Spice Girls close reunion tour as Geri apologises

Geri Horner has apologised for quitting the Spice Girls as the group took to the stage for the final night of their long-awaited reunion tour.
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Olympic, Paralympic Italian Athletes Close Emporio Armani Show

“It was incredible to see obviously the pride of the Italian nation and of Mr. Armani, who is the real image of Italy, coming out with the athletes. It was incredibly powerful – I got goosebumps,” admitted Tom Bateman after the Emporio Armani show.
The actor was referring to the finale of the show, which was closed by 20 Olympic athletes and nine Paralympians of the Italian team wearing the new EA7 Emporio Armani uniforms for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, with graphics paying homage to Japan. Previously, Giorgio Armani has dressed the Italian athletes at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Summer Olympics and Paralympics, and the Sochi 2014 and Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. The athletes walked to the tune of “Love is in the Air,” around a stage lit up to reproduce the colors of the Italian flag.

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Bateman is keeping busy, shooting the  Netflix drama “Behind Her Eyes,” due out later this year, an adaptation of the best-selling book by the same name penned by Sarah Pinborough. Bateman plays the lead character, David. “It circles around a married couple and another woman, but I can’t say too much and give it away–it’s dark, twisted and

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Apple expected to close iTunes after 18 years

Apple is expected to announce the end of its flagship music app iTunes today during its worldwide developers conference (WWDC).
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Lee Spielman Keeps Babylon Close to Its Skateboarding Roots as the Brand Grows

LOS ANGELES — “This kid skates like he’s being chased,” Babylon’s Lee Spielman said, looking at the video playing on his iPhone.
Spielman, who started the brand Babylon with Garrett Stevenson in 2015, is just barely getting over jet lag from back-to-back pop-ups in Osaka, Japan, and Tokyo that included now sold-out collaborations with Japanese brands Wasted Youth, Bounty Hunter, Neighborhood, ReadymMade and the artist Kosuke Kawamura.
The shops were aimed at building buzz around the release of Babylon’s spring collection, which continues to expand and diversify with each season. It’s a glimpse into how the overall brand is maturing, while staying true to its core skater. Spring was accompanied with a video that went viral and won a nod from Virgil Abloh and many others for its cinematic quality. Some 20 skaters, artists and DJs, all friends of the brand, are featured in the 58-second clip that slowly pans across each person staged on a dirt path in East Los Angeles before what appears to be a burning palm tree is revealed in the final frames.
“We’re just trying to keep elevating what we can do. For us, that was a full production. It was the first time we had a big

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Lowe’s prediction: Why this Celtics-Bucks series looks so close

Zach Lowe breaks down and forecasts the series between Boston and top-seeded Milwaukee.
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A Vegas getaway ruined and ‘never close’ calls: Inside the Antonio Brown trade

Antonio Brown and the Steelers were headed for divorce and the whole league knew it. Here’s how AB got an unlikely payday when a once-unthinkable deal with the Raiders was struck.
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Some ‘Game Of Thrones’ Theories May Be ‘Dangerously Close’ To What Happens

But here’s why that doesn’t faze actor John Bradley.
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MEN’S FORUM: The Whitaker Group’s James Whitner Relies on Instinct and Close Consumer Connections to Stay Ahead

For The Whitaker Group’s founder James Whitner, being the consumer is essential to knowing the consumer.
With an assortment of stores via his company’s four retail entities — Social Status, A.P.B., Prosper and A Ma Maniére — Whitner emphasized the importance of being submerged with the people you are trying to connect with. He asked, “Are you focused on the consumer? Do you know who the consumer is and why? Most people don’t. You’re casting a wide net in men’s wear…I’m the guy. I’m the guy who’s buying the stuff and wearing the stuff.”
Aside from anticipating what his shoppers want, Whitner spoke of how he tries to design spaces that they will emotionally respond to. “I’m always trying to re-create the places and spaces I’ve been in. I feel like I have a romantic affair with the consumer in the process. Can someone cue the music? [Romantic tunes follow.] When I walk into a store, this is how I feel. I’m being romanced by the romance,” he said.
Referring to outdated business practices that can’t keep up with quick fire social media and fashion’s rapid speed of change, Whitner said, “You’ve got to set your businesses up to move like we move.

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Now celebrity magazine set to close print edition

The beleaguered title’s final print issue will go on sale on 2 April but the website will remain.
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DXL Posts Higher Losses in Q4, Will Close Rochester Stores

The losses at Destination XL Group continued to mount in the fourth quarter, despite higher comparable-store sales. But a new wholesale strategy and a new chief executive officer are expected to help the company improve its fortunes in 2019.
At the same time, the company revealed that it will close the remaining five Rochester Clothing stores — a more-upscale brand that it acquired in 2004 — by the end of the fiscal year.
In an earnings call Friday morning, David Levin, acting chief executive officer, said: “The growth in our DXL brand has slowly eroded the sales volume and profitability in our remaining Rochester, N.Y., stores, which are located in high rent metro areas.
“Much of our Rochester assortment will continue to be available on DXL.com and many Rochester brands can be found in DXL stores. With the exception of London, all of our Rochester stores are located in markets within close proximity to one or more DXL stores. In the U.S. we’re working on a customer transfer strategy to encourage our Rochester customers to migrate to nearby DXL stores, and we’re confident that once our Rochester customers discover the DXL experience they will become DXL loyalists.”
On Friday morning, the Canton, Mass.-based men’s

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Travis Scott Literally Keeps Kylie Jenner Close to His Heart Amid Cheating Rumors

Travis Scott, Kylie Jenner, 2019 Grammys, 2019 Grammy Awards, CouplesIt’s clear who’s on Travis Scott’s mind–and his sweatshirt.
Last week, the Grammy-nominated rapper was spotted on the sidelines at a basketball game in Texas between the…

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Payless to Close All U.S. Stores as It Prepares for Another Bankruptcy

Retailer Payless ShoeSource plans to close all of its roughly 2,100 stores in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, in what is likely to be the largest ever retailer liquidation.
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The race for the top pick: Is Hughes vs. Kakko really that close?

Can Kaapo Kakko catch Jack Hughes to be the top pick in June’s NHL draft?
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MoMA to Close, Then Open Doors to More Expansive View of Art

Don’t plan to visit MoMA this summer. It’s closing for renovations that will put a new focus on work by women and artists of color. The results will shake up every gallery.
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Bros announce ‘up close’ gig after viral documentary

Bros have announced an “up close and personal” revival following the viral success of a documentary about their time in pop.
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Glenn Close: Don't Buy Into "Winner-Loser" at Award Shows

The "Wife" actress discusses her 2019 Golden Globes nomination and gushes over her "remarkable" peers at the Palm Springs Film Festival.
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Olivia Newton-John ‘in good health’ amid rumours she’s close to death

Olivia Newton-John’s niece has assured her fans the star is in good health after rumours that she had just weeks to live.
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Tesla Adds Ellison, Musk’s ‘Close Friend,’ to Board

Tesla named two new independent directors including Oracle’s Larry Ellison, a public booster of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, as the board has been under pressure to increase oversight of its outspoken founder.
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Tesla Adds Ellison, Musk’s ‘Close Friend,’ to Board

