Σάββατο, 3 Νοεμβρίου 2012

The Pierces - You'll Be Mine

ΝΑ ΤΗΝ ΠΡΟΣΕΧΕΙΣ-Sanjuro mc ft. Antonis(με στοίχους)


marilena: AN ISLAND ALL FOR YOURSELF? NO LONGER JUST FOR THE...: The Thousand Islands in upstate New York: pick one - (Private Island, Inc.) By Daniel Vittar CLARIN /Worldcrunch The first well-known ...


An Island All For Yourself? No Longer Just For The Super-Rich

The Thousand Islands in upstate New York: pick one - (Private Island, Inc.)
By Daniel Vittar
The first well-known person who dared buy an island was the shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, with his famous Skorpios, in the emerald waters of the Ionian Sea off the Greek coast. Then there was Marlon Brando, who made a new life on Te’tiarao after being captivated by French Polynesia.
Until recently, only the bulging bank accounts of famous multi-millionaires could secure access to the privacy of an island. But that is changing, and now there is an international market that allows regular people to buy and rent private islands around the world.
Today you can buy a a piece of island property for no more than an average used car, or rent a paradise island in the Bahamas for $2,000 per week. 
“Due to recent technological changes like the Internet, it is much easier to search for and see pictures of the islands," explains Andrew Welsh, the director of Operations at Private Island, Inc. "Because celebrities like to own islands, in the past couple of years there has been an increased interest from regular people who want to try a different lifestyle.” 
Welsh's agency is one of the leaders in the new market, currently with some 500 islands for sale and 250 destinations for rent in locations all around the world -- with the exception of Antarctica. The catalogue ranges from a small island, barely 3 hectares in area, in New Brunswick, Canada for sale for $30,000 to the island of Patroklos, 260 hectares off the coast of Athens, with land suitable for agriculture, with asking price of 150 million euros.
“We have clients from all walks of life, members of royal families and celebrities as well as regular people who have decided to make their dreams an island reality,” Welsh explained.
A teacher and an heiress
Cut yourself off from the world, enjoy nature, spend time with your family, have an adventure. All of those reasons are enough to try out the strange world of islands. Artists, business people and multimillionaires do it, but so do middle-class professionals who are fed up with with the noise and stress of cities. 
Chris Krolow, the agency’s executive president, says Private Island Inc. recently sold a Canadian teacher an island in Ontario with a small house for $250,000. On the other extreme is Lilliane Bettencourt: The richest women in France and heir to the L’Oréal fortune sold her private island in the Seychelles for $74 million last summer. 
The market is large, but it is also concentrated in places with good access and infrastructure. “The most popular islands are in the Caribbean, especially the Bahamas. They are beautiful, people speak English and they have a currency that is equal to the dollar," Welsh said. "It's also just a short plane ride from the United States.”
The other big market in the region is rentals. They go from from $2,000 per week for a 4 hectare island in the Gulf of Mexico to $30,000 per week for an island three times as large and with much more infrastructure in the Florida Keys. “
A high-quality island, specialists say, has to meet three criteria: A warm climate, a nice natural environment with easy transportation and a suitable residence. Of course, there can also be unpleasant surprises. Some of the cheap islands near Honduras and Belize are extremely humid, overrun with insects and are vulnerable to tropical diseases like dengue fever.
In addition, for many years islands in that area were frequently attacked by pirates. But that is also part of living on an island. “If you are worried about the dangers you might face, maybe a private island is not for you," Welsh explained. "Private islands are for people who are very independent and have an adventurous personality.” 


marilena: WHAT DO THEY CALL A MAN WHO WORKS HALF-TIME? HALF ...: German men want more work-life balance - (Karlsberg UrPils) By Tatjana Krieger SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG /Worldcrunch MUNICH  -   When is a m...


