Category Archives: News


Vogue Asks If ‘Cleavage Is Over,’ Forgetting Some Women Just Have Big Boobs 


British Vogue posed a very important question to its readers Wednesday: “Is the cleavage over?”

The magazine polled readers on the subject on Twitter and in a blog post to promote an article in the December issue titled “Desperately Seeking Cleavage” by Kathleen Baird-Murray.

Is The Cleavage Over? As @KathleenBM explores the topic in , what’s your take on covering up? 

The piece reportedly explores the theory that cleavage may be going out of style ― a topic that inspired the author after she noticed the lack of “pertinently pushed-up breastseverywhere from the runway to the red carpet.”

“Whatever happened to the cleavage?” the magazine quotes Baird-Murray as asking, pointing to the prominence of high necklines and pussy bows. “The tits will not be out for the lads. Or for anyone else, for that matter.”

But the question Vogue offers to its readers ― “Is the cleavage over?” ― seems to forget that cleavage refers to body parts and not a fashion trend that comes and goes. Not all women are able to make their cleavage magically disappear just because a magazine declares it out of style.

The question sparked some backlash, forcing readers to reckon with the anatomy of their own bosoms and why it’s being discussed as a trend.

Vogue has apparently said breasts are no longer fashionable. That is not how bodies work fam

@BritishVogue@KathleenBM really? Every body shape will always be in fashion. Stop giving us girls a complex on our image.

@BritishVogue@KathleenBM do better than this vogue. focus on the clothes not body fascism. Tits are not an accessory

So Vogue are basically saying that body shapes like mine are out of fashion. What about people who can’t help having cleavage?

While many critics blasted Vogue for critiquing women’s bodies, the article’s author took to Twitter to defend her piece. Baird-Murray argued that the article, which hadn’t yet been published, focused on fashion designers’ choices and not breast size.

“Just to be clear: [British Vogue] cleavage story is not about breast size, large or small, being ‘in’ or ‘out,’” Baird-Murray explained, urging critics to read the whole story.

Just to be clear: @BritishVogue cleavage story is not about breast size, large or small, being “in” or “out”.

(@britishvogue) It’s saying that fashion designers are creating more natural, comfortable clothes….

Baird-Murray didn’t immediately respond to  inquiry.

The article may well focus on fashion designers, but asking readers to vote on whether a body part is “over” forces people to look at large breasts and label them as hot or not.

The poll is especially problematic in an industry known to exclude plus-size women from its runways, advertisements and clothing collections.

“There are 100 million plus-size women in America, and, for the past three years, they have increased their spending on clothes faster than their straight-size counterparts,” Tim Gunn wrote for The Washington Post in September. “But many designers ― dripping with disdain, lacking imagination or simply too cowardly to take a risk ― still refuse to make clothes for them.”

But it seems that British Vogue’s followers saw right through the magazine’s cleavage poll. As of Wednesday evening, the “Cleavage is over” option only had 10 percent of votes, while “If you have it, flaunt it,” was winning with 68 percent of 27,385 votes.


So if anyone in the fashion industry is still wondering if the cleavage is over, you have your answer: Nope. But it shouldn’t matter anyway.

Source: Vogue Asks If ‘Cleavage Is Over,’ Forgetting Some Women Just Have Big Boobs 

Exclamation Marks Are Feminist As F**k 


At the start of my career, I didn’t dare use exclamation marks in emails. I worked at a business magazine and wanted to convince my colleagues I could pull off a blazer (I couldn’t) and knew about the economy (I didn’t).

Emails from my boss and senior editors were brusque  – “sure,” “fine,” “needs work”– and stoked my constant fear that they hated me or thought I was stupid. I quickly correlated being smart with being unemotive. The last thing I needed was to punctuate like a woman who drinks pumpkin spice lattes.

It came as a surprise when a female boss at my next job used exclamation marks like a grammatical salt shaker: “Running late!”; “Happy to see you!”; “Can you fix this typo? Thanks!” But instead of questioning her intellect, I felt relief. The earnest punctuation took the edge off every message. I never wasted hours wondering if she was disappointed in me or just in a rush. She never seemed unapproachable like my previous managers had.

I started using exclamation marks myself and I’m not alone.

