Author Archives: PJ

RE-BLOGGED: Rags to Riches

FUNNY AND WITTY – kudos to the Soshal Network girls for this entry, certainly made my day.  LOL!

Check their blogsite dali!!!!

http://www.thesoshalnetwork.com/2015/05/17/rags-to-riches/

Now, there are other products which deserve to take the center stage…. like this.

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Parati natin sinasabing “Hindi ako basahan na matapos mong gamitin ay basta-basta mo na lang itatapon.” #PinulotKaLangSaLupa

Pero paano kung basahan ka nga talaga? Makatarungan ba na isantabi ka na lang na tila wala kang halaga? Let’s give credit where credit is due.

This fashion post is a tribute to all basahans who helped us make our world a cleaner one.

1. Transform your basahan, colorful or not into a statement headpiece. Attach to a plain headband, and voila! Turns into a cloth fascinator.

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2. They can even protect you! And clean the volleyball court at the same time! Just add wax!

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3. Go shabby chic and put some spice to your traditional half-pony with an artful but laid-back basahan scrunchie/hair tie. 

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4. The circular pattern is truly versatile and looks like a flower!

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5. Keep your toes warm while wiping your bedroom floor!

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6. Heading to colder climate? No problem! Just take two and put them over your ears. Brrrr!

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7. A true conversation piece. Perfect for a night out if paired with some bling.

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8. Doesn’t matter how simple your outfit is. Key is: ACCESSORIZE! ACCESSORIZE! And it keeps your food from messing up your get-up too.

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9. Perfect for bikram/hot yoga, these make for comfortable yoga outfits. Namaste.

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10. Go all out on the biggest day of your life! This sits comfortably on your head as a headpiece and holds your veil in place.

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Mejo effort po ang post na ito. Katumbas ng effort na binibigay ng ating mga basahan sa araw araw.

The Rohingya and the port of last resort

Credits to Patricia Evangelista and Rappler for this very inspiring story.

http://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/94664-rohingya-boat-people-philippines

The Rohingya and the port of last resort

We know our place in the world. We are the port of last resort, and have little to offer the Rohingya beyond a separate peace. Yet I write this with pride, in the hope that there will always be a cluster of islands southwest of the Pacific, where no ship in need is called unwanted

THE UNWANTED. A Rohingya migrant eats food dropped by a Thai army helicopter after he jumped to collect the supplies at sea from a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. Photo by Christophe Archambault / AFP

image from Rappler.com

THE UNWANTED. A Rohingya migrant eats food dropped by a Thai army helicopter after he jumped to collect the supplies at sea from a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. Photo by Christophe Archambault / AFP

They said there were knives and ropes. They said there were riots over scraps. They said they were stabbed and beaten, and that there were days when their throats were so parched they drank their own urine. Some of them were hanged, others thrown overboard.

There was a risk of mass casualties, said aid groups. Drifting boats were turning into floating coffins. Ship decks were little more than a confusion of shoulders, ribs, and bony elbows. Rohingya refugees waved signs as navies towed rickety boats out to sea. The crisis had become a game of human Ping-Pong, with lives in play as countries took turns slamming the paddle.

There was a standoff, until early last week, when news broke that the Philippines had offered shelter to 3,000 boat people.

“The Philippines,” wrote The Telegraph, “has offered refuge to the thousands of migrants who have been stranded for months on boats after being repeatedly rejected and towed back to sea by Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.”

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima announced that refugees “cannot always be expected to obtain travel documents particularly where the agent of persecution is the state.” The United Nations High Commission on Refugees saluted the country’s “strong humanitarian tradition.” Post after repost streamed down timelines, prefaced with messages shared by aid workers and international protection officers and the occasional old friend from Australia.

This is how it’s done, they said. Look at the Philippines. Look at what they’ve done.

I suspect I am one of many who were initially confused, not so much by the reports, but by the general air of surprise and congratulatory glee resulting in the government announcement. An earlier report that the country would push back refugee boats – a misinterpretation later corrected by the government – was received with doubt by news editors and roundly protested on social media. Many of us assumed we would welcome the Rohingya. It was just a question of when.

