodated 80 people, the cast was led by Maria Candelaria as the rich and regal Olivia, Catherine Castellanos as a raucous Sir Toby Belch, and Patty Gallagher as the foolish Andrew Aguecheek. Nancy Carlin did double duty as Olivia’s steward, Malvolio, and the Duke’s servant, Valentine, while Cindy Im doubled as the shipwrecked Viola and her twin brother, Sebastian. Rounding out the cast were Rami Margron (as Duke Orsino and Olivia’s servant, Maria). Sarita Ocon appeared as both as Olivia’s jester, Feste, and Sebastian’s friend, Antonio.

While the performance was lively, quite charming, and often filled with laughs, in the interest of full disclosure, there were moments when I had trouble concentrating due to some unexpected somatic pains (the first time I’ve ever had to take a Vicodin at intermission).

* * * * * * * * * *

My reaction to the American Conservatory Theater’s new production of Eduardo de Filippo’s 1945 play, Napoli! was muted for very different reasons. Much of the play focuses on the black market activities of Donna Amalia (Seana McKenna) in 1942 (when Naples was frequently being bombed by Allied forces and simple household staples were extremely difficult to obtain). Act II takes place 14 months later, following the liberation by Allied Forces who brought hope, joy, and an economic upturn to an exhausted population that had been battered by a brutal combination of poverty and Fascism.

With a unit set designed by Erik Flatmo, Mark Rucker directed the play’s large cast with an eye toward capturing the essential humanity underlying the financial and emotional stresses on Don Gennaro (Marco Barricelli), his family, and their neighbors.

In discussing the importance of the Neapolitan dialect to Italian audiences, the great American playwright, Thornton Wilder, described De Filippo’s writing as “forever unEnglishable.” Although a new translation by Beatrice Basso and Linda Alper premiered several years ago with this production’s debut at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, all of the translators’ intense research seems like an academic labor of love that did not produce a drama with a great deal of tension. As A.C.T.’s artistic director, Carey Perloff notes:

“The act of translation is truly a rescue mission that can bring alive a play from a distant time or culture for a new audience. De Filippo is particularly challenging to translate because his Neapolitan dialect is so pungent and particular. There is a music to his language that needs to be carried forward and re-imagined. For me, hearing this lovely new American translation is almost like hearing a new play, full of discoveries and life, but also remarkably true to its original source material.”


Adelaide (Sharon Lockwood) and Donna Amalia (Seana McKenna)
in a scene from Act I of Napoli! (Photo by: Kevin Berne)

Unfortunately, De Filippo’s play (which is nearly 70 years old) is showing its age. One never gets the feeling that anyone or anything could threaten Donna Amalia (who has all kinds of contingency plans up her sleeve). When a neighbor reports her to the authorities for selling black-market coffee, a well-rehearsed scam (in which her husband, Don Gennaro, pretends to be dead) is quickly set into motion moments before police officer Ciappa (Gregory Wallace) arrives on the scene.

This type of charade is as old as the commedia dell’arte. Inspired by a character mentioned in Dante’s Inferno, Giacomo Puccini breathed new life into the deception with his one-act opera, Gianni Schicchi (which received its world premiere as the final act of Il Trittico at the Metropolitan Opera on December 14, 1918).

In De Filippo’s play (which was originally known as The Millionaire of Napoli) there are intricately plotted relationship problems — so carefully positioned that one can almost sit in the audience ready to give a stage manager’s cues for a specific character’s entrance.


Anthony Fusco, Seana McKenna, and Dion Mucciacito
in a scene from Act II of Napoli! (Photo by: Kevin Berne)

Don Gennaro disappears between acts and is believed to be dead. His sudden, disillusioned, confused, and grimy return from the war raises all kinds of questions.

  • Will Donna Amalia fall for the slick charms of her business partner, Errico Settebellizze (Dion Mucciacito), who would really like to give her the business?
  • Will her handsome young son, Amedeo (Nick Gabriel), get nabbed by the police for stealing tires from automobiles?
  • Will her callousness toward a local accountant named Riccardo Spasiano (Anthony Fusco) come back to haunt her when her youngest daughter is perilously ill and everyone in the area is hiding the medicine necessary to keep her alive?
  • Will her oldest daughter, Maria Rosario (Blair Busbee), who has given up her virginity to an American soldier, bear an illegitimate child?

