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Inside the Brazilian Amazon With VEJA

IT’S A GRAY JUNE MORNING in Brazil’s Amazon, and Julio Barbosa de Aquino is carving a long, shallow line into a tree outside his home in the state of Acre. The tree’s bark looks like a patchwork quilt: Semi-horizontal and vertical grooves cover just about every inch you can see.

Seconds later, a white liquid that almost resembles Elmer’s glue fills the space where Barbosa has carved, and it flows down diagonally into a separate vertical line. Finally, a few beads drip into a small black bucket that’s attached to the bark.

This is the morning’s main event: This is how you get wild rubber.

julio-veja-rubber
Julio Barbosa demonstrates the proper way to carve the trees to extract the wild rubber outside his home in Brazil’s Amazon. Photographs by John Lonsdale

TO REACH THE CHICO MENDES EXTRACTIVE RESERVE where Barbosa lives, you have to drive down a long, bumpy dirt road until you reach a river. Then, a short boat ride across the water later, you climb up a steep path to the top of the hill. The Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve is named after Barbosa’s best friend, Chico Mendes, who led a peaceful movement in the ’80s to protect Acre’s rubber tapping community from deforestation and farming, and was killed in 1988. Today, Barbosa, 64, is the president of the Chico Mendes Extractive Reserve Residents and Producers Association Xapuri, AMOPREX.

This is just one of eight associations where Veja, the sustainable French footwear brand, works with rubber tappers, or seringueiros, who collect wild rubber from the forest that goes into Veja’s popular lines of sleek and stylish sneakers like the Esplars, the Campos, and V-10s—all of which are made with the wild rubber.

“You need to get to the vein of the milk, but you cannot reach the tissue that is right behind,” says Barbosa, a few hours later while leading us on a nearly four-hour hike through the forest with the rubber tappers. It’s only part of a route the rubber tappers take every three days during the week. Along the way, they cut sections of the trees called “flags” to collect the rubber. “When they do this, there will be a scar,” he says. When a cut has gone too deep, the tree releases water, he explains. Instead, it’s better for the tree to make shallow cuts to get the rubber.

wild-rubber-veja
Wild rubber “cakes” in the town of Xapuri, Brazil, will eventually find their way into Veja’s line of stylish sneakers, including its new Condor running shoes. Photograph by John Lonsdale

From there, once collected and dry, wild rubber is sent to get processed, then it’s assembled with the sneakers in a factory in Porto Alegre, Brazil.

“We buy the wild rubber from Amazonia,” Veja co-founder Sébastien Kopp says during a break in our hike with the rubber tappers and Barbosa. “We buy the rubber coming from the trees from the forest, inside the forest. And this rubber becomes the soles of our shoes.”

veja-factory
A pair of Veja’s recently assembled in the brand’s factory in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Photograph by John Lonsdale

According to Kopp, each pair of Veja’s sneakers’ soles have about 20-40 percent of the wild rubber. “This year we’re going to buy 170 tons of wild rubber at a price that we call fair that has nothing to do with the market price, and that is how the rubber tapper can make a living out of it and can make a living better than raising cattle or cutting down the forest.

“Because the paradox is that [the rubber tappers] can be the destroyer of the forest if they don’t have an income, don’t earn money, they can cut the forest to sell the trees and put cattle,” he says. “But they can also be the guardians of the forest, and that’s the way we try to push them towards.”

veja co-founders
VEJA co-founders Sébastien Kopp (left) and François Ghislain Morillion (right) Courtesy VEJA

KOPP, ALONG WITH François Ghislain Morillion, founded Veja in 2005 and began working in Acre just a year earlier.

In 2007, Bia Saldanha, who lives in the Brazilian Amazon, started working as Veja’s wild rubber chain designer and coordinator to help streamline the production process. “My mission is to make sure that the relationship between the company and the rubber tappers is growing and being fair and healthy for both parts, especially for the rubber tappers,” says Saldanha.

veja
Bia Saldanha (left) and Sébastien Kopp (right) in the Brazilian Amazon. Courtesy Veja

After years of working in Acre, the brand’s work with the rubber tappers who help maintain the forest feels especially important today.

This summer, Brazil made headlines because of the Amazon’s wildfires. NASA could see the smoke from space, and the Amazon saw over an 80 percent increase in wildfires since this time in 2018, along with an increase in deforestation in June.

We try to say that a forest which is up has more value than a forest which is down.

“We don’t try to fight against deforestation. We try to valorize the forest,” Kopp explained to me on our walk through the forest, weeks before the wildfires made the news. “We try to say that a forest which is up has more value than a forest which is down. That’s what we’re trying to do with the rubber for 15 years. We’re trying to prove that you can make an economic value with the forest—but with the forest standing up.”

veja condor
Veja has launched its first running shoes, the Condor, which are designed with recycled plastic, wild rubber, and more. Courtesy VEJA

Now, months since Barbosa demonstrated how to properly collect wild rubber, Veja’s launching its next project: the brand’s first running shoes. The name: the Condor. Four years in the making, the Condors retail for under $ 150 and forego some of the materials and plastics you might find in other running kicks in your closet. These pack in an upper made of recycled plastic bottles, for example, along with organic cotton in the lining.

veja condor running shoes
Veja has launched its first running shoes, the Condors. Courtesy Veja

Morillion explains that, for the brand, the decision to eventually design running sneakers was “quite natural.” He says the Condors are built for running a 20K, or a half-marathon race.

veja condor
Veja’s new Condor running shoes include an outsole made with a mix of wild rubber, wild rice husk, and synthetic rubber. Courtesy Veja

The Condors’ outsole alone has 31 percent rice husk, 30 percent synthetic rubber, and 30 percent wild rubber that came from the Brazilian Amazon. The Condors are what Veja calls the “first post-petroleum running shoe”—a pair of sneakers that are 53 percent recycled and bio-based.

“We know we’re not 100 percent,” Morillion says, “but it’s the direction. And it’s really the goal that we want to reach.”

The post Inside the Brazilian Amazon With VEJA appeared first on Men's Journal.

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Inside the Edge: A Professional Blackjack Adventure – Chris Buddy

Chris Buddy - Inside the Edge: A Professional Blackjack Adventure  artwork

Inside the Edge: A Professional Blackjack Adventure

Chris Buddy

Genre: Documentary

Price: $ 6.99

Rental Price: $ 0.99

Release Date: May 21, 2019


The documentary film, "Inside the Edge", features the world's elite professional blackjack players who take on casinos for millions while trying to evade casino surveillance and local law enforcement. Director Chris Buddy follows the life of KC, a second-generation professional blackjack player, as he concludes his blackjack career traveling the United States from casino to casino. Through years of unprecedented footage and interviews with the foremost gambling authorities, Buddy pulls back the veil on one of the world's most secretive communities and reveals what it takes to succeed while grinding out a career winning big in casinos.

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Inside a Beauty Editor’s Insane Skin-Care Routine

2015-10-16-1445036553-1479575-23ashleyskin.w529.h352.jpg
(Photo: Andre D. Wagner)

By Ashley Weatherford

I once dedicated a solid 45 minutes each morning to my beauty routine, and that was a problem. So when I finally cut my embarrassingly elaborate skin-care routine down to ten minutes this summer, it was a point of pride. My goal: perfect, luminous skin.

I begin my streamlined morning lineup with a few pumps of Phace’s Detoxifying Cleanser, a non-foaming cleanser specifically enhanced with a pH slightly lower than our skin’s natural pH. I learned about Phace when the brand’s Harvard-trained founder paid the Cut a visit last year. There are a few very nerdy reasons why you want a cleaner with a low pH. At the top of the list: hydrated skin, and fewer blemishes and wrinkles down the road. It’s a bit of a mystery why the low pH helps protect skin better, but one plausible theory is since skin that stays in the low-pH range is more acidic, it naturally fights acne-causing bacteria while preserving the face’s native moisture barrier.

Related: 5 Beauty Lessons From Paris Fashion Week

2015-10-16-1445036683-1039937-30myroutinemarket.w529.h352.jpg

After I cleanse, I rub on the most aptly named product in existence: Good Genes. The serum by Sunday Riley is fueled by lactic acid and makes my skin instantly glow. It has a pungent, spicy smell that turns off many, but surprisingly, not me. Maybe all you need to know is that Helen Mirren is a fan.

I usually let Good Genes marinate on my skin for a few minutes. Then, if I’m feeling undermoisturized, I give a few blots of Pestle and Mortar’s Hyaluronic Acid Serum around my chin and hairline, where I sometimes become uncharacteristically dry (my skin is generally oily). Pestle and Mortar is the brainchild of an Irish biochemist, her skin-care guru sister, and her photographer husband, who wanted to help people look Photoshopped IRL. So far, my experience looks promising.

For my eyes, I’ve most recently turned to a gnarly skin-care brand that employs technology used on astronauts in outer space. Skin Space Defence Bright Eye Lift Gel is a clear solution that loses its semi-solid shape as soon as it touches my skin. It melts and becomes oily, like cold bacon fat thrown in a frying pan. The story behind the brand goes something like this: A British plastic surgeon teamed up with space scientists to create a healing salve for post-op patients in his practice. The space scientists tapped into their knowledge of skin-care ingredients astronauts use when exposed to the age-accelerating elements of space, and before long, a beauty brand was born. I can’t say for sure why I use this product (my eyes don’t need a “lift” just yet), but if I’m being honest, there’s an amusement factor when I think about a bunch of rocket scientists huddled together to launch a cosmetic product.