What Do They Call A Man Who Works Half-Time? Half A Man, Of Course

German men want more work-life balance - (Karlsberg UrPils)
By Tatjana Krieger
MUNICH - When is a man a man? The business world has an answer to that: when he works full-time and is focused on his career advancement.
To explore this a little further, we met up at a café in downtown Munich with Norbert Meier (not his real name) who by that definition is only half a man.
Meier is conducting an experiment, using himself as a lab-rat. He has decided to work part-time for three months – three days a week at his usual job, for reduced pay. Meier works as marketing and distribution head for a small software company. "I actually wanted to take a sabbatical. But part-time is a good compromise," he says. He spends the hours he’s out of the office working on his vintage cars or fly-fishing.
According to Elke Holst, a gender studies research director at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin, Meier’s experiment makes the business school graduate a pioneer. Holst’s specialty subject is what men and women want out of their work time.
In a brochure called "Abenteuer Teilzeit: Argumente für Männer" (The Part-Time Adventure: Arguments for Men), Germany’s Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (BMAS) puts the number of working men in Germany who would like to work part-time at 77%. However, the Research Institute of the Federal Employment Agency (IAB) put the actual number of men working part-time in 2010 at 17.6%, and that figure includes so-called low-paying irregular jobs.
So where are the men who want to downshift? "They are sacrificing part of their work-life balance to their careers," says Thorsten Alsleben, a consultant with international management consultancy Kienbaum. Men who voluntarily apply for part-time positions are rare, he says, even though working part-time by no means spells career death. "Some employers may have a low budget but they still want top candidates, and part-time jobs are a solution in such cases.”
German law theoretically supports more choice. Since 2001, for example, anybody on a short-term contract who works for longer than six months in a firm with at least 15 employees has a right to a part-time job there. However, cautions Michael Eckert, a lawyer specializing in labor law, "a company can oppose an application for various reasons related to organization and security, or if creating a part-time position would engender disproportionately high costs.”
The law has not therefore contributed to much change for men in the workforce, although things areslowly developing. It is the same with hiring older people, or hiring women in top management: progress takes place at a snail’s pace. In 2010, 3.2 million men worked part-time, 2.4 million more than in 1991. But most of them were low-paying irregular jobs. Only a few of them actually wanted to work part-time.
“Being there” for the kids
Younger men often express the desire to do things differently from their fathers: to work less and take a larger share in the work and responsibility of child rearing, “being there” for the kids. However, when they are actually confronted with the choice, things suddenly look different. Men with families end up working longer hours, two to five hours more per week, than their childless colleagues. "Most women earn less after the birth of a child, because they either switch over to part-time or stop working altogether. Men can often make up all or part of the difference by working more. And men may also be seeing the longer hours as an investment in their future career," says gender researcher Holst. "Even if one holds different views personally, role expectations are deeply anchored.” 
Only later on do needs, hobbies, and health take on more importance. Of those in the 60 to 64 age group, 43% work part-time. Other men might want to, but are held back by society’s expectations, the need to earn money, or their own self-image – pressures that Norbert Meier, despite his experiment, says he has not entirely freed himself from.
In spite of the slow start, however, employers will increasingly have to deal with alternative models for working hours. "When a full-time employee comes to us asking to work part-time, we have to take it seriously, and address the issue of how we could distribute work differently," says Bernhard Bachhuber, European human resources director at Avery Dennison packing company. "We look at every single case carefully. We want to keep good people." But doesn’t working part-time spell the end of advancement? "Not necessarily," says Bachhuber. "A promotion is by no means out of the question. Your job content could also change, or the person could be given specific projects to manage."
If the workers' situations change, they can start working longer hours again. Consultant Thorsten Alsleben agrees that a stretch spent working part-time is no longer a blot on a CV, but points out that workers have no legal claim to get their full-time position back. It might happen, but then again maybe not, and they could find themselves with only the option of continuing with that firm on a part-time basis.
And what does Norbert Meier think of all this after his part-time stint? "I’m glad it’s over!" he says. On working days he stayed longer at the office than he usually did when working full-time, and he found he could not stick to his plan not to read office e-mails on his days off. He was also always available on his cell phone.
What Meier experienced is typical. "You need to make sure that 30 hours a week in the office don’t mean you can be reached outside the office 40 or 50 hours a week," Alsleben says. "Whether part-time work turns out to be a trap or an opportunity depends on self-management and on how well-organized the company you work for is."
Meier doesn’t consider his experiment as a failure, but he says it opened no other perspectives for him either personally or professionally -- and that, longer-term, part-time work is not for him.
Read the article in the original language.
Photo by - Karlsberg UrPils
All rights reserved ©Worldcrunch - in partnership with SUDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG

marilena: 'World's narrowest house' opens for artists in Pol...

marilena: 'World's narrowest house' opens for artists in Pol...: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/video/2012/oct/24/worlds-narrowest-house-poland-video A house wedged between two blocks of flats i...

'World's narrowest house' opens for artists in Poland – video


A house wedged between two blocks of flats in Warsaw is said to be the narrowest in the the world, measuring only 120cm (47in) at the widest point. The structure is built as an artists' residence and is intended to stimulate its inhabitants with the unusual feeling of being restricted by their surroundings



marilena: OBAMA / ROMNEY COOKIES.....EXIT POLL!!!: http://www.spiegel.de/video/us-wahl-wie-obama-und-romney-die-arbeitslosenquote-deuten-video-1232139.html SPIEGEL


marilena: Four Years with Obama

marilena: Four Years with Obama: http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-89241.html spiegel

Four Years with Obama

marilena: hats and shoes...by Konstantinos Argyroglou 2012

marilena: hats and shoes...by Konstantinos Argyroglou 2012

hats and shoes...by Konstantinos Argyroglou 2012

Φωτογραφία: καπέλα και παπούτσια!

Πέμπτη, 1 Νοεμβρίου 2012

marilena: Bruce Springsteen set for Sandy benefit

marilena: Bruce Springsteen set for Sandy benefit: Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are to perform at a benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy on Friday. The rock stars are n...

Bruce Springsteen set for Sandy benefit

Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi are to perform at a benefit concert for victims of Hurricane Sandy on Friday.
The rock stars are natives of New Jersey, which was one of the areas hardest hit by the storm.
They will be joined by other stars including Billy Joel, Sting and Christina Aguilera on the live one-hour telethon to be broadcast on NBC.
Money raised from Hurricane Sandy: Coming Together will go to the American Red Cross relief efforts.
Hosted by Today show presenter Matt Lauer, the concert will be recorded from NBC's New York studios at Rockefeller Plaza.
It will be broadcast live across NBC's other cable networks including Bravo, CNBC, E!, Syfy and USA at 20:00 EST (00:00 GMT) and tape-delayed on the west coast.
The commercial-free telethon will also be streamed live on NBC's website.
Making the announcement on his morning programme, Lauer added more acts would be announced on Friday.
President Barack Obama visited New Jersey on Wednesday to see the worst affected areas after the storm hit on Monday.
More than 70 people were killed in the US, while some 20,000 people remain trapped in their homes by sewage-contaminated floodwater.
NBC organised a similar benefit after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 which raised $50m (£31m) for the Red Cross.

marilena: Paris’ world of chocolate

marilena: Paris’ world of chocolate: Chocolate is such serious business in Paris that every year the city hosts the world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate , where th...

