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Here is a list of foods that make you sleepy--who knew??

Posted: Wed, 10/29/2014 - 12:34
Cherries (cherry juice is great to drink before bed), honey (also good for coughs), white bread (is there anything good about white bread,) turkey (that one I knew--tryptophan), oatmeal (bummer,) red meat (I would forgo altogether,) hummus (lots of tryptophan,) salmon (melatonin,) bananas (also good to eat if you have diarrhea,) lettuce (lactorium--no idea,) walnuts and almonds, crustaceans like shrimp and lobster, and pretzels (lots of glucose--which will apparently lead to being comatose!) 

The Affair on Showtime

Posted: Fri, 10/24/2014 - 14:20
Do you watch the Affair on Showtime? It's fantastic. 
Check out this article about it by Maureen Dowd--the BEST Op-Ed Columnist from the NY Times...
This part is a pretty bold but sadly, most likely an accurate statement from the showrunner Sarah Treem--
But, she adds matter-of-factly, “you probably have a 20 percent chance, maybe a 10 percent chance, of actually getting through an entire marriage with no infidelity.”
WE live in a world awash in unreliable narrators.
Officials at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital were unreliable narrators on Ebola. The Internet is bristling with unreliable narrators who prefer their takes to the truth. The unsavory husband and wife in the thriller “Gone Girl” are such chillingly unreliable narrators that they easily beat out the undead unreliable narrator, Dracula, at the box office. And let’s not even start on Fox News.
So now comes the riveting “Rashomon” in Montauk, Showtime’s “The Affair,” with Ruth Wilson and Dominic West offering alternating he recalls-she recalls versions of the same story in each show, as they get swept up in sexual infidelity and a serious crime during a shimmering summer.
I went to Brooklyn to talk to West — the British actor who played the raffish Baltimore detective Jimmy McNulty in “The Wire” on HBO — and the show’s co-creator, Sarah Treem, as they shot scenes at a school there.
Continue reading the main story
Maura Tierney, left, Dominic West and Ruth Wilson play a married couple and the husband’s mistress in Showtime’s “The Affair,” created by the team who worked together on HBO’s “In Treatment.”Showtime’s ‘The Affair’ Offers His-and-Hers FlashbacksSEPT. 3, 2014
West’s character, Noah, is a novelist and teacher who lives in a Brooklyn brownstone with his wife, played by Maura Tierney, and four kids. He’s happily married but feeling insecure about the lackluster performance of his first novel. It gets worse when his wife giggles at his facial expression during lovemaking, and he’s taunted by his arrogant father-in-law, a famous fiction writer who owns the oceanfront mansion in the Hamptons where the family is spending the summer.
When West meets Wilson’s comely Alison, a diner waitress and Montauk native who is also married to someone she loves (Joshua Jackson) and also feeling uncertain and anxious, the chase is on.
But who’s chasing whom? In West’s memory, Alison is sultry and curvy, wearing sexy outfits and seducing him. In Alison’s version, she’s wan and withdrawn, still mourning the drowning death of her small son and dubious about Noah’s aggressive blandishments.
Treem, a playwright and “House of Cards” writer, created “The Affair” with Hagai Levi, with whom she also worked on HBO’s “In Treatment.”
Treem said the new show uses sex to illustrate that the characters are “trying to connect and they fail at it all the time. I think we have a lot of sex in this show, but in terms of the sex where they’re actually unified, that happens very rarely.”
Treem is a newlywed. In June, she married Jay Carson, a former campaign spokesman for Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton who is a producer on “House of Cards” and the father of Treem’s nearly 2-year-old son. Yet the brainy, alluring 34-year-old has an intriguingly jaded philosophy of romance.
“I have this belief that, in all relationships, there’s this long erotic moment that happens at the beginning of the relationship,” she said. “It’s like the pole of a tetherball court, and then everything else is just basically that damn ball going around, winding and unwinding around that one erotic moment, and you’re trying to always get back to that incredible moment of connection with somebody, and it’s gone forever.”
Continue reading the main storyContinue reading the main story
She said they put up a quote by the poet Robert Hass in the writers’ room, the final line of a passage where he describes the sensation of making love to a woman: “I felt a violent wonder at her presence like a thirst for salt, for my childhood river with its island willows, silly music from the pleasure boat, muddy places where we caught the little orange-silver fish called pumpkinseed. It hardly had to do with her. Longing, we say, because desire is full of endless distances.”
I tell her that Carson asked me if he should be worried, given how knowingly his wife writes about infidelity.
She laughed, replying, “I wrote the show when I was still single at 31, so at that point in your life you see a lot of infidelity. You have married men coming on to you. You see your friends already in affairs. From my perspective at that point, infidelity was all over the place. Now, being married, I would like my marriage to work. I love him, and I want to be faithful to him, and I want him to be faithful to me.” But, she adds matter-of-factly, “you probably have a 20 percent chance, maybe a 10 percent chance, of actually getting through an entire marriage with no infidelity.”
Continue reading the main story
John Perks 5 days ago
This article was so predictable after the first two lines. Maybe I'm being 'rude', but I find it represents the pseudo cynicism of the...
vh 5 days ago
OMG, Thanks all for the laughs today!!!Especially the one about "Blaming Obama "So,What else is new, new's???
sim 5 days ago
Why is this column printed in the Review section? This belongs with the Arts section, maybe Style. There are so many critical issues in...
When I ask her if she thinks that men are more prone to cheat, she instantly replies: “Yes, I do.”
West agrees that the show may be “a shag-a-thon,” as he merrily put it, but its real subject is meant to be marriage.
“When you have four kids, inevitably your sex life suffers,” said West, himself a father of four. “But, for me, in my 20s and 30s, the stakes are much higher if you’re unfaithful. I feel, as you get older, the stakes get a lot lower. I don’t think infidelity would bother either me or my wife so much as if anything happened to our children, for instance. It ceases to be the primary anxiety.”
WHEN I mentioned that it was interesting how, in Noah’s remembrance, Alison has fuller breasts, West’s eyes widened in surprise.
“Does she?” he said, laughing. “Is that right? Well spotted.”
The actor said that, after playing Iago and the English serial killer Fred West, he yearned for a more heroic role.
“I was really keen to play a good guy,” he said, with a wry smile. “So this is the good guy I’m playing — a cheating husband.”

