Fashion Controversies in 2016 

Image Source: Getty/Christian Vierig
The fashion industry has consistently been pulled into larger discussion between style and social issues such as body image and diversity — all important conversations to have.

In 2016 alone, we have stars like Leslie Jones calling out designers for not dressing curvier woman while readers are always quick to point out Photoshop inconsistencies in editorial spreads or photos. If there’s one thing we’ve noticed, it’s that all of us are more aware and more open to speaking up.

Just in case you need a refresher on what exactly went down this year among designers, models, celebs, and publications, we’ve rounded up the top 10 most controversial fashion moments so far. They ignited some serious heat on social media, prompting a lot of us to say, “Really?!” Read on for the most talked-about moments we won’t forget anytime soon.

Source: Fashion Controversies in 2016

Habits of Stylish Women 

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sisilia Piring
Product Credit: Clare Vivier long sleeve striped shirt, Iconery rings, Topshop rings
Contrary to popular belief, really chic women aren’t superhuman — they’re just well-prepared. If you don’t see them running around with week-old coffee stains on their blouses or hobbling in painful heels, it’s not because those things just don’t happen to them. It’s because they know how to deal.

In fact, they’re dealing on a daily basis. Truth is, the fashionable friends you envy have some very helpful habits that make looking polished, confident, and cool a daily reality. It’s not about a total wardrobe overhaul or dropping tons of cash on the season’s biggest trends. Real style starts at home the moment you wake up. We’ve done the research — all you have to do is read on for the takeaways you can start practicing right now.

Source: Habits of Stylish Women

Fashion Trends From 2016 

While the word “trend” suggests a beginning and an end, fashion folk know better than to say goodbye. Certain looks — from cuts of denim to standout styling tricks — repeat themselves. Even so, it’s nice to know where these fads came from. For example, we’ll never forget that Twiggy and Edie Sedgwick popularized the tights-and-shift combination in the ’60s or that the best place to search for a stretchy wire choker in the ’90s was Limited Too.

This year gave rise to a whole bunch of trends (23, that we could count!). Some of the style moves ahead are updated takes on older trends, but most of them we’ll date back to this exact year. Read on for a list of reasons 2016 was pretty rad in our book. And if you’re in the market for a fresh outfit or two, you’ve still got time to hop on the bandwagon.

Source: Fashion Trends From 2016 

Kanye West Loses His Mind, Calls Out Beyoncé and Jay Z Before Storming Out of Concert 


There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and if you put disrespect on Queen Bey’s name, you’re gonna be sorry. Kanye West tempted two of these fates Saturday night at a concert in Sacramento, California—first by calling out Beyoncé, and then airing out Jay Z’s “killers.”

Yes, in Trump’s America, even the hip-hop world is upside down: Gucci Mane is reading Malcolm Gladwell, Azealia Banks is throwing down with Maximus, and Kanye West, the man who once famously announced “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” on live television, is cowering at the feet of President-elect Donald “All Lives Matter” Trump.

“This is a moment in the Matrix, bro!” exclaimed West in front of a packed crowd.

What transpired was a lengthy rant against Beyonce, Jay Z, Drake, the radio, and Hillary Clinton, before the rapper stormed out of the show after performing a grand total of three songs.

“Beyoncé, I was hurt! ‘Cause I heard that you said you wouldn’t perform unless you won Video of the Year over me, and over ‘Hotline Bling.’ In my opinion—now, don’t go tryin’ to diss Beyoncé, she is great. Taylor Swift is great. We are all great people, we are all equal. But sometimes, we be playin’ the politics too much and forgettin’ who we are—just to win. Fuck winning! Fuck lookin’ cool!” screamed West, who oversees a luxury fashion line.

“I’ve been sent here to give y’all my truth—even at the risk of my own life, even at the risk of my own success, my own career,” he continued. “I’ve been sent here to give y’all the truth. Jay Z, call me, bruh! You still ain’t call me! Jay Z, call me! Jay Z, I know you got killers, please don’t send them at my head. Just call me! Talk to me like a man!”