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Right after I tend to my eyes, I slap on Philosophy’s Renewed Hope in a Jar SPF 30 mixed with a dab of every makeup artist’s (and Kardashian’s) holy-grail product, Kevyn Aucoin’s Sensual Skin Enhancer, which completes my morning ritual.

Nighttime is a much more complicated story. First, I remove my makeup with some sort of wipe. Recently, that’s been makeup artist Lauren Napier’s individually packaged and guaranteed-to-never-dry-out wipes. Lauren’s worked with the likes of Zoë Kravitz, Anne Hathaway, and Lady Gaga, so you could say she knows a thing or several about cutting through serious face paint. She’s also worked with Drake, even though everyone knows that Aubrey is naturally beautiful.

I typically wash my face again with Phace. As soon as I pat dry, I swipe Pixi’s Glow Tonic over my face with a cotton round. Glow Tonic is new to the States, but in its native England, it’s a bit of a rock star. The glycolic acid in the formula gently smooths over rough spots and the occasional dark mark over time. It’s basically the budget version of Biologique Recherche’s P-50. A delightfully named Skin Perfecting Liquid from Paula’s Choice completes my acid application for the night. In there, you can find a watery concentration of 2 percent salicylic acid, which ensures that my pores stay clear and my blemishes remain buried.

It’s a waiting game of 30 minutes before I move to the next step. Though, truthfully, some nights, this is where the train ends. But if I’m being diligent, I follow the salicylic acid with Paula’s Choice Resist Anti-Aging 1% Retinol Booster. The 30-minute waiting period nullifies any irritation that might arise when using an acid and a retinol at the same time. It’s a method I’ve tested through trial and error because it will sting a bit if I don’t wait. I don’t use retinols all the time, but I try to sometimes, if only because it’s one of the best products a person can use to avoid wrinkles later in life.

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Immediately after the retinol, I dab on 111 Skin’s Celestial Black Diamond Contour Gel. Slightly thicker than the eye gel I use in the morning, it’s supposed to help stimulate the production of collagen, which, in return, will help diminish the appearance of dark circles. I’ve only just started to use the gel, but here’s to wishful thinking.

Finally, I finish off the night with La Prairie’s Skin Caviar Luxe Cream Sheer. Yes, it’s expensive, and yes, if you agree with Kathleen, the Cut’s senior beauty editor, it might smell like granny cream, but I love that it makes my skin feel really soft and plump in the morning. When I’m not being completely overindulgent, I’ll use Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask instead.

And speaking of masks, lately Dr. Jart’s Deep Hydration sheet mask is what I like every now and then, when my skin feels especially parched. I actually swear by sheet masks for hydration. Unlike traditional masks, the cloth in a sheet mask traps moisture so skin feels especially supple.

But will I keep this routine going throughout the fall? Who knows? Maybe I’ll Kondo more to add some simplicity to my life.

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— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




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John Seabrook - Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory (Unabridged)  artwork

Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory (Unabridged)

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Genre: Arts & Entertainment

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© ℗ © 2015 HighBridge Company

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Life Inside Minecraft! – The Blacksmith and The Apprentice – Stone Marshall

Stone Marshall - Life Inside Minecraft! - The Blacksmith and The Apprentice  artwork

Life Inside Minecraft! – The Blacksmith and The Apprentice

Legends & Heroes Issue 1

Stone Marshall

Genre: Graphic Novels

Publish Date: June 1, 2015

Publisher: Stone Marshall Studio

Seller: Nathan Lawrence


Ever wonder what life is like in Minecraft? Read Legends and Heroes to find out! Created by Stone Marshall , the author of the popular Flynn’s Log series. The Stone Marshall Studio is developing a new series: Legends & Heroes A hybrid of comic-book style illustrations and short stories. Each issue is fun, challenging, and engaging.  These interrelated  stories follow a series of characters on a journey through life in Minecraft. Relatable characters, thrilling action, and colorful illustrations will suck in readers and leave them excited to read the next adventure! Secrets await! Solve the puzzle, uncover secrets! The Blacksmith and The Apprentice: Issue 1 The ancient art of blacksmithing is a thing of beauty. A lot of hard work goes into the process. It’s very complicated, really. Stoking the flames to many small, contained fires—making lumps of metal into differently shaped items of metal—hitting said lumps of metal with hammers to turn them into different weapons. You can shape metals into whatever item you want. Okay, it might not be a very interesting job, but apprenticing with the best blacksmith in the kingdom is a huge opportunity. Blacksmiths make the tools everyone needs to get about in their day-to-day lives. It’s a very prestigious and impressive position, although this honor is lost when the position is held by Dane, a youthful boy who dreams of greater adventure! Luckily, Dane has a skilled master to reign in his daydreaming. Viegar has quite an interesting past. From his years on the Royal Guard to his close relationship with the previous king, he’s quite a friend to have on your side. There is one other apprentice, Snip, who is much more passionate about his duties than Dane. Between the three of them, they churn out powerful weapons and protective armor, usually with no thanks to Dane. Of course, no cast of characters would be complete without the big man in charge—in this case, a king. By almost anyone’s account, he’s a good and fair ruler, but there is no one in power without enemies. Though Viegar and his workers only want to help their wonderful king, there are still plenty who wish to do him harm. But Dane can only imagine such things. It’s not as if he’d ever be in the position to really make any sort of difference or be in any place of power. Right? And though his apprenticeship is mundane and boring, the young man gets a few moments of excitement. Every once in a while, his master Viegar lets him venture out past the village to visit the caravan, where he can trade and buy supplies. It’s the most excitement Dane ever gets in his line of work. Sometimes, he gets to meet interesting people. Sometimes, he hears interesting things. And maybe, just maybe, he sometimes hears of a new opportunity for himself. But who would want to give up such a life as an esteemed apprentice? But of course, destiny and desire are not always what you expect . . . 

iTunes Store: Top Free Books in Comics & Graphic Novels

Emmys 2015: Inside The Best After Parties

Access had a front row pass to the 2015 Emmys after parties. Take a look as we highlight the best of the best!


Access Hollywood Latest Videos

Inside Darren Criss’ Plan to Create an Annual Music Festival With Broadway Performers

The inaugural Elsie Fest at New York City’s JBL Live at Pier 97 features Lea Salonga, Leslie Odom, Jr. and Aaron Tveit singing showtunes, pop covers and even Disney hits amidst a beer garden, food trucks and a piano bar.
Music News Headlines – Yahoo News

Inside A Bitter Divorce: Suburban Housewife Says She Fears Living Under A Bridge

 An all-new season of Dr. Phil premieres September 14!  Watch a preview here.

Leslie, once a suburban housewife and mother of two, is now divorced and on a mission to get money she claims her ex, Nelson, owes her. She believes that when she and Nelson divorced four years ago, he hid large sums of money from her in a deliberate attempt to leave her destitute.

“I’m angry about being treated the way I was treated,” says Leslie. “I’m angry about getting screwed. I know that Nelson cheated me out of money. He needs to pay up.”

She also claims Nelson was abusive and controlling throughout their 22-year marriage, claims Nelson absolutely denies, saying, “He put me through hell,” and calling him “a lying, conniving sociopath.”

Of $ 300,000 she says she got in their divorce settlement, she says she has about $ 100,000 left. “I’m afraid of ending up under a bridge like an old lady,” she cries.

Nelson denies misrepresenting his finances during the divorce and that he was abusive. “From the time I filed for divorce until the divorce ultimately was granted in 2011, I supported Leslie 100 percent financially,” he says, claiming she would come home late at night, he says after gambling. “She would just throw open the door screaming at me demanding money. It was very frightening … Leslie’s behavior felt like a wild animal was loose in the house.” Nelson says Leslie has refused to look for work and lives solely off alimony.

“There was constant fighting. There were disagreements. There was no satisfaction in the marriage,” he says of what led to their divorce. “It was the constant feeling that I was always chasing after something that would satisfy Leslie and no matter what I did, the mark or the bar would change. And I could just never do anything that would make Leslie happy.”

Watch the video above as the exes share their respective points of view, and tune in to Wednesday’s episode of Dr. Phil to find out how Dr. Phil suggests Leslie can get “the best revenge,” and how the couple can move forward in peace.

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Dr. Phil – The Huffington Post

Emmy Awards Jewelry: An Inside Close Look at the Gems Celebs Wear on the Red Carpet

From the Emmys' red carpet to the ring finger of nearly every Bachelorette ever, Neil Lane is the diamond go-to for celebs. The jeweler, who's been busy helping Emmy nominees select the perfect jewels for…


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What’s Inside – Vodka

It’s the preferred poison of Russians, dieters, and college freshmen, but what’s actually inside the fire water? It’s rarely potatoes, actually. At its purest, it’s mostly ethanol that has been distilled from wheat, rye, or corn and diluted with water. Find out what else is inside the clear spirit.
WIRED Videos – The Scene

Inside Tinashe’s First Fashion Week: From the Alexander Wang Afterparty to Jeremy Scott’s Front Row

tinashe photo diary

There few things in life that can compare to your first time at New York Fashion Week. Tinashe would know: In the last 10 days, her packed schedule has included a front row moment at a Jeremy Scott show, a spot on Alexander Wang’s epic after-party performance line-up, and even some impromptu hang time with the queen of New York City style herself, Sarah Jessica Parker. Here, the rising R&B starlet shares personal snaps of the whirlwind experience.

The post Inside Tinashe’s First Fashion Week: From the Alexander Wang Afterparty to Jeremy Scott’s Front Row appeared first on Vogue.

