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  • 07/27/16--09:20: Trekking Through Tahiti
  • Often thought of as a dream destination, this South Pacific region boasts hotels with bungalows over water and experiences incorporating the unique local culture. Vacation? Honeymoon? Solo getaway? Here are a few of our favorite properties that will surely deliver whatever you seek.

    By Isoul H. Harris

    UPTOWN_tahiti1

    MANAVA SUITE RESORT TAHITI
    Located in Punaauai, a community on the west side of Tahiti, where many believe that the sun shines the brightest, 4-star Manava offers a noticeably modern aesthetic while also maintaining the traditional touches of Polynesian culture. From standard rooms to duplex suites, the accommodations are perfect for both the businessman and a Brady-sized clan.

    Reason to Stay: Its infinity pool is the largest on the island. And in between frolics, you can order cocktails at Taapuna, the pool bar. Turn this experience into a Phaedra Parks worthy “Sip and See,” with drink in hand, swivel around, and catch breathtaking views of Moorea Island. SPMHotels.com

    UPTOWN_tahiti4

    TIKEHAU PEARL BEACH RESORT
    Bungalows abound on the pristine sand of the beaches and over the water at Tikehau, which means “peaceful landing” in the Tuamotu language. This long lagoon is known for having the most fish in Polynesia, and one can see all of the exotic varieties while snorkeling or scuba diving. Enjoy an excursion to Bird Island, where the variety of winged animals and other creatures will thrill as you walk through their habitat (and enjoy a BBQ lunch with delicious Polynesian fare. Those wanting non-aquatic activities can have their fun on dry land bicycling through the village surrounding the resort. Under the large Fare Potee (hut), which is visible from anywhere on the property, is Poreho, the resort restaurant featuring a blend of Polynesian and European fare. Enjoy your meals while taking in the beauty of this real life blue lagoon.

    Reason To Stay: The beautiful garden that greets guests approaching Manea Spa serves as a precursor to the the lush experience that awaits. Located in a gorgeous bungalow with ocean views from all treatment tables, the spa offers treatments deeply rooted in the tradition of Taurami—a Tahitian ancestral philosophy and practice that embraces holistic treatments and spiritual energy. Touch, or massage, is a large part of this spiritual practice — from the smooth Massage Monoi Miatai (an easy, but effective, rub with Manoi oils) to the Manoi Ofai (“ofai” means stones), a massage with volcanic rocks which dissolve every trace of mainland stress in the body.

    UPTOWN_tahiti3

    BORA BORA PEARL BEACH RESORT
    Bora Bora translates to “created by the Gods,” and after a visit to this beautiful isle, you’ll quickly realize why. According to US News & World Report Travel, Bora Bora is the second best place to visit in the world. And of course, accommodations are key at such a popular locale. With the island’s 2,400 ft. high volcano, Mount Otemanu towering in its wake, the Bora Bora Pearl Beach Resort combines the best of the island with exceptional service and well-executed luxury. Located on the Motu Tevairoa, an islet facing the island, the resort features all Polynesian Thatched bungalows. Honeymooners should book the Otemanu View Premium Overwater Bungalow, which is farthest away from all of the other rooms and main area and has the closest view of Mount Otemanu.

    UPTOWN_tahiti2

    Reason To Stay: Its level of luxury is genuine and not inflated. Also, for those Marine-loving, adventure seekers, Pearl Beach offers an outstanding all-day reef discovery snorkeling outing. Guarantee: While snorkeling, the Disney-like Bora Bora sign on the ocean floor will hardly impress, because you’ll be too preoccupied with the large eels, exotic fish and reef sharks swimming around. Don’t worry, these extraordinary sea creatures aren’t thinking about you, but you won’t be able to say the same.

    RELATED: Extend Your Summer Through October In Portugal


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    UPTOWN_beyonce_paris5

    Last week, Beyoncé‘s “Formation World Tour” stopped in Paris. The City of Lights seems to be a favorite location for Queen Bey, who really enjoys using the Eiffel Tower as the backdrop and sometimes star of her post card-ready photos. However, none of the pics would’ve been possible if she hadn’t forked over thousands of dollars for a stay in Paris’s Shangri-La Hotel. Let’s go inside Beyoncé’s Paris jaunt …

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    The “Sorry” singer rented the hotel’s signature penthouse suite, which reportedly fetches $19,000 per night. The one-bedroom suite is about 2,938 sq. ft. of living space. The balcony, where Beyoncé staged many of her photos with husband Jay Z and daughter Blue Ivy Carter, takes up 900 sq. ft. alone.

    UPTOWN_beyonce_paris2

    Bey and Blue donned matching Gucci Rose Print Silk Dresses to snap a few fun moments on the balcony. Beyoncé embellished her $2,700 dress with a black flower brooch. She also went shopping at a Colette Paris boutique while wearing the seafoam green-colored frock.

    [Images: Beyonce.com]

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    While in France, Bey and Jay stole some alone time aboard a luxury yacht. She wore a red, blue, orange, white and purple-printed pants set from the Emilio Pucci Fall 2016 collection.

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    [Images: Beyonce.com]

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    The happy couple also enjoyed a date-night, during which Beyoncé wore a red, body-conscious midi dress and a knit shrug to keep warm.

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    [Images: Beyonce.com]

    Beyoncé’s Paris jaunt was a mini fashion show captured by Jay.

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    At night, they sipped on Armand de Brignac Brut Gold, which can cost as much as $300 per bottle.

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    And then Bey captured the Eiffel Tower.

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    RELATED: Go Inside Beyoncé And Jay Z’s New Orleans Mansion

    [Images: Beyonce.com]


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    UPTOWN_the_chatwal_hotel

    The Chatwal Hotel (130 W. 44th St.) is maintaining its reputation as a calming and relaxing sanctuary in the middle of New York City by offering two wellness packages that focus on balancing the mind, the body, and the spirit. Business and leisure travelers, as well as city dwellers, will appreciate slowing down and letting this luxury boutique take care of their woes.

    Finding Inner Peace Package:
    “Specifically targeted at the harried business traveler, the Finding Inner Peace package will help even the most stressed find rest and relaxation. The two-night package includes a one-on-one meditation session with expert Donna D’Cruz, as well as a customized Red Door Spa Signature Massage and Aroma Therapy at the in-house Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spa, tea after the spa treatment, and a take home bath salt amenity. The Finding Inner Peace package includes a two-night stay in a Superior Queen or above, and daily Full American breakfast at The Lambs Club Restaurant for one. Rates begin at $684 per night, minimum two-night stay, and is valid through August 31, 2016.”

