Back in Wax! The Kids Content Team visits Madame Tussauds

As the Kids Content Team recently discovered, dreams really do come true! Several dreams were realized when we took a little trip to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Nick finally realized his dream of becoming an honest woman with George Clooney, Matt was seen displaying his ultimate nerd-dom with Captain Picard and Chanele, Matt and Nick all got in touch with their gangsta side when I caught them chillin’ with Tupac. However, nothing could prepare us for the big star of the night… Mr. James Brown! Now we finally have our Christmas card photo!

(Editor’s Note: If you’re wondering what the ghostly apparition is in the middle, it’s Steve the Ghost, who showed up just in time to block the wax statue of James Brown that we can’t put on our blog. )

Crime Scene!

Poor Melissa. She was knocked out of her chair by Brett and his chair. Let me explain.

After the UX team left the room, the fancy J-Chair was left for the taking. Bryan M. claimed it many a month ago, and Brett saw his opportunity. But, there is an issue here. Brett and Melissa sit back to back,(she’s in the old Laurie W. spot) and this chair is much bigger than Brett’s last chair….and Brett cannot wield the power with responsibility. It’s too much. He has spilled three cups of coffee this week just by turning to talk to a fellow Zapponian who was seeking his assistance.

So, this Friday afternoon, Brett hopped in his chair to answer some email and poor Melissa was caught in the cross-fire.

She is now resting with a nice bowl of Chicken and Dumpling soup and should make a full recovery in 6 or 7 minutes.

Please comment below to wish her well.

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Things On My Desk with Aria L.

See what this Looney CLT supervisor Aria L. Keeps on her new desk in the 2290 office!

Making Pregnancy Easier: Travel Tips

Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to stay home for nine months with your feet up on the couch. If you’re an executive experiencing her first pregnancy, you won’t want to call off the annual sales meeting in Mazatlan due to morning sickness, and if you’re a stay-at-home mom with number three on the way, numbers one and two aren’t going to want to see Disney World over Columbus Day weekend any less. With a few precautions, though, travel during pregnancy can be both safe and comfortable.

The easiest time to travel during pregnancy, like the easiest time to do most things during pregnancy, is the second trimester, when you are feeling great, but travel can occur during the other trimesters as well. (I took a long car trip during the first trimester of my second pregnancy while suffering from horrendous morning sickness and unexplained bleeding. It was doctor-approved and the micro-brewed ginger ale I picked up in South Carolina helped with the nausea, while the sight-seeing helped distract me from the worry.) Of course, air travel for women in their third trimester is not recommended unless it’s absolutely necessary, but other than that, you can pretty much do as you please.

When travelling by car, bus, plane or train, limit the amount of travel time to six hours at a time and be sure to take walks or stretch periodically to keep your circulation stimulated. Travelling by sea is not recommended due to the potential for seasickness and the fact that anti-nausea medications may not be approved for use during pregnancy.

International travel is acceptable as well if your OB/GYN okays it, but be sure to make sure you’re immunized properly before going and carry a copy of your health records with you in case of emergency. The potential for diarrhea in a foreign country is the worst concern for pregnant women; drinking bottled water, canned juices or soft drinks, avoiding raw fruits and vegetables, and making sure all dairy products are pasteurized will go a long way towards alleviating that concern.

Finally, dress comfortably in loose clothing made of natural fibers , wear comfortable shoes, and carry snack foods with you in order to keep your energy up and your nausea down.

comfortable shoes,

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It's like Playing "Duck Hunt" only with Real Argentinian Eared Doves

To farmers, the Eared Dove (Zenaida Auriculata) of Argentina can become a major nuisance, causing millions of dollars of crop damage each year. For hunters, however, this speedy little bird presents one of the most enjoyable big-bag shooting opportunities in the world.

As numerous as pigeons in the United States, these doves apparently live only to eat and mate, which is not bad work if you can get it. Although rabbits breed approximately 5 times a year, the busy Eared Dove can reproduce up to 7 times in 12 months, as long as there is enough food in the surrounding area.

With millions of doves in the region, the serious wingshooter should consider taking a hunting trip to the city of Cordoba. Because the Department of Agriculture considers this bird to be a pest, Argentina’s government has no set limits on how many Eared Doves you can shoot while you are visiting Cordoba.

With no bag limits and a sky filled with beautiful birds, hunters in Cordoba reportedly fire between 1,000 and 2,000 rounds in a single day. When the Eared Doves are flying thick and heavy, it’s pretty easy to spend a day just aiming, shooting and reloading.

Although Cordoba has very pleasant weather for most of the year, the summer months (January through March) are among the best times to travel to this hunting paradise. Rain is fairly common in the evening, though, so packing a waterproof jacket along with the rifle is a good strategic move.

Traveling to Cordoba by air does require a little planning, though. Instead of a direct flight, consider flying into the capital city of Buenos Aires and then catch a connecting flight to Cordoba. Thanks to its reputation as a dove hunting paradise, Cordoba has some great hunting lodges where you can relax after a successful day of big-bag shooting. Many hotels and lodges also have Internet connections if you need to reconnect with the outside world.

With beautiful surroundings and plenty of winged targets, hunting the Eared Dove in Cordoba is almost like shooting fish in a barrel.


