China’s ‘Annie Leibovitz’ is changing how the world sees China

I found a pretty cool storyon CNN about rising start in the art of photography. As China becomes increasingly important in the world of fashion, one photographer is leading the scene — 35-year-old Beijing native Chen Man.

Firmly established as the country’s go-to fashion photographer, her work has featured across a range of leading publications, including Vogue, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and i.D. Nor is her fame limited to within China. As well as shooting a veritable A-to-Z list of Chinese celebrities, international stars such as Sophie Marceau, Rihanna, Nicole Kidman and Victoria Beckham have also posed for her.

CNN Style pays a visit to Chen Man’s studio in downtown Beijing, as she prepares to shoot back-to-back spreads of China’s leading lady Fan Bingbing (rated by Forbes as the world’s fourth top-earning actress in 2015), and glamorous Taiwanese screen siren Shu Qi. Chen’s work is immediately identifiable. Highly-stylized through the use of modern post-production techniques, and incorporating a range of eastern themes and iconography, her shoots can be viewed as representative of a new aspirational China.

During her meeting with CNN Style, Chen discusses the continuing influence of her childhood in Beijing, and how growing up in the city’s hutongs — the capital’s historic tightly-woven neighborhoods — during a time when food was sparse in the winter, neighbors lived in close quarters, and space was communal, has shaped her outlook on life.

Like her peers, Chen has witnessed enormous change in Beijing, and has sought to document the profound effect those changes have had on her generation, known as the balinghou, or those born after the 1980s.

Her craft has spanned the wide range of magazine covers, commercial shoots, fine art photography and extends to other modes of expression, such as her lesser-known traditional paintings. Next spring, Chen will hold an exhibition of these works and her photographs, at Tai Miao, an ancient temple in the Forbidden City.

Christmas Wear Outfits

Holidays are just around the corner. Ae you ready to  sparkle just as brightly as the holiday lights? Many designers made festive pieces to celebrate this season in gold, silver or disco glam attire. Whether you’re more about raindeer sweater, casual subtle shine or glamorous glitter, we bring you the best ideas for Christmas look. Here are a few cool tips on how to look stunning this holidays season. Go for bright red and green colours. Overdress, wear as much make up and accessories as possible. Try high heels and platforms. Invest into oversize clutch, you will need to fit many things into a bag for the night out. Mix and match, try various looks like feminine and masculine, mix soft and cold colours. Be bold and unpredictable. So, did you get your Santa Clause hat for the big party? If you are still looking for cosy and comfy Christmas wear, we found for you a few great ideas.

  1. Make sure you get one of the sweaters with a reindeer or snowman. British brand Next offers a wide range of cute knitwear that will make you smile.

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  1. Nothing will keep you warmer on a long Christmas night then Ugg boots. Getthe pair that sparkles!Shimmer_Short_Champagne
  1. Look stunning in sexy and elegant Dolce & Gabbana red dress. Sicilian designers offer wide range of red lace dresses in every collection.

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  1. Accessorize your head with funky headphones, bow, playful crown or diadem.

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  1. Don’t go cheap on furry gloves! These beautiful accesoris will make you look stylish and chic.

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Serious children’s flu symptoms to watch out for this season

My whole family just now suffered from a terrible flu virus. I thought that some of you will find this article from Babycenter.com useful. Stay well and happy holidays! The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) cautions that even children who are generally very healthy can get dangerously sick with the flu. The CDC also cautions that children under 5 – especially those under 2 – are at risk for serious complications if they get the flu. Each year about 20,000 children younger than 5 years old are hospitalized with flu complications such as pneumonia.

If your child has typical flu symptoms (see list below), talk to the doctor right away and ask if he should be examined. He may need treatment with antiviral drugs. They’re approved for babies as young as 2 weeks and work best when started within the first two days of the illness.

Here’s a quick list of typical flu symptoms (some of which, such as headache and muscle aches, are hard to detect in kids too young to describe their symptoms!). Someone with the flu will have some or all of these. Fever or feeling feverish (the CDC notes that not everyone with flu has a fever)

In contrast, a child with a cold typically has a lower fever, a runny nose, and only a little coughing. The flu usually makes kids (and adults) feel much sicker, achier, and more miserable than a cold does, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Finally, for babies under 12 months old, there are some additional precautions when it comes to fever and a cough. It’s time to call the doctor if your baby:

Is younger than 3 months old and has a fever of 100.4 degrees or higher. A fever in a baby this young may indicate serious infection or disease. Has a fever that rises above 104 degrees repeatedly. Has had a fever for more than 24 hours. Develops a cough that is not improving after a week.