Tesla named two new independent directors including Oracle’s Larry Ellison, a public booster of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, as the board has been under pressure to increase oversight of its outspoken founder.
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Sears Details $443M in Expenses to Close 142 Stores

Sears Holdings Corp. detailed the hefty cost of closing 142 stores in a regulatory filing Tuesday. The store closures were revealed on Oct. 15 when the company filed its voluntary Chapter 11 petition for bankruptcy court protection.
Sears said it expects to “incur charges of $ 443 million” in total costs to shutter the stores. That includes $ 81 million in markdowns, $ 9 million in severance costs, $ 335 million in lease termination costs, $ 12 million in other charges and $ 6 million in depreciation in the third and fourth quarters.
Since the bankruptcy filing, Sears has tagged an additional 40 doors for closure.
The retailer, which operates under the Sears and Kmart nameplates, is trying to find a buyer for the company as a going concern. So far its chairman Edward S. Lampert, through his hedge fund ESL Investments, has offered a nonbinding bid of $ 4.6 billion for the assets. If accepted, that offer would in effect constitute Sears’s exit plan from bankruptcy. It is not clear any other party will submit a going-concern offer for the company. Liquidators are expected to submit offers, but those are geared toward winding the business down.

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Carroll & Co. to Close Store, Begin New Chapter

BEVERLY HILLS — This isn’t a story about a retailer that’s succumbed to a challenging business environment or digital disruptors.
Beverly Hills men’s retailer Carroll & Co. — frequented by Hollywood celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Cary Grant, Gene Kelly, Jimmy Stewart and Jack Lemmon — is in the midst of a store-closing sale after nearly 70 years as the founder’s son looks to relocate and reinvent the business.
John Carroll, whose father Richard Carroll started the business in 1949, has his work cut out for him overseeing the store closing sale. But once that task is wrapped, he will reenter the men’s made-to-measure business — a segment of Carroll & Co. that has taken off in recent years. About 400 square feet of the store’s 8,000-square-foot footprint is dedicated to made-to-measure and so much of its business is done there, Carroll said.
“We do so much of our business out of that small space with our plethora of loyal custom clothing customers that, for me to transition our business and be able to continue to service those people who have been so loyal over the years, makes all the sense in the world,” he said. “We do more custom business than we

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Cowell donates £25,000 to close dog meat farm

Simon Cowell has donated £25,000 to an animal protection charity to help close a dog meat farm in South Korea.
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Books of The Times: At the Close of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ‘My Struggle,’ a Magician Loses His Touch

Vital writing and interesting ideas are buried in this endurance test of a novel, which includes a 400-page section about Hitler in addition to Knausgaard’s usual autobiographical musings.
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PlayStation 2 repair services close in Japan

Sony ends its repair service for the PS2 more than 18 years after the console went on sale.
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Richard Bacon: ‘I was incredibly close to death’

TV presenter Richard Bacon says he came “incredibly close” to death after he was struck down by a mystery illness.
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Caitlyn Jenner Says It’s ”Tough” to Maintain a ”Close” Bond With Her Family

Caitlyn Jenner Caitlyn Jenner’s relationship with members of the Kardashian family is still fractured after years of turmoil.
The 68-year-old Olympian discussed her personal life, controversial…

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Smart luggage firms close because of airline battery rules

Two firms have closed this month, citing changes in airline policies on carrying batteries.
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Books of The Times: Rachel Kushner’s ‘The Mars Room’ Offers Big Ideas in Close Quarters

Kushner’s gritty and persuasive book about a woman sentenced to life in prison recalls works by Mary Gaitskill, Denis Johnson and Charles Bukowski.
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Bill Maher Roasts Donald Trump Over His Close Relationship With Sean Hannity

“Can you imagine if they found out that Obama was talking to Rachel Maddow every day?”
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Sears to Close Last Chicago Store

Sears Holdings Corp. is set to close its last Chicago store in the city where the retailer opened its first store back in February 1925.
The last surviving Sears store in Chicago is located at the area known as “Six Corners,” the intersection of Milwaukee, Cicero and Irving Park Roads.
Howard Riefs, a spokesman for Sears, said the store would close in mid-July, with the Sears Auto Center at the site closing in mid-May. The store site is part of the 265 stores sold to Seritage Growth Properties. Sears has been leasing the store site. The sale agreement allows Seritage to recapture both the store and the auto center.
Riefs said, “The store will remain open for customers in the meantime and will begin its liquidation sale by April 27. The Sears at Six Corners was the shopping district’s anchor business since it first opened to large crowds on Oct. 20, 1938. We have proudly served our members and customers on Chicago’s northwest side for the last eight decades.”
The spokesman emphasized that Sears, for more than 120 years, has called Illinois home and “that is not changing.” He added that while the last Chicago store is closing, that does not change either the

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Predators rule, Bruins close in on Lightning

Nashville has taken up residence at the top of the rankings en route to the Presidents’ Trophy. But Boston has also enchanted our NHL experts, rising to No. 2. Can the Bruins leapfrog the Lightning and seize the top seed in the East?
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The Battery Boost We’ve Been Waiting for Is Getting Close

Lithium-ion batteries get a little bit better every year, but capacity is about to get a much-needed major lift, thanks to nanotechnology and a shift in materials.
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Toys ‘R’ Us Tells Workers It Will Likely Close All U.S. Stores

Toys ‘R’ Us Inc. told employees Wednesday the struggling big-box retailer will sell or close all its U.S. stores, a collapse that threatens up to 33,000 Americans jobs in the coming months.
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Tony Kushner, at Peace? Not Exactly. But Close.

With “Angels in America” about to reopen on Broadway, the 61-year-old playwright is feeling serene — at least by his own intense standards. Don’t get him started on the president, though.
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How close were Browns to winning a game in 2017?

The Browns had at least a handful of chances to get a victory in 2017, including two overtime games and two close calls against the Steelers.
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Rating how close every NFL team is to winning next year’s Super Bowl

Who will be the serious contenders in 2018? Who has the longest shot? NFL Nation evaluates all 32 teams’ chances of making (and winning) the big game.
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Devin Booker isn’t an All-Star, but it’s amazing he’s already this close

Here’s how the Suns guard surged past expectations for a late lottery pick, and what we can learn for future drafts.
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Chuck Close Is Out at the National Gallery of Art. Is Picasso Next?

