Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Jeb Bush is worth up to $22 million

Dop Dop Salon: Soho's Hair Gem

Dop Dop Hair Salon is reliable, fun, and overall fabulous.

What a great hair experience. As Summer is here, I decided it was time to freshen up my hair with something that was beachy, natural looking but also adding some extra lightness to my hair with a haircut and highlights.

I heard about Dop Dop and decided to try out this Soho gem in NYC. It was like a family of artists working there - such a sense of community and team effort. I loved everyone I met, and appreciated the fun, real atmosphere that was created - not stuffy, overpriced, or uncomfortable. Instead, it was easy, reliable, and approachable.

I got ombre high lights by Jay, who totally rocked my world. Fun, smart, and incredibly experienced - she painted on the highlights like such a pro.

Started in 1996, Dop Dop Salon has been thriving ever since. It is a great place for haircuts, style, color, treatments, blow outs, up styles, and bridal get-ready...so, basically, anything you are looking for. A great place for a slightly edgy cut with sophistication-they can really do anything here and happily pair you with the right stylist for the look you are going for. Top quality products too.

The whole experience was so enjoyable - it has quickly become my go-to salon. Wanted to share to make sure you are taking care of your hair, and using only the best products so that hair maintenance is doable and easy. Happy Summer!

Dop Dop Salon
170 Mercer Street
New York, NY 10012
(212) 965-9540

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Logano says life different -- and the same -- since Daytona 500 win

Joey Logano will head to Daytona Beach this week in a position he's never been in before: The most recent Daytona 500 winner.

Balcony in deadly California collapse had been inspected last year

(Reuters) - An apartment balcony that collapsed this month in Berkeley, California, killing five visiting Irish college students and an American friend, had been inspected last August and found to be in good condition, records released by the city show.

U.S. and Cuba to announce opening of embassies

For the first time in more than half a century, U.S. and Cuba will announce opening of embassies in Washington and Havana. CNN's Jim Acosta reports.

Take The Citizenship Test For 'Merica

Sure, you know America. But do you have what it takes to obtain legal citizenship in 'Merica? Take a shot at these sample questions to see if you have the political and historical knowledge to pass the United States of 'Merica naturalization exam.

1. Chug a Bud.

2. What is freedom of religion?
  • Correct Answer: Believe in Jesus as often as you want.

3. What are the three unalienable rights promised in the Declaration of Independence?
  • Correct Answer: Life, liberty and the pursuit of blowin' sh-t up.

4. What is 'Merica's number one export?
  • Correct Answer: Sleeves

flex time

5. What sport is played in the World Cup?
  • Correct Answer: Don't know.

6. Name one reason colonists came to 'Merica.
  • Correct Answer: Super Bowl I

7. Who lived in 'Merica before the Europeans arrived?
  • Correct Answer: Illegal immigrants

8. Chug a Dew.

9. Draw a picture of the 'Merican food pyramid.
  • Correct Answer:


10. If the President can no longer serve, who becomes President?
  • Correct Answer: Bruce Springsteen

11. Which side won the Civil War?
  • Correct Answer: 'Merica, duh.

12. What is Patrick Henry famously remembered for saying?
  • Correct Answer: "Give me liberty or give me a No. 7 combo meal with extra mayo."

13. What is the national anthem of 'Merica?
  • Correct Answer: "Free Bird" by Lynyrd Skynyrd

14. What year did the Supreme Court legalize gay marriage nationwide?
  • Correct Answer: Wait a minute... WHAT HAPPENED?!

15. Chug a Corndog.

Congratulations, you've completed the 'Merica citizenship test! Tally up your score (or don't, because freedom).

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Duffy goes the distance -- sorta -- but can't quite get it done for Royals

Danny Duffy delivered his second-longest start of the season by going 6 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on six hits and two walks. He struck out six in his second start back from the 15-day disabled list.

Summer basketball looms for Butler duo

Summer basketball looms for Butler duo

CDC warns of pool parasite

A new report suggests that outbreaks in swimming pools of the parasite cryptosporidium increase each year. CNN affiliate KSAT reports.

Shark Tank's Daymond John: Three Reasons Customer Service Trumps Everything

Daymond John (the storied creator of FUBU who's now so spiffily informative on Shark Tank) and I tend to cover different areas; he’s best-known for working with entrepreneurs and in mentorship, and I concentrate on customer service and the customer experience as a consultant and keynote speaker. So I was heartened to hear Daymond's strong feelings on the subject, on “my” subject, so to speak, when we recently spoke after his Capital One mentorship event in NYC.

Love Has Given Unto Love

This post originally appeared on Yagnaram's blog.

Last month, I officiated at the marriage of two wonderful women. This was the first wedding I ever conducted, and it seemed fitting to me that it should be a same-sex marriage. The venue was a historic outdoor market in Philadelphia. Tourists would occasionally wander through as the mandap was being set up, consistently asking:

"What kind of event is this?" ("A wedding.")

