Archive for November, 2010

Check Facebook on Mount Everest!

Posted: November 30, 2010 by jerkmag in SURF -- tech, VAULT -- archives

A private telecom firm introduced 3G services to the region around Mt. Everest. You can now say you climbed the tallest mountain and made the highest elevated phone call. In the past, climbers had to invest in expensive high-tech phones that allowed them to report their status at home. Now the rates are much cheaper, and climbers can also send pictures, videos and tweet about their progress.

~Nicole Fisher

Designers Do Care For The Little People

Posted: November 30, 2010 by jerkmag in TRIM -- style

Designer collaborations are amazing. They give us high fashion lovers the opportunity to indulge. You can look at the collections and the online shopping sites all you want, but in the end it doesn’t compare to actually being able to own the creations.

Fast fashion retailers such as H&M and Uniqlo are great examples of companies that generate revenue and commercial interest. Honestly, most of the collections they present are copies of high-end designer looks. However, when the two ends of the spectrum meet, luxury and fast-fashion, the results are wonderful. You get the best of both worlds.

The latest designer collaboration is Lanvin and H&M. The idea is to bring the signatures of Lanvin to a mass market. Or as Alber Elbaz, artistic director of Lanvin, would say “about H&M going to the luxury business”. The collection debuted in select stores last week. Shocker, H&M Carousel Center isn’t a select store.

~Nadjma Sako

Some Simpsons, and 20 Duggars

Posted: November 30, 2010 by jerkmag in POP - pop culture

- The Simpsons23rd season brings them to a total of 515 episodes. Guest celebrities set to appear include Halle Berry, Paul Rudd, Ricky Gervais, Rachel Weisz, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig, Alyson Hannigan, Martha Stewart and Katy Perry.

- Nick Lachey finally proposed to long-time girlfriend Vanessa Minnillo. How does Jessica Simpson feel? Initial rumors claimed that she was very upset, because why wouldn’t she be? He was her first love, first marriage, first divorce, and while she’s getting the rap for being fat, Nick and Vanessa are getting the “oohs and ahhs” for being the cutest couple. Simpson cleared up the rumors when she told Ryan Seacrest that she “couldn’t be more happy for Nick.” Please, you know you spend your nights with Ben and Jerry crying your eyes out.

- Another Duggar baby is on the way. My philosophy: when your family photo begins to resemble a class photo, you should get your tubes tied. Lucky for Michelle Duggar, who has already popped out a whopping 19 babies, the next baby will be from her daughter-in-law Anna, wife to the eldest Duggar, Josh.

~Julia Fuino

The slender bodies of the Victoria’s Secret goddesses will grace our television sets on CBS tomorrow night. One thing I love about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is the hype before the show every year, from casting the models to finding the best makeup, costume, and hair stylists from around the world. And the best part is the famous Angels’ wings. Each intricate pattern is authentically woven to steal the show with its ability to mesmerize the audience. Some of the wings can weigh up to 50 pounds. No one said being a VS model was easy!

These models work their butts off to keep a mighty cuerpo caliente. Some beauty rituals the models go through: exercising, extra sleep, and drinking lots of water. One model actually buffs her body with scrub and then lathers on oil a few days prior to showtime. Whatever it is these models go through to prepare themselves, they definitely know how to fire up the runway.

~Jeanine Guzman

Earlier this month, Essence Editor-in-Chief Angela Burt-Murray made the stunning announcement that she is stepping down from her position and will move to Atlanta with her family.

Although Burt-Murray was the EIC of Essence for five years, rumor has it that she decided to resign last July, over controversy with new fashion director Elliana Placas. It is the first time in the publication’s 40-year history that a white person was appointed to the staff. The decision angered even the most loyal readers, who threatened to discontinue their subscription.

During her tenure at Essence, Angela Burt-Murray launched both the Essence Book Club and “Hot Hair” special issues, popular additions among the magazine’s readership.

Meanwhile, Essence hired former Time Inc. editor-at-large Sheryl Tucker as the new interim EIC until they find a permanent replacement.

~Dee Lockett

Kanye West: Rapper, Director, Ornithologist

Posted: November 29, 2010 by jerkmag in BLARE -- music

To hype his new album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (fellow music blogger Evan reviewed it), Kanye West directed a 30-minute art/film/music video. It contains nine songs from the album, including, “Power,” “All of the Lights,” and “Runaway,” the namesake of the video.

It opens with West “running away” toward the camera. Duh, it’s the title of the video! At first, I was ready to dismiss the video because of its apparent simplemindedness, but things got interesting with the phoenix, the part bird, part human manifestation that West falls in love with. It was completely absurd, but not so much for West. (Relive the 2009 VMAs one more time. You want to.) Anyway, watch West take the phoenix on a series of dates to show her life on Earth, after which the phoenix thinks she’s qualified to sum us up: “Do you know what I hate most about your world? Anything that is different you try to change. You try to tear it down.”

