5-on-5: The Lakers’ real problems, and how to solve them

Do the Lakers need to make moves? Our NBA experts answer the big questions about LeBron, Magic and L.A.
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Call problems hit O2 mobile network

The service has been struggling for several hours report thousands of customers via social media.
BBC News – Technology

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Nonfiction: What Are the Biggest Problems Facing Us in the 21st Century?

In “21 Lessons for the 21st Century,” Yuval Noah Harari’s latest book, the historian takes on everything from terrorism to inequality.
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Books of The Times: A Sleeping Beauty Hopes Hibernation Is the Answer to All Life’s Problems

The narrator of Ottessa Moshfegh’s “My Year of Rest and Relaxation” hopes that a lot of self-induced sleep will help her “reappear in some new form.”
NYT > Books

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Blackburn on Cheggers and his ‘drink problems’

Radio DJ Tony Blackburn has paid tribute to his great friend, TV presenter Keith Chegwin, who has died aged 60, and says he will miss his childish sense of humour.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Brantley in Britain: Eye-Openers in London: 19th-Century Women with 21st-Century Problems

Revivals of plays by Ibsen and Wilde, and a new work about the young Karl Marx, find strong women chafing under the yoke of dominating men
NYT > Arts

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Lady Gaga postpones tour over health problems

Lady Gaga has rescheduled the European leg of her world tour due to ongoing health complications.
Entertainment News – Latest Celebrity & Showbiz News | Sky News

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Two Major Problems With Trump’s Claims About His Charlottesville Winery

Trump claimed his winery is one of the biggest in the United States, but it’s not as “yuge” as he thinks.
Fashion News, Celebrity Style and Fashion Trends – HuffPost Style
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‘Patti Cake$’ Star Danielle Macdonald Lands Lead Role in ‘White Girl Problems’

“Patti Cake$ ” star Danielle Macdonald will take the lead on Lionsgate’s “White Girl Problems.” Lauren Palmigiano came on board a year ago to direct “White Girl Problems” with Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman producing the movie project. It’s the feature directorial debut for Palmigiano, formerly the head writer and executive producer at “Funny or Die”… Read more »

Variety

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The biggest problems with putting microchips in employees

The biggest problems with putting microchips in employeesRFID chip implants can be convenient for some, but they raise both privacy and security questions.



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TimeSplitters Fan Project Stalls Due to CryEngine Problems

Development on the fan project TimeSplitters Rewind, the Crytek-approved multiplayer compilation of the first three TimeSplitters games, has stalled.

The developers behind the community-led project announced in a blog post that, due to issues with CryEngine, they’re currently unable to work on the project with any momentum. “What takes us a few minutes in another engine took us up to four days in CryEngine,” reads the post.

The team has been waiting for Crytek to release necessary CryEngine updates, which would change “the core systems of the engine,” for over four months now.

Continue reading…

IGN All

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Three apologises after network problems

The mobile phone company says some customers were unable to send texts or make calls on Saturday.
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Charlize Theron and Sofia Boutella Had No Problems with Chemistry on Atomic Blonde

“Seducing her? It’s very easy.”

Lifestyle – Esquire

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NHS Health Check: Hunt says NHS problems ‘unacceptable’

In an exclusive BBC interview, the health secretary concedes NHS care is falling short in places.
BBC News – Health
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Pregnancy Complication Tied to Eye Problems Later in Life

Women with pre-eclampsia had a higher rate of retinal detachment years later.
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Toshiba Shares Crash Over Problems at Nuclear Power Subsidiary

Toshiba warned it might take multibillion-dollar write-down stemming from cost overruns at Westinghouse, the Japanese conglomerate’s U.S. nuclear subsidiary
WSJ.com: US Business

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Pesky peacocks pose problems for Newton’s neighbors in Vegas

FILE - In this Friday, Nov. 12, 2010, file photo, Wayne Newton shows some of the memorabilia in the Red Room during an interview at his home in Las Vegas. Feathers are flying in the neighborhood around Newton’s estate, where residents are complaining that peafowl like the ones on the Las Vegas showman's 40-acre ranch have become roosting and roaming pests. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)LAS VEGAS (AP) — Feathers are flying in the neighborhood around Wayne Newton's estate, where residents are complaining that peafowl like the ones on the Las Vegas showman's 40-acre ranch have become roosting, roaming pests.