"Is this a WEDDING?!?!" ("...Yes.")

"What's that incense you're burning? It's so lovely!" ("It's nag champa.")

The kalashas were set up and dressed with silk, the area around the havan kund with was decorated with mango leaves and fresh flowers. To my right, several friends of the brides were chatting while making a backdrop from beautiful red saris and marigolds. The traditional sounds of nadaswaram were playing softly (as softly as nadaswaram can be, anyway) in the background. The brides processed in and sat down. The rites went smoothly.

Many of the guests remarked to me later that this wedding was so beautiful. I personally think most weddings are beautiful, but many of these individuals had never attended a Hindu wedding before, so I understood that they were specifically commenting on the beauty of this context. Hindu weddings certainly are stunning affairs, with lots of bright colors, fresh flowers, the sounds of the ritual fire burning and the scent of incense. For me, as a queer person, the beauty of vivah samskara (marriage rites) is in the meaning and the context. People like me are still denied the right to marry in many places around the world, and so to not only witness, but also officiate, this marriage was especially joyful. What I performed for this couple, and what I will describe briefly below, is a form of marriage called gandharva vivah, a form of marriage that in antiquity was practiced by third-gender or queer individuals*. Gandharva vivah is especially beautiful, I believe, not just because of its usage by third gender people, but also because many of the prayers transcend the patriarchal structures of traditional marriage. These rites may change slightly across different traditions, but the core portions remain the same.

Preliminary rites are first performed like the cleansing of the space to make it pure and suitable for worship and prayers for the removal of obstacles. After the sankalpam, or dedication, is chanted, the familial lineages of both partners will be chanted aloud for all to hear, which is a way to honor each set of ancestors. The parents of either individual will come and pour water over a coconut held by the couple, symbolizing their blessings over this marriage. Then the spouses-to-be will perform what is my favorite part of the wedding rites, hṛdaya sparśa. The couple faces each other. They touch each others heart, and recite a mantra:

Who has given this heart and to whom?

Love has given unto love.

Love is the giver, love is the receiver.

Love has entered the ocean of love.

I receive you through love.

Oh love, this heart is yours.

I love this part because it is so gender neutral. The mantra does not refer to a woman giving herself to a man or vice versa, but love giving love and love receiving love. It reaffirms the fact that marriage is not an institution reserved for straight couples; it is for two souls who simply wish to give themselves to each other in totality.

The fire is ignited. Lord Agni, god of fire, is the priest of the Gods, and is a divine witness to all marriages. The priest will conduct a homam, chanting sacred suktas and offering ghee into the flames with each chant of "swahā." The couple will then exchange rose garlands. This exchange of garlands is a universally accepted part of Hindu marriages. It hearkens to the story of how Mother Lakshmi decorated Lord Vishnu with a garland, choosing Him as Her husband over all other gods.

The couple will take each others hand and make the saptapadi -- seven steps around the fire. This is perhaps the most iconic part of Hindu marriages, so often focused on in films. With each step, the couple recites a different prayer: "May Lord Vishnu lead you to strength. May Lord Vishnu lead you to power. May Lord Vishnu lead you to happiness..." They complete the circle and say to one another: "Be my companion for life, fixed in seven vows. May I attain companionship with you. Do not break this bond. You are a friend of mine, henceforth our mirth or miseries are same for us..." In making these steps together, their bond is solidified, that they may walk together in life, through all things. This reminds us that at its core, marriage is based on mutual respect, friendship and growth. Marriage exists for people to grow spiritually together, to assist each other in the trials of life, to embrace the joys (and yes, occasional monotony!) of everyday life together.

The couple and the officiating priest will then make purnahuti, a final offering, into the fire. Then the priest, families, and assembled guests will bless the couple with rice and flower petals. It is a communal celebration of love, and in this context, of queer love in particular.

It should go without saying that queer love is no different than straight love. Queer people in love enjoy the same tender embraces as straight, cisgender people do. A wedding between two queer people should not be any different than a wedding of a heterosexual man and woman. Of course, that is easier said than done. LGBTQ people in love might experience the same hardships as straight people do, but in addition to that, they also have to all of the additional trials and difficulties imposed by society's discrimination, as well as the risk of hate crimes and violence, and the disapproval of family, friends, co-workers and strangers. In light of that, LGBTQ people in love, everywhere, but especially in my faith community, should be lifted up and celebrated. Their strength in the face of opposition should be an inspiration to all.

LGBTQ people are still fighting to give and receive love, for our love to be seen as equal in the eyes of our governments, our families, and our peers. Yet, "Love has entered the ocean of love," and no one can reverse that flow.