What is the flu?

The flu is an infection of the nose, throat, and lungs caused by influenza viruses. There are many different influenza viruses, and in any given year some are more prevalent than others. Flu infections are most common during “flu season,” which lasts from approximately October to March. How can I help my child who has the flu feel more comfortable?

Whether or not the doctor prescribes medication, you’ll need to see that your child stays home and gets plenty of rest and – most important – plenty of fluids. Try offering frozen fruit bars and soup or broth. For muscle aches and fever, give your child a pain reliever such as children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen. (Never give aspirin to a child unless your doctor has recommended it. It can trigger Reye’s syndrome, a rare but life-threatening condition.) Resist the urge to pressure your doctor for antibiotics, which kill only bacteria. A virus—not bacteria—causes the flu, so antibiotics won’t do a thing. Antibiotics may be in order, however, if your child develops a secondary bacterial infection such as pneumonia, an ear infection, or bronchitis as a result of having the flu. Your child should start feeling better in three to five days. The fever will break first, and then his appetite should return. But this is just an average—some kids (and adults) have a cough that hangs on for two weeks or more.

America’s Richest Entrepreneurs Under 40

According to Forbes magazine “California techies dominate our first ever list of the nation’s most successful young entrepreneurs, reaffirming the American Dream and proving yet again that there is no better way right now to get rich fast than to go west and convince venture investors to back your most ambitious ideas”. Some will fail but those who succeed can do so fantastically, regardless of age. In fact, of the 40 most successful under age 40, all of whom have net worths of $400 million or more, 39 are men, 34 made their money in the tech sector, and 33 live in California. Twenty-one are billionaires. And many either created or work for some of today’s hottest tech companies, including Uber, AirBnB, Fitbit, GitHub, Instacart and Pinterest.

Among the very few who got rich outside of the valley are golf pro Tiger Woods, who earned most of his money from sponsorships and other deals, not the sport itself, and Charlie Chanaratsopon, whose $550 million (sales) accessories chain Charming Charlie now has more than 350 stores including its first in Manhattan.

Eight of the nation’s wealthiest entrepreneurs under 40 can trace their wealth back to Facebook, including the three richest and the group’s youngest. Mark Zuckerberg leads the pack with a net worth of $47.1 billion, more than four times as much as the second person in the ranks, his cofounder and college pal, Dustin Moskovitz. At number 3 is Jan Koum, who came to America at age 16 and got an apartment through government housing. He started WhatsApp, now the world’s biggest mobile messaging service with 800 million users in 2009 and sold it to Facebook for about $22 billion in cash and stock in 2014.

The list’s youngest member is Palmer Luckey. He was just 21 years old when he sold his virtual reality equipment company, Oculus, to Facebook for $2.3 billion in July 2014. Luckey, who still works at Oculus but has no job title, still lives with six roommates with whom he likes to play videogames, despite a recent net worth of $700 million. Luckey is one of half a dozen in the ranks who are still in their 20s.

Only 2 of those, though, are billionaires, Snapchat’s founders Evan Spiegel (who is dating former Victoria Secret’s model Miranda Kerr) and Bobby Murphy, who famously turned down a $3 billion offer from Facebook back in late 2013. Less than two years later, the company raised $538 million in new funding in May, reportedly valuing the company at about $16 billion. Now just months later, there are reports that one of its investors, Fidelity, wrote down the value of its investment by 25% in November.

That’s nothing compared to the scrutiny that Parker Conrad , CEO of  Zenefits, who ranked no. 22 among the top 40, has been getting lately. One of its investors marked down the HR cloud computing company’s valuation by 48% and Parker was forced to admit that sales are growing more slowly than expected. But don’t count out Conrad, who survived testicular cancer and also being fired by his college pal and cofounder at an earlier startup.

Elizabeth Holmes, the only woman to make the cut, quit Stanford at age 19 to start a blood testing company. Now a dozen years later she and her company are going through their own set of adolescent angst. In a setback, the FDA told Holmes in September that her company, Theranos, was using an unapproved blood collection device. It subsequently stated it was voluntarily suspending the use of its “nanotainer,” until it gets clearance.

All of these problems could just be growing pains, or signs of a bubble. It’s too early to tell, which is one reason why Forbes values companies using the valuation set by the latest institutional fundraising rounds. Meanwhile  Facebook famously went on its own roller coaster ride in the months before and after its IPO, as many pundits questioned its valuation. The stock has continued to soar, elevating Zuckerberg, at age 31, to 7th richest person in the world.

