Wellness Week kicks off on January 13th, just as health and fitness are on top of everyone’s minds (New Year resolutions anyone?). In Saks Fifth Avenue locations across the US, stores will begin Wellness Week with an exclusive shopping event, where shoppers can receive health and wellness items from participating sponsors. Eboost, along with Self magazine and Equinox sports club, is giving out samples of their daily wellness and immune booster to Saks shoppers who are looking to start the New Year off health-consciously. Cheers to free products and a new, improved, healthy you.
The Golden Globes will not go on
The Hollywood Foreign Press Association announced through email that the Golden Globes will be by a live news conference announcing the winners. Twenty million people tuned in to watch the star-studded ceremony last year, which usually airs on NBC.
In the 10th week of the WGA strike, Hollywood stars were swayed to boycott the GoldenGlobes, bringing about the question of the Oscars, which is scheduled to air February 24 on ABC.
According to Jack Kyser, the Globes generate $50 to $70 million in local spending, and the Academy Awards ceremony gives the economy a boost of $130 million. So far, the strike has cost the Southern California economy $1.4 billion.
The show usually draws in $15 to $20 million in ad revenue by airing the three-hour ceremony, according to Variety via Entertainment Weekly. However, this year, the network is settling for just a one hour conference, and most likely at a lower rate than would have been charged. The newscast is also presumed to bring about fewer ratings.
Not to mention the after-parties, ranging from $350,000 to $750,000, which have mostly been paid ahead of time– meaning, no cancellation refunds. NBC Universal-Focus, HBO, and Warner Brothers-InStyle parties have already been canceled, and others will probably drop the ball on their glamorous gatherings as well.
The worst part of it all? Not knowing what the stars would have worn to this big soiree.
The tabloids are fuming.
AnyPlay takes on the iPod
Comcast and Panasonic are joining together to launch a co-branded portable digital video player called AnyPlay.
Like the Apple iPod, it shows videos, but also has the capability of recording up to 60 hours of video from any US cable operator’s system. The AnyPlay can also play both DVDs and CDs through an 8.5 inch screen.
It is currently being shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Facing competition from satellite TV and video services from phone companies, the AnyPlay gadget is the first among a new host of electronic devices being developed in partnership between the cable industry and consumer electronics makers.
“The era of closed cable is over and the era of open cable is here,” Comcast Chief Executive Brian Roberts told Reuters.
Jamie Lynn Spears’ pregnancy news heard all around the world
By now the entire world has heard about Jamie Lynn Spears, the 16-year- old younger sister of Britney Spears’ shocking pregnancy.
USA Today reports that Lynn Spear’s book Pop Culture Mom: A Real Story of Fame and Family in a Tabloid World has been delayed, and there is the obvious speculation that the hiatus is tied to the 12-week pregnancy of her younger daughter.
Jamie Lynn, who is also the star of Nickelodeon’s Zoey 101, is also facing rumors of being axed from her hit show because of parents who will backlash against her serving as a role model for their teenage daughters.
It’s up to Viacom to determine the fate of her acting career (before she succumbs to stay-at-home confines for the next few years of her life).
The media was fast to turn up the news, with almost every major news outlet reporting on the bun-in-the-oven teenager. And undoubtedly, the tabloids and bloggers were ruthless with this one, with titles ranging from “Just Call Her Juno Lynn Spears,” and “It Runs in the Family,” to the more caustic “Jamie Lynn Spears: Not that Innocent.” Ouch.
Many of the stories report on the interview that was sold to OK! magazine for a whopping 1 million dollars, which Daddy Spears was pretty unhappy about. Then there was the sad news that Federline was given the news before Britney.
In the end, it’s still all about Britney. Because the truth of the matter is, without the connection to Brit, Jamie Lynn would still only be an unknown face on a kid’s TV show.
That’s unless, of course, she’s Hannah Montana. Then that would be a different story.
Here’s to hoping that Hannah goes down a different road than the one led by the Spears sisters.
Looks like the creative mind of J.K. Rowling still had some juices left after squeezing out seven editions of the famous Harry Potter series—easily one of the best imaginative stories ever invented. Rowling’s handwritten book of fairy tales was reportedly sold for an estimated $4 million ($3.98 million to be exact, equivalent to 1.95 million pounds) at a London charity sale. One of seven copies of The Tales of Beedle the Bard (classic title for a Rowling work), made after Rowling finished the final Harry Potter book, now belongs to Hazlitt, Gooden & Fox, a London art agent.The money will go to the Children’s Voice, a charity co-founded by Rowling and Emma Nicholson, a member of Britain’s House of Lords. The six other copies of the Beedle books have been given to people who were closely connected to the Harry Potter collection, Rowling said…with the fate of probably being auctioned off by the recipients. Don’t all scramble to eBay now.
Battle of the Words of the Year
Merriam-Webster Inc. has crowned the word “w00t” (spelled with two zeros) as word of the year, according to Reuters. “w00t” was created by online gamers and is supposed to express joy. (It’s like saying “yay” the dictionary said.)
This represents a new trend in the American language by video gamers and text messagers who rely on numeric keyboards to type words. (Better than the good old beeper days where you had to decode every number to reveal a message. 43770 = hello. Ring a bell anyone?)
Visitors to the Merriam-Webster Web site were invited to vote on a list of 20 words. The words were a combined list of twenty of the most frequently looked-up words on Merriam-Webster OnLine, and some of the most popular submissions to Merriam-Webster’s Open Dictionary. This contest followed last year’s, which came up with Stephen Colbert’s “truthiness” as word of the year.