Paris’ world of chocolate

Jacques Genin chocolate Paris France

Chocolate is such serious business in Paris that every year the city hoststhe world’s largest event dedicated to chocolate, where thousands of visitors are tempted by tasty cocoa goods, live cookery demonstrations and chocolate-themed fashion shows. 
But for travellers who can’t make it to town for this special event (running from 31 October to 4 November), a DIY chocolate tour of the French capital is available any time of year with a visit to these four revered Paris chocolatiers.
Jacques Genin’s large, sleek boutique in the Marais district has vast glass-topped counters showcasing the shop’s tiny square chocolates – all uniform in shape and size apart from a different coloured squiggle decorating the surface – like jewels in a luxury jeweller. The infused flavours, such as fresh mint, tonka bean and coffee, punch through the chocolate with a burst of flavour. You can also sit in the shop’s tearoom to indulge in Genin’s deliciously thick hot chocolate.
Patrick Roger is a self-dubbed “chocolate artist” who pays particular attention to the flavour, texture and aesthetics of his creations in all five of his Paris boutiques. Innovatively flavoured chocolates sit alongside the classics, all with evocative names: try the Friendship (almond praline), Amour (nougat centre) and Audacity (quince jelly). The goods are presented in bold turquoise boxes, making bright, cheerful – and delicious – gifts.
La Maison du Chocolat has been a Paris institution for more than 30 years, with its several branches all decorated in rich cocoa tones. The luxury chocolatier sells nothing but chocolate made from superlative cocoa beans -- from Venezuela, Ecuador, the Caribbean, Africa and Madagascar -- in various guises: ganaches, pralines, tarts, cakes and their infamous chocolate eclair.
Quirky chocolatier Michel Chaudun (149 rue de la Université, 75009; 01-47-53-74-40) has been in the business for 26 years, making fancy chocolates in the shape of guitars, footballs, the Eiffel tower and even power drills in his atelier at the back of his Left Bank shop. He was commissioned  by luxury French fashion house Hermès to make hundreds of small chocolate replicas of their famous Kelly handbag, one of which is still on display in the shop . You can also purchase boxes of chocolates filled with Chaudun’s exquisite truffles and ganaches, flavoured with notes such as pepper, lime, caramel and sherry.
Kim Laidlaw Adrey is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writeswww.unlockparis.com.

Τετάρτη, 31 Οκτωβρίου 2012

marilena: The hair trade's dirty secret

marilena: The hair trade's dirty secret: If there's one business in Britain that's bouncy, it's hair extensions – sales are up to £60m a year and growing. But underneath all that h...

The hair trade's dirty secret

If there's one business in Britain that's bouncy, it's hair extensions – sales are up to £60m a year and growing. But underneath all that hair there's a global tale of exploitation
A woman donates her hair for auction at the Tirumala temple in India

A woman donates her hair for auction at the Tirumala temple in India. Photograph: Jns/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images
Graham Wake is hardly looking at me but one glance is enough. "I could pay about £75 to £100 if you had a pixie cut," he says briskly. "If you went for a short bob I'd give you £40." It's not often you get paid for a haircut, but Wake's business, Bloomsbury Wigs, now relies solely on hairsourced from the heads of women in the UK. Each week 30-40 envelopes stuffed with ponytails arrive at his office. Every day, one or two women visit to have their hair valued, cut off, and restyled. Some are bored with long hair, others need the money, and a few are raising money for charity.
Wake says he prefers paying a fair price to women in the UK to buying hair from agents, and that 90% of the coils piled into the transparent plastic boxes that surround him are used to create wigs for people who have lost their hair. The rest are for hair extensions, which is what my locks could become. "If your hair was any curlier, we couldn't take it," he says. "It would just matt after a while, but as it is I could use it."
It feels faintly embarrassing to be discussing the monetary value of something as personal as my hair. But perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised at myself; women's hair has always been a contentious issue. From orthodox Jews, Muslims, and nuns covering it for modesty, to a badge of femininity and beauty in fairytales such as Rapunzel, hair has always exerted a powerful metaphorical pull. Even in today's more secular world it acts as a lightning rod for our attitudes to women: something US gymnast Gabby Douglas discovered when her gold medal win at the Olympics was overshadowed by a row over whether her messy ponytail reflected badly on the black community. Miley Cyrus's decision to cut her hair short in the summer was taken as a sign that another teen pop star's life was spiralling out of control, much like Britney Spears in 2007.
Today, hair is more than just a symbol: it is big business. From India to Peru, the human hair trade has spread across the globe, and it has the UK in its grasp. Last year HM Revenue and Customs recorded more than £38m worth of hair (human, with some mixed human and animal) entering the country, making the UK the third biggest importer of human hair in the world.
Despite the recession the UK extension industry is booming, with hair extension companies claiming it is worth between £45m and £60m (according to London based industry research firm IBISWorld, revenue from hair and beauty salons will be £3.64bn in 2012-13). Great Lengths Hair Extensions, who supply more than 1,000 salons in the UK, report a staggering 70% growth in the past five years. And according to Dawn Riley from Balmain Hair, which sells extensions to thousands of salons and hundreds of wholesalers, this is only the beginning. "It's still an emerging market. We are now seeing the growth that colour [hair dye] saw 30 years ago."

