Ford plans to beat Ferrari

While DeLorean is famed for its time-travelling sports car, Ford aims to bridge a half-century of history with the GT, unveiled at the Detroit auto show on 12 January.

June 2016 will mark 50 years since Ford prevailed against the Ferrari juggernaut in the premier Le Mans endurance-race category.

To commemorate that feat, the company will build a new, 600-plus horsepower GT road car and race it at the legendary French event in 2016.

This road-going, carbon-fibre wonder features a race-rated version of the company’s signature EcoBoost turbocharged engine technology, with a mid-mounted 3.5-litre V6 matched to a seven-speed dual-clutch automated transmission driving the rear wheels.

ford2 (Ford)

For the company’s 100th anniversary in 2003, it introduced a GT whose styling was a tribute to that of the ’60s racer. This new car, however, looks resolutely forward, with contemporary styling that eschews so-called retro-futurism, a design language championed by J Mays, Ford’s former chief designer.

The bodywork looks shrink-wrapped over the cockpit and powertrain in the manner of the latest sports prototype racers, lending it a focused, track-ready look.

As the car that proved Ford’s ability against the world’s established sports car companies the GT holds a special place in Ford history.


“For students of racing, this seems to me the coolest story to come along in years,” said AJ Baime, author of Go Like Hell, an account of Ford’s attack on Le Mans, in a telephone interview. “It’s got everything in it: history, a hugely important brand, American pride and the most important sports car race on earth, all wrapped up in a new car. The stakes are huge.”

The original Ford GT enjoyed association with drivers who are icons of the sport. “The Ford GT at Le Mans in the 1960s is the story of Henry Ford II, Carroll Shelby, Bruce McLaren, Lee Iacocca, Mario Andretti and AJ Foyt, among so many others,” Baime added, noting just some of the drivers and craftsmen who helped stoke the car’s legend. “This new programme will be the impetus to celebrate it all again, on the 50th anniversary of Ford’s first Le Mans victory.”

ford3(Jonathan Schultz)

Indeed, the GT is a halo car, the kind of machine that casts its glow down the product line. And Jim Farley, Ford of Europe’s leader, expects to see a “GT effect”.

“Even if people don’t buy a GT, they would be talking about it as they buy their ST,” he said, referencing initials bolted on a higher-performance Fiesta whose pricing begins around $21,000. It is safe to say that pricing will be significantly higher for the GT, though the final figure will not be announced until closer to the car’s June sale date.



7 Signs People Dislike You

Although you may think you are making a great first impression, or if you have met with someone on numerous occasions, and are trying to appeal to them, there are a number of things you can spot in their behavior, and the way they respond to you, which will let you know they do not like you. Although many signs are quite obvious, there are also less subtle signs that people give off, if they are not really a fan of you, or do not get along with you too well. These are some signs to look out for, which you will notice when people are uncomfortable around you, or simply do not like you for one reason or the other.

1. The way they look at you

It might be that simple. If a person always gives you the “evil eye,” or stares are you with disgust, even if you have not done anything to upset them, this is a clear sign that they do not like you much. It might not have been anything you have personally done, in some cases you are just going to butt-heads with others, and this is one of the most obvious signs they do not like you too much.

2. Always blamed

If you are always blamed for things going wrong, this is another sign that your co workers, or people at school do not like you. If you are not part of a project, or if you are only a small part of it, yet you are being blamed for the errors in a project, and are always blamed when something goes wrong, this is a clear indicator that you are not liked by those around you.


3. Gossip –

This is another sign that you are not liked. Whether it is at work or school, sports teams, or any other location, if you notice idle gossip each time you walk around a group of people, it is highly likely that they do not like you too much in this location either.

4. You are left out –

If you are always left out, this is an indication you are not liked. If it is a holiday party where all other employees are hired, or if there are small gatherings with co workers on the weekends or after work each day, but you never get an invite, it is a sign that your co workers are not fond of you. If it has only happened once or a few times, it might be a sign that only certain people do not like you, but if it is to every event or gathering, then it is possible you are disliked by the entire group.