Though the dash-and-dots are stereotypically associated with teenage girls texting one another about their crushes ― “omg Bobby’s hair today!!” ―  it has now become completely normal for professional women (and of course some men) to use them in work emails. Critics say the enthusiastic punctuation undermines the authority of a message; real leaders should end statements with sombre periods not high fives. But exclamation marks have made workplaces better for women. Professionals who use the punctuation mark challenge the sexist notion that “female” qualities such as emotional sensitivity and compassion are antithetical to good leadership.

Multiple studies have shown that women use exclamation marks more than men. We are generally an emotive gender and also express ourselves on the Internet using “xo,” emoticons, ALL CAPS and repeating letters (Hiiiii) more than dudes. But professional women don’t use enthusiastic punctuation because talk of meetings and deadlines make them school-girl level giddy. They use exclamation marks to convey friendliness when they divvy out tasks or deliver criticism.

You could argue that choice only further fuels the stereotype that women should be nice, but what’s wrong with sparing your colleague the anxiety of thinking you’re frustrated with them if you’re not? Workplaces could use more employees who care about each other’s well-being in addition to their own success.

The stigma around exclamation marks exists primarily because emotional sensitivity isn’t a quality we associate with good leadership. Research shows we think “masculine” characteristics, like being assertive, dominant or competitive, equal authority. Strengths we associate with women – such as compassion, communication and collaboration – are often seen as weakness in the workplace. Don Draper-types are still the gold standard, despite evidence that shows employees are better motivated by bosses who care about their emotional well-being than those who rely on intimidation. Especially in a time when people work longer hours than ever with less worker protection, we need leaders who don’t see empathy as a fault.

Luckily, the outdated stereotype of what makes an effective boss is changing, in part thanks to leaders who aren’t afraid of an expressive communication style. According to an Atlantic article, Diane Sawyer, Arianna Huffington and Nora Ephron often sign professional emails with “xo.” No one can accuse these women of lacking authority. It’s now the exception when I correspond with female editors who don’t use exclamation marks.

If I’m contacting an industry heavyweight or renowned expert for the first time, I might stick with periods just to feel them out. What if they find me overly earnest? But nine times out of 10 they respond, “Hey Angelina!” – the digital equivalent of tentatively reaching out for a handshake and getting wrapped in a warm hug.

Friendly emails are a sign of progress, not weakness, in our working lives. The many women who already use exclamation marks in business emails know you can both act like a feeling human on Gmail and have professional success. The sooner more men and women embrace an emotive writing style, the sooner we can dispel the myth that good leaders must be steely, distant and motivate employees through fear.

*This column previously appeared in the Ottawa Citizen

Source: Exclamation Marks Are Feminist As F**k

The 5 Things We Did In Our 20s That We Regret In Midlife 


As old blue eyes sang in “My Way,” “Regrets, I’ve had a few…” Actually, we’re not so sure that we’ve had all that many. When the Huff/Post50 team began jawing about things we did in our 20s that we regret now, it became more of a laughfest of “OMG! Do you believe we did that??”

The truth of it is, we here at Huff/Post50 kind of live by the credo that regrets are a waste of time. You did it, you survived it, now move on. But here are a few things that yeah, we suppose we might have, could have, should have maybe skipped in our salad years.

1. Listened to music so loud that we damaged our hearing.

Back in the day, nobody walked around with headphones or plugs in their ears. No, we just turned up the volume until the windows rattled and the neighbor below banged on her ceiling with a broom handle.

Approximately one in three people in the United States between 65 and 74 has hearing loss, and nearly half of those older than 75 have difficulty hearing, according to the National Institute on Deafness. Generally speaking, hearing loss is age-related. But yes, factors that can influence its severity and progression include exposure to loud noises on a regular basis.

Hearing problems among baby boomers are higher than were ever reported for previous generations, according to Healthy Aging for Women.

2. Never wore a seat belt.

Before anyone wags a finger in our face, we plead innocent by reason of ignorance. That’s right. Nobody was telling us we had to; cars weren’t even federally mandated to have seat belts until 1968 and it took states even longer to require that everyone use them. In New Hampshire ― the “live free or die” state ― adults over age 18 still don’t have to wear them.