The one thing all of these entrepreneurs have on their side is time. They could build and lose many fortunes in the weeks, months and decades to come. For the full list of top 40, go to forbes.com/40under40.

Hair & Make Up trends – Create your Winter 2015/16 Look

Some of the key trends this winter season – slick, chic and feminine looks. Trendsetters recommend to go with a sophisticated take on beauty.

That means no more messy waves and natural glow, you have to create a rich, groomed look. You can reach it by perfecting the skin tone, using shiny peachy blush and lots of mascara. Yes, mascara is back in Top 5 make up trends this season. Many designers used on the runway the doll like looks with heavy layers of mascara.

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Proper up-dos, high ponytail and heavy hair accessories like jewelled clips are also welcome this fall/winter. So called “blackberry lip” was a huge hit at fashion shows. If you go for that look make sure you don’t over do your eyes and eyebrows. This is not a gothic make up trend, minimum make up on the face and only dark, sexy lips.

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Graphic look is still trending. So if you do choose instead to go heavy on your eye make up, then don’t use lipstick at all. Some make up artists recommend “bambi eye” look or a dark and intense palette of winter colours. And here is one more tip – try to combine grunge with glamour. You can have your hair straight down and go for heavily kohled eyes. Success garanteed!

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How to make your child a Star Athlete

I came across this interesting article in Time magazine. Hope you find it interesting. David Epstein, author of The Sports Gene, visited the University of Florida as part of our Science Journalist in Residence program, and this is what he recommends:

For Parents: More Play, Less Pressure

Perhaps because they think that focusing on one sport will get their kids on a college coach’s radar, many parents push for year-round specialization. Besides the risk of overuse injury, that approach also means your child is less likely to find the sport that he or she loves—and is good at. A better strategy: Encouraging your kids to experiment.

“Diversification doesn’t just mean playing multiple sports,” Epstein says, “but it’s also allowing a playful environment where implicit learning happens.” Epstein likes the “learn like a baby” model of sports development. A baby learns language skills by babbling and playing with no fear of failure, he says. Once the early skills are learned implicitly, that’s when you can start teaching the rules of grammar. In today’s sports culture, Epstein says, we’re teaching the grammar before our kids are implicitly learning and playing with basic athletic skills. “What the sports science suggests we’re doing for kids in sports is that we’re doing it backwards,” he says.

Epstein points to UCLA data that shows athletes on college scholarship don’t specialize in one sport until the average age of 15.4, while high school athletes on college club-level teams specialized at the age of 14.2. That data suggests that diversifying is linked to higher skill levels as the athlete ages. “If a kid is a quick biological maturer, that’s different than them being the next LeBron James,” Epstein says. “The path that most elite athletes travel is the Roger Federer path, his parents forcing him to play basketball, badminton and soccer, not the Tiger path. That’s an exception.”

For Coaches: Clap, Don’t Correct

In one discussion Epstein was having on campus, he mentioned that positive feedback is linked to higher performance. He cited research by sports psychologist Christian Cook in which subjects performed better and were less likely to repeat mistakes when they were given positive feedback (as testosterone increased).“I don’t know if it’s counterintuitive that positive feedback works, but it’s not the intuitive way for [coaches] to act,” Epstein says, explaining that coaches naturally identify what’s wrong and instruct athletes how to improve. “If you had to choose between needing feedback when we did something wrong or when we did something right, I’m convinced now it’s when we did something right. And that’s when people don’t give feedback,” he says. “They pay attention to what’s wrong.”

For Kids: Play, Then Think

One trait that seems to be a hallmark for high-level performers: reflection. The athletes who reflect on their performance are able to self-evaluate what they can do better. This is largely based on the work by Marije Elferink-Gemser of the Netherlands, who believes that reflection (while more natural for some kids than others) can be taught, Epstein says. One way: By encouraging young athletes to ask themselves questions that will facilitate that kind of thinking. What did I do well? What didn’t I do well? Who are the people who can help me get there? “[Elferink-Gemser] is moving to saying the single most important role of the coach is facilitating the role of examining weakness and looking at remediating them, in that athletes are orchestrators of their own development, especially as they all get better and better,” Epstein says.

 

The eighth Wonder of the World – Xi’an’s Terra-cotta warriors

CNN recommends to visit an ancient wonder of the world in China’s Xi’an. It’s said if you don’t visit the Terra-cotta Army while in Xi’an, your visit to the ancient Chinese city doesn’t count. Constructed more than 2,200 years ago, the army of warrior statues has since guarded the tomb of the emperor Qin Shi Huang, the first ruler to unify China, from 221-207 BC. Thousands of years later, the soldiers are still there, witnessing the rapidly changing world in solemn silence.