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Fitness Resolutions: Spice Up Your Workout

When the treadmill doesn’t look appealing for that early morning workout, or you just can’t take another day of trekking on the elliptical machine, it’s time to spice things up and give that workout routine a makeover.

Getting into a fitness rut is a surefire way to slip back into unhealthy habits or start skipping the gym altogether. Without a high level of motivation, any type of fitness activity can seem like a chore. How do you jump start those workouts and make them fun again? Add some variety to your weekly roster of activities! An easy way to start is to jump right into a new extreme sport.

Remember the days when the BMX bike was the highlight of the weekend? Turn yourself into a kid again and take the BMX bike out for a ride and, perhaps, even a few stunts. It won’t take long to turn this bike ride into a bona fide workout; BMX biking is your excuse to push your upper and lower body to the max. From shifting your weight, to performing a new stunt, to riding up and down hills at a higher-than-average speed, you can count on getting your heart pumping, and calories burning in no time. Just make sure you’re well-equipped with some Ray-Ban shades and athletic shoes so you can practice those stunts in high style.

Want another great way to enjoy life in the fast lane? Skating your way through it. Skate boarding will give your lower body a killer workout, pushing your glutes, thighs and calves to the max; it will also pump your heart rate up to its full, fat-burning potential. Just slip on some skate shoes and let the good times roll!

If you’re a fan of the great outdoors, snowboarding is another extreme sport that will whip you into shape in no time. Head off to lodges out west with some sturdy snowboarding boots , and you’ll be well on your way to burning a few hundred calories per hour.

Whether you’re careening through snowy territory on a snowboard or skating your way through life in the fast lane, give your humdrum workout routine a makeover with these extreme sporting activities.

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History of Manolo Blahnik Shoes

If you are a fan of “Sex and the City,” then you have undoubtedly heard of Manolo Blahnik. Manolo Blahnik is a shoe designer who was born in the Canary Islands on November 27, 1942. He studied art and fashion in Geneva and Paris before launching his career in the fashion industry. His unique and artistic perspectives on shoe design have allowed Blahnik to make a name for his shoes in countries around the world. Today, his shoe designs are legends, and his vintage and contemporary designs still remain big sellers in the fashion capitals of the world such as New York, Paris and Tokyo.

Manolo Blahnik Gets His Start
Like most great fashion designers, Manolo Blahnik did not start out designing independently. After graduating from the University of Geneva, he spent some time in Paris studying fashion. He got a job in a little London boutique called Zapata in 1968. His position in this boutique provided him with the exposure that he needed to develop his understanding of the fashion world, which he used to write for Vogue Italia.

His entrance into the world of shoe design occurred as the result of an infamous meeting with Diana Vreeland. She took a look at his fashion portfolio and told him flat out that his forte was in shoe design. For shoe lovers the world round, this was an epiphany that lead to the development of one of the most famous shoe lines in the world.

In 1972, Blahnik was asked by Ossie Clark to design shoes for one of his fashion shows. This was the start of the Blahnik line. Shortly after this runway show, Blahnik borrowed 2,000 pounds Sterling, bought Zapata and started his own footwear boutique.

The Manolo Blahnik Shoe
The history of shoes would not be complete without mentioning the designs produced by Manolo Blahnik. His shoes are known for their unique shapes, unique ornamentation, heels and straps. Some of the most memorable shoe designs created by Blahnik include the original Blahnik shoe produced for Ossie Clark in 1972, the Cherry Shoe and the Piaggi.

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Featured Skateboarder: Rune Glifberg

Rune Glifberg, a Copenhagen native, enjoys riding few things more than his skateboard; However, he owns what he describes as a “small collection” of BMW models that he gladly gets off his board for. His top-five desired rides include an E60 M5 touring car, a Lamborghini, a BMW M1, an E30 M3 and a Porsche GT.

Glifberg, who turns 35 in December, took up skateboarding as an 11-year-old when a friend brought him a wooden skateboard after a vacation in the United States. He was competing within four years and turned pro at age 17. By the age of 22, he gained fame with a victory at the 1996 Slam City Jam.

He experiments with all terrains, but his signature style is vertical.

“Front side, all day man, it’s the best trick,” Glifberg says. “It sets you up for anything you want to do. It’s a nice, raw feeling. You can tweak a little salad in there, or you know, you can point it down towards the end on it, get a little smith end on it. It’s just a great feeling trick. Sometimes it doesn’t have to be tech to feel good.”

He is known among his peers as versatile and flexible. Until his first X Games gold medal this year, he had won the most medals without claiming a top prize. This reflects his rare combination of performing risky tricks while still remaining consistent. He is one of the first skaters to pull off a kick flip backside lip slide, and it now is his signature trick.

Rune’s peers also speak of his love for skateboarding. They say he skates just as hard in tight backyard pools, as he does in front of huge crowds on enormous half pipes. He recalls practicing during sub-zero Danish winters at a ramp covered by a tent. He has donated funds to refurbish his childhood Faeled Parken in Copenhagen.

Glifberg spends family time with his girlfriend and two daughters. They live in Costa Mesa, California, but they return to Copenhagen at least twice a year.