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The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women's Health Problems

The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women's Health Problems


Is this YOU?Do you have vague symptoms like fatigue, dry skin, or constipation?Do your symptoms come and go, especially around the time of your period?Do standard medical tests say that you''re normal?Are you bothered by anxiety, irritability, or depression but don''t know why?Are you taking an antidepressant like Prozac but still don''t feel right?Does stress make your problem worse?Do you have trouble losing weight or keeping it off no matter how hard you try to diet?Maybe your hormones are out of balance.In The Hormone Connection – by Gale Maleskey, Mary Kittel, and the Editors of Prevention Health Books for Women – you''ll uncover the hormone imbalances that affect many women but even doctors often overlook.How many of these symptoms sound like you?* Food cravings* Joint aches and pain* Wheezing* Leaky bladder* Sleep problems* Aggressive outbursts* Nervous tension* Forgetfulness* Easy distractibility* Upper lip hair* Lukewarm sex drive* Knee pain* Tearfulness* Unexplainable fatigueEach symptom could be linked to hormones in some way.The Hormone Connection goes beyond estrogen and menopause to tell women what they need to know about all the hormones that affect them during their thirties, forties, and fifties: progesterone, thyroid hormones, metabolic hormones, even stress hormones.Featuring a three-phase plan to restore and maintain healthy hormone levels
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Medical Problems Of Immigration: Being The Papers And Their Discussion Presented At The Xxxvii Annual Meeting Of The American Acad

Medical Problems Of Immigration: Being The Papers And Their Discussion Presented At The Xxxvii Annual Meeting Of The American Acad


Medical Problems Of Immigration: Being The Papers And Their Discussion Presented At The Xxxvii Annual Meeting Of The American Academ
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The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women’s Health Problems

The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women’s Health Problems


Is this YOU?Do you have vague symptoms like fatigue, dry skin, or constipation?Do your symptoms come and go, especially around the time of your period?Do standard medical tests say that you’re ” normal”?Are you bothered by anxiety, irritability, or depression but don’t know why?Are you taking an antidepressant like Prozac but still don’t feel right?Does stress make your problem worse?Do you have trouble losing weight or keeping it off no matter how hard you try to diet?Maybe your hormones are out of balance.In The Hormone Connection – by Gale Maleskey, Mary Kittel, and the Editors of Prevention Health Books for Women – you’ll uncover the hormone imbalances that affect many women but even doctors often overlook.How many of these symptoms sound like you?* Food cravings* Joint aches and pain* Wheezing* Leaky bladder* Sleep problems* Aggressive outbursts* Nervous tension* Forgetfulness* Easy distractibility* Upper lip hair* Lukewarm sex drive* Knee pain* Tearfulness* Unexplainable fatigueEach symptom could be linked to hormones in some way.The Hormone Connection goes beyond estrogen and menopause to tell women what they need to know about all the hormones that affect them during their thirties, forties, and fifties: progesterone, thyroid hormones, metabolic hormones, even stress hormones.Featuring a three-phase plan to rest
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The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women’s Health Problems

The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women’s Health Problems


Is this YOU?Do you have vague symptoms like fatigue, dry skin, or constipation?Do your symptoms come and go, especially around the time of your period?Do standard medical tests say that you’re ” normal”?Are you bothered by anxiety, irritability, or depression but don’t know why?Are you taking an antidepressant like Prozac but still don’t feel right?Does stress make your problem worse?Do you have trouble losing weight or keeping it off no matter how hard you try to diet?Maybe your hormones are out of balance.In The Hormone Connection – by Gale Maleskey, Mary Kittel, and the Editors of Prevention Health Books for Women – you’ll uncover the hormone imbalances that affect many women but even doctors often overlook.How many of these symptoms sound like you?* Food cravings* Joint aches and pain* Wheezing* Leaky bladder* Sleep problems* Aggressive outbursts* Nervous tension* Forgetfulness* Easy distractibility* Upper lip hair* Lukewarm sex drive* Knee pain* Tearfulness* Unexplainable fatigueEach symptom could be linked to hormones in some way.The Hormone Connection goes beyond estrogen and menopause to tell women what they need to know about all the hormones that affect them during their thirties, forties, and fifties: progesterone, thyroid hormones, metabolic hormones, even stress hormones.Featuring a three-phase plan to rest
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The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women’s Health Problems

The Hormone Connection: Revolutionary Discoveries Linking Hormones and Women’s Health Problems


Is this YOU? Do you have vague symptoms like fatigue, dry skin, or constipation? Do your symptoms come and go, especially around the time of your period? Do standard medical tests say that you’re" normal"? Are you bothered by anxiety, irritability, or depression but don’t know why? Are you taking an antidepressant like Prozac but still don’t feel right? Does stress make your problem worse? Do you have trouble losing weight or keeping it off no matter how hard you try to diet? Maybe your hormones are out of balance. In "The Hormone Connection, you’ll uncover the hormone imbalances that affect many women but even doctors often overlook. How many of these symptoms sound like you? * Food cravings * Joint aches and pain * Wheezing * Leaky bladder * Sleep problems * Aggressive outbursts * Nervous tension * Forgetfulness * Easy distractibility * Upper lip hair * Lukewarm sex drive * Knee pain * Tearfulness * Unexplainable fatigue Each symptom could be linked to hormones in some way. "The Hormone Connection goes beyond estrogen and menopause to tell women what they need to know about all the hormones that affect them during their thirties, forties, and fifties: progesterone, thyroid hormones, metabolic hormones, even stress hormones. Featuring a three-phase plan to restore and maintain healthy hormone levels
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Medical Problems Of Immigration: Being The Papers And Their Discussion Presented At The Xxxvii Annual Meeting Of The American Acad