5. Last man out –

If you are never picked for the team, or are the last person picked at work for a work assignment, this is another sign you are not liked. Whether it is on the playground for baseball or kickball teams, or whether it is at school where you are being chosen for group projects, or at work, where co workers are going to work together, when you are always the last person to be chosen, it is a clear sign that you are not the most favorable person in a group.

6.Things are accidentally broken –

This might occur in a work or office location. If you always have things “accidentally” broken on your desk, or around your work space, this is another clear cut sign that someone in the office is not a fan of yours. If this is the case, it is in your best interest to report it if it is an ongoing thing, or if you want to avoid further confrontation, simply don’t bring expensive items in to the work place with you each day

7. People stare –

If you always receive the strange looks or stares, for no warranted reason, you might not be liked by the person or group staring at you. Like the idle gossip, if people just stare at you with disdain or disgust, it might not have been something you did, but it may just be a personal vendetta or a clash of personalities, and is a simple way for you to spot someone who does not like you.


There is a better way to re-heat leftovers

Baby, it’s cold outside! With temperatures at extreme lows across much of the country, many find themselves forgoing their trips to the grocery stores and just ordering in. Take-out is man’s best friend when the winter weather has us hungry and bundled up inside, and calls for pizza and Chinese food are going out across the country.

In our hungry search for online take-out menus, we came across this random act of (pizza) kindness. An Imgur user opened the door to his pizza delivery, only to find that the delivery man had placed his pizza box inside a second box to ensure a warm-despite-the-cold drop off.

Thoughtful and much appreciated, because nothing’s worse than a lukewarm pizza when you need a little warming up.

Of course, even the tastiest take-out often means leftovers in the fridge, As the pizza delivery guy knows, you want to enjoy your pizza and friend rice the way it’s supposed to taste: hot and delicious, even a day later. Here we give you the ultimate tips for reheating your slice and rice, so it’s just as good as when it was dropped off on your doorstep.

The Best Way to Reheat Pizza


There seems to be an overwhelming consensus on this one, and it’s not the microwave. We know it seems like the easy choice, but it’s not the best one. The microwave will serve up a soggy, rubbery slice of pie that just doesn’t deliver. Forgo the waves and whip out your skillet! Cast iron is best, but any sturdy stove top pan will do.

Heat your skillet on a burner set to medium.
Place your slice in the skillet and tent with foil or cover with a fitted lid.
Heat for 5 minutes until the cheese re-melts and the bottom of the crust is nice and crispy.
You may actually find your delivery pie tastes even better than it did when it arrived, as the skillet will crisp up the bottom perfectly. Your pizza will have enough grease on it, so there’s no need to add oil to the skillet.

The Best Way to Reheat Rice


We’ve all been there – you wake up and head to the fridge only to be reminded of all the left over Chinese food from the night before! Great – breakfast! The only problem is, the fridge does a number on your rice. Simply placing it uncovered in the microwave won’t do much to get fluffy, yummy grains. Here are a couple of tips.

The Best Way to Reheat Fried Chicken


Fried chicken can turn really soggy after hitting the microwave – and that defeats the whole purpose. The oven and a little non-stick cooking spray are your friends here.

Heat your oven to 400 degrees and position a rack in the middle.
Line a baking tray with foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray.
Space the chicken out on the backing tray. You want a little space between your pieces, so the air can circulate and all the surfaces crisp.
Spray the food lightly with non-stick cooking spray and bake for 20 minutes, turning the pieces once, half way through.

The Best Way to Reheat French Fries


French fries taste a bit like cardboard the day after you order them, but often times you still find yourself munching on them with a mixture of guilt and distaste. Crisp ‘em up and make them worth eating!

Heat a cast iron skillet to medium on your stove.
Once it’s nice and hot add a little oil to the pan. Choose an oil with a high smoke point, such as peanut,
Add the fries, being sure not to crowd the pan. You may need to do two batches if you have a lot left over.
Toss them in the oil until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Source: Yahoo

Golden Globe Awards 2015: Complete list of nominees and winners

Boy hood” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel” earned the top film prizes for drama and comedy or musical, respectively, at the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.’s 72nd Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night.