What To Do With All Your Kids Artwork...

Posted: Thu, 10/09/2014 - 10:00
What to do with all that artwork??? I feel guilty if I throw anything away but where to keep it all is the problem plus it's probably a fire hazard! Below are some ideas--
ArtKive + Plum Print  
The ArtKive app lets you snap pictures of your kids’ art and collate them into a bound, hardcover book. If you’re not great with an iPhone, they offer a Concierge service, where they’ll scan it all for you and return the originals. Plum Print provides a similar service, minus the app.
Print All Over Me 
We’re big fans of this site, where you can print any digital photo or drawing onto clothing. In addition to T-shirts and sweatshirts, they also have beanbags and textiles, the perfect canvases for scribbles and rainbows.
Jan Eleni 
An old favorite from goop gift guides past, interior designer Jan Eleni scans your kid’s work and then designs it into a Damien Hirst-like grid. The end result is an archival print that’s worthy of prime living room real estate.
19 Queens Gate 
Using water-based inks and natural fibers, this service will turn any drawing or painting into a cushion. It can be a perfect scan, or a crappy iPhone photo—they can make anything look amazing.


Posted: Fri, 09/26/2014 - 13:12
Newborns (1-2 months)
Newborns sleep a total of 10.5 to 18 hours a day periods of 1-3 hours spent awake. The sleep period may last a few minutes to several hours.
Infants (3-11 months)
Infants typically sleep 9-12 hours during the night and take 30 minute to two-hour naps, one to four times a day.
Toddlers (1-3 years)
Toddlers need about 12-14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period. When they reach about 18 months of age their naptimes will decrease to once a day lasting 1-3 hours. 
Preschoolers (3-5 years)
Preschoolers typically sleep 11-13 hours each night and most do not nap after five years of age. 
School-aged Children (5-12 years)
Children aged 5-12 need 10-11 hours of sleep.

Toddler Crack!

Posted: Fri, 09/26/2014 - 11:06

My daughter Karolina is obsessed with these videos! Who is this woman??

YouTube’s Biggest Star Is An Unknown Toy-Reviewing Toddler Whisperer

Is it possible an unknown, one-woman toy-reviewing YouTuber called “Disney Collector” is making more money than most CEOs?posted on July 18, 2014, at 10:57 a.m.

Chris Ritter/BuzzFeed

To 3-year-olds, she is an obsession. To their parents, a mystifying annoyance. To YouTube marketers, an elusive moneymaker no one’s been able to tap for profit.

To the rest of us, DisneyCollectorBR is a faceless YouTube channel giant that is consistently among the site’s top most viewed per month. In April, the channel was the third-most viewed worldwide, coming in right behind Katy Perry. During the week of July 4, the DisneyCollectorBR channel received more views in the United States — 55 million — than any other channel on YouTube, according to data from OpenSlate.