Vogue
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Yabba dabba doo! Look inside this recently listed Flintstone house

The Bay Area’s famous ‘Flinstone House’ has hit the market for $ 4.2 million. With a cave-like facade, it’s a throwback to the stone age.


TODAY Pop Culture

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What’s Inside – Hybrid Engines

Starting a hybrid car is as easy as pushing a button, but what’s really beneath the hood? For starters, a 100-lb rechargeable battery pack containing smaller nickel-metal hydride and lithium-ion batteries, similar to those in your cell phone.

WIRED Videos – The Scene

Inside Gigi Hadid’s Big Fashion Moment at Tommy Hilfiger

gigi hadid tommy hilfiger

 

What’s it like to be Gigi Hadid? We may never fully know. But the blonde bombshell gave us a model’s-eye view on what it was like to walk the runway at Tommy Hilfiger, at least. So what can you expect? Stay tuned for an adorable sister moment with fellow model Bella, getting lost en route, and a chic #IWokeUpLikeThis selfie, all leading up to her walk-on-water moment on the Mustique-themed catwalk.

 

Photographed by Mario Testino, Vogue, April 2015

The post Inside Gigi Hadid’s Big Fashion Moment at Tommy Hilfiger appeared first on Vogue.

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What’s Inside – Slim Jim

It’s four inches of spicy, salted, processed meat, but is there actually beef inside the tiny stick? Well, that depends on your definition of meat.
WIRED Videos – The Scene

‘DWTS’ Season 21: Inside Rehearsals

Go behind the scenes as the teams rehearse for ‘Dancing with the Stars’ Season 21!


Access Hollywood Latest Photos

Wanna Look Inside My Beach Bag?

Take a peek at the beauty essentials Allure beauty features editor Elizabeth Siegel brings to the beach.
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MillionaireMatch.com – the best dating site for sexy, successful singles!

Inside Taylor Swift’s Star-Studded 1989 World Tour: How She’s Getting All Those Celebs (Like Julia Roberts) On Stage!

True story: Taylor Swift is friends with most of the other famous people in the world. And those she hasn’t charmed the bespoke socks off of yet are presumably just waiting for their…


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Bieber, Diplo and Skrillex Make a Hit: Inside History of ‘Where Are Ü Now’

How Diplo and Skrillex turned a ballad by Justin Bieber into an E.D.M hit.
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ADULT ENTERTAINMENT NEWS UPDATE:Gabby Love’s top pick! Click and enjoy!

‘Whorl Inside a Loop’: Theater Review


Broadway actress Sherie Rene Scott stars in her play co-written with Dick Scanlan, based on her experience working with prison inmates on a theatrical project.

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Hollywood Reporter – Theater Reviews Feed

What’s Inside – Red Bull

The energy drink purports to “give you wings,” and it has a close, personal relationship with vodka. But it isn’t the sugar that amps you up—it’s good, old-fashioned caffeine.
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Makeup Monday: The Beauty Secret That Works From the Inside Out


HUM is the digestible beauty brand that’s keeping Hollywood stars like Gina Rodriguez detoxed and blemish free.

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Teen Technorati – The Thiel Fellows Get an Inside Look at Silicon Valley on a Field Trip to the Google Campus

The Thiel fellows get a dose of Silicon Valley life as they visit Google’s collaborative workspace, The Garage. After a demo of Google Glass, the group gets hands-on with an innovation exercise to hone their creativity and team-building skills.
WIRED Videos – The Scene

Inside Me, Inside You / Inside Me, Inside You – Video 3

Inside Me, Inside You – Video 3

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Inside Me, Inside You / Inside Me, Inside You – Video 4

Inside Me, Inside You – Video 4

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A Look Inside Banksy’s ‘Dismaland,’ The Bleakest Amusement Park Ever

It’s Disneyland, wrapped in a nightmare.

On Thursday, images and video captured inside “Dismaland,” Banksy’s new art exhibition/dystopian amusement park, began making the rounds on social media. They offer a glimpse into a world that’s predictably dark, bizarre and full of satire.

There’s a statue of Little Mermaid, looking oddly distorted, and a sculpture of Cinderella’s carriage overturned in an accident. The Grim Reaper can be spotted riding in a bumper car, and a killer whale is seen jumping out of a toilet bowl, among other installments. 

In an interview with the BBC, Banksy described the so-called “bemusement park” – which also features work from Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Jimmy Cauty and other artists — as a “family theme park unsuitable for children.”

He added that the show, his biggest to date, will require plenty of “audience participation.”

“A dead princess is only complete when surrounded by gawping crowds with their cameras out, or the opportunity to photograph yourself pulling an amazed expression when a killer whale leaps from a toilet,” the enigmatic artist said.

(Story continues below)

Dismaland will be open to the public from August 22 to September 27 in Weston-super-Mare, a seaside town in Somerset, England.

The show is taking place on the site of a former leisure park called Tropicana. The now-derelict building and grounds on the Tropicana site have been closed for 15 years, reports the BBC. 

 

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Have a Look Inside Jaime King’s New Baby Nursery—and Shop Her Baby Boy’s Stuff

When model/actress Jaime King found out she was pregnant with Baby No. 2, there was a little bit of a space issue. She and husband Kyle Newman shared 1,800 square feet with their first son,…


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Inside Me, Inside You / Inside Me, Inside You – Video 5

Inside Me, Inside You – Video 5

All of your strap-on related fantasies and curiosities come true in this film.

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Home sweet home! Inside Giuliana and Bill Rancic’s Chicago home

Sure, the weather may be beautiful in Los Angeles, but Bill and Giuliana Rancic aren’t singing the blues after moving back to Chicago.


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’70s CBGB photos take you inside the epicenter of punk

One night in 1977, Rich Verdi’s friend took him to see a band called the Ramones.


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Peek Inside This Beauty Maximalist’s Makeup Bag

I’m the girl who wears a tiger-print dress and three hair flowers to the supermarket, the girl who always puts on lipstick before leaving the house because you never know when you’re going to run into a colleague/ex-boyfriend/Bill Cunningham on his bicycle. That’s not to say I spend a lot of time on my hair and makeup–I’m all about getting the most impact (I’m not shy) from the fewest products (but I am lazy). Here are my drop-dead essentials.
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What’s Inside – Tap Water

You can’t see it, but there’s a lot going on inside a glass of tap water. The faucet aqua is essentially an invisible cocktail of sulfates, resins, varying levels of lead, and so much more. Find out what else is inside.
WIRED Videos – The Scene

Kylie Jenner — Inside Her 18th Birthday Blowout … Mom & Dad’s Odd Moment (PHOTOS)

Kylie Jenner’s 18th birthday party almost got really, REALLY awkward when her parents ended up in the same booth … with Kris Jenner’s boyfriend!   We got these pics from inside Sunday night’s bash at Bootsy Bellows — and you can see Kylie, her…

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Inside Tyga’s Insanely Lavish Life: $6.7 Million Home, Over 5 Luxury Cars and More!

OK, let’s keep it real, shall we?

When Tyga surprised Kylie Jenner with a Ferrari for her 18th birthday, a few thoughts quickly crossed our minds.

Aside from what are we…


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Inside HollyRod Foundation’s Annual DesignCare Gala

The stars showed up for Holly Robinson Peete and husband Rodney Peete’s annual gala, which helps assist families living with autism and Parkinson’s disease.


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Inside Slant: Redskins-Texans brawl reminder of severe fight punishments

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‘Empire,’ ‘Inside Amy Schumer’ Top TCA Awards


The night’s other winners include ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,’ ‘Better Call Saul’ and ‘The Americans.’

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Raw and Exposed: Deep Inside a Black Porn Model, Part Two

As you recall, my three-part series entitled “Raw and Exposed: Deep Inside a Porn Model,” is an unvarnished, thought-provoking and candid interview with adult performer Dawg Dixon (Dawgdixon.com), an African-American who’s worked for the black gay hardcore porn companies Blackbreeders and Forbidden Funk Media. Part One explored why Dixon entered adult entertainment “late in the game” — when he was nearly 40 years old. Additionally, Dawg served up the naked truth about his journey as a porn star.

In Part Two of “Raw and Exposed,” Dawg thrusts us into the inner workings of the gay sex trade. “Fas-cinating,” as the iconic Mr. Spock of “Star Trek” has uttered on more than a few occasions.

EVANS: Dawg, thanks again for sitting down with me.

DIXON: My pleasure, Wyatt.

EVANS: Are “ya” ready for me to once again “git all up in yo’ bizness?” (I josh.)

DIXON: Bring it! (He flashes one “helluva” infectious grin.)

EVANS: Let’s just jump in. What are the pitfalls of porn?

DIXON: Ego. Greed. Low self-esteem. Drugs/addiction.

EVANS: The first three are pretty self-explanatory. So, let’s discuss the issue of drugs. (Pause.) I’ve heard from various corners that the industry uses drugs to control talent.

DIXON: Because I’ve only been on the sets of Blackbreeders and Forbidden Funk, I can’t speak to other adult companies and their drug policies. I do know that the aforementioned don’t provide drugs to us models — other than male performance enhancers, if needed. Let me add that uncontrolled addiction will destroy any plans for success in any industry.

EVANS: Dawg, what’s your stance on mandatory HIV testing in porn?

DIXON: I have a background in HIV outreach, testing and education and have worked in the field for more than 15 years. I believe in patient confidentiality laws. Mandatory on-the-job HIV-testing in a non-health care environment is ridiculous! First, do we test just models or the whole adult industry? On most porn sets, the crew wear multiple hats: some do “oil and fluff,” some do body fluid clean-up, etc. And, let’s get real: a person’s HIV status can change from one test to the next.