Medical Problems Of Immigration: Being The Papers And Their Discussion Presented At The Xxxvii Annual Meeting Of The American Acad


Medical Problems Of Immigration: Being The Papers And Their Discussion Presented At The Xxxvii Annual Meeting Of The American Academ
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Medical Problems Of Legislation

Medical Problems Of Legislation


This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.
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Medical Problems of Legislation: Being the Papers and Discussions Presented at the XLI Annual Meeting of the American Academy of M

Medical Problems of Legislation: Being the Papers and Discussions Presented at the XLI Annual Meeting of the American Academy of M


Medical Problems of Legislation: Being the Papers and Discussions Presented at the XLI Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Med
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Medical problems of legislation; being the papers and discussions presented at the XLI annual meeting of the American Academy of M

Medical problems of legislation; being the papers and discussions presented at the XLI annual meeting of the American Academy of M


This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.
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Cleaner Air Tied to Fewer Lung Problems in Children

Less air pollution in Southern California has been accompanied by a significant decrease in childhood lung problems.
Well

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Management Problems In Retail Shoe Stores…

Management Problems In Retail Shoe Stores…


<br />
This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections
<br />
such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact,
<br />
or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections,
<br />
have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works
<br />
worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.
<br />
<br/><br/>
<br />
++++<br/>
<br />
The below data was compiled from various identification fields in the bibliographic record of this title. This data is provided as an additional tool in helping to ensure edition identification:
<br />
<br/>++++
<br />
<br/><br/>&lt;title&gt; Management Problems In Retail Shoe Stores; Issue 10 Of Bulletin; Harvard University Bureau Of Business Research; Volume 4, Issue 1 Of Publication (Harvard University. Graduate School Of Business Administration); Volume 4, Issue 1 Of Publication Of The Graduate School Of Business Administration, Harvard University<br/><br/>&lt;author&gt; Harvard University. Bureau of Business Research<br/><br/>&lt;publisher&gt; Harvard University Press, 1918<br/><br/>&lt;subjects&gt; Footwear industry; Retail trade; Shoe industry; Shoes
<br />
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Management Problems In Retail Shoe Stores… – Primary Source Edition

Management Problems In Retail Shoe Stores… – Primary Source Edition


Management Problems In Retail Shoe Stores… – Primary Source Edition
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This New Dress Collection Aims to Solve All Your Summer Outfit Problems

sarah-easley-beth-buccini

Sarah Easley and Beth Buccini

Leave it to two of the coolest women in fashion to create the ultimate summer dress collection.

Beth Buccini and Sarah Easley, owners of Kirna Zabête (the New York City designer outpost famous for anointing emerging designers), have teamed up with Gilt to solve your summer wardrobe problems. Their aim: to create a collection of pretty printed dresses that will carry you through every summer occasion in one fell swoop. And we’ve got to say, they nailed it.

“This collection was born out of both of our complicated lives of travel and work,” Easley says. “You just want to put on one thing looks great and forget about it. The dress is the one thing that grounds you. You put it on and you’re done.”

One of the best parts of the collection are the quirky and spot-on names they gave the dresses, such as the Second Date or Gelato in the Square. “We thought of different scenarios for [the customer],” adds Buccini. “We wanted to give her solutions whether she’s going to have chips and guacamole and drink five beers on a hot summer night, or if she needs super-sexy dress to go out with her boyfriend.”

The collection retails from $ 295 to $ 595 at Gilt starting on Friday May 29.

Scope out the entire collection here:

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-5

The Meetings on Monday dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-9

The Tuesday-Morning dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-1

The Bike to Lunch dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-3

The Gelato in the Square dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-6

The Montauk Bonfire dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-4

The Saturday After-Six dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-2

The Four O’ Clock Garden Wedding dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-10

The Wedding Brunch dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-7

The Dinner Out dress.

kirna-zabete-summer-dress-gilt-8

The Second-Date dress.

For more on how to wear flirty summer dresses, check out our video:





Dressed
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It’s Not Just Nail Salons. Hairstylists Face Serious Health Problems, Too

The health and safety of nail salon workers made headlines earlier this month after The New York Times published a series on unsafe and unfair work conditions. It turns out that manicurists aren’t alone: Hairstylists can also relate to some of the struggles reported on by the Times as they are often forced to work long hours in hazardous conditions and for unfair wages.