    Celebrating Love Package:
    “Designed for couples, mother/daughter duos, and girlfriends, the Celebrating Love package includes two customized Red Door Spa Signature Massages, two Aroma Therapies, tea after spa treatment, and a take home bath salt amenity from the Red Door Spa. Following the spa treatments, guests will participate in a two-on-one meditation session with Donna D’Cruz. The package, which begins at $922 per night, includes accommodations in a Deluxe King Room and daily full American Breakfast at The Lambs Club Restaurant for two. Celebrating Love is available for two night stays now through August 31, 2016.”

    All guests of The Chatwal have access to in-room yoga mats, a fitness center, and an indoor salt water lap pool to continue the wellness after the spa treatments and meditation session. In addition, the Red Door Spa offers private steam showers and a whirlpool.

    Here’s more about The Chatwal, a Luxury Collection Hotel:
    “Located in the heart of Manhattan, The Chatwal Hotel bridges classic and contemporary like no other. Nestled between Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park and the Theater District, the landmark hotel, originally built in 1905 by Stanford White, has been beautifully restored and renewed by master architect Thierry Despont, re-launched in 2010 with 76 rooms and suites, several of which feature spacious terraces. Carefully selected amenities, professional butler service and bespoke service make it an ideal choice for both leisure and business travelers. The hotel is home to the Red Door Spa by Elizabeth Arden, and the famous Lambs Club Restaurant. This iconic hotel is the vision of hotelier and entrepreneur Mr. Sant Singh Chatwal. TheChatwalNY.com


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    UPTOWN_obama_dnc_speech

    ” Hello, America! Hello, Democrats! (Applause.)

    So 12 years ago tonight, I addressed this convention for the very first time. (Applause.) You met my two little girls, Malia and Sasha — now two amazing young women who just fill me with pride. (Applause.) You fell for my brilliant wife and partner Michelle — (applause) — who has made me a better father and a better man; who’s gone on to inspire our nation as First Lady — (applause) — and who somehow hasn’t aged a day. (Applause.)

    I know, the same can’t be said for me. (Laughter.) My girls remind me all the time. Wow, you’ve changed so much, Daddy (Laughter.) And then they try to clean it up — not bad, you’re just more mature. (Laughter.)

    And it’s true — I was so young that first time in Boston. (Applause.) And look, I’ll admit it, maybe I was a little nervous, addressing such a big crowd. But I was filled with faith; faith in America — the generous, big-hearted, hopeful country that made my story — that made all of our stories — possible.

    A lot has happened over the years. And while this nation has been tested by war, and it’s been tested by recession and all manner of challenges — I stand before you again tonight, after almost two terms as your President, to tell you I am more optimistic about the future of America than ever before. (Applause.)

    How could I not be — after all that we’ve achieved together? After the worst recession in 80 years, we fought our way back. We’ve seen deficits come down, 401(k)s recover, an auto industry set new records, unemployment reach eight-year lows, and our businesses create 15 million new jobs. (Applause.)

    After a century of trying, we declared that health care in America is not a privilege for a few, it is a right for everybody. (Applause.) After decades of talk, we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil. We doubled our production of clean energy. (Applause.) We brought more of our troops home to their families, and we delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. (Applause.) Through diplomacy, we shut down Iran’s nuclear weapons program. (Applause.) We opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba, brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could save this planet for our children. (Applause.)

    We put policies in place to help students with loans; protect consumers from fraud; cut veteran homelessness almost in half. (Applause.) And through countless acts of quiet courage, America learned that love has no limits, and marriage equality is now a reality across the land. (Applause.)

    By so many measures, our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started. And through every victory and every setback, I’ve insisted that change is never easy, and never quick; that we wouldn’t meet all of our challenges in one term, or one presidency, or even in one lifetime.

    So, tonight, I’m here to tell you that, yes, we’ve still got more work to do. More work to do for every American still in need of a good job or a raise, paid leave or a decent retirement; for every child who needs a sturdier ladder out of poverty or a world-class education; for everyone who has not yet felt the progress of these past seven and a half years. We need to keep making our streets safer and our criminal justice system fairer
    — (applause) — our homeland more secure, our world more peaceful and sustainable for the next generation. (Applause.) We’re not done perfecting our union, or living up to our founding creed that all of us are created equal; all of us are free in the eyes of God. (Applause.)

    And that work involves a big choice this November. I think it’s fair to say, this is not your typical election. It’s not just a choice between parties or policies; the usual debates between left and right. This is a more fundamental choice — about who we are as a people, and whether we stay true to this great American experiment in self-government.

    Look, we Democrats have always had plenty of differences with the Republican Party, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s precisely this contest of idea that pushes our country forward. (Applause.) But what we heard in Cleveland last week wasn’t particularly Republican — and it sure wasn’t conservative. What we heard was a deeply pessimistic vision of a country where we turn against each other, and turn away from the rest of the world. There were no serious solutions to pressing problems — just the fanning of resentment, and blame, and anger, and hate.

    And that is not the America I know. (Applause.) The America I know is full of courage, and optimism, and ingenuity. The America I know is decent and generous. (Applause.) Sure, we have real anxieties — about paying the bills, and protecting our kids, caring for a sick parent. We get frustrated with political gridlock, and worry about racial divisions. We are shocked and saddened by the madness of Orlando or Nice. There are pockets of America that never recovered from factory closures; men who took pride in hard work and providing for their families who now feel forgotten; parents who wonder whether their kids will have the same opportunities that we had.

    All of that is real. We are challenged to do better; to be better.

    But as I’ve traveled this country, through all 50 states, as I’ve rejoiced with you and mourned with you, what I have also seen, more than anything, is what is right with America. (Applause.) I see people working hard and starting businesses. I see people teaching kids and serving our country. I see engineers inventing stuff, doctors coming up with new cures. I see a younger generation full of energy and new ideas, not constrained by what is, ready to seize what ought to be. (Applause.)

    And most of all, I see Americans of every party, every background, every faith who believe that we are stronger together — black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; young, old; gay, straight; men, women, folks with disabilities, all pledging allegiance, under the same proud flag, to this big, bold country that we love. (Applause.) That’s what I see. That’s the America I know! (Applause.)

    And there is only one candidate in this race who believes in that future, has devoted her life to that future; a mother and a grandmother who would do anything to help our children thrive; a leader with real plans to break down barriers, and blast through glass ceilings, and widen the circle of opportunity to every single American — the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)

    AUDIENCE: Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!

    THE PRESIDENT: That’s right!

    Let me tell you, eight years ago, you may remember Hillary and I were rivals for the Democratic nomination. We battled for a year and a half. Let me tell you, it was tough, because Hillary was tough. I was worn out. (Laughter.) She was doing everything I was doing, but just like Ginger Rogers, it was backwards in heels. (Applause.) And every time I thought I might have the race won, Hillary just came back stronger. (Applause.)