“Boyhood,” which tied “The Imitation Game” with five nominations, clinched three awards — one for drama film, another for director Richard Linklater and a third for supporting actress Patricia Arquette.

“Birdman” and “The Imitation Game” had been among the top film contenders, with “Birdman” originally leading the pack with seven nominations. However, the film won only two awards: Michael Keaton claimed the prize for actor in a motion picture comedy or musical, and Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo took home the trophy for screenplay.

The big TV winners were Showtime’s “The Affair” for drama series, Amazon’s “Transparent” for comedy series and FX’s “Fargo” for miniseries or movie.

Third-time co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler poked fun at the attendees and skewered North Korea over its reception of Sony’s “The Interview” and comedian Bill Cosby, who is embroiled in sexual assault allegations.

The Paris terror attacks and “Je Suis Charlie” were among the evening’s themes, striking close to home with many of the HFPA members as well as winners and nominees.

George Clooney also accepted the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award.

The complete list of nominees and winners is below.

Motion picture, musical or comedy

WINNER: “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
“Into the Woods”
“St. Vincent”

Motion picture, drama

WINNER: “Boyhood”
“The Imitation Game”
“The Theory of Everything”

Actor in a motion picture, drama

Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Imitation Game”
WINNER: Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
Jake Gyllenhaal, “Nightcrawler”
Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
David Oyelowo, “Selma”

Actress in a motion picture, drama

Jennifer Aniston, “Cake”
Felicity Jones, “The Theory of Everything”
WINNER: Julianne Moore, “Still Alice”
Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”

Actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy

WINNER: Amy Adams, “Big Eyes”
Emily Blunt, “Into the Woods”
Helen Mirren, “The Hundred-Foot Journey”
Julianne Moore, “Maps To The Stars”
Quvenzhané Wallis, “Annie”

Actor in a motion picture, musical or comedy

Ralph Fiennes, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
WINNER: Michael Keaton, “Birdman”
Bill Murray, “St. Vincent”
Joaquin Phoenix, “Inherent Vice”
Christoph Waltz, “Big Eyes”


Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Ava DuVernay, “Selma”
David Fincher, “Gone Girl”
Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Birdman”
WINNER: Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”

Animated feature film

“Big Hero 6″
“The Book Of Life”
“The Boxtrolls”
WINNER: “How To Train Your Dragon 2″
“The Lego Movie”

Foreign language film

“Force Majeure Turist”
“Gett: The Trial Of Viviane Amsalem Gett”
WINNER: “Leviathan”
“Tangerines (Mandariinid)”

Actress in a supporting role in a motion picture

WINNER: Patricia Arquette, “Boyhood”
Keira Knightley, “The Imitation Game”
Emma Stone, “Birdman”
Meryl Streep, “Into The Woods”
Jessica Chastain, “A Most Violent Year”

Actor in a supporting role in a motion picture

Robert Duvall, “The Judge”
Ethan Hawke, “Boyhood”
Edward Norton, “Birdman”
Mark Ruffalo, “Foxcatcher”
WINNER: J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”


Wes Anderson, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”
Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl”
WINNER: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris and Armando Bo, “Birdman”
Richard Linklater, “Boyhood”
Graham Moore, “The Imitation Game”

Original score, motion picture

Alexandre Desplat, “The Imitation Game”
WINNER: Jóhann Jóhannsson, “The Theory Of Everything”
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, “Gone Girl”
Antonio Sanchez, “Birdman”
Hans Zimmer, “Interstellar”

Original song, motion picture

“Big Eyes” from “Big Eyes”
WINNER: “Glory” from “Selma”
“Mercy Is” from “Noah”
“Opportunity” from “Annie”
“Yellow Flicker Beat” from “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1″