Sexual harassment accusations have scuttled an exhibition of the portraitist’s work. Museums are wrestling with the implications — not just for Mr. Close, but for centuries of artists.
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Social Q’s: When Hollywood Ageism Hits Close to Home

And: revealing a family secret, dealing with friends who smoke indoors, and barking up the wrong tree.
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Full-length feature: PG-13 scores 42, Thunder finally win a close game

Full-length feature: PG-13 scores 42, Thunder finally win a close game
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How Jenna and Barbara Bush Were This Close to Becoming Besties With Beyoncé

Barbara Bush, Jenna Bush-Hager, BeyonceWhen apart of political dynasties, exchanging digits with world-famous pop stars is just another perk.
Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush revealed in an interview…

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Canali to Close a Factory, Dismiss 134 Employees

MILAN — Italian men’s wear company Canali SpA has begun the dismissal procedure of 134 employees working in the label’s factory in Carate Brianza, a one-hour drive from Milan.
According to the Femca Cisl and Filctem Cgil trade unions, which released a statement announcing the measure on Monday evening, letting 130 women and four male workers go is a consequence of the company’s decision to shut down the factory.
The company initiated a structural rearrangement of the plant last year, when job-security agreements were discussed with trade unions. Back then, 73 employees were let go while 36 workers accepted a reduction of their working time, converting their contracts in part-time.
“We met with the company three weeks ago to end such a rearrangement procedure, and both sides were satisfied,” said Luisa Perego, Filctem Cgil general secretary for the Monza and Brianza area.
“After less than a month, on Monday morning, we suddenly received the announcement of the factory’s closure and the collective dismissal of the remaining 134 employees,” she added, explaining how these are mainly seamstresses and ironers who had been working at the Canali factory for 20 or 30 years. Dedicated to the manufacturing of jackets, that plant is one of the company’s seven

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Judi Dench, Glenn Close and Meryl Streep Speak Out on Harvey Weinstein

Ms. Streep called the news about Mr. Weinstein “disgraceful” but added, “Not everybody knew.” Her statement seemed to open the floodgates.
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The Original Nineties Supermodels Close Versace Show as a Tribute to Gianni

A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS: Donatella Versace had some extra support from those iconic supers that go by their first names — Naomi, Claudia, Cindy, Carla and Helena, who closed the designer’s spring show on Friday, marking a tribute to her late brother Gianni Versace on the 20th anniversary of his death. Wearing the lamé dresses that Versace made famous, they first struck statuary poses on cubes at the end of the catwalk. As Donatella took her bow, they walked the length of the runway with the designer as she received a standing ovation and stadium-worthy cheers from guests.

Carla Bruni, Claudia Schiffer, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford and Helena Christensen closed the Versace show as a tribute to Gianni Versace. 
Stephane Feugere/WWD

Versace was also celebrated by her peers, designers Alessandro Michele, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Anthony Vaccarello. The Italian designer personally invited them to the show, they said.

Helena Christensen, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Donatella Versace, Claudia Schiffer and Carla Bruni closed the Versace show as a tribute to Gianni Versace. 
Stephane Feugere/WWD

“We grew up with Gianni and Donatella is a friend, it’s a pleasure to be here,” Piccioli said. “I really enjoy being a guest at a show. Alessandro already had his show [for

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Broadway Box Office: Bette Back to Break Records as Two Shows Close

After the annual post-Labor Day slowdown, the Broadway box office climbed last week in a rise led by Bette Midler, back at “Hello, Dolly!,” and by two shows that got surges of last-minute sales before they closed. Midler’s return to “Hello, Dolly!” ($ 2,322,114) after a week of vacation broke the house record at the Shubert… Read more »

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One Of Broadway’s Biggest Shows Of The Year Will Close Amid Casting Controversy

The Tony Award-winning show will close on Sept. 3.
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‘Damn close’ asteroid due to speed past Earth

A house-sized asteroid due to pass Earth in October is currently “damn close”, the European Space Agency says.
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20 Years After ‘Good Burger,’ Kenan & Kel Are Finally Close Again

“We call each other and text each other all the time,” Kenan Thompson says.
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21 Spot-On Tweets About Married Life That Hit Close To Home

Marriage differs so much from couple to couple, it seems impossible to accurately and concisely sum up the experience. But somehow these people managed to do it in 140 characters or less. 

Below, 21 tweets about married life that are funny because they’re true. 

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Swarovski Group to Close Lola and Grace Brand

LIVE FAST: Lola and Grace, Swarovski Group’s fledgling younger brand, has failed to blossom. An external representative for the firm confirmed Monday that the Austrian crystal giant plans to close the fashion jewelry brand. A Swarovski spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
Launched in 2012, the Lola and Grace brand targeted an audience in the 16- to 35-year-old age range and offered affordable product mixing Swarovski crystals and pearls with other materials. The brand was run by an independent team and counted around 35 points of sale internationally, according to its web site, including a handful of stand-alone units.
At the other end of the scale, Swarovski at an event held during the just-wrapped Cannes Film Festival in Cannes presented the official launch of Atelier Swarovski’s sustainable, red carpet-inspired fine jewelry collection, billed as “conscious luxury” or “responsible jewelry.”
The firm had already premiered a selection of the creations, which combine Swarovski-created diamonds and crystals, on the Oscars 2017 red carpet in February. A Swarovski-created emerald set was added for Cannes. Commercial iterations of the line, which is handcrafted in Paris, are due to go on sale in 2018.
As reported, also on display were the latest creations from the brand’s classic Atelier Swarovski line to mark

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‘Icarus,’ ‘Year of the Scab’ to Open, Close AFI Docs

Netflix’s “Icarus” and ESPN Films’ “Year of the Scab” will be the opening and closing night films at this year’s AFI Docs. The 2017 event is scheduled to be held from June 14-18 in Washington, D.C. and Silver Spring, Md. “Icarus,” pictured, is Bryan Fogel’s documentary as he sets out to uncover the truth about doping… Read more »

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Tesla board ‘too close to Elon Musk’

A group of major shareholders has questioned the independence of the electric carmaker’s board.
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Melissa Joan Hart And Ryan Reynolds Were *This* Close To Dating In The ’90s

Long before he was Deadpool or the proud Mr. Blake LivelyRyan Reynolds was a young actor cast as the bad boy love interest of Melissa Joan Hart in the 1996 TV movie “Sabrina The Teenage Witch.” 

Here he is tossing a volleyball to Sabrina while rocking some very ‘90s, very bouncy surfer hair:

Though their characters don’t end up together in the movie, there was apparently some real-life magic happening between Hart and Reynolds on set. 

“We were smitten and cute,” the 40-year-old actress said on Australia’s “Studio 10 talk show last week. “He was adorable. He was a really nice guy.”

The teenage romance wasn’t meant to be, though. 

“I had a boyfriend at the time,” she explained. “[He] probably would have been a great boyfriend. And I didn’t end up with the other guy, so maybe I should have taken a chance!”

“He wasn’t like, the Ryan Reynolds everybody knows these days,” she said. “You can see in the clip the crazy hair. He was sweet — he was very sweet.” 

Hart’s recent admission about Reynolds sounds a lot more tame than what she described to E! host Guiliana Rancic in 2014.

As the ‘90s TV queen told it then, the two shared a little makeout sesh after Reynolds bought her a Bulova watch on their last day of shooting.

“I chased him down, got in front of his car and just kissed him and then made out with him all night,” she said. “Then I had to call my boyfriend the next day and explain it.”

Then what happened? Clarissa, explain it all

“[Ryan] came to New York to visit me,” she said.“But I think he wanted something more but I decided I was going to stick with my boyfriend.”

Oh. Well, that was anticlimactic.  

Though Reynolds hasn’t commented on the on-set romance, his wife Blake Lively is apparently aware of the kiss. 

“She did know, actually,” Hart told People magazine when asked about it last year. “She reached out to me via email to help her with a birthday present for Ryan!”

Hm, maybe a Bulova watch?