Alexandra Scranton, director of science and research at Women’s Voices for the Earth, joined HuffPost Live host Nancy Redd on Thursday to discuss the high price of fabulous hair. After taking a deep dive into medical reports, Scranton discovered that “up to 60-70 percent of salon workers reported dermatitis on their hands and respiratory conditions like asthma and decrease in lung function,” mostly due to chemical overexposure.

Hairstylist Cassi Hurd revealed that she recently burned her hand twice in the same spot while working, and she also experiences “coughing attacks” as a result of mixing hair colors or bleach.

The health risks are especially appalling among African-American hairdressers, since many treatments include working with harsh chemicals. Teni Adewumi, an environmental justice research coordinator for Black Women for Wellness, joined the conversation to disclose findings from an upcoming report that show cases of stylists suffering from uterine fibroids, miscarriages, and even ergonomic problems.

Things get really hairy when you factor in how these issues may potentially affect the health of consumers. Hopefully, dialogues such as these, along with proper training, state legislation and regulation within the beauty industry will change things for the better.

Click here to watch HuffPost Live’s full segment.

— 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.

Style – The Huffington Post
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Health Tip: Too Much Alcohol Can Cause Problems

Raises risk of high blood pressure, heart disease
healthfinder.gov Daily News
SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN!-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News-
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Plug-In PHP: 100 Power Solutions: Simple Solutions to Practical PHP Problems

Plug-In PHP: 100 Power Solutions: Simple Solutions to Practical PHP Problems


100 power solutions to real-world problems

This practical guide gives you 100 ready-to-run PHP functions for solving most of the main problems you encounter when building a dynamic website with PHP. Every plug-in in the book offers a complete and working solution for a result you can achieve right away, using ready-made code you simply drop into your own program. And there’s little or no learning curve, because each one is self-contained and thoroughly documented.

Plug-in PHP is packed with programming tips and suggestions for further adapting the functions to your own needs, and even breaks down all the variables, arrays and functions used by each into at-a-glance tables, accompanied by a screen grab of every function in action. This makes the book extremely easy to use, even for complete beginners to PHP programming.

A plug-in for every need

No matter what cookbook-style solutions you’re looking for, you’ll find the perfect functions in this book, and you can have them up and running in just a couple of minutes. For example, here’s the complete list of plug-ins which, while comprehensive, simply doesn''t do justice to the depth and breadth of help, information, and practical code provided in this book: Wrap Text; Caps Control; Friendly Text; Strip Whitespace; Word Selector; Count Tail; Text Truncate; Spell Check; Remove Accents; Shorten Text; Upload File; Resize Image; Make Thumbnail; Image Alter; Image Crop; Image Enlarge; Image Display; Image Convert; GIF Text; Image Watermark; Relative to Absolute URL; Get Links from URL; Check Links; Directory List; Query Highlight; Rolling Copyright; Embed YouTube Video; Create List; Hit Counter; Referer Log; Evaluate Expression; Validate Credit Card; Create Captcha; Check Captcha; Validate Text; Validate E-mail; Spam Catch; Send E-mail; BB Code; Pound Code; Check Links; Get Title from URL; Auto Back Links; Create Short URL; Use Short URL; Simple Web Proxy; Page Updated?; HTML to RSS; RSS to HTML; HTML to Mobile; Users Online; Post to Guestbook; Get Guestbook; Post to Chat; View Chat; Send Tweet; Send Direct Tweet; Get Tweets; Replace Smileys; Replace SMS Talk; Add User to DB; Get User from DB; Verify User in DB; Sanitize String; Create Session; Open Session; Close Session; Secure Session; Manage Cookie; Block User by Cookie; Create Google Chart; Curl Get Contents; Fetch Wiki Page; Fetch Flickr Stream; Get Yahoo! Answers; Search Yahoo!; Get Yahoo! Stock News; Get Yahoo! News; Search Google Books; Convert Currency; Ajax Request; Post Ajax Request; Get Ajax Request; Protect E-mail; Toggle Text; Status Message; Slide Show; Input Prompt; Words from Root; Predict Word; Get Country by IP; Bypass Captcha; Get Book from ISBN; Get Amazon Sales Rank; Pattern Match Word; Suggest Spelling; Google Translate; Corner GIF; Rounded Table; Display Bing Map

Real world solutions

Plug-in PHP has everything you need for processing text; image uploading and manipulation; content management; forms and user input; integrating your website with others; creating chat and messaging services; using MySQL; managing sessions and cookies; dealing with APIs; RSS; and XML; integrating with JavaScript and Ajax; accessing geo-location; spell checking and language translation; and a great deal more.

Written by PHP expert with many years of experience developing websites in PHP and writing about PHP development, this invaluable resource draws on the author’s personal toolkit of solutions built up over the years. This means they are fast, tried-and-tested functions that have been proven to work in the real world, and they will work for you too.
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Problems in Bed, Booze, and Beyond

It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since Lady Gaga recorded “Bad Romance.” But with the fifth anniversary of the release date of Gaga’s album, The Fame Monster, on October 26, 2014 it’s interesting to note the song’s impact on popular culture.