Yes, we now know that seat belts save lives. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to front seat passengers by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent, says the Centers for Disease Control. Maybe the New Hampshire motto should be “live free and die?”

3. Drove drunk.

Driving drunk used to be funny, with the occasional prom night death crash punctuating the idea that maybe it wasn’t. By and large, getting wasted was considered cool. Driving home while under the influence was something you boasted about. And waking up in the morning and finding your car parked on the lawn or on top of the now-busted fire hydrant was the stuff legends were made of.

Until it wasn’t.

Driving drunk wasn’t just for frat boys. We carried the behavior into our young adult years. Then in 1980, along came Mothers Against Drunk Driving ― aka MADD ― and everyone knew what happens when mommas get mad. So we listened. Since MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving was launched in 2006, there has been an almost 27 percent decrease in drunk driving fatalities.

Driving under the influence is one of the things we regret. We feel lucky we lived to tell about it. And now it is with embarrassment, not boastfulness, that we talk about it to our kids.

4. Hitchhiked through Europe for a year with only a backpack.

No, not a whit of regret about this one. But we are including it as one of the things that regrettably, nobody today should probably do. Chalk this one up to the world changing. The idea of our college kids hitchhiking anywhere in the world today would send us grabbing for a Xanax.

When we traveled in the 1970s, we went off on quests to find ourselves. Hitchhiking and staying in youth hostels were the portals for meeting the most interesting people. And it felt safe, even for young women traveling alone.

This was all before terrorists and bombs and crazy lunatics.  We were life travelers, not the tourists who take photos in front of the Eiffel Tower and check France off their bucket list.

File this one under “Do what I say, not what I did.”

5. The backpack part.

One of our greatest anchors are our possessions. We have too much stuff. Living out of just a backpack for a year was a valuable life lesson on differentiating between our true needs and our wants. What we regret is that the lesson didn’t stick. We spent the ensuing decades buying newer and newer cars and bigger and bigger houses and more pairs of black pants than anyone could ever wear in a lifetime.

And as a result of not remembering that lesson of how less can be more, we morphed into a generation of spenders, not savers. And at the moment, we are people who worry about being able to afford to retire.

And that, absolutely, is regrettable.

Source: The 5 Things We Did In Our 20s That We Regret In Midlife 

Real back to future? Man’s 1993 Yearbook Photo Predicts Chicago Cubs Win 2016 World Series 

Chicago Cubs fans are looking at a 1993 yearbook photo taken in Mission Viejo, California as a sign of good fortune.

The Cubs last won a World Series in 1908, but in 1993, Michael Lee outrageously predicted a World Series win for the Cubs in his yearbook picture.

He cheekily added, “You heard it here first.”

Michael Lee’s 1993 yearbook photo predicts a 2016 World Series win for the Chicago Cubs

The photo has since gone viral after Twitter user Thomas J. Dale posted a photo of the yearbook prediction that he said his mother found.

View image on TwitterView image on Twitter

*mom walks into my room* -look at my yearbook from ’93 #…
This dude called the cubs winning the series in 2016 for his senior quote.

Admittedly, faking a yearbook pic is well in the realm of a capable photoshop hoaxer.

However, one Reddit user named number1makeitso claims to have found four other copies of the same yearbook, and that Lee’s prediction is in those yearbooks as well. The user posted them on Imgur as evidence:

And Lee’s former classmate Marcos Meza never forgot the prediction, according to WGN TV.

“When [Lee and I] connected on Facebook in 2009 I sent him the photo and told him we were nearing 2016. He posted the photo of his prediction on August 8th,” Meza told the station. “After my Dodgers lost it was time for me to make this go viral and BeLEEve in the Cubs for 2016.”

The station has been in contact with Lee, who, fittingly, lives in the Chicago area and is waiting to see if his prediction comes true.

Source: Man’s 1993 Yearbook Photo Predicts Chicago Cubs Win 2016 World Series 

A Supermoon Like This One Won’t Come Again Until 2034 


On Nov. 14, skywatchers will be treated to a supermoon so big and bright that it’s being billed as a “super-dupermoon” or an “extra-supermoon.”