Women at work in a hair processing factory in India
Women at work in a hair processing factory in India. Photograph: Dieter Telemans/Panos
In the upmarket central London salon Inanch, a full head of Great Lengths extensions costs around £900, and lasts up to six months. And while profits from cuts, colouring and blow drys have remained static, in 2012 the salon's hair extension business has grown 60% year on year. Owner Inanch Emir has well-known clients including Cher Lloyd, Mischa Barton and Saturdays singer Rochelle Wiseman, and when I visit one weekday afternoon her small salon is buzzing. "I do about two or three hair extensions a day," she says. "I used to do that a month."
A stylist is finishing off a head of dramatic, tumbling curls for Bianca Gascoigne, a glamour model and reality TV contestant. With her thick, false lashes emphasising her wide-set eyes, the cascade of hair makes her look like a Disney drawing. Laughing, she agrees she likes to look like "a princess": "Hair extensions make you feel glamorous," she says, explaining she first started wearing clip-in fake hair as a teenager, keen to copy celebrities such as Christina Aguilera. Now, she says, everyone she knows has them.
I watch as a woman in her 40s with long, streaked, blond hair has some extensions that have fallen out refitted. Thin strands of hair topped by a "polymer" – a covered metal ring – are wrapped around tiny clumps of her hair in neat rows, a centimetre or so from her scalp. It's fiddly work, and it's fascinating to watch the stylist gently heat the bond so it stays put. Doesn't it weigh her hair down? No, she insists, "you can't feel them, you don't even know it's there." And anyway, she says, "You fall in love with it. You look great without even trying."
Emir says the UK's passion for extensions began with Victoria Beckham. "For a long time it was only celebrities who knew about hair extensions, but when Posh went from short to long, everyone realised – and that was it."
Among hairdressers specialising in Afro-Caribbean hair, however, extensions have been popular for three decades or more, according to independent hairdresser Amanda BiddulphBlack British women may not visit salons as regularly as their US counterparts, whose styling habits were investigated in Chris Rock's 2009 documentary, Good Hair, but in the last decade, demand for extra hair has really taken off. Once, extensions were the preserve of women in their late 20s to mid-30s, says Biddulph, but now she regularly sees 14-year-olds with 18-inch extensions, and has refused to put extensions into the hair of girls as young as 12. "At the moment it's Kim Kardashian for the Afro community," she tells me. "They are wearing middle partings and their hair really long."
Not even the fact that incorrect removal and overuse of extensions and weaves are linked to traction alopecia – a form of hair loss Naomi Campbell is suspected of having after pictures emerged showing bald patches in her hair – puts people off.
Gascoigne says she thinks the reality stars from TV show The Only Way is Essex, have also had a huge impact. "I think it's the girls from The Only Way is Essex that are driving it, because everyone wants that glamorous lifestyle."
Some women in the public eye may prefer to keep the "help" they get with their hair secret (Gascoigne says, perhaps naively, that people can't tell if she wears them). And after a L'Oreal advert starring Cheryl Cole drew complaints because she was wearing extensions, Emir says some of her famous clients have made her sign confidentiality agreements. Several of the experts I speak to tell me emphatically that they believe the Duchess of Cambridge has had extensions – but even if she had, it's unlikely she would discuss it. Reality show participants, however, have no such qualms, says Riley. "It takes away the embarrassment for younger women. They wear it as a badge of pride – I can afford extensions, so I have extensions."
In Liverpool, at hair suppliers Rapunzel City of Hair, teenagers in school uniform are a common sight, says owner Emma Canty. They buy clip-in synthetic hair extensions, which can sell for as little as £10 a packet. Fake hair accessories such as plaited hair bands, meanwhile, are also sold in highstreet shops such as Topshop. Theresa Yee, beauty editor at trend forecasting company WGSN, says these quick fixes are "driving the popularity of this trend into a wider market" allowing customers to "try out multiple 'temporary' looks which they can achieve at home".
model with hair extensions
ynthetic hair may still be popular, but it cannot be heat-styled, curled or straightened. So for more permanent extensions salons rely on human hair. With it comes an array of jargon. There is Remi hair (all strands face the same way and often come from just one person's head); virgin hair (unprocessed); double drawn (all the same length). The hair can be attached with a weave – when strips of extra hair, called a weft, are sewn into thin plaits of the customer's own hair – or attached to the customer's own hair using micro rings, or even glue. But while such terms may trip off the tongue of dedicated customers, few seem interested in the human beings it came from. "If I'm honest, I don't think people care where it is from," admits Riley. "I would like to say we are all ethically minded, but if clients want something and they can pay for it, they will have it." Gascoigne agrees: "I never ask where the hair comes from, I just love it so much. When you have big, bouncy hair you feel a million dollars."
Yet behind the bounce, the profit, and the rows of neatly packaged hair, is what hair historian Caroline Cox calls the "dark side" of the industry. With the exception of a handful of businesses such as Bloomsbury Wigs, most hair comes from countries where long, natural hair remains a badge of beauty - but where the women are poor enough to consider selling a treasured asset.
Cox points out that such exploitation has underpinned the industry since false fronts and hair pieces became popular in the UK in Edwardian times. "It's taking advantage of those who are disadvantaged," she says. "Working-class women's hair is used to bedeck the head of those who are more privileged. It's been going on for hundreds of years."