  • “Bad Romance” earned Lady Gaga the 2010 Grammy Awards for Best Female Pop Vocal Performance and Best Short Form Music Video.
  • At the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards, “Bad Romance” won seven of the ten awards for which it had been nominated.
  • By December 31, 2010, “Bad Romance” had become one of the music industry’s best-selling singles of all time, with 9.7 million copies sold worldwide.
  • By August, 2013, the song had achieved sales of 5.401 million digital downloads.
  • The Recording Industry Association of America certified “Bad Romance” as a ten-time platinum success.
  • As can be seen in the following YouTube clips, “Bad Romance” also inspired a wealth of parody videos ranging from the political to the surreal; from wildly scatological humor to an animated tongue-in-cheek sendup.

The crucial lesson to be learned from this is that once a rock-solid template becomes embedded in popular culture, numerous permutations are bound to ensue. As one culls through the literature based on bad romances, it becomes obvious that problems with alcohol, control issues, and sexual compatibility are recurring themes. Two Bay area productions highlighted these issues in impressive stagings of highly-celebrated American plays.

* * * * * * * * * *

Many years ago, I was interviewing a young soprano who was in the apprentice program at the Santa Fe Opera. Having just graduated from a music conservatory, she confessed to being at a loss when it came to sitting down for interviews with national music critics. She told me that one interviewer after another had asked her the standard questions about what productions she had been in, where she would be appearing in the upcoming season, and what major recordings she had coming out. What she didn’t know how to tell them was that, once the Santa Fe Opera season ended, she would have to go back to waiting tables in Denver.

The San Francisco Bay area has a very active theatre community which has provided steady work for numerous artists who have chosen to live here rather than pursue potentially more lucrative careers in New York or Los Angeles. Most, if not all of them, will swear that this is a quality of life issue (or, as someone explained to me when I moved to the Bay area in 1972 and inquired about earthquakes, “The bottom line is that you can have 15 great years in San Francisco or 25 shitty ones in Los Angeles. The choice is yours!”)

Frequently, I’ll see some very good work done in small theatres that few people in the mainstream ever bother to attend. Occasionally, one learns via the grapevine or in unusual ways about an upcoming production at a company with scant resources for marketing and media outreach.

Because Bay area audiences often get to experience the work of a core group of actors in a wide variety of roles during the course of any season, one tends to keep an eye out for chances to see some of these people tackle especially challenging roles. In late July, while attending a performance of Dracula Inquest at Central Works, I happened to notice that one of the actor’s program bios made reference to an upcoming appearance in Cat On A Hot Tin Roof as part of the annual Eugene O’Neill Festival in Danville.

Huh? My interest perked up immediately.

As it turned out, the Role Players Ensemble of Danville was presenting the play that won Tennessee Williams his 1955 Pulitzer Prize for Drama using the 1974 version for which the playwright (who died in 1983) had made numerous revisions and strengthened the third act. The lead roles would be taken by two extremely talented young actors whose work I have admired (and who were both performing in the cast of Dracula Inquest). At the time I had no idea they had also become a couple offstage.

2014-10-20-dracula1.jpg

Joshua Schell and Megan Trout in a scene from
Dracula Inquest (Photo by: Jim Norrena)

  • I had seen Megan Trout perform in productions by the Shotgun Players of Adam Peck’s musical adaptation of Bonnie & Clyde, Tom Stoppard’s daunting trilogy entitled The Coast of Utopia, the Aurora Theatre Company’s production of Samuel D. Hunter’s provocative A Bright New Boise, and several other plays.
  • Joshua Schell left a really strong impression following his performances in Thomas Bradshaw’s outrageous sex comedy, The Bereaved, at Crowded Fire Theatre Company and his starring role in the CentralWorks trilogy of plays based on the story of Richard the Lionheart.

To have an opportunity to watch these talented and extremely photogenic actors perform two of the most famous roles written by Tennessee Williams in Danville’s 245-seat, 101-year-old Village Theatre under the direction of George Maguire (whose work I have always respected) was quite tantalizing.

2014-10-20-cat1.jpeg

Megan Trout and Joshua Schell as Maggie and Brick in
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Photo by: John Carter)

If any play reeks of a bad romance, it is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Its protagonists are Brick (a former college football star whose career as a sports announcer was ruined by his alcoholism), his sexually frustrated wife, Maggie (a relatively poor girl from Memphis who married into a wealthy family), and the unseen ghost of Brick’s best friend, Skipper (a closeted homosexual whose unrequited love for Brick caused him to drink himself to death).