    But after it was all over, I asked Hillary to join my team. (Applause.) And she was a little surprised. Some of my staff was surprised. (Laughter.) But ultimately she said yes — because she knew that what was at stake was bigger than either of us. (Applause.) And for four years — for four years, I had a front-row seat to her intelligence, her judgment, and her discipline. I came to realize that her unbelievable work ethic wasn’t for praise, it wasn’t for attention — that she was in this for everyone who needs a champion. (Applause.) I understood that after all these years, she has never forgotten just who she’s fighting for. (Applause.)

    Hillary has still got the tenacity that she had as a young woman, working at the Children’s Defense Fund, going door-to-door to ultimately make sure kids with disabilities could get a quality education. (Applause.)

    She’s still got the heart she showed as our First Lady, working with Congress to help push through a Children’s Health Insurance Program that to this day protects millions of kids. (Applause.)

    She’s still seared with the memory of every American she met who lost loved ones on 9/11 — which is why, as a Senator from New York, she fought so hard for funding to help first responders, to help the city rebuild; why, as Secretary of State, she sat with me in the Situation Room and forcefully argued in favor of the mission that took out bin Laden. (Applause.)

    You know, nothing truly prepares you for the demands of the Oval Office. You can read about it. You can study it. But until you’ve sat at that desk, you don’t know what it’s like to manage a global crisis, or send young people to war. But Hillary has been in the room; she’s been part of those decisions. She knows what’s at stake in the decisions our government makes — what’s at stake for the working family, for the senior citizen, or the small business owner, for the soldier, for the veteran. And even in the midst of crisis, she listens to people, and she keeps her cool, and she treats everybody with respect. And no matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits. (Applause.)

    That is the Hillary I know. That’s the Hillary I’ve come to admire. And that’s why I can say with confidence there has never been a man or a woman — not me, not Bill, nobody — more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as President of the United States of America. (Applause.)

    I hope you don’t mind, Bill, but I was just telling the truth, man. (Laughter.)

    And, by the way, in case you’re wondering about her judgment, take a look at her choice of running mate. (Applause.) Tim Kaine is as good a man, as humble and as committed a public servant as anybody that I know. I know his family. I love Anne. I love their kids. He will be a great Vice President. He will make Hillary a better President — just like my dear friend and brother, Joe Biden, has made me a better President. (Applause.)

    Now, Hillary has real plans to address the concerns she’s heard from you on the campaign trail. She’s got specific ideas to invest in new jobs, to help workers share in their company’s profits, to help put kids in preschool and put students through college without taking on a ton of debt. That’s what leaders do.
    And then there’s Donald Trump.

    AUDIENCE: Booo —

    THE PRESIDENT: Don’t boo — vote. (Applause.)

    AUDIENCE: Don’t boo, vote! Don’t boo, vote!

    THE PRESIDENT: You know, the Donald is not really a plans guy. (Laughter.) He’s not really a facts guy, either. He calls himself a business guy, which is true, but I have to say, I know plenty of businessmen and women who’ve achieved remarkable success without leaving a trail of lawsuits, and unpaid workers, and people feeling like they got cheated. (Applause.)

    Does anyone really believe that a guy who’s spent his 70 years on this Earth showing no regard for working people is suddenly going to be your champion? Your voice?

    AUDIENCE: Nooo —

    THE PRESIDENT: If so, you should vote for him. But if you’re someone who’s truly concerned about paying your bills, if you’re really concerned about pocketbook issues and seeing the economy grow, and creating more opportunity for everybody, then the choice isn’t even close. (Applause.) If you want someone with a lifelong track record of fighting for higher wages, and better benefits, and a fairer tax code, and a bigger voice for workers, and stronger regulations on Wall Street, then you should vote for Hillary Clinton. (Applause.)

    If you’re rightly concerned about who’s going to keep you and your family safe in a dangerous world, well, the choice is even clearer. Hillary Clinton is respected around the world — not just by leaders, but by the people they serve.

    I have to say this. People outside of the United States do not understand what’s going on in this election. They really don’t. Because they know Hillary. They’ve seen her work. She’s worked closely with our intelligence teams, our diplomats, our military. She has the judgment and the experience and the temperament to meet the threat from terrorism. It’s not new to her. Our troops have pounded ISIL without mercy, taking out their leaders, taking back territory. (Applause.) And I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed. She will finish the job. (Applause.) And she will do it without resorting to torture, or banning entire religions from entering our country. She is fit and she is ready to be the next Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)

    Meanwhile, Donald Trump calls our military a disaster. Apparently, he doesn’t know the men and women who make up the strongest fighting force the world has ever known. (Applause.) He suggests America is weak. He must not hear the billions of men and women and children, from the Baltics to Burma, who still look to America to be the light of freedom and dignity and human rights. (Applause.) He cozies up to Putin, praises Saddam Hussein, tells our NATO allies that stood by our side after 9/11 that they have to pay up if they want our protection.

    Well, America’s promises do not come with a price tag. We meet our commitments. We bear our burdens. (Applause.) That’s one of the reasons why almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago when I took office. (Applause.)

    America is already great. (Applause.) America is already strong. (Applause.) And I promise you, our strength, our greatness, does not depend on Donald Trump. (Applause.) In fact, it doesn’t depend on any one person. And that, in the end, may be the biggest difference in this election — the meaning of our democracy.

    Ronald Reagan called America “a shining city on a hill.” Donald Trump calls it “a divided crime scene” that only he can fix. It doesn’t matter to him that illegal immigration and the crime rate are as low as they’ve been in decades — (applause) — because he’s not actually offering any real solutions to those issues. He’s just offering slogans, and he’s offering fear. He’s betting that if he scares enough people, he might score just enough votes to win this election.

    And that’s another bet that Donald Trump will lose. (Applause.) And the reason he’ll lose it is because he’s selling the American people short. We’re not a fragile people. We’re not a frightful people. Our power doesn’t come from some self-declared savior promising that he alone can restore order as long as we do things his way. We don’t look to be ruled. (Applause.) Our power comes from those immortal declarations first put to paper right here in Philadelphia all those years ago: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that We the People, can form a more perfect union. (Applause.)

    That’s who we are. That’s our birthright — the capacity to shape our own destiny. (Applause.) That’s what drove patriots to choose revolution over tyranny and our GIs to liberate a continent. It’s what gave women the courage to reach for the ballot, and marchers to cross a bridge in Selma, and workers to organize and fight for collective bargaining and better wages. (Applause.)

    America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us. It’s about what can be achieved by us, together — (applause) — through the hard and slow, and sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.

    And that’s what Hillary Clinton understands. She knows that this is a big, diverse country. She has seen it. She’s traveled. She’s talked to folks. And she understands that most issues are rarely black and white. She understands that even when you’re 100 percent right, getting things done requires compromise; that democracy doesn’t work if we constantly demonize each other. (Applause.) She knows that for progress to happen, we have to listen to each other, and see ourselves in each other, and fight for our principles but also fight to find common ground, no matter how elusive that may sometimes seem. (Applause.)

