Thursday, July 25, 2013

Best apps... For throwing a good party

BarNotes puts an encyclopedia of classic cocktails and new innovations right at your fingertips, together with users’ stories and comments. (Free, iOS only)

Quilt uses photos and videos that guests post in real-time to create an instantly archived scrapbook of the big night. (Free, iOS or Android)

Invy streamlines the task of picking a party date. Post the dates that’ll work for you, and invitees weigh in to arrive at a consensus choice. ($2, iOS only)

Songza, a music streaming site, can serve as a “discount DJ.” The app offers various “expertly arranged” party mixes, cataloged by theme. (Free, iOS or Android)

Seedio connects the music libraries of your guests’ phones, allowing users to create a “group-approved party playlist” that’ll stream through the phones. ($3, iOS only)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Best apps for meditating

Simply Being offers a user-friendly introduction to guided meditation. The same company also offers Walking Meditation, an app better suited for “meditation on-the-go.” ($1 each, for iOS and Android)

Buddhify gets high ratings from its online users for its “clear, simple design” and relaxing guided meditations. Choose the guide that fits your location, whether you’re at home, at the gym, or walking your neighborhood. ($3 for iOS; $1 for Android)

The Mindfulness App provides “a little nudge to help you stick with your meditation routine”: Set an alert and it will remind you to meditate when you reach a particular location. ($2 for iOS; $2 for Android)

Mindfulness Meditation by Mental Workout features an eight-week instruction program created by Zen teacher Stephan Bodian. ($17, iOS and Android)


Friday, April 19, 2013

Some of my favorite quotes this week

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.
Bill Gates

A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.
Martin Luther King Jr.

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.
Julia Child

Any compulsion tries to justify itself.
Joan Didion

Time is really the only capital that any human being has and the thing that he can least afford to waste or lose. Thomas Edison

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Only in America from "The Week" magazine

-A Florida homeowners association has decided to ban all outdoor play to keep neighborhood children safe. No skateboards, roller blades, or bicycles are allowed on the complex’s roads or common grounds. Even ball playing is prohibited. “They wanted to play when they were kids,” didn’t they?” said a local 9-year-old. “These people don’t know what freedom is!”

-A Kentucky teen was charged with disorderly conduct for falsely yelling “bingo” in a bingo hall. District Judge Douglas Grothaus likened 18-year-old Austin Whaley’s prank to yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, and ordered the teen not to say the word “bingo” for six months. “People take their bingo very seriously,” the judge said.

Friday, March 29, 2013


French President Francois Hollande pressed his country to accept reduced pension and welfare benefits, among other economic measures, as part of a national effort to revive a moribund economy and stem a rise in unemployment that has caused his popularity to slump. In a national television interview last night, Hollande also promised to enforce a rule in which companies that pay their employees more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million) will be required pay 75 percent payroll taxes on those salaries. The changes to jobless benefits and a proposed cut in payouts to families would be unprecedented in France, the region's third-largest economy, while a plan to lengthen the number of work years would extend moves begun by Hollande's predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy. [Bloomberg, TIME]

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Bitter Melon May Fight Pancreatic Cancer Cells

A fruit commonly consumed in Asian countries could also play an important role in fighting cancer, according to a new study in mice. Researchers from the University of Colorado Cancer Center found that the juice of the bumpy-skinned bitter melon may stop pancreatic cancer cells from metabolizing glucose — a crucial development because cancer cells need glucose to survive, and blocking off their glucose supply kills them. Researchers tested bitter melon juice's effects on pancreatic cancer cells in mice, and found that the mice that were given the juice had a 60 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer compared with control mice. [Huffington Post]

Thursday, March 14, 2013


In a medical first, a woman who received a five-organ transplant has given birth to a healthy baby girl at a Miami hospital. "It's the best feeling in the world," Fatema Al Ansari, a 26-year-old from Qatar, said Wednesday at the same hospital where she was given a new liver, pancreas, stomach, and small and large intestine in 2007. "It's a hard feeling to express." Her doctor said he had searched medical literature and found cases where patients who had received two new organs had given birth, but not five. Just over 600 five-organ transplants had been recorded as of 2011.