Under normal circumstances, such questions might hold the audience in the playwright’s dramatic grip. But Donna Amalia’s black market business has always been something that her husband did his best to ignore and, although it has helped her to feed her family, it has not been able to prevent her from getting a taste of her own medicine by the final curtain

Although her friend Adelaide (Sharon Lockwood) is always on hand for support, and the giggly Assunta (Lisa Kitchens) provides some comic relief as a “perhaps” widow who doesn’t know whether it’s time to stop mourning.and get on with her life, I found myself less impressed with Don Gennaro’s final attempt to heal a family which has survived on lies and deceit than I was simply underwhelmed by the entire venture.


Donna Amalia (Seana McKenna) and her husband, Gennaro
(Marco Barricelli) in a scene from Act II of Napoli!
(Photo by: Kevin Berne)

In situations like this, it’s always valuable to ask “What did I take away from this experience?” The answer (which truly shocked me) proved that my experience was not what the playwright or director had intended. In the tiny role of Miezo Prevete, one of the Bay area’s most reliable character actors (Gabriel Marin) delivered the finest impression of Art Carney’s unforgettable Ed Norton (from The Honeymooners) I’ve ever seen.

To read more of George Heymont go to My Cultural Landscape
Arts – The Huffington Post
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‘Mountain Monsters’ Are The Quarry Of Hillbilly Hunters Trying To Bring ‘Em Back Alive

Ever heard of Mothman? Or the Braxton County Monster, Blue Devil, Sheepsquatch, Thunderbirds and Devil Dogs? Not your typical kind-hearted denizens of the forest, these and other mysterious creatures are the targets of a group of hunters known as the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings, or A.I.M.S.

The six-man A.I.M.S. crew may look like expert moonshiners, but these guys seriously research and hunt odd creatures on their TV series, “Mountain Monsters,” which kicks off its second season tonight on Destination America.

Leading this group is John “Trapper” Tice, who hopes to track and capture some of the most allegedly evasive beasts.

“They’re scary sons of bitches,” Tice told The Huffington Post. “A lot of them make a bellowing, yelling scream at you. The Wolfman did it to us in Kentucky, and just things you see, you know are way faster than we are. We usually have them beat on intelligence, so we have to use our intelligence with old school tracking and reading signs ability with new technology. And we interview a lot of eyewitnesses. That’s how we can get so close to ’em.”

Check out some of the creatures being hunted by the ‘Mountain Monsters’ team.

Native sons of West Virginia who have spent their lives navigating the backcountry make up the A.I.M.S. team. They’ve investigated monster reports in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky and Ohio, but have captured none.

“Catching one is different [from proving they exist],” said Tice. “In the first place, the guys have jobs, so we usually try to do it in three days, over a weekend and we have limited time. We’ve been very close, and it’s gonna take a bunch of luck, along with a lot of experts to do this. But I think it’ll eventually happen.”

One of Tice’s team members, “Wild Bill” Neff, is a former Marine who looks like he could probably wrestle any number of ferocious creatures to the ground. He doesn’t like the attitude of city slickers who want to go to the forests and start killing unknown animals.

“People from the big cities will overrun a place, and the first thing they’ll say is that they’re gonna kill it,” Neff told HuffPost. “We’ll, we’re not after it to kill it — we’re after it to prove that that animal exists. Anybody who says they wasn’t scared is a lyin’ S.O.B. I was a Marine and I do not fear. Let me tell you something — when they say they don’t fear, they’re lyin’ to ya.”

When this reporter recently sat down with some of the “Mountain Monsters” team and asked if they’ve discovered any real evidence of an unknown animal, Tice offered as his Exhibit A a 2-inch-long tooth (pictured below) he found around 2005 on a trail in Pocahontas County, W.Va. He claims it was from a Bigfoot.


Tice has never felt the need to have the tooth analyzed by any scientific organization. He says he just knows what it is.

“I thought it was a bear tooth and Bill and I had both killed bears and knew it was not a bear tooth. It’s not from a domesticated animal — nothing has a tooth like that. On my mantel, I have a skull collection of every wild species in West Virginia, from a bobcat, coyote, bears, all the way down to a gopher — I’ve got ’em all. I was bear hunting at the time, and where his toenails tracked, I seen a little bit of white in the ground and took a knife and dug it out.