TV series, comedy

“Jane the Virgin”
“Orange Is the New Black”
“Silicon Valley”
WINNER: “Transparent”

TV series, drama

WINNER: “The Affair”
“Downton Abbey”
“Game of Thrones”
“The Good Wife”
“House Of Cards”

TV movie or miniseries

“The Missing”
“Olive Kitteridge”
“The Normal Heart”
“True Detective”
WINNER: “Fargo”

Actress in a TV series, drama

Claire Danes, “Homeland”
Viola Davis, “How To Get Away With Murder”
Julianna Margulies, “The Good Wife”
WINNER: Ruth Wilson, “The Affair”
Robin Wright, “House Of Cards”

Actor in a TV series, comedy

Louis C.K., “Louie”
William H. Macy, “Shameless”
Don Cheadle, “House of Lies”
WINNER: Jeffrey Tambor, “Transparent”
Ricky Gervais, “Derek”

Actress in a TV series, comedy

Lena Dunham, “Girls”
Edie Falco, “Nurse Jackie”
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, “Veep”
WINNER: Gina Rodriguez, “Jane the Virgin”
Taylor Schilling, “Orange Is the New Black”

Actor in a TV series, drama

Clive Owen, “The Knick”
Liev Schreiber, “Ray Donovan”
WINNER: Kevin Spacey, “House Of Cards”
James Spader, “The Blacklist”
Dominic West, “The Affair”

Actress in a TV miniseries or movie

WINNER: Maggie Gyllenhaal, “The Honorable Woman”
Jessica Lange, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
Frances McDormand, “Olive Kitteridge”
Frances O’Connor, “The Missing”
Allison Tolman, “Fargo”

Actor in a TV miniseries or movie

Martin Freeman, “Fargo”
Woody Harrelson, “True Detective”
Matthew McConaughey, “True Detective”
Mark Ruffalo, “The Normal Heart”
WINNER: Billy Bob Thornton, “Fargo”

Supporting actress in a TV series, miniseries or TV movie

Uzo Aduba, “Orange Is the New Black”
Kathy Bates, “American Horror Story: Freak Show”
WINNER: Joanne Froggatt, “Downton Abbey”
Allison Janney, “Mom”
Michelle Monaghan, “True Detective”

Supporting actor in a TV series, miniseries or TV movie

WINNER: Matt Bomer, “The Normal Heart”
Alan Cumming, “The Good Wife”
Colin Hanks, “Fargo”
Bill Murray, “Olive Kitteridge”
Jon Voight, “Ray Donovan”


Source: LATimes

This Robot Can Comfort Children Through Chemotherapy

For many young children, visiting the doctor for even the most routine medical procedures can be traumatizing. But a new robot — now available for hospitals for purchase — is there to ease the process.
MEDi, short for Medicine and Engineering Designing Intelligence, acts as a children’s companion in doctors offices. Equipped with facial recognition, multiple cameras, and the ability to speak 20 languages, MEDi is able to comfort and soothe children through their procedures, with the robot programmed to adapt depending on the situation.

“It’s going to introduce himself and build a rapport,” Mark Williams, a MEDi rep, told Yahoo Tech. “It’ll tell them what to expect. But once they get involved in the medical procedure itself, it’ll tell them what they should be doing, how they should be breathing, and how they should be coping. It’s choreographed along with the medical procedure itself, so he’s giving the right advice, he’s watching them and responding to their actions during the procedure itself.”

So say a child is visiting the doctor for her annual flu shot. As her arm is swabbed with rubbing alcohol, MEDi will make conversation about how the sensation feels like “a puppy licking your arm” to distract from the seriousness of the situation.

Since those findings, Beran has been working to enhance the capabilities of MEDi so that he has routines for procedures that parents aren’t always alloweed to be in the room for. These range from blood transfers to surgery to chemotherapy. Added-on features like MEDi’s facial recognition help bolster his abilities. For instance, if a child is undergoing a treatment that requires frequent visits, MEDi will automatically recognize that patient after their first meeting.