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They’re Finally Going To Close Rikers Island, America’s Monument To Jail Cruelty

Rikers Island, the gigantic island of incarceration in New York City that serves as an embarrassing emblem of violence, cruelty and neglect in the American jail system, is finally on its way to shutting down for good.

Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed Friday that a plan was in place to shutter the complex ― the nation’s second largest ― within the next 10 years. Many of the details are yet unclear, but at least part of the plan includes moving inmates to new, smaller jails scattered across the boroughs, according to The New York Times. Building those jails could cost around $ 10.6 billion.

An independent commission, created by City Council and headed by New York state chief judge Jonathan Lippman, reportedly plans to release more details on Sunday.

“New York City has always been better than Rikers Island,” de Blasio said in a press release. “[Its closure] will require that our state government, and each component of our criminal justice system, contribute to the reform efforts critical to reducing our jail population and improving re-entry services and educational programming.”

A draft of the Lippman’s report recommends reducing the Rikers population from 10,000 now to less than 5,000 in the near future, according to the New York Post.

“From 1991 to 2016, the daily jail population declined from more than 21,000 to 10,000,” the report states. “The recent history of New York City clearly demonstrates that crime and incarceration can be driven down simultaneously. Contrary to what many people believe, more jail does not mean more public safety.

If it takes 10 years to close the facility completely, it may take a lifetime to shake off Rikers’ reputation.

Several federal reports over the years have found overwhelming evidence of systemic violence, excessive force and neglect at the facility. HuffPost’s Chris Mathias reports that solitary confinement is doled out like candy on Halloween. Assaults on inmates are a dime a dozen, and they’re often covered up. There are nearly 500 inmates between the ages of 16 to 18 there on any given day. It’s been called a revolving door for people of color and the poor.

Rikers also houses a disproportionate number of mentally ill inmates ― at one point, it had more mentally ill inmates than all of the state’s 24 psychiatric hospitals combined ― and critics have long said there’s not nearly enough treatment.

For many, its closure can’t come too soon.

“For too long, New Yorkers ― especially poor people of color ― have languished in this grist mill, where human rights abuses are routine,” Glenn E. Martin, president and founder of JustLeadershipUSA, said Friday. “Countless failed attempts at incremental reform have proven that the only viable solution is to close Rikers. I am grateful that Mayor de Blasio has joined the progressive majority.”

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Table for Three: Glenn Close and Patrick Kennedy on the Weight of Mental Illness

The actress, currently in “Sunset Boulevard,” and the former congressman discuss psychiatric disorders, addiction, challenging families and more.
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Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard: “The Greatest Star of All”

A musical of outsized passions as only Andrew Lloyd Webber could compose, Sunset Boulevard trades in hyperbole. “The greatest star of all,” in the words of Max, her homme d’affaires, Norma Desmond is camp drama queen extraordinaire. With Glenn Close in the role, reprising her Tony-winning performance of 22 years ago at the Palace Theater, Norma is petit as she is large. Need dominates her manipulations so acutely, only the powerhouse chops of the actress who put the word fatal in Fatal Attraction could pull off this tour de force of fragility and grand delusion.

Descending a staircase on a set that also includes a 40 piece orchestra, spare enough to feature projections of old Hollywood, its streets, cars, and populace partying away, Norma Desmond is at home in a mansion of many rooms including one over the garage where Joe Gillis (Michael Xavier), a down on his luck writer comes to reside, entrapped in her web. She wants Joe to help stage a comeback, oops: she prefers return, to stardom. One day, as they visit Cecil B. DeMille’s set, a lighting operator trains his spotlight on her. You see instantly the effect of attention on this faded beauty, unable to surrender to age and the vagaries of fame. Close brings to “As If We Never Said Goodbye,” an aching glimpse into celebrity culture, once it leaves you in the shadows. Her final moments evoke Blanche Dubois’ trust in the kindness of strangers. Set off by that famous readiness for her closeup, Norma Desmond takes the stairs with crumbling majesty, and a light, shattering dance across the stage.

Webber has the distinction of having four musicals currently on Broadway, Sunset Boulevard, with book by Don Black and Christopher Hampton, joining Phantom of the Opera, Cats, and School of Rock. On opening night this week, a crowd that included Bernadette Peters, Gabriel Byrne, Gayle King, William Ivey Long, Bob Balaban, and Lena Hall, filled the Palace to capacity. Cheers for Norma Desmond never stopped, for each solo, and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s operatic music, its repetitions and treacly tropes ripening to crescendo.

The festivities moved on, despite the day’s big snow: at Cipriani 42nd Street, Michael Xavier said the most difficult part of playing Joe Gillis was singing “Sunset Boulevard,” because he had to pause, talk to the audience, and drink, then go back to the song. Fred Johanson, a bald Max, Norma’s enabler said, his greatest challenge was holding back, not taking his fawning indulgence in “The Greatest Star of All,” too far. Siobhan Dillon who plays Betty Schaeffer, Joe’s writing partner and true love, said, she had to make the most of little stage time. “A performance for the ages,” a theater insider enthused of Glenn Close’s Norma Desmond: that praise did not feel like hyperbole.

A version of this post also appears on Gossip Central.

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Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds’ Singular Bond: Inside Their Complicated but Fiercely Close Relationship

Debbie Reynolds, Carrie FisherCarrie Fisher’s relationship with her mother, Debbie Reynolds, was the stuff of Hollywood legend.
Its own chapter in the proverbial annals of show business lore, thanks largely in…

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#TrumpocalypsePlaylist Is The Perfect Way To Close Out This Awful Year

The year 2016 has been pretty crappy, huh? And with Trump’s election, it feels a little like we’re nearing the end times. But let’s not be Debbier Downers than we already have been. That’s not going to help anyone.

For HuffPost Comedy’s Stupor Tuesday this week, we decided to embrace our approaching cosmic conclusion with a little music. Here are some of the best of #TrumpocalypsePlaylist!

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The Other Half Of Wham! Remembers His Close Friend George Michael

Wham! may have broken up 30 years ago, but the two members of the musical duo, George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, remained close friends up until Michael’s death at the age of 53 this month.

Unlike so many other famous musical groups, the two friends, who once dreamed as teenage kids in England of becoming pop icons together, never had a falling out after they decided to call it quits. In fact, in 1986 ― after multiple No. 1 hits and 25 million records sold ― Michael called their decision “the most amicable split in pop history.”

On his website, Michael referred to Ridgeley as his “best friend,” saying that at the end of their run together, their friendship was “as strong as it was in the beginning.”

Ridgeley, who largely escaped from public view after Michael took his career solo in the mid-1980s, evidently shares that feeling. Upon hearing of Michael’s death, Ridgeley tweeted that he was “heartbroken” and that Michael had “left the best of himself,” a clear reference to his friend’s music. 

“[George Michael] had a voice that would transport u, he was the finest singer/songwriter of his generation & has left the best of himself 4 us,” Ridgeley wrote.