Who knows what’s going on with West. Between his pro-Trump speech on Friday, that tweet proclaiming Bill Cosby’s innocence, and this, he’s reached peak troll. You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain, and it appears West, in the face of a hostile press and gatekeepers who laughed him out of Silicon Valley, has resigned himself to the latter. Tonight, he pissed off 22,000 adoring fans who shelled out hundreds of dollars to see their idol arrive 1.5 hours late and make off with their money after a 3-so

Source: Kanye West Loses His Mind, Calls Out Beyoncé and Jay Z Before Storming Out of Concert 

Dizzying Heights: A mile-high skyscraper 

Rising like the Emerald City is a building that will not only dwarf the world’s tallest skyscraper — the Burj Khalifa in Dubai — but double its height.

If built, the aptly named Sky Mile Tower by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) and Leslie E. Roberson Associates (LERA), would climb to approximately 1,600 meters, or one whole mile.
The residential skyscraper is part of “Next Tokyo 2045,” a joint-proposal by the firms for research and developmental purposes. Its intent is to imagine a mega-city that contains resilient infrastructure.
Tokyo, like other vulnerable coastal cities with low-lying elevations, is faced with factors like rising sea levels and increased typhoon risks. The eco-district would be located on reclaimed land in Tokyo Bay and developed for a half-million residents.
“Next Tokyo is a vision for future cities based on challenges we face today,” KPF Principal David Malott told CNN. It was important for the design team that the vision be real: that Next Tokyo can be realized utilizing today’s technologies projected slightly forward into the future.”

Coastal defense strategies

Architectural renderings reveal how the mega-city might address issues like flooding, caused by storm surges. Differently-sized rings (approximately 500 to 5,000 feet in width) shaped like hexagons, are positioned to break up strong waves, while still allowing for ships to pass through. Some doubly function as freshwater reservoirs, others contain urban farming plots.
Hexagonal rings disrupt strong waves and double as freshwater reservoirs, public beach harbors and urban farming plots

Structural challenges for a mile-high tower

While there are no plans yet to fund the mega-city or construct the mile-high tower, research into its required technology is outlined in a report released by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH).
Wind tunnel tests reveal that vertical slots in the building's design allows for wind to pass through, which lessens the impact felt on the tower

The design, intended to house 55,000 occupants, is a response to urban migration trends that forecast the world’s population living in cities to double by 2050. “Next Tokyo explores future urban growth moving upward, rather than outward,” the report says.
At that soaring height, design requirements for wind can exceed those for earthquakes — even, according to the report, in the most earthquake-prone regions of the world. “The tower will naturally have long periods of vibration that will be more readily excited by the wind,” the report explains.
After conducting several exploratory wind tunnel tests, a version of the tower that incorporated incremental steps and tapers, could “confuse the wind” — breaking up large wind vortices which could otherwise amplify the tower’s movements. Vertical slots in the tower’s design allow the wind to flow through.
The mixed-use residental tower could house up to 55,000 occupants. The tower is broken up by open-air sky decks

Water distribution in a mile-high tower is also a challenge highlighted by the report. “Pumping the water directly from the ground would be very costly and time-consuming.”
To solve this, the design uses an articulated facade around the tower’s legs to increase the building’s surface area — which helps facilitate cloud harvesting as a water source. Water would then be collected and stored at different levels of the building.

Building up

Tall, supertall, and now megatall buildings — are on the rise. In January, the completion of 432 Park Avenue in New York marked the world’s 100th “supertall” skyscraper — or those classified by CTBUH as a building over 300 meters (984 feet).
Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Tower, scheduled for completion in 2020, will rise 1-kilometer to the sky.

 Saudi Arabia’s Jeddah Tower, scheduled for completion in 2020, will rise 1-kilometer to the sky.
“Megatall” — on the other hand, are buildings over 600 meters (1,968 feet) in height. Three buildings — the Burj Khalifa, the Shanghai Tower, and the Makkah Royal Clock Tower — fit the bill, but four more are under construction and are set for completion by 2021. They include the Jeddah Tower in Saudi Arabia, which will rise 1-kilometer into the sky.