EVANS: What about behavior on the set? Any rivalries? Backstabbing? Blow-ups? Yo: “Inquiring minds wanna know!” (I’m chuckling, rather mischievously.)

DIXON: (Smiling.) That’s a rather juicy question, Wyatt. The problems I notice on the set between performers arise when porn actors date each other. A lot of times they don’t want the directors to know that. So when couples aren’t paired with each other, and their co-stars start getting “familiar” with each other — that’s when the claws come out.

EVANS: Seriously? Whoa!

DIXON: Yep. Fighting on the set because of that s**t can cause major problems. It slows/stops production. It gets folks fired, with no pay or transportation home. Look: no one wants you on their set with B.S.! This is a J.O.B., and it’s always about the money. Models should be thinking: “If my partner and I behave and do a great job, we are building our individual brands. And, there’s the potential to create a joint brand, so that we can make even more money.”

DIXON: “Tag team couples” can make a lot of cash through filming and escorting. People love to watch couples f**k! Bobby Blake and Flex-Deon, Slim Thug and Felon just to name a few. We (models) are on the porn set for one reason, and one reason only: to f**k for money.

EVANS: Mr. Dixon, what advice do you give aspiring performers who want to carve out a successful career in hardcore porn?

DIXON: First and foremost, get serious about it! Be professional, respectful and polite in all your dealings with directors and producers. Have crisp, crystal-clear photos, making sure that all of you can be seen. Produce a video clip of yourself in action. Provide a concisely written summary of your talents: “I’m very well-endowed.” “I’m a power bottom.” “I want to do porn because…” But beware: most companies are looking for big d**k tops or versatile models who can f**k on cam. Bottoms are a dime a dozen!

EVANS: Dawg, if you have one warning, one “no-no,” what would it be?

DIXON: This: don’t think that sleeping with the studio head or staff will get you anywhere! That’s just a “bad movie” waiting to happen. (He’s unequivocal.)

EVANS: So, models shouldn’t be searching for that “casting couch,” eh?

DIXON: Exactly. There will ALWAYS be someone younger, sweeter, tighter, deeper, bigger, etc. If you’re smart and professional, you’ll be treated as such. And as a result, you’ll achieve your goals.

Next up: the role of massage/escorting/sex for pay in growing/enhancing a porn model’s brand, and how “The Biz” has shaped him.

Follow Wyatt O’Brian Evans at Wyattevans.com, and on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MisterWOE

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Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Look inside! Andy Roddick and Brooklyn Decker list their modern LA home

With a baby on the way, Brooklyn Decker and Andy Roddick are moving. They recently listed their modern L.A. home with sweeping city views.


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Inside Bobbi Kristina Brown’s funeral: ‘Not a dry eye’

ET has details from inside Bobbi Kristina Brown's funeral in Georgia Saturday. Her grandmother, Cissy, sang, and director Tyler Perry spoke.
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Inside Relativity’s 2012 Busty Dancer-Filled ‘Call Me Maybe’ Parody


The entire company was asked to participate in the spoof, a gift for CEO Ryan Kavanaugh that was directed by a pair of choreographers who have worked with Katy Perry and Madonna.

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What’s Inside – Trojan Tingly Warmth Lubricant

What do sex dolls, caulking, and lotion have in common? They all contain active ingredients also found in Trojan’s Tingly Warmth Lubricant. Find out what else is inside the slick sex aid.
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See inside Mariah Carey’s $10,000-a-night Airbnb rental in Malibu

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Inside Llewyn Davis – Ethan Coen & Joel Coen

Ethan Coen & Joel Coen - Inside Llewyn Davis  artwork

Inside Llewyn Davis

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Genre: Drama

Price: $ 7.99

Release Date: December 6, 2013


An aspiring singer-songwriter navigates the 1960s folk-music scene in New York City's Greenwich Village.

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Deep Inside: Device Bondage (Behind the Scenes)

Kink University takes you deep behind these scenes of DeviceBondage.com, one of the most ingeniously sadistic BDSM sites in history. Our cameras take you to never-before-shown backstage glimpses of the entire two-day process of designing, building, and shooting an episode of Device Bondage. Director JP “The Pope” and device-builder Lucas explain the history, planning process, sadistic toy creation, and construction secrets of a real Device Bondage shoot, featuring the tough and beautiful model Holly Heart.
Kink University Gallery Update

Deep Inside: Device Bondage (Behind the Scenes)

Kink University takes you deep behind these scenes of DeviceBondage.com, one of the most ingeniously sadistic BDSM sites in history. Our cameras take you to never-before-shown backstage glimpses of the entire two-day process of designing, building, and shooting an episode of Device Bondage. Director JP “The Pope” and device-builder Lucas explain the history, planning process, sadistic toy creation, and construction secrets of a real Device Bondage shoot, featuring the tough and beautiful model Holly Heart.
Kink University Gallery Update

New Queer Web Series Takes An Inside Look At Life In San Francisco

Web series about popular “queer meccas” seem to be all the rage these days, and now we have a promising new one set in San Francisco.

Called “This Town: San Francisco,” the  original series will comedically tackle issues currently related to the city, like gentrification and drought, along with commonly discussed issues among gay men, like body image and race.

“This Town: San Francisco” comes from the mind of Accidental Bear founder Mike Enders, a site which aims to “inform, and promote news, art, culture, music and a whole lot of sexy” as well as act as a platform for original videos.

Check out pilot episode #2 above.

 

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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Deep Inside: Device Bondage (Behind the Scenes)

Kink University takes you deep behind these scenes of DeviceBondage.com, one of the most ingeniously sadistic BDSM sites in history. Our cameras take you to never-before-shown backstage glimpses of the entire two-day process of designing, building, and shooting an episode of Device Bondage. Director JP “The Pope” and device-builder Lucas explain the history, planning process, sadistic toy creation, and construction secrets of a real Device Bondage shoot, featuring the tough and beautiful model Holly Heart.
Kink University Gallery Update

Deep Inside: Device Bondage (Behind the Scenes)

Kink University takes you deep behind these scenes of DeviceBondage.com, one of the most ingeniously sadistic BDSM sites in history. Our cameras take you to never-before-shown backstage glimpses of the entire two-day process of designing, building, and shooting an episode of Device Bondage. Director JP “The Pope” and device-builder Lucas explain the history, planning process, sadistic toy creation, and construction secrets of a real Device Bondage shoot, featuring the tough and beautiful model Holly Heart.
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Paul Rudd Vs. Amy Schumer: Inside This Weekend’s Summer Movie Showdown

Summer 2015 is bringing a fascinating series of showdowns between some of our biggest stars, as two (or more) famous faces bring their respective movies to the box office on the same weekend.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.



Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Inside The Secretive, Exclusive Social Networks Of Hollywood

“Information has always been currency,” says Shane, who insists on sharing only his first name. He’s an assistant to a television director. Hollywood, where Shane works, is like any other industry town—built on professional connections, on who you know as much as what you know.

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Richie Incognito — Blocked At ESPY Party … While T.O. Cruises Inside (Video)

This video is funny and sad all at the same time.  Buffalo Bills lineman Richie Incognito THOUGHT he’d be able to walk right into the ESPY Awards Body Party at Milk Studios in L.A. last night. He thought wrong. …

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Carrie Underwood tweets about breaking into car after son, dogs are locked inside

The American Idol alum tweeted on Saturday that her brother-in-law had to break the window to save her baby and dogs.


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Inside Donald Trump’s Private Hollywood Event: “Love” for NBC, Pundits “Are Dopes”


Trump spoke at the Luxe Hotel to hundreds of members of Friends of Abe.

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Avengers 2: There May Just Be A Pop Epic Somewhere Inside Marvel’s “Disappointing” Age of Ultron Mega-Hit

For what’s turned out to be one of the biggest hits of all-time — likely finishing its first release run at number 6 on the all-time worldwide box office list and number 8 on the domestic box office list — the not especially felicitously titled Avengers: Age of Ultron has gotten a lot less love and devotion than the numbers would suggest. And the numbers themselves, at least in some circles perhaps predisposed to backlash against the ongoing success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, are a tad disappointing.

Naturally, some important spoilers ensue.

Yes, with its Japan opening over the weekend suggesting it will end up with something under $ 1.5 billion in worldwide box office, Avengers 2 is ending up within at least distant hailing distance of The Avengers. But its domestic performance, which will end under $ 460 million, is a far cry from the first film’s stunning $ 623 million. And the worldwide performance will end up bested both by 2015 rivals Jurassic World and Fast & Furious 7. With the Star Wars reboot, initially expected to be the Avengers only real box rival this year, still waiting in December.

When I first saw Avengers 2, as it opened at the beginning of May, I liked it and found it intriguing. I also found it busy and a bit frustrating for all its franchise-building business and repeated action.

Then, a month ago, I watched it three times in a row in the theater, including a 3D showing, which I usually don’t like. I found that I liked the film a lot better, not that I disliked it at all before. I also found that depths and connections, which the film only hinted at the first time round, seemed much richer than before. But I also realized that my mind was not only remembering and connecting more, it was also filling in some gaps that the present version of the film does not.


The bright picture of the Marvelverse’s near future darkens in Avengers: Age of Ultron. It’s the end of the path Tony Stark started them on.

Clearly, there’s more to Avengers 2 somewhere, perhaps enough to turn a good movie into a near-pop epic. And it turns out there will be a director’s cut available when the film is released on disc and digital download in September.