Supermoons aren’t especially uncommon, but this will be the nearest that a full moon has come to Earth since January 26, 1948. The full moon won’t get this close again until November 25, 2034.

The term supermoon refers to a full moon that occurs when our planet’s natural satellite is at its closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit. Astronomers call that point perigee, and so “perigee moon” is another term for supermoon. (The point at which the moon is most distant from Earth in its orbit is known as apogee.)

A supermoon can appear up to 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than an apogee full moon, according to NASA. The effect is most pronounced when the moon is viewed near the horizon.

This supermoon is one of three to occur during the last three months of 2016. There was a supermoon on Oct. 16, and there will be another on Dec. 14. But this one coming up will be the most special of the lot ― so try not to miss it.

What’s the best way to see the supermoon?

“Just find a dark area clear of trees,” Dr. Noah Petro, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, told The Huffington Post in an email. “Anytime after dark is good and once the moon is up. There is no prime time when people have to do it, but the moon has to have risen for people to see it! : )”

Nuff said.

Source: A Supermoon Like This One Won’t Come Again Until 2034

Here’s What Happens To Airplanes When They’re Too Old To Fly 



Airplanes can’t fly forever, so what happens when they’re too old to take to the skies?

Many of them make a final flight to a disassembly specialist like Air Salvage International to be painstakingly broken up for recycling or transport to a landfill.

“They’re fully airworthy when they arrive and sometimes look like they’re about to go on another trip with a load of holiday-makers on board,” Mark Gregory, ASI’s founder and CEO, told The Huffington Post. “It can be quite sad.”

ASI, located in central England, provides an “end-of-life service” for between 50 to 60 planes at its Cotswold Airport base each year ― taking apart everything from Cessna Citations and Learjets to Airbus A320s and Boeing 737s and 747s.

Air Salvage International

Almost all of an airplane’s parts can be recycled somehow, Gregory said, especially the metal frame. 

How much can be recycled depends on a plane’s design and age. In general, almost 95 percent of newer airplanes (particularly narrow-bodied ones) can be saved from the landfill, but the percentage is not as high for older planes.

The interior plastic side panels and baggage bins can be problematic ― especially in the wide-bodied Boeing 747s, because of their size. “We’re working with universities on getting a better method,” Gregory said, adding, “they haven’t really come up with a solution yet.”

“It’s evolving, though,” he continued. “There’s lot of things we do now which we never used to. For example, all the windows now are Perspex, which can be fully recycled.”

Aircraft manufacturers are addressing the recyclability of their new planes now more than ever, Gregory said.

Mark Gregory, 55, used money from his severance package to set up ASI two decades ago. It now handles around 14 percent of the worldwide aircraft disassembly market.

Sometimes, the soon-to-be-scrapped planes yield unexpected surprises — like the $4 million worth of cocaine that company engineers found stashed inside an airplane bathroom in 2010.

“The drugs were actually worth more than the value of the aircraft,” Gregory said. Police seized the haul, possibly hidden during a trans-Atlantic flight from South America to Europe several months earlier.

Law enforcers later told Gregory to be careful about any future discoveries of white powder wrapped in refuse sacks. “They asked me if I’d thought if it could have been explosives,” he said. “I really hadn’t. We’re now much more cautious.”

Along with dropped coins and mislaid cell phones, ASI’s dismantlers once found a pilot’s long-lost wallet. “It had been under the captain’s seat for two years and he hadn’t been able to find it,” said Gregory. “We traced him to Australia and sent it back to him.”

An A319 front section awaiting transportation to its new home – a cabin crew training company.

ASI engineers try to maximize the financial and environmental return of each plane and every item on board. First, they extract the engine, which can have a value of $2 to $4 million and sometimes makes up 80 to 85 percent of the entire aircraft’s worth. They then re-lease it back to an airline or break it up for spare parts to sell. 

“We then go for the other critical items — all the avionics, air conditioning, brakes, fuel pumps and transmitters,” Gregory said. Most of these items also return to the aviation industry’s supply chain.

ASI sells some aircraft sections to flight training schools and others to the entertainment industry for movies like “World War Z,” “Johnny English” and the “Batman” and “Star Wars” franchises.