On June 26, the United States Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marriage under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Such a victory should be celebrated everywhere, and for me, the joy I feel is coupled with a commitment to continue fighting until LGBT people receive full equality. Let's enjoy this moment for we must continue working hard for our collective liberation.

*For more information and scriptural references on this topic, please read Amara Das Wilhelm's book, Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex.

Also on HuffPost:

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The Story of Localized Marketing - Part I

All brands need to prepare for the localization of marketing...or get left behind

It's late 2009. Foursquare and Gowalla are the rage among the technorati. Social navigation app Waze is just getting traction. Twitter acquires GeoAPI, a startup specializing in location technology, and the tech blogs are buzzing about the promise of geolocation -- about the idea that location-aware mobile devices will revolutionize how consumers and brands interact in the physical world.

Screenshot 2015-06-03 14.59.23

This is the dawn of the modern mobile era -- an era defined by iOS and Android devices and by the decline of PCs as a broad mechanism for accessing the internet. This is the context in which my first software company, MomentFeed, was founded five years ago.

MomentFeed is an enterprise marketing platform. Like so many others, it's a SaaS model that integrates a range of marketing channels and disciplines into a unified solution for large brands. What sets MomentFeed apart, however, is not some set of features and capabilities. Rather, it's an entirely new marketing dynamic: the millions of places where companies do business and how billions of consumers interact with them via mobile devices.

Inspired by the revolution in mobile computing that was just getting started, we set out to build a marketing system that could handle this new reality -- a reality where consumers rely heavily, even obsessively, on their smartphones for information, navigation, communication, and entertainment. Where consumers can be reached with contextually relevant marketing at all times of the day, wherever they happen to be.

In 2010, we started to build a technology platform that would be able to handle the marketing paradigm that smartphones would lead to in 2015. After five years of iterating, expanding, and staying true to the vision, we arrived at what can only be described as a new form of marketing. It combines the best of brand marketing, local marketing, and direct response. It is equal parts search, social, web, and mobile. It can be executed at all levels of an organization, from the CMO to the store manager. Finally, it is managed and measured with unprecedented levels of granularity and scale. As such, what we started to build was the world's first localized marketing platform.

Pioneering a New Form of Marketing

In order to fully appreciate the significance of localized marketing, we first need to understand the dominant forms of marketing that preceded it. There have been three major technological disruptions over the past century that fundamentally changed the marketing landscape: broadcast television, the internet, and smartphones (mobile computing).

Prior to the 1950s, all marketing was local. Reach was limited to local newspapers and radio at a DMA level. Then came broadcast television. All of a sudden, marketing messages gained national reach with unprecedented efficiency and consistency. As such, broadcast television was the enabling technology that made national "brand marketing" possible for the first time. In other words, it enabled the same brand message to be delivered to tens of millions of consumers sitting in their living rooms watching TV at any given moment. This paved the way for companies like McDonald's, The Home Depot, and Coca-Cola to become the brands they are today.

The next technological revolution was the rise of the consumer internet, otherwise known as the World Wide Web, in the mid-'90s. As with television, the internet served as enabling technology that changed the marketing landscape. Digital marketing was born. It started with web pages and extended to display advertising, SEO, and paid search. Web 2.0 gave us social media in the form of blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Unlike television, consumers had much more control of this two-way medium, and marketers could know a lot more about the audiences they were targeting. However, digital marketing was still tethered to a physical location i.e. to the desktop computer. This also functioned to limit the audience to people who could afford one.

Screenshot 2015-06-03 15.28.24

Which brings us to the modern mobile era, in particular that of smart iOS and Android devices. Just as television didn't mark the dawn of TV marketing and the internet didn't trigger the era of internet marketing, mobile marketing is not what you get from mobile computing. It's only part of it. Mobile is an enabling technology. Mobile is a meta-channel that transcends every medium including TV, print, radio, web, outdoor, in-store, social, and search because consumers are "mobile" on a persistent basis. Mobile, then, is the enabling technology for localized marketing, an entirely new form of marketing that national and global marketers are just starting to adopt.

Screenshot 2015-06-03 15.29.31

The are three critical aspects of the smartphone revolution that make localized marketing both unique and possible:

1. All smartphones are location aware, which means it's possible to reach consumers where they are at any given moment. As such, consumers expect greater relevance when marketing is delivered via their mobile devices.

2. The global smartphone audience is projected to grow from 2.6 billion consumers today (huge) to 6.1 billion (really huge) over the next five years

3. More than 90% of all commerce still takes place offline, through traditional brick-and-mortar retail

This is the same set of assumptions we made in 2010 when starting MomentFeed. We asked ourselves, "What does the world look like for marketers when all consumers have location-enabled smartphones; when consumer attention shifts dramatically away from traditional media and PCs to smartphones; when the effectiveness of marketing spend can be measured at the places where businesses and consumers transact (the point of sale); when national marketing can be executed at the local level? And given all of this, what are the technology requirements that make it scale?"