Despite the channel’s massive, sweeping, and somewhat perplexing popularity, no one — neither the toddlers who watch with near-religious fervor and their parents, nor executives deeply embedded in the YouTube ecosystem and its economics — seem to have much of a clue who’s behind it. In an earlier, more anonymous internet era, popularity and anonymity were more commonly paired. But today, where marketers have wrangled nearly every viral hit and YouTube stars’ faces are on billboards in Times Square, staying anonymous amid billions of views is not only unusual, but damn near impossible to pull off.

All DisneyCollectorBR videos start the same way: A difficult-to-place, but seemingly non-American woman’s voice says, “Hey guys, Disney Collector here. Today I’m going to show you…” The woman, who shows only her brightly manicured hands, proceeds to introduce and open a children’s toy, many of them from recent Disney movies. She then demonstrates the toy’s features — what you might less clinically call “playing.” She regularly calls a toy’s features “adorable,” and tends to end her sentences with a singing inflection. In many videos, she also seems to make a deliberate effort to crinkle the toy’s packaging, to ear-pleasing effect. As far as plot goes, that’s about it.

DisneyCollectorBR’s most watched video, an unwrapping of “egg surprises” branded by Angry Birds, SpongeBob, and Cars, recently hit 90 million views. Five other videos have received over 40 million views, and another 15 have over 20 million. The channel’s hundreds of videos have been watched over 2.4 billion times — that’s more than “Gangnam Style” by Psy.

The videos fit broadly into a popular YouTube category known as “unboxing,” where a video shows off the features of a product, most often a piece of technology like the new Xbox. For teenagers and adults with purchasing power, unboxing videos can be a kind of virtual tour of a product in which you’re interested. Or, since they’re typically made by amateurs, a kind of authentic check and balance on flashy advertising. For kids and toys, it’s a little different.

A number of parents of toddlers, the channel’s target audience, tell a similar story of their children finding the channel: their kids, fans of the Disney Carsmovie franchise asked to watch some related videos on YouTube. From there, they happened upon a DisneyCollectorBR video. When they finished, another one loaded. In the days and weeks following, the kids, entranced for whatever reason by the toy demos, asked for more. The consistent story of organic discovery makes sense, because unless you closely follow YouTube metrics, how else would you find out about DisneyCollectorBR? Despite the channel’s immense viewership — the numbers don’t lie — there is almost no information about its creator.

Multiple messages sent through the YouTube page, through Facebook, and through a website’s contact form went unanswered.

For curious parents, the channel has become a fascinating subject — with both their kids’ passion for its videos and its creator’s identity something of a mystery. “I heard this crazy voice, and I’m like, What the hell is this,” said Jonna Rubin of Framingham, Mass., whose 2-year-old and 5-year-old watch the channel, “with equal fervor.”

Elizabeth Olsen, a Portland, Ore., mother of two, said her 6-year-old daughter, who is learning to read, has taught herself to use the iPad’s microphone so that she can use Siri to search Disney Collector videos on her own, a solution to spelling struggles. From there, she said she navigates to more videos through YouTube’s sidebars, and though she sometimes ends up watching another channel’s videos, she usually finds her way back to Disney Collector. “Unattended she could probably watch for two hours,” Olsen said.

For adults, it can be hard to understand why kids are so enamored. “I equate it with me looking at the toy catalog from J.C. Penney as a kid,” Olsen said. “It’s like an infomercial.”

And if children of the ’80s and ’90s think back to the VHS tapes they watched until they melted in the VCR, it doesn’t feel that far off — kids do love to watch things over and over again.

Dane Golden, who works in the YouTube channel ecosystem as the VP of marketing at Octoly, a startup that connects brands with independent video creators on YouTube, said he’s followed Disney Collector with fascination since discovering the channel through the blog TubeFilter, a kind of Billboard for YouTube. He said he was “bewildered” when he first came across the channel and recognized its massive popularity. He didn’t understand the audience, he said, until a number of parents he knew all reacted with an, “Oh, my kid watches that all the time.”

Golden did what he called some “due diligence” on the channel and who might behind it — and was surprised to find almost no information online. For kids, he thinks, anonymity might be part of the appeal.

“What I believe to be true is that kids are loving this because the woman never shows her face,” Golden said. “You never see anything but her well-manicured hands. She has a very comforting voice. It’s just like playing with other kids playing toys. I think she disappears in the mind of the children.”