Source: Dizzying Heights: A mile-high skyscraper 

4 Secrets to Learning Anything, According to Neuroscience

CREDIT: Getty Images

The future of work is all about innovation and agility. We have to be prepared for ever-changing circumstances, and that means being open to learning new things.

Learning is no longer something we just do in schools. We can’t rely on just the skillset we knew when we entered the workforce–that will guarantee career stagnation.

So I decided to sit down with Dr. Josh Davis, the Director of Research and Lead Professor for the NeuroLeadership Institute, an organization devoted to using science to advance leadership potential.

NLI has recently been exploring how to make ideas stick. Through their research, they created a model outlining four key conditions for effective learning: Attention, Generation, Emotion and Spacing (AGES).

Here’s a quick overview of the AGES model:

Attention: When you learn, maintain a single focus having complete and undivided attention.

Generation: Listening isn’t enough. Heighten the likelihood of memory retention by doing something with the information you’re learning. Create a situation that will make this information meaningful.

Emotion: Strong emotions lead to strong memories. Look for ways to build an emotional connection to what you’re learning.

Spacing: In order to grow memory, you need a break in between learning.

Laura: Why is the AGES model so important at this time?

Josh: With the world of work changing so quickly, we all need to learn how to learn. We need to be expert learners. These four principles, distilled from many years of research and hundreds of studies, are powerful ways to consciously recall what you want to consciously recall.

Laura: What is the most common barrier to learning that you see in people?

Josh: There is a pattern that we all learned in school, which is to study everything once. We learned by cramming for the test–a one-time burst of taking in information and trying to absorb as much as we can. But if the goal is to retain information, that model doesn’t work.

What does work, is if we learn something, sleep on it, and then learn it again. Sleep is not a passive thing. It involves a lot of active brain processes, one of which is to reactivate those things that have been tagged as important during the day. That’s how we grow our memory. But it doesn’t happen in an instant, and it can’t happen in an instant. You have to learn, sleep on it, come back to it, and reactivate it.

Laura: How can leaders and managers practically apply the AGES model with their employees?

Josh: Say you’re trying to get someone up to speed quickly. You want them to learn quickly and retain, and you don’t want to have to keep teaching them the same thing. One way to put them in a situation where they are likely to activate all four principles is to give them the responsibility of educating someone else about what they are doing and what they are learning.

We can’t help but learn something if we have to teach it. In fact, there is research that people tend to learn better when they teach. If I am teaching someone about how we work at my company, it’s going to grab my attention because I need to be able to focus on that person and do the work of communicating what I know.

I also have to generate connections to my own existing knowledge and think about what the other person is going to find relevant. There’s a lot of connection building as you try to synthesize information and make it powerful, available, and fit the perspective of the person you’re talking to.

This process tends to be emotional because you’ll want to look good. Our social interactions matter so much to us. If you are in the position of teaching someone, you don’t want to let them down, you want to look intelligent, and you want it to be engaging. There are a lot of inherent social drivers that make it an emotional moment.

And finally, if you’re teaching someone else, that’s usually not happening immediately after you learn it. Maybe it’s a week later or a month later, and you are coming back to that information each time. There is space in between.

If you want someone to learn something, put them in a position where they have to own it, teach it, and synthesize it for another person. That’s a great way to activate all of the principles and make it something that will last.

Laura: How has AGES helped you improve your learning?

Josh: If I am consciously aware that there is something I want to learn, I go ahead and shut off the other information streams. I don’t check my email, I shut the door so I don’t have other distractions, and I give myself that single focus of attention. I also make sure to come back to it and do some spacing and think about how I would teach it.

I also will come back and ask myself a few questions like, how does this help me do something that is important to me? If it’s interesting, how can I make use of this? Who do I know would want to hear about this? In what ways is this helping me accomplish what I already want to accomplish? This is helping me generate a connection to an existing goal.