Discovered by chance in 1974 by local farmers digging a well, the Terra-cotta Army is now described by some as the Eighth Wonder of the World. Millions visit the site each year, including world leaders and dignitaries, which is located in Lintong, 25 miles from the Xi’an city center. The entire area benefits from tourism, which generated 4.6 billion yuan ($720 million) in 2014, according to the local government.

Since the discovery of the warriors, archaeologists have excavated three pits, uncovering more than 8,000 life-size Terra-cotta figures, horses and chariots.

Experts believe the figures reveal the emperor’s craving for eternal greatness. Amazingly, no two figures are exactly alike. Each warrior has unique facial features. Details were so painstakingly sculpted by ancient craftsmen that even hairlines can be clearly identified. Infantry, archers, generals, cavalry … the military hierarchy is distinguished by the weaponry each figure holds and positions in which they stand.

Du Wenyiyu, a historian at Shaanxi Normal University, tells CNN the warriors showcase an extraordinary level of craftsmanship and artistry in play 2,200 years ago. “Look at the soldiers and horses, they were just so vividly carved,” he says with the enthusiasm of a first-time visitor.

Du, who first saw the warriors when the site was under excavation in 1974, says the grand army reveals a strong burial tradition — in ancient China, people believed souls carried on in another world. “The emperor had the strongest army in the world when he was alive, so he wanted the same strong army after he died,” says Du.

But it’s not just soldiers.Terra-cotta musicians, officials and concubines have been found in other pits. “He wanted exactly the same grand services and treatment for his afterlife,” says Du. Before Qin Shi Huang, emperors would bury people alive. Du believes creating terra-cotta figures to replace people as funerary objects represents a significant move forward in civilization.

More than 700,000 craftsmen worked round the clock for about two decades to build Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum. Known for his cruelty, the emperor later killed the laborers who were overly familiar with the map and layout of the underground palace. Upon excavation, few of the warriors or horses were fully intact. The now-famed figures lining the pits have all been restored by experts over the past 40 years. Hundreds of experts are still restoring the warriors by putting together broken pottery pieces. It takes about a month to reconstruct a single clay warrior. When the warriors were created, they were painted in bright colors. Sadly, much of the color vanished almost immediately after excavation. Even modern digging and preservation techniques are of little help. The army is only part of a garrison in Qin Shi Huang’s mausoleum, which covers nearly 14,000 acres — a little bigger than the size of Vatican City. Most of it remains unearthed.

More than 400 additional pits have been discovered near the Terra-cotta Army, but the massive underground palace largely remains mystery, as scientists are afraid of damage that might be caused by hurried evacuation efforts.

 

 

Top 3 Winter Hat Trends 2015/16

If you love hats, make sure you read this post about the hottest and coolest trends for 2015 season. I have looked through the fashion magazines and runways to determine what are the best headpieces out there. Looks like ladies still like beanies, fedoras and floppy hats as well as wide brimmed styles, fur and baseball caps. So, what to choose, especially if you are trying to combine elegance and sophistication and fight the cold weather?

  1. French Berets.

Many designers came up with this style in 2015/16 season. Berets go well with everything! It will look amazing with a coat, a sweater, or a blazer. It brings a certain retro chicness to any look.

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  1. Girly Knitted Hats

Pretty bright knit hats were very popular on the fall and winter runway shows in Europe. When you go for this style, make sure you choose the perfect fit and delicate handiwork. If you go for a hat with pompoms and studs, you could turn your look into playful, bohemian girl.

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  1. Funky Helmets and Cool Riding Caps

Helmet style and newsboy/riding caps are extremely popular among fashionistas around the world. Most desiarble designs come in tweet, fur and leather. Check out Lanvin and Emilio Pucci for cool styles and funcky cuts.

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How to Make your child to try new foods?

 

My 3 year old daughter would not try new foods. She has been eating pasta and some veggies like carrots and potatoes but would not try tomatoes or zucchini. I’ve tried many ways, forcing and begging, decorating plates, inviting other kids to eat with us. Nothing worked… So, I am constently researching what other moms and experts are doing and here what I found from Eatingwell.com…

Eatingwell.com recommends: First, what not to do bribe, threaten or nag. “Contingency strategies,” such as promising that if “finish your peas, then you can watch television,” tend to reinforce a child’s negative associations with foods. Keep your encouragement positive. Make lots of different healthy choices available. Nutrition experts frequently advise parents to expose young children to lots of different tastes: it teaches them to accept a variety of healthy foods. If your child hates something the first time he tries it, don’t give up.