There are some truths I know. The drowning season will begin in June. The bribes will be handed out long before the campaign period. The malls will fill with the sweating in the summer, the clowns will dance with the corrupt on television, and the ports will open for refugees, wherever they are from.

The people nobody wanted

They are the Muslims of Northern Rakhine state, more than a million strong, born in Myanmar with family going back generations. They call themselves the Rohingya.

Myanmar denies them even their name. They have, instead, been named “Bengalis,” identified by Myanmar as natives of a Bangladesh that disclaims them, called foreigners and illegal immigrants, subject to abuse and deportation.

The Rohingya have been called the most persecuted in the world, a Muslim minority whose mosques were burned by nationalists seeking “to protect Buddhism.” Most have been denied citizenship and evicted from their homes. Although they have been discriminated for decades, ethnic violence came to a head in 2012 when thousands of Arakan men, “armed with machetes, swords, homemade guns, Molotov cocktails, and other weapons descended upon and attacked Muslim villages,” torching villages and killing residents.

It was, as Human Rights Watch called it, “a coordinated campaign to forcibly relocate or remove the state’s Muslims.”

An estimated 140,000 fled into refugee camps, where conditions are difficult and food is scarce. Although they have not been permitted to leave, The Economist reported that in the first three months of 2015, 25,000 Rohingya, including those living on the borders of Bangladesh, bought their way into boats in an attempt to reach friendlier shores. At least 300 have died. Some of those boats drifted into the waters of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand – and forced the crisis that is now testing the convictions of the international community.

One boat in particular, abandoned by captain and crew, packed with swollen-eyed passengers, drifted into Thailand waters after an interception off Langkawi and Penang islands by Malaysian authorities. Passengers said they had been at sea for over three months. The ship, said The New York Times, “flew a tattered black flag on a bamboo mast,” with the words, “We are Myanmar Rohingya.”

The Thai navy repaired their engine, gave them provisions, and pronounced them ready to travel. A Thai reporter said the refugees were reluctant to go.

Thailand’s Lt. Cmdr. Veerapong Nakprasit said the navy had trained the passengers “to navigate on their own,” adding that it was “so they can reach their dream destination.”

For the Rohingya, the dream has become anywhere but home.

In pursuit of the dream

In 2014, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 9 Rohingya migrants were allowed into the Philippines “to be free from fear that they’re going to be sold again.”

“They were allowed to come into the Philippines while their processing took place, and regained a few kilos, regained their health, regained some dignity, and proceeded onwards to reach their resettlement countries,” said Bernard Kerblat, country representative of the UNHCR.

The Philippines was a temporary home, where the Rohingya stayed 5 months “to recover” before they were resettled.

“What was needed at that time,” said Kerblat, “is to find a sovereign state ready to accept them even for a short time. That is the important factor,” he said.

This is the Republic of the Philippines, pearl of the orient, cradle of the brave, ringed by fire and drowned by storm, where the disaster season begins in July, lasts until Christmas, then staggers into a rehabilitation period that ends when the next typhoon decimates another province.

Welcome to the last country outside the Vatican without divorce, the third most dangerous country for journalists, whose airport was celebrated for rising to fourth worst instead of first, whose road traffic maintains its place as the ninth worst in the world. This is where a doctor can be jailed for removing a fetus to save a mother’s life, where most live under the poverty line, and where it is possible, if you know where to go, to buy unmarked abortifacients in the back alleys leading to the Church of the Black Nazarene.

And yet, according to the UN, it is also the country that in 2012 became “the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to establish a procedure to protect both refugees and stateless people.” Of the many and varied ways we define ourselves, we are also a people who will open our ports to the very desperate.

It was not the first time. On September 8, 1937, a steamship named Gneisenau carrying German Jews escaping the Holocaust arrived in Manila, and was given official welcome by the Quezon government. World War II did not just bring in more Jews, but also Chinese refugees and residents of the British colony of Hong Kong. The Philippines remained open to refugees until December 8, 1941 – the day the Japanese arrived with their bayonets and burned cities to the ground.

“We would not be alive today if not for the Philippines,” said 84-year-old Lotte Hershfield. “We would’ve been destroyed in the crematorium.”