Should this nearly hour-longer version have been released theatrically in the first place? Perhaps, especially if Marvel wanted moviegoers to take to Avengers 2 anywhere near as much as they did in 2012 to The Avengers, in which all the characters have room to breathe and scenes play out. But perhaps not if they’re in business to maximize profit. Fewer showings per day, and all that. And this is an ADD era.

Maybe the movie should have tried to do less. As it is, it does so much that the central storyline, gripping and relatable in the Marvelverse, loses focus and impact. That’s Tony Stark, in his angst and hubris in the aftermath of the first film’s near apocalypse in New York, reverting to arrogant form in secretly creating the Ultron program.

Tony just wants what many of us want: A sustainable global security architecture imbued with a sense of justice. Kinda like Franklin D. Roosevelt’s conception of the United Nations. Except with artificial intelligence and robots, absent the trappings of democracy.

As Nick Fury tells him in their farmhouse confrontation, Tony didn’t hesitate for a second before he just went for it. Tony’s ongoing fear of the unknowable threats he glimpsed in space as he let go of that redirected nuke in The Avengers joins with his post-traumatic stress and inherent arrogance to make a megalomaniac. And a very dangerous one, at that, albeit with the best of intentions.

The movie exists because the supposed best and brightest — not to mention the brightest light and biggest star of the Marvelverse — makes a horrible series of mistakes that not only backfire but nearly cause humanity’s annihilation.

Big stuff. And it’s in this version of Avengers 2. But it’s muted by all the other stuff going on, much of it moving building blocks into place for future movies, some of it intriguing things writer/director Joss Whedon wanted to do.

Whedon spoke before Avengers 2 was finished of wanting to make The Empire Strikes Back of the Marvelverse but fearing it would be more like Iron Man 2.

Like Avengers 2 in the Marvelverse, Empire Strikes Back is a transitional portion of the Star Wars saga. The most critically revered and I think easily the best of the Star Wars films, Empire Strikes Back represents a darkening of the Star Wars universe, previously rather bright and, at times, even effervescent. It was also the lowest grossing film in the original trilogy.

Like Empire Strikes Back, Avengers 2 marks a dark turn in the Marvelverse, in this case a dark turn which began with a PTSD Tony Stark in Iron Man 3 and which heightened with last year’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

I wondered before Avengers 2 opened if the darkening of the Marvelverse, always more brightly hued and humorous than the Dark Knight Trilogy, would prevent the new film from surpassing The Avengers.

With the great expansion over the past few years of the studios’ ability to penetrate the international marketplace, Avengers 2 had seemed likely to best The Avengers in worldwide box office even if, as also seemed likely, it was not as big a pop phenomenon in North America. But it’s coming up short, following the very likely drop of more than 25 percent in domestic box office performance from the first film.

The darkening prospect of Avengers 2 and its inherent lack of resolution as a transitional picture are big parts of that result, as is the “busy-ness” of all the business the film takes on.

All the busy business drawing from the main storyline makes Avengers 2, as Joss Whedon evidently feared, more than a little like Iron Man 2. In that 2010 sequel to the 2008 pop classic that was the first Iron Man (both films directed by Jon Favreau), an intriguing conflict between Tony and his might-have-been Russian doppelgänger is frequently derailed by campy interludes with a Stark rival and by the showy introduction of Black Widow.

Though I’ve since come to absolutely love Scarlett Johansson in the role, she was at the time being hyped in the media as the hottest woman in the world. I found it all a bit much.

In retrospect, seeing all these movies fitting together, there’s much of Iron Man 2 I love. And in any event, Avengers 2 works better as an individual film than Iron Man 2. It just needs less. Or more.

Since much of what we have is now already in our heads and seems truncated, I want more.

In The Empire Strikes Back, only Luke has a vision foreshadowing events. In this film, Tony, Natasha, Thor, Cap, and Banner all have visions induced by the Scarlet Witch. Only Tony’s seems like it might be complete.

What does not seem stinted on in this version of the film is the action. Of course, that’s bread and butter for its bottom line. If anything, though, there may be too much action. Especially with the big climactic battle.

There’s not much I don’t like in how Marvel uber-producer Kevin Feige and company put these films together. With the notable exception of these big battle scenes near the end of each film. (I’m someone who would like a film full of scenes like the terrific Avengers cocktail party scene in this picture. That’s where having an outstanding cast across the board, and clever, often heartfelt, writing, really shows up. That said, it would be hard to say I’m not an action fan.)

Even in the first Avengers, the big battle at the end seemed a little too long. And that was to save New York, with the crowning scene which redeems Tony’s self-absorbed anti-hero into a truly self-sacrificing hero.

Here the battle’s to save a fake place, a fairly generic East Euro city called Sokovia — not to be confused with the classical guitarist Segovia — which would actually play better as a Balkans locale. So why not make it a real one, with Stark’s weaponeers back in the day imprinting the Maximoff twins with fear and hatred after selling to all sides in the post-Cold War ethnic conflicts?

With the truncated visions, and the obviously foreshortened presentation of the charmingly bittersweet Natasha-Banner relationship, big chunks of rich characterization and motivation are lost in the service of the film’s velocity. But if the stuff on screen doesn’t bring the audience along in full engagement as it whizzes by, the purpose is diminished.

Despite it all, we do know why Tony leaves the Avengers. We’re not so clear on why Hawkeye steps away, though the wonderful sequence surprisingly introducing his wife and kids, Mad Men‘s Linda Cardellini and company, allows you to infer his reasons.

But what is up with Thor leaving?


The Avengers wrap up their Manhattan cocktail party by seeing who is worthy enough to lift Thor’s hammer.

Of course, he has to go back to Asgard for the next big Thor movie. But in this movie, his motivation is pretty hazy.

Also given short shrift is Thor’s remark to Tony about him being the only real unknown in the Avengers mix. I think I know what that means and I don’t want to spoil it, but it zipped by so fast that most people missed it. As did the Norse rune left behind on the ground after Thor’s fiery departure. Nobody even notices it. Not only is its meaning a mystery, it’s a mystery that zipped by so fast that it doesn’t exist as a mystery.

As did Cap’s dream sequence. Tony tells Cap he doesn’t trust a guy without a dark side, but what little we see of Cap back in the ’40s with an always very welcome British agent Peggy Carter is actually pretty weird and dark. What does it mean? We haven’t a clue.

At other points in the film, Cap gazes all too briefly at Hawkeye’s bucolic homestead — the sort of Americana setting one could see Cap in — and elsewhere remarks that he’s not the same man who went into the ice 75 years ago.

That’s pretty interesting for this great iconic character. But he doesn’t elaborate, and no one follows up.

With the crush of major characters in this movie, even the title villain gets a little short-changed in his own movie. As in Iron Man 2, Ultron is, apparently, another would-be Tony Stark doppelgänger, a very intriguing notion that needs to breathe more.

Incidentally, why is it the Age of Ultron, anyway? Yes, that’s what it was in the comics (with a pretty different story), but those were a series. This is one movie, just a matter of days in Marvelverse time, far too brief to be an “age.”

One thing that does pay off late in the film is the wonderful early sequence in which Thor challenges his colleagues to lift his mighty hammer. (Whedon evidently dropped off Twitter after being unfairly savaged for an obscure Tony Stark historical joke that is sexist. It’s not only entirely in character for this rogue, it’s a way for the character to acknowledge and make fun of his being an arrogant dick. Literally.)

Only Cap is able to briefly dent Thor’s smug confidence that only he is worthy enough to wield the hammer. The sequence is very funny and telling.

Later, a new character, created by Ultron and Tony, a melding of Tony’s Jarvis AI assistant and a synthetic human/alloy hybrid body called the Vision, nonchalantly lofts the hammer in the course of things.

With just a little echoing of the Iron Man hot rod red and gold design motif Jarvis helped create, the Vision looks like a great new Avenger.

He agrees with Ultron, before finally dispatching the villainous mistake’s last incarnation, that in the long run humanity is doomed. For two powerful artificial intelligences, both alter egos of a sort to Tony Stark, to agree on this is quite intriguing for the Marvelverse. But it goes by too fast, as does Vision’s observation that the beautiful does not have to last in order to have great value.

The creation of this evidently healthy new life form of great power and insight is a big deal in the Marvelverse, not to mention a harbinger of what may happen in the not terribly distant future in the real world, as I discussed last week. But it loses its impact in this seemingly rushed version of the film.

By the way, we are now 11 movies into a Marvel Cinematic Universe that debuted in 2008 and we still have not been told why the Avengers are called the Avengers.

It’s a little odd, too, because — despite Mrs. Hawkeye’s perfectly droll remark to her husband that she totally supports him in his avenging — the Avengers are not about avenging.

Nick Fury thrilled fanboys across the world in Iron Man‘s add-on scene when he showed up at Tony Stark’s fabulous Malibu pad to say he wanted to talk to him about “the Avenger Initiative.” But he never said why he called it that, either then or in the first Avengers movie when he brought the team together.

Tony mentioned the name to Loki when he confronted him at his fabulous Manhattan pad, but again didn’t explain the name, saying only that if they couldn’t protect the Earth they would damn sure avenge it.

So I looked it up, and it turns out that the name goes back to the first Avengers comic book in 1963.

After their adventure, Ant-Man — who we’ll finally see this month in, well, Ant-Man (with Mad Men star John Slattery again playing Howard Stark, father of Tony Stark) — tells the pick-up group of rather motley superheroes that they should be a team. Iron Man agrees. So does Thor. Hulk says he’s in, too, whether the others like it or not, but what are they going to call themselves?

Wasp, Ant-Man’s future ex-wife, says the name needs to be something “colorful and dramatic, like the Avengers.” That’s it, says Ant-Man, and so it was.