Much of the hair on sale comes from small agents who tour villages in India, China, and eastern Europe, offering poverty-stricken women small payments to part with their hair. As one importer, based in Ukraine, toldthe New York Times recently: "They are not doing it for fun. Usually only people who have temporary financial difficulties in depressed regions sell their hair." More worryingly, back in 2006, the Observer reported that in India some husbands were forcing their wives into selling their hair, slum children were being tricked into having their heads shaved in exchange for toys, and in one case a gang stole a woman's hair, holding her down and cutting it off. When Victoria Beckham said in 2003 that her "extensions come from Russian prisoners, so I've got Russian cell block H on my head", she may have been joking, but it was not long until the Moscow Centre for Prison Reform admitted it was possible: warders were forcibly shaving and selling the hair of prisoners. Thanks to such horror stories, reputable companies try to ensure the hair they sell is "ethical". Balmain Hair, Riley explains, has been sourcing hair from China for almost 50 years, and pays women the equivalent of a man's six-month salary (although she cannot give me an exact figure). However, not all companies pay donors. In temples in south India devotees travel for hundreds of miles and queue for hours to have their hair tonsured, or ritually shaved. Some have prayed for a child, others for a sick relative or a good harvest, and when their prayers are answered they offer up their hair. According to one report, most are rural women whose hair has often never been dyed, blow-dried, or even cut and is worth around £200. The hair is then sorted and sold, often by online auction. Last year Tirumala temple, apparently made 2,000m rupees (more than £22m), from auctioning hair. Great Lengths, who sell "temple hair", point out the hair is donated willingly, and they have a representative based in India who buys it straight from the temple, and ensures the money is funnelled directly back into the local community to fund "medical aid, educational systems and other crucial infrastructure projects".
But while the women who grew the hair may not be well paid, the price for the customers is rising. Biddulph says the cost of buying hair "has gone through the roof" – packets that used to cost £10.99 to £20.99 are now priced at £50 or £60. Yet, says Biddulph, even in a recession about half of her clients' extra hair is something they "can't be without – they factor it in to their monthly expenses." Other stylists I speak to agree and link it to the higher grooming standards and emphasis on physical perfection that have recently crept in. Kim Hunjan, who runs Belle Hair Extensions in North London, says: "A lot of clients talk about botox and plastic surgery, and they see this as similar."
In a recent report on the hair industry, IBISWorld noted trips to salons are seen as essential, rather than an optional extra: "Many salon customers have come to view their spending on hair colouring and styling services as non-discretionary expenditure causing demand for the industry to remain more resilient than in previous years."
In fact, asking how women can afford the cost might be missing the point. According to Cox extensions, like long fake nails, are status symbols. "If you have long nails, there is a suggestion you have a lot of leisure time. If hair costs a lot to do, and to keep up, there is the same suggestion. It's almost as though you are living the life of a The Only Way is Essex girl or glamour model."
The fact that it does not necessarily look like your own hair also reflects the influence of the sex industry on our ideas of what a woman should look like, says Cox. "The fashion for such a long time has been about the glorification of artificiality. Fake tans, fake teeth, fake boobs and fake nails – and you need fake hair to go with all that. The whole idea of beauty is [now] predicated on artificiality and getting rid of humanness – waxing every hair from your body but putting fake hair on your head."
Recently there has been a move towards a more demure aesthetic, she says, but one that continues to emphasise wealth. "In the recent series of The Only Way is Essex, almost half of it was set in hairdressing salons, and they were all having their hair styled in up-dos." This exposes roots and allows extensions to be clearly seen. "It's a way of showing them off," says Cox. "Today we want to show off that our extensions cost £800."
Extensions also reflect a retrogressive attitude towards women's place in society, she says. "When women try and change their role their hair becomes short and chic like in the 60s and 20s, but when gender roles become more traditional, fake hair comes in."
However, economic woes, and the recent rise in grassroots feminism could spell the end of extensions. "It's beginning to look old fashioned, especially as the recession continues," Cox explains. "I think we are at the height of it; in the fashion cycle we are moving towards a more natural look." Biddulph has already noticed a rise in salons catering exclusively to women who don't relax, straighten or extend their Afro hair. "More people are making a statement with natural hair and more salons are opening up. It's about a 70–30, but I think it will be 50–50 soon."
Yet a natural look does not necessarily mean the end of extensions in the mainstream. Instead they are becoming more discreet – used to add volume rather than length. This trend reflects the fact that older women are turning to extensions: "Young people often have coloured extensions, middle-aged women do it for the 'wow' effect, while older women often want thicker hair," says Emir. Riley agrees: "Women's hair starts thinning at 35 but they want the beautiful hair they had at 20, and they do it by hair addition."
Whatever sparked our love affair with extensions, it has deepened into something more permanent. On a rainy Thursday I watch as one of Kim's stylists works on bride-to-be Jessica Munday, who is having her hair lengthened in time for her wedding. It's a time-consuming, repetitive and expensive process but Jessica doesn't care. "People want longer hair instantly. If I like it I'll definitely have it done again."