The emotional piece has been harder to put into practice for myself, but the teach-back part does help me connect with the emotionality. When working one on one with someone, I know that if I can help them have an insight about the value of some idea, then they are going to run with it so much more than if I were just giving them an answer. If someone has their own insight, that is a powerful form of generation. Another piece to it is that insights feel great, and that’s an effective way to generate some emotion.

Laura: You mention that having an insight is the fastest path towards learning. How does one create the environment for insight to occur?

Josh: Before we discuss the optimal conditions for insights, we have to understand that we can only have one thing in conscious awareness at any one time. It’s a powerful limitation. We can take in thousands of different information input unconsciously, but we can only have one thing in conscious awareness.

An insight is a new signal or new thought you’ve never had before, a new way of putting information together. But here’s the problem: this new information is not using a pathway that’s most well-worn. It’s not going to be where you have the strongest connection between neurons. Instead, what is going to be the strongest, and hold your conscious awareness, is something that is easy to think about or something that you have already thought about a lot. If you open your eyes and look around, those are the things that are easy to be the focus of conscious attention. And that’s why having insights is tough.

What we want to do is make it possible to free up that competition for conscious awareness. There are four conditions that facilitate insight. First, you should have a quiet mind. It doesn’t have to be quiet externally, but don’t have a whole lot of competition for your conscious awareness.

Second, focus internally. When people are about to have an insight, they tend to go inward and there’s some visual gating, where information is coming into their eyes, but it’s not getting processed in the visual cortex. They are reflecting internally, so they have less competition from the external sensations.

Third, be in a slightly positive mood. The more positive the mood, the more likely we are to see new connections and come up with insight solutions. If we are in a negative mood we are more likely to solve things in a step by step, analytical way. Negative emotions like anxiety and sadness tend to narrow our focus, while positive emotions tend to expand our focus. This allows us to let in new ideas less critically.

The fourth condition is to not actively think about the problem. These four conditions should increase the likelihood of an insight.

Source: 4 Secrets to Learning Anything, According to Neuroscience

The Surprising Way To Deal With Jealousy


A number of years ago, I was in a relationship with a man who maintained ties with a glamorous ex-girlfriend who lived on the West Coast, more than 2,000 miles away from the two Midwestern cities where he and I lived. This was frustrating, but I suspected the only reason she stayed in touch with Dan was because she didn’t want him to be with someone new.

So, I tried to ignore my misgivings.

Something else was undermining my impulse to break it off with him: I didn’t think I should have felt jealous. Shouldn’t I have had enough confidence to be the proverbial winner—the smartest, cutest, funniest woman of any Dan knew? All things considered, I was pretty lucky. I had a fulfilling teaching job, good health, loving parents. I also had a circle of generous friends. Why was I letting this ex from Dan’s past get so deeply under my skin? It was mortifying that I couldn’t let it go.

I remember one cold March afternoon when I spent more than an hour disconsolately questioning Dan about why he continued to talk regularly with his gorgeous ex-girlfriend, despite his repeated insistence that he was with me now and that we had a better relationship than the one he’d had with her. Apparently, I was more emotionally stable than she was, though sometimes I didn’t see how this could be possible because there I was, riven by envy.

Not surprisingly, Dan and I eventually broke up, and the ex, just as I had thought would happen, soon lost interest in staying in touch with him. My instincts were correct, but what was the deal with all that agonized hand-wringing?


As a woman who came of age in the ‘70s and ‘80s, I grew up watching television shows like Fantasy Island and The Love Boat and studying Cosmopolitan and Glamour, all of which made it clear that the benchmarks used to measure a woman’s worth had less to do with her brains than with her breast size and bone structure. To make things even more confusing, my friends and I were also taught to view one another as rivals—only one of us could be valedictorian or prom queen each year, and very few of us were going to get into Harvard or some other extremely competitive college.

I don’t think much has changed in the last few decades, and if anything, with the omnipresence of social media and the personalities we’ve constructed online, we’ve probably become even more competitive with each other. If it’s not the nine dozen photos posted by your friend from her latest extravagant trip to the French Riviera while you’re stuck at work in frozen Minneapolis, it’s the announcement about the latest slew of soccer ribbons and trophies festooned on your neighbor’s adorable children. Sometimes I can feel my stomach clenching with envy as I stare at these posts, even if I know they represent only part of the story on any given day.