    Hillary knows we can work through racial divides in this country when we realize the worry black parents feel when their son leaves the house isn’t so different than what a brave cop’s family feels when he puts on the blue and goes to work; that we can honor police and treat every community fairly. (Applause.) We can do that. And she knows — she knows that acknowledging problems that have festered for decades isn’t making race relations worse — it’s creating the possibility for people of goodwill to join and make things better. (Applause.)

    Hillary knows we can insist on a lawful and orderly immigration system while still seeing striving students and their toiling parents as loving families, not criminals or rapists; families that came here for the same reason our forebears came — to work and to study, and to make a better life, in a place where we can talk and worship and love as we please. She knows their dream is quintessentially American, and the American Dream is something no wall will ever contain. (Applause.) These are the things that Hillary knows.

    It can be frustrating, this business of democracy. Trust me, I know. Hillary knows, too. When the other side refuses to compromise, progress can stall. People are hurt by the inaction. Supporters can grow impatient and worry that you’re not trying hard enough; that you’ve maybe sold out. But I promise you, when we keep at it, when we change enough minds, when we deliver enough votes, then progress does happen. And if you doubt that, just ask the 20 million more people who have health care today. (Applause.) Just ask the Marine who proudly serves his country without hiding the husband that he loves. (Applause.)

    Democracy works, America, but we got to want it — not just during an election year, but all the days in between. (Applause.)

    So if you agree that there’s too much inequality in our economy and too much money in our politics, we all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders supporters have been during this election. (Applause.) We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done. (Applause.)

    That’s right — feel the Bern! (Applause.)

    If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote — not just for a President, but for mayors, and sheriffs, and state’s attorneys, and state legislators. That’s where the criminal law is made. (Applause.) And we’ve got to work with police and protesters until laws and practices are changed. That’s how democracy works. (Applause.)

    If you want to fight climate change, we’ve got to engage not only young people on college campuses, we’ve got to reach out to the coal miner who’s worried about taking care of his family, the single mom worried about gas prices. (Applause.)

    If you want to protect our kids and our cops from gun violence, we’ve got to get the vast majority of Americans, including gun owners, who agree on things like background checks to be just as vocal and just as determined as the gun lobby that blocks change through every funeral that we hold. That is how change happens. (Applause.)

    Look, Hillary has got her share of critics. She has been caricatured by the right and by some on the left. She has been accused of everything you can imagine — and some things that you cannot. (Laughter.) But she knows that’s what happens when you’re under a microscope for 40 years. She knows that sometimes during those 40 years she’s made mistakes — just like I have; just like we all do. (Applause.) That’s what happens when we try. That’s what happens when you’re the kind of citizen Teddy Roosevelt once described — not the timid souls who criticize from the sidelines, but someone “who is actually in the arena…who strives valiantly; who errs…but who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement.” (Applause.)

    Hillary Clinton is that woman in the arena. (Applause.) She’s been there for us — even if we haven’t always noticed. And if you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home just because she might not align with you on every issue. You’ve got to get in the arena with her, because democracy isn’t a spectator sport. (Applause.) America isn’t about “yes, he will.” It’s about “yes, we can.” (Applause.) And we’re going to carry Hillary to victory this fall, because that’s what the moment demands. (Applause.)

    AUDIENCE: Yes, we can! Yes, we can! Yes, we can!

    THE PRESIDENT: Yes, we can. Not “yes, she can.” Not “yes, I can.” “Yes, we can.” (Applause.)

    You know, there’s been a lot of talk in this campaign about what America has lost — people who tell us that our way of life is being undermined by pernicious changes and dark forces beyond our control. They tell voters there’s a “real America” out there that must be restored. This isn’t an idea, by the way, that started with Donald Trump. It’s been peddled by politicians for a long time — probably from the start of our Republic.

    And it’s got me thinking about the story I told you 12 years ago tonight, about my Kansas grandparents and the things they taught me when I was growing up. (Applause.) See, my grandparents, they came from the heartland. Their ancestors began settling there about 200 years ago. I don’t know if they have their birth certificates — (laughter) — but they were there. (Applause.) They were Scotch-Irish mostly — farmers, teachers, ranch hands, pharmacists, oil rig workers. Hardy, small town folks. Some were Democrats, but a lot of them — maybe even most of them — were Republicans. Party of Lincoln.

    And my grandparents explained that folks in these parts, they didn’t like show-offs. They didn’t admire braggarts or bullies. They didn’t respect mean-spiritedness, or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life. Instead, what they valued were traits like honesty and hard work, kindness, courtesy, humility, responsibility, helping each other out. That’s what they believed in. True things. Things that last. The things we try to teach our kids.

    And what my grandparents understood was that these values weren’t limited to Kansas. They weren’t limited to small towns. These values could travel to Hawaii. (Applause.) They could travel even to the other side of the world, where my mother would end up working to help poor women get a better life; trying to apply those values. My grandparents knew these values weren’t reserved for one race. They could be passed down to a half-Kenyan grandson, or a half-Asian granddaughter. In fact, they were the same values Michelle’s parents, the descendants of slaves, taught their own kids, living in a bungalow on the South Side of Chicago. (Applause.) They knew these values were exactly what drew immigrants here, and they believed that the children of those immigrants were just as American as their own, whether they wore a cowboy hat or a yarmulke, a baseball cap or a hijab. (Applause.)

    America has changed over the years. But these values that my grandparents taught me — they haven’t gone anywhere. They’re as strong as ever, still cherished by people of every party, every race, every faith. They live on in each of us. What makes us American, what makes us patriots is what’s in here. That’s what matters. (Applause.)

    And that’s why we can take the food and music and holidays and styles of other countries, and blend it into something uniquely our own. That’s why we can attract strivers and entrepreneurs from around the globe to build new factories and create new industries here. That’s why our military can look the way it does — every shade of humanity, forged into common service. (Applause.) That’s why anyone who threatens our values, whether fascists or communists or jihadists or homegrown demagogues, will always fail in the end. (Applause.)

    That is America. That is America. Those bonds of affection; that common creed. We don’t fear the future; we shape it. We embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own. That’s what Hillary Clinton understands — this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot — that’s the America she’s fighting for. (Applause.)

    And that is why I have confidence, as I leave this stage tonight, that the Democratic Party is in good hands. My time in this office, it hasn’t fixed everything. As much as we’ve done, there’s still so much I want to do. But for all the tough lessons I’ve had to learn, for all the places where I’ve fallen short — I’ve told Hillary, and I’ll tell you, what’s picked me back up every single time: It’s been you. The American people. (Applause.)

    It’s the letter I keep on my wall from a survivor in Ohio who twice almost lost everything to cancer, but urged me to keep fighting for health care reform, even when the battle seemed lost. Do not quit.