In 1949, the International Refugee Organization made an appeal to the international community for safe refuge on behalf of thousands of White Russians whose lives were endangered by civil war after the Bolshevik Revolution. Only one country offered protection – the Philippines, whose government granted temporary shelter to an estimated 6,000 Russians in the former naval base of Tubabao Island in Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

In 1975, the mounting massacres by the Khmer Rouge in the killing fields of Cambodia as well as threats from Vietnam’s new communist government sent thousands of refugees into exile. Refugees were provided with food, shelter and education by the Philippine Refugee Processing Center.

In the 20 years the center was in service, over 400,000 Indochina refugees passed through its doors.

‘We will take him home’

I write this in an attempt to understand, if only for myself, what seems to be a national impulse in a country that can barely support its own. It is a compulsion we have rarely questioned, but is now thrown into sharp relief by the crisis is the Andaman Sea.

There is no easy explanation. It may be little more than the practicality of living in an archipelago with porous borders. Or it could be what is left the American occupation, in much the same way as we kept free speech, secular governance and a great and abiding love for imported spam.

And yet it’s difficult to believe this is nothing more than a result of habit and circumstance.

It is the same impulse that has a barber who lost his shop in a typhoon offering jobs to the two barbers who lost their homes. It is an impulse that lives in the aftermath of disaster – the widow and her children surviving on looted goods dropped off by tattooed men, the father who wrapped the corpse of his neighbor’s daughter in clean sheets just after he lost his wife, the displaced mother who had lost house and child to war, and still insisted on feeding journalists out of her meager store.

In 2012, after Typhoon Pablo ripped through Compostela Valley, I was sent to New Bataan to cover the survivors. It was 5 days after the storm, and the evacuation center smelled of sweat and corpses. I remember a woman in her late fifties, a grandmother who had travelled 8 hours by jeep with her miner husband. They had come for their daughter, and were told she was dead, but that their two grandchildren had survived.

They were all going home, she said, to the house near the mines where the children would be raised as their own.

Her husband walked in, trailing a 9-year-old boy who clung to one hand. The boy was an orphan, said the miner, and had been snatched by a neighbor from the flashfloods in time to see his parents and older brother drown.

If no one claimed the boy, said the miner, they would bring him home.

The port of last resort

Today, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have committed to the rescue of what may be thousands of refugees still at sea. Indonesia and Malaysia have already offered temporary refuge. A number of countries, including the United States, have promised resettlement assistance.

“It may be conceivable,” said the UNHCR’s Kerblat, “that the reiteration of the government of the Philippines to uphold their commitment to asylum may have contributed to encourage other member states to positively reconsider their position.” HRW Deputy Director for Asia Phelim Kine offered the same thought, calling the Philippines’ initial offer of asylum “leadership by example.”

I’d like to believe the Philippines had some influence in the sudden reversal of positions, but I am also well aware that the decisions could have just as well been a function of timing and circumstance. Aceh’s fishermen were rescuing boat people even before Indonesia officially allowed the Rohingya to disembark. Thailand and Malaysia, before their crackdown on refugees, have themselves given shelter to tens of thousands of Rohingya refugees.

The truth is that we’re not all that different. It is only that we took a stand, at a time when everyone else had decided they had done enough.

It is at these moments we are at our best, when we realize there is no one left to stand but us. I don’t believe there’s any irony in a Catholic country welcoming Rohingya migrants, in much the same way as there was no surprise when Jews and Protestants sailed into our ports. Our Muslim south is just as vehement in their demand we offer aid, promising land and protection to the Rohingya.

This is not about religion, as much as it is about loyalty and necessity and pride. We know what it is to live as underdogs. We have fought losing wars, have marched unarmed and singing towards a tyrant’s loaded cannons, and still stood cheering as our pound-for-pound national hero lost what may be recorded as the most monotonous boxing match in sports history.

Many of us recognize the reckless courage it took for the Rohingya to smuggle their children into tilting boats. It is the same sacrifice we’ve seen in millions of our own, who have risked abuse overseas for the sake of future and family. We know what it is to beg. We know what it is to stand at the receiving end of charity and contempt. Maybe this is why so many of us will look past political cost and practical considerations to the reality of bone and muscle and beating heart.