marilena: This much I know: Andrea Bocelli The opera singer,...

marilena: This much I know: Andrea Bocelli The opera singer,...: "When you’re on stage singing, you’re naked. Your voice is something very intimate": Andrea Bocelli. Photograph: Giovanni De Sandre ...

This much I know: Andrea Bocelli The opera singer, 54, on being Italian, love at first sight and why he hates travelling

Andrea Bocelli

"When you’re on stage singing, you’re naked. Your voice is something very intimate": Andrea Bocelli. Photograph: Giovanni De Sandre
Some of us are born with a weakness for music. As a baby, music would stop whatever thought I was having. If I was worried, it would stop me worrying; if I was crying, it would stop me crying. Music was a healing thing for me.
I always knew I would sing. I just didn't know if I would be successful or not. But I sang at school, I sang at parties, I sang at church. Everyone always asked me to sing. I'd be playing football with my friends and my parents would ask me to sing for their guests. I was never very happy about that because I wanted to play football.
I am an Italian man. I was born and grew up in Italy. I was imbued with the Italian mentality and culture. And everyone knows that an Italian man lives for women.
When you're on stage singing, you're naked. Your voice is something very intimate and that's why I'm scared every time before I perform. It doesn't matter if I'm singing for a king or a queen or the Pope, it's enough to be in front of anybody. I suffer, but I can't do anything about it.
Immanuel Kant was the world's most important thinker. From Kant I learned that you have to treat everyone as an end, not as a means. That has served me well in the music industry.
I'm incredibly competitive by nature. That is why it is not surprising that I was a lawyer before I was a singer.
Music should not be abused. Nowadays, it is everywhere: in restaurants, in elevators, in cars. That's very dangerous because it loses its power as a medicine.
Love, for me, is always at first sight. If you have love that comes after a while, it's not real, not genuine. Love is at once or never.
Schopenhauer said it best: when it comes to love, men are like reeds blown in the wind. It doesn't matter how clever or cultured you are. When you're in love, those things don't mean anything.
I don't like being called "macho". Macho basically means stupid and a real Italian man is not macho, he's smart. That's smart in both senses: elegant and clever.
Sex is the enemy of the athlete and the artist. Footballers need to rest before a match; singers, too, need to have time to think about themselves by themselves.
I hate to travel. I live by the sea near Tuscany and for me it's the most beautiful place in the world. So I like to stay at home, doing the same things. But my destiny decided something different for me.
I've sung for my daughter Virginia since she was conceived. She loves music and she always calms down when I sing. She's six months old now, so she will have to listen to me for a few years yet.
To become a father again at my age, that's beautiful.
Andrea Bocelli is touring the UK in November (tickets from kililive.com or 0844 871 8803). His new album, Opera, is released on 5 November


marilena: Low levels of vitamin D in blood double risk of bl...

marilena: Low levels of vitamin D in blood double risk of bl...: New study shows that vitamin D, which is found in many foods, reduces the risk of bladder cancer.  ( National Library of Medicine/National...

Low levels of vitamin D in blood double risk of bladder cancer

Vitamin D.
New study shows that vitamin D, which is found in many foods, reduces the risk of bladder cancer. (National Library of Medicine/National Institutes of Health)

Low levels of vitamin D in the blooddouble the risk of developing bladder cancer, Spanish researchers reported Wednesday. The low levels increase the risk of the most aggressive form of the disease almost six-fold, the researchers reported in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Spain has about 11,000 new cases of bladder cancer per year, one of the highest rates in the world. The United States has about 73,500 new cases per year, with nearly 15,000 deaths. It is primarily a disease of the elderly, with nine out of 10 victims over the age of 55.
Low levels of vitamin D have previously been linked to increased risk of breast and colon cancer, but no one has studied the potential association with bladder cancer, according to Dr. Nuria Malats, a geneticist at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center.
The team collected blood samples from 1,125 patients with bladder cancer in 18 Spanish hospitals and from 1,028 individuals with no sign of the disease. They measured levels of 25-hydroxy-vitamin D3, the most stable form of the vitamin. The team found that those with the lowest levels of the vitamin were 1.83 times as likely to have bladder cancer as those with the highest levels. When the team separated out patients with the most aggressive form of invasive bladder cancer, they found that those with the lowest vitamin levels were 5.94 times as likely to develop the disease.
Molecular studies also showed that vitamin D regulates the production of a protein, FGFR3, that plays a role in bladder cancer. the risk of developing invasive bladder cancer was highest in patients with the lowest levels of the protein and the lowest levels of vitamin D.
"These results indicate that high levels of the vitamin are associated with protection from the illness or, similarly, that low levels are associated with a higher risk of suffering from it," Malats said.

Τρίτη, 30 Οκτωβρίου 2012

marilena: Bacteria, yeast a diner's delight at Denmark's Nom...

marilena: Bacteria, yeast a diner's delight at Denmark's Nom...: By Mette Fraende COPENHAGEN  |  Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:31am EDT (Reuters) - While ant paste, milk curd and berry preserves make up th...