    It’s the painting I keep in my private office, a big-eyed, green owl with blue wings, made by a seven year-old girl who was taken from us in Newtown, given to me by her parents so I wouldn’t forget — a reminder of all the parents who have turned their grief into action. (Applause.)

    It’s the small business owner in Colorado who cut most of his own salary so he wouldn’t have to lay off any of his workers in the recession — because, he said, “that wouldn’t have been in the spirit of America.”

    It’s the conservative in Texas who said he disagreed with me on everything, but he appreciated that, like him, I try to be a good dad. (Applause.)

    It’s the courage of the young soldier from Arizona who nearly died on the battlefield in Afghanistan, but who has learned to speak again and walk again — and earlier this year, stepped through the door of the Oval Office on his own power, to salute and shake my hand. (Applause.)

    It is every American who believed we could change this country for the better, so many of you who’d never been involved in politics, who picked up phones and hit the streets, and used the Internet in amazing new ways that I didn’t really understand, but made change happen. You are the best organizers on the planet, and I am so proud of all the change that you made possible. (Applause.)

    Time and again, you’ve picked me up. And I hope, sometimes, I picked you up, too. (Applause.) And tonight, I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me. (Applause.) I ask you to carry her the same way you carried me. Because you’re who I was talking about 12 years ago when I talked about hope. It’s been you who fueled my dogged faith in our future, even when the odds were great; even when the road is long. Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope. (Applause.)

    America, you’ve vindicated that hope these past eight years. And now I’m ready to pass the baton and do my part as a private citizen. So this year, in this election, I’m asking you to join me — to reject cynicism and reject fear, and to summon what is best in us; to elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States, and show the world we still believe in the promise of this great nation. (Applause.)

    Thank you for this incredible journey. Let’s keep it going. God bless you. God bless the United States of America. (Applause.)”

    — Pres. Barack Obama rebuked Donald Trump’s pessimism and scare tactics by spreading love and optimism during the Wednesday night’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Obama’s DNC speech ended with the president embracing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

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    UPTOWN_keshia_knight_pulliam_entertainment_tonight

    “I don’t know if it’s the hormones … no, it’s all of it, because it’s fresh. And it’s hurtful. And I knew I couldn’t be silent, because this isn’t about money. This isn’t about fame. This isn’t about social media likes or follows. This is about my character — my integrity as a woman being attacked — and that’s not OK …

    “Early on in my marriage when I was faced with [cheating], I was ready to leave. It’s not OK. In the process, I found out I was pregnant. And I had to take another hard look and decide if I wanted to try to work through this and forgive him for the sake of the child. Like, I had divorce papers ready. I presented it to him … Once I was pregnant I did decide to give him that one last chance …

    “The part that hurt me the most when he filed for divorce was that he had asked me to give him another chance, and I was willing to do that and forgive him, for our family …

    “We both wanted to get married, I was not pushing it. This is his baby. He wanted more children. He was excited once he found out that we were having a little girl. There was never a question about that … No point after we got pregnant was there an issue of the fact that we’re having a baby …

    “There’s a baby in the middle of this! And regardless, if we don’t want to be married, that’s fine, because we agree on that. But this baby is what’s important, and I feel like that’s being lost …

    “There’s nothing to say at this point. They can discuss that through attorneys. I have to move forward. I have to do what I need to release the hurt, to release this, and to be happy for me and my baby girl, because the stress isn’t good. The stress isn’t healthy. And my only priority is her …

    “You can be a cat in the sandbox and try to cover that up as much as you want. Truth prevails. I didn’t do anything wrong. I didn’t cheat on my husband. I didn’t do it. It’s really that simple …

    “I love who he pretended to be. I love who he portrayed himself as, and the one mistake I made was, when he showed me who he really was, not believing him. Not believing him the first time. When he said he wanted our marriage, he wanted our family — I believed him. That’s why I gave him this one last chance, only for him to pull the rug from under me and blindside me.”

    — Keshia Knight-Pulliam opens up to Entertainment Tonight‘s Nischelle Turner about being blindsided by her estranged husband Ed Hartwell’s decision to file for divorce after six months of marriage. He also requested a paternity test for their child who is due in January. Knight-Pulliam claims she wanted to leave Hartwell early in their marriage because she discovered he was allegedly cheating, but he asked her for a second chance. Now she says her main priority is her unborn daughter, and she’s going to let the attorneys sort out the divorce.


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    Mary J. Blige is dissolving her 12-year marriage to Martin “Kendu” Isaacs, who has also managed the singer’s career.

    Blige filed for divorce citing irreconcilable differences.

    She asked the judge to prevent Isaacs from collecting spousal support. It’s unknown whether the couple has a prenuptial agreement.

    The cause for the divorce is unclear also. Their professional life may have gotten in the way of their personal life. Blige revealed the difficulty of being married to her manager in a 2014 interview with Stellar Magazine, reports TMZ.

    “He always has my back — he’s going to fight to the death for Mary J Blige. The downside is that there’s no separation — it’s on all the time,” she said.

    “When you don’t feel like answering to your manager, he’s still your husband. If one of you doesn’t want to talk about something right now, you have to respect that. And you have to respect each other’s space.”

    Blige and Isaacs do not have any children together.

    This is the second celebrity marriage this week few people saw was headed for divorce. Cosby Show star Keshia Knight-Pulliam was blindsided by her husband of six Ed Hartwell filing for divorce, days after she announced she’s pregnant with their daughter.

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    UPTOWN_skin_dragging

    One Taiwanese aesthetician has developed an extreme acne-clearing treatment that she says is painless.

    Beautician Je Lin demonstrates the technique of dragging strands of oil and sebum out of a client’s pores to clear whiteheads.

    With the camera zoomed in to where the hair follicles are visible, Je Lin pushes down on a zit and then uses a special curved tweezer to extract a yellow strand of oil to unclog the pore. The oil resembles gelatinous maggots … just saying.

    Je Lin repeats the steps until the client’s entire face is clear.

    The beautician says the treatment, which doesn’t really look like a treat, is painless.

    So what’s the science behind a treatment like this?

    Acne forms when the sebaceous glands, which are attached to the hair follicles of the skin, produce too much sebum or oil. The excess sebum mixes with dead skin cells and both substances form a plug in the follicle. When hair follicles becomes blocked two things can happen. Either the blockage bulges near the surface of the skin and causes a whitehead, or the blocked follicle is open on the skin and causes a blackhead. Bacteria on the skin that is usually harmless can then contaminate and infect the blocked follicles, causing papules, pustules, or cysts.

    Would you have your face dragged?

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    Bill Cosby dropped the lawsuit against Andrea Constand, her mother, Gianna Constand, and her attorneys, Dolores Troiani and Bebe Kivitz. He claimed they violated the terms of a confidential settlement for the lawsuit in which Constand accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her.