These additional applications, however, will cost hospitals. Though MEDi’s body — made by Aldebaran Robotics — retails for $9,000, the applications required for him to aid in medical procedures bring that total to anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000, depending on what the staff wants him to do.

Later this month, four MEDis will be deployed in the Alberta Children’s Hospital to be the first units tested in the wild. It’s Beran’s hope that many more will follow.

Source: Yahoo

APTOPIX France Attacks Rally

‘Largest ever’ rally in Paris as millions gather

PARIS Masses of people joined with world leaders to fill Paris streets Sunday in a rally for unity that officials said was the largest demonstration in French history. Hundreds of thousands more marched in cities around the country and the world to repudiate a three-day terror spree around the French capital that killed 17 people and left the three gunmen dead.

Their arms linked, more than 40 world leaders headed the somber procession — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas; Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov — setting aside their differences for a demonstration that French President Francois Hollande said turned the city into “the capital of the world.”

Mass Unity Rally Held In Paris Following Recent Terrorist Attacks

Millions of people streamed through the streets behind them and across France to mourn the victims of deadly attacks on a satirical newspaper, a kosher supermarket and police officers — violence that tore deep into the nation’s sense of wellbeing in a way some compared to Sept. 11 in the United States.

“Our entire country will rise up toward something better,” Hollande said.

Details of the attacks continued to emerge, with new video showing one of the gunmen pledging allegiance to the Islamic State group and detailing how the attacks were going to unfold. That gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, was also linked to a new shooting, two days after he and the brothers behind a massacre at satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo were killed in nearly simultaneous police raids.

The attacks tested France’s proud commitment to its liberties — liberties that authorities may now curtail to ensure greater security. Marchers recognized this as a watershed moment.

“It’s a different world today,” said Michel Thiebault, 70.

Illustrating his point, crowds cheered police vans as they wove through the crowds Sunday — a rare sight at the many demonstrations that Parisians have staged throughout their rebellious history, when protesters and police are often at odds.
Many shed the aloof attitude Parisians are famous for, helping strangers with directions, cheering and crying together. Sad and angry but fiercely defending their freedom of expression, the marchers mourned the dead and brandished pens and flags from around the world.

Giant rallies were held throughout France and major cities around the world, including London, Madrid and New York — all attacked by al-Qaida-linked extremists — as well as Cairo, Sydney, Stockholm, Tokyo and elsewhere.
A general view shows hundreds of thousands of French citizens taking part in a solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris
In Paris, the Interior Ministry said, “the size of this unprecedented demonstration makes it impossible to provide a specific count,” noting that the crowds were too big to fit on the official march route and spread out into other streets.

Later, the ministry said 3.7 million marched throughout France, including roughly between 1.2 and 1.6 million in Paris, but said a precise account is impossible given the enormity of the turnout.

French news media estimated up to 3 million people took part in the Paris march — more than the numbers who took to Paris streets when the Allies liberated the city from the Nazis in World War II.

“I hope that at the end of the day everyone is united. Everyone — Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists,” said marcher Zakaria Moumni. “We are humans first of all, and nobody deserves to be murdered like that. Nobody.”

On Paris’ Republic Square, deafening applause rang out as the world leaders walked past, amid tight security and an atmosphere of togetherness amid adversity. Families of the victims, holding each other for support, marched in the front along with the leaders and with journalists working for the Charlie Hebdo newspaper. Several wept openly.

“I Am Charlie,” read legions of posters and banners. Many waved editorial cartoons, the French tricolor and other national flags.

The leaders marched down Voltaire Boulevard — named after the Enlightenment-era figure who symbolizes France’s attachment to freedom of expression. One marcher bore a banner with Voltaire’s famed pledge: “I do not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to defend your right to say it.”

The French president joined Netanyahu in a visit to a synagogue Sunday night as French authorities sought to reassure the Jewish population — Europe’s largest — that it is safe to stay in France. Seven thousand of France’s half-million Jews emigrated to Israel last year amid concerns for their safety and the economy.