Adding to Brick and Maggie’s personal misery are Brick’s blood relations: brother Gooper (Robert Sholty), his prodigiously fertile wife, Mae (Jessica Lea Risco), and their tribe of rugrats that Maggie refers to as “no-neck monsters.” The clan has gathered to celebrate the 65th birthday of Brick’s father, Big Daddy (Randy Anger), who has been undergoing medical tests at the Ochsner Clinic for a cancer scare.

Although the initial report is that Big Daddy is cancer free, the truth — which has been kept from Big Daddy and his wife, Big Mama (Beth Chastain) — is that the disease is malignant and rapidly metastasizing to various organs in his body. It’s important to keep in mind that during the time in which Cat on a Hot Tin Roof takes place, no one ever wanted to mention the C-word any more than they wanted to deal seriously with alcoholism or an intensely platonic bromance between two football jocks.

2014-10-20-cat2.jpg

Poster art for the original Broadway production of
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Ever since its 1955 Broadway premiere (with a cast headed by Barbara Bel Geddes, Ben Gazzara, Burl Lives, and Mildred Dunnock) and the release of the 1958 film adaptation (starring Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives, and Judith Anderson), the legend of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof has metastasized almost as rapidly as Big Daddy’s cancer. These days, the play is often produced as a major star vehicle (in 1990 I saw it with a cast headed by an over-ripe 46-year-old Kathleen Turner playing opposite Daniel Hugh Kelly, Charles Durning, and Polly Holiday).

To witness two lean and healthy young leads like Trout and Schell do a stunning job of delineating the conflicts between Maggie, Brick, and the rest of the Pollitt clan using a version of the play that, under Maguire’s direction, clarified so many moments in the script, was cause for celebration. Working on a unit set by Paul Collins, the production benefitted immensely from Randy Anger’s powerful and poignant performance as Big Daddy — a huge man with no patience for pretense who has been surrounded by greed and “mendacity” for his entire life and been left with nothing but scorn for his wife, son Gooper, daughter-in-law Mae, and their obnoxious brood.

On rare occasions in regional theatre, you get more than you bargained for. In this case, it was a near-revelatory production of a classic work by one of America’s greatest playwrights that laid bare all the petty squabbling, medical ignorance, sexual frustration, shattered dreams, and rampant greed that had held the Pollitt family in its grip for years (by the final curtain, administering a morphine drip to ease Big Daddy’s pain was the least of the family’s problems).

2014-10-20-cat3.jpg

Brick (Joshua Schell) and Big Daddy (Randy Anger) have a man-to-man
talk while Maggie (Megan Trout) and the rest of the family watch the
fireworks display in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Photo by: George F. Maguire)

With three hugely talented and forceful actors using every bit of their craft, I can assure you that this production was well worth the trip to Danville. It made me feel like I was hearing Williams’s writing for the very first time. Bravo!

* * * * * * * * * *

No one in his right mind would ever suggest that Cat on a Hot Tin Roof took place in a feminist culture. However, Gina Gionfriddo’s comedy of contemporary crises entitled Rapture, Blister, Burn (one of the 2013 finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama which recently received its Bay Area premiere from the Aurora Theatre Company) most certainly does. And yet, after decades of sexual politics, the play’s core is about a strained marriage whose conflicts reflect a familiar set of ingredients:

  • One character’s struggle with alcoholism.
  • An ineffectual husband with no interest in living up to his potential.
  • The ghost of a past romance that was never fully realized.

While Cat on a Hot Tin Roof may be soaking in testosterone, Rapture, Blister, Burn is awash in estrogen. Its characters include:

  • Don (Gabriel Marin), the dean at a small, inconsequential liberal arts college in New England whose ambition has been sapped by smoking lots of marijuana and watching Internet porn in order to escape from the harridan-like behavior of his wife, who is a recovering alcoholic.
  • Gwen (Rebecca Schweitzer), Don’s wife and the mother of his two children. A dry drunk with major control issues, Gwen often wonders what her life might have been like if she had followed a career path instead of becoming a mother. Their second child, Devon, was basically created in an attempt to keep their marriage afloat.

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Gwen (Rebecca Schweitzer), Catherine (Marilee Talkington)
and Don (Gabriel Marin) in a tense moment from
Rapture, Blister, Burn (Photo by: David Allen)

  • Catherine (Marilee Talkington), Gwen’s college roommate who has achieved that rare level of notoriety in academia — a strong feminist celebrity (nicknamed “The Doomsday Chick”) who is known for her writing and appearances on talk shows. Shortly after learning that her mother suffered a heart attack, Catherine was seized with doubts about not having raised a family. To her surprise, she occasionally found herself agreeing with the noted arch conservative, Phyllis Schlafly, on matters related to a woman’s place in the world.
  • Avery (Nicole Javier), one of Don’s troubled students who has been babysitting for his two boys. On the night of Catherine’s arrival in town, Avery’s black eye completely freaks out Gwen, who insists that she be sent home. While Avery represents a younger generation with radically different values than Gwen’s, she’s no fool. She knows a troubled marriage when she sees one.
  • Alice (Lillian Bogovich), Catherine’s mother who, although glad to spend time with her celebrated daughter, is not afraid to face her own mortality.