    From the AP:

    Bill Cosby has dropped a lawsuit that demanded the accuser in his criminal case repay the money from their confidential 2006 court settlement.

    Cosby had sued Andrea Constand for breach of contract for speaking to police who reopened the criminal investigation last year. His lawyers argued that her police statements, along with two tweets and brief comments to a Toronto newspaper, violated the confidentiality clause.

    A judge this month upheld her right to talk to police, but said Cosby could pursue the other issues. Cosby, though, dropped the suit entirely on Thursday. The move comes a week after he switched law firms for the second time in about a year.

    “With a court validation of his ability to proceed … Mr. Cosby has today stepped away from that suit and will instead focus his efforts on defending himself against the claims that have been lodged against him,” his lawyer said in a statement.

    The swirl of litigation surrounding Cosby includes the felony sexual-assault case involving Constand and a string of defamation lawsuits filed by women who said they were branded liars when Cosby or his agents denied their similar claims.

    Constand’s lawyers called the lawsuit Cosby filed against their client “a blatant attempt at intimidation.” They had also been named as defendants, along with Constand’s mother.

    “The dismissal is a victory for all victims,” lawyer Dolores Troiani said.

    No trial date has been set for Cosby’s felony sex-assault trial. He is accused of drugging and molesting Constand at his home near Philadelphia in 2004.

    Constand sued him in 2005 after prosecutors at the time declined to file charges. The criminal case was reopened after other accusers came forward and Cosby’s deposition in the civil suit was released.


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    Bebe WinansHistorically, African American men haven’t had a chance to control their own narratives. A story like music legend BeBe Winans’, which has taken him from a working-class home in Detroit to the top of the world’s music charts, could have easily wound up as a subpar cable movie. In typical fashion, the six-time Grammy-winning songwriter and artist decided to pen his life story himself, and the result is the breathtaking Born For This: The BeBe Winans Story, cowritten and directed by Charles Randolph-Wright. The show is playing at the Arena Stage in Washington DC through August 28.

    Any presentation of Winans’ life would be incomplete without music, as he’s one of nine siblings in a gospel music dynasty that has influenced generations of musicians. But Born For This is much more than a musical: it’s a riveting account of a man who decided early on to take the proverbial high road.

    “I’ve always understood that with everything I faced — including racism and bigotry — there is a choice,” Winans reflected by phone. “I chose laughter instead of anger. I chose love instead of hate. I chose to understand instead of misunderstand.”

    “People who have come to see Born For This have left with inspiration to reach for those dreams again,” Winans continued. “They’ve told me that the show reminded them that they have a purpose, that it’s not over, no matter what age or what’s happened in life.” Born For This is a hilarious, uplifting journey toward self discovery. It follows Winans’ trek from Detroit to Jim and Tammy Faye Bakers’ PTL Network in Pineville, North Carolina. As BeBe and his sister CeCe experience fame, BeBe must learn to balance it with what he believes is his true calling.

    The show’s cast includes Winans’ nephew Juan Winans who plays BeBe, his niece, Deborah Joy Winans (of OWN’s new Greenleaf series) who plays CeCe, and Kiandra Richardson who plays their friend, Whitney Houston.

    Winans said he’s proud of the production, and thankful that he’s been able to shape the telling of his own life story.

    “Sometimes, the narrative given to African Americans is ‘fatherless black man goes down the wrong path, gets locked up in jail, and a caucasian man comes and rescues him and he becomes successful’. That’s not my narrative, and sometimes it’s hard for people to realize that we have homes where there’s a mother and a father in them,” Winans laughed. “We’re hearing that even that part of my story has been inspirational to people who’ve seen the show. Winans hinted about “negotiations” for Born For This beyond the show’s Arena Stage run, and he told me he’s “excited about what the future holds and doors that will open.” Before the doors close on the Arena Stage’s Born For This, fans of Winans — or of the type of inspirational story that the production presents — should make a point to check it out.

    Tickets for Born For This can be purchased at arenastage.org.

    This article was written by freelancer Michael P Coleman. Connect with him on michaelpcoleman.com or on Twitter: @ColemanMichaelP


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    Famous ballerina Misty Copeland wed longtime beau Olu Evans on Sunday in Laguna Beach, Calif.

    The couple dated for 10 years before tying the knot at the Montage Hotel during an intimate ceremony overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

    According to E! news, Copeland wanted their nuptials to be classy and simple, unlike when she’s dancing on-stage.

    “It’s interesting that I’m a ballerina, which is so girly and feminine and what every little girl dreams of,” she explained to E! previously. “But it’s a character I’m playing, and that’s so much fun to be that. It’s, I guess, how people envision their wedding days, and that’s my life.”

    She continued, “So I feel like I get to become a fairy princess on stage and wear incredible costumes and gowns to galas. So, for me, I just want to have a simple, as easy-going day as I can have and just not have it be a big show. I just want it to be simple and classy and not feel like I’m in a tutu.”

    One hundred guests attended the intimate wedding.

    Copeland wore an ethereal gown designed by Inbal Dror. She completed the bridal look with a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes.

    White and pink roses, as well as pink hydrangeas decorated the wedding.

    Evans, who is an attorney and Taye Diggs‘s cousin, proposed to Copeland with an enormous cushion-cut sparkler set in a halo and a pave band in 2015.

    Congratulations to the happy couple!

    [Image: Instagram]


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    While the Miss Teen USA pageant was receiving a good amount of praise for discontinuing the swimsuit competition, it created controversy Saturday night with the choice of its top-five contestants, one of whom would be outed for her penchant to tweet the n-word.

    When the finalists were revealed at the Venetian in Las Vegas, it was rather difficult to ignore that all five were blue-eyed blondes.

    Social media maven Chrissy Teigen pointed out the lack of diversity.

    She later tempered her tweet, saying it wasn’t the contestants’ fault they were chosen.

    If the images below are an indication, there were very few Black women competing for the crown, which means the competition really does have a diversity problem. Only one Black woman is visible all the way in the back of the group contestant photo.

    UPTOWN_miss_teen_usa

    The five finalists were Miss Texas Karlie Hay (who would take home the crown), second runner-up Miss South Carolina Marley Stokes, Miss North Carolina Emily Wakeman, Miss Alabama Erin Snow, and Miss Nevada Carissa Morrow.

    Less than 24 hours after being crowned Miss Teen USA, Hay has found herself at the center of another controversy.

    Twitter user Tora Shae (@BlackMajiik) tweeted screenshots of Hays’s previous tweets, revealing that the pageant queen had (or maybe has, who knows nowadays) a habit of using the full-on n-word, not n**ga.

    The controversy didn’t blow over.

    Hays eventually made her personal Twitter account private, and tweeted an “apology” from her “official” Miss Teen USA handle.