As night fell on the unusually unified city, some lit candles.

“It’s important to be here for freedom for tolerance and for all the victims. It’s sad we had to get to this point for people to react against intolerance, racism and fascism,” said Caroline Van Ruymbeke, 32.

At an international conference in India, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the world stood with the people of France “not just in anger and in outrage, but in solidarity and commitment to the cause of confronting extremism and in the cause that extremists fear so much and that has always united our countries: freedom.”
Hundreds of thousands of people fill the streets of Paris
The three days of terror began Wednesday when brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi stormed the newsroom of Charlie Hebdo, killing 12 people including two police officers. Al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen said it directed the attack to avenge the honor of the Prophet Muhammad, a frequent target of the weekly’s satire. Charlie Hebdo assailed Christianity, Judaism as well as officialdom of all stripes with its brand of sometimes crude satire.

On Thursday, police said Coulibaly killed a policewoman and the next day he seized hostages at a kosher store in Paris while the Kouachi brothers were in a standoff with police at a printing plant near Charles de Gaulle airport.

It all ended at dusk Friday with raids that left all three gunmen dead. Four hostages at the market were also killed.

Five people held in connection with the attacks were freed late Saturday, leaving no one in custody, according to the Paris prosecutor’s office. Coulibaly’s widow, last seen near the Turkish-Syrian border, is still being sought.

France remains on high alert while investigators determine whether the attackers were part of a larger extremist network. More than 5,500 police and soldiers were deployed on Sunday across France, guarding marches, synagogues, mosques, schools and other sites.

“The terrorists want two things: they want to scare us and they want to divide us,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told TV channel iTele. “We must do the opposite: We must stand up and we must stay united.”

Source: NYPost

Flag of France

Opinion: I’m not Charlie

(CNN)- In the aftermath of the heinous attacks on the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in France, many are tweeting and writing in solidarity: Je suis Charlie. But I’m not. Because I am not Charlie.

Of course, I unequivocally support the right to free speech. Period. And I also believe in choosing to exercise that right responsibly and respectfully. That’s why I would not have published cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed, insulting 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide in the process (and no, I wouldn’t have published many of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons insulting Judaism and Christianity, either).

In no way should this be taken — as it has been by some on Twitter — to suggest that I somehow condone the killings of Charlie Hebdo’s staff. That’s a ridiculously insulting idea and just plain wrong. It’s possible to honor and protect the free speech rights of publications like Charlie Hebdo while simultaneously believing such cartoons are unnecessarily disrespectful and offensive.

As others have pointed out, in the wake of the Paris attacks we’ve conflated support for free speech with support for the actual speech in question. But while I unquestionably support the free speech rights of the KKK and “god hates fags” protesters, for example, that clearly doesn’t mean I would support, never mind join in, their hateful messages. Some on the right insist that media should have to re-print Charlie Hebdo’s anti-Islam cartoons or else they’re cowardly. However, this is a fundamental perversion of free speech, to say the least. There is no inconsistency between supporting free speech for Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists and finding the content of some of their cartoons offensive and disrespectful.

I don’t profess to be a scholar of Islam. But it’s plain that some branches or interpretations of the faith view any depictions of the Prophet Mohammed as blasphemy. That doesn’t mean that all Muslims who see such depictions as blasphemy think the appropriate response is violence; far from it. But a radical few do, and, as Middle East commentator Juan Cole has argued, they exploit such defamations against the prophet to try to radicalize others in the faith.

Unfortunately, there are some in the West who think all of Islam is tainted, and who — despite there being plenty of violence and intolerance in the texts and histories of Judaism and Christianity — believe Islam is somehow uniquely violent and intolerant. But when we mistakenly believe that a narrow and violent interpretation of Islam is the only true version, we play right into the hands of the radical zealots who want the world, including all Muslims, to believe precisely that.

