Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Moving Forward


It is easy to dwell on the past, especially when the past is filled with heartache. However, “until you heal the wounds of your past, you will continue to bleed. You can bandage the bleeding with food, with alcohol, with drugs, with work, with cigarettes, with sex, but eventually, it will all ooze through and stain your life. You must find the strength to open the wounds, stick your hands inside, pull out the core of the pain that is holding you in your past, the memories, and make peace with them." (Iyanla Vanzant)   

During this time of transition from summer to fall it is important that we all are making peace with our past and moving forward with our lives.  After all, it is a brand new season. I encourage you to embrace it. Don't allow people or situations of your past to hold you back; just as summer has ended their season has ended, too. 

Image: Clifford Coffin 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

6 Blocks of Urban Fun

H Street Festival 

This past weekend – Saturday, September 15, 2012 – I went to Washington D.C.'s annual H Street Festival.  It was the very first time I attended the festival and I thoroughly enjoyed all that the festival had to offer including: the live entertainment, art, food, and exclusive merchants. The festival was clearly “designed to showcase the unique qualities of [the H Street] community. The event is a part of the revitalization strategy to bring attention to the developing arts and entertainment district at the eastern end of the H Street Northeast corridor.” (Cooper) Here I share with you a few pictures I took while at the festival. 

An entertainer performing live with some great drummers /
Dancers performing in the streets / Another live entertainer

A cook preparing some yummy smelling ribs/
One of many vendors sharing merchandise with a  prospective client/ Some of the crowd 

An artist painting in the streets

A band getting ready to perform another song/ A painted Volkswagen Beetle/ An artists tools

Close-up of the painted Volkswagen Beetle

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Attitude Attitude Attitude

The Best Style Advice Ever 
"'Style is all attitude,' declares living legend Iris Apfel in a trailer for a documentary that's currently being made about her. 'Attitude attitude attitude. And if you know how to carry something off, you can make it look wonderful — and it doesn't have to be expensive, and it doesn't have to be trendy. As a matter of fact, sometimes those things work against you. A trend can be a wonderful thing if it works for you. But if it doesn't, it's useless and you can look freaky.'" (Fenner, August 30, 2012)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Beauty Myths


The Golden Ratio

In an attempt to define beauty Maggie Bullock of Elle highlights the golden ratio an it's significance to Tommer Leyvand's work in her article, Tech Support:

“Beauty is easy enough to spot, but tricky to define—despite countless attempts to do so. Sometime around 300 B.C., the Greek mathematician Euclid identified the "Golden Proportion," an ideal face two-thirds as wide as it is tall, with a nose no longer than the distance between the eyes. In the 1930s, Max Factor launched his Beauty Micro-meter, a Hellraiser-esque studded cage that measured every inch of a starlet's head to determine where she needed the makeup maestro's signature sleight of hand most. And in 1997, a retired California plastic surgeon introduced the Marquardt Mask, a robotic-looking web of lines that dissects faces using the ratio of 1 to 1.618, or phi. Identified in ancient Greece, this magical mystery ratio somehow governs the proportions of everything from human embryos to azalea buds… 

Still, theories are one thing; results are another. And Tommer Leyvand may be the first person who has promised to deliver the goods (two-dimensionally, at least). A soft-spoken, Seattle-based computer scientist, Leyvand develops geographical mapping programs for a well-known software brand by day and perfects faces—strictly by special request—by night… Developed during his graduate studies at Tel Aviv University in Israel, Leyvand's software is based on a study in which 100 photos of women and men were given attractiveness ratings between one and six. The size of and distance between the features of each face were measured and correlated for which scored well and which didn't. The resulting beauty scale enables Leyvand's program to morph any face toward a higher attractiveness rating.

One hundred subjects may not seem like that many when it comes to calculating something as ephemeral as true beauty, but Leyvand contends that attractiveness ratings are, in fact, universal—that the same numbers would hold true in any country or race, barring a region's specific cultural preferences for eye and hair color (which, interestingly, he says weigh more heavily upon our perception of someone's attractiveness than skin tone). "Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder," Leyvand says. "If I took the same photo and showed it to people from 10 different regions with 10 different backgrounds, I would get roughly the same results…" (April 14, 2008)

Despite, Leyvand's results, beauty does not involve technical support; it is impossible for any program/ software to "morph" someone's beauty when beauty is a natural occurrence that encompasses the spirit. It seems both Bullock and Leyvand need to take a lesson from Aubrey Hepburn — "The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul." 

Illustration by Shannon May 
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