    Notice that Hays doesn’t mention exactly what she’s apologizing for or what exactly is the “place that is not representative of who I am as a person.”

    The Miss Teen USA competition is a division of the Miss Universe Organization, which was previously owned by Donald Trump, who sold it to WME/IMG in 2015.


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    It’s been a little over three months since Prince died of an accidental overdose, but the uber-talented entertainer is still making headlines.

    Prince’s estate is seeking to sell several of his real estate holdings, but a judge still needs to approve the deal, reports TMZ.

    The estate won’t just accept any price, however. According to documents, it will only accept offers that are at least 90 percent of fair market value.

    The real estate that will be sold hasn’t been revealed publicly, but Prince had properties in Minnesota, Beverly Hills, New York, and possibly more locations. His Minnesota properties alone have been valued at an estimated $30 million, according to TMZ.

    And in other Prince news: Minneapolis, the Purple One’s birthplace and the city where he established his legendary Paisley Park compound, will host the official Prince tribute concert. The October 13th show will occur at the U.S. Bank Stadium, and tickets go on sale this month.

    There’s no word on who will pay tribute to Prince, but there really shouldn’t be a shortage of musicians willing to pay their respects. The artists are expected to be revealed on a rolling basis.

    Madonna, Stevie Wonder, Sheila E., Jennifer Hudson, The Roots, Bilal, and D’Angelo have all previously paid tribute to Prince. Who would you like to see at the official tribute concert?


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    UPTOWN_barbie_gkero1

    From Oct. 28th-29th, Barbie will participate in an exhibition in which fashion brand G.Kero and 14 more designers have been invited to reinvent the fashion doll’s look.

    Paris will host the exhibit that has been organized with Hôtel Molière and Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, which is currently running a retrospective on Mattel’s leading lady.

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    With the help of G.Kero designer Marguerite Bartherotte, Barbie was able to steal away to Cap-Ferret for a vacation that included walks on the beach and admiring the flora of one of the most popular summer destinations in France.

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    Of course, Barbie was decked out in a colorful and festive G.Kero jumpsuit that complemented her vibrant, curly maroon Afro.

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    It’s natural if Barbie’s getaway to Cap-Ferret inspires envy. The chick has everything and always looks amazing living the glam life.

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    [Images: G.Kero]


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    UPTOWN_korryn_gainesOn Aug. 1st, Baltimore County police fatally shot Korryn Gaines, 23, as they tried to serve her with arrest warrants and she reportedly threatened them with a gun. A 5-year-old boy was also injured by gunfire.

    Police Chief James W. Johnson said, during a press conference, the officers were trying to serve warrants for failure to appear relating to charges of disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and several traffic violations from March of 2016. The officers repeatedly knocked on Gaines’s door, identifying themselves in the process, said the chief. They reportedly could hear voices inside the apartment, which is located in Randallstown, a community in Baltimore County. The landlord provided the police with a key to the apartment. When an officer entered, he saw Gaines sitting on the floor with the 5 year old and pointing a shotgun at the officer, said Johnson. An hours-long standoff ensued, and police said Gaines pointed the weapon at them, threatening to kill if they didn’t leave.

    According to Johnson, the Baltimore County police fired one round at some point. Gaines allegedly returned fire, shooting several rounds. Officers fired again. The bullets struck Gaines and killed her.

    [Image: Korryn Gaines/Facebook]

    The boy, who Gaines’s uncle says is her son, was injured too. Authorities haven’t revealed whether one of their bullets or one of Gaines’s struck the child. They took him to a local hospital, where he is recovering from non-life threatening injuries.

    Even though the Baltimore County Police Department recently purchased body cameras, it isn’t known whether the officers involved in the shooting of Gaines were equipped with them. The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, and the department will release their names after 48 hours, per department regulations.

    The police also intended to serve warrants to a man at the same apartment. Authorities say he ran from the dwelling with a 1-year-old child and was arrested.

    Gaines’s uncle, Jerome Barnett, told The Baltimore Sun, “My niece is a good person; I never knew her to be a rowdy person.”

    More details of the shooting have been released. A video of the press conference is below.

    Source


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    UPTOWN_trex_claressa_shields

    PBS’s T-Rex: Her Fight for Gold takes a look at champion boxer Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, who made history as the first woman to win a gold medal in boxing during the London 2012 Summer Olympics, which was the first time women were allowed to compete in the sport. This coming-of-age story chronicles the Flint, Mich. native’s life inside and outside the ring, as she guns for a second gold medal during this month’s Rio Olympics. Don’t miss it tonight at 10/9c on PBS.


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    UPTOWN_queen_sugar

    If you’re not eagerly awaiting the Sept. 6th premiere of Queen Sugar, here’s another incentive.

    OWN has renewed the series for a second season and season one hasn’t even aired yet. The Ava DuVernay-directed series is proving to be just that good.

    The second season will have three more episodes than the 13-episode season one.

    The series is based on Natalie Baszile’s novel, stars Rutina Wesley; Dawn-Lyen Gardner; and Kofi Siriboe, and is set in New Orleans.

    OWN describes Queen Sugar:

    “The contemporary drama Queen Sugar chronicles the lives and loves of the estranged Bordelon siblings in Saint Josephine, Louisiana: Nova (Wesley), a world-wise journalist and activist; Charley (Gardner), the savvy wife and manager of a professional basketball star; and Ralph Angel (Siriboe), a formerly incarcerated young father in search of redemption. After a family tragedy, the Bordelons must navigate the triumphs and struggles of their complicated lives in order to run an ailing sugarcane farm in the Deep South.”

    Queen Sugar will premiere as a two-night event on September 6th and September 7th at 10 p.m. ET/PT on OWN, with the remaining 11 episodes airing regularly on Wednesday at 10 p.m.

    RELATED: First Look: ‘Queen Sugar’ Extended Trailer [VIDEO]


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    UPTOWN_woman_flossing

    We’ve all experienced the moment when the dentist peers into our mouth, sighs, and then initiates a “conversation” that is more like a lecture about the importance of flossing our teeth. Even if you diligently floss on a regular basis, you’ve heard “the talk.” Well, it turns out that you and your dentist may be wasting your time on the topic of flossing.

    A new report from the Associated Press found that the effectiveness of flossing has never been researched, despite universities, scientists, the American Dental Association, and the American Academy of Periodontology recommending the practice.

    The AP filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting evidence from the departments of Health and Human Services on the benefits of flossing. The news agency never received the evidence because the government admitted in a letter that the effectiveness of flossing has never been studied, reports Business Insider.

    For four decades, the government has been recommending a practice it has no evidence is effective.

    The AP instead reviewed 25 studies comparing regular brushing to brushing and flossing. They found little to no proof in favor of flossing.