What struck Golden most was not just the host’s anonymity, but the lack of affiliation with what are called multichannel networks, known in the industry as MCNs. Almost all large YouTube channels are now part of MCNs — like the music-focused Vevo; Fullscreen, which works with NBC and FOX; or Maker Studios, which sold to Disney this year for $500 million. The dozens of MCNs function like studios for independent YouTubers, providing services like audience growth, monetization strategies, a content management system and statistics dashboard, legal services, partner management, and so on, in exchange for a portion of advertising revenue. By most counts, DisneyCollectorBR appears to be the largest unaffiliated channel on YouTube.

That’s not to say MCNs aren’t interested in the genre. Maker Studios, whose list of partner channels includes those by Robert De Niro and Snoop Dogg, works with channels like EvanTubeHD, a highly popular channel consisting mostly of a charming 8-year-old reviewing toys (he does show his face), and is aware of the toy unboxing phenomenon.

“These videos tap into some primal human traits and emotions — curiosity, the thrill of suspense and surprise, and the joy of receiving a gift,” said Michael Ross, Maker’s general manager of family programming. “Almost everyone has watched a kid squirming in delight as a gift is unwrapped — the slower the better (as long as they can stand it).” Disney-owned Maker said they have not worked with DisneyCollectorBR or BluCollection.

“I believe she’s an enigma,” said David B. Williams, an entrepreneur who spent several years at Disney after they bought his online video startup and has spent 18 years in the industry. “I think a lot of the MCNs whose job it is to pursue channels like hers, have pursued her and have not gotten far.”

Williams, who is now the chief content and technology strategist at Endemol Beyond, a new digital division of the television production company behind shows like Big Brother, became familiar with Disney Collector not just through the YouTube marketing world, but also because he happens to have twins who are 3½ years old. In his observation, it is “toddler crack.”

“I call it first-person toy porn,” he said. “I think it works because it’s Christmas morning every minute.”

Williams said he suspects the channel is bringing in seven figures a year in advertisements — even without an MCN, channels can easily enable YouTube’s monetization settings to have banner ads and pre-roll ads placed on their videos.SocialBlade, which analyzes YouTube data, pegs the number at between $1.6 million and $13 million, considering the number of views and subscribers.

Is it possible an unknown, one-woman toy-reviewing YouTuber is making as much money as the average S&P 500 CEO?

In this case, Disney Collector may actually have little reason to affiliate with an MCN. The largest MCNs frequently sign channels on the promise of growing them faster, in exchange for a percentage of ad revenue. But if you’re already huge, and you don’t want to be on a billboard, why would you want to give up some of your earnings?

That said, there are some quirks to operating independently. Since you must be 13 to have a YouTube account, the core toddler audience is likely watching using a parent’s account, which might explain why the pre-roll ads are frequently for Target or AT&T. If YouTube thinks 35-year-olds are those watching the channel, those are the ads it’ll serve up.

So, who the hell is Disney Collector? Best guess: a 43-year-old Brazilian woman who lives near DisneyWorld in Florida, whose husband produces a similar and also popular channel called BluCollection. True Disney diehards who’d like to be left alone while raking in a fortune, so it would seem.

The small crop of fascinated bloggers, parents, and YouTube marketers seem to agree on a few leads. First, that the “BR” in DisneyCollectorBR stands for Brazil, which is supported by some videos she does in Portuguese. Second, that BluCollection, which also reviews toys — with a slight bent to those marketed to boys, though both channels are gender neutral — is produced under the same roof. The two channels list each other as vaguely affiliated on fanpages, and as related channels on YouTube, to support that assertion. The channel also uses a similarly faceless format for its videos. DisneyCollectorBR, with its nail art and enthusiasm, seems to get a little more attention, but BluCollection, with a total of 1.7 billion views, is also almost perplexingly massive. If they are in fact a couple, they’re the Beyoncé and Jay Z of YouTube. If no one had any idea who Beyoncé and Jay Z were.

Another lead came from the comments section of a personal blog post written by Julia Arnold, a parent of two curious about Disney Collector’s identity. Arnold said she frequently watches the videos with her 4-year-old son, who has taken to imitating Disney Collector with Easter eggs.

In the comments section of the post, which was titled “Who ARE BluCollection and DisneyCollectorBR?,” a commenter with no affiliated email address who said he was a friend of the couple identified the pair by name, saying they lived in Florida near DisneyWorld, and kept private, having at some point gotten rid of any social media accounts. Searches of public records revealed people by those names do exist, but past and present listed phone numbers were disconnected or went unanswered.

In a way, DisneyCollectorBR has achieved the modern internet ideal: She is adored (and presumably, rich) for doing what she seems to love, and widely watched but uncorrupted by the annoyances of fame. If only she’d let us know how she does it.