The reality is that the Muslim world isn’t just the leadership of Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also Indonesia and Mali. And it’s worth pointing out that several Muslim countries have elected or appointed female heads of state, something the United States has yet to manage. And also that while much remains to be done on advancing gay rights, gay bars do still exist in Lebanon and in Jordan. Unfortunately, about 60 percent of Americans don’t know a single Muslim, and so may only know about Islam what the media reports about terrorists.

It is important to remember that there are a wide variety of interpretations and practices of Islam worldwide, including an active debate on those interpretations among scholars and spiritual leaders.

Sadly, I have to wonder if Charlie Hebdo had been attacked for cartoons insulting Christians, whether there would be a similar outpouring in support of the magazine, especially in the United States. After all, many of the same people outraged just a month ago about the alleged “War on Christmas” have no qualms about launching a “War on Islam” because, well, it’s not their religion being mischaracterized and insulted. It unsettles me to think that the reason so much of the outpouring of support for Charlie Hebdo is driven not just by the violence suffered or a defense of free speech, but by the opportunity to implicitly support jabs at Islam. But judging by some of the coverage, it seems a fair assumption to make.

Indeed, on the same day of the attack in Paris, a bomb was placed outside the offices of an NAACP chapter in Colorado. Thankfully, no one died in that attack, but it was still a bomb on U.S. soil and yet the story was absent from much of the mainstream media. Had Muslims been the suspects, I think it’s fair to say there would have been much more attention paid.

As someone with a public voice, my free speech benefits from an extra megaphone, and while the principle of free speech means I can say what I want whenever I want it, in practice I try to think carefully about the impact of my words — and how they might be felt among others whether or not they share my belief system.

Personally, I believe in not saying something just because I want to speak, but because I want to be heard. So, for instance, I don’t casually condemn or denigrate people’s religions because I want people of faith to hear me. All religions face the struggle of progressing from rigid tradition to evolving modernity, and so I want my voice to be clear and constructive in supporting that progress.

Put another way, when I open my mouth, I don’t want to be part of the problem, I want to be part of the solution. I want to help Islam and Christianity and Judaism and society in general become more open and inclusive and democratic and liberated. Free speech is fundamentally essential to that project. So is respect. In the aftermath of the heinous attacks in Paris, it’s important we remember that free speech and respect can go hand-in-hand.

Source: CNN
Picture source:


How To Spot A Fake Louis Vuitton

Train your eye to spot a counterfeit Louis Vuitton handbag by looking at the real thing in person – at a boutique or an authorized dealer. Susan Scafidi, who heads the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, put these three bags side-by-side to demonstrate the differences. Can you tell which one is the fake?

1. Leather or not? Many Louis Vuitton bags are made of coated canvas, but the trim is leather. Before making a purchase, familiarize yourself with the style that interests you. If the trim is supposed to be leather, it should feel dry — not oily, slippery or sticky.

2. Is the stitching even? It should be perfect.

3. Are there sloppy spots? There should be no back-and-forth stitching – that’s a sign of sloppy construction that doesn’t meet Louis Vuitton’s high standards. Examine the bag carefully for this sign of a possible counterfeit. In this example, there is back and forth stitching under the tab.


4. Does the pattern match? Look closely at the matching of the pattern in the outside seams. A company like Louis Vuitton, which values its logo, wouldn’t divide the letters in a seam. And where the pattern appears on either side of the seam, it should match precisely.

5. What color is the lining? It should be precisely the same shade as the real thing–not a close approximation.

6. How does the hardware feel? It should be heavy — not hollow. If it’s imprinted with the Louis Vuitton name or logo, make sure it’s supposed to be.


7. Are there imperfections in the print? This style, celebrating Japanese cherry blossoms, was a collaboration between Louis Vuitton’s creative director Marc Jacobs, and the artist Takashi Murakami, known, among other things, for his whimsical smiley faces. In the counterfeit shown here, the brown toile peaks through the pink–something that doesn’t happen in the original.

8. Does anything else raise suspicion? This bag has leather trim, but there’s coloring outside the dark pink border on the blossom.

9. Does the whole thing hang together? Don’t be fooled by the presence of a hang tag. Anyone who can counterfeit a handbag can fake that, too.