“Our facilities have also been used for various adverts and photo shoots, including a ballerina who was posing on a wing of an aircraft,” Trish Channon, ASI’s sales administrator, told HuffPost.

The company has also supplied the rear of a Boeing 737 to the Thorpe Park amusement park in Surrey, England, as a prop on one of its rollercoaster rides.

Aviation fans can buy seats from dismantled aircraft for $185 to $430, depending on whether they want coach class or the captain’s chair. ASI repurposes any unsold foam and cushions to pack up the cockpit controls and other devices so they can be delivered. Fashion designers sometimes buy the seat belt buckles.

Disassembly of a Dart Herald in 1997, Bournemouth,UK. One of our very early projects.

ASI handles around 14 percent of the worldwide aircraft disassembly market. But it started small.

Gregory, now 55, was a licensed engineer for the now defunct Dan-Air airline. When the company laid him off 20 years ago, he used his severance package to buy an oldHawker Siddeley HS 748 from the company. He dismantled it entirely by himself at the airfield and stored its parts in his garden shed before selling them.

“I thought, ‘This is a good thing to do, I quite enjoy doing this,’ so I went on to meet other people who wanted parts from aircraft that had been parked up,” he told HuffPost.

Fortuitously, just as Gregory was setting up his company, the first generation of planes from the late 1960s and early 1970s were reaching the end of their lives. He acknowledges he could have been in the “right place at the right time.” 

Business soon picked up, and after scrapping a fleet of 11 Heralds, a major airline asked him to dismantle a Boeing 747.

The company moved to its current location at the former British Royal Air Force base at Cotswold Airport, 100 miles west of London, around 18 years ago, and opened two modern hangars in 2011. “The climate is ideal around here, as it’s away from the sea,” said Gregory. “Airports by the coast are fantastic for passengers, but the salt air isn’t good for storing aircraft.”

ASI’s engineers work on the clean-up operation of a British Airways Boeing 777 that crashed just short of London’s Heathrow Airport in 2008.

Stripping down and storing aircraft remains ASI’s core business. But it also conducts special projects, like partially dismantling two Concordes and an RAF Nimrod so they could be transported to museums and rebuilt for display.

ASI has also worked for the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense and the U.S. government, although the exact details are classified.

Gregory is also branching out further into aircraft maintenance, leasing planes and trading parts ― all under the ASI umbrella.

“FLASHBACK” to December 1997, Guernsey. This incident related Fokker F27-500 was our first recovery project.

And then there’s the harrowing job of accident recovery. ASI’s engineers go out on behalf of an airline or investor’s insurer to pick up what’s left of a crashed plane and transport it to another location for inspection.

“We usually look after the plane until the case is closed. Sometimes [the case] will remain open for quite a long time, so we hold the wreckage in storage,” said Gregory. “Once the case is closed, we either destroy [the aircraft] on request of the insurers, or they may put it up for tender and it will be sold to whoever wants to buy it.”

ASI’s engineers have worked on high-profile crashes, including the tragic 2010 Afriqiyah Airways crash in Libya and the 2008 British Airways crash, when a Boeing 777 crashed just short of the runway at London’s Heathrow Airport.

“The majority of the aircraft crashes we deal with are non-fatal,” said Gregory. “They’re minor mishaps, such as if a wheel comes off and runs into the grass. Now and again we do [deal with fatal crashes], but only after the guys have cleared up human remains and personal effects.”

Our 45 tonne excavator doing what it does best…goodbye Hawker Siddeley125 !

From its humble beginnings, ASI has grown substantially over the past two decades ― and Gregory is keen for the momentum to continue. He wants his company to become a “one-stop shop” for the aviation industry, looking after airplanes for their entire lifecycle.

“I’d like to work with the lessors and the banks so that when they write their leases on the aircraft, they use this place as a hub,” Gregory said. “When the banks and lessors buy their aircraft from the manufacturer and then lease it to an airline for 10 years, at the end of that lease, the airline would have to return it to a location ― and I want that location to be here.”

“In the U.S., they have these kind of places,” Gregory added. “But there’s no fixed place for them here. We’d like to look after them from cradle to grave.”

Source: Here’s What Happens To Airplanes When They’re Too Old To Fly

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