2014-10-20-rapture2.jpg

Marilee Talkington, Nicole Javier, and Gabriel Marin in a
scene from Rapture, Blister, Burn (Photo by: David Allen)

Old friends getting together. What could possibly go wrong?

  • In order to earn some money while staying with her mother, Catherine asks Gwen to see if she can arrange some teaching assignments for summer school and the fall semester (this is a task that the highly-driven, super-organized Gwen can easily accomplish).
  • When Catherine offers to teach a course entitled “The Fall of American Civilization” (with a special emphasis on torture horror as an entertainment genre and sadistic pornography as a distraction from real life), only two students register for her course: Gwen and Avery.
  • When Gwen’s loose lips spill some of Don’s secrets, her indiscretion reignites an old romance between Don and Catherine.
  • With Gwen envious of Catherine’s celebrity lifestyle and Catherine wondering whether she should have had a family instead of a career, a curious swap is negotiated. Don will move in with Catherine while Gwen takes their precocious teenage son (who loves show tunes) to live with her in Catherine’s New York apartment.

Needless to say, the best-laid plans soon fall apart.

  • Don’s lack of ambition becomes abundantly clear to Catherine (who starts pushing him to write a book).
  • Gwen’s (presumed to be gay) teenage son falls in love with a Goth girl that he met on line for tickets to Wicked.
  • Perhaps out of weakness, Don and Gwen make up and move back in together.

2014-10-20-rapture3.jpg

Lillian Bogovich, Marilee Talkington, and Nicole Javier in a
scene from Rapture, Blister Burn (Photo by: David Allen)

That leaves Catherine, Avery, and Alice (three women of distinctly different generations with radically different thoughts about feminism) to bond together in a new and unusual way. One of the hidden perks of Gionfriddo’s script is that, despite paying homage due to Betty Friedan, it may be the only feminist tract in which Phyllis Schlafly gets the last laugh.

As directed by Desdemona Chiang on Kate Boyd’s flexible unit set, Aurora’s ensemble laid on Gionfriddo’s bittersweet jokes and personal digs with a trowel. However, midway through the second act, Rapture, Blister, Burn started to lose steam as the heat of rekindled romance began to fade, the joyless Gwen returned to town, and all four women realized that Don was a pretty hopeless case.

2014-10-20-rapture4.jpg

Don (Gabriel Marin) and Catherine (Marilee Talkington) in
a scene from Rapture, Blister, Burn (Photo by: David Allen)

Over the years, Gabriel Marin has perfected the art of playing a spineless straight man. Watching his body language as he tries to duck the strident anger of his wife (who would much prefer to be drunk) and his lover (who wants more from him than he can give) was a joy.

I was particularly impressed with Marilee Talkington’s characterization of Catherine and Nicole Javier’s feisty Avery. While Lillian Bogovich’s Alice gave her daughter plenty of loving support (bolstered with margaritas), the manipulative abrasiveness of Rebecca Schweitzer’s Gwen often made it difficult to appreciate the actor’s work because her character was so tightly wound and utterly obnoxious.

To read more of George Heymont go to My Cultural Landscape
Arts – The Huffington Post
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Leonard Cohen’s Triumphant “Problems”

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The mere release of “Popular Problems,” two days after Leonard Cohen’s 80th birthday last month, is remarkable in and of itself. (How many 80-year-old sex symbols and style icons are there?) But it also caps a decade in which Cohen conquered troubling neuroses and fears to mount worldwide tours that were invocations, convocations and spiritual gatherings, not to mention money-makers, that returned Cohen, who’d been swindled out of his life savings, to financial security. His is one of the more amazing runs in music history.

Nomen est omen. The name determines the life. In Cohen’s case, he has become the priest, and not just for a cadre of followers around the world; he is also a seeker, a pilgrim ever struggling to find satori — in wine, drugs, women, in isolation and among the world, in words and in song.

“Popular Problems” finds Cohen’s baritone deepened, his voice more raspy, but each word distinct, each phrase launched like an arrow at a target. The accompaniments, produced by Patrick Leonard, are spare — piano, violin, a chorus of back-up singers, digitalized beats that are melodic in contrast to Cohen’s own probing lyrics.

This may be my favorite collection since 1988’s “I’m Your Man.” It is about optimism in the face of age, war, terrorism and the ongoing challenges of love. Cohen opens with “Slow,” a sly declaration of style over age, singing “It’s not because I’m old / It’s not the life I led / I always like it slow / That’s what my momma said.”