I don’t have the answers. All I know is that if the cost of generosity is be high, the price of our refusal will be much higher still.

The crisis is not over, but the Rohingya are now welcome in the ports of Indonesia and Malaysia. The Philippines is a distant shore, our ports no longer needed by a persecuted people who have begun their journey home. The Rohingya’s dream of a new land was never ours – a country big on dreams and short on reality, torn by conflict, wracked by disaster, whose own people look to the distance for greener pastures.

We know what we are. We are the port of last resort, and have little to offer beyond a separate peace. Yet I write this with pride, in the hope that there will always be a cluster of islands southwest of the Pacific, where no ship in need is called unwanted.

There are many days – when the thousands stand sweating at midmorning waiting for trains that do not come, when another toddler dies of piss-poor conditions in Zamboanga, when a chinless senator howls about the Muslim scourge, when another scandal and another charge and another whistle-blower takes over the headlines – when there is cause to be ashamed of who we are.

It is not today. Today, it is a grand and marvelous thing to be born a Filipino. – Rappler.com

Reblogged: 10 Healthy Habits for the New Year

1. Make your bed immediately upon waking up.

Sounds silly, or you may already do it. I believe it’s important to master things physically. That is make physical activity second nature. The little amount of exertion that it takes to make your bed can make it easier to get to an early morning workout. It’s sometimes difficult to simply get out of bed in the morning. The act of completing this small task immediately upon waking up instills a sense of accomplishment at the critical start point of your day. It’s a great way to get you into the right state of production.

2. Drink matcha tea.
The benefits of green tea have been proven and touted for a very long time. Matcha tea is the pumped-up version of bagged tea. Certain studies have shown matcha teahas more bio-available EGCGs than regular green tea. In addition, if you’re doing it right, you’ll use a whisk to prepare the tea and water combination. This act keeps you more present in the moment and allows you to focus on the purpose of being healthy, instead of dropping a bag in a cup and slamming the down the tea.

3. Lift heavy weights at least once a week.
It’s definitely important to make sure you get several workouts in a week, but just showing up won’t cut it. If you really want to be healthy you need to challenge yourself. Heavy is relative. Figure out what your one repetition max is. Then make sure at least once a week you do a workout that consists of the major lifts (squat, press, deadlift) and work around your max weights. If you want to maintain a healthy level of strength, bone density, and hormone levels you’ll need to challenge yourself with what you perceive to be heavy free weight lifting.

4. Eat or drink something with carbs and protein during long strength workouts.
Don’t do this for HIIT workouts or cardio-based workouts, and if you’re someone who can’t eat around workouts at all then this will be difficult. However, if you are lifting heavy and challenging yourself it will be beneficial to put some fuel into your system to avoid muscle waisting and keep your energy levels up. The more strenuous the workout the more taxing on your central nervous system. Stay balanced, have better recovery, and reach your goals faster with this little change.

5. Take video of exercises that are new to you, or exercises you are pushing to the next level.
This is especially important if you don’t have a trainer or coach to critique your form. As soon as you introduce the variable of something new or something difficult it’s more likely that your form will fail. It doesn’t take much to set your phone on the ground or a bench and point it in your direction while doing a set. Watch the video back and see where you’re going wrong. Plus, Instagram selfie… For motivation of course.

6. Start journaling.
When you’re grateful, there is no fear. There is no better way to stay focused when the going gets tough than to write down the things you’re thankful for. You can immediately gain perspective and realize how good you have it. This can relieve anxiety and make the difference between a successful healthy day and stressful one. Pick any three things that make you happy and write them down. It takes five minutes and the effects can last all day.

7. Schedule in meditation or quiet time.
If you can’t find 20 minutes to disconnect and breath in your day, its time to make some serious changes. Meditation can be intimidating. The simplest way to get into it is to get in a comfortable position and count your breaths. I like a five-second inhale, hold for three seconds, five-second exhale, pause for three seconds, and repeat.Meditation doesn’t have to be some mystical thing. If your mind starts to wander accept your thoughts and then move them along so you can get back to your breathing. If you aren’t ready for meditation then just sit quietly without your cell phone, computer, or talking, and relax. This might be the only way to learn to remain calm. Do it.