Bacteria, yeast a diner's delight at Denmark's Noma

Rene Redzepi, chef and co-owner of the restaurant Noma, talks with his employees in a test kitchen in his restaurant in Copenhagen October 25, 2012. REUTERS-Fabian Bimmer

COPENHAGEN | Fri Oct 26, 2012 11:31am EDT
(Reuters) - While ant paste, milk curd and berry preserves make up the "Blueberries and ant" dish at Denmark's restaurant Noma, bacteria and yeast will soon be next for diners at the eatery which has been crowned world's best restaurant for three years.
Located on the ground floor of a renovated listed 18th Century warehouse in the old Christianshavn canal district of Copenhagen, Noma is run by 34-year-old chef Rene Redzepi.
"It changes the chemical composition of food," Redzepi told Reuters of his experiments with bacteria and yeast in the test kitchen. "After many months you get a magic process."
Redzepi is setting up a team of chefs and academics to run the project and is currently working to perfect a dish of grilled leek which has been marinated for 24 hours in fermented yellow split peas, a dark, thick aromatic paste resembling intense soy or bean sauce.
The experiment follows the introduction of three types of ants on the menu about four months ago, which after a rocky start, has been well accepted by diners.
Guests flock to the Copenhagen restaurant from all over the world to get a seat at one of the 11 tables in the restaurant which is furnished to embrace the Nordic spirit and atmosphere with smoked oak, stone, leather, water, glass and light.
Diners pay 4,900 Danish crowns ($850) for a 12-course set menu including appetizers, treats to finish, wine pairing and a tour of the kitchen to meet some of the 50 chefs.
That is, if they are lucky enough to book a table. On Monday at 0800 GMT, Noma will open for January bookings and the two-seater tables are usually snapped up in less than an hour.
Redzepi spent two years studying whether eating ants is safe, where he could get them from, how to eat them and to build the courage to do it.
"It is a taboo. People were horrified," he said, referring to the beginning when Noma served the ants live.
"I was very surprised and we had to stop," he said. "I remember that I was very disappointed."
Today, the ants feature more modestly in one starter and one dessert while the grasshoppers feature in two of the starters.
The grasshoppers are fermented and made into a grasshopper sauce inspired by fish sauce. The three types of ants each have a distinct flavor. One has a strong coriander flavor, one a strong combination of lemon grass and lovage, while the third is very sour like lemon.
They are found in Danish forests, frozen, blended into a paste and feature in the "Blueberries and ants" dessert in a combination of milk curd and different types of berry preserves.
In April, Noma was crowned the world's best restaurant for the third year in a row in the annual S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna World's 50 Best Restaurants.
The Noma approach to cooking is concentrated on obtaining the best raw materials from the Nordic region such as Icelandic skyr curd, halibut, Greenland musk ox and berries.
The two Michelin star restaurant does its own smoking, salting, pickling, drying, grilling and baking, prepares its own vinegars and concocts its own distilled spirits.
Noma also makes systematic use of beers and ales, fruit juices and fruit-based vinegars for its sauces and soups, and allows vegetables, herbs, spices and wild plants in season to play a prominent role in its cooking.
While the first world's best restaurant nomination changed the life of Redzepi overnight, diners hoping for a Noma outside Christianshavn in Copenhagen will be waiting in vain.
"If I was to expand, I would have to share my work to an extent that I would not like," Redzepi said. "I do not want to be away from here, the work is far from finished," he said.
($1 = 5.7558 Danish crowns)
(Reporting by Mette Fraende, editing by Paul Casciato)

marilena: Greece agrees deal with creditors on austerity pla...

marilena: Greece agrees deal with creditors on austerity pla...: Greece has reached agreement with its international creditors on new austerity measures necessary to release fresh bailout funds. Parl...

Greece agrees deal with creditors on austerity plan

Greece has reached agreement with its international creditors on new austerity measures necessary to release fresh bailout funds.
A petrol bomb burns on an Athens street during a protest against cuts, 18 October

Parliament was due to vote on the package, plus a budget, on Tuesday, but this has been delayed a week.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said: "If this deal is approved and the budget is voted, Greece will stay in the euro and exit the crisis."
If passed, Greece will impose 13.5bn euros ($17.4bn; £10.8bn) of cuts.
Details of the budget cuts remain sketchy, but Mr Samaras is seeking broader powers to privatise public services.
However, there has been dissent among members of the three-party coalition government, and the delay in voting on the package will give Mr Samaras more time to reach a consensus.
He has warned that Greece will run out of cash next month unless it receives 31.2bn euros in loans from the EU-IMF bailout fund.
The prime minister said in a statement on Tuesday that he had "exhausted all the available time" to try and reach a consensus in parliament.
"The problem is not whether we (introduce) this measure or that measure," he said. "On the contrary, it is what we would do if no agreement is reached and the country is led into chaos."
But a coalition party, the Democratic Left, has refused to back the austerity cuts. The party said in a statement on Tuesday: "The Democratic Left has fought on the issue of labour relations, to protect workers' rights which have been already weakened.
"It does not agree with the result of the negotiations. The Democratic Left sticks to its position."

marilena: Sandy: Storm-hit New York declared major disaster ...

marilena: Sandy: Storm-hit New York declared major disaster ...: 30 October 2012   Last updated at  18:55 GMT Help US President Barack Obama has declared a "major disaster" in New York state after st...