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Todd Snyder to Close Japanese Stores

TOKYO – Todd Snyder is pulling out of Japan, the market that was home to his brand’s first flagship stores.
Snyder opened his first Japan location in the hip area of Harajuku in March 2014. Called Todd Snyder Townhouse, the three-story shop carries his men’s line, as well as products from other select brands. After the Tokyo store, locations in Kyoto, Osaka and Yokohama followed.
At the time of the Tokyo opening, Snyder said, “Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.” What he likely didn’t realize at the time was that one of the things to come would be a deal with American Eagle Outfitters to sell his company for $ 11 million.
Since acquiring both the Todd Snyder brand and Tailgate, a collegiate-campus retail concept started by the designer and his father in 1991, American Eagle has been investing in store openings and flashy advertising campaigns in the U.S. The first Stateside Todd Snyder flagship will open on Dec.  6 in the Madison Park area of Manhattan, and a Tailgate store opened at the University of Wisconsin in Madison in May, with others planned for next year. The Madison Park store is expected to have elements that had proved successful in

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More Retailers Are Choosing to Close on Thanksgiving Day

The decision to close is the latest evolution in the retail industry’s scramble to figure out how to compete in an increasingly complex shopping season.
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Carson Street to Close Store

Carson Street will cease to exist.
The men’s wear store, which was originally named Carson Street Clothiers, will close its doors on June 15.
In a press release, cofounder Matt Breen stated the following:
“When our doors opened in March 2013, we had one goal: to bring something new to the men’s clothing market, both in New York City and around the world. We approached the business from a “fan-first” perspective, which fueled our desire to continuously bring new product to the market, find and cultivate new brands and relationships, and keep Carson Street interesting to its loyal, amazing customers.”
This closure comes shortly after cofounder Brian Trunzo announced he was leaving the business to pursue different projects stating, “Carson Street is, and will always be, a defining body of work for me. But there’s more work to do out there.”
The retailer seemed to be in growth mode. Just a couple weeks ago WWD reported on Carson Street‘s new, larger store on Greene Street — they closed the Crosby Street Store — and its brand roster revamp, which moved away from tailored clothing and into more progressive designer brands including E. Tautz, Lemaire and J.W. Anderson. The founders’ goal was to merchandise these brands

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‘Intimacy Art Show’ Will Make You Want To Get Close To Somebody

“Intimate”: It’s one of those loaded words that can imply everything from meaningless sex to a revealing, heartfelt conversation. It can sound warm and inviting, but it can also awaken unsettling fears of risk and vulnerability.

Artists Aaron Tsuru and Kate Sweeney, in an August 22 pop-up show they’ve curated at Rabbithole Studio in Brooklyn, NY, lean in to the saccharine and the sharp-edged implications of the term. “Intimacy Art Show,” a first-time curation collaboration from the two artists, who have been friends and collaborators in other forms for several years, captures their shared fascination with the human urge for closeness. “It may mean something a little different for everyone, but we’ve all experienced it in some way or another,” Sweeney told The Huffington Post via email.

The show features photography by both Tsuru and Sweeney, which reveal the poignancy and risk inherent in getting intimate with someone else. But the curators also admitted that they were overwhelmed by the unexpected and revealing submissions they received from other artists.

“‘Jewels from the Hinterland’ … addresses questions of place, belonging, and perceived cultural identity within the African Diaspora,” said Sweeney of a photo series by Naima Green. “There is such a beautiful, deep sense of intimacy with nature.” In her artist’s statement, Green pointed out, “There is a dominant narrative that situates brown bodies in green spaces for work, never for leisure.” Her photographs subvert this, showing black and brown people relaxing and connecting with their natural surroundings.

Tsuru commented on a rather shocking photograph, by Molly Broxton, of herself with her late dog’s fur. “It was just so beautiful and touching and exactly the kind of atypical thinking I was hoping to see,” Tsuru told HuffPost. “Intimacy is many things, it’s letting people or other beings or things into our lives in a deeper more personal way.” 

Intimacy seems like a self-evidently desirable experience, as the loving smiles and tender embraces in many of these works suggest. But it’s also a fraught process for many people, one that invites the possibility of heartbreak, loss and betrayal. At best, intimacy can be weird, occasionally intrusive, exclusionary to those on the outside. Tsuru told HuffPost they want viewers to confront the more difficult aspects of intimacy as well. “We’d love if some of the viewers even felt a little uncomfortable, in a good way, like feeling a bit broken open.”

“In a good way,” of course, is still the operative phrase. “We hope people walk away from the show with more of an open mind about being intimate,” Tsuru added. “The risk is worth the experience.

View more selections from “Intimacy Art Show” below, and if you’re near NYC, head to Brooklyn to enjoy the one-night-only show Saturday, August 22 at Rabbithole Studio. For more from Aaron Tsuru and Kate Sweeney, check out their personal websites.

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When Death Comes in Close

I’m so acutely aware of Death in the field right now.

Always with us, Death is. And yet I’ve been carefully and heartfully tracking, as I know so many of us have been, the very recent deaths of several people in close social circles of mine; noticing the holy ripples these deaths create, through the hearts of loved ones, and everyone their lives then touch — rippling out, making waves, through the sacred web and field of life we blessedly share.

Whether it’s a death from heart-wrenching suicide, or after a long-battled physical disease, or due to a tragic accident, or as a sudden, unexpected surprise, there’s nothing like Death Medicine to bring us so intimately close with the mysterious, precarious edge of aliveness we live with: our precious mortal breath pressed up against the holy, vast unknown.

We wailingly grieve our lost one, fluctuating between glorious celebration of our beloved’s beauty, humbled gratitude to have been blessed with such a miraculous love, and then utter devastation in the face of our losing them, and our world losing them. Sometimes reveling in bittersweet joy and relief upon the passing, knowing that the suffering their life may have included has been released, transmuted and transcended now; they are flying free.

Or perhaps we carefully watch from the periphery those closest in to the loss; our hands resting on our tender, beating hearts, empathizing, bowing, sending love, sending prayers that their grieving hearts might just keep breaking open even wider into the love that holds it all.

Counting our blessings, cherishing those closest to us, while knowing it is truly just a matter of time before we all return to the other side.

When Death comes in close enough to touch us personally, we think of everyone we love so dearly, and remember, at least for a moment, that all form is temporary and fleeting, and know that we, along with all of life, are present here, embodied like this in our world, for only a brief moment.

We look down at our own slowly aging hands, our own bodies, breathing, full of blessed life for now. We pull our beloved children in close to us, and breathe their scent deeply in. We behold our lovers, our parents, our furry creatures, our dear friends, and even those we don’t know, and see them through fresh eyes, taking in their light, their warmth, their utterly unique beauty.

With Death Medicine close we remember to notice what it feels like as the soles of our feet touch the earth, and as the sun kindly lifts our face to kiss us, we notice the sweet smell of flowers on the wind. We revel at sunsets and starshine. We wonder at the mysterious animating force filling these bodies, infusing these senses, only for a time.

We notice when we’re dancing how much gravity loves us to lean in and taste this delicious place where breath and sweat, music and movement allow us to be taken, swallowed up by Life’s aliveness.

We notice, in Death’s presence, if we’re lucky, what, if anything, at this moment of our lives is still left for us unlived; what remains unspoken, unblessed, unthanked, unacknowledged, unforgiven, unloved, unsung?

We notice what we’ve been postponing, and we feel the sacred urge to leap.