10. Where was it made? Some counterfeiters routinely mark Louis Vuitton knockoffs “Made in France.” But as it happens, this cherry blossom line was made in Spain.

If you guessed that the bag on the right is the real Louis Vuitton, good for you. But it’s easy to be fooled by a fake, like the one on the left.




Gospel music legend Andrae Crouch dies

(CNN) Andrae Crouch, a seven-time Grammy winner and gospel music legend, died Thursday at a Los Angeles-area hospital, his publicist said on his website.

Crouch was 72 and had been hospitalized at Northridge Hospital Medical Center since Saturday.

While Crouch was well-known for his gospel work with his choir, the Disciples, he also produced and arranged songs for pop artists such as Michael Jackson.

No cause of death was given.

Crouch revolutionized gospel music in the 1970s, giving it a power and verve that propelled him out of the church and into the mainstream, although he really never left the church either.

“Crouch was an innovator, a path-finder, a precursor in an industry noted for its conservative, often derivative approach to popular music,” Robert Darden wrote for Christianity Today. “He combined gospel and rock, flavored it with jazz and calypso as the mood struck him and the song called for it.”

Some of Crouch’s best-know songs are “My Tribute,” “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power” and “Soon and Very Soon.”

Often called “the father of modern gospel music,” Crouch was inducted into the Gospel Music Association Hall of Fame in 1998 and his songs have been covered by artists as varied as Bob Dylan, Elton John, Barbara Mandrell, Paul Simon, Elvis Presley and Little Richard.

And if you needed to give your song a gospel feel, he was the go-to guy. Crouch directed the choirs that sang on Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” and Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror.”

Crouch was no stranger to Hollywood either. His songs appeared in “The Color Purple” and “Once Upon a Forest.” He was also the arranger and choir director for “The Lion King.”

Crouch was only the third gospel artist to have a star placed on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Crouch began to sing in his dad’s California church, forming his music group there, according his biography on the Gospel Music Hall of Fame website. He would later co-pastor the congregation with his twin sister.

Source: CNN


Wardrobe Threepeat: How to Wear One Dress Three Ways


When my newest LBD (Little Black Dress) from arrived to my home I was excited to see how it was going to fit. Secondly, I asked myself, “will I be able to wear it again?” I always answer “yes” especially when my husband asks. Now for the task of justifying this splurge item by really making it work for more than one occasion.

So I decided to create three looks out of one dress. 1) Red Carpet Ready, 2) Out on the Town, and 3) Business Dinner Chic.

Red Carpet Ready


My first instinct was to put together an elegant look. I love a black dress because you can pair it with your favorite pumps and you instantly look simple and elegant. Every woman needs a LBD and a good pair of go-to pumps. I decided to pair this dress with my favorite nude pumps and my very flashy, but regal BCBG chandelier earrings. The nude pump plays off of the gold in the earring and offers a little color variation. This look is perfect for an award ceremony, banquet, or upcoming holiday party.

Out on the Town


The second look I came up with is more of an edgy look, giving downtown vibes. I have been wanting to try the pants under a dress look, so this was the perfect opportunity. The asymmetrical hem can accommodates this look quite well. So because of my love for leather I decided to go with a faux leather pant under this dress to add dimension and texture. I also went with leather boots, to create a seamless effect. The turban and gold jewelry scream personal style. As you can see the same dress is now part of a “look” that’s perfect for a night out with the girls or your beau, Boaz or whatever you fancy calling him.

Business Dinner Chic


My last look is accomplished by the simple addition of a blazer. It’s the simplest way to give a dress new life. My closet is full of blazers because I grab one whenever I want to look a bit polished. Because I wanted to downplay the dress I added a black sandal. This is a great look for when you want to mean business, but still be a lady.

The next time you’re thinking that you have nothing to wear, think again.

So the next time you’re thinking that you have nothing to wear, think again. Pull out your little black dress and put a spin on it. Anyone can accomplish one or all of these looks.