That was our starting point. This is what lead to the innovation that is localized marketing.

In Part II, we'll review the digital marketing landscape and how localized marketing is fundamentally different from online marketing. And in Part III, we'll go into more detail about the various components and channels that add up to localized marketing.

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Chris McCain talks improvement with increased role

Chris McCain talks improvement with increased role

Workplace Perks That Are On The Rise

Companies are adding to their benefits portfolios, says the latest report from the Society for Human Resource Management. Find out where companies are putting their money now.

The man who wants to save the bees

Read full story for latest details.

Bill Clinton: How we can fight childhood obesity

Humble Snapshots Of 20th Century Art Giants Being Regular People

Jackson Pollock, Clement Greenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, and an unidentified child at the beach in East Hampton, New York, July 1952. Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner papers.

If you've ever wished for an art world equivalent of a celebrity tabloid that would prove 20th century giants like Picasso, Kahlo and Pollock were really just like us, look no further.

Tucked away in none other than the Smithsonian’s archives, amongst diaries, letters and other artist mementos, rests a treasure trove of artist photos so average, it's pretty extraordinary. We're talking Andy Warhol crossing the street, Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner enjoying a beach day, Alexander Calder ogling one of his iconic mobiles, Ansel Adams taking a solo shot in a photo booth. Never before have the biggest artists of the 20th century seemed so much like, well, normal people.

As explained by the folks at Smithsonian: "Unlike the familiar official portraits and genius-at-work shots, these humble snaps capture creative giants with their guard down, in the moment, living life." The black-and-white gems have been compiled into a book entitled Artists Unframed, by Merry A. Foresta, an independent curator and former curator of photography at the Smithsonian Institution.

See a preview of the book, available from Princeton Architectural Press, here.

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Would Chris Christie Run America Any Better Than He Has Atlantic City?

How would a Christie presidency look? Note his actions for Atlantic City.

Wide Waistbands: Active Elastic

You may not realize it, but a pair of underwear's attitude comes from its waistband -- at least, that's what we believe at The Underwear Expert. Think about it -- take away an underwear's waistband, and you may have a more elegant look, but add a wider waistband, and you'll look like more of an athlete. So, it all depends on the style you're going for.

The Underwear Expert created a two-part exclusive that is all about briefs and jockstraps with wide waistbands. One of the featured brands is Andrew Christian, which makes us all think of go-go boys versus goalies - or at least those of us who are familiar with the brand. However, in the BLOW! Collection, the wide waistbands add a sporty vibe to what we assume would normally just be a sexy pair of underwear. We love the BLOW! Brief in white, which has a black waistband that complements the black leg trim. Similarly, Alexander Cobb's Yellow River Slip has a more contemporary, black/yellow color variation.

For more on-the-nose and trendy styles, The Underwear Expert recommends Clever and 2eros. Both have wide waistbands that are metallic. The Clever Zircon Brief has a wider cut body and a wide silver waistband. It does indeed create a sporty look, but the white mesh adds to its sexy appeal. And if you've got gold fever, try out the 2eros Vivid Brief - it has a gold, saucy waistband.

But the ultimate winner of the wide waistband looks is PUMP! The company features their brand name in bold, all-caps, with that sassy exclamation point on their waistbands - which definitely wouldn't fit if PUMP! made their waistbands slightly smaller.

How do you like your waistbands - wide or narrow? Do you think you'll purchase any of these pairs?


Click for more information about wide waistbands, and check out The Underwear Expert for all of the latest men's underwear trends.

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First-timer? 10 drivers winless in 2015 but capable of winning at Daytona

History has proven Daytona International Speedway, one of just two restrictor-plate tracks, to be a place where just about anyone can win. The fabled 2.5-mile venue has been home to some of the sport's biggest upsets through the years. Following are 10 drivers who have yet to win in 2015 but who could get it done on Sunday night at the World Center of Racing.

'Warrior Games' Put Wounded Vets Back in the Fight

They are American national treasures -- our wounded warriors. Injuries have taken more than a million out of the fight since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. But many are overcoming through the healing power of sports.

Fire breaks out at S.C. church

A fire broke out at the Mt. Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church in Greeleyville, South Carolina, on Tuesday. Up to 50 firefighters fought to extinguish the blaze, a fire official said.

New App Could Save Lives Through Early Pneumonia Detection

A new app developed by a team from a university in Uganda could help to detect pneumonia earlier in patients - potentially saving uncountable lives through earlier treatment.

Texas county will issue same-sex marriage licenses, reversing earlier stance

DALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas county clerk said on Tuesday her office will issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, reversing a previous decision that was based on religious objections.