The Avengers come together in very different fashion in the movies. But the name is, as Wasp said back in ’63, “colorful and dramatic.”

That’s why I named my little boat the Avenger back in the day. Not because of the Marvel comic books, which I didn’t read, but because it was the name of a space ship at the end of The Puppet Masters, the old Robert Heinlein novel that first turned me on to science fiction as a kid.

Too aggressive a name for a boat, you say? Not when it has rocket launchers and machine guns, it ain’t.

Besides, it’s a very cool name. Going back 237 years, there have been nine major Royal Navy ships that carried the name Avenger.

And now a second very big movie, one that I suspect is going to deepen into something quite special in its longer version.

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I have five kids. Like, for real. Five of them. We don’t go to the movies as much now that my bigger kids are so BIG (seriously, one of them is 6’1″), and the little ones have pretty much zero interest in movies. We have a TV (we aren’t that weird), but we don’t watch it much. That said, I’m sort of out of the loop when it comes to pop culture. I’ve only read about the new Pixar movie. I had no plans on seeing it, really, but now that I’ve read about it and a had a friend confirm my suspicions, I will for sure not ever be seeing it.

No.

Like any good feminist, I object to parts of Snow White (um, Prince rescuing her with a kiss? No). And The Little Mermaid (uh, have fins? Switch for legs? For a man? No). And like any good body-positivity activist, I question why I can’t even take my kids to a movie, for flip’s sake (not that I would, but we’re speaking hypothetically here) without a collective sigh and a real, genuine head shake/eye roll.

I can’t write with any real authority about Inside Out, because I haven’t see the movie, but I’m pretty much 100% positive that seeing the movie isn’t required to make this judgment. Because here’s the thing about movies: They are made of pictures. And visual memory is most reliable than auditory or tactile. That’s right, folks, we remember what we see.

Just take a minute to think about the implications of that.

And what are we seeing, exactly?

Well, the movie is a look inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. I’m not sure what we’d expect to see in there, aside from One Direction and the remnants of some forsaken Barbies that now find themselves stored under the bed. Pixar wants us to see in Riley’s mind, and that’s clever. Cute, even.

Except here’s the problem: What’s apparently in Riley’s mind is a tall, lithe, human-looking girl with a pixie cut named Joy, obviously. Her counterpoint is a short, chunky, sad-and-blue… person (I presume) with an emo haircut, named — you guessed it — Sad.

Sad (the feeling) is often associated with the color blue. Red is often associated with anger, etc. That I get. I don’t get how that happened, and I’m not going to go searching because it’s not that important to my point. Blue is also associated with boys. Which also makes no sense. At all.

Color aside… why is she short? Why does she have emo hair? Why is she wearing glasses? Why does she have to wear a turtleneck? Why is she fat, for frack’s sake?

In fact, why have any of these characteristics been assigned to her?

Well. Probably because someone at Pixar thinks fat people are sad. Because they are fat. And how could they be fat and smile? Fat people have some nerve. Also, their poor vision is apparently causing them some distress. Joy doesn’t wear glasses. She probably had Lasik. Because she is probably also rich. Rich, white (well, white-ish) people are also joyous. And she gets to wear a cute little dress, which she probably bought at Nordstrom, while Sad is shrouded in what is probably an itchy-ass thrifted wool sweater. Maybe that’s why she’s named Sad.

I don’t even like turtlenecks.

Don’t get all “Oh, she’s a grouchy fat lady,” on me. This is real.

All of this makes me sad. Just when I think we are starting to get it — there’s an African-American lead female protagonist in a Disney movie, Rapunzel takes care of herself, Elsa is a general badass — something like this happens. And it’s like Pixar didn’t even know.

People of Pixar, can we stop stereotyping? Now? Thanks.

I wish it were that simple. The fact that someone who works for a major production company — in fact, probably many people that work for that company — cannot even see how this is problematic, is just… I don’t even know. Upsetting. Marginalizing. Saddening. Disturbing. And the fact that most of us will see the movie and think, Aw, what a cute little movie, well, it says something about us, our culture, and what we’ve been conditioned to think for so long that it isn’t even something we’d question.

Children are tiny, impressionable sponges. And small children, presumably the movie’s target audience, are the most impressionable. Ours don’t watch commercial TV for this reason. Have you ever really paid attention to commercials? Carl’s Jr. is using sex to sell hamburgers, for crap’s sake.

Children simply cannot discern things that are nuanced. They don’t have the capacity in their tiny brains to say, “Hey Pixar. You are being a bunch of jerks.” They see the character Sad — blue, fat, glasses on her chunky emo face — and guess what? That’s sad. You just literally defined sad for my 4-year-old. THANKS A LOT.

Meanwhile her mother (me) is writing and talking and practically screaming about body image and fat acceptance. Pixar, you are undermining me. I expect more.

We can watch a movie and just watch it, or we can watch a movie and really think about what it’s saying. And then we can ask — ourselves, and the movie maker and each other — what is going on here? And then hopefully we can talk about how we need to do better, for ourselves, and for our babies who are watching.

This story by Joni Edelman first appeared on Ravishly.com.

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How ‘Inside Out’ Nailed The Science Of Kids’ Emotions

When UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner attended the Hollywood premiere of the new Pixar movie Inside Out—which opened yesterday in theaters nationwide—he was thrilled to see children running around the purple (not red) carpet yelling, “I’m Fear,” “I’m Sadness” or “I want to be Anger.”

Kids typically don’t like to identify, let alone broadcast, difficult feelings, including the ones that loom large inside the head of the movie’s central character, 11-year-old Riley, as she struggles with her family’s relocation from Minnesota to San Francisco.

So a movie like Inside Out, which explains how positive and negative emotions can bump up against each other and yet also team up to solve a problem, can be empowering for both children and adults, as Keltner witnessed at its debut.
“I hope this movie becomes part of our cultural understanding of what it means to be a child and what it means to be a human being and to grapple with these emotions,” Keltner says.

An expert on the science of emotions, Keltner served as a consultant on the movie, visiting Pixar’s Emeryville campus a half-dozen times to explain the basis, physiology, and purpose of emotions, and exchanging many emails.

“They were really interested in what happens with memory. How does my sadness right now color my recollection of my childhood? Keltner says.

The insights that Keltner and his mentor, psychologist Paul Ekman, provided helped to flesh out the animated personifications of Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, Anger, by Lewis Black, Fear, by Bill Hader, Disgust, by Mindy Kaling and Sadness, by Phyllis Smith.

Filmmakers grappled with the purpose of sadness, but Keltner set them straight.

“In our culture, we’re tough on sadness, but it’s a powerful trigger for seeking comfort and bonding,” Keltner says. “Meanwhile, anger is often about the sense of being treated unfairly, and can be a motivator for social change.”

Keltner met Inside Out director Pete Docter, who also directed Pixar’s Up and Monsters Inc., when their daughters were at various stages of puberty. They bonded over the travails of parenting during those volatile years.

“When they get to their preteens and early teens, it’s like the world crashes down on them,” Keltner says. “One of the most precipitous drops in happiness occurs around 13.”

Their discussions eventually evolved into Inside Out, the results of which have exceeded Keltner’s wildest expectations: “I was blown away,” he says. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”

Keltner, who has taught psychology at Berkeley since 1996, posits that everyone has a “signature emotion”—just like Inside Out’s Riley, who leans toward joy—but it evolves over the course of a lifetime.

In Keltner’s case, for example, the signature emotion during his youth was contempt, he says, which turned to fear and anxiety in adulthood, and has more recently evolved into compassion. Eventually, he’d like his signature emotion to be contentment.

As for how all the emotions roiling in Riley’s head coordinate with her intrinsic sense of joy, he says: “You’re just going to have to watch the movie and find out.”

For more from Dacher Keltner, read his book, “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life.”

This article first appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

More:
How Pixar Picked the 5 Core Emotions of Inside Out’s Star (Wired)
Science Of Sadness And Joy: ‘Inside Out’ Gets Childhood Emotions Right (NPR)

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How ‘Inside Out’ Nailed The Science Of Kids’ Emotions

When UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner attended the Hollywood premiere of the new Pixar movie Inside Out—which opened yesterday in theaters nationwide—he was thrilled to see children running around the purple (not red) carpet yelling, “I’m Fear,” “I’m Sadness” or “I want to be Anger.”

Kids typically don’t like to identify, let alone broadcast, difficult feelings, including the ones that loom large inside the head of the movie’s central character, 11-year-old Riley, as she struggles with her family’s relocation from Minnesota to San Francisco.

So a movie like Inside Out, which explains how positive and negative emotions can bump up against each other and yet also team up to solve a problem, can be empowering for both children and adults, as Keltner witnessed at its debut.
“I hope this movie becomes part of our cultural understanding of what it means to be a child and what it means to be a human being and to grapple with these emotions,” Keltner says.

An expert on the science of emotions, Keltner served as a consultant on the movie, visiting Pixar’s Emeryville campus a half-dozen times to explain the basis, physiology, and purpose of emotions, and exchanging many emails.

“They were really interested in what happens with memory. How does my sadness right now color my recollection of my childhood? Keltner says.

The insights that Keltner and his mentor, psychologist Paul Ekman, provided helped to flesh out the animated personifications of Joy, voiced by Amy Poehler, Anger, by Lewis Black, Fear, by Bill Hader, Disgust, by Mindy Kaling and Sadness, by Phyllis Smith.

Filmmakers grappled with the purpose of sadness, but Keltner set them straight.