Research shows that it can take as many as 10 to 15 tastes before a child will learn to appreciate a new flavor. But the most effective strategies for getting your kids to eat well is to practice what you preach. Research conducted by Jennifer Orlet Fisher, Ph.D., one of the foremost experts on the development of eating behavior in children, shows that young children learn to prefer foods that are familiar and ones presented as acceptable in their homes. Bottom line: The best way to teach someone that healthy foods are important (and delicious) is to enjoy them yourself.

 

Flipagram Could Be Bigger Than Instagram

This story appears in the December 14, 2015 issue of FORBES.

Farhad Mohit wasn’t panicking (he’d started and sold two websites before), but at the end of 2013 the entrepreneur realized his startup was going to run out of money by February. Two days before Christmas his wife gave birth to their second child at home, with the midwife stuck in traffic. He promised his wife that, if the company ran out of cash, he would stop adding more of his own to keep it going.

But Mohit’s prospects were not as grim as the bank account indicated. His startup owned an app called Flipagram, which lets people make “Flips,” a mashup of videos, photos, text and 30-second snippets of hit songs. Starting in October, a series of updates to the app, including making it free, were already pushing Flipagram up the app charts. By the time his baby arrived Flipagram had reached No. 1 in iPhone downloads in 87 countries and had millions of users per month. Before Mohit even had a chance to hit up new investors, Sequoia Capital called to meet right away. Too busy, Mohit pushed it into January, when Sequoia sent its billionaire partner Michael Moritz and colleague Tim Lee to Los Angeles to meet Mohit at his home, which doubled as Flipagram’s office. They chatted over a homemade lunch of Persian food. By February, Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Index Ventures combined to invest $70 million. What they wanted was a piece of the next social growth monster. By the end of 2014 Flipagram was up to 30 million users per month.

Flipagram’s big insight was that people want a way to make videos faster than one can post on YouTube and with more creative freedom and depth than Twitter’s Vine or Facebook’s Instagram. “It’s a human thing,” Mohit said.  Mohit, a 46-year-old Iranian-born immigrant with a salt-and-pepper beard and jet-black hair, oversees this burgeoning realm from an inconspicuous office on Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles. Two open steamer trunks filled with vinyl records inherited from his mother are pushed against a wall next to a few unhung paintings. “We’ve designed this for mass visual storytelling. Every man, woman and child should be able to use it,” Mohit says, speaking quickly and intently. “And they don’t have to be literate, just have the ability to tap. I’m more interested in the life of a sex worker from the eyes of a sex worker.”

Mohit left Tehran at age 9 with his family, fleeing the revolution for France and England before settling in southern California. He took math and applied science at the University of California, Los Angeles and went into consulting before getting an M.B.A. from Wharton. In 1996, just before he graduated, a class project grew into Mohit’s first company, BizRate, one of the first online business-ratings sites, which then spawned retail site Shopzilla, whose price-comparison feature made it one of the largest shopping search engines in the world. Mohit led the sites to profitability while the dot-com bubble popped and sold both sites for $525 million to Scripps in 2005. Brian Dilley, introduced Mohit to Josh Feldman and Raffi Baghoomian, who had made a 99-cent iOS app called Flipagram in their spare time while working day jobs at a digital ad agency. The four met in September 2013 at a sushi place in Studio City and hit it off. Within a few weeks Mohit bought Flipagram for an undisclosed amount. Over the next month the four cofounders made the app free, simplified the interface and added a Flipagram branded “watermark” that shows up on all videos. The changes paid off in app downloads and the number of Flips created, fetching the startup its $70 million venture round.

Mohit has had to answer some nettlesome questions after Flipagram laid off 17 people, about 20% of its employees, in October, a move that fast-growing startups don’t often make. He said most of the cuts were a result of automating product-testing jobs. A person close to the company said that Flipagram cited poor user retention and that high legal fees and music-licensing costs were also a factor. Flipagram says the source was misled but declined to comment further. It does say that user numbers are up from its last announcement of 33 million. Mohit says the next big move is to turn his creation tool into a real social network and build a relevance algorithm that shows users the right Flips at the right time. Revenue is still a secondary concern. The startup makes a bit of money through a one-time $1.99 fee users can pay to remove the Flipagram watermark and referral fees for song sales on iTunes. Facebook and Twitter will take aim at Flipagram (or try to buy it), and Mohit faces competition from new apps such as Musical.ly and Dubsmash. “We’re just at the beginning of a huge vision,” Mohit said. “It’s going to have its bumps.”