Unsurprisingly, the runner-up was “facebook,” which means to add someone to a list of friends on Facebook.com or search them on the site. (“I’m going to facebook her on my computer when I get home tonight.”)
But New Oxford American Dictionary recently that their word of the year was “locavore,” meaning, someone who eats locally grown food.
And Webster’s New World Dictionary came up with a term of the year—“grass station,” which is a theoretical place where cars could fill up with ethanol someday. (Both phrases are a total miss for me. Goes to show how up-to-date I am with trendy, in-the-moment ‘green’ phrases.)
My conclusion? Techies and gadget lovers are more prone to use Merriam Webster, whereas the environmentally conscious prefer either New Oxford American Dictionary or Webster’s New World Dictionary.
Well, I resort to Dictionary.com, and one of the words of the year listed on their site is “nappy” (as in the infamous racial slur that was echoed by Don Imus). So I guess I’m in a category of my own.
Just kidding about the whole categorization thing. Let’s just be relieved that people still bother to look up words, no matter how they were created.
Martha pulls the plug on Blueprint
Martha Stewart’s lifestyle magazine, Blueprint, will cease publication as a stand-alone title after the January/February 2008 issue. Instead, it will be folded into the highly successful Martha Stewart Weddings as special interest issues for the home category. The Blueprint blog, Bluelines, will continue to exist, and digital content from Blueprint is expected to grow across the MSLO Web sites.
Jobs will be cut, but the company is reassigning some staff to work on new and existing projects.
According to the New York Post, the magazine had cost the company $10 million during its short, unsuccessful run.
And WWD.com reports that in the midst of folding Blueprint, Martha has another project up her sleeve: a magazine aimed at older readers, with the working title, M.
Bring a good report card home, get a free Happy Meal
When I was in elementary school, my parents would reward a good report card with cute little accessories (think Hello Kitty headbands) and new school supplies (I was so OCD that I always wanted fresh, clean erasers and notebooks. And yes, much hasn’t changed.)
The reward system still stands today, but the rewards themselves have gone from new notebooks to french fries and chicken nuggets.
According to the New York Times, McDonald’s restaurants in Seminole County, FL, along with the Seminole County School Board have made an that would reward students with good grades and outstanding attendance during the 2007-2008 school year with a put-a-smile-on-your-face Happy Meal.
For A’s and B’s in academic subjects, and two or fewer absences from school, students can now go redeem their “food prize” Happy Meal from the local McDonald’s eatery.
This new “report card incentive,” is not sitting well with some parents however, with concerns about childhood obesity calling the program into question.
“Turning report cards into ads for McDonald’s undermines parents’ efforts to encourage healthy eating,” said Susan Linn, director of an advocacy organization in Boston, the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood.
“It’s a terribly troubling trend,” Ms. Linn said, because “it really, clearly links doing well in school with getting a Happy Meal.”
What are your thoughts? Does the ‘Bring home good grades, get a free Happy Meal’ program seem like a good one?
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took a big step today when he about a recent advertising system which violates members’ privacy.
“We’ve made a lot of mistakes building this feature,” acknowledged Zuckerberg, “but we’ve made even more with how we’ve handled them. We simply did a bad job with this release, and I apologize for it.”
Facebook’s bold new advertising strategy was introduced in November, but caused many flukes. Such was the case of the girlfriend who was informed on Facebook that her boyfriend just purchased a diamond ring for Christmas.
Irate users grouped together to form “Petition: Facebook, stop invading my privacy!” The 68,000 members were a small number compared to the 57 million users, but big enough to warrant an apology from Zuckerberg to members. He promised not to broadcast member’s private activities and allowed members to turn off Beacon.
Apology, or not, the new system was still intrusive and exploitative. What do you think about social networking sites invading users’ lives to promote their products and build brand awareness?
All I want for Christmas is: A high-tech kiddie toy
Lego blocks? Transformers? Barbie dolls? No, no, no. What your child really wants for Christmas is one of the many kiddie toys—cellphones, laptops, digital cameras, and MP3 music players—made especially for eager-to-grow-up preschoolers.
According to this New York Times article, children ages 3 and up—and sometimes even younger—are being bombarded with new tech devices, as fake gadgets no longer satisfy their longing to play with mommy or daddy’s super cool (and super expensive) digicam.
On Amazon.com, the “hottest toys” list includes the Easy Link Internet Launch Pad (like which three-year-old is actually going to go browsing on the Internet?!) and the Smart Cycle—an exercise bike connected to a video game. Ingenious! Leave it to toy makers to come up with something for hyper kids to let out all their energy while being engaged in a ‘healthy game’.
Techie toys are multiplying rapidly, as evidenced by the fact that six of the nine best-selling toys for five- to- seven-year-olds on Amazon.com are tech gadgets. The growing trend is causing a concern for pediatricians and educators who worry that too much screen time will stifle imagination. (And perhaps social skills?)
All I’ve got to say is that kids these days are growing up in a whole new world. When I was a kid, I played with my one cabbage patch doll until all four limbs broke off (what can I say, I was an affectionate child). And when my parents were young, they played with rocks! (Literally, the stone age.)
But times have changed, and I can’t even begin to wonder what the next generation of kids will receive as playthings. (A flying car?)
And who can blame them? Even I’m lusting after the Smart Cycle! C’mon, video game plus exercise machine in one? Sure beats playing with my limbless cabbage patch doll any day.
Next Page »