“In our culture, we’re tough on sadness, but it’s a powerful trigger for seeking comfort and bonding,” Keltner says. “Meanwhile, anger is often about the sense of being treated unfairly, and can be a motivator for social change.”

Keltner met Inside Out director Pete Docter, who also directed Pixar’s Up and Monsters Inc., when their daughters were at various stages of puberty. They bonded over the travails of parenting during those volatile years.

“When they get to their preteens and early teens, it’s like the world crashes down on them,” Keltner says. “One of the most precipitous drops in happiness occurs around 13.”

Their discussions eventually evolved into Inside Out, the results of which have exceeded Keltner’s wildest expectations: “I was blown away,” he says. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it.”

Keltner, who has taught psychology at Berkeley since 1996, posits that everyone has a “signature emotion”—just like Inside Out’s Riley, who leans toward joy—but it evolves over the course of a lifetime.

In Keltner’s case, for example, the signature emotion during his youth was contempt, he says, which turned to fear and anxiety in adulthood, and has more recently evolved into compassion. Eventually, he’d like his signature emotion to be contentment.

As for how all the emotions roiling in Riley’s head coordinate with her intrinsic sense of joy, he says: “You’re just going to have to watch the movie and find out.”

For more from Dacher Keltner, read his book, “Born to Be Good: The Science of a Meaningful Life.”

This article first appeared on Greater Good, the online magazine of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley.

More:
How Pixar Picked the 5 Core Emotions of Inside Out’s Star (Wired)
Science Of Sadness And Joy: ‘Inside Out’ Gets Childhood Emotions Right (NPR)

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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The Blacksmith and The Apprentice – Life Inside Minecraft! – Stone Marshall

Stone Marshall - The Blacksmith and The Apprentice - Life Inside Minecraft!  artwork

The Blacksmith and The Apprentice – Life Inside Minecraft!

Legends & Heroes Issue 1

Stone Marshall

Genre: Graphic Novels

Publish Date: June 1, 2015

Publisher: Stone Marshall Studio

Seller: Nathan Lawrence


Ever wonder what life is like for villagers and creatures in Minecraft? Read Legends and Heroes to find out! Created by Stone Marshall , the author of the popular Flynn’s Log series. The Stone Marshall Studio is developing a new series: Legends & Heroes A hybrid of comic-book style illustrations and short stories. Each issue is fun, challenging, and engaging.  These interrelated  stories follow a series of characters on a journey through life in Minecraft. Relatable characters, thrilling action, and colorful illustrations will suck in readers and leave them excited to read the next adventure! Secrets await! Solve the puzzle, uncover secrets! The Blacksmith and The Apprentice: Issue 1 The ancient art of blacksmithing is a thing of beauty. A lot of hard work goes into the process. It’s very complicated, really. Stoking the flames to many small, contained fires—making lumps of metal into differently shaped items of metal—hitting said lumps of metal with hammers to turn them into different weapons. You can shape metals into whatever item you want. Okay, it might not be a very interesting job, but apprenticing with the best blacksmith in the kingdom is a huge opportunity. Blacksmiths make the tools everyone needs to get about in their day-to-day lives. It’s a very prestigious and impressive position, although this honor is lost when the position is held by Dane, a youthful boy who dreams of greater adventure! Luckily, Dane has a skilled master to reign in his daydreaming. Viegar has quite an interesting past. From his years on the Royal Guard to his close relationship with the previous king, he’s quite a friend to have on your side. There is one other apprentice, Snip, who is much more passionate about his duties than Dane. Between the three of them, they churn out powerful weapons and protective armor, usually with no thanks to Dane. Of course, no cast of characters would be complete without the big man in charge—in this case, a king. By almost anyone’s account, he’s a good and fair ruler, but there is no one in power without enemies. Though Viegar and his workers only want to help their wonderful king, there are still plenty who wish to do him harm. But Dane can only imagine such things. It’s not as if he’d ever be in the position to really make any sort of difference or be in any place of power. Right? And though his apprenticeship is mundane and boring, the young man gets a few moments of excitement. Every once in a while, his master Viegar lets him venture out past the village to visit the caravan, where he can trade and buy supplies. It’s the most excitement Dane ever gets in his line of work. Sometimes, he gets to meet interesting people. Sometimes, he hears interesting things. And maybe, just maybe, he sometimes hears of a new opportunity for himself. But who would want to give up such a life as an esteemed apprentice? But of course, destiny and desire are not always what you expect . . .

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Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV (Unabridged) – Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson

Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson - Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV (Unabridged)  artwork

Top of the Rock: Inside the Rise and Fall of Must See TV (Unabridged)

Warren Littlefield, T. R. Pearson

Genre: Arts & Entertainment

Price: $ 23.95

Publish Date: May 1, 2012

© ℗ © 2012 Random House Audio

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Inside the Hitchcock-Inspired Score to ‘Bones’ 200th Episode

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Just Played Inside Out (Disney Infinity Playset) at E3 2015

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What’s Inside – Sriracha

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Inside Jessica

Here’s a couple of amateur interracial clips and one white on white for good measure. Watch as young Jessica gets tag-teamed by two young black studs, big dicked Dee, and then our favorite whiteboy Jason, takes a turn also. As usual, its as amateur as it gets, and then some.

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This clip from Inside Jessica by Joe Schmoe Productions features a close-up look at a nasty little slut sucking a hard black cock while she gets fucked with another one, making her a slutty little oreo cookie.

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Watch the Full Length, High Quality Movie!

This clip from Inside Jessica by Joe Schmoe Productions features a home style amateur scene with a horny couple going at it 69 under the Christmas tree, licking and feeling each other all over.

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An Intimate Look Inside The World Of Ferragamo

By Laura Putti
©Photo Credits: A. Coppitz – Archivi Alinari/Courtesy Ferragamo

A Dream Called Wanda
At 93 years old and still at the head of the company created by her husband, Mrs. Ferragamo opens her box of memories in her Florentine home, while launching a major exhibition.

wanda ferragamo in her office
Wanda Ferragamo in her office

Quick footsteps come from the corridor into the main floor of the Palazzo Spini Feroni. “I can see some dust on the plants Giuseppe. Ask Aldo to have them cleaned please,” says an assertive woman’s voice. A few seconds later Wanda Ferragamo enters the Music Room. She is wearing a very becoming purple suit, her make-up is perfect and her hair well-groomed. Ninety-four in December, the “Signora” -– as everyone in the company calls her –- is still active in, but far from the daily business of, the famous Florentine fashion house. She has been freneticly involved in the preparation of the exhibition A palace and the city, in the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum — two floors below –which has opened on May 8 as part of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the start of Florence’s tenure as the capital of Italy.

ferragmao 2
A rendering of the exhibition at Museum Salvatore Ferragamo, in Florence.

“I pay attention to the things that nobody else has time to notice,” says Wanda Ferragamo. She is driven every day at 10:30 a.m to the main door of the Palazzo in Via Tornabuoni, home to the fashion house and its flagship store since 1938. Settimio, the uniformed concierge, helps her out of the car. She goes to her first floor office and calls for Giuseppe Poeta, Ferragamo’s press officer, previously her personal assistant and earlier still an office assistant, one of many of those she chose herself with her legendary instinct.

ferragamo3
Palazzo Spini Feroni, in Florence, head office of the fashion house.

In the “to do” list of a woman who, for more than half a century, was an iron manager there are also some unusual things: to remember, for example, to organize a meeting with her great great grandchildren, those who are around 10 years old; or to tell her great grandchildren that during their summer holidays they should spend some time working in the factory in Osmannoro. Over the years her own children and her grandchildren have always done the same. The secret of Ferragamo’s success lies with the family, and the monumental effort made to keep the family together.

“I have never differentiated between my six children. Everything has always been divided up equally.” In the beginning, nearly all six children worked in the company. Today, only two remain: Ferruccio is the president and Massimo is chairman of Ferragamo USA. In 2006 the Signora chose a manager from outside, Michele Norsa, for the position of general manager and CEO. It was a good move, as was the decision to limit access into the company to the new generations.

ferragamo 4
Salvatore Ferragamo with Anna Magnani in the ’50s.

Wanda Miletti is 18 years old in 1940 when she meets and marries Salvatore, 24 years her elder. She is a well-educated middle-class girl, daughter of Fulvio Miletto, Mayor and family doctor of Bonito, a village in Irpinia, with, at the beginning of the 20th century, a population of nearly five thousand. He, on the other hand, has humble beginnings: born in 1898, the eleventh of 14 children, at the age of nine he is working as a shoemaker in Bonito; at 16 he leaves for America. He is a curious, intelligent, capable craftsman. He will become shoemaker to the stars in Hollywood. After the Wall Street Crash in 1929 he returns to Italy and begins to work in Florence, “with the best leather craftsmen in the world.” In 1937 he buys Palazzo Spini Feroni, renovating it; from 1938 it will become the headquarters of Salvatore Ferragamo. But the “Shoemaker of Dreams,” the title of his autobiography, never forgets Bonito. And when, in 1940, the Mayor Miletti asks him for a donation to build a canteen for the poor, he will be very generous.

“He came to our house one afternoon looking for my father. But he was out on his visits so I received him. I knew he was an important person and he said such a formal thing — ‘my compliments for the extensive contribution which you make to female elegance’ — which even today makes me laugh.”

The rest is history: he asks her to show him her foot to offer her one of his creations; she takes off her shoes and has a tiny hole on the tip of her big toe; he doesn’t even measure her feet and after a few days he sends her a perfect pair of lace up shoes with a seven heel, minimum wedge and scaled leather. This is the engagement shoe, still produced today. But in 1960, at the age of 62, Salvatore Ferragamo dies. Wanda is 38 and finds herself a widow with six children: Fiamma, the oldest, is 19; Massimo, the youngest, is two.