Sandy: Storm-hit New York declared major disaster area

US President Barack Obama has declared a "major disaster" in New York state after storm Sandy smashed into the US East Coast, causing flooding and cutting power to millions.
A record 4m (13ft) tidal surge sent seawater cascading into large parts of New York City's subway system.
Across the city, a power sub-station exploded, a hospital was evacuated and fire destroyed 50 homes.
At least 32 people are reported dead across several US states.
Woman paddle-boards down flooded street in Bethany Beach, Delaware (30 Oct)

marilena: The £945,000 Red Tibetan mastiff and the Charolais...

marilena: The £945,000 Red Tibetan mastiff and the Charolais...: The rest of us may be struggling, but one part of the British and world economies is booming, as breeders of all kinds of animal break reco...

The £945,000 Red Tibetan mastiff and the Charolais bull sold for £105,000: Incredibly expensive animals

The rest of us may be struggling, but one part of the British and world economies is booming, as breeders of all kinds of animal break record after record at the sales

Red Tibetan Mastiff: Hong Dong was sold for £945,000

When Vexour Garth, a one-ton British bull, strode into the ring at the Stirling Bull Sale last week, British beef farmers held their breath for one of the biggest sales of the year. They weren't disappointed. The 19-month-old Charolais sold for £105,000 – a world record for the breed and a price tag that puts him on a par with a new Porsche 911.
In time, it might look like a bargain. A boom in the global demand for meat has led to a swell of confidence among livestock farmers, fuelling a steady increase in the sums breeders are willing to spend on top quality sires from which to breed the next generation. Vexour Garth was bought by a private company in the US, which has effectively purchased the right to sell his genetic material all over the world.
Sheep prices are also breaking records. Two weeks ago, a blackface lamb sold for £90,000 at an auction in Perthshire. Another lamb from the same bloodline sold for £60,000. Even sheepdogs are being sold at unprecedented prices in the hope of harnessing the genes of the best. Last week, Marchup Midge, the pup of a former World Sheepdog Trials champion, fetched a record £8,400.
Experts say there has rarely been a better time to invest. "Getting access to top quality genetics is something cattle farmers are willing to invest in," said Alasdair Houston, chairman of the British Charolais Cattle Society. "I understand the plan is for Vexour Garth to stay in the UK and have semen taken for export. That animal shows that there is real confidence in the traditional British cattle breeds and genetic qualities."
In the UK, livestock farmers are gradually emerging from the privations of the BSE and foot-and-mouth eras. Since EU restrictions on British beef exports were dropped in 2006, 50 new countries have opened up to sales. Nations such as China and Brazil are increasing meat consumption, leading to a surge in worldwide demand.
"Livestock price records don't tumble particularly often," said Christopher Dodds, of the Livestock Auctioneers Association. "Farmers have had some very challenging financial times, but in recent years things have begun to look better. There is a demand for red meat in the wider world like there hasn't been before.
"Breeders of sheep and cattle will be thinking about reinvesting in the genetic pool of their herd and stock."
Breeders say that the prestige of the UK breeding stock could mean British farmers benefiting from selling the genetic material of their best specimens overseas. A single dose of semen from a top bull can fetch £75, Mr Houston said. If successful, Vexour Garth could produce up to a million doses in his lifetime for sale across the world.
The genetic material that produced the record-breaking sheepdog Marchup Midge is available to buy for £500 a dose from dealer Mike Northwood. "They come from all over the world, Australia, America, to buy British stock," said Mr Northwood, whose company Come-Bye markets the frozen semen of dozens of award-winning sheepdogs – including Marchip Midge's sire, Roy.
While it has been a difficult year for UK agriculture, with poor crop harvests driving up the price of animal feed, livestock farmers at least at are looking beyond the short-term, seasonal set-back.
"Global demand for meat is outstripping global supply," said Peter Hardwick, head of trade development at the English Beef and Lamb Executive. "There has been an increase in consumption, particularly in the developing world and a change in demographic in some of those countries. These demographic shifts are affecting the ability of these countries to supply themselves, meaning that EU countries have an opportunity to fill the gap."
The Perthshire lamb
£90,000 - World record price paid for a Blackface lamb in Scotland two weeks ago
A 12-month-old blackface lamb – offspring of a £30,000 Aitkenhead ram and a £28,000 Midlock ewe – was sold for £90,000 on 15 October by Ian Hunter, from Muthill, Perthshire, at Dalmally in Argyll and Bute. Its twin was sold for £60,000 at the same sale.
The Lancashire sheepdog
£8,400 - Marchup Midge, sold in Skipton on Friday for a world record price
Marchup Midge, an 18-month-old sheepdog bitch, fetched a record 8,000 guineas when Shaun Richards, from Burnley, sold her at Skipton Auction Mart last week. Midge’s father, Roy, was 2008 World Sheep Dog Trial champion.
The Surrey bull
£105,000 - Charolais bull, sold for a new breed record in Stirling last week
Vexour Garth, a 19-month-old home-bred Charolais bull tracing his bloodline back to the great Maerdy Tally was sold for a record £105,000 by Jan Boomaars, from Woldingham, Surrey, last week. The US Livestock Capital Partnership was the purchaser.
Beast buys: record prices
Red Tibetan mastiff:
: Hong Dong (2011)
Price: £945,000
Age: 11 months
Sold by: Lu Liang
Sold to: Multimillionaire coal baron
: Green Monkey (2006)
Price: £16m
Age: 2 years
Sold by: Randy Hartley/Dean De Renzo
Sold to: John Magnier, stud owner
Limousin bull:
: Fabio (2012)
Price: £126,000
Age: 17 months
Sold by: Glyn Vaughan
Sold to: Alan Jenkinson, Cumbria