    Yet flossing is still considered to be a crucial practice to prevent disease. Even the Living to 100 Life Expectancy Calculator factors in flossing when determining approximate life expectancy, according to Business Insider.

    Experts say flossing can prevent gums from receding and gum disease by removing the plaque that hardens into tartar.

    There’s also an undetermined link between gum disease and a host of other diseases, including kidney disease, diabetes, and heart disease. It’s still not clear whether one causes the other, however, just that there’s a link.

    Still the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a set of recommendations promoted by Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and released every five years, have to be grounded in scientific evidence. A search for “flossing” in the Guidelines didn’t return any results because there’s no scientific proof that flossing is effective.

    British dentists ceased recommending flossing years ago. The U.S. is just catching up on the lack of science.

    However, many people will probably adopt a better-safe-than-sorry attitude towards flossing and will continue the practice. Let’s just hope it’s not doing more harm than good.


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    UPTOWN_the_landings_stlucia1

    Now through September 30, 2016, The Landings Resort and Spa is offering travelers the chance to splurge on a luxury vacation in the St. Lucian sun with 50 percent off rooms, when booking for one or more nights. Also included are free guided hikes to Mode De Cap (on Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays) and a free guide to Pigeon Island National Park (on Tuesdays/Thursdays).

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    As an add-on, free airport transfers are included for travelers staying five or more nights, and for travelers staying seven or more nights, the package also includes $100 resort credit that can be applied to meals, spa services, and motorized water sports.

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    The Summer Sale is valid for travel through December 16, 2016, when booked by September 30, 2016. Rates begin at $445/night for a One Bedroom Marina View Suite, excluding taxes and fees (representing a 50 percent savings off of the rack rate $889). Other suites are also available from $417/night with taxes and breakfast included. Packages can be booked by visiting LandingsStLucia.com or calling (866)-252-0689.

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    About The Landings Resort and Spa
    More than an authentic St. Lucian experience, The Landings Resort and Spa St. Lucia, a AAA Four Diamond all-suite world luxury beach resort, is the perfect reflection of true villa luxury. Excellence is paramount at The Landings, both in service and amenities. The combination of a luxury beachfront resort with 85 spacious and fully-loaded designer suites, a private yacht marina, a 7,000 square foot signature spa and the genuine warmth of the St. Lucian people, leaves nothing to be desired. Located on the soft white sands of Rodney Bay, The Landings Resort and Spa caters to every whim on one of the most beautiful and unique islands in the Caribbean. For further information, visit LandingsStLucia.com.

    [Images: The Landings Resort and Spa]


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    Serena Williams has many talents off the tennis court. Twerking seems to be her favorite one to show off, and we ain’t mad at her.

    In a Self video posted to YouTube Tuesday, the No. 1 women’s tennis player teaches the basics of twerking — from what she calls “the transitioner” to the “basic shake” to winding to full-on booty-shaking.

    This isn’t Williams’s first time teaching twerking. Back in April, she gave a tutorial on social media. “[You need to] squeeze those quads … squeeze the glutes … engage your thighs … take a wide stance … and slowly slide down,” she said in the earlier video.

    She advises in the recent video: “Everyone at some point should do a twerk.” Clearly she’s an advocate of twerking and looks superb wukking up.


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    UPTOWN_olympics_viewing_party_cocktails

    The Rio 2016 Olympics are shaping up to be a crap show, literally, but your Olympics viewing party doesn’t have to be. In three easy steps, you and your team can enjoy the games away from the raw sewage, riots, and drug gangs. Here’s how to host a #winning Olympics viewing party that will make you the Gold Medal winner among your friends …

    Decorations
    Whether you’re strictly Team USA or are rooting for another country, a mixture of flags will create an international vibe. Choose disposable plates, napkins, and cutlery in symbolic theme colors, like blue, yellow, black, green, and red, to continue the motif.

    Snacks
    No gathering is complete without food, especially as you’re watching the world’s best athletes sweat for the Gold. Instead of preparing all the food at your place, let your friends show off their culinary (or shopping) skills. Assign each attendee a country and ask them to bring a snack or dish representative of that country’s cuisine.

    Signature Cocktails
    Instead of providing the usual wine and beer, prepare easy, yet festive cocktails that pay tribute to Brazil, the USA, and the Olympics, in general.

    UPTOWN_cruzan_blue_latitude

    Cruzan Blue Latitude (reminiscent of the Brazilian flag)
    Ingredients:

    • 1 part Cruzan Aged Light Rum
    • 1 part Blue Curacao
    • 1 part Orange juice
    • 1 part Lemon-lime soda

    Method: Pour Cruzan Aged Light Rum and Blue Curacao in a tall glass over ice, fill with orange juice and top with lemon-lime soda.

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    Cruzan Stars and Stripes Punch
    Serving Size: 6-8 drinks.
    Ingredients:

    • 1 part Cruzan Pineapple Rum
    • 1 part Cruzan 9 Spiced Rum
    • 1 part Cruzan Coconut Rum
    • 2 parts Orange juice
    • 2 parts Lemonade

    Method: Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and mix. Serve into small chilled glasses over ice.

    UPTOWN_cruzan_independence_sparkler

    Cruzan Independence Sparkler
    Ingredients:

    • 1 part Cruzan Strawberry Rum
    • 1 part Cruzan Aged Light Rum
    • 1/2 part Sugar
    • 1 half of a Fresh lime, cut into quarters
    • 6 Fresh basil leaves
    • Soda water

    Method: Muddle lime and basil with sugar in a tumbler. Add Cruzan Strawberry and Aged Light Rums and ice, then shake twice to mix. Pour into a rocks glass and top with soda. Garnish with basil and a fanned strawberry slice.

    Continue to the next page for more cocktails sure to make your Olympics viewing party a success.

    If you’re putting together a last-minute gathering, you’re one Angry Orchard Hard Apple Cider or Truly Spiked + Sparkling six-pack away from a signature cocktail. If you’re unfamiliar with Truly, the clean, crisp, and refreshing effervescent beverage, with a hint of fruit, needs to be on your grocery list.

    UPTOWN_angry_orchard_angry_balls

    Angry Balls
    Ingredients:

    • Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
    • 1.5 oz Fireball Whisky

    Method: In a pint glass filled with ice, combine the 1.5 oz Fireball Whisky and Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.

    UPTOWN_angry_orcahrd_truly_americano

    Truly Americano
    Ingredients:

    • 6 oz Truly Lime
    • 1 oz Campari
    • 1 oz Sweet vermouth

    Method: Combine ingredients. Garnish with an orange twist or peel.

    UPTOWN_angry_orchard_angry_athlete

    Angry Athlete
    Ingredients:

    • 1 bottle Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
    • 1 oz blueberry schnapps
    • 1 oz blue curacao

    Method: In a pint glass, pour blueberry schnapps and blue curacao over ice. Fill with Angry Orchard Crisp Apple.


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