There are very few people—two or three girlfriends—with whom I feel comfortable talking about this subject. They are confidantes who have opened up to me about their own struggles with jealousy. One reason for my reticence is that reactions to my admissions, even from people who love me and know me well, are often mixed, ranging from sympathy to exhortations amounting to “Get over it! No one’s forcing you to feel that way!” Or, “You just need to learn to be more confident.”

Shame and a sense of failure are jealousy’s most frequent bedfellows. Is it any wonder we try to keep these feelings out of view?


In an attempt to understand more clearly what’s at the root of jealousy, I exchanged emails recently with Nikki Lively, a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in women’s mental health at the Family Institute at Northwestern University. “In our culture, jealousy is viewed as a character flaw,” she wrote. “We judge jealousy as a bad thing versus understanding it as a transient, universal emotional experience. In fact, jealousy is an emotional signal: It’s information that we could use to better understand what we’re afraid of and where our insecurities lie.”

What are my insecurities? When I see the female ultramarathon runners at the races Adam, my partner, periodically participates in, I worry that he wishes I were as athletic and fit as these women are. Strangers or not, they share something with him that I don’t. I wonder whether he would rather be with a woman who can run these races with him because they are so important to him. One moment later, I find myself thinking that I should take up distance running too.

Thinking that I too could be an ultramarathoner is one internal compass point shy of ridiculousness—after 4 or 5 miles, I desperately want to stop moving my body.

Why do I get so insecure? To some extent, I equate an absence of jealousy with invisibility. I felt jealous of the female distance runners and the ex-girlfriend on the West Coast because, as irrational as it sounds, it’s as if my partner’s acknowledgment of them somehow diminishes or negates my own value.

Not feeling jealous means, on one level, that you’ve accepted the condition of not being seen. To put it another way, other women are giving off more light and drawing toward themselves more of the available energy and interest in the places that you and they are concurrently inhabiting. Maybe they don’t mean to draw attention to themselves. Even so, the fact is they’re receiving it. And you’re not.

Maybe what I’m afraid of—and I don’t think it’s such an insane feeling—is the fear of being unnoticed, unseen.


Now comes the worst part. Foolish as this might sound, it remains true: Over the years, I haven’t doubted my ability to think and perform academically and professionally as much as I’ve worried about my ability to sustain male interest. When I’m jealous, it’s usually because I feel physically inferior to another woman. It’s a deeply unpleasant sensation, and although I’m aware it will pass, it never passes fast enough. Knowing that most everyone, on occasion, suffers like this helps me put these feelings into perspective, but the rational mind can rarely pre-empt an instinctive response.

A second therapist I queried, Kirsten Elling, PhD, an associate director at the University of Michigan’s Center for the Education of Women, wrote that jealousy can be a tool “to help people identify what it is they really want out of life and what might be missing, turning jealous thoughts into a plan of action for how one might live life differently or with better-articulated goals.”

This works with my fitness envy. In recent months, ugly old jealousy spurred me to include running in some of my workouts. I might never run a 50-mile race, but to my surprise, I’m enjoying running more than I previously did, and it’s helped me to better understand Adam’s devotion to this sport. It’s making us closer instead of farther apart.

On the other hand, coveting the youth or beauty of random strangers isn’t something I can use to improve myself. My face is my face; my age, my age. My one saving grace is that I’ve never been skilled at pretending that I don’t feel jealous when I do. The feeling comes out. It feels horrible and embarrassing. And then, the feeling oozes away. Allegedly, there are women out there who don’t suffer from jealousy, but I don’t know how they’ve managed to achieve this state of grace. I’m not jealous of them; I respect them. And only by coming clean about my struggles will I become one of them.

Virginity of Famous Men

Christine Sneed is the author ofThe Virginity of Famous MenandParis, He Said.

Source: The Surprising Way To Deal With Jealousy

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