“I had never done anything in the company, but I knew that I had to carry on my husband’s work. He loved his work, he had left so much material. It couldn’t be lost.”

ferragamo5
Ferragamo’s atelier in 1937.

Material and wooden shapes. Some hang from the wall in the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum. Greta Garbo, Marilyn Monroe, the Duchess of Windsor, Sophia Loren, Eva Peron, Ava Gardner, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Magnani… are written on those imaginary feet.

“Nobody ever refused a pair of my husband’s shoes. Salvatore loved their feet, he knew how to treat them. In America he had studied anatomy and had understood that body weight rests on the arches. That’s why his shoes were, first and foremost, comfortable.”

This morning the Signora is not wearing, as she would normally do, high heels. “I regretted it, but I was already out of the house. They would have been perfect with this slightly overlong suit.” She is wearing a pair which is an offshoot of the famous Vara, the best selling shoe in the world: a décolleté with a grosgrain bow, fixed with a golden buckle, created in 1978 by Fiamma, the eldest daughter who started working in the company at the age of 16 and who died in 1998 at the age of 57 of a tumour, like her father. “It’s still an open wound,” says the Signora. It’s necessary to take her back to more serene memories. Is it true that she was jealous of Marilyn? “At my age the memory can play tricks on you, but I don’t remember being jealous of her. Salvatore never gave me any reason to be jealous.”

ferragmo6
A rendering of Sala Settecento, Ferragamo’s Museum.

Who knows what a splendid life, what travels, what high society. “On the contrary. Never been in the smart set, never traveled much. How could I with six children? I had a lot of help, but they were, nevertheless, six. Of trips I remember one, straight after the war, on a transatlantic crossing on the Queen Elizabeth bound for New York. It was there that we met Christian Dior. There was always great respect between him and Salvatore. The only real friendship though was with Audrey Hepburn. I remember once when she came to lunch with us at Fiesole with the inseparable Anita Loos (American writer of Gentlemen prefer blondes, screenwriter of Gigi and of Cheri, ndr.) A serving fork fell from one of our waiters’ platters. It fell on to the wooden floor, making a terrible noise. I was so embarrassed. Audrey carried on speaking as though nothing had happened. A real lady.”

In 2014 the Salvatore Ferragamo Group – shoes, accessories, clothing, still almost 70 percent family-owned, the rest on the Stock Market – had a 1,332 million Euro turnover, six percent more than in 2013. It has 373 dedicated stores plus 270 other points of sale in 100 countries in the world.

What is the secret signora Wanda?

“I have been helped, I’ve had good people around me. At my husband’s funeral the workers from the factory hugged me and said, ‘Don’t worry Signora, we’ll help you, you’ll see that we can do it.’ Nobody stopped working and we did it.” And the competition? And Louboutin? And Jimmy Choo? “We’ve never been worried about them.”

ferragamo7
External view of Palazzo Spini Feroni.

The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum
When Ferragamo bought Palazzo Spini Feroni in 1937, with its mediaeval appearance and that uncompromising stone, it was the most beautiful building in Florence after Palazzo Vecchio. Stefania Ricci, the curator of the Salvatore Ferragamo Museum created in 1995 in the basement, says, “From 1865 to 1871 it was the Municipality Building.”

This will be remembered in an exhibition from the May 8, 2015 to April 3, 2016, organized by Ricci and Riccardo Spinelli, in honor of the 150th anniversary of Florence being made the capital of Italy. The first room (there are 10) will be dedicated to Salvatore Ferragamo: 900 shoes will protrude from the walls in a display by the set designer Maurizio Balò.

“With more than 250 works of art, many of which are on loan from museums around the world, we will revisit the history of the building, which doesn’t only host the well beside which, it is said, legendary Dante met Beatrice, but which from 1873 to 1898 was the office of the Gabinetto Vieusseux library. And here Henry James wrote “The Potrait of a Lady.” A macabre curiosity: Girolamo Segato, known as the “Petrifier,” undertook the artificial petrifaction of human cadavers here until 1836. A table from the Anatomical Museum will be in the exhibition –- it appears to be made from stone but is actually made up of anatomical parts.

2015-05-26-1432663042-8369852-bytheItalianMagazineD.jpg

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Style – The Huffington Post
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The Last Mile: Inside San Quentin’s Tech Incubator

There’s a tech incubator popping up, but it’s not in Silicon Valley—it’s inside San Quentin State Prison. The Last Mile program teaches inmates entrepreneurship skills with the goal that each participant founds a socially conscious, tech-forward company. Award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner goes inside the innovative non-profit and follows inmates as they work to craft a business plan, pitch their ideas in front of venture capitalists, and then, transition back into society.
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DJ Quik X Spoon, ‘Inside Out’ Remix

West Coast legend DJ Quik enlists Kurupt, IAMSU! and Boogie for his fonky remix of indie rock group Spoon’s “Inside Out.”

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WIRED Issue Preview June 2015 – Inside the Magic Factory

This year, Industrial Light & Magic celebrates 40 years of creating the impossible. In WIRED’s June issue, we present an oral history of ILM, and look at how George Lucas’ little DIY effects shop changed movies forever. Also this month: Silk Road mastermind Ross Ulbricht’s journey from drug kingpin to convicted criminal, Senator Cory Booker’s attempt to drag the Senate into the 21st century, the global battle over one of Earth’s most plentiful resources, and much more. #WIRED2306 #WIRED
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‘Inside Out: Portraits Of Cross-Gender Children’ Beautifully Documents Transgender Kids

For the past 12 years, Dutch photographer Sarah Wong has documented the lives and experiences of a group of children who have transitioned — or are in the process of transitioning — to live as their authentic selves.

Wong captured these images of children involved with VU University in Amsterdam, where they engaged in a type of therapy that aimed to support children who experience gender dysphoria. A number of these kids took or have taken puberty blockers in order to delay the effects of puberty until they decide how they want to live their lives. However, the photos were taken at the kids’ homes, schools, ballet classes — spaces where they felt most comfortable.

Wong shared the images with the world through a book called Inside Out: Portraits Of Cross-Gender Children, published in 2011. A medical research journalist from the Dutch Volkskrant newspaper, Ellen de Visser, wrote the book’s text.

The Huffington Post chatted with Wong this week about the children in these photos, as well as her own experiences documenting the lives of these kids.

ballet girl 2005
Ballet Girl, 2005

The Huffington Post: Who are the children captured in these photographs?
Sarah Wong: These are Dutch, cross-gender children aged 5 up to 17. I photographed them since 2003 by request of their parents. I worked as a photographer in health care and had just finished a photo book about a children’s hospital. We met, and the cross-gender children immediately touched my heart.

balletgirl 2010
Ballet Girl, 2010

boy with swimming suit 2009
Boy with swimming suit, 2009

“At the end we’re all the same — souls who want to be happy and live compassionately.”

What was your goal/intention with photographing these children?
My goal was to help them to find happiness. With their portraits I wanted to empower them — no sensational journalistic approach. Not a boy in a dress or a girl with a football. When people saw the portraits they said, “lovely children, but who are they?”

The photographs showed lovely children, with a strong consciousness: this is who I truly am. At the end we’re all the same — souls who want to be happy and live compassionately.

boy with swimming suit 2010
Boy with boxing trainer, 2010

girl 2003
Girl, 2003

boy 3 2007
Boy, 2007

What were the experiences of these children like at this European clinic?
The children had very good experiences at the VUmc because of the puberty blockers. The greatest nightmare from a cross-gender child is your body growing the wrong direction. A boy doesn’t want breasts and girls don’t want to have a beard. The puberty-blockers gave relief and thinking time, and they could grow up like “normal” teenagers.

boy3 2009
Boy, 2009

girl 2015
Girl, 2015

Why, as a photographer, is providing these stories and experiences visibility so important?
As an artist your work can have a great impact on public opinion. I was always very interested in identity and compassion and felt sometimes more like a psychologist or detective-profiler, than a photographer.

I realized very young, at age 21 in art school, that as an artist, your photographs can have a great impact on the public opinion. I was very much inspired by Robert Capa and Henry Cartier Bresson, Magnum photographers.

It’s very important for society to see these images — theres nothing sensational about transgender kids. Again, at the end we’re pretty much the same: we’re all souls who want to live happy and give meaning to our life and others.

It was during the project that I suddenly understood why these photos were incredibly important for the kids. They showed who they really were. The photographs were almost forensic proof for them.

Mostly, photography is about the emotions and ego from the artist. Well, during this project my ego shrunk every photoshoot because I was in service of them. And I liked very much the idea that the photographs we made were for a greater purpose. Unfortunately, I could never expose them in a museum because of the integrity of the children. Now that they’re older I’m looking for a great spot. Society and public opinion has changed.

girl 2003
Girl, 2003

girl 2009
Girl, 2009

princess on white horse 2012
Princess on white horse, 2012

What do you hope viewers take away from these images?
I truly hope The Huffington Post audience will take the compassionate way of looking. This means a way of looking with the heart — free from personal emotions.

If you get emotional with someone’s suffering you are not in a position of empowering someone. The very first doctor who helped these children was a pioneer as well. During the weekend he was a deacon in a church. The reason he wanted to help transgender gender people was because of this compassionate way of looking at them — not as a doctor but as a human being.

butterfly tableau 2010
Butterfly tableau, 2010

butterfly tableau 2012
Butterfly tableau, 2012

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Gay Voices – The Huffington Post

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