We notice our fear of really loving and living life in the way we yearn too. And then we notice our even deeper fear: of waiting even another instant to show up fully for these lives of love we took birth for. What did we come to say, to give, to live, to serve? And what on earth are we waiting for?

We notice that we are alive, and we are surrounded, literally surrounded and graced: by the living and the dying and the dead. Led by the light of our ancestors and the dreams of our unborn great-grandchildren.

And we notice that we truly love to live, to take our humble place in the great circle of life, and we confess quietly to our own hearts how vulnerable we feel in this love and this aliveness.

We pray for right relationship with all of life. We pray for clarity, humility, maturity, discipline, discernment, dignity and integrity. We pray for wisdom, empathy, truth, kindness and compassion.

And then we bow to one another and to ourselves. We bow to this Death Medicine that never fails to shake our hearts awake to Life. We stand at the threshold of inevitable death, and we say to Life: “I give in. I surrender. Yes.”

For more information about Jesua, her writings and other offerings, please visit: jesua.com

___________________

If you — or someone you know — need help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. If you are outside of the U.S., please visit the International Association for Suicide Prevention for a database of international resources.

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London Fashion Industry Favorite, Kids Company Charity, Set to Close

END OF AN ERA: Kids Company, the London charity that has long been a favorite of many a British fashion label, is set to close its doors on Wednesday after months of turmoil and the resignation of its chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh, who founded the charity in 1996. The charity, whose aim was to help vulnerable, inner-city children, is closing over claims of financial mismanagement.
Labels including Fendi, Stella McCartney, Mulberry, Folli Follie and Matthew Williamson have all hosted events or collaborated with Kids Company in the past. Last year, Fendi organized an auction of its Peekaboo bags, designed by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Jerry Hall and Cara Delevingne, in aid of Kids Company. The event marked the opening of Fendi’s New Bond Street store.
In 2013, Paltrow and Williamson hosted a dinner in London to raise awareness for the charity, while in 2010 Stella McCartney hosted a Fashion’s Night Out event for the organization, showcasing creations by children that Kids Company supported. Folli Follie and Mulberry have both produced designs in collaboration with the organization.
Batmanghelidjh founded Kids Company in 1996, with the aim of supporting children, young people and families in need. Batmanghelidjh, who cuts a striking figure, with her

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Painfully Close Photos Of Human Faces Look Strangely Inhuman

Glance at a crowd of people from a great enough distance and they’ll cease to even look human, their particular parts fading out of focus until the pack resembles a uniform army of flesh-colored toy soldiers. 

Zoom in and you’ll see their hands and hair and the choice of shoes. Keep going and you’ll make out the shapes of their noses, the textures of their faces, the color of their eyes. Keep zooming and the temporary relief of human familiarity is ripped off like a scab, as every tooth, every ear, every pimple, every scar, becomes a singular visual event. 

Brooklyn-based photographer Bruce Gilden gets close. So close, in fact, that by gazing upon one of his color portraits you can almost feel hot breath emanating from them, smelling just a bit sour. “You know, I’m photographing people that are not only left behind in most cases, but they’re actually invisible because people don’t want to see them,” Gilden explained in an interview with GUP Magazine. 

“I get close because I try to get close to the soul of the people in my pictures,” he added. On the way to the soul, Gilden surely gets a good glimpse of the face, every blemish, wrinkle and pore, turning one of photography’s most tried and true tropes — portraiture — into something unsettling, a little gut-wrenching.

Gilden, who is now 68 years old, has been taking photographs since 1968, when he was a student in college. He’s known for his impulsive style, catching intriguing pedestrians off guard, leaping before them with his camera in one hand and his flash in the other. “Some are taken unawares, some are surprised,” he told PBS. “Some didn’t know what hit them. And I think most people like to be photographed. But since I work in a spontaneous way, I have to be a little bit sneaky because I don’t want them to know that I’m going to take a picture of them.”

Gilden’s series, “Face,” captures the full frontal expressions of people he describes as “underdogs,” those outside the zones of gentrification, not privileged enough to possess the plasticky exterior of the masses. Finding subjects in places from Las Vegas to Des Moines to Milwaukee to West Bromwich, England, Gilden snaps their every quirk and blemish with the authority of a mugshot and the precision of a medical image. Whiteheads bulge with the promise of puss, foundation cakes up like dust gathering on a corpse. What Lucian Freud did to the body Gilden does to the head.

Gilden is not, however, spotlighting his subjects as particularly grotesque aberrations of the human being. He himself identifies with the outsider status of his subjects, and he respects them for it. “I identify with these people in my pictures, because I’m actually photographing myself. The people in my pictures interest me. I like them, and they motivate me.”

Gilden’s portraits may be unforgiving, brutal, ugly, even grotesque. Yet this visceral ugliness isn’t the signal of a monster, but of a human being. One not sanitized and scrubbed clean, buttoned up and plugged in. For Gilden, the ugly is the good stuff, and maybe even lets the soul peer out.  

Bruce Gilden’s Face is available courtesy Dewi Lewis Publishing

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Northwestern Magazine May Close In ‘Vetting Committee’ Standoff

A Northwestern University professor who edits a bioethics magazine has shelved the publication over a dispute with administrators, who demand that public relations staff approve content.

Katie Watson, a professor in the university’s Medical Humanities and Bioethics program who edits the journal Atrium, said the demand followed recent controversy over the school’s censorship of an essay called “Head Nurses,” recounting sexual experiences with nurses. Watson said medical school administrators told her she must allow a “vetting committee” to review her editorial choices “and veto them if they were perceived to conflict with other institutional interests.”

“Approximately a week after this vetting committee told me what I would, and would not, be allowed to publish, I canceled the issue,” Watson told HuffPost, explaining she is “not moving forward with the publication under that condition.”

The standoff follows Northwestern’s censorship of last year’s Atrium issue containing an article written by Syracuse University professor William Peace about oral sex performed by nurses on hospital patients in the 1970s. Northwestern, a private university in Evanston, Illinois, removed the article from its website, but backed off when a faculty member threatened to expose the censorship.

Watson said she had been selecting proposals for the next issue of Atrium, which is published roughly once a year. She met with a hospital administrator, a medical school administrator on the faculty, a person from the medical school communication department — the members of Atrium’s new vetting committee.

Around the same time, Northwestern slashed Atrium’s budget, according to a letter Watson wrote to Peace, which was posted on his blog.

Northwestern spokesman Alan Cubbage declined to comment on Monday. The university wouldn’t answer questions from HuffPost last week about the Atrium censorship, and instead provided a statement saying, “The magazine now has an editorial board of faculty members and others, as is customary for academic journals.”

Watson and other faculty members disputed the statement, saying the vetting committee is not an editorial board, evidenced by the presence of a university public relations person. The nonprofit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has suggested Northwestern’s vetting committee threatens academic freedom.

“It’s unusual for the PR department of a university to have any oversight of a peer-reviewed journal edited by a faculty member at that university,” said Ivan Oransky, co-founder of the Retraction Watch blog and a professor in New York University’s journalism and medical schools.

Watson told Peace she has staunchly guarded editorial content against administrative tinkering not because she necessarily is a fan of each article, but to preserve the free expression of “all the challenging, illuminating voices” in Atrium.