“I think it’s an incisor [front] tooth from a Bigfoot.”

Watch the ‘Mountain Monsters’ team at work tracking down unusual creatures.

“Mountain Monsters” begins its second season tonight on Destination America at 10p.m. Check your local listings.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Robin Thicke Says He’s Trying To Get Paula Patton Back

Robin Thicke and Paula Patton may have separated, but he’s not giving up.

The former high school sweethearts were married for nearly nine years before announcing their split on Feb. 24, and Thicke isn’t ready to let Patton go. Sources told Us Weekly that the “Blurred Lines” singer wanted to save the marriage, but Patton made the choice to end it.

Those claims appear to be true, as TMZ caught up with Thicke as he arrived in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Feb. 27, telling a cameraman, “I’m just trying to get her back.”

According to the website, the couple’s marriage began to fall apart after Thicke’s sexually charged performance with Miley Cyrus at the MTV VMAs in August 2013. Sources say things soured because Patton felt “utterly disrespected” by the performance. And then came the cheating allegations.

While the pair reportedly remain cordial with one another, according to Us Weekly’s sources, Patton is “done with the marriage.”
Style – The Huffington Post
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Trying to Get Your Job Back After a Walter Mitty Style Adventure

Hi, Mr. Cooper. It’s Martin. I’m actually glad you didn’t pick up, it’ll be much easier to just say this over your answering machine.

As you probably noticed, I haven’t shown up for work at all this week. I know it must have caused some problems, especially since this was the week of our big merger. But I swear I have a very good reason for my absence.

Last weekend I saw that new Ben Stiller movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and it really affected me. A sad, ignored worker, going on an adventure to escape the routine of his horrible boring job? That sounds just like our office, am I right?

When I came home, I immediately packed my suitcase and decided to go on an adventure of my own. Believe me, explaining this to you is way easier than having to explain this to my wife and kids. Especially since I already disappeared for two weeks on Christmas break when I saw The Desolation of Smaug.

Anyway, after telling the kids why they, once again, can’t join daddy on his life changing trip to the most wild and fun places in the world, I drove to the airport and bought a one way ticket to Iceland. By the way, this whole thing really burned a hole in my credit card, so if there’s any chance you’d let me keep my job, I’d be super happy if you could give me an advance on next month’s paycheck. Thanks.

When I got to Iceland I was all ready for my enlightening moment. I couldn’t wait to experience all the world has to offer. But it turned out it’s not so easy to go Walter Mittying (that’s how I called it, it got some huge laughs in Tahiti). I learned pretty early on that I’m not that keen on adventures. He did some dangerous things in that movie. I mean, Swimming with sharks? I have a wife and kids for god’s sake. Could you imagine how they would feel if their father was devoured to death by a shark? Besides, I’m really more of a lie-on-the-beach sort of guy.

So I did some research, which was also something that Mitty character never bothered to do. How could you just travel from country to country without so much as a good recommendation on a hotel? If Mitty used Trip Advisor, he would have avoided so many troubles. Anyway, I planned a really great route to visit all the best beaches and spas the world has to offer. It really relaxed me. You should try it. When I woke up from my afternoon nap after the two hour massage I got, I started to really understand why Mitty went on this quest. It really did change my life. Plus, I had a happier ending than that movie had, if you know what I mean…

Well, I think I’m just rambling on now. I’m afraid your answering machine is going to cut me off, so I’ll just say this- I really hope you won’t fire me when I come in on Monday. I’d hate to ruin the good experience I had following Ben Stiller’s advice by finding out I no longer have a job. I don’t think he thought it all the way through. I mean, he could always go make another movie. But people like us, this is all we have. These Hollywood people, they never think about the little man. All they care about is getting our money on movie tickets. Well, I got the last laugh- I didn’t even pay, I downloaded it off the internet.

Oh, and if you get the chance, could you tell all the guys in the office I’m really sorry about dropping that stink bomb in the vents? I really didn’t think I was ever coming back.

(image courtesy of 20th century fox)

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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9 Supremely Awkward Animals Trying To Pick You Up

Sometimes, the pickup scene can get weird.

And it’s made all the more painful when the guys and girls trying to pick you up are supremely awkward animals. As much as we love them, let’s face facts; they have no game! Need an example? Check out these nine supremely awkward animals having NO luck on the dating scene.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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