8. Drink your coffee black with coconut oil.
Sugar and milk make for a nasty calorie packed cup of joe, but black coffee with a healthy omega-3 fat like coconut oil promotes recovery from workouts, insulin sensitivity, and better levels of energy and endurance. The caffeine in coffee can help move the healthy fats into your system fast too. Try this in the afternoon when you’re feeling sluggish.

9. Take Epsom Salt baths.
You probably love drinking that green juice because you can feel your body reacting to the massive injection of magnesium into your system. Of course that’s great becausemagnesium is a precursor to testosterone and many of us are deficient in this essential mineral. Another way to get magnesium is too bath in it. Pour it directly into the warm water in your tub and hop in for 15-20 minutes. I started doing this after heavy intense workouts and I swear I sleep better those nights. Remember, better balanced hormones means better sleep and recovery.

10. Develop a sleep ritual and stick to it.
Doing the same thing every night before bed can help promote falling asleep and getting better quality sleep. I use an app called Brainwave that has a mixed audio output of ambient sounds like ocean waves and tones called brainwaves. The brainwave tones are supposed to induce different states such as deep sleep, dreamy sleep, relaxation, etc, etc. What I know for sure is that using it every night helps me fall asleep and get quality rest. Maybe you need complete silence or music. Either way try and keep your sleep time consistent so you can get healthy amounts of shut eye.Sleep is when we recover and reset. Without proper sleep you cannot reach your fitness goals, and you may even get sick.

Sleeping in public Sleeping in public

Some of these behaviors may already be part of your routine. If just one or two resonate with you, try to incorporate them with the rest of your healthy habits. Remember to not only embrace change, but also to keep the things that are working for you for the new year.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/matthew-basso/10-healthy-habits-for-the_2_b_6354502.html

Reblogged: How I Learned To Fall Asleep In 1 Under Minute

Sleepless and Stressed

It was the week before my best friend’s wedding, and my anxiety (nerves, plus excitement) had reached epic levels. I wasn’t sleeping, to say the least. Part of that had to do with the maid of honor speech I would be giving. I was terrified and could not shut my brain off to fall asleep at night.

After day three of lying awake until the wee hours of the night, I sheepishly admitted to her that I was too nervous to fall asleep, and she—the bride, who was sleeping like a baby the week before her own wedding—told me I needed to try the “4-7-8” breathing trick.

She happens to be a licensed wellness practitioner who studies meditation, stress, and breathing techniques, and told me it would change my life. You simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold your breath for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. She explained that the studied combination of numbers has a chemical-like effect on our brains, and would slow my heart rate and soothe me right to sleep that night. “It works,” she told me. “It’s crazy.”

How it Works 

I couldn’t wait to put the trick to the test, and to my complete disbelief, I woke up the next morning unable to even remember getting to the eighth second of the exhale because it knocked me out that fast. For the next four nights leading up to the big day, even as my stress increased, I was able to fall asleep the minute I tried the 4-7-8 trick. I also used it to relax in the moments leading up to the speech.

When you feel stressed or anxious, adrenaline courses through your veins, your heart beats at a rapid rate, and your breathing becomes quick and shallow. So before I get into the specifics behind how the 4-7-8 breathing trick works, I wanted to explain in my own words what it feels like when you try it. To me, the effect of the breathing technique feels almost like a sedative drug, because in order to hold your breath for seven seconds and then to exhale for eight—when your breath is so shallow and short—your body is forcedto slow your heart rate. It has no choice. Holding your breath, and then slowly, deliberately exhaling for eight seconds, causes a chain reaction. It feels like going from a mad-dash sprint to a finish line to a slow, leisurely, calming stroll through the park.

When you first start, you’ll be desperate to just take in another breath, or you’ll want to speed up your counting, but if you stick to the numbers (or at least try to), and don’t take any breaks (in other words, consecutively repeat the 4-7-8 without resuming regular breathing), you can literally feel your heart rate slow down, your mind get quieter, and your whole body physically relax. It washes over you like a calming, relaxing drug. I can never remember getting past the first set of 4-7-8.

