Posts Tagged ‘Erin Elzo’

One of the most notorious hedonists is being honored: the infamous and legendary Casanova. A native Italian, Giacomo Girolamo Casanova is most famous for “seducing the wives and daughters of important subjects of King Louis XV and cheating them out of their money.”

There have been numerous movies, TV specials and TV series glamorizing his triumphs over the years. Now, after fleeing Paris in 1760 for his indiscretions, he is back as an honorary guest of the National Library of France…or, at least, through the words of his memoirs and other writings.

The exhibition, “Casanova—The Passion for Freedom,” includes his memoirs’ original manuscript entitled “The Story of My Life.” If only all our lives were as exciting and deliciously scandalous as dear ol’ Giacomo’s.

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If there was ever a man who truly had a way with words, it was Oscar Wilde. Quick, witty, intelligent and sometimes cutting, he has been quoted countless times since his unfortunate death in Paris.

The latest news of this “Dublin playwright” was published the week of the 111th anniversary (Nov. 30, 2011) of his death. Fans will no longer be able to shower his gravestone with kisses. It has been a tradition for over a decade for fans to don his or her favorite shade of red or pink lipstick and (literally) kiss Wilde’s grave.

After its latest renovations, the layers of lipstick graffiti have been scrubbed clean and there is now a “glass enclosure to preclude future visitors from degrading the stone.” The tradition of kissing his grave began after a previous renovation had been done due to “decades of graffiti.” At the time, Wilde’s descendants were able to put somewhat of a stop to the graffiti by having the tombstone listed “a historical monument.”

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Many hail Starbucks as an evil corporation that exemplifies capitalism at its worst. Others see it just as another (extremely) successful business that has made a name for itself.

News of its recent purchase of juice company Evolution Fresh for $30 million has sparked new controversy over Starbucks’ further expansion in the industry. In his TIME NewsFeed article about the purchase, writer Nick Carbone points out that with this decision “Starbucks is pitting itself against juice stalwarts Odwalla and Naked Juice—owned by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, respectively.”

He is correct, but I find that fact ironic since Starbucks is still selling Odwalla and Naked Juice products in its stores. Maybe they’re planning on gradually changing all the juice options to be from Evolution Fresh over a period of time? We shall see.

For now, anyone who has a problem with the purchase needs to calm down. This expansion is just business to Starbucks, and it’s their choice if they want to take advantage of offering health-conscious options. If people are buying these kinds of juices, the company would be stupid not to participate in their sales.

-Erin Elzo

Photoshop can be seen as either your best friend or your worst enemy, depending on whom you ask. Its use in the advertising and magazine industries, especially regarding fashion, has been heavily criticized on many occasions.

Now, Dr. Hany Farid, a professor at Dartmouth College, and Eric Kee, a Ph.D. student at Dartmouth, “are proposing a software tool for measuring how much fashion and beauty photos have been altered, a 1-to-5 scale that distinguishes the infinitesimal from the fantastic.” In a recent New York Times article Farid compares photoshopping a person’s image to making someone look as fake as Barbie. He has a point. Even if an image is photoshopped only a little here and there to give a person height, decrease his or her weight or even some other smaller alteration: it adds up.

Former talent agent and marketing executive Seth Matlins and his wife Eva believe Farid and Kee’s research has the potential to truly make a difference in the industry. The Matlins have proposed a change in legislation to “require photos that have been ‘meaningfully changed’ to be labeled”—calling the proposal “the Self-Esteem Act.” Based on previous research and interviews I conducted for an ethics paper, I’d say there are other experts who would agree.

The impact and execution of this scale have yet to be seen, but it is certainly a project to watch. For those who don’t know who Pascal Dangin is: Google him. He’s considered a master at his craft so it’d be interesting to know how accurately his work would be rated on Farid and Kee’s scale.

-Erin Elzo

 Miami, Florida. Just the city’s name brings images of bikinis, sunshine, beaches and wild parties to mind. Nowadays, it also makes people think of plastic surgery.

The number of people getting work done by surgeons has increased over the years despite its high cost. One Miami woman decided to sacrifice quality for cost when she went to a “doctor” she’d been referred to by word of mouth. Her goal was to get a “curvier body” by getting butt implants so she could get a job at a nightclub.

The woman, Oneal Ron Morris, she found for the surgery only posed as a doctor. Morris was “born a man” but “identifies as a woman,” and has allegedly performed the surgery not only on herself but on other unsuspecting customers as well. The “toxic concoction” Morris injected in several areas around the woman’s butt consisted of “cement, mineral oil and flat-tire sealant.”

Morris is charged with “practicing medicine without a license with serious bodily injury.” The police only discovered the scheme once the injuries of the Miami woman previously mentioned became too severe for her to bear the embarrassment of telling doctors what Morris has done during previous visits. No other victims have come forward, most likely due to the same embarrassment she faced.

The description of Morris provided in the Gainesville Sun article just adds to the bizarre nature of the whole incident. Hard to believe anyone would entrust his or her health in any way with someone who tells patients: “‘Oh don’t worry, you’ll be fine. We just keep injecting you with the stuff and it all works itself out,’” when “the pain became too intense.” That statement definitely inspires confidence…not.

-Erin Elzo

For most people who have traveled within and around Europe, Ryanair is synonymous with cheap flights. Now, it may add pay-per-view porn to its in-flight repertoire, furthering its notoriety for developing “different” kinds of commercial ventures.

Melissa Locker summed up the idea by Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary best in her TIME article: “Yes, the company that charges customers to check-in online and at the airport, may now be helping customers join the Mile High Club from the comfort of their seats.”

O’Leary originally released a statement about the new “service” to the British tabloid The Sun. He explained that the porn would be available “on handheld devices” instead of the typical viewing options for other entertainment services on the screens placed on seat backs. He compared the service to those offered by hotels. However, concern has been raised over the public nature of viewing such kinds of films during a flight where children might be present.

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The reasons just keep on coming. Why we shouldn’t eat this or we shouldn’t do that. When it comes to drinks like red wine, it seems as though there are generally more reasons to have a glass a day than not as you get older.

However, a new study has shown that even red wine didn’t make the cut in terms of having a positive impact on women’s health. It is reported that even having “as few as three drinks a week” can cause women to have “an elevated risk of breast cancer.” Well, that sucks.

For the majority of us females, that means our time in college has, or is, increasing our risk of breast cancer. Part of me hopes that this is just another item to tack onto the list of potential causes of cancer or risks of cancer, but another part worries that I’ve helped sign my own fate.

We make jokes about how studies have found yet another thing in our lives could potentially lead to cancer, but how are we to know which are actually going to affect us. Just because it hasn’t happened yet, does that mean we can laugh it off?

Even with all of these studies, it doesn’t seem as though it is going to do much to change the general female population’s mind on having a few drinks every week, in moderation or not. It’s every woman for herself, but at least the information is out there. For me, this won’t change my personal views on drinking, but maybe it’ll be life-changing for someone else. Cheers to those women.

-Erin Elzo