“Slow,” however, is no oldster’s apologia, but rather a credo akin to slow cooking, or slow networking, an acknowledgement that slow and mindful is how to savor life — a feat Cohen has spent a lifetime pursuing.

A decade ago, Cohen was ready to retire. He had become overwhelmed by a fear of disappointing his live audiences that he could not go on stage. Then, after becoming a victim of embezzlement forced him back to work, Cohen took up a tour so arduous — filled with three-hour shows each night — a tour so powerful, so joyous, so satisfying, that in just three years, Cohen earned his way back to financial stability. “Popular Problems” is a capstone to the artist’s triumph over his own demons. In “A Street,” he sings, “The party’s over / But I’ve landed on my feet / I’ll be standing on this corner / where there used to be a street.”

The nine songs on “Popular Problems” present meditations on Jewish heritage replete with biblical imagery (“Born in Chains”), and applies that imagery to Hurricane Katrina (“Samson in New Orleans”), love and love lost (“My Oh My,” “Did I Ever Love You”) and war (“Almost Like the Blues”) and songs that combine them all (“Nevermind”), tackled with both seriousness and self-deprecating humor. As he sings in “Almost Like the Blues,” “There’s torture and there’s killing / There’s all my bad reviews / The war, the children missing / It’s almost like the blues.”

One cannot read the lyrics on “Popular Problems” without appreciation for the zen of Cohen: His words are heavy with meaning, with counterpoints of humor, irony or cynicism; there’s meter to his lines and, occasionally, a clever rhyme. His lyrics present a man at home with his past and with his cultural tradition. He sings, “My father says I’m chosen / My mother says I’m not / I listened to their story / Of the Gypsies and the Jews / It was good, it wasn’t boring / It was almost like the blues.” He even ends his album on a declaration of optimism as plain as it is direct, “You Got Me Singing.”

“You got me singing / Even tho’ the news is bad / You got me singing/ The only song I ever had … You got me thinking / I’d like to carry on.”

Rave on, Leonard Cohen. Happy birthday, and many more. Eighty is but a stepping stone in your Tower of Song.

This article originally appeared in print in The Jewish Journal of Los Angeles
Arts – The Huffington Post
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10 Problems Only Bridesmaids Will Understand

By Kellee Khalil for Lover.ly

Being asked to stand up with your best pal on her wedding day is certainly an honor — but there are some downsides to being asked to be a bridesmaid.

Here are 10 problems every bridesmaid will understand.

1. The loss of all of your disposable income.

2. Passive-aggressive emails from other bridesmaids.

3. “I think you should wear short dresses. Actually long ones. No, wear whatever you want. I can’t make another decision!”

4. Having to wear a dress that makes your [butt look square/boobs look squished/arms look huge/legs look stumpy].

5. “This freaking DIY project is going to END ME.”

6. Having to talk to the mother of the bride about the “fireman” stripper and, um, paraphernalia.

7. Giving a toast (that’s funny, meaningful, and doesn’t include mention of that time in Cabo) when you’re terrified of public speaking.

8. Trying to take care of your fellow bridesmaid who had way too much to drink.

9. The bride’s future brother-in-law giving you that gross “I-wanna-sex-you” look all night.

10. Not being able to sit with your date during the reception.

More from Lover.ly:
Shop bridesmaids dresses under $ 200
Alternatives to having a bridal party
Now trending: non-traditional bridesmaids attire

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Meeting the Challenge of Social Problems via Agent-Based Simulation

Meeting the Challenge of Social Problems via Agent-Based Simulation


Social sciences are moving to the next stage. One ofthe promising methodologies is agent-based computer simulation. In a series ofworkshops on Agent-Based Ap- proaches in Economic and Social Complex Systems (AESCS), ground-breaking studies of complex economic and social phenomena using computational approaches are being presented and discussed. This volume contains papers selected from pre- sentations at the AESCS ’02 held at the University ofTokyo, Japan, on August 16, 2002. The workshop was the second in a series ofPacific Rim activities in interdis- ciplinary areas of social and computational sciences, the first workshop having been held in Shimane, Japan, May 21-22, 2001. The objective of AESCS workshops is to promote worldwide multidisciplinary activities in multiagent computational economics, organizational science, social dynamics, and complex systems. AESCS brings together researchers and practitio- ners from diverse fields, such as computer science, economics, physics, sociology, psychology, and complex theory, in order to understand emergent and collective phenomena in economic, organizational, and social systems.A ESCS also provides an opportunity for discussion ofthe effectiveness and limitations ofcomputational models and methodologies for the social sciences. The second AESCS workshop focused on the importance ofcumulative progress in agent-based simulation in the social sciences through discussions ofcommon tasks, standard computational models, replication and validation issues, and evalu- ation and verification criteria for the results.

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Experts caution that it should only be given to young children when problems first appear

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Management Problems In Retail Shoe Stores…

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