Do you know the feeling of being put under by anesthesia, where you are conscious, and the next thing you remember is waking up? That’s what this is like for me: As soon as I start the practice, the next thing I remember, I’m waking up in the morning and can’t even remember beginning the 4-7-8 count the night before. Crazy.

Now to the more technical details: People who are stressed or anxious are actually chronically under-breathing, because stressed people breathe shortly and shallowly, and often even unconsciously hold their breath. By extending your inhale to a count of four, you are forcing yourself to take in more oxygen, allowing the oxygen to affect your bloodstream by holding your breath for seven seconds, and then emitting carbon dioxide from your lungs by exhaling steadily for eight seconds. The technique will effectively slow your heart rate and increase oxygen in your bloodstream, and may even make you feel slightly lightheaded which contributes to the mild sedative-like effect. It will instantly relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system because you are controlling the breath versus continuing to breathe short, shallow gasps of air.

How it Can Work For You

Mindful breathing practices have been a part of yoga and Eastern wellness modalities for centuries, but aren’t as popular in Western culture. The most well-known champion of the 4-7-8 breathing technique in the U.S., who is somewhat responsible for the prevalence that the technique does have amongst integrative medicine practitioners, yogis, and those in search of stress reduction and overall relaxation, is Harvard-educated Dr. Andrew Weil.

Though I’m not promising or claiming (nor does Dr. Weil) that practicing this breathing technique can fight disease or provide clinical benefits, I can tell you one thing: If it affects you like it did me, it will help you fall asleep way faster. Not only is it free, it also works for a number of different instances. In addition to using it to fall asleep in a pinch, you can practice it if you wake up in the middle of the night and find yourself thinking about something you have to do the next day, in order to fall back asleep; if you are nervous before an event (like a wedding, or giving a speech); if you are angry about something and want to calm down. My friend (the bride-to-be who slept like a baby the week before her wedding), who gets nervous to fly, uses it before flights and during if the plane encounters turbulence.

It is now what I use to fall asleep every single night, and each morning, I’m amazed at how well it worked.

http://www.byrdie.com/how-to-fall-asleep-fast

The Entire Argument For Blaming Sexters, Destroyed In 1 Tweet

 

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Perhaps you have a friend who thinks all those celebrities whose nude photos were leaked on Sunday deserved what they got. “Anyone who doesn’t want their naked photos going public shouldn’t have ever taken them,” your theoretical friend argues.

Well, your friend surely wouldn’t feel the same way if someone hacked, say, his or her bank account instead of someone else’s iPhone. Or as The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo put it…

Capture

 

 

Originally published by Huffington Post

BuzzFeed: Those Jennifer Lawrence Pictures Aren’t Scandalous

Why Jennifer Lawrence’s “dirty” photos shouldn’t — and probably won’t — make you think differently about her.

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More than 60 years ago, an “it” girl not dissimilar to Jennifer Lawrence also had highly suggestive and topless photos emerge into the public sphere, just as her career was rocketing from B-player to A-list star. A 23-year-old Marilyn Monroe, desperate for work, posed nude for art photographer Tom Kelley in 1949, receiving $50 for her time.

She made rent, and continued her fledgling career. It wasn’t until 1952, when two of the images from the shoot showed up in a calendar called Golden Dreams, that the photo shoot came back to (potentially) haunt her.

At first, it was mere speculation that the anonymous girl in the pages of the calendar seemed to look strikingly similar to one of Fox’s up-and-coming starlettes. But as it became increasingly clear that it was, in fact, Monroe nude on a bed of red satin, she urged her studio to let her guide her own PR strategy, one brilliant in its simplicity.

Instead of denouncing the images, Monroe took control of the narrative. She’d been hungry and behind on rent, and besides, she had always insisted that the photographer’s wife be in the room. “I’m not ashamed of it,” she told the press. “I’ve done nothing wrong.”

***click the link above for more details***

10 BIGGEST Ice Bucket Challenge Fails!

They had one job…. Just one!