Thanks, phoenix lady. Grab some popcorn and enjoy.

~ Christina Jones

One More Reason That Mary Poppins is Perfect

Posted: November 29, 2010 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

It sounds dirty at first, but The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles is actually a children’s book. And it’s not just a nostalgia trip or something you crack open for shits and giggles.  This book was a significant part of my childhood. I think it’s beautifully written and incredibly poignant if you can spare the extra three brain cells it takes to dig beneath the surface a little.

Written by the über fabulous Dame Julie Andrews The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles follows three siblings, Ben, Tom, and Lindy, as they traverse the fantastical and unbelievable world of Whangdoodleland.  If this doesn’t sound like a porno to you yet, there’s more.  The three children are led through this magical land by a Nobel prize-winning scientist, an older man who thinks he can use the children to rediscover his own lost youth and finally achieve his life’s goal of meeting the very last Whangdoodle.  This is all completely innocent, but out of context it sounds like the premise for an episode of To Catch a Predator.

Bear with me though, because this book really is worth it.  Yes, you can tell that it’s meant for the younger generation, but sometimes you need to stop reading all those college-level organic chemistry texts and give your brain a break.  This book is perfect for that. It brings your dead imagination back to life!

~Rebecca Leviton

I know what many of you are thinking: oatmeal is nasty, lumpy, old people breakfast mush.  Well, you’re partially wrong. Oatmeal can be served this way, which I find heart-warming and tasty on a cold winter morning.  But I can understand why some shy away from the clumps, even though they’re high in fiber, low in fat, and packed with calcium. Fortunately, there are other ways to enjoy oatmeal. Some of these recipes may not be as healthy as a good ol’ fashioned bowl of mush, but they’re definitely delicious:

~Alicia Smith

Get Glowy, Happy Skin!

Posted: November 22, 2010 by jerkmag in TRIM -- style

Unfortunately, I’m afflicted with dry skin. In the winter, moisturizer is all that keeps my face from cracking in half. It’s important to switch the products you’re using with the changing seasons. In summer, oil-fighting cleansers keep pores clear. But in the Syracuse tundra it’s all about hydration. Products that remove oil are a no-no! They will dry out your skin and take away its natural luster.

Be cautious with your hydrating skin products. Some contain mineral oils, paraffin wax, or petroleum, which can dry out skin and cause premature aging. The best products contain hyaluronic acid. This special acid is responsible for retaining water and moisture. I recommend SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel. It can replace moisturizer and contains hyaluronic acid and vitamin B5.

~Jeanine Guzman

My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy – BLARE Beats

Posted: November 20, 2010 by jerkmag in BLARE -- music

If you locked John Nash in a recording studio with an MPC drum machine, a symphony ensemble, and 5 milligrams of epinephrine, you would get Kanye’s latest and greatest offering: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.

Nash  and West have foresight. Just as Nash would see the world in fragmented geometric equations, West can imagine and construct such bold, far-reaching records that it almost defies logic.  In many ways this album does unequivocally exclaim a resounding, “FUCK YOU” to convention and precept.  A daring triumph that encompasses several genres and a half-century of inspiration, MBDTW is Mr. West’s Moby Dick, his masterpiece.

To describe the enormity of the sounds and melodies, I hesitate to use the word “epic,” (our generation’s most bastardized term) but there really is no better adjective.  Whether it’s the incredible 2-minute breakdown in between verses on “Devil In a New Dress” or the violin-piano duet before “All of the Lights,” every cut on this album is larger than life.

Behind the boards, West swiftly departs from the soulful throwback sounds of The College Dropout and instead utilizes darker, more refined electric accents, a unifying sound that allows him to address multiple themes. It’s what makes the album truly great: West’s ability to connect ostensibly different sounds (the funky 70s guitar riff in “Gorgeous” vs. the gritty synth on “Hell of a Life”) and to produce a cohesive, thematic production.  These sounds paired together would look absurd on paper, but it absolutely works on wax.

Lyrically, the album is almost as multi-faceted as the production.  For every “can I talk my shit again?” punchline (Lamborghinis, high fashion, Learjets), West delivers many more conscious, thoughtful bars that remind us that the New York Times does, in fact, deliver to Mt. Olympus.  “Lost In the World” features the rap Godfather himself, Gil Scott Heron, whose influential catalog has clearly inspired Kanye’s socially critical rhymes in “Gorgeous”:

“Face it, Jerome get more time than Brandon / And at the airport, they check all through my bag and tell me it’s random… This the real world, homie, school finished / They done stole your dreams, you don’t know who did it / I treat the cash like the government treats AIDS, I won’t be satisfied til all my niggas get it, get it?”

Other subjects include marrying a porn star and acknowledging his mistakes in the limelight. Overall, Kanye reminds us that perhaps the biggest star and one of the most creative people on the planet is, at the end of the day, human.

~Evan Dinger