Watson is considering ways to make Atrium independent, to find another publisher, or to close the journal permanently.

“I work with good people in both the medical school and the hospital, and I remain hopeful,” Watson wrote. “But if I become convinced Atrium can no longer move forward with integrity here, I will drop the publication’s MH&B and NU affiliations and move it elsewhere, or I’ll throw a party for the terrific run it enjoyed and end it.”

Alice Dreger, a Northwestern medical professor who guest-edited the controversial Atrium issue, said if the administration “honestly believes” it’s normal to allow “administrators and PR folks tasked with making sure we don’t publish anything that might offend anyone ever again … then our administration seems to be made up of people who have never worked with scholarly journals.” She said the finds the administration monitoring of journal content “extremely disturbing.”

“They said, ‘We paid for it, so we get to say what’s in it,'” Dreger said. “I asked them whether, under the new ‘Northwestern Medicine,’ brand, I was expected to run all of my work past them — my articles, my books, my tweets, my talks, my blogs, my op-eds — given that Northwestern essentially funds all of my work. To this, they had no good answer, but to repeat that they could ‘monitor’ Atrium.”

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Tyler Kingkade covers higher education at The Huffington Post. Contact him at tyler.kingkade@huffingtonpost.com.

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Closing the Gap: Chain to Close 25% of Its North American Stores

Today Gap Inc. announced plans to shutter 175 stores across North America. In addition to the closings, the company will cut 250 jobs at its headquarters in San Francisco.

gap-jeans-store

While Gap will still operate 800 stores across the country—including 300 outlet stores—today’s announcements mark a harbinger of change for the clothing chain. Earlier this year Rebekka Bay, creative director and executive vice president for Gap Global Design, left the company. Her title was eliminated and the company hired C. Wonder alumna Wendi Goldman as its executive vice president of product design and development in late February.

“These decisions are very difficult, knowing they will affect a number of our valued employees, but we are confident they are necessary to help create a winning future for our employees, our customers and our shareholders,” said Gap global president Jeff Kirwan.





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“Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands:” The Inspiration Behind the Novel

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It’s one of those classic, absolutely reasonable questions–that is, alas, as impossible to answer briefly as the meaning of life. But I am asked it often. All novelists are.

Where do your ideas come from?

The glib answer–always offered with a smile–is this: “Macy’s.”

The reality is that each of my 17 novels sprang from a very different seed and grew in a very different fashion. My most recent novel, “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands,” is a case in point.

Emily Shepard, the 17-year-old Vermonter who narrates the book, was born in Beirut–or, at the very least, she was conceived there. It was December 2012, and I had arrived in the city while on a seven-day speaking tour in Lebanon. My plane landed around 3:30 in the afternoon, which my body clock adamantly told me was really 10:30 at night. I went out to dinner with my hosts from one of the universities, and returned to my hotel around 11 p.m.–at about the time I would be rising if I were back home in Vermont. I had slept on the plane, but not very much. I was exhausted and knew I should go right to bed, since the next day was going to begin with a breakfast meeting.

But I didn’t go to sleep, because I had started reading a novel on the flight and had to finish it. It was riveting. The book? Emma Donoghue’s “Room.” It wasn’t simply the plot that held me fast, as taut as it is; it was the narrator. As a novelist, I was dazzled by the authenticity of the voice Donoghue had created for her five-year-old male storyteller. That’s right, a little boy named Jack shares with us the wrenching, adult story of his and his mother’s imprisonment in a shed, and his mother’s desperate attempt to save them both.

I finished the novel around two in the morning in Beirut, and knew I wanted my next novel to be a first-person tale with a voice that genuine and unexpected. I had no idea, however, who that storyteller would be. An important detail, I know.

Ten days later I was back in my beloved 802. (We have just one area code here in Vermont: 802.) I went to lunch with a friend of mine, Annie Ramniceanu, a therapist who at the time was working with teens in trouble. She told me how a couple of homeless kids–teens who were falling through the system–had built igloos against the Lake Champlain cold out of trash bags filled with wet, frozen leaves, and I knew instantly the novel I wanted to write.

The very idea of a teen girl living alone in one of those igloos broke my heart. That image haunted me–and spurred me on.

And I knew my narrator. I knew Emily Shepard was a cutter and Oxycontin addict, and an aspiring poet with a girl crush on Emily Dickinson. She was a homeless kid and an orphan trying desperately to keep it together after a Fukushima-scale meltdown of Vermont’s lone nuclear plant.

Most of my novels begin very much like this: an inspiration. An anecdote. An unexpected synaptic connection.

Now, “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” is not the first time I’ve had a female narrator share with my readers a story. “Midwives,” “Trans-Sister Radio,” “Secrets of Eden,” and “The Sandcastle Girls” had female narrators, too.

But, as I will reveal in my post here next week, this was the first time I found myself texting my teenage daughter for hipster-speak synonyms for “hookup” and “stoned.”

Stay tuned.

(The paperback of “Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands” arrives this Tuesday, on May 26.)

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Scary Close

Scary Close


Donald Miller is a best-selling author and public speaker based in Nashville, Tennessee who focuses on Christian spirituality. Miller's first book, Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance (Harvest House Publishers 2000), chronicled the cross-country road trip he took at age 21. It was printed with little fanfare, but it was republished more successfully in 2005 as Through Painted Deserts. Miller became a New York Times Bestselling Author when he published Blue Like Jazz in 2003. In 2004, Miller released Searching For God Knows What. In 2006, he added another book, To Own A Dragon. Don's next book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, was released in late 2009. His title Scary Close: Dropping the Act and Acquiring a Taste for True Intimacy became a New York Times bestseller in 2015. In 2009 Miller began production of All Things Converge, a series of DVDs for small groups that feature Miller interviewing prominent Christian writers and theologians. The first three DVDs in the series were released in the fourth quarter of 2009.
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Shanghai Fashion Week Comes to Close

Shanghai Fashion Week closes today after more than a week of runway shows and surrounding events. Here, a look at three of the standout designers who showed during the season.
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NATASHA IVACHOFF
Born in Beijing to a Chinese mother and Russian father, Natasha Ivachoff migrated with her parents and three siblings to Australia in the mid-Seventies.
A 20-year career as a design consultant, including for Australian fashion brands Camilla and Marc and Sass & Bide, Ivachoff moved to Shanghai six years ago and launched her own leather-focused brand, Missy Skins, two years ago.
“Coming here is the best thing I’ve ever done, it’s given me the unique freedom of being able to dream however big I want to and know that, with some hard work and persistence, that can happen,” she said.
Currently designing a main line, including a core selection of machine washable, stretch-leather leggings, as well as a diffusion collection, Ivachoff has been pleasantly surprised by the response of Chinese consumers, with stores online (a Taobao store and also Nasty Gal internationally) and multibrand stores in Shanghai and around China doubling their sales from month to month.
“Missy Skins is recognizable as a brand because we specialize

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Get Up Close and Personal With the Most Dazzling Jewels From the 2014 Oscars

As Marilyn Monroe once put it, diamonds are a girl’s best friend. And that statement holds especially true at the Oscars. The awards show, also known as the biggest night in Hollywood, brings out the brightest of stars who are only outshone by the glittering jewels they wear on the red carpet. And with the […]
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Sources: Fitzgerald, Cards close to new deal

Larry Fitzgerald and the Cardinals are closing in on a multiyear deal that will enable the veteran wide receiver to finish his career in Arizona, league sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Josh Weinfuss.
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Savage Nomads to close 12 Bar Club

The infamous 12 Bar Club, known for supporting up and coming musical talent is unfortunately closing its doors for good.
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Watch Jimmy Fallon & Glenn Close In A Strange & Messy Eating Contest

Jimmy Fallon, a man of many talents, can now add accomplished competitive eater to his resume.