 

What’s your Office Mood Today?

Musta ka naman????

Pili na

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Pinay Sisters in Korean KPOP talent show Wows the Judges

See it to believe

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10 WAYS YOU CAN TAKE YOUR IPHONE TO THE NEXT LEVEL

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1. Take Siri to School

Tired of Siri pronouncing things wrong? Next time she screws something up, tell her “That’s not how you pronounce X,” and then pronounce it for her. She’ll give it another try, and offer you a few options for how she now thinks she’s supposed to pronounce the word. Pick the one that sounds the best, and Siri will use that pronunciation from now on.

2. Level Up

Need a level for a quick DIY project at home? The compass app on your iPhone has one built in. To use it, open up the compass app on your phone, and then swipe to the left to pull up the level screen.

3. Give Better Vibrations

You’re not limited to the same vibration for everything. Go into the Settings of your phone and then select Sounds, Vibration, and then Create New Vibration to tap out your own buzzing pattern. You can name your creation and then use it as a vibration alert for anything you’d like. For instance, you could have one vibration pattern to signal that you’ve received a text and another for tweets or emails. Once you’ve implemented your own secret code, you won’t need to pull your phone out of your pocket nearly as much.

4. Control Your Camera With Your Headphones

Arms not quite long enough to get the whole family into that selfie? Use your earbuds as a remote shutter button for your iPhone’s camera. Simply launch the camera as normal, set up your shot, and then press the volume-up button to snap a photo.

5. Block Calls From Your Ex

Tired of constant calls from your ex or a persistent telemarketer? Block calls from a specific number by clicking the “i” button beside their most recent call or pulling up their contact card in your phone, and selecting Block This Caller from the bottom of the page.

Once blocked, you will no longer see texts or calls from that person. If you make up later on, you can unblock their number by going to Settings, Phone, and then Blocked, and removing them from your list.

6. Put a Sleep Timer on Your Jams

Like to listen to tunes while you’re going to sleep? You can use the timer on your iPhone to schedule when your music will stop so that it cuts out soon after you fall asleep. Go to the clock feature on your phone and select Timer. Choose how long you’d like music to play as the length of the timer, and then select When Timer Ends from the page. Next, scroll to the bottom of the list of available alarm sounds and then select Stop Playing from the options. Finally, hit Start on the timer, now your tunes will stop playing when the time hits zero.

7. Power Up Faster

Have only a few minutes to charge your phone before heading out on the town? Put it in airplane mode to make it power up twice as fast. Since your phone won’t have to use any juice to search for and connect to a wireless tower or a Wi-Fi network, it can concentrate on getting charged up. (Airplane mode is also a great way to stretch that last 5 percent of battery life.)

8. Show the Time Stamp of Every Text

Struggling to remember exactly when you sent that last text (and if it’s too soon to send another one)? Slide a single text to the left to reveal the time stamp on all of the texts on the page.

9. Go Undercover

Don’t want anyone to see when your significant other suddenly decides to send you a saucy text? You can disable the home screen preview for messages so that any nosy screen-lookers see only “iMessage” rather than details about your scandalous after-dinner plans. Disable preview by going to Settings, Notification Center, and then Messages. In the Messages page, toggle the Show Preview button to the off position.

While you’re poking around, you might also want to toggle off the Send Read Receipts feature. Turning it off means that people who send you iMessages will only be able to tell a message has been delivered, not whether or not you’ve read it. You can get to it by going back to your main Settings page and selecting Messages.

10. Remind Yourself to Buy Toilet Paper

The iPhone will allow you to create a geofence around a particular location, and send you a reminder whenever you pass through its virtual gates. For instance, a fence around your local grocery store can remind you to pick up some TP while you shop, or a fence at the office can be the nudge you need to remember to pass along that project file you keep forgetting. Set up a geofence by going into your phone’s Reminders app, create a reminder, and then tap the “i” beside it. Select “Remind me at a location” from the next page, and then add the address where you’d like to receive a notification and whether you’d like to get it as you’re arriving at the place, or as you’re about to leave.

Originally published by Popular Mechanics

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