In Friday’s episode of “The Tonight Show” Fallon and his guest, Glenn Close, faced off in the ultimate test of willpower: an eating contest with strange utensils.

Fallon and Close were tasked with eating spaghetti with two whisks, full-loaded nachos with salad tongs and for dessert, blueberry pie with their faces. By round three things got pretty messy.

“The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. ET on NBC.

Comedy – The Huffington Post
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Everything you need to know to succeed in the real estate business, as an agent, broker, or seller “Make More Money, Find More Clients, Close Deals Faster” illustrates why and how real estate agents need to change the way they do business to better serve their clients, spend resources more wisely, and make more money. The real estate industry is notorious for eating up a real estate agent’s time, energy, and money, but many of the inefficiencies are of their own making. As a result, the client suffers from poor and uninformed service. This book provides a new business model for agents that shows how to sell more property, in less time, and develop client relationships that will continue over time, as well as a model for the broker, who can increase the brokerage’s revenues through the use of professional development strategies from the book.Shows brokers how to provide better customer service, improve profits and return on investment, and take full advantage of social networking to advertise and attract new clientsWritten by Claude Boiron, coauthor of “Commercial Real Estate Investing in Canada”One of the few guides to the subject written particularly for the Canadian real estate market “Make More Money, Find More Clients, Close Deals Faster” is of value to real estate boards educating new members, academics, as well as agents, brokers, and sellers themselves.

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Are You Too Close for Sex?

“This may sound strange, but at times I wish my partner were less available. More of a jerk, even. Not so willing to and ready to connect all the time. I guess I wish he would let me come to him sometimes,” a client shares.

“I feel like we’ve seen too much to be sexual with each other, like we’re more like family now. It’s almost like we’re too close to have sex, having seen and heard everything about each other. Is that strange?” another client shares.

None of this is strange at all. In fact, these sentiments are reflected quite often in my practice and program forums. They come from the fact that most people in this culture are wired to equate love with longing, so when there’s no longing the person misses the intensity of feeling, passion, and certainty that normally accompanies being the one in the pursuer position of the common pursuer-distancer dynamic. To rectify the problem, my client, as expressed in the first quote above, is hoping that her partner will withdraw or act like a jerk in the hopes that this will activate those “in-love” feelings that she’s missing. While this tactic may work for an hour or a day, it’s obviously not a long-term solution to what my client is perceiving as a problem.

Her idea is reflected in a popular theory that is making the Internet rounds via a TED talk. In this talk, the author poses that we need space or air in relationships to fan the fire of desire. It’s a fascinating video and will help you feel less alone if you’re struggling with the “too close for sex” issue. But while I agree with this to a point, meaning that when each person values their separateness and spends their alone time filling their inner well of self, so they can bring this passion to the relationship — I don’t agree that it’s realistic to infuse mystery and forced longing into an established, committed relationship. Great in theory, but I haven’t figured out how to execute that in practice. (To be fair, I haven’t read her book, so it’s quite likely that what she’s proposing is entirely feasible in practice. If anyone has read it, please comment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts!)

But the truth is that I’m not particularly interested in trying to create more distance or mystery. I’m interested in helping people feel turned on by the closeness. I’m passionate about helping them rewire their conditioning that says “longing equals love and passion” and instead teach them to equate presence, availability and kindness with love and passion. It’s never easy to rewire beliefs and patterns of behavior, but if we’re going to create a new template for relationships where people are actively seeking closeness instead of dynamics that replicate old models that are dependent on separateness and even drama, we have to teach the principles that will result in the new, healthy wiring.

So if creating more distance isn’t the solution, what is? This is an excerpt of my response on one of my program forums when this topic emerged:

You wrote in your initial question that the closeness feels overwhelming and scary and that’s why you don’t have sex. If he pulls away or shuts down, you feel safe again. I understand this completely, and again, it’s really what this program is about: It’s the classic pursuer-distancer dynamic, and when you identify and work with your fear walls, you’ll be able to feel them but not let them control your behavior. In other words, you can feel the fear and do it anyway (great book with that title, by the way). And in fact, it’s through having sex that the fear walls start to melt. Making love from a heart-centered, non-goal oriented place can be such a powerful way of dissolving fear walls as you see through action and evidence that it creates safety and additional closeness, not danger. But you have to work through those first signs of fear that arise when you start to have sex, and they will almost always be there.

So your walls are not caused by the familial-like closeness you feel with your partner but rather your fear of loss, as you shared in your initial question. You can’t force your partner to play “hard to get” or pretend to be a jerk, right? For me it’s about learning how to create real sexual desire between two people who are fully available, and that occurs when both partners are connected to their own fire individually. Her theory rests on the assumption that it’s your partner’s ‘job’ to turn you on, and I don’t agree. It’s your job to connect to your sexuality and aliveness, and from there you bring that energy to your partner. If your partner is willing to meet you there, you’ll nurture a creative, alive, exciting, evolving sexual relationship together.

This is echoed in a wonderful book called The Intimate Couple, by Jack Rosenberg and Beverly Kitaen-Morse, where the authors write:

Many people look toward others, rather than within themselves, for the source of their sexual excitement. ‘You just don’t turn me on anymore,’ is an implied demand. The notion that sexual charge should be generated by somebody else is a fib we love to believe. We can, of course, be stimulated by others at time. But if we come to believe that our excitement must come from our partner, we are left without the empowering sense of self necessary for heightened sexuality. In long-term relationships we each must learn how to keep love and sexuality alive within us… (p. 9)

This. This is it. This is where we find true power in ourselves and in our intimate relationships. Through practicing loving actions you can learn to connect the dots and begin the process of rewiring the faulty conditioning that says, “Love equals longing.” You can learn to love the one you’re with and create a sex life and feeling of love based on closeness instead of distance and mystery. Despite what the popular culture says, it’s entirely possible! And entirely wonderful.

***

Sheryl Paul, M.A., has counseled thousands of people worldwide through her private practice, her bestselling books, her e-courses and her website. She has appeared several times on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, as well as on “Good Morning America” and other top media shows and publications around the globe. To sign up for her free 78-page eBook, “Conscious Transitions: The 7 Most Common (and Traumatic) Life Changes”, visit her website at http://conscious-transitions.com.

If you want to learn the Love Laws and Loving Actions that will help you love the one you’re with and create a sex life and feeling of love based on closeness, join me for my next round of
Open Your Heart: A 30 day program to feel more love and attraction for your partner, which begins February 8, 2014.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
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